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Dreambubble Anniversary 2: Looking Back On Dreambubble's History

Discussion in 'News' started by hyperdude95, Aug 25, 2017.

  1. hyperdude95

    hyperdude95 Dreamer Staff Member

    Hooray! It's officially been two years since dreambubble.me has launched! Boy what a journey it has been. I've been thinking of what to do to celebrate this year, and one of the thought I had was to share how dreambubble came to be! If you're interested, I invite you to take a trip down memory lane!

    Tech-demo reveal (2013):

    Back in February 2013, Alex Evans came on stage during the PlayStation 4 reveal event to show off a tech-demo of what Media Molecule was working on which included digital puppetry, sculpting, and the use of the PS Move controllers.

    It was then on, I was intrigued with what they are trying to accomplish and as a dedicated, involved fan of their previous games (mainly LittleBigPlanet), I knew their work will not disappoint and I immediately started dreaming of a fan-site for that project they were making!

    Later on, after some advice from friends when I told them my ideas, it was clear I was approaching this too early as what they showed was a proof of concept at the time and not a proper game announcement. It was then I put the fan-site idea on hold until we got more information.

    Here is some of the work I designed the layout of the site to be back then, it was a main focus on move controllers and characters they showed in the tech demo!


    Dreams E3 Reveal:

    It was 2 years later I was watching Sony's E3 conference with some friends in the community on skype and then we saw Alex pop up once again on stage and we all freaked out! It was then Dreams was revealed with a trailer showing off the results of the creations you can make on a Playstation 4 and I knew that it was time to build a fan-site again!

    I knew i wanted to continue where I left off since we knew more about what Media Molecule was making, and I started researching forum software to see what it was like.

    After a while, I knew if i was going to get a forum license plus domain I would need to be 110% sure I can go through with developing a site, a site that I envisioned to be different than other fan-sites. I had self-doubt because it occurred to me other sites had help from many people and tackling the development - let alone managing the community -- was going to be a big too handle. I asked good friends of mine if they were interested in doing a fan-site with me for Dreams and unfortunately many declined saying they still do not know what Dreams is yet to take part. Understandably, I told them if they knew anyone interested to let me know.

    I went to sleep that right after tweeting my congrats to Media Molecule on their reveal thinking to myself "someone will probably make a site and I'll just be apart of it contributing here and there like with LittleBigPlanet".

    The beginning:

    In the morning, I woke up and I felt the urge to do more research about getting a fan-site set up, but the more research I did the more I had self-doubt. It was at night, I received a message from a friend in the LittleBigPlanet Community, ,Tyler Stewart, whom I worked with before and is known for his work with designing fan-sites such as Tearaway Land and LBP2Blog. He told me that my other friend Klawwtheclown (Prattz) mentioned that I was interested in doing a fan-site for dreams, and Tyler told me that he was interested as well but needed a coder. That's when I decided to go for it, and that is how dreambubble's production began!


    At first when we were brainstorming on how to make the site, we were tossing forum name ideas around each other, and Tyler came up with the name Community Dreams Space (communitydream.space) and at the moment we just went with it. :p

    The first thing I did was decided on a forum software and hosting to use. I know some of the LittleBigPlanet sites used Invision Power Board and VBulletin, as well as myPHPBoard.  I went to find one that can be customized and fit my budget, so in the beginning I went with Invision Power Board. After some advice by bagheadinc, I went with Bluehost for the hosting service for the site!
    A very small piece of our first huge brainstorm session!


    Making the Team:

    The next day, I invited another friend who helped run the LBPlanetarium site Mr Krispy Kreme if he was interested in coming on board. Skeptical at first, I managed to convince him and lend his expertise with maintaining the fan-site. A day after that, Kripsy invited Leklack to join. Leklack was awesome enough to do some art for dreambubble as well as asking her daughter Klara to do some art as well. With that art, Tyler used it to design certain parts of the site!

    Dreambubble Twitter:

    Note, it has not even been a week since the reveal and we saw folks were making their own accounts to support Media Molecule's next game which was awesome! We decided to launch our twitter communitydreamspace as well, however that name was only brief! Leklack came up with a name change sharing dreambubble since we saw bubbles were a part of dreams and it just overall sounded cool. We decided to go for it, so I changed the domain and the twitter name as well! The domain Dreambubble.com was taken so dreambubble.me it was!

