New Creation Platform of Our Wildest Dreams?

Have you heard about DREAMS? Not the dreams that one day you will work at Disney, Pixar, or Riot Games, but Dreams as in the new PlayStation 4 game. Developed by Media Molecule, Dreams is a game that lets you create games, and play the games made by others from around the world. It is a platform where you can create characters, environments, art, assets and even music from scratch. You can go as far as recording cinematics for your games or short animated movies. The style of animation is not necessarily very hyper realistic, or stylized 3D, it is whatever you want it to be, including 2D. “The level of capability in Dreams is sort of shocking, as if Media Molecule bundled Unity, Garage Band, Final Cut and Photoshop into one package, along with a social network” (Hornshaw). While the creation range Dreams provide is quite wide and as complex as it gets, the interface is extremely user friendly. It is made to be easy to use by anyone and everyone. On top of all this craziness, any asset, character, instrument, sound or game itself that you have created can  be shared online in a giant library to be played or used by others to create new content. With this kind structure the possibilities of creation are endless.

When I first heard about this game from a friend I did not believe it. “So you create games by putting together premade assets?” If you want to you can, but the idea is that you can create everything from scratch, the way you want them to be, even the game dynamics and the rules of your world. “Then it’s all 3D sculpted characters?” No, you can have drawings, anything. “It must require a lot of coding, and figuring out hard interfaces.” It is as simple as a swing of DualShock 4 controller. “There has to be a catch.” There is none, it is what it is. “Then why do I melt my brain trying to learn all these softwares like Maya, Harmony, Unity, Animate, if it is as simple as it is on a single platform?” I will admit when I first heard about this game I did not want to believe it. It made me think why spend four years in college learning about all these programs this one platform can single handedly outdo. Now, that is an exaggerated statement, however, not thinking only about Dreams, but coming from that and asking in a more broad sense, how would our futures change (in the animation industry) if a platform where you can create anything and showcase it was to be made accessible to anyone in the world?

Think of it this way, the greatest benefit of college for a path in animation is that it provides us with industry used equipment such as softwares, computers, tablets, so we can have experience creating, and build a portfolio. What if this was available for everyone? There are so many talented people out there unable to attend college, or major in animation, due to various reasons, what if they had a chance to put themselves out there? Would they be the ones filling up the empty spots in the industry before college graduates? What does a college degree in animation mean if what is important is what you are able create? It is an interesting idea to think about, also kind of intimidating. Although, we should not forget, animations majors are in college and in that major because they have shown talent and proven themselves to an extent. I will admit, it is also true that despite the safe feeling college environment provides, getting a degree does not mean you are guaranteed a future. There is only so much we can learn from professors, and friends in a path of artistry and we need to put in most of the work in order to grow. However, college provides us with resources to be able to do just that. Furthermore, we can never forget the power of networking, and the role of college friendships play in that. All in all, it seems that we are on the same grounds as anyone in achieving our dreams, if not a step ahead. I would still ask though, could such a platform where creation of anything and everything is possible as well as easy become the new industry standard, leading us to forget all we have learned and master this new software?

I was just trying to pick your brains with some questions that sparked in me earlier this year and introduce you to this new masterpiece of a game whose release date is still to be announced. Feel free to check out these links for more info and dope demos:

https://www.playstation.com/en-us/games/dreams-ps4/

Hornshaw, Phil. “‘Dreams’ is a game about making games, and it goes as deep as you want.” Digital Trends, Designtechnica Corporation, 11 December 2017, digitaltrends.com/gaming/dreams-preview/

9 Replies to “New Creation Platform of Our Wildest Dreams?”

  1. I think it’s inevitable that with time markets will shift and businesses will die, and as a result new software will emerge which caters to a need for that software. It’s good we’re getting into an era where art is made at an increasingly grassroots level an individuals have access to many free tools to create games, movies, digital art, etc. I think that it is likely the crowd Dreams will cater too is probably a less professional but nonetheless large base of artists outside the industry. The fact that it is a game automatically makes it accessible to a wider range of people than just professionals, but I think it being marketed as a game threatens how certain people perceive it; especially businesses who are subscribing to different software and probably want the best product (or supposedly best product) imaginable. And, even if Dreams is a good product (and I have no idea if it is or is not) it is more how it is perceived to be by potential consumers, including industry professionals and managers making investment decisions. But to be honest I think this is hardly the most interesting or even the most relevant part of film or game creation nowadays. With an increasingly large group of independent and small-time filmmakers and game creators it seems that anyone can make something and even things which are of considerable quality and effort even using tools which the industry might not like or might not prefer. For instance, I am a big fan of Blender but it is not as big as other programs like Maya or 3DS Max (granted that is also because of its limited functionality relative to those) in the industry. But, because Blender is free and open-source professionals and non-professionals alike can improve it, learn from one another’s experiences, and create things on their own without the need of a hulking million-dollar entity standing over their shoulder telling them how to make the art they want to make or even what tools to do it with.

