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Southeast Asia Cyberpunk: How Indie Title Rendezvous Was Made

Rendezvous by Pendopo Multi Creations is a tale of action, suspense, tragedy, and high tension – all against the backdrop of cyberpunk Neo-Surabaya. The setting adds to the story, and the story took the gaming scene by storm upon the game’s release earlier this year.

We had the chance to speak with Akbar from Pendopo Multi Creations (also known as Pendopo Studio), co-founder and CCO of the 4-person studio from Yogyakarta, Indonesia.

How did the idea of Rendezvous come around?

Akbar: The idea of Rendezvous came after a thought “How is it like a cyberpunk set in Southeast Asia, especially Indonesia”. It’s rare to see a story about cyberpunk in Southeast Asia. I watched a lot of cyberpunk movies from the 1995 Ghost in the Shell to Blade Runner 2049, I love every aspect of it! And that’s how Rendezvous came to mind.

 

How long has it taken for Rendezvous to make?

Akbar: The initial development started around the end of 2019, a 2D pixel-art game. Then back in mid-2020, we restarted the development and changed the game to 2.5D like what is today. 

 

When creating the setting of Neo-Surabaya, were there any elements of current-day Surabaya that you knew you wanted to include?

Akbar: Absolutely! I grew up in a city 1.5 hours drive from Surabaya, so I’m kinda familiar with the city. The street vendors, the kampung life, Surabaya graffiti, the iconic Surabaya statue, the preman (thugs), and many other things like how ordinary people live. That’s what we wanted to include in the setting. We want players who know Indonesia to feel familiar with the setting.

The art style really stands out, especially with the dynamic lighting and bloom effects! How did you land on this specific art style for the game?

Akbar: Our greatest inspiration for our current art style was a game called The Last Night; it’s a 2.5D pixel art cyberpunk game just like us. Back then it was just a 2D game, but then we realized after having a discussion with some local devs that it wasn’t really “standing-out”. So we took a huge leap to restart the game’s development back in mid-2020 during an incubation program, bringing the current style to the table.

 

Any final thoughts?

We want to thank everyone who supported us and played Rendezvous. It really means a lot to us since it’s our first shipped title. Critique and feedback are both appreciated; we want to make better games in the future! And thanks a lot for the interview opportunity! Hopefully, there’ll be more great games from Southeast Asia bringing local tales and stories.

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