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  • Title: The Dream of Shadowlands

  • Platform: PC, MacOS currently, console ports desired

  • Main inspirations: Classic RPGMaker Games (i.e. Yume Nikki, Ib, Ao Oni) and 90s Anime (i.e. Slayers, InuYasha)

  • Genre: Action/Horror RPG with elements of visual novel storytelling.

  • Engine: GameMaker Studio 2

  • Team: Predominantly one person, aside from the soundtrack being worked on by both myself and one other person.

  • Estimated release: Episode 2: Late 2021; Episode 5 (Final): 2024

  • Seeking: Funding, Publishing, Marketing, and QA primarily. The game may also benefit from additional assistance with art assets and localization, but these are not my main priorities presently.

  • Gameplay: Gameplay is reminiscent of classic 2D Zelda games, with multiple approaches to enemy encounters and added emphasis on story and puzzle-solving.

  • Unique selling points: Visuals are completely hand-drawn and inked traditionally on paper, characters are endearing and memorable, surreal atmosphere with many eerie moments to draw players in.

  • Design Document

  • Playable build: Episode 1 of the game has been released as a free demo for the series on (PC and MacOS) and Steam (PC only).

The Developer

​My name is Catalina Zavaleta, I am 22 years old and from the San Francisco Bay Area. The Dream of Shadowlands Episode 1 was the first game that I have ever created, and I hope to continue growing as a game developer by completing the series. I have recently earned a bachelor's degree in Psychology with a minor in Philosophy, which I try to incorporate into the storytelling of my game. I am currently self-employed as a freelance seamstress and work on game development in between fulfilling orders for my online business.

Overall, while I do not have a traditional background in game development, I am devoted to this project. I have no issues working on the game every day and making consistent progress on development. I am easy-going and very willing to accept feedback and criticism in order to ensure this project is the best it can be.​

Game Features

Story Progression: The game focuses heavily on story, often triggered by the player interacting with the game's environment. There is a mix of dialogue that will be seen in every playthrough and dialogue that can be uncovered by the player through the actions they choose to take. The story emphasizes character relationships, psychological horror, and philosophical issues.

Puzzle Solving: There is a diverse array of puzzles that must be solved in order to progress through each episode. This includes key items that assist in puzzle solving, as well as interactable objects that can unlock the paths needed to complete the episode. Many of the puzzles involve either encoded messages or inferring from hints scattered around the game's environment.

Combat: Combat consists mostly of typical action RPG gameplay, with a few twists to make it unique. Engaging with enemies is entirely optional, as it is possible for the player to have no means of self-defense at any given point in the game. If the player mismanages the "Will" stat, the main weapon of the game will break, and the player will become reliant on item pickups to damage any enemy at that point. If the player has not broken the main weapon, the sword, then they may choose to engage in combat with a simple button press to swing at enemies, or dash and attack to initiate close combat. Close combat involves the completion of different quick-time-events in order to inflict extra damage on enemies. Finally, boss battles stand out from other enemy encounters, as they take inspiration from the bullet-hell genre to create a more varied gameplay experience.

Exploration: Players must navigate around the various environments of the game in order to find the right path to progress. Along the way, there are a variety of obstacles and set pieces to draw the player into the atmosphere of the setting. Additionally, there are many secret paths and events for players to find.

Contact Information:

Catalina Zavaleta

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