Sick Dreams [VN SHMUP Hybrid][Psychological]

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SecretCards
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Sick Dreams [VN SHMUP Hybrid][Psychological]

#1 Post by SecretCards » Wed Jul 13, 2016 1:59 pm

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"It started when there were nights where I had trouble falling asleep."

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August 4, 2016 - Kickstarter Launched!
August 4, 2016 - Demo is Released!
July 22, 2016 - Closed Beta Begins!

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The Secret Cards team aims to create cerebral experiences that will make the audience think. The studios is composed of three artistic game enthusiasts who have been both players and developers.
Taking inspiration from the team’s experiences with anxiety and depression, Secret Cards is proud to present their first commercial project, Sick Dreams. Sick Dreams follows the story of a young individual as they describe their dreams and reflect on their waking life. In their dreams, they struggle with the difficulties they face in life, not yet knowing that they have an undiagnosed condition. The gameplay is a Shoot 'Em Up styled Bullet Hell with Visual Novel Aspects to tell the narrative. The player must guide the protagonist through their dreams, allowing the protagonist to come to terms with reality.

Features:
  • Shoot-em-Up and Bullethell gameplay
  • Visual Novel Narrative
  • 3 Endings: the good, the bad, the ugly
  • Ambient, atmospheric electronic music
  • Abstract, stream of consciousness art
  • Story recap in case players miss anything during the action
  • Endurance and time attack bonus levels that are unlocked by beating main story levels
  • Where else can you play as a screaming, disembodied jackal head that breathes fire?


CONTENT WARNING

We at Secret Cards want our players to have a pleasant experience with our games. Therefore we feel it is in the best interest of both us and our players to post a content warning for our game.

Sick Dreams features the following themes and content, which some viewers may find disturbing:
  • Abandonment
  • Abusive Relationships
  • Alchohol
  • Anxiety
  • Blood
  • Body Horror
  • Drugs
  • Claustrophobia
  • Death
  • Depression
  • Disembodied Parts
  • Flashing Lights
  • Gaslighting
  • Strong Language
  • Suicide
Because the game features such themes as mental illness and death as well as references to alcohol. drugs, violence, and strong language, we recommend that players be 15 years of age or older when playing this game.

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You can download the demo on our Itch.io page.

Or you can download the demo on our indieDB page.

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We at Secret Cards are proud to formally announce our project Sick Dreams and launch our Kickstarter campaign. Secret Cards is a newly formed game development team based in California. Our team is made up of three permanent members and one freelancer.


Programming/Writing: Eight8Diamonds
Our team is lead by Eight8Diamonds Having worked with Gamemaker for over ten years and being completely dedicated to making games, Eight8Diamonds is our project lead, programmer, and head of development. Sick Dreams is Eight8Diamond's first commercial game project.

Art: LovesickJackal
Lovesick Jackal is our lead artist, character designer, and director of aesthetics. Sick Dreams is LovesickJackal's first commercial game project.

GUI: MysteryCorgi
MysteryCorgi is our head of marketing, assistant GUI artist, and financial adviser. MysteryCorgi is passionate about visual novels and while working as a freelancer has helped produce over ten visual novel projects since 2011. Such projects include That Cheap and Sacred Thing, Culina, A More Beautiful World, and Purrfectly Ever After. MysteryCorgi also works with Afterthought Studios.

Music: Khoven
Khoven is a freelance music composer who was hired on to the project. Khoven specializes in ambient, atmospheric electronic music. Sick Dreams is Khoven's first commercial game project.

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We are 49.6% done with our assets and programming, so we are confident we can finish production by our deadline.

We are turning to Kickstarter because we require the extra funding to bring our game to its maximum potential and to complete the remainder of the game.

This campaign is really important to the team, who absorbed the majority of the cost of production. As a fledgling developer we need all the help we can get. Each of the team members is hard at work to finish this game, and we need to support them.

Supporters will be helping found the dreams of four young people who otherwise would not be able to support themselves in this market.
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Last edited by SecretCards on Fri Aug 05, 2016 1:12 am, edited 15 times in total.

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Re: Sick Dreams [VN SHMUP Hybrid][Psychological]

#2 Post by Morhighan » Wed Jul 13, 2016 11:24 pm

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Preview of art progress from concept to final product.

