While Sony’s exhibits for PlayStation Experience lean more on the interactive in terms of activity instead of straight-up gaming, there are those that really give you an idea of what a game is going to be all about.
For instance, Media Molecule, the creators of the LittleBigPlanet franchise, set up a charming little stage for Dreams, its “create-a-game-within-a-video-game” project that it has lined up for PlayStation 4 next year. The company was kind enough to walk us through a demo regarding what the game is all about.
First off, you start by picking an “imp”, a side character that guides you through the many menus that are included within the game. These include a little devil character, a cat character, a spider and a handful of others, depending what you’re in the mood for. They all serve the same purpose, it’s just really what you’re comfortable with.
From there, you jump into an open world hub where you can make decisions. There are a number of pre-built single player levels already, based around the Media Molecule community, so you can get an idea of what Dreams’ world has to offer. What’s more, you can take level templates and build upon them, in case you don’t entirely feel like building a world from scratch.
You can try out the single player levels and then see what’s available in the world of tools, including objects that you can manipulate in size and direction, worlds that you can tweak with small things (like inadvertent spike pits with signs), heroes that you can change in certain areas and more. The game really gives you an open template of what’s at your fingertips, and it’s pretty neat.
You can even go as far as to create a custom soundtrack for the game, manipulating a number of small items like musical instruments and rhythms until you find something that’s just right.
Other tools include being able to record an object’s actions so that you can create moving platforms or other obstacles; building complex roadways that lead to much bigger parts of a stage; backdrop design that really gives your world some depth; and much, much more. We didn’t see nearly enough from the stage demo.
It all controls pretty well, with motion-based controls using the PlayStation controller. That might be annoying for some, but Media Molecule incorporated it so well into its set-up that you really won’t mind. Plus, it makes it easy to get around options, see what works for you, and then tweak what doesn’t.
And you can share with ease. Like the LittleBigPlanet games before it, Dreams is based around community sharing, and the game will no doubt have a ton to offer when it releases, with thousands upon thousands of levels to check out from others before you upload your own.
Dreams releases in 2018 for PlayStation 4 – and dare we say it, it could be an even bigger hit for Media Molecule than LittleBigPlanet was. (Sorry, Sackboy.)