Author Topic: How you guys feel about the new wave of rougelike games?  (Read 9736 times)

Holsety

  • Bishop
  • ***
  • Posts: 148
    • View Profile
Re: How you guys feel about the new wave of rougelike games?
« Reply #15 on: June 18, 2015, 07:26:52 AM »
I'm sure it is disheartening, but value for money is pretty important. I'm used to the idea of paying for "regular" games if only because I have to help them recoup development costs; the thousands/millions spent on graphics/employees' code/licensing engines.
When I buy a "normal" game (which is not often!) I usually gladly pay because I'm buying something else; either access to online matchmaking, or hassle-free access to a modding community. Things like that.
Or because it's a platform-tied console game that I have to play for some stupid reason.
Of course the first impression here is that I'm criminally undervalueing the time and effort RL devs put in their games (and I'm not! I think?). But with RLs I'm not paying for a stellar soundtrack by some renowned videogame music man. I'm not paying for whoever's hot shit in the Japanese Voice Acting market nowadays. I'm not paying to see 3D models based on the concept designs of some ridiculously talented artist to come to life. I'm not paying for the journey of traversing some lovingly crafted landscape (haha! who am I kidding, it's all corridors nowadays~).
No, I'm paying for fluff/lore and the ability to test my wits and luck against 5 billion dice rolls and tactical decisions. I don't know... you'd have to do something really incredible to set yourself apart from the sea of existing RLs and earn my money. Just as devs put in effort to make RLs I put in effort to earn money :V

With RLs a lot (all?) of the excess trim is gone; it's all gameplay. And having played so many it's easy to make snap judgements like "this RLs theme is incoherent and I can't deal with that" or "this RLs experimental gameplay is a neat concept but each keypress takes 10 seconds to process; I'm so frustrated I don't want to play more". "This 7DRL is nice but the trick is to just hole up in a corridor.", "This 7DRL is neat but I immediately lose interest once the open-world aspect kicks in; I want something more focused.".
"This angband variant has some nice things, but in the end I prefer that other variant because of reasons.".

I bought Dungeons of Dredmor originally because a "wacky" RL with lots of crafting sounded good. What I got out of it was a badly balanced RL with lots of character generation options, which then proceeds to nullify most of your choices (ie. everything not directly combat related). You want to craft things? Enjoy never finding the proper recipes and materials!
In the end I did pour roughly 50 hours into it before realizing just how badly monsters/item generation were designed and deciding that playing more wasn't worth my time. By that point Gaslamp Games had already received my money of course.
Looking at something like Steam Marines or Sword of the Stars or whatever other paid RLs are on Steam nowadays, I'm sure I'll find something that pisses me off about them sooner or later if I were to play them. Having to pay up-front for the privilege of going "this sucks, I'll never play it again because the flaws it has isn't something that a simple update can remove" is... less than ideal?

I think Wazhack's model (unless it's changed) of letting you play up till a certain depth is perhaps a step in the right direction, but said depth is reached within minutes and what it leaves me with is the distinct impression that I just played a cheap-looking game that's trying to nickel and dime me into purchasing each class seperately. And I hope that's not the direction we're going in.
ToME4 might have a good idea, as you can get it for free, or pay to get it on Steam. Either one gets you access to the community online in-game BUT the paid version (or donating in the free version) gets you access to player tile customisations and whatnot. An optional payment scheme that doesn't paywall content but still incentivizes paying. Sadly though this does tie in to the need to have an account that checks in online to verify your identity, so it's not all positives.

I think in the end (as far as paid RLs is concerned) the developers' intention is what's important.
Why are you making a RL? So that anyone who's interested can play it?
Or do you want to get money? If so, you'll have to compromise and add graphics/tileset, or nobody outside of the RL community is ever going to buy it. I see Steam reviews for ToME4 (which has a very nice tileset imo!) and most of the negative reviews are harping on and on about how "they don't understand what the attraction is of permadeath" and/or "this game is mad ugly yo!". Also some fun reviews like "Play DCSS instead, this blows.".
Bear in mind you can nowadays only write Steam reviews for games you own and have played, and ToME4 costs money on Steam. I don't know what drove these people to buy ToME4. Some of them obviously didn't know they could get it for free, officially. DarkGod's got their money now though.

Two parting observations/remarks:
1) I just noticed ADOM's been Greenlighted. For those not familiar with Steam, Steam Greenlight is a process where creators can ask the community to vote on whether or not the community feels their game should be added to the Steam Store. ADOM's been greenlighted; it's going to be sold on Steam someday soon.
2) This is the kicker; Steam's recently introduced a refund option. You can get your access to a game revoked and your money returned within two weeks of purchase IF you have less than two hours playtime.

I don't think other digital game retailers will follow (I don't think Desure will be doing much of anything from the grave, heh), but does this refunds concept perhaps serve as a suitable solution for you, mushroom patch?
Quote from: AgingMinotaur
… and it won't stop until we get to the first, unknown ignorance. And after that – well, who knows?

elwin

  • Priest
  • **
  • Posts: 92
    • View Profile
    • Roguelike Gallery
Re: How you guys feel about the new wave of rougelike games?
« Reply #16 on: June 18, 2015, 03:45:01 PM »
Several good points in this thread. I agree about the lack of innovation. Surely we can procedurally generate game worlds more complex and original than monster-filled dungeons. Surely we can invent game mechanics more interesting than hack and slash. I think Cogmind and URR look promising, but they both have a long way to go.

