Hi there! My name is Erin, and I'm the Creative Director for the game Nevermind - a PC biofeedback-enhanced exploration horror game in which you venture into the minds of trauma patients to discover the truth behind their horrific experiences. Nevermind started as my Interactive Media Graduate Thesis project at the University of Southern California and became a labor of love for a passionate team of engineers, programmers, actors, writers, filmmakers, composers, and designers.
What is Nevermind?
In Nevermind, you play as an employee of the Neurostalgia Institute tasked with uncovering the mysteries hidden within the repressed memories of trauma victims. The game places you in situations that range from the unsettling to downright disturbing - like any good horror experience. The catch, however, is that you can play it while wearing a GARMIN heart-rate sensor. As a result, the more scared you get, the harder the game becomes - and, conversely, as you calm down, the game will gradually return to its easier, gentler default state.
Ultimately, you will have to learn how to recognize and manage your stress levels in order to properly play Nevermind. That is… if you want to see what's behind that next door...
As a game designer and artist who has always had a flair for the macabre, Nevermind is - in many ways - a dream project for me. Not only does it give the team and I an opportunity to play with biofeedback, which is gearing up to be the next frontier in gaming, it also allows us to craft an experience that is both fun and personally rewarding. By creating a narrative experience compelling enough that players would want to force themselves into dark and stressful scenarios to see "what's next," and requiring them to temper their subconscious anxiety response in order to do so successfully, Nevermind, in many ways, encourages "true bravery."
All in all, we think that's pretty neat!
Read more about Nevermind at nevermindgame.com
What We Need & What You Get
Nevermind is what we call a "proof-of-concept." We have completed one full level that demonstrates the big-picture of what Nevermind is as well as what it can be. In this level you can experience the fully fleshed out story, world, and the biofeedback-based dynamics of the game (unfortunately, we are not able to offer the game with the Garmin sensor at this time, but you can easily pick up one of your own from Amazon along with the USB dongle and try it! We hope to be able to offer the game with a sensor in the near future. The game has a built in metric algorithm that tracks your playing style to detect elements of stress none-the-less, so you'll still have a very similar experience). The experience is about an hour long and will take you on a ride you'll never forget!
This fundraising campaign is to help us get the game (in its current state) out there! Every contribution will help us submit Nevermind to shows and festivals and will allow us to stock up on sensor hardware to send to press and other interested and influential parties. The more we can get Nevermind out there, the better a chance it has at one day becoming a full game that can fulfill its full potential (with over 10 unique levels and many hours of gameplay).
Basically, right now we just want to hear what YOU think! So, for supporting the cause, we will minimally send you a copy of the current version of the game. We're not distributing sensors at this time (the game is fully playable without it) - but, if you're so inclined, you can easily buy them off of Amazon. Don't worry, we'll send you all the information you need to make sure you get the right one. PLEASE NOTE: The game is currently PC only. While we hope to have a Mac version available one day, the current version (both the game and biofeedback connection) is incompatable with Apple machines.
All that said, if we don't reach our goal, it won't be the end of the world. Nevermind will still live on in its current state! However, every contribution will help us establish a stronger future not only for Nevermind, but also for biofeedback-based gaming and for video games willing to work toward making the world a better place one fun experience at a time.
(One last note about the perk: we will send the game to you via email within 2 weeks -often much sooner- after your contribution.)
Other Ways You Can Help
"Hey, Erin, I think Nevermind sounds great but I can't contribute any funds at this time. What should I do?"
Well, I'm glad you asked!
Simply by talking about Nevermind and/or this Indiegogo campaign on Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, an airplane, the phone with your mom, etc. would also be very helpful. We're extremely appreciative of those who simply just want to spread the word!
That said, if you do opt to share the campaign, we encourage you to do so via the fancy, high-tech Indiegogo links provided on this page.
Still Not Sure What the Heck Nevermind Is?
That's okay! It's all part of the adventure. Here are some links that might help explain the project a little further:
Our Website: Nevermindgame.com
Videos About Nevermind: https://vimeo.com/album/1975596
Press and Honors
Erin Reynolds in the Press
The Nevermind team is headed up by myself, Jesse Busch, and Konstantin Brazhnik, who are both producers on the project. Prior to pursuing a graduate degree at USC, I worked in the game industry as an Artist and Game Designer. I recently had the privilege of being flown to the White House -- where another game I helped create, "Trainer," won two awards in a nation-wide competition initiated by First Lady Michelle Obama and sponsored by institutions such as the USDA, General Electric, and the IGDA. I recently received my MFA at the University of Southern California in the Interactive Media Division of the School of Cinematic Arts, and will soon be embarking on my next adventure in the game industry.
The rest of our team is an eclectic, talented mix of artists, engineers, a PhD electrical engineering candidate, a documentary filmmaker, a satellite engineer, actors, a film writer, and several film composers. The wide variety of expertise on our team enriches Nevermind's unique perspective and fosters a fresh and innovative take on the horror genre.