Author Topic: What roguelike do you consider to have the "best" graphics?  (Read 14876 times)

Chex Warrior

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What roguelike do you consider to have the "best" graphics?
« on: April 30, 2013, 12:16:52 PM »
I've been thinking about this for a couple of days now.

It strikes me that most of us who play roguelikes really don't care about graphics at all, many of us even prefer ASCII, however I'm wondering what roguelikes people consider to have the best visuals, and by that I mean in the traditional "good" graphics sense AND/OR in the sense of what roguelikes have graphics that best fit their theme.

Personally, I think Infra Arcana has the best near-ASCII graphics I've seen in a roguelike, its simple, elegant and fits the dark theme of the game. What do you guys think?

zasvid

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Re: What roguelike do you consider to have the "best" graphics?
« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2013, 04:44:44 PM »
I like Brogue visuals the best.

Rickton

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Re: What roguelike do you consider to have the "best" graphics?
« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2013, 05:21:37 PM »
Dungeons of Dredmor, easily. I don't generally play tiles versions of games with both ASCII and tiles versions, but Brogue's ASCII mode is probably the best-looking ASCII game that ever has been (or possibly will be).
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kraflab

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Re: What roguelike do you consider to have the "best" graphics?
« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2013, 09:46:14 PM »
Brogue or Caves of Qud.

Dwarf Fortress for certain tile packs.

I haven't played a roguelike with tiles that I thought had particularly great graphics.  DoD, Tome4, crawl all have pretty lousy tiles to me.

Darren Grey

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Re: What roguelike do you consider to have the "best" graphics?
« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2013, 08:38:31 AM »
Infra Arcana's are nicely functional, but I find pixel art boring.  There's just too much of it everywhere.  Dredmor's graphics are nice and add to the theme, but the animations slow the game down quite a bit.  Otherwise pretty much every other game has graphics I either don't like or find to be impractical at times.

getter77

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Re: What roguelike do you consider to have the "best" graphics?
« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2013, 11:38:27 AM »
By default standards, none can hope to stand against the latter day Shiren the Wander roguelikes on newer consoles and handhelds.
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Jo

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Re: What roguelike do you consider to have the "best" graphics?
« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2013, 02:33:58 AM »
Brogue I'd say, for ascii, but you are probably are asking about tile art and such. So you have to go with Dungeons of Dreadmor. Personally I found it very distracting and far too busy for me, but that's just because I've been ruined by the clarity of ascii.

Many games have tilesets that were added on top of an ascii game. These almost always run into problems. It's a resolution issue. An ascii symbol rendered onscreen as 10x10 pixels is easy to see. A 10x10 pixel art image, rendered as 10x10, is way too small. The pixels get lost, they are just little blobs.

This is totally sucky.

I'm no graphics guru, but what I do know is that when going from ASCII to Tiles you need to double the image size. 1 pixel has to display as 4 on screen or it just doesn't look right.

I've tried making small sprites for Brogue and Infra Arcana. They look great in ASCII, they look alright as single color pixel art, but if you try to make complex art at that resolution it looks like crap. Double size looks great, but that requires some code alterations, not just a simple tileset edit.

It should be noted that Slimy Lich Mummy has an almost perfect resolution for pixel art. It's graphics are already greyscale symbols and not ascii, they are very viewable as complex full color tiles.

Sorry for the tangent. In summary tiles are nice, but if it started as an ASCII game there can be some resolution issues.
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Paul Jeffries

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Re: What roguelike do you consider to have the "best" graphics?
« Reply #7 on: May 02, 2013, 10:05:52 PM »
I'll put in another vote for Infra Arcana, I think that tileset fits the game really well.  For professional stuff; Shiren has quite nice graphics and good character/monster design.

I also think TOME4 has quite nicely done tiles, although they are a little too genero-fantasy for my tastes.

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Re: What roguelike do you consider to have the "best" graphics?
« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2013, 02:02:06 AM »
Agreed with Infra Arcana. The perfect marriage of mood and function.
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malignatius

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Re: What roguelike do you consider to have the "best" graphics?
« Reply #9 on: May 03, 2013, 07:44:20 AM »
100 rouges on iOS. Brouge for ASCII.

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Re: What roguelike do you consider to have the "best" graphics?
« Reply #10 on: May 06, 2013, 07:50:15 AM »
Brogue first, followed by Incursion.
Infra Arcana gets third place, though I also like the way most *bands handle ascii. (Those solid color walls, so good to me~). Slimy Lichmummy's SDL tiles are great too.

Not a fan of ToME4's graphical tiles. (Or ToME4.)
Dungeons of Dredmor is terrible  :D
Waiting on all the animations to finish is annoying, the tiles/squares are way too big, and the "camera angle" is awful. Half the game is "LOOK HOW WACKY AND RANDOM WE ARE, LOOK WE EVEN DREW A MOLEGUY HEHE".
I wonder if DoD would be more fun if it had a pure ascii mode?

