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Topics - mariodonick

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Hi everybody,

some may remember me and my game LambdaRogue: The Book of Stars. I worked on it pretty hard from 2006 to 2012, and then I removed its website and vanished.

(Vanished to finish my PhD thesis (done in 2014), marry (2015), start a new job in a new city (2015), to develop stuff in the flight simulation world (X-Plane 11 addons since 2016), and to learn flying (for real, since 2017, I have about 25 hours now, so way to go until the exam which requires at least 30 hours).

Anyway, one gets older and starts to get nostalgic, and LambdaRogue was such an important part of my life that I indeed missed it. It has also some open tasks, esp. finishing the graphical tileset, which started in 2013 but then stopped, because I neither had time or money to do it.

So I finally sat down, re-released the game on (, contacted my former pixel artist (hope she's still available...) and made a road map for the upcoming months.

The new download is version 1.6.4 but with a new build for Linux systems (i386 and x64, tested on Ubuntu 18.04); Windows version is identical to previous releases.

More to come in the upcoming months.

Other Announcements / LambdaRogue: Infiltration Development Thread
« on: October 21, 2012, 04:19:25 PM »
Edit: 2015/04/07: A new LambdaRogue game, called "Infiltration" is in development. This thread serves as some kind of development diary. First post related to LR:I is this one:

-- old post --
I want to provide some updates about the future of LambdaRogue.

As you know, the next update will be 1.7. As most major updates, it will have a name attached, which, in this case, will be "End of an Era". What does this mean?

LambdaRogue 1.7 aka "End of an Era" will tie up some loose ends, both of the story and the game mechanics. This also includes a new questline (a very melancholic one, I can tell you.)
LambdaRogue 1.7 will also include the new 40x80 tileset currently done by Cecilia. (And the tiles that are already finished on my HDD look great!)
But End of an Era also means end of LambdaRogue development.

Yes, that's right, LR 1.7 will be the final update, the "definitive version" of the game. No more updates will come. What are the reasons for this?

LambdaRogue development started in 2006. I devoted more than 6 years to the growth of this game, and it has reached a state where everything I wanted to achieve with it has been done.

LambdaRogue is one of the most accessible roguelikes currently available, and still one of the few roguelikes that somehow manage to have a good balance between random game mechanics and fixed story. The story is complete, the game is stable, it is quite balanced -- it is simply finished.

Is this the end?

Well, I said "end of an era", but not "end of the world", and actually, I have many ideas for expanding the game world and its lore.

So, while LambdaRogue, as piece of software as it is, won't receive any more updates after 1.7, it does not mean that the brave people of Herbstwelt have to cope without their creator (i.e. me ;) ) from now on.

Instead, it's time for something new. For something that gives me all the time and space and scale for telling Herbstwelt's story once again.

Exciting times lay ahead of us. :)

Incubator / The LambdaRogue 1.7 Incubator Thread
« on: June 11, 2012, 09:37:31 PM »
This thread is for discussing development of the next major update of LambdaRogue, which will be 1.7.

1. What is LambdaRogue?

"LambdaRogue: The Book of Stars" is a roguelike RPG I started to develop in 2006. Currently, we are at version 1.6.4, with a final 1.6.5 update of the 1.6 branch due in some weeks. LR is inspired by games like Moria, Angband, Diablo and WoW.

LambdaRogue is available for Windows, Linux, and MacOS Lion. Somebody also did a port of an older version for the Nokia Maemo.

Official website:

Facebook page:

In contrast to most other roguelikes, LambdaRogue features a rather complex story, including a main questline and several side questlines, each comprising of several individual quests. To win the game, the player usually has to fulfill at least the quests of the main story. However, in update 1.6.4 a so-called "coffeebreak mode" has been added, which is a story-free dungeon crawling mode, allowing for straightforward hack'n'slash.

To find out about the current features of the game, refer to the game guide: The guide describes version 1.6.1 and thus lacks information on changes made in the latest updates, but the main concepts (skills, professions, gods, etc.) are still valid.

2. Goals for Update 1.7

Besides the usual bug fixing, balancing adjustments, and minor additions, I want to achieve the following goals:

2.1 Content Goals

  • expand the Forgotten Realm with more dungeon levels, treasures, and enemy types
  • ensure that the Forgotten Realm significantly differs from the main dungeon in terms of atmosphere and features
  • add a new side questline for characters who believe in Dionysa, the goddess of food and joy
  • add even more new monster abilities (like those I added in 1.6.4)
  • add player achievements (which are global and not character-based; things like "Kammerjäger - 1000 antbees exterminated")
I might add other content things not listed here.

