Let’s Blather/Cower All Over Neverending Nightmares

By Nathan Grayson on September 28th, 2013 at 1:00 pm.

We brought you word of Retro/Grade creator Matt Gilgenbach’s Neverending Nightmares a while back, and the pitch definitely didn’t tiptoe lightly on the heartstrings. In short, Gilgenbach has spent his whole life struggling with obsessive compulsive disorder and depression, and when Retro/Grade’s reverse-shmup antics only succeeded in rewinding money right out of his bank account, his personal demons began haunting him worse than ever. Neverending Nightmares is a psychological horror game born of those miserable experiences, an attempt by Gilgenbach to both expel and explore them. With the game’s Kickstarter winding down (and still in need of a bit more aid), I thought I’d play through its gruesomely gorgeous demo and discover just what sort of darkness lies inside. Also, I am a whimpering coward and I waited until nighttime to record. Inevitably, I start freaking out and babbling to myself like a lunatic, as all sensible, sane adults do in order to keep calm. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go find a corner and just, er, breathe for a while. Yeah, that sounds nice. 

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30 Comments »

  1. Viroso says:

    So this is what a Nathan Grayson sounds like.

    • julli1 says:

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    • evengle015 says:

      my neighbor’s sister-in-law makes $81/hour on the internet. She has been laid off for eight months but last month her pay was $21701 just working on the internet for a few hours. Read Full Article =-=-=-=- http://goo.gl/G40gh3

  2. InternetBatman says:

    I was just looking at this game for the forum Kickstarter Katchup:
    http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/forums/showthread.php?11523-Kommunity-Kickstarter-Katchup-Kollektiv
    I hope this article pushes it over the top. RPS can consistently drive about 10% – 15% of a games funding if they cover it a couple times. I’m not a huge fan of horror games, but I love the Edward Gorey style.

    Also, you guys should look at Knite and the Ghost Lights. Hand-crafted claymation adventure sounds exactly like RPS’ kinda thing.
    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2011341880/knite-and-the-ghost-lights/

    • kwyjibo says:

      These guys have had loads of press already – lengthy articles in Gamespot, Polygon and Penny Arcade. Releasing his proposal game gave them another round of news stories, and was an effective way of promoting the developer’s gaming credentials.

      While more press helps, and other projects have had last minute turnarounds (such as Sui Generis), I think this project has already reached a very large audience, and they don’t find it appealing.

      For me, the game’s exploration OCD is a strong negative. Gaming is an industry driven by meaningless OCD +1′s, from platformer collect-’em-ups to the current free to play outbreak. OCD has been done. OCD is boring.

      • InfinitapGames says:

        Hello – I’m Matt Gilgenbach – the project’s creator. I’m not sure you understand OCD. The game’s exploration of OCD have nothing to do with collect-a-thons. In particular, I am exploring the idea of intrusive thoughts, which are dark and unpleasant images that pop into my head. The scenes of graphic violence with the arm mutilation come from my OCD. While it has been extremely unpleasant to deal with emotionally, it works well in the context of a horror game.

        • LordOfPain says:

          Hi Matt. I know someone with OCD and I’m amazed how many people do not actually understand what OCD is or confuse it with OCPD. Hope you have success with this.

          • jrodman says:

            Well, I certainly learned something from this post. I had confused the two for sure, as my idea of “OCD” had elements of both.

        • Jackablade says:

          You’re probably going to need to find a way to illustrate how the imagery reflects the things going on in your head, and indeed what those things actually are, as there are few people who are not sufferers, including myself, who have any real understanding of mental illnesses and are relying on the frequently incorrect version of things from hearsay and the media.

          Without this information, as has been suggested elsewhere, the demo does feel pretty generic in terms of horror tropes, albeit quite effective in portraying them. Might be a tricky thing to pull off without resorting to dialogue or a fat text box saying “this here is what OCD is”.

          Anyway, good luck with the campaign. Looks like it’s going to be a close one.

        • kwyjibo says:

          I took a look into OCD, and yeah – the spectrum it covers is significantly wider than the achievement collect-’em-up we see in games and light switch hand cleaning we see on screen.

          It looks like you’re going to make it with a day left though, you’re $12k and you’ve already surprised me by beating that figure in your second to last day.

