A new start

My brain has been boiling for a few weeks. I don’t know how this idea came to me but now it won’t go away. I’m afraid it’s going to make me stray from roguelike development for a while.

I’m terribly excited, yet I’m feeling kind of empty because the 5 years I spent on TCOD have been very fulfilling. I found a great community and I hope I was able to cast the light on the possibility to reconcile 80s ascii video games with younger players used to attractive visuals and simplistic user interfaces (by the way, that would also mean reconciling roguelike developers with fame, money and screaming scantily clad girls :D). This whole adventure was not only about making the 21st century killer roguelike, but also about leaving a trail. Let’s hope some people with more drive and more talent than me will find the way faster than me… Well, in a way, it seems some already have 🙂

Now I won’t let libtcod users down. My first task will be to release a stable 1.5.1 version. Then, since it’s on bitbucket, it’s free to get away from me and take whatever road the community think is the best. I’ll keep supporting it as long as I can but I won’t probably work on any new features.

I didn’t completely gave up writing the Chronicles of Doryen though. It’s just that I won’t have enough spare time to seriously work on it along with another über ambitious project…

Concerning this new project, it’s somewhat related to my first über ambitious project (the one before TCOD…). I can’t say much about it right now because I’m not even at the stage where I have a prototype to see if the gameplay has any chance to work. One of the major risks is the insane amount of pixel art it will require. I’ll have to do it myself until the game is good enough to attract someone more talented. I will also move away from the microstep method. This is another risk because it’s what keeps me from entering the procrastination circle where you stop working on a project for a few months every now and then. But strangely, cryon seems simple enough technically for me to be able to do some premature engineering without having to throw everything away later. I say strangely because my first idea was that ascii roguelikes were technically the simplest video games. What a fool… 😉

All I have right now is this arcade-like title screen with placeholder artwork.

The graphics don’t really matter. More important is the date. As you can see, I’m not working on 80s ascii games anymore. I’m definitely on a more futuristic trend ! 1991 is probably the turning point where video gaming took the wrong direction of hardware accelerated graphics with the release of the first S3 controller. The golden age of pixel art would soon give way to the blurry pixel soup of the first accelerated 3D games. But what if hardware had stopped evolving ? What would be games with today’s hard drives, ram and network, but the technology of 1991? I hope I’ll be able to find out and I hope it’s awesome…

I won’t post updates about this project here because doryen is the website of libtcod’s community and I won’t bother you with pixels :). Besides, it wouldn’t be called Doryen if it wasn’t about roguelikes… But hopefully there will be a blog some day and I’ll post the link here…

Damn that’s probably the longest and most depressing post of the blog… 😀

10 comments so far

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  1. Cool! You’ve done a lot for the roguelike community and you’ve set a new standard for ascii roguelikes. I have often asked myself the very same question you do in this post “What would have happened if the 3D games hadn’t taken over? How would a state of the art 2D game have looked today if Activision, EA or one of the other major publishers had released it?” You have to promise to post updates to a new blog once you have some news to share! Good luck!

  2. Awesome, your new project sounds enticing. Thanks for the awesome library, and best of luck with your new endeavors.

  3. Oh, crap, this reminds me… I forgot to mercurial-ify Umbra again… I guess it’s going to take the very same route as libtcod :D.

  4. Interesting…if cryptic. Are you….throwing down with ACP/Natami/Raspberry Pi/Gameduino or some such? Regardless, I look forward to seeing what’s cooking down the line and wish you all the best on it and kicking forth a spiffy 1.5.1.

  5. You’ve done great work with libtcod. I look forward to your new project 🙂 Make sure to keep us posted.

  6. Exciting! As game developers I think we’ve all got to evolve and explore different mediums, representations, game play styles, etc. Hopefully your experience in the rogue-like genre will merge with your ideas in your new project to create a unique game. Good luck. 🙂

  7. You can’t abandon roguelike development like this! This is worse than mafia!

    Wait… yes… come to think about it, you are free to do as you wish

    Good luck!

  8. Well, I’m happy for you, and sad for me. I only just found libtcod a few months ago! Actually, it’s a great library as is, and there isn’t a whole lot more it could offer for the average dev dabbling in roguelike creation, or anyone who wants to piece together a quick 7DRL. Anyone who wants more would probably be better off rolling their own library, anyway.

    You’ve done a lot of awesome things for the community, jice. And good luck on your new project!

  9. Thanks for pushing the envelope in ASCII graphics and good luck to your new project!

  10. Cool! — libctod is amazing and I’m looking forward to hearing more about what you’re working on next!