March 11, 2007, 20:54 EST
Buffer slippage
Posted by calamarain

OK, having a buffer of 40 strips was probably one of the best decisions I made with regard to this comic. 15 months after I started it, and the buffer has only slipped to 25. I still draw, but not quite as fast as the depletion rate. What I need really, is one weekend where I think up and draw 20 strips. Though there won't be time for one of them in the near future!

February 16, 2007, 15:56 EST
Roguelike fanworks
Posted by calamarain

I've finally got round to starting it. The roguelike fanart archive. Originally, I wanted to create it to be a gallery for my own work - I've done quite a bit of Angband and NetHack art, as well as a random ADOM story.

Now, it's actually up and running, and doesn't just contain my stuff. The idea is for it to contain virtually all the fanworks for any roguelike!

So, if you've written a story, drawn a picture, made a movie, whatever, as long as it's about or from a roguelike game, I'd like to host a copy of it. Get in touch with me if you want it up there!

EDIT: Archive no longer available

January 23, 2007, 19:29 EST
Big art project
Posted by calamarain

Well, I finally finished the big art project I've been working in various bits of spare time, on and off. Constructive criticism would be most helpful :-) Seven twisted versions of seven characters from Wonderland.

The Caterpillar
The Jabberwock
The Mad Hatter
The Queen of Hearts
Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee
Alice Liddell
The Playing Cards

Click on the images to see the full size versions.

January 21, 2007, 15:58 EST
Posted by calamarain

Apologies for the downtime last night - a router blew up at my host's datacentre.

January 7, 2007, 17:57 EST
Angband Open Source, Angband GPL
Posted by calamarain

For the long term survival of Angband as a game, it might just need to be put under the GPL. As it stands now, the Angband licence is not an open source licence, by the OSI definition. This means that Angband and its variants cannot legally be placed in Linux distributions, use SourceForge, Google Code hosting, or (re)use any GPL'd code, amongst other things.

This handicaps us significantly. So there's a project afoot to get permission from everyone who's contributed to Angband to release their changes as GPL/Open source. The trick is that Angband is an older game, and thus many many changes by many people have been done, and we need to find all these people. We need a written statement that they're OK with their changes being released to GPL.

So this is a plea/appeal. If you contributed anything to Angband's source code, or know someone who has, no matter how long ago it was, please point them at

We've found quite a lot of the people already, but we need the majority of them. If we can't find one or two, we can redo the sections they contributed, but we need most of them.

Please help. Seriously, it's for Angband's long term survival. The list of people we have/need is here.. If you know someone on the list, please put them in contact with us.

January 6, 2007, 21:06 EST
Posted by calamarain

Have updated the Cast of Characters page for the first time in a year :) Lots more detail and expansion there now.

January 6, 2007, 17:49 EST
More Nethack fanart
Posted by calamarain

Well, I have got to finish the series of Nethack quest artifacts. Not posted them in a while, so here's six more of the buggers :) Well, technically five and a remake of a previous one. Only two left to do now.

The Platinum Yendorian Express Card
The Magic Mirror of Merlin, second version
The Mitre of Holiness
The Longbow of Diana
The Master Key of Thievery
The Orb of Detection

January 3, 2007, 03:02 EST
How to Beat Angband
Posted by calamarain

For those of you who've not seen it yet... a little tribute to the old vanished Angband comic. This video isn't mine, but I wish it were :)

December 25, 2006, 00:27 EST
The Season.
Posted by calamarain

Merry Christmas everyone, and hope that you have a happy day.

December 23, 2006, 21:05 EST
Nethacky stuff
Posted by calamarain

A little more Nethack fanart. Three more of the quest artifacts.

The Heart of Ahriman
The Tsurugi of Murasama
The Eye of the Aethiopica

December 22, 2006, 18:48 EST
Repton Spectacular
Posted by calamarain

Allow me to tell you a little story. About 20 years ago, on a computer called the BBC Micro, there was a game called Repton, produced by Superior Software . It was a rocks-and-diamonds type game, but far more puzzle and mind-oriented than most. It spawned two sequels.

The first sequel was Repton 2 - one gigantic sprawling puzzle for the player to solve, and introduced some new mechanics.

The second sequel mostly perfected the concept - Repton 3 was it. Scenarios of eight levels each, getting gradually harder and each with a different graphical theme. This spawned several versions on the BBC Micro - identical mechanics but different graphics - Repton Thru Time, Life of Repton, Repton Around The World...

The game was fondly remembered, and about twenty years later, one of the original creators of the Repton series produced versions of Repton 1, 2 and 3 for Windows with updated graphics, sound and a few new levels. They sold quite well, about 125,000 copies. I greatly enjoyed the original Repton series, so I bought Repton 3.

Now, one of the things that made the Repton series really popular was the editor. You could create your own graphics and levels for Repton 3, and share them around. The modern remakes kept this feature... and I used it. I created a series of 24 levels, each set of 8 with its own graphics set, and submitted them to Superior Software. They liked them. With some slight tinkering, they were included in the entirely new expansion pack to the Repton series, released today - Repton Spectacular

As you can imagine, I am rather happy about this. A game I've loved for years, and I've contributed to it in a significant fashion - of the 112 new levels, 24 are mine. It's also a damned good game, and I'm addicted. Still not quite finished off all the original ones, some of them are damned hard :) So I'm going to promote them here

Repton 3 - the original game, with all the expansions - Repton Thru time, etc. 160 levels of evil puzzling fun through strange worlds. No, I don't get money if you buy this, I'm just advertising it because it's just a damned good game that I'm addicted to.Buy it, and I'll smile.

Repton Spectacular - the expansion pack to all the Reptons, with my levels and graphics in. If you buy a copy of this, I don't just smile, I grin broadly and might even giggle. And laugh evilly if you can't solve my levels.

December 19, 2006, 16:03 EST
Yet More Fanart
Posted by calamarain

I got inspired by #nethack-ers and made more fanart. This time, the Magic Mirror of Merlin, the Knight's quest artifact. If I keep making them at this rate, I'll have the full set of thirteen in no time :) If deviantart has problems, I'll host it elsewhere.

December 17, 2006, 06:12 EST
Nethack fanart
Posted by calamarain

A little more - though I'm really realising how limited Bryce is as an editing tool. Fine as a renderer/lighter/texturer, but creating objects? Unless they're very regular, forget it.

Nethack - The Eyes of the Overworld

EDIT: Deviantart are being useless feckers again, and it's not displaying. I'll edit this as soon as it's sorted, and I'll also try to get a copy up and hosted elsewhere.

December 10, 2006, 03:45 EST
Posted by calamarain

Pardon the downtime, problem now fixed.

December 5, 2006, 16:35 EST
Puzzle solution
Posted by calamarain

Remember the puzzle that got posted a while ago? I've had a couple of emails asking for the solution, so here you go.

Take a look at the following series of letters and work out which letter comes next.


Well, the solution's this. Look at the first letter of every word in the puzzle.

Reverse it -> N.C.L.W.O.W.A.L.O.S.F.T.A.L.A.T
So the two letters that come next are AT. I know it was a bit vicious :)

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