TRompon Champ, and Musical computer gamehas received more than 20,000 downloads since its release last week, and gameplay videos have gone viral across social media, featuring beloved songs destroyed by the terrible trombone run.
The game is like Guitar Hero, but with your mouse as a trombone. You move it up and down to simulate the slide, then tap to blow the horn. Your goal is to play alongside trombone classics such as Beethoven V, Hava Nagila and Take Me Out to the Ballgame.
The game is very much about joke – in fact, “it’s a joke first and game second,” says its creator, Dan Fichetto, “surprised and delighted” by the outpouring of enthusiasm. “I don’t know why there’s no more comedy in games, because games can be so funny.”
It is also very difficult. It’s harder than it sounds to align your cursor with the icons flying across the screen, especially since you can’t hold the mouse button down indefinitely – this will cause your character to gasp and breathe, gasping for breath. The game rates you on an AF scale, and I couldn’t manage better than a C. Playing my default trombone was reminiscent of listening to a third-grader concert rehearsal, and all the beeps, squawks, and unbeatable tones ruined flawless support. a path. The absolute fun of the game lies in how ridiculous this sound is.
Everything is framed by a Zelda-esque story: when you begin, you are informed by an important voice: “One day you will tear the fabric that binds this earth … But until that day comes, you must … plunge into the trombone, your brave soul, and perhaps become Trombone Champion.” There’s also a mysterious “baboon” mode that rewards a deeper investment in the game — a baboon is “a naturally funny word,” says Vequito — and “Demon” legends Players can summon it.
Fichetto, 38, is not a trombone player, although he is a musician. Instead, the idea for the game came about after he was struck by a mental image of an arcade game cabinet featuring a rubber trombone, where people would “roam” trying to compose music, and “it would always sound bad.” Later, he decided to simulate the movements of a trombone with a mouse.
He made the game largely alone, with his wife, Jackie Fichetto, the artistic contributor and one of his favorite musicians, Max Tundra, add a music track (most music is public domain material). It was believed that the project would take six months. Instead, it took four years – although that involved working around his day job as a UX/UI web designer, “and then of course Covid slows that down too. Half of 2020 has been a wash.”
While working, he said, “I was kind of worried that other people wouldn’t understand it.” It seemed to him that “it would be rather difficult to sell a game if the concept was: you can’t do it well.”
He “certainly did not expect massive success.” Prior to Trombone Champ, Viquitos’s Holly Wow Studios had made a few games involving enthusiastic gamers, but the scale was “certainly small,” he says. It was “so unexpected that he really walks away from that small stature”.
“I’m glad the game made people laugh and make them happy.”
He hopes that success will allow him to devote more time to developing the game. He would like to create an arcade version of the game, in keeping with his original vision; Others suggested that it would work well in VR. He also plans to add more songs and create a Mac version of the game, which can currently only be played on PC.
Fichito was initially concerned about how the game would go with trombone players. It turned out that he had no reason to be afraid: they loved him. “I didn’t realize there was such a vibrant trombone streaming culture. There are like three different people who reached out to me who are top trombone players, which I didn’t know was a thing.”
In fact, Colin Wheeler of the International Trombone Association (ITA) – a 4,000-member community of trombone players in 74 countries – says, “It’s quite clear that this is the best game ever created.” She notes that the game was “meticulously timed” to mark the 50th anniversary of the ITA, which hopes to use the game for its celebrations, according to its CEO, Magnus Nilsson.
When asked via email how the game is similar to playing the trombone, Wheeler wrote, “If having the time of your life matters, it’s one.
“I recommend that everyone on the planet get the game and start training right away. I hope you won’t be able to resist the siren’s call — and you’ll find yourself maintaining an actual trombone too. Your best days will be around composing music,” she added.
“If this game brings you joy – and it will – why not add a trombone to your life?”
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