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Media Molecule

Dreams looks like the next great creation game

Oct 30 // Jordan Devore
Some of those dreams will come from the people making the game -- enough to show us what's possible with the tools and get our creativity flowing -- but most will come from us. Our dreams might be musical. Or futuristic. Cuddly, perhaps. Maybe even apocalyptic. Players design and interact using a little creature called an Imp. It's a mouse cursor, essentially -- "a very posh, fluffy, squishy cursor," according to creative director Mark Healey. The game uses a combination of the DualShock 4's motion controls and analog sticks. When you aren't busy sculpting, you can possess a character (among other things) to move as you would in a typical video game. But different dreams have different rules. We get to set the terms. Wired describes it as "AutoCAD but for normal, impatient human beings," noting that creations will be exportable to game engines like Unity and even 3D printers. [embed]318312:60929:0[/embed] "Many games have customization of characters, but we actually have creation of characters," said technical director Alex Evans. "You can build characters from scratch, or you can customize others that you find. Whether it's part of the gameplay experience or the creative experience, we're sort of mashing those two together so we don't really draw a hard line between when you're playing or when you're creating. You're just having fun." There are tools to make traditional gaming experiences -- racing, shooting, platforming, a sandbox for you and your friends to mess around in -- but the hope is that we will also create things that haven't really been seen before. Knowing the internet, it's going to be exciting and scary. This off-screen footage from a developer stream is a more concrete look at the creation process. [embed]318312:60931:0[/embed] There are murmurs of virtual-reality support, but Media Molecule hasn't committed to anything yet. I'm hopeful, though. The best VR games I've experienced with Oculus Rift and PlayStation VR have been slower-paced, more deliberate. This could be a perfect fit. In many ways, Dreams seems like the exact game Media Molecule has been building toward since LittleBigPlanet. Considering the wide array of creative and technical marvels that series' community was able to come up with -- a functional calculator in a platformer, for crying out loud! -- I don't know what to expect other than the unexpected. Even if the controls are floaty, I'm on board. To that end, there will be a beta on PlayStation 4 next year.
Media Molecule photo
Candy-colored clowns and so much more
I didn't get a good look at Dreams, the upcoming creation-centric adventure from LittleBigPlanet and Tearaway maker Media Molecule, during Sony's Paris Games Week conference. I was too preoccupied with the other gaming news r...

Dreams photo

LittleBigPlanet developer explains how its new PS4 game works

Also Tearaway developer!
Oct 27
// Steven Hansen
Media Molecule (LittleBigPlanet, Tearaway) has shown how its interesting new game, Dreams, works with a live demo of the game in alpha state that included plenty of rat possession. Every player creates a custom Imp who follo...
Dreams photo

Media Molecule is going to Twitch stream Dreams every week

Starting tomorrow
Oct 01
// Laura Kate Dale
When Media Molecule revealed its "next-gen creation suite" Dreams at E3, I really didn't get it. Okay, I make stuff. How do I make things? What's the creation suite like? How much flexibility do I have? What do I actually do ...

