When Dreams released in February it made waves in the gaming world because it gave the Playstation 4 playerbase access to a wide array of game development tools that were easy to access whilst allowing creators to develop unique indie game experiences, art, music or even films. Now, developer Media Molecule has given those tools to an even larger audience with the release of its Playstation VR update today.
According to an interview between Media Molecule Creative Director Mark Healey and uploadvr, the new update has a lot to dive into.
Media Molecule have, once again, used the very tools they are giving to players to create something very special of their own, much like they did in the base game with ‘Art’s Dream’. This new experience isn’t a fully-fledged indie game like ‘Art’s Dream’, but it still shows off what makes these VR tools so special. ‘Inside the Box’ is a gallery of interactive sculptures and models that the developers have created, along with some short games to show the exciting potential of Dreams VR. According to Mark Healey, “It’s basically a big kind of brutalist architecture gallery space that you can go into… We’ve got a bunch of sort of interactive sculptures and exhibits if you like, and there’s actually three games we’ve made in there too. There’s a puzzle game and a shooty game and a platformer game.” He goes on further to say that each game “comes with a modular kit so you can easily make extra levels for that type of game.”
With this Modular Kit it seems like, once again, Media Molecule have put a focus on making this content easy to access, allowing creators to work on short additional levels before jumping into developing their own game.
And that’s not all they’ve done to make the addition of VR tools easy for the player to access. Media Molecule have implemented many features to make the experience more comfortable. For example, they have changed how the camera works in third-person creations if they are played in VR. As Healey explains, “The default setup in Dreams is that the camera will follow the character and you can rotate around. If you have the comfort settings on, that changes. That same piece of content, you can still play it but now the camera’s fixed — obviously you can look around — the character walks a certain distance and then the camera will just teleport, essentially.”
There are bigger changes that help with stability too, as not everyone is as adept with the tools as Media Molecule (I certainly wasn’t in the base game!). For experiences that don’t run great in PSVR, the game will boot you out to Cinema Mode, which sounds like Playstation’s version of Bigscreen – essentially a way to experience flatscreen games on a cinema screen by wearing your VR headset. And, if that doesn’t suit you, the platform can also implement dynamic resolution to help ensure the PS4 doesn’t struggle. Ultimately, all the above features are optional, so you can go wild and create/experience content however you want – but there are no guarantees it’ll play smoothly.
What’s even more impressive to me is that Media Molecule is also giving players the ability to create non-VR content in VR. For example, you can sculpt and add detail to 3D models within the VR toolkit, allowing creators to not only add more depth and details with ease, but also to get a better sense of scale when hand-crafting their worlds.
This is a great addition to the suite of tools Dreams includes, but I really can’t wait to see the new VR experiences people create over the coming weeks and months, and Healey clearly sees this potential too.
“Putting it in the hands of the Playstation community, giving them the opportunity just to express whatever crazy ideas come into their mind without the baggage or having to please a publisher or whether it’s going to make money… could open up almost some new sort of genres or ways of thinking about what VR can be.”
The Dreams PSVR update is out now. Comment below, on my Facebook page The Games Freak or on my Instagram account thegamesfreak if you find any exciting Dreams creations!