Monday, August 10, 2015

Episode 105: Dungeon Hacks, a book about roguelikes

This is episode 105 of Roguelike Radio, where we discuss Dungeon Hacks, a book on the history of roguelikes by David CraddockYou can download the mp3 of the podcast, play it in the embedded player below, or you can follow us on iTunes.

Topics Discussed:
  • Dungeon Hacks has just been released, in electronic, audio and dead tree form. In it David covers the history of the roguelike genre, from Beneath Apple Manor through to Nethack, Angband and ADOM.
  • One Week Dungeons also released, a spin-off about the 7DRL Challenge week.
  • The convergent evolution behind Rogue, Beneath Apple Manor and Sword of Fargoal.
  • Roguelikes as vehicles for stories and their tie-in with Dungeons and Dragons.
  • Stories of individuals and bringing out their motivations and passions.
  • The 7DRL interviews and the highs and lows of the developers reviewed over the week.
  • "Darren Grey says it's not awful"

Join us next time for some answers to community questions.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Episode 104: Procedural Narrative Design

This is episode 104 of Roguelike Radio, where we discuss Procedural Narrative Design with Darren Grey, Mark Johnson, Tanya Short and David DunhamYou can download the mp3 of the podcast, play it in the embedded player below, or you can follow us on iTunes.

Topics Discussed:
  • Basic/minimal narrative of Rogue and many roguelikes
  • David's classic game King of Dragon Pass, with its evolving scenario-driven narrative set in the world of Glorantha
  • Good writing in games, and the need for economic and evocative writing
  • "The shadow of Tolkien" - designers badly trying to emulate novel writing in games
  • Scenario/encounter design and the need for massive parallel writing and alternate text output
  • Integrating narrative and gameplay, which narrative being informed by and interacting with the underlying mechanics
  • David's plans for Six Ages, a spiritual successor to King of Dragon Pass
  • Tanya's currently in-development game Moon Hunters, with procedural world and character-driven narrative
  • The problems with random narrative output not making a lot of sense, relying on the player to read their own narrative like in Dwarf Fortress
  • Mark's attempts to have procedural semantic meanings in Ultima Ratio Regum's myths, linking in with procedural histories and impacts on the game world
  • Interactive procedural narrative when re-writing history in URR
  • Creating background story through events, with FTL as an example, in particular using vague exposition to build the idea of a world in the player's mind
  • Having large exposition text to give the player's a lore reference for the game, à la Tales of Maj'Eyal
  • Free background settings to use - Lovecraft, Conan, Sherlock Holmes, Dracula, old myths like Norse, Greek, Roman
  • The role of the player, in particular avoiding the usual narrative of player as hero or having a destiny as these don't suit roguelike gameplay
  • Human response to character-driven stories and engaging personalities, with the examples of Broken Bottle and The Curious Expedition
  • Avoiding text and exposition and using environmental storytelling to build a picture of the world, and in particular using the mechanics of the game to communicate a narrative, such as corruption in ADOM
  • Narrative direction in open worlds
  • Remembering player's previous characters as stories

Join us next time for a discussion of an upcoming new book about roguelikes!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Episode 103: IRDC 2015 UK

This is episode 103 of Roguelike Radio, recorded at the International Roguelike Development Conference 2015 in the UK. You can download the mp3 of the podcast, play it in the embedded player below, or you can follow us on iTunes.

Firstly, apologies for the audio - it wasn't exactly a professional set-up. Secondly, apologies to Reddit for not covering your pre-submitted questions - we'll have an episode for those at some point soon!

Topics Discussed:
  • Congratulations to Mark Johnson for running a smooth and successful IRDC at the National Videogame Arcade in Nottingham
  • So many cool talks!
  • Tommy Thomson on a bot competition to beat Spelunky, and AI bots in general
  • Pete Hurst on detailed procedural generation of levels in DCSS
  • Darren Grey on Alternative Death Systems (featuring Sean Bean), and the need for better design around when players are close to death
  • Paul Jeffries on generative design in architecture, and some cool development tools he's built
  • DarkGod on the major advantages of adding mod support to your games
  • Sean Oxspring on Hashtag Dungeon, a roguelike based on Twitter data, and various weird stuff he's working on like an FPS based on live data from RedTube's API
  • Michal Brzozowski on the development history and design of KeeperRL
  • Johannes Kristmann on scripting in The Curious Expedition
  • Ido Yehieli on a murder puzzle game he's developing
  • Tom Ford on making a web version of Brogue, and what web hosting can allow
  • T M Stoddard on a procedural level editor he made as his BSc project
  • Tom Betts on the detailed and layered set of techniques he used for procedural generation in Sir, You Are Being Hunted
  • Mark Johnson on new content in Ultima Ratio Regum - shoes, clothes, vases, religious buildings, and more! He promises some gameplay soon.
  • Talk about the caves and pubs of Nottingham, including a pub in a cave beneath a castle, resplendent with flails and halberds!
  • Talks are not on Youtube yet :( But you can watch the USA IRDC presentations!
  • Also check out post-event write-ups from Mark Johnson, Alan Charlesworth and Darren Grey

