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DreamCatcher

DreamCatcher

by Hazumirein
Riza Wolfe is an ordinary teen--and that's her problem. The mundane stresses of school and navigating a social life just don't peak her interest. However, upon being gifted a dream catcher as a seemingly thoughtless souvenir one day, she's suddenly offered an opportunity to escape her simple life and have the sort of fantastic adventures she's only dreamed about...in an alternate dimension, of course.

She sets out, accompanied by her guardian werewolf, to figure out what brought her to this dream world in the first place--which turns out to be easier said than done. Along the way, she collects a motley crew of people of creatures to call "friends", who often seem to just coincidentally be relevant to her situation. The questions just keep piling up. Will Riza get the answers she seeks? Or is she in over her head, ready to be done in by the evil lurking just around the corner?
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979
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On Hiatus
Last Update
2 Months Ago
Fans
1,425
Readers
161

DreamCatcher

Riza Wolfe is an ordinary teen--and that's her problem. The mundane stresses of school and navigating a social life just don't peak her interest. However, upon being gifted a dream catcher as a seemingly thoughtless souvenir one day, she's suddenly offered an opportunity to escape her simple life and have the sort of fantastic adventures she's only dreamed about...in an alternate dimension, of course.

She sets out, accompanied by her guardian werewolf, to figure out what brought her to this dream world in the first place--which turns out to be easier said than done. Along the way, she collects a motley crew of people of creatures to call "friends", who often seem to just coincidentally be relevant to her situation. The questions just keep piling up. Will Riza get the answers she seeks? Or is she in over her head, ready to be done in by the evil lurking just around the corner?

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Recent Comments

I'm sorry your job has been stressful and messy - that's never fun. :( I hope that situation gets sorted out. And I'm glad that you're pleased with what you've got so far! I'm looking forward to it :D
Alright so I felt that I was at a point where I had gone too long without giving an update. I was hesitating because I was hoping to have more to show, but, uh, I don't, so...here I am.

The short version of this is that DC: Reflections is still happening. I'm pretty happy with what I've got so far. It's coming along nicely. Just...slower than I'd like.

I guess I knew from the getgo that the first chapter was going to be the hardest because I pretty much totally started from scratch--even the story told there is pretty different than the original version, I think.

I'm not going to bore you guys with too many details about how I'm back to hating my full-time job and am planning to quit in the next few months (I'm not the only one--we've turned over half of our office in the last 6-8 months, which is part of the problem), but suffice to say my life has been as messy and busy as ever as I try to figure out where I want to go from here. The reality is that I probably shouldn't be this exhausted and burnt out by my career at 27, and it's negatively affecting everything else I try to do (including this), so it might be time to explore other options. But, more on that another day.

The specific negative effect this has had on DC is mostly how little work I got done on it in July--I was spending most of my time at one of my many jobs and the rest trying to catch up on sleep. It's evened out a little now and I'm working more steadily on this, and really all that's left to do is finish the art and the website (and I'm debating outsourcing that because Wordpress makes me want to pull my hair out--if anyone is/knows a decent, affordable web designer, let me know).

I know I was talking about bringing in a secondary artist to help with the workload here, and that's still something I'd like to do when I'm sure I have the finances for it, but I'm not sure I do yet and I kind of wanted to do the first chapter myself to figure out the art style anyway.

Anyhow, what I'm alluding to with all of this is that I don't have a release date set yet. August definitely isn't happening. September seems much more promising, barring too many hiccups along the way. Cross your fingers for me.

Aaaand I'll see you in a few weeks!

PS. The image above is just one of my favorite completed art panels so far. The full, widescreen version looks better, but I don't want to show off everything in advance ;)
I am with ya
I don’t care what you change I have liked what you made so far and hopefully won’t stop now. So no matter what I will stay with ya
@Hazumirein I know what you mean, putting anything together is a lot of work. I'm actually working on a new RPG at the moment, and have been this past year, and am currently in the first phase of testing with some players online.

It's probably less work, even if by a slight margin, to write things out a supplement for an existing system than build one from the ground up. That said, building the system from the ground up means you are able to tailor the game towards your ideas of how things should flow and have rules specially crafted for everything in the game and its world.
@dracone: I would LOVE to make an RPG set on Sanvolae, there are definitely other stories that could be told there (in fact I have another one that takes place in a different part of the world than DC), but that would require... significantly more help and funding than I have at the moment haha.

@Birdz555: Thank you! I never expected this to be the option I went with either, but it ultimately seemed like the best one for what I wanted to do with it. I am excited too!
Ahhh omgosh I never expected this! This is a really cool shift - I'm so excited!!
Sounds interesting, will this be a step towards making something like an RPG type game in the DC world?