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Re: Sick Dreams [VN SHMUP Hybrid][Psychological]

#3 Post by fmjaye » Thu Jul 14, 2016 2:12 am

This looks coool~! ヽ(*´∀`)ノ゙

I prefer story-based games so, y'know, mostly VNs.
But I guess Undertale's combat system is the bullet hell type? And I really like that.
So I can't say I'm a fan but the combination definitely catches my interest. :^D
(Plus the protagonist looks awesome!)
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Artist on [redacted] life NaNoRenO 2016

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Re: Sick Dreams [VN SHMUP Hybrid][Psychological]

#4 Post by SecretCards » Thu Jul 14, 2016 6:42 am

fmjaye wrote:This looks coool~! ヽ(*´∀`)ノ゙

I prefer story-based games so, y'know, mostly VNs.
But I guess Undertale's combat system is the bullet hell type? And I really like that.
So I can't say I'm a fan but the combination definitely catches my interest. :^D
(Plus the protagonist looks awesome!)
Thank you!
We also prefer games that are story-based and we loved Undertale. (Already compared to Undertale? GG. :lol:)
We're glad it's caught your interest! ^u^
(I know right? Where else do you get to be a floating jackal head that breathes fire?)
Thanks for commenting!

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Re: Sick Dreams [VN SHMUP Hybrid][Psychological]

#5 Post by SecretCards » Thu Jul 14, 2016 7:25 am

Added the upgrade buddies preview images! Note that the art is not finalized yet, these are just the sketches.

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Re: Sick Dreams [VN SHMUP Hybrid][Psychological]

#6 Post by Alte » Thu Jul 14, 2016 10:57 am

I once was a two-year volunteer from a project that's a Bullet Hell hybird. Game's difficulty can range from novice to veteran. That was a time before I joined LSF.

From the direction where the Jackal facing towards, could it be a horizontal shooter? Does the music revolve around ambience?
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Re: Sick Dreams [VN SHMUP Hybrid][Psychological]

#7 Post by Spacefur » Thu Jul 14, 2016 3:02 pm

It looks cool, but I'm REALLY digging the art style, it looks different and work very nicely with the theme. Hope to read more soon.
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Re: Sick Dreams [VN SHMUP Hybrid][Psychological]

#8 Post by Zelan » Sun Jul 17, 2016 7:31 pm

I've neve played a shoot 'em up, but this could be a good introduction to the genre. ^_^ I'll keep an eye on this thread.

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Re: Sick Dreams [VN SHMUP Hybrid][Psychological]

#9 Post by SecretCards » Wed Jul 20, 2016 4:38 am

Okay folks! I'll do responses and then we have a couple of announcements!
Alte wrote:I once was a two-year volunteer from a project that's a Bullet Hell hybird. Game's difficulty can range from novice to veteran. That was a time before I joined LSF.

From the direction where the Jackal facing towards, could it be a horizontal shooter? Does the music revolve around ambience?
Interesting! We'd love to see that project if it's still around.
Yes, the game will be a third person horizontal shooter. :3 And the music will be fairly ambient. Good call!
Spacefur wrote:It looks cool, but I'm REALLY digging the art style, it looks different and work very nicely with the theme. Hope to read more soon.
Thank you so much! We'll have more soon, we promise. (Also your game looks cool too!)
Zelan wrote:I've neve played a shoot 'em up, but this could be a good introduction to the genre. ^_^ I'll keep an eye on this thread.
Let's hope! It is a challenging game, but as you play we find that testers improve rather naturally. Thank you!




Announcements:

-New update to the logo
-We're aiming to start the full closed beta for Sick Dreams later this week. Please contact me if you are interested! We will probably make a thread the Demo/Beta Testing area.

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Re: Sick Dreams [VN SHMUP Hybrid][Psychological]

#10 Post by Alte » Thu Jul 21, 2016 5:35 am

SecretCards wrote:Interesting! We'd love to see that project if it's still around.
Not visual novels related, here's a historical index (wayback archive) of what it was like during the involvement. I stopped testing the project around Spring 2013. For more information, there's a wiki. It's still ongoing.

I would give a demo a shot regarding to difficulty curve.
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Re: Sick Dreams [VN SHMUP Hybrid][Psychological]

#11 Post by EuphoniousChaos » Thu Jul 21, 2016 9:54 pm

I really enjoy bullet hell/shoot em up games, so this looks super cool! I certainly haven't seen many things in that genre on these forms, and the art style looks pretty unique too, so I'll definitely be watching this game to see what happens! Good luck!

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Re: Sick Dreams [VN SHMUP Hybrid][Psychological]

#12 Post by SecretCards » Thu Aug 04, 2016 9:38 am

We will be launching our demo and kickstarter today! So keep an eye out for the announcement. Also watch our trailer!

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Re: Sick Dreams [VN SHMUP Hybrid][Psychological]

#13 Post by SecretCards » Fri Aug 05, 2016 1:13 am

Hey everyone, I have a big announcement!

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Re: Sick Dreams [VN SHMUP Hybrid][Psychological]

#14 Post by Helianthus » Fri Aug 12, 2016 5:19 am

Shoot 'Em Up styled Bullet Hell  aren't really my thing but the concept is quite intriguing (I love psychological themes)! I'm especially curious about how you managed to mix that kind of gameplay with visual novel narration :o
Although I'm not fond of the artstyle, I wish you good luck for your campaign nonetheless!
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