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4 <title>Rogue (1980)</title>
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10 <h1>Rogue (1980)</h1>
11 <h2>Exploring the Cavern of Cuties</h2>
12 <div style="width: 70%; margin-left: 15%;">
13 <blockquote style="font-style: italic;">
14 With as much time as game designers and critics
15 think and write about the specifics of game interactions, it's
16 often useful to step back and look at the basics. Let’s ask a
17 simple question: why are there so many video games dealing with
18 social interaction and relationships, and so few that explore
19 violence and action-oriented gameplay?
20 </blockquote>
21 - <a href="">Gregory
22 Weir, <em>Why So Few Violent Games?</em></a>
23 </div>
24 <p>
25 This question is critical to understanding the value, despite
26 otherwise negative attitudes, of <em>Rogue</em>, a
27 roleplaying game from the early 1980s. <em>Rogue</em> is usually
28 noted at best as a historical anomaly, one of the first games
29 that visualized a sense of space but with otherwise uncompelling
30 mechanics; at worst, it has been called a "murder simulator" and
31 "training for psychopaths".
32 </p>
33 <p>
34 Rather than try to adapt the existing dialogue and interpersonal
35 mechanics of text-driven fantasy adventure games to their new
36 interface for spatial navigation, the creators decided to add in
37 a variety of weaponry and offer exclusively utilitarian
38 fashion. In addition to the usual romantic options, the game
39 allows you to hit monsters with swords. This puzzling choice
40 might be related to its authorship - it was designed by college
41 students studying computer science rather than out of the more
42 usual fields like sociology or psychology.
43 </p>
44 <p>
45 <em>Rogue</em> was poorly received at the time of release. Historians
46 decried the mixture of weapons and armor from disparate
47 periods. Experts in weaponry were frustrated by its limited
48 tactics. <em>Drawing Room</em> magazine, a contemporary publication
49 for gaming hobbyists, said in its column "The Role of
50 Computers",
51 </p>
52 <blockquote>
53 The sweeping cinematic fight scenes found around the table in
54 games like <em>Counts and Courtship</em> are totally absent. The
55 difference between the precision of a duel, the chaos of a
56 bar-room brawl, or the stealthy preparation for an assassination
57 - all lost to a mush best described as "bumping and grinding"
58 that would have been better served to provide more variety to
59 the game's interpersonal interactions.
60 </blockquote>
61 <p>
62 Nonetheles, I think it provides an interesting view into the
63 world Weir hypothesizes - one in which games work with conflict
64 as often as cooperation, physics as much as politics.
65 </p>
66 <hr/>
67 <p>
68 The games controls are available by entering <kbd>?</kbd>, then
69 <kbd>*</kbd> for a list of commands. In addition to expected
70 ones like <kbd>f</kbd>lirt, <kbd>g</kbd>ift, and
71 <kbd>E</kbd>mbrace, the game supports <kbd>w</kbd>ield,
72 <kbd>z</kbd>ap, and other violent verbs. If <kbd>esc</kbd>
73 doesn't work to cancel a command, try <kbd>ctrl+g</kbd>; this
74 appears to be another artifact of 1980s code.
75 </p>
76 <p style="text-align: center">
77 Download Rogue (1980) for<br/>
78 <a href="">Linux</a>
79 - <a href="">Windows</a>
80 - <a href="">Mac OS X</a>
81 - <a href=";a=summary">Source</a>
82 </p>
83 <p>
84 Please note that this source code is from 1981 and written in
85 pre-standardized C. Only minor effort has been undertaken to
86 make it compile on modern computers, mostly related to 64 bit
87 cleanliness. It may crash, and it certainly will have security
88 problems if installed, as used to be traditional, with
89 setuid/setgid on a multi-user system.
90 </p>
91 <hr/>
92 <p>
93 If you're confused, don't worry! Everything above this line is a
94 half-truth at best. This was a game designed
95 for <a href="">♥♡♥
97 2013</a>. <a href="postpartum.html">I've written some more about what it "really" is and why I made it</a>.
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