Hello PlayStation fans! I’m Matt Gilgenbach, creative director of Infinitap Games. As a huge PlayStation fan myself, I am pleased to announce that my hit atmospheric horror game, Neverending Nightmares, is coming to PlayStation 4 and PS Vita in the second quarter of this year. All the scares and thrills of the original version are there but with a host of new improvements.
Neverending Nightmares is a very personal game for me because it’s meant to metaphorically express the experience I’ve had dealing with mental illness – specifically obsessive compulsive disorder and depression. It was a real challenge to develop a game to express those dark feelings, but my team and I have created a really unique interactive experience. I know I called it a “game” up above, but I think interactive experience is a more apt description.
Neverending Nightmares is designed to explore the darkest and most negative emotions – fear, horror, anxiety, hopelessness, pain and frustration. It isn’t a typical game where you are faced with challenges and can win. We worked really hard to make the players feel trapped and helpless when playing the game. After one reaches all three endings, none feel like a happy resolution. They barely feel like a resolution at all because there really aren’t clean endings in life.
In the game, you play as Thomas, a weak young man with asthma, who wakes up from a terrible nightmare. As you continue to progress through the game, you discover that he is trapped in a series of nightmares – each more hellish than the last. Your goal is to hide and flee from the horrifying apparitions that Thomas is defenceless against in order to finally “wake up” in the real world.
The game features a unique branching narrative where depending on the paths you take, you end up in different nightmares with completely different and contradictory endings. There isn’t a clear overarching story, and that was an intentional design choice. We were greatly influenced by David Lynch, and wanted the nightmares to feel more real than the “reality” in the endings.
As you can see from the screenshots, Neverending Nightmares has a very unique pen sketch look reminiscent of legendary artist Eduard Gorey. The game has a dynamic lighting and shadow system that fills in the darker areas with different amounts of pen sketch lines. We animate the pen sketch lines to create a tense atmosphere where it feels like the darkness surrounding you is always closing in.
The audio in Neverending Nightmares is one of its strongest features. IGF nominated composer Skyler McGlothlin delivers a haunting and oppressive dark ambient score. The warped piano notes and rumbling bass provide an ominous backdrop to the nightmarish soundscape including the pained rasping of the Thomas’s laboured breathing to the guttural growls of lurking monstrosities.
We’ve taken our time with the PlayStation versions of the game to make sure that you are getting the best possible experience. The biggest change is an improvement to the way the branching narrative works. We want gamers to experience all the content in the game and there is plenty gamers won’t see if they just reach one ending, so we’ve made it easier to get to the branching points and have designed them to be a bit more obvious. This makes a huge difference in the experience, so we are happy that PlayStation gamers first exposure to the game will be to this improved version.
Secondly, we’ve made sure that the graphics are the best possible on their respective platforms. On PlayStation 4, the game runs at 1080p60 with antialiasing, but we also improved the engine to ensure pixel accuracy for our textures. Since Neverending Nightmares uses a lot of intricately detailed drawings, this has a great increase in graphical fidelity. The PS Vita version also runs at 60 fps with all of the effects turned on, so no matter what your PlayStation platform of choice is, you will get a great experience. Since we support Cross-Buy and Cross-Save, you won’t have to choose!
Thank you so much for your time reading this blog post, and if you like bleak and tense atmospheric horror, give Nevererending Nightmares a try when we release on PS Vita and PS4.