Update at 06:00, 16/09/2013:
Matt Gilgenbach has been kind enough to take some time out of his busy schedule to answer our questions about Neverending Nightmares. Take a look at our preview article here.
Original article at 06:00, 10/09/2013:
We’re big fans of the horror genre here at 1001-Up.com, so whenever a new game that may make us jump out of our seats is announced we like to check it out. While we were searching through Kickstarter recently we came across one that looked rather special: Neverending Nightmares by Matt Gilgenbach.
Neverending Nightmares has a little bit of a unique twist to it: this psychological-horror is inspired by Gilgenbach’s own battle with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and his daily fight with depression. In 2008 he founded 24 Caret Games and began working on Retro/Grade but, despite getting positive reviews and rewards, it was a failure financially and the developer’s OCD spiralled out of control. He decided that he would try one last project to make his ‘dream’ game, ‘something personal, important, and would create a positive impact’.
Gilgenbach’s attitude is inspiring: “I strongly believe that through the game and the developer diaries talking about my battle with mental illness, I can really make a difference in peoples’ lives. I can show them that they are not suffering alone! I can tell them that things can get better.” Neverending Nightmares therefore has a very in-depth interactive narrative structure that lets players truly shape the outcome of their story every time they play, making no two playthroughs the same. The developer plans to take this horror game in a new direction by making Neverending Nightmares a full-on immersive experience and removing some of the things that may take away from that – for example, limited save points, item collection and puzzle-solving.
The gameplay focuses on exploration above all else but stealth will also be a factor. On his Kickstarter page, Gilgenbach says: “We don’t plan on having a bunch of complicated stealth systems because we feel that they would steal your concentration from being immersed in a horrifying world.” At first glance, the look of the title doesn’t appear very threatening as its black-and-white pen-drawn style doesn’t scream ‘horror'; but the more you watch the video, the more it works. With a terrifying figure chasing you, with red blood streaming down her eyes and dead people hanging from the ceiling, the effect brings the scares into the full focus.
Neverending Nightmares needs $99,000 by 29 September 2013 to achieve its goal. We believe this game should be made because there’s nothing like it out there at the moment; its basic, stripped-back feel is a very bold and clever thing to do. Gilenbach’s personal struggle with his demons will come across in the title and provide closure in what was no doubt a difficult time in his life. Head over to Kickstarter and Steam Greenlight to support this amazing project – we’re proud to call ourselves backers.