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Media Molecule @ PAX East

Hey there, CoMmunity!

PAX East is coming up fast and we're so excited! With just a couple of weeks remaining until the show doors open in Boston, MA, now's a great time to let you in on our plans!


Paxeast

Copyright 2019 Penny Arcade, Inc.

At the Show!

What's on the agenda for the show itself, we hear you say? Well, you'll be able to play Dreams at our booth, where you'll get to experience a selection of creations from the Dreams Creator Beta, as well as play with our create tools! Create something cool at PAX? Share an image with us on social media by snapping a picture and tagging it with #DreamsPS4!

Also, you'll see *drum roll* us! We'll be at the booth all weekend creating live on-stage. Yep, John Beech's famous 10-minute PAX creations returns for Round Two! He'll be joined by Catherine, Peter, Bogdan, Abbie and myself throughout the weekend where we'll be taking requests for things to create in Dreams.


Our New Pin Badge!

Those of you that attended PAX West had the chance to pick-up our first ever Dreams Pinny Arcade pin, featuring an adorable orange Imp! Well, we want to make that tradition so we'll be having another pin to be collected at PAX East! The star of the show this time? Our beloved D-Bug!

Pin Promo D Bug

This time though, as well as being able to purchase the pin at the PlayStation Store at PAX East, you'll have the chance to win a pin by taking part in the high-score challenge we mentioned earlier! Each day, we'll be awarding the top 5 players with a D-Bug pinny. All 4 games are taken from the Dreams Creator Beta, so some of you may already be pros!


Let's Meetup!

Finally, we'll be hosting a CoMmunity Meetup on Friday, 29th March between 6PM - 9PM EDT at Middlesex Lounge, 315 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139! How exciting!! At our shindig, you'll be able to hang out with a bunch of Molecules, talk all things Dreams as well as the chance to take part in a CoMmunity Q+A with the Molecules! Of course, there'll also be food and drink available so you won't go hungry!

It's been a while since our last meet-up so we can't wait to spend some time with all of you who are able to attend! If you're up for coming along and hanging out, you can register your interest right here. Although we'd love to accommodate everyone, space is limited on the night, so please make sure you register your interest via the link before the night!


Phew! We think that will all make for a very exciting few days in Boston! We can't wait to meet all of you at the show, so see you there!


(Just A Few) More Tips, Tricks and Beta Creations

Hey there, CoMmunity!

We couldn't help ourselves. Even though the Dreams Creator Beta came to a close today, we found SO much good stuff in the Dreamiverse over the weekend that we've put together another great collection that's ready and waiting to be shown off!

Our final Tips, Tricks and Beta Creations stream will be this Friday, 8th February at 5PM GMT.

Just A Few More

As always, our Facebook, Twitch and PlayStation Events pages are ready to remind you that our stream is happening, so don't forget to sign up there!

We've been blown away each and every week by what's been released in to the Dreamiverse, and it's been our pleasure to show everything off during our weekly streams! Once Dreams launches later this year, we'll be streaming plenty more, showing off all the wonderful creations that you, our CoMmunity, create!


Bye Bye, Beta!

The Dreams beta is coming to a close!

Thank you all SO much for your time, feedback and incredible creations. Since the 19th of December nearly 15,000 things have been published in the Dreamiverse! Seeing all the amazing things in your heads spill out into the Dreamiverse has been a wild and exciting ride. While we don't want that ride to stop, we do need to get back to making Dreams a reality and we still have some work left. Of course, we don't want to leave you in the dark, so look out for a Dreams update on February 20th!

We did intend to end the beta this afternoon (Feb 4th, 5 PM GMT) but we also want to make sure everyone has some extra time to publish their creations, so the Beta will be coming offline at 10 AM GMT, Tuesday, February 5th.

As a final warning, all creations that you'd like to carry over to the release of Dreams need to be published, either privately or publicly, before the beta goes offline. You won't be able to work offline or access indreams.me after the beta closes.

If you're already missing Dreams, you can join us for our final Dreams Beta Stream on Friday, February 8th at 5 PM GMT. And please do keep in touch on Twitter (@mediamolecule), join us for streams on Twitch (twitch.com/media_molecule) and videos on YouTube (youtube.com/MediaMolecule).

If you are curious about what we are doing with all the bugs, feedback and questions we received during beta, our Feedback Manager, Alex Perry, penned a few words about what happens with all your input:


Dreams Creator Beta - Promo Icon

First of all, thank you! One of the main purposes of this Beta has been to gather feedback from you, our lovely community, so we can see where we need to make adjustments, deploy fixes or add some polish. You haven't let us down and it's been super interesting for us to read about your experiences - even if your feedback didn't get a Molecule response rest assured we'eve been reading, sorting and prioritising everything that comes in.

Three of the main topics of feedback are outlined below and we want to let you know what's happening next in those areas:

Controls!

We know motion control can be tricky to get to grips with, especially when you're starting out. What has been really heartening for us is that many of you have shared your success stories after spending a bit of time in Dreams, even after initially struggling. Creating in Dreams is like any new skill - it takes some time to learn. That said, we've been blown away by the creations that have already been appearing in the Dreamiverse. You are a talented lot!

We have already been working on a completely motion-free control scheme for the DS4 and your feedback has reinforced the need for it. Our desire is to make Dreams as accessible as possible and so we have prototyped a completely motion-free control scheme for the DS4. We now need to move this prototype through the phases (finishing the design, and then moving into final implementation, testing, user testing, updating tutorials etc) and so it’s a little way off but rest assured it is coming. We'll update you all when we have clear release timing for this feature.

Tutorials!

We have a bunch more tutorials already in the works including Character Creation, Character Gameplay and some extra Move controller tutorials. We have plans for loads more too, and we really want to dig into logic a bit deeper. Tutorials do take quite a bit of time to make (Connie is such a diva) but we are on the case!

