Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Interview: Ido Yehieli

Welcome to a special edition of Roguelike Radio where we interview Ido Yehieli. Ido is the developer of Cardinal Quest, a commercial indie roguelike which we covered in our first episode of Roguelike Radio. Quizzing the dev are Darren Grey and Andrew Doull.

The mp3 of the podcast can be downloaded here, played in the embedded player below, or you can follow us on iTunes. Apologies for some sound problems at points.

Topics covered in the interview include:
- Motivations and inspirations for Cardinal Quest
- Viability of commercial roguelikes
- How Ido got into the genre

Those who missed out on the free offer for Cardinal Quest should go to Fastspring to buy a copy for US$4.45. Go, now!

If there are others developers you'd like to hear us interview, or other subjects you're keen to have covered then drop a note in the comments and we'll be happy to respond.


  1. The BMTMicto link is working again! Might want to compensate them for crashing their servers ;)

  2. Nice interview. Fun game. I finally gave it a play thanks to the promo code.

    The user interface was pretty nice and I loved the arcade style sound effects.

    One thing the game definitely lacks though is a high score table. Especially since it is advertised as arcade inspired. Being able to have my high scores recorded along with my initials or a character name would add a whole lot to replayability through a subtle way in my opinion. I was pretty disappointed after my first death and there was no high score board.

    Other than that, I find it a very enjoyable game and the interview was very insightful.

    A manual would be nice too.

  3. Keep up the great work! I wouldn't mind hearing an episode about POWDER or if you could coax Thomas Biskup or some of the Crawl Stone Soup developers to participate in an interview.

  4. I don't really agree with the claim that you have to limit yourself to four directions for the touch screen interface. On a touch screen you can do movement in at least two ways:

    * Tap the edges of the screen to move in that direction. This works well for both four and eight directions really

    * Add a virtual joypad with eight directions. This doesn't really take up that much more screen real estate than four directions and the risk of missclicks doesn't become that much higher as long as you have enough spacing.

    Sure, things become a bit easier with only four directions, but surely it isn't a must?

  5. I do agree that Flash brings with it huge benefits when it comes to reaching a large audience.

    And to pick up on the question on HTML5 I think the Google Playn (formerly Forplay) framework ( could be used for roguelikes. You write in Java and get output for Desktop, HTML5, Android and Flash.

  6. Björn: it isn't a must, but the main argument was that in the context of a game where everything moves in 4 directions, 8 directions doesn't really give you something that 4 doesn't, and my "default" is normally to go with the simpler solution unless there is a good reason to go with the more complex one.

  7. I agree, if you want four directions (which is perfectly fine) it has to go for the both the player and the monsters I think. As long as it is a game design decision to go with four directions I'm all for it. But as I said, I do think it is very doable to support eight directions on a mobile/touch device.

  8. It's true that it can take some time to get into major roguelikes (learning their particular interface and style of gameplay), but I don't think that's any more the case for roguelikes than it is for a lot of other game genres too. Modern sandbox RPGs can take a long time to get a real grip on or figure out all the things there are to do, 4x strategies might make you wait hours before you realise your initial building choices were poor, even 2D fighters require learning each fighter's skill sets before you stand a chance of not getting beaten down. Obviously there's always going to be places for both simple and complex games, I just don't think roguelikes have it any worse on that scale than more common commercial genres. (Once you've broken into the genre as a whole, anyway.)

    If nothing else, roguelikes always make it very clear when you've erred and are even considerate enough to let you replay the early game until you're more than familiar with it. :D

  9. Thanks for the inspiration Ido.

    I'm a developer myself; just trying to keep the dream alive. One of these days I'll finish a commercial game and live off the proceeds.

    Great episode guys, well done