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Dungeon Hacks: How NetHack, Angband, and Other Roguelikes Changed the Course of Video Games
Classic roguelike games may seem like yesterday's news, but they inspire game designers the world over to this day. Dungeon Hacks tells their story in compelling fashion and explains what they still have to teach us. Warren Spector, director of Deus Ex and Disney's Epic Mickey​

Author: David L. Craddock

Edited by: Andrew Magrath

Cover Art by: ​Milan Jaram (http://www.milanjaram.com/)

Publication Date: August 10, 2015

Free Chapters: Chapter 5 | Bonus Chapter (Coming Soon!)


In 1980, computers were instruments of science and mathematics, military secrets and academia. Stern administrators lorded over sterile university laboratories and stressed one point to the wide-eyed students privileged enough to set foot within them: Computers were not toys.

Defying authority, hackers seized control of monolithic mainframes to create a new breed of computer game: the roguelike, cryptic and tough-as-nails adventures drawn from text-based symbols instead of state-of-the-art 3D graphics.

Despite their visual simplicity, roguelike games captivate thousands of players around the world. From the author of the bestselling Stay Awhile and Listen series, Dungeon Hacks introduces you to the visionaries behind some of the most popular roguelikes of all time, and shows how their creations paved the way for the blockbuster video games of today—and beyond.


Dungeon Hacks is great stuff, and we're lucky to have someone with such an eye for detail and the nuts and bolts of development to put it down on paper for us while there's still time. Travis Baldree, co-designer of Torchlight 1-2, lead designer of Fate

Review Round-up: Critiques, Podcasts, and More

Click the link beside each topic for more details.​

* (Review) Jimmy Maher, The Digital Antiquarian: "Craddock is that good a storyteller, one who knows how to keep the anecdotes under control in order to keep the narrative flowing."

* (Review) Mark Johnson of Ultima Ratio Regum: "an interesting read which will appeal to use intrigued by the technical specifics of early roguelikes [and] ... the impact of roguelikes upon games."

* (Interview) Stephanie Carmichael of SYFYGames.com talks to David Craddock about roguelike culture and Dungeon Hacks.

* (Review) USGamer.net: "Dungeon Hacks is essential reading for roguelike neophytes like myself in helping to put both the past and future of the genre into perspective."

* (Podcast) Giant Bomb Presents: Austin Walker and David L. Craddock talk Dungeon Hacks, roguelikes, and Dark Souls 2.

* (Q&A) Reddit AMA on r/roguelikes

* (Review) Computer historian Theo Karagaris: "I highly recommend Dungeon Hacks for anyone interested in RPGs and the history of game development."

* (Podcast) Roguelike Radio Episode 105: Darren Grey and Mark Johnson invite David L. Craddock on to the show to discuss Dungeon Hacks and One-Week Dungeons.

* (Review) GamingTrend.com: "an entertaining, insightful book offering up considerable information and commentary while still managing to be enjoyable to read."

* (Review) Prolific Goodreads reviewer Elizabeth Tobey gives Dungeon Hacks​ 5/5

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