Here's my recap of the 2016 International Roguelike Development Conference in Brooklyn, though really it's mostly an excuse for me to test out my new bespoke RSS feed. I was thinking I didn't post enough to warrant a feed, but in hindsight that's exactly when one should provide a feed.
Last year was the first IRDC in the US and the first time I had met anyone from the roguelike community. I decided to go again and to give a talk this time, even though I'm still totally freaked out about public speaking. It was once again amazing to meet people across the whole spectrum: veteran developers, roguelike enthusiasts, and some just getting their feet wet.
Huge thanks to Kawa for organizing the conference this time! The exhaustion was definitely palpable, yet things ran quite smoothly. Also, thanks to Mark R Johnson for visiting us from across the pond and justifying the "I" in IRDC (I noted last year that Mark's rumored involvement resulted in a real stone soup). Check out the postmortems from Mark and Kawa. The latter goes into depth about the details of running a conference.
My talk went a lot better than expected. I adapted it from a blog post I had a written earlier this year called Time Travel Is ******* Hard, so it was pretty easy to write the slides. There were a couple hiccups because of converting to Google Slides, but deciding to demo the game on the fly was even better than the gifs I had planned. I received several mind expanding questions after the talk and we all took turns being rather confused. I got some super positive feedback (you people are too nice) and some encouragement to keep working on the game. I really hope I can in the near future...
Probably my favorite talk of the conference. We've all seen Markov text before and it's usually quite incoherent/hilarious. However, I am impressed by the clever techniques on display here such as hooking secrets into procedural books and feeding Cave of Qud's own help text into the corpus for delightful results.
It's clear Thom has seen things over his programming career. He offers a good number of lessons learned, all aimed at making your life easier. This is a great talk for novice programmers.
I keep reading about Dijkstra Maps, but am always left a bit confused. This talk helps a lot and demonstrates some really cool behavior that you can wring out (e.g. monsters with flanking behavior).
In the same vein as last year, Sheridan talks passionately about the ups and downs of following your dreams in game development. Plus we get to see some exciting early work on his next game.
Procedural dialects, procedural names of all varieties, procedural questions with procedural responses. Oh my! You'll be blown away as usual.
Brett returns to his previous 7DRL, Rogue Space Marine, to dissect what makes it special. It's interesting how a constraint (being unable to properly code a turn based system) turned into a huge boon in the end.
It's always fascinating to see the inner workings of the Cud universe. This talk is going to help me refactor all the spaghetti code that currently drives my enemy AI.
Huge props to Adam. He gave his whole talk before realizing that we couldn't hear any of it and then immediately gave the same talk again. This is another heartfelt exploration of the emotional rollercoaster that is game programming, but this time from the perspective of a total beginner. I pestered Adam to try his hand at a 7DRL last year and damn if he didn't follow through.
We got some unexpected bonuses with discussions on enjoying your craft, nifty tools, and even Markov-generated karaoke! During the demo time, I had a blast playing (and nearly beating) Billiard Dungeon and I even saw some serendipitous events occur in my own game.
There were mentions of the next IRDC taking place on the east coast again (maybe DC?). I hope to see you there. And don't forget about the upcoming Roguelike Celebration, which has a totally ridiculous speaker list.