Angband

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Angband
Major Roguelike
Developer Alex Cutler, Andy Astrand, many others. Current maintainer Julian Lighton.
Theme fantasy
Influences Moria
Released 1990
Updated June 18, 2005
Licensing see article
P. Language C
Platforms Windows, Windows CE, MS-DOS, Macintosh, Amiga, RISC OS, OS/2, Linux, BeOS, Atari, SiliconGraphics, Solaris
Interface ASCII, Graphical Tiles, Optional multiple console windows, keyboard input
Game Length {{{length}}}
Official site of Angband


Angband is a freeware roguelike based loosely on the works of J. R. R. Tolkien. It was created by Alex Cutler and Andy Astrand at Warwick University in 1990. It is named after the fortress of Morgoth in Tolkien's works, with "Angband" literally meaning "Iron Prison". The latest version is version 3.0.6, released June 18, 2005, which is available for a wide variety of platforms.

Contents

Overview

The player may choose a character from several classic Dungeons and Dragons classes and races. The player starts in a town with different kinds of shops, a house of their own and the entrance to the dungeon. The player must explore the 100-level dungeon, and become strong enough to finally face Sauron and Morgoth.

Angband's dungeons are not persistent; every time the player moves up or down stairs, a new dungeon is randomly generated. The dungeons are large and are composed of halls and passages of different shapes. An Angband game requires more patience and time, but is considered easier, than NetHack.

Angband has many variants -- games based on the original's code, which have split off in a different direction. The first major variant was Zangband, which is still around today, though currently unmaintained. ToME was originally derived from Angband but has now been extensively rewritten. Amongst other variants, SAngband, NPPAngband and Steamband are currently the most popular [1]. There is a more complete list of variants available.

Angband is the origin of one of two major lines of roguelikes, the other being Hack. The tendency of Angband variants' names to be suffixed with "band" has resulted in the genre characterized by Angband being refered to as the *bands.

History

Angband has a very long history. It started in 1990 as an improved and more "Tolkienized" variant of UMoria 5.2.1. Moria itself was created in 1985 and was inspired by Rogue (from the late 70s). Countless changes have been made by a large number of programmers since.

The Angband source code was cleaned up by Ben Harrison around 1995, culminating in the release of Angband 2.7. This was a massive and very buggy rewrite, but it brought the beginnings of easy porting to multiple platforms through cleaner code, and by Angband 2.7.4, there were ports to Windows, various IBM machines, OS/2, Linux and the Amiga (at least). This rewrite also made the code much easier to understand, thus providing an easy base for others to build on. This lead to the "variant explosion".

After Ben Harrison, Robert Ruhlmann took over the role of maintainer. He took the game from version 2.8.3h to 3.0.6, adding various UI, code, and gameplay improvements to the game. Notably, the game acquired (limited) Lua scripting support, which many variant authors using the code subsquently omitted.

Julian Lighton is the current maintainer of Angband, though he has not yet made any major changes to the game, and as of March 2007 Andrew Sidwell seems to have unofficially taken over the helm, with the release of several beta releases of 3.0.7. [2]

Licencing

The traditional Angband licence is as follows:

Copyright (c) 1997 Ben Harrison, James E. Wilson, Robert A. Koeneke
This software may be copied and distributed for educational, research, and not for profit purposes provided that this copyright and statement are included in all such copies. Other copyrights may also apply.

This licence places Angband squarely out of the realm of "open source" or "free software", as the licence was first written before such concepts had become widespread. As a result, there are issues with Angband being placed in Linux distributions, or being hosted on sites such as SourceForge or Google Code. Additionally, there is another Angband licence in the source code (in 'angband.h'):

ANGBAND may be copied and modified freely as long as the above credits are retained. No one who-so-ever may sell or market this software in any form without the expressed written consent of the author Robert Alan Koeneke.

To help alleviate the haziness around licencing of Angband and its variants, Robert Ruhlmann started the "Angband OpenSource Initiative" whose aim was to have a Angband distributable under the GNU GPL. To become a reality, this would require that everyone whose code is in Angband give their permission for their code to be placed under the GPL. For those who did not agree, or are unable to be contacted, this would require removing or rewriting their code.

Notable developers who have allowed their code to be dual-licenced include Jim Wilson, the UMoria author, and Robert Koeneke, author of VMS Moria.

For more information see the Robert Ruhlmann's original page. Note that the list of names there is not up-to-date; for current list of names and status updates, see Andrew Sidwell's list.

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