Three SPIDs: EXODUS Box, EXODUS Online and Britannia GPS game


EXODUS as a tabletop game, instead of fighting with LARP weapons, combat is decided with dice rolls.

As with EXODUS, players are divided between adventurers (who pick their starting class) and dungeon dwellers (who impersonate the dungeon monsters), and the program generates a random layout for them to explore. The party moves from room to room based on the available exits, and by moving they may trigger traps affecting their status.

When the program dictates combat happens and a monster party is formed, the “combat grid” is placed and players place their tokens in either the adventurers or the dungeon dwellers area. Then the starting player is randomly selected (from within all the players, dungeon dwellers included) and player take turns to act. Each player may perform any of the following actions:

  • Move 1 square in any direction
  • Attack another player using either melee or a special ability

Some monsters may move more than once.

Cast a spell or use a special ability (consuming Magic Points or Special Points)

I have tested it with some friends and it works fine! It may not be as fun as running around hitting your friends with a foam sword, but OTOH it gives allows for more tactical depth.


Each player has his own app on his phone, one of them starts a game and the others connect. As they explore the dungeon, the dungeon staff is given their monster role and the battles are tactical turn based.

SPID6 – Britannia GPS game

Each city a small representation of Britannia (a shard). Landmarks on the city are transformed into towns of virtue, shrines and dungeons.

The players must find the runes by going to each town and asking for them, then searching other places in the worlds based on the clues they got.

Parties of travelers could be formed to explore together and survive the random encounters. Characters would level up in a traditional way. Then the Avatar should go and meditate to the shrines.

Dungeons would require doing some fights better done in a party.

The ultimate goal is to get the stones of virtue and conquer the abyss to become the avatar.

Roguelike Celebration 2016 San Francisco

Last September 17 the first ever “Roguelike Celebration” was held in San Francisco, California. Over 200 roguelike-likers and developers from all around the world met on a day-long journey to celebrate roguelikes.

Most of the speakers and organizers (I *totally* didn’t paste a pic of myself in the back row)

There were 18 main talks plus some other fun roguelike-related events. They were all recorded and you can find them over the Roguelike Celebration YouTube channel.

My talk, “Get your game done: Experiences through the development of 13 roguelikes” was pretty well received. There were two parallel tracks for talks so I shared my time slot with the developers of Dwarf Fortress! even then I had a decent audience of people, some of which told me they found it useful. You can find the slides here

This event was a great opportunity to get more people to know about Ananias!

As usual, I missed the opportunity… forgot to bring any kind of informational material or merchandise, didn’t even print a page with the game website URL… At least Glenn Wichman, one of the creators of Rogue, mentioned my game as his favorite roguelike during the event’s main talk🙂

An exciting part for me was finally having a chance to meet people from far regions of the world with whom I have shared this passion for so long…

David Craddock interviews the three developers of the original unix rogue: Michael Toy, Glenn Wichman and Ken Arnold.
Tarn and Zach Adams, developers of Dwarf Fortress
Having lunch with the devs of Unix Rogue and ADOM
My talk about getting roguelikes done
Thomas “The creator” Biskup, ADOM developer. Someone I have wanted to meet in person for years


Josh Ge, developer of Cogmind

Rogue for AtariST with its developer, Glenn Wichman!
David Craddock, author of Dungeon Hacks and many other videogame books. 

Some other awesome people which unfortunately I didn’t get to interact much with, hopefully next time:

  • Nick Montfort – Author of Twisty Little Passages
  • Brian Walker – Developer of Brogue
  • Nicholas Feinberg – Developer of Dungeon Crawl: Stone Soup
  • Zack Johnson – Creator of Kingdom of Loathing
  • Jason Grinblat – Designer of Caves of Qud
  • Kate Compton – Creator of Tracery and loads of generative art
  • Jim Shepard – Creator of Dungeonmans
  • Drew Streib – Operator of NAO
  • George Moromisato – Creator of Transcendence
  • Alexei Pepers – Presenting academic research on accessibility and Nethack
  • Erik Osheim & Robert Au – Members of the Angband dev team

Looking forward for the next Roguelike Celebration!

