RMMV Dreamtrotter (Demo Now Available!) - Action Platformer Meets RPG Maker Horror

PixelatedBree

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dreamtrotter game art3.png




Welcome to Dreamtrotter -- a game that attempts to combine the action of a platformer/Metroidvania game with the story/gameplay of classic RPG Maker horror games....AKA the first game I've dedicated myself to finishing that isn't a fan game! :kaopride:)


(See 'Download' spoiler below to try out the test demo)


SECTION A: SYNOPSIS


Dreamtrotter is an action platformer with horror/dark fairy tale elements currently being developed in RPG Maker MV. The game is planned to be released as freeware later in 2022. Since this game is still early in development, what you read below is subject to change.

This game will contain the following mature subject matters that some may find disturbing: murder, bullying, and suicide. Although it won’t be graphic or obscene (no blood/gore/cursing), please be careful playing if you’re not comfortable with the listed subjects.



Now for the fun stuff!



dreamtrotter features.png

- A story-rich, platformer dream world where a kid’s imagination shapes its design!

- Swap between two characters, grumpy Moira and friendly Apollo, at any time. Both have a specific move set that you can use to get to new areas!

- Chop, shoot (with a water gun!), dash, swim, and jump your way through five dream-themed stages as you search for the one corrupting the kid's dream!

- Defeat dream foes to gain EXP and level up your characters

- Cute NPCs that change dialog depending on which character you are (some might only be willing to share important information or even special items with one character over the other)

- Gather Dream Candies to spend on items, weapon upgrades, and stat boosts

- A mix of original and royalty free music



Future Features (TBD):

- Weapon exchange

- Graphic change for jump, dash, and attack (dash & jump achieved!)

- More NPCs

- “Dream vehicles”

- Art updates

- Busts/Face Graphics (3 down, lots more to go)

- CGs





The idea for Dreamtrotter originated from a dream (…go figure) and was inspired by my love for RPG Maker horror games, Studio Ghibli films, and my all-time favorite side-scrolling action video game franchise, Castlevania. Although I’ve played around with RPG Maker for years and love to doodle, this is my first time trying to make something that isn’t just for myself/friends/family. Writing is what I usually do, so taking on the art and trying to get everything to fit my vision has been a big challenge. I’m learning a lot, and I’ll be taking everything I learn with me to my future games!



Nic_Roughsketch.png

Early concept art of Nic, the pompous and flamboyant antagonist (whose gigantic hat, although "stylish", has been shrunken waaaay down. Sorry Nic!)

StoryOP - Lastwakeuup.png

Developing the opening cutscene art. Moira wakes up … in a dream? Dn dn dnnnn….​



IMAGES/SCREENSHOTS





Dreamtrotter Title.png

Dreamtrotter Title Screen



animations dreamtrotter 2.gif

Prototype of boss fight



premise.gif

Talking with Ciel



SandmansShop_Dreamtrotter.PNG

Sandman's Shop




moira_cs_dreamtrotter.gif

Cutscene graphics



moira look up.gif

Looking up, classic Sonic style

Moira n Apollo.PNG

Fighting Dream Goo​




SECTION B: CHARACTERS




  • *More info/characters to come!
  • moira_fin.pngMoira: She enters Apollo's dream to purge it of evil and won't stop until she's finished her job. She's aggressive, headstrong, and perpetually frowning.
  • Apollo_dreamtrottermirror.pngApollo: His dream has been infiltrated by something evil, although he's not aware of it yet. He's easily excited, always on the lookout for fun adventures, and loves to help others.
  • Ciel_dreamtrottermiror.pngCiel: A helpful fellow who shows up from time to time to give Moira and Apollo tips on how to progress in the dream. Likes his hair messy.
  • nic_grintalk.pngNic: A shapeshifting being that has taken up residence in Apollo's dream. Loves mirrors.
  • Sandman_dreamtrottermirror.pngSandman: He's a whimsical creature known for helping children fall asleep. He loves Dream Candies but hates how much work it is to find them.
  • Grimsi_dreamtrottermirror.pngGrimsi: The young daughter of the Grim Reaper who is training to take over her father's job. She may look scary, but she's very well-mannered and likes making new friends.
  • Memory_dreamtrottermirror.pngMemory: She's always praying. Find her for complete healing and to save your game.



STORY

dreamtrotter story 2.png
In our world, there are celestial beings known as "Dreamtrotters". They were made by the Creator to look over and protect the precious dreams of humans. If your dream becomes corrupted by an evil source, you must call on a Dreamtrotter to expel it.

On a starry night in Runalune City, a mother prays for her child to be watched over while he sleeps. Inside his dream, axe-wielding Moira discovers a great evil that is determined to devour the child and his dream. Will you be able to rescue Apollo and return him to the real world?