          • InfinitapGames says:

            I hope so! It’s been a crazy day, but I think I have really amazing backers that really want to make this happen. I’m keeping my fingers crossed! :)

      • faelnor says:

        While more press helps, and other projects have had last minute turnarounds (such as Sui Generis), I think this project has already reached a very large audience, and they don’t find it appealing.

        You underestimate the impact of promotion on RPS.

        • kwyjibo says:

          No. This project has been featured in the press extensively already, the creator has been actively engaged in its promotion with things like the Reddit AMA. It already had 2000 backers before this post.

          The Alum project was only covered in RPS, and its scope was a lot smaller, and the post was an outright appeal from John Walker, rather than a “look at this thing”.

    • riverman says:

      How does this knite game have no backers? I want to throw money at it but I am limited to paypal :(

  3. Gap Gen says:

    “And this is the Chain Room, where you can store all your bleeding people if you have any over. Now, on your left, we have the kitchen…”

    • The Random One says:

      “If I kill cattle can I put it there?”
      “I guess, if you’re some kind of freak.”

      • Gap Gen says:

        “Oh, and I can leave you the number of a good white dress supplier. Should be one-size fits all if you limit yourself to short dark-haired girls.”

  4. ZHsquad says:

    Oh gawd. Scary games. I’m such a sissy when it comes to them. I couldn’t even go through Slender.

    • yuri999 says:

      I can play horror games where we have a chance to fight back but games where we are defenseless? NOPE.JPG

      Btw, you can play this game. It isn’t that scary. It’s more like mindhump horror.

  5. JimmyG says:

    The art style could really lend itself to pareidolia. I hope the developers (or the players?) are able to take advantage of that. In your playthrough, I noticed you didn’t comment on the rooms that had skulls for wallpaper — so maybe it’s already working. But I’d like more subtlety with it, too.

    Not really enjoying the way that interactable things have color. though. It makes it tempting to ignore 95% of the environment.

  6. alphyna says:

    Looks really nice. Love the visual style.

  7. Freud says:

    Who would pick up a bloody axe? Now your fingerprints are all over it and they will CSI your arse.

  8. CookPassBabtridge says:

    That picture is either a Cuban General or Brian Blessed wearing a baseball cap.

  9. Grover says:

    I love Edward Gorey’s style, this is right up that decrepit alleyway. http://artofterrafine.blogspot.com/2010/10/my-inspiration-ii-edward-gorey.html

  10. PopeRatzo says:

    Wasn’t there just a RPS post a few back saying that horror games are completely played out and so 2011?

    And why don’t these game developers just sell stock instead of putting out the hat on kickstarter? It seems like a more honest transaction. Why is the system of finding investors that was good enough to power the entire computer revolution of the past 30 years no longer good enough for game developers? Maybe it’s worth a try. The worst that could happen is that games start getting released on time instead of in “Q4, some future year to be determined”.

    And no, donating money on Kickstarter is not investing.

    • The Random One says:

      I agree with you entirely, as games that have come out on time have never felt rushed, abrupt on in dire need of sixteen months’ worth of modders’ unpaid work to become even halfway playable, and furthermore games released by big companies with big investors have always unerringly come out on the date they first were annonced to come out, and traditional funding models have in no way caused mainstream video games, movies, music, comics and almost every other media to be filled with derivative safe by-the-numbers works that are all spectacle and incapable of pushing their media further.

    • benjaminlobato says:

      You make it sound like it’s sooo easy to find wealthy investors willing to invest $200,000 in a small group of indie developers with no previous history of financial success working on a violent and disturbing 2D horror game. And even if they could find these magical investors, it’s extremely unlikely they would give the developers complete creative control over the project, which is kind of the whole point of being an indie developer.

      I’ve donated to this project and I’m excited for whatever comes from it. This seems like a completely honest transaction to me. If you aren’t interested, that’s fine, but why do people feel the need to post needlessly negative and pointless comments like this?

  11. Chillz says:

    All body parts crossed in hopes for this reaching its pledge

  12. TechnicalBen says:

    This kind of game is not really scary to me. I lucid dream, so it’s my nightmares that should be afraid of [super dream] me.

  13. Phasma Felis says:

    Oh, wow, he just made the goal with three hours to go!

    I’m afraid the game doesn’t look up my alley, but I’m really happy about it nonetheless–it sounds like this guy has earned a positive break.

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