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:

Saturday Night Dev Stream
about 3 years ago – Sat, Jun 05, 2021 at 07:09:16 PM

Hi all! It’s Saturday and you know what that means! I’ll be streaming some Nemo development from around 9:00pm EDT till midnight. Stop by and say hi!

I’ll be working on some additional combat and enemy types. Want to see some enemies get knock-backed?

Follow me on twitch to get the go-live announcement at

See you there! - Ben

Little Nemo Brainstorming Podcast #9: Combat
about 3 years ago – Wed, Jun 02, 2021 at 10:36:19 PM

Hey Dreamers! Adrian here.

In this week's brainstorming meeting, we have an early design discussion about the game's combat, from the use cases for each character ability, what happens when the player both damages enemies and takes damage from the enemy, how combat impacts player traversal and more!

 Click here to listen/download! 

We also mention a couple of other great articles and talks in this episode, which I've included in the links below. As always, be sure to let us know your feelings on combat in platform games, what you like, dislike, or other suggestions for topics we can cover on the show.

Thanks for listening, and we'll see you again soon!

~ Adrian & Team Nemo


 Incremental Enemy Design in Hollow Knight - Jason De Heras 

 The Door Problem - Liz England 

 Changing the Time Between Shots for the Sniper Rifle from 0.5 to 0.7 Seconds for Halo 3 - Jaime Griesemer, GDC 2010 

Sunday Funnies - Critters and Creatures!
about 3 years ago – Mon, May 31, 2021 at 01:11:56 AM

Happy Sunday Backers! 

If you've been following our Saturday Night Development Streams (Saturday nights at 9 PM EDT on PxlPlz's Twitch channel), you'll know that the past few weeks have been busy developing enemies and combat (including building Peony's bomb attack and Nemo's sword swing!) 

With that in mind, we wanted to share some of the origins of the creatures that you'll be encountering in the game, particularly the ones that will appear in our Mushroom Forest vertical slice level. 

Winsor McCay's fantastic beasts

As we've discussed in the past, Winsor McCay was obsessed with drawing fantastic creatures and often incorporated them in his comics and animation work. Working in the early decades of the 20th century, McCay felt that drawing was the ultimate imaginative medium with limitless possibilities. McCay's early artistic jobs included working at dime museums, where working class audiences could take in Vaudeville acts and side show curiosities, so surreal spectacle found its way into his comics. 

In this early Dream of the Rarebit Fiend comic, a man's hair grows so long that he takes a job as the center of a "missing link" act in a dime museum.

This character in-particular inspired one of our own missing-link creature, who sleeps until the player is nearby, then charges toward the player! 

The Missing Link will wake up and charge at the player when they get near.

Another reason that McCay included imaginary or surreal creatures in his comics was to deter critics doubtful of his abilities. He was occasionally accused of tracing for his comics (with doubters thinking that no one could draw as realistically or accurately as he could without tracing), so he would incorporate imaginary animals and later, dinosaurs (animals that didn't exist anymore), into his work. 

In this Rarebit Dream from 1908, McCay combined animals to create a number of fantastic beasts. This allowed him to show off his artistic and imaginative skill.

Some of these creatures, along with some from other public domain works (especially Lewis Carroll's poem Jabberwocky) inspired creatures that we're putting into the game, such as the Mome Rath and Slithy Tove. 

A colored version of John Tenniel's illustration of Jabberwocky, showing the mome raths (green pigs) and slithy toves (badger-like creatures with corkscrew noses.) - Image source: Tumblr
We combined McCay's pig-chicken from Rarebit Fiend with the green pigs in Tenniel's Jabberwocky illustrations to create our mome rath.
The slithy tove. Its motion is inspired by animal marches from various Disney movies such as the Jungle Book or Robin Hood.

Of course, Little Nemo in Slumberland comes with a variety of monsters as well. One that we were particularly taken with was the Potato Bug from the June 10, 1906 episode that also features the first appearance of Doctor Pill. 

As Nemo is guided by Doctor Pill through the crystal caves to Slumberland, he encounters a variety of sights that cause him to wake up.
The Potato Bug will climb around on walls and surfaces.

Of course, what would a Winsor McCay game be without his famous mosquito character? This creepy crawly featured prominently in Dream of the Rarebit Fiend and the 1912 animated short based on it, How a Mosquito Operates. The mosquito appeared briefly in our game's trailer and made frequent appearances in McCay's other works, including in Little Nemo

The mosquito dive bombs the player when they get within range. This game is one of the first times the mosquito has been animated since McCay himself did so in 1912.
Swarms of mosquitoes showed up as occasional antagonists in Little Nemo comics (source: John Canemaker's blog:

Speaking of Winsor McCay's drawings...

One more thing! We recently stumbled across (and backed!) this awesome-looking project creating flip books of work by film and animation pioneers, The Pioneers Flipbook Collection by Flipboku, and thought we'd share the info with all of you! 

The project looks pretty cool, plus one of the books centers on the work of Winsor McCay! As animators studying McCay's characters, this is definitely in our wheelhouse! This will definitely come in handy as we continue the kind of research we've been doing for the project so far. 

That's it for now! We'll be offering other looks into the game's villains in the near future, so we hope you enjoy this look into the research we're doing for the game's artwork. Stay tuned as we continue to work on the game and add new elements from McCay's catalogue!

See you in the funny papers! 

Chris and Team Nemo

Saturday Night Dev Stream
about 3 years ago – Sat, May 22, 2021 at 09:10:47 PM

Hi everyone, happy Saturday! I’m going to be streaming some Nemo development tonight starting at 9:00pm EDT. The goal tonight is to get Nemo’s basic attack working and start on some basic enemy AI.

Stop by and say hi! If you want the live alert follow me at

  • Ben

Nemo Brainstorming Podcast #8: Level Design Paradigms
about 3 years ago – Sat, May 22, 2021 at 07:50:51 PM

Hey dreamers! Adrian here.

We're once again talking about level design this week as the three of us discuss level design paradigms.

We take our level design study seriously!

We dig into other exploratory platformers and Metrodivanias such as Castlevania, Shantae and Hollow Knight to see how they approach traversal and backtracking and how we might apply their strengths when designing levels in Little Nemo & The Nightmare Fiends.

Click here to listen/download!

As always, let us know on the Discord server if there's something about the game you want us to discuss on the show. We really enjoy recording these and would love to know what our community wants to hear about!

~ Adrian & Team Nemo