So, the First <1KBRL Challenge is over.

A total of 14 entries were produced

You may think it is pointless to make efforts to work a game on less than 1KB of source code nowadays… if i am a bit possitive, the best you could think would be “hey, it’s fun for the developer… let him be!” or “well, thats a pretty cool way to waste whatever work could go into a REAL game”.

I have news for you, and I can’t really explain it. The entries you are about to be reviewed have something, may be having such restriction in the quantity of code to create “playability” makes the developer of the game do what really matters into the game, no place for plot, no place for the simplest of effects, no place for munchkinism, no place for cool, complex algorithms or a full-live-world simulation. It is all about The Game.

I didn’t have the pleasure of living through the ages of classic gaming, but I think this is as close as I can get. My best guess (and great hope) is things were like this before. It is a shame everything has changed so much (natural de-evolution, one day soon we will be able to play games like these <1KBRLs inside a “real”, photorealistic videogame).

Play the games, you will really enjoy them. Also, be sure to tell the author he rocks, and fight with your friends for the highest score or equivalent. Use the roguetemple forums when needed.

So, without further ado, I announce the start of the 1st <1KBRL Challenge reviewing cycle, which start with an really interesting entry: Ooooorrrrcs!

A couple of simple applet roguelikes

Ants and DogsMr. Will Thimbleby has released two interestingly simple applet roguelikes at his weblog, the first, dubbed Ants and Dogs, is a basic roguelike which you can probably use for showing off the genre to newcomers, as it contains all a basic roguelike must contain.

Ants and Dogs 2: The revengeThe second one, Directional Ants and Dogs on the other hand, shows off interesting features such as directional FOV for both players and monsters, as well as hearing and running.

He has also released the source code for both of them as public domain, they are nicely structured and easy to read!

2008 7DRL results are in

Ok, this year we had 23 challengers, 9 winners, 6 failures and 8 runaways. Congratulations to all the winners and better luck next year for the rest!

Next week will be the official 7DRL Playing week, as was the last year… just to play and review these 7DRLs!

Without further ado, here you have the list of official winners!

chrysalis by sinoth – Completed:

The goal is to destroy the 10 bases scattered all over the world. You do so by killing the base power core ‘B’ that is somewhere inside each base. You can press ‘r’ to turn on base radar that points you to where the remaining bases are.

Father HoodCountryside Zomband by zooptek – Completed:

Player enters suburbs when they escape the city. Suburbs have a different random map generation.

Fatherhood by Jeff Lait – Completed:

As the name suggests, in Fatherhood you play the role of a father who has an important task to perform. That task is the stopping of the flood waters (or on some maps, the fires) that threaten to wash away his homeland. The tension is that you have another implicity task: to be a good father. Your three children are also in the world, running about, either helping or hindering as is their whim.

TrapRogue by Nate – Completed:

Your goal is to find the Axe of Verwiz deep in the dungeon and evade traps.

MegamanRL by Slash – Completed:

Use z to jump, x to fire, s to setup


Dungeon Climb by Heck Ruler – Completed:

You have been cast down into a chasm and left for dead. Climb out before you starve to death. Features: An opening movie, 3D map, line of sight, climbing, jumping, falling, falling damage, hunger, food. It’s almost fun!

NumbarsNumbers by Robson – Completed:

Numbers is an educational roguelike, created in seven days. It is designed to test and improve your basic maths skills.

Tribe by Kadwell – Completed:

Deadline in ten minutes, so I’ll be brief. I have completed my 7DRL project about leading a tribe of goblins in defending against an entirely unprovoked attack by a seemingly endless series of so-called “heroes”. It has a strong emphasis on using NPCs to your advantage.

TimeRogue by GreyKnight – Completed:

Rogue with time-travel, basically

Congratulations again!

A tale of three “rogue” 7DRLs

You lost, Idiot

And so it was that shortly before the March aftermath,
three brave (brave?) developers decided to jump in
and try their guts at developing a 7DRL.

This, is their tale


Ido Yehieli was the first, his motivation was his unavailability for the time of the challenge; he suceeded, and shows us his work at

Then came Malorzean, who said he would attempt but was uncertain of his odds at suceeding… his fears became true one week later when despite his efforts he had nothing to show.

Agnas, from the kingdom of Venezuela (probably) jumped in too, hoping to grasp the victory of having a playable roguelike using his sources, which date back to the former century. Alas, he didn’t made it, but promised to show us something over the next days.

Three developers, a game, an experience and a promise. What other surprises will the 7DRL challenge bring us up?


The FightA magnificent archeological discovery has been made!

While tracing the prehistory of rogue and its roots… we have found what could be called its “Rogue’s long lost and forgotten brother”… the so called “Beneath Apple Manor” video game by Don D. Worth, predates rogue for two years, and sports most, if not all of its main features.

How could we not see this, in front of our own eyes, for so many years?

You also learned that just about everything was out to hurt you, which is kind of par for the course in a Roguelike. Monsters would pop out all over the place. On top of that, even items could hurt you. I remember finding a treasure chest with a potion in it. The game asked me if I wanted to drink the potion. In my youthful exuberance I naturally had to quaff the thing… and promptly lost all my memories. See, learning through forgetting. It’s the Rogue way to do things!

The game plays a lot like rogue, though it lacks its ASCII display, but as you can read, it even has some “hack” kind of effects, turn based gameplay, semi-complex items… the game also gives you some tips, which are helpful for the newbie. It even features simplistic shops, which is great for its time. The game is much more than just interesting for its historic value (like… *gasp* Escape from Mt. Drash), it is actually a fun game, worth giving a shoot!

