Legerdemain Source Code Ransom

$338 of $1,000 goal

Raised by 17 people in 12 months
In August 2008, an indie CRPG called Legerdemain was released to the world, which is to say, I posted an announcement on rec.games.roguelike.announce & a few people acknowledged it & maybe even downloaded it (it was free to play after all, it still is). For some time I had been nurturing a vision of a game that blended what I liked about roguelikes, MUDs, & interactive fiction into a nice textual slurry, something which I decided to call roguelikefiction. The phrase never really caught on.  The game sort of did.

Legerdemain was met with bemusement, mostly, it didn't really fit into any of the genres it had aspired to join, but now & then a positive review would emerge, often enough that I put together a cluebook package to promote the game. I started a company called Roguelikefiction & we went on the road, starting in Atlanta, but eventually making it as far as Essen, Germany, to hawk our wares. The game was free to play, but if you liked it & wanted to support it we offered our package as a way to do so. It came with a book, a CD, & a hand-drawn map. People seemed to like the idea. We proceeded to have adventures & meet fans & experience a taste of the indie game-development world. In 2010 we released an updated version of the software with a tileset by Ian McKenna & we splurged on an additional print run, which was followed shortly by a third. The whole experience was a hoot.

Of course we could maintain our momentum for only so long. The visitors to our site gradually tapered off, reviews became less frequent. A second game never materialized. Sales declined & I moved onto other projects. The cost of keeping the company afloat became prohibitive. In the meantime, mobile-gaming had exploded, & a new generation of roguelikes had come to the fore. Steam became a popular platform for these new games, but Legerdemain was never able to make it a good fit. Now, in 2018, my work of so-called roguelikefiction is on its way to becoming a forgotten game, an obscure cul-de-sac in the history of roguelike variants & IF experimentation. I would like to do something about this, if I can. I still believe there are a lot of folks out there who would enjoy playing it, if they only knew it existed.

Anyhow a couple of weeks ago I was looking at the calendar & lo! the tenth anniversary of the first public release was approaching. I decided that now would be a great time to get in touch with old fans & recruit some new ones. I still have a few boxes of cluebooks left (remember those two additional print runs?) & I'd like to send them on to happy homes. What's more, there has always been a large concentration of developers in the Legerdemain fan base, & I think some of my design decisions & coding efforts could be of interest to them. Finally, as far as I know there are only a few players that have ever finished the game, so I'm sure there are many nooks & crannies that remain unexplored.

So I have come up with a source code ransom, as it were. To celebrate ten years I'm offering cluebook packages for $10. Cheap! A donation of $10 plus shipping gets you a copy. (+$5 for US/CA, +$10 international) But supplies are limited. In addition, if I manage to reach my fundraising goal of $1000, I will publicly release the Legerdemain source code. I haven't figured out what the licensing will look like yet. I haven't figured out if I will maintain it or make excuses for it. But I can guarantee I will leave it available on my website,  http://roguelikefiction.com, for at least a year or two. That's the pitch. Thanks in advance for your support! Bon appetit.
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Update: The Legerdemain source random will end on or around October 1st! Web hosting bills come due at this time, & unless we meet our goal I'll be taking the site down until I can determine another way to pay for upkeep.

In the meantime, I am pleased to announce that I am making the cluebook PDF available for donations of $5 or more. You will be sent an email containing a link within 48 hours after your donation is received.

Thanks again for all of your support!
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rec.games.roguelike.announce ›
Legerdemain v1.0.0 now available

On Tuesday, August 26, 2008 at 11:27:25 PM UTC-4, Nathan D. Jerpe wrote:

Good gravy, it's finally here!

The first complete release of Legerdemain is now available for download over
at http://roguelikefiction.com. Legerdemain is a hybrid offering of interactive fiction and roguelike exploration set in the surreal fantasy world of Phenomedom. There are dozens of areas to explore, hundreds of original monsters to slay, and nearly two hundred citizens brimming with lies and idle gossip.

When taken together, Legerdemain and its companion cluebook: Canticle of the Onslaught, comprise over 250,000 words of prose. Since perfection is achieved not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away, you can rest assured that Legerdemain is about as imperfect as a three-legged donkey.

There are also some puzzles, and a fair number of shrewd (lewd?) jokes. Mild psychotic interludes and hallucinatory episodes are also featured.

A big thanks to the kind folks at r.g.r.m. and r.g.i.f. (also r.g.r.d. and r.a.i.f.), who have been a constant source for guidance and inspiration over the years. I've really learned a lot by hanging out at these two venues, and
I sincerely hope I'm able to give something back that is worthwhile.

For the longest time I thought I'd never get to write this post.

I think I will go do some somersaults now.


Legerdemain - A Tale Fraught with Peril and Wonder
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The donations are continuing to come in, thank you! If we can maintain our current pace, we will reach our $1000 goal in a matter of weeks. This will unlock the game's source code, making it available to download publicly for the first time.

Here's a promotional gameplay reel we used at game conventions. The video consists of gameplay from several early game locations, both above-ground and below.

Jails of the Doobah Boogadah II
Zutrin's Progress
Monastery of St. Zutrin
The Fallows
Doobah Hills
Bagah Hills
Lairs of the Bagah Boogadah I
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Many thanks to the second wave of contributors that showed up these past few days. If you would like a cluebook and have not provided a mailing address yet, please PM me here on Gofundme. I will be shipping out another batch by the end of this week.

Since the source code ransom is off to a good start, I'd like to make a map of the gameworld public for the first time. Cluebook packages come with this map in a 13" x 10" printed version.

Thanks again for your support! I hope we can all celebrate our goal of $1,000 in the near future.
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Raised by 17 people in 12 months
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