Out at GDC 2010 last week I had a chance to sit down with Wes Paugh of Dinofarm Games to get a bit of hands-on time with their upcoming iPhone roguelike, 100 Rogues, which we covered, most recently, last month.

Wes explained that 100 Rogues is designed to be approachable by adventure gamers that aren't necessarily hardcore roguelike aficionados. The game features a modern, enhanced graphics set that should appeal to players more than the fairly sparse presentation of most roguelikes out there. Certain options and items have been kept more basic, as well, in the name of keeping things straight forward for the player. For example, there are only two character classes: Fairy Wizard and Human Crusader, and there are a good number of items to collect and equip along the way, but not the thousands of obscure scrolls found in the more traditional roguelike offerings.

100 Rogues, a name inspired by the SNES title 100 Worlds Quest, features not only an array of dungeon enemies, such as Bats, Rats, Skybabies, Gypsies, and Bandits, but also the occasional boss enemies, including a Genie and even Satan himself. A tap-based inventory and attack menu system designed to be quickly accessible on the iPhone has been implemented.

The initial release will feature two game worlds, with four to five additional worlds to be made available down the road through updates.

Have a look at the brief gameplay video we were able to capture during our meet.

The iPhone is happily host to several excellent roguelike dungeon crawlers, including Rogue Touch [$2.99] and Sword of Fargoal [$4.99]. Based on what I saw of 100 Rogues at GDC, Dinofarm's own take on the formula is sure to be listed among those of quality.

100 Rogues is set to appear in the App Store in just a couple of weeks.

  • Cameron

    I'VE BEEN WAITING FOR THIS DAY MY WHOLE FREAKING LIFE

    Well, a couple months, anyway

  • Cameron

    I'VE BEEN WAITING FOR THIS DAY MY WHOLE FREAKING LIFE

    Well, a couple months, anyway

  • Lions

    so just a couple weeks to go. Can't wait!

  • Lions

    so just a couple weeks to go. Can't wait!

  • BleachedBlind

    Hmm it looks pretty good. I like that they're making it easy for people to get into the roguelike genre. They're obviously planning on adding more characters since there are two slots with ?'s on the character select screen. And although those tap controls seem to work, I would really prefer to have a nice d-pad like in Rogue Touch. In a game where one misstep can be your death, it's not good to have a system that can easily allow for misreadings.

    • GodSon

      Couldn't agree more. This does look promising. Can't wait to see it in a couple weeks, it's on my insta buy list. xD

  • BleachedBlind

    Hmm it looks pretty good. I like that they're making it easy for people to get into the roguelike genre. They're obviously planning on adding more characters since there are two slots with ?'s on the character select screen. And although those tap controls seem to work, I would really prefer to have a nice d-pad like in Rogue Touch. In a game where one misstep can be your death, it's not good to have a system that can easily allow for misreadings.

    • GodSon

      Couldn't agree more. This does look promising. Can't wait to see it in a couple weeks, it's on my insta buy list. xD

  • Vovin

    Heck - you have to tap on every edge to move your character? It seems to be very arduously. Why don't they make an invisible d-pad like Sword of Fargoal?

    • http://www.ummband.com poutini

      I was just about to say the same thing - it looks tough to control and a little unresponsive.

      • Vovin

        Yes - look at it at 01:15.

  • Vovin

    Heck - you have to tap on every edge to move your character? It seems to be very arduously. Why don't they make an invisible d-pad like Sword of Fargoal?

    • http://www.ummband.com poutini

      I was just about to say the same thing - it looks tough to control and a little unresponsive.

      • Vovin

        Yes - look at it at 01:15.

  • jsrco

    I am in the beta for this and the controls actually respond very well. It isn't a once you get used to it - it works scenario. For the game-play they work very well.

  • jsrco

    I am in the beta for this and the controls actually respond very well. It isn't a once you get used to it - it works scenario. For the game-play they work very well.

