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Tyrant - Java Roguelike / News: Recent posts

Learning skills from manuals

You can now learn any kind of skill in the game if you're lucky enough to find an appropriate manual. These can be read just like spellbooks (assuming you are literate!).

Manuals have been deliberately made quite rare. The idea is that if you are developing a character to become a great fighter, and stumble across the manuals needed to become a wizard, you have to make a choice whether to diversify you skills or stay as a specialist. This should be a "opportunity" rather than a guaranteed choice, so the manuals only appear now and again. ... read more

Posted by Mike Anderson 2004-08-10

32*32 Graphics Upgrade

The default graphic tile size has been increased across the board in Tyrant to 32*32. This should be a great improvement as it will give much better detail on the images and also result in a better size for modern monitors!

Tile conversion is still in progress - any help from skilled PhotoShop artists much appreciated.

Posted by Mike Anderson 2004-08-09

Freshmeat Announcements

I've been experimenting with Freshmeat.net and put up a page to cover Tyrant.

The page is:


I'll keep it updated with major releases, but the definitive source of the latest version will continue to be here at SourceForge!

Posted by Mike Anderson 2004-08-06

New Tyrant Home Page

I'm doing final testing on a website move to SourceForge for the online version of the game. This is currently just a copy of the old website with the latest Tyrant code, but I'll be working on some improvements to the website soon.

The new page is available at:

Posted by Mike Anderson 2004-08-05


I've long wanted to create a game system where there is more balance between different kinds of items. It seemed, for example, that there are times when leather armour would make a lot more sense than a suit of full plate armour.

In keeping with this philosophy, I've introduced a system of encumberance (or more specifically, re-introduced it from the old Tyrant version). What this does is imposes penalties on movement and fighting skill if you carry excessive weight or wield particularly heavy weapons and armour.... read more

Posted by Mike Anderson 2004-08-05

Damage to Items

Latest snapshot now implements damage for items - weapons, armour and ranged weapons can sustain damage and be repaired by magic or other more worldly techniques.

This should introduce a couple of new strategic elements into the game: The need to keep a couple of repair scrolls or spells handy, the need to carry a backup weapon and the importance of avoiding enemies that are likely to spit acid all over your kit.

Posted by Mike Anderson 2004-08-05

Helping Out

A few people have recently asked about helping out with Tyrant. Here's what I've been saying to them: it's kind of an open invitation to get involved.


Tyrant is a roguelike game that I started several
years back. The main inspirations are roguelikes such
as ADOM and Rogue but the game has drawn on many other CRPG themes and I like to think that it is starting to develop a unique character of it's own.... read more

Posted by Mike Anderson 2004-08-04

Skill system progress

The Tyrant skill system is now starting to take shape. It's designed to be very flexible, and allow players to develop pretty much any type of character they desire.

All professions now have a (slightly randomised) list of starting skills. In fact, one of the main differences between the professions is the type of skills they provide.

You can improve skills either by wishing or giving a sufficient amount of money to a teacher. Teachers can be found in some towns, or wished for. You are allowed one skill increase per level gained.... read more

Posted by Mike Anderson 2004-07-28

The Wood Temple

Tyrant now features a well-hidden Wood Temple populated by woodsmen, temple guards and priests.

This is a safe area (assuming you don't do anything criminal!) but it's a little harder to get to than the little towns.

In the near future, this will be a place where you can go to recieve level 5-10 quests, as well as learn useful skills and purchase decent quality woodland gear such as bows and arrows.

Posted by Mike Anderson 2004-07-28

A Spot of Fishing

Today's release contained enough great new features that I felt a 0.2 version number was deserved.

My favourite addition is the ability to go fishing - all you need is a fishing rod and a suitable stretch of river.

Your success, of course, depends on a couple of factors.
- The quality of your fishing spot
- Your skill as a fisherman

Kudos to anyone who manages to catch a nice big salmon.....

Posted by Mike Anderson 2004-07-28

Latest snapshot now online

The latest development code has been added as a "preview" on the Tyrant home page.


Posted by Mike Anderson 2004-07-22

Release 0.114 with Level Maps

I've done a quick release of the latest code from CVS because the Level Map feature has now been added, which should be very useful for people wanting to explore or test the game.

The level map feature incorporates "map memory" so that you can recall all areas that have been discovered so far. The potential for some particularly evil potions of amnesia springs to mind....

Posted by Mike Anderson 2004-07-22

Release 0.113

This release is a bit of a milestone, in that most of the functionality that existed before the engine rewrite is now working again.

Spells, spellbooks, scrolls etc. are all working, plus there are some nice new fetures: wishing wells, gravestones, ethereal foes, clouds, blindness etc.

