Everyone loves a game that takes you on an emotional journey, that grabs you and sets you on a colourful adventure. A game that has plenty of quests, puzzles and minigames, not to mention adversities and moments of doubt. Dreamers, a new 3D adventure game form PlaySys that will be coming to PS4 and PS5 later this year has all that and probably more.
You may not have heard of PlaySys before, the software engineering and game development company based in Milan, Italy. They have released a couple of well-received PC VR games and a mobile game and Dreamers looks like their first foray into PlayStation and console games.
Life is but a dream
Dreamers was officially announced by PlaySys only a couple of weeks ago. I read the press release, watched the trailer and I liked what I saw. I’n growing more fonder of smaller, independent games recently. In a world filled with shooters, open-world RPG’s and Battle Royale games. And where the same game is re-skinned, re-packaged and re-sold year after year. It takes the independent developer to give us something even a little bit different.
So what is Dreamers all about? As I mentioned in the opening paragraph, it is a game with many quests, puzzles and minigames that takes place in different settings and levels. The game starts with a mysterious letter from Grandma that forces the protagonist into exploring more than the land he knows.
Dreamers is designed primarily as a single-player adventure game but in some levels, it is possible to play as more than one character in a split-screen co-op mode (couch co-op anyone?)
Dreamers should appeal to gamers who enjoy a good story. The structure of the game is based on the classic graphic adventures but adds elements from some different genres. A key point of the game is the total involvement of the characters in telling the story.
In short, Dreamers is focused on Discovery, through a metaphoric journey into our daily lives.
As Dreamers is heading to PlayStation consoles, I thought I would email the developers to ask some additional questions about the game. Particularly about the PlayStation release and the unique and colourful art style deployed within the game.
Dreamers will be coming to PS5 and PS4
PlaySys announced that the game would be coming to PS5, I asked if the game would also be coming to PS4 and whether it was a timed PlayStation exclusive. The developers said that Dreamers will be coming to PS4 and PS5 and confirmed that Dreamers will also be coming to Xbox Series within the same period. PlaySys also plan to release a PC version via Steam and a Switch version a bit later on.
We are fully aware that the game will be released in the moment of glory of PS5, but we would like to offer the access to our title also to those who are still evaluating the purchase of such incredible console.
Development of Dreamers started on PS4 in 2019, PlaySys decided to also work on a PS5 version to take advantage of the greater potential of the new console. During the development of the game, PlaySys have tested it for both PS4 and PS5 using tools (dev kits) that Sony provided to them. The Lead Developer for Dreamers said, “We are fully aware that the game will be released in the moment of glory of PS5, but we would like to offer the access to our title also to those who are still evaluating the purchase of such incredible console.“
Dreamers and the DualSense
As for the PS5 version, Dreamers will use some haptic feedback capabilities of the DualSense controller but more in a “classical rumble” kind of way. PlaySys believe that their game can bring enjoyment without the need to push special or hardware-specific features. They want the experience to be smooth and enjoyable on any device and feel that if a feature is not necessary they will save it, possibly for a future title.
I agree with PlaySys’ position on not fully implementing the features of the DualSense. Sure, they add an extra bit of immersion to a game but they are not necessary to extract enjoyment from the game.
Dreaming of Art and Inspiration
One of the things that caught my eye about Dreamers was the colourful and unique art-style used throughout the game. I asked PlaySys if the developers and designers had any source of inspiration for this art-style, or for the game in general. They told me that the style has been developed throughout many different projects, including enterprise interactive media work they have undertaken.
Dreamers was developed in 3D with a peculiar choice of colours and textures with non-photorealistic graphics with slightly angular lines. This is to create a contrast between pastel and comforting colours that evoke joy and fun and the deep topics faced in the game.
The Lead developer for Dreamers goes on to explain that PlaySys founder Luca Deriu is very strict on the art-style. Defining and supervising every aspect of visual development. The idea for Dreamers actually dates back to 2005 – two years before PlaySys was founded. The vision took hold when Luca Deriu and his friend where developing sports games for the PlayStation 2. They were working on a game engine at the time, and although the game engine never saw the light of day, the vision for Dreamers persisted. The game eventually reached the “approved for development” status by PlaySys later in 2019.
Dreamers certainly looks like it could be something pretty special and the developers sound like they have a lot of passion and love for their project. PlaySys are hoping to have Dreamers out for PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 in the second half of this year. Keep your eyes peeled for more information on this exciting game.
I would like to thank Alessia and PlaySys for taking the time to answer my questions.