NeoArcherFire QuickBasic source code

Today I decided to try to include some of my oldest game projects into my page at A couple of them were ArcherFire and NeoArcherFire, the first games I created which included graphics.

Screen Shot 2016-08-16 at 11.45.34 PM

Bundled with the original ArcherFire, I found a file which was supposed to be its source code. I tried checking it out: it was a .BAS file so I thought it’d be a plain text file with QBasic source code… I was wrong, it was a binary file.

Then I remembered back then the version of “QBasic” I used allowed saving the source code as binary files for faster loading times. I downloaded QBasic and tried to load the file (Using DOSBox, of course). It failed, unable to read the binary contents.

I googled a bit and refreshed my mind: back then I was using QuickBasic, not QBasic.

[from wikipedia]

A subset of QuickBASIC 4.5, named QBasic, was included with MS-DOS 5 and later versions, replacing the GW-BASIC included with previous versions of MS-DOS. Compared to QuickBASIC, QBasic is limited to an interpreter only, lacks a few functions, can only handle programs of a limited size, and lacks support for separate program modules. Since it lacks a compiler, it cannot be used to produce executable files, although its program source code can still be compiled by a QuickBASIC 4.5, PDS 7.x or VBDOS 1.0 compiler, if available.

I downloaded it and was able to check the source code, finding out that it was Neo ArcherFire, the enhanced version which used DirectQB, and my final game project using any BASIC variant!


I made this game back on 2003, the source code is surprisingly organised🙂

Screen Shot 2016-08-16 at 11.31.08 PM

I exported the binary “project” to ASCII, and uploaded it to github, if you are curious you can check it out here, but I’d recommend getting MSQuickBasic so you can navigate the SUBs easily😀

This game was powered by DirectQB, a lib released in 1999 by Angelo Mottola which greatly extended what could be done by QuickBasic, you can find more info here.

Although this wasn’t really my first game, I think it’s very unlikely for me to find any older source code, it was lost in my old 486… may be some day I’ll find a rusty diskette with it? Some of the things I miss the most are:

  • The source code of the original ArcherFire (with graphics): The only surviving compiled version has you starting with 1 hit point left, so it’s pretty hard😀
  • The romhack for translating Final Fantasy I to Spanish, which I recall was a lot of work and was (almost?) done
  • The non-graphics versions of ArcherFire, as well as some earlier console-mode games I made including a set of “athletics” games (I recall one being about 100 meters dash), another adventure game where you could move a happy face around, and a puzzle game similar to Dr. Mario.

Cat Cafe 0.2.0 released

The game is now available on the Play Store for Android, and is on the way to the AppStore. (Need some testflight testers!!!)

Screen Shot 2016-08-03 at 12.25.37 AM

Of course, the web version is completely playable on desktop and mobile… it’s been updated at

Screen Shot 2016-08-02 at 11.40.22 PM

List of changes

  • Added Help screen
  • Tweaks on mobile to cover all viewport and have a famicom controller background
  • Cordova+Crosswalk setup
  • Deployed on Android
  • Fix issue with Math.sign on mobile safari
  • Fix issue with subpixel rez on retina displays
  • Prevent losing hearts after day ends




Cat Cafe: Dessert Panic

CatCafe is an arcade game where you have to fed the cats in the bar while avoiding other cats who jump at you. If you take too long to deliver the food, or if a cat makes you drop it, you will lose one heart.

Each stage represents one day of work, and in order to complete it you have to survive until 5:00PM. Stages vary on their obstacles layout and the amount of cats you have to deal with at the same time. There are two difficulty levels, survive for seven days and you’ll win.

Play now on!


  • Learning more about real time / arcade games and physics systems.
  • I missed last year’s “A Game By Its Cover” jam and I really wanted to participate because I love Famicases and I have the power to develop games.
  • I wanted to make a fun, light game that anyone can play without instructions but is still challenging.
  • Everybody loves cats


For this game I followed a process I rarely do: I had no idea how the game would play when I started developing! All I had was a couple of very rough ideas for gameplay, first off the famicase description:


Cat Cafe Dessert Panic! Is an action-adventure game where you, as Pera, are the waitress at a cafe for cats. The cats are excited to eat, and they’ll do anything to get in your way. Do not drop the desserts or it’s game over!

