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:

Technical Updates February
23 days 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

Early access demo #2
about 2 months ago – Thu, Jan 26, 2023 at 06:39:31 AM

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Happy New Year! MAGFest update and January work
2 months ago – Thu, Jan 12, 2023 at 12:59:43 PM

Happy New Year, dreamers!

I hope everyone had a restful holiday season. We wanted to provide a short update to kick off 2023 and share updates about the booth at last week's MAGFest Indie Showcase! 

An indie game booth with a small bed on the left side, and 3 game stations on the right, one of which is encased in an arcade cabinet.
The Little Nemo and the Nightmare Fiends booth!

For those who don't know, MAGFest is the "Music and Gaming Festival" held every year in National Harbor, MD. It features 4 days of retrogaming, indie game booths, panels, vendors, and video game bands! While we didn't get a ton of time to step away from the booth - it was pretty packed all weekend with folks coming by to play the game! - we did get to enjoy some talks and take in a show or two. 

A game music concert featuring Mega Ran.
Mega Ran!

Before going, Ben had the absolutely amazing idea to turn the booth into a little bedroom to create the feel of Little Nemo's world. If this were the most commented on thing from the booth, we'd be in trouble, but the game itself was VERY well-received! One person came by in the morning after the indie area opened to tell us that they'd loved it so much, they had played it for 3 hours the previous night! 

A game developer in a purple shirt, falling out of a child's bed in the style of Little Nemo.
Were we really at MAGFest, or was it all a dream? UM!

We did have one down-note: Frank Cifaldi from the Video Game History Foundation did stop by to inform us that our crown for "best use of public domain in a video game" had been taken by the amazing Trombone Champ. Oh well...I guess we can take that from a game that we ourselves can't stop playing  :-P

We also saw a lot of you all, our wonderful backers! Thank you to everyone who stopped by the booth to say "hello" and try out the game. Your amazing feedback and enthusiasm for the game helped make it a wonderful show!

An arcade cabinet of Little Nemo and the Nightmare Fiends
The custom Little Nemo and the Nightmare Fiends arcade cabinet
A collection of indie game festival trophies.
The trophies that the game has so-far received, finally all in one place!

MAGFest also gave us an opportunity to meet with some folks that we're collaborating with on parts of the game and talk next steps. Basically, we're going to be putting out the latest demos in the next few weeks and moving on to more fully flesh out the motion-comic cutscenes and bring together a lot of the narrative and UI systems that we've been working on in the background for the past few months. 

We've also got a backlog of new monsters to add to the upcoming levels, like the Wild Man (who's just in the sky for testing, you'll meet him in the Forest! We'll also tweak his speed.) 

That's all for now. We're ready and raring to go for 2023!


Chris and Team Nemo

Happy Holidays from Team Nemo - December updates
3 months ago – Wed, Dec 21, 2022 at 10:33:58 PM

Hello fellow dreamers!

Happy Holidays from Team Nemo! We've got a quick update today, as I'm sure everyone is looking forward to some much-needed rest. 

We're coming to Super MAGFest 2023!

First of all, we've been ironing out the latest demo so that we can take it to Super MAGFest 2023 in National Harbor, MD from January 5-8! We've got some awesome stuff planned for our booth which we're looking forward to sharing with folks in the coming weeks. If you're attending MAGFest, please come say hello and try out the game! 

Our goal with the demo is to put out a version of it as another backer demo soon after MAGFest, which will include all 4 playable characters. We'll also be publishing a public demo on the Little Nemo and the Nightmare Fiends Steam Page, which will feature Nemo (just as in the full game's intro.) Please stay tuned for that! 

Development updates

Beyond demo prep, we've been continuing to iron out systems on the back end and doing lots of art and animation for characters. Among these updates are systems for motion-comic style cutscenes and scripting tools (Um!) for building in-game story sequences. 

(Very) Rough animation for the Pie Eaters - just one of the characters we've been working on!
Pie Eater inked and painted

For the motion comics, our goal is to create something dynamic that will help us keep the look and feel of Winsor McCay's original comics in the game itself. We've made a rough animatic to test out the concept: 

We've started building out tools to help us make this within the game's interface itself, so look forward to more as we start to create more polished comic images to use with this system. 

Happy Holiday comic!

Finally, and speaking of the Little Nemo comics, we wanted to express our gratitude for everyone's support by sharing a new Holiday-themed Little Nemo comic created by the team. Game development is a difficult undertaking (often feeling like a dream in and of itself), but the community's positive enthusiasm has played a big role in keeping us going!

Happy Holidays from Team Nemo!

