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Dungeons of Dredmor - On the Commercialisation of Roguelikes

by Dhruin, 2011-04-26 00:35:55

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.

Information about

Dungeons of Dredmor

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: Roguelike
Platform: PC
Release: Released