  • Vovin

    But do you really have to grab around on the whole screen?

  • Vovin

    But do you really have to grab around on the whole screen?

  • Sushibox

    I honestly can't wait for this, I'm keeping my eyes peeled. I've been a big fan of Roguelike games, and this one seems like it really will deliver some good fun, even for people that aren't avid Roguelike fans, let alone big supporters.

    I'll be most definitely downloading this the minute I see it available.

  • Sushibox

    I honestly can't wait for this, I'm keeping my eyes peeled. I've been a big fan of Roguelike games, and this one seems like it really will deliver some good fun, even for people that aren't avid Roguelike fans, let alone big supporters.

    I'll be most definitely downloading this the minute I see it available.

  • Beeb

    Really looking forward to this one too, the way they make the fighters emotions show by changing his helmet was what first drew me in :P

    Btw, what happened to your thumb dude?

  • Beeb

    Really looking forward to this one too, the way they make the fighters emotions show by changing his helmet was what first drew me in :P

    Btw, what happened to your thumb dude?

  • M.

    Sorry, my native language is not English but what the h#% is "a roguelike"?

  • M.

    Sorry, my native language is not English but what the h#% is "a roguelike"?

  • Steve

    Looks very nice, BUT the controls look like they might break the game for me. Give us a d-pad, or controls like Sword of Fargoal..

  • Steve

    Looks very nice, BUT the controls look like they might break the game for me. Give us a d-pad, or controls like Sword of Fargoal..

  • Johnny

    Tried to find information about "100 Worlds Quest" but couldn't find anything.

    • Johnny

      Hmm.. misquoted - "100 World Story" for the NES.

  • Johnny

    Tried to find information about "100 Worlds Quest" but couldn't find anything.

    • Johnny

      Hmm.. misquoted - "100 World Story" for the NES.

  • jsrco

    No you don't have to grab around the entire screen. Just in the direction you are headed. I like these better than Fargol, but that is just me. To me this is more of a turn based Diablo styled game. The loot is a really cool aspect of it.

  • jsrco

    No you don't have to grab around the entire screen. Just in the direction you are headed. I like these better than Fargol, but that is just me. To me this is more of a turn based Diablo styled game. The loot is a really cool aspect of it.

  • eev

    and again no mentioning of perfect rogue game - iNethack. toucharcade writers should do homework...

    • http://www.silentrocco.com Silent Rocco

      They are just mentioning the fun ones ;)

      • eev

        what can be more fun then random sleep or freeze (trap, monster) and appearing attacking monster and as result - game over? ;)

  • eev

    and again no mentioning of perfect rogue game - iNethack. toucharcade writers should do homework...

    • http://www.silentrocco.com Silent Rocco

      They are just mentioning the fun ones ;)

      • eev

        what can be more fun then random sleep or freeze (trap, monster) and appearing attacking monster and as result - game over? ;)

  • http://www.ChronoSoft.com CommanderData

    I am intrigued by the looks of the game (dungeons are nice and twisty and detailed), but seeing it in action makes me think it looks a bit clumsy. Sort of like looking backward in time to where Rogue Touch was back in January / February 2009. Initially your only control option in RT was to continuously tap (or tap and hold) the outer edges of the game field, which becomes a chore fast. That appears to be the same control scheme here.

    After I came up with "fast-play" double tap, auto-following for hallways, and the D-pad, Rogue Touch became a much more enjoyable experience for so many people.

    As soon as animation is added, complexity rises and the speed of gameplay goes down (not to mention battery life). It will be interesting to see how 100 Rogues turns out, and how they solve these problems to make the game more playable. I've put a lot of thought into them as well for my next rogue-like since it too will be highly animated- work on it has been in progress on it for a while... new announcements will be made soon :)

    In the meantime, I'll be picking up 100 Rogues on release day to add to my iPhone rogue-like collection!

