August 2021 Newsletter
August 2021 Newsletter

And there goes August! With all the excitement of DreamsCom behind us, you’d think the Dreamiverse would slow down and catch its breath. Nope - it’s been another HUGE month in Dreams, with a new Megapenguin update, your creations in the press and on big stages, a Stank-tastic trend and an entire music festival made in Dreams.

Unbelievable stuff. Let’s recap it all!

SZ73

Guest Artist: SZ73

The stunning convenience store scene you see at the top of this email was made by artist SZ73, whose name you may recognise from their stylish character sculpts. It’s an environment from their upcoming playable project - we just had to ask for more details, especially regarding those eye-popping reflections...


Were there any particular artists, games or places in the world that inspired this futuristic convenience store, and helped bring it to life?

I’ve always been inspired by the art direction in films of the 70s and 80s and the way lighting and cinematography interact to bring a location to life, and I really wanted to try to capture that cinematic style in Dreams - not just in the look of the locations and characters but in the presentation and gameplay too. And although game is set in a grimy, rain-soaked future city, I am really enjoying using a lot of strong colours to cut through the gloom and give the world a slightly theatrical, surreal vibe. The fun part is certainly dressing each location, adding all the little details and background activities really helps create the sense of a large, lived-in city with its own mythology.

What expert tips would you offer someone trying to make realistic reflections in Dreams?

Yes, I have a bit of a thing for reflections and can’t help but put them in every scene! Seriously, send help! Raytracing? Bah! The truth is, adding reflections is an incredibly simple and thermo-friendly trick and one developers have been using since games. The ‘reflection’ is essentially just a flipped version of your environment, set under an invisible floor. Easy enough, but the realism comes from the surface itself and how much the reflected image becomes distorted by it. Flecks ability to catch light while also transparent makes it ideal for creating surfaces for floors, windows and mirrors. For the distortion effect, try loosening the flipped version to create a refracted, blurry look.

This is an environment for your in-the-works project! What can you tell us about that project so far?

While still very much under construction, this location is from a Dreams project called ‘Solid State’, an old school tech-noir graphic adventure, where your investigations into a strange accident leads you to uncover a terrifying conspiracy that must be stopped at all costs!

Also, reflections.


What's Happening at Mm's Many HQs

The Mega Adventure Continues!

The Mega Adventure Continues!

Our sweet penguin boy - sorry, science officer - is still lost in the Dreamiverse, but you’re coming to his rescue! This month, we launched the first update for Megapenguin Rehatched, featuring wildly inventive levels made by you, the coMmunity. Looks like he’s still got a way to go before he finds his fleet, but this is a thoroughly entertaining start. Go play it right now!

Genres Come To DreamSurfing!

Genres Come To DreamSurfing!

Ever wanted to browse creations according to their genre? Yeah, us too - which is why our curation team launched an update letting you do just that. RPGs, Minigames, Art & Animation, Sports & Racing and much more besides - simply click a button to check out a whole new type of creation!

Mm Takes A Break

Mm Takes A Break

A bunch of us at Media Molecule took some time off to rest and relax after a huge DreamsCom! It was lovely, with lots of time spent outdoors, eating good food and trying not to look at screens. Making games can be hard work, so we would like to encourage all you dreamers to take regular breaks from your projects, too: a proper rest can help you feel refreshed and even more creative when you return!


CoMmunity Happenings

Your Dreams Make Headlines

Your Dreams Make Headlines

It has been an amazing month for seeing Dreams projects make waves in the wider world. First, the release of sanderobros and SDorin’s open-world driving game Frontier caught the attention of the good people at Eurogamer. Then came Gamescom and the Future Games Show, during which Maggie Robertson (the voice of Resident Evil VIII’s Lady Dimitrescu - introduced an exclusive trailer for Dreams animated series Noguchi’s Bell ahead of the launch of its Kickstarter (which you should totally back if you can, by the way).

DreamsFest Rocks!

DreamsFest Rocks!

