The 'mean' in meanlad's name must be referring to the mathematical term, because the Grove Zero Tower Defense dev and YouTube creator is one of the friendliest people you'll meet in the Dreamiverse. Here, they talk about helping out the coMmunity with their tutorials and guides, and offer some heartfelt advice about experimenting creatively!
What do you like to do in the Dreamiverse?
Ooooh! A big mix of everything but I spend most of my time creating (game, character and level design are my favourites!). In Dreams terms, I’m big into Art and Logic! I feel my most zen and in-the-zone when I’m sculpting new characters, assets and levels - the hours just vanish. And I love updating my old Dreams with new features! I am also a huge fan of the Community Jams and events, I’m always itching to participate.
I spend a lot of time making weekly YouTube tutorials that are beginner-friendly and aimed at making the tools in Dreams ever more accessible and removing the stigma around logic being scary. My tutorials are mainly focused around Ability Guides (giving your characters cool moves and superpowers) and Gameplay Guides (adding useful/classic gameplay mechanics to your dreams). I also love working on my multi-part Let’s Make video series where I make games and characters from the ground up, such as Tower Defense Games and 2D Arcade Fighters.
Dreams is so wonderfully inclusive and I love hitting up the streams and videos of my fellow Dreamers (big shoutout to Vince Kully, TAPgiles, LyzLdy and Mm!) and of course playing/watching/experiencing all the fabulously original Dreams that couldn’t exist anywhere else. In essence, I love doing everything you can do in Dreams and as a part of the coMmunity!
If you could give other members of the CoMmunity a piece of advice for their time in Dreams, what would it be?
Reach out! There has never been a friendlier or more supportive community of creators. When I first began using Dreams I was very much a solo creator, but there is so much you can learn from reaching out and making friends in the Dreams coMmunity. On the simple practical level, you can learn amazing skills and tips that can make your Dreams look more delicious, sound groovier, run smoother or control more fluidly. And you may have figured something out that the Dreams coMmunity hasn’t managed to crack yet. It could be anything, a logic trick, a painting technique, an approach to music, an animation hack; we can accomplish and learn so much together and propel Dreams and the coMmunity leagues further than if we all worked on our own.
With that being said, a lot of the time it will just be you and the ol’ controller (or move cons!). I would say, make what you always wished you could. Be patient with yourself. Don’t expect it to be AAA. Don’t worry about release dates. Keep on keeping on. And finally, open your mind to the possibility of what Dreams can do. I love Art's Dream because it is a multi-genre experience. You can make the wackiest ideas, doodles and daydreams a reality, so don’t worry too much about genre and convention. Be a bit crazy!
What was the first thing you created in Dreams?
Connie (Battle-Damaged). I love Connie and I wanted to give her a grizzled look, so I made an arrow stick out of her head and gave her a few scratches. But I was a total noob and I think I broke her logic. But look how far I’ve come *gulp*!
Favourite food, movie and song, in that order. GO!
Potato Salad, Whisper of the Heart and ひこうき雲 (Hikoukigumo) by Yumi Arai.
I also love pizza, but in my teenage years I tragically developed an allergy to cheese and chocolate. :*)
How can people find you in the Dreamiverse?
The best place would be my YouTube channel (meanlad). I make a point of responding to all of my comments, answering questions, making requested videos and generally getting involved with the coMmunity! I post most of my updates and news on Twitter (@meanlad_dreams) and Reddit (ssj_meanlad). I also have a Patreon account (meanlad) for my followers: the Mean Knights :D
I’m from Cape Town, South Africa (shoutout Mzansi), so keep in mind the time zones in case I take a while to respond!
Which creations are currently your Top 10 in Dreams?
In no particular order they would include:
Four Seasons - A fan-created Avatar Game (this is what got me into Dreams)
It’s True What They Say
Interpolation (Vince is an underrated genius)
Planetary Defense Commander (have played no other Dream as much as this
Noguchi’s Bell Episode 1
Untitled Imp Game
ETHAN GOES TO WORK... (loved every second of this, my favourite dream)
Who’d you like to get to know in the Dreamiverse? We’ll ask them some questions for next month’s newsletter!
I've firstly got to say a massive thank you to my bruski Vince Kully for suggesting me!
As for who should come next, it’s gotta be the fantastic LyzLdy!