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I am very happy to share with you this little meeting with Gauffreman (Meaning In French “Waffleman”), a talented and very productive French Dreamer! This name means surely something to you, if not, sit back and dive into reading our little interview!
1 / Can you introduce yourself?
I am Gauffreman on Dreams, my real real name Tangi-Goulvenn (that’s not trivial!), I am French Breton and an independent graphic designer by profession. (But I ambition to change that)
2/ How did you discover Dreams ?
I discovered Dreams, or the prototype of what would become Dreams, when the PS4 was introduced in February 2013. I literally stayed on the foundation imagining its possibilities. And my impatience literally exploded when Alex Evans teased the VR support during PGW 2015. In other words, the wait was very long …
3/ Was it easy for you to get into the “Dreams” universe?
I manage today, but the beginnings were a bit complicated in reality, quite frankly I could not imagine being as comfortable as I am today. It took me about a month in beta to start grasping how the engine works, and after a series of “clicks” I made tremendous progress. (And I keep improving)
4/ What do you prefer to do ?
Everything! I also think that this versatility is precisely my greatest strength, it allows me to be autonomous. Even though I spend most of my time doing graphics and designing, I don’t really have a preference in reality. This is what I love about Dreams: being able to switch from one area to another depending on the mood of the moment, or just because an idea crossed my mind.
5/ Tell us about “To the Top”, what are you doing on it and how is the development of the project going?
To The Top is a collaboration with Slurm Mac Kenzy, he started the project on his side and he offered to help him with the graphic design. We’re quite complementary designers, and since he’s one of my favorite designers on Dreams, it’s always a pleasure to work with him and it’s also interesting for me to try my hand at other styles and get out of my comfort zone.
As for our operation, he shows me a test level with a base of gameplay and a test level design, then I go on to create the assets with the theme ideas he suggests to me.
6/ Tell us about SlidEout 3019. It must have taken a lot of work, what were the main difficulties? Are you satisfied with the result?
First of all, I am eternally dissatisfied so not totally, there are a lot of things that I would like to review, others that I would like to add (AI, VR cockpit) … But that includes so much to change that I prefer to start from scratch. For the first version it took me about 3 weeks, a lot of iterations and a lot of stuff in the trash. The main difficulties have been to keep the ship on the track at high speed and to have collisions that do not throw us off the track. (it’s not perfect but I made huge progress compared to the very first version)
7/ I also saw the evolution of your work on the Pod Racer, the idea is to make a complete racing game?
I sculpted Anakin’s pod during beta two years ago now, and then left it a bit behind for no particular reason. So with the arrival of VR, I completely started modeling the pod again and developed gameplay adapted to VR on the other side. The idea is to make it a kind of demo to satisfy an old personal fantasy, but no more. On the other hand, I may use the gameplay base again to make another game in a more personal universe.
8/ What is the creation you are most proud of? How do you think about your next creations?
I think the first creation I was most proud of was the “Chinese Dragon“, because I had never really done 3D sculpting before that and it was a huge eye opener for me. I did not think I had this ability and above all I was amazed by the patience I showed to achieve it. The icing on the cake, Kareem Ettouney came to comment on my creation during Mm’s live, I was really moved.
Otherwise the creation I’m most proud of today is “The Missing Constellation“, thank to it I have been contacted by Mm and PlayStation, it was a huge recognition and especially because with the little time available, I was able to lay something that works (well, a lot has happened by the wayside but the overall works). And above all, the fact that Piano Novel and the Sony Music team really loved the game, besides being a huge relief, it really made me proud of the job accomplished.
For the way I think about my future projects, I really function at will, I have a billion ideas in mind and I spend most of my time experimenting with lots of things (that’s for that I haven’t published much for a while). When the motivation is there, I push one of these concepts further and make it a “dream”. But overall I don’t aim to make complete games, I prefer to focus on short experiences, taking care to pollute them as best I can. I think this is the best match for Dreams given the multitude of content available to players.
9/ Are you up to some new stuff on Dreams? How long do you spend on it now?
