Jesse Henning writes:
''Declarations of Independents focuses on the most independent of game developers: Small teams or individuals whose games have little or no marketing, advertising, or outreach, yet which have extremely loyal and dedicated followings. These games are the hidden treasures of the game industry, and it is our pleasure to bring you the thoughts and experiences of their creators on what it means to be an independent developer.
On today's feature, we bring you Deadly Rooms of Death. DROD, as it's known to fans, is a turn-based puzzler originally developed by Erik Hermansen, and later re-developed by Hermansen's new outfit, Caravel Games. Since its re-release, it has seen the creation of two sequels: Journey to Rooted Hold, and The City Beneath. The gameplay works much like Daleks (or Robots, if you prefer) - you control a character on a massive grid, surrounded by enemies. You can move in the eight cardinal and ordinal directions, and immediately following your turn, the enemies will take theirs all at once, and should an enemy reach you, you are slain in a bloody mess. Beethro Budkin (the games' protagonist), though, has an advantage that Dr. Who did not: A sword which takes up its own space, and can in turn produce its own swaths of liquefied baddies. At its heart, DROD is easy to pick up and play - for about the first ten minutes. From there, the game starts getting downright diabolical.''