That's all for now! We'll be taking some much-needed rest before heading into the New Year with our new demos, booths, and other fun surprises. Happy Holidays everyone! 

Cheers and many thanks,

Chris and Team Nemo

Steam page now up! And other updates
4 months ago – Fri, Dec 02, 2022 at 02:32:53 PM

Hey dreamers! Adrian here.

We've been quiet lately, slowly toiling away at the game, and so we've got a number of updates on our progress and other cool things that are coming down the pipeline we wanted to share.

Our Steam page is finally here!

As alluded to in the subject line, our big news is that the Little Nemo and the Nightmare Fiends Steam page has finally launched! We're really excited to extend the game's reach beyond Kickstarter with this important milestone, and one of the ways that we'll be able to accomplish that goal is through Steam's wishlist feature. The number of wishlists a game has helps Steam to know that people are interested in the game and weighs heavily in the game's discoverability through things like user recommendations and front page visibility. Even if you've already backed, every wishlist we receive is extremely helpful so please consider adding the game to your wishlist and sharing with your friends and network who you think might be interested as well!

Working on our first public demo!

We've really appreciated all of the amazing feedback we've gotten from our higher tier backers who got our last demo a few months back! It's through that feedback that we're able to go back through that portion of the game and polish it up for our first public demo, which will be posted to our Steam page sometime in the near future! We're not ready to announce exactly when that demo will launch, but we did want to share some of the things that we've been working on in preparation for it.


Since that initial prototype, we've tightened up our character controller for better feeling movement that makes the whole game feel better to play and while the general layout of the map will stay the same, we've also been making changes to enemy spawning and placement to help with the overall flow and pacing of the level. Probably the biggest change however is with the first boss in the game, the Moon. What was in the initial prototype was always meant to be a placeholder; our first pass at having a boss fight that can go through multiple phases (pun semi-intended) and could have an intro and outro in between the fight itself. The new fight will keep the amazing Moon animation, but have a new flow and other surprises such as the new eye laser attack, which some of you might have caught an early glimpse of if you watch Ben's semi-regular development streams on twitch!

There's still a number of in-progress features that we're working on for the upcoming demo, such as a more polished user interface. This is part of the reason we're not ready to announce a date for this demo just yet, but we do have another cool thing to share with you; an early version of our in-game map!

I'm the map, I'm the map, I'm the map!

Currently the map is able to update with every new room you enter, track your current position and can be scrolled with the second analog stick. Of course we have other features planned as well, such as a full map, inventory and system menu that will be coming in the future, but this is a big first step for an important feature and we're really excited to share it with all of you!

That's all of our updates pertaining to the upcoming public demo. We'll be sharing more progress in future updates, as well as an expected date as we continue to polish what we have.

Other Progress

Of course, this demo isn't the only thing we're working on. The rest of the game is coming along smoothly as well! It's been a bit since we talked about the second level of the game, the Mushroom Forest. Much of the main layout work has been accomplished, and we're in the early development stages for some of the new enemies and characters that you'll encounter in that level. As we flesh them out, we'll be sharing our progress on that stage in more detail and depth. Another thing that we're working on at the moment is the second boss battle in the game against the Pie Eaters, the clowns from the original comic who mistake Nemo for a tasty treat made of candy.

Yim, Yam, YUM!

We've shown concept art for this boss as early as the original Kickstarter pitch, but now we're actively working on the fight itself, beginning with this in-progress jumping animation that Chris is making. We've got a lot of fun surprises planned for this fight, and we can't wait for you to experience it for yourself!

Meanwhile, I've been chipping away at the map layout for another stage, Jack Frost's Ice Palace. We're not quite ready to talk about the characters or challenges you'll encounter (though we made the decision early on to NOT include slippery ice platforms, so you can all breathe a little easier!) but I did want to share with you a quick preview from Unity:

Jack Frost's Ice Palace (UNDER CONSTRUCTION)

This is an unfinished first draft (which level designers call a "blockout"), so much of this layout will most definitely change.  This preview is best considered as a small step up from a sketch on a piece of graph paper. But this initial draft will give us a better sense of pacing as we begin to add enemies and unique level hazards to the level. 


We hope you've enjoyed this update and another peek into our development process! Development on the game has been really picking up lately and we know many of you have been curious how it's been going. If you want to see more development as it happens, we'll be posting occasional small updates over on our Discord channel. In future updates, we'll continue to update you on the progress of the game, events that we will be appearing at along with the game, and of course new information on the upcoming public demo! And just as a quick reminder, please wishlist the game on Steam and share it with all your friends! We'd really appreciate it! And as always, thank you for your continued support and believing in the project!

Until next time, Dreamers!

~ Adrian