Little Nemo and the Nightmare Fiends

Created by Team Nemo

An indie game based on Winsor McCay's groundbreaking comic strip.

Latest Updates from Our Project:

Late May gameplay footage
12 days ago – Fri, May 26, 2023 at 12:43:51 PM

Hello dear backers! 

We wanted to once again post a quick gameplay footage update. This is footage from our upcoming public Steam Next Fest demo that will premiere next month. We're still polishing things up, but we wanted everyone to see how some of the gameplay is going, including a taste of Peony's wall-hang platforming in the forest. 

We're hard at work on some new environment types as well, so be on the lookout for that in the coming weeks!

Enjoy! Thanks to everyone who's checked out the test version of the demo so far and given us feedback (see previous updates for info if you missed it.) Look forward to more in the coming weeks! 


Public Demo
30 days ago – Mon, May 08, 2023 at 04:45:13 PM

This post is for backers only. Please visit and log in to read.

New footage: Mushroom Forest development
about 1 month ago – Sat, Apr 29, 2023 at 03:41:45 PM

Hello dear dreamers!

This is just a quick and short update to share some new footage we've cut from the Mushroom Forest level, including composer Wayne Strange's amazing forest theme! We hope you enjoy it! 

March and April updates
about 2 months ago – Mon, Apr 10, 2023 at 09:50:30 AM

Dear backers,

Happy Spring! We apologize for being quiet during March and the first part of April - we've been busy both with game development and organizing our schedule for the upcoming months such that writing these fell by the wayside! We've had our heads down because frankly, we've been leaping over some BIG hurdles in the game development process in preparations for our upcoming inclusion in Steam Next Fest this summer and other showcase opportunities. Please look forward to some more visual updates soon as we've made a lot of the back-end systems that will enable them! Here are some highlights from the past few weeks though: 

Playtesting Little Nemo at GDC and beyond

This year, we took Little Nemo and the Nightmare Fiends around the Game Developers Conference, having various meetings about future developments and giving progress updates to folks watching the project. We honestly can't reveal much at this point, but responses were positive and we're looking forward to having more to share in the future (if this all sounds very lacking in detail at this point - that's the game industry for you!) We also did a LOT of game demo-ing during this time. In past playtests, things had been well received, but folks would get stuck on some details related to how characters felt or the feel of things like the jump. We're happy to report that updates we've done have done away with a lot of those issues and more recent testers are just getting immersed in the experience. 

We've also run some informal tests at local gamedev meetups and with family friends. Ben had one experience where someone played for 3 straight hours, just wanting to explore the different environments! We're excited to share the most updated versions of the characters with you soon as we get a few last things ironed out. 

Back end developments

We're nearing the end of the period where we're building the back-end systems of the game and are starting to develop content. The rough thing about the back-end development period (what Ben calls, "the long boring part"), is that there's not always a lot of visual stuff to show! At this point we are finally putting the finishing touches on the character controller, meaning that we're cleaning up "edge cases" of how the character collides with the environment around them, especially on things like stairs. I'm also putting finishing touches on character animations for things like how characters transition from their jump to fall poses and stuff like that so that the characters move as smoothly as possible. Again, not anything that's going to "wow" for this phase of work, but definitely stuff that will help the project come together. 

Nemo "get hit" pose. A lot of the animation we've been doing, apart from stuff like this, is incidental groups of 2 or 3 frames that help us transition between different movements.

We've also built much of the framework needed to start creating cutscenes. This includes a scripting language and tools with which we'll be able to move characters around and display dialogue (some of which Ben covered in the last update. 

Story planning


We've also finally mapped out the complete game narrative and are hard at work on storyboarding everything. One major challenge was finding a way for the Nightmare Fiends to be more complex than simple stock villains. We can't share all of our plans right now, but we're pretty excited about the direction that we've decided to take with them. Are they actually evil or just drawn that way? As you know, we're trying to draw inspiration from as many versions of Little Nemo as we can, and that includes some contemporary influences too! 

An insider look at the game's intro
Moon fight intro and outtro

Music updates

Much of the soundtrack is composed and like the animations, Wayne has been working through some of the more incidental parts of the process such as jingles and other smaller-ticket items. We have some awesome stuff we can't wait to reveal to you soon though, so stay tuned! 

That's most of it for now. We'll put together some more updates in the much nearer future as we start using the systems we've been hard at work on. 

Cheers and many thanks,

Chris and Team Nemo

Technical Updates February
3 months ago – Wed, Mar 01, 2023 at 10:28:43 AM

Hi Dreamers! It’s Ben, the developer on Little Nemo and the Nightmare Fiends. I thought I’d give a little technical update and talk about some of the new stuff I’ve been working on.

One of the big things I’ve been doing in the last few weeks is tweaking game feel.  We pretty frequently send the build out for play testing, and a couple individuals raised some feedback about the jump feeling a bit off. Since this is pretty fundamental, we took a step back over the last few weeks to investigate where this feedback was coming from and started looking at ways to address it.

The biggest change was the way force was applied at the start of the jump. It's important in this game to have a variable jump height, but I might have overdone/overthought it a bit before. I had a bright idea to apply a decaying force over several frames as long as the jump was held - which I think made the jumping a bit too loose.  I had a reason for doing this but I can't remember what it was.  Anyway, the easier solution is just to cut the velocity when jump is released.  Simpler is always better.  Oops.

To help sell the weight more, I added a little squash on impact with the ground, and Chris added an additional impact frame plus distinct fall frames to help separate the jump from the fall.  I liked it before, but there’s really no comparison - this is much better.

Because we’re well into level design at this point, I’m trying to be very careful not to break things like existing platforming challenges or some of the kind of complex interactions between characters. Its difficult continuing down content development while still tweaking some fundamental player interaction. We’ve been getting very positive response on the changes though - which is great!

In other news, I’ve been hard at work building the dialog system. There are two types of character interactions. If an NPC has something to say that doesn’t need to stop gameplay, a text bubble will pop up on top of the character. The bubble will stay onscreen as long as you’re within the interaction area. So no more text bubbles falling offscreen.

I also did away with the ugly ‘take over the screen’ conversation dialogs we had before too. If you need to interact with something that pauses gameplay we use the same text bubbles and ‘puppet show’ the characters. Chris is working on storyboarding all of the key moments and we’re hoping to hook these up very soon!

I've also been building out more baddies.  Last stream I added mosquitos and a hooked up the animation for a little flying imp.  The mosquitos feature pretty heavily in the next part we're building out.

Finally, we have some big demo plans to announce soon. We are planning something cool this summer - so if you haven’t wish listed on Steam yet make sure you do so soon!

I’m frequently streaming development on Twitch, so if you want to follow along with any tech updates follow me at I usually do a Saturday night stream.

Talk to you again soon!

- Ben