KeeperRL, dungeon simulation and roguelike

KeeperRL, dungeon simulation and roguelike

Postby miki151 » 15 May 2014, 10:55

KeeperRL is a dungeon simulator inspired by Dwarf Fortress and Dungeon Keeper. You can control your minions, and explore and conquer the world in a roguelike fashion. Combat is turn-based and very tactical.

http://keeperrl.com
https://github.com/miki151/keeperrl

The project is currently being crowdfunded on Indiegogo. Check out the page to get a sense of what is planned for the game.
https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/keeperrl-v1-0

Image

License
The source code is under GPL, and assets are party free and partly proprietary. The latter includes sprites licensed from oryxdesignlab.com, which can't be free, even if I want them to. The music is likely to be released under CC, but I have to talk to the composers about it.

Most importantly: the game runs fine without all the proprietary content, only it uses ascii graphics (which are perfectly usable, btw). So you can check it out from github and have a 100% free game.

Looking for
Contributors, of course. So far I'm the only author of the source code, but I hope it can change and the game will become more of a community project. The code isn't documented, but it's pretty clean and well designed in my opinion, and I'm ready to do whatever is needed if someone would like to be involved.

Artist. The art has been assembled by me from various sources, and someone who'd like to improve the overall looks is greatly desired. Some sort of compensation is possible if the crowdfunding works out.

Advice. I love the opensource movement, but I'd also like to earn money from this game, so that I can devote to it in 100%. Hobby development doesn't work very well for me for various reasons. I know that opensource enthusiasts are willing to put meaningful financial support (a few people from this forum have already proved this). Unfortunately 99% of gamers will grab a free game and never support it, which means the finances will be poor unless the game is hugely popular.

So far my plan is to sell the graphical version of the game, while supporting a free "ascii" version. But I'd like to make a better plan, where the assets are also free. Something that makes conventional gamers want to buy the game is needed, while keeping the opensource enthusiasts (and me) happy. Perhaps bonus levels or a paid account on a map exchange server (check out the campaign page for what is planned here).

As you see I'm in need of ideas here, or even better an example working model from another game.

Anyway, thanks for your attention, that's all for now :)

Cheers
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Re: KeeperRL, dungeon simulation and roguelike

Postby Buch » 15 May 2014, 13:47

Hey - looks really, really good. It was fun to play, and quite easy to learn.

So, even if I don't feel like giving you advice on game features and/or business models (my game design skills are quite limited), I offer my collaboration as an artist (see what I did up to now). If interested, mail me so we can discuss this further.
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Re: KeeperRL, dungeon simulation and roguelike

Postby gouessej » 16 May 2014, 13:57

Hi

Is there a large part of the asserts which can't be put under a free or free sharing license?

Do you plan to provide some binary packages for Linux distros?

Keep up the good work as usual :)

Why not making something worth being put into an Humble Indie Bundle?
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Re: KeeperRL, dungeon simulation and roguelike

Postby MCMic » 19 May 2014, 15:38

It’s sad there is no plan to release it as a fully FLOSS game.

When I try running the demo I get:
{l Code}: {l Select All Code}
$ ./keeper
Failed to execute process './keeper'. Reason:
The file './keeper' does not exist or could not be executed.
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Re: KeeperRL, dungeon simulation and roguelike

Postby Akien » 19 May 2014, 17:12

MCMic {l Wrote}:It’s sad there is no plan to release it as a fully FLOSS game.

As far as I understood Michał would be glad to release it as a fully free game, but he's also concerned about getting some money to start his business as a full-time indie game developer. So I'm sure he would be really interested in some examples of economically successful fully FLOSS games. As much as I would like to, I can't name much of those for now, Tales of Maj'Eyal is a great FLOSS game, but as in Michał's KeeperRL, part of the assets is nonfree.

Actually KeeperRL's assets do not belong to Michał, so he couldn't make them free even if he wanted to. As Michał told:
miki151 {l Wrote}:So far my plan is to sell the graphical version of the game, while supporting a free "ascii" version. But I'd like to make a better plan, where the assets are also free. Something that makes conventional gamers want to buy the game is needed, while keeping the opensource enthusiasts (and me) happy. Perhaps bonus levels or a paid account on a map exchange server (check out the campaign page for what is planned here).

