What is Dream?
You take on the role of Howard Phillips, a young graduate with no direction in life who develops an obsession with his dreams. Discover dreams and nightmares filled with puzzles and secrets to help Howard find the meaning to his life.
Dream’s gameplay is strongly based around exploration with games such as Yume Nikki and LSD being the initial inspiration for the concept. On top of this we have been inspired by the narrative elements in Dear Esther and Deus Ex’s non-linear story telling and environments, the resulting gameplay maintains aspects of all 4 games. There will be many puzzles to solve, horror sections and some more narrative focused areas. So we hope it will have a range of elements for everyone to enjoy.
In Dream you’ll run around a vast range of environments and listen as Howard tries to relate his surroundings to his life and future. There will be a lot of puzzles to solve ranging from the straight forward all the way through to point and click adventure style lateral thinking problems. There will also be horror segments and nightmares that create a strong contrast with the lovely dream worlds Howard usually inhabits.
The game opens in the house Howard inherited from his uncle. From here you can explore the house and interact with Howard’s bed to make him go to sleep. Once you go to sleep you enter a sort of hub world, a concept we really enjoyed the use of in the game Yume Nikki and decided to incorporate in our own way for Dream. From the hub world you can enter the first act of the game.
The narrative is split into 3 acts with multiple endings that are possible based on how much you as a player have explored. Each act is comprised of one large environment to explore freely and hidden within that are “doorways” to 2 to 3 side dreams. Finally, completing the main “objective” of the larger dream will take you through to a nightmare segment you must overcome to unlock the next act.
The story is hidden throughout the environments and the more you explore the more you know so check every nook and cranny. Given the nature of the game we estimate that it will take somewhere between 4 to 9 hours to complete depending on how much you want to explore Howards mind and how good an ending you want.
Throughout all these dreams there will be plenty of secrets, collectables and items to find as we really want people to feel rewarded for exploring the worlds. Items play a really big part in Dream and there are a good amount to find hidden throughout the game. One example is the compass we give you at the start of the game which can help lead you to some secrets or even just operate as a normal compass would.
As you unlock more areas to explore you can still retread old ground and sometimes this can be very rewarding as items from later levels may have new uses in old areas. In the full game we really want to saturate the worlds with puzzles and secrets to add this metroidvania layer of gameplay and give people a reason to spend more time in all these different environments.