Glossary

Commonly used terminology seen throughout Dreams.

  • Add/Subtract - Toggle between adding something and subtracting something. For example, stamping or smearing with a shape in Sculpt Mode while set to add will build your sculpture up (like adding lumps of clay); and while set to subtract will carve your sculpture (like removing clay using a knife).
  • Ambience - A specific type of sound effect. Ambiences are non-positional, i.e. will be heard all around the scene, and looping, for continuous sound. They make an instant soundscape, of a forest or weather for example.
  • Ambient Spot - Like an ambience but positional, i.e. localised on whatever they're attached to. Used for things like a campfire, a waterfall, or a humming fuse box.
  • Assembly Mode - The “landing” mode. All other modes are accessible from here. Put together elements, scenes, animations, etc. using objects created in the art modes and sound mode.
  • AutoSurf - Hit the autosurf button on a playlist row in DreamSurfing, and you'll start automatically playing through dreams from that playlist. Hit autosurf in search, and you'll start playing through dreams randomly plucked from the Dreamiverse. Remember to include an exit doorway in your dreams, so that they finish properly in autosurf, going straight to the next dream without user intervention.
  • Base Note - The note that a slice represents. When a user presses a button to play a note, the one with the closest base note to the intended note is played.
  • Button Prompts - Appear around your imp(s) to remind you of controls you might need, tailored to what you're doing at the time.
  • Canvas - Rectangular, translucent surface used for timelines, microchips, tweak menus, the piano roll and so on. These can be moved around, scaled, pinned to the screen and so on, so that you can organise your workspace.
  • Clone - Create an exact copy of something. Beyond the obvious time-saving advantage, unique objects are expensive - clones are much cheaper.
  • Coat Mode - Apply finishing touches (e.g. tint, glow) to existing paintings and sculptures.
  • Collaborator - Someone invited to help work on a creation by the original creator. Their actions are limited to making edits to the creation itself - they cannot release it, or edit the cover page details in any way - and any changes they make can only be saved as a private version, which the original creator can choose to use or not. Collection* - An assortment of creations, collected together for any reason you like. Maybe it's your favourite creations. Maybe they're all to do with cats. A collection can contain any combination of elements, scenes and dreams*.
  • Context Menu - Appears down the right side of the screen when using the wireless controller, or on your secondary controller when using motion controllers. Gives you buttons relevant to your current tools, modes and scope.
  • Create Menu - The row of buttons that appears across the top of the screen in each mode. These can be referred to individually as the assembly menu, sculpt menu, sound menu and so on, depending on the mode you're in.
  • Creation Credits - Every creation has a clickable "full credits" link under its title, taking you to details of the author and all creators who made something used in the creation.
  • Creation - Anything you make in Dreams. Dream* - Usually comprising a number of scenes linked together via doorways. You can, of course, have a dream with a single scene in it, should you wish to add a scoreboard, and have your creation appear in DreamSurfing*.
  • Dreamer - A player of Dreams. Whether you create, play, or curate, if you use Dreams, you're a dreamer.
  • Dreamiverse - Refers both to the online space of Dreams, where you can find, play, like and comment on creations, follow other dreamers, release your own creations and so on; and the menu system you use to navigate it.
  • DreamShaping - Creating anything in Dreams - music, games, movies, art, animation, collections… Whether you're remixing or making from scratch, it's all DreamShaping.
  • DreamSurfing - Whiling away the time finding, playing, watching and generally consuming content on Dreams. Only dreams will appear in DreamSurfing, so remember to put your scenes in a dream if you want them to show up there.
  • Effect Field - Sound gadget which modifies the sound of any audio in its zone. Can be stamped onto the canvas in freeform view to affect performance; onto a microchip to affect everything on the 'chip; onto a timeline where the effect will happen when the playhead passes over; or into a scene to affect anything that wanders into their zone.
  • Effects Mode - Add animated effects (e.g. boil, flow) to the flecks on existing paintings and sculptures.
  • Element - Stand-alone items used to populate scenes. Sculptures, paintings, sound effects, music, animated objects, microchips containing specific logic… all of these can be elements.
  • Expensive/Cheap - Not specific to Dreams, but oft-used game development terms which we do like to bandy around, so worth inclusion here. Expensive means something uses a lot of system resources, and therefore could contribute toward slowdown or loss of visuals. Cheap means... it doesn't!
  • Fleck - The working unit of a painting. They also make up the surface of a sculpture.
  • Freeform View - A view of the contents of a sound gadget, where the canvas is a surface for performing sounds on, whether that's notes (as in an instrument) or sounds (as in a sound effect). Effect fields may be present, which alter the sound of anything performed in their zones.
