Sword of Symphony is an upcoming musical JRPG being developed solely by one 22-year-old university student, and it's blowing up on social media for good reason.
Meet Stephen Ddungu, a self-described and self-taught "composer/musician, animator and game developer," and the solo developer behind two interconnected RPGs, the more recent one being the viral sensation Sword of Symphony. If you're one of the million people who have watched Stephen's reveal on TikTok, you'll understand why Sword of Symphony is such a big deal. But if not, well, stop what you're doing, mute whatever you're streaming for a second, and check it out:
@stephen_ddungu (opens in new tab)
I blew up on the @gamedevblaster page before I even had a TikTok account, so here I am 👋🏾 #gamedev #b3d #indiegame #animation #vfx #swordofsymphony♬ original sound - stephen_ddungu (opens in new tab)
Musical combos 🎶⚔️⚔️Continuing to attack after the Anacrusis combo will have you transition into a rhythmic close-range combo. This is one of the many combos you’ll be able to unlock and perform… 🎶——————————#gamedev #b3d #indiegame #IndieGameDev #animation #vfx #gameaudio pic.twitter.com/F7TGwY936kAugust 25, 2021
Sword of Symphony takes place in a world called Sonata, where music is an energy source created by Composers. The player takes the role of a Composer who's dedicated their life to making music, fighting to preserve the soundscape's tonality, and working with other Composers to inspire and protect against The Block, physical manifestations of writer's block who feed off Composers' creativity. Players will also need to fend off rogue composers looking to steal melodies and overthrow the Royal Council of Sonata.
Over on the game's Patreon (opens in new tab), Stephen says Sword of Symphony's story is "VERY deeply connected" to characters from another game he's working on called Purpose: Versus (opens in new tab), an action-RPG inspired by Final Fantasy, Kingdom Hearts, and Nier: Automata. Purpose: Versus is set in the same world as yet another one of Stephen's projects, Purpose: Versa (opens in new tab), an animated series, and someone should probably check on Stephen to make sure he's eating.
Sword of Symphony stands out for a variety of reasons, not least of which is its Black protagonist, a rarity in the JRPG space. Add to that its compelling, expansive story, music-focused swordplay, and intensely moody atmosphere, and it's no mystery we can't stop talking about this ambitious title.
For everything coming this year, check out our extensive guide to new games of 2021.