Tearaway Unfolded faithfully breaks the DualShock 4th wall

Sep 02 // Steven Hansen
Tearaway used fourth-wall breaking about as much as Metal Gear Solid, which still, with the recently released Phantom Pain, has a character tell you to, "use the stance button to stand up." That you are playing a video game is addressed, here through the physicality of the thing. Your own face in the sky, representations of your fingers popping up in the world. Unfolded's entire opening is new. It plays off the home console's position as a living room box, likely hooked up to a television with some kind of cable network. The two voices that narrate the story switch through a fake cable TV guide, hastily bypassing shows called "Rubbish" and flicking through commercials before coming to the conclusion that there's nothing to watch, that there's no good story. So we'll have to make our own. Actually, it's almost like the beginning of Metal Gear Solid 4. The first new PS4 feature is light. The triggers produced a beam of light in the world that reflects the light emitted by the DualShock 4. It even keeps the same triangle shape and shows up in the world as if you were pointing to the front of the controller like a flashlight. So far it's one of the only useful reasons for that light existing, save for draining battery life and then blinding me every time I tilt the thing up to find the charge port. [embed]308798:60230:0[/embed] The You's -- that's you -- light has different effects, from simply illuminating the new, dim intro to making plants grow to scraping inky newspaper Scraps from the construction paper world to hypnotizing enemies that will follow the beam of light off a cliff. It doesn't have the same punchy feel as poking at them with giant fingers from below, but it does its job of grounding the player in both the game world and real world in a novel way. It's too hell with immersion and that's fine. Due to my lack of the PlayStation camera, I did find myself wanting with regard to my self-portrait showing up in the hole in the sky. Even if on the Vita it was grainy and always the least flattering angle (I never held my arms parallel to the ground when I played), it is missed, here. Same with the ability to, say, reupholster an elk by taking a picture of my cat. Of course, if lower case you have a camera, it's possible to sustain these touches, or if you have a mic at the ready you can record an intimidating yell for your scarecrow. A new gust of wind ability replaces your ability to physically leaf through the environment. Instead of swiping a platform down on the Vita screen, you swipe the DualShock 4 touchpad in the desired direction you want to the wind to blow. Atoi, the messenger you guide through Tearaway, can also throw enemies and items up "through" the TV screen and into your controller, and then you can aim a reticle and swipe forward on the touchpad to shoot the projectile back onto the map, whether to bash an enemy or solve a puzzle. The touchpad is also used for the paper craft segments where you're tasked with making wings for the local butterflies or snow flakes to pepper your mountain climb (I went again with some nice pink cherry blossoms). It works alright, but the lack of real estate makes precision hard. You might consider the companion app, which would give you (or a friend) a larger drawing surface, but, again, I don't want to be fiddling with three extra pieces of technological accessories just to get the same effect the Vita bundled up. Tearaway Unfolded isn't as elegant or holistic an experience as it was on Vita because of additional technical needs, but significant effort has gone to reproducing the same effects in new ways. It's pretty as hell, too, holding its own with anything on the PS4 despite its humble beginnings. New areas have been built from scratch, parts extended, others cut. No more log rolling troubles, which is the only Vita feature that bugged the hell out of me. A lot of care went into Unfolded. It may be another tacit admission that the Vita is dead, but at least this incredible, surprising game did not die with it.
Tearaway PS4 port photo
Challenging PS4 port flashes Metal Gear
Tearaway was the zenith of the PlayStation Vita. While many fine games have hit the platform since, few have been exclusive and original, and none used every inch of the Vita's additional capabilities to as good effect. That ...

Tearaway photo

Media Molecule reveals Tearaway Unfolded: Special Edition

With a cute doll
Aug 18
// Chris Carter
It has yet to be seen if the PS4 Tearaway Unfolded remake is necessary, but the original on Vita was pretty damn amazing. That's why this new Special Edition package is so tempting -- it includes a doll of the main male ...
Plus E3 trailer photo
Plus E3 trailer

Tearaway PS4 has a companion app

Hand models
Jun 22
// Steven Hansen
Tearaway was one of the few games to take complete advantage of the Vita's extra features, smartly tying all of them into the narrative. Thus, porting it to the PlayStation 4 feels a bit odd. Apparently one way Tearaway Unfo...
Dreams photo

Dreams is Media Molecule's latest wonderfully creative game

More at Paris Games Week
Jun 15
// Brett Makedonski
"I hope this fills your head with questions. That's natural." That's what Media Molecule's Alex Evans had to say about Dreams, the studio's latest project. He nailed it; Dreams has me wondering what the hell it is, whil...
Tearaway Unfolded photo
Tearaway Unfolded

Tearaway PS4 coming September 8, has ridiculous box art

Jun 12
// Steven Hansen
Tearaway Unfolded is the PS4 port of the 2013 Vita game that was possibly my game of the year (I also gave it a 10/10, because it is excellent). The PlayStation Blog has confirmed some finer points about the release, includin...
Tearaway photo

