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Press Kit

Pippin Barr edited this page Jun 21, 2019 · 9 revisions

Chogue Press Kit

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The basics

Who are these guys?

Jonathan and Pippin are experimental game developers who have made games about everything from Eurovision to being a prophet to the action-packed field of academic game studies. They both work in the Department of Design and Computation Arts at Concordia University in Montréal, where Jonathan is an Associate Professor and Pippin is an Assistant Professor. Jonathan runs LabLabLab, a research lab focused on procedural conversation in videogames, while Pippin is the associate director of the Technoculture, Art, and Games (TAG) Research Centre, which is part of the Milieux Institute for Arts, Culture, and Technology.


Look! Up in the sky! It's a Chess! It's a Rogue! No! It's Chogue! Faster than a Blitz Chess player who just drank a Potion of Haste! More powerful than a Sicilian Dragon! Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound! It's the Chogue that refreshes!

Chogue is a hybrid game created out of two masterpieces, chess and Rogue, by Jonathan Lessard and Pippin Barr. Throughout its design and development we followed the (fairly) strict rule of making decisions that meant Chogue corresponded either to chess or to Rogue in each of its elements, from its spatial layout (Rogue) to its movement style (chess) to its combat system (chess) to its overall gameplay structure (Rogue). The result is a game that is as least as good as Rogue and chess put together. If not better than that.


Chogue began life as an offhand comment from Jonathan about using chess pieces in a roguelike game. We took it seriously almost immediately and started thinking through how such a game might work back in May 2017. Over time we moved from the idea of making a roguelike out of chess to very specifically hybridising chess and the original Rogue. This meant we could make design decisions by 'simply' deciding which game we would draw on. Naturally, it got complex at times, but there was a definite clarity and coherence afforded by this approach to design (something Pippin wrote about on Gamasutra). Development continued around the edges of our teaching and other responsibilities, and Chogue somewhat magically turned into a game that's actually compelling to play.

There are plans for more Chogue in the very near future. But that's the future, not history.

If you want to, you can read a blow-by-blow history of the game's development, including Jonathan and Pippin's emails to each other about the game, by reading its process documentation wiki and by going through its commit history.

The documentation surrounding Chogue in the project repository is part of a process documentation approach developed by Jonathan and Pippin along with Rilla Khaled called the MDMA (Method for Design Materialisation and Analysis, though the acronym is flexible) that forms a fundamental part of our Games as Research project.


Chogue was created in Unity.

Chogue is an open source game licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License. You can obtain the source code from its project repository on GitHub.


  • Chess pieces!
  • Squares!
  • Gold!
  • The King of Yendor!
  • A queen capturing your king from out of the darkness!
  • Did that knight just jump through a wall?!


Trailer Thumbnail



Dungeon Start

Found Gold

Dungeon End

Rest in Peace

Press coverage of the PC edition of Chogue

Additional Links


  • Jonathan Lessard: design, programming, art, sound
  • Pippin Barr: design, programming


  • Chris Tan
  • Ben Kyrbatas
  • Samuel Dzierzawa




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