Media Molecule’s Dreams recently released for PS4 and while it’s unclear how it will perform commercially, critics and fans have fallen in love with it. The game is ostensibly a creation tool used to make games, music, film, or any combination of those mediums. It’s one of the easiest, user-friendly options for those wanting to get into game design—so much so, that schools and universities have reached out to the studio about utilizing Dreams in their curriculum. Media Moleculelooks at it as an educational product, perfect for those learning how to make games.
In speaking with GameCentral, Media Molecule’s Mark Healy was asked about whether the developer sees Dreams as a means to teach aspiring developers. He replied:
Yep, absolutely. We’ve had a lot of schools and universities already get in touch with us about wanting to use it the curriculum.
In a game design course or something it’s perfect, because you can prototype stuff so quickly. That’s the thing, it is genuinely a full-on, comprehensive set of tools to make games or films… and there’s a learning curve to that but I would argue it’s much quicker than trying to learn all the other software you’d have to learn. And crucially you’ve got all these different tools in one place. They’re not separate packages that you’ve got to work out how to get them to communicate with each other, it’s all in the same place using the same interface.
Judging by the impressive creations found in Dreams thus far (like a rendition of Fallout 4 and its free-roam open world), it’s clear the software has the tools to allow its users to do nearly anything, all in one place.
Game design is often dependent on myriad different pieces of software like Maya for 3D modeling, Photoshop for textures, various animation programs, and game engines like Unity or Unreal. It starts to become a lot to juggle and considering how many issues can arise due to hardware limitations or general problems that occur with technology (like your computer crashing while having so many programs running at once), having an all-in-one package like Dreams available on a console could be the solution students need when starting out. Imagine the relative simplicity of making a game all on one machine, using one program.
Media Molecule hasn’t made a public statement about what it intends to do with the various universities that have reached out, but the team sounds optimistic about how Dreams could be used in a classroom setting. Who knows? Maybe in the next few years certain schools will offer game design courses based solely on Dreams, taught with a PS4 (or PS5) in class.