We are also still working on the tutorial player and will be implementing some of your suggestions- for example, the ability to skip forwards 10 seconds and a better progress indicator in the Dreams Workshop.

Dreamiverse!

The Dreamiverse team has been working incredibly hard to make the experience of community jams, browsing, publishing, commenting and sharing Dreams better for everyone. This was one of the areas that truly needed real world beta testing and all of your feedback has been super helpful in refining the ways we're iterating on and improving it. Expect to see lots of thoughtful changes to the Dreamiverse in the final version of Dreams.


So, once again: thank you all. We can't wait to bring you more Dreams in the future!

Thank You1

Remarkably More Tips, Tricks and Beta Creations

Hey there, CoMmunity!

It's been an amazing week here at Media Molecule! We kicked off the week with our Global Game Jam 2019 creations stream, which in turn was kicked off by our exciting announcement that the NDA for the Dreams Creator Beta is a thing of the past! You're now able to share, stream and discuss your time with Dreams on the internet! Yay!

But of course, it wouldn't be a normal week if we didn't have a Friday stream FULL of creations from the beta, and a few of John Beech's valuable tips and tricks!

So, as is quickly becoming tradition here at Mm Towers, we'll be live at 5PM GMT on 1st February, 2019 to do exactly that!

Video Thumbnail

Join us to check out another wonderful collection of creations from the Dreamiverse, including a couple of more Molecule-made ones!

You'll be able to set reminders on Facebook, Twitch as well as PlayStation Events so that you don't miss out on the fun come Friday! We'll see you on the stream


About the Dreams Creator Beta NDA

Hey, CoMmunity!

We've got some exciting news for those of you participating in the Dreams Creator Beta! As of now, Monday 28th January 5PM GMT, the NDA covering the beta has been lifted!

What does that mean, exactly? Well, it means that you'll now be able to stream Dreams, show off your work on social media and talk about your experiences in the Dreamiverse.

It has been an incredible 6 weeks watching the Dreamiverse grow during the beta. Thank you to all of you for helping us throughout this period. We have learned a lot watching how you all use Dreams and seeing the amazing creations you all have swimming around your imaginations. This step of removing the NDA is the next huge moment in the development process of Dreams. We are all feeling very excited about what happens next.

We have a big week ahead. Before everyone gets over-excited I need to be the boring one, and remind you of some ground rules to remember when sharing your work:

  1. The Dreams Creator Beta will come to a close on Monday, 4th February, and while you'll no longer be able to create in Dreams after this time, you'll still be able to share images and videos from your time with the game.
  2. The Dreams Creator Beta is still covered by the PlayStation Terms of Service and community guidelines. If anything is deemed a violation of these, both in-game and on social media, the creation will be removed.
  3. If creations violate copyright law, the copyright holder may request that the creation be taken down.
  4. Be lovely to each other and have fun!

We can't wait to see more of your amazing creations!

We hope you're just as excited as we are here at Mm Towers about this next step. We will be sharing more on Dreams' progress soon. Stay tuned to our social channels, and our newsletter, to keep up-to-date on all things Dreams.

Beta Asset3


Two Livestreams in One Week?!

Hey, a wild Monday appeared!

We're kicking off this week with details on the next Kareem Dreams Stream! As we mentioned during our last stream, Kareem will be live on Twitch tomorrow, Tuesday 22nd January at 5PM GMT, to let you in on some of his PlayStation Move secrets!

You'll have noticed plenty of the little movements and tricks Kareem and John use on stream when they're creating with Move controllers, and a ton of you have asked about what they do and how to do them, so this stream will be one to keep handy when you enter the Dreamiverse, Move controllers in hand!

Move Tips N Tricks

The stream will be slightly shorter than usual, as we want you to be able to use this as a quick guide for when your creating with Moves in the beta and when Dreams launches in full, but will be full of helpful advice from Kareem!

BUT THAT that's not all *DUN DUN DUNNNN* We're a busy bunch of Molecules this week, and we're doing TWO livestreams! We'll be back with our weekly Tips, Tricks and Beta Creations stream on Thursday 24th January at 5PM GMT. Tune in to see our highlights from another week of the Dreams Creator Beta, a couple more Molecule creations and John's latest advice.

Beta Creations 4

As always, you'll be able to watch the streams via your PlayStation 4 on PlayStation Events, and remind yourself through Facebook and Twitch. Simply find the Events on there and hit 'Going'! If you can't watch live, we'll be uploading these videos to our YouTube channel the day after they're broadcast!

And, finally, before we go! We announced our plans for Global Game Jam 2019 last week, and our bunch of Molecules are getting ready to jam out this weekend! You can read all about that here.

We'll see you on the stream(s)!


Dreams Creator Beta Update

The Dreams Creator Beta has been an incredible experience for us here at Media Molecule. We're incredibly grateful for all your feedback, insight and kind words. We've seen so much incredible content created within the Dreamiverse, and most importantly, learned a lot!

When we launched our sign-ups on the 4th January, the number of you who signed-up was, frankly, more than we were expecting, and while it's so exciting there are THAT many people interested in creating in Dreams, we weren't ready to support numbers that large right away.

SO. Behind the scenes, we've been working hard to get everyone who signed up (and qualified!) a chance to play.

Therefore,we are happy to say there will three new waves of beta entry. One will go out Thursday, 17th January 2019 for both the US and EU, then on Monday, 21st January 2019 we will be sending out codes to the remainder of EU sign-ups and on Wednesday, 23nd January 2019 codes will be sent to the remainder of US sign-ups.

