With the Beta now over nearly a week (goodness has it been that long already!”) there have been some Twitter posts encouraging the development of teams to build creations in Dreams. So should you consider joining one of these groups, or is it better to create alone?
Firstly, it should be said that both approaches are totally valid ways of making content in Dreams and are not exclusive from each other. A lot of fun can be had being part of a development team striving for a single game, and conversely developing a game or work that is totally your own is very rewarding.
What you need to consider when deciding on a project is
a) Do I know what I want to make?
This may seem obvious, but you may have a great story idea, but no clear direction for how that will be developed in Dreams. Will it be a movie? A text adventure? A platformer? A point and click adventure…and so on. Have a clear idea what your project is before you start. Storyboarding, concept art, game planning are all good ways of clarifying your project. Are you choosing the medium because of your skill set or what the project fits best? Could you make something better, if you collaborated?
b) Do I have the skills to realise my vision?
You may want to make everything yourself so that your level is totally your own, but are you capable of doing that? It is a rare person who has both creative and programming skills. You may be great at sculpting landscapes, but maybe your characters are not so good. You may be a whizz at game mechanics, but making music is a complete mystery. You may need to either use elements from the Dreamiverse or work as a team to create unique items for your project. Working alone can be a great way of learning skills, but it can also get very frustrating if you do not call on other people to help you. Hopefully there will be a good forum like we had in the Beta where you can ask your questions and get help from the Community.
c) How do I find people to work with?
We are not really sure about the social networking side of Dreams, and we may get some sort of collaboration area or easy way to contact each other in-game. If not, then there is Twitter, Reddit, Discord, and fan sites like Dreambubble where you can post a request for team members. You may also find like-minded people in your followers lists, and you may find the ideal artist for your project from looking at their work. Be prepared for people to say no though, not everyone wants to work on team builds. Be gracious and do not pester. You may also get approached to make things with other people. Consider how much time you have, and whether you want to work on a team project or your own pieces. In the early months of Dreams it is not unreasonable to tell people you are developing your skills, and would rather work on your own stuff for the time being until you feel more at home with the tools.
d) How do we collaborate on the same game?
Separate sculpts can be made and pulled into your working game as elements. You can open your creation to collaboration and all of you will have access to the same creation – but you can only open the level file one at a time. There will not be multiplayer at launch, so creating together live will not be possible. You will have to organise yourselves – decide on a Project Manager and divide your project into chunks with responsibilities for each team member.
Get yourself into regular group chats to discuss progress and any changes to your project that will inevitably come up. Regular messaging is also advisable.
One of the big questions is going to be – which creator gets to have their name attached to this project? There is currently no way for a team of creators to create a unique account for their collaborative efforts. One person will have to launch the game on behalf of the team, and that will be the person who created the initial level and invited the collaborators. Some teams have already considered this and have changed their PSN names to incorporate a team name. Now there is a cost involved in doing that, so that might not be attractive. Team members can always remix the launched game with their name more prominent – but do you really want to flood the feed with lots of copies of the same game? This might anger the playing public.
Whatever you decide to make, Dreams is an amazing community of creative people and there will always be someone willing to help, review, advise, and collaborate. Open up to the opportunities and you may even find life long friends. Good luck!