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:

September check-in: Indie Game Showcases and development progress
11 days ago – Tue, Sep 13, 2022 at 07:18:54 PM

Hello dear backers! 

This is Chris providing a quick update on some recent developments with the game! 

Jack Frost's Palace and refined character physics

We've had a few big efforts happening on the game development side. The big push has been continued development of our back-end scripting system, which will let us build custom events quickly and easily, and refined movement capabilities for the characters. A fun note about the scripting language: Ben included elements of the original comic's archaic language in it, so we'll be defining character dialog with the appropriate amounts of "um"s! 

A snippet of sample script text.
Like many elements of the game, even our scripting language takes influence from idiosyncrasies of the original Little Nemo comics - um!
Little Nemo trying out the scripting language.

On the visual end, Adrian and I have been working on both the Mushroom Forest, which we've provided some recent images of (scroll down for a video of the new bouncy mushroom platforms!), and Jack Frost's Ice Palace. We've also refined the floating vertical wall platforms (which we internally call "floofs" because the first one was a dandelion seed object in the forest), so that we can use them in multiple environments. 

The Ice Cutters that Flip summons in the comic to dismantle Jack Frost's Palace will make an appearance in the game. They'll send ice blocks sliding towards Nemo and friends while they explore!
Is it...could it be...a fleet of floofs! One for each region, um!
An early version of the ice caves that Nemo and friends explore before reaching Jack Frost's Palace. This "shoebox" graphic lets you see the layers of artwork we use to create perspective effects.

Indie showcases

We've also got some appearances coming up. We've put together a video with some new footage to be showcased during the Duel Screens Indie Showcase later TODAY at 3 pm EST. You can watch below: 

We'll also be at the Cleveland Gaming Classic in Cleveland, OH later this month (September 24). Last year we won an award for Best Platformer at the event, so we're excited to show off the game with more characters, content, and new features! 

We'll also be at Meaningful Play at Michigan State University October 12-14. This is one of our more academic events, but the game was awarded a spot in their prestigious game showcase, and I'll be sharing a paper on the art process for the game, which I will share snippets of in a future update. 

We've also got a few entries in other shows, so we'll update with more to come! 

That's all - pleasant dreams all!

Chris and Team Nemo

Quick early-August update: t-shirt voting results and Mushroom Forest screenshots
about 2 months ago – Wed, Aug 10, 2022 at 09:59:42 AM

Hello Dreamers! 

We wanted to do a quick update to share the results of the recent t-shirt poll and share more shots of the Mushroom Forest level.

T-shirt voting results

First of all, thank you everyone who participated in the t-shirt voting. Even if you didn't back at a level that included one, we're looking at the potential to make shirts more widely available in the future, so your contribution has a hand in steering that process! As stated in the previous post, we're going to pick the top 2 designs to refine in the game's style, then have another voting session with those designs. 

The two designs advancing to the final voting round are: 

The "Let's go to Slumberland" design by guest artist Evan DiGiacomo

The "Let's Go to Slumberland" design

and the "Dreams and Nightmares" design by guest artist Daelyn Bever

The "Dreams and Nightmares" design

Again, we'll be refining these designs and be doing a final round of voting in the coming weeks. We'll also do another round of voting on colors, since there was a 3-way tie between some of our options. Stay tuned!

Mushroom Forest update

Post-demo, we're doing another round of major back-end feature additions (what Ben calls the "difficult and boring part" of game development) to integrate major development systems and tools into the game, namely a scripting system for putting together in-game events. In the meantime, Adrian and I have been putting together the design of the Mushroom Forest level, while our summer interns have been helping us create some NPCs for that area. Here's a bit of what we have so far!

Peony will be able to cling to moving vertical surfaces (floating walls), which in the forest will look like dandelion floofs. This is really powerful in combination with Nemo and the Princess's floating powers: we told you we wanted to do some Demon's Crest-style gameplay ;-)
We've also been having lots of fun creating challenges around the Love Bird characters.
We're not only working with influences from Winsor McCay's Nemo comics, but also blending in the work of artists who came after McCay, such as Moebius and Hayao Miyazaki. This area is based on concept art for Nausica: of the Valley of the Wind.
Character design by Sandy Rao
Character design by Daelyn Bever
Character design by Sandy Rao
Mushroom Farmer by Sandy Rao

We've also got some assets in the works for upcoming environments...

3D assets for Slumberland by Evan DiGiacomo

Finally, here's also a wireframe preview of a fun menu screen we're working on:

Level select wireframe by Evan DiGiacomo

We hope you liked this preview of the Mushroom Forest and lands beyond! We'll be building out some of the Ice Palace level next, so look forward to some chilly previews soon to get you through the hottest parts of the summer!

