Angband (video game)

Infobox VG
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title = Angband
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caption = Town level of "Angband".
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license = Moria/Angband license
parts are GPL
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genre = Roguelike
modes = Single-player
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platforms = Cross-platform
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input = Keyboard
designer = Andrew Sidwell
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latest release version = 3.0.9b
latest release date = release date and age|2008|03|19
latest preview version =
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"Angband" is a dungeon-crawling roguelike computer game derived from "Umoria". It is based on the writings of J. R. R. Tolkien, in which Angband is the fortress of Morgoth. The current version of "Angband" is available for all major operating systems, including Unix, Windows, and Mac OS X.

Gameplay

The game revolves around exploring a 100-level dungeon, in which the player seeks to amass enough power and equipment to ultimately defeat Morgoth. A new level is randomly generated each time the player changes levels, which gives "Angband" great replay value: no two games are the same.

Though stylistically quite different, the gameplay of "Angband" is frequently compared to "NetHack". "Angband" is a more a pure tactics, combat risk, and inventory management challenge, as opposed to "NetHack"'s puzzle solving and extensive application of special cases. "NetHack" is also a much shorter game, with playtimes measured in hours or possibly days; "Angband" games often in weeks.cite web |url=http://www.iconbar.com/articles/Running_the_gauntlet_-_NetHack_vs._Angband/index1119.html |title=Running the Gauntlet — "NetHack" vs. "Angband" |accessdate=2007-12-24 |last=Lee |first=Jeffrey |coauthors=Mellor, Phil |date=2007-01-14 |work=The Icon Bar |publisher=One Point Nought ]

History

The first version of "Angband" was created by Alex Cutler and Andy Astrand at the University of Warwick in 1990. They wanted to expand the game "Umoria" by adding items, monsters, and features. After Cutler and Astrand, the source code was maintained at the University of Warwick by Geoff Hill and Sean Marsh. They released "2.4.frog_knows", which was enhanced by others and widely ported to non-Unix platforms.

Following their departure, the later principals of "Angband" have included Charles Swiger, Ben Harrison, and Robert Rühlmann. Harrison was the maintainer responsible for the "Great Code Cleanup", modularizing, extending, and greatly improving the readability of the "Angband" source code. This in turn led to the large number of variants currently available, as well as the rather large number of ports. Like other maintainers, he eventually moved on to other interests, passing the title to Robert Rühlmann in 2000.

Rühlmann's contributions included releasing version 3.0, which included many monster and object changes contributed by Jonathan Ellis. He also introduced Lua, a lightweight scripting language, with the intention of simplifying development of both the main game and its variants. The "Angband" community, however, did not generally embrace the addition of scripting, with many expressing confusion over its usage, and as such it was later removed.

While Rühlmann was maintainer, he started the Angband Open Source Initiative, designed to place "Angband" under a Free Software license. Although the current license allows distribution of the game, it only does so if "not for profit", which precludes packaging with many Linux distributions or inclusion within a magazine cover disc. The license also does not explicitly allow code modification, something which is in practice ignored by the "Angband" community. In light of these perceived issues, there is an ongoing effort to re-license "Angband" under the GNU GPL.cite web |url=http://rephial.org/wiki/OpenSource |title=OpenSource |accessdate=2007-12-24 |last= |first= |coauthors= |date= |work=Play Angband |publisher=]

Rühlmann stepped down in October 2005,cite web |url=http://groups.google.com/group/rec.games.roguelike.angband/browse_thread/thread/b23070da01b64866/1a7ace090a5ff90c |title=Stepping down as "Angband" Maintainer |accessdate=2007-12-24 |last=Ruehlmann |first=Robert |coauthors= |date=2005-10-09 |work=rec.games.roguelike.angband |publisher=] leading to a brief period of uncertainty.cite web |url=http://groups.google.com/group/rec.games.roguelike.angband/browse_thread/thread/b48557204d3843c7/fa720195b0bc4190#fa720195b0bc4190 |title=So Who is the New Maintainer? |accessdate=2007-12-24 |last= |first= |coauthors= |date=2005-11-18 |work=rec.games.roguelike.angband |publisher=] However, Julian Lighton was soon announced as the new maintainer in March 2006.cite web |url=http://angband.oook.cz/rgra.php?showpost=72226 |title=Stepping down as "Angband" Maintainer |accessdate=2007-12-24 |last=Ruehlmann |first=Robert |coauthors= |date=2006-03-05 |work=rec.games.roguelike.angband |publisher=] As of December 2007, he has not released a new version of the game. Due to the absence of Julian, Andrew Sidwell assumed leadership, with the blessing of the community.cite web |url=http://angband.oook.cz/rgra.php?showpost=93663 |title=Re: "Angband" Maintainer |accessdate=2007-12-24 |last=Sidwell |first=Andrew |coauthors= |date=2007-03-23 |work=rec.games.roguelike.angband |publisher=] He released several beta versions of "3.0.7s", which eventually culminated in 3.0.8. The most recent version as of September 18, 2008 is 3.0.9b, released by Sidwell on March 19, 2008.cite web |url=http://rephial.org/release/3.0.9b |title=Angband 3.0.9b - rephial.org |accessdate=2008-04-29]

Community

The Usenet newsgroup rec.games.roguelike.angband and the [http://angband.oook.cz/forum/ Angband Forum] are the loci of the "Angband" community, places to discuss all aspects of the game. An IRC channel exists on the WorldIRC network.

Variants

"Angband" has spawned many derivatives. A family of around sixty variants exist, of which roughly a dozen are active. Each differs in purpose and degree of alteration. The multiplayer variant "MAngband" was developed in 1997; it includes real-time elements to support simultaneous gameplay. "ZAngband" ("Zelazny Angband"), is largely based on Roger Zelazny's "The Chronicles of Amber". Topi Ylinen initiated development, though the project involved others, including Robert Rühlmann. [ [http://www.zangband.org/ zangband.org] ] Development apparently ceased in 2003.Fact|date=July 2008 The later variant "ToME" was originally derived from the "ZAngband" code base.

References

External links

* [http://rephial.org/ Official site] , with wiki and development information
* [http://angband.oook.cz/ "Angband" at oook.cz] , with forum, spoilers, and other resources
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