And then, some ideas I got directly from the artist who drew the famicase:

“[…] like frogger except you’re trying to avoid cats and not cars, and if they hit you you lose your food […] instead of top-down view, it’s side scrolling (I guess jumping over cats).”

So I just started building a stage for it… an area where the waitress could move around, and cats would follow her and jump over her. It was only after playing around with it a bit, to get a feeling of what would be fun, that an actual “game” starting shaping up.

All I knew is I wanted to make a simple game that could be controlled with only the directional keys. In that sense, I guess the gameplay was defined in an “organic” way, without giving it too much thought from the upstart.

One of the things that got me thinking tho was whether having obstacles on the field was easier or harder. It was easier because it meant less cats would be chasing you around, but harder because you could get stuck on the obstacles and be savaged by the cats.

I guess I could have gone the statistics way and just play a lot of games (automatically?) and check the scores and lost hearts to draw a conclusion. In the end I opted to make the number of obstacles increase with the levels, but having a level amidst each one where there’s a single obstacle. I made this to encourage approaching the solution to each level differently, as you need different tactics to survive on each (I think that, in the end, both are equally hard).


Development of the game span from July 21 to July 31. I started by replicating the structure of other game I had made recently (Lorenzo), since I knew they were going to be similar.

The game is made on Javascript and uses with its arcade physics subsystem (making a lot more of use of it compared to Lorenzo, though still not FULL usage). Single characters like Pera, Shoey and Lali are represented as objects, while the rest of character types (Cats) are represented as classes. There is also a single object representing the game where all initialization is done, and it also acts as the main game controller.

Being a game developed for a jam, the code is a bit messy as it just kept growing as I was defining the gameplay and refining the user experience, you can find it at github here.


CatCafe was created for the “A Game By Its Cover” Game Jam, where developers were asked to pick a fictional famicase (From famiCase16) and create a game around it. This influenced the choice for aesthetics, to try to match the famicom/NES style (without being strict at all about it, specially regarding sprite color count limitations). The comic style depicted on the famicase also influenced the style for the in game characters.

I contacted Diana Pacheco (okuroy), asking if she would be interested on working on the project… we had previously worked together in the development of Failure Pixal (back on 2008, the art she made for that project was never released sadly) and kept in touch since then. She made an awesome tileset with very fluid animations for both the cats and Pera, as well as an amazing pixel art rendition of the original famicase cover.


Meanwhile, I worked on the stage itself. It was a single stage, I based the design in this screen from Déjà Vu on the NES.


I expanded it a bit to get the initial stage


I also read a bit on the Catnip Circle webcomic (read it!), to get a glimpse of the universe where Pera lives, it eventually evolved to include some of its elements, as well as to accommodate to the border-less sprites that Diana was making.


Finally Diana complemented the stage with her pixelart skills, putting some fancy stuff around to make it look better.


Music and Sounds

Initially, I planned to do the music and sounds with a guy from the jam forums, unfortunately he wasn’t able to participate…

Then Ashton came to the rescue! I had already worked with him in ArcherFire and Ananias, and he really liked how the game was shaping up. He created a couple of great tunes in a very short time, as well as lots of very fitting SFX.

TV-like appearance and responsiveness

In addition to constraining to a low resolution stage (256×240), additional processing is done in order to make the game appear more NES-like, this includes stretching the display so that it fits a 4:3 ratio (similar to a standard TV set) as well as rendering some scanlines over it.


In order to do this, first thing I do is detecting if the current window dimensions allow for stretching by increasing the width of it by 33% of the height. If not I just resort to phaser’s SHOW_ALL scaling option (and I hide the TV/Scanlines overlay, thus making it look like a standard phaser game).

If it fits, I do a manual USER_SCALE, and relocate the TV overlay so it matches with the autopositioning and scaling of the canvas on viewport size change.

