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:

Sunday Funnies: The comic inspirations of Nightmare Fiends' Night Sky
about 2 years ago – Mon, Apr 12, 2021 at 12:56:45 AM

Happy Sunday backers! 

As we've mentioned in the past, we're going to keep up some of our update features throughout the game's development cycle when we're able. One of the ones we've really enjoyed has been Sunday Funnies, and we thought it might be fun to talk about some of the comic episodes that have inspired the level biomes we've worked on so far. This week, we're going to cover the first planned level, Nemo's Town and the Night Sky.

Nemo's town/night sky

While everything might change during the long game development cycle, the current plan is to start the game with Peony summoning Nemo to Slumberland while he's sleeping in his bed. She makes the bed gallop through the town and eventually into the clouds! 

Nemo's town will be based on the classic Walking Bed comic

This currently planned opening level will have 2 parts: an opening scene in Nemo's Town and an adventure through the night sky. This is based on a few key comics: 

The overall theme of the level is based on Nemo's earliest adventure from October 15, 1905 - the premiere of Little Nemo in Slumberland. In it, he rides a horse named Somnus through the colorful night sky surrounded by stars. 

Image source: Comic Strip Library

As you know, we're also making nods to other Nemo media in the visual design of the game. In this case, we're acknowledging some of the concept art for the Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland movie created by French comics legend Jean Giraud, also known as Moebius.

Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland concept art by Moebius. Image source: Fantasy Ink

When planning levels like this, we want to find interesting set pieces or level mechanisms to base level sections on. One we really like for this level is the Bridge Guardians from the November 12, 1905 episode.

The bridge guardians raise and lower their platforms, so Nemo and friends need to time their jumps right (footage is in prototype state and will be changed/updated as development progresses)
Image source: Comic Strip Library

The section in Nemo's town, where the current plan is to have Peony retrieve Nemo and depart for Slumberland on the famous walking bed, will of course follow the July 26, 1908 episode (which we've covered in previous Sunday Funnies features.)

We also want to make heavy use of airships in the level itself, as typified in the January 2, 1910 episode where Nemo first departs on what would become his signature vehicle for the rest of his time in the New York Herald comics supplement. 

Of course, there's the boss of this level, the Moon itself! He's usually a passive observer in the comics and never an antagonist - I wonder what's making him so grouchy? 

We're taking cues from episodes where Nemo directly interacts with the Moon, such as the December 3, 1905 episode where a Slumberlandian tries to use the Moon as a vehicle to escort Nemo to Slumberland. The prospect of climbing into the Moon's mouth proves to be a step too far for the young adventurer. 

Image source: Comic Strip Library

As you can see, we've even based how the moon opens his mouth and the colors used for that animation on that comic! 

There's also this episode from January 7, 1912, where Doctor Pill, having finally had enough of Flip, convinces Morpheus to have Flip "Razzoo'ed", which appears to be when a Slumberlandian is shot into the sky. This backfires on Pill, when Flip is shot directly into the Moon's mouth, who spits him out back towards Earth and crashing down onto an unsuspecting Doctor Pill. 

Image source: Comic Strip Library

Those are but a few of the comics that we've been thinking about as we develop the early levels of Little Nemo and the Nightmare Fiends. We'll be updating on the inspirations for other levels in the coming weeks and sharing some of our other favorite Little Nemo in Slumberland strips! 

See you in the funny papers! 

Chris and Team Nemo

First week post-campaign update!
about 2 years ago – Sat, Apr 10, 2021 at 11:03:53 AM

Dear backers,

I hope everyone's been well in this first week post-campaign! We wanted to write a quick update to let everyone know what's been going on so far with Nightmare Fiends production! 

E-mails! Spreadsheets! Meetings!

That's right! We're very much in the throes of the production management portion of game development where we're doing a lot of organizational stuff. As we meet with contractors and other folks who are going to help us flesh out the project, it will give us a good direction for the next phases of development. 

Vertical slice

As we said during the campaign, we're in early production and are a ways away from release. Our next milestone will be preparing what's called a "vertical slice" - a super-polished chunk of gameplay that can be used to showcase the vision of the project. For this slice we've chosen to do the Mushroom Forest level, where we'll introduce players to Peony and encounter the Pie Eaters. 

Behold your Mushroom Forest bosses!
Brambles and collapsing mushrooms will be key features of the Mushroom Forest level
The level area that we're developing will really showcase Peony's abilities such as climbing, clinging to ceilings, and attacking with bombs.

We've got some fun level mechanic and set piece ideas for this area so stay tuned!

Pledge management and "slacker backer" storefront

We have some news to share regarding the much-requested pledge management and "slacker backer" storefront. We're going to be using Backerkit to set up these features and will have it set up in a week or so after we receive our campaign funds from Kickstarter (this takes about 2 weeks.) If you missed out on any of the add-ons, you'll be able to get them again here (please note that all images are mock-ups and the design of these items are subject to change!)

Screenshot of the Backerkit "slacker backer" storefront - the designs of the items are not finalized and subject to change

Backerkit is also where we'll be distributing your eventual Backer Surveys from. That step is several months away and we'll let you know with an update when they're going out. 

That's it for now Dreamers! We'll update when the Backerkit Interface goes live and with any other fun upcoming content! 


