IRDC 2016 Highlights

So the other weekend I attended the 2016 International Rogulike Development Conference. Had a really good time. Some highlights:

  • Jason Grinblat’s talk (slides) on using Markov chains to create procedurally generated books in Caves of Qud. I especially liked the idea of adding PCG clues into the Markov chain to make researching in these books an actual gameplay mechanic. Also, I never realized Markov chains were actually so simple to get started with. Makes me want to make some sort of bot or web toy that uses procedural text.

  • Jeremaiah Reid’s talk about Time Travel (slides) in The Only Shadow That The Desert Knows. The challenges of creating not only a time travel system but thousands of years of PCG history to travel through were fascinating.

  • Playing Killer Queen during the breaks. Not a roguelike but the machine was there in the NYU game center and how could anyone resist such a neat game.

  • Brian Bucklew’s talk (slides) on Caves of Qud AI. The part about how they made AI able to semi-intelligently use items without coding a huge nested if block kind of makes me want to make a game with items.

  • And of course meeting new and upcoming roguelike developers and getting to check out some of their cool works-in-progress was awesome.

Roguelike Celebration is coming up in September… The speaker list looks amazing. I really want to go but not sure if making a weekend trip all the way to SF is something that will happen. Might have to settle for watching the live stream. We’ll see.