Rogue Islands Articles RSS Feed | Rogue Islands RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network A Second Look at Big Fat Alien's Roguelike FPS Rogue Islands Wed, 14 Jun 2017 13:21:49 -0400 Damien Smith

It has been just a couple of weeks since I initially took a look at Big Fat Alien's roguelike Rogue Islands, which is currently on Steam Early Access. Since then, there have been updates to the game on a near daily basis, with the biggest gap between upgrades being no more than three days.

With so many updates in such a short period of time, I decided to take a look and see what new features have been added to the game along with how seeing just how far it has come since my last visit.

What Noteworthy Changes Have Been Made?

There have been quite a few changes to the general gameplay of the game throughout the many updates that have been applied in the recent weeks.

Magic Pools Now Work Differently

The first big change is how the various magic pools work. Previously, only the mana pool regenerated over time, while the other two pools, Adamant and Flamestone, needed to be mined to be recharged.

Now they operate in a similar fashion to the mana pool, where they regenerate over time and the maximum amount is increased by mining and collecting Adamant and Flamestone found in rock. 

This results in the increase of the magic pools per Adamant and Flamestone collected to be vastly lower than previous iterations, but it results in not needing to constantly mine more to use the spells of the two more powerful staves. It definitely works better from a gameplay standpoint and forces the player to only use the stronger spells when needed because of their slow recharge time.

Levitation has also had a big decrease in mana consumption, allowing for longer gliding time, reduced fall speed, and easier fall-avoidance. 

Tougher Enemies Now Appear Earlier

Another big change is that tougher enemies now spawn earlier in the game. Originally, Bone Knights only began to appear in the second biome, after defeating the first boss of the game, but now, they spawn as early as Level 4.

The same applies for the floating eye monster, which now spawns from the very beginning of the game. This change gives the earlier stages a much-needed difficulty increase, making them a bit more fun and interesting to play. 

While on the topic of monsters, my one criticism in my previous preview has been fixed: enemies are now far more challenging and unpredictable than they were before.

Hazards Can be Seen More Easily

Some hazards have also been adjusted a bit. The thistles have since had their color changed to black with orange flowers, allowing them to be seen easier. Before, they blended into the background where they were easily overlooked and run into.

Balancing, Bug Fixes, and Optimization

Apart from that, there has been quite a bit of balancing, bug fixing, and optimization done to the game to give it a much more polished feel to it. On top of that, the game doesn't need such high system requirement to play at a smooth frame rate. While 

While Rogue Islands has always been a fun experience, the new changes and adjustments really have improved the gameplay in many ways and really have brought the game to the next level.

What New Additions Have Been Implemented?

New Game Modes: Explorer, Nightmare, and Permadeath

Since my last preview, one of the new additions to the game is three difficulty modes. Originally, upon starting a new game, you would choose between different magic users with different gear, making the game harder or easier. Now there is an Explorer Mode (Easy), a Nightmare Mode (Medium) and a Permadeath Mode (Hard).

Explorer Mode is for those who want to play the game for the adventure of it, as well as the Minecraft elements. This mode provides a 40% decrease in enemy damage along with making Nightmares (extra lives) extremely easy to craft. It also lets players carry more supplies at one time.

Nightmare Mode still incorporates the Nightmare mechanic, but they are much more difficult to craft because not only do they require rarer materials, they also require more of those materials when compared to Explorer Mode. Along with that enemies do their normal amounts of damage.

As for Permadeath mode, it does exactly as it says on the tin. There are no Nightmares available and when you die, it is permanent: you'll have to start from the beginning.

On top of that, the game can now be played from start to finish because the story and presentation have now been fully implemented. The player also gets a final score at the end of the playthrough.

From those looking to simply take it easy and explore the world, to those looking for a challenge to the absolute masochistic of roguelike players. Rogue Islands now caters for all of them.

Scrolls of Teleportation

Along with that, there has been the introduction of the Scrolls of Teleportation, which allow the player to teleport to the safety of their ship if a battle turns against them -- or if nightfall is coming and they want to avoid the incorrigible Ghasts.


Achievements have now been implemented into Rogue Islands, for those who enjoy hunting for them. There is a good variety of them ranging from easy to obtain to more difficult ones but all are reasonable and very possible to complete.

