British recreation developer Stephen Ddungu’s Sword of Symphony highlights the rhythm and precision of a fancy musical efficiency within the context of an motion RPG. The sport’s singular premise has made the title a DIY sensation on social media, plotting a path towards vital publicity and eventual funding for the solo developer.
Sword of Symphony takes after a number of Japanese RPG classics such because the Kingdom Hearts collection, NieR: Automata, and different up to date Japanese motion video games like Punishing: Grey Raven.
“The sport is influenced by the sorts of video games which have very nice, fluid animation and motion relating to combos,” Ddungu stated in an interview with Recreation Developer. He made direct reference to the aforementioned titles.
Why is that this recreation so common on TikTok?
In Sword of Symphony, music wielders of the musical kingdom of Sonata, known as composers, battle to stave off an evil drive known as The Taçet, who feed off the creativity of composers. The sport, Ddungu has stated in previous interviews, evokes themes explored in his life as a inventive, equivalent to contending with author’s block and mental property theft.
For Ddungu, 23, what began as a college undertaking is now an progressive title developed by a pushed, self-taught recreation developer, animator, and composer.
Greater than that, Sword of Symphony is a success on TikTok, the place Ddungu has accrued near one million followers and posts intelligent reinventions of the standard developer diary. Right here, Ddungu takes full benefit of the TikTok format, incorporating music, inventive digicam angles, and significant snippets that showcase the sport’s options.
2022’s gonna be an excellent 12 months…#indiedev #gamedev #animation@PURPOSEVERSA♦️@PURPOSEVERSUS🔻@SWORDOFSYMPHONY🎶 pic.twitter.com/Lof0f8yRkA
— Stephen Ddungu (@Stephen_Ddungu) January 12, 2022
Ddungu’s unwavering resolve and imaginative and prescient have chartered the best way for his on-line presence to generate the eye of trade titans like Xbox. Finally, after going by a inventive company, Ddungu struck a deal to obtain funding from Kowloon Knights. The favored gaming fund has bankrolled video games equivalent to Sifu, Godfall, and Spiritfarer.
On his resolution to not enter an settlement with an enormous writer, Ddungu stated he’s aware about how writer enterprise fashions work. Finally, he added, Ddungu didn’t really feel comfy coming into a income splitting mannequin.
“I used to be very vigilant when it comes to that and actually wanting on the deserves of the deal, not essentially the identify of the corporate,” he stated. “I’ve a long-term plan with the place I need to take my tasks, and I used to be very a lot searching for something that will type of be a caveat in these conferences that I used to be having with these large corporations.”
Kowloon Knights provided Ddungu a deal that allowed him to stay a really unbiased developer, which he stated was one among his high priorities.
“Realistically I do not essentially want a complete workforce,” he stated. “I solely simply wished an organization that will solely present me with simply the stuff I simply wanted, which on the time was funding the sport in a manner that will permit me to work on it full-time.”
On the time, Ddungu had simply completed college, and putting a deal to fund the sport was integral for him to pursue improvement full-time. His ambitions don’t finish there, nevertheless, because the developer additionally has plans to show Sword of Symphony into a big property.
“I am planning on doing numerous ancillary tasks, like soundtrack collections, merchandise, and a novel. I do need to have a novelization of Sword of Symphony on the market since I’ve executed lots for the sport story, and a novelization will flesh out stuff much more.”
Very similar to along with his resolution to remain true to his imaginative and prescient when it comes to improvement construction, Ddungu additionally stated you will need to adhere to a inventive focus.
So @SWORDOFSYMPHONY blew up on #TikTok with out me even having an account…
Thus, I now have an account 👇🏾https://t.co/46pbRV3Z8c pic.twitter.com/6W0wvNXeIA
— Stephen Ddungu (@Stephen_Ddungu) August 10, 2021
“I keep in mind the feedback on TikTok and one individual stated ‘it is best to make this louder’ after which one other one stated ‘try to be this quieter,’” Ddungu stated. “So I used to be considering, as a creator, it is best to simply keep true to your imaginative and prescient since you are all the time going to have contrasting views. There may be all the time going to be a for-and-against, and there are all the time going to be individuals taking both aspect.”
Sword of Symphony‘s creator is a self-taught developer
Not in contrast to many builders, Ddungu acquired an inkling towards recreation improvement by experimenting with free software program. He began out on the age of 9, messing with the Blender Recreation Engine, a discontinued open-source program. Ddungu didn’t know he would revisit that “tiny little bit of recreation improvement data” till engaged on a previous undertaking known as Goal.
“I used to be fleshing up the story for Goal and the story turned a bit too giant for simply what I supposed with the animated collection, so I made a decision to separate the story into two and thus the online game elements got here into it,” Ddungu stated.
Ddungu’s first self-taught ardour was music, enjoying the piano. A component that crosses over between studying each recreation improvement and music, he stated, is consistency.
“It includes a degree of constant follow so that you can be proficient sufficient, to the purpose the place you’ll be able to see it virtually like a language in a way,” he stated. “You need to get to a degree the place it’s second nature.”
For Ddungu, watching on-line tutorials isn’t sufficient.
“I often be taught after I’m doing, after I really want the lesson to be put in follow,” Ddungu stated, referencing studying the way to play piano. “After I was enjoying piano, ever since I began off, I simply went in and simply tried seeing what sounded good within the second.”
In each video games and music, Ddungu likes to depend on his influences.
“I like being impressed by different issues and evaluating them to my very own model, making an attempt to adapt these strategies, and construct on that model virtually like I am constructing like a home,” he stated.
Finally, although the one deliberate launch window for the sport is late 2024, Ddungu has a imaginative and prescient for what would make Sword of Symphony a hit. He defined that in his thoughts, the sport will probably be a hit when it is executed, and when he is ready to flesh out its story with different spinoffs and releases (he hopes it conjures up a passionate fanbase.)
As he put it, “I would like people who find themselves engaged sufficient on this story to need to proceed participating with it.”