Behind The Scenes--AGALYT Dev Log

Hey guys, I'm DeMarco Scarnegie! I was one of the artists for A Game About Literally Doing Your Taxes, the first game that Brandon Hesslau, Josh Eckhart, Vince Weiss, and I worked on as a team. The game has an interesting backstory, and we had a lot of concept art and documents lying around on our computers that I thought would be interesting to share with you all! :)

So, the day before our game jam, I had this dream where Josh had the idea for our game jam game. In my dream, Josh was super proud of the title he came up with "A Game About Literally Doing Your Taxes," and by the end of the dream, we had successfully made a competitive multiplayer game about filing paperwork. The first player to finish their paperwork got the most tax returns, and the game repeated until all but one of the players went bankrupt.

When I pitched my dream to the gang, they loved the mechanics, but Brandon and Josh really wanted a darker, single-player approach.

Here were some of the ideas we tossed around...

  • You were in hell the whole time and are either being tortured or are torturing others
  • You were in an alien ship the whole time and harvesting/disposing humans without knowing
  • You were dying the whole time and life was flashing before your eyes. A very sad and boring life.
  • You are an alien and wake up from a bad dream which was doing human taxes
  • You are cryogenically frozen on a spaceship and you are accidentally sucked into a wormhole, causing your dreams to really fuck up.
  • Realities are colliding. For example, at one point you could have envelope for hands and are sorting human hands
  • Years after an apocalypse our character survived but it having flashbacks of the hell it was. Almost a plot twist within a plot twist.

We decided to scrap all these ideas and focus on a dwell into insanity! Fun stuff, man.

We worked on this game over a weekend at me and Josh's apartment, setting up our work stations on the kitchen table while Vince worked remotely. Fortunately, Brandon lived down the street, so lugging over his computer equipment wasn't too bad. We got very little sleep but did take an occasional break to watch YouTube videos, watch episodes of Love, Death, and Robots, or talk about how we wanted to sleep. We originally wanted to make this game for an game jam, but unbeknownst to the group, I had personally screwed up the dates and didn't realize it until we had completed the game that the jam I was talking about had already ended. 

Please enjoy some early concept art, builds, and unused/changed assets.


The prototype :)

This was the original prototype Brandon showed us. I swear the compression on the video wasn't this bad lol

The Good Taxes

This was the original concept image I sketched for the game, and below was the spooky version!

The art makes it in!

This is our first test putting art assets into the scene. It was around this time I started working on the desk while Vince focused on making most of the ads/taxes.



The cup had text originally which is neat.

The OG Envelope

The envelope, too! We decided to have the envelope already be opened instead, so we didn't have to animate anything more than we had to.


The hands used to actually be a lot brighter, but as you can imagine, that looked pretty awkward in the dark lighting. Also holy smokes, I really forgot to clean up those floating pixels, didn't I?


I don't.

Josh made a fine work of art, but it didn't really make sense, so we left it out. And shamed him.

Unused spooky note

Another piece of unused scribbles.

R.I.P Pencil

I actually wanted to write this devlog all because I thought it was really cool that we originally had a pencil the scene. I genuinely don't know how what happened to it, but it's gone now. Rest in peace, pencil buddy. :(

Overall, we had a blast making this game, and never expected the overwhelming support we received from it. We're super thankful to have such awesome fans, and we're stoked to release the full game of our next big upcoming project: Buddy Simulator 1984.

Get A Game About Literally Doing Your Taxes


Log in with to leave a comment.

I want to know about the chiptune version of Dave Brubeck’s Take Five! Who arranged this?

Apologies for not noticing this reply until now, but this was arranged by Brandon Hesslau--the coder/composer for our team!