Yes, full! And especially for VR (I will obviously make the effort to transpose this to the screen when it is possible to do so). In fact for months, I’ve been doing almost nothing but logic and experimenting a lot of VR gameplay, so I have a lot of prototypes in stock, (dogfight, podracer, kayak, fishing, mountain bike, karting, open world fps, climbing, archery, … etc …). It remains to determine what I will achieve and if there is the possibility of making combinations. In terms of the time spent on Dreams, It takes almost all my free time (and since the COVID I have plenty) and suddenly I do not play much other games either. .
10/ The strengths of Dreams ?
Two greatest qualities: The fact of offering a complete range of tools with a uniform interface and a form of immediacy in the creation: Everything that we create is immediately usable.
Also its really healthy community based on mutual aid and sharing.
11/ The weaknesses of Dreams ?
It lacks some features, such as the ability to use reference images for example. But I also regret that there is no possibility of monetization of creators / creations.
With hindsight, I realize the gigantic time invested in Dreams. I don’t think I will continue at this pace without the possibility of making something out of it. I learned a lot thanks to Dreams and especially had a lot of fun. But I really want to invest myself fully in video game creation from now on and I will therefore be forced to switch to more professional tools, which I find a bit of a shame because I believe that Dreams clearly has the potential to propel new creators.
12/ What do you think could make Dreams better?
The form is already amazing but I think all aspects can still be improved. I am also thinking of the menu interface which could gain in ergonomics, it is sometimes a bit long to find a creation.
On a technical level I would like the logic inside the trackers to run at full frequency or that the encoding of the coordinates is also more precise. (These two things gave me a lot of trouble)
Afterwards I hope to see new tools, but the formula is already so complete that I am fully satisfied with it, I am curious to see what Mm could add (In addition to the expectation I have for the multi and 3D printing)
13/ Do you have a number of games that you like on Dreams?
In fact, I don’t play Dreams a lot, always having an idea in mind I’m a bit stuck in creation mode, so I missed a lot of great creations. My biggest crush remains “The Tomb” from SlurmMacKenzy, a kind of escape, not very long but really mastered. He also made a new one, just as excellent for VR: “Escape“, I recommend!
14/ One or more creators that you like in Dreams?
I have already spoken of Slurm? Frankly he is still my favorite, his games are really well done and I really like his style. Otherwise I also have a lot of admiration for Martin Nebelong, Bevis, badrobo82, disarmedx, Bracord, Melkiore, CyberSheepFilm, gogoscope, Prinz-Lazer, Cody, Double pounch, Jojistwin, for those that come to mind. (I’m certainly forgetting a bunch of others …)
15/ What do you think of VR on Dreams?
Incredible, bluffing, astounding, a killer!
Frankly I lack a word to say how much they have laid out a remarkable VR medium. All content created so far is potentially compatible and can convert effortlessly. And the display quality in the headset is exemplary (with a dynamic resolution for creations that are too greedy), it’s just a masterstroke and the most incredible virtual reality application that I have tested so far any medium combined.
The ability to create your own VR experiences is already fantastic, but being able to create everything while doing it in VR is just incredible, it increases the precision and ease of creation. To put it simply, I now have my helmet screwed onto my head almost all the time.
Only downside: I‘m not that much fan of of the gameplay template provided by default, it departs a bit from VR standards and is not intuitive enough for my taste. But nothing prevents you from creating your own gameplays using Dreams‘ logic tools, the possibilities are crazy.
16/ What are your “Dreams” in life?
I have always been passionate about a multitude of things, but since I got my hands on Dreams, my only dream is to become a creator of video games and virtual reality experiences. (Let’s say that I see there the possibility of regrouping all my passions into one)
For now, my only experience is Dreams so I’m going to have to relearn a lot of things but I’m more motivated than I have ever been. So I am fully involved in this, still on Dreams for a few months to finish everything I started and I am slowly preparing my migration to the Unreal engine. But I think Dreams will always be a super useful tool to prototype ideas very quickly, you never really stray from a first love.🥰