Guardian Angel

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Guardian Angel
Talkie-Talkie Project
Developer Santiago Zapata
P. Language Java
Platforms Java
Interface ASCII
Game Length
Official site of Guardian Angel

A roguelike project currently on hold, the goal of Guardian Angel is to create a world in which the player may incarnate a character able to make a living the way he wants it and achieve the game goal in many different ways; the game will be more centered around exploration than combat, and is intended to have a random "plot" generator as well as a political system that determines the events on the world.

The game underwent 2 rewrites, and the third one was intended to be the last one and to start on March 2006.


The Guardian Angel project was first started around June 2002. In these times, most done work was designing and sketching, and nothing was ever implement. However the goal of making a game in which the player could decide his own path was established since these early times. The project was by the time named 'Amber Dragon'.

Around December 2002, actual coding began using Java 1.4. The game was named 'Angels of Fate', and it got to a pretty far stage, including walk on the map functionality and a rudimentary combat. However, the project died because of abstraction sofocation. A lot of generality was intented, and it was hard to put it all together. Aditionally, lots of features had a basis on realism, and were hard to handle. The project fell, leaving a lot of experience in the hands of the developer.

In February 2003, the project was restarted with the name 'Guardian Angel', and it defined a series of abstraction layers that have been kept until today. However the 'Engine' layer, which was first named 'RogueDev Engine', was encapsulating too much functionality, and the project was in danger of suffering the same fate of 'Angels of Fate'. In June 2003, a tough decision was made, and 'RogueDev Engine' was stripped of most of its functionality, reducing the scope initially intended for it, but allowing the project to survive. The 'Engine' layer was renamed to 'Wing', following the suggestion from somebody as Angels are supposed to have Wings to support themselves.

In October 2003, Guardian Angel was exposed in the CREAR expo at the University of Medellin. While it was in an early alpha stage, the foundations of the engine including the actor controlling devices and the abstract AI modules captured the attention of many. However most of the attention was geared toward the random fractal generation method, which was already working by that time. I got a lot of possitive comments that helped to continue the development.


Guardian Angel is a roguelike game, in which the player personifies a character that lives inside a fantasy world.

The goal of the game is unknown, and determined by the almighty RNG everytime a new game is started. However there are several paths the player may decide to follow, including the exploration of the world looking for rare artifacts which will make his reputation (and budget) grow, the subscription to a political or military faction which locates him into a hierachy of power into the world, or the lonely life of a fisherman that lives only for the day until he knows there is something bigger in the world; it is all up to the player.

Some other features, from the roguelike genre to which it belongs, are:

  • ASCII Character display: The visualization of the world in Guardian Angel is made via an ASCII character grid. Altough this may appear to be a barrier for playability, it allows you to recreate the world in you head the way you want, without being bound by somebody else's perception.
  • Random World Generation: The worlds in Guardian Angel are generated using a random algorithm; this allows you to replay the game for a long time, as every game session will be different in one or another way. The generation on Guardian Angel does not only includes the physical outlook, but also the social aspect and the history and goals of each individual in the world.
  • Permadeath: Once the character created by your angel dies, he is gone for good. While this may seem harsh at first for people coming from other genres, you will quickly discover that it is a crucial factor in your enjoyment of the game, as it encourages careful choosen tactics, cold sweat when fighting big baddies and curses when your character dies.
  • Freedom: Your characters may choose their way in life. There is not a linear plot as in most console RPGs, so you can roam the world freely, looking for your character development in different ways, and try to challenge the game goal when you think you are ready
  • Tactical turn based play: The unit of action is based on the individual adventurer, you can command individuals if you have some kind of authority uppon them, but they may decide not to obey your orders.