A New Hazard

A brand new hazard has been introduced in the form of an exploding cave spike that drops from cave ceilings, which explodes upon hitting the floor, dealing splash damage. While easily spotted, they are dangerous to those who recklessly explore caves.

Level 3 Spells

All the spells in the game can now be upgraded to level 3, giving them new properties and boosts. Adding an extra level for spells really does bring in a whole new level of thought when planning and choosing your upgrades, making your decision ever more crucial.

Fog of War

The game now has fog of war, meaning the map is only revealed as you explore. However, this actually helps players because it allows them to see where they've already explored.  

New Quests

Finally, new quests have been added to the game that add variety to the game's levels. these quests make the levels feel unique and keeps them from feeling (sometimes) monotonous and bland.

A Perfect Example of How an Early Access Title Should be Done

I've played my fair share of Early Access titles on Steam over the years and none have come close to the standard that Big Fat Alien has presented. With a near-constant stream of updates and fixes, the game is constantly evolving and continuing to be polished and refined by the developers. It is how early access titles should be done!

As far as the changes and new additions to the game go, they have done nothing but improve the overall experience. While I had a lot of fun with the title during my first visit, I have to say that I have had so much more fun in my second. 

The level of dedication and passion from Rogue Islands' developer is second to none, and it really shows in the product, even at this in-development stage. If you interested in the game but wanted to wait until a later build before buying it, then there is no better time to get started than now.

Note: A copy of the game was provided for the purpose of this preview.


The Beginners Guide to Rogue Islands Fri, 09 Jun 2017 13:50:50 -0400 Damien Smith

New to Rogue Islands and not quite sure how to get the most out of each island? Are you feeling the challenged by some of the tougher enemies in the game's early stages? If so, then this guide is exactly what you are looking for to help you on your way in this roguelike with Minecraft exploration and mining elements.

This guide covers all the basics of Rogue Islands, from places to:

  • Find the materials required to unlock and upgrade spells
  • Increasing your magic pools
  • What upgrades to focus on early
  • How to find chests
  • The best places to find mission objectives

Let's get started!

Where to Find Upgrade and Fuel Materials, Along With Mana Boosters

While each island in Rogue Islands has its own mission objective, you must also explore and find materials for upgrading and unlocking spells along the way. You'll also need to explore and find materials to craft fuel for your ship so you can leave the island. For those who don't know where to look, attempting to find these required materials can feel like nothing more than pure luck.

If you are in a hurry, the best places to look for these materials and bitumen (which is needed to craft fuel) are inside caves and the faces of cliffs and mountains, all which can be found at the heart of each island. Essentially, you are looking for anywhere rock is present, as it is the only place where materials spawn.

Materials can be easy to overlook, particularly if you are rushing your exploration, but there is an easier way to spot the glimmering gem shards for those brave or foolish enough. If you hang around an island long enough for nightfall, the materials will glow in the darkness, making them much easier to spot.

Note: This does not apply to the bitumen that is needed to craft the ship's fuel. This is better sought during daylight because of its black color.

Beware, however; The unkillable Ghasts descend upon the islands at night, and they will constantly pursue you until daylight once they spot you. If you are having difficulty surviving at night, you can find all the tips you need in our How to Survive the Night and Ghasts in Rogue Islands Guide.

As for finding the magic pool boosters to increase your magic pools -- they require a different method of discovery. While they are found only in rocky terrain like other materials, magic pool boosters are harder to find due to the procedural generation of the game.

There will be playthroughs where you will find lots of them, while there will be others where you will be hard pressed to find them. Their colors represent which magic pool they belong to, with purple being raw mana, green being earth (Adamant) magic, and orange being fire (Flamestone) magic.

Always be on the lookout for them as they are extremely useful in later stages of the game; they are needed to cast the more powerful spells using Earth and Fire magic. The more you have, the longer you can cast the spells. Now that you know where to find the materials needed to upgrade and unlock new spells, it is time to concentrate on what spells to focus on early in the game.

Upgrading and Unlocking the Right Spells Early is Crucial

Choosing the right spells to upgrade and what spells to unlock in Rogue Islands' early game can make a huge difference as you progress. It can be the difference between challenging and tough fights, especially when it comes to meeting the new enemies on the fourth island. 

