Monday, June 17, 2013

Episode 72: IRDC 2013

This is episode 72 of Roguelike Radio, Recorded live from the International Roguelike Development Conference 2013 in Poznan, Poland. Speaking this episode are... uh, loads of people! Darren Grey, Jeff Lait, Johanna Ploog, Ido Yehieli, Patric Mueller, Tom Ford, Michał Walczak, Irinka and Zasvid.

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

Random observations this episode include:
 - Hurrah for Poland! And thanks to Radomir for hosting (though unfortunately he couldn't join as he had lost his voice)
 - Jeff is the winner of Roguelike Pictionary!
 - Krice is a celebrity in Finland!

Listener questions from RogueTemple and Reddit:
 - Is the term 'Roguelike' used too widely in indie games?
 - Should the Berlin Interpretation be made stricter?
 - Will we see more Kickstarters for roguelikes? Will this reduce the rate of vapourware?
 - Thoughts on Incursion having development halted and staying closed source. Should games be made open source if the developer stops work on it?
 - Jeff is the sexiest roguelike dev!
 - What is the most compelling or important part of a roguelike?
 - What percentage of games should be winnable?
 - The identification minigame - fun or annoying?
 - How often have you won your own game? (Oh dear...)
 - What do you think of taking concepts from other games, or vice-versa? Theft, flattery, inspiration?
 - What are your hopes and expectations for the coming year in terms of engines, frameworks, etc?
 - What do you think about making a major/big roguelike? Has anyone tried this?

Talks discussed:
 - Radomir's presentation on guiding players through a dungeon and subverting the usual guidance to players
 - Jeff's presentation on procedural puzzle in Malachite Dreams
 - Jeff's second presentation on tile bleeding to quickly interface terrain types
 - Tom's presentation on procedural key puzzles in dungeons with connectivity graphs
 - Darren's presentation on the procedural music in Mosaic
 - Zasvid's presentation on the interface between punishment, advancement and replayability, and the idea that you want players to see more of the content without advancing them too strongly
 - Johanna's murder mystery game with procedural NPC interaction and dialogue
 - Ido's talk on the progression from Cardinal Quest to Cardinal Quest 2
 - Sos's talk on his various attempts at making roguelikes (often making non-roguelikes in the end)

Games showcased:
 - Curious Expedition - a procedural exploration / strategy game
 - FlatlineRL by Tom
 - UnNethack by Patric Mueller (now with less Sokoban!)
 - Ulf Astrom's Basement Dwellers, a sidescrolling roguelikey game

Some discussion of where to hold it next year - any volunteers?
Also, check out Ulf's write-up of the event with video and photos!

Join us next time on Roguelike Radio for a discussion of Let's Play videos.


  1. Very nice episode, congrats on the conference!

  2. I think I'll relisten to this episode whenever I need extra motivation to develop roguelikes, it'll be a great reminder of how much I loved the conference. Talking about developing roguelikes with a bunch of awesome roguelike developers was really great!

  3. Is Tom's presentation available anywhere, either as slides or video? I'd love to find out more about this procedural puzzle generation technique. Thanks.

    1. I'd also be interested in this. That elusive zelda/metroidvania-like just really needs to be done and done well.

    2. Please note that keys are not the 'key' to these games, but rather 'key items'. Items that give the ability to do something neat generally but also allow access to new and perhaps harder parts of the game world.

      Like the boomerang that allows you to catch and collect the heart container that allows you to get the master sword which is required to defeat the big bad. Both the boomerang and the master sword are useful generally in combat vs. mobs.

      A good example is the whistle in The Legend of Zelda. You get it, it helps you warp around so you don't have to fight your way from place to place. It also happens to drain the lake and allow you access to level 7 (IIRC) and it also helps defeat the crazy big eye looking boss.

      Another important feature of this is the 'hint' system, the old men telling where to go and what to use. It sucked in The Legend of Zelda, but it's a good way to keep people informed. If you didn't have hint givers from time to time you'd need scripted levels that actually taught the player what to do. Tutorial type levels are just hard to program I think, better to occasionally run into an old man who says something like,

      "Use the staff on the old tree to find the secret."

      This might sound like a minor feature but it becomes important when you find the axe or torch with which you can burn down trees. There are a hundred freakin' now what? Well, ask the old man!

  4. Yeah, I greatly appreciated Darren's IRDC 2012 talk on single hitpoint model, which he uploaded to youtube. I have failed to find any other videos from the conference, but would love to see more of them!

    YAGP guys, wish I was able to attend this year, but aiming in for next year! Sounds like a great event with lots of knowledge sharing and awesome people!

    I'm really intrigued by this procedural puzzle talk too! There's so much knowledge to digest!!!

  5. There are links to PDF versions of the various talks given at the IRDC 2012 hosted on Darren's site (linked at the bottom of the RLR podcast post about it last year), some of them are just the slides which means they don't aways make sense but it's really nice to at least get a hint of the discusions held.

    Any chance of something similar for the 2013 conference?

    1. A few of them are linked on the 2013 RogueBasin page, but not everyone has put their slides up unfortunately.