Dreams won Games for Change’s Game of the Year 2020, as well as being nominated for our own Game of the Year awards in the Best Family Game category. Despite awareness of the game, though, many creators feel like they’re not getting enough exposure for their creations. The issue, according to Kotaku, is the game needs more people to actually play those creations.
Not just a game, Dreams offers tools and tutorials that allow people to create their own games, art, music videos, and even memes. The result has been thousands of creations that’ve been published since the game first went into early access in April 2019. With many updates since that have added features like PlayStation VR compatibility, the quality of some of those creations is quite high. While the game has attracted a large creator community, it seemingly struggles to keep hold of those who just want to play.
Attracting more players is something the creators are trying to do themselves, but the most effective solution would be changes to the game itself. The most obvious is how those creations are curated for players. Aside from the section on the homepage that highlights developer Media Molecule’s choices of content, the homepage tends to be dominated by unfinished creations or lower quality content that uses recognisable characters or settings. New unique creations especially suffer with a rapid drop in player engagement. At the moment, most creators are left trying to draw attention to their creations through other means, such as social media channels.
Some of the higher quality content that has likely escaped players’ attention are a Star Wars-inspired X-Wing level, a “new” Crash Bandicoot game, billiards, a homeage to God of War, and a fully detailed English breakfast. Those wanting something more familiar can find remakes of Metal Gear Solid, Ghost of Tsushima, Crash Bandicoot, Control, Fallout 4, Final Fantasy VII, The Simpsons: Hit and Run, and even the Unreal 5 Tech Demo. There are also PlayStation 1 recreations of Cyberpunk 2077 and The Last of Us Part II. Without external help, most of these creations would be missed, and that won’t help to attract players.