For the first month of 2018 I want to highlight some of the smaller games that are looking to be fantastic titles. We all know the larger games coming out this year the likes of Red Dead Redemption 2, God of War, The Last of Us 2 (please Neil Druckman make this a real thing) and Far Cry 5.
What always interested me are those smaller games that don’t have a giant marketing budget that are coming out in 2018. Juggernauts in 2017 the likes of NieR: Automata and Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds permeated the conversation last year and arrived with little fanfare. We have already begun getting a taste of the hidden gems this year has to offer and 2018 looks to be as exciting as this last year.
I’ve always wanted to make a game. There’s some solid A+ ideas rolling around in my head about a directed, highly stylized game about a mysterious female protagonist fighting against larger and larger machines in an effort to defend her homeland (This is starting to sound like NieR: Automata and Horizon: Zero Dawn).
I dream about a boss fight where you struggle against a small horde of cultist type enemies that revere this giant mechanized deity. After a crushing battle against the most devout of his cult this half-Cthulhu half-machine crashes up from the depths to crush you for your meddling. The epic musical swell that hits just as the boss pops up over takes you and pushes you onward as you fell this evil being.
The sad truth however is I have no programming skill. It took me 2 ½ hours to build a 10 second opening for my old YouTube channel. I would need a tool set that breaks down that barrier of game design and game creation. Making it easy for people like me to bring their ideas to life and build their dream into a reality.
Who else but Media Molecule, the team behind the ultra-creative phenomena LittleBigPlanet, could build a set of creation tools up to this challenge? Dreams is Media Molecule’s third title and for the longest time we never really knew what it was this game was going to be. PlayStation Experience 2017 I was fortunate enough to sit in on a creation session with the team at Media Molecule and many of these questions were answered.
In Dreams, you have the ability to create any type of game style imaginable. Brief examples include adventure platformers, kart racing games and point and click adventures. All of this is possible with the immense tool set that Media Molecule has created over the past several years.
Game creation doesn’t have to be the end game either, are you passionate about creating 3d character models? There are tools to build your own characters and share them onto the network.
If you are an aspiring game musician specializing in orchestral arrangements or chip tunes there are tools available to create and share your work with others. Even voice actors will have an avenue to contribute to projects through Dreams.
Most importantly is for those of you who fill a niche but aren’t putting out the final product, your name will be attached to that game. People cannot take your work and present it as their own. Your tag will follow along with the models and music that you are responsible for creating. This is an important aspect of the creation as you can collaborate on levels with people across the internet to work on a shared project.
Each of these levels that you create can be linked together to form one longer narrative, so the length or complexity of your game is only limited by what you can imagine. The main campaign of Dreams will consist of three distinct play styles which are meant to be introductions to how varied the tools can be. One campaign is a dark point and click adventure game with noire overtones. The second game is a futuristic hack and slash adventure with light puzzle solving. The final game focuses on platforming with a whimsical childlike backdrop. Each scenario is unique, interesting and all created within the tool set of Dreams.
The ultimate culmination of this whole process follows Media Molecule’s “Play, Create, Share” mantra that began with LittleBigPlanet. This game is designed for people who just want to play all of these creations as they will all be available over the PlayStation Network. It gives you the tools to create any game type with any style that you can imagine and also lets you share these experiences with anybody else on the network with ease.
The livestream from the Media Molecule’s PlayStation Experience showcase is available and can be viewed here. This is a game that will appeal to so many people if Media Molecule can find a way to showcase this and get it in people’s hands. Listening to the concepts and seeing it all in action is a completely different experience and will change your view on what this game can be.