The interactive fiction roguelike

Category: News

Delays in development

by Victor Gijsbers

Of course, I’d love to tell you about all the cool things we’re making for Kerkerkruip 10. But the truth is that development had been very slow in the past few months, due to technical difficulties. Shortly after Kerkerkruip 9 was released, the Inform 7 team released a massive update of that programming language, which is the language that Kerkerkruip is written in. There were some very good reasons for us to embrace this update, so we committed ourselves to it even though the new Inform 7 version was not backwards compatible with all old code.

The update process has been hard. It took us quite a while to get Kerkerkruip to compile again; and we now have it compiling, but the game crashes on the window drawing code as soon as you start it. Obviously, we’re working on fixing this, but it has been hard to continue development in the meantime!

Don’t worry, though. There are some good plans for Kerkerkruip 10, and we’ll be full of new creative energy once development gets up to speed again.

Kerkerkruip 9 released

by Victor Gijsbers

The Kerkerkruip team is happy to announce the release of Kerkerkruip 9, by far the most extensive update of the game ever made. Kerkerkruip is a short-form roguelike in the interactive fiction medium, featuring meaningful tactical and strategic depth, innovative game play, zero grinding, and a sword & sorcery setting that does not rehash tired clichés.

With over 700 commits to the code repository, the changes made in Kerkerkruip 9 are far too numerous to mention here. But the highlights are:

  • Original theme music for the main menu, composed and produced by Wade Clarke.
  • An entirely reworked reaction system allows you to dodge, block, parry and roll away from incoming attacks. Successful reactions increase your offensive or defensive flow, adding a new layer of tactical depth to combat.
  • An entirely reworked religion system allows you to sacrifice absorbed powers to the gods. Worshipping gods grants lasting benefits, including divine interventions on your behalf; but losing absorbed powers makes you weaker in the short term. Religion thus becomes an important aspect of the player’s overall strategy.
  • Grenades can now be thrown into adjacent rooms, opening up new tactical options. However, your enemies may sometimes manage to throw them back to you!
  • A powerful new grenade is the Morphean grenade, which puts people to sleep. If you become its victim, you’ll find yourself drawn into one of several dream sequences: weird and dangerous adventures that have an effect on the real world.
  • The hiding system has been streamlined, boosted and made far more transparent. Stealth has now become a viable option.
  • The player now starts out with one of several starting kits, necessitating different approaches to the dungeon.
  • New content includes the angel of compassion, a radiant being that loses its lustre as people die around it; Israfel, a terrible angel that can split into two smaller beings for increased combat effectiveness before reuniting to heal; and the Arena of the Gods, where you can defend your god’s honour against other divine champions.
  • A new Menu implementation which is both screen reader friendly and hyperlink enabled.

We are now also offering stand-alone installers for specific operating systems. While it’s still possible to download the game file and run it in your favourite Glulx interpreter, there are also installers for Windows and Debian/Ubuntu. We will be supporting OS X in the near future. Go to the downloads page immediately!

Kerkerkruip is presented to you by the Kerkerkruip team: Victor Gijsbers, Mike Ciul, Dannii Willis, Erik Temple and Remko van der Pluijm. We hope you enjoy the new version. If you’ve got any comments, or if you’d like to contribute to this free software project, please go the website for details and contact us!

Emily Short revisits Kerkerkruip

by Victor Gijsbers

Well-known interactive fiction authoress Emily Short (Galatea, Savoir Faire, City of Secrets, Bee, Counterfeit Monkey, and many others) has revisited Kerkerkruip. She reviewed it for the Interactive Fiction competition 2011, back when the game was first released, and finds the new version 9 much better:

I really recommend trying this thing if you haven’t. It pushes in interesting ways on the boundaries of what IF normally does, by having large elements of randomness and systematic play. It is one of the few IF games to make a serious shot at interesting combat that is not puzzle-based, and it shows off UI effects that most Glulx games never attempt.

It also yields some surprisingly entertaining moments that capitalize on the juxtaposition of procedurally generated situations with narrative text — for instance, I was being attacked by four enemies and thought my goose was probably cooked, but then I sprouted four tentacles from my torso, my enemies went mad and started licking their own weapons, and I was able to clean up.

Emily Short also mentioned Kerkerkruip in a list that shows of the variety of recent interactive fiction.

Kerkerkruip Wiki

by Victor Gijsbers

Kerkerkruip is precisely the kind of game that needs to have a wiki. Whether you want to see a list of all the scrolls, review how Isra and Fell work together, or check our strategies for using the dagger of double strike, a wiki could be an indispensable source of information. And having one is common for roguelikes; I myself am an avid user of the Brogue wiki, the Binding of Isaac wiki, and especially the Crawl wiki.

Well, Kerkerkruip now has a wiki too! I’m not perfectly happy with Wikia, since the number of ads is quite distracting. But it is certainly functional.

At the moment, the wiki is still quite empty. I added a few weapons, but we’ve maybe got 1% of all the information we need. So if you feel up to it, go and contribute! You might want to get your information from the source code. It’s Inform 7 source, so don’t worry.

Kerkerkruip now has a Twitter account

by Victor Gijsbers

Kerkerkruip now has a Twitter account. Follow @Kerkerkruip!

Kerkerkruip 9 beta

by Victor Gijsbers

We’re nearing release of Kerkerkruip 9. (“We” being the design team consisting of Mike Ciul, Erik Temple, Dannii Willis, Remko van der Pluijm and myself.)

This is by far the biggest update of Kerkerkruip yet, with over 600 commits on the Github code repository. Among many other things, it brings you two new normal enemies and some undead opponents as well; a religion system that adds an entire new strategic dimension to Kerkerkruip‘s central mechanic of soul absorption; the ability to throw grenades into adjacent rooms; sleeping monsters and dream sequences; as well as a completely redesigned reaction system, which now involves four commands — dodge, parry, roll and block — all of which have different tactical uses as you build up your offensive and defensive flow. To top it all off, there is Wade Clarke’s awesome music for the title menu.

There are still a couple of small bugs and other minor issues we’re working on, but the game is definitely ready for beta testing. So please grab the latest beta — this link will always link to the latest beta — and give it some testing! Any bug reports or other comments can be posted here, on Github, or on the Interactive Fiction forum.

Get the game file and the Gargoyle interpreter.

New website

by Victor Gijsbers

Although Kerkerkruip is already 2-and-a-half years old, it has never had a dedicated website. But with the massive release 9 of the game upcoming, a new and more welcoming website seems appropriate. So, welcome to the new Kerkerkruip website!