Angband

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Angband was created by Alex Cutler and Andy Astrand (with other students) at Warwick University in 1990, and is influenced by the works of J.R.R.Tolkien, and is named after the fortress of Morgoth. The latest version is 3.0.6, released June 18, 2005, which is available for a wide variety of platforms.

It's a freeware computer dungeon exploration game based (loosely) on the books of J. R. R. Tolkien. You explore a very deep dungeon, kill monsters, try to equip yourself with the best weapons and armor you can find, and finally face Morgoth - "The Dark Enemy". - Angband official site, description page
Angband
Developer Alex Cutler, Andy Astrand, and many, many others
Theme fantasy
Influences Moria
Status Stable 3.0.6
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


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 your own and an entrance to a dungeon. The player must explore the 100-level dungeon, and become strong enough to finally face Sauron and Morgoth.

An Angband game usually takes longer but is easier than NetHack, if you have the patience.

The levels are non persistant, and that means that everytime you get into one, it is randomly generated. The levels are large and are composed of halls and passages of different shapes.

History

Angband has a very long history. It started 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 name Angband refers to a fortress of evil in works of J. R. R. Tolkien, and literally means "Iron Prison" in one of his languages.

Variants

The Angband source code was massively cleaned up by Ben Harrison, ending up as a release of Angband 2.7 in January 1995. This was a massive and very buggy rewrite which brought very easy porting to multiple platforms, and by Angband 2.7.4, there were ports to Windows, various IBM machines, OS/2, Linux and the Amiga (at least).

The resulting relatively clean and thoroughly-commented source code of Angband made it very easy for coders (even those who did not have a good understanding of C) to create variants of the original game. There have been many variants, before and after Angband 2.7, but the first major variant was Zangband, which remains maintained today, and other variants include ToME, NPPAngband, Posband and Hengband, amonst others.

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

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, being hosted on sites such as SourceForge, and with use of GPL code within Angband.

Robert Rühlmann, in 2000, created the Angband OpenSource Initiative to try and have Angband placed dually under the traditional Angband licence and the GPL. This requires getting everyone whose code is in Angband to agree to it being used under the GPL, and for those who don't agree (or cannot be contacted), removing or rewriting it.

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

Resources

  • thangorodrim.net, the main Angband site.
  • angband.oook.cz, the home of Angband ladder, Vanilla CVS and much more.
  • A specific newsgroup, rec.games.roguelike.angband, is dedicated to Angband. It can be accessed through Google Groups.
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