Devastated Dreams has been announced!

Let's chat about what you want from our next game. :)
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matt
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Devastated Dreams has been announced!

Post by matt » Wed May 27, 2015 11:01 am

(The text is pretty much stolen from the kickstarter update, so if you already read that, nothing new here.)

Here is a trailer for our next game, Devastated Dreams:


If you’d like to get an overview of our next game, check out this article about it on Polygon.com. I realize it may seem a little weird to send you a link to an interview rather than just talking about it myself, but I’ve actually found that having an interviewer or an editor going through my statements and keeping the ones with the most impact is really helpful. There are so many things I love about Devastated Dreams, but sharing it with someone else always help me refine my message.
With Neverending Nightmares, there were a lot of different aspects to it that were cool to me at least – the personal message, the art style, the audio, the branching narrative, etc. I didn’t know what the best thing to say about the game was since I liked all of it. After doing a few interviews, I learned a lot. The branching narrative didn’t really resonate with people, so I talked less about it as time went on, but the personal message did, so that became the focus of my future PR.

With Devastated Dreams, I feel the same way. There are so many things that appeal to me about the game. It is still very personal. My wife and I are expecting our first child, and it’s actually been quite terrifying. I’m not sure I can really describe how terrifying it can be – how powerless you feel to protect something you love so much that at least at the beginning – is a formless blob. Some pregnancies aren’t viable, and that is a terrible cloud hanging over the excitement of bringing a new life into this world.

Neverending Nightmares was about showing my fears to the world that I couldn’t express any other way, and this game is very similar. My fears now surround my child, which are perhaps more relatable. My OCD magnifies everything of which I’m afraid, and that will always be a battle, but I suspect I’m not the only expectant parent who is terrified that something could happen to my beautiful child. I say beautiful child, but from the ultrasound pictures we’ve seen, it’s kind of tough to tell that it IS a child, but the child is beautiful to me. It is crazy how quickly you feel attached to a tiny collection of cells.

Another aspect of the game that it really interesting to me is the settings in the rural Philippines. My wife is from the Philippines, so I would say I have more interest in the region than the average person. However, I’ve found that it is super interesting, and I think you’ll see when you play Devastated Dreams what I mean. In America, we have legends of vampires, werewolves, Bigfoot, and so on. In the Philippines they have aswang – which is sort of a blanket term for all the different types of monsters. The monsters are pretty twisted – most prey on children born and unborn, which makes them the perfect manifestation of fears for someone expecting a child.

I’m also very excited about the story and the world building we are doing for Devastated Dreams. The Philippines is a developing country, and being a sheltered American, I didn’t really understand how people live in other places. I feel embarrassed for being ignorant, but sometimes you really have to see something to believe it.

I visited the Philippines in 2013, and it was an eye opening experience. When we visited a rural area without electricity, I felt scared. I feel scared a lot, but it’s almost always mental fears tied into worries and catastrophizing. When we were riding in a van along a road in a rural area of Coron, there were no street lights, stores were lit by candles, and there were nipa huts (grass and bamboo houses that are common in the Philippines) in the middle of a dark forest. I imagined myself in one, and I felt a very visceral fear that I was unsafe. There was nothing threatening me, but the unfamiliar and dark jungle felt dangerous throughout every cell in my body. I knew then that it would be a great setting for a horror game. It is also one that would be unique and hopefully eye opening about poverty other places in the world.

The story of the game is a really important facet to Devastated Dreams. Some people were disappointed that Neverending Nightmares didn’t have more of a story. It was meant to be abstract and symbolic like a nightmare you can’t quite understand, but Devastated Dreams is going to be more story based. I love games with great stories, and I think we have a lot of interesting things to say in our new game. To me though, I think story by itself isn’t all games can offer. I want to create a universe that doesn’t fall apart to steal a phrase from my favorite author, Philip K. Dick.
Getting lost in the world of a video game is an amazing feeling. That’s why I am such a fan of Panzer Dragoon and Silent Hill. I feel like I could be in those worlds. That is especially impressive in Panzer Dragoon Saga (on the Saturn) and the original Silent Hill where they managed to create these worlds with polycounts in the thousands. World building can really help a story-driven game. Imagine what Gone Home would have been like without the Christmas Duck, the X-Files VHS tapes off of TV, and a world that really took you back to the 90s. My personal opinion is that it would have been a lot less compelling. I found what the residents in Metro 2033 had to say almost more interesting than the story of the game since it revealed so much about their condition. We want to create something that shows you what the Philippines is like and have a narrative that fits into that. This may sound ambitious, but I think we are creating something really special.

