Today we are continuing an exciting September blitz with the announcement that Daniel Benmergui’s Ernesto RPG is now receiving support from the Indie Fund. Ernesto is a “puzzle crawler” focused on survival, character progression, and strategic scoring.
Jonathan Blow, partner in Indie Fund, says about Ernesto, “It’s a single-player RPG condensed into a focused and powerful pill. Every minute you’re making interesting choices, and the decisions are often tough, which makes for a lot of fun.”
Think of it as single-screen puzzle elements reminiscent of indie roguelike Desktop Dungeons, mixed with the trace-and-match mechanic of iOS classic Dungeon Raid, then cherry-topped by the ability to rewind and replay levels to maximize your global score.
In the past, Benmergui garnered praised for the IGF 2010 Finalist interactive poem Today I Die and his series of early artgames. However, Ernesto emerged from the humblest of origins: Daniel needed to press pause and get some perspective on the three-year development cycle of IGF Nuovo-winning Storyteller. After a whirlwind week of experimentation and a released prototype, Daniel decided that seeing Ernesto through might just be the thing to recharge his creative batteries.
In taking Ernesto full-time, Daniel enlisted the talents of two fellow Argentinian artists, Hernán Rozenwasser (who previously worked on the audio for Today I Die) and Jeremías Babini. Things really picked up in April, when Jeremías’s new visuals landed in the beta to give us a taste of Ernesto’s future look and feel.
Recently, Daniel showed Ernesto off in the Indie MEGABOOTH at PAX Prime 2014. We want to congratulate this team on their work so far, and we can’t wait to see where Daniel, Hernán, and Jeremías take Ernesto RPG in the coming months. Ernesto RPG is slated for a early 2015 release on PC/Mac/Tablets. Be sure to follow Daniel on Twitter and the Ernesto RPG Tumblr for ongoing updates on the project.