Kornel Kisielewicz, developer of Doom the Roguelike, has just released a Kickstarter campaign to crowdfund the development of Jupiter Hell. And whilst Jupiter Hell is the successor to DoomRL in many ways, it’s immediately obvious that it promises to be so much more:
3D graphics in a roguelike? A *turn-based* roguelike? And with it an original metal soundtrack and vocals from Mark Meer, who performed the voice of Commander Shepard in Mass Effect. This is going much much further than a simple “DoomRL 2″…
Now I should make evident I have a vested interest here. I am very proud to be part of the development team for the game, as Designer and Lead Writer. So I’d quite like to see this succeed! But beyond that I think this game offers a special opportunity – a chance for roguelikes to reach further than they have before.
For many years now we’ve seen roguelites (Spelunky, FTL, etc) do well with a more mainstream audience, whilst the traditional core of the genre still remains very niche. Dungeonmans and ToME are doing better than most, but still have limited impact. I refuse to believe the gameplay is at fault here. Gameplay is precisely what makes roguelikes great! Ultimately it comes down to presentation, and having the right visuals and interface to entice a wider audience in.
Some say roguelikes are too difficult for normal players, but then I see the success of Dark Souls and the new X-COM games (including Ironman Mode having high popularity!) There is a clear audience for games that provide challenge and depth. Jupiter Hell could be the game to finally bridge the gap to the rest of the gaming world. This could be the game I introduce to friends who’ve never managed to get into ADOM or Brogue, but who I know could come to love roguelikes.
And though it has these appeals to a wider audience, Jupiter Hell is still very much a hardcore roguelike. It’s turn-based, with an adaptive animation system so you never have to wait between keypresses. It even has an ASCII mode! This is something new and old players can fully appreciate.
28 days to go! Help us make this happen :)