Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Episode 96: Ultima Ratio Regum

This is episode 96 of Roguelike Radio, where we interview Mark Johnson about Ultima Ratio Regum. 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 grand vision for Ultima Ratio Regum
  • Procedural world generation on many scales, with many interlocking systems
  • Mark's history and the journey his game has taken during its development
  • Environmental storytelling and procedural narrative
  • Interacting with a vast world of immense detail, and the interface challenges that come with that
  • Plans for more interactive content in 2015
  • Mark's academic interests, his paper on the semiotics of roguelikes and his plan to move into game studies
  • Roguelikes as mastery games, easing players in vs interesting challenge, and secrets vs Nethack-y silly spoilers
  • Massive roguelikes in the past - the good, the bad and the ugly. Why does Mark thing he'll buck the negative trend? Why are people so drawn to these supermassive roguelikes?
  • The new focus of URR and how restricted scope can lead to better games
  • The future... Burn the tablets!!
  • Read Mark's blog, follow him on Twitter, download URR and donate to support!

Join us next time for exciting new procedurally generated dialogue!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Episode 95: End of 2014

This is episode 95 of Roguelike Radio, where we talk about the end of 2014 and look ahead to the new year. Talking this episode are Darren Grey, 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:

Join us soon for an interview with Ultima Ratio Regum developer, Mark Johnson.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Episode 94: ProcJam

This is episode 94 of Roguelike Radio, where we talk about the upcoming ProcJam. Talking on the ep are the organiser and keynote speakers from the jam: Michael Cook, Tanya Short, Mark Johnson, Tom Coxon, Gillian Smith and Darren Grey. 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 upcoming Procedural Generation Jam running 8-16 November, same time as we're having a 7DRL week and there's a 7DFPS jam. Follow @ProcJam on Twitter, get details from the ProcJam site, Tumblr page (full of cool resources), and info + tickets for the London opening event with cool talks (will also be livestreamed). Join in and make a game or tool!
  • Michael Cook (creator of the game designed AI, ANGELINA, and Google-mining 7DRL A Rogue's Dream) explains his motivations for creating the jam and the day of talks.
  • Apologies from Fernando Ramallo (creator of upcoming Panoramical) and Hazel McKendrick (of No Man's Sky) who will also be talking at the event.
  • Awesome recorded talks from Experimental AI In Games conference, including from Michael and Gillian.
  • Mark Johnson, creator of Ultima Ratio Regum, will be talking on scale in PCG and working on procedural systems for his game in the jam. Check his blog posts!
  • Tanya Short, developer of Shattered Planet and Moon Hunters, will be talking about meaning in procedural content (and cooking). Read up on her game design posts on Gamasutra.
  • Tom Coxon, developer of Lenna's Inception, might be talking about cognitive flow in generated content. Check out his great design blog posts for his game, and some similar content in Tom Ford's IRDC talk on graph-based generation.
  • Gillian Smith, Assistant Professor of Game Design at Northeastern University and developer Endless Web, which integrates procedural generation with game mechanics. She may be talking about the history of procedural content generation.
  • Darren will be talking on reactive procedural generation, based on player interaction and encouraging new player-instigated gameplay.
  • A discussion of what attracted everyone to procedural generation.
  • What will procedural generators make that no human would ever make?
  • Learning a generator as an author.
  • Many tortured analogies and metaphors for procedural generation.
  • Opening procgen up to new audiences and creators, and encouraging artists, musicians and coders to work together.
  • Join in the jam! If you've not made a roguelike before then grab the python+libtcod tutorial and get started with ease.

Join us next week for something new and roguey! Suggestions welcome...

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Episode 93: 868-HACK

This is episode 93 of Roguelike Radio, where Andrew Doull and Robert Parker talk about Michael Brough's 868-HACK. You can download the mp3 of the podcast, play it in the embedded player below, or you can follow us on iTunes.

Apologies from Andrew due to the audio quality on his side as his usual set up glitched at the last minute. Hopefully most of the volume issues are fixed in post production.

