Famitsu has published an interview with the developers of YUMENIKKI -DREAM DIARY-, the 2018 “reimagining” of Yume Nikki.
— ファミ通.com (@famitsu) March 2, 2018
Yume Nikki was originally a free RPG Maker game first released in 2004, in which the player explores a surrealistic dreamscape. The game gained popularity online over time and eventually became a cult favourite. YUMENIKKI -DREAM DIARY- is a complete remake and reimagining of the game spearheaded by Kadokawa and supervised by the creators of the original game.
In the interview, Famitsu speaks to producer Ichinose of Kadokawa, Active Game Media CEO Ameztoy, and director Mizutani of AGM. It is touched upon how Yume Nikki is popular outside of Japan (with mention of “pirate language patches” by fans), and Ameztoy mentions how a Spanish employee of AGM had previously, upon being asked why he came to Japan, answered that it was because he liked Yume Nikki; This employee was also on the Dream Diary project, working on creative parts like the character designs.
The secretive original creator of Yume Nikki, Kikiyama, is also mentioned. They had previously been in contact with Kadokawa for other reasons, and their input had also been sought on the development of Dream Diary, looking through each build of the game, and is quoted as saying that it is “close to real life in how it’s not explanatory”. Ichinose also mentions how Kikiyama had no requests when shown the plans for Dream Diary, and says that he interpreted this as them thinking that just as fans are free to interpret Yume Nikki, so are the developers.
Ameztoy says that the crux of Dream Diary is not creating something new, but finding new ways to present the original; Although there are new factors like characters, the primary goal of Dream Diary is to communicate the appeal of the original Yume Nikki.
Development on Dream Diary took 9 months, or roughly a year if counting the planning phases, with a team of 7-8 with some tasks being outsourced, and Ichinose providing input, with “make the footsteps sound scarier” being given as an example.
Ichinose mentions that they would like to release Dream Diary on other platforms, but that this would depend on the sales of the PC version, and that good sales for Dream Diary may also result in other RPG Maker games getting remakes.