Author Topic: Project: Roguelike Renaissance  (Read 77009 times)

getter77

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Project: Roguelike Renaissance
« on: May 30, 2009, 04:24:49 PM »
Distinguished folks of Roguetemple and random folks from elsewhere that eventually see this, I have an announcement to make.  Of the many reasons I choose to make this here as opposed to the .Dev or .Misc Google Board, one of them is so this doesn’t get lost among spam for shoes and bags.  There’s not been a post of this ilk on here before, or technically anywhere else on the internet that I know of, so I ask for some slack to be cut as is necessary and proper.  That said:

My name is Brian Emre Jeffears.  I enjoy videogames and Roguelikes in particular.  I am 25 years old, single, childless, have no degree of higher education, unemployed, have a screwed up family/personal life, unusually disabled in a certain way, living at home, and owing to various other private medical circumstances in the background it would not be at all strange for me to shuffle off by the time I’m 30.  Some of the folks here might be on enough in years or circumstances likewise to understand the concept of “Legacy” and what it can mean to a person---for those that don’t you will at some point down the line.

Remember how everybody thought the lads behind Dwarf Fortress were patently insane to chuck it all and expend themselves at their would-be Magnum Opus and count largely on the contributions of grateful players in a classical fashion?  I surely do and nodded approvingly that such a plan of action has thus far proved viable for them.

However, what I have decided to do is quite different, yet much more insane, far reaching, and likely generally counterproductive to having a reasonable go at life in the grand scheme of things.

We’ve all seen many things happen in the Roguelike community and videogame industry over the years.  For the many good things that have happened and exciting moments of progress, there have also been many things lost and obscured along the way as well as things that should’ve panned out but didn’t for one reason or another.  As is often the case, we shrug our shoulders and are content to deal with that which did make it and just hope things work out in general otherwise somewhere down the line.

At this point in time though, I feel it to be a less than optimal use of my remaining time to continue to carry on as a benign spectator in the fine tradition of voyeurism.

Instead, with this serving as my official declaration of intent, I have come to the conclusion that the path now before me is one of direct participation and interaction within the world of videogames and Roguelikes proper---with a slant to the latter in particular.

“What in the world are you going on about?  Just use the announcements section if you’ve got a game you are trying to cobble together or fish some team members for to be the next great or something!”

Indeed, if only that were the case here.  I suspect I’d be on something akin to easy street if this was just a long preamble heading towards another Talkie info stub on the Roguebasin database.  No, this is something entirely different that really has no precedent to work off of.

Relative to the Roguelike portion of what lies on my plate, what I aim to do is acquire the necessary skills to modernize things up and ultimately keep things lively---across the board.  As opposed to a project or projects of my own, which would come much later I suspect, instead this is about settling things up from the past that have gone unsettled for far too long now.

Below you will find what I’ve come up with after digging through the entire Roguebasin database while specifically ignoring certain projects either due to lack of information to make a decision on them, lack of interest on my part, everything seemingly already being well in hand, or they being something to get into much later on account of one aspect of their existence or another.  This list is meant to grow and shrink over time and as people can better inform me of projects out there and these in question.  If you have some to mention, or can clarify on anything I’ve got a question mark on, please do so in this thread.

Current list of known applicable Roguelike projects:

