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 or Gumroad.

Or play the demo.

Erica's Story (WIP title) | The Books of Bílo (WIP title) #1
First draft 29%
Hunter and Prey | White Changeling #3
First draft 100%

Grow Your Library

The Tree Remembers
Dreaming of Her and Other Stories
The Illuminated Heart
Hidden in Sealskin
The Kitten Psychologist Tries to Be Patient Through Email
Like Mist Over the Eyes
The Kitten Psychologist Broaches the Topic of Economics
The Kitten Psychologist