I would love to play in the world of DreamCatcher, it would allow for an exploration of the lore of the series outside the lens of the official story, plus we could see some monsters and the like you wanted to add in but decided weren't appropriate to the story
Alright, I realize this update is a bit later than usual, but that’s because I wanted to have some actual screenshots of what this thing is going to look like to show off.

I guess this is kind of the big announcement--I have figured out the new format. DreamCatcher: Reflections will be presented in the format of...*drumroll*...a visual novel!

Well, sort of. Technically it qualifies as a “kinetic novel,” as there will be few, if any, choices to make or different paths to go down—it’s still a linear story.

For anyone unfamiliar, a visual novel is technically a type of video game, but with pretty limited “gameplay”--usually just hitting the “next” button to further the story. The use of character sprites is common, often interspersed with illustrations like the screencaps above.

I’m hoping this satisfies those of you that were iffy about DC moving away from a comic format in that it’s still very art-heavy, and there will be plenty to look at..but I don’t necessarily have to draw out every word I’ve written. It’s also going to leave me with a lot of reusable assets, like character sprites and backgrounds, that I can just plug in when things get dialogue-heavy instead of trying to figure out a billion different ways to draw a bunch of characters sitting around talking. However, it also leaves plenty of room for “show, don’t tell” scenes where I can just draw out an entire sequence of, say, Luna drop-kicking a monster in a pseudo-animated format, because that’s more exciting than a paragraph of text. Finally, I can add music and sounds effects! DC can have the soundtrack I’ve always wanted it to ;)

In order to head off some questions, I’ve put together a fake Q&A of some things I think people might be wondering, but feel free to ask additional questions in the comments below.

1.) Where will this be posted?

The plan is to have my own website for DC where chapters will be made available for download as they come out.

2.) How often will updates come out?

Ideally, a full chapter will drop every 1-2 months. Some will be longer than others, but all in all they should be mostly similar in length.

3.) How is it being created? Why full-chapter updates?

I tossed around a few different ideas to try to keep the weekly updates, like doing a browser-based thing, but the options available for that didn’t seem to afford me the creative control that I wanted, and I couldn’t even begin figuring out how to design a website around it (I’m sure I could pay someone to do it for me, but...eh. Maybe someday). Anyway, I’m using a software called Ren’Py to create this thing, or at least the first chapter. The game files will be available for download on any computer. It’s possible I will find a better option in the future, but this is it for now.

4.) I can’t download things/want to read on mobile/can’t read visual novels for some reason/want more frequent updates.

Fear not! I still intend to make use of SmackJeeves and possibly Tapas as mirror sites, where the still images from the chapter (like the above screencaps) will be posted in sequential form after the “game” version is released, probably in more of a regular weekly update. Obviously it’ll be lacking the sound, transitions, animation, etc., but it’ll be another way for people who have accessibility issues to read the story, and also serves as a quick way to recap if you ever need to. I will work on a better solution for reading on mobile devices; I’m sure there is one, but in the interest of not pushing back the release date too much, I'm not going to focus on it right away.

5.) Will there be branching paths, dialogue choices, etc.?

Not really. DC is still a linear story and is intended to be told as such. I may occasionally offer dialogue choices that lead to some extra conversations to drop additional character or worldbuilding info, but nothing that’s going to affect the plot. Flavor text, if you will.

6.) How will I know when it updates?

I’ll try to announce release dates in advance via the site and social media, and probably the mirrors as well. But otherwise, just keep an eye out ;)

7.) When is this thing starting?

My target is to release the first chapter in mid-late August, though I’m not going to put it out until it’s DONE, so...if it takes until September, then so be it. I’ve got a pretty good start on it, but there’s still a lot to do, and I don’t want to put something out that’s half-finished and poorly thought out like...the first several chapters of the DC comic were |D I hope you all understand that while this is taking some time to put together, it's in the interest of it being smoother sailing later.

8.) So, what’s changed about DC?

A few things! The format change will come with colored art, sound effects, and music, for starters. The story is starting a few years later than it would have originally, in 2009 as opposed to 2006. Therefore, the characters are a bit older and there are some slight personality tweaks that come with that, but all in all no one has changed drastically. I’m doing my best to tighten up the writing, and while the base plot will be pretty much the same and a most major events will play out similarly, a lot of details are getting adjusted as I work my way through. Sometimes it’s just changing the way a conversation goes, other times it’s wholly new scenes, chapters, or even new characters. I think you’ll like it!

Anyway, if you would like to see the full versions of the above screencaps, here they are:

Screencap 1
Screencap 2
Screencap 3

That's it for now! I will check in again in a few weeks, hopefully with a release date!
@Casanova: Eventually. There will be some sort of preview or trailer once I have some material ready to go.
Will we see an example of the page format in a future update?
I'm excited to see where this goes!

