I recently started producing a weekly top 10 of the most thumbed up levels in Dreams, and the response has been slightly muted. I am not sure that people realise the amount of work that it entails, as the information it relies on is not easily obtainable. I literally have to compile data on a daily basis and spend hours on a Sunday typing the name of every level that has achieved more than 50 likes this week to get the weekly numbers. At the end of the month I had probably 600 levels to check. The whole process took me 5 hours, which it cannot do, so I am going to have to change my methods slightly going forward. It is still going to take a few hours though.
One of the comments I received was why was I promoting levels that were already popular – shouldnt I be championing the lesser known ones (the hidden gems). Well, I already do that, hopefully with my Pick of the Week selections, but this is not about hidden gems, this is about visibility in Dreams. After a week, all of these popular levels are practically invisible. They will not feature in Newest, Trending, Updated or Most Thumbed Up. We will have forgotten what was popular very quickly. The Most thumbed up top 100 is pretty much static, and will remain so for the rest of time. Although you would think it would represent the best of Dreams, it will not over time, and newbies coming to Dreams are going to miss out on some great creations just because they weren’t made during the Beta, and they wont be able to find them unless they find somebodys collection. My top 10 is a collection that will show what was popular every week. If it pushes more likes their way so they have a chance of entering the top 10 then that is great. I would rather be responsible for that than adding another 5 likes to somebodys level with 10 likes.
Talking about popular creations, it appears that team efforts are now starting to appear. Despite not being able to work on a level simulatenously, teams are still able to come together to make things. Ruckus is a great example of what a team can do, and the results are plain for everyone to see. I am hoping this may encourage more collaboration between creators. I am currently working on a team effort, and hopefully we will develop something better than any of us could have done on our own. I also think people have discovered how important publicity is to get people interested and playing your creation. There seems to be a lot more twitter activity of trailers and teasers and screenshots than ever before.
The future of Dreams looks pretty exciting to me in terms of content. If we can somehow make great games more visible for longer and favour newer rather than Beta creations, I think it has a chance to attract players as well as creators (and that will be needed as creators are in the minority on a console). I think there are going to be hit games started on this platform, and it will be great to be able to say you played it on Dreams before it was popular.