Today, I’m looking at more things that came out of the Dream Diary Jam. To the uninformed that haven’t seen my past entries, the Dream Diary Jam was a game jam dedicated to making fangames for Yume Nikki, which is something that I’m invested in and thus why I’m spending two weeks looking at this stuff. Check out the earlier parts (1 – 2) if you haven’t already, or just hit that “read more” and keep on going.
Oh yes, and on a site note, shout out to my high school friends for deciding to help support this blog! As such, there’s a new credits page for this site that maybe you can also be on.
Okay but enough shilling, it’s dream time.
This game is by KCM Ego, its title roughly translating to Colorful Fairytale Dreams. It’s a name that really gets straight to the point; you play as a girl named Ilyse who’s bored with her waking life and prefers exploring her fairytale-like dreams. This direction is solidified by the game’s music choices. Instead of the usual ambiance or minimalist noise, the game’s soundtrack feels like something you’d expect from a fantasy RPG – for Ilyse, her dreams are an adventure.
This game is definitely one of the best looking ones to come out of the jam. The art is gorgeous and I can tell that a lot of time and care was put into it. I especially love the red town, it’s just so dang vibrant. Really, the only issue I had with the art is that it doesn’t properly take account for when the maps loop. Definitely something on my “looking forward to updates” list.
Insomnus, by HardCodedValue, is a bit unusual in that while the game is a traditional-styled Yume Nikki fangame, it’s made in GameMaker rather than RPG Maker. And no matter how many people think that Undertale is an RPG Maker game, the two engines are wildly different from each other.
A problem that I had with the game that I just couldn’t ignore is that the world is too sprawling for the character’s speed. It’s just sort of maddening. Despite the speed problem though, the engine’s pretty solid. Aside from one visual bug I saw, the game controls alright and the save system works.
But hey, as far as I know, this is the first traditional game made on GameMaker, so there isn’t really any rules established. I’m curious about the potential this game can have, as GameMaker can effectively do more than RPG Maker, as it lacks the engine’s restrictions. Hoping to see more come out of this in the future!
Trade Effluent is by claufiersoft, a game made in MV that brings a different take on the dreaming formula.
You’re just dropped right into the game with no context whatsoever, your starting position being completely random. There’s no context for the game’s Effects either, as instead of being gained from specific items or NPCs, they’re gifted by interchangeable present boxes, whose contents are randomized each playthrough. With all these random elements, I’d argue that the game feels like a crossing of Yume Nikki and similar cult dream exploration game, LSD: Dream Emulator.
The maps sort of vary, but there are definitely some interesting ideas. What fascinates me is the occasional usage of still images of 3D models as part of the environment, which is definitely something I haven’t really seen before. I sort of wish there were more maps added to the mix, but I think this was neat.
This game is by nee and is only available on… Linux. Well, if you have Linux this is something you could check out, but I don’t and I will not install a new operating system to play something that the dev admits barely has content. However, it has a somewhat intensive devlog and I can clearly see that they’ve put a lot of effort into this and that’s something to appreciate.
Madotsuki’s Story is by Ebriosus Beati, existing in a rather limited form as the creator did not finish everything they wanted before the deadline. Like, it was literally submitted around 20 minutes before the deadline.
Like Dream Arena, this game is directly based off of Yume Nikki. Madotsuki’s Story is a sidescrolling adventure game. However, in the case of the version for the Dream Diary Jam, there isn’t really any content, as the only thing you can do is go to sleep. The developer is intent on working on this further though and they have a track record of making games, so I guess you can expect more in the future!
Moonlit Lobby is by HOX, a monochrome feline-filled game that gives an unorthodox take on the Yume Nikki formula.
A cat named Harley wanders the streets of a Roaring Twenties-esque setting, taking refuge from the rain at a hotel. A couple allows him to room with them – on the account that he entertains them with stories. Instead of dream sequences, you sort of travel in a world representing the storytelling process. The narratives in these worlds aren’t vague like usual games – in fact, the goal is to figure out the narrative through approaching set pieces and interacting with NPCs, sometimes using the game’s Effect equivalent to unearth more story.
Tying into the game’s setting is the game’s soundtrack. No ambiance here, but jazzy tunes. I particularly like the song when you’re in the areas that tells a story about aliens, which has an appropriate sci-fi movie score spin on it. This and the well-done monochrome art creates a strong aesthetic that gives Moonlit Lobby a distinct personality. Even if it’s incomplete, the game’s a gem.
No Outlet is a game by budgeri. The game was worked on before the jam properly started (I’m guessing because of personal obligations?), but it was worked on in the same number of days as the jam would have gone on for, so it’s still legit!
A girl named Mint accesses a dream world through her cabinet. like stepping into Narnia. Aside from that premise, the game plays kinda traditionally. Honestly, I don’t really have a lot to say on this game. Of course, this is a demo like most of the other games, so it’s safe to assume that there’d be more content.
Yume Nyaki is by Frankie1205 and mike 309, which is meant to be a simple traditional game.
So uh, the game is not exactly ideal. It’s real eye-straining and a lot of maps are real empty. But also like, the creators are apparently both 11, so I absolutely disapprove of anyone being a dick about this game. Like really, people should stop being dicks about stuff young people make that isn’t super amazing from the get-go, that kinda cringe-blog loving attitude discourages people from trying and improving. So I say to these fellas, keep at it!
The last game for this batch is Family by Land of Obscure Potatoes. Much like many of the games, Family currently exists in demo form. The game follows a family that finds themselves trapped in their home for whatever reason. The family’s Mother thus decides to spend the time dreaming.
The game is somewhat traditional, while also introducing some quality of life features. The Mother has no need for a dream diary, capable of saving in dream whenever you need it. Family also has the neat idea of putting NPCs that can teleport you to fixed, previously explored locations, which is pretty useful for backtracking.
I think the game’s sense of aesthetics is great. While the game’s music isn’t the creator’s own, I think it’s a good selection. It’s a nice variety, ranging from a frantic surreal tune for the Witch’s Hut and some classy music for the Art Museum, it really helps make the game feel different. I like the shape the game’s in so far, so I’d like to see the next version that the creator recommends we wait for.