I'm skeptical about the paid model of development producing quality roguelikes. Like Holsety said, gameplay matters more than in other genres. A roguelike needs to be balanced, free from grinding, frustration, and bugs, and that takes a lot of long-term playtesters giving useful feedback. Classic roguelike history is full of lone developers adding new mechanics and breaking the gameplay. Maybe a lone genius with a Great Vision can substitute for an open-source, open-suggestion community, but I fear the failures will outnumber the successes.

I also agree about much of the new wave being driven by the hope of making money. I don't think this will last. People are always jumping to new platforms that promise small developers can make big money, and it never works for long. But in twenty years, when Steam is out of business and iOS 24 won't run today's games, will there remain anything they have contributed to the genre?
Roguelike Gallery: play Rogue online.  SSH or in browser.

mushroom patch

  • Protector of the @
  • *****
  • Posts: 528
    • View Profile
Re: How you guys feel about the new wave of rougelike games?
« Reply #17 on: June 18, 2015, 04:19:46 PM »
@Holsety: You illustrate the economic issue very well. You're cheap. Unbelievably, unapologetically cheap. I've bought games I never played or even had any serious intention of playing for more than I would ever expect to see a roguelike game sell for, yet here you are talking about how any price for a roguelike game is too much. You're seriously drawing a comparison between the effort you put into making five bucks and the effort developers put into a reasonable quality roguelike game? "Value for money is pretty important." Value for five bucks? Jesus.

You know why wazhack has to pry and scrape to get money out of players? Because of guys like you who think everything has to be free.

You ask "Why are you making roguelikes? So that anyone who's interested can play it? Or so they can get money?" Read the following very carefully and reflect on it: In real life, people cannot do things that take a lot of time and expertise without compensation. It just doesn't work. Unless some Bruce Wayne Batman-for-roguelikes guy came along, nothing good can be made in your world of never-pay-for-anything-without-a-commercial-publisher.

That's the whole thing right there: If you don't have a faceless, professional promotion operation behind you, some halfwit will think "you're just in it for the money." If you do, though, sure, he'll buy your schlocky game, it's totally normal to buy shit from people who don't have names. Of course, the guy who doesn't have the professional promotion operation behind him is exactly the one who isn't in it for the money.

This bit particularly amazed me:

Quote
Of course the first impression here is that I'm criminally undervalueing the time and effort RL devs put in their games (and I'm not! I think?). But with RLs I'm not paying for a stellar soundtrack by some renowned videogame music man. I'm not paying for whoever's hot shit in the Japanese Voice Acting market nowadays. I'm not paying to see 3D models based on the concept designs of some ridiculously talented artist to come to life. I'm not paying for the journey of traversing some lovingly crafted landscape (haha! who am I kidding, it's all corridors nowadays~).

You realize that two of the three points you mention here are purely a function of marketing, right? That what makes video game music composers and japanese voice actors famous is the promotion operations behind them? Right? You realize the people who design models for computer games aren't artists, they're designers? People tell you how to spend your money and you refuse to consider spending it any other way. You don't even realize they're telling you.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2015, 04:22:35 PM by mushroom patch »

Holsety

  • Bishop
  • ***
  • Posts: 148
    • View Profile
Re: How you guys feel about the new wave of rougelike games?
« Reply #18 on: June 19, 2015, 11:36:37 AM »
@Holsety: You illustrate the economic issue very well. You're cheap. Unbelievably, unapologetically cheap. I've bought games I never played or even had any serious intention of playing for more than I would ever expect to see a roguelike game sell for, yet here you are talking about how any price for a roguelike game is too much. You're seriously drawing a comparison between the effort you put into making five bucks and the effort developers put into a reasonable quality roguelike game? "Value for money is pretty important." Value for five bucks? Jesus.

Yes, value for five bucks. Value for one, even. To be annoying, though, I never mentioned a price point and I'm pretty interested to see you start at five at the end, though you never say what you consider "more than I would ever expect to see a roguelike game sell for" to be exactly.

Taking a quick look through the "rogue-like" tag in the Steam Store (picking just a few examples);
ToME4's 6 Euro, Dungeons of Dredmor (+the expansions) is also 6.
Sword of the Stars: The Pit is kind of murky... the Gold Edition (with 2 DLC's included) is 10 Euros, but there's three more classes to buy as DLC for 2 Euros each, so let's say it's 16 Euros for the complete experience. And you want the complete experience, of course.
Steam Marines is straight up 15 E. Arcen Games' Bionic Dues (though it calls itself a roguelite) is 10 E.
Wazhack's 9 E, which is an improvement over the iOS version where you have to purchase the classes seperately (though I might be wrong on this since it's been years since I thought of Wazhack at all).
ADOM's not out yet, so I don't know what price point Biskup will choose; he's not allowing buy-ins to the pre-releases anymore as far as I can see, and those are only being released to people who pledged 25$ in the campaign. I... doubt he'll pick 25$ as his price point though.
Going over the announcements subforum right here, you see a few 12$ and 15$ games right on the first page, even.

So, not to be an ass or anything, but you say "value for five bucks" when 10-15 seems to be the rough average.