The first spell you should focus on above anything else during the first few islands is the Sparks spell. This is your default spell and one that you will be using more than any other in the game due to its long range. Getting this spell to level 3 should be your top priority.

The reason for this is that at level 2, using the spell no longer uses up your mana, allowing you to continuously fire with stopping. Then level 3 makes the spell fire rapidly, doubling its initial casting speed. This enables you to shoot a constant onslaught of rapidly firing sparks that annihilate weaker enemies and also make short work of the tougher ones.

After upgrading Sparks to level 3, you need to decide what spell to unlock next, and that is determined by whether or not you have the second staff and what materials you have at your disposal. If you have the second staff. which is found in chests, you should focus on unlocking the Seekers spell.

Note: Unlocking and upgrading the Seekers spell requires imbued Emeralds as opposed to Diamonds, like the Sparks spell.

If you don't have the second staff -- or if you don't have the Emeralds or Spirit Dust to craft an imbued Emerald -- you should focus on unlocking the next Raw magic spell, Zap. This spell is short range but can deal a lot of damage in one blast, and the more mana you have, the more powerful each shot is.

It certainly helps with the tougher enemies if you don't have Seekers, even if it means getting a bit more up close and personal. Once you have Sparks to level 3 and either Zap or Seekers unlocked, you should be well on your way to getting through certain levels of the game without too much trouble. Next, let's move on to finding chests.

Rogue Islands' Chests Contain All Kinds of Goodies

Chests are something that you should always be on the look out for, as they contain all kinds of different goodies to help you on your journey. As to how many are located on each island? That's random. Some islands will haven only one chest, while others can have as many as three.

Chests are hidden within small forts that can be found on each of the islands. When you find a fort, you simply have to shoot its walls down to make yourself a doorway into the fort -- where you will find the golden chest. Chests contain all sorts of spell materials, new staffs, and amulets that grant you additional bonuses.

Note: The Charred Staff (Fire Staff), can only be found by defeating the second boss.

Chests are the only way to obtain the second staff, and the other goodies found in them can also make a big difference as the difficulty of the game increases. So be sure to find as many of them as possible on each island.

The Best Place to Look for Mission Objectives

No matter the level, you will always start at the southern side of an island. This means your objective -- no matter if it's closing a demon portal or finding Vita's Tree -- will always be at the north end of the island. More often than not, you will find your mission objective in either the center or to the right-hand side of the northern coastline.

The only time your objective is placed differently is on the boss islands. Before you can face off against a boss, you will need to find the item required to summon them. This item lays in a large fort, which can spawn anywhere on the island, meaning you will have to explore to seek to them out.

Once you find the item needed to summon the boss, however, you will find the boss' altar at the north end of the map, just as you would with a standard mission objective.

While knowing where your mission objective is may not seem like much of an advantage, it does mean that you are saving time by not searching a far broader area. This results in you being able to focus more time on finding materials and chests, allowing you to more efficiently upgrade your power as the difficulty of the game increases.

A Final Bit of Advice for Rouge Islands Beginners

As one last tip, you should always ensure that you have a Scroll of Teleportation in your inventory, as it allows you to teleport back to the safety of your ship if things become a bit too dodgy. If you are playing either Explorer mode or Nightmare mode difficulties, it is a good idea to also keep a Nightmare in your inventory that grants you an extra life, reviving you on your boat upon death.

If you are unsure how to craft a Nightmare or Scroll of Teleportation, you can check out our guides on how to craft and find the materials for both Nightmares and Scrolls of Teleportation here on GameSkinny.

And with that, you now have everything you need to get yourself started in the world of Rogue Islands. I wish you the best of luck on your adventures to destroy the Lords of Torment that are corrupting the once peaceful world.

How to Survive the Night and the Ghasts in Rogue Islands Fri, 09 Jun 2017 17:33:35 -0400 Damien Smith

Once darkness falls in Rogue Islands, an FPS roguelike with Minecraft exploration and mining elements, the spectral Ghasts fall from the sky and hunt for living entities from whom they can drain their life force. Ghasts are entirely invincible and cannot be killed by any means. If one spots you, your only chance of survival is to flee.

This guide covers all the tips that you need to survive the night and avoiding the Ghasts, along with the advantages of exploring the islands during nightfall.