In order to receive a code;

  • You must be at least 18 years of age.
  • You must have a PSN ID registered to either the Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe or Sony Interactive Entertainment America regions.
  • You must have entered the correct details in during your sign-up process.

Along with the entirety of codes being sent out, we're also happy to announce that the Dreams Creator Beta has been extended for TWO extra weeks. The beta, originally due to close on 21st January, will now come to a close on 4th February 2019.

Beta Asset3

We hope this gives those of you who are participating in the Dreams Creator Beta enough time to enjoy yourselves with the tools, play creations by other Dreamers and get to know the Dreamiverse! And please...do check your spam or promotions folder for codes!

If you have any questions, please refer to our Dreams Creator Beta FAQ.


EVEN MORE Tips, Tricks and Beta Creations - Livestream

Afternoon, everybody!

Following on from this morning's news about the new end date for our Dreams Creator Beta, it's about time we look towards the end of the week, and our next livestream!

As we mentioned during last week's stream, we'll be back on Twitch tomorrow, Friday, 18th January 2019, at 5PM GMT with another wonderful collection of Dreams, characters and anything else that catches our eye in the Dreamiverse! Tune in to see what's been going on in the Dreamiverse, and perhaps see one of YOUR creations on stream.

Beta Creations 3

As always, you'll be able to remind yourself of the stream with our PlayStation Event on PSN, as well as our handy Facebook and Twitch event reminders!

Before we go, we just want to remind you of Mm Monthly, our official newsletter! We'll be sending out the first 2019 edition next week, which will be full of fun goings-on from around the studio, an interview with a Molecule and much more! If you're not subscribed already, you can do so here.

Bye for now!


Missed out on our livestream? Never fear! We've embedded it below in all it's glory!

Watch EVEN MORE Tips, Tricks and Beta Creations | #DreamsPS4 from Media_Molecule on www.twitch.tv


Global Game JaMm 2019

Hey, everyone!

We're so excited to be a sponsor for Global Game Jam once again this year, and after our mega-jam that took place last year at Mm Towers, we're gearing up for another weekend of jamming in Dreams (beta!) to see what we can come up with.

If you didn't catch our 2018 stream, you can see games such as Handyland, Fly My Pigeon, Fly!, and Gene Journey come to life in Dreams right here.

Ggj2019 2

Copyright Global Game Jam, Inc.

We'd love to see as many of you, our CoMmunity, get involved across the globe! Jamming has been essential to Mm and the development of LBP, Tearaway and Dreams. If you've ever fancied the idea of creating a game from scratch, then we highly recommend finding your local GGJ site, signing up and jamming between 25th January - 27th January. Jam sites are always FULL of creativity, so even if you're not sure what part you want to play, you'll find other people with ideas, knowledge and the desire to make games!

And finally, for those of you participating in the Dreams Creator Beta, join our virtual jam in Dreams! During the GGJ weekend, tag your creation with 'Global Game Jam' and we'll pick out some of our highlights to feature on our Global Game Jam livestream on Monday 28th January at 5PM GMT, alongside what our Molecules cook up.

Good luck to everyone getting involved in Global Game Jam across the world, we hope you make some amazing games and have a great time!


More Tips, Tricks and Beta Creations - Livestream!

Hey there, CoMmunity! We mentioned during our last stream, that each week during the Dreams Creator Beta, we'll be showing off more of the amazing creations we find in the Dreamiverse, and giving out some helpful advice on creating!

So, as another week comes to a close, we'll be live on Twitch on the 11th January, 2019 at 5PM GMT to do exactly that! We've put together another wonderful collection of creations for you to marvel at and John's ready to do some more teaching!

Tips Tricks 2 Nothumbs

We're sure you'll be popping this in your diary ASAP, but just in case you can't we've set up the usual Facebook, Twitch and PlayStation Events that you can use as reminders!

See you on the stream!


Missed the incredible creations we uncovered in the Dreams Creator Beta? You can catch up on the stream below!

Watch MORE Tips, Tricks and Beta Creations | #DreamsPS4 from Media_Molecule on www.twitch.tv


Tips, Tricks & Beta Creations Stream

Happy New Year, CoMmunity!

We hope you've had a wonderful New Years celebration and are ready for 2019! It's going to be a busy one for us Molecules, and we can't wait for all it has in store.

Without further ado, let's get things started in true Mm fashion - a livestream! As many of you know, we kicked off our Dreams Creator Beta just before Christmas last year and it's been fascinating to finally see people creating in Dreams! We're truly excited to open it up to more and more of you, so please do tune in for details on how to sign up and get started!

Along with those details, we'll have John Beech on-hand to answer your questions and share his Dreams tips & tricks plus we'll take a tour of our favourite community creations. So, join us on Friday 4th January at 5PM GMT on Twitch for the first stream of the new year! We can't wait to see you all creating in Dreams this month.

Tips Tricks And Beta Creations

Before we go, we also want to remind you that our Dreams Creator Beta public sign-ups will also be kicking off on Friday 4th January, too!

We'll share the when and where details on our social channels, so be sure to keep an eye out! To make sure you don't miss out on the livestream, we've set up our Facebook and Twitch Event pages, and you'll be able to check-in via PlayStation Events, too! See you on the stream!


Missed our stream? No worries! We've embedded the full video below for you to watch!

Watch Tips, Tricks and Beta Creations | #DreamsPS4 from Media_Molecule on www.twitch.tv


Dreams Creator Beta FAQ

Hello creators!

Sign-ups for the Dreams Creator Beta are now closed.


Dreams Creator Beta - Promo Icon

Squeeeee!

Good news! The beta will now run through February 4th, so plenty of time for all our creators to flex their creation skills

This is a test of the creation tools in Dreams, so what we're most interested in learning during beta is your experience using them - are you able to make things? Did the tutorials help you? Did anything not work for you? What did you find confusing?