I used to buy games on sales too, or off humble bundles, just because I could "own" those games for "unbelievably cheap". The result being me having a load of games (some of which I still haven't touched) and less money. Realizing this I started looking a bit more critically at my expenses (well, as far as videogames go).
Console games; 60 Euro a piece. Games for handhelds; roughly 30ish E per game. Games on PC; anywhere between 0 and 60 before DLCs come into the picture. Then I took a look at how much time I spent with those games.
I got some 800 hours out of Morrowind for less than 30 E.
Cave Story (free) granted me around the 24 hour mark worth of playtime, not mentioning the emotional impact and fond memories.
I got Garry's Mod for five bucks and spent 260ish hours on it.
Bastion for 10 bucks gave me 9 hours worth of fun; but nine excellently crafted and enjoyable hours.
Most Xbox 360 games I have on the other hand gave me FAR less hours of fun. I played maybe 12 hours worth of Chromehounds (not counting the monthly fees to be able to play online!) before they shut down the servers, permanently locking away 90% of the game's content. 60 bucks.  I doubt Gears of War 2 got past the 10 hour mark before I beat the campaign (twice). 60 bucks.
Nintendo DS' Knights in the Nightmare's cost is irrelevant because the game is a gem and unique.
And so on and so forth. Examples upon examples.

Yes, I've gotten extremely more bang for my buck out of some games; this might have caused my metric for what constitutes "good value for money" to get skewed. I've gotten very wary of what I'm spending my money on. Oftentimes I'll pay more than what I feel is fair, because I know what I'm getting is something I know I want. If it's a casual purchase though, the seller is often shit out of luck. That's not my problem. I don't go buying mangoes every day just because a farmer picked them. I stopped buying videogames I don't plan on playing just because someone made them and put them up for sale.

You know why wazhack has to pry and scrape to get money out of players? Because of guys like you who think everything has to be free.
I played Wazhack. I was not impressed. I don't think the graphics look nice, I don't think putting Nethack in a side-view platformer perspective is good gameplay. I think it's clever, but it's not worth money to me. I don't throw a tenner at my colleague when he makes a clever remark.
I wouldn't pay 10 cents for it if I found them on the floor. I get so little enjoyment out of it I wouldn't play it if it were FREE.
Maybe someone loves Wazhack! Excellent for that person! It's not for me, and if I'd paid for it SO I COULD PLAY IT, I'd be feeling robbed. That's not unique to roguelikes. If you buy a game and you think it's shit, you feel robbed. The difference between RLs and regular games in this aspect is that RLs have been free from the start. They didn't start out in the arcades, 25 cents per life, the idea of "if you want to play, you'll pay" being a CORE founding concept.
Wazhack doesn't have to pry and scrape money out of players because guys like me think everything should be free. They have to pry and scrape money out of players because nobody's willing to pay for their game; everyone already interested has bought it, and everyone else sees it and dismisses it. Less "masterpiece undervalued by plebeians", more "flawed game sells poorly".

You ask "Why are you making roguelikes? So that anyone who's interested can play it? Or so they can get money?" Read the following very carefully and reflect on it: In real life, people cannot do things that take a lot of time and expertise without compensation. It just doesn't work. Unless some Bruce Wayne Batman-for-roguelikes guy came along, nothing good can be made in your world of never-pay-for-anything-without-a-commercial-publisher.

That's the whole thing right there: If you don't have a faceless, professional promotion operation behind you, some halfwit will think "you're just in it for the money." If you do, though, sure, he'll buy your schlocky game, it's totally normal to buy shit from people who don't have names. Of course, the guy who doesn't have the professional promotion operation behind him is exactly the one who isn't in it for the money.
I don't think publishers are relevant here; the entire indie scene has matured WELL beyond what it was when it started out. If anything, just labeling something "indie" is the equivalent now of having an actual publisher. Hell, they're practically AA-gaming (as opposed to triple A, see? ha~).

With paid roguelikes I inevitably ask "what am I being offered here that I can't get from other roguelikes, and how much am I willing to pay for THAT?". Hell, replace roguelike with [game] and the above applies to any game I consider purchasing.
Just because Ubisoft is willing to spend millions to churn out Assassin's Creed after Assassin's Creed sequel, doesn't obligate me to buy them. For me, the first two games give me all the enjoyment I'm willing to get out of that entire franchise.
If more people feel that way, and Ubisoft has to close an entire studio and put thousands of employees out on the street... that's supply-and-demand. That's business; that's why they develop several franchises at once.

This bit particularly amazed me:

Quote
Of course the first impression here is that I'm criminally undervalueing the time and effort RL devs put in their games (and I'm not! I think?). But with RLs I'm not paying for a stellar soundtrack by some renowned videogame music man. I'm not paying for whoever's hot shit in the Japanese Voice Acting market nowadays. I'm not paying to see 3D models based on the concept designs of some ridiculously talented artist to come to life. I'm not paying for the journey of traversing some lovingly crafted landscape (haha! who am I kidding, it's all corridors nowadays~).

You realize that two of the three points you mention here are purely a function of marketing, right? That what makes video game music composers and japanese voice actors famous is the promotion operations behind them? Right? You realize the people who design models for computer games aren't artists, they're designers? People tell you how to spend your money and you refuse to consider spending it any other way. You don't even realize they're telling you.