After many, many months of hard work and collaboration from all across the Dreamiverse, this coMmunity-created music festival finally arrived - and what a party it was, too. Director beardofcats kicked things off with a fabulous opening day stream, before releasing DreamsFest for everyone to play. Featuring over 30 brilliant stage shows set across multiple continents, an arcade full of excellent minigames, tonnes of quality voice acting, a passport to keep track of collectibles and a campground filled with tents designed by the coMmunity, it is mindblowing - a real testament to the power of collaboration in Dreams. Go check it out for yourself!

All Aboard The Stank Train...

All Aboard The Stank Train...

After its DreamsCom debut in July, the earworm that is ‘StAnKHaNk’s Booth’ has been EVERYWHERE. It’s inspired a number of covers from dreamers all across the world, even had a few Molecules joining in - and the hijinks were capped off by StAnKHaNk themselves, who flexed their newfound fame with a hilarious remix and music video.

Meet LyzLdy!

Meet LyzLdy!

The creator of upcoming survival game SurvivEscape, you can often find LyzLdy livestreaming their development process on their Twitch channel. Here, we get to know a little more about the person behind the Logic mastery!


What do you like to do in the Dreamiverse?

Building systems from the ground up fascinates me. I don't know why. The visual coding language in Dreams has made designing complex logic more accessible than any program or language I have tried. I can't get enough of Logic! Sculpting and animation are so overrated, anyway.

Curation is something I love in Dreams, too. There are so many fantastic Dreamshaping creations that often get overlooked in favour of the more polished work found when Dreamsurfing. Which is great! Those surfable dreams had to get shaped somehow though, right? Besides helping me keep track of useful build-stuffs, sorting remixable gems is also a great activity for when my brain is dead-tired from logicking. Of course... nothing whittles my time away quite like SurvivEscape. Based on a real-life hike gone awry, developing it has been - as my therapist calls it - a "positive addiction"! My ambition with SurvivEscape is to create a complex gameplay experience, and I require it to be: easy to pick up, difficult to master, and dripping with replay-ability. I want to spend years and years rounding out this game prototype! You can keep an eye on the bits and bobs that trickle into the Dreamiverse by following this collection.


If you could give other members of the CoMmunity a piece of advice for their time in Dreams, what would it be?

Start big. No, start humongous! Absolutely gargantuan, even! What are the creative projects you have always dreamed of starting? Start them!

I also like saying to prioritize the *process* of development over the *progress* of it. Or, the journey is more important than the destination. So go big. Then start over if you have to.

Now take it in a new direction! Try letting whatever you do become a low-stakes opportunity to try out your big vision. Complex ideas are made up of simple parts, so starting big can work if we break it down into small chunks. Try designing small, standalone components that can be used in the big projects you have planned. And consider making them remixable, so others can use them too!

If you would rather start small, okay - do that. And remember that we can start small while still keeping the big picture in focus.

Logic-wise: For anyone who wants to learn logic in Dreams (or anywhere), I have always found value in deconstructing something that I admire, or am impressed by. Maybe I'll reverse-engineer it a little too. Try this, if you are new to coding or logic: Go to "Dreamshaping", and search for a component that will be necessary for your project. Let's say, a "3rd-person puppet". Try out different ones, and pick something that could fit with your vision. When you settle on a favourite, remix it, and break it to pieces. How? Well, I like to just open up some microchips and start deleting stuff. Then give it a test.

What stopped working? Now undo what got deleted, and look more closely into what you removed. Ask yourself: Why was that component so important? Try to recreate it side-by-side with the original version. Maybe eventually try replacing it with yours. Does it work the same? Worse? Better, even?

Hey, tutorials *are* great sometimes, but my advice is essentially this: take a hands-on, feet-first approach. Get dirty and make a mess of things. Then, if you find yourself stuck on making something work right, go check out a tutorial on that specific topic.


What was the first thing you created in Dreams?

My first creation was an attempt at bringing "Sophie" to life, who is a character from my play and novella, which are based on that woodland misadventure. She looked... interesting... haha! Not quite human, but certainly... interesting. I've since become a proud asker-for-help when it comes to visual arts design. Brilliant creators like IansaneArtist and Ted_Rainbow have helped me bring the big SurvivEscape vision closer to reality.


