September 2021 Newsletter
September 2021 Newsletter

Bye, September! You were truly lovely, bringing us fancy new updates to Create mode in Dreams, a Kickstarter success story, more details on our forthcoming Halloween extravaganza - and, as ever, many more wonderful community creations to play, see, and experience.

Let’s jump right into this month’s newsletter, shall we?

Afroman4peace

Guest Artist: Afroman4peace

German creator Afroman4peace describes themselves as a “post-apocalyptic author, musician, photographer and electronics technician”. It’s clear that their eclectic mix of skills helps them create unique, beautiful and interactive scenes like the one pictured at the top of this very newsletter, Mystic Grasslands II! We caught up with Afroman4peace to ask them some questions...


What inspired you to create this gorgeous grassland environment?

In these stressful times, I just wanted to create a place to relax. You can just look at the scenery and listen to my music. The landscape itself is inspired by the Scottish Highlands, one of my favourite places I've ever visited together with my twin brother.


Unlike its predecessor, this is not a static piece - players are able to explore this piece of art using your Imp Wanderer character, and change the time of day! What made you want to make this piece of art customisable and explorable?

I've created a night template for future projects. Grasslands II gave me a good opportunity to test it. Walking though a scene is always more immersive, especially with your own Imp. It also gave me the opportunity to hide some Easter eggs. Maybe there is an even bigger world to find within this grassland...

The lighting in the scene – both in daytime and at night - is particularly atmospheric. What are your top tips for creating beautifully lit scenes in Dreams?

Always use the grade & effects gadget. It's a powerful tool that lets you set the mood in every creation. You can't just change brightness, contrast and saturation. You can also change the intensity or colour of the shadows, middle tones and light points.
For the sun & sky gadget itself, I prefer to set the fog distance as high as possible. This will produce a clearer image instantly. For indoor levels - especially for horror games - you can disable the lighting entirely by reducing the brightness from the sun and the sky to 0, and instead use your own light sources.

Some additional facts about this scene: the first flute track is a live recording from my tin whistle. I had to record this in 30-second parts, so it took about 4 hours to get it into Dreams.

This scene uses a multi-purpose ground, so it's actually possible to change the scene immediately (just like in my Four Seasons Testmap). Maybe I can add winter to the scene later.


What's Happening At Mm's Many HQs

A New Update For Create

A New Update For Create

Hey, that rhymed! Yes, Dreams v2.32 arrived this month, signalling the first part of our Create Mode TLC (read: tender loving care) efforts. The update brought changes to accessibility, logic, audio and animation and much more - all covered in this handy blog post. We’d also like to shout out VinceKully’s excellent - and very quick - video tutorial explaining how to use the new Teleporter Ordering tweak. Nice one, Vince!

Next Stop: Halloween!

Next Stop: Halloween!

Our Molecules have been hard at work putting the finishing touches on this year’s Halloween event, for which we recently announced the official title and release date... All Hallows’ Dreams: Ghost Train is set to haunt your PlayStation from October 15th! Our announcement on the PlayStation Blog goes into a little more detail as to what you can expect from this year’s frightening festivities - new imps! Mm-made minigames! An amazing ghost train made by you! - and shows off a select few screenshots, which are just the tip of the iceberg: we cannot wait for you to see the full scale of this community celebration.

Wednesday Means #Trensday

Wednesday Means #Trensday

September brought about a noble new social media tradition for us at Media Molecule: #Trensday! Every Wednesday, Media Molecule lead design John Beech hands over a shiny new GIF designed to promote his passion project, Tren - and we have the distinct pleasure of posting it on our official channels for everyone to enjoy. We hope these little peeks behind the scenes are getting you excited for this unique and nostalgic puzzle game!


CoMmunity Happenings

Can You Kick(Start) It?

Can You Kick(Start) It?

Yes, you can! We were over the moon to see Noguchi’s Bell reach its funding goal on Kickstarter, meaning that we’ll all be treated to a second episode of one of the most brilliant animated series ever made in Dreams. Not only that, but the makers of coMmunity favourite Splatty’s Adventure launched their very own Kickstarter to support them in further building out the platforming adventure and adding extra features. If you’re able to, why not add your support to their campaign?

Molecules Go Podcasting!

Molecules Go Podcasting!

It’s always a pleasure to be part of CoMmunity endeavours, and so Tom and Jen were delighted to be invited on the Made In Dreams Podcast, hosted by xMightyViciousx and LucidNebulaGames! They had a wonderful time chatting all things Dreams, answering bizarre hypothetical questions and accidentally putting their foot in it re: The Matrix. Oops. Missed it live? Catch up here!