So free assets and a fully FLOSS game are an option, but there's still a need for a sustainable business model.

Personally I would be delighted to pay or donate to an open-source game. As an example I contributed to 0 A.D. crowdfunding campaign, and also to Nothing to Hide and to KeeperRL. If KeeperRL were to be 100% free, I guess it would be a nice incentive to give something if you were asked for when downloading the game. There are already quite a few projects who do this, see for example the download page for Libreoffice. If you click download, your download starts but there is also a form to donate some money if you want. I saw others examples where you are first asked if you want to pay something for the game, and you can decline and download for free. In such cases I tend to download for free, and then come back after I've played the game/listened to the music/whatever to give some money. Just some thoughts :-)

MCMic {l Wrote}:When I try running the demo I get:
{l Code}: {l Select All Code}
$ ./keeper
Failed to execute process './keeper'. Reason:
The file './keeper' does not exist or could not be executed.

Can you give some more info about the issue? Which system/arch are you trying to run it on? Is the "keeper" file executable? If not, does it work after you've done "chmod +x ./keeper"?
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Re: KeeperRL, dungeon simulation and roguelike

Postby charlie » 19 May 2014, 19:10

I honestly think you could make money by publishing your game on Steam even if it is open source. People will pay a few quid/bucks to get the Steam Cloud support and Steam Acheivements etc. Yes, open source means somebody could fork it and publish it themselves but I don't think that's something to really be paranoid about as 1) communities usually rally around the victim's of blatant copying 2) free marketing from the controversy it drums up and 3) you don't have to make the Steam integration part of it open source anyway.
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Re: KeeperRL, dungeon simulation and roguelike

Postby miki151 » 20 May 2014, 07:18

gouessej {l Wrote}:Is there a large part of the asserts which can't be put under a free or free sharing license?

All the sprites. But for this kind of game replacing them with something free is a matter of days. So you should think of it as a fully FLOSS game for all practical purposes :)
Do you plan to provide some binary packages for Linux distros?

What do you mean? You can download a binary release from the webpage.

MCMic {l Wrote}:It’s sad there is no plan to release it as a fully FLOSS game.

Did you read what I wrote? There IS a plan to do it. That's why I'm here :-).
When I try running the demo I get:
{l Code}: {l Select All Code}
$ ./keeper
Failed to execute process './keeper'. Reason:
The file './keeper' does not exist or could not be executed.

It looks like you are running 64-bit linux without 32-bit compatibility libs. The next release of KeeperRL will have 64-bit support, but meanwhile you can install the 32-bit libs or compile yourself from github.

charlie {l Wrote}:I honestly think you could make money by publishing your game on Steam even if it is open source. People will pay a few quid/bucks to get the Steam Cloud support and Steam Acheivements etc. Yes, open source means somebody could fork it and publish it themselves but I don't think that's something to really be paranoid about as 1) communities usually rally around the victim's of blatant copying 2) free marketing from the controversy it drums up and 3) you don't have to make the Steam integration part of it open source anyway.

I agree, especially if there is in-game map exchange through the cloud. Just getting on Steam is not so easy :)

Thank you guys for brainstorming with me.
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Re: KeeperRL, dungeon simulation and roguelike

Postby Akien » 20 May 2014, 08:30

miki151 {l Wrote}:
gouessej {l Wrote}:Do you plan to provide some binary packages for Linux distros?

What do you mean? You can download a binary release from the webpage.

Maybe he means packages such as DEBs for Debian-based distros and RPMs for RPM-based distros. That could be interesting since installing such a package would also let the users install the needed dependencies through their package managers. I could have a look at creating a generic RPM for Mageia, Fedora and OpenSUSE (and potentially other RPM-based distros) once the alpha8 is out with 64bit support.
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Re: KeeperRL, dungeon simulation and roguelike

Postby miki151 » 20 May 2014, 09:26

Oh, ok. It would require some work, because currently the game loads all the data from current directory.
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Re: KeeperRL, dungeon simulation and roguelike

Postby Akien » 23 May 2014, 08:52

KeeperRL got funded on Indigogo and alpha8 has been released.