Join us next time for a discussion of narrative design in roguelikes!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Episode 102: Interview with Frank Lantz

This is episode 102 of Roguelike Radio, with Darren Grey and Mark Johnson interviewing Frank Lantz of the NYC Game Centre. 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 next time for a live recording from the UK-based International Roguelike Developers Conference! Comment below if you want any questions raised at the conference :)

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Episode 101: IRDC 2015 USA

This is episode 101 of Roguelike Radio, recorded live at the USA International Roguelike Developers Conference 2015. Kawa hosts a mob of roguelike developers and players reporting from the event! You can download the mp3 of the podcast, play it in the embedded player below, or you can follow us on iTunes.

Topics Discussed:
  • IRDC finally comes to America! Big thanks to Todd Page for organising :)
  • Watch recordings from the conference on Youtube (still being updated as vids get edited) or Twitch (worse quality)
  • Joys of the conference are discussed, including meeting real life roguelikers!
  • What people want to see at future conferences.
  • MUDs and MUSHes and collaborative storytelling.
  • What's the future of procedural content in AAA gaming?
  • ASCII vs tiles
  • "Screw Europe!"

Join us next time for an interview with game design academic Frank Lantz.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Episode 100: YASDs

This is episode 100 of Roguelike Radio! Yes, 100! Woohoo!! :D For this fabulous milestone we cover something very close to the heart to roguelike players - YASDs (Yet Another Stupid Deaths), with Darren Grey and Andrew DoullYou can download the mp3 of the podcast, play it in the embedded player below, or you can follow us on iTunes.

Roguelike News:

Join us next time for a recording from IRDC USA!

Monday, April 27, 2015

Episode 99: 7DRLs 2015

This is episode 99 of Roguelike Radio, where we have a look at some of the highlights from the Seven Day Roguelike Challenge 2015. Talking this episode are Darren Grey, Paul Jeffries and Alan Charlesworth. You can download the mp3 of the podcast, play it in the embedded player below, or you can follow us on iTunes.

Roguelike News:

Topics discussed this episode:
  • 128 successful 7DRLs, woohoo!
  • Reviews of all the 7DRLs
  • Trials and terrors during the week, and the ultimate redemption of success.
  • New trends this year:- Lots of 1HP RLs and games with very stripped down controls. No mobile games. Many games with an old-school / arcade-y aesthetic, and more graphical games in general. More use of Unity, partly thanks to the new Unity roguelike tutorial. More in-browser games.
  • General praise for the high quality of completed games this year, with lots of stand-outs and few that are terrible or hard to get running.
Games discussed:
  • Hellion - 3D, turn-based, grid-based Star Fox-esque game (and yes, it's as cool as it sounds)
  • Void Sanctum - story/atmosphere focused roguelike
  • FireTail - hex-based roguelike with a lot of originality and tactical depth
  • Second Stepper - semi real-time arcade game where you control two characters at once
  • ducksoup dungeon - cute Gameboy-style roguelike platformer
  • Into the Darkness - brain-teaser-y roguelike where battle is manipulated using a deck of cards
  • RoyaLe - arena roguelike with gritty and intense battles
  • Phage - hex-based possession-themed roguelike
  • DUMUZID - tricky positioning-focused roguelike where you change shape as you absorb enemies
  • Heart of Morning - traditional style of roguelike, but you start with awesome gear that gets degraded over time
  • Seven Day Band - lets you decide mid-game how you want the different game elements and behaviours to be
  • Rogue Space Marine - very detailed and balanced roguelike with ability cooldowns and fun shot-dodging
  • Synthesizer - fight enemies in a giant synthesiser, coordinating your attacks to the beat
  • RUNNER_PUNCHER - dash to pick up items and kill (or avoid) enemies
  • MineClimeR(L) - turn-based Terraria with interesting climbing mechanics and resource use
  • Quaff - brew potions to power up your pet pig as you hunt for truffles
  • Rollgue - throw dice at dice
  • A Rogue Harvest - farming simulator with roguelike combat
  • Huge - a small hero vs a giant boss
  • Sneak - stealth game with vision cones
  • Combat Chess - arena-based tactics game with chess-like moves
  • Fall girl - roguelite where time gets slower as you progress
  • Edwin's 7DRL - possession-based roguelike with multi-tile movement
  • Heavy Axe - fight foes with an unwieldy giant axe

Join us next time for our 100th episode spectacular, where we talk about YASDs! Submit your YASD to get featured on the show.