Saturday, January 22, 2011

@Play 77: Rules of roguelike design

@Play #77

It's been over two months since the last column, a state that I blame on general poor spirits, personal projects and (to a degree) the twin scourges of Minecraft and Desktop Dungeons. The next column shouldn't take nearly as long, as it will consist mostly of excerpts of one of those personal projects, an encyclopedia of roguelike games. (Which complete document will probably go for sale on Lulu or Amazon or some such.)

I should note that the title, "The Eight Rules of Roguelike Design," was not my idea. I don't think there are only eight, or as many as eight, or whatever. I have eight listed in the column but I think it's fairly obvious from the introduction that I don't actually consider them particularly hard rules, although if you break one you should know what you're doing, certainly. I intended it as a kind of guide to how these games work to provide interesting game choices. Rogue in particular shows a lot of nuance in that area, which indicates to me that the developers must have spent a lot of time devising it.