Additional filters like simulating the round “bulge” of a fat CRT TV were considered and even implemented but ultimately dismissed (at least for an initial version) because they would have required considerable additional effort. They were based on an article by Zachstronaut which pointed out the idea to use webgl shaders via glfx.js to postprocess canvas frames on the fly. The main issue I had was that since the game canvas was very low resultion (256×240), and it was scaled by means of CSS instead of redrawing over a big canvas, the shader that did the bulge effect caused a lot of aliasing on the pixel art… I think it would look much better if the effect was applied to a bigger canvas with most pixel data, but I didn’t have enough time to check.



I used Photonstorm Virtual Joystick in order to allow input on mobile devices. At first I used the DPad implementation which worked but had the great issue of not allowing diagonal movement (which is critical to the game), so then I changed it to use one of the “stick” implementations, which worked pretty great.



I made a fun, challenging game and got to work with Okuroy and Ashton around a theme that people loves.

Pera and Shoey from Gatto Grosso – Image by Cassie Freire


Leonardo: The Inventor

Back on 1996, “multimedia” computers appeared in my city. It was the SoundBlaster craze, and it was not easy to have one at home (specially if your family was not particularly rich). An aunt of mine used to take me to the local library, were they had set up a room with these amazing machines.


They had a bunch of software, mostly interactive children stories, but one of them was of special importance to me… it made me realise these machines could be used to transport people into virtual worlds for them to explore.

It was a multimedia package about Leonardo DaVinci. I remember it had a lot of neat content (and probably made me become even more interested on engineering), but what I remembered the most was two games that came bundled with it.

One of them, the one that dug into my soul, was about exploring a fortress, solving some puzzles in order to escape. This one defined many things on my game development life: computers could simulate a lone adventurer, exploring closed quarters on his own. I am a single player games kind of guy, I like the intimacy between the game world and the player.

Exploring Leonardo’s Fortress

The other one was about flying around the world with mechanical wings, dodging stuff in your way. The music was forever burned in my head… I could remember it perfectly, even after so many years of not playing the game. This game was hard, I could never win it when I was younger.

God wants to strike me down😦

So, last month, over one of these nights where I cannot sleep, I decided to look for it. It was not easy… I didn’t remember the name! I just remembered it was about Leonardo DaVinci, and that it was a multimedia thing…

After lots of websurfing, I found some videos on youtube: they were the encyclopaedic part about some of Leonardo’s discoveries.. I never found videos with gameplay from the games, but I was sure this was it!

Some more digging around, and I was able to find it on Amazon. Instaorder.


Since I was unable to find any interesting information about it on Internet, I decided to do a video including the unboxing as well some gameplay of it. I hope you enjoy it!!!

It was not easy to get it running… It’s a 16bits Windows program, which means it cannot run on 64bit OS (like my noisy windows 7 box). After trying my luck with Wine (unsuccessfully), I went for a full Windows XP VM using VirtualBox. It took some tweaking but I was finally able to get it going!

At long last, after 20 years, I was able to beat the Icarus game! It took a lot of learning, but in the end I managed to do it…  It’s not in the video, since it took me about 1 hour (or more?) of trying, but after dodging cannonballs, planes, more Eiffel towers and even tornados, I found a dragon (!) which I swiftly dodged to get to the finish line🙂

Now I’m curious… this is version 2.0. May be I should also get version 1, and play around with it… I wonder if it also includes the games…


Here are some more pics for the curious

WinXP going crazy!
Gallery of Leonardo’s inventions
The main menu, there’s a LOT of great quality content!
Walking around the fortress
Finally! I did it after 20 years!! THERE WAS A DRAGON THERE :O
One of the Fortress rooms
Walking from the central tower to the middle ring


Behind the scenes… the suboptimal process I followed to record this video. I am fully aware iMovie is not meant for this, but that’s the tool I have at hand🙂

Intro and unboxing (on my macbook)

  • Record myself for the intro using Quicktime Player, using a handsfree earbuds microphone to reduce noise.
  • Put a checkered tablecloth over my glass desk.
  • Put the macbook in an awkward position so that the built-in camera looks almost down.
  • Record myself opening the box.