Tearaway Unfolded looks to be a summer release

Summer drought be damned
Feb 28
// Robert Summa
Now the former head of audio at Media Molecule, Kenneth Young has revealed that the PS4 not-really-a-port version of Tearaway is coming this summer. After announcing that he was leaving Media Molecule to work for Media Molecule as an audio contractor, Young let his followers know that Tearaway Unfolded is set to ship this summer.
Tearaway PS4 photo
Tearaway PS4

Media Molecule clarifies that Tearaway PS4 is mostly the same

'An expanded re-telling'
Aug 18
// Chris Carter
Recently we learned that Media Molecule was bringing Tearaway -- one of my personal favorite Vita games -- to the PS4. They very briefly mentioned that it was similar to the first game at their gamescom conference, but now af...
LittleBigPlanet photo

LittleBigPlanet 3 out on PS3, PS4 this November

Lots of pre-order options
Jul 29
// Jordan Devore
Sumo Digital has announced a November 18, 2014 release date for LittleBigPlanet 3 on both PlayStation 3 and PS4. Levels created in the prior games will be compatible (and look better on PS4) and there are new characters to pl...
Media Molecule photo
Media Molecule

Media Molecule teases 'new PS4 project' with a creepy mustache guy

Is that you, Andross?
Jul 21
// Jordan Devore
This teaser for Media Molecule's new PlayStation 4 project is curious. But first, here is the studio's explanation for what we're looking at (flashing light warning): "A rendering error on our new PS4 project caused this tri...
LittleBigPlanet 3 photo
LittleBigPlanet 3

LittleBigPlanet 3 will also be coming to the PS3

In addition to the previously announced PS4
Jun 16
// Chris Carter
LittleBigPlanet 3 looks amazingly adorable with Sackboy's three additional friends, and I enjoyed the fact that the E3 demonstration was a real demo and not staged. As far as we knew based on E3, LBP3 would support old l...
LittleBigPlanet 3 PS4 photo
Over 8.7 levels made, all will be playable
Sony has some LittleBigPlanet 3 (PS4) footage and the biggest change in the series is the introduction of new character types alongside Sackyboy. Oddsock runs on all fours and quickly. It can wall jump and burst through cert...

PlayStation Community Exc photo
PlayStation Community Exc

Come buy that for a dollar at PAX East's PlayStation Community Exchange

Plenty of collectible T-shirts, figures, and other items available
Apr 04
// Brittany Vincent
If you're heading out to PAX East next weekend, you probably have a lot of extra spending money anyway, so why not stop by the PlayStation Worldwide Studios Community Exchange? That's "booth #608" in layman's terms, at the Bo...

Any excuse to talk about Tearaway is a great thing

Even if it's related to some ho-hum downloadable content
Apr 01
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Tearaway is a fantastic amazing title you PlayStation Vita owners should already have in your collection. And I will take any excuse to sing the praises of this game, even when there's some silly downloadable content released...

Grab Tearaway for $20 on Amazon

Lots of paper for very little paper
Dec 16
// Conrad Zimmerman
Looking for something awesome to play on your Vita on the cheap? Media Molecule's brilliant Tearaway is being offered through Amazon right now for a mere $20 (a savings of 40%). Sure it's the digital version, which means...
LittleBigPlanet photo

Pick up a free Santa costume in LittleBigPlanet

It's free, so why not?
Dec 10
// Harry Monogenis
Media Molecule have released a new Santa costume for Sackboy in LittleBigPlanet. It's free, which is nice. So yeah, go get it. Once you've done that, be sure to check out this list of Christmas-themed maps available for download. Any LBP players out there had a go with the maps yet? Any recommendations? LittleBigPlanet update: Santa is coming to LBP! [PlayStation Blog]
Tearaway demo photo
Tearaway demo

Tearaway demo will launch alongside the game on Friday

If you like it, you can unlock it right from the demo
Nov 20
// Brett Zeidler
Did you know Tearaway is coming out this Friday? Did you know we really, really liked it? Good, because I wasn't going to let this one slip right past you. That's not happening on my watch. I don't think Sony is going to let...

