There has been some miscommunication if it is believed that the Stable_games category means that the games are not much played! I have been opposed to this hierarchy from the beginning due to just this sort of problems.
I think this category should be reserved for genre defining roguelikes. I do not have any clear criterion for determining this (which is why I think trying to categorize this way is foolish and likely to just lead to bad feelings), but I do not believe ToME is there.
One approach to make this more systematic would be just to limit Major Roguelikes to those with USENET groups. This would remove Crawl, but if it allows us to move forward without needless infighting, I'm all for it.
Perhaps the category should be renamed to Influential Roguelikes, where the game's influence is defined by how much the game is being copied by other popular games and having other popular games derived from the game.
This would have a bias toward games with sources available and licensed to allow derived works, but that seems reasonable to me. The more open a game is, the more it CAN influence other game developers.
So, if we look at the tree that was just put on the Major Roguelikes page, everything with a child node influenced its children, and should count as an Influential Roguelikes. List the leaf nodes in the Stable section, including Adom, Crawl, SLASH'EM. ZAngband seems on the border to me, since it seems to have spawned as many variants as Angband has.
- Influential isn't driven by open source. One hardly needs the source code to be influenced by another game!
- I like the idea of branching based on evolution/game type. I'm most interested in branching based on game type. This is the reason for the HackLike vs Band distinction.
- I'm curious as to why you include Nethack on the list but exclude Adom. If you count variants based purely on code, both are equally sparse and should be crowded out by ZAngband and other Angband Variants. If you count variants based on style, however, I would contend that there is no shortage of Adom deriviatives. Avanor, for example, clearly lists itself as Adom inspired.
- I think any organizatin of Major Roguelikes should at a minimum include the rec.games.roguelike.* "approved" roguelikes.
If you can find popular games that copy Adom, then by all means put it in! My explanation in that last paragraph was working from the tree diagram, which focuses more on what I called the 'derivation' aspect of Influence, as opposed to the 'copying' aspect.
I think Usenet should be ignored, because the games listed and omitted there are chosen more by accident of history and bureaucracy than they are by merit. The rec.games.roguelike hierarchy is a historial artifact, but this page is attempting to describe the way things are now.
Okay, I have moved the Usenet listing to the end, and having the free-for-all listing as the first. With luck, the number of roguelikes added to the canon this way will be small enough that we don't need to get sucked into arguing what constitutes "popular" or "influential".