Endless Dungeon launches on Xbox and PC next week, the long-awaited successor to 2014’s Dungeon of the Endless. This tactical, squad-based roguelike takes you on a journey through an abandoned space station, where your team is tasked with protecting a Crystal_bot and escorting it to The Core.
This is no easy task; even the most potent teams require a spot to recharge and respec. Enter The Saloon, the hub where you can take a well-earned breather, change up your loadout, or enjoy a skill-enhancing drink at the bar. This area is drenched in futuristic western vibes, complete with its own live band serving as the soundtrack to your respite.
The music that you’ll hear at The Saloon is composed and performed in-game by Lera Lynn, a Nashville-based singer-songwriter, whose work you may recognize from HBO’s True Detective. Lynn has written music for film and TV, but this is her first foray into video game music. We were lucky enough to sit down with Lynn to learn more about her experience getting into games, and why her particular blend of Americana lends itself perfectly to Endless Dungeon’s intergalactic watering hole.
Lynn tells us first and foremost that she loves a challenge, and composing for a video game sounded like a particularly fun, if not lengthy one. She shares that her work with Endless Dungeon is five years in the making, and the turnaround is much slower compared to her experience with film and TV. While this is Lynn’s very first experience with video game composition, she describes the partnership with developer Amplitude as “the most organic collaboration I can imagine.”
“The studio reached about to me because they liked my music,” Lynn explains. “They asked if I’d be interested in writing some songs for the game, and we went from there.”
Lynn has composed music that was featured in season two of HBO show True Detective, and she also starred in the show as a recurring live performer in a bar. There are some parallels between this and her role as a cartoon saloon singer in Endless Dungeon, and we were curious about the differences.
“The music plays a different role in the game than it does in film and TV, for example,” Lynn tells us. “I feel like in those, the music is meant to make a scene more emotionally compelling. I think in [Endless Dungeon] it’s more fun, and it’s more interactive, and that’s all new and very different to me.”
Lynn was also given some direction with what the songs should invoke. This ranged from upbeat tracks signifying a call-to-action, and a sentimental ballad about missing home.
“When I’m writing for myself, I could write about a million things,” she adds. “Having that direction actually makes it easier.”
Lynn doesn’t just provide the music for the Endless Dungeon saloon – the avatar that sings the tracks is modelled after her real face. The character went through a few interactions, including an ethereal floating octopus without a mouth – though Lynn felt that singing might be quite problematic with that concept. In the end, it felt right to have the character look like Lynn with a spacey outfit twist, but not without her signature on-stage beret.
“I asked initially whether I should be writing from my perspective, or I should put on a different character, and they wanted me to do my thing,” she says. “With that, I was able to bring a lot of myself to the game. We’ve created an interesting juxtaposition with my style combined with the sounds from the game, which is really interesting.”
However, you won’t see Lynn’s character straight away. The live band will appear more prominently as you progress through Endless Dungeon.
“When you initially get to the saloon, there’s just the guitar player playing the guitar parts of a song,” she explains. “And as you reach higher levels, you can unlock other musicians that are playing the songs. Once you’ve made it to a higher level then I will appear, and you’ll hear the singing. Hopefully, that’s a payoff for the player.”
Lynn doesn’t consider herself to be a gamer just yet, but she’s on her way, and hopes that her work with Amplitude will serve as a gateway into what she describes as a “whole new universe.” She’s also incredibly thrilled to add a video game project to her portfolio, and hopes that it can serve as inspiration to those wanting to get involved in the space.
“It’s great to be enlisted as a female producer and composer in video games,” she says. “I think that’s a good thing for the world. There’s also no limit to the creativity here, there’s no limit to what people can imagine and then make, and I just want to be involved with more of it.”
Endless Dungeon launches October 19, and is available to purchase on Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One.
ENDLESS™ Dungeon is a unique blend of roguelite, tactical action, and tower defense set in the award-winning ENDLESS™ Universe. Plunge into an abandoned space station alone or with friends in co-op, recruit a team of shipwrecked heroes, and protect your crystal against never-ending waves of monsters… or die trying, get reloaded, and try again. WE GOT TURRETS AND WE GOT GUNS You’re stranded on an abandoned space station chock-full of monsters and mysteries. To get out you’ll have to reach The Core, but you can’t do that without your crystal bot. That scuttling critter is your key to surviving the procedurally generated rooms of this space ruin. Sadly, it’s also a fragile soul, and every monster in the place wants a piece of it. You’re going to have to think quick, plan well, place your turrets, and then… fireworks! Bugs, bots and blobs will stop at nothing to turn you and that crystal into dust and debris. With a large choice of weapons and turrets, the right gear will be the difference between life and death. RIDE SOLO OR GIDDY UP WITH FRIENDS You can face the horrors of the Station riding solo, or squad up and run the gauntlet in 3 player co-op. Once you’ve got your posse, plan your moves. Pick their weapons from a wide choice ranging from flamethrowers to poison snipers. When you’re set, enter the Station to take on a character’s quest, take a stab at escaping, or just go loco on the locals. You’ll likely die trying, but hey, that’s the way it goes in this space dungeon! ASSEMBLE YOUR RECKLESS SQUAD Prepare to meet a cast of colorful heroes all gunning for the same goal: to get the hell out! Each brings their own cards to the table. There’s tanky Bunker who’ll soak up damage, fiery Blaze who loves to blow stuff up, or maybe Shroom who’ll heal her squadmates with her „unusual“ incense. Select your heroes to build the team that works for you. As you get to know them, you’ll learn that they all have their own particular motivations and secrets… MONSTERS, DANGERS, SECRETS AND TREASURES, OH MY! Escaping means overcoming all the dangers of the Station. Yup, all of them. Deadly robots, merciless monsters, loot, and giant beasts await you at every corner. The deeper you delve into this scrap heap, the more you’ll discover its tragic history. Why does the Station reel in any ship that flies too close? Why do you come back every time you kick the bucket? No matter how familiar you are with the ENDLESS™ Universe, the Station has more stories to tell. THE MORE DYIN‘, THE MORE GROWIN‘ Hate to break it to you, this won’t be easy and you might die… a lot. But that’s okay, because every time you do, you get reloaded back into the Saloon. Think of it as your center of operations (and beverages), where you can upgrade your heroes and weapons, unlock new paths to The Core, chat with the locals, listen to tunes, and drink boosting (and delicious) libations. Then, jump back into the Station and try to get out — again.