    • Gates

      Rogue Touch really needs the auto-explore "O" button from Dungeon Crawl: Stone Soup (which I'm sure you've heard of CD since you use a lot of icons from it)

      • http://www.ChronoSoft.com CommanderData

        Images that are used in common between Dungeon Crawl: Stone Soup, NetHack, and Rogue Touch are actually all public domain tiles from a set at http://rltiles.sourceforge.net/, and are properly credited as such in Rogue Touch. Note that there are a number of RT tiles not from that set that were either hand drawn by me or located elsewhere online.

        I am familiar with the concept of auto-explore though, as recently written about in John Harris' column @Play. Rogue was never designed for such a thing, but there could be a use for it in my next rogue-like game. It only really makes sense with a game world as large as DC:SS, so we'll see if my new game gets that large in scope ;)

        Rogue Touch will be getting one or two more updates as I finish up my larger game projects... the biggest one in mind is probably enhanced iPad support, but there will be some other interesting secret features!

      • David

        I love how both of you are backhandedly complimentary. 100 Rogues hasn't even come out yet, so for all we know it may suck. I love how at one point on the facebook page, it links to a review of DCSS and says "_another_ " great roguelike, as if 100 rogues can even be placed in the same class of awesomeness at this point; total hubris.

        And Rogue Touch: get over it- nice interface, but it broke no new ground in the genre, unless you count being able to start with cheating stats. I had to roll my eyes at all the smiley faces when you were "dropping hints" on the forums. You love to be adored, got it. Your game is just okay, and it wasn't even yours to start with.

        Having said that, I hope your new roguelike turns out well, CommanderData, and I hope 100 Rogues turns out well also. Remember the enemy of good is best (cough* 100 Rogues taking forever *cough) so there is a lesson in it.

  • http://www.ChronoSoft.com CommanderData

    I am intrigued by the looks of the game (dungeons are nice and twisty and detailed), but seeing it in action makes me think it looks a bit clumsy. Sort of like looking backward in time to where Rogue Touch was back in January / February 2009. Initially your only control option in RT was to continuously tap (or tap and hold) the outer edges of the game field, which becomes a chore fast. That appears to be the same control scheme here.

    After I came up with "fast-play" double tap, auto-following for hallways, and the D-pad, Rogue Touch became a much more enjoyable experience for so many people.

    As soon as animation is added, complexity rises and the speed of gameplay goes down (not to mention battery life). It will be interesting to see how 100 Rogues turns out, and how they solve these problems to make the game more playable. I've put a lot of thought into them as well for my next rogue-like since it too will be highly animated- work on it has been in progress on it for a while... new announcements will be made soon :)

    In the meantime, I'll be picking up 100 Rogues on release day to add to my iPhone rogue-like collection!

    • Gates

      Rogue Touch really needs the auto-explore "O" button from Dungeon Crawl: Stone Soup (which I'm sure you've heard of CD since you use a lot of icons from it)

      • http://www.ChronoSoft.com CommanderData

        Images that are used in common between Dungeon Crawl: Stone Soup, NetHack, and Rogue Touch are actually all public domain tiles from a set at http://rltiles.sourceforge.net/, and are properly credited as such in Rogue Touch. Note that there are a number of RT tiles not from that set that were either hand drawn by me or located elsewhere online.

        I am familiar with the concept of auto-explore though, as recently written about in John Harris' column @Play. Rogue was never designed for such a thing, but there could be a use for it in my next rogue-like game. It only really makes sense with a game world as large as DC:SS, so we'll see if my new game gets that large in scope ;)

        Rogue Touch will be getting one or two more updates as I finish up my larger game projects... the biggest one in mind is probably enhanced iPad support, but there will be some other interesting secret features!

      • David

        I love how both of you are backhandedly complimentary. 100 Rogues hasn't even come out yet, so for all we know it may suck. I love how at one point on the facebook page, it links to a review of DCSS and says "_another_ " great roguelike, as if 100 rogues can even be placed in the same class of awesomeness at this point; total hubris.

