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Hessel Bouma
by HesselBouma on 10 May 2022 for Rookie Awards 2022

OverNight is a demo I've been working on for about 10 months. It's a snapshot of a bigger story I've written about escapism, friendship, coming of age and queer themes. It's a 2D RPG with funny dialogue, cute locations and characters and some deeper lore...

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OverNight is an RPG about escapism, coming of age and queer themes. You play as a young boy that finds himself in a world that seems to have big plans for him.


In OverNight you play as a young boy who gets woken up by a strange light from outside his bedroom window. Of course he goes out to investigate, but he soon finds he might have bitten off more than he can chew.

He gets transported to a world full of strange creatures, friendly and not so friendly residents and a big quest he gets shoehorned into. He learns about friendship, hardship, love and what it means to grow up.

This is a demo, showing only the beginning of the full game. It's intended to show off the writing style and general vibe of what the full game would be.

I wanted to make a game that focusses on the feeling everyone has had at least once, escapism. As a kid I used to imagine getting whisked away to another world where I was a better version of myself, where I had no responsibilities and where I could be completely myself.

I got inspired by Undertale, Earthbound, Pokémon LeafGreen and Gameboy Advance Graphics.


Art, Story, Writing, Design, Lead developer:

Hessel Bouma

Programming, Consultation:

Thomas Barrer




I'm going to highlight some of the work I did for this project which includes character designs, pixel art, animation, pitch bible, UI, environment design, concept art etc.

Character designs.

I designed many characters for this project, most did not make it into the demo though as I did not have enough time, or I inteded them to be in a different part of the story. I'm going to run through all my designs and their assets in the game.


The hero is the main character of OverNight. He's a young boy who got whisked away to a fantasy world where he is the chosen one. He's excited at first but soon realises that being the chosen one is a big responsibility.


1AB is a fierce and aggressive character. She uses the mechsuit she built herself to overcome challenges in her quest for revenge. She is initially antagonistic towards the hero, but forms a bond later on and decides to help him in his quest, for selfish reasons? who knows.


Floris is a character that is very near to my heart. I have always missed healthy and psoitive gay representation in games, so I wanted to try and put some of that in my own game. Floris functions as an aspirational character to the hero, he's strong and confident but also friendly and supportive. He has some history with the royal guards and has a weird relationship with his ex-boyfriend who is still part of them. His motive is a rose. 

Earlier iterations of Floris were skinnier and more conventional, but I decided to make him larger and more huggable to drive home his friendly feel.

Royal guard.

The main antagonists the hero faces in Overnight are members of an elite squad of royal guards. They've been sent by the king to hunt him down. 


Chrys is a member of the royal guard, and Floris' ex-boyfriend. He is flamboyant and extra, and does not shy away from a confrontation. His motive is a chrysanthemum.


Bree is one of the most powerful mages in the kingdom, which is why she'd been recruited into the royal guard. She treats it as a side hustle though, as her job at the emo shirt store pays way more.


Faye is a timid and friendly member of the royal guard. They love their friends a lot, and will use their healing magic to support them in battle. They might have a small crush on Bree, but are too shy to actually act on it.

The King.

The King of the kingdom in OverNight. He is paranoid an age old prophecy will come true and has been a shut in for years He has been preparing for the arrival of the hero for a long time, and will do anything in his power to stop him.


I designed a lot of NPC's for OverNight, with the focus on making them wacky and likeable.


I made several environments with distinct themes and colors.


The starting areaof the game is the home of the main character. This area has cool tones because it's night, but it also has a mysterious feel to it. The backyard leads to a pine forest with a busted car and shack.

Glitched Woods.

The glitched woods is big forest, corrupted by technology. The trees are bugging out and ancient tech litters the ground.


Biginn is the first town you visit in the kingdom, and the only town available in the demo. I wanted it to have a safe and warm feel, so the whole town has a warm yellow and beige color scheme in both the interiors and exteriors.


I also designed and made UI assets for the game. I wanted to go for a clean and readable look, with big text and nice contrast. On the left is a box for a character portrait to show emotion, and on the right a big field for text. If the character doesn't have a portrait, the entire box is the text field.


I made several illustrations that function as the cutscenes for the game. These were made to drive the narrative in a simple and understandable way.

Pitch Bible.

I used this document to remind myself of what I wanted to achieve with the game and its characters. These are a few pages from the big file.

Concept Art.

The demo was originally going to feature a simple battle system, but I had to sacrifice that feature due to time constraints. Here are a few concepts of things that didn't make it into the demo.

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