On the Windows box (running Win7 64bits + Virtualbox with a WinXP 32bits VM)

  • Record videoclips from VirtualBox (stored in webm format)
  • Record audio from Audacity (using Windows WASAPI loopback thing)

Back on my macbook

  • Convert videoclips from webm to m4v using VLC
  • Sync each videoclip with its audio using iMovie
    • It was as fun as it sounds…. the format conversion messed the framerates and I had to split the audio tracks and try to match as best as possible
  • Exporting each videoclip (now with audio)
  • Create the full vid joining all exported videoclips

I could have saved myself a LOT of time if I had set up VirtualBox on my Macbook… I was just lazy to get an external CD drive or fetch the ISOs from some place and take my time to set it up. Then I could have recorded directly with Quicktime Player + Sound Flower, probably to a much better quality.:/


One week ago, Victor Barrios died in the Bullring of Teruel, Spain. He was killed by Lorenzo, a bull from Ganadería Los Maños.

Lorenzo was sacrificed shortly afterwards, and his mother Lorenza may have been slaughtered too as part of a tradition to end the lineage of the “Killer Bull”, but she had reportedly been killed already weeks before, because of her old age.

I did this small game, as a tribute to Lorenzo.

Play now!

All of his life Lorenzo was trained to become a fierce fighting bull, but instead of being hailed as a great champion when he manages to defeat his opponent against all odds, he sees the world turn against himself and his family. Will Lorenzo be able to escape and save his mother from being slaughtered?

The Kramora Times #3 – Ananias 1.75 released!

This is the third edition of The Kramora Times, you favorite and more reliable source for all Ananias-related information. You can now subscribe to receive this newsletter in your email too!

Ananias Version 1.75 released!

It’s been two months since the last release! We are yet one step closer to Steam and iOS. Almost there. Thanks to all the testers who checked the RC versions, it was very helpful!



  • Add about 77 new weapon types
  • New reloading mechanics for bows (Can only load one arrow at a time, quick reloading by passing turn). Also applies for new ranged weapon types (crossbows and slings).
  • Add Dagger, Whip, Scythe, Sling, Crossbow weapon types
  • Prevent wand and liquid ammo from being parried
  • Change starting equipment for Hunter (bow and sword)
  • Add item modifiers (Fire and Smite Undead)
  • Make most classes start with a befriend monster spell
  • Give evolve potion on level 5
  • Allow throwing pebbles
  • Change number of enemies per level (independent of depth)
  • Force enemies to load weapons if needed

User Experience

  • Add keyboard command to toogle inventory
  • Allow continuous keyboard movement
  • Don’t show running indicator if cannot use running skills
  • Prevent minimap from getting on the gameplay area
  • Enhance select target message

Plans for the future

I continue getting close to the Steam and iOS release. This is the status of the same items I talked about on Kramora Times # 2

Adding more items

The lack of graphics for the detailed views of all items has prevent me from adding all of them. I have decided I won’t let that stop me, so for the items for which I don’t have a zoomed graphic, I’ll just use the normal “paperdoll” graphic. It may be won’t look very professional at first, but in time I might get the resources to add these missing graphics.

Done! I added the weapons… still wish I had zoomed/detailed graphics for all of them, hope if I’ll be able to get them before the next version?

I have been thinking on adding a bit more to the plot / story. Still haven’t thought on the details. I’ve made up some sparse bits of lore, so may be I can use that as a starting point for the world. As for the player experience inside the game, I may include some recurring characters with semi-random events. Again, still haven’t thought it out.

No advancement here.

The game is clearly not meant to be played using the keyboard now. There’s a rudimentary support for movement but it’s pretty slow. Also, there are no keyboard shortcuts neither support for the menus or inventory.

I think I’m done for keyboard, at least for the initial Steam release, the game will be played with keyboard for movement (already works now) and mouse for the menus and targeting.

If I go on to support consoles in the future, I’d had to work further on this so that mouse is not needed at all. No easy task!

  • Allow sneaking past enemies if you are stealthy: Monsters won’t always notice you when you step into the room.
  • Shareable character dead page including conducts
  • Enhance the crafting system
  • Unique (active) skills per class
  • Add Berserk Tactics

Still pending and still planned.

Comic Con Medellin 2016

Thanks again to Gamers and Geeks, I was able to have a small spot at Comic Con Colombia 2016, along with some other Indie Devs from Medellin!