The Advantages of Exploring at Night

While exploring the islands at night is extremely dangerous and generally ill-advised because of Ghasts, there are a few major advantages to doing so. First is the much needed Gurgleweed, required to craft Nightmares; it is actually visible at night. During nightfall, the weed has a purple-pink glow coming from its berries that can be seen quite far away.

It allows you to locate the weed without the need to blindly explore the dangerous depths, avoiding the skeletal piranha fish that lurk in the waters. Second, enemies are much more visible from a distance during the night as they light up their surroundings.

This may not seem extremely useful as there are advantages to defeating enemies, but in times where your health is low, it allows you to figure out how to get around them without alerting them.

Third, it allows you to explore the island in its entirety, mining it for all its valuable materials and allowing you to become more powerful far more quickly than if you avoided nightfall entirely.

Finally, the materials that you need to mine from each of the islands to upgrade and unlock new spells are far more visible at night. Like many other things in Rogue Islands, at night, the likes of diamond and emerald shards and mana reserves glow in the darkness and can be seen across long distances.

Indeed, these advantages work in your favor, but surviving long enough to see the sunrise is a challenge in itself. There are two tactics can you can use to survive the night, that being hunkering down until sunrise or using a stealthier approach.

Hunkering Down for the Night

This tactic is for those who simply don't reach their ship before darkness falls, and have no desire to explore the island any further -- or have Scrolls of Teleportation or fuel for the ship. One of the most important things to do before nighttime is stock up on food. This can be done by approaching any type of food and pressing the R key to place it in your inventory. 

Night lasts approximately five minutes in real time and during that time, you will need to eat several foods or you will begin to starve. This makes stocking up on food during daylight extremely important. 

As night begins to descend upon the island, it is best to find a sheltered area in which to take cover, be it a cave, underneath a cliff of some kind, or in a canyon. The more confined the area you are in when the Ghasts begin to appear, the less likely they are to land near you or notice you.

It is also important that you look to the sky as soon as the game informs you that the Ghasts are arriving. You will notice them beginning to descend from the sky, giving you an idea of where they are landing, furthering the chances of them not finding you.

Once you are stocked up with food, have a hiding place, and know there are no Ghasts that can spot you, it is a case of just having some patience and waiting for the sunrise. Once the sun begins to rise, you will see the Ghasts returning to the sky, and then it is again safe to explore the island.

The Stealthy Approach

The stealthy approach is for those looking to continue exploring throughout the night and use the advantages that it brings while also avoiding the dangers that come with it. Just like hunkering down, you are going to need food, but having a stockpile isn't as much of a necessity here due to the fact that you will come across food as you explore.

Your main focus here is venturing about the island using the darkness to easily spot the materials that you need while avoiding the Ghasts. Much like hunkering down, when you receive the prompt that the Ghasts are coming, look to the sky to see where they are landing.

If any are dropping near your position, ensure that you move a good distance away so they do not notice you. What you need to be on the look out for is a large white glow emitting in the darkness. If you see that, there is a Ghast in that area.

Even if you can't directly see them, there is no mistaking there is one there somewhere. If you begin to approach, the likeliness of them spotting you is quite high and once they begin pursuing you, you won't be able to lose them again until daybreak.

There is nearly always a clear route of some kind through the Ghasts if you look for it, and once you get through it, there is a nice chunk of area that you can explore where their presence is at a minimum. While doing all this you must always remember: do NOT attempt to shoot a Ghast or shoot in their area because it will alert them, causing them to chase you.

It is also worth noting that while exploring at night, you should always have at least one Nightmare in your inventory or at the very least a Scroll of Teleportation along with fuel for your ship. That way if you die, or a Ghast begins to chase you, you can teleport straight back to your ship and escape.

This is far more dangerous than simply hunkering down and waiting, but it is also the most rewarding as it allows you to continue finding the all important materials required to upgrade and unlock new spells. Just make sure you always have a backup plan in case things start to go horribly wrong.

Good Luck in Your Survival

And there you have it, all the tips that you need to help you survive nightfall in Rogue Islands. Be it simply not getting back to your ship in time or reaping the rewards for braving the dark and its inhabitants, you have all the information that you need to survive.


Finding Briny Moss and Crafting a Scroll of Teleportation in Rogue Islands Fri, 09 Jun 2017 13:53:00 -0400 Damien Smith

Rogue Islands is an FPS roguelike with Minecraft exploration and mining elements. You take on the role of a Gnome who is attempting to defeat the five Lords of Torment and save both his race and the world from corruption.

