Update: Remnants of Dream

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Room plan for Remnants of Dream

Over the past two weeks I have been thinking about the development of my game, Remnants of Dream, and have made a few breakthroughs with the concept.

Firstly, I have come up with a floor plan for the world of Floria that will be placed at the start of this post. The world plan will consist of at least six areas, the seventh known as “???” is still being thought out and may not appear at all.

Also, all of the rooms featured in the game will have a seasonal theme which symbolises the cycle of life, much like the cycle the world of Floria goes through as the world of Floria goes through a cycle of decay and rebirth.

The final two characters of the game have also been finalised. We have Gladiolus, the captain of the queen’s royal guard, and Impatiens, the royal secretary. I have yet to draw concept art for the rest of my cast but have been thinking about what they look like and making notes. Back stories are still in progress for some characters, but I’m getting there.

Apart from the main cast of characters, I am also considering the use of minor characters who provide information pertinent to completing puzzles in the game. These puzzles will draw on the back stories of the main cast and teach the lead character, Verity, lessons for individual growth.

I decided to implement the puzzles in this way to bring meaning to the game. This decision was spurred by my conversation with Richard about bringing something personal to the game and also by a comment made by Clancy Carr about his interest in games that had multiple and meaningful endings, as long as they aren’t stretched too thin.

It probably looks like I’m trying to apply meaning to a game design that didn’t originally begin with a meaningful concept, and you would be right. However, once I started developing and exploring the characters backgrounds, I felt that just because it didn’t start with a meaningful concept, it didn’t mean that it had to have no meaning at all.

With the way it is progressing, I feel that Remnants of Dream will turn out to have a story that I can be proud of and that imparts meaning. But we’ll see.

In regards to production, distribution, and marketing, my options are limited.

Production wise, Remnants of Dream has always been thought of in terms of being an individual project. For the games development, I plan on doing all of the coding in GameMaker: Studio by myself, to reduce cost. At this point, I am still planning on sourcing CC music and creating the art myself.

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Artwork by accha

However, I would consider commissioning artist accha for their beautiful character, background, and sprite art, if I had money. The same goes for harmonicblend, except for their music. Both worked together to produce Dreaming Mary, but I really appreciate their work outside of that games art and music.

In terms of distribution, Remnants of Dream was always intended to appear on internet gaming platform Steam. However, for Remnants of Dream to appear on Steam, it first must be submitted to Steam Greenlight. It is here where members of the Steam community gather to discuss and offer feedback on games still in development and it is also here where Steam executives select titles to appear in product listings based off of audience appeal and activity.

If Remnants of Dream was to be greenlit as a title for Steam, I would then go into discussions with the Steam marketing team about strategies for spruiking my game.

When I try to think about the audience for Remnants of Dream I have trouble imagining who this game would be for. Remnants of Dream cannot be considered a hard core game for serious gamers, but it cannot be considered a casual game either. I would like to think that the audience for this game is not gender or too age specific, but if I had to say, then I would say that the audience for this game concerns people who can appreciate indie games that are story rich. In this way, I imagine males and females between the ages of 15 to 30 as being my main target audience.

I think that’s all there is to say at this point. But if anyone has any ideas for me than I would appreciate it if you could share them in a comment.

9 thoughts on “Update: Remnants of Dream

  1. Hi Jacob,
    When reading about the world of Floria going through cycles of decay and rebirth, it made me think of the Binding of Isaac Rebirth (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Binding_of_Isaac:_Rebirth). I’ve not played it, but I have heard some about it. After Isaac fights his way through an underworld and fights a boss, the world cycles again and he is ‘reborn’ into another figure. This game has religious imagery and has Isaac playing as different Biblical figures, each representing a part of him. The game also has like 17 different endings, each more difficult to reach than the last. Perhaps, the ‘cycle of life’ that you talk about, could have your protagonist taking on different forms and gaining new powers, or abilities after each seasonal room/dungeon/area is completed. Or maybe the seasons could represent her growing up, with each completed room/season having her become a bit older and a bit wiser, like how Ness and his crew mature during their quest in EarthBound. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EarthBound). For some reason I am really picturing a coming of age story, in which she leaves the dream world after collecting the objects, and she grows up, or perhaps she is fighting childhood demons or fears?(of course you probably don’t see it going in that direction).

    The main thing I would ask is: will there be a combat system? Like in EarthBound or Undertale, where it is turn-based, or will she collect the objects and leave the dream-like world peacefully, and only by completing objects and interacting with the people and creatures around her?

    I am really looking forward to the storybuilding and worldbuilding that is to come! 🙂

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    1. Hi Emily! Thank you for such a thoughtful comment, and I’m sorry for a late reply.

      I have never even heard of “Binding of Isaac Rebirth” and will be googling it in the future, it sounds awesome! As for your ideas about my protag Verity, I am very happy to say that you have given me something to think about. I think it is an interesting idea to have her grow up as she explores the castle of Floria, however, I have recently switched to using RPG Maker MV to make my game and it is a bit limiting in regards to making younger characters so it looks like I am going to have to make her at least a teenager instead of a child. I don’t particularly want her to end up as an old woman either, so the majority of growth that will take place is in her character.

