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:

Steam Next Fest event trailer announcement and project update
6 months ago – Thu, Jun 08, 2023 at 08:24:08 AM

Happy June, dear dreamers! 

Steam Next Fest News

Things have been busy on our end, but we wanted to start this update with some news regarding Steam Next Fest! First of all, if you hadn't seen, Little Nemo and the Nightmare Fiends is going to be in Steam Next Fest, Valve's showcase of specially-chosen upcoming games on the platform. This means that everyone will be able to enjoy a public demo of the game during the week of June 19 (thank you to everyone who's been helping us test the latest builds and hunt down bugs, by the way!) 

The big news, though, is that we were informed by Steam that our game is going to be featured in the promotional materials for the event. This means that we'll be in trailers and other aspects of the promotion, starting with the trailer for this summer's Next Fest to be released today at, which will premiere a few hours after this update goes out. 

Save system, mosquitoes, and a bit of history

In terms of game development, a lot of our attention has been ironing out features and building content for the Next Fest demo, which will be the build we take to 2 conventions that week: GDEX/Origins in Columbus, OH, and Too Many Games in Philadelphia, PA. This has included getting parts of the Mushroom Forest into the same state as the Night Sky area we've previously shown, as well as getting other systems show ready. Here's a taste: 

Choosing the level you'll play in the demo will be done through our save system. This is what that menu will look like.

Here's a taste of a new biome: the mosquito caves! 

The caves have been something that we've been researching and concepting out for a while. As you know, we're reaching back into animation history with our game - not only the history of Winsor McCay and Little Nemo in Slumberland, but also works that came from or were inspired by McCay. One of the studios in this category is the Fleischer Brothers studio, creators of Betty Boop and the animators behind the original Popeye cartoons. The Fleischers were known fans of McCay's works and cited his influence in their own animation. In the late 1920's, the Fleischer's even hosted a dinner of New York's animation professionals in McCay's honor, during which McCay famously chastised those present for turning animation into "not an art, as I had envisioned it, but a trade. Bad luck!" 

In the 1936 short, Popeye the Sailor meets Sindbad the Sailor, the Fleischer's used a process called the "setback process" where models were filmed to be the backgrounds of various scenes, including a mysterious cave. We wanted to recreate imagery from the Popeye cave in a style that would befit Nemo's world as a way to acknowledge the connection between McCay and Fleischer's works. 

Speaking of mosquitoes, you'll also visit a mosquito farm, where the farmer has some creepy stuff afoot...

Who doesn't love a good creepy liquid-filled tank?

Again, that's just a small taste of what's been going on. We've also brought on some new hands to assist with work over the summer, so look out for that work to be featured soon! 

Cheers and many thanks,

Chris and Team Nemo

Late May gameplay footage
6 months 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
7 months 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
7 months 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
8 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