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The “Roguelike” War Is Over

“When we see men grow old and die at a certain time one after another, from century to century, we laugh at the elixir that promises to prolong life to a thousand years; and with equal justice may the lexicographer be derided, who being able to produce no example of a nation that has preserved […]

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The Indie Post-apocalypse

It was 3 years ago when the term “Indiepocalypse” blew up overnight. Because 3 years before that, Steam Greenlight launched. It took a while, but in September 2015 it was suddenly becoming clear that the massive deluge of games hitting Steam wasn’t a fluke. Releases on Steam per year The number of games released tripled […]

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Things I Hate About Roguelikes Part 4: Bog Standard Dungeons

On our previous episode, we covered bad controls. I’ve yapped enough about annoying gameplay. Now it’s time to talk about theme. Or more properly the lack thereof. First, what do I mean by “theme”? It doesn’t have to be a message or even a concept in the same way we view a theme in literature, […]

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Should My Next Game Be Top-Down or Side-Scrollling?

I’ve been chewing on the idea for my next game for a bit. “IDEA?!?” you say? It might seem silly to be here throwing out my idea at you (when ideas are generally considered worthless). But Ryan Clark says the right idea is super valuable and I find that pretty convincing. The game is called DUSK […]

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Things I Hate About Roguelikes Part 3: Terrible Controls

This is a 4 part series on annoyances I have with roguelikes. Last time we covered Identification. In my first article, I asked why traditional roguelikes aren’t nearly as successful as action roguelites. I found a reddit post asking a similar question: why is a super difficult game like Binding of Isaac so popular anyway? […]

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Things I Hate About Roguelikes – Part 2: Identification

This is a 4 part series on annoyances I have with roguelikes. Last time we covered Burden of Knowledge. Today I want to talk about Identification systems. In many roguelikes, particularly the older ones, the items you encounter in the dungeon are not easily identified. While inexperienced adventurers can tell when they’ve picked up a […]

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Things I Hate About Roguelikes – Part 1: Burden of Knowledge

I love roguelikes. Traditional roguelikes. Turn based, grid based, punch-you-in-the-gut roguelikes. The complexity, depth, and emergent gameplay in these games rival any other genre out there. The heavyweights like Nethack, Crawl, and ADOM can be played for years without mastering them… or sometimes without a single victory. And in the last decade, roguelikes have proven […]

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How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Prefabs

The level generation in Golden Krone Hotel has kind of sucked for a while. For the 7drl version, I wrote a quick and dirty level gen system. It could make connected rooms and hallways, true, but the results were really kludgy looking. Rooms would overlap each other willy nilly. Hallways would be ridiculously long. Sometimes […]

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7 Reasons Save Systems Are Garbage

UI design – “this is the worst” button remapping – “no wait, this is the worst” saving system – “ok, actually, this is the worst” — William Chyr (@WilliamChyr) November 20, 2016 I like making small games. I’ve never even thought about a save system and no one has ever asked for one. But Golden […]

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Making a Title Screen

Golden Krone Hotel is nearing release on Early Access and it’s gonna need an honest-to-goodness title screen. I think I’ve come up with something pretty cool, so here’s a post showing how it was done. click to embiggen I’m often overwhelmed when I see big pixel art pieces. I hope breaking it down step by step […]