                   Tiles      Language

3059            Yes      C++
Abura Tan         No      C++
Advanced Rogue      No      C
Alan’s Psychadelic Journey   No      C
AliensRL                 No      Free Pascal
Artisan            ?      Python
Atinar            Some      ?
Avanor            No      C++, Lua
BOSS            No      Pascal
Beggar            Yes?      Java
Berserk!                 No?      Free Pascal
Beyond                 Some      ?
CalcRogue         Yes      C
Caravan                 No      Reva
CastlevaniaRL         Yes      Java
Caverns of Underkeep   Yes      Java 1.5
Champion of the Savarian Empire   No   ?
Deliantra         Yes/Some   C++, Perl
Dimension Dungeon      Yes      Java
DoppeRogue         No      FreeBasic
Chronicles of Doryen   N/A      C++
Downfall                 No      C++
dRogue                 No      C, Scheme
DungeonMinder      No      C++
DungeonS         No      PAlib, C++
Dungeon Monkey      Yes      Free Pascal, JediSDL?
Egoboo                 3Dyes      C  SDL/OpenGL
Elona            Yes      Hot Soup?, ?
Evolution                 No      Free Pascal
Fourth Age         ?      Python
Frozen Depths         No      C++
G.O.R.E.                 No      Vala?
Geminum Orbis      No      C++
GenRogue         No      FreePascal
Gruesome         No      FreePascal
Guild            No      ?
H-World                 Yes      Lua, C++
Hokuto no Rogue      Yes      Java
I, Monster         No      Python
IVAN                    Yes      C++
Ighalsk            ?      Python
Jaunt Trooper series   Varies      ?
Kaduria                 Yes      C++
Reptoran Saga         No      C++
LambdaRogue         Yes      FreePascal
Larn                    No      C
Legerdemain         No      Java
Lord of Rage and Death   No      ?
Mage Guild         Yes      C#
MetaCollider         No      Python
Nazghul                 Yes      C++
Netchaos                 ?      O’Caml
Omega            No?      C
Papaki            No      C++
Paprika                 Yes      Visual Basic 6
Peleron’s Brilliant Rebith   No      C++
Prospector         Yes      FreeBasic
Pyro                 No      Python
Scallywag: In the Lair of the Medusa   Yes   C++/Libs
S.C.O.U.R.G.E.              Yes      C++, OpenGL, Squirrel
Super Rogue         No      C
Star Rogue         Yes      Delphi
Valley of Neustria      Kinda      ?
T.o.M.E.                 Yes?      C/Lua
TwilightMMORL              No      C
UltraRogue         No      C
Vampire Hunt         No      ?
Woods of Torbin      Yes      C++/Java
Xenocide                 No      C++
XRogue                 No      C

Total C:  ~12
Total C#:  ~2
Total C++:  ~20
Total Java:  ~6
Total Java 1.5:  ~1
Total Python:  ~6
Lua:  ~3
Delphi:  ~1
Squirrel:  ~1
OpenGL:  ~2
Libs:  ~1
FreeBasic:  ~2
Visual Basic 6:  ~1
O’Caml:  ~1
FreePascal:  ~7
Hot Soup: ~1
SDL:  ~1
JediSDL:  ~1
PAlib:  ~1
Scheme:  ~1
Reva:  ~1

The goal with each of these, as applicable unless they wind up taken off the list, is to get them graphical via tiles(there will be some cases where ASCII will also be needed as well I’m sure) or some such as appropriate, get them working properly, and to help them get effectively finished as can be reckoned---all at as ruthlessly efficient and quick a pace as can be figured out and implemented.  This amounts to me going around raising the bar overall whilst raising the dead.

If you are, or part of, the original or ongoing force behind these games---expect to hear from me at some point unless you wind up contacting me first.  The order of events in terms of stuff definitively starting and happening is still quite up in the air as you can see there’s a decent sized list above as well as the several programming related aspects that I’ll have to pick up on and gain competence at from scratch.  From my prior posts, the sleuths among us will quickly realize 2 projects in particular that hold a high probability of being my first targets on account of buying them and such---but nothing is written in stone.  Logic would seem to entail that the graphical aspect to all of this would happen faster than the programming aspect.

“This is completely impossible pie in the sky!”

It shouldn’t be completely impossible, though I forecast all to be difficult in their own ways as I come to grips with each one’s unique situation and at least one or so to be very difficult despite when it has come to pass that I’ve satisfactorily completed several other of the above listed.

“How do you avoid a common end like starving the death?”

Well, not unlike in the games, part of that comes down to random events I’ve no control over.  Otherwise, an aim would be to break into the videogame industry via developing the necessary array of skills and a portfolio, testing, and so on.  Ideally, I’d like to not be tied into any one company per se but rather able to assist as needed across the spectrum.  I’ve already helped with closed testing for an upcoming PC Retail RPG, and hope it is not the last such instance.  Failing the above, or perhaps ultimately anyhow, I’ll wind up going the one-man corp/small business route of digital distribution without DRM to get by as I don’t need vast wealth though it would be handy.  I also see a void that could be filled in terms of a Roguelike Foundation of sorts, and such would be something for me to look into as the years roll on.  Should random, “normal” work bits avail itself to me in my local area for a change, I’d likely take a crack at it if I can get it for useful bursts of cash for useful bits like development programs, hardware, food, etc along the way.  Once I actually have accomplishments under my belt, I too would likely submit to a Donationware model not so unlike what the Dwarf Fortress lads are doing.

