Sunday, June 22, 2014

Episode 88: International Roguelike Development Conference 2014

This is episode 88 of Roguelike Radio, where we record live from the International Roguelike. Talking this episode are.... loads of people! You can download the mp3 of the podcast, play it in the embedded player below, or you can follow us on iTunes.

Firstly, my apologies for the gap in broadcasting - real life gets in the way sometimes :( Hopefully we'll have a regular schedule returned soon... Secondly, my apologies for the sound quality this ep! Recording with 10 people in a big room ain't easy :)

Topics discussed:
 - The 6th International Roguelike Development Conference! Woo!
 - Thanks to Ido as organiser
 - Ondras' presentation on Javascript and rot.js
 - Radomir's presentation on making hand-drawn graphics
 - Mark's talk on procedurally generated graphics in Ultima Ratio Regum
 - Tom's talk on graph-based procedural quest and dungeon generation in TraumaRL
 - Johanna's talk on making games in Unity
 - Darren's talk on removing numbers from roguelikes and reducing control schemes
 - The exciting looking The Curious Expedition, a 19th century exploration roguelike-like
 - The mind-blowing Ultima Ratio Regum, a history-themed world simulator all procedurally generated with complex ANSI graphics
 - David Ploog's presentation of the Crawl-based Yet Another Book of the Dead
 - Death in roguelikes
 - 1HP version of UnNethack
 - A few questions from Reddit answered, with lots of off-shooting discussion on how roguelikes fit in games as a whole, player progression, permadeath, accessibility, procedural content

People talking:
 - Darren Grey, host and maker of small roguelikes
 - Ido Yehieli, developer of Cardinal Quest
 - ???
 - The Curious Expedition devteam - Johannes Kristmann and Riad Djemili
 - ???
 - Christian Heller, developer of PlomRogue
 - Mark Johnson, developer of Ultima Ratio Regum
 - Johanna Ploog, former developer of DCSS
 - Tom Ford, developer of PrincessRL and TraumaRL
 - Patric Mueller, developer of UnNetHack

Join us next time on Roguelike Radio as we hopefully finally finally publish our Angband dev team interview! And there's more coming in the pipeline! And if you have ideas for new episodes then drop a comment below...

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Episode 87: 7DRLs 2014

This is episode 87 of Roguelike Radio, where we have a look at many of the games from the 7DRL week. Talking this episode are Darren Grey, Eben Howard, Paul Jeffries and Ed Kolis. You can download the mp3 of the podcast, play it in the embedded player below, or you can follow us on iTunes.

Topics discussed:
 - The 10th Seven Day Roguelike Challenge! Wooo! And 132 games were completed!
 - The review process has begun. If you'd like to help out then visit the sign-up sheet. You can also still join the mailing list for news/announcements.
 - All 4 panellists discuss their experiences of creating games during the week
 - Board game inspired roguelikes made for the compo (and two actual board games!)
 - Blog post of 26 highlights by Darren
 - Lots of fish themed and hacking themed roguelikes this year
 - More successful Unity games this year, and lots of in-browser games
 - A little rant against items and inventory
 - GameHunter is doing Let's Plays of all 7DRLs! (he did them all last year)
 - Get game hosting and follow developer updates on
 - Tell us about your favourites!

