Finally: vindication for holding onto my RedOctane Ignition dance pad for all these years.

Disco Demon RPG  at the PIGSquad Summer Slow Jams showcase on June 29th, 2019. Photo by  Ben Morgan .

Disco Demon RPG at the PIGSquad Summer Slow Jams showcase on June 29th, 2019. Photo by Ben Morgan.

For the first PIGSquad Summer Slow Jam of the year, we were given two themes: “Arcade” as a technical guideline, and “Occult Classic” as a creative guideline. Within a few minutes of brainstorming, our team had landed on a must-have punchlist:

  • Dance-driven gameplay

  • A disco aesthetic

  • Dragon Quest-style turn-based RPG battles

  • Demons and spooky shit

And thus, Disco Demon RPG — or DDR for short — was born.

This was a longer game jam than I’ve ever done before, spanning twelve days. However, we’re all adults with full-time jobs, so it was a brand-new challenge learning how to stay in close communication and keep the momentum up as we each burned the midnight oil to get this game done in time.

As the game’s programmer, my biggest challenges were:

  1. Building a strong, ultra-precise rhythm-game engine in Unity that could adapt to any song

  2. Creating an event system that knew which beat and measure the game was on at any given time so events and animations could be synchronized

  3. Designing a turn-based battle system that plugged into the above systems

It was a hell of a feat, if I’m being honest. I worked harder on this game from a technical standpoint than just about anything I’ve built before, but I’m really pleased with how it turned out in such a short time. I’ve always had a fierce passion for music games, and I feel like we’ve got the makings of something really special here.

This was also our first time collaborating with our good friend Bryan Brunt, the musician who composed our dynamic soundtrack. Bryan’s a hell of a musician — check out his portfolio and SoundCloud — and I can’t stress enough just how much his work added to this game.

All illustrations by Sarah Morgan.