In 2004, someone releases a weird video game… then disappears.
Over the years the game will spawn a passionate fan base, inspire a new genre, and change lives. For more than a decade, fans will search to no avail for its enigmatic creator. Until the start of 2018, when something happens…
Dream Diary dives deep into the story of an enigmatic computer game. Narrated by Lewis Denby – a former journalist who now works as a consultant to small game development studios – it documents the remarkable rise of Yume Nikki – a small game, released unceremoniously by a hobbyist developer in Japan in 2004, which ended up playing a key role in shaping the future of gaming.
Over the years, Yume Nikki has amassed an army of fans, spawned hundreds of spin-off games from other developers, and led to entirely new genres and movements. That would be remarkable enough on its own, but there’s more. The mystery that surrounds its creator. The dark side of its fan communities. And a sort of zeitgeist, between its release in 2004 and the present day, in both video game culture and the culture of Japan itself, that has made the Yume Nikki story quite so unique.
We got halfway through making this podcast. We spent months researching, interviewing, writing, recording, editing and mastering. We had five episodes planned out, and we were going to release the entire series in March 2018. But then, in January, something unexpected happened, and forced us to rethink our approach.
Whether you’re a big indie game fan or barely play games at all; whether you’re looking for podcasts like Serial and S-Town to scratch that itch or are simply interested in the psychology of fandom, Dream Diary presents a fascinating look at a game, a designer, a community, and a unique set of circumstances that has changed lives – for better, and for worse.
Dream Diary is released in partnership with The Indie Game Website – indiegamewebsite.com