What? Do you even play videogames with sound? Mario 64's soundtrack, composed by Koji Kondo; excellent. Final Fantasy series' soundtracks, composed by Nobuo Uematsu; excellent. Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars, soundtrack composed by Yoko Shimomura; SO DAMN GOOD. Shin Megami Tensei; Strange Journey, soundtrack by Shoji Meguro. Brilliant.
Composers. Each of these is well known. Each of them made some haunting tunes that many fans of these series will remember, to this day.
Ask me who did the soundtrack for Gears of War, or Assassin's Creed, or Dead Space. I don't know. Honestly I don't even remember IF these games even HAD any music. Or what it sounded like.
Famous composers have marketing operations behind them, yes. They're also famous for a reason; they make good music. Nobody's going to spend millions to promote a no-name composer who can't make a tune that connects with the players.

I don't care about Voice Actors, though there's plenty of people who recognize a VA no matter what character he's pretending to be. VAs who give good performances are hired again and again, and build a career out of it. This is simple stuff, guy. Norio Wakamoto's Norio Wakamoto; nobody else has that deep rumbling voice. So if a Wakamoto fan hears his fav VA is doing a voice in a new game, he'll be (more) interested. It's only natural.

Yes, a character isn't "made" by the artist. But the artist is commissioned for the concept, and the art department is paid for rigging the model, painting the textures. Other people are paid to make sure the model is easily visible and doesn't look like a christmas tree or blend seamlessly into the background. What of it? That's the work of many people, and for good reason. Nobody's buying a game where all the characters look half-assed. Spend money to make money.

What is the point you're trying to make? Are you saying an orchestra's time and talent isn't worth money? Are you saying VA's aren't important? Have you ever HEARD the voice acting for Robot Alchemic Drive? (spoiler: it's atrociously BAD).
Regular games have to balance music, gameplay and graphics. It's multi-disciplinary. Sometimes a person doesn't like the gameplay of a game completely, but the soundtrack+voicing+story will still let him have an excellent experience.

Roguelikes. As a genre you offer me nothing but gameplay. Fine, that's why I'm HERE. That's what I LIKE about Roguelikes.
A dev wants me to pay? What can YOU offer ME that I can't get elsewhere for free.
It's not  rocket science. Nobody'll pay for bananas if they can get similar quality bananas for FREE.

This next part is going to sound awful, and I regret having to say it, but I can't think of another way to phrase it. Apologies in advance to anyone who makes roguelikes. (of the type: "I'm sorry you're offended, not for offending you.")
Just because making a RL takes time and expertise doesn't obligate me to fund you. YOU chose to make it, and if YOU lose money on that because people don't buy your game, then YOU made a bad business decision. YOU chose to make your hobby/passion/pastime into a BUSINESS; don't blame ME and my legion of cheap-o clones that you're hungry when you're trying to sell sand in a desert.

You'd be a fool not to value your time. You're free to call consumers cheap for not buying your roguelikes and rail against AAA for being shlocky shit, but the truth is, you've chosen a TERRIBLE market to try and monetize and people will always pay for something they desire. Good luck trying to bend a market habituated to free games towards paid games while creating content that offers very little new, at a price point you're likely just making up on the spot without any frame of reference. You might be able to live off it, and maybe one day I'll write a post that's shorter than a children's book.
Quote from: AgingMinotaur
… and it won't stop until we get to the first, unknown ignorance. And after that – well, who knows?

akeley

  • High Priest
  • ****
  • Posts: 331
    • View Profile
Re: How you guys feel about the new wave of rougelike games?
« Reply #19 on: June 19, 2015, 06:56:07 PM »
Holy crap. With "fans" like these, who needs roguelites?

jere

  • Bishop
  • ***
  • Posts: 209
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: How you guys feel about the new wave of rougelike games?
« Reply #20 on: June 20, 2015, 11:45:38 PM »
Ugh yea this thread is depressing. Here's why we can't have nice things.

Quote
A dev wants me to pay? What can YOU offer ME that I can't get elsewhere for free.
It's not  rocket science. Nobody'll pay for bananas if they can get similar quality bananas for FREE.
I hear you. It's the free market; I get it. But in reality people buy Bananas 2015 when they've already bought Bananas '88, '89, '90, '91, and so on for the last 2 decades (e.g. Madden or any of today's FPS franchises). Some of those were incremental upgrades, but mostly it's the same shit repackaged. That'll be $60.

In the ideal case we're contrasting this with a new RL that has fresh art, theme, lore, mechanics, a better UI, etc. for about 10-20% the cost of Bananas 2015. And suddenly it's considered a "malicious cash grab." FML

Maybe we should start a poll on how many people buy RLs. I'd be really curious how representative your views are, Holsety. I wouldn't be surprised if they are widespread. That's the depressing part really. I'm not convinced mainstream gamers want to touch traditional RLs with a 10 ft. pole. Simultaneously, I worry that most serious RLers won't step away from the classics. What's left?

Dungeons of Dredmor is $2.49 for the next 40 hours by the way. Not that I'd recommend it, but the argument that you can get 50 hours of gameplay out of something for a few bucks and it wasn't a good value is hard for me to understand (of course I've seen "not recommended" reviews on steam with 500+ hours logged... this blows my mind). Most of my favorite (non-RL) games are ~4 hours long.
Golden Krone Hotel -- available on Steam Early Access now

chooseusername

  • High Priest
  • ****
  • Posts: 329
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: How you guys feel about the new wave of rougelike games?
« Reply #21 on: June 21, 2015, 01:49:35 AM »
Dungeons of Dredmor is $2.49 for the next 40 hours by the way. Not that I'd recommend it, but the argument that you can get 50 hours of gameplay out of something for a few bucks and it wasn't a good value is hard for me to understand (of course I've seen "not recommended" reviews on steam with 500+ hours logged... this blows my mind). Most of my favorite (non-RL) games are ~4 hours long.
What's depressing about this thread is the logic.

