Vaporware (also spelt vapourware) is software or hardware which is announced by a developer well in advance of release, but which then fails to emerge, either with or without a protracted development cycle. The term implies deception, or at least a negligent degree of optimism; that is, it implies that the announcer knows that product development is in too early a stage to support responsible statements about its completion date, feature set, or even feasibility.
Three notable examples of vaporware are GenRogue, Guardian Angel and ShockFrost. GenRogue is supposedly being worked on currently, with its prequel Carceri canceled but due to author concentrating recently on his more successful (and plentiful) games roguelike community may have to wait very patiently to see it. Guardian Angel has low chances to take off for similar reasons and in SchockFrost nobody believes since his disappearance.
Unreleased roguelike projects can be found in the Talkie talkie projects section. The use of the term Vaporware is avoided as Vaporware has a strong negative connotation.
Combating the trend
Roguelike games are long and arduous projects. Developing one takes several years on average before the project becomes recognized. Many programmers work on their games in secrecy on their workstations, slowly losing motivation and finally dropping a promising project. Another roguelike never released; another piece of executable program never bringing enjoyment and happiness to players worldwide. However, some programmers are able to endure such development cycle. Incursion is one such example of a game having very infrequent yet successful releases.
This course of events is very worrying. Denizens of rgrd have thought up some measures to combat this.
- 7DRL challenges
- Write a roguelike game in seven days but most importantly release it to the public!
- ARRP parties
- Never satisfied with shape of your project? There is one day every year when you can release your game without overwhelming expectations. There will be many games shown and yours might get some valuable feedback.