Please keep in mind this test is covered under NDA (no streaming, video or sharing) so you'll have access to our feedback forums and companion website to connect with us (and the rest of the community!) directly.

Now, the details...


Q: Do I need to be 18 to participate in the Beta?

A: Yes, you do. Only players 18 or older qualify to participate in beta tests run by Sony. If you are under 18 and apply, your application will be rejected. The final version of Dreams will not carry this age restriction and will come with a PEGI and ESRB rating for age guidance.

Q: What will be available in this build?

A: Our focus for beta is the create tools, so you'll find a pretty complete set of those as well as a partial set of tutorials to get you started. Our social features aren't 100% in yet, but you'll find some implemented and we'd love feedback on those areas. We'll have a few mini-games made by the team here and allow access to our companion site indreams.me.

Q: Is the beta only open to EU and US participants?

A: Yes, the beta is only available in English and has been limited to EU, AUS, Middle East, Canada, Africa and US participants at this stage. We will list the full slate of languages for Dreams closer to launch.

Q: How many people can participate?

A: We've invited every qualified user who applied to the be in the beta, so if you missed out on sign-ups, stay tuned to our channels for more info on playing Dreams when it's released!

Q: What will NOT be available in this build?

A: Our story mode won't be playable in Beta. We've also removed a lot of our content (bits & bobs, assets, unfinished things) as we want to ensure that everything on the server is finished and can carry over into the final game. We don't want to tweak anything of ours that you've used in your creations between now and launch and accidentally ruin your work. There also won't be trophies, some of the Dreamiverse (social) features or the full slate of imp customization, imp quests or final Community Jams flow.

Q: Is local co-op in the beta build?

A: Yes and no, You can play anything in play mode with a local player but co-op create (edit mode with two local players) isn't available in beta.

Q: What about VR?

A: VR is not supported in the beta. We'll have more details about VR for Dreams closer to launch.

Q: Will my creations carry over into the final game?

A: Yes, the current plan is that you'll be able to revisit what you create for beta in the final game (barring a tragic technical error between now and then!) IF YOU PUBLISH IT (We can't carry over unpublished creations -local saves- to the final build). The exception to this is creations that violate copyright, which can be removed at the request of the copyright holder.

Q: Will my progress carry over into the final game?

A: No. Your persona and imp quest progress will be reset for the final game.

Q: How long will it run?

A: Until February 4th.

Q: I am excited to play Dreams, but I'm not much of a creator, is this beta for me?

A: While the full version of Dreams has lots to offer for non-creators, beta is really just focused on creation. We don't want to discourage you from finding your inner artist, but the bulk of playable things in Dreams aren't included in this version. There's a lot of fun to be had in the creation process though, so if you're curious, we'd love to have you.

Q: NDA? Why? Isn't Dreams all about sharing?

A: That's true, but we're not quite ready to share everything yet. It's key to this stage of development that we can get direct feedback and iterate before we're ready to let everyone go nuts on the internet. We can't wait for that day, but that isn't today.

Q: Where CAN I discuss the beta?

A: We have a forum set up at feedback.indreams.me where you can connect with us to give feedback and chat to other players.

Q: Do I need PS Plus to join the beta?

A: No, PS Plus is not required for Beta BUT you may be unable to connect to Dreams if the PlayStation Network is down or experiencing issues.

Q: How much save space does the beta take?

A: The beta takes about 4 gigs of storage space, so you'll still have plenty of space for those other games you're playing!


Kareem's Dreams Stream - World Building for Beta!

Hello, CoMmunity!

It's been a couple of weeks since our LittleBigPlanet 10th anniversary stream, so we think it's about time for another Dreams livestream!

And yes, that IS the word 'beta' in the title BUT we are not announcing beta on the stream. Read on...

Our next stream, taking place on Wednesday 28th November at 5PM GMT will be one of our ever fabulous Kareem Dreams Livestreams! But, this time round there's a twist - Kareem will be building a world for YOU to play around in when the Dreams beta launches later this year. It'll be available in the Dreamiverse for you to build on or remix as you see fit.

Youtube Kareems

What kind of world is Kareem building? It's down to you to decide! We're giving you a choice of 4 themes to choose from, you just have to vote on our Twitter poll. Here are the themes:

  • Dystopian
  • Alien World
  • High Fantasy
  • Surrealism

We'll run our poll until Monday 26th November, so there's plenty of time to decide on which world you want to play around with in the Dreams beta.

Before we go, we want to remind you of Mm Monthly - our official newsletter! We send one out each month and it plays host to a ton of behind the scenes stuffs, monthly round ups and Dreams news! So, if you haven't yet, subscribe here! See you on the stream!


Did you miss out on Kareem's world building? Don't worry, you can see his High Fantasy world take shape with the video below!

Watch World Building with Kareem | #DreamsPS4 from Media_Molecule on www.twitch.tv


LittleBigPlanet Turns 10! Let's Party!

We've asked around Media Molecule HQ recently and can confirm that, yep, no one can believe it's been TEN YEARS since LittleBigPlanet launched!

This very first Media Molecule game built the foundations of our studio, kickstarted our journey in creative gaming and introduced us to so many of you lovely community members. We've heard from so many of you over the past few days about what LBP has meant to you and we're so honored that you've shared that with us. Thank you for all the kind words and for being part of the LBP adventure over the past 10 years!

So, a birthday demands a party, right? That's just what we have planned. We'll be live on Twitch Friday 2nd November at 5PM GMT for our LittleBigPlanet 10th Anniversary Stream! We'll (obviously) be having cake, talking to some of the Molecules who were here at the start of LBP and seeing what Designer Christophe Villedieu has created in Dreams as an homage to Sackboy's very first adventure...