There's complaints that people don't want to pay a few bucks for something they don't value.    There's complaints that people just feel entitled and won't pay for anything.  So what?  People don't have to do things the way you do them.  And if someone plays the 7DRL cogmind, and considers it a free experience equivalent to the commercial version, I suspect they are deluding themselves.  Their loss.

I bought Dungeons of Dredmor, it could have 50000 hours of gameplay, and it'd still be a bland funless experience for me.  I probably played it for tens of hours, until I realised I was cheated and the fun wasn't coming.  So some people play it for 500 hours?  Good for them, even if I can't fathom how they could enjoy it.  I wish I could get a refund on it from Steam, not because the dollar or two I spent on it means anything, but rather because it sends a message to the game developer that he needs to do better if he wants my money.

Steam refunds are going to be great.  I can't want to try more games, and get refunds on the ones that I don't like.

jere

  • Bishop
  • ***
  • Posts: 209
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: How you guys feel about the new wave of rougelike games?
« Reply #22 on: June 21, 2015, 02:06:05 AM »
Hey, if you don't value something, don't pay for it. It's your money. When you play roguelikes and get lots out of them and you care enough about them to to post on a  roguelike forum, yet you make a blanket statement that in principle paid roguelikes are some malicious scheme.... well, uh, that confuses me. But I guess it's still your money.

Re: the 10 or 50 hours on DoD. I've not played it. I won't be playing it. I've heard it's awful. So knowing it's awful, I have trouble understanding how that happens. Maybe it's just because I value my time more than I used to and my cash less than I used to. If a game doesn't hook me in the first couple hours, I move onto something else. But I'm trying to picture it....

Hour 1: Meh
Hour 2: Still boring.
Hour 3: ZZZ. Why am I still playing it.
Hour 4: When is the fun coming?
Hour 5: Maybe the fun will be in one more hour??
....
Hour 50: OK. I've had enough. This game sucks.

If a TV show is boring, I quit watching it. If a movie is that horrendous, I walk out. What were you doing those 10, 50, or 500 hours before the fog cleared and you realized it had all been a big waste of time?
Golden Krone Hotel -- available on Steam Early Access now

KhaoTom

  • 7DRL Reviewer
  • Priest
  • *
  • Posts: 57
    • View Profile
    • My Projects
Re: How you guys feel about the new wave of rougelike games?
« Reply #23 on: June 21, 2015, 03:35:25 AM »
In general, I like the new wave. In the mixing of roguelike element and whatever other genre, many of the new wave games are creative and fresh, especially when compared to main stream and AAA games. Pretty much every one I've tried has had a neat idea or two that makes it worth trying.

My thoughts on some of the "new wave" or "commercial" RL and RLLs mentioned so far, and others I've played:
* I like Dungeons of Dredmor a lot. For the price it is a very generous game. I've bought extra copies for friends, some of whom hate me for it because they ended up sinking hours and hours, ;D. The skill system is a highlight, I like experimenting with different builds.
* TOME4 is great. Someone mentioned not wanting to buy it, well you don't have to it's free, although I've paid up twice (Once to support the dev, and again because I wanted a Steam copy). It's pretty much replaced the *bands for me when I want to play a big, expansive RL. The global chat/event log is great. There's something extremely unifying when you see other people's YASDs in real time (also their achievements!).
* FTL's got some neat things going on in the ship management and node based map structure. I wish it didn't have such a strict a hunger clock and that it was less random. It's too full of cheap deaths and weird difficulty spikes for me.
* Crypt of the Necrodancer is cute but too simplistic. It's primary gimmick is in the timing aspect, and I suck at it. Trying the timingless character revealed just a bare bones hack and slash. It's a masterstroke of presentation though, and the singing shopkeeper is a brilliant version of "you hear the chime of a cash register".
* Rogue Legacy - I like the warp door at the beginning, granting access to later areas as your ancestors unlock them. Character legacy and home base upgrading thing is something I've been wanting in a more traditional RL as well.
* Binding of Isaac's method of growing the potential content over time is the best twist on unlocks I've seen in any game.

Jere, if I could vote more than once for Golden Krone greenlight I would.  8)

Holsety

  • Bishop
  • ***
  • Posts: 148
    • View Profile
Re: How you guys feel about the new wave of rougelike games?
« Reply #24 on: June 21, 2015, 07:51:51 AM »
Ugh yea this thread is depressing. Here's why we can't have nice things.

Quote
A dev wants me to pay? What can YOU offer ME that I can't get elsewhere for free.
It's not  rocket science. Nobody'll pay for bananas if they can get similar quality bananas for FREE.
I hear you. It's the free market; I get it. But in reality people buy Bananas 2015 when they've already bought Bananas '88, '89, '90, '91, and so on for the last 2 decades (e.g. Madden or any of today's FPS franchises). Some of those were incremental upgrades, but mostly it's the same shit repackaged. That'll be $60.