If you are excited about this project, fear not! There will be more information coming. We are looking at running a kickstarter for the game probably in July, and we’d love your support to help polish our kickstarter page, suggest what you’d like to see on the forum. Hopefully my commitment to the backers have shown that I take my kickstarter project creator duties seriously, so the next campaign will be even stronger than this one.
-Matt Gilgenbach
Lead Frightener at Infinitap Games

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evilkinggumby
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Re: Devastated Dreams has been announced!

Post by evilkinggumby » Wed May 27, 2015 11:07 am

oh Matt.. ohhh... you and me.. we're either gonna become best friends or mortal enemies soon.. lol..

I'll expound later. Glad to see the teaser up and a lot of details fleshed out on here. This will be an interesting campaign!

just to expound a lil on what i'm hinting at... this was taken mid december 2014.. I've been down the road you are walking not very long ago..

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Last edited by evilkinggumby on Wed May 27, 2015 12:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RightClickSaveAs
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Re: Devastated Dreams has been announced!

Post by RightClickSaveAs » Wed May 27, 2015 11:26 am

Wow Matt, congratulations! On both the game and the upcoming parenthood! Posting on my phone now so keeping it short, but that is great news.

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matt
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Re: Devastated Dreams has been announced!

Post by matt » Wed May 27, 2015 12:14 pm

EvilKingGumby - I hope everything is okay with your child! We had several scares in the first trimester, which were extremely difficult, but I think i would be wrecked if I were in a similar situation. They might have to hospitalize me as well... :-/

RightClickSaveAs - I'm glad to hear you are excited about the new game! I have been terrified that people wouldn't respond well to the subject matter, but it seems like I've struck a nerve with a lot of common fears. It is going to be pretty brutal, so I guess now the worry is that maybe it'll be too much for the target audience.... I guess we'll see!

Anyway, thank you both for your kind words and show of support!
-Matt Gilgenbach
Lead Frightener at Infinitap Games

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JPrice
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Re: Devastated Dreams has been announced!

Post by JPrice » Thu May 28, 2015 5:01 am

First things first, just to apologise for my absence in recent times on here. Just been busy with work and like but then I got your newest email and was pleasantly surprised to see the new game announcement!
To start, congrats on expecting your first child :) I'm sure it'll be both very exciting and scary at the same time hahaa

Back to the matter at hand though, new game yay! After watching the trailer I can say that it looks very interesting. Obviously it's a similar art style to NN but clearly different enough that you can tell the difference between them both, also I like the non-conventional setting as it should bring a feeling an aura of unfamiliarity to most of us Westerners hahaaa
I also like the idea of having a pregnant woman being the protagonist, brings out many ideas and avenues for character development. I think you made a good choice in making this one more story based as well so it should be interesting to see it all pans out.

All in all I'm excited to see where this goes and I'll be looking forward to the Kickstarter! Hopefully you have some enticing reward tiers as I'll probably end up giving more than last time, given how much I enjoyed the whole process of development :) One thing though, I would recommend having a playable demo again like for NN. I think that it was really cool and would be a shame to see not on this campaign (As well as the early access, for us Alpha testers hahaa)
Looking forward to this one! :D
"Always look on the bright side of life"
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evilkinggumby
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Re: Devastated Dreams has been announced!

Post by evilkinggumby » Thu May 28, 2015 8:21 am

matt wrote:EvilKingGumby - I hope everything is okay with your child! We had several scares in the first trimester, which were extremely difficult, but I think i would be wrecked if I were in a similar situation. They might have to hospitalize me as well... :-/

The lil guy is much better now. :) still playing catch up as he was a preemie and so is a lil disproportionate compared to other kids his age (he is still kinda small compared to similar children) but the initial problems are all long past.