2.2 Interface Goals

  • re-enable use of the mouse for movement and dungeon/monster interactions -> mouse did work in earlier LambdaRogue versions, but mouse support was mostly removed later on.
  • streamline character generation screens into one screen similar to the screen of Diablo III
  • add filters to questlog (filtering for quests belonging to main story, side stories, or single quests)
  • add "personal library" for storing books and scriptures (so they don't waste inventory space)
  • optional: implement the new big 40x80 tileset (it's unlikely that I reach this goal, however. It all depends on money.)

Programming / A Better Name for LambdaRogue's new "Coffeebreak Mode"
« on: June 10, 2012, 03:57:24 PM »
This is a poll for helping me finding a maybe better name for the "coffeebreak" mode which I just added to LambdaRogue 1.6.4.

As you maybe know, the usual gameplay of LambdaRogue forces the player to follow a story and doing quests; it's not possible to win the game without doing this. But sometimes, even I just want to hack'n'slay through the dungeon and kill the ultimate evil (which is, in LambdaRogue, Eris, the evil goddess).

So since the new update 1.6.4, we have "story mode" (the traditional full game), and "coffeebreak mode" (where you start in the 1st level, go down to level 20 and kill Eris). Coffeebreak mode is faster than story mode and can be completed (theoretically) during an afternoon.

As I was told by several people, the term "coffeebreak mode" may not be the best. So please vote in this poll for alternatives or post in this thread for additional suggestions.

Answer 8 is a bit ironic, whereas answer 9 is for people who want to express that story/quests are a mistake anyway, and an improved "coffeebreak" mode should be the standard.

Traditional Roguelikes (Turn Based) / LambdaRogue 1.6.4 released
« on: June 10, 2012, 12:04:06 PM »
What a happy Sunday -- LambdaRogue 1.6.4 is here!  This patch gives monsters (esp. bosses) some new special abilities, adds more than 60 new items, incl. 18 set items, places random traps in the dungeons, as well as some elite monsters, improves interface, and introduces the new "Coffeebreak" game mode, allowing you to play the game without quests and story.

In coffeebreak mode, your goal is simple: Go down to dungeon level 20 and kill Eris, the evil deity. Nothing more. In coffebreak mode, profession ranks are gained automatically in character levels 4, 8, 12, 16, and 20.

Save games of previous versions are not compatible. Finish your current game before updating.


Read the long complete changelog:

Help LambdaRogue by donating for it:

Traditional Roguelikes (Turn Based) / LambdaRogue 1.6.3 released
« on: May 27, 2012, 06:54:38 PM »
Update 1.6.3 is here :)

Download patch archive for Windows, Linux, MacOS

Donate money for further developments (PayPal link)

The patch also includes the contents of the previous patches 1.6.1-X and 1.6.2.

New Features:

- new items for dungeon levels 6, 9, 11 to 14, and 16 to 19. In total, 39 new items. More new items (for the Halls of Eris, Noldarur, the Forgotten Realm, and the Valeri) will be added in patch 1.6.5.
- most weapons, except those from resource workshops, can be combined with either a rune of Beithe, Muin, Ailm or hUath, to add a bonus to WP, GP or AP

Bug Fixes:
- story text file 37 was missing (Morning Star Conspiracy)
- the number of prayers was not reset to 0 when starting a new game after returning to main menu
- withdrawal treatments did cost X, but player had to have X+1 to buy one
- caveworms and worm mothers did generate separate hints in context help (-> removed.)
- minimap disappeared in Temple and Outskirts (and maybe in some other static levels)
- in console mode, other keys than SPACE and ENTER could be used to close text windows
- Santa's Cap was not wearable
- Santa's gear was not restricted to DLV 18
- the alternate (evil) ending did not work, because Eris dropped the Book of Stars instead of Meteor.
- after winning the game, the game did not return to the title screen, but was closed (like in versions < 1.6.2)
- corpses of dead creatures were flagged as unique
- long names of required items in resource workshop were exceeding available window space
- effect "ExtraEXP" was not available as temporary effect (only with equipment)
- screen was not darkened when showing long quest intro texts
- selecting an item to steal from trader could not be cancelled, because the window could not be closed
- in rare cases, unique monsters and staircases were created outside the visible area of the dungeons


- items are color-coded (white = common items; green = special; yellow = rare; purple = unique)
- now both item info screen and spell info screen are closed by the same key (ESC)
- changed default use/action key to "a" (also in quest dialogs)
- changed key to close/advance story windows to SPACE (instead of "any key"