In the ideal case we're contrasting this with a new RL that has fresh art, theme, lore, mechanics, a better UI, etc. for about 10-20% the cost of Bananas 2015. And suddenly it's considered a "malicious cash grab." FML
First off, people like Bananas. Or they liked last years' Bananas. Maybe they're buying because this years Bananas includes Puerto Rican Bananas; those haven't been in a game since '99 and any real banana enthusiast knows they're severely underrated.
Or maybe they buy Nanas 2015 for the multiplayer; the entire playerbase is moving on to the new/better game. It's either buy in or play with the tumbleweeds by yourself.
Perhaps they want to see if Master Banana will finally complete the epic journey he started in Bananas 1 and continued in Bananas 2.
Perhaps the Bananas franchise (ie. Fire Emblem or Advance Wars) offers them a type of gameplay that no-one else is offering; of course they'll buy new games.

Don't contrast AAA games with RLs. Don't even contrast indie games with RLs. I think this is a major fault of RL devs; you're not competing with anyone, save other RLs. Looking for comparisons or connections is a bad idea. Marketing principles that work for other games are unlikely to work for RLs.
You're not a franchise, you don't have a previous game whose mechanics/setting/quirks have created an expectation in your fanbase.
Hell, likely you (likely) don't even have a dedicated fanbase. Just about any reason you give for why "your game" isn't doing well that's connected to AAA gaming is a flawed reason. All you have is the genre, so try and look for economic explanations within the genre; how are other paid RLs doing and why are they succeeding/failing where you are (possibly) not.

Lastly, a AAA game isn't worth 60 bucks. You PAY 60 bucks, but it's worth hundreds, if not more. Millions go into the development, and millions more go into marketing. If a game does not SELL a set target amount of copies, the studio is running a loss. Some publishers can absorb a franchise running at a loss because the profits from other franchises they're managing can compensate.
Indie devs (the real ones, who aren't operating a studio by this point, with people on payroll) hopefully understand that. They price their games low, accordingly. They don't go "If you're willing to pay 60 for AAA, why won't you pay me at least 30! I worked hard!".
Well, that or they see it doesn't work and price down accordingly. I can only guess at so many things from the sidelines.

Dungeons of Dredmor did well because it had "teh wacky meems" and pulled in the Reddit crowd who naturally went LOL LUTEFISK! LUTEFIIIISK! Minecraft did well because a) children have no concept of the worth of a dollar and mommy/daddy just went and bought it for them, and b) it is psychologically designed to make children covet it.
What? Adults play minecraft too? Go to youtube, search for captainsparklez or yogscast or just minecraft. Do you want to watch those vids? Do you WANT TO WATCH those vids? If no, then you're not the target demographic for minecraft; your enjoyment of it is irrelevant and your economic contribution in purchasing it is minor, you incidental consumer you~.

Maybe we should start a poll on how many people buy RLs. I'd be really curious how representative your views are, Holsety. I wouldn't be surprised if they are widespread. That's the depressing part really. I'm not convinced mainstream gamers want to touch traditional RLs with a 10 ft. pole. Simultaneously, I worry that most serious RLers won't step away from the classics. What's left?
I think strawpoll.me will let you easily do that, but it'd have to be up on a spot where as much of this community as possible can easily see it, if you care about getting a representative result.

Hey, if you don't value something, don't pay for it. It's your money. When you play roguelikes and get lots out of them and you care enough about them to to post on a  roguelike forum, yet you make a blanket statement that in principle paid roguelikes are some malicious scheme.... well, uh, that confuses me. But I guess it's still your money.
Mmm. If I seemed to be applying some sort of blanket statement regarding ALL paid roguelikes, I'm sorry, that wasn't my intention.
Nearly all that are currently out, though, are not worth getting, for me. That's all. I played Cogmind when it was fresh off the 7DRLChallenge, and had fun. As things stand now, I'm not feeling a need to play Cogmind and thus I'm not going to pay for it.
It's not a matter of "this game isn't good enough for my money" (in this case; some other times this is exactly what it's all about), it's a matter of "my need to play this game isn't high enough that I'll pay".
If it was free, I'd download it and store it in a roguelike mausoleum, to be played on some grey day when the fey mood strikes me.
For a paid product, that'd just be me aimlessly spending. I'd like to see the person whose blind faith drives him to purchase each and every title that looks even remotely appealing.

If I was malicious I'd start throwing around "developer entitlement".

--

Re: the 10 or 50 hours on DoD. I've not played it. I won't be playing it. I've heard it's awful. So knowing it's awful, I have trouble understanding how that happens. Maybe it's just because I value my time more than I used to and my cash less than I used to. If a game doesn't hook me in the first couple hours, I move onto something else. But I'm trying to picture it....
[...]
If a TV show is boring, I quit watching it. If a movie is that horrendous, I walk out. What were you doing those 10, 50, or 500 hours before the fog cleared and you realized it had all been a big waste of time?
Nobody cares if you walk out on a movie if the ticket's already paid for, though. I'd like to see a movie maker accuse you of bad taste.

As for DoD, the first few hours I was enjoying the soundtrack, trying to wrap my head around the rather silly amount of stats there were, figuring out the classes, retrying class choices, generally just playing the game. It LOOKS like a decent game, you have to play it a bit before finding out that it recycles monster zoos, that wizard portals generally aren't really worth it, that crafting options are useless, that gear progression is bad, that enemies DON'T get interesting, and that the final boss is... unfair.
After that comes a perverse part where you feel you owe it to your "RL cred" to beat this shitty game, and you sink some more hours.
The animations take some time to play out as well, but that's kind of moot. I don't play classic RLs on TURBOSPEED either.