Lbp Anniversary

As we continue to work on Dreams, our friends at Sumo Digital have been keeping the LBP adventures going and supporting the community. They've got birthday plans throughout the month of November to celebrate the big 1-0, so keep an eye on their Twitterand Facebook pages to see what they get up to!

Of course, you don't celebrate ten years without having a look back at what happened at the start of it all, so we've collected a few gems to share - like the very first introduction of LittleBigPlanet to the world at GDC 2007. Check out Mark and Alex show LBP for the first time and get all misty eyed, just like we are now:

LittleBigPlanet Announced at GDC 2007

And, we can go either further back and revisit the very FIRST iteration of LittleBigPlanet with the Mr Yellow Head demo below:

Making LittleBigPlanet: Mr Yellow Head Demo, 2005

We'd love for you to celebrate your LBP memories with us, too! If you've got a memory or story to share, or perhaps an image of your very first creation, send them to us on Twitter or in the comments below! We'll read out some of our favourites during the livestream.

We hope you enjoy the trip down memory lane and plan to join us on the 2nd of November.


We celebrated Sackboy's big day with cake, champagne and Christophe's brilliant recreation of The Gardens! You can catch up with the video below.

Watch Happy Birthday, LittleBigPlanet!| #DreamsPS4 from Media_Molecule on www.twitch.tv


Mm's Spooktacular Halloween Livestream

It's the spookiest time of the year and we're so excited!

As we mentioned during our last stream, our next one is of the spooky kind - our Halloween festivities will be taking the form of a Dreams stream on Friday 26th October at 5PM BST.

During our spoOOooOky stream, we'll be carving pumpkins, creating terrifying scenes and other such horrific activities all in Dreams. We'll have a ton of Molecules taking part, and perhaps be asking you all, the CoMmunity, to judge whose jack-o-lantern is the best!

Stream Halloween

Oh, and we've asked Molecules to be in Halloween fancy dress...

We're dressing up Mm HQ, too, so expect to see our beloved M's all covered in bones, ghosts and cobwebs. Don't forget to set your reminders on Facebook, Twitch and PlayStation Events! We'll see you on the stream!


Missed out on the ghoultastic fun? You can watch the stream in full below!

Watch Media Molecule's Halloween Spooktacular | #DreamsPS4 from Media_Molecule on www.twitch.tv


A Plastic Free Household Pt. 2!

Last month, Kath shared the first part of her blog detailing how to create a plastic free household with some really easy and accessible steps. You can read that here, and read on for the second part!


Kitchen2

The Mm Kitchen is looked after and cared for by Kath and Eoin!

Kitchen

Kitchen towel – Previously a big offender for us, mainly out of habit! Now, you can buy fancy colourful terry towelling cloths with poppers that click together and roll onto a stand, but that for us fitted into ‘ZW spending spree’. We opted for cutting up clothing that was past wearing (PJ’s, t-shirts etc) into handy size squares with pinking shears (scissors which make zigzag edges) and stacking them in the front of a kitchen draw. Dirty ones go in a net bag under the sink and get washed when the bag is full. If you are aiming for top marks make sure there are no plastic based fabrics in the stack – I doubt we managed this but one step at a time.

Clingfilm / plastic bags – We just stopped buying them. We save paper bags from our veg deliveries and reuse them for sandwiches. Anything we traditionally covered with clingfilm now gets a plate or upturned bowl popped over it e.g. in the microwave, in the fridge. I have every intention of making some wax wraps, with all the bits already sat on the side at home, I just need to find that spare half an hour... There are lots of clips online showing you how to do this.

Dish cloths / sponges – Washable cotton, natural bristle brush with a replaceable head, crotchet scrubber made from coir / jute / hemp.

Breadmaker / bag – We were very kindly given a breadmaker by a molecule that was moving overseas, so when the house is full we do pop that on overnight. It seems to work best for a fluffy white loaf which will start to go stale after 24 hours. No problem when the kids are here, it lasts about an hour! Lots of people make a loaf and freeze half. We do like a stonebaked, seeded, fancy loaf though and so we try to buy these loose and store them in a cotton drawstring bag. Plasticfreeshop.co.uk sells both cotton and linen versions.

Food Shopping

It’s a minefield! Things we have done that have helped:

  • Carry the bag! We have brilliant bags from a company called Onya which have lasted for years. They were originally made from parachute silk so super strong but looks like they have moved to recycled plastic bottles. They pack up into a really tiny pouch with a clip and come in an array of bright colours. Stocked in the UK by earthwisegirlsuk.co.uk. Disclaimer – I know they originate from Oz but they have lasted so much longer than any other brand we have tried.
  • Veg box. A couple of well-known options in the UK, Riverford and Able&Cole, but we opted for a lovely local greengrocer who is extremely flexible. UK supermarkets Morrisons, Lidl and Asda have all started doing ‘wonky’ or ‘past best’ veg boxes.
  • Butcher. Again we chose to go local, taking our own containers when we remember. Happily they no longer use plastic carrier or produce bags, instead heat sealed paper. It is more expensive but we combat this by not eating meat every night and by stretching the meat across meals – for example a roast chicken might go on to become egg fried rice the next night and then the carcass turns into soup with some added veggies. We know cooking from scratch every night is not always possible but we try to do it when we can and when we have the energy.
  • Fishmonger. A rarer beast in our area but worth searching out a good one if you can. Our nearest one is happy to take an order by text the day before to save us getting out of bed at the crack of dawn to beat the queues. They are totally on board with reducing plastic – take your own box and cool-bag.

We are working on crisps, biscuits, snacks, butter, yogurt, cheese, meats… you get the picture. Sometimes we just don’t buy them, sometimes we give in. The purists would tell you to bake, make your own nut milk, make yogurt, build a meat smoker... lovely ideas but we have to be realistic, some of this will have to wait until retirement! Our current goal is at least to have a homemade cake in the tin at home.

