Making light of nightmares through a game.

Every person at some point of time in their lives has experienced widely known nightmares like feeling their teeth falling out, being chased by crazy clowns, or seeing spiders crawling around them. This game takes aim at those nightmares, and many more, by mocking or making fun of them by ‘matching’ them up with silly situations or personalities.




• Game Design
• Graphic Design


This project was the outcome of a grad school class where the challenge was to use traditional forms of media to create anything entertaining or educational. The inspiration behind the game was my own nightmares I was experiencing due to high levels of stress. So, instead of brooding on them and trying to interpret what my nightmares meant, I decided to make them a subject of this game and turn the interpretations into comical comparisons.


The outcome was successful in that the dream cards bear the nightmarish quality rendered through soot. This could not have been replicated using modern day software like Photoshop. It is a pack of 70 cards, combining Dream and Decryption cards. It also has a set of rules explaining the game to the players. The Decryption cards were brief, giving players more flexibility in interpretation. The Dream cards represent the nightmares and the Decryption cards are dealt by the players, which is their interpretation of the Dream.

The Dream Cards

Since the aim of the project was to design something using traditional media, soot was used to create the Dream cards. People tend to not remember their dreams as a whole as the finer details escape like wisps of smoke. They only remember key elements. Like dreams, soot does not settle collectively all together as some of it dissipates. Hence, it was the appropriate medium to represent nightmares. Soot also renders the nightmarish quality of the images on the cards.

The Decryption Cards

The goal was to keep the Decryption cards brief in description because wordiness would leave no room for open and subjective interpretations. The Decryptions are like adjectives describing the Dream cards. The funniest pairing of a Dream card with a Decryption card is what makes a player the winner of each round.