“Is there a website where you are going to centralize all of this?”

Eventually, there will have to be I reckon.  For now, this thread will serve that purpose in terms of updates, answering any and all questions that I can comfortably, and so on as learning how to make a website is another of the skills that I need to pick up and train to competence.  I am very much opposed to the “sporadic updates at random intervals of months and/or years” approach, so the instinctual drive is to post updates in this thread and such at a likely weekly rate or thereabouts.  AIM and such will also probably enter into the equation on that so as to facilitate real time collaborations and whatnot.

Furthermore, and with the intent of getting things livelier within Roguetemple, this is not totally subject to my own arbitrary decisions and whims.  Community feedback, discussion, lobbying, and so on are meant to be very much a part of this in terms of the order I work on this or that and at times the direction things will go when it comes to hard questions.

There are 1 to 3 conditions I do have for working on any given Roguelike project though:

-Properly in the credits/credited by name as to the contributions I’ll have made.
-(when possible) To literally put myself into the game in question in a certain capacity…
-(hopefully) Anybody else being worked with has enthusiasm to get things squared away.


From here on, I open up the floor to comments, questions, vitriol, and so forth.  Thanks for reading, wish me success as luck tends to be something I don’t attract when actually playing.

Ongoing list of projects I've made some manner of difference in:

http://www.heroicfantasygames.com/index.htm
http://keye2.phk.at/
http://lambdarogue.net/
http://trianglewizard.webs.com/apps/blog/
http://javacrpg.sourceforge.net/
http://www.soldak.com/Dins-Curse/Overview.html
http://www.sumwars.org/
http://www.plos.isgreat.org/MainPage.html
http://te4.org/
http://www.classicgamesremade.com/
http://www.gaslampgames.com/

As of January 8, 2012
« Last Edit: January 08, 2012, 07:45:28 PM by getter77 »
Brian Emre Jeffears
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Re: Project: Roguelike Renaissance
« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2009, 05:42:09 PM »
In other words you want to develop an existing roguelike?

getter77

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Re: Project: Roguelike Renaissance
« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2009, 06:51:44 PM »
In other words you want to develop an existing roguelike?

Most all of the 70 or so listed above, the active and the abandoned, and likely newer projects (plus ones that are applicable yet didn't happen to wind up on this list) as they come into being, yes.  There are also Roguelike ideas of my own games, as are there other types of games, that I will endeavor to bring to life most likely at a later date.  From my current perspective, until I can reliably be of potent help across a wide spectrum of projects in a variety of ways...any attempt to seriously make something complicated on my own would likely prove to be lacking due to inexperience.
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Re: Project: Roguelike Renaissance
« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2009, 08:05:03 PM »
Most all of the 70 or so listed above

Please visit a doctor before it's too late.

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Re: Project: Roguelike Renaissance
« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2009, 08:07:45 PM »
Good stuff mate, I wish you the best of luck!

And, being a CS student, I'll be here to try to answer any technical, programming questions you may have and generally help around in my free time (there isn't too much of it though, sorry!)!

I'd start out with a suggestion that you develop an initial framework for what you envisage as being the GUI and tile interfaces. I'd go for an external library in C++ or something. I believe you can then make some addons/modifications to this library so that you can use it projects made in other languages - I know that you can call C/C++ stuff from Python and lua, for example. Thus, the brunt of the work would already be done and not need to be altered, as long as it's generic enough!

Again, best of luck, and feel more than free to ask any technical questions you have :)
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getter77

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Re: Project: Roguelike Renaissance
« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2009, 08:53:48 PM »
Good stuff mate, I wish you the best of luck!

And, being a CS student, I'll be here to try to answer any technical, programming questions you may have and generally help around in my free time (there isn't too much of it though, sorry!)!

I'd start out with a suggestion that you develop an initial framework for what you envisage as being the GUI and tile interfaces. I'd go for an external library in C++ or something. I believe you can then make some addons/modifications to this library so that you can use it projects made in other languages - I know that you can call C/C++ stuff from Python and lua, for example. Thus, the brunt of the work would already be done and not need to be altered, as long as it's generic enough!