Realizing a game sucks is not instantaneous. Even a shitty game can hopefully keep up an illusion for some hours. Oblivion and Skyrim are garbage, but that doesn't mean there isn't some tens of hours worth of enjoyment to be had from each.
A game that sucks immediately will get universally panned, a game that sucks at the middle/end stage will usually be defended by all the people who don't want to admit they got suckered into buying it.
Quote from: AgingMinotaur
… and it won't stop until we get to the first, unknown ignorance. And after that – well, who knows?

akeley

  • High Priest
  • ****
  • Posts: 331
    • View Profile
Re: How you guys feel about the new wave of rougelike games?
« Reply #25 on: June 21, 2015, 10:08:22 AM »
Realizing a game sucks is not instantaneous. Even a shitty game can hopefully keep up an illusion for some hours. Oblivion and Skyrim are garbage, but that doesn't mean there isn't some tens of hours worth of enjoyment to be had from each.
A game that sucks immediately will get universally panned, a game that sucks at the middle/end stage will usually be defended by all the people who don't want to admit they got suckered into buying it.

No. A game you`ve got "tens of hours of enjoyment from" is worth its price, end of. Buyer`s bias is an interesting mental device , sure, but so is  logic where somebody might spend 50 hours on DoD and yet claim it`s garbage. "RL cred?". Please. Seems  you want to have the cake and eat it - play the game and yet still be able to join in with the cool kids on the "hey, there`s a fish in that barrel" exercise. 

No doubt there`s a need for discussion about roguelikes and money - the arrival of digital distribution is a seismic shift for the genre & community. For me it`s much less about the (rather silly) "should the devs get paid" question but how/if commercial development affects the games` quality itself.

I`m afraid though that the kind of argument you offer - RLs should be free because they always were, because AAA games might be crap but at least they have gfx/music/story and because of some other  "armchair economist" type stuff - is just too ridiculous to work with. No really, talking about dev entitlement when your posts could be prime examples of that dreaded term "entitled gamer"  (hate it because it`s mostly used by people who defend extensive DLC and microtransactions, ugh) is just a little bit too much.

Holsety

  • Bishop
  • ***
  • Posts: 148
    • View Profile
Re: How you guys feel about the new wave of rougelike games?
« Reply #26 on: June 21, 2015, 03:11:48 PM »
No. A game you`ve got "tens of hours of enjoyment from" is worth its price, end of. Buyer`s bias is an interesting mental device , sure, but so is  logic where somebody might spend 50 hours on DoD and yet claim it`s garbage. "RL cred?". Please. Seems  you want to have the cake and eat it - play the game and yet still be able to join in with the cool kids on the "hey, there`s a fish in that barrel" exercise. 
No yourself.

Walk a mile in shitty shoes, go ahead. The distance you cover doesn't make the shoes worth their price, even if they were comfortable at first. Your feet are bleeding and blistered; you bought shit shoes.
Eat some half-raw chicken. As you're crapping your guts out, consider the meal worth its price; you did eat some if not all of it, after all.
Read an awful book. You didn't just waste your time and money on drivel; you went cover-to-cover so it was worth its price.

I could write more god-awful analogies, but my point is something is only worth its price if you're happy with the end product.
If a movie has a shit ending, I want my money back or I'm not watching something by that director again. "Worth it" is subjective, but it's also detached from the actual quality of the product.
You can only take "The meek will inherit" so far before it becomes "I love getting my face stomped on!".
Sometimes I pay for shit games, guilty as charged. Sometimes I enjoy shit games! How much enjoyment I get out of them doesn't force me to change my judgement. There's no "cool kids" to join; if something sucks, say so. I'm not going to say "oh but the soundtrack was pretty groovy" or "some of the setting was amusing". No. It's a shit game. If you like it, you like shit games and/or are unable to tell when something is good or bad.

No doubt there`s a need for discussion about roguelikes and money - the arrival of digital distribution is a seismic shift for the genre & community. For me it`s much less about the (rather silly) "should the devs get paid" question but how/if commercial development affects the games` quality itself.

I`m afraid though that the kind of argument you offer - RLs should be free because they always were, because AAA games might be crap but at least they have gfx/music/story and because of some other  "armchair economist" type stuff - is just too ridiculous to work with. No really, talking about dev entitlement when your posts could be prime examples of that dreaded term "entitled gamer"  (hate it because it`s mostly used by people who defend extensive DLC and microtransactions, ugh) is just a little bit too much.
But I AM an armchair economist. I've been following AAA AND Indie. Pc, console AND mobile. Over the years, watching attitudes and dogmas shift. The death of PC gaming and its recent resurrection due to new funding models. The rise of pre-order mentality. The almost-universal catastrophic failure of crowdfunding. People happily buying into "Early Access" games (ie. developers losing any and all sense of shame). Major studios straight up announcing they're quitting consoles to chase the mobile gaming money.
Talking about how their latest major release ended up costing them millions because not enough people bought it. Talking about how they need to CHANGE their franchise in order to DRAW IN more buyers, even if that goes against the wishes of the CURRENT fans. Indie devs talking about fickle buyers and low sales. Mobile devs talking about the race to 0.99c price point due to the insanely overcrowded market.

These things interest me, so I keep tabs. Maybe it all sounds ridiculous, but I'm not inventing some crazy system of economics to fit my agenda of evil and cynicism.