Some words from the author itself, gathered from Psittacine Labs

I am the author of Beneath Apple Manor. It was released two years before Rogue came out. I was not influenced by Rogue (didn’t see it until something like 1983) and so far as I know the Rogue guys up at UC Berkeley hadn’t seen BAM either. We probably both came up with the same idea independently. But at least I can say Rouge is “Beneath Apple Manor like”. 🙂

The manI based the game on Dungeons and Dragons (paper and pencil game) and DragonMaze (the free game that came with the Apple II).
I think the release dates were as follows:

1978 – original version from The Software Factory (my own little partnership)
1980 – I handed it over to Quality Software for marketing
1982 or 1983 (I forget) – Beneath Apple Manor Special Edition (hires graphics version)

All in all, this doesn’t take away any credit for the original creators of rogue, the game we all love. It is curious and interesting, nonetheless 🙂

Some links

Don’s page
Post at Psittacine Labs
A thread at gamersquarter discussing it

(Source: Derek at TIGS)

The BAMTemple

Caverns of Underkeep, Alpha

CavernsA cool new Java roguelike is on the works (Go Java, Go! :D) the Caverns of Underkeep project has reached Alpha status, and it is looking very interesting

But anyway, why won’t Caverns of Underkeep have classes? Because it’s a dungeon romp, theres no real roleplaying going on what-so-ever. Your job is to kill monsters, and to do this you’ll need to be able to fight, use magic and pick locks.

Behind all graphics and infrastructure work (you play the game as a Java Applet), the project has some interesting gameplay and dungeon generation ideas discussed in this blog. Also, his highness CG Barret (you may remember him for, ehm… CastlevaniaRL graphicworks :P) seems to be backing up the project 🙂

So, welcome Joshua Smyth to the roguelike world, keep on it!

Source: ASCII Dreams


Legerdemain: A Tale Fraught with Peril and Wonder is a interesting unique roguelike project under development.

Legerdemain 1Confused and memory-less, you wake up at a morbid prison cell, where are you? who are you? in time you will discover, exploring prisons, dungeons and a very detailed overworld.

Legerdemain is an epic adventure within the hallucinogenic realm of Phenomedom. You assume the role of an imprisoned dissenter seeking to learn the nature of your captivity. In doing so you shall uncover a vast conspiracy full of morbid secrets and ancient puzzles. Only by enlisting the aid of allies past and unearthing the remains of ancient cultures can you hope to solve the mystery of Legerdemain.

Focus of legerdemain is on story, along the game you will be collecting “paragraphs”, you can also check the local lore everytime to know where you are. The game is pretty detailed and complex, featuring backpack management, wounds, detailed environments and items, and anovel spell casting system (rituals)

While it is still being developed, it already contains an interesting world you can travel in and discover different places, cities and towns. You can also chat with the population in a much more depth fashion than in most roguelikes.

Legerdemain 2On the tech side, the game is written in Java and can be run via Java Web Start which is interesting. The game makes use of an emulated console and lots of unicode characters, yet another unusual thing for a roguelike.

I was glad to hear from Nathan Jerpe, creator of the game, that the project was being put back into production; this roguelike-IF hybrid will sure give more to talk within the next months.

Visit the official website for further info  and downloads

Releases Wire VI


Alltough it’s still not 0.9.9, I present DoomRL, another step on the road of DoomRL’s development. had a few serious bugs that needed fixing. Also, there’s a LOT of refactoring needed to present the features of DoomRL 0.9.9 and 1.0.0 — a lot of this refactoring has been done in this version.

Unangband 0.6.2-wip7e

This is a work in progress (and moreover interim, by Bandobras) release, so please save often and report bugs. Savefiles are compatible, unless the level you are on has fallen out of the levels range of the current dungeon, so it’s safest to upgrade when in Rivendell, Bree, Hobbiton or Bucklebury (their depths are unchanged).

3Dwarf3Dwarf Visualizer

Testing time! I finally feel comfortable releasing a public beta of my map visualizer, 3Dwarf. Please watch the tutorial video to get a feel of what the program is capable of. Keep in mind this is a beta, and some maps may not display correctly. I did most of my testing on forest maps, so they will look the best for now.


While some maintainers may make a special Christmas Release that has neat features that provide joy and happiness to their players, the 094 Christmas Release had no interesting new features and a serious game crashing bug.

In penance, I have been running the stress test for a day now to hopefully avoid a similar embarassing release.

Dwarf Fortress

A few more fixes, a few new init options and a new interface for bringing items to the trade depot. See the dev log for a complete list.

SteamBand 0.4.1 Final

It’s your Christmas gift — it’s here, bug free (crosses fingers), and fun. Everything that has been said before can be said again.

Steamband is a modern variant containing UI features such as a menu, extensive on-line help, bigscreen, terminal windows, memory features, an extensive custom monster and artifact list, and skill based character development.

Gumband 2.3.0 Released

Gumband, an angband variant currently being mantained by R. Dan Henry, a r.g.r.d regular, and created by Joseph William Dixon has reached version 2.3.0 with many new changes on the list.

So, what’s especially worth trying? Well, there are the three new races to play. Vampires have changed enough to be worth a new look. A Beastman is the best way to experiment with the new mutation set. A Half-Giant Archer can the game with a x7 multiplier using a heavy crossbow of extra-might. Mindcrafting has been made more convenient since I debugged the repeat-command code.

Gumband is a variant based on Zangband, but replaces most of its Amber influence with Michael Moorcock’s Eternal Champion books. According to the current mantainer there is still a lot of ground to cover, as the project incorporates ideas from the Sword and Sorcery series.

Download source and DOS executable at

Official release post detailing all changes: here via google groups