Game Tangents recently caught up with Matt Gilgenbach, the developer of the PC and PS3 shooter Retro/Grade. Matt is currently in the middle of a Kickstarter fundraising campaign for his new title, Neverending Nightmares, an adventure game that delves deeply into the psychological horror of real-life depression. With only 3 days left in the Kickstarter campaign as of this writing, Matt only has about $30,000 in donations to go before it expires. With the recent spotlight focused on indie game development, it is safe to say that Neverending Nightmares is quintessentially "indie." With its unique paper and pencil style graphics and horror theme, Neverending Nightmares appears both fun to play and meaningful to cogitate upon. The following is an interview our very own Mike had with Matt Gilgenbach. Please read and enjoy, then visit Matt's Kickstarter page by following the link below.
G-Tan: It's been known that Neverending Nightmares is inspired by your battle with mental illness. How difficult was it to figure out a way to portray the struggles of having a mental illness in an interactive medium? Matt: I'm not portraying mental illness in the game directly but rather just drawing on my personal experience to create the atmosphere on the game. However, other people with mental illness have told me that it really resonates with them and their experiences, so it seems like I'm doing a good job of recreating the feelings without too much trouble. G-Tan: The art style in this game is what first caught my eye over all the other indie games showcased at this year's PAX Prime. Can you tell me how it was initially developed? Matt: I wanted to create something that really stood out. There are so many amazing games at the Indie Megabooth, but I wanted to make sure our title was eye-catching. I've been a fan of Edward Gorey ever since I was a child, so it seemed like a great style for the game. Black and white was appealing because we do a lot of things with light and shadows as well as it gives us the opportunity to highlight interactive objects in color.
G-Tan: You mentioned in your Kickstarter that the game will have branching narratives. How different will these narratives be from each other? Are they smaller tidbits that change within one story, or larger decisions that changes the path of a story to branch into multiple other stories? Matt: They will be very different! Because the entire game takes place in a series of nightmares, we have the unique opportunity to have the player wake up into completely different realities without worrying about all the proceeding events directly leading up to it. G-Tan: Currently, the game is being developed on PC, MAC, Linux and Ouya. As Indies are becoming more important with the next-gen of hardware, are there any plans on bringing the game to consoles and/or to the Vita? Matt: We are taking a wait-and-see attitude. If the game is very successful on our current platforms, then it might be worth bringing it to others. There is a significant amount of work to bring a game to a console, so we want to make sure it is worth it before attempting to do so. G-Tan: Mental illness is a very sensitive subject that we don't get to explore much in video games, but thanks to you, many of us will understand the difficulties one can have with it. You've said you think you believe you can help people with this game; aside from raising awareness, are there any other plans to reach out to those that may suffer from similar illnesses? Matt: I do hope to reach out to those who suffer from mental illnesses through interviews and developer diaries. I am always interested in talking about it and helping people. I respond to every message I get where someone writes me about their experiences with mental illness. G-Tan: Thank you for your willingness to answer a few questions and good luck with the development of Neverending Nightmares. Matt: My pleasure! Thank you for helping spread the word!
Please visit Matt's Kickstarter page by following this link:
Game Tangents Interviews Neverending Nightmares