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Dreams: the game with endless artistic possibilities

Media Molecule has created a revolutionary game that sits somewhere at the intersection of art studio, game engine, and vibrant community hub, and it’s simply brilliant.

Game review sites are waxing lyrical about Media Molecule’s latest project Dreams, after the game released on Early Access in its beta phase this week.

The developers behind the eminently popular Little Big Planet rarely play it safe with original titles and Dreams is easily their most ambitious project to date, essentially flipping the script, allowing consumers to play at being the developers (minus the arduous coding).

Dreams is difficult to label succinctly, but this obscurity what makes the game so inherently special.

PlayStation’s exclusive IP aims to provide players with a limitless virtual art platform to create almost anything. Within this unique space the community can create and share all manner of things digital; from paintings, sculptures, models, music, and animations, right the way up to full blown games of their own… so you could make good on claims that you could’ve done better in the making of underwhelming sequels – someone remake Mafia III please.

Underneath a soft, painterly presentation lies a powerful toolkit teaming with accessible components to intricately craft whatever you like. Of course, it can seem a bit daunting and overwhelming at first when presented with literally tens of thousands of options, but if you invest enough time to experiment (and follow on screen prompts and tutorials) you’ll soon get to grips with the software across all mediums.

Here’s a few examples of cool bits from the community.

However, if  free-time is a little sparser than you’d like these days, you can actually ‘remix’ other people’s dreams, using their project as a starting point to implement your own ideas and elements, whether it’s a song, piece of art, animation, or someone else’s game.

Maybe even more impressive than the tools of mass creation Dreams offers, is the inclusive community that’s growing from it. As gamers we’re familiar with the worst-case scenarios in player eco-systems but I’ve yet to witness this level of respect and encouragement among gamers. I’ve become accustomed to 12-year-old’s slating my mum on Call of Duty, so this is a pretty nice departure.

As cliché as it sounds, the possibilities with Dreams are endless. No two people will get the same experience from it and there’s something in it for everyone. If you’re not interested in dabbling in the creative side, you’ve literally just purchased thousands of indie games for the price of one anyway.

Disclaimer: I’m not usually this overwhelmingly positive, but I feel this project deserves great credit for pushing the boundaries of gaming. Hopefully my optimism isn’t dented by performance issues and glitches, us gamers have had our fingers burned too many times to count.