Lots of people got to play the game, and we also had some merchandise (shirts and stickers) which people liked quite a lot. I still gotta put on the official online store on the website.


Dumeril Sage Statues

Still haven’t managed to push forward the development of these. It’s been a busy month! We will have about 4 new pieces available by the end of week. I’ll be doing these by request from the online store, soon!

paint summer sale and more

We had a summer sale over from June 24 to July 8 with a 50% discount. Thanks to all who contributed, every dollar counts towards finishing the game in an awesome way!


I also updated the page for Ananias so it looks a bit better now, I think the platform has evolved quite a bit since I first submitted the game there🙂

New trailer

Sadly no advancement on this! I discussed some ideas with the artists but have failed to create the script for it so there’s little advancement.


Interview with Glenn Wichman

This weekend I had a chance to share a trip to the Colombian Coffee Area with Glenn Wichman, one of the creators of the original Rogue (along with Michael Toy and Ken Arnold) and a veteran of the video games industry.


On Sunday we did this small but hopefully interesting interview, in the middle of the Colombian nature. Some of the topics we talked about are:

  • Game Design challenges when incorporating new technologies.
  • “Roguelites” and diversity on game design elements.
  • Issues with current videogame distribution channels
  • The role of the Game Designer and some other related disciplines.
  • A message for the roguelike development community

Check it out here, or you can also read the transcript below.You might also want to check the previous interview I had with him, 9 years ago.

Transcript of the interview

Hello Internet! I am Santiago Zapata and I am here in the coffee area of Colombia with Mr. Glenn Wichman, one of the original creators of Rogue, so we are going to do a short talk about some game design topics and some Rogue related topics and Roguelikes, so thank you for accepting this small interview Mr. Glenn.


Where do you think the Roguelike genre is heading to, what’s going to be in the future for Roguelikes?

That’s… hard to say! I think it’s gonna be the same than future for all different games.

I think Virtual Reality is one of the next big waves on the horizon so I’m sure there will be a Virtual Reality Roguelike, and I think it will be very interesting. There probably already is one out there, I just don’t know about it yet. A procedurally generated environment that you can actually walk inside.

But yeah… who knows what the next innovation is going to be.

So, what do you think about the challenges for game design with all these news technologies? Virtual reality and everything that’s coming?

It’s a good question and it would probably be better answered by someone who’s got a degree on game design but, you know, I’ll give it my best shot.

Technology is not gonna make your game any better, and I think that’s the main thing that you have to have in your mind. That technology is a channel, a means to an end, and may be it will open up some new doors for you to make some games possible that weren’t possible before.

But if you look at what made Rogue good none of it was the technology, certainly not from today’s point of view, but it was cutting edge technology at the time that we were creating the game. So, the challenges that we faced were how to make a game run on 60K of memory, how to make a game engaging and how to build a fantasy world when all you had were ASCII characters to use. Those were our technical challenges, but that wasn’t what made Rogue fun or not fun, so I think you have to look at the technology you have, figure out how to make good use of it, but the fun and the engagements are not based on technology.

What do you think about these “roguelites” or games that have some design elements from Rogue but aren’t really roguelikes? Have you seen them?

I’ve seen a few, and I think the more different ideas and the more different ways that people views elements from different games and mixes them together, the more diversity we get and I think that’s always good.

Rogue introduced a few really interesting innovations for its time, and I think everybody has to introduce their own innovations when they make their own games. So of course it’s good to evolve, it’s good to change and that’s what makes the new games interesting.

What do you think about the current distribution channels like the App Store, or Google Play or Steam for PC vs another ways of distributing like the traditional ones or some online methods?

I think the AppStore sucks, I understand why Apple did what they did and it makes sense but I think all of the unintended side effects of it are… it’s a terrible distribution channel, specially for small independent games. Unless you just happen to have lightning strike you are now going to get any visibility for your game.

Back when the Internet was first beginning to catch on outside the computer science realms I was advocating from the very beginning that there was no sense to be distributing software in those days on floppy disks or in CD ROMs, when you could just have the game live on the Internet and you just go to a site where the URL and always get the latest version of the game, and I loved when web-based games started to come out and web-based applications were. You always had the latest version, everybody out there had the same version, and you don’t have to worry about distribution. And I feel like we allowed these new ways of distribution and we lost that.

