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Neverending Nightmares
Genre: Adventure, Horror
Platforms: PC, Mac, Linux
Languages: English
Players: Single-player
Aug 27, 2013 @ 8:21am
Jan 26, 2016 @ 7:42pm

View Neverending Nightmares in the store

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Neverending Nightmares has an official Steam page!
Neverending Nightmares is available to Beta Backers!
Release date: Late 2014
Download the playable demo here:

Neverending Nightmares is a psychological horror game inspired by the real horror of my battle with obsessive-compulsive disorder and depression. It features a truly interactive narrative structure allowing you to shape the outcome of the game. It will take the psychological horror genre in a new direction by eschewing many traditions that don’t contribute to creating an immersive horrifying experience such as limited save points, item collection/ammo hoarding, and puzzle solving.

The Gameplay
The gameplay focus is on exploration. Horror is amplified by vulnerability, so you won't be picking up guns and shooting monsters. While there may be some very light combat mechanics, you will have to work to avoid confrontation. In the demo above, we focused on proving exploring a mansion could be scary, but we plan on developing more gameplay systems.

Stealth will play a big part of the game. However, 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. Instead, we are planning something more along the lines of Amnesia: The Dark Descent where enemies are invulnerable, and you must hide to survive.

Stealth games are often extremely unforgiving. We want to make a game that is accessible and fun for a wide variety of skill levels. In Neverending Nightmares, the punishment for death is that you either wake up in the same nightmare (like a checkpoint) or "dying" will transport you to a different branch in our narrative than if you had succeeded.

The Art
The game features a unique art style influenced by the famous illustrator Edward Gorey and uses color to emphasize interactive objects. Blood also appears in red in order to emphasize the gruesome violence.

While the art style is 2D, we are using advanced 3D graphics techniques to create the stylized look. Light and dark is extremely important to creating a horror game, so we spent a lot of time building out technology to give it a unique look.

We created a pixel shader that renders the hand-drawn shading based on the dynamic lighting values. The shading effect is animated creating an eerie feel. The player has raytraced shadows. For light coming in through the windows (like you see above), we project light frustums in 3D. The light projects on the player and he blocks the pattern on the ground. All of these details really give the darkness character and make it feel more oppressive, which in turn amplifies the horror of the game.

The Narrative
The game features a unique narrative structure where you keep waking up inside another nightmare. This allows us to redefine reality every time you wake up. Players will experience the mind-bending challenge of having to determine what is real and what is just a nightmarish manifestation of the main character's psychological state.

In a nightmare, there will be different options of how to complete them. Depending on what you do, when you wake up, it'll be into a different nightmare and the narrative will branch. Most games' branches converge back on the same story line quickly. In Neverending Nightmares, we keep the narrative branches alive, and they lead to several completely different endings that dramatically change the reality the main character will be waking up into.

Since the game is designed for multiple playthroughs, a single playthrough will be relatively short - probably between 1-3 hours. Keeping the tension high in a horror game is challenging, and we don't want to put in filler to pad out the game length. However, you won't understand the full meaning of the game until you play through all the different paths and achieve all the endings. We expect the average player to play through between 4-6 times, but there will be even more content for those who want to thoroughly explore the world of Neverending Nightmares and experience every possible outcome.

The game is heavily influenced by Silent Hill (especially 2) because in that series, all the horrific images have meaning and reveal more about the characters. The developers masterfully tell a story through the subtext and horrific incarnations of creatures that occupy the otherworld. This is one of the main goals of Neverending Nightmares. Every aspect of the game reveals more about the psychological state of the main character, Adam, and ties back to the idea of creating the feelings I've struggled with as someone with mental illness.

Amnesia: The Dark Descent is another influence. It's a very scary game with a streamlined and much more modern feel than other recent horror games. There are no clunky combat systems or complex inventory management. It just focuses on the horror! We plan on doing the same.

My Story
Neverending Nightmares is semi-autobiographical, so let me tell you a little bit more about myself. As mentioned above, I suffer from obsessive-compulsive disorder and depression. My problems were at their worst from 2001-2003, and I suffered greatly. When I moved to Los Angeles to start my career as a game developer, I was very fortunate to get therapy that gave me the tools to cope with my mental illnesses.

In 2008, I co-founded 24 Caret Games and began working on the indie game Retro/Grade. The game's scope spiraled out of control and my obsessive-compulsive disorder took control of my life. I worked constantly and became quite miserable. If you are interested in learning more about the development of Retro/Grade, check out my GDC talk.

Despite getting positive reviews and awards, Retro/Grade was a failure financially. After all the time and money I invested in the game, I took it quite hard and began a downward spiral into depression again. The memories of my hellish battle with mental illness a decade ago seemed like a vague memory, but they came flooding back after Retro/Grade failed. I felt lost and didn't know what to do.

More than anything I wanted to remain an indie developer. I decided I would try one last project to make my "dream" game. I wanted to create something personal, important, and would create a positive impact. That's where the ideas for Neverending Nightmares came from. I hope to help people who are struggling with mental illness. If I can help at least one person, it would justify all the suffering I've endured. It would give meaning to all the horrible things I went through, and that would make my pain worthwhile.

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. People have already written to me about how I've inspired them, but I want to reach out to a larger audience and help more people!

I need your help to do that. If you like what I'm trying to accomplish, please back the project and help me continue on my mission to make terrifying games AND talking honestly about mental illness.
Popular Discussions View All (8)
Aug 31, 2014 @ 10:30am
Over the top cliche
Hot Chicken
Oct 25, 2013 @ 1:57pm
Those type of games
Jul 16, 2014 @ 8:27pm
When will the Beta become available?
Anam Isolde
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Лютый May 1 @ 6:14am 
Nice game!
remigiop Jan 4, 2016 @ 12:28pm 
Freelancer117 Jan 4, 2016 @ 8:48am 
Any news please ?
♐ | Be[N]Z1n* Jul 23, 2015 @ 10:20pm 
Играл в эту игрушку а прошлом году.Вся игра в том,что ходишь туда-сюда,прячешься в шкафах от мобов,иногда убегаешь.В конце показана линейка сюжета,тоесть,можно как то определять концовки.Если играть ночью,можно наделать кирпичей.Стоит поиграть хотя бы 1 раз.
מר המזקירה מאפינס Jan 2, 2015 @ 2:50am 
this is creepy, but cool
Sniper Holmes Oct 27, 2014 @ 6:39am 
this games is good, but It is creepy.
paredesangel Sep 28, 2014 @ 8:57am 
i saw dashie play this and pewdiepies and gamegrumps and i have to say the graphic are great! very scary just imagine u never end your worst nightmares even killing urself will just end u up waking up god i go mad and so depressed and stay one room. but honestly i think i know a true theory to this.
prelive Sep 27, 2014 @ 1:52am 
Nivo_7 Sep 22, 2014 @ 8:21pm 
SGT.ButtCrack Sep 2, 2014 @ 4:57pm 
pewdiepie play this game