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Hereafter game in Dreams – PlayStation.Blog

What do ghostbusting and game development have in common? It turns out that there is more than meets the eye. But one thing above all comes to mind: teamwork. Ghostbusters: Afterlife in Dreams is playable in Dreams from today until February 28, 2022 and is the result of an 18-week collaboration between Media Molecule, Sony Pictures and the Dreams community.

After being contacted on social media, the impy award-winning community creators ** Guillaume Chevrier ** (aka [SlurmMacKenzie] and ** Alfred Nilsson ** (alias [byvsen]) soon met with Gemma Abdeen, Mm’s Director of Operations and Strategic Initiatives, to discuss an opportunity.


Behind the scenes of Ghostbusters: Afterlife game in Dreams

“For example, what is it?” Nilsson found himself thinking. “That can literally be anything. When Gem told me what the project was and what I was going to do, I was really excited and kept bouncing. ”Chevrier nods. “Same for me. I think it was the first call I got from Gem that she told me it was a Ghostbusters project and I was really excited.”

The CRT-style menu screen for Ghostbusters Afterlife In Dreams, created by Martin Nebelong, Dan Goddard, and Emei Burell.

Chevrier would work on the gameplay design and Nilsson on the animation. A brief briefing had already been put together by Mm and Sony Pictures. The game would have to last 60 seconds as the cast of Sony Pictures’ Ghostbusters: Afterlife would come up with their own scores that fans could try to beat.

Chevrier laid down the basics of controls, including creating a version of the iconic Ghostbusters proton beam that the player could fire in the first person perspective, and set up much of the underlying logic for the destructive environments. Richard Franke, lead designer at Media Molecule, then came on board to help the team make some of the game-defining decisions (and do a bit of environmental modeling that Mm’s Dreams specialist Martin Nebelong would polish up with lights and effects).

“We asked ourselves: ‘What is the core experience of a Ghostbusters team member?'” Says Franke. “For me that was the most important thing: we have to make the player feel like a member of the Ghostbusters team. Before you do anything else, you have to make capturing the ghosts feel right. ”

The first version Chevrier had worked on involved fast and furious ghostbusting. “You could catch the ghosts really quickly,” he says. “It was more like they were jumping and you had to catch them when they came up. But you couldn’t feel the beam – so there were many iterations where we tried to move the mind so that it felt like it was in its proton stream and trying to fight it. ”

The dark, intimidating, dilapidated barn where Ghostbusters' Afterlife In Dreams is set.

The team spent time watching and referencing the original Ghostbusters movie, breaking down the ghosts’ behavior and how the heroes interacted with them. “There is the iconic scene with Slimer in the hotel ballroom,” says Franke, “and I thought to myself: Okay, this is the scene we want to imitate.”

They would have to let ghosts fly around unnoticed, then in a behavior phase in which they are aware and avoid being caught – before a “capture phase” in which they get into a fight with the proton beam. “The idea was that the mind has a pole that goes down when you pull in the opposite direction. So it became almost like a game of fishing in a way. ”Lower the energy enough and you could more easily trap her.

Initially, players had to throw traps manually – but the team quickly realized that they could create a more fluid time attack experience by running them automatically. The team based its work on the upcoming film Ghostbusters: Afterlife.

“We had a super-short clip of the new movie where we could see unfinished effects and the new ghosts,” says Chevrier. Nilsson nods: “That was probably my favorite part of it all because you usually don’t get to see this stuff while it’s still in development.”

When working on such a large franchise, the collaboration was carried out with the utmost secrecy. Nilsson had only watched a clip of the new enemies in action once during a video call before making his first attempt at ghost animation. “So I had to remember how the ghosts moved, like the Muncher with his six arms.” How did he do it? “There was a lot of improvisation in the animation trying to figure out how the mind was moving, but the clip helped – and it definitely helped to watch it a second time later! The ghosts are all really chaotic, floating, everywhere – it was really fun to try that in the animation. ”

A screenshot of a player who destroys the environment in Ghostbusters Afterlife In Dreams with his blue-yellow proton beam.