And I wish you the best with all your jobs and life in general
Heyyy.

I figured I should make one of these updates before the end of the month.

I kind of did that thing where I pulled a disappearing act online this past month because I was tied up with real life stuff (traveling, moving, trying to put my new house together, adding a...fourth?...job to my schedule), as happens sometimes, so I admit I haven't gotten a whole lot done. I did finish up some redesigns on the main cast though! Click here for the full-body designs.

Those are still subject to change a bit, but I think I've got the basics down. Despite the new getups, they are still very much the same band of idiots you know and love, just slightly older. I'm also considering a new format for presenting the story that I think might be a happy medium between art and writing, but more on that when I've played with it some more and made sure it's feasible (and hopefully have a working prototype).

The script is still a work in progress but let's be real, it's going to be for awhile.

The end of summer is still kind of my target release time for this thing, but we'll see what I land on with what it's going to look like. All told, regardless of the slight production delay the last few weeks, I'm still pretty excited about what I have so far and the endless possibilities that I'm working with right now. I really do think this is going to be cool when I get it out, so afford me some patience in the meantime ;)
I like the title, feels very fitting. But, I have one request: keep the tagline. I cannot think of a better way to describe the comic, in any reboot, than "Welcome to your OTHER reality." so simple at first, yet so deep if you think about it...

PLUS, it's just awesome.

Can't wait for the new story, by the way. Been reading Dreamcatcher for over a year at least, and I LOVE IT. Congrats on being a successful comic artist, in my mind if no others.
Ah I love the new title! I think it's a great choice.
It certainly looks pretty
Heyyyy.

Figured I was due for another one of these updates. Most important news: We have a new title! And a logo. Kept the tagline for now because it still works, I think?

I considered a number of subtitles for this new iteration of DC, and have ultimately settled on "Reflections" for a lot of personal and thematic reasons. I'm taking a more careful, thought out approach to pretty much everything about the series this time in hopes of not backing myself into so many corners that I can't get out of. We spent some time on the lore and worldbuilding, and while that's not 100% complete, I've got enough that I'm starting to write scripts of the first few chapters. Actually, I'm writing second draft scripts of the first few chapters, because the first drafts I wrote awhile ago didn't really accomplish what I wanted them to. Sometimes art is coming before story, too...my first rewrite of chapter 3 turned out a LOT like the original comic version, but then I sat down and came up with a new design for Dae (I'll post that eventually), and it got me thinking about that character a little differently. So, a lot of his intro chapter got scrapped and rewritten AGAIN into something I like better, albeit still in need of tweaking.

I think most noteworthy story change so far is that I'm pushing the start of it a few years further down the line, so everyone is about three years older. I won't go into the laundry list of reasons that I wanted to age up the characters, but taking time to think about how those extra couple of years affect them as people, and where they are in life, has been interesting. Ultimately they're still the same band of idiots you know and love, but slightly more...mature? I think? A little? So far I'm having fun writing it, so I hope that you guys will eventually have fun reading it.

I'm still looking at releasing sometime this summer, probably July or August. I want to make sure I have a good amount of the writing done and some kind of buffer ready to go before I start posting. I'm also still working on the format, but thus far the winning idea is a sort of comic/illustrated novel hybrid that's sometimes passages of text, sometimes illustrations, sometimes just comic pages with speech bubbles and all. It, uh, makes more sense when you see it laid out.

Anyway that's pretty much where we're at right now! Sorry if this is rambly, I'm trying to post it before I fall asleep at my desk XP I will be back sometime next month with another update.

PS. If you're interested in getting more frequent updates about the reboot process, seeing concept art, and/or giving feedback on this thing as it's being put together, I'm looking at putting together an email list for this series! I don't want to just post everything here and spam people, but for those who want more than my monthly stop-ins on SJ, you can leave me your email here to hear from me more often!

PPS. I'll post the full version of the art in this update elsewhere and leave a link here when I get a minute, as it didn't fit right here in its natural state because I wasn't thinking about that when I built this website |D
@Hazumirein: "Morgai" being the half-form? I just figure that the magic that change her half-way could simply "finish" the process ;P

(DA PM sent.)
@Casanova: Haha no, Riza's not going to have a werewolf form, if that's what you mean. She'll still have her regular wolf "Morgai" form though.

(You can post title ideas here. Or shoot me a PM/email if you want. Your choice.)
Ooooh, does this mean that DC2.0 will have Riza going full wolf like Luna or Lunos?

(As for the DC2.0 title, do you want it shown here, or privately?)
Dream Catcher 2: Dream Harder.
I'll show myself out; at least until I can think of a proper suggestion.