Despite challenging himself to a round of Christer Kaitila’s One Game a Month (#1GAM) in the month of August, this year, and subsequently missing his deadline by a large margin, independent games developer Hjalte Tagmose has launched a completed build of his pixelated, roguelite project of Despot Dungeons on itch.io and the Google Play Store.
Featuring an original chip-tune soundtrack composed by Higher Eclectic Ground’s Simone Bernacchia alias Jovanotti Must Die (J.M.D) —
- Despot Dungeons follows a disenfranchised, humiliated little frog’s campaign to dethrone tyranny.
- To this end, players must conquer up to three distinct levels of enemies, puzzles and bosses in the monochrome sewers they’ve been subjected to.
- While each area abounds in turn-based movements, varying interactive objects and mechanics.
While Tagmose would certainly like to expand Despot Dungeons with additional content in the future, his plans for the same remain indefinite for the moment.
‘Maybe I’ll pair up with someone who’s a little more competent in level design in the future,’ he adds. ‘If I want to sell the game, I’ll definitely want to work on a lot more content but I’m not really looking to do that as of right now.’
Created by Christer Kaitila alias McFunkypants, himself a freelance game developer, author and musician, the #1GAM challenge is notorious for inviting game development enthusiasts from all walks of life to complete production of a game within a single month.
Running virtually all-year round, offered to participants is plenty of publicity, XP and bragging rights that adds up with every successful release amid a constantly growing community.
Rules are relatively none and there exists no entrance fee, with participants allowed to form teams, use existing code frameworks, create sequels to prior projects, build freeware or even sell their games.
‘If you are having fun, then you qualify. If at least one person in the entire world would call what you just made “a game” then it qualifies. ‘
For Tagmose, a 19-year old programmer, artist, writer and storyteller, #1GAM seemed to provide incentive enough to actually finish a game project by himself, having created numerous smaller ones for game jams under the moniker of Real Fast.
Salvaging old rogue-like (turn-based on a grid) game prototypes from his hard drive in the month of August, he proceeded to chronicle Despot’s evolution therefrom by means of a three-part developer-log on his website.
It was around this time that he was put in touch with JMD via myself, the retro game music composer’s representative and manager, who naturally sought direction from the game’s graphical look, The Legend of Zelda, classic telefilms and cartoons in the composition of its OST.
‘With the music almost exclusively making use of micro samples that allow for a chiptune vibe, while being spread over eight channels, I’ve hoped to have it sound like playing a Game Boy on steroids,’ states JMD, a chip-rock, electronic and ambient artist that has been creating music for Amiga homebrew games, modern ‘retro’ games, commercials and animations since 1989.
‘The fact that Despot is a retro game being developed on a modern engine such as that of Unity, allowed me to use a more fitting platform – the fast-tracker format, fully handled by Milkytracker – than my usual MOD files.’ A complete playlist of the game’s soundtrack can be heard on musician’s YouTube, created especially for the purpose.
Those wishing to hear more from his portfolio of work over the years, learn of his expertise, hobbies and references, or reach out with feedback/requests to collaborate, can do so by visiting his profile on Higher Eclectic Ground or by mailing sean.b[at]highereg[dot]com.
Will you be playing Despot Dungeons? Did you enjoy the game’s original soundtrack? Let me know why/why not in the comments below.