TGS 2018: Preview the impressive creation suite in Dreams (Universe)

Dreams Universe is the tweaked title of Media Molecule’s creativity sandbox when it releases in Japan. Still known as Dreams in the rest of the world, we the PlayStation 4 exclusive had a new trailer and an impressive live demo at Tokyo Games Show 2018.

Communications manager Abbie Heppe took to the PlayStation Presents stage for a relatively brief overview of the game. As with the LittleBigPlanet series before it, Dreams Universe is all about giving tools to the player. There’s a full game with storylines to enjoy, as well as mini-games that the developers have made in their spare time, yet the bulk of its longevity will come from player-made creations shared among the community.

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“It’s been the dream of Media Molecule for a very long time to give everybody the same tools that developers have access to in a way that’s fun and easy to use,” explained Heppe.

The new trailer briefly shows how players may create everything from 3D and side-scrolling platformers, to space-sim shooters and multiplayer arena games. There’s a variety of visual styles on display too, unlike the universal crochet aesthetic of LittleBigPlanet.

Japanese actress Watanabe Natsuna then joins the stage as a special guest, before Heppe gives viewers a live demo of the Dreams Universe experience. She loaded up a stage built just for TGS 2018: an in-game recreation of the PlayStation booth.

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On screen, Heppe creates a quick-and-dirty platforming level with light effects and moving tiles, the latter of which was quickly achieved via an in-game animation recorder. After eight minutes the race course is more or less complete, topped with a few spider NPCs for added danger and some fireworks to spice up the finish line. We’re then given a look at the music editor, using sampled instruments in a sort of light painting fashion.

It’s clear that there are a ton of other features and customization not covered in the live demo, including NPC commands and scripting.

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The pair tries out the Hammer Time afterwards, a stage that Heppe says was built by a Media Molecule staffer discovered through the LittleBigPlanet community. It’s an arena starring hammers and different objectives, starting with a simple score attack to soccer and, finally, a duel where the floor falls away.

The segment is followed by Ferovium, a 2D space shooter made not by a designer but the studio’s web developer. Watanabe then picked Gateway and Comic Sands for the stage presentation, again showing the amount of creative freedom players will have in Dreams Universe. Heppe then wraps things up by giving us a preview of the campaign.

Watch Heppe and Watanabe take on the TGS 2018 obstacle course at the 30:36 mark.

Dreams (Universe) will be out sometime this year for PlayStation 4.

Aaron Yip

Aaron Yip

Aaron Yip is an industry veteran with more than 15 years of experience. When not spending time on his gaming PC and consoles, he can be found in Hyrule solving ungodly puzzles and collecting gems.