Berlin International Roguelike Development Conference 2008

And so it was that several roguedevs met at the historical city of Berlin for the first IRDC on September 2008. There were not many, but it is quality which matters, and we are looking forward for future events.

You can download the videos and related material at

These are some of the presentations:

  • Christopher Brandt: How not to write a roguelike – a review of his own experience trying to write DungeonHunter contrasted with his success on Aviel’s Stand
  • Ido Yehieli: Description of facing-based field of view, hearing radii, and their impact on UI and gameplay.
  • Jeff Lait: Survey of different methods of discretization and its gameplay implications.
  • Radomir: Introduction to Python as an effective roguelike platform with examples from Z-Day.
  • David Ploog: Remarks on Roguelike Design (Not Coding)
  • Mario Donick: Symbolism on roguelikes

The so-called “Cabal of Elite Roguelikers” also announced an official roguelike re-definition, “The Berlin Interpretation”,  based on the current roguetemple definition; you can read and discuss it here

Have fun watching the videos!


First 1KBRL Challenge Entries: Fur Hunter

Source CodeFur Hunter
Author: Jakub Debski
Links: Homepage
Language: C++

Slash, a warrior of the XXVIIY Roman Legion, finds an ancient temple during an expedition to the barbarian lands. Decided, he steps into, only to find out it is filled with a horde of angry wolves. Knowing that wolf fur is teh thing in Rome, he tries out his luck by beating different races of evil wolves, down to the 7th level.

Mr. Debski second entry to the 1KBRL Challenge, first submited as a 1.1KB RL and shrinked to the limit thanks to the power of r.g.r.d. It is technically impressive, having implemented a working FOV algorithm, non-trivial enemies with varying strength and random level generation.

Down with da wolves

The challenge there is knowing when to fight and when to run, however excess of healing packs makes things a bit too easy.

Gameplay: A bit repetitive, but playable
Technical Highlights: It has almost everything one can add in 1KB of code, two thumbs up!

First <1KBRL Challenge Entries: LUCK

Author: Slash
Links: Minisite, Online Launcher
Language: Java

You find yourself in a dark, dark room. You have no idea why you are here nor how you got here. All you know is that with every step you make, you are getting weaker. Disturbing whispers can be heard everywhere and your only hope of surviving is to push onwards, collecting relics of percentile origin along the way. Suddenly, a horrifying demonic ant… sorry, an *AND* appears before you. You have to make a quick choice: fight it or run for your life…

That’s for the story. Now, for the review.

Slash promised to review *ALL* of the <1kBRLs and I’m here to assure he will never keep his promise by reviewing his creation. First, some technical information. Gameplay takes place on a small, 20×20 map (18×18 playable space), which is more than sufficient. No memory of visited areas is kept, so the PC wanders in the dark, seeing only a diamond-shaped area around him with a radius of 6 tiles. The use of Manhattan distances is logical, since the PC can only move vertically and horizontally. Unfortunately, there is a minor glitch there: when attempting to move diagonally using the numpad, the game exits, so it’s safer to use arrow keys.

The levels contain randomly placed obstacles, a down staircase, a relic and a nasty to make you keep going. No other keystrokes than the arrows are needed, since the PC automatically collects relics and descends stairways upon walking over them. Simplicity rules!

The goal is to collect 10 relics and descend to level 20 before you run out of energy. Simple, huh? Well, not really. The 600 points of energy go down with every move. Additionally, the baddies take away 5 additional energy points if you move next to them. The relics and staircases can be anywhere and you will probably be forced to make long runs before “clearing” a level. Your life is in RNG’s hands, really, which completely justifies the game’s title.

Finally, when you either die or win the game, an appropriate message is shown. Quite a lot for just 1kB of code.

Gameplay: Simple, but fun. Good for those boring moments at work when the boss isn’t around.
Technical Highlights: Many nice features in few bytes of code.

Releases Wire XXI

The Horde (2KBRL)

The other people at the table are so engrossed in one of Kronus Maelor(“the Evil High Chancellor”)’s stories, that they don’t notice the king’s predicament. But you, realizing the magnitude of the situation, perform a royal Heimlich maneuver on his highness, saving his life.

GearHead2 0.504

This version fixes a number of bugs, including the tactics mode lockup and the problems with Yatate Spinner. There are also several new capabilities added to the plot generator.

Joseph Hewitt 2.0

Everybody says his nose looks just like mine. No time to talk now, I’ve got to get back to the hospital.

Privateer: ASCII Sector 0.4

For more information about quests and how to make your own:

Quarker 0.02d

Huzzah! Another week, another incremental Quarker release.

MageGuild 0.7.2

Take on the role of a skilled and daring apprentice of the Nahelan Mage Guild. Delve through countless dark halls, gathering troves of hidden knowledge and gaining power; battle hordes of deadly enemies that will test the limits of your power and wit; and if you’re very lucky and very skilled, emerge into the light of day again, a full master in the Mage Guild. Play MageGuild.

A Journey To Hell (1KBRL)

I’m a game developer and also a roguelike fan, so it seemed like a fun challenge. I realize I am a bit late (unfortunately), but I think my game is still at least somewhat interesting.

About Time (1KBRL)

Since it took me forever to finish it I’m calling it About Time (and as justification, there is a time pausing item).

Legerdemain 1.0.0

When taken together, Legerdemain and its companion cluebook: Canticle of the Onslaught, comprise over 250,000 words of prose. Since perfection is achieved not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away, you can rest assured that Legerdemain is about as imperfect as a three-legged donkey.

German NetHack-De 3.4.3

75% of the in-game text was translated.


Original SourceEnergon Absorber
Author: Numeron
Links: Original Post, Enhanced executable version
Language: Java

All along your childhood you heard legends talk about the legendary big $100 gold coin being held in the third basement of the magic zombie infested wherevers that lie below the town’s chapel. Today, in your 18th birthday, you have decided to retrieve it and prove yourself a man.

As you descend into the unholy depths you notice a Zombie is chasing you around! the worst of your nightmares has come true, and the only way to escape will be recovering all the pieces of the gold key.

Found da coin!

In the end, you found the great big gold coin, but what did you win? you just became a Zombie and will chase whoever is fool enough to seek the cursed coin!

Original program used standard java output plus a frame to obtain user input; another dev later replaced IO handling for usage of libjcsi, making it look and feel much better.

This entry stands in the complexity midpoint of the rest of entries; while gameplay is not trivial (ie, you can unwillingly lose the game and there is a goal), it isn’t complex enough to be fun; more levels, obstacles inside them and scoring could have aided.

Gameplay: Unchallenging but existant, not too fun
Technical Highlights: It works as a game!


SourceAuthor: Nate879
Language: C

I promised I would review all of the entries, so here goes.

Not much to say about this one, it is a tech demo of what can be done in 1KB of source code; you can basically walk around the map and kill orcs. There is no score nor winning condition, the author said he may enhance it a bit later on.

After killing all orcs

Gameplay: None
Technical Highlights: Not really more than walk on the map, but try to do it yourself! 🙂