One of the newest additions to Rogue Islands, alongside Nightmares, is the ability to craft a Scroll of Teleportation. These scrolls allow you to teleport back to the safety of your ship if a battle is about to turn sour or, most importantly, if you have the invulnerable Ghasts chasing you. 

This guide gives you everything you need to know about how to craft these extremely useful scrolls.

What You Need to Craft a Scroll of Teleportation

Unlike with nightmares, the materials required to craft Scrolls of Teleportation remain the same no matter the difficulty setting you to choose. To craft these lifesavers, you will need 1 briny moss and 20 spirit dust. While spirit dust is relatively easy to obtain (you simply have to defeat enemies who then drop the dust), the briny moss, however, is a whole different story.

Where to Find Briny Moss in Rogue Islands

While the Gurgleweed required to craft nightmares has become slightly easier to find with the recent updates to Rogue Islands, which gives them a glowing effect, Briny Moss does not have such an effect. To find it, you really need to know where it spawns, otherwise, you are relying entirely on luck.

Much like the bloodcap mushrooms in Rogue Islands, Briny Moss will only ever spawn on one type of terrain: rock. While the bloodcap is big and easily spotted because of its bright color, the Briny Moss is black, quite small, and easily overlooked.

To find it, you will need to keep an eye on the ceilings of caves, as the moss is found dangling from the very top of these areas. Caves are generally found inland on each of the islands, and they vary in size and depth, sometimes making it hard to reach the sought after material.

When you do find one, do NOT attempt to get it to drop by shooting it. Just like food items, such as corn cobs and squashes, the Briny Moss is also destroyed upon taking damage. If it is too high up, even if your mana doesn't allow you to jump higher, search the island for more mana or simply find another Briny Moss that your mana will allow you to reach.

How to Craft the Scroll of Teleportation

You have found the Briny Moss and have killed enough enemies to have collected the spirit dust needed. Now it is time to be rewarded for your hard work and craft one of these handy items. All you need to do is open your inventory and click on the Briny Moss.

In the small window on the right side of the screen, you will see the option to craft the Scroll of Teleportation. Simply click on it and the scroll will now be in your inventory, sitting in the very bottom right slot.

Go Forth and Find Yourself Some Briny Moss

You now have all the information you need to craft yourself one of those all important Scrolls of Teleportation. Make sure to always keep one in your inventory as often as possible, because you never truly know when they will be the difference between life and death.

How to Craft Nightmares in Rogue Islands (And Find the Gurgleweed To Do It) Fri, 02 Jun 2017 16:11:46 -0400 Damien Smith

Rogue Islands is an FPS roguelike with Minecraft elements of exploration and mining. You take on the role of a Gnome who is attempting to defeat the five Lords of Torment and save both his race and the world from corruption.

Like any true roguelike, multiple lives are rare. But in this game, you can bring Nightmares along with you to get a second chance after death. Nightmares act as an extra life, where upon death the player will respawn at the start of the level as long as they have one in their inventory. This guide gives you everything you need to know about how to craft Nightmares on Nightmare difficulty. 

How to Craft Nightmares in Rogue Islands

Required Materials for Crafting Nightmares

Nightmares are only available on Explorer and Nightmare difficulties. The materials required to craft a nightmare are dependent on which of these two modes you are playing. This guide covers Nightmare mode only, as the materials required to craft one are a bit more difficult to find than Explorer Mode's common materials.

To craft a Nightmare in Nightmare difficulty, you need 2 Gurgleweeds and 50 spirit dust. The materials required to makethese useful items can be found from the first level and onward through the entire game. But where exactly is it?

Where to Find the Gurgleweed

Unlike the other materials in Rogue Islands, Gurgleweed is found underwater. Due to the mild rarity of the weed, it takes a bit of patience and persistence to find them. There are certain areas on the islands where these tend to spawn more than others.

What you are looking for is deep water -- so the best places to look for Gurgleweed is around the tiny outer islands off the coast of the main island of each level. Exploring underwater around these islands occasionally results in finding a Gurgleweed.

You'll recognize them by their three long green stems, each with three red pods at the tops of them (as shown in the image above). While the best places to search are at the coast of the main island, you can on rare occasions find them inland also. But they will only ever be in deep ponds or rivers. They will never spawn in shallow waters.

