An ambitious action RPG being made in Dreams has just got its second playable character and its first miniboss and it's all being created by a Dreamer whose day job is working as a delivery driver.
Final Hour lets you control a young angel in a world full of places to explore and monsters to fight in real-time combat, and now also boasts a necromancer who channels the spirit of her departed mother for big attacks, with more characters to come.
The necromancer arrived as part of Final Hour's biggest update yet, and the project as a whole already looks like the kind of thing that would have been impossible to imagine as the first project from a part-time, amateur developer in years past. But its creator, a solo developer who goes by DownerIsland, wants it to become more still.
"Final Hour isn't just an RPG I'm making in Dreams," DownerIsland tells us. "It's a PSA to anyone that's dealt with depression or felt like he weren't good enough to realize that 'hey, things will be OK,' in video game form. I can't tell you how many times I wished someone sat me down and told me exactly that. I know there are other people out there that feel the same way and I know a lot of them are gamers, because a lot of the gamers I know often play video games to escape their problems. But what if there was a game that helped you get through them?"
DownerIsland prefers to keep his real-life identity separate from his game-making efforts, though he did divulge to us over Twitter DM that he's a 31-year-old delivery driver. Yes, some of those Black Friday gaming deals you pick up this year may be delivered by someone who can't wait to clock out and get back to working on a game of his own.
The earliest parts of Final Hour can be traced back to an Inuyasha fan game which DownerIsland started more than a year ago, but the concept has exploded since then: a story of kids living at an orphanage who learn they aren't as alone as they think they are, an ever-evolving combat system, gameplay-altering items, and beyond. DownerIsland attributes much of his progress as a developer to the work Media Molecule put into making Dreams easy to use, as well as its in-depth tutorials.
"There have literally been days where I have worked on Final Hour for 12 hours straight either making different animations look better, creating a weapon equip system, or creating a shop that allows you to sell resources and buy items," DownerIsland said. "Not once throughout those 12 hours did I ever think of how hard something was."
One thing Dreams doesn't do right now is help users make money for their efforts. Media Molecule has said that it wants to let creators sell their creations, but those kinds of options still haven't rolled out for most Dreams projects. Barring the possibility of selling Final Hour itself, DownerIsland recently started selling branded merchandise, including a slick jogger and sweater.
Merch hustles aside, the topic of monetization has been a thorny one for the Dreams community - the most downvoted post DownerIsland ever made to the game's dedicated subreddit was titled "Dreams needs monetization". Regardless, DownerIsland maintains that it's one of the best steps Dreams could take as a platform - and not just because it could spell the difference between him moving on to full-time development or taking more shifts on the delivery truck.
"It assures that 'quality content' that requires hundreds if not thousands of hours [to create] has a home on Dreams. Just think of how much more you'll put into a creation when you realize it's no longer just your hobby."
Meanwhile, Dreams creators were tapped to make an official Ghostbusters: Afterlife arcade shooter.