.: What is Incursion?
Incursion is a freeware roguelike (meaning a text-map, turn-based computer game
featuring character growth, permanent death and an emphasis on strategy and
gameplay depth) game based on (but not strictly adherant to) the mechanics of
the most popular tabletop roleplaying game of all time, made available under
the terms of the Open Game License by their owners.
Incursion has much in common with other, much more mature
games in the roguelike genre, including
However, the strongest (and currently least visible, though that will change)
influence in its design was the less popular roguelike,
.: About this Web Page
This is the official site for the Incursion roguelike game,
maintained by its author, Julian Mensch. Here, you can download the most recent
version of Incursion, read an online copy of its manual, report and track bugs
in it or learn more about its design goals and intent.
Incursion is now in its second major public release, which corrects several
major issues from the original release.
If you have any comments or feedback, you can reach the developer at
.: Why Incursion?
Why create another roguelike game, when there are so many out on the market
already? Well, the simple answer is that roguelike games are one of the few
remaining popular genres of computer games (along with Interactive Fiction)
that a single developer can realistically produce as a hobby, without needing
the aid of a well-paid team of graphic artists, dialog writers and so forth.
That said, we believe Incursion does offer some features not seen, or at
least not focused on, in other current roguelikes:\n
- Character Design: Most roguelikes focus on playing a character,
with the wealth of that character's power in the items they find. However,
Incursion places a greater emphasis on the design of a character, much
like the d20 system from which it inherits. In order to succeed, a player
must not only play their character intelligently, but also build
their character intelligently, choosing effective classes, spells, feats
- Diversity: Hand in hand with this is the idea of diversity --
that different character types in Incursion should play in very different
ways, making the game a very different experience when playing, for example,
a dwarven evoker worshipping Ekliazeh or a lizardman bard worshipping
- Mechanical Depth: A very strong design goal in the creation of
Incursion was the translation of the mechanical depth of the OGL tabletop system
into a computer game setting. Commercial games have frequently ignored a
great deal of the complexity of this system when they adapt it in order
to simplify it to a reasonable degree. The fundamental challenge of
Incursion was to try and provide a level of mechanical richness comparable
to that of the tabletop game, even though the rules aren't all the same.
Decide for yourself if we've succeeded!
- Next-Generation Religion: Crawl was the first roguelike game to
introduce what we've taken to reffering to as next-generation religion
into the roguelike arena: gods with distinct personalities, abilities,
weaknesses and taboos. Incursion follows in this model to try and present
a pantheon of dieties that interact with, bless and punish the player, all
in accord with their own ideology and areas of influence.
- Extensibility: Incursion was intended from the beginning to be a
big game, and its framework has been laid with extensibility in mind.
It contains a compiler for its own bytecode-based programming language,
IncursionScript, allowing the defining and grouping of resources (game
elements such as monsters, spells, dungeon terrain and character classes)
into modules, and an event-based architecture allowing customized behaviour
to be attached to any resource.
- Rapid Play: Incursion opposes "scumming" and other play techniques
designed to grant benefit through repetition or boredom. All monsters are
dangerous, to some extent, to the player. There are only 10 dungeon levels
in the Assault on the Halls of the Goblin King release, and meaningful
treasure is generated only once on each -- staying on a given level will
not create more treasure. This, combined with several other factors, serves
to bring Incursion closer to the "replay many quick games, but think always"
ideal the roguelike paradigm encourages.
Web site contents © Copyright Julian Mensch 2006-2007, All rights reserved.