DRL (video game)

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Developer(s) ChaosForge
Publisher(s) ChaosForge
Designer(s) Kornel Kisielewicz
Programmer(s) Kornel Kisielewicz
Artist(s) Derek Yu
Release date(s)
  • WW: 19 March 2013 (v0.9.9.7)
Genre(s) Roguelike
Mode(s) Single-player

DRL (formerly DoomRL), short for Doom, the Roguelike, is an in-development roguelike video game developed and published by ChaosForge for Microsoft Windows, Linux and OS X. It is based on the first-person shooters Doom and Doom II. The game was created by programmer Kornel Kisielewicz with Free Pascal, and uses art by Derek Yu. Following a cease and desist notice from "Doom" trademark owner, ZeniMax Media, the game's names was changed from DoomRL to simply DRL in 2016.


DRL is turn-based, offers a top-down interface formed entirely of ASCII characters, and features a character leveling system with traits. As it is based upon Doom, the game is more fast-paced and combat-oriented than usual for a roguelike, and relies heavily on ranged rather than melee combat. A limited player inventory, non-stackable items, and other design choices contrast with the often extreme intricacy of games in its genre.

As of version, Derek Yu's graphical tileset is now the game's default, offering an alternative to the more traditional ASCII rendering. DRL includes the entire Doom soundset and music library, with optional support for high-quality MP3s.

Open sourcing[edit]

On December 2, 2016, Kisielewicz received a cease and desist notice from ZeniMax Media, concerning the use of the wordmark "Doom" present on game's website and name, which ZeniMax trademarked worldwide.[1] To exclude "Doom" from the game's name, the title was changed to simply DRL on December 7, 2016.[2] In addition, the game was made open source by Kisielewicz on December 6, 2016.[3] Kisielewicz had planned on releasing DoomRL as open-source prior to receiving the notice at the conclusion of an ongoing Kickstarter campaign for Jupiter Hell, a sequel to DoomRL using the same assets, as a thank-you to his supporters. The notice only made him push up this change to an earlier date.[4] The source code was made available via GitHub under GPLv2 and the game's assets under the CC BY-SA license.[5] Kisielewicz anticipates that the open-source community will be able to provide support and improvements to enhance both DRL and Jupiter Hell.[4] For instance, a community source port of DRL to the OpenPandora handheld resulted already three days later.[6]


  1. ^ Smith, Adam (December 2, 2016). "DoomRL dev receives legal letter from ZeniMax". Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Retrieved December 7, 2016. 
  2. ^ Caldwell, Brendan (December 7, 2016). "DoomRL becomes DRL and goes open source after legal warning from ZeniMax". Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Retrieved December 7, 2016. 
  3. ^ Benson, Julian (December 7, 2016). "Bethesda Lawyers Attack Doom Roguelike, it Respawns as Open Source". Kotaku UK. Future plc. Retrieved December 7, 2016. 
  4. ^ a b Frank, Allegra (December 8, 2016). "Facing down copyright claims, Doom roguelike fan game goes open-source". Polygon. Retrieved December 8, 2016. 
  5. ^ License on github.com/ChaosForge/doomrl
  6. ^ Release DooM RL by ptitSeb on pyra-handheld.com (2016-12-09)

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