Our next step will be to find a source of bulk dry goods in paper.

Bins

If plastic is used at Mm HQ, there's plenty of recycling points throughout the studio!

Bathroom

Liquid hand soap – switch to bar soap on an old school soap rack. We are currently working through a big box of Dr. Bronner Castile (lavender or tea-tree oil both smell lovely) which I bought on discount. Note it does contain palm oil though so I will be double checking the sustainability of this or looking at alternatives next time around. If you don’t want to buy a soap rack then push a metal bottle top into one side of the soap and sit the soap on the top – voila, elevated soap that doesn’t go soggy. Different colour metal tops will help you remember which bar is body / hair / conditioner as they can look very similar early in the morning!

Shower gel – much as I loved my Original Source peppermint shower gel this is an easy switch to bar soap again. So many options out there depending on your skin type but we are happily using the same type of bar as we do for handwashing. In the shower ours hangs in a Hydrophil sisal soap pouch which lets the bar dry after use, helps create a lather, exfoliates while you use it and lets you easily use all the tiny scraps of soap from the end of the bar. Check out the brand, they are good eggs! I bought ours from UK company theplasticfreeshop.co.uk. Other soap companies to check out:

  • Funkysoapshop.com
  • Primalsuds.com
  • Friendlysoap.co.uk
  • Wild-sage.co.uk

Toothbrush – still not 100% plastic free because of the bristles but lots of bamboo options to choose from out there. Do your research, some last longer than others. Also the jury is still out on the overall sustainability of bamboo. Personally I am still using my electric one because it gets my teeth clean and it’s still going.

Toothpaste – a controversial area – you need to decide if you want fluoride or not. Some plastic free, low chemical options are:

  • Denttabs – With or without fluoride
  • Truthpaste – This is where I am heading next
  • Georganics – It’s black and contains activated charcoal which some claim should not be used for more than short bursts of time. I am determined to get to the end of the lovely, expensive, glass jar but to be honest it’s pushing it’s luck.
  • Lush – toothy tabs
  • Euthymol – Old school, bright pink, in an aluminium tube which can be split, cleaned and recycled. Be warned it’s feisty and will definitely wake you up. Disclaimer does contain sodium laurel sulphate (SLS) which some people try to avoid. Included here more for the metal tube which is hard to find nowadays.

Mouthwash

  • Lush – Mouthwash tabs – chew with some water and off they fizz. Odd sensation until you get used to it. This really is just a mouth freshener, can’t say it has any antibacterial claims. Comes in a small plastic bottle which you can take back to Lush for reuse.
  • Weleda – Small glass bottle of concentrate that you dilute. Think old school botanicals.

Cotton buds – paper stems (Simply Gentle brand comes in a cardboard box, Sainsbury's sell a paper stem but it comes in a plastic outer still) or Hydrophil do a bamboo one.

Deodorant (this is not antiperspirant!) - Antiperspirant works by using aluminium compounds to effectively block the pores, which could be considered as not very good for you. The most effective deodorants that we found are based on sodium bicarbonate which you may find you are sensitive to, especially ones with a high % content.

  • The Natural Deodorant Company - Might seem expensive but lasts for long enough to justify it in our opinion. The active version has a very high content of bicarb and we found we couldn’t use it for an extended period of time. The gentle one might be better if you find you react to bicarb. Comes in a glass jar, but does have a plastic lid.
  • Earth Conscious Deodorant - Comes in a handy metal tin. Very gentle.
  • Organic Essence - Comes in a cardboard tube. Very gentle.
  • Salt of the Earth – Salt rock deo. We were massively sceptical of these and so they were the last thing we tried after not getting on with high strength bicarb……but it seems to work. The ‘rock’ is a natural mineral – potassium alum which is thought to keep the bacteria at bay and therefore the smells away. I believe the particles are too large to be absorbed and sit on rather than in the skin. Research paper reading on the agenda.

Hair cleaning

A tricky one! Those with short hair might find this switch easier than those of us with longer, finer hair. The one thing that is clear is that you will not pick up a shampoo bar, wash your hair on day 1 and come out of the shower with flowing locks! There is most definitely a transition period of getting away from SLS oil stripping shampoos to something natural, and it seems you might hate your hair and have to wear a hat in between. Things we have tried:

  • Baking soda – Will undoubtedly give you squeaky clean hair, will also give you brittle hair. I don’t recommend it as a regular option.
  • Shampoo bars – Lather up in your hands or a natural sisal soap bag, wash with the lather – do not put the bar directly on your head or you will end up with waxy hair. Wash thoroughly. Rinse with an apple cider vinegar (ACV) solution – dilute 15% in water, pour over head, let sit for 2 mins, rinse.
  • Rhassoul clay – Really love the cleaning results but does make your hair massively static! The ACV rinse helps, as does not using a plastic comb. I have read and am about to try hydrating the clay with aloe vera juice instead of water. This is supposed to bring the pH down and help to prevent the static.

Next up – rye flour wash!

Shaving – another easy switch from gel or foam for us. Funky Soap do a brilliant bar which contains bentonite clay for glide. The bar lasted for 6 months compared with a tube of shaving gel every month. We also like Airmid shaving soap in a tin from Ireland.

DIY moisturiser – a blend of shea butter, cocoa butter and apricot oil is reported to do the trick. We will let you know how we get on!

Mm Kitchen1

I sit back and re-read what I have written and I’m sure you will all think we are mad, that’s it’s all too much effort, too much hard work, won’t make any difference, but to quote Sir David Attenborough;

‘It is one world. And it’s in our care. For the first time in the history of humanity, for the first time in 500 million years, one species has the future in the palm of its hands. I just hope he realizes that this is the case’

Do the things you are able to. Change the things we can.


