Tyrant - Java Roguelike / News: Recent posts


What fantasy roguelike would be complete without the most mighty beast of all to strike fear into the hearts of adventurers?

Yes, Tyrant now has dragons - beware! Fortunately they are few and far between, and only inhabit the wildest areas of the world. You may be unlucky enough to stumble across dragons around level 28 or deeper - or if you are foolish enough to venture into Firetop Mountain.

Posted by Mike Anderson 2005-03-20

World Maps

Tyrant 0.331 now features four "world map" areas that you can travel between.

The main map locations are still pretty much the same as before, but they are spread out across the maps in rough order of difficulty. This means that we can keep North Karrain as a fairly "safe" area and add more difficult dungeons into the other areas.

The other advantage of this approach is that the locations stay fairly static. I feel this is beneficial from the point of view of ensuring that players don't spend huge amounts of time searching the world map to find randomly positioned locations.

Posted by Mike Anderson 2005-03-12

New Website!

Thanks to some excellent work by Russ, we now have a brand new Tyrant website, with much better design and navigation.

I especially like the new look menu bar and logo, designed to blend in with the game interface.

But the really clver stuff is behind the scenes - the new site features a content management system to replace the Wiki so that we will be able to have online documentation working again. ... read more

Posted by Mike Anderson 2005-03-06

Goblin Grotto and Map Authoring

The Goblin Grotto is a new area to explore in the Tyrant world - but more than that, it's thefirst area to be added that has been created using the Tyrant Map Authoring tool.

This is a fantastic tool (thanks Chris!) that can be used to create a huge variety of Tyrant maps. Over time, we should be able to develop a collection of themed maps to add spice to the game.

Of course, Tyrant will still feature randomly generated levels (in traditional roguelike style!) for most dungeons. At a later date, we may be able to use the authoring tool to create pre-built "areas" within levels, e.g. special vaults and lairs which appear randomly within dungeons from time to time.... read more

Posted by Mike Anderson 2005-02-27

Wiki Retired

The wiki experiment was a bit of a failure - the amount of wiki spam was getting too bad so I've removed this part of the website for the time being. I suspect we may have been a bit of a target because of the high Google ranking.

It's just a little sad that there are so many selfish subhumans out there on the internet who are willing to abuse what was meant to be a useful community resource. Ah well.... read more

Posted by Mike Anderson 2005-02-11

Map Authoring Tool

Thanks to some more excellent work by Chris, we now have a Map authoring tool for Tyrant that can be used to create new levels.

The idea is that this tool will be used in the future to build special levels and quest locations. It will be very easy to plug maps created with the tool into the game.

The authoring tool is available in version 0.326 to test out. Once launched, the commands are as follows:... read more

Posted by Mike Anderson 2005-01-23

Weekly Releases

I'm back to a regular working week now so my plan is to move to a weekly release schedule. This should mean a new version of Tyrant every Sunday, probably in the evening UK time. Mid-week releases will only happen if there is a critical bug to fix.

Developers - please try to do any really experimental stuff Mon-Sat and keep Sunday for fixes and stabilization. This way we should get a better quality of release. I think this is a good discipline as we work towards the all-important version 1.0... read more

Posted by Mike Anderson 2005-01-23

Dungeon DNA

A new innovation in Tyrant 0.325 (soon to be released) is that of "Dungeon DNA". Basically each style of dungeon has a DNA string associated with it, looking something like:


In this string, each letter represents a type of dungeon element, e.g. "r" is a room and "z" is a maze. The more common the letter is, the more commonly that particular type of feature will be created.... read more

Posted by Mike Anderson 2005-01-13

Goblin Village

The goblins have set up their camp on a swampy area of land. They don't seem overly hostile, but the villagers in the area have every reason to feel nervous about what these unprdicatable and unruly creatures will do next.

This is the latest location to be added, roughly along the lines of the goblin village in the really old versions of Tyrant. Not too much to do there yet (you can start a war if you like, or just chat...) but it should be a taste of things to come.... read more

Posted by Mike Anderson 2005-01-12

New Challenges in 0.322

0.322 is out, with a lot of improvements. Most importantly, there are some serious quest locations to try and complete, with valuable rewards at the end, and in increasing order of difficulty:
- The dungeon beneath the old ruin
- The catacombs beneath the graveyard
- The Tyrant is currently residing at the top of the Dark Tower - you can challenge him if you dare!

I'd really appreciate some feedback on these via the forums - how difficult do you find them? What tactics do you use?... read more

Posted by Mike Anderson 2005-01-07

Please Ignore 0.319

Accidentally released this with a serious bug - sorry folks!

0.320 corrects this.

Posted by Mike Anderson 2005-01-02

Happy New Year!

New year brings a new version of Tyrant - 0.319 has some big improvements to keep you amused.

First and foremost, the game now has an ending! This is still at a very preliminary phase, so it hasn't been balanced for appropriate difficulty levels yet. It's probably a bit too hard right now for anyone to complete without resorting to debug mode, but I'd be interested to see if anyone manages to win without cheating!... read more

Posted by Mike Anderson 2005-01-02

Merry Christmas!

