Wednesday 9 January 2013

Honourable Mentions for Ascii Dreams Roguelike of the Year 2012

In an ever-expanding genre it seems there are too many honours to mention. This year all of the top 10 received more votes than DoomRL did when it won in 2009.

4. Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup: The loss of mountain dwarves has not put off its loyal community, as this enduring classic has received further polish and a swarm of spiders.

5. Dwarf Fortress: A big increase in Adventure Mode content has made it stand out as a compelling single-hero roguelike in its own right. Planned additions are bound to make this even more popular in future.

6. FTL: The spaceship roguelike has made a big impact in the gaming community as a whole, winning and being nominated for numerous awards. Core roguelike mechanics mixed with many novel features have proven a highly compelling combination.

7. UnReal World: The best iron age Finland survival simulator ever made! Further improvements and new players have given this elder game a vibrant lease of life in 2012.

8. DoomRL: With further updates and a beautiful new tileset from Derek Yu, Kornel's turn-based shotgunning classic remains as bloodily alluring as ever.

9. Brogue: Procedural puzzles, a new charm system, and the removal of experience points from the game have all been part of a continued refinement in an increasingly critically acclaimed game. Oryx's recent tileset may help garner it wider popularity in the new year.

10. Dungeons of Dredmor: Expansion packs and a hugely active modding scene have kept this game fresh, and solved many of the complaints of those who found the game initially frustrating, whilst adding new humour and madness in the form of violent veganism and communist powers.

A glance back at the honourable mentions from 2009 shows just how much the scene has changed in 3 short years. So a huge applaud is due to these excellent games that have proven excessively popular in the ever more active roguelike genre!

Runner Up for Ascii Dreams Roguelike of the Year 2012: ADOM

After 10 years without updates one of the greats has returned. ADOM is back.

New classes, races, items, artifacts, endings, bugfixes and rebalancing have all been part of Thomas Biskup’s flurry of activity in the late stages of 2012. This is following an expertly run crowd-funding campaign on IndieGoGo that raised an astonishing $90,169 from 1,666 loyal followers, well above the target Thomas set to resurrect ADOM. It was no wonder then that it did intensely well on the poll, coming a close second to the winning ToME. With all the many planned changes in the coming year, including NotEye integration and a new custom tileset and soundtrack, it’s hard not to imagine it doing even better next year, ensuring another exciting competition for the crown of ASCII Dreams Roguelike of the Year.

Not to be forgotten is ADOM II, formerly known as JADE. Coming in at 3rd place there is clearly still strong support for this super-sized successor to the popular classic. This year it has had significant updates, making the game fully completable and adding quests and additional races and classes. With development continuing in parallel to ADOM it will be interesting to see this expand further in future.

Winner of Ascii Dreams Roguelike of the Year 2012: T.o.M.E. 4

Last year Tales of Maj’Eyal became the first game to win Roguelike of the Year for two years running. But in 2012, despite a brush with death, DarkGod has not rested on his lauded laurels. A vast stream of updates to content, interface, web-site, balance, bug-fixing and the opening up of community-built add-ons have ensured that Tales of Maj’Eyal remains the most popular of all roguelikes yet again. Beating off competitors young and old, ToME is now ASCII Dreams Roguelike of the Year 2012.

And it doesn’t stop there, as the game has now reached the all-elusive status of version 1.0 – a prestigious and rare event for a roguelike. With its modern interface and intense emphasis on tight turn-based gameplay it has spread roguelike appeal beyond normal grounds, and has recently been described in the popular press as “the gateway game you've been waiting for”. And that could prove true as it vies to garner enough votes to be the first roguelike to break through on Steam Greenlight.

A new module-making competition also hopes to encourage further games to be developed in the flexible and powerful T-Engine on which the game is based, meaning we’re sure to see some new ToME-inspired roguelikes popping up over the next 12 months. Look out for a new episode of Roguelike Radio in the coming weeks making a return to Maj’Eyal.

Thursday 3 January 2013

Big d@ta

Regular commenter Joseph has done some analysis of the poll results. And a Korean site has a year by year break down.