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Charlie Hills
Alias celdaran
Projects Fire
Games I'm getting there...
Nationality American
P. Languages C#, Perl, C, PHP
Official site of Charlie Hills

Back in 1990 or so, a friend asked me, "Hey, I've got this dungeon game I can't get running. Do you think you can figure it out?" The game was Moria and the platform was VMS and I got it running. The two of us played on VT220 terminals during lunch hours and every spare minute as we tried to make our way to the Balrog and deal with this new concept known as permadeath. We even wondered if it was possible to track down this already-mythical Robert Alan Koeneke and ask for tips.

Around 1993, I made two new discoveries. Moria wasn't dead. And you didn't need a VAX/VMS system to run it anymore. Before I knew it, I had Angband running on a PC. A PC! Whoddathunk! I spent nearly eighteen months (casually) playing Angband and after cheating several hundred times, I finally defeated Morgoth.

Then it happened. What happens to, oh, say, ninety percent of us who play? It was time to write my own.

I never made it much further than jotting down ideas with pencil and paper until 1997 when I discovered Borland Delphi and found I really enjoyed writing Windows programs this way. Though I still worked on VAX/VMS systems professionally by day, I found myself designing roguelike engines and roguelike construction sets by night.

Then it happened. What happens to, oh, say, ninety percent of us who start writing a roguelike? I abandoned it.

Fast forward to 2012. I now spend most of my day working on Linux with Perl (basic LAMP environment) but at the beginning of September, the bug bit me again. I had to write a roguelike engine. Because, you know, the world NEEDS another damn roguelike engine. I'm sure that, like all projects, this will progress quickly to ninety percent complete and then remain at ninety percent complete forever. Version 0.9, Alpha 12 will be released at some point. No one will use it and the code will quietly disappear until 2025 when I decide, "Hey, I want to write my own roguelike!"

But as we all know, the point isn't to actually get the entire world to flock to our game and/or engine. The point is to have fun. The journey is what it's all about: not the destination. It's the thrill of the kill: nailing that algorithm and reveling in the small accomplishments, irrespective of the fact that you just reinvented the same wheel for the 1200th time. Sure, I could find an existing engine and build my own game in about a quarter of the time. But where's the fun in that?


p.s. My current project/engine is called Fire. It's a recursive acronym, simply: "Fire Is a Roguelike Engine."