Look at this:
I'm not convinced mainstream gamers want to touch traditional RLs with a 10 ft. pole. Simultaneously, I worry that most serious RLers won't step away from the classics. What's left?
This is the core of the matter.

You're at the Temple of the Roguelike. Go to some major gaming forums, start a thread; tell people you're going to be charging this or that much for a game that may or may not have a tileset. May or may not have ANY sound.
I'M skeptical about their response, but I'm also known for being negative.

All this is speculation, and most of it coming from someone who only mentions the downsides of everything.
So go ahead, release a game. Ask indie devs with multiple games out what their metric for succes is, share some info with other RL devs. (Share some info with meeeee! I'm actually curious, moreso in hard sales figures than whatever morals you have on worth and value and appreciation!)
What's your day-one sales? What's your daily sales in the first week post-release? Second week? Third week?

I think the market for rogueliKes is already small. In this small pool, most will likely already have a game-of-choice (Nethack/Crawl). The pooldwellers may or may not all look favorably on your attempt to sell them something. Once you've saturated the pool of "people who actually like RLs", how much do you think you'll sell to outsiders?
I can't imagine people making bank on such a small niche of games. I said it before, don't blame the consumer. Blame yourself for picking a poor target market. Nobody's forcing you to ask money for a game; perhaps blame yourself if nobody is willing to buy.
If I'm wrong, by all means share some figures. I'm not clairvoyant, unless the future turns out to be shit as far as the eye can see.
Quote from: AgingMinotaur
… and it won't stop until we get to the first, unknown ignorance. And after that – well, who knows?

getter77

  • Protector of the Temple
  • Global Moderator
  • Protector of the @
  • *****
  • Posts: 4581
    • MSN Messenger - BRIAN13137@hotmail.com
    • AOL Instant Messenger - BRIAN13137
    • Yahoo Instant Messenger - getterbrian
    • View Profile
Re: How you guys feel about the new wave of rougelike games?
« Reply #27 on: June 21, 2015, 06:02:35 PM »
I'm generally reckoning to stay out of this discussion beyond this one post, for all sorts of reasons, as well as encouraging folks to be civil and bear empathy in mind especially with consideration for any viewing it while contending with projects of their own commercial or otherwise, but this in particular on a whim:

The almost-universal catastrophic failure of crowdfunding.

Probably isn't at all a point you want to be trying to orient any arguments around---as that's some rather incredulously incorrect hyperbole.  There are definitely myriad failures in crowdfunding, great and small, in various senses of the term as will be readily brought up by many in both the gaming sector and, more readily, the tabletop P&P gaming sector which arrived much earlier to the crowdfunding scene period and efficacy within it---but the absolute and ongoing success of the various well wrought and timely ones thoroughly dwarfs the failures and renders a state or quality of " almost-universal catastrophic failure" a flat out impossible thing as the history has already been made and the "almost" qualifier is the flimsiest of fig leaf's that the slightest breath on the breeze would send wistfully off into the horizon.   In other words:  We Got Dungeonmans and such yo.   8)


In general, any conflation of micro/macro economics and (fine) arts is liable to fare about as well in a broader sense as the former has with general education since about the time of Roguelikes even coming into existence outright alongside all the other formative gaming endeavors---not exactly an oil and water situation, but there's a reason why viewing things dogmatically from a singular, inherently flawed prism isn't at all a good idea when it comes to very much cross-discipline cultural things.
Brian Emre Jeffears
Aspiring Designer/Programmer/Composer
In Training

Kyzrati

  • High Priest
  • ****
  • Posts: 338
    • View Profile
    • Grid Sage Games
    • Email
Re: How you guys feel about the new wave of rougelike games?
« Reply #28 on: June 22, 2015, 01:15:09 AM »
Not to hijack the thread, but some context and hard numbers regarding getter77's claim:

On KS video games from 2009~2013: "In total, 37% of successfully funded projects have fully delivered a finished product to backers. A further 8% have delivered a partial product (i.e. part 1 of a promised full game, or a mobile tie-in app). 3% of successful projects have been formally cancelled, while a further 2% have been formally placed in hiatus. A total value of $21,641,800 has so far been sunk into successful Kickstarter projects that have failed to deliver, while the total value of projects that have delivered is less than $17,000,000."

For more recent stats regarding a portion of games funded through 2014 (and a few 2015), there's a maintained list here.
Cogmind - Sci-fi Roguelike (devblog) | X@COM - The X-COM RL | REXPaint - ASCII art editor

akeley

  • High Priest
  • ****
  • Posts: 331
    • View Profile
Re: How you guys feel about the new wave of rougelike games?
« Reply #29 on: June 22, 2015, 08:13:28 PM »
I'm not going to say "oh but the soundtrack was pretty groovy"
Quote from: Holsety
As for DoD, the first few hours I was enjoying the soundtrack

Just for the record: when I call somebody`s argument "too ridiculous to engage" (don`t happen too often tbh) it means just that. In other words : "We have nothing to talk about." I could spend some valuable time crafting a half-page reply similar to yours, picking up gaping holes in your logic (example above) and so on, but it would be totally pointless. In this kinda exchanges nobody ever convinces anybody, and it will only get uglier, clogging the thread - which was quite interesting up to this point.

The only reason I responded at all was just to register a NO vote, since I consider your angle harmful to the Greater Cause (and the main reason I frequent this forum) - and that is long-term survival and sustainability of the traditional roguelike genre.