SECTION D: SETTING AND/OR WORLD DEVELOPMENT

The majority of the game will take place inside of Apollo's dream, so you'll be traversing through the mind of a kid obsessed with trapeze artists, television, and more. Although everything seems bright and cheery, you'll slowly become more aware of the dream's corruption as you play through the game. Since this is a platformer, I'm planning to have each stage incorporate a few new mechanics like cannons that will blast you further, traveling underwater, lower gravity, and other ideas. I don't want players to feel like it's repetitive!



DOWNLOAD LINK







Story, Art, Eventing
Ladybug Games

Original Music
Leylson Caralvho
Oceanus

Plugins
Hakuen
Masked
Moghunter
Tomoaky
Yanfly
Yoji Ojima

Additional Art
whtdragon (Players' Weapons)

Additional Music & Sound
Conto de Fee
KADOKAWA
Hmix
TAM Music Factory
The Guide of Time
Amacha Chagasi
https://sounddictionary.info
Pocket Sound





Thank you for checking out this thread! I appreciate any and all feedback. That's all for now!
 

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Last edited:

PixelatedBree

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Thanks, dreamfall! :kaojoy:Your comments have been so inspirational! I plan to have a proper one out in the next few months and maybe a short one that focuses on mechanics sooner than that!
 

alice_gristle

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Ooh, ooh, I wanna whack things with an axe in the circus! But no big-boned winged women? :biggrin: :kaoluv:
 

PixelatedBree

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PLEASE tell me that's a reference to Portrait of Ruin and those harpies that threw their feathers at you (or something like that)!! :XP1:
 

PixelatedBree

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Apollo and Moira now have brand new art that will be shown during important dialogue & cutscenes!
devlog1.png


Head over to Dreamtrotter's itch.io page if you want to read the full devlog (I'll try to keep updates here a little more to the point). Have a happy Valentine's Day tomorrow, new game dev companions! :kaoluv:

nicsad2small.png
 

PixelatedBree

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New animations, first boss design, & demo progress!devlog2.png



You can read the full devlog (and see a short vid & gifs) over on itch.io. Thanks for stopping by!

moiraad2.png
 

PixelatedBree

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First Playable Demo Release Planned for Next Friday! (3/11/2022)​


Yyhw8k.gif

Dreamtrotter’s first playable demo will be released next Friday! I’ve got all the mechanics for the game down, so now I’m hoping for some feedback on how everything plays and looks before I keep plugging along. The short 15-20 minute demo will include:

  • Simple “learn-as-you-play” tutorial
  • Updated resolution
  • Semifinal graphics (some things will be replaced or polished once game is complete)
  • Platforming action
  • Easy enemies
  • Collecting money
  • An annoying shopkeeper
  • A boss chase!

It doesn’t contain much of the story, but I plan on putting more of that in the next demo. Being able to swap characters will also come in the next demo, sorry Apollo!

----

Thanks so much for stopping by! See you next Friday! :LZScheeze: & I hope development is coming along well with your own games!

It's Spring Break, so the rest of this week will be much-needed vacation time for me :cool:
aHFWRo.png


Your time will come, Apollo!
 

ShadowDragon

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it looks good, not really my graphic style, but I'm always in
for an adventure. and how it works.

I will test it out, see what I can find on bugs.
 

PixelatedBree

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Thank you so much, Shadow, I appreciate your offer to help fight off bugs! And I get it about the graphics not being your style, so doubly appreciate you looking past that & offering to give me a hand!
 

PixelatedBree

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It's still Friday, isn't it...? Cool, because the first demo's here! :kaojoy:
QvwcQv.png

Meant to give players a feel of the gameplay & art direction of Dreamtrotter, this short 15-20 minute demo lets you try out the controls, fight a few enemies, collect currency, and meet some of the main characters.

N8bJFs.gif


Oh, and there's also a clown. He's pretty friendly!

Everything is still early in development, so please let me know about any bugs/issues you run into! You can find the demo in the main post of this thread under 'Download Link'.

 

ShadowDragon

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I beated the demo, and there are some pro's and cons and a few
mistakes I found.

so I start with the mistakes.

1) the actor when swinging with the Axe get double sprite or 3 sprites,
as it doesn't render correctly.

2) it took me a few times to get past the 2nd or 3rd stage with the clown
as it kills you when you go down or jump, but you need to time it nicely
to get through.

3) the HUD on the upper left corner is nearly visible and comes and go,
which should be better.


the Pro's
1) game play and and jumping are nice, but try to place a bit more gravity
on it so the jump is a bit better (when able).
but furthermore, nicely done.

2) the place with the eyes is nicely (but also a cons).


the Cons:
1) when you use C to much and no MP left for dash,
you are forced to start a new game, so if you need to jump
and use dash, let him restore your MP so you have it to jump
OR disable dash when you reach that point, either way works.