Once you have 2 Gurgleweeds and 50 spirit dust (which is obtained from defeating enemies), you will be able to craft a new nightmare.

Get Diving!

So what are you waiting for? Get diving into the deep waters of the many islands throughout the world of Rogue Islands and find those Gurgleweeds. And don't forget to keep a regular stock of them in your inventory. With the many dangers lurking around every corner, you never know when you will be needing another Nightmare to bring to back to life.

Interview with Jasmine Ritchie CEO of Big Fat Alien and Designer of Rogue Islands Fri, 26 May 2017 12:46:46 -0400 Damien Smith

This week, we got the opportunity to interview Jasmine Ritchie, the CEO of indie developer Big Fat Alien and designer of their latest title, Rogue Islands, a roguelike FPS currently on Steam Early Access.

In the game, players take on the role of a Gnome who sets out to save the world from The Corruption by destroying the five Lords of Torment. It is a game that combines the visuals and mechanics of Minecraft with the fast paced action and gameplay of Ziggurat.

Throughout the interview, we discuss how Rogue Islands came to be, along with what is planned the game in the future.

GameSkinny: Rogue Islands is a game where plot and backstory take a backseat, while gameplay is the primary focus. For those looking for more details and information on the world and its creatures, will there be a journal or codex that players can unlock and read to their heart's content?

Jasmine Ritchie: We don't plan on having a journal, but we will probably do a wiki-style codex online. Any player who has been through several attempts [of Rogue Islands] will have the chance to see the story points multiple times. At some point, we'll probably compile the story as well.

GS: What can players expect to experience in the Hardcore/Hard game mode when it is implemented into the game?

JR: We've had feedback requesting a more beginner-friendly experience. So we added "Explorer Mode". This allows the player to easily craft nightmares where they take 25% less damage. This eases the pressure for those who just want to explore and enjoy the game's atmosphere.

Still, though, you can only carry two nightmares at once, and [the game] will delete your save game if you die without a Nightmare in your possession. Nightmare Mode will allow the player to store only one nightmare at a time and crafting them is much more difficult. Permadeath Mode will erase the player's saved game upon death.

You cannot gain Nightmares by any means in Permadeath mode. This is the true "Rogue" mode. Most Steam achievements will be limited to this mode. There will be a special Steam achievement for beating the game on each Explorer, Nightmare, and Permadeath Modes. 

GS: What kind of side effects are you planning on introducing to the food items in the game?

JR: We've just added passive effects in a recent update -- v.39 -- which are Hunger, Traumatised, and Poisoned. The Hunger effect will kick in when your stomach is empty and causes several detrimental effects; slower movement, no levitation, and you constantly lose health.

On top of keeping you from dying, certain foods can now cure poison and trauma. The rare Bloodcap will restore full health instantly! Or eat a Puffed Bean before jumping from a mountain top and take zero fall damage! The full range of food effects I'll leave for players to explore. 

GS: One of the stretch goals for Rogue Islands is a Creative Mode. If and when this is implemented into the game, what will players be able to do with it?

JR: We worked hard to make Rogue Islands beautiful and atmospheric. The creative mode, we imagined, would turn off the AIs and environmental hazards to have an actually relaxing place to explore and, of course, build what you like by adding and removing blocks.

You'll be able to start from any biome you've unlocked in the single-player campaign and build within that. You'll also be able to save and share your custom islands with others.

GS: The second stretch goal of Rogue Islands is online Co-Op Multiplayer. Could you explain how this mode would work, should it be implemented into the game at a later date?

JR: We hope to make online co-op, as well as a LAN, an option. We've always imagined Rogue Islands would be a very fun place to explore with a friend. Heck, we want to play together and with our kids someday. Co-operative multiplayer has a lot of potential in a game like Rogue Islands.

GS: The enemies and the game's AI are currently at 50% in progression. How will the enemies differ from now to when they are complete?

JR: We've just updated the roadmap; enemies are now at 80% progression. The completion of enemies will be when they are fully balanced and challenging to fight. Early in the game, we want players to feel like it is ok, maybe even necessary, to run away from a tough fight.

Later on, when you have upgraded a player, players should be able to have fun yet challenging battles. Our process of development is very fluid and we change things constantly!

