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The game for creating Dreams games is gaining popularity. What do the pros think about it?

Gamedev veterans about the amazing designer and its significance for the industry
On February 14, the full version of the innovative digital designer Dreams was released. Roughly speaking, this is a game about creating games, which is already here and now is very popular among content makers: for example, with its help, ordinary gamers have made their own version of Fallout 4, Hogwarts castle from “Harry Potter” and other amazing things. Dreams allows you to make your own video games literally on your knee — but what do serious developers think about it?

I didn’t buy Dreams to make games. There are more suitable tools for this: Unity and other programs that are more familiar to developers. Another thing is that I wanted to show my seven-year-old son what this process looks like. I hope that Dreams will be the starting point for the child to start making games, so that they can do it for real. Similar to the mod for Warcraft 3, which turned into Dota 2. Since I took Dreams for my son, I spent little time behind it. This includes games created and published by other users. But the ones that I saw left an impression no worse than strong projects with Game Jam’ov (contests where developers quickly create a game, usually it is given a day-approx. ed). And all this is entirely done in the local tools, without third-party programs-amazing! Alas, full-fledged development in Dreams and does not smell. For example, I have no idea how Dreams could be applied in Targem Games. The game is not suitable for prototyping or other roles. Maybe things will change in the future, especially if Sony allows the community to sell their creations.

Speaking of his son, he is still only versed in Dreams. Likes to download other people’s models and play with them. Still, he is still small: he will grow up, maybe do something cool and even help his father. By the way, while watching the child, I was surprised by the local training. It’s hard to come up with something even simpler and clearer! In addition, Media Molecule makes the “splint” a whole experience-immersion in the world of dreams.

Projects created in Dreams attract stylish and beautiful graphics, as well as the game itself. But the main thing, the gameplay, they are not happy. All I saw were clones of some races, platformers, arcades, and so on. But Dreams has long been in early access: if it allowed us to make new, original mechanics, we would see them.

For the same reason, I doubt that Dreams is suitable for prototyping games. No matter how broad the capabilities of the Media Molecule editor are, they are very limited. If the new product can compete with someone, it can compete with Minecraft or Roblox, but not with Unreal Engine 4 or Unity. Pros will still run ideas in them, not Dreams. This is confirmed by the following fact: for all the time that Dreams was in early access, I have not seen a single article from professionals about prototyping in Dreams.

But that doesn’t mean I hate Dreams! It just didn’t catch me as a game or a tool for creativity. I say this as someone who likes to do interesting things in game editors. I remember, in the 90’s, drawing animations in “Tankers” for Dendy. I built a man out of local squares of water, bricks, clay, and grass, and recorded it in one frame through a video recorder connected to a TV. Then I changed the drawing and wrote it down again and again until I got a frame-by-frame animation. Here’s what it looked like.

I got a set-top box for Dreams. First of all, the game impressed me with the image and content: this is the first project in many years based on completely new rendering technologies. Dreams calculates in real time the most complex scenes, consisting of thousands of smoothed primitives (in other words, from small “bricks” – they can be rectangles, circles, cubes, balls and other shapes-approx. ed). Not to mention such cool things as “volumetrics” (how dust and other particles appear in the light-approx. ed) and “the hairy surface”. The engine is also amazingly versatile: it allows you to dazzle not only fluffy, but also realistic, solid things! For example, metal.

Thanks to technology, Dreams received a unique process of “modeling” models. There is no such thing anywhere else. But no matter how good the local tools for creating games are, they are still made at an Amateur level. On the other hand, this goal was set by the developers: a kind of game dev on the couch.

But the main problem with Dreams, as a tool, is not that it is Amateur, but isolated. So far, you can only get pictures and videos from the PS4, but not three-dimensional models or even games. Media Molecule, of course, promise to add this in the future, but they will have to solve a lot of technical problems with the transfer and, most importantly, with the law. What if someone takes someone else’s models, makes a game with them, and starts selling it? Or even take someone else’s game and slightly alter it?

I haven’t tried out Dreams yet, but I follow it and watch videos about the “top” games created in its editor. You can see how the pedals are pumped and complex projects appear over time. That’s cool! Especially memorable is the remake of Dead Space: the author managed to convey the atmosphere of horror of the original. I also liked the WaterGardens-a platformer with puzzle elements. Let’s say there are no innovative mechanics, but they are very organically built into the game. It looks atypically complete for Amateur projects!

Dreams will definitely benefit the industry, as an entrance ticket to it for schoolchildren or students. In it, they will understand the basics of programming, game design, and art. For those who start with Dreams, I would recommend making a prototype in a couple of months. For this purpose, a level from your favorite game will be suitable. And then take up any commercial engine. I would recommend Unity. Only, for God’s sake, don’t waste years on a prototype in Dreams!

And experienced developers do not make sense to do something serious in Dreams. If the prototype can’t be moved to Unity or Unreal Engine, then what’s the point of spending time on it and doing double work? If there’s anything you can do in Dreams, it’s third-party stuff. For example, you can make movies and then upload them to YouTube. You can even earn money on this!

Well, the experts ‘ opinion was surprisingly unanimous. Dreams interested them in graphics and innovative technologies, but as a serious tool for creating or prototyping games, professionals do not even consider this designer. It is designed for Amateurs, but this is not even the main problem. The results can’t be transferred to serious engines, and the tools are limited and do not allow you to implement unusual creative ideas. On the other hand, Dreams is an ideal option for ordinary gamers who want to try their hand at development. Children and teenagers can use this designer as an entrance ticket to the industry, get an idea of the process of creating games and test their creativity.

If you are creating something incredible in Dreams right now, remember the main thing: do not linger at this stage. Sooner or later, you will have to give up the children’s constructor and sit down for adult tools.

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