Sweet Dreams is the latest mystery in Adventure Escape Mysteries. This whimsical game follows a 5-year-old boy through his wildest dreams. In the interview below, find out what goes into making the art for each chapter.
Let's meet the designers! What is your favorite part about being a game designer?
How did you come up with the idea behind Sweet Dreams?
Tammy: A dream game is something Michelle and I have talked about making for a while. Setting a game in a dream environment gives you freedom to design whatever sort of fun and wacky world you want. Once it was decided it would be a dream, it seemed natural to set it in a child’s dreamland. Where else are there so many talking adorable animals and giant lollipops? We worked through a few ideas that were more complex, but eventually settled on keeping it simple. Arlo is asleep, and you need to wake him up.
Also, I am a mother to a sweet little boy and hearing about his dreams, fears, and hopes served as a great inspiration for our little Arlo.
What is the process like to request new art?
Emmorie: During the early design process, we create rough sketches to explain all of the interactions in the chapter. Then, we create a large document with specifications and references for every element. We send that to a team of talented artists and eagerly wait to see our vision come to life! Typically there’s some back and forth to make things just right, but it’s always an exciting day when we receive art.
How did you decide on the art style for Sweet Dreams?
Michelle: Early on, we sent the art team at Gong Studios a simple line sketch that Emmorie made of the Chapter 2 candy land scene below. We asked them to deliver multiple rough color versions of that scene, trying out a variety of styles that would look dreamy and whimsical, and less realistic than our existing Adventure Escape games.
The Gong team delivered six different versions shown below.
We loved the overall vibe and layout of 2C, but we also pulled in elements from other versions, like the gummy bear in 2B, and the swirly sky lines in 1C. The art team made other refinements, like making the linework less jagged, and adding more color and yummy treats. This scene set the style for the whole game.
What final art do you think turned out the best in the mystery?
Michelle: I love it all, but my two favorites are the Control Room in Chapter 1, and the Bunny Playground in Chapter 4.
The Control Room feels so big and magical, with beautiful details and rich glowing colors. It’s such a rewarding moment when the electrical wires fill up with color, and when the huge window transforms to show the dreamscape outside.
The two Bunny Playground scenes are ridiculously cute and dreamy with the fluffy white clouds, rainbow waterfalls, and chubby pink bunnies everywhere. There are so many iconic elements of childhood in there, from slides to lunchboxes to bubbles. It just makes me happy.
Emmorie: I think the art in Chapter 4 turned out really well - especially the bunny playground! The artists did a great job of capturing the whimsical, dreamy feel of the game. Connecting two rooms vertically was something unique that turned out really well.
I LOVE the spaces inside of Arlo’s head, both the dream work rooms from Chapter 1 and all the spaces in Stardust. They ended up just as whimsical and pretty as I imagined. There is a lovely twinkly little stardust animation that our developer Christine worked out in the Stardust game that makes me so happy every time I see it.
And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention all the adorable little animal characters. The otter, crab, bunnies, koala… they’re all just so cute!
Sweet Dreams is available in Adventure Escape Mysteries! Play on iOS, Google Play, Amazon Kindle, Facebook, or Windows.