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Streets of Rogue is a rogue-lite about player choice, freedom, and anarchic fun. The game takes inspiration from fast-paced top-down rogue-lites like Binding of Isaac and Nuclear Throne, and adds free-form, experimentation-driven, emergent gameplay elements of RPGs like Deus Ex. Rather than taking place in a dungeon, the game is set in a functioning, procedurally generated city, where complex AI informs denizens from all walks of life, who are just trying to get by in their daily activities. In order to progress, the player will need to accomplish specific mission goals in any way they see fit through use of their special character traits, items, and the environment. Will you play as a soldier who shoots first and asks questions later? A stealthy scientist who uses chloroform and tranquilizer darts to silently take down the opposition? A genial bartender who can talk his way past the most intimidating of guards? Or how about a hyper-intelligent gorilla, rescuing other caged gorillas to form a small mobilized gorilla army?
- Play the game YOUR way! Don’t want to kill anybody? That’s cool! Want to hack computers? Got ya covered!
- Random world generation and TOTALLY EXTREME gameplay variety means you can play for 600 hours and not get bored! Seriously though, go outside!!!
- Super-advanced artificial intelligence that won’t put up with your crap! Outsmart these virtual humans and feel superior to your computer!
- Play as over 40 types of characters (in the final version)! Bartender, scientist, hacker, gorilla — hey, your job is probably in there too!
- Stupidly huge number of items (in the final version)! Shrink rays, hypnotizing devices, boomboxes, bear traps, food processors.. Oh, and guns too.
- 2-Player cooperative mode lets you brutalize goons AND loneliness!
- Lead a gang, free slaves, drink beer, gib ghosts, become a vampire, shrink people and stomp on them. The most insanely varied game ever made.
Q&A with Matt Dabrowski:
Q. How long have you been developing games?
A. I’ve been developing games using various pieces of design software since I was 8 years old. So, technically about two and a half decades. My first major release was a game called “AfterShocked!” which I made back in high school, followed by a game I made during my college years called “Between Heaven and Hell”. After graduating, I worked in the games industry for a bit, contributing to the first World of Warcraft expansion and SimCity Societies. I worked outside the industry for a few years, but got more than a little antsy and started working on my own projects again in my free time.
Q. What does an average day at the office look like?
A. Essentially, I get up from the bed, walk over to my computer five feet away, and start my day! To be more specific, I’ll typically check emails and various things around the internet for about an hour. Then go to the gym and have lunch. And then I’ll get as much work done on the game as I can between then and bedtime.
Q. After the team finishes up a day – do you guys prefer clubbing or the bar scene?
A. I’m the only full-time member of my team, I live with my girlfriend, and my gym and supermarket are across the street. So I don’t get out a whole lot! Though my girlfriend, who works in television (we live in Los Angeles), ends up bringing me to a bunch of parties and events. I’m not really a spring chicken anymore, so I tend to be more of a homebody anyways.
Q. Being a game developer takes a special type of creativity, do you have any
other creative skills or hobbies?
A. When it comes to game development, I try to be a jack of all trades – Programming, design, art. Outside of development, I can’t say that I have any major creative outlets.
Q. What inspired you to make Streets of Rogue?
A. A few things:
– I’m a huge fan of roguelikes and roguelites, and thought it would be interesting from a design perspective to make one. It was also weird to me that I couldn’t find any rogue-lites that involved interacting with the environment and NPCs in significant ways that didn’t involve killing. It seemed like an unfilled niche.
– Specific games: Binding of Isaac, Spelunky and Nuclear Throne (classic roguelike inspirations), Deus Ex and Fallout (for their freedom of choice and “city with a bunch of quests” gameplay), and Messiah (the idea of playing as a bunch of real-world character classes that have different purposes in the world).
– Playing an early alpha of Wasteland 2 and getting immediately annoyed with the then-cumbersome interface. This inspired the super-streamlined nature of my game.
Q. How long (so far) has Streets of Rogue been a project?
Do you have an approximate release date?
A. SOR has been in development since December of 2013. I’m hoping to have the game ready for release in August of 2017.
Q. It seems like you really want ideas from the community to help make Streets of Rogue
can you tell us some of your favorite suggestions from the community? What about
the craziest idea?
A. I get a ton of suggestions from people, and I actually do implement quite a few of them. One fan suggested that I added to the game was the Comedian character. Someone had suggested to me a clown who would go around and tell jokes to people, which would sway their opinion of you. I felt that a hacky stand-up comedian would fit into the world a bit better, but I liked that core mechanic a lot. Typically, I won’t use people’s larger ideas verbatim, but rather take elements of them and add my own spin. Craziest? Well, somebody just suggested a living statue sewer creature made entirely out of gold, who takes damage when coming in contact with dirty/fleshy things and restores his health by eating gold. So I guess that qualifies!
Q. It seems like creative games are very popular these days, will Streets of Rogue have
more customization? Player created content (maps, mods and so on)?
A. I’d love to allow for the game to be moddable. It’s not likely something that I’ll have time to work on before release. But as post-release content, it’s probable. I’m not sure exactly what form this would take at the moment, so I don’t want to make any particular promises just yet.
Q. If we switched shoes and I was the developer, how much money would you pay
for Streets of Rogue?
A. Honestly, it’s hard to even fathom what I’d pay as a non-developer at this point. I barely have time to play games these days due to my work schedule, so I’ll typically wait for a very low price if something looks interesting, then play for enough time to get a sense of the gameplay, then maybe-or-maybe-not finish it. But for something that looks and plays like Streets of Rogue and comparing it to other games within the genre, I’d probably put it in the $15 range. But in the interest of not selling myself short, I’ll say $100. Which is actually pretty typical if you live in Australia, from what I hear!