Ascii can get you a long way, especially if you modify the black background in places (for blood/gas/water etc).
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getter77

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Re: What roguelike do you consider to have the "best" graphics?
« Reply #11 on: May 06, 2013, 12:10:59 PM »
Dungeons of Dredmor is terrible  :D
Waiting on all the animations to finish is annoying, the tiles/squares are way too big, and the "camera angle" is awful. Half the game is "LOOK HOW WACKY AND RANDOM WE ARE, LOOK WE EVEN DREW A MOLEGUY HEHE".
I wonder if DoD would be more fun if it had a pure ascii mode?

http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=112213725     Not all the way there, at least not yet it would seem, but yeah...   :P
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AgingMinotaur

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Re: What roguelike do you consider to have the "best" graphics?
« Reply #12 on: May 06, 2013, 11:34:42 PM »
I'd chime in on a lot of what has been said. I second getter's proposal of Shiren. Very professional (of course, that's null if you can't stand the manga style). I'm also a fan of Oryx's tile sets for Brogue and IA. In addition to being very well done, I like how they are conscious of the RL tradition in being very iconic, rather than realistic (Oryx, as always on the cutting edge of RL graphics.8)). An example of this is how they are monochrome, and as such possible to fill with different colors. I never much cared for Crawl's tile set or Gervais' tiles, personally. It always felt to me as if they were aiming to be too realistic, but skimping on the details. In addition to being slightly hard to make out, they would need animations and facing to convince me. "So, I'm confronting this meticulously hand drawn troll in melee, but we're both facing east? Ugh."

It's very much a question of taste, of course, and asking that question here, one is bound to get a lot of people who prefer ascii over sprites/tiles. For one thing, an ascii display lets you see more of the map at any given time. Consider the upcoming tiles for ADOM. I think they look pretty good, but they'll surely leave the player with a scrollable map, whereas ascii ADOM fits the entire map to one screen. So Biskup is sacrificing a nice feature to fit the tiles on the screen. On the other hand, you can more easily convey more kinds of information with graphical tiles (explicit facing, health bars, whatever).

To praise ascii some more, ascii maps can be really pretty in done well. Ascii has the potential to create many varied and evocative worlds without requiring huge amounts of manual labor (chugging out new sprites). Just using typography, you can have outdoors and indoors, elemental levels, as well as regular dungeons – and, I think, still convey in the player a sense of wonder at entering a level with a "new" look. Having hacked your way through a dozen "grey #"-themed levels, over hundreds of deaths, and suddently coming upon a green level, you'll surely experience a feeling of entering a biotope teeming with chlorophyllic life.

The previous paragraphs, of course, is typical of a "hardore" RL player, I think. We're the kind who freeze in our chairs at encountering a "U" for the first time. The trend of increasingly graphical RLs is something I personally welcome. It's bringing more people to the genre, for one thing. And a lot of people are doing good work to advance the genre.

Some that haven't been mentioned so far in the thread …

Legerdemain would be an example of a game that does nice ascii maps. I never got very far in the game, but just starting to explore the overworld is very exciting because of the artistic landscapes. Of course, the game has fixed maps, so the developer has had a chance to design them more thoroughly than in a typical RL.
Mercury. Like IA, here's a graphical game thatt tries to retain the iconic feel of the RL tradition, using pretty letters and abstract symbols. I'm sure some find it too baroque, but I personally like it. It bears noting that Mercury seems to try to make the visuals part of the game mechanics. Better players get to assign items and monsters for other players, choosing an appropriate icon as part of the creation process. (Correct me if I'm wrong, I only tried the game once, and didn't get the networking part to work.)
Vapors of Insanity. I'd like to mention it, since it's another graphical game with a unique approach. The tiles very much aim to be iconic in the sense of IA or Mercury. They tend to get a bit tiny and difficult to make out at times, but it's all part of the truly wonderful experience of VoI: finding books, revealing new pieces of lore and new skills (taxonomy is wonderful) :) /me love
jasonpickering's games. Crisp, cool pixel art scaled to a palatable size, and with rule systems to match. Jason's games being always in very good style :)
Vicous Orcs. I love the shout function in Jeff Lait's Vicious Orcs and Smart Kobolds. At random intervals, avatars on the screen get a speech bubble that hovers over their position for a few turns/seconds. Lait uses them very effectively to convey the feeling of the scenery (kobolds taunting you, even after you are dead, etc). Vicous Orcs also have differently colored levels, which is a nice and affordable trick to paint the scenery a little.

That's all I can think of now ::)

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Darren Grey

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Re: What roguelike do you consider to have the "best" graphics?
« Reply #13 on: May 07, 2013, 01:41:11 AM »
Hmm, now you mention it I really do like the look of Jason Pickering's games.  I get bored of a lot of other pixel art games, but his are nicely abstract and simple.  Also the little animations go a long way to making them looking nicer.  Probably helps that I enjoy his games too  ;)