  • Gadget Tile - Small coloured square/rectangle with input/output ports around its edges, which represents a gadget. Commonly-used ports are shown initially, with others appearing as their associated tweaks are wired up. Some gadgets, e.g. puppets, connectors and lights have gadget tiles incorporated, or don't have them at all.
  • Gadget - Self-contained bit of tech with a specific set of functionality to be applied to your creations. For example: a controller sensor to detect button presses; a mover to make something move; or a camera to specify what's onscreen.
  • Genealogy - Traces the evolution and use of a creation, showing its contents, any creations it's used in, and any remixes of it.
  • Gizmo - Most gadgets, when tweaked, will have peripheral axis arrows, direction arrows, zones, and so on. These are all known as gizmos, and they can all be grabbed, moved around, scaled and adjusted to affect the operation of the gadget.
  • Group - Two or more objects (gadgets, sculptures, paintings, elements, even groups) grouped together, behaving as if one single element.
  • Hide Everything Else - Hides everything which is not in your current scope. Very helpful when attempting to understand the concept of scope.
  • Homespace - Your personal area of the Dreamiverse, which you can customise, and other dreamers can visit.
  • Imp - Your primary method of interaction with Dreams, like the best mouse pointer ever devised, and your avatar. Also - cute and fuzzy.
  • Input/Output Port - Found on the edges of a gadget or a tweak menu, input ports on the left side and output ports on the right side. Each port is associated with a particular tweak, with input ports carrying signals into the associated tweak, and output ports carrying signals out of it.
  • Instrument - Sound gadget loaded with slices assigned to base notes so that you can press buttons on your controller in freeform view to perform and record music.
  • Looseness - A key artistic property in Dreams, the effect of which is to roughen up and increase in size the flecks in your creations, lending them a stylised feel. Found as a tool in various art modes, a slider in the shape and fleck editors, and a tweak on paintings and sculptures. Many other tools and tweaks rely on looseness for their effect.
  • Mode Indicator - Appears in the top left corner of your screen (or the bottom left if you've selected Bottom under Menu Position in My Preferences). Hover to see which mode you're in, and which tool you're currently using. Select to show the mode prompts, i.e. commonly-used controls for the current mode.
  • More Info Tooltips - Appear when you hover your imp tip over a menu button or a tweak for a few seconds, describing what the object does and how to use it. The menu button more infos are all replicated in the Edit Mode Guides, so you can have them open on a second screen while you work.
  • Paint Mode - Create and modify strokes in 3D to make paintings.
  • Perform - To press controller buttons corresponding to notes, while hovering the imp over the freeform view canvas, once the perform tool has been selected. Key and scale can be changed, and imp prompts will display which button corresponds to what note. A performance can be recorded, at which point the played sounds are visible as sound strokes and editable in the piano roll.
  • Photo Mode - Take photos of your creations.
  • Piano Roll View - A view of the contents of a sound gadget, where the canvas displays the sounds in the form of notes on a piano roll. As such, a recorded performance can be edited. Notes can be cloned, moved, shortened or lengthened, and also added using the draw notes tool.
  • Playable - A playable creation is discoverable and playable via search, but nobody but the creator can remix it or make it public. Anyone, however, can add it to dreams and collections, where the creator will be credited.
  • Playhead - Moves along a timeline or sound gadget view to dictate which items on the timeline are being activated or which sounds are being played. A white line with a play symbol at the top, it can be grabbed and moved with X.
  • Positional Gizmo - Not many gizmos have their own entry here, but this is a pretty important one. If you stamp a gadget and notice a white circle with the move tool icon on it and a dotted line attaching it to the gadget, this is the positional gizmo. It allows for precise placing of the effect of the gadget. For example, in an emitter, wherever you place it is where your emitted object will emit from.
  • Possess/Depossess - To take/give up control of a character, vehicle, animal... any sort of creation that has been set up to be possessable. When you possess something, your imp goes inside of it, and you can't use it to interact with the rest of the world. When you depossess, it pops out again and you're free to use it.
  • Private - A private creation will be saved online, but not discoverable via search. This is the best option for group projects or testing amongst friends. Only collaborators added by the creator can find or edit a private creation.
  • Public - A public creation can be remixed, stamped, edited and generally made into something else by anyone. The original creator of a public creation is always known, via genealogy and creation credits.
  • Quick Save - Saves the creation you're working on to your system. Will be overwritten by the next quick save. You must quick save a creation before you can save a version of it.
  • Release - Releasing puts a creation online for the world to see. There are 2 types of release - public and playable - but their availability depends on the category of creation you're releasing, and the ownership and status of its contents.
  • Remix - A brand new copy of a creation. You can remix your own creations, or any public creation, and make it into something completely different.