- reduced base cost for life insurance (i.e. saving the game) to 200
- potions are always identified, except rare and unique potions
- DLV of items in dungeons is between DLV-3 and DLV (i.e. if you are in DLV 8, you can find items whose level is between 5 and 8).
- disassembling items gives higher amount of resources
- increased Contus' WP to 16
- Eris doesn't freeze when attacked by ice
- Sheets are only available in shops
- traders always have full stock (no empty slots in their inventories anymore)


- quickstart preset Thief started with 3 picklocks although only 1 is needed
- Eris key is not needed anymore to reach the Halls of Eris
- players can travel between Temple and Noldarur as often as desired, as long as the portal has been created and the Ordinator is still alive --> i.e. new reward for killing the ordinator
- Guardian Zealots use electricity for ranged attacks
- monsters react on potions with DecPP effect
- changed sound effect of effect "ExtraGold" to "coins.ogg"
- for ghosts (player bones), no corpses are created anymore

Savegames of previous versions and patches are NOT compatible with this update. Finish your current game before updating.

Traditional Roguelikes (Turn Based) / LambdaRogue 1.6.2 released
« on: May 19, 2012, 07:30:15 PM »
This is a maintenance patch, fixing or adding some issues reported by players. It also includes the additions and fixes of the christmas release (1.6.1-X), so if you've not updated back then, you should do it now.




- the quest from the unofficial christmas special (1.6.1-X) is still included

- character dump now correctly shows "Hit" instead of (the old) "View" in skills overview
- melee weapons with force effect did not work correctly
- tried to play .mp3 instead of .ogg files as ending music
- used "ammu" instead of "ammo" in many descriptions

- creating a new game and loading a saved game have been consolidated in one screen. Press 1 to create a new game, then either choose an existing save or press SPACE to enter a new character name.
- Dying, Winning or selecting "quit" during the game does not exit the application, but instead returns to the main menu.
- in intro and ending sequence, a hint is shown to make clear that the sequence can be skipped by pressing ESC. Pressing ESC to skip was always possible, but apparently not all players were used to this behavior
- fullscreen can be forced on Windows and Linux by manually adding the following lines to lambdarogue.cfg in a texteditor:

  = True

  Mind the space in the 2nd line. To get windowed mode again, delete these lines. Fullscreen setting will be ignored on MacOS. If you're using Notepad on Windows, be sure that the file ending after saving the file is indeed .cfg, not .txt!

- increased spade's SP to 6
- higher chance to reveal rare item by digging through rock

- in shops, the number of items of an item package is shown next to the item name (e.g. for Aspirin, it shows "Aspirin (x25)", to make clear that you get 25 pieces of Aspirin when you buy it)
- the first dungeon level is (again) known to the player after the first visit
- character dump now shows WP/GP/AP of current equipment
- game options and keybindings are now available from the title screen
- changed 4th quickstart preset to female thief (now all professions are included in the quickstart option)
- volume of music and sound can be adjusted in game options
- in text mode, the current terminal size is checked during startup. If the terminal is smaller than 80x25, a message is shown and the game stopped.
- updated credits (now includes Cecilia Favo De Mel as tileset artist)

Not much time, because I'll be on vacation until January 2nd, but I somehow managed to finish the christmas special: LambdaRogue 1.6.1-X.

Download (.zip archive for Windows/Linux/MacOS):

You may either download this patch, or wait for the next real update (1.6.2) in January, if you're not interested in the christmas quest.

Excerpt from the readme:

This is a very small update which includes mainly the following features:

INTERFACE: Text-mode does not crash anymore when trying to start the game on a  terminal with less than 80x25 characters. Instead, a message is shown, asking the user to resize the window and starting again.

BUG FIXES: Melee weapons with force effect now work correctly. Game over music plays correctly.

A SMALL SPECIAL QUEST which will be removed in 1.6.2: As every cycle, people in Herbstwelt are looking forward to Dionysa's cele  brations. The children are esp. happy, because Santa -- one of Dionysa's messengers -- always has some gifts for them. But this year, the celebrations are in danger: The Insulting Krice has hidden Santa's gear in his hideout. Will you be able to regain the complete set, therefore saving the celebrations? Talk to Santa (who's waiting in the Catacombs of Enoa) to start the quest. And get a spade. --> Really, this quest is just a little joke


Even if this is just a small update, savegames of 1.6.1 are NOT compatible with 1.6.1-X. This is due to the whole save system being a mess -- I will probably rewrite it entirely for update 1.6.2 or 1.6.3.

If you have a promising character in 1.6.1, first finish that game before installing the patch.

Finally, I'm able to release the next significant update for LambdaRogue: LR 1.6.1 "The Morning Star Conspiracy":

* More Gameplay: Besides a more clever AI, rebalanced magic, and numerous small additions, bug fixes and tweaks, the update introduces a significantly enhanced profession and religion system, with unique powers depending on profession rank.