    Changing forum software:

    After seeing awesome artwork that shaped the theme of the site thanks to Leklack and Klara, and experimenting. I found out the community support and extensions for Invision, the current forum software I picked, was limited and I did not feel comfortable working with it. The pricing was also limited to the amount of users that can be on the site too if i recall which kind of was a bummer.

    I started to look for other forum softwares and believe me when I said I jumped to different kinds. In the end I tried out one called Xenforo and I instantly fell in love. The forum software didnt seem like it was well known but the people and the community that support it are incredible and the admin side was easy and fun to use. The pricing was fair and I could customize the entire site with my own coding easier than with IP Boards. Let alone all my problems I encountered were answered quickly and more, it was just perfect and felt like the forum had features and potential not other forum software has.

    After talking about it with the team, they were fine with it gladly. Before you know it I was experimenting with different designs and such as well as the features we can harvest, and boy did we do a lot of revisions and testing!

    Nearing the launch:

    Days and days of experimenting and testing was fun and all, and I was keen to do complex things. But I had sense talked down to me when the team noticed I may be going a bit overboard with some things I wanted to add since it would make the site complex and will take a long time to add. In the end its just a discussion board, so I scrapped the experimental stuff and went with plain and simple with a new look.

    Morning, afternoons and nights of the summer was me slowly progressing, as I was learning along the way about responsive design (for mobile especially) and other bits such as modifying some community addons to do what i want them to do. I wasn't fast at what I did, but more the less I made progress.

    It was 2 weeks before launch day I told the team that we are ready to launch, and everything seemed to be in order. They all got back to me when they saw the progress that was done and they seemed convinced on the release date.

    The night before launch:

    The day before launch was super nerve-wracking for me. The teasers were already tweeted out about something was coming on the 25th of August and something huge broke that I did not know about. Apparently, no one was able to create their own thread/post on the forum and that never happened before. I remember I was at work and I was trying to multitask to figure it out (it was a slow day at work btw).  It was not permission settings, I tried undoing all of the recent code I wrote, and more but nothing worked. i spent 6 hours trying to figure it out until I realized two community add-ons were conflicting causing different themes to have different outputs. So one theme had the thread button, but the other theme did not. I fixed it happily and glad I had a moment of relaxation.

    I got a message later that night from someone in the team who was skeptical about launching the next day, they were worried we were not going to have anything to discuss about dreams and the site won't have enough content. We were deciding on that day whether to launch the next day, or wait until Paris Games Week happened to launch the site.

    I stuck with my former decision to launch the next day because I felt like we needed to cause a hype train and establish ourselves before Paris Games Week happened. We decided to shape the community before the big news update came and that's what we did.

    We launched the next day.


    I was on my ride to college, and I was on my phone super nervous on launching the site. I decided to contact some LittleBigPlanet folks I knew who were supporting the dreambubble twitter account for Dreams since Day 1 and I asked them if they wanted to test the site out in a quick 2 hour private beta just for the sake of it. They all replied quickly and said yes!

    I got to work at my college and I sent them a link to the site, it was then everything seemed to work fine and people were complimenting the site. I felt that this site is going to mean a lot to people, and once it's out there is no going back. i was confident to go forward with myself and my team and was ready to take on the future ahead. I fixed some bugs that was reported and then I went to go out and nervously posted this tweet...

    That day was one of the best days of my life. I have never has seen so many people love something before that I participated in. Media Molecule's reaction was also a big highlight as well, especially Jenny who I was teasing a bit before we revealed the site. :p

    In less than 3 days, we had around 50 members signed up on our site and we even got a shout out from PushSquare! It was then on we knew it was only the beginning and oh boy, after so many contests, podcast episodes, love and support and much more - 2 years later it still is the beginning for us! On behalf of the entire team, we wanted to say thank you for everything, we would not be here if it was not for you. <3

    Dream Together.

    Last edited: Aug 25, 2017

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