The fears you are having are pretty normal. we had a lot of scares and my wife spent most of last holiday season in and out of doctors offices and in the hospital. Sadly the biggest issue we ran into was the fact she got pregnancy induced hypertension that can have a bad effect on the baby, but also he shifted in such a way he was pressing on the umbilical and so the baby was not getting enough blood to thrive (which also caused erratic and poor heartbeats, which is why he was born 2 months early) .

but yeah every step is both magical and terrifying. This would be fascinating to have applied in the game, if done right.

The teaser is kool, brief but shows a lot and is well edited together. I'm not crazy about the art style as it stands right now, and when i looked at the creature at the end i found it laughable rather than frightening. I imagine there is a lot that needs to get refined as the game get built, but the ink and wash style you have now just doesn't feel polished or skillful at this point. the backgrounds look great, very similar to NeN 1. I think it's the cut scenes and characters...
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matt
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Re: Devastated Dreams has been announced!

Post by matt » Thu May 28, 2015 2:05 pm

Jprice - we are definitely doing a demo again. I think that was hugely helpful last time around. I might even try to give out a preview build to the forum frequenters before the campaign starts in order to make sure there aren't any big gameplay issues. We have more game mechanics this time around, so I'm worried that it might not be easy to figure out what the issues are without some playtesting.

We are getting there with the demo, but we have a bunch of animation and sound left to do. Overall, between the new game mechanics and general polish, I think this demo is going to be better than the last. It still isn't super long (around 15 minutes), but it has a lot more "stuff" in it, so it's been harder to do than I originally anticipated.

If you go back and play our original kickstarter demo, you'll notice we added animations, stair cases, running, etc, before launch. With this level, I think it's going to be mostly release quality (or at least I hope so).

Evilkinggumby - I'm so glad to hear your child is doing well! I'm not sure I'll be able to capture every facet of being an expectant parent, but I hope to at least get some of the anxieties.

Unfortunately, we won't be changing the cutscenes or characters at this point since we already put a ton of work into them. However, I would reserve judgment on them until you actually see them in game. There is a ton of detail on the textures to make it feel hand crafted that is lost both with the resolution downsampling as well as video compression.

This may sound strange, but we basically had to come up with a special downsampling process because our high resolution texture data was losing fidelity and looking muddy with a simple downsample done by our tools. We now try to mirror what Photoshop does for downsampling (which is really complicated, and still works a little better than our process) in order to preserve all the interesting details.

It's possible you still may not like it, but I think it looks a lot better in game than in a trailer. If you want, you can get a high bitrate 1080p trailer here, but it still looks better in actual gameplay.
-Matt Gilgenbach
Lead Frightener at Infinitap Games

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Re: Devastated Dreams has been announced!

Post by JPrice » Sat May 30, 2015 12:09 pm

matt wrote:Jprice - we are definitely doing a demo again. I think that was hugely helpful last time around. I might even try to give out a preview build to the forum frequenters before the campaign starts in order to make sure there aren't any big gameplay issues. We have more game mechanics this time around, so I'm worried that it might not be easy to figure out what the issues are without some playtesting.
Oh cool that's good to hear! Also that preview build thing sounds like a great idea, though I'm not sure how you'd implement it hahaa
"Always look on the bright side of life"
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matt
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Re: Devastated Dreams has been announced!

Post by matt » Mon Jun 01, 2015 2:51 pm

I'm not sure yet either. I imagine we could do it as a special branch in Neverending Nightmares that we grant permission to specific users to, but that seems kind of hacky and a lot of work. Maybe we'll post a link and use the honor system? I can trust you guys, right?
-Matt Gilgenbach
Lead Frightener at Infinitap Games

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RightClickSaveAs
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Re: Devastated Dreams has been announced!

Post by RightClickSaveAs » Mon Jun 01, 2015 5:39 pm

Seems like a good community around here for sure, maybe put it in the backers section just in case, since the forums are open? I think pretty much all the regular posters around here are backers, right?

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