I feel really bad for Matt Gilgenbach of Infinitap Games, whose game Retro/Grade, he explains “was nominated for two IGF awards in 2009 as well as won the IndieCade Audience Award in 2010”, and despite that, managed to be a spectacular failure for the talented guy – it just didn’t sell. As Nathan said back in March, Retro/Grade moonwalked onto Steam a little while back, and it’s currently on sale for next to nothing (Pick it up! It’s a super-great reverse rhythm’up in space!), but that’s not why we’re here. Matt has picked himself back up. He is going to try again. This time, it’s going to be a neverending nightmare (in that, it is called Neverending Nightmares).
Matt is extremely conscious of the mistakes he made with Retro/Grade, in that he admits that the reason that his game might have been a failure is simply that he didn’t involve a community in its development process – there was no warmth toward his game fostered ahead of time, no progress shared. He says, “As time passes and I continue to torture myself by focusing on all the mistakes we made on Retro/Grade, I’m beginning to think that we really missed an opportunity for being open during the development. I was so busy worrying about vertices and performance optimizations that I didn’t take the time to foster a community by telling people what I was doing and how I was doing it. I think this was a mistake.”
To make amends for this, Matt has begun a developer diary series. Here is one of his on preproduction of your game, discussing how to know your game is any good ahead of time.
Matt has recently discussed his next project with Polygon, called Neverending Nightmares. It’s a dark psychological horror game that weaves in the developer’s own problems with his mental health and depression. The art looks wonderful. “I think Neverending Nightmares is the game I can create better than anyone else, just because it’s so personal to me,” he told Polygon’s Justin McElroy. “I have all these negative images and negative emotions I can channel into making this psychological horror experience.”
The game will feature 2D graphics and a black and white palette. It’s as yet unclear whether the game will be released on PC but it looks like it would do well on Steam. You can find out more about the game Neverending Nightmares here.