About a year ago, I began work on a NiGHTS into Dreams fangame, called FreeNiGHTS because of it's main control being to have NiGHTS follow the mouse cursor like the Mindsight in Journey of Dreams, but with a more grounded, controllable target to follow.
Momentum would've been determined by the distance of the cursor to NiGHTS, and one would've drill-dashed with the left mouse button. Nightopias would be based on a few of my actual dreams. That was as far as gameplay concepts got.
As for the story, the game was going to be set a few years after into Dreams, and would task NiGHTS with chasing down and battling SELPH after she kills a certain character at the beginning of the game, during an encounter with her at the ruins of the Dream Gate, once again calling on the help of Claris and Elliot, who, now in their late teen years, were dealing with the responsibilities, fears, and stresses of becoming adults. Elliot would be coming to terms with being bisexual after discovering his sexuality by growing up alongside NiGHTS and all the other genderless characters of Nightopia and Nightmare. Claris would be stuck between a decision to go to college even though she doesn't want to, but just to go with what others are doing, or to wait to see what she wants to do with her life. Over the course of the game, SELPH would appear to taunt both Visitors, and make them question themselves and their choices. SELPH would use her Mirror Staff to transform herself into near-perfect replicas of people from Claris and Elliot's lives, messing with their heads, and at one point, causing Elliot to have a nervous breakdown, allowing SELPH to steal his red Ideya. The game would've had a much darker tone than either of the official games, but would still have characters act like they did in the originals.
The final working build had only a very simple engine implemented, with NiGHTS able to follow the cursor, increase speed by holding in the left button, collide with solid objects, collect blue chips and rings, and go to a different room by touching a poorly drawn Ideya capture, regardless of the number of blue chips currently in her possession.
This is where the tragedy begins. One night, after a particularly frustrating session of working on the game, something must've snapped in me. I don't remember anything from that night, but I must have had an all out breakdown, as everything I'd done is completely gone now. I've searched all my USB drives, laptop, Chromebook, desktop, and even GameJolt, where I'd posted a build at some point, but everything was gone. I may continue work on this project at some point, and actually came up with a design for SELPH a few days ago, but I can do nothing right now, as I only have a trial version of Game Maker 8.1, the program I was using for FreeNiGHTS. I will continue to dig around to see if I can find any original assets or builds at all.