Evans: If you’re a beginner and you want to put something in your level, there will be millions of creations from the community and from us. We have a text search, so you can search for, say, a tree, and you’ll see hundreds of trees people have made. Imagine you’re a beginner. You don’t necessarily feel able to make actual sculptures. But you can search for anything you want — elephants, trees, houses — and you’ll find something someone’s built.
Ettouney: Then you can expand your environment. If you decide that you like it, you can make it bigger. I can go to this collection of pieces I have and find a piece of rock I can place around the world quite intuitively. One thing we support in Dreams is motion capture creation. That allows the act of placing objects to be much more intuitive.
Evans: That’s the origin of Dreams. If you want to think of it as one idea, we were imagining — there are all these amazing creation tools, LittleBigPlanet included, which are great, but they get very tech-ey very quickly. So what if we could reimagine game creation as sketching, something that fast? The impressionistic look is part of that, part of having a loose way of making stuff very quickly and being able to get an idea on the screen very fast. Of course, if you’re not into creating, you get the benefit of playing all the stuff people have made.
We have amazing character creation tools. You can create gameplay. You can create logic and goals in your levels if you want to do that. You can make races or time trials. Almost anything is possible. Everything here was made with the Dual Shock or Move, by the way.
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One interesting thing we’ve discovered is that Dreams is effectively a creative social network. You can follow particular people and see what they’ve been creating. Twitch Create has come at a perfect time for this game. People will stream the stuff they’re creating. The guy who created this is phenomenal at anatomy, so you follow him and you know you’ll have cool stuff to make into rock formation.
The game has this idea of “tight” versus “loose.” Tight is a very crisp, defined, traditional computer graphics look. The skull is very detailed there. Then you have loose, which is more like painting. The cool thing is, you can mix the two styles in a single scene. Loose is fun because you don’t have to be exact. It’s like sketching. If you want to make a forest, you don’t have to carefully make every leaf. You just put some green down and sure, it looks like a forest.
Sculpting is the most powerful part of creation. Everything in Dreams is made out of these basic shapes here. You place them and that’s how you make a new sculpt. But then you take that sculpture and change bits of it to be more tight or loose. You can change the texture to be more like grass, or other texture sets. You can very quickly change the look of a model.
Ettouney: You can just paint with this brush. This is the loose side of 3D. Most 3D tools are very precise, which allows you to get these kind of tight results. But there are no tools that do this part, where you move your hand and create shapes as if you were drawing or painting, but in 3D volumes.
Evans: Imagine you’re standing in VR in the middle of a creation and suddenly they start building the world around you. You might say, “I want a skyscraper here!” It’ll be possible to build the world around you, in and out of VR.
GamesBeat: Which parts build on top of what you learned in LittleBigPlanet?
Evans: It’s a tapestry. We’ve learned a lot from there. The way you build the sequencing of logic – if this happens, then that happens – is an extension of what LittleBigPlanet did. But remember, when we first made that, it was before the iPhone. When we pitched it we referred to MySpace without irony. “This is like MySpace for games!”
Now we have Twitch. We have so many sandbox games. Gamers out there are familiar with all this stuff. They understand where we’re coming from without any explanation. It’s just part of their world. The immediacy of it — LittleBigPlanet laid the foundations, and now we’re going hundreds of times more ambitious.
Ettouney: I love this tool. You can drop in a lot of objects that you got from the community, and maybe you like everything about them except that the colors aren’t what you want. “I really like this tree, but I wish it was purple.” I can pick this tool, pick a new color, and now it’s purple. You can choose the level of creation that suits your interest. If you just want to change the color scheme of a level, you can do that.
Evans: Everything is a remix. You can take a level, and if the person who created the level allows it, you can modify it. We track crediting automatically, so it’ll always credit the original creator and any people who remixed it.
Over here we have the character creation tools. All the same tools you learned building environments are what you use for character creation as well. We’ve created this lady character here. Using this simple tool, you can quickly change the shape of the character. At any moment, you can test a character in the game. It’s not a long process. If you want to jump in and walk it around, you can. If you want to put it in Kareem’s world that he just made, you can. The character is always alive. It always has AI.
These are some of the characters we’ve made. It’s crazy, the variety. It’s all since Paris, the last few weeks, that we’ve built all of these. You always have a sense of puppeteering. You can wave the arms around by pulling the triggers. When you’re online it’s really funny to play with them. And again, if you’re not interesting in building a character from scratch, you can remix an existing one.
You can change the animation by adjusting some simple things like speed. Do you walk fast or walk slow? There’s one called “sass,” how much they wiggle. It’s funny that such simple controls can lead to something that really is your own character.
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