Favourite food, movie and song, in that order. GO!

Favorite food! It's ice cream. Sorry to my dental hygienists.

Favorite Movie! Despite watching and re-watching, I haven't gotten tired of "The Warriors" yet. In Dreams... DREAM FLIX from KeldBjones and his community - is just a wonderful series I love to revisit.

Favorite song? According to Spotify, "Anti-American Graffiti" by J Dilla. In Dreams... ghostfruit64's You Do You is something I listen to at least once a day. The feels!


Which creations are currently your Top 10 in Dreams?

Devs and designers, this list is for you! I'm going to focus on stampable and remixable creations in Dreams. Shout-out to the Stampiverse!

Skybox Collection - Start your scene off on a high note with a pretty (or bizarre) sun and sky filter.

Imp Lamp - Sculpting Aid - Find yourself in need of some extra light when designing assets? VYZiUM-'s Imp Lamp has you covered.

Player Character Collection (for Devs) - Ready to make your first game but need a puppet to get things started? This collection could be a great starting point.

Prinz_Laser Remixables - The prolific, Impy-nominated Prinz_Laser has made wonderful games in a variety of genres. A year after releasing them as Dreams, they made them publicly available as remixable components.

STANDOFF Template Collection - Intrattackout made this collection of totally remixable party games that can be such fabulous starting points for your own ideas.

Pixel Art & Games Toolkit - Not all great games exist in three dimensions - that's why I give you this collection of tutorials and assets that will help you make brilliant pixel art and pixel-based games in Dreams! Look no further than the incredible, remixable art of La_Tortue_Chauve to see what's possible when designing pixel games in Dreams.

Examples to Learn From - You didn't think I'd make a top 10 Dreamshaping list without mentioning TAPgiles (aka Supposer), did you? Have a dig through this collection of remixables, and you're sure to find something useful, or learn a new trick you might not have known before.

Pathfinding Kits - Want enemies that chase you around semi-intelligently? Maybe a map that has smart waypoint-seeking AI? This collection has some pretty advanced stuff, but some of it can be less complex than it seems!

Og's Stuff - Living up to their name, this enigmatic creator really knows how to make unlikely contraptions work. Within this collection you will find a trove of remixable logic elements that will take your gameplay mechanics beyond what you may have thought Dreams could handle.

Remixable, Trippy Visuals Collection - Add that "Wow!" factor to your music videos, boss fights, or whatever else, by seeing what psychedelic splendors are tucked away in this trippy trove of terrificry!


Who’d you like to get to know in the Dreamiverse? We’ll ask them some questions for next month’s newsletter!

I choose the incredible and brilliant Zodira Sunflare! She is always teaching me something new. Would love to see what she has to share here in the newsletter! And I wanna send giant thank you's to meanlad and itsJenSim for giving me this chance to yak about logic and remixable content in Dreams.

This Month's Wallpaper(s)

This Month's Wallpaper(s)

In keeping with the changing seasons, our inimitable artist Theo Hayne followed his spring/autumn bootscreen with a glorious summer/winter edition (can you spot the references to some of our more recent Mm projects?). We thought you might like it as a wallpaper, which you can download here!

And this month, we’d thought we’d give you a cheeky extra for your phone and/or tablet - the poster for Megapenguin’s first update, drawn by artist Mads E. Skovbakke with additional design from our own Miguel Sanz.


Jobs

We're on the lookout for new Molecules to join in the fun and make Dreams the best it can be! Follow the links below to read more about our current vacancies at Mm Towers!

Stay up to date on our jobs page

Current positions



Are we officially heading into spooky season now that it’s September? Is it happening? We can’t WAIT. We have some frighteningly good plans for October. To pass the time, maybe we could do a Megapenguin photoshoot where he jumps into a pile of leaves while drinking a pumpkin spice latte. FESTIVE.

Stay warm if the weather’s getting cooler where you are! We’ll see you next month!