      I would most definitely say that this is a coming of age story where Verity will be dealing with her fears and inner demons, I am still developing the story line for such growth to take place so there is not much I can say at this point but your assumptions are most definitely correct. 🙂

      As for combat, I am really on the fence about it. I just don’t know how much of a place it would have in Remnants of Dream, but combat is going to be included then I will definitely talk about it in a future post.

      Once again, thank you for taking the time to comment on my blog and sharing your ideas!

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  2. First question, have you read Robin Hobb’s Farseer Trilogy? If so, I wonder if the incredible character of Prince Verity inspired you?

    I really love the vision of your game, and I love the realistic idea you have of uploading it to Steam Greenlight. It’s actually wonderful to see how supportive Steam is of Indie games, and how successful they are becoming, especially most recently a wonderful example would be Stardew Valley!

    Your idea of death and rebirth is especially fascinating. This is a bit geeky, but I would reccomend checking out Christopher Tin’s album “Calling All Dawns.”

    There are 12 songs on the album, and they are separated into three movements being Day, Night and Dawn, corresponding to life, death and rebirth. Furthermore, each song is sung in a different language, and they’re all interwoven so not only does the next song begin in the melody of the last song, the melody’s that feature in each song arise in other songs. It’s all incredible and if you were interested I’d recommend researching the song lyrics online where they’re translated into english. If you do check the album out I hope it inspires you and your project.

    You can listen to it all here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QR_rKSTM43I

    Also if you have the money to spare, I believe the program RPG Maker would be perfect for your game. I’m currently on the latest version, MV, however I believe the cheaper RPG Maker VX Ace (which can be accessed on Steam) will be perfect for you. It even has a character creator so you’ll be able to create custom characters.

    Check out the trailer for the program here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cCZeYZBdtFw

    There are a host of tutorials on YouTube to help get you started. 🙂

    Can’t wait to hear more about The World of Floria.
    All the best!

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    1. Hi Russianblue! I’m sorry about a late reply, but thank you for commenting and sharing your ideas!

      Firstly, no I have not read the Farseer Trilogy by Robin Hobbs. I will most definitely look into it though and this Prince Verity you mentioned. The character Verity in my game was named this way because I wanted to firstly use a name that is considered a little more old school. My second reason for calling her Verity was because Verity stands for truth, which I think is an important element in getting through Remnants of Dream.

      I am also in awe of how supportive Steam is of indie games. I would be interested to see what kinds of criticism Remnants of Dream would receive from the Steam community. I have heard of Stardew Valley but have yet to look into what it is really about, I’m looking forward to discovering its story though.

      I haven’t heard Christopher Tin’s album “Calling All Dawns,” but hearing your description of it has me insanely interested! I am going to listen to this album and look into the lyrics! I can’t wait!

      I am also glad that you brought the RPG Maker engines to my attention. I hadn’t really considered them as options but after seeing the trailer you linked me to and your comments, I decided to look into it… and ended up buying MV lol! I recently started a job so I will have access to funds in the future which I can sink into Remnants of Dream if I need to.

      Thank you for your comment!

      Like

  3. I think it is a great idea to do a floor plan for the world of Flora (nice name as well!) first off because you can see the background and what you want your game play to become. And I like that you still keep little hints of secrets to unlock later. I really love the sense of how you have captivated nature into your game and the puzzles and story will overlap within the beauty of it all. I would love to see how all these characters interact with your game. Who are the good guys and who are the bad? How many are there all together? What puzzles are you thinking of incorporating? Look at these puzzles for maybe more inspiration on how the puzzles will be put across. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TxMveV1Uae8 Can’t wait to hear more!

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    1. Hi Elly! Thank you for your comment!

      I agree with you in that a floor plan helps to show what it is your game will become. However, now that I’ve switched to using RPG Maker MV, the floor plan has sort of become redundant.

      Also in regards to the aspect of nature being an important element of Remnants of Dream, I have to look into resources/tile sets that will fit the world of Floria and the themes that are represented.

      I am also still deciding on the puzzles for the game but I believe they will be more information based than anything else, I just need to figure out how to weave complexity into the puzzles, but nothing too complex like the ones in the link you sent me. 🙂 Too hard!!!

      As for characters, I can tell you there is at least one that is good and four that are neutral. Neutral is the best description I can give for four of the characters at the moment.

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. First off the artwork is looking really cool. I had a question or two about implementing combat into the game, especially if it’s taking place in a dream world and was thinking maybe fight through bad dreams to reach a goal, or fight through bad parts of a dream to get away before they suck you in or something like that? Or maybe have a sanity meter (don’t know if it’s been done or not) say if a player spends too much time with bad dreams (if there are any) then they start moving slower and start hallucinating and losing health like that, just to give a slight disadvantage to players

    Like

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