There are still three days left to contribute to the crowd-funding campaign, with some nice stretch goals for this already great FLOSS game :-)
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Re: KeeperRL, dungeon simulation and roguelike

Postby charlie » 23 May 2014, 09:42

Will the game stay open source?
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Re: KeeperRL, dungeon simulation and roguelike

Postby Akien » 23 May 2014, 10:22

charlie {l Wrote}:Will the game stay open source?

Once again, that's what miki151 has been saying on this very topic and everywhere else :-)

The source code is GPL and will stay so. The game can be compiled and played in ascii mode for free.
The tiles (or at least a part of the artwork set) is under a commercial license and was not produced by KeeperRL's developer. From what I understand, he paid for a license to be able to use the artwork in KeeperRL (in a similar way to what's been done for Tales of Maj'Eyal artwork, which is also nonfree). So the current version with tiles is not open source.
Now it would be possible to produce a nice open source set of tiles to use with KeeperRL, and the game would be 100% FLOSS.

Quoting miki151 once again:
miki151 {l Wrote}:So far my plan is to sell the graphical version of the game, while supporting a free "ascii" version. But I'd like to make a better plan, where the assets are also free. Something that makes conventional gamers want to buy the game is needed, while keeping the opensource enthusiasts (and me) happy. Perhaps bonus levels or a paid account on a map exchange server (check out the campaign page for what is planned here).
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Re: KeeperRL, dungeon simulation and roguelike

Postby charlie » 23 May 2014, 10:46

Thanks for clarifying. I only asked [yet again] because the indiegogo campaign states that for access to alpha versions of the game you need to be a Goblin level supporter, and that all supporters will get access to the game once it is released (ETA Dec 2014). Of course, if it remains open source, technically everybody has access to the game always - so those statements contradict a bit.
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Re: KeeperRL, dungeon simulation and roguelike

Postby Akien » 23 May 2014, 11:27

charlie {l Wrote}:Thanks for clarifying. I only asked [yet again] because the indiegogo campaign states that for access to alpha versions of the game you need to be a Goblin level supporter, and that all supporters will get access to the game once it is released (ETA Dec 2014). Of course, if it remains open source, technically everybody has access to the game always - so those statements contradict a bit.

That's true, I guess what is meant is that Goblin level supporters will get access to builds of the new alphas bundled together with the nonfree art. The art is not part of the source code since it's nonfree, so technically it would be possible to play alpha9 and later in ascii mode if you build them from the source, at least that's my understanding.

I guess if the artwork is not extended much, it would be possible to build the Goblin-level alphas from the source code and use the tiles from alpha8 to play them in tiles mode. But I don't think many people will bother doing this; and most Windows players wouldn't know how to build the game from source, so that's still quite a good incentive to contribute to the Goblin level if you want to have access to intermediate static builds before the final release.
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Re: KeeperRL, dungeon simulation and roguelike

Postby miki151 » 23 May 2014, 12:51

That's all true what you wrote Akien, thanks for clarifying it for me :)
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Re: KeeperRL, dungeon simulation and roguelike

Postby MCMic » 23 May 2014, 13:05

miki151 {l Wrote}:It looks like you are running 64-bit linux without 32-bit compatibility libs. The next release of KeeperRL will have 64-bit support, but meanwhile you can install the 32-bit libs or compile yourself from github.

Indeed, much better from a 32bit computer.
The game is great but it’s hard to understand every concepts.

There are some troubles once you get control of a team, then you don’t choose which team member you control and sometimes I never managed to go back to the keeper mode.
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Re: KeeperRL, dungeon simulation and roguelike

Postby miki151 » 25 May 2014, 14:56

I've just uploaded a version for 64-bit Linux.
https://bitbucket.org/miki151/keeperrl/ ... x64bit.zip
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Re: KeeperRL, dungeon simulation and roguelike

Postby shirish » 10 Jul 2014, 18:06

Majority of gamers (like me) would only come when there are free graphics which doesn't seem would happen anytime soonish.
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Re: KeeperRL, dungeon simulation and roguelike

Postby charlie » 10 Jul 2014, 18:08

shirish {l Wrote}:Majority of gamers (like me)

You're wrong. The majority of gamers not only don't mind paying for games but generally don't know much about FOSS and certainly wouldn't care if the graphics were under an appropriate FOSS license or not.
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