Ah, it's been a while, but it's been serious idea development time, so I just wanted to update more on the ideas I'm having for the game!
So the premise is that the protagonist, Vic Morison, just lost their dog, Max. They're struggling to keep connected to memories of him, but soon they and their family are moving out of their childhood home, so they're afraid their connection will all but disappear without environmental memory triggers. Then they wake up in a place called Half-Sleep with their other dog, Louie. It's just like their the town they grew up in and everywhere they know, but... weird. One block might seem to be at night in the dead of winter, but the next block is sunrise in spring. And there are monsters everywhere.
Vic Morison is a representation of me, basically. They're an enby going through the same things I am, just in a more surreal way. But their full name is Victory, meaning they'll win over their struggles in the end, and is meant to be sort of an in-between of the masculine Victor and the feminine Victoria. Their last name I like so much I want it for myself. The name Morrison means 'from the moor,' and using one 'r' is a reference to the Japanese word mori, which means forest. To me, this means Vic has a natural sort of power, and takes strength from the world around them.
This game is very much my story. It's everything in me I want to tell but can't completely give words to. Different places in Half-Sleep will relate to, and depict different memories. This is a project intended to help me navigate my own mind - and the 'bad stuff' is represented by the monsters, of course. (In the last post, I called them ghosts, but they're going to be designed towards the purpose of being inner demons.) Once I get a working plot, I can probably share more on what they might represent. But I know at this point I want to fight to have the player fight them with what I'm calling Affirmations, which I guess are sort of similar to Skyrim's Shouts. They'll be mostly things to tell yourself that will minimize the danger and threat of the 'bad stuff' and shrink the monsters to more manageable sizes. I also want to incorporate magic inspiration, where you can enchant objects to protect you. I'm thinking they could range from, like, pretty leaves you find at the park to a necklace a friend gave you to your favorite pen...
When your wellness/wellbeing meter (basically your health points) hits 0, you'll be immobilized by an anxiety attack. A monster will come out of the ground and pull you and Lou under, then take you both home... That's our good monster, who protects you, but can't leave home for very long. She calls herself Homebody, and likes you to call her HB. In the beginning of the game, she reveals she protects you and your family in your sleep. She's gotten very close to Max and Louie and wants to help you find him. But she can't protect you outside of the house, so she tethers you and Louie together with a magic leash so you can't get separated from each other.
She is great. A little spooky, though. I'll share her and Vic's designs with the next update.
At this point, I also know for sure that after the main story, after you navigate memories and bad feelings to find connections to Max in Half-Sleep, I want to make a second part. You'll play in my new college life, through small mini-games for going to class, commuting home, and doing various stuff around the apartment... That part will be a sort of slice-of-life sim. But when you go to sleep for the night, you can go to either Nightmares or Dreams. In Nightmares you can see fight all the monsters again with both Max and Louie, and in Dreams you will be back in the neighborhood in a sort of Nintendogs-ish version. I'd like the second part to be less story and more along the lines of Animal Crossing, Stardew Valley and Harvest Moon, if you know what I mean. Because this game will sort of close out and pay homage to my childhood, I also want to take inspiration from all the games I loved playing.
This is going to be a big project. Right now, I do not know how to make a game. But I am so excited, and so prepared to spend the next part of my life on this. And I'm excited to share it with you! I hope you can be excited about this too.
Love y'all. Hope you have (had) happy holidays!! Take care of yourselves.