Friday, April 15, 2016

Progress on 86

The Quarries of Scred article, while derailed for a while, is back underway, along with some words on its predecessor Boulder Dash.  The problem, of course, is that these games stand somewhat away from roguelikes in general, although Scred's randomness still brings it back.  It isn't lost on me that, while it seems like half the new games on Steam have roguelike somewhere in its description, Quarries of Scred doesn't.  I think it has strong lessons to teach us, though, about what turn based games can be (that is, real-time), and about map generation, which is rather random-er than your typical procedurally-generated game.

I'm a bit worried, actually, that I keep edging out from under the roguelike banner in these articles.  Back in the days of GameSetWatch I could write the occasional Pixel Journeys article, but I'm not sure if you guys are so interested in essays that don't ultimately come around to being about roguelike games.  I'll probably start (yet) another blog to handle those articles, and just link to it from here when it sees something new.

Discovered during the writing: amazingly, the publisher of Boulder Dash, First Star Software, is still a living entity.  Back in the microcomputer era they had a reputation for producing interesting and unique products, like the Spy vs. Spy games.  Nowadays they seem mostly to be a rights-holding company that licenses its holdings out to developers, or maybe contracts them to produce games based on their properties for them to sell.  But they still seem to be, fundamentally, First Star Software, not like when Infogrammes decided to drape the gory skin of Atari around their neck.  That's something to celebrate.