I caught this quick talk at roguelike celebration about Ursula K. Leguin’s The Tombs of Atuan, and how it was kind of a better fictional prototype for roguelike games like Nethack than the Tolkien stuff that’s usually referenced. I had coincidentally just listened to the audiobook on a drive from Oregon to California, and the book has been on my mind a lot as I’ve been thinking about Mud Room- I like the idea of performing as an NPC in my own game, as a priest or caretaker of a network of cenotaphs (empty tombs, the bodies are in the indexical ‘real’ world) of my family and ancestors. Instead of blindly attacking anyone who comes into the cenotaphs to loot or desecrate, my relationship with the places I am guarding is being questioned and re-evaluated, like the priestess in Tombs of Atuan. Cenotaphs might be abandoned or cared for. The maze of tombs is as vast as all life that has ever lived on earth, though many connections are barricaded or destroyed.