Review: Tearaway

Nov 20 // Steven Hansen
Tearaway (Vita) Developer: Media Molecule Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment Release Date: November 22, 2013 MSRP: $39.99 Tearaway is a duet. It stars the messenger, Atoi, and the You -- you. Through the Vita’s unique features, you can directly interact with the world. As the powerful You, the forward facing camera places your face in the sun, like the creepy Teletubbies sun god baby. Your fingers actually pop up through the ground in certain areas as you caress the rear touch pad. Your presence in the narrative is contextualized and, what’s more, it doesn’t cause any weird disconnect as Tearaway’s world and yours interact. You’re tasked with taking real world pictures for various applications, using the touch screen to interact with platforms, and poking nasty beasties called Scraps. Once, an elk that had lost her color asked me to fashion her new fur. I took a picture of my cat, asleep on my lap, and his white and black pattern covered the elk. She loved it. In fact, she started a trend. Other elk in the area started wearing it, too. More often than not, though, you control Atoi with typical 3D platformer controls as you navigate lovingly constructed, fanciful environments. The touch controls are fun flourishes that supplement the platforming, which has some bite to it, though forgiving checkpoints keep things moving forward. Beyond platforming, you’re engaged in a host of activities, like throwing gophers in basketball hoops, playing soccer with squirrels -- they use their hands, the dirty cheats -- and taking pictures with a variety of lenses and filters. I'm always shooting #nofilter, but I appreciate the wide angle and high speed lenses. There’s even a selfie button. It’s the year of the selfie and I'm okay with that. What elevates Tearaway above competent and novel game mechanics is its holistic world and endearing sincerity. As you play through three narrated story arcs, there’s a feeling of grand adventure without losing the small, personal moments and touches at every turn. It’s reminiscent of games like Wind Waker and Psychonauts in that regard, filled with cool characters and dynamic locales. The windswept, stormy harbor town of the second act, replete with salty fishermen and scientists, is full of impressive breaking waves and a lived-in feeling tavern. Whether you’re riding a pig, scaling an intimidating mountain, or cutting out a custom crown for the squirrel king, there’s a simultaneous sense of intimacy and the feeling you’re penning a proper adventure through your actions. There’s just so much heart to the game. The sincerity is infectious and insurmountable. At the base of the mountain you have to scale, you’re asked to make snowflakes. Every once in a while, you’re tasked with heading over to the cutting room floor and making objects out of sheets of construction paper, as if you’re a kindergartener. It’s fabulous. But I struggled in crafting my perfect little snowflake. It just wasn’t coming out how I envisioned it in my mind’s eye. Fed up, I drew a crude, pink middle finger. Rendered in game, the alpine scene looked stunning and my puerile, lazy middle fingers came across as gorgeous cherry blossoms. The game doesn't let you be cynical. Following in the footsteps of my other favorite Vita game, Gravity Rush, there’s even a bizarre, surrealist third act that is all kinds of reality warping. It goes from eerily quiet and desolate to a shimmering desert that’s equal parts Journey and the Simpsons episode where Homer hallucinates in the desert on chiles and goes on a spiritual journey with a coyote voiced by Johnny Cash. Without getting too spoiler heavy, the tale reaches a surprisingly poignant, affirming end. I was left misty eyed. The game is such a technical and artistic marvel, not unexpected from the inventive team that made LittleBigPlanet. That love of creation shines through. You can outfit your messenger with pieces and parts you buy with in-game funds, or go crazy and carve unique things out of paper yourself. The camera is surprisingly fleshed out. You can even unlock instructions for paper craft models you can make in real life. Tearaway is endearingly original. Its big picture narrative is about story-telling, about how certain stories have been told to death, and how we can tell better ones. “Goblins?” the narrator asks when pondering the enemies to throw at you at the beginning. “No,” is the answer, and instead you get the Scraps, boxy, one-eyed creatures that appear to be composed of old newspaper clippings. Everything just works so well in unison. The soundtrack is delightful and odd, at times reminiscent of Paprika’s parade fanfare with its lively horns. The world, put together in paper scraps, is unbelievable in its artistry and function. Tearaway’s paper water and ripples as you walk through it are more impressive than any realistic water graphics I’ve ever seen. The level of unique detail in the world is staggering. Every moment spent immersed in it is heartwarming. Fittingly, it feels positively handcrafted.
Tearaway review!  photo
I was sitting in a doctor’s office waiting room, lost in my Vita because doctors are terrible timekeepers. 2:00 pm means 2:00 pm, life-saving scumbag. Suddenly, I was looking at dimly lit tartan chairs and an old, wrink...