        And Rogue Touch: get over it- nice interface, but it broke no new ground in the genre, unless you count being able to start with cheating stats. I had to roll my eyes at all the smiley faces when you were "dropping hints" on the forums. You love to be adored, got it. Your game is just okay, and it wasn't even yours to start with.

        Having said that, I hope your new roguelike turns out well, CommanderData, and I hope 100 Rogues turns out well also. Remember the enemy of good is best (cough* 100 Rogues taking forever *cough) so there is a lesson in it.

  • MrMuesli

    I think the most successful control scheme for a Roguelike was Fargoal. Touch and drag anywhere to move, and the length of the drag determines the speed. Simple, uncluttered, perfect. Not to mention the zoom function. Hope these guys take a leaf out of Fargoal's book.

    • Wes Paugh

      Demoer here:

      I like a lot of things Fargoal did; they got a really good aesthetic across and made the lack of character animation look better than any other roguelikes I've seen that use the same approach, and the mechanical depth is everything one would expect from a roguelike.

      That said, I have had nothing but bad experience with the game's input. Auto-combat was not engaging to me and movement felt very haphazard and heavy-handed. The 'swipe-to-move' system the instructions tout had me jumping all over the screen, and varying movement speed based on drag distance was not nearly as intuitive to me as it sounds on paper.

      Autorun is something we plan to experiment with, but at the moment the generated maps are tight and twisted enough that autorun would generally need to be redirected every screen's length of movement or more, which may in fact be a more cumbersome system to pilot.

      • Jorlen

        Funny I found Sword of Fargoal's controls to be some of the best in any iphone game I've ever played. And I played SoF for countless hours.

        Either way, I'll be waiting to see how other rogue-like fans feel about the controls, and if they work, then add me to the list of instant purchasers!

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      • MrMuesli

        I can't say I have had the same difficulties with swipe-to-move in Fargoal tbh. I find that aspect really quite perfect. It gives me more of a feeling of engagement than 'double tap and off he runs'. It also works well in Fargoal specifically I feel because the maps generally feel less predictable than a series of rooms connected by corridors. The maps are just asking to be explored in a slightly haphazard way which I personally like. Also, you don't need to worry so much about economizing on moves as hunger is not an issue. Plus, the partial real time aspect of Fargoal also lends itself to a less strict approach to movement I find.
        Hope that made sense. Good luck with your game btw: )

  • MrMuesli

    I think the most successful control scheme for a Roguelike was Fargoal. Touch and drag anywhere to move, and the length of the drag determines the speed. Simple, uncluttered, perfect. Not to mention the zoom function. Hope these guys take a leaf out of Fargoal's book.

    • Wes Paugh

      Demoer here:

      I like a lot of things Fargoal did; they got a really good aesthetic across and made the lack of character animation look better than any other roguelikes I've seen that use the same approach, and the mechanical depth is everything one would expect from a roguelike.

      That said, I have had nothing but bad experience with the game's input. Auto-combat was not engaging to me and movement felt very haphazard and heavy-handed. The 'swipe-to-move' system the instructions tout had me jumping all over the screen, and varying movement speed based on drag distance was not nearly as intuitive to me as it sounds on paper.

      Autorun is something we plan to experiment with, but at the moment the generated maps are tight and twisted enough that autorun would generally need to be redirected every screen's length of movement or more, which may in fact be a more cumbersome system to pilot.

      • Jorlen

        Funny I found Sword of Fargoal's controls to be some of the best in any iphone game I've ever played. And I played SoF for countless hours.

        Either way, I'll be waiting to see how other rogue-like fans feel about the controls, and if they work, then add me to the list of instant purchasers!

