Celebrating the women of Dreams for International Women's Day!
What would dreams be without brilliant, vibrant and imaginative brains to live inside? (They'd just be loose everywhere, wouldn't they? All over the shop. Can you vacuum up dreams? Sorry, getting distracted...) Dreams is only as strong as its players are - which is why, as part of our celebrations for this year's International Women's Day, we at Media Molecule are spotlighting just some of the women in the Dreamiverse who help make it an inspiring place to be.
From designers to composers, curators to streamers, the list below represents but a very, very small selection of the amazing women doing great things in - and around - Dreams. We've included glimpses of some of their finest creations below, alongside short profiles featuring their own words on their experience as artists and coMmunity members. Let's meet some coMmunity stars!
The writer and producer of the popular - and often wheeze-inducingly funny - Pig Detective adventure game series, Lotte_Double describes herself as a "passionate storyteller". The co-founder of Team Pig Detective, as the studio is known, is a bit of an all-rounder, also throwing herself into other elements of game development such as playtesting and QA. "Media Molecule is full of amazing women who are professional role models I would have loved to have as a kid," she says. "You have them on every level for every kind of job. I like that." She was drawn to Dreams as "storytelling can be lonely work. Dreams gives us not only the tools to create but also a lovely coMmunity in which we have found exceptionally fun, creative and skilled collaborators from all over the world."
Games music graduate okamipaw's compositions are the stuff of Dreamiverse legend - she's particularly proud of the music she wrote for Ratchet & Clank: Bullet Heck (made in Dreams by Josh Leman of Insomniac). "I'm the sort of person that really likes to dip her toes in trying everything, and I have a very strong drive for creating and learning new things," she says. "Dreams really satisfies all of those cravings." Upon first playing the game, she was pleasantly surprised by how many female or feminine characters Dreams features, such as Layla from Art's Dream or the Dream Queen: "I think Dreams is an extremely welcoming game and creation tool for women - I think young girls playing will see and hear these female characters and think 'I can do that too'."
PuddyDoke designs and builds characters in Dreams, from pirate alligators to pizza chefs. "I really love being able to have a character in mind that I can bring to life through Dreams," she says. "Being able to sculpt them directly on the puppet base and change the walk style and animations is so fun to play around with, and can give them so much personality!" As for her experience in Dreams? "The coMmunity is so accepting and helpful, and I have been treated so nicely by everybody. It's the best coMmunity I've ever been a part of and it's helped me in a lot of ways."
LadyLexUK bought a PlayStation®4 back in 2016 specifically for the release of Dreams. "It was worth the wait," she says. Though she dabbles in myriad aspects of Dreams, she's renowned for her curation skills: "I like to provide the coMmunity with what they need, so my YouTube channel(opens in new tab) initially was mostly about tutorials - it is now more about play and share and game discovery." She sees the game as "neither welcoming or unwelcoming" to women specifically, but notes that it's often hard to tell how many women can be found in the games we play because "some women keep their gender non-specific in their PSN names because of fears of abuse."
While kimerakii hopes to break into the game industry as a character artist, she can most often be found composing in Dreams: "I adore the music creation system, from making silly instruments to vast orchestral & choral pieces for personal projects, and find it a nice break from day work!" Still, she also finds time to voice trailers and sculpt "vaguely anatomically-correct" skeleton ducks. "Seeing your thoughts turn into realities through Dreams is one thing, but seeing all kinds of people connect with that is powerful," she says. "There's no feeling that there's a pre-requisite for who you have to be, what you have to make or the story you follow - Dreams is what you make it, and it enables a very empowering level of creativity and freedom in what can often be a restrictive, and unfortunately sometimes toxic, environment of gaming."
One of our most supportive coMmunity members, Bella_Iris spends most of her time in Dreams feeding her creative impulses by producing assets to make other players' lives easier - she's now made a grand total of 1,138 creations! While her voice acting always impresses, it's the Impy-nominated CoMmunity Events TV that best represents her - concepted as a way to bring players together during a difficult 2020, she tells us. "How can I let dreamers know what events are going on so that they can be with friends and bring smiles to their life? How can I present this in a way that's easy to view and browse, but also is quick and simple to keep updating as events come and go? These are the questions that led to the design of the Events TV." She admires the freedom Dreams offers as a platform for all types of creators, and all types of people: "There are no limitations apart from the ones you set inside yourself."
A talented sculptor, animator, programmer and composer who's been playing Dreams since the early beta days, DiamondDiancie10 "adore[s] doing everything" in Dreams - "besides maybe Play, I'm not very good at it!" She uses a combination of all her skills to assemble themed creation kits, such as her Halloween Art Kit: "It ended up having over one hundred different spooky assets," she says, "including the self-indulgent dozen-or-so pumpkins. Never have enough pumpkins." She admires the approachability of Dreams' mechanics and design: "It manages to be complex in its functionality without letting it overwhelm users, and the tutorials are super kind and supportive."
Pookachoo has been following and playing Dreams since even before the beta days, having first laid hands on it at Mm's 2015 PlayStation Experience party. "I spend a lot of time just playing around with paint and sculpture in Dreams", she says. "Most of that stuff hasn't been released yet, because I like bouncing between multiple projects, and that does make it hard to finish things!" When she's not setting up in-game collaborative events such as 'Trick or Treat Street' ("My biggest fear was that no one would join, but a lot of creators did get involved and the playable showcase was also very popular - which was great because everyone's hard work felt well appreciated") or curating her 'CoMmunity Popit' collection, she can be found outside of Dreams, helping to run coMmunity website DreamsVerse.com.
From a young age, Zodira would tinker happily with electronics: now, she's celebrated for her fantastic programming work in Dreams. "I really love working with the logic in Dreams," she says. "Everything feels like a fun puzzle to solve, and it has been an outlet for an old hobby making circuit boards I did as a teen." She's been getting into voice acting, after Dreams' coMmunity encouraged her to be brave and try something she's always wanted to do - she's made some close friends, too, including fellow female Dreams creator and streamer Yah_Deh. "The whole atmosphere is very open and welcoming, from new to the most seasoned members, no matter who you are. Overall I have felt entirely at ease within Dreams."
The sculptor behind the Impy award-winning Pumpkin Spice, among many other stunning vistas and charming dioramas, SootyPinions' name comes up repeatedly among the other women of Dreams we talk to. But she wasn't always so prolific. "I've always wanted to be creative; I just never had the tools to do it," she says. After managing to get into the Dreams beta on the first day, "I watched the little welcome video telling me not to be afraid and to share my creations - and I thought, you know what, I will! ... Playing other games, seeing beautiful art, getting to grips with creation myself, geeing myself up to publish my first ridiculous little tree - I just thought, 'Yeah, this is for me'." The rest is history. (Herstory?) "Personally, I've found Dreams very welcoming," she says. "I don't get that same sense of macho gatekeeping in the gaming aspect, nor a sense of only certain types of creations being acceptable - just giddy collective enjoyment for participation. If you want to make very feminine-coded things, the coMmunity are just as enthused - the only issue you'll have is how to tell them the way you made it in the comments with a word count limit!"
We're spoiled for choice when it comes to celebrating the women of the Dreams coMmunity - if we tried to fit them all in a single article, it'd be as long as our arm. (And we have /really/ long arms. It's how we do all the hugging around here at Media Molecule.)
So why not head into the game to check out our specially-made International Women's Day playlist, featuring even more creations from even more women in Dreams?
A big thank you to all of the women in the Dreams coMmunity - we see you, and we appreciate you. Happy International Women's Day, everyone!
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.