Frozen Depths

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What is Frozen Depths?

Frozen Depths is a roguelike game with a cold theme and ASCII graphics. If you don't know what roguelike games are, click here.

What's the idea or story behind the game?

The land of Glacia has started to freeze all over. The surface people will perish, should the temperature drop much lower. The high council has selected you to go to the Frozen Depths of Glacia, find out the source of coldness and get rid of it. If you return to the surface, you'll be executed as a coward, if you die on the way, another poor one will be sent down through another entrance to the complex, but if you succeed in your quest, you'll become a hero. Many have failed and many will fail... Now you're all alone in the Frozen Depths. Will you make it?

Describe it a little, is there anything unique or special?

The game has a single 35-floor deep dungeon and no outer world, as the story hints. You can freeze to death if you can't keep yourself warm and it gets colder when you travel deeper into the dungeon. You can find clothes and wear them so that the cold air doesn't get into your bones as fast, and you can consume warm food to increase your body temperature. Like in other roguelike games, you have only one life and then it's over. There are different level themes, four different dungeon generators and a large pool of handcrafted special floors to explore, five of these will be randomly picked every time you play. You'll also get to face five cunning bosses before your ultimate victory. There are also different kinds of randomly generated superior monsters, slightly adjusted and more dangerous than normal ones, but often easier than the bosses.

When you level up, you can improve your stats and select smaller trait bonuses to shape your character. The special moves require stats to learn. For example, if you want to learn Critical Strike, you'll have to meet the level and stat requirements and spend a skill point to learn it. There was no magic in the world of Glacia originally, but the demons and monsters who have invaded the underground ice complexes have brought magical wands, rings, amulets and potions from their world, but not many scrolls. You can choose to play a warrior, an archer or a ranger, as the people of Glacia don't know enough about magic to train mages, and you can select your weaponry to go with your training. A ranger can shoot and fight in melee combat, often using two weapons, but isn't specialized in either. The starting trainings/classes are flexible and, for instance, a warrior can learn archery, if he wants to.

Shops work a bit differently in this game compared to many other roguelikes. You can only buy arrows and warm food items from the merchant-esque Sages, but they have other services too: They can identify and uncurse items (because there is limited magic and no scrolls, this is the way of doing it), they can heat you and even enchant you with automatic resurrection upon death. Of course, that costs some coins, but you can sell useless items to Sages to get some money. There are also Deep Smiths that let you decide how much you pay them for repairing your items or crafting items from the material that you supply them. The quality of their work depends on the payment. There is no food for hunger, because of the freezing system, only the warming food items to combat the ever present coldness. There is only one Goddess to worship, so there are no alignments. You don't have to sacrifice items to the Goddess, but praying can save your life in a bad situation and the Goddess won't help you if you haven't done anything for Her. She doesn't accept corpses as sacrifices. You won't be collecting elemental resistances to survive (only two elements survive in the depths: it's the home of the cold creatures and the extremely hot creatures can keep themselves alive there), instead your armor and clothing has a greater importance. Your equipment, excluding throwing weapons, rings and amulets, can and will break. The durability is visible in wearable pieces of equipment, and has to be managed so that you're not left without a sword surrounded by foes.

What are you trying to create?

I'm trying to create something medium sized, fast to learn, easy-going and fun, so don't expect a major roguelike in the tradition of Nethack or ADOM. It's not filled with many instant death situations like Nethack, nor does it have puzzles or anything that can't be handled with a sword, expect for the temperature. For example, there are no weak-and-hard classes like tourists or wizards. While spoilers are not the name of the game, learning for example what to expect from the bosses is an important thing if you want to get far in the game. I'm trying to make it easy to jump in for new roguelikers by having a quite small set of keys, straightforward gameplay and an easy beginning. In a few words, it's a pretty traditional, combat-oriented roguelike with some ice added.

Why can't I be a wizard?

Adding magic would greatly increase the amount of work for me and because my time is limited, I want to keep things simple enough. I want to polish the current content and add more similar content, magic would add too much things to polish. Too much things to polish means that the game wouldn't be polished even after many years of development and that's not my goal.

Is it free? Can I have the source?

The game is free, but not open source. You can ask me for help if you want to port the game for another platform.

What other roguelikes have influenced you?

I've played a lot of ADOM and Nethack, but some others like Dungeon Crawl and DoomRL have inspired me as well.

Which operating systems does it support?

At first the game was only for Windows, but version 1.00 introduced a Linux port and later 1.03 added a Mac OS X port too. Months after the release of 1.04 a volunteer compiled the version for Raspberry Pi as well. Version 1.05 was released for all the previously supported platforms by the developer himself.

Which programming language do you use?

C++. I work with the ancient Curses library so some modern features like shift + key aren't supported.

How can I contact the developer?

glowie{at}gmail{dot}com is my e-mail address. You can find me on IRCNet, the nick is Glowie. And, of course, you can use the contact page.