Team Nemo

We did it!!! Post campaign plans and a few days of rest for the team.
about 2 years ago – Fri, Apr 02, 2021 at 02:13:31 AM

Dear backers,

We did it! Thanks to you, Little Nemo and the Nightmare Fiends is now officially funded! We even hit 2 stretch goals: the kitchen stretch goal (where you can feed Nemo stat-changing food items and find ingredients in the levels) and the in-game museum (which we have some big plans for, including making a set of mini-quests for unlocking content!) We've said this before, but you have our profound thanks for believing in our dream project and we're looking forward to making an amazing game! 

Thank you!

We're going to take a few days of much-needed rest (Kickstarters are hard work!) but we wanted to answer a few of your most pressing post-campaign questions! Long story short for some of these - we've been hyper-focused on the campaign these past few weeks and now that we've reached the end, our next step is to meet about the specifics of rolling out our post-campaign plan. Not everything is 100% laid out yet but here are some answers to the most pressing questions: 

Will there be a "slacker backer" or pledge management system?

Some of you have asked about doing post-campaign add-ons. We've also heard from folks who learned about our campaign just as it was ending and couldn't get involved in time! We are planning on setting up a late pledge/pledge management system and will announce our plans for that next week. It will be linked directly from a button on the Kickstarter page. 

What about the stretch goals we didn't hit? 

We understand that folks are excited about all of those other potential features - we are too! When we set up the late backer page, we'll be able to put money raised there on games and other items towards our project budget. We'll also be exploring other funding and publishing options. We'll keep our backers updated as these efforts progress! 

When will I be able to make specifications about my rewards?

Like many Kickstarter campaigns, we'll be using backer surveys to collect information for the different reward tiers. We've tried to include some general time windows with the rewards but will releasing more specific information as we finalize manufacturing plans for different items. 

For the game, please keep in mind that it's a game early in development and we are anticipating an 18-month development cycle (this is in the campaign text and in the reward tier information but we wanted to reiterate it here). Some reward items that are tied to the game's production will come around the time the game is released (like art books), others can come sooner (t-shirts, posters, wallpapers, etc). We'll keep backers notified throughout the process. 

What does the post-campaign update schedule look like? 

We've been so touched at the positive response to the updates during the campaign. For me (this is Chris writing), the opportunity to share the parts of the project that I'm passionate about (like the history of the comics and the elements of the artwork) were a highlight of the experience. We won't be continuing to post every single day, but we are considering continuing some of these features like the Sunday Funnies and others! We don't have a schedule worked out yet but you will hear about it when we do! 

We're also taking the trust you've placed in us very seriously. We understand that many of you have stories of backing campaigns that don't work out (we've backed a few of those ourselves!) or where the devs just disappear and never update. Our plan is to keep you posted regularly with updates on the game, any new cool pieces of art, and other fun things. 

We're also going to keep the Discord going! We've got a great community there and it's been a lot of fun to talk about the game, run game streams, talk about the history of Little Nemo, set up animation cel swaps, and other activities. If you haven't joined yet, we'll put out another backer discord access update in the coming days. 

Time to rest before the real hard work begins!

That's all for now - we're off to recharge our batteries before the real work begins! Thank you again for believing in our dream project! 

Many thanks for believing,

Chris and Team Nemo

Final 12 hours and celebration retro game stream!
about 2 years ago – Thu, Apr 01, 2021 at 01:25:19 PM

Dear backers,

We're down to the final 12 hours of the campaign! 

Ben is streaming some Nemo-esque retro games to celebrate the end of the campaign over on his Twitch channel! He's currently streaming NiGHTS Into Dreams! 

We're also closing in on another stretch goal - the in-game museum with McCay comics and concept art! If you're able, please help do some last-minute signal boosting to help us finish off that stretch goal! What can you do?

  • Personally recommend the game to a friend! Personal recommendations go very far in getting new backers. 
  • Share the game on your social media network(s) of choice!
  • If you've been meaning to check out the add-ons but haven't yet, go take a look! We've got fun digital content like 8-bit costumes and making of videos, as well as some of our physical items (vinyl records, art books, and even one-of-a-kind character sketches!) We received a request today to provide a way for folks to buy additional copies via the add-on section so we've added them! Just go to Manage your Pledge and click "Change your Pledge" to find the add-on section (please note, add-ons like the costumes only apply to 1 copy of the game so you'd have to purchase additional ones for extra copies.) 

We're almost there! We'll announce some of our post-campaign plans and reveal our celebration art tomorrow after the campaign officially ends. 

See you on the other side! 

Team Nemo

Last Day! Kitchen unlocked!
about 2 years ago – Thu, Apr 01, 2021 at 06:54:24 AM

Wow, it's the last day of the campaign already and we're in Stretch Goal territory!  Thanks so much for spreading the word and believing in us!  

Nemo's kitchen mock up (subject to change)

The first stretch goal is a biggie, and something we really wanted to include in the game.  Whenever you wake up from a dream you'll be able to visit the kitchen in Nemo's house and get a snack.  Each of the different snacks will give you a stat bonus of some sort.  Some might make you jump higher or run faster.  Some might give you some extra health.  We're even planning on having 'bad' food that will make the game harder, for that 'stinky cheese' run maybe.

These images are mock-ups and subject to change, but here's what we're thinking:

Rarebit! Everyone's favorite late night snack.

We're only around $4000 away from the next goal, the In-Game museum, and this is a pretty cool addition as well.  We're planning on including a fun way to collect pages of the comic (and other related works) that includes a pretty cool McCay cameo character.

Thanks for supporting the game and keep spreading the word, so we can maybe get to a couple more of the stretch goals!

- Team Nemo