      • MrMuesli

        I can't say I have had the same difficulties with swipe-to-move in Fargoal tbh. I find that aspect really quite perfect. It gives me more of a feeling of engagement than 'double tap and off he runs'. It also works well in Fargoal specifically I feel because the maps generally feel less predictable than a series of rooms connected by corridors. The maps are just asking to be explored in a slightly haphazard way which I personally like. Also, you don't need to worry so much about economizing on moves as hunger is not an issue. Plus, the partial real time aspect of Fargoal also lends itself to a less strict approach to movement I find.
        Hope that made sense. Good luck with your game btw: )

  • araczynski

    AV seems to be solid, but watching a trailer where the player has to repeat commands to get the device to register them, is an instant 'pass' for me.

    i hope that's not the dev who found that 'ok' enough to show it in the trailer.

    • Carl

      I'll second that: any app demo video I watch where taps go unregistered is an instant 'red flag' to me. If I had known that Rogue Touch's double-tap-follow-corridor also had such hiccups, I might have passed on it, too.

      I'll also chime in to herald Fargoal's drop-your-finger-down-and-drag-in-a-direction control scheme: absolutely perfect for one-handed dungeon crawling.

      • Wes Paugh

        We are aware of a few rough spots with interaction, specifically with skill targeting and opening doors. You can expect both will be resolved prior to release, but you should also know that the problem was exacerbated due to the angle at which I was holding to device in an effort to keep my hand out of the camera's view.

      • http://www.ChronoSoft.com CommanderData

        I'm not aware of any issues with triggering double-tap to follow corridors in Rogue Touch. Do you see this regularly, or at random? If you can supply information on the issue I could probably fix it for you... please visit my ChronoSoft forums and fill in the details on OS version, device you're using, and what you do to reproduce the trouble. Thanks!

        On Sword of Fargoal's control method: this works well for Fargoal because it does not require precision. Fargoal is a real-time game, but oddly turn based where only one monster can fight you at a time. Plus there are no food issues to worry about. Rogue Touch requires more exact movements due to it's design. I am sure that 100 Rogues will have the same requirements, especially with the number of monsters they plan to throw at the player at once.

    • araczynski

      sounds like it wasn't "ok" enough for the dev then. good sign.

  • araczynski

    AV seems to be solid, but watching a trailer where the player has to repeat commands to get the device to register them, is an instant 'pass' for me.

    i hope that's not the dev who found that 'ok' enough to show it in the trailer.

    • Carl

      I'll second that: any app demo video I watch where taps go unregistered is an instant 'red flag' to me. If I had known that Rogue Touch's double-tap-follow-corridor also had such hiccups, I might have passed on it, too.

      I'll also chime in to herald Fargoal's drop-your-finger-down-and-drag-in-a-direction control scheme: absolutely perfect for one-handed dungeon crawling.

      • Wes Paugh

        We are aware of a few rough spots with interaction, specifically with skill targeting and opening doors. You can expect both will be resolved prior to release, but you should also know that the problem was exacerbated due to the angle at which I was holding to device in an effort to keep my hand out of the camera's view.

      • http://www.ChronoSoft.com CommanderData

        I'm not aware of any issues with triggering double-tap to follow corridors in Rogue Touch. Do you see this regularly, or at random? If you can supply information on the issue I could probably fix it for you... please visit my ChronoSoft forums and fill in the details on OS version, device you're using, and what you do to reproduce the trouble. Thanks!

        On Sword of Fargoal's control method: this works well for Fargoal because it does not require precision. Fargoal is a real-time game, but oddly turn based where only one monster can fight you at a time. Plus there are no food issues to worry about. Rogue Touch requires more exact movements due to it's design. I am sure that 100 Rogues will have the same requirements, especially with the number of monsters they plan to throw at the player at once.

    • araczynski

      sounds like it wasn't "ok" enough for the dev then. good sign.

  • wizard

    Love the job they did on the music.

  • wizard

    Love the job they did on the music.

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  • Anonymous

    "GDC 2010 " for iPhone game.. it''s a nice game
    i like to play.. HAHA!!!