Interactions with the ghosts would be an important part of helping the player feel part of the Ghostbusters team. another made the player leave his mark on the world. “We absolutely wanted to convey the extraordinary damage that the proton package causes,” says Franke. He recalls the comedy of the aftermath of that hotel ballroom scene: “You’ve probably done more damage than it costs to actually catch the ghost! So we wanted to create a destructible environment there. ”

In Ghostbusters: Afterlife In Dreams, if you do too much damage, the bill for the damage will be deducted from your final reward. This gave rise to the idea for the in-game function of the mini pufts that appear in the new film, says Franke: “The scenes we saw of them were in a shop and they destroyed the shelves – that’s how it felt It made sense that they would somehow increase your damage rate by running with their chunky little legs into fragile parts of the environment and kicking them – animated with relish by Nilsson. “I had some footage of them running on my computer while they were animating,” he says. “It was really fun to see how bouncy they were. And the doll in Dreams immediately started moving in the same way. “

With the ghost catching and rippling mini-pufts, Ghostbusters: Afterlife in Dreams really took shape as a fast-paced, hectic, and tactical time attack challenge – and began to reflect even more aspects of the Ghostbusters story.

“We wanted it to be a bit like pinball,” says Franke, “where the main thing is to keep the ball on the table and that is to catch the ghosts. But then you have to hit the targets, that’s your stretch goal – and then you have another stretch goal that is even harder to come by. We actually stacked them up so you wouldn’t see mini pufts until you catch a ghost. The gameplay is accelerated, so to speak, within a minute – and as soon as you have shot a certain number of mini-puffs, the Terror Dog appears. ”

Saying too much about the Terror Dog’s looks could spoil the fun (although Nilsson is incredibly proud of his work: “It was probably the hardest to animate because I’d never animated a four-legged character before!”). But its inclusion in the game feels like a fitting homage to the secrets and surprises of pinball machines. “It’s very meta, but there’s something great about it when people talk about this stuff,” says Franke. “That’s why pinball was so exciting. ‘Did you see that thing that is really hard to get?’ – a bit like old school video games. It’s nice to give the players things to look forward to and come back to – every time they get a little better their score will go up and they’ll see more exciting things happen. ”

A screenshot of a marauding terror dog in Ghostbusters Afterlife In Dreams.

The end result is a collaboration that pays tribute to both the past of the Ghostbusters franchise and its present in Ghostbusters: Afterlife – as well as the power of Dreams, with the game itself developed in just 12 weeks. To the developers, the sonic similarities between the Ghostbusters franchise and Dreams themselves – slapstick, a little weird but ultimately fun for everyone – felt (over) natural working together.

“I grew up watching the Ghostbusters movies,” says Chevrier. “For me, it’s something that brings back good memories. It’s scary but funny so you can watch it as a kid and be scared, but you won’t have too many nightmares – because it’s the fun side of scary. ”Nilsson agrees, pointing out the exaggerated movements of the films and how well they go with both Dreams’ puppetry tools and his own cartoon animation style. Franke also sees the similarities between the Ghostbusters franchise and Dreams. “We both have a similar silliness – our Halloween event has that kind of creepy Ghostbusters vibe,” he says. “So it’s definitely easy for us to incorporate that into our content.” But there’s another reason he thinks this is a good addition to a collaboration. “The right answer for me as a director,” he grins, “is that we can make any brand fit! Because it’s all about reach and sympathy for the brand. Dreams enables us to develop bespoke gameplay that is suitable for any type of brand. ”

A screenshot of a player using a blue and yellow proton beam to trap a ghost in Ghostbusters Afterlife In Dreams.

Aside from the versatility and power of the tools, the real shared strength of the Ghostbusters franchise and Dreams – and this project – is undoubtedly the community and collaboration, from the Sony Pictures team to Media Molecule to the talent pool of creators using Dreams. “You know, we’re just a small studio in the big game of the game industry,” says Franke. “So the community is very valuable to us as a resource. Working with the community is nice because they are very respectful, they are not full of cynicism – they are very happy to help, they are happy to be paid for their time making these games. I think it’s probably very scary for them so it’s good to be there to encourage them and reassure them that they are doing a great job. ”

And watch the next chapter of the original Ghostbusters universe exclusively in theaters from November! In Ghostbusters: Afterlife by Sony Pictures, a single mother and two children in a small town discover their connection to the original Ghostbusters and the secret legacy their grandfather left behind. The film by director Jason Reitman and producer Ivan Reitman was written by Gil Kenan & Jason Reitman.

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