You wake up in a foggy haze with one hell of a headache. The way ahead is dark and foreboding. You remember who you are, but not a lick of how you got there. And to top it all off, you’ve got a persistent, bloodthirsty doppelgänger chasing after you.

Welcome to your coma - enjoy your stay!

SHE DREAMS ELSEWHERE is a surreal adventure JRPG about dreams and the extent to which they mirror reality. You play as Thalia Sullivan, a high strung, anxiety-ridden, comatose woman on a journey to defeat the nightmares preventing her from awakening, while also finding out how exactly this mess happened in the first place.

But some nightmares are harder to confront than others…

  • A deeply personal narrative with heavy themes and a rich personality of its own
  • A surreal, visually-striking world brimming with mystery that begs you to explore its every detail
  • An easy to learn, yet difficult to master turn-based battle system that pits you against a variety of nightmarish beings
  • Customize your characters with the “Mask” and “Charm” systems, allowing for a wealth of different playstyles and battle strategies
  • Status ailments that can be used and abused with every enemy, bosses included – but be warned; if you’re not careful, they can devastate you just as easily…
  • Three difficulty modes for those who want to simply experience the story (Easy), face a true challenge (Normal) or have their limits pushed to the edge (Nightmare)
  • Optional “New Game Plus” and “Developer Commentary” modes
  • A fully original, ethereal soundtrack composed by Mimi Page
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Hey guys! Hope you’re all doing well. Anybody watch the new show Maniac on Netflix? It’s got Jonah Hill and Emma Stone in it; not only is it insanely good, but it’s weirdly close in tone and structure to the game. That’s not a bad thing at all; in fact, it just gives me more validation that what I’m doing will actually work. Either way, if you’re into surreal, trippy shit and dark comedy, definitely give it a watch.

Anyways, I’ve got some great news for you guys! Remember how in the last blog post I mentioned another upcoming expo? Well, I’m super excited to finally announce that She Dreams Elsewhere will be playable at DreamHack Atlanta on November 16-18! Not only that, but it’s been included in the Indie Playground under the “Best Arthouse” category alongside three other amazing titles.

Much love to everyone at DreamHack for the inclusion; I’m very honored and I can’t wait to meet more of you guys in person. I’ll be posting more updates and teasers for the event in the weeks to come, so be on the lookout for that. Feel free to check out their official announcement of the games as well! If you’re planning on attending, definitely swing by and say hello!

This week, I’ve mainly been focused on locking down the second area, “Serenity”. It’s set in a forest surrounded by a water, and focuses on Thalia & co. searching for a way out while they’re stalked by a mysterious, yet familiar creeper. It’s where the game really starts to open up and the player is given a much wider area to explore things on their own. There’s also a fair bit of side content to discover, but if you’d like, you can just stay on the main story path, ala Breath of the Wild. It’s been really fun to design, and I really love how it’s turning out. I especially can’t get over how well the music fits; much love to Mimi and her incredible skills for that.


With that being said, I’m not gonna front; this has been one of the more difficult levels to finalize compared to the other ones. I had a lot of ideas for how to go about it, but I knew for certain that I wanted to focus on the dynamic between the main trio and use the forest as a metaphor for Thalia’s subconscious. My main issue was that its thematic ties were looser and far more open to interpretation compared to the other areas of the game, so the writing process was… interesting, to say the least (more on my design style in an upcoming blog post). Some of the cut ideas for the area included a murder mystery, a Halloween-esque romp to evade a serial killer (both of which are used for sidequests later in the game), some stuff involving witches… but eventually, I just decided to simplify it and focus on the essentials. I tend to overthink these things a lot, but at some point you’ve really gotta hunker down and just get it finished, y’know?

Neck deep in the woods. Still working on the VFX.

Another issue I had was nailing down the pacing, especially due to open nature of the layout. In previous versions, it dragged on a bit too long, or the amount of battles was too high, and so and so forth… but I’m confident I’ve finally got it down; just gotta do some more playtesting to make sure of that (feel free to sign up for that btw).