I think Steam seems to be better, although I’m not really familiar with it, I haven’t used it a lot. It seems to be a more effective way for independent developers to put something where it’s going to be noticed. Specially by the gamer community.

But yeah, I would like to see Internet-based distribution of games were you create a website and place the game there, that’s something which is a good way to go.

It’s just a difficult problem in general, since the gaming community is a thousand times the size than it was when I started out… there’s a huge population to reach but there’s so many games being created and that’s good, that’s a wonderful thing, the more the better but it’s a hard problem to solve when a person is got an idea for a game or a small company is got an idea for a game, how they are going to get it in front of the people who may wanna play it.

And for a gamer there are so many choices now! When I was starting out there were literally may be 15 games to play, at all! then there were hundreds and thousands and now there’s millions! so, how do you choice what to play when you have some many choices.

Let’s talk a bit about game design, what do you think how this role has changed throughout the years, the evolution of this role of the game designer

When I went to college in 1979 I wanted to major on game design, and to me it didn’t mean computer game design, because I didn’t really even understand about computers until I got to college. But of course there was no such thing as a Game Design major.

When we designed Rogue we were just figuring out how to have fun. We didn’t have a language to use like we do now, we didn’t talk about Game Mechanics, or Friction Points or Core Loops or any of those things. Then as my career went on there weren’t many Game Design positions you could apply for, or there were very few, it wasn’t a discipline.

Over the years since I started this it has become a discipline, now there is a lot of really good schools who have dedicated programmes specifically about game design and that’s such an exciting thing to see but I kind of missed out on it so I may have ended up with a career as a Game Designer, instead I have a really nice career as a Game Engineer, and when I’m fortunate my work allows me to have some design input but I’m paid for my engineering skills not for my game design skills.

So, do you think the game designer should code? how far should he get into the code? or should he stop into a game design document or something like that?

People should do what they love. I love game design and I love programming so when I can do both I will do both. But I think if you love Game Design and you don’t like programming then… you are lucky because you live in a world where you can make a career designing games without having to program.

And if you love writing code… I think if you are going to be a game coder you should at least have an appreciation for Game Design, and if you are going to be a game designer you should have an appreciation for Engineering, even if you never intent to write a line of code you should at least learn what coding is, how it works… and it’s not just those two disciplines, there’s User Interaction Design, and there’s Graphics Design and there’s sound design and production and quality assurance, and you should have at least a feel and an appreciation for all those disciplines and how a good game is not possible without all of them working together.

But you should do what you love.

Let’s finish up this the same way we did with the first interview, do you have any message for the Roguelike community? these independent developers out there doing their game on their own or in small teams.

Well, I am so glad this is still a thing because again, I have worked in games where there’s been a hundred people working on the game and, it’s great, it’s like making a movie, it’s really neat to see so many people coming together to create something. But, I think we always need to have room for the individual visionary who has an idea and then wants to see it come to life. And to people like me who like Game design and graphic design and engineering to have a space where you can bring all of your loves together in one place, so I’ve been excited to see how vibrant it is.

I don’t keep up with things as well as I should. Again, there’s millions of game out there, it’s overwhelming to have an understanding on everything that is going on and I’m really busy creating new ones so I don’t time to take a look at all of them.

But yeah, I’m excited that there continues to be space in this industry for small team and individuals to create games and a game doesn’t have to be technologically on the edge in order for it to be fun.

Simple games can be fun, I love simple games, if you want to make stuff for me make them simple! I think a lot of Roguelikes, and this is just a personal taste, but for me a lot of Roguelikes got way too complicated for my tastes. I like to have a game that you can wrap your head around in just a few minutes and that is difficult not because it’s complicated but it’s difficult because it’s challenge. So that’s I think where I would like to make sure people are focusing, don’t just throw lots and lots of stuff and overload your game with too many features. Make sure that you’ve got a game that while still simple is fun.

Alright, thank you Mr. Glenn and I hope we can meet again, may be in 10 years, for the third iteration of this interview and thank you again.

Alright, thank you!