While the most ambitious creatives active in the universe of Dreams are ready to compete in the third edition of the Impy Awards 2021, Media Molecule has decided to reserve a more than welcome surprise for its colorful community. From November 30, in fact, all dreamers will be able to have free access to The Dungeons, Dragons & Templates, a substantial update of Dreams which brings with it promising news.
In the works for more than a year at the Sony team studios, the update includes two main contents. On the one hand, we find DreamShaping 2.0, a creation mode that will greatly simplify the transition from player to creator. On the other hand, we have instead Ancient Dangers: A Bat’s Tale, an unreleased game developed by Media Molecule itself using the tools offered by Dreams on PS4 and PS5. To find out what exactly the software house has in store for its community, we had the opportunity to observe in action The Dungeons, Dragons & Templates preview, in Italian exclusive. Catherine Woolley e Kevin Watt, game designer at Media Molecule, have revealed all the secrets of the new update, which we are sure will delight the visitors of the Dreamverso!
DreamShaping 2.0: creating is easier
With Dreams (you will remember it from the review of Dreams written at the launch by our Francesco Fossetti), Media Molecule has given shape to a decidedly peculiar production. A title that Kevin Matt does not hesitate to define as a real one “portal to creativity, on PlayStation“.
Thanks to Dreams, PS4 and PS5 users have in fact the possibility to explore a multifaceted creative platform, through which bring your own video games to life. An essential element of the concept is the sharing: each production can in fact be tested by the entire community of Dreams, which since the game’s debut has shown great imagination and skill.
In recounting the reception that the public has reserved for Dreams, Catherine Woolley is thrilled. Over time, in fact, many players have been able to exploit the platform to create incredible creations, which otherwise would never have found space on PS4 or PS5. Many initially tried to replicate scenarios or dynamics experienced in other video games (just think of the tributes to Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart in Dreams), in a spontaneous learning process, and then move on to shape original visions.
To facilitate and support the transformation from player to creator, Dreams has made available immediately an extensive selection of tutorials and insights, intended to offer guidance at every stage of the creative process. However, this approach, says Catherine Woolley, may not be optimal for the entire community.
After all, everyone has different ways of learning, and the tutorial review prepared by the team may not represent the ideal approach for all visitors to Dreams. With the aim of supporting that part of the public “potentially scared“from the creative aspect of the PS4 and PS5 game, Media Molecule now proposes DreamShaping 2.0, a completely renewed mode of creation.
With The Dungeons, Dragons & Templates, Dreams puts available to players some models – the templates, in fact – from which to start to create their own creations. Concretely, we are talking about very simple games,
that users can test and then, with the careful guidance of Media Molecule, progressively “break down” to find out how they work. Dissecting the models into their individual components, and then reassembling them, represents an unprecedented approach to videogame creation within DreamsTo introduce this new system, Media Molecule has worked on the creation of an interesting set of templates, all included in the new update. In order of increasing difficulty, i Dreamers they will be faced with a platform 2D, one 2D scrolling shooter, a platform 3D, a game of minigolf, a dungeon crawler and, finally, the aforementioned Ancient Dangers: A Bat’s Tale. For each of these playable experiences, the creators will be able to carry out a sort of reverse engineering operation, so as to discover the internal mechanisms.
Ancient Dangers: A Bat’s Tale
At this point, it is appropriate to open a parenthesis entirely dedicated to Ancient Dangers: A Bat’s Tale. As we mentioned at the beginning, the latter represents a game completely made by Media Molecule, and distributed within Dreams. An irreverent adventure with light tones, the Action game features two young orcs. Brother and sister, the latter embark on an adventure with a decidedly unexpected goal: to find a way to make their grandmother stop snoring during the night.
Colorful adventure characterized by a pleasant style cartoonesco, from a playful point of view Ancient Dangers: A Bat’s Tale if you present with a hack ‘n’ slash based on a system of continuous concatenation of combos. In the intentions of Media Molecule, the view is presented with a top-down structure, but the players who prefer it can decide to move the camera closer to the action.
Definitely interesting feature, Ancient Dangers: A Bat’s Tale it can be played both alone and in company. Thanks to local co-op support, two players can in fact share the control of the brothers protagonists.