Topics discussed:
  • Games discussed include 86856527, 868-HACK, Hoplite, Amber Halls, Desert Golf (with apologies to anyone who doesn't own an iOS device)
  • 868-HACK spoilers. Seriously. Skip these if you don't want to spoil yourself.
  • Listen as Andrew miscounts and misstates most of the above and goes on to misattribute the deeds of the family Lantz
  • Jeff Lantz's analysis of Streak Scoring in 868-HACK
  • Helix was released just to make us appear more out of touch than we usually are, and it is awesome
  • Something something *cough* PC release something something
  • Games are art. Drink!
Join us next week for some hype about the upcoming ProcJam!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Episode 92: Return to Brogue

This is episode 92 of Roguelike Radio, where Darren Grey and Andrew Doull return to Brogue. You can download the mp3 of the podcast, play it in the embedded player below, or you can follow us on iTunes.

Topics discussed:
  • An intro on inclusivity in the genre and the podcast.
  • Brogue! Check out our previous episode on it from over 3 years ago, and our interview with Pender.
  • Darren's started playing Brogue at last! Here's a video of his first play. And an agonising near-win...
  • Changes over the last few years, especially in the experience system.
  • Darren raves about things he likes in the game.
  • Darren rants about bits that annoy him. Here's further nitpicky discussion on the Brogue forums.
  • UnBrogue, a mod created by Andrew, and Brogue+ which adds much more.
  • Interface design, and interesting complexity without lots of keybinds.
  • How Brogue implements allies and ally progression, and the various strategies that emerge from this.
  • Join the Brogue forums and take part in the weekly shared seed contests!

Join us next time on Roguelike Radio for an in-depth look at 868-HACK!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Episode 91: Our First Roguelikes

This is episode 91 of Roguelike Radio, where we talk about the first roguelikes we made. Talking this week are Darren Grey, Eben Howard, Jeff Lait and Nicolas Casalini You can download the mp3 of the podcast, play it in the embedded player below, or you can follow us on iTunes.

Topics discussed:
  • Nicolas' first Angband variant, inspired by the dragonriders of Pern (which lay the eventual seeds for ToME)
  • Ido's CaveRover, which is still a cool game
  • Jeff's POWDER, which is still awesome, and was originally meant to be a Nethack clone
  • Eben's Quarker, where you play a quark interacting in strange and beautiful ways with other quarks
  • Darren's Gruesome, where you play a grue hunting adventurers in dark places
  • What motivates people to start making their own roguelikes
  • The desire to creates worlds for others to play in
  • The desire to play with new mechanics
  • The lure of making the next ultra-awesome feature-packed roguelike (Avoid the lure! Make a small game first!)
  • Copying others, and starting from a derivative place
  • Challenges we faced when we first started out, and lessons we learned as we progressed
  • Ido's Roguelike Blueprint
  • Richard Garriott's first published game
  • Go make a game! Go on! Now!!!

Join us next time on Roguelike Radio for a return to Brogue!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Episode 90: Angband devteam interview part 2

This is episode 90 of Roguelike Radio, where we continue the interview with the Angband devteam. You can download the mp3 of the podcast, play it in the embedded player below, or you can follow us on iTunes.

Devteam members present:
  • Aaron Bader (fizzix) - Developer for about five years and the release manager for 3.4, the previous version released.
  • Chris Carr (magnate) - Involved in Angband development for about 10 years. He was responsible for a ton of recent gameplay changes, and was release manager for 3.3 and possibly some other versions as well.
  • Robert Au (myshkin) - Player since the mid-90s, and on the devteam for 4 years. Worked on the Macport and code infrastructure.
  • Nick McConnell - Involved in Angband for about 10 years. He is the author of the variant FAAngband (First Age Angband) and has recently stepped up to be the new Angband maintainer after the release of version 3.5.

Topics discussed:

  • The many variants - NPPAngband, OAngband, Sil, FAAngband, ZAngband, PernAngband (which became ToME), SteamBand and more
  • Angband as the original and most successful roguelike game engine
  • The Angband community, and the active forums
  • Diablo!
  • Lessons from spin-offs, especially Sil and Tales of Maj'Eyal
  • Borgs - automated bots that can play and even win the game, and the value of these for testing

Join us next time on Roguelike Radio as several known developers talk about the first roguelike they ever made.