Media Molecule’s editorial department is a magical place, filled with tiny vending machines and swimming pools of coffee, its halls haunted by the ghosts of the words that never made it to the page. But there’s one thing that is almost never seen here. It’s been a long time since we did any mathematics - even longer since we understood any of it. (Which is to say, we never really understood it. The day we were told that maths wasn’t a twisted kind of lottery in which you punch random numbers into a calculator and hope you hit upon the right answer, our minds were blown. Turns out that Numberwang is not a documentary.)
This week, however, we’ve managed to invent our very own equation: (F + b)n = DWR. This, of course, is the shorthand for ‘Friday plus boredom, raised to the power of not knowing what to play in Dreams, equals the Dreamview Weekly Roundup’. When solved, it brings you five expert recommendations for creations to try out in Dreams this weekend. See? Maths can be beautiful.
by duckenomics, Pixel_Gorilla, file_maker and Bella_Iris
How can just two colours look so luxurious? Duckenomics clearly has an eye for aesthetics: drawn in terracotta and burgundy, 2D shooter Space Marauder evokes the feeling of being a gunslinger travelling across deserted wilds from the moment you first set eyes on it. In motion, it’s even better, challenging you to improve your flying skills and to make the most of your limited, but rechargeable, fuel supply as you drift and carve about the galaxy in search of asteroids to mine. Gathering materials allows you to upgrade your ship back at base - and eventually take on the ruthless Brute Hog. However fantastic Space Marauder looks, what really impresses here is the attention to mechanical detail: systemic touches such as being able to retrieve materials Minecraft-style upon death, as well as considerately designed UI, and the smoothest camera rigging you ever did see.
Crocodiles, as a concept, have already had a bit of a reputational downgrade in the scariness stakes lately - just look at the way these little friends ‘swim’. Precious. But it's Crocodile Dreaming that has well and truly defanged these creatures for us once and for all: made for one of Phreaky’s weekly challenges with the theme being ‘Take something un-cute, and make it cute’, this stunningly well-lit interactive animated short tells the tale of a ‘gator with its head in the clouds. Brief, and utterly heartwarming.
Don’t be fooled by the appearance of Pleasantly Plasticine Nathan Drake: this rock climbing collect-a-thon is anything but soft and squishy. It takes us a while to get to grips with the varied control scheme - there’s a lot of sophisticated stuff here, including the ability to leap between surfaces at the cost of a chunk of energy, and a grappling hook that mercilessly obeys the laws of physics (RIP our face). Every move you make is weighty and satisfying, and the difficulty is expertly pitched: after clambering across cliff faces (hunting for stamina-preserving handholds wherever possible), leaping between ravines and falling into countless voids, reaching an elusive flag is a fist pump-worthy moment. Sorry we ever doubted you, PPND: you’re the toughest guy alive
Au contraire, WileyisCOOL. This unorthodox digital instrument is in fact one of the cleverest repurposings of the collection tool that we’ve ever seen. Its creator has used the scribble tool to sketch out a keyboard, then placed an element containing a sound clip of the corresponding note on each key. Dreams offers a short, instant preview of audio elements when you hover over them with your imp - so yes, you can actually play this piano by jamming along the keys using motion controls.
We first discovered ShadowScraps’ ambitious curation project earlier this year - a huge, explorable virtual museum with plenty of exhibition space for the artists of Dreams who’d like their work displayed. It’s a delight to revisit the gallery in its ‘2.0’ form: the lobby has grown into a multilevel structure, the business of checking out individual pieces is much improved, there’s a fast travel function, and there are new individual creator showcases and themed exhibitions (we wish we’d eaten lunch before stepping inside the food-themed one, although the Dragonfruit looks like it might eat us). Naturally, the gallery is always looking for more treasures to promote, so make sure to drop by ShadowScrap’s creator page and get involved in the jams or chat to them about an artist feature if you fancy seeing your art - quite literally - put on a pedestal.
Want an easy way to view all of these creations in one convenient collection? Check out the playable version of this week's Dreamview Weekly Roundup right here in Dreams!