14 100 Rogues
potentially last for dozens of hours, each session of 100 Rogues lasts an average of ten
minutes. Your chosen characterwhether a spell-slinging mage or a sword-wielding cru-
saderlevels up and unlocks new abilities very quickly, and will likely live for only as
long as it takes to sit through a commercial break while watching television (yes, iPhone
games are the newest thing in mid-TV show entertainment). 100 Rogues is a new spin on
one of gaming’s most versatile genres, and it works beautifully on iOS.
Behind the Game
100 Rogues was not intended to be an ambitious game. e game began as a simple clone
of POWDER, a roguelike created by indie developer Je Lait (which happens to be avail-
able on the iPhone for free). Freshman developer Dinofarm Games had been commis-
sioned by Fusion Reactions to make an iOS game, and it felt that it was up to the task.
e game was scheduled to be completed in a lile over three months. Seventeen months
later, the game still wasn’t complete.
But let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves. To understand the troubled development
of 100 Rogues, you’ll need the perspective of Wes Paugh, a programmer for Fusion Re-
actions who worked on the game. “When I was hired to work on 100 Rogues, the game
had been in development for three months, which was about 85% of the way through
the initially estimated schedule,” says Paugh. “e indication was that I was brought on
to lend a quick hand with the last few stages of 100 Rogues and to start a new project
It soon became apparent that the “initially estimated schedule” wasn’t going to be fol-
lowed very closely, due largely to the fact that the scale of the game grew continuallyno
one working on the game had a clear idea of when features should stop being added.
According to Paugh, the original designs for the game had essentially been forgoen and
replaced with a feature list that required at least eight additional months of development.
“It was like designing and building a spaghei western lm set and, when nearly done,
deciding to build a functional town instead,” says Paugh.
Both Paugh and Keith Burgun, the game’s design lead, re-
member the moment that the vision for the game became clear.
Burgun had wanted to include a teleport ability in the game for
certain enemy types, and Paugh was able to code it surprisingly
easily. Paugh describes this as a watershed moment, in which
100 Rogues’ potential as a strategically rich game became clear.
“Just like that, the player had a new, uniquely strategic enemy to
face, and the game grew from an RPG in which you fought monsters with a bit higher stats
each level into a game that required skill and strategy,” he says.
Burgun agrees that it wasn’t until 100 Rogues had goen relatively far into develop-
ment that its nal form began to take shape. “As the game’s development went on, its
• Development me: 18 months
• Total budget: $40,000
• Times downloaded: 100,000