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Default Dungeons of Dredmor - On the Commercialisation of Roguelikes

April 26th, 2011, 08:18
There's an interesting post on the Gaslamp Games site that responds to a comment on the advantages of traditional open-source roguelikes (and the like) with their lengthy iterative developments. The article goes on to describe the development of Dungeons of Dredmor since 2004 and is a worthwhile read for anyone following the game:
In a recent online discussion about Dungeons of Dredmor, somebody said – and I paraphrase: “Commercial roguelikes will never be as good as free roguelikes because the multi-year, evolutionary development process that results in amazing games like Crawl will never be commercially viable.” Here we have somebody who likes roguelikes, and who should like Dredmor. Hopefully, he will support us – here is a man, after all, who could be a customer, and any failing to attain him as a customer is a failing on our part as a business – but his concern is legitimate. Can a commercial roguelike be as good as Crawl, or Nethack? Well, I think we can… but let’s talk about this.
First off, it is worth noting that Dungeons of Dredmor has had a multi-year evolutionary development process. Dredmor, as a product, started development in 2004, about four years before Gaslamp Games existed in any way, shape or form. Dredmor originally started as a project code-named “Orion” – in fact, this is still the name of the Visual Studio solution – and until Ben McGraw made his major contribution to the project by naming it “Dungeons of Dredmor” it was going to be called “Heroes: Wanted”… blech.
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Last edited by Dhruin; April 26th, 2011 at 10:33. Reason: sp.
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April 26th, 2011, 08:18
I'm sold. This sucker is bought and paid for on day one.

I believe that roguelikes can be a commercial success while trying to strive for the depth of a traditional roguelike. I think it's about time too. They are wonderfully complex games that are a blast to play. They are right now a nice alternative to the streamlined RPGs who refuse to touch complexity. There are exceptions like The Witcher and Two Worlds 2 (love their magic system), but I certainly wouldn't mind seeing a TB game released by a AAA every now and then. Fat chance of that happening.

After reading more about their game I think they have the right idea and drive to make a great roguelike game. At least better than that drivel called "Epic Dungeon". That game has the depth of an extremely shallow kitchen sink.

One commercial roguelike that seemed to offer a better experience than Epic Dungeon is 100 Rogues.

Two things seem wrong with that game though.

First, I CAN'T PLAY IT!!!! It's only on some freaking touch screen. I don't know which one, probably Iphone or Iwhatever, point is I can't play it. What roguelike worth their salt wouldn't be on the PC? I mean come on people, show some love for the PC for goodness sake.

Second, by just reading that one blog post I can see that Dungeons has more depth than 100 Rogues. I'm not saying 100 Rogues isn't a fun game, but in terms of being complex like a roguelike they seem to fall far shorter than what Dugeons hopes to be. It might not be as fancy or have that annoyingly cute music in it, but it sure as hell sounds more like a traditional roguelike than those other two games combined.

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April 26th, 2011, 11:28
Somewhere i can see the magic in this. But by the gods what an ugly game
I mean, iam playing wizard8 now but this game is even more basic.

Nonetheless iam gonna try it !
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April 26th, 2011, 12:56
You do know that those screenshots are way out of date now?

Seems ok to me. Only thing I don't like are the gigantic eyebrows. Could they have made them any larger?




More screenshots

Homepage (screenshots + trailer)

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April 26th, 2011, 13:59
OMG didnt see that, does eyebrows are hilerious !
Hope there will be an option to make the avatar smaller.
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April 26th, 2011, 16:57
I will also purchase this as soon as I can—-unless my financial situation improves tremendously Dredmorand A Valley Without Wind are set to be my last game purchases for quite a long time—-with many other good projects sadly relegated to the backburner.

There is an Android Roguelike-ish thing from the developers of 100 Rogues, DinoFarm Games, in development called Auro—-it also looking to raise the stakes and experiment with things. At the very least, I should hope such a game winds up being ported to PC in a more timely fashion.
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April 26th, 2011, 18:16
A Valley Without Wind sounds interesting, but I shouldn't have watched that video at their homepage. Lots of running and more running and a little more running on LAVA!!!

It's a pre-alpha so it's bound to get better.

The premise is great though. Thanks for mentioning it.

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Last edited by skavenhorde; April 26th, 2011 at 19:45.
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April 26th, 2011, 19:31
The main thing to note that, as with the various Dredmor videos, each successive Valley Without Wind video is a solid improvement on the previous.

Dredmor has excellently over-the-top graphics—-no real sense in comparing it to a 3D big budget game, for that time, like Wiz8. I prefer to think of it as a case study of what might have happened if the Monkey Island folks went on an Absinthe binge and whipped up a fever vision of a Roguelike.

An indie will likely NEVER come close to competing on the same visual scale to stand tall amongst the larger commercial offerings, therefore going for a dramatic/distinctive style on their own terms is almost certainly the way to go—-Panache and Swagger over the latest flavour of the month homogenous graphical stylings.
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