As 2014 draws to a close and everyone is getting ready to celebrate the New Year, nDreams have taken some time to look back and remember all the brilliant projects we created for PlayStation Home. We have been privileged to have been alongside such a passionate community for the past five years, and as a way to say thank you, we thought it was the perfect time to share some of our best memories.
We thought about creating a list and talking about every single item we had ever created for PS Home. However, we would be here all day! Instead, we asked the team here at nDreams to take the floor and share their own favourite items and times with you, just a small insight into our fondest memories.
Everything created for PS Home came from great new ideas and some incredible hard work from the team and of course, your opinion really mattered.
“I always liked checking forums on a Wednesday after an update had gone through. It was great to see reactions to our new items, spaces and games”
We were the first developers to release full-body outfit, companions, locomotion’s, animation packs with motion captures, and 2 Player animations for our community. Without you, we would have not pushed ourselves to have some great PS Home spaces and bundles.
“PlayStation Home is the single most amazing gaming platform that I have ever been fortunate enough to be involved with in my career… the passion and the opportunity to create truly unique projects made it a very special place, and, in many ways it was far ahead of its time” – nDreams CEO, Patrick O’Luanaigh.
The nDreams floating archipelago Aurora has been constantly evolving since the beginning. Aurora has had over 18 million visits from over 1.8 million unique players, and many of those had made Aurora a part of their daily routine.
In the original concept plans for Aurora, the space was named “Sky Hub”. The Sky Hub was created to protect the citizens against those who threatened the tree. The tree was seen by the revolutionaries as a redundant link to the old world and vowed to burn it to the ground… and so the Sky Hub was created to float amongst the clouds for protection. After years of floating on the winds and worsening unrest far below, the citizens still search for a safe haven upon which to land.
With a few tweaks and changes here and there, Aurora was born. Aurora has always been advancing and growing since the start. Follow the Aurora journey and find all the stages of Aurora on our PlayStation Home YouTube playlist which takes you from Aurora’s birth to Aurora 1.8. Click here!
“I really enjoyed putting the design for Aurora together and getting the early version out and watching people enjoy the space”
“Aurora ultimately sums up nDreams time on PlayStation Home”
BoxBeats was a great project which showed the team’s ability to conquer a challenge – before BoxBeats was developed, there were legal and copyright issues that prevented the playing of most music within Home. If you were a band that was registered and had music copyright licensing companies did not have a chance to play within Home. Hence BoxBeats was born. Click here for the BoxBeats videos.
“Our solution was to spend a long time finding talented indie musicians who wrote in different genres but weren’t registered. We asked them to create unique tracks for the BoxBeats range, giving them on – screen credits and a one – off payment”
“BoxBeats proved really popular and many of the tracks were genuinely great pieces of music”
“The main challenge of BoxBeats was to let successful band have their music played within Home”
Xi was the world’s first console-based alternative reality game and drew in over 600,000 players and over 3 million visits to the core Home space. The game launched in March 2009 and ran for three months with daily updates consisting of new games, areas, websites, real-life events, and videos. This was the first title for nDreams. Check out the trailers for Xi here.
“The Xi billboard challenge… the excitement generated was incredible. Players talked across the different language forums, sharing photos and information”
“Xi was our first ever title, and is probably my proudest moment so far”
“Those three months when Xi was running live were magical, as we unlocked new areas, revealed the story and unleashed videos, blogs, websites and puzzles”
BluePrint gave you the tools to create and build your very own apartment. The BluePrint bundles had a variety of different styles that you could use to craft your own perfect pad. A great place to let your imagination run wild. There were various rooms, doors, windows, wallpapers, flooring, ceilings, features objects, skies and environments. This was a massive project for the team but the response was really positive. Click here to watch the trailer.
“We had a fantastic response, and it proved how much demand there was for user- generated content. It was hugely challenging task, and something that the team executed perfectly”
Early in our PS Home journey nDreams decided to invest some money in getting motion-captured animation recorded with actual dancers, rather than hand animating. We were looking for a way to capture high-quality animations and were unaware if it would be worthwhile or not. However, after several motion capture days, we discovered that the decision was the right one. We released many beautiful animation packs, over the last 18 months, and hope you enjoyed them.
“I got to visit the motion capture studio where we got all the animations for various dances and locomotion’s. It was awesome days out… we got a bunch of new material that I would be turning into content over the next couple of months”
“We always aimed to be the forefront of Home development so every time new features came along, getting in first or as early as possible was amazing… great example of this would be the full body costumes like the reaper along with Benji and Nipper the Zombie cat/ bunny companions”
“Overall my personal highlight has to be making Bootleggers 29 as it was both challenging and really good fun to do”
We created various spaces with loads of different styles. Here are some to jog your memory; Boutique apartment, Paradise Health Club, The Secret Garden Party, The Stately Home, and the Gothic Stately Home, The Complex and Complex 2, Joe’s Boxing Gym apartment, and Cassie’s Dance Studio. Some of the most successful apartments were Musicality and Pirate Galleon. The last apartment that we released was the picturesque Windmill Apartment!
“I suggested a “Game of Thrones” inspired collection. A realistic castle apartment, regal clothes and vintage furniture, in four separate colour schemes… I really enjoyed working on it”
“Best bit by far was seeing the completed Castle Greywold when it came back… it was exactly as I imagined it, if not better. I had never seen one of my ideas go into someone else hands, and come back better than I had planned”
“The Musicality apartment… was our biggest selling apartment, and one of the most complicated, particularly given how early in the Home lifecycle it was released… it was very ambitious design which the team here pulled off fantastically”
“We designed and built some amazing promotional spaces with games for SCEE such as the Dead Nation and Resistance”
“The first active item we made was a flyer saucer (Active8: Apartment UFO) it was a little bit wacky: a UFO would fly out of a poster, fly around your apartment and then randomly picked up a cow every once in a while… later on I found out that Sony did a presentation and used our UFO as a good example of doing something creative… that felt good”
“We did some contract work for Game and did a moonbase for them…the second game we put in there was a worm like game which was multiplayer…we were quite proud and had fun testing it. When it went live I logged onto Home in the office to see if many people were playing it and I jumped into a game with a random stranger… I lost… quite embarrassing really”
Not all items and spaces which are thought up make the cut, however, the team were keen to share some of the ideas first hand to you; that ideas that got away!
Aurora Social Tables – these were going to be tables places throughout the scene where multiple people could sit together and give each other gifts (virtual items and temporary boost for OrbRunner)
Cloudhunter – a mini-game where users could soar through the skies in Aurora, hunting creatures for big XP rewards.
Sky Diving – a mini-game in Auroa where the users would fall through the sky collecting orbs to boost their total XP. Essentially a sky diving version of OrbRunner.
Battle Companions – a mini-game that can be played anywhere in Home that consisted of two players battling each other with helicopters and tanks.
“Our community has led us to create items and spaces”
nDreams Halloween event – did you attend the event? Did you manage to receive some free codes and have a chat with Patrick?
“For me nDreams and PlayStation Home will always go hand in hand”
We hope you have enjoyed taking a trip down memory lane of all the items that we have released over the past five years. We hope that you have lots of brilliant memories to always keep with you of PlayStation Home, just like we do. Although PS Home is ending, nDreams still has a few things planned for Aurora before March 2015, so keep visiting Aurora and our Facebook pages for updates.
The whole nDreams team wished you a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!