* New Graphics: Amazing Brasilian artist Cecilia Favo de Mel created an exclusive new tileset, new effect icons, new GUI elements, and new character portraits. Enjoy a breath of fresh visual air blowing through LambdaRogue's dungeons.

* New Questline: Ever wondered why Thanan betrayed the Temple of Enoa? Ever wanted to know what the real story behind the Crystal of Redemption is? And ever asked yourself which role Eris really plays in the ongoing events? The Morning Star Conspiracy has all the answers.

Full changelog:

Downloads for Windows, Linux, and MacOS:

Source Code:

Within the next days, the website will be updated with new screenshots, the new quickstart guide, and a complete spoilers file (guidebook) in full-color PDF format -- but the game itself can be enjoyed today!  8)

Have fun, report any issues to mario.donick (at) live (dot) de, and please consider to donate ^^

Finally LambdaRogue is working on MacOS Lion. Today, I re-installed XCode, re-installed FreePascal, and re-compiled the source code. The resulting binary is now Intel-only, as Lion does not support PowerPC anymore. Sorry about that; not my fault.

You can download the new binary at SourceForge:

The .zip-archive also contains a new startup script, which allows you to place your LambdaRogue folder anywhere; i.e. you're not forced to have it in your Applications folder anymore.

To install the Lion patch, simply open the .zip and copy the content into your LambdaRogue folder. Replace any existing files.

Traditional Roguelikes (Turn Based) / LambdaRogue 1.6 released
« on: January 01, 2011, 11:21:57 PM »
Welcome to release 1.6 of LambdaRogue: The Book of Stars. This is the first major update since August 2009. The release fixes many bugs, improves balancing in late-midgame and endgame, includes new content and UI enhancements.

The following list includes the highlights of this release. See the changelog in the download archive for details.

  • new chapter which concludes the main storyline (which started in LambdaRogue 1.4, released in December 2008, i.e. nearly two years ago)
  • new area with new enemies to explore
  • improved inventory: equipped items don't take up space in your inventory anymore. You can also open your inventory from shop screens, e.g. for selling items to that trader without leaving the shop.
  • new enemy special attacks and vulnerabilities
  • new artwork style, darker than before, but more consistent with the rest of the game -- incl. graphical intro and ending sequences

Most of the fixed bugs have been found thanks to extensive playing and testing by José Almeida, who has, by the way, achieved the first confirmed victory in this game. Thanks a lot, José.

This release is available as full download only:

Note: Savegame compatibility to all previous versions is broken.

Temple of the Roguelike / Spam Filter for Forum
« on: May 20, 2010, 06:58:59 AM »
As you might have noticed, the forum is currently spammed with viagra ads and such stuff. Spam is not only an annoyance for the regular users, but can also give the false impression to new users that this forum is half-dead or not taken care off.

So, is there a way to prevent spam bots from signing up to the forums?

Welcome to LambdaRogue: The Book of Stars patch 1.5.3! On the one hand, this patch includes lots of new eye-candy, but it also brings some new gameplay features:

Switch between offensive and defensive tactics! In defense mode, you suffer only half of the normal damage, but you also inflict only half of the normal damage. I love this small change, because it makes battles more exciting, esp. against boss monsters, and in other critical situations.

Explore new item combination and throwing effects (potions, esp.)! Beware of earthquakes!

Enjoy the visually improved field of view (FoV) and new character graphics that fit your chosen profession and your sex -- no more female enchanters that look like male soldiers ;-)

Face NPCs and gods directly, with the newly introduced character portraits!

Use your mouse to get tooltips and to select icons from the quickbar

See the changelog for all changes.

Existing save games of the 1.5 branch (1.5, 1.5.1, 1.5.1a, 1.5.2) are compatible with the new release: You can continue your current game and enjoy the new content and enhanced look.

To read the official announcement, watch the trailer and download the patch, head to !

Programming / LambdaRogue: The Book of Stars (1.5.x) Trailer
« on: April 21, 2010, 06:52:28 PM »
Don't really know if a trailer is worth an announcement, thus I put it in here. As the last trailer for LambdaRogue is was from 2008, I decided to create a new one. It's short, fast-paced, and the music is by me.

Have fun :)

Temple of the Roguelike / Alternate color scheme for TotR Forums
« on: April 21, 2010, 01:10:30 PM »
As I'm getting older and older, I find the dark, black-and-blue color scheme of this forum harder to read.

Is there a way to enable users to choose another forum style, perhaps some white and silver or white/grey and blue?

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