SAN FRANCISCO — In what can only be described as a brilliantly executed procedurally generated meetup (disguised as a chaotic, improvised and unplanned mess), over 20 professional roguelike developers attending the 2018 Game Developers Conference met at Yerba Buena Gardens last March 21 to talk about their current projects, share stories of development and have a fun time together.
Among the participants were the developers of Dwarf Fortress, Jupiter Hell, Caves of Qud, Cardinal Quest, Tangledeep, and Ananias, as well as the main organizer of the Roguelike Celebration event.
“I hope next year’s output will be closer to what a real planner would do and more believable too.“, said Santiago Zapata, designer of the procedural generator used for the event.
Jeff Lait is a long-standing figure of the roguelike scene. A pioneer on handheld roguelikes with the homebrew GameBoy Advance game: POWDER, and one of the only two persons to have participated in all thirteen yearly 7DRL Challenges to date. I interviewed him almost 10 years ago and he already had a veritable career in our micro-universe. it also looks like he managed to fulfill his main goal for the future which was “to survive”.
This year, he has been awarded a Science and Technology Academy Award for his contributions to Houdini, a high-end toolkit to generate special effects (including a lot of procedural effects), used in many companies including Disney. From our years-ago interview, it seems he was starting his career on SideFX by then.
Take a look at the clip where Patrick Steward announces the award. Congratulations to Jeff!
Based on my recent research and considerations of the roguelikes in the videogames scene in 2018, I just published two new articles on the site. Both originate from my talk on the Roguelike Celebration 2017.
The other related article is What is a Traditional Roguelike; after 10 years of trying to come up with long lists of definitions, I narrowed it down to 4 critical aspects I think traditional roguelikes should keep
November 11 and 12 2017 were the dates selected by the organizers for the second roguelike celebration in San Francisco, California. This time it was two full days, with a single track for talks, and it was awesome. You can check the videos for all the talk at the Internet archive. Following is a summary of the events that took place during the celebration.
On November 11 2017, at the Roguelike Celebration in San Francisco, I had the pleasure of doing the opening talk, titled “What is a Roguelike?, 2017 Edition”, where I explored some of the interpretations on the Roguelike term.
Something interesting I found while doing research for the talk was what could be the first efforts to organize a group of games similar to rogue under an umbrella term. This happened on Usenet, the technological precursor to Internet Forums, throughout which most of the discussion of computer games happened.
My current progress on this research indicates that the efforts to define this hierarchical relationship, intended mainly to facilitate discussion, ended up serving the purpose of creating a community of niche developers and players who through the constant usage of the term ended up giving it an evolving, collective meaning that was relatively stable until the 2010’s decade, with the growth of the indie games scene and diffusion of the more action focused “Roguelike” labeled games.