GS: What kind of new quests can players expect to embark on throughout the game's development?

JR: Nothing is nailed down right now. We watch what players are doing on Youtube and Twitch and base our modifications on that. 

We take the early access players feedback to heart and listen to what they like and don't like. We added the demon portal quest as a response to some early critique about the first island not having enough to do. There will be more side quests in the future to help add variety.

GS: Originally, Rogue Islands was intended on being a whole different game called “Radium,” which was a sci-fi mining game. How did Radium evolve into what is now Rogue Islands?

JR: Our original concept had the player piloting a small spacecraft between large, randomly generated meteors and foraging for supplies. With gathered supplies, the player could craft upgrades for the ship and themselves. Travelling between meteors would be dangerous and we wanted to design space battles as a mini game between them. 

Ultimately, we found the sci-fi theme to be too limiting. There are so many cool gameplay ideas that work better, thematically, if you're coming from a fantasy perspective. I think the environments we have now are a lot more colourful and full of life than they would have been in a space game.

GS: On the development roadmap for Rogue Islands, there are a number of interestingly named enemies that are yet to be implemented. The Shambler and Thorny being particular names of interest. Could you tell us a bit about them?

JR: On the roadmap, enemies and hazards are listed together. We want hazards to be a big part of the game and we are adding more now. It's not just about being powerful enough to beat enemies. We want players to be constantly on the lookout and on the move. All the enemies waiting to be built are just concepts for now and we will keep their attacks a surprise for unsuspecting players! 

GS: With a call for more variety from the community, which was introduced in the V.39 patch, are there any more plans for even further variety to be included in the game throughout development? 

JR: We are going to pack all we can into this single player experience. With the eventual goal being that each island is absolutely packed with a unique mixture of hazards and enemies :)


It is clear that there is a huge amount of creativity, imagination, passion, and dedication that's gone into Rogue Islands. At its core, Rogue Islands is a game that caters to both FPS fans and roguelike fans alike. 

Rogue Islands currently available on Steam under the Early Access program. There is currently no date for a full release, but the game is planned to release at some point this year.

GameSkinny would like to thank Jasmine for taking the time to answer our questions. We wish her and the rest of the team the very best of luck with Rogue Islands.

Preview: Rogue Islands -- Ziggurat Meets Minecraft Mon, 15 May 2017 21:14:14 -0400 Damien Smith

If there is one thing that indie developers are renown for, it is combining elements from two different games to create something new, unique, and in most cases, exciting. One such game that that falls into this category is Rogue Islands, which combines Minecraft's graphics and game mechanics (such as crafting and mining) with Ziggurat's fast-paced FPS action to create something different and fun.

Essentially, Rogue Islands is an FPS roguelike developed by Big Fat Alien. It released on Steam Early Access May 12, and while it is in an early stage of development, Rogue Islands is a competent FPS experience that does its best to break the mold from which so many other FPS roguelikes are cut. 

A Quest to Save the Deepgrove

You take on the role of a Gnome who is on a journey to save the Deepgrove (The Gnome's Home) from decay caused by the five Lords of Torment. To do this, you must travel the many islands scattered throughout the world, harvesting gems and materials to increase your powers and learn new spells.

Only then will you be powerful enough to face the Lords of Torment and restore the Deepgrove to life before it is too late. While there is a plot to Rogue Islands it is of secondary focus, while the gameplay is the primary focus in the game. And while the plot is simple, there is plenty of backstory to be had, detailing the history of the Gnome race and its many leaders and factions.

These are told as you travel from one island to another during load screens. It gives the plot extra depth, but also makes the story optional, stopping the plot from getting in the way of the gameplay.

Overall, the plot of Rogue Islands is a typical one of good verse evil, but both its backstory and history of the Gnomes are rather interesting. The narrative caters to both those looking for a story with detail and those looking for pure gameplay. It's the best of both worlds. 

Minecraft meets Ziggurat

That's how you would describe the gameplay of Rogue Islands in three words. From the Ziggurat perspective, RI has fast-paced FPS and a fairly robust weapons upgrade system; each of the three weapons gives the player new spells to cast when upgraded. Each also requires a specific power for use. For example, the first staff requires mana, which recharges automatically over time, while the other two staves require minerals. This is where the Minecraft aspect of the game comes into play.