If you have any questions, or want further advice on a topic as important as this, feel free to leave a comment below, or contact us on social media.


Made By The Molecules 2 Livestream!

You are cordially invited to our next livestream, CoMmunity!

Yep, after a couple of weeks of our EGX streams, we're ready to get comfy once again on the Mm sofa with a brand new stream! Our first stream of the month will be taking place Thursday 11th October at 5PM BST!

We'll once again be sitting down with a group of Molecules on the Mm sofa to get an inside look at their personal creations from within Dreams! If you missed our last stream, we went through Dreams creations such as Given Time, Ferovium as well as a bunch of characters created by Emei!

Made By The Molcules2

This time, we'll be looking at games such as Dr Rendezvous from Tom Dallaway, as well as creations from Ed Hargrave, Kevin Watt and other Molecules! They'll be playing through their games and then giving you an inside look at some of the goings-on behind the scenes to show you what's possible in Dreams!

Talking of what's possible in Dreams, did you hear that our Game Informer cover for their November issue was created ENTIRELY in Dreams? We'll be kicking things off next Thursday with Jon Eckersley with a look at how the most beautiful cover you ever did see came together!

So, remember to set those Twitch, Facebook and PlayStation Event reminders so that you don't miss out on our next stream! We'll see you next week!


Missed our dive in to some brand new Dreams creations? We've popped the stream below for you to catch up on whenever you're ready!

Watch Made By The Molecules 2 | #DreamsPS4 from Media_Molecule on www.twitch.tv


A Plastic-Free Household Pt. 1!

Last month we took a look at what we are doing to reduce our waste in the kitchen here at Mm, particularly single use plastic and food waste. Our guys in the kitchen, Kath and Eoin, decided to go one step further and see how far they could get at home with the Plastic Free July initiative. Here’s how they got on……


While we are nowhere near being plastic free, we have made a lot of progress and have done a lot of research into the options along the way. If you are inspired to look at your waste and try to make some changes, no matter how small, we thought we’d share our journey so far as a possible starting point. This blog is simply what we found; it’s in no way exhaustive or scientific, there will be other options that might suit you better.

Why are we doing this?
  • We want our kids to have a (clean) world to live in.
Some vague principles we used……
  • Ideally get rid of the packaging completely. Do not just switch from plastic to something else – it all takes energy and resources whether PET (polyethylene terephthalate) or paper.
  • Let’s get rid of the nasty chemicals while we are at it – In our food, our cleaning products, our toiletries.
  • Bear in mind the product’s total carbon footprint - Where it originates from, how it was processed, transport costs – not always an obvious equation when comparing X to Y.
  • Try not to be ‘green-washed’ – Are we actually making a better choice, not just being sold an ‘ideal’?
  • Do not go on a zero waste (ZW) spending spree – Only buy when really needed, do not throw away serviceable items just because they don’t fit with the ideals.
  • ‘Am I only buying this as a habit?’ – This one will surprise you when you ask yourself it every time you reach to pop something in the basket.
  • Change the things you can – It’s a bit overwhelming if you try to do it all in one go, just pick one thing and go from there. We are still working it out.
Mm Kitchen

A few Molecules in their natural habitat, the Mm Kitchen!

Cleaning products

If you want traditional products look at a UK company called Splosh, they send you small pouches of concentrate in a dissolvable wrapper through the post. You do get a plastic bottle in the first batch but after that you just dissolve a pouch in warm water in the bottle to make a refill. A couple of products (washing up liquid / laundry detergent) come in a returnable pouch which you send 4 of back in the same thin box they come in, postage already paid. For us it was a good first step and we still use the washing up liquid.

If you want to go further – buy in bulk citric acid, bicarbonate of soda, white vinegar
  • Smaller boxes to trial from biggreensmile.com under the Dri-Pak label. I believe that Wilko is also a good bet if you want to go on foot. When you are ready to go bulk the best prices I have found are:
  • Citric acid – thesoapery.co.uk for a 25kg paper bag – Yes you do need to store it but soon my under sink cupboard will only have 3 products in it compared with the c. 30+ that were there a few months ago.
  • White vinegar – summernaturals.co.uk for 5ltr – Ok, it’s still in plastic but one big bottle, haven’t found a way to ditch the plastic here, let me know if you do!
But guys, what do I use these for?
  • Toilet cleaner – A scoop of citric acid down the loo when you leave the house, quick scrub with the brush when you get back – shiny as new without a single drop of bleach from a plastic bottle.
  • Toilet bombs – If you want a more traditional block to drop in the loo try 1 cup bicarb, ¼ cup citric, 1 tbsp washing up liquid – allow to set in ice cube tray. Apparently works a treat and can be stored in a jar in the bathroom.
  • Surface cleaner – Vinegar - We saved an empty spray bottle and are currently using ours neat, although you can dilute it, add a few drops of essential oils if you prefer a smell, or infuse it with citrus peel. The vinegar smell doesn’t bother us and disappears quickly so we took the lazy route of using it neat in both the bathroom and kitchen.
Washing powder

Plenty of options are discussed online

  • Soap nuts – controversial from a sourcing point of view
  • Eco-egg – can’t really find any reviews that say it works well
  • Soda crystals + essential oils – can leave greasy marks on your clothes

We have currently opted for non-bio powder in big cardboard boxes and a significant reduction in the quantity of powder used in each load. Ours is a busy house and the current box is still going strong into month 3.

If you fancy it, a DIY recipe that’s on my list to try, use 2 tablespoons per load:

1 bar grated natural soap

250g soda crystals

250g borax substitute

  • Fabric conditioner – ditched, we just don’t use it anymore and I can honestly say nobody has noticed, and our home town is a very hard water area.
  • Stain remover – highly rated ‘mineral bleach’ – just ordered some so watch this space. Available in the UK from website babipur.co.uk.

