Sony’s Paris Games Week gave us our first real look at Media Molecule’s Dreams, showing off not only what the developer can make with its own tool set, but the potential for community creativity.
In the demo, which you can watch below, several of Dreams’ key features were introduced: the Imp, whom you control to manipulate worlds and those in them, and tools used to sculpt and craft titular dreams themselves.
With Siobhan Reddy back in Australia, we used the chance to talk about the Paris Games Week demo.
Watching, I couldn’t help but get a very Tim Burton-esque, Nightmare Before Christmas vibe from the presentation – rather fitting for the this time of year. Reddy said the influence wasn’t necessarily intentional.
“People have mentioned Tim Burton influencing that particular bit of content,” she said. “We didn’t actually sit down and say, ‘let’s make a Tim Burton inspired area’, but the thing with where we’re at with Dreams right now is that it’s got to a point where we’re creating interesting worlds and characters. It’s a fun, first thing to do. That content was really just a result of a jam of different people.”
I pointed out the giant mouse as the most Burton-like. Reddy laughed.
“I have the lady that made the Mega Mouse sitting next to me,” she confessed, introducing me to artist Maja-Lisa Kehlet.
Seizing the moment, Reddy asked why Kehlet decided upon a mouse for the demo.
“It was more like the kind of stuff I would draw,” the artist replied, matter-of-factly. “It came naturally.”
Reddy seemed quite happy with her colleague’s reply.
“That’s the beauty of Dreams, really; we’re at that stage now where the tools have matured enough and we’re able to let people go a little wild.
“I think, so far, the way that we’ve been working on Dreams, right from the beginning of showing at the PS4 announce to now, is very transparent,” Reddy continued. “People are getting quite an interesting glimpse into the studio and our teams. All of the content we’ve shown has been a result of creative jams. The ideas have primarily stemmed from personal choices.
“You probably can psychoanalyze us as a studio by looking at it all, but I love that – you’re really seeing the creativity of each individual. That was one of the real aims of Dreams—helping people get into that flow state; able to lose themselves in the creative process rather than battling with a mouse. That’s a testament to the tool designers and programmers and artists; they’ve really made a suite that is delivering on those expressive –“
“I’m sorry, there’s just a really weird kangaroo being made in front of me right now. Maja’s making a kangaroo at the moment and it’s not got a tail, which is really quite upsetting…,” she said, trailing off again.
“Okay,” she started up again, after a moment. “It is a really cute kangaroo, yeah.”
Reddy continued on.
“We’ve reached the point that we know we have a lot of really strong anchors. With this trip, we’ve been away for nearly two weeks, and I’ve been watching Maja and Jon [Eckersley], two of our artists, creating new things every day. It’s mind-boggling how much they’re able to achieve.”
Dreams’ beta looks set to show gamers how those creation tools work. We’ll have more with Reddy and Dreams’ upcoming beta this afternoon.