Stories on the edge of familiarity

The Birth of an Idea: The Drawing that Became The Tree and the Grave

Yesterday, I was looking through the notebook where I recorded the dream that formed the basis for the story in The Tree and the Grave. You can see bits of what I wrote along the side of the image.

The part that I think is the coolest is the drawing I did back then (I think I was fifteen?). That image stuck in my brain like you would not believe, because my memory of it when I was an ocean away is what I used to guide my creation of The Tree and the Grave. It was so important that I redrew it, and the new drawing made it into the final game:

It’s really interesting, seeing the two side-by-side, and reading the original record of the dream is hilarious, because I didn’t end up using the vast majority of it:

In case it’s hard for you to read the image, the dream goes like this (any comments by me now are in brackets):

Another Dream (I had the best titles, lol)

There was an empty town where all kinds of animals ran through it. I was in the town, and I found a camel (totally remembered this as a giraffe for some reason). It was a small camel, and I could ride it. So, I rode the camel around, and it was more like a horse than a camel, but I soon found out that I was not the only person in the town. There was a man somewhere, and he was hurting the animals. I went to look for him, and in the process I got off the camel. I found him in this underground thing that was like the crawl-space in our basement (not in a forest? I distinctly remember a whole lot more trees than I wrote about, apparently). There was this thing I had, like an obsidian spear-head, but it was shaped more like a knife (don’t remember this thing at all). Somehow it helped me, but the man took it from me. I fought him, and he was winning, but then he dropped my knife-thing, and I picked it up. I felt this power go through me, and I knew I was gaining the upper hand. But then he did something and–

(page cuts off because game spoilers)

Out of a page’s worth of dream, I ended up using about three bullet-points of information.

And a picture, which we all know is worth a thousand words :)

It’s so cool going back to see how ideas developed.


A tree surrounded by old magic and even older secrets.

A gravestone dedicated to someone long forgotten.

What drew you here?

And why?

Buy the game now on itch.io or Gumroad.

Or play the demo.