I’ve mentioned both Roguelike Celebration 2023, and its upcoming preview event, before, but it’s getting close now, happening on September 10th. It’s free to attend! Here is the signup link.
One of the fun touches the Roguelike Celebration people do is provide a MUD-like chatroom for attendees. Both the preview and main event this year are once again virtual, so you can watch and participate from the comfort of your home! Preview presenters include David Brevik (works on Diablo), Aron Pietroń and Michał Ogłoziński (Against the Storm) and a talk by Nic Junius on “dynamic character moments through character acting.”
The fine folks at Roguelike Celebration are holding a free “fireside chat” style preview event next month on the 10th, at 4pm US Pacific time, 7pm Eastern! Any rogue-likers out there should definitely have a look.
David Brevik will talk about the development of Diablo, a game that I understand some people greatly enjoy!
Aron Pietroń and Michał Ogłoziński will talk about hardcore city-building survival game Against the Storm!
Nic Junius will be presenting a talk titled “Play as in Stage Play: Designing Dynamic Narrative Moments Through Character Acting.”
This is just to remind people that the (extended) deadline for Roguelike Celebration 2023 is coming up on us very soon, July 15th! If you have an interesting story to tell about roguelikes, a roguelike game to show off, or even just something involving procedural generation, please consider giving them a pitch! The conference has been virtual the past few years, and it is again this year, so you can stream your talk from wherever you live!
I’ve presented twice, may do so again this year although frankly my talks have always run over, I always have so much to say and the time is over before I’ve even gotten to a literal tenth of it. They do a lot to keep roguelikes in the public mindspace. If you have something to say there, I hope you’ll consider applying.
We’ve been recapping some of the talks of Roguelike Celebration 2022 for a couple of months now, and it’s probably about time to let it rest until next year. Still, there is one more talk I’d like to draw attention to, on procedural music generation.
The other talks presented this year use music generated by this system for bumper and intermission ambiance. It really became the distinctive sound for this year’s conference.
We’re continuing with our weekly presentation of talks I found interesting from Roguelike Celebration 2022! They regularly have one or two talks that go some ways outside the roguelike remit, and this year one of them was an interesting talk by Cara Hurtle about using both Telnet and Hypercard, an old multimedia system created for classic Macintosh computers, to discuss queer and trans experience. The talk itself is SWF, although following content outside the video might lead somewhere NSFW.
It’s a short talk, only about 15 minutes, and covers some interesting topics!
Honestly, I could devote a post to every Roguelike Celebration talk. I’ve been limiting myself to just one such post a week, on Saturdays. This one, a short sixteen minutes talk about terrain generation, is for the developers out there.
Constraint-based generation, also known as “wave function collapse,” is a system where, as objects are placed randomly during generation, the generator “solves” the world around them, placing later terrain as is necessitated by prior terrain. If the generator reaches a contradiction, a situation where there is no viable terrain that can be placed, it undoes the contradictory placement and continues from there.
It’s a technique that’s fairly popular in procedural generation circles, and among other games is used in Caves of Qud. It’s also fun to watch it work!
Next on the Roguelike Celebration 2022 train, Slashie’s wonderful explanation of what Moria is and why we should care about it. It’s true, Angband is basically expanded Moria, but the original game is incredibly important. Not just because its close descendant UMoria was the inspiration for Diablo. I could (and do!) argue that Moria is the secret foundation of the modern RPG paradigm. Disclaimer: I am quoted by Slashie at one point in this video.
As I mentioned earlier, the creator of Moria, Robert Koeneke, died recently, but thankfully before he went he did interviews about his experiences, notably in David Craddock’s Dungeon Hacks.
Sil-Q is an Angband variant. Joel Ryan, aka MicroChasm, made its tileset which shows a lot of care in its creation. Sil-Q’s tiles are modular, so humanoid monsters can hold weapons, and also have strong silhouettes to aid recognition. It’s full of the kinds of concerns pixel artists have to worry about!
From Roguelike Celebration 2022, Reed Lockwood’s talk on trap design in roguelikes. Traps are an essential part of a D&D-style dungeon exploration sim, but are very easy to get wrong, either by making them too strong or, conversely, too weak. Some interesting ideas here!
We’re going to spotlight some of the talks from this year’s Roguelike Celebration over the coming weeks, which is always crammed full of wonderful talks! The first one I’m directing your hungry gaze towards is Jeremy Rose talking about his strategy guide for Cataclysm: Dark Days Ahead.
Strategy guides for classic roguelikes are not like strategy guides for other genres of games. It is technically possible to win at NetHack without perusing spoilers, but it will probably take you a long long time. Fortunately for those with less free time, there exists the NetHack Wiki. And, since the games are randomly generated with each play, you can actually be perfectly spoiled and still find the game challenging. Although, I still think people will find playing these games without spoilers interesting and rewarding-knowing everything there is to know about NetHack makes the game seem much smaller.
I haven’t covered Cataclysm or its updated version Dark Days Ahead on @Play yet, and I really should! An interesting fact about it that comes out in the talk is that DDA may be one of the largest open source projects of all. It has had over 1,700 contributors! The mega-popular programming language Python has had around 2,000!