Games discussed:
 - Beware of Strange Warp Points - spaceship RL by Ed Kolis, based on Space Empires
 - 7dArrrl - pirate sailing adventure by Paul Jeffries, unfortunately missing many roguelike-y features
 - Assault Fish - fishing / ranged combat RL by Eben Howard, where you can relaxedly fish and then throw dolphins at magma snowmen
 - DataQueen - hex-grid hacking-themed RL by Darren Grey, where you only die if you get surrounded and special attacks are linked to movement direction
 - Mad Alchemist - a board game roguelike made by Aaron Steed (pics here)
 - TraumaRL - a vast game with excellent procedural design by flend
 - Kunoichi - ninja stealth game by Kevin Harris, very nicely polished
 - Creek Hero - stylish fish eating fish RL by MagmaCrab where you have to eat smaller letters to grow bigger
 - Rogue Station - survival RL by Pål Trefall and Kenneth Gangstø, where you must manage systems and resources and oxygen across a station as enemies invade
 - Hellspace - extremely polished sci-fi RL by Numeron
 - Cyberdekay - very stylish game by Mark Wonnacott
 - The Smith's Hand - Jeff Lait's latest, where you play a smith making equipment for adventurers
 - Impera - minimalist 1HP roguelike by Elliot Bonneville that has great tactical depth for its low number of elements
 - The Littlest Princess - cute game by Jo Bradshaw, again minimalist and tactical and fun
 - KRAXLN - mountian-climbing roguelike by Arnold from Tinytouchtales, Thomas Wellmann and Leon Purviance
 - Lava Walker - hex RL made in flash with RPG elements by StormAlligator Games & Pixelatedcrown
 - Power Grounds - small tactical game by Diego Cathalifaud
 - RagTag - control a tag-team of 3 monsters and defeat adventurers, by Magma Fortress (maker of Hoplite)
 - FlappyRL - simple, fun, though not too replayable, by Matt Cooper
 - FavRL - roguelike entirely in a 16x16 picel favicon, by Norgg
 - Sucker - RL by graspee (developer Let's Play video here)
 - GoldFish - pretty ASCII game with comedy talking seahorses, by Ondras
 - HvZ - A rogue-like simulating the college campus game of humans vs zombies, by Micah Workman
 - Here Be Dragons - pretty game with several party members, by Watabou
 - Dice Mines - control a massive party of autonomous, expendable heroes, by Trystan Spangler
 - Dungeon Dual - web-based asynchronous cooperative multiplayer roguelike, by Todd Page
 - Fida'i - stealth roguelike with cone FOV, by Pat Wilson
 - Variablo - slide parts of the level around in a puzzley way, by Rat King
 - Wild West Roguelike - great Wild West themed roguelike, by Lovepreet
 - Voronoiance - voronoi map roguelike with challenging 1HP mechanics, by Daniel Slaney
 - Golden Krone Hotel - kill vampires by luring them into sunlight and become a vampire to use special abilities - very detailed game by Jere
 - Succession - roguelike where when you die you start over as the monster that killed you, by Adam Perry
 - Sand Dune Monster - hex-based Unity RL by Henron
 - Blitz it Up - another hex-based game, by Peaxel Games
 - DartRL - dart-themed game programmed in Dart, by Mathias Myrland
 - Tablet of Ananias - Android/flash game by Slash

Join us next time on Roguelike Radio as we hopefully finally publish our Angband dev team interview! Let us know of any cool 7DRLs we've missed :)

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Episode 86: How to Make a Unique 7DRL

This is episode 86 of Roguelike Radio, where we talk about How to Make a Unique 7DRL, with Darren Grey, Eben Howard and Aaron Steed. You can download the mp3 of the podcast, play it in the embedded player below, or you can follow us on iTunes.

Topics discussed:
 - The 10th Seven Day Roguelike Challenge! Wooo!
 - The value of unique and experimental roguelikes
 - EmoSquid, Eben's properly 3D grid-based turn-based 2011 7DRL
 - Games using gravity or other multi-turn effects which impact on gameplay. Especially side-scrolling turn-based platformers Bump!, Earl Spork, Fuel, Backwards Gravity, which an area ripe for further exploration.
 - Changing environment and live action / interactive procedural generation, such as in Unstoppable (a 4DRL by Darren)
 - Unity for 7DRLs - will we see more this year? (e-mail Darren if you want a 1-month Unity Pro key!)
 - Novel combat like Fisticuffmanship and DDRogue, requiring you to consider terrain and positioning or chains of moves, or Magicko which had a novel spell system
 - Avoiding RPG tropes like items
 - Considering interface and novel ways to control the game (Crypt of the Necrodancer, anyone?)
 - Using common code and libraries for the normal stuff, hacking uniqueness in where you need - don't reinvent everything
 - Fewer items/abilities with more central changes each instead of lots of junky stuff that make little difference - eg, Hoplite
 - Or just ignore that rule and make an awesome detailed game like 86856527 or PrincessRL
 - Find a helpful tester on #rgrd IRDC channel near the end of the week, just to check it works on other people's machines and the game isn't immediately obtuse
 - Concentrating on single mechanics of the genre - eg. Toby the Trapper, where you can only kill with traps, or Mad Mage, which is centred on item identification
 - Don't make it multiplayer unless you really know what you're doing - you could end up ruining a good singleplayer game!
 - Taking inspiration from board games (as per our board games episode!)
 - Combining with other genres, like sports games or side-scrolling beat-em-ups
 - Adding procedural sounds or graphics or story or other interesting and unique procedural content
 - Use for making sounds to your game
 - Updates on what everyone's planning for the week
 - Having a unique name!
 - A unique theme helps too - urban, hacker and post-apocalyptic are all surprisingly underused. Conception managed to stand out with its theme last year...
 - Join the 7DRL mailing list for news and updates!

