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:

Backer Discord access update
almost 3 years ago – Thu, Mar 18, 2021 at 10:03:14 PM

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

Artwork Update: The Creatures of Little Nemo and the Nightmare Fiends
almost 3 years ago – Thu, Mar 18, 2021 at 05:45:00 PM

Happy Thursday morning!

Normally, we'd do an update like this on Wednesday as "Artwork Wednesdays", but in case you missed it, we had some big soundtrack news yesterday introducing composer Wayne Strange and guest artist Mega Ran

But today we're going to tell you all about the creatures of Slumberland, and how we're drawing from Winsor McCay's original works: not only Little Nemo, but his full catalog of comics and animation. 

"He's just tracing"

Winsor McCay was fascinated by drawing monsters and creatures of all kinds. He was drawing from a very young age. His first drawing was a recording of the scene the night that his family's house burned down, drawn with a nail in the frost on a window. From there he drew compulsively. He would later say that his artistic skill was much more practice than raw talent. 

The Sinking of the Alpena by Winsor McCay, dated 1880 (when he was an estimated 9-13 years old, based on lost documentation of his exact birthdate.) Image source: Animation World Network

In his comic strips, McCay showed great skill with animals, particularly showing them in motion. McCay was likely familiar with Eadweard Muybridge's photographic studies of motion, which featured both humans and animals, as they were sold widely as cabinet cards. 

The Horse in Motion by Eadweard Muybridge (1878). Muybridge set up a rig of cameras that would take pictures of a horse at different moments in its gallop. These became important references for later animators. Image source: Wikipedia.
A Pilgrim's Progress from September 11, 1906, where Mister Bunion tries to get a billy goat to destroy his case of everyday worries. Note the expressive poses that McCay puts the goat into when less-dynamic poses would have probably sufficed. Source: University of Richmond Pilgrim's Progress Archive project

This skill eventually led to doubters accusing McCay of tracing his characters, which greatly offended McCay. As a result, he drew increasingly fantastical and outlandish animals in his comics and eventually began drawing dinosaurs (with the logic that he can't trace something that's extinct). All of these giant creatures stomping around have led some, like author Ulrich Merkl, to even credit McCay with directly inspiring King Kong and inventing the concept giant city-destroying monsters (kaiju). 

McCay's most famous dinosaur is Gertie, which debuted as an animated part of McCay's vaudeville act in 1914. McCay would walk off stage right before his animated self would appear on screen to give the impression that he was walking into the movie. This film would inspire Walt Disney and countless other animators.

McCay's creatures in Nightmare Fiends

You're already familiar with our version of Bosco the Dragon, which appeared in Little Nemo, but we're diving deep into the McCay pantheon to fill out the world of Nightmare Fiends. It was important to us that we capture this element of McCay's work in our game, as McCay's work features a massive amount of weird critters. 

Concept art for several creatures from different McCay works, Little Nemo in Slumberland, Dream of the Rarebit Fiend, and How a Mosquito Operates. Other monsters even reference McCay's editorial cartoons.
The giants come from another episode of Little Nemo and chase the characters over the course of several strips.

Monsters even give us opportunities to include other main characters by McCay like Sammy Sneeze, who might not otherwise fit into the plot of the game.

Our adaptation of Little Sammy Sneeze, as a cloud that sneezes and generates powerful winds.

Then of course there are the animals from the NES game. As we've said before, we cannot legally recreate the NES game's animal costume/ride-based gameplay because Capcom has the copyright on that work. However, we can include animals that reference the cast of that game as a nod to fans and which honor McCay's love of giant monsters. In this case, we've given them a promotion from rides to powerful magic beings who aid Nemo and friends in exchange for the game's currency, candy (it is the dream of a 7-year-old after all.) 

As a nod to fans of the NES game, we've created original magical beings that reference (but are legally distinct from) the animal friends from the NES game.

You've seen all these of course, so we have some new surprises for you! As a result of a poll taken at the beginning of the campaign, we've also drawn the giant Salamander character! You'll encounter her in the Ice Palace level, among the foundations of the castle. 

In a more conceptual state is another special guest character from McCay's menagerie. 

Gertie will appear in the game.

As of right now, we're imagining that Nemo and friends might meet Gertie on a return trip through the Mushroom Forest when they need help crossing a bed of spikes. This gives us an opportunity to have Gertie lift Nemo up like she did Winsor McCay in the vaudeville act. This is of course all in concept and subject to change.