Again, best of luck, and feel more than free to ask any technical questions you have :)

Oh, I'll surely have many a technical question to ask along the way and won't be shy about it.  There will be something of a generic element at play, but in general as with many other games it will often work out best to have unique assets for each game to fit in with the game's world, theme, and so on.  A good and very capable friend of mine will be able to give me a crash course in person on the most fundamental of fundamentals when it comes to the programming side of things so that should help.  I can envision a need will arise to cobble together some unique tools of my own should any not come up upon searching for them when said times should develop.  I have the "advantage" of having about 60-70+ hours per week for the foreseeable future to throw at this with zeal, so that's gotta help.  There are also some experiments I'll check to see if it can pan out for some things to be accomplished while I sleep---not until I've got a sufficient feel for program writing and manipulation though.

Krice:  Well, the overall goal is that lot of it.  Whether I get that many to completion is another matter entirely owing in large part to chance, thus, a good element for community interaction here at the forum is to put on the thinking caps and come up with a "best" order owing to there being no guarantees what is liable to happen down the line.  For example, relevant to at least one member here, the obvious IVAN component would be to finally weave together the offshoots aside from fixing things up as best as can be wrangled.
« Last Edit: May 30, 2009, 09:00:35 PM by getter77 »
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Re: Project: Roguelike Renaissance
« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2009, 09:40:57 PM »
Well, as long as the library has the capabilities, you can change only the use you make of it: instead of loading a certain tileset, you load another, then maybe your play area is larger for one game than the other, etc etc :)

In my personal experience, it is much easier to maintain motivation if you're working on something of your own. If you are just changing others' code, or trying to integrate two large pieces of code, it might be rather hard to both actually do and maintain interest and enthusiasm.

I'll look forward to your advancements :)
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getter77

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Re: Project: Roguelike Renaissance
« Reply #7 on: May 30, 2009, 10:35:16 PM »
Well, as long as the library has the capabilities, you can change only the use you make of it: instead of loading a certain tileset, you load another, then maybe your play area is larger for one game than the other, etc etc :)

In my personal experience, it is much easier to maintain motivation if you're working on something of your own. If you are just changing others' code, or trying to integrate two large pieces of code, it might be rather hard to both actually do and maintain interest and enthusiasm.

I'll look forward to your advancements :)

In general I can see where you are coming from when it comes to one's own work versus others.  Still, this is about settling things that've been brought up here and there for years now about "somebody" trying to finish up, come back to, fix, etc---something akin to situating a need because otherwise it is kinda ridiculous that it has gone undone for so long.  Think of how long it has taken for say Temple of Elemental Evil on PC to get "playable" in these modern times because the Circle of 8 group reckoned it "should've been!" all along the way.
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Re: Project: Roguelike Renaissance
« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2009, 08:53:34 AM »
-(when possible) To literally put myself into the game in question in a certain capacity…
I'm not sure what you mean by that one.  Do you want a 'getter' player class or something?  :P

In general though there have always been a lot more stuff needing developing than developers have time and inclination to develop.  Even the biggest of the roguelikes (like Angband) have a bare few active developers.  I don't know of any *band variant that is being actively developed by more than one person.

I'll be interested in hearing of your progress.  Let us know when you've actually got replies from people on the list.  ;D

getter77

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Re: Project: Roguelike Renaissance
« Reply #9 on: May 31, 2009, 12:23:08 PM »
-(when possible) To literally put myself into the game in question in a certain capacity…
I'm not sure what you mean by that one.  Do you want a 'getter' player class or something?  :P

In general though there have always been a lot more stuff needing developing than developers have time and inclination to develop.  Even the biggest of the roguelikes (like Angband) have a bare few active developers.  I don't know of any *band variant that is being actively developed by more than one person.

I'll be interested in hearing of your progress.  Let us know when you've actually got replies from people on the list.  ;D

-Heh, something a bit more Legacy oriented.  Ideally, make a sprite or whatever for myself, named after me, that would be randomly generated, randomly friendly or hostile to the player, and of a random class/build/skillset appropriate to whichever game world it'd be in.  Even if Spoiled ahead of time, it'd be a mystery every time what overall effect I would have on the player's game.