Join us next time on Roguelike Radio as we deliver our promised Angband dev team interview. And good luck with the 7DRL week - we're sure to feature some of the highlights later in the month!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Episode 85: 2013 Retrospective

[This episode was recorded 7th January. My extreme apologies for the delay in publishing and the general radio silence - becoming a homeowner and many other life distractions have gotten in the way of editing and scheduling. - Darren]

This is episode 85 of Roguelike Radio, where we look back on the happenings of 2013. Talking this episode are Darren Grey, Eben Howard, DarkGod and Jim Shepard. You can download the mp3 of the podcast, play it in the embedded player below, or you can follow us on iTunes.

Topics discussed:
 - A review of everyone's years
 - Tales of Maj'Eyal released on Steam, with a record number of achievements for the platform
 - Dungeonmans successfully Kickstartered (and now attempting to be Greenlit)
 - Reaching out to people who've never heard of roguelikes
 - Greenlight success for Cardinal Quest 2 and WazHack (which has now been released on Steam!)
 - Mobile roguelikes! 2013 has had some big hits, including Ending, Hoplite, 868-HACK, Dungeon Plunder, WazHack.
 - 7DRL explosion, and looking forward to 7DRL 2014 (8-16 March)
 - 2013: The year of the Roguelike-like? Roguelike mechanics are getting combined into wider and wider bases of games. Will 2014 see more hardcore roguelike success?
 - UnReal World released for free in 2013! With a deserved big expansion of fanbase.
 - Everyone's plans for 2014
 - Winners announced for the T-Engine Module contest and the Trials of Oryx contest
 - The ASCII Dreams Roguelike of the Year poll, and some of the drama around the top 3. Check out the more interesting list of games with 10-100 votes!
 - Roguelikes in the media, especially on Rock, Paper, Shotgun and IndieStatik.
 - Upcoming International Roguelike Developers Conference on 9-11 May 2014 in Berlin - sign up!
 - Upcoming games: FTL Advanced Edition (a free and meaty expansion to the game), Crypt of the Necrodancer, ToME Steamtech Orcs campaign, Jupiter Hell (spiritual successor to DoomRL)
 - Lots of cool procedural games coming up (No Man's Sky, Clockwork Empires, Sir, You Are Being Hunted, Everquest)
 - Anything we missed? Comment below!

Join us next time on Roguelike Radio for discussion of Angband, with much of the current devteam joining the show.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Episode 84: Nethack

This is episode 84 of Roguelike Radio, where we discuss Nethack, on the 10th anniversary of its last release. Talking this episode are Darren Grey, John HarrisJeff Lait, David Ploog, Patric Mueller, Derek Ray and Pasi Kallinen. You can download the mp3 of the podcast, play it in the embedded player below, or you can follow us on iTunes.

Topics raised:
 - A history lesson from John Harris, and
 - What made the game so popular? How did it become so ubiquitous?
 - The influence on Nethack on all of roguelikedom, and the old hack/band split
 - What makes a game Nethacky? Interactions with everything (especially items), special cases, spoilers / learning the details, shop you can steal from...
 - Who are the devteam? Will there ever be a new version?
 - So many variants, with specific talk on Slash'Em, Nethack 4.0, UnNethack, SporkHack, and the interface-tweaked server version
 - Grind, and the onus on the designer to remove beneficial grind instead of leaving players to choose

 - Nethack's basis on D&D, including its many polearms (Gary Gygax loved them)
 - The difficulty in removing features from games and the reactionary nature of communities
 - Sokoban, grr!!
 - Gehennom! *yawn*
 - Nethack discussed as "the roguelike", both inside and outside the genre, such as in the That Was History's History of Rogue
 - The disconnect between what developers hate yet players don't mind or actively embrace. Many devs are disparaging of Nethack yet players are still playing it in droves to this day.
 - The toy/sandbox nature of Nethack, such that you can mess around in it a lot, giving the game extreme longevity
 - The dated interface (almost unchanged in 20 years!) Will there ever be a good mobile version?
 - The role of the server in keeping the community alive
 - Project management, leadership and design goals in a large game's development
 - Remembering the role of Izchak Miller
 - The future of Nethack..? Why do people keep playing? Is it now an unchanging piece of history?