Throughout each island, you must explore and mine materials such as diamonds, emeralds, and rubies by shooting them with your stave. On top of that, you must collect spirit dust from enemies. Gems are used to upgrade your weapons, each requiring a specific type in order to upgrade.

For example, the starting weapon requires an imbued diamond to upgrade, while the second requires imbued emeralds. You obtain imbued gems by combining a whole gem with spirit dust to make it magical and give it the power to improve the effectiveness of your staves.

While all this may sound complicated on paper, in-game, it is made simple with an easy to follow crafting screen. And it may seem like the exploring would get in the way of the action, but there are enough enemies to keep you reasonably busy along the way.

To replenish your health, you will need to find and eat various foods found throughout the islands. Each type of food works differently and has varying effects on the player. As opposed to instantly restoring your health, it slowly increases as the character digests the food and two foods can be digested at any one time. 

In the heat of battle, you need to keep avoiding enemy attacks while your health slowly replenishes. It makes the game's combat more about skill and reflexes, not stamina and patience.

Of course, being a Roguelike, it also features permadeath, meaning if you die, you'll start over from the beginning. But there is an option when starting a new game that allows for you to have one additional life to better suit those not fond of permadeath.

You won't be killing droves upon droves of enemies like in most fast-paced FPS titles, but the game offers a decent balance between its action, crafting, and exploration to keep everyone happy.

To further solidify the Minecraft influence, the game employs blocky, pixelated graphics and procedurally generated level design.

Mastering magic and levitation

Another of the mechanics of the game is levitation, which allows you to glide distances or slow down your fall. Using levitation uses up your mana, so as you increase your mana pool by mining mana charges, you will be able to levitate for longer and much further distances. It is a handy mechanic that works well, even if it is a bit tricky to get the hang of at first. You can also use your mana and levitation to give your jumps a boost.

Just like with the levitation, the more mana you have, the higher you can jump. It becomes extremely useful when needing to climb to lofty areas like mountains and treetops. They are mechanics that make traversing the islands far easier and without them, the game wouldn't be nearly as enjoyable.

There are also an array of spells to unlock and master as you progress throug the game. Spells come in both defensive and offensive forms. From simple projectiles to lightning bolts to a ball of energy that follows and protects you, there are plenty of varying spells on offer.

Each spell handles very differently and the player must learn how to use each effectively. For example, some spells only work when close to enemies, and vice versa. This results in the player having to choose the right spell to suit the current situation, giving the combat a certain tactical feel to it.

Even in its early stage of development, there is plenty of content to be found while the mechanics all work well and feel quite polished.

An array of varying enemies

The enemies of Rogue Islands each have their own unique appearance and sets of attack. At the beginning of the game, you face off against easier foes, like skeleton gnomes and bloated bees. As you progress, more powerful foes begin to appear, like fire-breathing bats, huge skeleton battlemages, and more.

There are also enemies called Ghasts that only appear after midnight. These ghostly creatures descend upon an island at night to drain the life force of Gnomes. They are completely indestructible and should you run into them, your only chance of survival is to flee.

The game does feature an array of different enemies, even in early development. They are not particularly interesting to fight, though. Their movements are all very predictable, as are their attacks (each enemy has only one attack). The skeletal battlemages, for example, are the biggest culprit in this regard. While intimidating in size and appearance, I have yet to be hit even once by them.

Aside from that one issue, the game is an extremely enjoyable experience and even if they are a bit bland, the enemies do keep you on your toes. I just wish they had a few more attacks to make fighting them slightly more interesting.

A great roguelike in the making

Rogue Islands is a great game and a promising Early Access title. Even in its early stage of development, the game is fully playable and has two of its five bosses currently implemented. It is an enjoyable experience that caters to a broad audience, offering features and mechanics that would satisfy practically any gamer.

The visuals are beautiful and the atmosphere is wonderful with daylight offering a colourful and calm feeling while nightfall brings a sense of dread along with the invincible Ghasts, looking to absorb your very life energy.

The developer is aiming to bring mining, exploration, crafting, and fast-paced action together to create a unique experience. And from what I have experienced so far, they are doing a great job doing just that.

Disclaimer: A copy of the game was provided to the writer for the purpose of this preview. This article is based on an alpha build of Rogue Islands and does not represent a finished or complete product.