Head back this way next month to check out Part 2 of Kath's super-useful tips on creating a plastic-free home for you and yours!


Made By The Molecules Livestream

Happy Friday, CoMmunity! 

We know what you're thinking: ''But, it was only JUST PAX? How is there another stream happening already, Media Molecule?!'' Well, not only are we already announcing our next stream, but it's coming sooner than usual - we'll be live on Twitch next Wednesday, 12th September at 5PM BST. 

The Made By The Molecules stream will feature 5 Molecules who have created some awesome stuff in Dreams! Emei, Tom (Dallaway, one of our many Toms), Liam, Christophe and Steve will be going through their work and explaining what makes them tick, including some CoMmunity favourites such as Hammer Time, Moon Raiders and Given Time!

Made By Molecules

Everyone's super excited to share their creations with the CoMmunity, so this'll be a stream you don't want to miss out on! To make sure that doesn't happen, set the usual reminders on Facebook Events, Twitch Events and by registering on PlayStation Events. You'll be reminded just before we go live, which is always super useful!

Of course, if you want to keep yourself up to date on Dreams streams over the weekend, our PAX Game Jam is now available to watch on our YouTube! We'll see you on the stream, next Wednesday!


Missed the stream? No need to worry, you can watch it in FULL below! 

Watch Made By The Molecules | #DreamsPS4 from Media_Molecule on www.twitch.tv


Plastic, plastic, everywhere… But not on our watch Sir Attenborough!

Here in the Mm kitchen we are on a mission to eliminate any single use plastics from setting foot into our world. It’s a pretty big list to tackle but one step at a time, right? When we set our mind to something we are pretty determined folk, so here we go! 

Recycle, Refuse, Reduce, Re-use, Repair, Re-gift, Recover

The "Seven R's" - Copyright Shtiggy / GAIA Foundation

How are we reducing our environmental impact?

We have moved away from just thinking about how and what we recycle, focusing instead on ‘Refuse’ and ‘Rethink’. Once we made the shift in mindset it was surprising how naturally our buying habits quickly adjusted. Here are some examples of our easy wins to give you some inspiration….

  • Cold drinks in plastic bottles - Switch to either metal or glass. Or make your own e.g. ginger beer, kombucha, kefir, fruit waters.
  • Bottled mineral water - Supply water filter fountains with refillable bottles / cups. At home you can do this with a filter jug or a charcoal filter system. Check out new brand ‘Can O Water’ for a reseal-able can of sparkling water. 
  • Plastic freezer bags - Invest in a set of freezer-proof storage containers. Even if you choose plastic you will get many years use out of them rather than a single use of hard-to-recycle thin film.
  • Plastic food bags from fruit and vegetable supplier - We work hard to have good relationships with our suppliers and after a quick chat they easily made the switch to paper bags for 90% of items. For similar problems in the supermarket - bring your own cloth bags or go without as we do.
  • Take away containers - We encourage Molecules to take any lunch leftovers home for their tea rather than waste the food. Happily, we have found a plant based compostable PLA soup pot from the lovely folks at vegware.com. We use them in the freezer to pot up homemade ‘ready-meals’ for anyone burning the midnight oil. Now that the sun is trying to come out we are also busy turning them into smoothie packs for the blender, with frozen cubes of yogurt, fruit puree, oats, seeds and a dash of omega oil.
  • Drinking straws - If you really want them – paper, bamboo, stainless steel, even hollow stems of wheat work. Check out ecostrawz.co.uk  
  • Clingfilm:
    • Use a plate to cover a bowl.
    • Compostable, sustainable greeseproof sheets from Vegware.

    • Homemade wax wraps - Google how, it's easy! 

  • Foil - Ovenproof containers with lids work just as well for most jobs. My Gran will be looking on and laughing at me for ever thinking otherwise!
  • Plastic trays, vac-packs, plastic bags from the butcher - We have just purchased three large robust airtight containers that can rotate on deliveries to and from our lovely local butcher. A big win as this one was generating lots of packaging, most of which was only being used for the ten minute drive between sites. There are only so many seed trays a girl can use!
    I’ve noticed that they have recently changed to heat sealed wax paper wraps and paper bags in their shop as well! 
  • Dry ingredients – flours, rice, beans, nuts, fruits - We now always buy in bulk, preferably in paper bags, and have switched to soaking and cooking our own dried beans. This saves lots of cans from going to recycling plus the extra fuel from transporting the heavier wet weight around the place. Even when you add back in the energy to cook them it’s still a win – just need to remember to start a day in advance with the soak!

 

Mm Kitchen

The Media Molecule kitchen. It's busy, sometimes hot and always smells great. However it's NEVER this wonky.

What's next for the Mm Kitchen?

  • Milk cartons – 4 pint plastic - Next on the big hitters list but currently in research as we get through a LOT of milk in a LOT of cuppas. Glass or purgal bulk packaging. 
  • Bottled sparkling water - Currently doing the maths on bottled vs Soda Stream
  • Snacks packaging – crisps, chocolate etc - A controversial area...

 

Managing food waste

A short word about food waste and how we manage it in a busy studio:

  • Portion control. The Molecules think we are chewing the cud over morning coffee, really we are quietly finding out about their lunch plans!
  • Freezer pot ‘ready meals’
  • Take away pots for supper
  • Donations to the local homeless shelter
  • And finally, anything that does find its way into the bin is converted by a specialist waste company into energy

We’re proud to play our part in helping out the environment and hope we can inspire others to do the same. You can read more about our efforts to reduce our impact on the environment on our Energy & Environment page.


 

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