Technology | The Guardian

Dreams becomes reality: the game that can make an artist out of anyone

May 23, 2019 at 09:00AM

Digital artist Dan Hett explores the Dreamiverse, a galaxy of games, music, art and ideas created by players in a limitless virtual art studio

As a digital artist and experimental games designer, I was one of the first in line to dive into Dreams – a PlayStation 4 game that aims to give everyone the ability to unlock the potential artist within – when the developer Media Molecule opened up limited early access in April. From the breadth of its artistic toolset to the community of creators it is enabling, Dreams feels like the start of a genuine revolution in accessible, creative play. The promise was that Dreams would represent a space where almost anything is possible, and Media Molecule has somehow got closer than I ever imagined.

Dreams is hard to sum up succinctly, but it sits somewhere at the intersection of art studio, game engine and vibrant creative community hub. Almost the first thing new players see is a fun video of the development staff, smiling together in their office and holding up handmade “Welcome” signs. This warmth permeates the rest of game, the friendly tone and slightly squishy visual style helping make the work of creation less intimidating. In my real-life work, I favour simple and efficient tools such as Processing, Pico 8 and Twine over sprawling complex packages, and the tools available in Dreams replicate them surprisingly well.

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