God, I love Amia.

In other news, I had to downgrade from RPG Maker MV 1.6 back to 1.5 earlier this week. Why? Because OBS (and literally every other screen recording software I tried) refused to record it anymore. Apparently, it’s because MV uses Chromium and due to changes in 1.6, it doesn’t play nice with recording software for whatever reason. It wouldn’t have been a big deal for me since I could’ve found a personal workaround; the problem was that streamers and YouTubers would’ve had the same issue as well. Shame, since that was really the only issue I had with the update.

This downgrade essentially means battles take 2-4 seconds to load as opposed to virtually instantaneously in the 1.6 update. It sucks, yeah, but it’s not a huge dealbreaker since there aren’t a ton of battles in general, and it wasn’t an issue anybody complained about in previous test builds. Regardless, I’m still gonna try my hardest to find a fix.

Part of the hub area known as “The Mirage” – each level entrance is themed on the upcoming area, with the above focusing on “Serenity”.

Anyway, I think that’ll about do it for this week. I told myself I was gonna write less than 300 words and yet I still went over. Can’t say I didn’t expect that, though. With that, I’m off to do more bizdev stuff and hopefully see the new Halloween movie later this weekend – I cannot wait to get the shit scared out of me.

As always, I’d hugely appreciate it if y’all would wishlist the game on Steam and spread the word if you haven’t already. Also, feel free to follow the game on Twitter, Instagram or via email newsletter updates. There’s also my personal Twitter or Insta if you really care about what I’m up to.

Enjoy the weekend, everyone!

-D

Quick Development Update - Release date change, demo plans, and more!

Quick Development Update - Release date change, demo plans, and more!

News

A brief update on the status of the game and upcoming events!

Post-Mortem: Showing off a surreal JRPG at a large expo for the first time

Post-Mortem: Showing off a surreal JRPG at a large expo for the first time

Feature

It's hard to show off your game at an expo. Even harder when you're a solo dev. Absolutely ridiculous when it's a moody JRPG. Here's my experience.

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She Dreams Elsewhere
Platforms
Windows, Mac, Linux
Developer & Publisher
Studio Zevere
Engine
RPG Maker MV
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Homepage
Studiozevere.com
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Role Playing
Theme
Abstract
Players
Single Player
Project
Indie
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Latest tweets from @davionnegooden, @studiozevere

RT @StudioZevere: Check out the new live-action teaser for SHE DREAMS ELSEWHERE! #screenshotsaturday #gamedev T.co

Nov 17 2018 by davionnegooden

Check out the new live-action teaser for SHE DREAMS ELSEWHERE! #screenshotsaturday #gamedev T.co

Nov 17 2018 by studiozevere

RT @StudioZevere: Welp. @Dreamhack Atlanta starts tomorrow and everything's on fire. But hey, at least there's purty colors. See y'al… T.co

Nov 16 2018 by davionnegooden

RT @Archeia_Nessiah: User Abuse to the max and why we are losing our plugin developers. This is like @forexposure_txt material.… T.co

Nov 16 2018 by davionnegooden

Welp. @Dreamhack Atlanta starts tomorrow and everything's on fire. But hey, at least there's purty colors. See y'al… T.co

Nov 15 2018 by studiozevere

RT @Skule_Toyama: Work in progress T.co

Nov 15 2018 by studiozevere

So ready for @Dreamhack Atlanta this weekend. Are you? #gamedev #indiedev #pixelart T.co

Nov 13 2018 by studiozevere

RT @MimiPageMusic: My new EP Dark Before the Dawn is out now, on all digital retailers. May these songs be a peaceful escape for you,… T.co

Nov 12 2018 by studiozevere

RT @StudioZevere: Another Saturday, another dreamy skyline... #screenshotsaturday #gamedev #pixelart #RPGMaker T.co

Nov 10 2018 by davionnegooden

Another Saturday, another dreamy skyline... #screenshotsaturday #gamedev #pixelart #RPGMaker T.co

Nov 10 2018 by studiozevere

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