2) when you go to the store, to get a key as a purple gate is blocking
it, it might be a good idea to place a big LOCK or a lock for it.

maybe a color lock? (brown common, silver, uncommon etc?

3) as for the eyes part, I think I got damaged there as it gets
a red barrier, as there is no hud either, so the 2 maps empty
and filled with eyes is a bit bored, but you can improve it a bit more,

3a) add some scary sounds, or let the eyes moves and follow you,
3b) Maybe adda hand 1-4 that PUSH or FORCE your to run.


it is maybe in early developement, while it is not that great yet,
as you can improve and things change, it has potentional.

I love the skipping ball, but I think the 1 wheeler is a bit to close as it took
me a few tries to get on it.

see if you can improve the minor mistakes I gave you or suggestions,
whatever you do with it, and who knows, I retry the game again :)

Dont get me wrong, everyone needs to start somewhere as I fail on mapping ^^
 

PixelatedBree

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Shadow! Thank you for playing the demo & providing me with such great feedback! :LZSjoy: I am copying all of this down so I can go and fix the things you pointed out.

Oof, the “No dash” is a big problem, especially if you had to restart—sorry about that :LZSsad: I’ll put Ciel in that room or make it so you can travel back to him and get some Boost Juice. Or even have the monsters drop them in that room!

I LOVE the idea of having a lock appear on the gate! Maybe I’ll show a lock icon by the gate as you approach it…. I am also planning to adjust the HUD to make it more visible and fit the theme of the game a bit better.

And of course I’m never against making anything a little more spooky, so I’ll try to amp up the creepiness & fun in the eye hall lol

Yeah, I definitely have a waaays to go! But I’m glad you gave it a try and like where it’s going. Thank you again, and I hope you’ll come back when I upload the next build!
 

arsMori

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Yoohoo! Just played the demo, and it's really to my liking! I actually am starting to warm up to platformer games, so good thing I got to play this demo :kaohi:

I'll list my pros and cons, as well as some glitches (?) I found:

Pros:
- cute artstyle!
- also cute character designs, I liked Ciel the most
- starting screen UI looks real nice and clean, interested me immediately
- really like how you're able to remap the buttons, plus 1 for accesibility!
- story seems interesting with the whole "he knows" stuff

Cons:
- platforming feels a bit "floaty"? I had some difficulty controlling the character in mid-air
- I got confused with the locked gate since I thought it was just a normal wall, maybe a prompt would do
- had some difficulty with the boss level, mostly because of the grabby hands, I feel like it shouldn't instakill you
- I feel like dashing being locked to limited points makes the player vulnerable to softlocks, you could dash a lot and then run out without anything to replenish it

Glitches/weird stuff:
- pressing Z/X/C while in a conversation or a situation where the character cannot move makes the character invisible for a bit
-some animated sprites (namely the large star and eyes) might have been formatted incorrectly, since there's a frame with a stray pixel at the side
-the shopkeeper's (forgot their name :kaocry:) dialgoue for when you hit them with your axe can trigger mid-conversation
-above issue was because my muscle memory was making me press Z to advance dialgoue (haha), causing me to attack the shopkeeper mid-convo

Overall, I really liked it! I understand it's a bit buggy, being a demo and all, but I'm excited to see what becomes of it!
 

PixelatedBree

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Hey! :kaohi:Thank you SO MUCH for giving the demo a try—reading this just made my morning! I’m on my phone so hopefully I don’t make too many typos here in my reply lol

This is all incredibly helpful to me, and I’m adding it all my to-do list. I really appreciate the art compliment as I’ve seen your art on here and adore it!

I like the suggestion about the boss; I watched a family member die multiple times to the clown hands and getting squished and felt such shame :kaoswt2: Changing the hands could be the solution! I’ll work on him and the other things you pointed out

Lol i am dying at you unintentionally trying to chop Sandman! I cant believe I didn’t notice that could happen or the sprite flicker during conversations! I’ll see if setting up a switch to turn off when he reacts to you swinging your axe and when your sprite changes will work in fixing those glitches.

I really appreciate you playing Dreamtrotter and giving me so many helpful notes—thank you! :)
 

PixelatedBree

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Devlog #4



(the madness that is my drawing process)​



Happy April Fool’s, everyone! So far, I have successfully fooled two people. This is a big deal to me because usually I am the one getting fooled... ლ(ಠ益ಠლ)

This devlog is just to give an update on what I’ve been working on when I find time between grad school & work.