Tearaway trailer photo
Tearaway trailer

There wouldn't be Tearaway without the Vita

Truly a match made in heaven
Nov 14
// Brett Zeidler
In yet another behind-the-scenes video for Tearaway, the fine folks at Media Molecule today explain the importance of the array of options the PlayStation Vita offers that make the game what it is today. Since it acknowledge...
Tearaway's music photo
Tearaway's music

Here's a taste of the incredible music in Tearaway

Head of audio Kenny Young goes behind the music
Nov 13
// Brett Zeidler
Every time I see a new aspect of Tearaway in more detail, I'm just taken aback by how incredible of a game it's shaped up to be. Today is no exception, because Sony has posted a new video as part of a series of behind-t...
New Tearaway video photo
New Tearaway video

All of Tearaway is constructed from one sheet of paper

Well, virtually at least
Nov 06
// Brett Zeidler
A new video for Tearaway explains the fundamental idea behind the paper in the game. The really freaking cool part about it all is that every individual piece inside the world is virtual paper, folded up exactly to the artis...
Tearaway photo

This Tearaway trailer is adorable

It drops next month alongside of the Xbox One
Oct 25
// Chris Carter
Tearaway has flown under the radar of many people out there, which is a shame given how intriguing it is. It looks and sounds a lot like LittleBigPlanet, but with its own sense of charm and visual style. This newest trailer ...
Tearaway customization photo
Tearaway customization

Get glued: Tearaway has adorable character customization

Peel off your face
Oct 19
// Steven Hansen
Media Molecule's amazing upcoming Vita game, Tearaway, is a long month away from release. A recent PlayStation Blog post talked about the creative, do-it-yourself elements of the new title from the LittleBigPlanet developers....
Tearaway trailer photo
Tearaway trailer

Ride papercraft pigs in this cute Tearaway trailer

Wild pigs couldn't tear me away from Tearaway
Aug 20
// Steven Hansen
Along with Puppeteer, Tearaway has to be the most delightful-looking game of the year. I'm torn as to which looks cuter. It might even be a legitimate contender for many game of the year awards. Hamza couldn't sing its prais...
PS Vita photo
PS Vita

Media Molecule moves Tearaway into November

Those pesky standards strike again
Jul 29
// Jordan Devore
Media Molecule's anticipated 3D platformer Tearaway is taking a bit longer to wrap up than originally expected. The studio announced a one-month delay today, pushing the papercraft PlayStation Vita title all the way back to N...
The next great indies photo
The next great indies

Broken Age, Below, and more: The games of HORIZON

A parade of indies
Jun 20
// Liz Rugg
As previously discussed, Venus Patrol and MOCAtv's "alternative E3 event" HORIZON was pretty interesting both conceptually and in how it was executed. But what about the games?! That's why we're even here, right!? A few of the larger announcements to come out of the event have already been covered here at Dtoid, but what about those smaller, beautiful indie games HORIZON promised?

Thoughts on HORIZON: An alternative E3 event

Notes on the Indie-focused event from an attendee
Jun 20
// Liz Rugg
Exactly one week ago, E3 was in full-swing in the bright city of Los Angles, California, and a brand new little event was quietly gearing up to happen. That lil' happening was HORIZON. Billed as an "alternative E3 event" and ...
Tearaway photo

Tearaway pre-orders will include the wonderful soundtrack

Plus there's rideable pigs! RIDEABLE! PIGS!
May 21
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Tearaway is one of my most anticipated games of the year now thanks to some recent hands-on time. It's a wonderful little platformer that makes use of all the Vita's features in creative ways. It also has quite the wonderful ...

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