Simple Bits #1: For Dreams Beginners

Hello, fellow Dreamers! This is the first of what will be a series of “Simple Bits” articles and videos to help beginners and/or non-gamers find their way in Dreams.

There are lots of good video demonstrations and tutorials about Dreams online as listed on this website. But the levels of knowledge required for a good number of these vary a lot. And some simply go too fast and skip over key steps without explanation. So after you complete the Media Molecule tutorials that come with Dreams — which are very good but far from complete — you are left to sink or swim on your own.

You could thus wind up getting more discouraged than enlightened if you randomly pick some of these videos that could come too soon for your experience level.

The approach here is to assume you know nothing about 3d modeling, animation, or programming (of which there is a modicum in Dreams by way of visual tools called “gadgets” that use programming logic to combine them; you can skip that part if you wish, but you might enjoy learning just how this clever, streamlined set of tools works).

As an enthusiastic hobbyist, I have played for years in various 3d modeling, animation, and programming applications, but I have never been all that happy with any of them. Too much input for so little output. Then along came Dreams. It is for many at first a difficult set of tools and moves to navigate, but if you stay with it you’ll find you can create some amazing things with a lot less input and frustration than with such lumbering jumbo jets as Maya, Blender, iClone, Unity, or Unreal Engine. Not to mention C+, C++, or Java.

Nor do you need to be a gamer to find creative satisfaction in Dreams. The sculpting and music creation tools alone would excel as stand-alone apps, for example.

And Dreams is above all a community. You may see your tunes or sculpts or whatever else you do showing up in some cool game or animated movie — if you allow making your creations public.

You will find in these Simple Bits some very basic tips to get you started. I disclaim any pretense to being an expert in Dreams, far from it. I’m not even a gamer. I plan to use Dreams to tell stories, and Dreams is going to be a great vehicle for that. But I do know how to teach. I have taught various college courses in the past, and I empathize with those who, like me, need slow, clear, ordered, and manageable steps in order to learn something. I promise to take that approach with Simple Bits, an approach that is clearly discernible in LadylexUK’s marvelous tutorials and the other information she aggregates on this website.

OK, now that you know what Simple Bits is about, look soon for the first tutorial that will focus on how to avoid some common problems when using the PlayStation Dualshock in Dreams. Problems like getting suddenly lost in space and not finding your way back to what you were working on, or making bizarre things happen because you’re inadvertently pressing certain buttons or triggers.

Then from there we will take some nitty-gritty baby steps as we go through one useful Dreams tool at a time, with simple concrete tutorials and exercises to demonstrate their functionality.

Hop aboard!

— larrygj



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