Roguelike Origin section at Wikipedia

I added a new section to the “Roguelike” Wikipedia article on the origins of the “roguelike” term, based on my USENET findings.

 

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First version

 

I agree words should evolve based on their usage, but I think it’s important not to forget what they were originally used for. Lots of people just fall for “roguelike” games being “like Rogue” and stop there, leaving room for a lot of ambiguity. That’s also the reason why I proposed a “Traditional Roguelike” definition to make it easier to find games that better keep the spirit of the originals.

So far, the section has survived for about half a day with some minor edits, let’s see how long it survives!

 

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6 hours later

 

Here are the references I used, for historical purposes:

  1.  Solovay, Andrew. (July 27, 1993). “CFV: rec.games.roguelike reorganization”. Newsgroupnews.announce.newgroupsUsenet: rec.games.roguelike-CFV1@uunet.uu.netI would like to propose formally that a new hierarchy be created, namely rec.games.roguelike. This hierarchy would contain groups dedicated to discussion of rogue-type games.
  2. Panitz, Aliza. (June 18, 1993). “Time for a new level of heirarchy?”Newsgrouprec.games.moriaUsenet: 1vsuhk$mj7@bronze.lcs.mit.edu. Retrieved May 17, 2018It seems to me that we’d do a lot better taking all of the dungeon-adventure games, including ones that don’t have their own newsgroups like larn and omega, and reorganizing them under rec.games.dungeon – recognizing the intrinsic similarities of all these games. It would make it a lot easier for people who like one of these games to find newsgroups about other, basically similar games, and would finally provide a home for all those random posts about Larn and other games of the same genre that keep popping up in rec.games.hack and other inappropriate places.
  3. Solovay, Andrew. (July 2, 1993). “RFD: rec.games.dungeon.* hierarchy”Newsgroupnews.announce.newgroupsUsenet: 211gvmINNsnp@rodan.UU.NET. Retrieved May 17, 2018I would like to propose formally that a new hierarchy be created, namely rec.games.dungeon. This hierarchy would contain groups dedicated to discussion of rogue-type games.
  4. Solovay, Andrew. (July 20, 1993). “3rd RFD: rec.games.roguelike.* hierarchy”. Newsgroupnews.announce.newgroupsUsenet: 22ie07INNbaa@rodan.UU.NETThose people who agree on a name seem to favor “roguelike” as the least of all available evils.
  5. Grabiner, David. (March 9, 1998). “RFD: rec.games.roguelike.development”. Newsgroupnews.announce.newgroupsUsenet: 889443102.8279@isc.orgWith the large number of Roguelike games and variants in existence and in development, there are occasional discussions about programming problems such as dungeon-generation algorithms which are of interest to designers of several games.

Paladin’s Quest LCD

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An entry for the LCD Jam, about 8 hours dev.

JavaScript + Phaser as usual for great quickness. Pretty happy with results, nice feedback received, may develop further afterwards.

Play online here (Source code here)

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The game is a simplified dungeon crawler, classic style roguelike, which emulates (loosely) a LCD game display.

There are 4 different enemies: Headless, Floating Skull, and Phantom. Scattered in the dungeon you will find strong weapons and replacements for your shield, you will need these to survive!

Each level is 3×3 rooms, you must find the exit which is located in the middle of one of the 9 rooms.

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The LCD shapes (i.e. the different parts of the paladin) were made by Giovanny Ramirez, the wiggly dungeon room and the “brick game” frame I made myself.

Tales of the Avatar: The Law of Virtue

It has been over four years since our Lord British’s expedition set forth into the underworld, never to be seen again. With our sovereign gone and The Avatar having returned triumphant to his home world, you, the people of Britannia, seems to have lost your way.

We were once proud of our town-states being places where you could conduct business safely and live a tranquil daily life, but now you steal and deceive each other continuously, seeking to build up your personal riches instead of striving for equality by giving to those in need. As this inequality grows, gangs of bandits roam the land, but you now cowardly refuse to join the ranks of the royal army to keep our cities safe from rogues and monsters.

Crime spreads throughout the land, and we have to double down in our efforts to upkeep the virtues as a way of living. But in our crusade for the good, we met with an unexpected reality: you are unwilling to contribute your resources to our difficult enterprise. You disgrace your taken oaths, challenging and distrusting the will of your superiors and following your own primal instincts instead.

Britannians have forgotten the sanctity of virtue. You now take pride in your self-imposed ideals as individuals, neglecting following the wisdom of your rulers.

It is in these dark times, when our Britannian society is on its direst need, that I have to proclaim the Law of Virtue. Under this law, Britannia will flourish again as the great virtuous society that it once was. We have gathered together a new council of the greatest thinkers and philosophers of the realm, who have contributed their experience and knowledge into a set of rules and actions that will bring us back to the way of the Avatar.

As a critical measure to put this new law into action, the current heads of our bastions will be removed from their post, replaced with three virtuous individuals of my utmost trust.

Lord Faulinei is to replace Lord Shalineth as the head of the Lycaeum and to act as the new Royal Chancellor. His main task will be ensuring our judiciary system can upkeep with the rising tide of crime, modernizing the laws and providing our inquisitorial prosecutors with all the tools they need to clean our lands from vices that corrupt it. Whoever opposes our law will be dealt with swift, relentless justice.