  2. What a great read. I love how you talked about how great DREAM is but also applied it to a real life dilemma. That is scary to think that maybe these programs would give you less job stability. Even as a business major, who could be interested in going to HR. They are shifting a lot of their jobs to a computer program. I think everything in the world is becoming more digital / technological, which is super scary. But even if DREAM allows users to make up their own game, having actual video game creators are still vital.

  3. Wow that is a crazy concept! It is very remarkable how far we have come with technology and design. It is really interesting how new technology has been developed to create in a way we never thought was possible before. I do understand your worry about the possible riddance of usefulness of the programs we have learned, but with art there are constantly new tools being developed and I think we should adapt. By choosing a career path that is only marketable by using the best tools and having the best quality, it’s important we are updated with the times and you never know it might just be easier for us to create like this platform. With every new development, I do think it compromises in some aspect so I do think that’s where our benefits come in from learning the “older” programs.

  4. Dreams does sound like an interesting concept, however, I think the fault with creative games is most of the consumer base is too lazy to fully use and appreciate it. As a former MMO gamer, there have been many games that seemed like they would find success due to the freedom and possibilities that they presented. These games are labeled as a sandbox game, which basically allows players to create any instance or do anything in their world with the least amount of limitation. I think the most popular of these types of games would be minecraft. However, many new games have tried to play off this success, but the initial learning curve always seems to get rid of most of the consumer base and the game flops in comparison to the hype it generated. However, I do see that Dreams is being produced by Sony, a top of the line company. If it does experience success at the level minecraft did, we could see a potential threat to game design jobs. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if the learning curve of this game deters a lot of the potential.

  5. Su,

    Holy crap this is crazy! I am extremely excited to see how the Dreams interface works and any future projects that come out of this game. I am interested to see how complex Dreams actually allows its users to make their own projects; I am sure there must be limitations due to how many factors are being included in the first place. Additionally, I am interested to see if the games that come out of Dreams are able to capture the same amount of attention/followers that traditionally developed games make. I am super excited to see how this concept works out and how it continues to be modified in the future. With all that being said, my last question is: how is Dreams going to store all of its content?

  6. Wow, what a cool and interesting idea. This sort of reminds me of a debate I had talking about the internet- just how important is a college degree when information classes and tutorials are so readily available online? What is the point of spending four years in a college program when that same amount of time could have been spent honing your skills to perfection via internet recourses?
    While DREAMS looks like a platform that can inspire millions, it’s just like the rise of the internet. The difference between those who will sustain success is those who are willing to pursue their passions and keep pushing themselves professionally. This can be done in college or outside of college. That information is readily available and there are no platforms like DREAMS that are also readily available the difference is how far someone is willing to go to get to a place where they feel like they need to be. Like what you mentioned, anyone in a college program had to in some way prove themselves, the very same goes for anyone. Persistence is the only aspect truly needed to sustain success.

  7. I think this topic is a good lead in to a much bigger “issue”. I put parentheses as many may not see it as an issue, but different viewpoint. The idea that you may not need to go to school or spend loads of money because if you’re talented and dedicated then do you really need school? Upon reading this I also got the impression of “Why did I waste my time learning to build games and entertainment when this program claims to do it all intuitively?”, but I’m skeptical as to whether or not the game’s platform and user interaction will achieve their claim of building everything from the ground up. I think if anything this could bring an emphasis to the creative elements of the process which could be good if young people get to test their limits artistically.

  8. Hey! This is such a cool concept! It’s really interesting how creative and technical minds can come together to create a game quite like this. It’s release will definitely change the industry, and possibly the way games are sold and played in the future.

  9. What’s up Su! This is definitely a thought provoking article. DREAMS sounds absolutely insane; there’s a program out there that can basically do all the work that I have been trying to wrap my head around for whole semesters. The whole thing is definitely transformative for the gaming industry!

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