Join us next time on Roguelike Radio for potentially an end of the year show!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Episode 83: ASCII

This is episode 83 of Roguelike Radio, where we discuss ASCII! Talking this episode are Darren Grey, KawaiiDragoness and Jeff Lait. You can download the mp3 of the podcast, play it in the embedded player below, or you can follow us on iTunes.

Topics raised:
 - How it used to be viewed as a requirement to be a roguelike, or considered a roguelike element
 - Why do we still use ASCII?
 - ASCII as a retro aesthetic, much like pixel art
 - Developer freedom and ease of game design without graphics
 - Quickly parsing what's going on across the screen with an ASCII interface
 - How the Roman alphabet is something we grow up with and can recognise easily - Chinese or other symbols roguelikes aren't so easily parsed
 - Thinking through character sets, symbol/letter reuse, colour categorisation, rare colours, etc. Deciding what scheme you use at the start of game creation can be important.
 - Conventions across games, such as & meaning different things in Nethack and ADOM
 - Emulating the console in libtcod or the T-Engine or other graphical systems
 - Using Necklace of the Eye to improve the visuals of many ASCII games
 - The benefits of console games, such as ssh and accessibility to the blind, but the restrictions of trying to play them on modern systems (especially Windows)
 - The purity of ASCII in game design, and the artistic statement of using ASCII in the representation of the game's elements and mechanics
 - ASCII supporting procedural environments - many #s don't look so bad, but adding tiles requires more detailed decoration
 - Simple ASCII tiles have no decoration, no confusion over what are game elements
 - The danger of ASCII making it too easy to add new content, thus resulting in junk-filled games (though it can be great if you want a junk-filled game)
 - Disagreement over whether Brogue is beautiful or ugly
 - Making a clear interface (not always possible with just ASCII, such as no healthbars)
 - Deciding on a restricted colour palette (ColorSchemeDesigner is a handy tool)
 - Fonts! Why is there no Comic Sans roguelike?! Darren's recommendation: DroidSansMono
 - The chaos of ANSI / Unicode, and the danger of too much noise from extra characters
 - The difficulty in getting new players to accept ASCII
 - Hex in ASCII
 - The learning curve with ASCII games, both for new players and people switching between major games
 - The easy availability of excellent tilesets (such as the monochrome Oryx Roguelike set) making it harder for players to accept ASCII, especially when tiles can have functional advantages like showing weapon held
 - The @ Symbol in the New York Museum of Modern Art
 - The iconicism and neutrality of the @ symbol, letting you imagine whatever hero you like
 - ASCII art (Jeff hates it)
 - Kawa's ASCII Let's Play series

Join us next time on Roguelike Radio for a discussion of one of the giants of the genre - Nethack!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Episode 82: Interview with Zeno

This is episode 82 of Roguelike Radio, where we interview Zeno, maker of Hydra Slayer and HyperRogue. Talking this episode are Darren Grey, KawaiiDragoness and Zeno. You can download the mp3 of the podcast, play it in the embedded player below, or you can follow us on iTunes.

Show schedule:
 - Zeno's many projects and wide involvement in the roguelike community
 - Roguelike-playing history, including Valhalla/Ragnarok, ADOM and IVAN
 - RogueBasin, the rogueiest wiki around
 - Zeno's International Roguelike Database (IRDB) which pulls information from RogueBasin and lets users search for roguelikes by categories and leave ratings and reviews (it's great, go check it out!)
 - The mathematics behind Hydra Slayer and HyperRogue, and their development history
 - Vapors of Insanity, Zeno's attempt at an epic roguelike and the struggles to get players for the game
 - The history of Necklace of the Eye, the universal roguelike frontend that lets you play DoomRL as a FPS!
 - The integration of Necklace of the Eye into ADOM as a graphical frontend
 - Zeno's Roguelike Bundle, with NotEye included
 - Future plans for Necklace of the Eye as a roguelike hub and server
 - The lack of traditional hit points in both Hydra Slayer and HyperRogue, and the resulting original game design
 - Taking inspiration from Deadly Rooms of Death (DROD)
 - Zeno wants more hacklikes!

Join us next time on Roguelike Radio for another procedurally generated topic!