Meet Zodira!

Meet Zodira!

If you've ever come across a useful piece of Logic or a particularly memorable voice-acted character in Dreams, chances are you might have run into the work of Zodira! We caught up with the technical mind and talented voice behind Dr. Sunflare to discover more about them...


What do you like to do in the Dreamiverse?

My favourite thing to do in Dreams is to solve problems. Seeing a new, challenging bit of Logic is what I greatly enjoy. While doing Logic is how I started, I have now gone into voice acting, which is another big love of mine. I enjoy broadening my horizons, essentially.

Lately, however, I've found a lot of enjoyment in my roles in working on the Sunflare series. Being the Showrunner, I am also the technical animator. Figuring out ways with rigging and Logic to make the animation process easier is one of the most enjoyable pastimes for me.

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

Of all the advice I can think of, the most important I'd say is to never give up. We all have our limits - never be afraid to set aside a creation that's driving you nuts to return to later. Most, if not everything, in Dreams is trial and error as you learn new and valuable things.

I used to be horrid at sculpting and I still see it as my greatest weakness in Dreams. However, over time I have been getting better and better with each new sculpt. It’s been a long process for me, though.

So never give up. Always be up for trying different ways, or even experiment. Sometimes I just jump in and get random and see what comes of it. One of the best ways to learn Logic, I feel, is literally figuring out why something isn't doing what you want it to.

What was the first thing you created in Dreams?

A cube!!! Heh, but seriously, it's hard to remember. I know the first two things I really worked at were Logic, to convert 8bits into a single variable and back out. This way I could save a lot more information inside a singular variable. However I have seen others make far better versions of this.

I also worked on a scene routing system to bypass the Doorway limit. It used to be that you could only use 10 doorways per scene and I mistakenly took it as a single doorway used 10% gameplay thermo. So I made this system thinking I would save a lot of thermo, and not realising the doorway limit didn't affect thermo as much as I thought. But it did turn out valuable for other applications ^.^

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

Oh geez... Hard to decide between sushi or key lime pie… I wonder if there is key lime-flavoured sushi. Or sushi-flavoured key lime pie!

My favourite movie is no contest: the Robin Williams film Toys. I kinda feel like it's underrated - it's my favourite movie by far. It's just so... weird XD

Song... How can I pick just one song, or even one band?! I admit I sat thinking about my fave song way longer than I should, so I'll just throw a bundle of bands at ya: TWRP, Super Furry Animals, Goldfish, Con Bro Chill, and S3RL.

How can people find you in the Dreamiverse?

In Dreams I can be found under the name Zodira. As for how to best get hold of me, I'd say that would be Twitter @ZodiraSunflare.

Which creations are currently your Top 10 in Dreams?

There are just so many Dreams that it’s incredibly hard to decide on just 10!

First, a couple of shows from the Dreamiverse that are brilliant but also inspiration I come back to on occasion.

Pepperoni Pete’s Pizzeria

Noguchi’s Bell

The Battle to save Doge Kingdom

(I might be a little biased considering I have a role in this one, but it’s a perfect example that you don't need to put in weeks or months of work into something to make an awesome show in Dreams. The whole animation style lends well to the kind of humour it portrays!)

Switching things up a bit to some fun stuff I love.

TRIA-GONE

Cyber Trigger

Fields of Battle 1942

KaiserPunk

Tales From Dark-Town

Now to switch things up a bit again... Since it’s October, how about some spooky?

The Nightmare in Hallow Falls

This is currently my most loved horror title in Dreams. The level of detail in the environments and the atmospheric horror present created one of the scariest dreams I have ever played.

Beyond the Nightmare

This had to be the first dream to outright scare me, and purely with the ambience it produces. Seamless environmental loading just adds to the foreboding.

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

Hard choice between everyone, but I would have to go with SoundsLikeTreble. I am also thankful to him for what he has and continues to do for me.

Plus, I need to know what his favourite food is!

This Month's Wallpaper

This Month's Wallpaper

With All Hallows’ Dreams: Ghost Train nearly here, what better way to prepare than to adorn your desktop with this sumptuously spooky scene from the upcoming event? The gate to this year's pumpkin patch is practically beckoning you inside... Download this wallpaper here!


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



Another fabulous month in the Dreamiverse is behind us, and a very spooky one lies ahead... It’s honestly hard not to spoil everything about it immediately. Too much Halloween hype.

Tell you what, though: our editorial blog has been acting pretty suspiciously as of late. The Imspider? What’s that rebrand all about? Weird.

See you next month, CoMmunity!