Lady Nosfentor will replace Lord Malone as commander of Serpent’s Hold, As Captain of the Army and Admiral of the Navy, she has been entrusted with bringing safety back to our realm. May the hordes of bandits and vicious rogues and outlaws fear our swords for they will soon perish along with their vices. Also, until noted otherwise, a curfew is in effect and all individuals roaming the cities during nighttime will be subject to being engaged in the name of the virtues by our royal knights and the newly created order of the Defenders of Virtue.

Finally, Lord Asteroth will replace Lord Michael as Empath Abbey. He will be given the daunting task of redistributing the riches of our land ensuring that no single individual owns more than he needs. You, people of Britannia, need to leave aside your greed and contribute to the work our institutions do to create and upkeep a better society. Eventually, all farmland will be redistributed and every Britannian family will have the means to strive through hard and loving work.

The mayors of all cities have also willingly removed themselves from their posts; their duties will be fulfilled by local committees of virtue, whose members will be revealed on each town as part of their re-educational programs.

Britannia counts with your submission into this new law. Help us make a better world for you and your children, or suffer our wrath.

Walk in the path of Virtue.

 

Always vigilant, your humble servant.

Lord Blackthorn
Regent of Britannia

OpenArthurianX6, kicking back dev

I pushed further with the projectiles, “directional” ones (like arrows and crossbow bolts) are working now, and “rotating” ones (like throwing axes) are almost there.

Next up is some logic for spending ammo, and stashes of items.

I also need to sync with the WIP on my secondary dev station, where I was fixing some bugs with NPC alignment.

Interaction++ 2018.4 and some indie dev marketing tips

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Interaction” is a video game development meetup. They organize conferences in Medellín (my hometown) where they invite local developers to share their experience with both fellow and wannabe developers.

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They are now an official Unity User Group, and they are planning to create bigger and better events. Interaction++ 2018.4 was the first of these events, where they had three talks instead of a single one as usual.

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The first talk, “Introduction to Indie Marketing”, was given by Jorge Castaño of Amazing Soul games. It was an ambitious talk and it went well over its time limit, but it was pretty interesting.

Its first topic, foundations of marketing, gave an overview of some elements involved in the marketing of the game along with some useful  tips:

  • Create a compelling synopsis/summary to convert visits into installs.
  • Have at hand your Unique Selling Points: What makes your game different. This may help change a first negative / neutral perception and make the player give a second chance to your game.
  • The biggest markets like Steam, Play Store and AppStore are extremely competitive and it’s extremely hard to be noticed, smaller stores can even provide help with marketing.
  • China is a very attractive market for mobile but the AppStore and Play Store are dead there. Tencent is the biggest store, but rules are different.
  • A clear target market is a must to create an effective marketing campaign.
  • Set a target to be in the top 200 of the store (it’s impossible to get to top 10 without +100.000USD daily marketing or a lot of luck)
  • A great target for a small company is 5000 USD / day for 1 month. It should cover the investment in the game.

They also dug into some of the tasks of a publisher:

  • Localization (not only language but also cultural) can drive a lot of installs. For example, Games in China must be properly localized, and including Dragons as enemies into the game may be perceived as offensive. For Japan, 80% of the players will only play the game if it’s in Japanese.
  • Customer Care: Retention, especially important for freemium games in mobile. Some publishers provide a  support team.
  • Acquisition: It’s only part of the publisher task. Invest money to get more players.
  • Marketing: Material such as trailers, icons, screenshots, they often have a specialized team.
  • QA / Testing
  • Monetization: Make the game make money.

They also had some recommendations for Indie Publishers:

  • Tiny Build
  • Indie Fund
  • Adult Swim Games
  • Devolver

Publishers will normally take 30% to 60% of revenue, and it’s currently hard for them to give money upfront.

Some advantages of using a Publisher:

  • Better distribution channels
  • They have useful contacts with the industry
  • Higher visibility
  • Cross promotion, they will leverage players in existing games.
  • They assume part of the risk of investment
  • Years of experience.

If you don’t have a publisher, you must cover all the above by yourself to a certain degree.

This includes creating a marketing campaign to generate interest of the game even before it is launched.

Some things that help here:

  • Create a plan for your campaign with weekly goals and channels to be used every week.
  • Use analytics to update your plan. What is working and what is not.
  • Make a list of the websites, streamers or youtubers you want to cover your game. Start with the smaller ones, that will eventually bring interest to the mid-sized and the bigger ones if you are lucky.
  • Create a presentation template to get in contact with writers

Sucess doesn’t depend on money alone, being aware of all the different tools at hand helps greatly.

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In the second talk the guys from Dreamhouse Studios shared their experiences building three VR products:

  • A training program for the Colombian Army FLIR program. (Infrared scanning)
  • A multiplayer tower defense Halloween game.
  • A training program for the local tram system

They mentioned their second game has provided them with some cash flow by renting it to be used in malls and events in the city. They shared some details of their development process.

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Finally, the third talk was about the upcoming optimizations to appear on Unity to leverage on its Entity Component System to increase its performance greatly. This, in order to allow Unity games to run in lower-end devices, as well as extending its capabilities to manage a LOT of objects moving and interacting on screen.

All in all, I recommend their conferences especially to students or people looking forward to starting into the video game development industry.