  • Row Mapping - A tweak setting on a sound gadget which adds an additional feature to the slice mapper, allowing slices to be assigned to specific buttons. This is most appropriate for drums and percussion. The tweak can be found in the Settings page of the tweak menu.
  • Save Version - Save a version of a creation. You can save many versions of a creation, in different states, but only one version can be released at a time.
  • Scene - Like a scene in a movie, a level in a game, a chapter of a story, a room in a house… scenes are the constituent parts of dreams. Also refers to the workspace in which you create in Edit Mode.
  • Scope In/Out - To work on individual items within a group, you'd need to scope in to the group. To work on anything outside the scope of the group, you'd need to scope out of it again.
  • Scope - A key concept across Edit Mode, referring to the specific "place" you are working. If you're editing items within a group, your scope is that group; if you're working on a sculpture, it's that sculpture; and so on. See also - Hide Everything Else.
  • Sculpt Mode - The primary art mode. Create and modify shapes in 3D to make sculptures.
  • Shape - The working unit of a sculpture.
  • Signal - Values passed from one gadget to another (usually via wires, but some signals are passed wirelessly). Signals allow gadgets to affect each other - change a tweak, power them on and off, give them a value to affect another tweak and so on.
  • Slice Editor - Appears at the top of the canvas when you tweak a slice in slice mapper. The slice will be highlighted on the original sample, and here the slice start, slice end and base note can all be changed, and the pitch can be fine tuned.
  • Slice Mapper View - A view of the contents of a sound gadget, where the canvas displays the sounds in the form of slices. Slice mapper will always show the original contents of the sound gadget, so you'll never see your own performance in this view. By tweaking the slices, you can use slice mapper to determine to some extent what's played, as it will trigger whichever slice is closest to the intended note.
  • Slice - An excerpt of the original sound sample, a slice is what's played when the user presses a button. In an instrument, usually a note; in a sound effect, a distinct part of the sound. Slices can be manipulated by tweaking in slice mapper.
  • Smear - Use a shape to "draw" a sculpture; or to apply spraypaint or looseness.
  • Sound Effect - A sound gadget loaded with a specific sound to be used in creations. This can be anything from a door slam to an entire soundscape. Usually sound effects are stamped into scenes, attached to specific items or wired up to logic events in microchips. However, sound effects can also be performed like instruments and recorded, lending an artistic touch to a soundscape.
  • Sound Mode - Create, modify and perform audio (music, sound effects, etc)
  • Sound Strokes - Marks made on the canvas representing sounds made when recording a performance in freeform view. These can be edited in piano roll view.
  • Spice/Spiciness - Audio effect for lending expressiveness to a performance, akin to using the mod wheel on a keyboard. Press L1 while performing to use it. The harder you press the more spice you'll get. A base level of spiciness can also be set on the Sound FX page in the tweak menu of a sound gadget.
  • Stamp - Place a single fleck, shape, or element into your scene.
  • Style Mode - Modify properties (e.g. looseness, ruffle) of the flecks on existing paintings and sculptures.
  • Test Mode - Play-test and analyse your creations.
  • Tweak Menu - A menu containing the properties, called tweaks, of a gadget, group, sculpture, or painting. It may have one or more pages of tweaks, and input/output ports for most tweaks.
  • Tweak - Refers both to the act of modifying something in Dreams, and the individual editable properties found on tweak menus. To tweak something is to open its tweak menu to view and edit its tweaks via the buttons and sliders therein.
  • Update Mode - Manage updates to items in your creations.
  • Version - Versions are the same creation but saved in different states, as a backup, or to experiment with a different creative direction, and so on.
  • Wire Blend - Blend - The value will be overwritten by the weighted average of the values carried by the wires going into it. Weighting is based on the power value of the gadgets the wires come from.
  • Wire Blend - Modulate - The value will be multiplied by the largest value carried by the wires going into it.
  • Wire Blend - Overwrite - The value will be overwritten by the largest value carried by the wires going into it.
  • Wire Blend - Denotes how the values carried into a tweak affect the value of that tweak. Hover over an input port and you'll see a symbol on the port's tab. This represents the type of wire blend. You can press and hold L1 while hovering to see the description of the current wire blend. You can also press X to cycle through the available types and choose a different one. Not all wire blends can be changed.
  • Wire/Fat Wire - These connect gadgets via input/output ports, so that they can send and receive signals to activate each other, pass each other values and so on. There are different wire types depending on the values they carry, e.g. boolean (true/false), colour (red, green, blue) and rotation (pitch, yaw, roll). When the wire carries multiple different values, it's called a fat wire, and looks like different-coloured wires twisted together. Wire also refers to the act of connecting a tweak to another with a wire via a port.
  • Zone - Green gizmo denoting the range of effect of the gadget. Initially spherical, their shape and size can be adjusted.
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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.