The ticket to the future is always blank

8 January 2006

Here it is, the promised New Years post. A new year has begun, but all my problems are still here. Time.

I’ve had many plans for the year that ended, but didn’t manage to execute even a small part of them. Various other activities eat up my time, the most significant time-eater being University. I don’t have the amount of time for personal projects as I used to have.

· · ·

What did that passing year 2005 bring for me, creative-wise? Well, the to most notable events are the two releases of roguelikes: the popular DoomRL 0.9.8 “sound & music” version, and the brand new (but unpopular) DiabloRL prerelease. Also, the end of the year brought me my new “home” (without which you wouldn’t be reading these words), and the (surprisingly popular for me) creation of the DoomRL forum. If it weren’t for the surprising amount of positive feedback I recieved on the forum, DoomRL probably would be slowly abandoned in favour of newer ideas.

Unfortunately this is the end of the list of completed tasks. Of course there’s also Carceri, but contrary to my expectations I didn’t manage to release even a single dev-beta yet. The reason is probably obvious for someone who reads this blog.

That’s all. Yet I can’t treat that as a “success” — maybe I’m too hard on myself in this regard, but I’m absolutely sure I could have done a lot more. And I’m pretty sure I need to move on, or else I’ll fall into stagnation. And stagnation, being the opposite of Chaos, is the opposite of my soul ;-).

And thus we have 2006. What will this year bring?


I recently understood that DoomRL is probably the peak of my current abilities, and it will take a while before I manage to create something that will gain equal popularity. Hence I understood that I need to handle DoomRL with special care, not to allow it to be left alone. Thus I treat a new DoomRL release a top-priority, and it will be the first one this year.

Not a long while ago I was playing with the idea to close/finish DoomRL development. I didn’t have much ideas on what to implement next. Here the DoomRL forum crew provided a big dose of inspiration. I wanted to thank you all, you’re great! (special thanks to Turgor, for being the most active!)

The ideas for DoomRL 0.9.8 are public, and can be read on the forum, as for further plans, I play around with the idea of adding more plot to the game, with a more interesting and complex “dungeon”-structure. It somehow hurts me when some people say that DoomRL is “too simple”. I am conscious that it’s also one of DoomRL’s advantages tough, and I hope to keep the game simple, but make it complex content-wise.

BTW, a new website for DoomRL is almost ready.


There was a day that I recieved 3 emails at once asking me to continue this project. Technicaly I abandoned it due to lack of interest from the community, but it’s fate isn’t yet sealed. I’m pretty sure I will release a more “polished” release, but it will still be only with “demo-content”. As for it’s further fate, I dunno.


I need to release it, I hell do. If I don’t it will get bloated and useless again, and I will need to write another instance of it. Valkyrie will be (is) under the GPL, although I don’t plan to release it all at once. Currently I want to polish up and document the core, and the text IO classes and release them. I wonder wether anyone will find them usefull.


It grew silent, but the engine’s there, and I’m quite proud of the codebase. Unfortunately I’m only a beginner at Lua, so probably I did tons of things wrong. Yet I believe it will serve the purpose it was designed for — creating simple coffee-break roguelikes like DoomRL and DiabloRL only by editing human-readable datafiles (and only a slight bit of Lua if you want to do advanced stuff). To the people on the carceri-dev mailing list — the list is just inactive, not dead.


Oh my. People stopped bugging me for it which is a good thing and bad thing. The good thing is that I don’t feel attacked and pressured to work on it, the bad thing is that I don’t feel attacked and pressured to work on it. GenRogue won’t be ASCII and won’t be released soon, that’s for sure. And it’s got a true name at last, that I leave secret for marketing purposes ;-).

Other Projects

Tons of them. Literaly tons of them. Not leaving the roguelike genre, I have about 7-8 roguelike ideas, out of which none will probably see daylight. I had a brilliant vision of AlienBreedRL (and even a design doc) in my mind, a bold plan of FallotRL, and a crazy idea of EliteRL. Chances that any of those will see daylight are close to none.

Yet this is only the tip of an iceberg. There are plenty more ideas, plenty more projects, not directly related to roguelikes that I would like to pull off… But even if I’d discard everything in this paragraph, the things mentioned above could quite successfuly fillup even a year of doing nothing else but dev work. Hell, anyone got a spare lifetime to give away?

Summa Summarum

Instead of organizing my thoughts I’m even more scared after writing all the above down then when I was before. So many projects so little time. Pulling all the strings is impossible, so I need to make difficult choices. Need to kill something, to give away a part of my dreams. What feels like suicide to me. But without a sensible plan, without sensible restrictions, I won’t be able to achieve anything at all. But will I be strong enough to forfeit a huge part of my dreams? And even so, how can I decide which dreams should live and which are to be forsaken? How can I decide which part of myself to kill? Where will I find the courage to do that?

I don’t know. But hell, I need the answer fast — realy fast, cause life is drifting away.

Yet, what give’s me strenght is that quote overheard in one of my favourite animes — “The ticket to the future is always blank.”

My problem tough, is how to fill it.


Slash · 10 January 2006, 16:24 Hehe, long time I awaited the prophetized new year post !!! :p

Sometimes I am shocked by the popularity of DoomRL; litle roguelike projects get a fan base of such size in such a little time, so I would consider it a sucess for this year of yours. I wish the new version of CRL can get half the attention DoomRL is got now (Perhaps the fact that it is Java greatly hampers its spreading...)

DiabloRL was a good idea as well (the 7DRL was the sucess of this year for the roguedev community in my opinion), and perhaps it may evolve as CRL did.

As for Valkirie, I had plans to release something similar (The Wing Engine) some time ago... but I just couldnt handle the pressure and decided to just concentrate on games rather than engines... genericity is deadly for your brain and productivity.. but if yours is showable... nice ;)

Genrogue... not for 2006? I guess so, as long as you dont lost the focus :p

Strangely, I feel like doing crossover roguelike games, just like you :D ... what would be the reason?

And Margo, is she someone close to you? it is nice to see you have somebody from real life which cares for your projects, really nice ;)

This new year brings a lot of goals for me as well, but if you want to see them, you will have to browse my blog ;) (