Here’s to another batch of games made in the Dream Diary Jam! If you haven’t checked the first batch, please check it out!
A few more games trickled in last minute, which brings up the total number of games up to 34 (unless some more get accepted as late entries). That’s more stuff to play, but that’s not a problem for me.
DO YOU THINK THIS IS A GAME?
Pyromantic is making a game called Dream Eater, which has pretty art. Dream Eater is not the game she submitted for the jam, though.
Instead, she delivers a game that is an absolute shitpost and it’s kinda glorious. I feel that saying anything more would spoil the jokes, but that’s all there really is to the game: jokes. Has the game succeeded in its goal of being a shitpost, though? Absolutely.
Nocti is a game by Nuxill, revolving around the titular girl who has the ability to transport herself to another world through a nearby tree.
This game is notable in that it seems to be one of the few traditional-ish entries that uses the RPG Maker MV engine instead of the old guard of 2000/2003/VX. The engine’s bigger tiles lends the game a crisp look, even if not overly detailed. The gameplay is otherwise traditional Yume Nikki fare, but there simply isn’t a lot of this stuff on MV, so it’s nice to see.
And speaking of RPG Maker MV, another Yume Nikki fangame using that engine is Onohi by remyripple.
You play as a girl named Ike Maka, who looks like a despondent student in the real world but becomes a happy free spirit in her dream world. I suppose that there’s this escapist angle in the game. There isn’t a lot to the demo, but still, congrats on getting this done!
Also, a quick word of advice for this game and well, anyone starting out with MV in general: please delete all the project files that aren’t used in your game before publishing! MV doesn’t run on an RTP but instead insists on having all their default tilesets/sound/etc in every new project, which unnecessarily bloats your project sizes.
Mesonoxian is by Wambysock, delivering a traditional Yume Nikki experience. Its protagonist, Tyran, daydreams at his desk and saves by sleeping in bed, which is backwards from the usual experience, but whatever.
The equivalent of Effects in this game are Influences, scattered across the few areas that the demo has to offer. This game introduces one of my favorite “Killing Effects” across all these fangames, the Occult Influence, with the acquisition and associated event implying that Tyran could be a cult inductee. It’s a Killing Effect that implies a backstory moreso than the usual tool with little context behind it; it also not being a usual tool is also pretty fresh.
While Mesonoxian isn’t finished, what’s there of the classic Yume Nikki fangame experience is done right. The atmosphere of the game’s areas are solid and everything looks nice. I’m looking forward to any future updates this could have.
Album is by violinistsMetronome and it is another game made in RPG Maker MV. Unlike the other MV fangames introduced in the jam though, this games takes full advantage of the engine’s advertised multi-platform features and is playable in the browser. By the looks of things, it’s the only entry in the jam that can be played in the browser.
Instead of the usual young characters, you actually play as an old woman named Ethel. The game progresses through her picking up an old photo album and falling asleep to access her dream world. To me it creates this narrative of an old woman dreaming of the past, which I think is a neat concept. There’s unfortunately not a lot to play around with, so I’m hoping that it gets worked on more! It’d be nice to see more browser fangames out there!
Fissure is by Meaka and it is a story of a guy who has a huge fissure tear itself open in his wall, opening a gate leading to different worlds.
The game differentiates itself stylistically through its art. While there are some maps that use tiles (notably one that uses VX Ace’s default tilesets), much of the maps utilize parallax mapping. Whole areas are backgrounds with collisions placed, the unnamed protagonist wandering on a canvas. I do like the art for these places, they seem vibrant and something to stick with if this gets updated more.
Also, a personal note to the creator: there’s no need to apologize like you did in the game page. You should be proud of yourself! Be proud that you tried and put something out for people to enjoy! Be proud of your art, your time, your effort!
Sleepless is by littleslime, following an unnamed boy stuck in his room. He actually has an explicit reason not to leave, being a hospital patient who is not yet well. He spends his days reading books and eventually falling asleep to them, apparently.
Sleepless is sort of by-the-books gameplay-wise, though I like its art style. The game’s use of colors is real nice, the overall color schemes sort of establishing the dreams as somewhat peaceful, especially the maiden area. The mapping is a bit confusing when it comes to stairs, but otherwise I like these maps.
Dream Arena by SN777Divinus is an unusual entry for the game jam. Instead of being a fangame based off of Yume Nikki‘s concepts, it’s based directly off of Yume Nikki itself. Furthermore, it’s a fighting game made in Unity, a far cry from the usual genres and engines these fangames have.
It’s also more of a prototype than a proper demo. All it consists of is two extremely pixellated Madotsukis fighting each other on a White Desert stage, provided by Outlander. It sort of does that Smash thing where you get launched farther by hits the more damage you take. You control the normal Madotsuki, which didn’t exactly feel smoothe. My short look just kinda consisted of the grayscale Madotsuki beating the shit out of me because man is she unrelenting, so props to the AI programming.
Ultimately, the game is just a prototype – a prototype for something completely outside the normal fangame experience, so you shouldn’t come in expecting a complete fighting game experience. This prototype is nice to see though and it’d be nice to see it improve.
XV is by Cosmic Latte Games (though the itch.io creator page is of the same name as the game). The game initially seems like a normal Yume Nikki fangame, but shortly after starting, it’s clear that the game is unconventional.
You play as a detective holed up in their room. The game’s menu is presented as them looking through their files, the Effects equivalent being Evidence to track down. This detective takes an unorthodox approach in their methods by tracking down what they need through their dream world.
Throughout the dream world is not just Evidence, but supposed witnesses to this mysterious crime the protagonist is investigating. These witnesses give clues on the identity of the perpetrator, with the grand puzzle of figuring out what the truth is (hint: there are multiple versions of two certain pieces of Evidence). XV‘s whole investigative angle keeps the experience engaging; it gives a greater sense that you’re working toward something and it makes the usual Yume Nikki atmosphere feel like a mystery – a surreal mystery, but a mystery. Not to mention, the whole overarching puzzle looming over the game instead of the usual “use Effect here” puzzles that’s usually custom is great. So far it’s just a demo, but it’s a real excellent demo.