Its almost as if Project Spark never happened

With various articles coming out about PS4 Dreams one thing is standing out for me – that they are not mentioning Project Spark. They are calling Dreams revolutionary, they are referring back to Minecraft and Little Big Planet to try to explain the concept of building your own games on a platform, but absolutely no mention of 2014’s Project Spark, which is exactly the same thing. The only big difference to the two games appears to be the modelling and music tools in Dreams which allows for more creativity, while PS relied on pre-created assets. Otherwise, PS was the revolutionary title that allowed console players to make their own games, with its own coding language. You do not need to explain Dreams to a PS player, they already get it. Here is how I think the games are similar/differ.

Feature Project Spark Dreams
A game to create games, animations, showcases  √  √
Upload and download community made levels  √  √
Share and remix anything,with the original creator getting xp whenever it is used  √ Some controversy with levels cloned over and over and original creators not getting recognition,
and the inability to lock your original ideas to prevent plagiarism and theft.
 √ They will face the same issues with this same ethos of sharing and no ownership
Pre-made assets you can drop into your game if you do not have the skills to make them yourself  √  √
3D modelling  x You could make anything, but had to use pre-made assets and primitives for props and characters, however terrain could be sculpted.  √ Modelling for characters, props and terrain
Programming language to code your game  √  x Indications that it will be done through timelines and programmable brains and not code lines
Ability to make age restricted content  √ You could make any type of game including horror. More adult content was allowed, though would not be considered for the curated content list (which was added to manually, so contained a fraction of the total content). They had a pegi rating of 12.  x Apparently they want this to be child friendly and will monitor content (presumably removing anything not child friendly), but will consider allowing more adult material in the unspecified future(though no pornography). They have a current Pegi rating of 7.
Pre-made playable game √  The main purpose of the pre-made playable games Crossroads, Void Storm, and Conkers Big Reunion were to level up champions, which in turn unlocked content. You could just play the games and not create anything, but the games were repetitive and constant grinding of them in order to get content for creation was tedious.  √ The intertwining story line in Dreams will show off various aspects of Dreams. If they follow the LBP model then this will also be a way to get content – but as the pre-made assets are not necessary with a 3D modelling tool it is unclear what will be locked away within the game.If it is important parts of the experience (eg the music creation) they may have some annoyed players.
Ability to share props separately from full levels  x Was promised but never delivered  √ You will be able to capture props for your collections
Ability to add own artwork from other art programs  √ PC only. There was an approved method to add your own images for the display layer, though not officially part of the game mechanic  Unsure. Maybe through the camera like in LBP?
Music creation  x You could record through Kinect but the quality of sound was poor. You could also use various sound tiles, but it was too difficult to use, and the results were not good.  √ A full music creation tool
Recreate copyrighted material  √ A large amount of created content were copies of AAA and mobile phone games, and characters from film, tv and game were all recreated. Nobody was stopped or sued, however the quality of what could be made was far from being convincing representations.  √ The modelling tool will allow people to recreate their favourite characters with great accuracy.
This may prove problematic for the more litigious entities such as Nintendo. We will have to wait and see if this proves to be an issue.
Lots of additional content available to buy  √ Until it went completely free, the majority of content had to be bought, either with in-game credits or money.  Likely, but unsure how that would work or what it could be
Free to play  √ The base game was free, and after 1 year all content was free.  Unlikely. Expect a full price AAA game price of between £25-£60
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2 thoughts on “Its almost as if Project Spark never happened

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  1. Glad to see you are still going strong LADYLEXUK! This is ResidentGrasso from the Project Spark days (not sure if you remember FNAF, Sheep vs Games, Twin Stick Elemental, etc.).
    I didn’t realize there was still a Spark community! How are things being shared? I’ve been out of the loop for awhile now (was so bummed when servers went down).
    Dreams has me excited and worried with same issues you’ve pointed out in past blogs. I’ll also need a PS4 to play.
    Take care!

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    1. Of course I remember your games. The Spark community are communicating through the Xbox One Clubs (Project Spark Team Club is the most active). Sparkshare is still active for PC users. Also some people are making Youtube videos. We even have brand new creators who have bought the disc recently. I am trying to encourage more people to participate if I can, though I realise that Dreams will probably take a lot of people away. I have a website http://www.projectspark.co.uk which has a tutorial side, and a game archive.Always looking to add to that, so if any of your games are not there consider making a video of gameplay for the archive.

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