Rogue (video game)
|Designer(s)||Michael Toy, Glenn Wichman, Ken Arnold, Jon Lane|
Rogue is a dungeon crawling video game first developed by Michael Toy and Glenn Wichman around 1980. It was a favorite on college Unix systems in the early to mid-1980s, in part due to the procedural generation of game content. Rogue popularized dungeon crawling as a video game trope, leading others to develop a class of derivatives known collectively as "roguelikes". For example, it directly inspired Hack, which in turn led to NetHack. Roguelikes have since influenced commercial games outside the genre, such as Diablo.
In Rogue, the player assumes the typical role of an adventurer of early fantasy role-playing games. The game starts at the uppermost level of an unmapped dungeon with myriad monsters and treasures. The goal is to fight one's way to the bottom level, retrieve the Amulet of Yendor (Rodney spelled backwards), then ascend to the surface. Until the Amulet is retrieved, the player cannot return to earlier levels. Monsters in the levels become progressively more difficult to defeat.
The game's setting was influenced by the text game Colossal Cave Adventure as well as Dungeons & Dragons, from which most of the monsters were, initially, closely modeled. Wichman has stated the monsters were soon altered "to avoid getting in trouble" with the creators of Dungeons & Dragons.
User interface 
In the original, all aspects of the game, including the dungeon, the player character, and monsters, are represented by letters and symbols. Monsters are represented by capital letters (such as Z for zombie), and as such there are twenty-six varieties. This type of display makes it appropriate for a non-graphical terminal. Rogue was one of the first widely used applications of the curses screen control library. Like all programs using this library, the game uses the termcap database to adapt to the capabilities of terminals made by different vendors. Later ports of Rogue apply extended character sets to the text user interface or replace it with graphical tiles.
The basic movement keys (h, left; j, down; k, up; and l, right) are the same as the cursor control keys in the vi editor. Other game actions also use single keystrokes—q to quaff a potion, w to wield a weapon, e to eat some food, etc. In the DOS version, the cursor keys specify movement, and the fast-move keys (H, J, K, and L) are supplanted by use of the scroll lock key.
Each dungeon level comprises a grid of 3 rooms by 3 rooms, or dead end hallways where rooms would be expected. Later levels include mazes in the place of rooms as well. Unlike most adventure games of the time, the dungeon layout and the placement of objects within are randomly generated.
The original authors of Rogue are Michael Toy, Glenn Wichman, and then Ken Arnold. The earliest versions were written on the Unix system at UC Santa Cruz and later coding moved, along with Michael Toy, to UC Berkeley. The game became popular enough to be distributed with Version 4.2 of BSD (Berkeley Standard Distribution) UNIX. Rogue was ported by Michael Toy and Jon Lane to the IBM PC in 1984, and then by Michael Toy to the Macintosh. Toy and Lane formed the company A.I. Design, which marketed these versions. According to Lane, Dennis Ritchie was quoted as saying that Rogue "wasted more CPU time than anything in history."
Numerous clones exist for modern operating systems such as Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, Palm OS, Linux, BSD OSs and iOS. It is even included in the base distribution of NetBSD and DragonflyBSD.
Automated play 
Because the input and output of the original game is over a terminal interface, it is relatively easy in Unix to redirect output to another program. One such program, Rog-O-Matic, was developed to play and win the game. Ken Arnold said that he liked to make "sure that every subsequent version of rogue had a new feature in it that broke rogue-o-matic." Nevertheless, it remains an interesting study in expert system design and led to the development of other game-playing programs, typically called "borgs" or "bots". Some target roguelikes, in particular Angband.
The game was reviewed in 1986 in Dragon #112 by Hartley and Pattie Lesser in the "Role of Computers" column. In a subsequent column, the reviewers gave the IBM and Mac versions of the game 3 1/2 out of 5 stars. Rogue was named #6 "Ten Greatest PC Games Ever" by PC World in 2009.
- Parish, Jeremy. "The Essential 50 — 12. Rogue". 1UP.com. Ziff Davis. Retrieved 2007-12-23.
- Wichman, Glenn R.. ""A Brief History of "Rogue"". "Rogue's biggest contribution, and one that still stands out to this day, is that the computer itself generated the adventure in Rogue. Every time you played, you got a new adventure. That's really what made it so popular for all those years in the early eighties."
- See, for example, I “Like-Like” Roguelikes (Because Love Should Never Be So Cruel)
- Brouwer, Andries. "Hack". Retrieved 2008-07-05. "Hack was originally written by Jay Fenlason ... with help from Kenny Woodland, Mike Thome and Jon Payne. Basically it was an implementation of Rogue, however, with 52+ instead of 26 monster types."
- Bresnick, Julie. "On the Train of Life with Nethack's Papa". Retrieved 2008-07-05. "[Fenlason] was a junior at a high school in a small suburb outside of Boston when he went to visit UC Berkeley. There he was introduced to Rogue. Like any good hacker, his imagination went into the game before it went out. He was intrigued and went looking for the source. When he was denied that access he simply started experimenting."
- "The Best Game Ever". Salon.com. "The basic framework for Nethack began with an earlier game called Rogue....Rogue became the basis for an offspring called Hack, and in acknowledgement of code fixes and additions passed back and forth via Usenet, the quickly evolving game was renamed Nethack."
- Pitts, Russ (2006-06-06). "Secret Sauce: The Rise of Blizzard". The Escapist. Retrieved 2009-04-13. "[The idea for Diablo] was modified over and over until it solidified when [Dave Brevik] was in college and got hooked on … Moria/Angband."
- "The Making Of: Rogue". Edge Online. 2009-07-03. Retrieved 2011-06-24.
- Petri Kuittinen (Jun 12 2001). "Rogue - Exploring the Dungeons of Doom (1980)". Archived from the original on Dec 17, 2007.
- Wichman, Glenn R.. ""A Brief History of "Rogue"". "Rogue is generally credited with being the first "graphical" adventure game, and it probably was at least one of the first (Wizardry could probably also make the claim). And its graphics have since been far surpassed by everything from Myst to Doom."
- "Atari 8-bit Rogue". Atarimania.com. Retrieved 2010-09-02.
- Rogue by Mastertronic from World of Spectrum
- Rogue for Windows from Prankster.com
- Rogue for OS X from SourceForge
- Roguelikes for PalmOS from SourceForge
- "The Rogue Home Page". Archived from the original on Jul 15, 2008. with various versions of Rogue
- Classic Dungeon Crawler Rogue Comes to the iPhone from TouchArcade.com
- "The History of Rogue: Have @ You, You Deadly Zs".
- "Angband Borg". Thangorodrim - The Angband Page. Retrieved 2007-12-23.
- Lesser, Hartley and Pattie (August 1986). "The Role of Computers". Dragon (112): 23–26.
- Lesser, Hartley and Patricia (October 1987). "The Role of Computers". The Dragon (126): 82–88.
- Edwards, Benj (February 8, 2009). "The Ten Greatest PC Games Ever". PC World. Retrieved 2010-01-03.