That people tend to at least initially work on developing their own stuff is normal, but there's something to be said for knocking things out logically.  Once things get done, they are pretty much done---we've only a very finite amount of Roguelikes that have come about over the years and are in a position to be worked upon in the grand scheme of things.  Besides, also as logic holds, the more well wrought and realized different Roguelikes a player can come into contact with, so too does that broaden his or her own perspective when it comes to their own projects---raising the bar thus higher since they've already seen "X feature" done right and want to see if they can go past it from having seen it properly situated.

With respect to Angband, as I understand it, the base Angband is slowly but surely getting there in terms of cleaning it up and having it situated.  Once it is situated, I would guess from there would be time for the variants to emerge again outside of something like T.o.M.E. I guess, which is why it is on my list ahead of time versus any other .Band.  In general, the "big fish" Roguelikes won't see any interaction from me any time soon due to their complexity and usually having folks actively poking it with a stick and such.  I'd love to see somebody else go ahead and do a part or all of any one thing on my list as that'd be one less thing to be concerned about.  It is kinda bizarre overall that the only 2 "teams" I can think of off the top of my head are The Dev Group for Nethack and the Stone Soup Devs.

It'll be a little while at least before I begin contacting anybody since as of this moment in time none of the skills are cultivated to the point of or approaching potency.  The focus of next week will probably be on the Art side of things, so depending on how I take to the various tutorials and whatnot along with a lack of interruption on time, perhaps somewhere in the week after next would see me contact a certain person's group to see about getting it Tiled up as that is the only thing it actually needs as far as I know.

I'd encourage everybody to check the Roguebasin Database and the Roguelike Graveyard(since somehow the latter has listings the former does not..) on any of the names above that seem unfamiliar as the results may very well surprise you.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2009, 12:39:35 PM by getter77 »
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Re: Project: Roguelike Renaissance
« Reply #10 on: May 31, 2009, 02:37:58 PM »
Quote
It is kinda bizarre overall that the only 2 "teams" I can think of off the top of my head are The Dev Group for Nethack and the Stone Soup Devs.
Although it is not very bizzare that both those games are very* popular.

* In roguelike terms.

Quote
It'll be a little while at least before I begin contacting anybody since as of this moment in time none of the skills are cultivated to the point of or approaching potency.

As one of those currently tinkering with roguelike code my personal opinion is that willingness to get stuck in is more important than skill level.  We can hope that the latter will improve with time, while the former tends to disappear if anything ;-)

Quote
I'd encourage everybody to check the Roguebasin Database and the Roguelike Graveyard(since somehow the latter has listings the former does not..) on any of the names above that seem unfamiliar as the results may very well surprise you.

I think that some of the ones in the graveyard have no sourcecode available.  You may also find getting in touch with the authors difficult.

getter77

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Re: Project: Roguelike Renaissance
« Reply #11 on: May 31, 2009, 02:52:32 PM »
Quote
It is kinda bizarre overall that the only 2 "teams" I can think of off the top of my head are The Dev Group for Nethack and the Stone Soup Devs.
Although it is not very bizzare that both those games are very* popular.

* In roguelike terms.

Quote
It'll be a little while at least before I begin contacting anybody since as of this moment in time none of the skills are cultivated to the point of or approaching potency.

As one of those currently tinkering with roguelike code my personal opinion is that willingness to get stuck in is more important than skill level.  We can hope that the latter will improve with time, while the former tends to disappear if anything ;-)

Quote
I'd encourage everybody to check the Roguebasin Database and the Roguelike Graveyard(since somehow the latter has listings the former does not..) on any of the names above that seem unfamiliar as the results may very well surprise you.

I think that some of the ones in the graveyard have no sourcecode available.  You may also find getting in touch with the authors difficult.

-Well, when I say I'm starting from scratch on the lot of this...I mean REALLY from nothing.  So, once "it" exists, and can trod along the path to competency...then yeah I'll dip my toe in the water.

