The roguelike celebration, the biggest, coolest, greatest gathering of roguelike enthusiasts on Earth, is drawing close (October 6th and 7th, 2018 at the GitHub offices in San Francisco, California), and this year it will feature the ROGUELIKE @RCADE, a space where players will be able to check different kinds of roguelikes, the arcade will feature a mix of:
Developers or amateur developers, showing off their games or 7-day roguelikes.
Avid fans of various games showing them off, and explaining to people how they work.
Historial roguelike or roguelike-influential games running on very old hardware
Are you a developer or a hardcore roguelike player? or maybe you just want to help a game reach more people! Fill out this form and let the organizers know about it! We are organizing this space and would love to have more games to show. But do it quickly, time is running out!
The Roguelike Celebration, perhaps the biggest roguelike-centered event in the world, is happening for the third time in 2018.
The date has been set to October 6 and 7, and it will happen again at GitHub’s HQ in San Francisco, as it did last year. Get your tickets now for two days of awesome talks, meeting with roguelike players and developers, playing some games and having a lot of geek fun!
Also, the Call For Presenters is open until July 7, so if you think you have something interesting to share with the roguelike community, share your idea! Past two years have been full of great talks on a variety of topics. Check their website for the full archive of talks in the meantime too!
The Slimy Lichmummy is among the most originally named roguelike games. Game website proclaims it has been so because someone asked the author: “make a giant slimy skeletal rat bat ghoul lichmummy with a severed hand and floating skull”. And so he did. The game delivers on all of the mentioned aspects: from humble ratmen to elder lichmummies.
Are you sick of hacking thru endless dungeons looking for ancient artifacts to save the world? take a look at Barking Dog Interactive’s in-dev game: Lone Spelunker.
In Lone Spelunker, you explore dark caverns in a turn-based, puzzle fashion, hoping not to die by falling from a cliff into a horrible dead. And you do all this just for a reason, to take cool selfies of yourself, deep under the ground.
In these caverns, you’ll find no goblins to smash, no magic loot nor evil balrons… it’s only yourself and your curiosity, hoping to discover as much as possible of the cave, while using your tools at hand carefully and patiently.
The movement commands may seem overwhelming at first, but they are rather easy to get accustomed to after a while; you’ll be mostly moving around, jumping and griping into walls, hammering pitons into the walls and shooting ropes from them, ziplining and rapeling to move quickly between the vast, beautifully rendered underground locations and lakes.
For your first sessions, I think it’s a good idea to keep the instructions on a separate screen all the time, so you can refer to them when needed.
This game is beautiful, it’s completely rendered on colored ASCII, and you will find it lacks a “look” command because most of the things in the screen are just aesthetic. With the exception of the solid rock, mud, water, your ropes and the hammer-able walls, the rest is just beautiful and colorful underworld.
You can play the game on any computer since it’s web accessible, just create an account and start playing. Have in mind however, that the game is currently in open beta, so some things may not work perfectly.
The games comes with a set of both randomly generated and fixed cavern complexes; for the fixed caverns you will find they have a list of challenges you may want to complete. They consist basically on finding something special and shooting yourself a selfie with it. The randomly generated caverns, on the other hand, allow yourself to take selfies just for fun, in the cool locations you’ll find underground.
As the game is still on beta, you’ll find some small details (for example, I was unable to change facing since Alt + Left caused my Chrome browser to go back, thus deleting my adventure :/). These are however small details since otherwise the game is very enjoyable right now.
I felt the game could have better lighting effects for both aesthetics and gameplay, I guess the developers choose to leave it this way for practical reasons. Also, providing ambient sound and sound effects (with lots of echo?) would add a lot to the atmosphere.
Now here comes the mandatory question: would you consider this game a roguelike? certainly there’s no hack and slash here, but its turn based (almost completely, with some things like oxygen drop happening in real time), grid based, single character with permanent failure and procedural environments. There is no conflict/combat nor inventory (and thus no resource management), and there’s little in the way of random action outcomes (although sometimes you could save yourself from death by doing a “miracle grip”). But most of the factors are here, plus it’s got ASCII display 🙂
Play Lone Spelunker now for a different cavern crawling experience!
Reviewed by Slash, priest of Temple of The Roguelike
“What is a roguelike?” is a long standing question with no single answer; there are many perspectives you could apply to understand what “roguelike” refers to, starting from strictly historical ascendance, passing through aesthetics or even focusing on a single feature such as procedural content or permanent death.
For a long time, I have refrained from providing a single definition, and went instead for a way to evaluate the “roguelikeness” of a game. This I did to encourage experimentation outside the bounds of the classics, but the world has changed.
Over the years there has been a resurgence of the term “roguelike”, where it has been applied to games that differ so much from the originals that the term is losing its meaning every time. Having that in mind, I have decided to share my own interpretation of what I call a Classic Roguelike, with the sole intention of preserving the original nature and identity of the genre; this doesn’t mean roguetemple is only intended to cover the development of classic roguelikes; we are equally interested in games that utilize some of the mechanics from roguelikes and complement them with other genres.
The most important perspective for me when considering if a game is a roguelike are its game design features. Note however that my interpretation is not limited to the features of the original “Rogue”, nor am I listing all of its features to be required; this list is derived from my experience over the years on what makes a roguelike, i.e. which features from the good old roguelikes are critical to conserve the spirit of the genre.
So, for a game to be considered a Classic Roguelike by this interpretation, it should comply with ALL of the following features:
Turn based: The player interacts in turns; for every turn the player gets to decide what action to take. After he decides the game simulates the turns for the rest of the entities in the game world and them prompts the player back for action. The player can pass its turn but it’s done manually as an explicit action.
Grid based: (Which could be implied from being “Turn based”) There is an underlying orthogonal or hexagonal grid where the entities of the world are placed. Movement occurs from one cell to another close cell.
Permanent Failure: Encouraging the player to take responsibility for the risks he takes. Games can be persisted to support interrupted play sessions but players cannot reload a game for the sake of experimenting or to “retry” a fight or seek a better outcome on a random event.
Procedural environments: Most of the game world is generated by the game for every new gameplay session. This is meant to encourage replayability and complements permanent failure.
Random conflict outcomes: The main conflict action between entities in the game (commonly, attacking an enemy or casting a spell) has a random outcome. For example, for most of times you can’t know for certain in advance how many hitpoints your attack will reduce from the enemy (Although the player has a reference range and variability that should allow him to make tactical choices).
Inventory: There are items the player can pick up and use and inventory space is limited, the player should decide strategically what items are best to keep to survive and win the game.
Single Character: The player is represented by a single character inside the game world.
Use this interpretation at your own risk. Some games could be considered roguelikes and don’t have all these features. You might also want to check other roguelike definitions attempts:
Bold adventurer, is it fame you are after? Do you want treasure, fight fierce beasts or just to explore the land? This roguelike game, Fame, does not provide any answers for these questions. An adventurer you are and thats it. A manual bundled with the game also remains quiet about your reasons to wander around the world and whack monsters risking your life many times in the process. I found this lack of introduction incongruent with Fame’s otherwise well done plot. Anyway, who really needs a reason to hunt monsters?