Feel free to give it a bash - the best way to test is to enter debug mode with "Castor" as the chatacter name. You can then press "y" for infinite wishes, plus you are immortal.... read more

Posted by Mike Anderson 2004-07-21

Spells and Clouds

More functionality is being added to Tyrant every day - I have to say that the new engine design is really reaping dividends in terms of the ease of adding interesting new functionaliy.

Some spells are now working again - you can Wish for them to test them out with the "y" command. Spellbooks should hopefully be working soon.

Most fun is the "Poison Cloud" spell, which creates a zone of poisonous gas that floats around the map until it disperses or poisons a living creature.... read more

Posted by Mike Anderson 2004-07-20

Release 0.112

The engine rewrite is going well, and miraculously most of the game still works despite a complete change in the underlying object model!

It won't be long before the focus can change from mechanics to crafting the Tyrant world and storyline.

But this is going to be the last release for a couple of weeks, as I'm off travelling around Hungary, Croatia and Poland.


Posted by Mike Anderson 2004-07-02

CVS Up and Running

I've finally got Eclipse working smoothly with CVS, so I've synchronised my tree with the repository on Sourceforge.

This should hopefully enable people to keep more up to date with the latest source!

Posted by Mike Anderson 2004-06-30

Ant Build File

I've added a new Jakarta Ant build script to Tyrant - hopefully this will facilitate building the code in modern Java IDEs.

Basically this script does everything needed to build the tyrant.jar file, which can then be either run as a Java application or included on a web page as an applet.

I've tested the build script extensively with Eclipse, success stories and/or patches for other environments are most welcome!

Posted by Mike Anderson 2004-06-30

PNG Support

Tyrant now uses .PNG images instead of .GIF as the format for the graphic tiles.

The main advantage is the much larger colour palette available coupled with better ability to handle transparency - this will enable much prettier tiles.

There seems to be aslight increase in file size resulting from the increase to 24bit colour - hopefully not a problem though as Tyrant is still a pretty lean download!

Posted by Mike Anderson 2004-06-30

Home Page Updates

I've been doing some redesign on the Home Page:
- New title bar
- Favorites Icon for Internet Explorer

You can see the results at:

I certainly need to do some further design work to make the game fit into the page in a more integrated way.

If anyone has any good "theming" ideas for the home page or examples of sites that integrate a Java applet really well, please let me know!... read more

Posted by Mike Anderson 2004-06-23

New Source Snapshot

I've posted a snapshot of the project source as of today - not really useful for playing purposes, but might be interesting to roguelike developers or Tyrant fans who want to take a peek at the new core engine.

Posted by Mike Anderson 2004-06-21

Using Eclipse

Just a quick note - I've adopted Eclipse as my primary development platform for Tyrant.

It's a great tool - I'm still leaning how to use it most effectively but already reaping the benefits. The latest milestone on http://www.eclipse.org is the best Java IDE I've ever used.

However, I've yet to work out how bast to make it interface with sourcefore. Anyone have any experience doing this?

Posted by Mike Anderson 2004-06-21

Tyrant updates in the pipeline

It's been a while since I've worked on Tyrant, but I've got some big changes brewing that will hopefully make an appearance in the next few months.

Most notably, I've come up with a completely new object model that will allow for significantly improved game functionality as well as making the game much easier to extend.

The basic concept is to make all game objects out of "pluggable" properties. This will remove the relatively arbitrary distinction between different types of objects. It will also make the creation of customised, unique objects much easier - it should even be possible to create completely new items with randomised properties!... read more

Posted by Mike Anderson 2004-06-07

Version 0.100 - Major changes

To celebrate hitting the momentous version 100 I've added a whole host of new features to Tyrant.

The most visible change is the textured panels on the main game screen. Purely cosmetic, but I think it helps the overall atmosphere and look of the game. The layout of the UI still needs a little work, but it will get there in the end.

The biggest gameplay change is the inclusion of ten alternative races for your hero. Won't list them all here, but suffice it to say that they all have their distinctive strengths and weaknesses. There are currently no restrictions on which races can choose which professions, but these might be included in future for game balance.... read more

Posted by Mike Anderson 2001-05-28

Version 0.99

The latest release is mostly bugfixes and fine tuning. Several skills are in the process of being implemented however, and you can now pick the pockets of townspeople by applying the "Pick-Pocket" skill.

This version should hopefully fix the bugs that people were having with saving and loading games. Let me know if there are any problems remaining.


Posted by Mike Anderson 2001-05-15

Version 0.98 - Skill system progress

The latest release of Tyrant is v0.98, which includes the beginnings of a skill system. You can see your skills by pressing the "a" key.

Each character class starts with an appropraite set of skills. These affect how well the character is able to perform certain tasks, e.g. the "Literacy" skill is needed in order to be able to read books and scrolls.

To learn new skills, you will need to find a teacher. Teachers can be found wandering the towns from time to time. You will also need to gain experience in order to learn new skills.... read more

Posted by Mike Anderson 2001-05-07