-At least some of the ones have the source situated.  In those situations where it has been abandoned and no source is available, well, I'll have another type of monster to contend with entirely.  In a most shallow sense, it will entail another aspect of my Roguelike wranglings not mentioned above, which will be hacking 1-2 of the older console Roguelikes to be fully realized.  With unfinished PC Roguelikes that have been abandoned, best I can hope to do is "finish" them featurewise by taking the elements and such already there as a base that intrigued me in the first place and take them to their logical conclusions and make up as little as possible along the way.  In a foreseen extreme case, I'll have to either reverse engineer the games(yikes) or recreate them feature for feature as best as possible from scratch as a clone.  The latter extreme situation, most likely, will manifest in the full scope of what I'm hoping to get situated with the Jaunt Trooper series as mentioned in my other posts---especially if somebody can find me the 3rd game in the series and a way to run it and such.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2009, 02:54:23 PM by getter77 »
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Re: Project: Roguelike Renaissance
« Reply #12 on: May 31, 2009, 03:54:05 PM »
I had a glance through your list.

Code: [Select]
[b]Advanced Rogue[/b] Yes CWhat's to do?

Code: [Select]
[b]Caverns of Underkeep[/b] Yes Java 1.5The author is working on his next project, so may not be very interested.

Code: [Select]
[b]dRogue[/b]         No C, SchemeI hope your Polish is good. ;-)

Code: [Select]
[b]Elona[/b] Yes Hot Soup?, ?I believe this is closed source and being actively updated by its (Japanese) author.

Code: [Select]
[b]Super Rogue[/b] No CHow many versions of Rogue do we need?

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Re: Project: Roguelike Renaissance
« Reply #13 on: May 31, 2009, 08:33:50 PM »
I guess I'm somewhat unclear as to why some of those items are on your list. I get what you're going for, for ones that have been abandoned, but several of them (including my own) are under active development by a committed developer. In those cases...what, exactly, are you proposing to do?

getter77

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Re: Project: Roguelike Renaissance
« Reply #14 on: May 31, 2009, 09:15:39 PM »
I had a glance through your list.

Code: [Select]
[b]Advanced Rogue[/b] Yes CWhat's to do?

Code: [Select]
[b]Caverns of Underkeep[/b] Yes Java 1.5The author is working on his next project, so may not be very interested.

Code: [Select]
[b]dRogue[/b]         No C, SchemeI hope your Polish is good. ;-)

Code: [Select]
[b]Elona[/b] Yes Hot Soup?, ?I believe this is closed source and being actively updated by its (Japanese) author.

Code: [Select]
[b]Super Rogue[/b] No CHow many versions of Rogue do we need?

In order:

-Looks like an error!  Good eye.  Not seeing anything other than ASCII.  This one, X Rogue, and Super Rogue stemmed from JHarris article on them and that they, if I read correctly have stability issues at the very least on top of lack of Tiles.  Being some of the oldest of the old, and very nearly something that already vanished into the ether prior to the Roguelike restoration project---I reckon they might as well be as shined up and in order as they can be.  For History!~  For at least some of them, at some kinda pace to my reckoning, they've got maintainers of some configuration---so any role I might ultimately have would be as another helper down the line(save the Tiles part as I've seen nothing to indicate anybody working on it overtly...).

-For Elona I recall various bits of "moving on" not long ago complete with a release of such full and proper for people to take it where they do.  I do believe some people have already started on working on replacement Tiles to some degree stemming from, I think, "borrows" from older commerical games.  See how the situation develops.

-With any foreign language issues, it'll largely be seeing what happens when the time comes.  Should it prove a barrier and the original folk impossible to sort...well...it'll fall under the auspices of the above mentioned needing of "clones" and other complicated measures at least as complicated as coming up with the entire game from scratch.  Best hope is for talented folk to return at last to their promising projects.

-With the likes of Underkeep, MageGuild(so awesome...), etc the notion isn't so much of an "immediacy" as it is a frame of reference and something to keep in mind down the line even to just the extent of being another helping hand, intentional tester, and so forth.  The variety of programming languages and such and how they tally up amongst each other is of some interest in terms of how to weigh intentions of the order of events alongside how much is actually "needed" for the lot of it.  The list will surely shrink and grow tremendously as things happen and I have a better picture of the flow of events and what aptitudes I'll be able to cultivate in due turn.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2009, 09:18:45 PM by getter77 »
Brian Emre Jeffears
Aspiring Designer/Programmer/Composer
In Training