A brief history of Neverending Nightmares and what it took to bring us an amazing demo and release window.
An artist can always use his bleakest moment to shine, they can take the pain, the agony, distraught even the misery they accumulate then create their unique masterpiece with blood, sweat and tears. Matt Gilgenbach’s latest accomplishment Neverending Nightmares is the result of this formula. Suffering from both OCD and depression he wanted to create an experience that was personal to him; an experience that allowed you to step into the shoes of those who suffer from these mental illnesses. Kickstarter success giving Matt the proper support gave him the opportunity to bring us into an environment that meant a lot to him, with the final moments approaching on the last day the 3,608 backers were able to break through giving him a grand total of $106,722 over his goal of $99,000.
Neverending Nightmares puts you in the shoes of Thomas, the man who walks a mansion in his pajamas with severe psychological terrors creeping in on him. Without a concept of reality you explore the mansion unaware if Thomas is dreaming or awake, constantly roaming through hallways with your chest pounding, palms sweating and nerves being pushed to the edge awaiting the unknown creatures that congest Thomas’s path. “Vulnerable” was a huge part of what Matt was seeking to incorporate into this game, make Thomas feel helpless against these terrors like people with depression often feel by removing the ability to “kill” them Thomas is forced to find a way to live past them. His adjusted breathing while sprinting will leave Thomas and the player breathless as you continue to reach for safety away from the crippling nightmare.
“Mindfuck” was the base idea Matt was going for. Once you can convince the mind that it should feel those symptoms of the mental illnesses you can create an immersive experience that sucks the player in. While you’ll never quite understand the moment you’re currently in the progression will help explain what it is that Thomas is facing. With a dark gritty art style combined with a bone-chilling soundtrack the game is best enjoyed with headphones and the lights off.
Neverending Nightmares‘ demo for me was a thrilling experience; one that promotes awareness for a cause normally less prominent. The impact brought from Matt’s personal struggles gives the player an idea of what depression can feel like in a way no words can describe. Neverending Nightmares is set to release fall of 2014 to Windows, Mac, Linux, and Ouya.