IT consultant Nikola Lajic makes his debut in the independent games space this month with Run Die Retry, a free-to-play platformer for iOS 9.3+. Tasking players with surviving a linear, continually flowing pathway haunted by obstacles and enemies for as long as they can, the game’s endless-running style of play will be accompanied by a looping, synthwave composition by Higher Eclectic Ground’s Sam Oz.
Both game-play and the background music track can be previewed in the game’s launch trailer. With in-game obstacles taking the form of ghosts, boulders and vaporising laser beams —
- Each play-through of Run Die Retry promises to differ from the previous, thanks to randomisation of levels.
- Visuals come in retro-modern, pixel art graphics, accentuated by the use of real-time shadows.
- Future updates are slated to bring a greater variety of traps, enemies and environments.
Although seemingly rudimentary in concept and design, Run Die Retry’s value lies in the fact that it represents Lajic’s first, complete attempt at game development since being introduced to the realm in 2005.
A Novi Sad, Serbia resident, Lajic’s day job has involved the development of various iOS applications since 2009.
Starting with task manager TapDo before progressing to independent lifestyle app releases such as that of For The Next, his occasional experimentation with game design resulted in his first foray into Unity3D circa 2015.
Despite wanting to keep things simple however, Lajic found himself stressing too much over the details to sustain the newfound hobby and eventually burned out. In his own words — ‘“Perfect is the enemy of done”, this has been a problem for me most of my life. Starting something and then never finishing because I was never 100% satisfied with the result.’
By September, 2016, he returned with renewed intention to finish development of a game, however small, and has been documenting progress across a blog and social media ever since.
Via Higher Eclectic Ground in the month May, this year, the developer was put in touch with Winterthur, Switzerland based multi-genre, freelancing music composer for games, Sam Oz .
Oz had first experimented with the Synthwave genre at the time with his two-part composition, In The Stars, that instantly appealed to Lajic’s vision of a retro-sounding background music track for the game.
‘The melody for Run Die Retry’s game-play loop came to me quite quickly,’ Oz recounts. ‘It was one of those times; for usually, in cases such as these, it can take me a while to come up with something appropriate.’
To mark the upcoming launch, Lajic has now established a dedicated website for Run Die Retry that contains links to its App Store page, social media channels, various media and the developer’s blog should one wish to follow-up on his history.
Developers and Synthwave enthusiasts wishing to learn more of Sam Oz’s music services meanwhile, collaborate with the artist or connect with him on grounds of original music requests, may do so via his profile on Higher Eclectic Ground. Also present therein is a complete overview of his work history, software expertise, references and bio-data. Feel free to direct any queries you might have to myself, representative and manager of Oz’s freelance music services for games, via sean.b[at]highereg[dot]com.
Will you be adding Run Die Retry to your casual gaming collection? Did you enjoy Sam Oz’s work? Why/Why not? I’d like to hear from you in the comments below.