Feature: Rambling About Yume Nikki Fangame Ideas

In June, a whole bunch of Yume Nikki fans are gonna do a game jam to make a fangame, in honor of Yume Nikki‘s birthday. Appropriately, this year is the 10th anniversary of Yume Nikki‘s last update, which a lot of people have taken to be the definitive update at this point. Well, the actual anniversary’s in November, but people are having this jam on the first update’s birthday since people actually have time to work on things in June.

I’m not sure if I want to participate in this thing or not, because I don’t want to distract myself with other things. However, I’m gonna jot a bunch of ideas I had down and if you think it’s neat, cool.

And also like, it was my sister’s birthday yesterday and I’ve had no time to get through playing something for the usual Friday post. I’ve had this lying around so hey here’s some filler.

A Bunch of Effect Ideas

A bunch of Effect ideas I’ve thought about but might never use. Haven’t played too many fangames though so I’m not sure if they’ve been used before.

  • Painter: The protagonist carries a paintbrush around, wearing some sort of smock. Its use would be to paint the menu theme to be different on demand, rather than being at the whims of some random NPC that demands money.
  • Boombox: Or like, whatever electronics can spout out music. The protagonist’s head turns into that device and when it is activated, they go into Music Mode. It works like the Stoplight Effect, but instead of stopping dead in their tracks, NPCs embrace the will to dance. Some changes to NPCs will be minor, like swapping out sprites to something more upbeat. Some changes has the NPC’s movement route change, them trying to do an elaborate dance routine, as an alternate way to get an NPC to move (like maybe killing them would have a negative effect to counter it or simply attracting them would cause them to move back to their original position). It could also act as an event trigger, maybe a nice dance party like that girl with the bunnies in 2kki.  Will Chaser-type NPCs be willing to join in on the festivities? That’s up to you. Speaking of Chasers…
  • Chaser: Some sort of Effect that makes the protagonist look like the Chaser-type enemy of the game. Putting it on makes Chasers non-hostile and allows the protagonist to interact with them without being teleported elsewhere. Maybe this could have special interactions and could trigger its own events. You know that room in 2kki where Urotsuki sees a copy of themself that puts on the Effect opposite of them? Maybe if the Chaser Effect is used against a doppelganger of this caliber, you could teleport your double away or maybe your double gets pissed and flat out kills you. That’d be fun.
  • Hacker: I’m not sure what the appearance of the protagonist changes into. Maybe something stereotypically nerdy or try-hard cool. Maybe make it a reference to some other nonsense like make the user look like Futaba from Persona 5. Side-note, that game looks sick as hell but I can’t play it. Anyway, the Effect’s ability would allow the user to interact with electronics. Computer? Hacked. Door electronically shut closed? Opened. I can also imagine maybe like a dream area with this alarm going off and Chasers running around, but that can be hacked too which results in all of them turning friendly. Another thing that could be hacked into are the standard vending machines, which will reward you with one free snack per each dream session. But nothing in life is free! Like just imagine, this hidden counter going up every time you hack, increasing the probability of some punishment the more you get snacks.

Possible Structure for Linear Fangame?

In a fangame with a more linear format, instead of a standard Nexus with a bunch of doors or objects scattered around a void, the doors are neatly packed in a hallway. The hallway represents a linear story that the worlds inside would tell, with the player only being able to open the first door.

In this system, I’d want to give the standard cosmetic Effects more importance by having them act as keys to the other doors. In terms of lore, the Effects are representative of the dream or something the protagonist had worn during the events the dreams depict. Say that there is a school uniform Effect hidden somewhere in the first set of worlds. The player heads into the hallway and puts it on, allowing them to pass into the second door, which leads to a set of worlds centered around a school.

The protagonist would keep finding Effects that’d allow passage to their next set of memories until they reach the final door, which gives the ending.

I think that maybe a linear system would work for people that want to tell a more clear cut story from the usual Yume Nikki fangame fare. However, to players that typically like the surreal wanderlust that these games provides, it may be bothersome. Some players just want to drift all around a wide-open dream world and having it separated into sections may not be too fun for them. Of course, I don’t think it’s a bad thing to shake things up.

World – Casino World

A casino world would sort of be my take on the archetypal “neon looking place with noisy tiles” world. Like the entrance would drop the protagonist directly in a casino lobby or at the outskirts. Though ideally, I’d want there to be some path leading to the entrance of the casino proper because I’d hate for players to just enter the outskirts of the casino and be like, “ugh it’s this Graffiti World bullshit again.”

The noisy tiles would look like those nice carpet designs, spewing delightful dings as you walk past rows of neon machines. Most of them either will not work or some NPC will be using it. Maybe add some more fanciful structures like fountains so that the player can look upon it and be like “yeah this is some opulent shit.”

There will be one slot machine that the player is capable of interacting with. It costs money to use and the slot machine assigns a number. Half the time, you may get nothing, wasting your money. Sometimes, you’ll get exactly what you paid back. Sometimes, you’ll make profit. Sometimes, you’ll actually win big. For each time the slot machine is used, a hidden probability increases that’s checked before the slot machine checks for what you won. If that probability is hit, the machine breaks down, like those stupid donation machines in Isaac.

Maybe in a seedier part of the casino area, NPCs will be gambling using a different game – Russian roulette. I imagine the player walking into a room and oh no a chaser followed them in, time to get pressed into a death game. I kinda imagine the Russian roulette game to be like the one in LISA, with that tension as you hit “Z” to pull the trigger against your head and hoping the bullet’s not in it, while an opponent does the same. Click. Click. Click. Win and you get to explore this seedy part of the casino further – maybe something important can be hidden down this route? Lose and whoops you wake up.

World – La-Mulana

A world that’s a reference to La-Mulana so that people can see how much not fun the game is.

In sincerity, it’d be neat, exploring some ruins. We’ve all probably dreamed of going on adventures in some mystical ruins before, right? All I’m saying is, let’s have more places that feels like adventurous dreams in Yume Nikki fangames.

But also if it’s La-Mulana based it needs some dumb traps. Give me the really vague routes that you don’t know exists unless you follow some really esoteric hints.

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