My laptop has been giving me problems lately, so progress has been going a bit slower than I planned. Poor refurbished thing probably thought it would go to a new owner that only planned to type documents on it, not install fifty different massive programs onto it



Demo updates so far:


  • Adjusted jump to make less floaty & less slippery when landing
  • Updated sprite rendering when attacking
  • Increased Moira's max DASH
  • Small updates to tileset & bust graphics
  • Added frequent Boost Juice drops from enemies in Sandman's Shop area
  • Adjusted width of unicycle near bouncy balls
  • Fixed bug where player & enemies could appear beneath unicycle & subsequently fall through floor
  • Fixed Sandman's "attack dialogue" appearing during conversation
  • Adjusted the speed and sudden dropdowns of chase boss
  • Fixed sprite flicker during conversations when pressing attack key
To do:

  • You can travel back to previous areas
  • Update "He's Watching You" area to be more interactive
  • Adjust the HUD so it won't disappear randomly (will work on overhauling it completely in full demo)
  • Reformat eye and star sprites to get rid of extra pixels
  • Fix dash sparkles appearing during conversation when pressing dash key
  • Add hidden room because I love them
  • Add Sandman's bust
  • Remove or shrink files for smaller download size
  • Update the appearance of Sandman's gate


Once I get all the above done, I’ll upload a new version of the demo and then begin work on the actual game. I also plan on recording some Lets Plays of other devs’ RPG Maker games in the near future, so stay tuned!



Thanks for stopping by & have a great weekend (Don’t get pranked!)

C9nEXU.png
 

RCXGaming

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Ooh, color me interested. I'll definitely check it out soon! :kaohi:
 

AbstractMan

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Well, I love platformers and I do dig the storybook Kirby-esque art style as I think it ages very well and you can be quite creative with the colors. Now for the critique!





Atmosphere- Dream hopping is neat. With this idea you can go very colorful and whimsical, or very creepy and disturbing. With this short demo, I got a bit of both, and I think you nailed a fantastic atmosphere. No complaints!

Art & animation- As said above this art is very storybook-like and I love it. The main character and underwear kid are fantastically designed as both sprites and busts. This game has a lot of what people would look for in platformers, with a lively colorful world where everything seems to be alive and move with you and that for the most part is fantastic. That said I did see a few graphical hiccups such as disappearing sprites, glitchy stars (Seen below), and mildly stuttering cutscenes. Fix these and add maybe some neat arts and crafts/coloring book style cutscenes and I think you are on a great foundation.
1648910345127.png

Music & Sound- The music and sound design is fantastic. I am not sure if any of this is RTP but a great choice nonetheless. The ax feels punchy (Slicey?), your character's death feels oddly yet amazingly gruesome, the bouncing balls got a spring, and the overall soundtrack just fits. That said, I did get some of what sounds like musical glitches before the boss fight, but maybe that was intended?

Characters and story- Not much to see here as this is a demo but the theme is ripe for creativity. For what little dialogue we have I find Moria has a grizzled, harsh and mistrustful aspect about her which tells very clearly that she has been around and has seen things best left forgotten. This is clear from the choice of words used in her dialogue, even without the rest of the cast mentioning her history with her peculiar career choice. Obviously, I’d like to see how she got into this particular person’s head, but I suppose that will come in time!



Gameplay- I think a lot of what I would say has been mentioned before… and yes I did get dash happy and got stuck with no DP before I could get my candy stolen at the shop ☹. I will add that I did enjoy the brutal nature of the boss chase and those dreaded clown hands and thought it appropriate due to the save point beforehand. I like to see more with this concept and love the creativity of the chase.
 

PixelatedBree

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Happy Sunday to you, @AbstractMan ! :kaojoy:Thank you so much for playing Dreamtrotter and for sharing your thoughts! I’m pretty thrilled you mentioned the story & characters because, I’m not gonna lie, they’re what I’m most excited for lol. Reading what you thought of them has got my Sunday off to a great start! Comparing this to Kirby also means a lot to me since Kirby games were among my favorite sidescrollers growing up. I actually wanted to try that watercolor, soft pastel look from Kirby’s Dreamland 2 because I think it fits so well with dreamscapes, but I couldn’t quite get it down for the sprites and tilesets. Hoping more practice will let me do something similar for CGs!

I finally got those glitchy stars fixed and the eyes, too, so now I’m trying to get the cutscenes to flow more smoothly with less lag when the busts change…. I think making the picture files smaller might help? Along with Moira not being able to disappear or chop people while the other person is trying to hold a conversation

Haha, and I do have some RTP snuck in there! I was hoping the repeated Decision sound of getting the dream candies wouldn’t drive other RM devs insane :LZSlol: I tweaked the sound of it a little and tried to randomize the pitch to make it a bit less noticeable. The audio has been giving me problems in the boss area, which I thiiink might be due to the fact I’m using pretty large pictures for Mr. Dipsy’s animation at the start. I’ll take a look and see what I can do!

Once again, thank you for this thoughtful critique! :) I loved every bit of it. It has been a morale boost during the not-so-fun parts of making the game! Hope you have a great day!
 

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