Finding Design Influence within Roguelike Games

Xavier Ho, Martin Tomitsch and Tomasz Bednarz


Our work takes the view of video games as a collection of creative ideas, acting as design influence which shapes future games. We examine a popular game genre, roguelikes, from which games found their roots in early stages of the Internet. Our aim is to investigate design influence within the roguelike genre. To achieve this aim, we wrote a script to collect not only data about roguelike games, but also infer the connections between them. We achieved this by using search engines to locate interviews and post-mortem articles, and automated an analysis by frequency of game appearances and their public metadata. To disseminate the results, we employed a series of data visualisations in order to illustrate roguelike influence over the years. Our contribution from this study is twofold: first, connecting roguelike design influence spanning over thirty years using a simple metric, summarised in four different types of visualisations; second, an open-source visualisation tool to investigate design influence in roguelike games, which can be generalised for media studies exhibited on the wider Internet.