Concept screenshot - subject to change
Gertie offers us opportunities for interesting platforming challenges where you have to avoid obstacles while riding her. Subject to change.

We hope you enjoyed this look at some of the creatures from our game and into our thought process for ones that we're still in the process of creating! We'll keep you updated as these features evolve and develop. 

Final 2 week push

We're within the final 2 weeks of the campaign! While we're doing really well and are still on-pace to meet our funding goal, we can't let our foot off the pedal. For that reason, we're asking our backers to please continue the great work you've been doing spreading the word about the campaign. We also have some announcements in the works for next week that we hope you'll enjoy :-) 

Cheers, and many thanks for believing in our dream project!

Chris and Team Nemo

Little Nemo soundtrack to be composed by Wayne Strange with guest track by Mega Ran
almost 3 years ago – Thu, Mar 18, 2021 at 04:20:46 AM

Good morning Dreamers!

From the beginning of this project, we knew that great music would be vital to the success of Little Nemo and the Nightmare Fiends. The game has a lot of elements from the early 1900's, when Winsor McCay's Little Nemo comics were first published, but we wanted to make sure that the music first and foremost inspired the player to explore. Likewise, the world of a dream invites us to experiment and create a lucid soundscape that bends genres. 

To help us achieve this, we've found some really great collaborators that we're excited to announce!

Composer, Wayne Strange

The soundtrack for Little Nemo and the Nightmare Fiends will be composed by Wayne Strange, a video game composer, vocalist, and orchestrator whose previous work includes score prep work on game soundtracks like Star Trek: The Video Game and God of War: Ascension, as well as arrangements for Materia Collective and Video Games Live.

Image source: Materia Collective

In our discussions with Wayne, he painted a picture of a soundtrack that would have a "surface level" soundscape that players would expect from a video game adventure, but which will bend and twist as Nemo's dreams and nightmares gain a life of their own. 

Guest artist: Mega Ran

We've also enlisted the help of prolific hip-hop artist (and Little Nemo superfan) Mega Ran for a guest track! His music blends education, hip-hop, and gaming, and he has covered and remixed numerous classic game soundtracks, including Capcom’s Little Nemo the Dream Master. Mega Ran’s recently released a memoir, Dream Master, that details his personal journey and is named after Little Nemo.

Image source:

Mega Ran was one of the project's early cheerleaders and we could not be more excited to collaborate with him. We've been listening to his music for years (MAGFest alums unite!) and his Little Nemo The Dream Master track especially holds a place in our hearts. 

The team is still in the early stages of composing, but the talent and heart that the team is putting into the game will make it worth the wait. We'll be putting out samples in the coming weeks, so stay tuned for more and tell your friends about the game and excellent soundtrack! 


Team Nemo

Weekly Brainstorm Podcast #2 & Other Projects to Follow
almost 3 years ago – Tue, Mar 16, 2021 at 11:35:30 PM

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

50% funded and other updates!
almost 3 years ago – Mon, Mar 15, 2021 at 11:51:09 PM

Good evening dreamers!!!!

Today was an excellent day that started off strong when we crossed the 50% threshold and continued to gain throughout the day! At this point we're past 50%, but we thought we'd make some brand new artwork to celebrate the milestone regardless, featuring a better look at our villains, the Nightmare Fiends (and of course our friend the King Frog enjoying some candy!) 

What's coming up...

This is going to be a busy week. We're going to have the usual fanfare - podcast tomorrow, Artwork Wednesday, etc. We'll also have an update on the design of Peony from her creator, Taja Emmanus. 

We'll also have some things to announce in the coming days about music! We have a brilliant composer that we can't wait to introduce you to. We might also have other musical surprises in store, so stay tuned...

Not funded yet...

Now obviously this is great, but we're not funded yet, and Kickstarter is still all or nothing! We still need to charge ahead (like Little Nemo and friends on the bed up there!) If you can, please please continue spreading the word about the campaign anywhere you can! We've had a lot of luck getting in front of new backers in the last few days (hello new folks!) so we need to keep it up to make the game a reality! Sharing tweets like this one ( really help us a lot! We can do it! more thing...

We're unlocking gold costumes for all playable characters and Steam Early Access for all backers with the game as thanks for helping us reach 50%! We'll make announcements after the campaign as to the timeline of that rollout, but please look forward to doing your early access streams in STYLE! 

Cheers and many many thanks for believing in our game!

Team Nemo