.: 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 Nethack, Angband, ToME, Crawl, ADOM and Rogue. However, the strongest (and currently least visible, though that will change) influence in its design was the less popular roguelike, Omega.


.: 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 incursion@shaw.ca.

.: 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 and abilities.
  • 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 Hesani.
  • 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 2006-2015, Richard Tew 2015, All rights reserved.
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