Kickstarter Interviews: Anthony Rotondo – The Forgettable Dungeon

Periodically, we like to interview Kickstarter creators about their game and their game design process. I had the opportunity to interview Anthony Rotondo, creator of The Forgettable Dungeon, an action-rpg/co-op rogue-like.

What inspired you to create this game?

The original Rogue! The game actually started out as a faithful recreation of the Rogue but with online multiplayer, this as you can imagine was quite complex and hard to balance. If you don’t know about rogue it’s basically a turn based ascii game with procedurally generated dungeons, randomized items, and extreme difficulty. The original prototype for the game even featured 3D ascii graphics! You would walk around as @ symbol using your mace, which was an exclamation point !, to hit random 3d letters that represented monsters!

Forgettable Dungeon

Over time the game naturally shifted towards a more real time Zelda-like combat. The graphics came about as a way to preserve the original ascii look as an option while using more conventional sprites.

As an added bonus this lead to things like the character creator and the custom skinning system for the dungeon, items, & monsters.


How did you get into game design?

I kind of accidentally got into it, for years I tried to become a professional skateboarder. I was pretty decent but there were an insane amount of people better than me. The whole time I was skateboarding I was messing around with making mods for various games, one of which was a game called Blockland. After a few years of making mods for Blockland, the creator asked me to make some official content for the game. For real money! Up until this point I never considered the possibility of working on games as a career.

From there I continued to work on Blockland, various contract work, and a lot of prototypes. Which eventually lead me to where I am today.


What are you most excited about with this game?

The crazy unpredictable interactions that the items and monsters have! While demoing the game at shows I have witnessed so many things I didn’t think were possible. Each object in the game is built around a few core functions, that both monsters and players can use equally.

For instance there are beds in the game that monsters and players can sleep on. You can even pick up a bed that has a sleeping player or monster on it, monsters can do the same. During one demo I witnessed a monster pick up a bed that had a sleeping skeleton on it then throw it at a player, it was almost as if the monster had thought about this strategy before hand!


I also really love seeing what people create using the in game character editor, the art style is so simple yet people are able to make these amazing characters.


Do you see this becoming a game franchise, or is this just a one-off Kickstarter?

It’s too early to tell, there are so many games that I want to make. Plus I’ve always been more of a fan of continually supporting a game instead of working on sequels right away.


How would you reassure backers that are nervous about Kickstarter projects?

Honestly it’s smart to be cautious, sadly there have been some people who took the money and ran. Thankfully though this is a very small percentage. I’d suggest that they do research on the person making the game, just to make sure he was a real human. I also heavily favor Kickstarters that have a solid gameplay video rather than a bunch of concepts.

What would you tell people that are on the fence about this game?

Honestly the game’s not for everyone. However if you enjoy games like Link to the Past or 3D Dot Game Heroes and enjoy co-op experiences then I think you’ll have fun with the game.

You can find out more about this Kickstarter project by going here.

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