Finding an Audience for Your Dreams
So you’ve made a creation in Dreams? Woo hoo! Hopefully, you’re feeling pretty proud of yourself right about now.
Sometimes it’s nice just to make art for yourself, but it can also be really fulfilling to share what you’ve made with the world to entertain people, show off your skills, get feedback, and maybe even inspire a few would-be creators.
Still, as any artist will tell you, it can be tricky to get eyes on your work. Reaching your intended audience in the always-busy Dreamiverse can be a challenge, so we’ve compiled some helpful suggestions and resources to help you attract more players to your creations.
Create compelling cover images#
First impressions count! A good cover image for your creation will catch a player’s eye, and encourage them to find out more.
You can set up to three cover images for your creation. When a player hovers over your dream, the images will cycle. You’ve got three chances, then, to show people something they might like!
Here are some top tips for creating successful cover images:
- In our experience, bold characters and recognisable faces tend to lead to a slightly higher rate of clicks on a thumbnail. If your creation has a mascot, use them!
- Try using custom-made graphics to represent your game or creation. You can make a separate scene and take a photo to set as the cover photo.
- If your creation is interactive, a shot of the action (as long as it’s nice and clear!) can show players what to expect from your game.
- Use the ‘rule of thirds’ to help you with the layout of your cover image. This handy gadget from mBergs can be stamped in your scene, overlaying a grid that helps you place your composition properly.
- Consider how your cover image might change aspect ratio when displayed in different places across the Dreamiverse. Elca_Gaming’s thumbnail overlay aid gadget can help you preview how your cover image looks in common aspect ratios.
- Even an individual asset can have a snazzy cover image! Check out EntropyTamed’s special camera rig to help you make one.
Optimise your description#
In the immortal words of Irish boy band Westlife, ‘Everybody’s looking for that something’. Seriously - people love searching for stuff in Dreams! Here’s a fun fact: when someone searches for something in Dreams, the game not only searches for creation titles containing the search term, but also scans the creation’s description for keywords. This means that descriptions are a useful tool to add more keywords related to your creation, and potentially draw in more players searching for various things. It’s free promotional real estate!
Let’s say - purely hypothetically - you’ve made a 3D platformer about a super-strong penguin who’s lost in space. (Great idea! Wish we’d thought of that one.) If you title your game ‘GigaFlippers’, then that will certainly appear for people searching for ‘GigaFlippers’. But if the description reads, ‘A 3D platformer set in outer space! Can you help this penguin find their way home?’, then your creation might also show up for players searching for 3D platformers, or creations about outer space, or penguins. That’s a much broader potential audience.
Here’s a tip to help you save space in descriptions for all those juicy, exposure-boosting keywords. Dreams’ search function also scans the collaborator credits - so if you’re collaborating on a creation with another dreamer, you don’t need to mention their username in your description to have this creation show up when someone searches their name. Why not just add them as a collaborator instead? After all, who doesn’t like to get a collab invite when they’ve made a contribution to a creation?
Make good use of tags#
It’s easy to forget to tag your creation, but the importance of tags shouldn’t be overlooked. Using tags properly is another way you can make sure your creation is showing up in the right searches!
Tagging by genre is a good place to start. We have a dedicated ‘genres’ page in Dreams now, and our curators are always searching for new creations to add to it. You might be able to increase your chances of both curators and players discovering your creation if it’s tagged as one or more of the 12 core genres:
- Action & Adventure
- Art & Animation
- Music & Rhythm
- Sports & Racing
There are also a whopping 52 sub-genres we categorise stuff into, though - so no worries if your thing is a bit different. You might find something that more accurately describes it in the sub-genres… or not, and that’s cool too! We love the strange and unusual.
Instead, you can find your creation’s USP (unique selling point) and tag around it. Have you made a cat petting simulator? An open-world boxing game? An interior design-flavoured puzzle game? Break down the individual elements of your creation into relevant tags!
No need to repeat words you’ve used in the description in tags, though - the Dreams search engine is already looking for those.
According to our own data, here’s a list of some perennial favourite (non-copyrighted) genres and terms, to give you an idea of what people generally like searching for in the Dreamiverse. If you’re after more eyes on your creations, then maybe these tags may help - or you might want to make something to do with these themes.
- 2 Player
Make sure to only use these tags if they’re really relevant to what you’ve made, though - you may find players get frustrated with you if you’re regularly misleading them. (You can only promise someone a sandwich and give them a slice of cake so many times; the cake might be delicious, but eventually, they’re going to start saying, ‘Hey, where’s my sandwich?!’)
Know your audience#
Getting your creations in front of the right set of eyes is often half the battle. Fortunately, Dreams gives you a few ways to do just that.
First, think about who might like to see your stuff - curators, streamers and friends are great people to start with. Then, you can use the ‘Send to a dreamer’ function in-game to ensure they get a notification and an easy link to check out your work!
We’ve got a curation team at Mm that is always looking for cool new creations to include in our official playlists. Their PSNID is MmCuration!
There are also any number of coMmunity curators in the Dreamiverse who like to populate their collections with great creations. Help them out by sending them your stuff! You can see our suggested list of CoMmunity Curators by scrolling the DreamShaping page, or do a general ‘Dreamer’ search. If you search via indreams on the web, you could use filters to only see players with the ‘Curation’ persona.
Streamers are always after exciting things to show off on their livestreams. If you know of a dreamer who likes to stream Dreams, it might be worth sending along your stuff. Search by Dreamer, and type in the word ‘stream’ to catch any profiles that mention that word in their description. You might also find success by filtering by the ‘Play’ persona.
Ultimately, the most important thing you can do here is think about who might want to see your creation and why, and then target that audience. Do avoid spamming people and clogging up their feed with lots of notifications, though - it is almost always off-putting!
Timing is everything#
Well, it’s something, at least. The visibility of your creation in the Dreamiverse - and on social media platforms outside of it - may benefit from careful thought around when you’re releasing it.
For instance, did you know that our social media team often posts at particular times of the day when the majority of our audience is most likely to be awake? (Posting in the afternoons and evenings UK time means the US lot are generally awake to see the posts, too!). It can be useful to bear in mind the timezones your intended audiences are living in, and publish according to their schedule.
We generally see an uptick in people playing Dreams in the evenings - no surprises there - so that might be a good time to ensure your release is at the top of the queue for anyone browsing Dreams by ‘Newest’.
Another thing to consider is building up a bit of knowledge around what other releases might be happening in the Dreamiverse. There’s always lots going on in Dreams, and you may find that you’re able to more successfully promote or market your creation when there’s not something else big and exciting happening.
Keep an eye on our official social media channels and our events calendar for some of the big launch dates for Mm content - and take note of when other dreamers say they plan to release their games or events. Speaking of which…
Promote your stuff#
If you’ve made something you’re proud of, make sure to shout about it! Twitter, Reddit and Discord are some of the most active platforms for dreamers online.
If you've got a major project nearing completion, why not build a bit of hype? Choose a date and time ahead of schedule, and start posting teaser screenshots, videos - even a trailer, if you’ve got the time and inclination to make one - a few days or a week before you hit publish. (Don’t forget that hashtags can be a great way to get your creation in the feeds of other people. Try using #MadeInDreams on Twitter!)
Follow up with a post when your creation has fully released to remind everyone that today is indeed the day they can finally check out your work!
The Dreams User Guide is a work-in-progress. Keep an eye out for updates as we add more learning resources and articles over time.