In full compliance with the canons of a fun fairytale-like adventure, our two valiant alter-egos will find themselves facing multiple opponents, countless monsters and even some boss fights. From what we have been able to observe in preview, none of the great stylistic features of the genre seem to be missing from the appeal, among shaky but fierce skeletons, and colorful fire-breathing dragons. Everything is declined in a pleasant boyish style, for an experience that represents both a fully-fledged video game and a learning model at the same time.
As already mentioned, Ancient Dangers: A Bat’s Tale it constitutes in fact one of the templates made available in the frame of DreamShaping 2.0. Compared to the other models, the Media Molecule Action game obviously represents the most complex and articulated product, which will not fail to whet the imagination of the most ambitious dreamers. To facilitate the latter, the development team has inserted in the template the exact same elements present in the game, between monsters, characters, tools and settings. Step by step, Dreams explains how to use each component, so as to allow players to realize your own levels of Ancient Dangers: A Bat’s Tale.
To meet the different needs of the community, Media Molecule has decided to propose ben three different templates dedicated to the adventure of the orc brothers, each of which characterized by a different level of difficulty. The first will allow you to create relatively simple play experiences, which can become more complex through the insertion of logical dynamics, introduced by the second template. Finally, the third model uses the most advanced elements to place powerful monsters within the game.
The Dungeons, Dragons & Templates
Overall, therefore, the new update of Dreams aims to offer players a new resource to take the leap towards the more creative side of the title. Templates offer a useful foundation to work from, without necessarily having to start from scratch. Between platforming, minigolf and dungeon crawlers, the variety of models proposed by Media Molecule is remarkable, with the apex evidently reached by Ancient Dangers: A Bat’s Tale.
By leveraging content related to hack ‘n’ slash, Dreamers can focus on the funniest aspects of level design, temporarily leaving out the more complex ones. This “lighter” approach should encourage the involvement of the public who, after having fun with the models, could secondly devote themselves to deepening the other functions of Dreams, also covering the previous tutorials.
Thanks to the introduction of DreamShaping 2.0, the Media Molecule team is now in a position to indicate a ideal path for new creators who are preparing to make their entry into Dreams. The latter, advises the team, should first of all play the role of the players, trying first Ancient Dangers: A Bat’s Tale and then some of the community productions, to get an idea of what their peers are creating. At this point, it is recommended that you move on to the basic tutorial of Dreams, to familiarize yourself with the camera control and management system. At this point, you are ready to set out to discover DreamShaping 2.0, starting with the template dedicated to 2D platformers, the simplest of the new models.
To hone their creative skills, the audience of Dreams you will also be able to take advantage of a further novelty. With the update, Media Molecule has in fact worked to highlight aspects of the game that were previously more difficult to find. For example, the latter include the very many Community Event, but also i Top Dreamer. Now, players who spend a lot of time playing the game will be easy to spot: divided into categories (e.g. animation, music, art and many others), these creators will be highlighted, so that the community of Dreams can follow their activities and possibly draw useful inspiration from them.
Behind the scenes of Dreams
Media Molecule has dedicated over a year of work to the development of the contents they make up The Dungeons, Dragons & Templates, with the aim of offering new life blood to the community of Dreams. Ancient Dangers: A Bat’s Tale, reveals Catherine Woolley, fully reflects what can be achieved with the tools offered by the exclusive PS4 and PS5. In making the adventure, the Sony team had a lot of fun in making the most of its digital creature, introducing increasingly complex and articulated elements in the course of development.
Interesting detail, as part of the project The Dungeons, Dragons & Templates, the authors also had the opportunity to turn their gaze to the period prior to the publication of Dreams. For example, Kevin Watt told the peculiar origin of the template dedicated to minigolf: the prototype, in fact, was made by him and by a former developer of Media Molecule who had just joined the team.
The latter was incredibly fond of minigolf, and to make him familiar with Dreams, Kevin had helped him make a game dedicated to his passion! Now, after accumulating dust for a few years, that first creation becomes available to the entire community, who will be able to build probably incredible experiences on that basis.