Seasons greetings to all Tyrant players and developers!

There is a special Chistmas installment of Tyrant now available (0.317). If you're lucky, you may bump into a friendly old gent by the name of Nyck....

Posted by Mike Anderson 2004-12-25

JUnit Test Cases

After some excellent work by Chris Grindstaff, Tyrant now boasts a growing collection of JUnit tests.

For those who haven't used them before, unit tests are automated tests that check that different parts of the code are functioning correctly. Every time a developer makes some changes, they can run the unit tests to ensure that none of the old functionality is broken.

Without unit tests, developers have to chech manually that everything is working correctly. This is very time consuming. Imagine having to test every single item and monster in Tyrant every time the code is changed! Inevitably bugs fall through the cracks.... read more

Posted by Mike Anderson 2004-12-18

Developer Guide is growing

I've been steadily adding to the Tyrant Developer's Guide over the past couple of weeks. It now has quite a bit of sample code for people who may want to have a go at coding up their own creations for Tyrant.

Check it out at:


It's still a work in progress, so please make changes to the Wiki or add new pages if you have something that might be of interest to others.

Posted by Mike Anderson 2004-12-02

Item Damage

New change that should make the game a little more challenging/interesting at higher levels.

Certain types of damage (fire, ice, acid, disintegrate) now have a change of damaging items in a being's inventory. So you now have to be a little bit carefull about carrying around stacks of offensive spell scrolls!

As a side effect, this should also help reduce the item drop rate a little - currently I think it's a little too easy to accumulate a large pile of items from defeating monsters.

Posted by Mike Anderson 2004-11-30

In-Game Tutorial

Tyrant 0.312 now features a small in-game tutorial. The idea is to make it a bit easier for new players to work out how to play!

The theme is a small roadside inn, with a couple of mini-quests to complete and some friendly characters to talk to who can give you advice.

Feedback much appreciated - as someone who knows Tyrant absolutely inside out, I'm not exactly the best person to judge what is most useful for a beginner ;-)

Posted by Mike Anderson 2004-11-17

Tyrant Wiki

Prompted by an excellent suggestion by sosostris, Tyrant now has it's very own Wiki.


The idea is that people can contribute hints, tips and documentation that is relevent to Tyrant. All the pages are freely editable, so people can build on the work of others in true Open Source style.

Basically, if you feel like to have something to contribute, then dive right in and add it to the Wiki. Valuable contributions can be anything from small corrections to whole new pages.

Posted by Mike Anderson 2004-10-30


Unique artifact items are currently being implemented. These highly valuable items are intended as rewards for difficult quests, and in true roguelike tradition, collecting powerful artifacts will be one of the important ways to gain power in the game.

I'm currently planning to implement two types of artifacts:
- Predefined artifacts with specific purposes and attributes
- Random artifacts that will change from game to game... read more

Posted by Mike Anderson 2004-10-24


Alchemical recipes are another new feature in version 308 - if you learn the correct skills and find the right ingredients you will be able to mix your own potions.

The recipes are randomised from game to game - this introduces a certain element of luck with Alchemy, since you never know how easy it will be to find the ingredients for the really good potions.

Posted by Mike Anderson 2004-10-07

Scribing Runes

Runecasters have now gained a very important ability - the ability to scribe new runestones. These runestones can be used to add special powers to other items, and are thus extremely valuable.

Not much balancing has been done yet, and the runes may currently be too powerful. Or maybe too weak. So if you play a runecaster, let me know how useful this ability proves to be.

Posted by Mike Anderson 2004-10-07

Graphics Changes

Some experimentation with the Tyrant colour schemes is taking place at the moment - I'm trying to get a slightly more polished look that can also fit in with the website.

Ideas welcome!

Posted by Mike Anderson 2004-09-16

Runestones and Enchantments

New features to experiment with have been added to version 0.306. You can now find runestones that can be used to enchant weapons, giving special additional powers.

Runecasters automatically start with a small supply of runes, and will ultimately have the ability to make powerful runetones themselves.

It is also possible to find enchanted weapons by chance.

Posted by Mike Anderson 2004-09-02

High Scores

Tyrant now features an online high score table! This can be viewed at:


Not only is the high score table a good way to earn immortal fame as a talented Tyrant player, it will also give useful information to the developers so that we can tune the difficulty level for different races and professions.

The high score table is stored on a MySQL database hosted by SourceForge. Over the next few months, I hope to implement a more sophisticated high score table so yau can filter by race/class etc.

Posted by Mike Anderson 2004-08-18

Improved Magic System

The Tyrant magic system has been extended in release 0.304 with the separation of magic into a number of "Orders", all of which work in a slightly different way.

Wizards study the "True Magic" order, which uses spell "Charges" rather than the old magic points system. Charges recover over time, with the maximum charge level depending on your skills and willpower.

Adherents of the "Black Magic" order use ingredients to cast spells. These spells are generally more powerful than True Magic spells, but require the caster to spend time gathering appropriate ingredients. New professions such as Witch and Shaman have been added that start with a rudimentary knowledge of Black Magic.... read more

Posted by Mike Anderson 2004-08-17

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