Hey I’m David, designer for Team 1, and I’m here to take you through the initial thought process of our game. Way back in a time long ago (about two weeks before Iron Dev started), Tom (our programmer) and I were sitting around thinking about the upcoming Ludum Dare competition. I had been playing a lot of ‘Dungeons of Dredmor’, ‘The Binding of Isaac’ and ‘Spelunky’. Tom had been playing a lot of ‘Legends of Grimrock’, and we got into a conversation about how awesome ‘Roguelike’ games were, but how they were often hampered by some clunky design, mainly inventories and awkward control systems.
The genre ‘Roguelike’ has been undergoing rapid changes over the past few years, and with some recent additions like ‘The Binding of Isaac’ and ‘Spelunky’, the genre has been quite loosely defined. I defined a ‘Roguelike’ as a game with procedurally generated content, learning through death, and progress defined by how far you get before dying. This encompasses Isaac, Spelunky, Dredmor, Dwarf Fortress, and the traditional roguelikes. At this point Tom jokingly made the observation that if that is how you define a Roguelike , ‘Infinite Runners’ are Roguelikes. This observation went full circle back to what we wanted to achieve, an accessible pick-up and play (PUP) Roguelike.
If we could take the simplicity of an infinite runner and the incredible depth of a Roguelike, we could be onto something very special. Based on this observation we tried to see if we could take the really cool parts of Roguelikes and repackage them in a more accessible form. By doing this we would be exposing casual gamers to something that normally only hardcore gamers would experience. In other words we decided to make a Roguelike for casual gamers.
So then Ludum Dare came along, Tom and I both decided to make two games inspired by our conversation. Tom made a cool minimalistic Roguelike dungeon crawler called ‘Vol’. I went in the other direction and actually made an infinite runner with some RPG style elements called ‘Unnatural Selection’. Both games then went on to inspire Team 1’s next game…
Here is a little teaser to keep everyone occupied (PS this is on mobile):