Day 1 of Axon Punk CyberJamz
Hi everyone! We can’t thank you enough for the fantastic first day we had on our Axon Punk: Expanded Kickstarter! We really appreciate everyone who has backed so far and hope we can keep spreading the good word of Axon Punk! As part of this campaign, I’m going to be doing #30daysofAxonPunk, where I post a song or music video that inspired Axon Punk or a cool new song that came out after our first publication that is relevant to the game. I’ll also include info on why the song is important. Hope you enjoy it!
Day 1 – Let’s start out with a heavy hitter: Janelle Monáe – March of the Wolfmasters (2007)
One of the things that unquestionably set the stage for us creating Axon Punk was seeing Janelle Monáe live when she was touring for her Archandriod album in 2011 and for her Electric Lady album in 2013. Seeing her live totally blew me away and was absolutely unforgettable. Her epic, multi-album cyberpunk concept is unquestionably worth listing to from beginning of her first EP up to the recent “Dirty Computer” album. Impressed by a well-conceived concept album? She has got four and the story is still unfolding.
I love starting off with this track, which is the intro to her first EP released in 2007, because it shows how long Janelle has been working on her Metropolis narrative. This demonstrates how phenomenal of a storyteller she is, but also highlights the approach we used in Axon Punk to research and world building. All art is referential, nothing is truly original, and we want to be extremely up front with who we are drawing inspiration from and referencing.
Part of what I love about cyberpunk is its explicit connections to modern day. When William Gibson mentions in #Neuromancer that Case has a Braun coffeemaker in his hacker den, it deliberately connects the fiction to the reader with a single word. We use references to music artists in a similar fashion in Axon Punk, especially with the biblical ascension of old-school hip hop in some places like the “United Church of #Tupac”. By deliberately weaving these references through the fiction and rules of Axon Punk, we create a rich gameplay experience that acknowledges and respects the incredible artists that inspired it. Yes, Cameron and I are grounding everything in our own ideas, but Axon Punk is an interwoven tapestry composed of our ideas mixed and mashed up with other people’s art – which, of course, is a also structure we’re taking from how sampling and remixing works with break beats in hip hop.
Thanks for reading! I’ll get more into other ideas about game design and world building later in the campaign. Sending love!