Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Episode 38: Zaga-33 and MicRogue

Welcome to Roguelike Radio episode 38, where we discuss the tiny roguelikes Zaga-33 and MicRogue. Talking this episode are Ido Yehieli, Keith Burgun, Michael Bough (maker of Zaga-33) and Jason Pickering (maker of MicRogue).

You can download the mp3 of the podcast, play it in the embedded player below, or you can follow us on iTunes.

Topics discussed this week include:
- Motivation behind the design of Zaga-33 and MicRogue
- Line between puzzle and game
- Limit to creativity potential and ambiguous decisions in tiny games
- Proliferation of puzzley roguelikes
- Choices between determinism and randomisation in design
- Goals and score systems for replayability

Join us next time for more roguelike discussion.


  1. Nice episode. Here's the talk on Single Hit Point roguelikes I made at IRDC that Ido mentioned:


    I thought it was a shame that MicRogue mechanic of enemy on-death effects wasn't mentioned - it made for an interesting game element that added some of the ambiguity of choice that Keith was talking about.

    1. That's a good point, I think there could have been whole discussion and comparison about that. Both games omit character progression, so there's not the standard "experience" benefit for killing enemies. Zaga-33 just leaves it at that; no direct benefit, so no reason to kill an enemy if it's not going to be in your way. But Microgue makes enemies sometimes be a resource the player can use - and maybe it's closer to standard rogue in that sense, even though it's done in a minimal abstracted way.

  2. For a genre name how about Roguelites?

  3. Bloody hell, Zaga-33 is pretty damned good.

  4. @Keith: Pacman's behaviour isn't random:


    However there is also an overflow bug that inky and pinky suffer from that causes unpredictable behaviour.


    Whilst there is likely a perfect solution, like the sample at the beginning of Kid Koala's Fender Bender suggests:


    It's not an easy one.

    1. There was a guy in my home town that played the pacman arcade with a blindfold on because he had memorized the perfect series of motions xD

  5. My HyperRogue has the "checkmate" rule (that has been discussed about in the podcast), and it is sometimes that I recommend for all so-called single hit point roguelikes. In HyperRogue, theoretically, when attacked by a single monster, you usually have an obvious winning strategy. It becomes interesting when you are attacked by multiple monsters. The checkmate rule means that you don't have to think in the obvious battles, only in the difficult ones.

    I don't understand Keith's statement that puzzles have no ambiguous decisions. Good puzzles can have many answers, and it is possible that a new solver gives a solution which is more elegant and efficient than the known ones.

  6. And you should give the link to the most recent version of MicRogue... it is quite hard to find it in this thread.

  7. The checkmate works well in HyperRogue, with its large levels and faster movement, but it doesn't work so well in the slow-paced MicRogue. Especially since MicRogue has only 4 movement directions.

    Updated the MicRogue link, but unfortunately there's no web-site for it which always has the latest build. Something Jason should sort out :P

  8. Yo yo!

    How come in your XML feed it says that this episode aired today? Here's the link: http://feeds.feedburner.com/RoguelikeRadio?format=xml

    Is there anything you can do to fix it? Screws up www.roguebase.net 8]


    1. I presume because I edited the post to correct the MicRogue link. Sorry, didn't realise it would mess up xml stuff :/ Also, please advertise RogueBase.net more :P I've said it before, and it's worth saying again.

    2. Haha no problems, I finally took your advice and made a announcement on RL Temple (General Category). Don't know how else to advertise it though. I think everyone on #rgrd irc channel know about it already. Thanks for your nice words 8]
      Now back to listening RL Radio - Episode 39!! So thank you for that too, lol.

  9. Hey Guys. Jason Here. Had a ton of fun on the episode, and would be happy to come back for future episodes.

    I don't have a website yet, although I should probably get one. If anyone has any suggestions I am all ears, I am not very website literate. I might be able to do a Blogger much like this site has.

    Also in the latest builds, (Which I will continue to update that link) I focus more on enemies having effects on the player, like my original builds had.