Until then, don't forget to follow some of the social media accounts at for the latest. 

WAIT! One more thing!

EDIT: I nearly forgot to mention - Little Nemo and the Nightmare Fiends is one of the official selections for the 2022 International Conference on Meaningful Play, hosted at Michigan State University. A paper outlining the artistic research that the game is part of was also accepted (a slide deck with a brief summary can be found here) This is a really prestigious honor for the game given by some industry luminaries, so we wanted to share our excitement with you all! Look for more to come as we polish the game up for the show!

Cheers and many thanks,

Chris and Team Nemo

Little Nemo and the Nightmare Fiends July update
2 months ago – Wed, Jul 20, 2022 at 10:24:35 PM

Hello dreamers! 

I hope everyone is having a good Summer and staying cool in this heat! 

This is one of a few planned updates this month - while we've been relatively quiet, there have been a LOT of updates on our end that we're excited to share with you!

Backer items update

While or main focus remains the game, we are working on developing some of the Backer rewards. We wanted to highlight 2 here in this update. 

The first is the Backer T-shirts (for backers at the $125 tier and above), which we need your input on! 

We've commissioned some guest artists to create sketches for potential shirt designs for you to vote on. Please go to the survey link below and vote on your top 2 favorite preliminary design sketches. The 2 most popular sketches will be refined as a single-color shirt design and we will have you vote again in the coming weeks for the final design. You will also be asked to vote on a color for the shirt!

Backer shirt voting round 1 (please note, designs are sketches and not finalized - they will be refined further)

The other update we want to share is the designs for the papercraft characters (offered at the $25 and up tiers.) These were done for us by Raúl Martínez Garrido, otherwise known as Molegato - the developer of the upcoming PS1-like game Frogun

We're still refining how the models actually fold into paper figures, but we wanted to share the designs with you!

Development updates

But hey this is a video game project right? What's going on with that? 

First of all, at the end of June, we released our first pre-alpha demos for backers at the $75 and up levels, which contained an early version of the Night Sky level focusing on the 4 playable characters and their abilities. Feedback has been super-positive so far and we've gotten some great feedback and bugs logged to our bug tracker link that will help us refine the game even further. Thank you to everyone who's participated so far!

A video of gameplay from the pre-alpha demo can be found below:

 With the Night Sky in a good place, we've moved on to a few other efforts, mainly starting the Mushroom Forest level and on the tech side - building some additional back-end game objects and tools that will help us refine gameplay and build out the game's story. Here's a small sample of some of what we have so far in the Forest: 

We hope you enjoyed the look into some of our latest stuff. We'll keep updating as we have new things to explore and talk about!

Cheers and many thanks,

Chris and Team Nemo  

Your pre-alpha game demo is here! Details and notes inside!
3 months ago – Sat, Jun 25, 2022 at 03:51:41 AM

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

"Let's Go To Slumberland!" title theme reveal by Wayne Strange
3 months ago – Sun, Jun 12, 2022 at 01:29:23 AM

Hey folks - Chris here. We're showing the latest demo game at the Origins Game Fair this weekend and will have lots of updates and info to share with you this week (including some news on papercraft figures and something about sharing the demo with our beta tester backers...) 

Wayne Strange, our most excellent composer, has a very special surprise for you though, so we'll give him the stage!

“You know, I’m almost seven now!”

The needle drops on this humdinger, as at long last we unveil the game’s title theme, Let’s Go To Slumberland. The song was composed, performed, and mixed in a stylistic marriage between the music of a 1920’s phonograph record and an early television show opening, an exchange between the vocalist and Nemo himself as they reminisce over past adventures in Slumberland. As a side note, can we talk about how fun woodwind parts were back then? So brash!

Vocals were performed by composer Wayne Strange, along with Stephanie Snyder on the part of Nemo.

Lyrics below:

Say, do you recall the moonlit skies in Slumberland, (You bet I do!)

Where rockets soar and the nights are never long enough? (Come on, give me five more minutes here!)

Don’t worry when a big ol’ turkey plucks you up and carries you off!

Just close your eyes, (Surprise!) and you’re on your way, my child! (You know, I’m almost seven now…)

To a land unseen where aberrant dreams run wild.

With crystal queens a-breakin’ (What?!)

(Why’s my heart a-shakin’?)

Well, I’m certain that you haven’t been—

(It’s likely that you haven’t been—)

Okay, you may have been beguiled. (Oh no!)

So grab a friend by the hand! (By the hand! Doot, doooo.)

And have a stroll through Slumberland. (Slumberland.)

The grandest, peculiar-est kingdom that’s ever been styled! (Ever been styled—ever been styled—ever been styled!)

Little Nemo and the Nightmare Fiends!