Work From Home is a new vertical dedicated to life and culture in the strange and unprecedented situation of self-quarantine that many of us are dealing with right now. From what to watch to how to get a fit off and how to not think about anything, this is our guide to the great indoors. For updates on the spread of COVID-19 and how to keep yourself safe and informed, consult WHO and the CDC.
Over the last few weeks you’ve probably seen loads of people suggesting some video games to play while you’re stuck at home. They’ll have been telling you to play stuff like epic RPGs, complex simulation games or life-devouring strategy classics. This is about something a little different though, something potentially more rewarding, especially if you’re the more creative type: a PS4 game called Dreams.
Dreams was developed by Media Molecule, the same studio behind LittleBigPlanet, a PS3 series that was about making your own platform game. Dreams is kinda like that, only it blows the doors off that premise by letting you make practically whatever you want. No limits, no rules, if you can dream it, the pitch goes, Dreams can do it.
The primary goal of Dreams is to push you towards making your own games. Whether they're original works or tributes to existing releases, platformers or shooters. By moving a cute little floating orb around the screen, waving the DualShock around like a mouse cursor, you can create a 3D space and everything that goes inside it. If you’ve ever played with a creation suite in other games like The Sims, Minecraft or even Disney Infinity, you’ll be familiar with how this works. But Dreams allows for so much more.
The tools available to the player in Dreams are so powerful and their interface so elegant that the possibilities extend beyond making video games. Which is cool, because as impressive as those tools are, not everyone wants to make games. Some people just want to make stuff. Like music.
Dreams includes what’s basically a stripped-down version of Logic Pro X. Intended to let you create music for your game, there’s nothing stopping you from just making music, taking advantage of a suite of controls that lets you make beats or symphonies from the comfort—and safety—of your couch.
And if you want to make art, guess what? You can. Dreams never forces you to craft something playable. You can create simple, beautiful things, from 3D fantasy environments to a breakfast plate that looks good enough to eat off.
Dreams is a game though and if you do want to make games, this is where the title really shines. Without requiring any knowledge of how to code or create assets, in an alarmingly short amount of time you can be taking your first steps as a game designer, working your way up from simple platforming challenges to more complex, action-oriented creations.
While Dreams was only released last month, it had been in early access for a while beforehand, so there are already a lot of experienced creators out there showing everyone what can be done. So far, some of the highlights include Mario 64 and Dead Space tributes, and plenty of cool original ideas like this disappearing-islands platformer.
Some of the people creating these games are just doing it for fun, but if you really want to put your imagination to work while stuck at home, there’s the possibility—though its execution is far from certain at this point—that you’ll be able to release your Dreams-created game commercially, using it as springboard into a career making video games.
Because the possibilities are almost endless, so too is the potential amount of time you can spend with it. Dreams isn’t really a game at all, it’s a platform, and it's absolutely perfect for messing around with now that most of us have unexpected time at home on our hands. Create some beats, build a game, draw some eggs, a lockdown is going to ask a lot of our imaginations, and Dreams is the perfect way to light them up.
Luke Plunkett is a Senior Editor at Kotaku. You can read more of his work here.