Monday 31 December 2007

Runner up for Ascii Dreams Roguelike of the Year: DoomRL

Well, what a contrast. The runner up to Dwarf Fortress is a self-described 'fast and furious coffee-break' of a game, not so much inspired by Doom as an overhead ASCII remake of the original game. DoomRL comes complete with the original Doom MIDI files for that authentic experience (pending ID Software suing the author for copyright violation) and features everything you'd want from the original game minus John Carmack's graphical programming skills.

Again, DoomRL only featured a few releases in 2007 in order to qualify, but a positive review by John Harris in April was one of the highlights of the year. John said at the outset 'DoomRL is a game I did not expect to like.' and proceeded to heap praise on it for precisely failing to follow the conventions of the roguelike genre. Kornel Kisielewicz of Chaos Forge has chosen to follow-up the success of the original game with others from the same template: with AliensRL and updates to Berserk! this year in addition to DiabloRL and the Valkyrie library from which most of these games are built.

To learn more about DoomRL, you can read the wikipedia entry, visit the DoomRL wiki and join the forums. You can download DoomRL here.


OP-101 said...

Bah, this should have won. DF is a fantastic game with the most horrible front-end ever, and really.. is it even a roguelike? I doubt people would consider ASCII-SimCity a roguelike.

Frumple said...

You can put a lot of good arguements against DF's position as a roguelike -- it's Fortress mode, anyway -- but when you break it down, well, it's pretty much a mostly automated 'team' roguelike with persistent levels.

It's turn-based (even though movement generally proceeds in real-time, sort of like a massive, all-inclusive, 'run' command), has random-generation (to a fair degree) of items, events, and 'dungeon' levels, has 'leveling', and is abstractly presented (ASCII). If you go by the definition of 'Roguelike' on Roguebasin, DF -- even its Fortress mode -- fits every single point given.

Probably the biggest true divergance from mainstream RLs is that it automates the process of individual movement and actions (kind of like a massive Borg-'lite') in order to allow the player to direct actions on a much broader scale than said mainstream RLs. As a kind of aside, I've yet to find another RL-type of game that lets me drop mountains on things and actually watch, screen by screen, as they fall -- you can even manage it with a single 'character' if you're persistant.

... not that DoomRL isn't just as awesome, in its own way -- it just takes its 'scale' in the other direction DF does. Smaller 'dungeon', more focused action, less demanding gameplay -- I've heard it called a RL-'Lite', which is a good way of describing it -- it's a different game for a different type of game experience.

Not that I voted for either of them. Incursion's my favorite right now, with Gearhead (2) coming close behind. The Ramble Stops Now!

Slashie said...

The thing is, roguelikes rely heavily on individual movement, so it changes things a WHOLE lot.

I am one of the persons that thinks the RL definition can be bent a bit without worries :P

But yeah... DoomRL deserved the prize, meh! :D