Temple of The Roguelike Forums

Development => Development Process & non-technical => Topic started by: zenjestre on October 02, 2019, 07:59:36 PM

Title: I am new and unsure.
Post by: zenjestre on October 02, 2019, 07:59:36 PM
To be specific, I am not new to roguelikes: I have been playing Nethack since dad introduced me to it at age 10.  I am not new to what a roguelike is, but I think I want to try making one, and that is something I am very new to.  I am not a coder or programmer or anything like that.  I would be learning how to code, from scratch, just to make my roguelike, if indeed that is the path I choose.  I am willing to do that.  But is it the right course to take?

I have always wanted to make a game.  My motivation for doing so is both selfish and pathetic.  I have always wanted to play Dungeons and Dragons, but I have never had the social circle necessary to do so.  I grew up in a small farm town in the midwest during the early nineties, where such things were literally seen as satanistic evils, so there was no community for me there.  In college I tried too hard to be popular and get chicks or whatever.  As an adult I found myself far too busy trying to "be an adult" than trying to enjoy my life.  Now I am 35.  I have never played DnD.  I honestly can't think of any way that I ever will, at this point.  I still want to play it, it's basically number one on my bucket list.  But I'm 35.  I'm an adult.  How could I even begin to try doing something like this, at this point in my life, without being some weird creep about it?

I want to play MY game.  I want to design MY DnD campaign, and I want to play it.  From what I know so far, it looks like the most efficient way to realize my goals is to learn how to code and to make a roguelike.  Something I both design, and also play.  Something that is new and different each time I play it, even though I created it.  That means random map generation, that means permanent death, that means dynamic narrative branches.  That means a roguelike.

I think?

Am I being a little too high on my horse in thinking that I can just up and learn Python or whatever it is, just so I can see my game realized?  I literally don't know what I'm talking about.  What even is python?  From my layman's point of view, it's a program where if I type in command-lines it does the things I want, but for real I get annoyed trying to turn automatic updates off on my laptop.  I'm not computer-literate, I'm one of the last luddites that exists in the modern world.  I'm one degree down from being a techno-phobe.

Is 'roguelike' the way to go?  I want my game.  I want, not my 'universe,' but my 'universal possibilities,' to be a thing that exists, a thing that I personally can interact with and sometimes be surprised by.  Should I, a stoner-ass Conan reader, take the time to learn to code, and make the game I want?  Or will this avenue not satisfy me?  Will this be too hard?  Are there better ways to achieve the petty, pathetic goal I have in mind?

I am new to your community but, as a gesture of good faith, I have bared my soul about it.

What do y'all think?
Title: Re: I am new and unsure.
Post by: Troubler on October 03, 2019, 03:32:59 AM
I have always thought of roguelikes as Dungeons and Dragons for social rejects. That's how I got into them as a teenager.
So you're not alone. Recently I've heard of ways to play DnD online by using certain programs.
If all you want to do is run a campaign anonymously, it's probably easier now then it was before.
I've also talked to adults who play boardgames, so they probably all get acquainted somewhere.

If you want to make a game it's a bigger investment. But you could still do it even at your age.
The fastest way to make a roguelike, I think, is to just learn C and use the curses library.
It wont win you any presentation points, but you could make a roguelike with only that.

The library is very easy to use, and you could grab any old book on how to program in C.
There are also ways to learn a programming language online, but I have never looked into those.
It probably won't be too hard, but I don't know if it will satisfy you. That is more of an existential question.
Title: Re: I am new and unsure.
Post by: pat on October 03, 2019, 10:41:37 AM
My background is very, very similar to yours in terms of motivation and what you've described is the exact reason I'm writing a roguelike. I've never played D&D properly but grew up reading an older brother's rulebooks and here I am writing a D&D roguelike.

I've never had any formal programming education either but it was something that I've always dabbled with from a young age (at the same time as being introduced to Nethack as a kid like you).

My advice would be to dive into the python and libtcod tutorial. Things would have been a lot faster for me if that was around when I started. You'll inevitably hit a wall when it comes to programming ability but it's a process of gradual improvement by iteration and if you find yourself enjoying it as a hobby then there's no reason why you can't pick up enough functional programming skills to write virtually anything.
Title: Re: I am new and unsure.
Post by: Krice on October 03, 2019, 04:52:39 PM
It's not just programming. There are many experienced programmers who have been stunned by how difficult game development is and I think game design is actually the most common reason to abandon a game project. You can of course learn game design and you don't even have to know anything about programming to improve in that. When you start with D&D system which is already designed more or less it's much easier to create a game, but even then it's hard. So there are at least two things to learn: programming and game design. Both of those are "simple" in theory, but when you apply them to a complex system with interplay between components then things get interesting.
Title: Re: I am new and unsure.
Post by: Skeletor on February 24, 2020, 04:30:24 AM
What a great thread.

I did manage to play some RPG with my friends but was always games I created. Only occasional games of GURPS and DnD.

Since my mid 20s completely stopped due to career, which sucks. But as an adult it's difficult to get into a nice group of players without getting socially rejected to a degree. Maybe it's just my insecurity, not sure.

They say:
When you are 20 years old you are obsessed with what others think of you.
When you become 40, you stop caring.
When you turn 60, you realize they weren't really paying attention to you anyway.

But I utterly dislike the majority of people who go to those shops where they sell MTG cards, Warhammer figurines etc. It's like 90% of them have bad breath, very few so-so girls who think they're big deal, and autism everywhere.
So I just prefer to stay home and play the good old DoomRL, Caves of Qud, Adom, Infra Arcana and so on and on.

Might eventually pick up python + libtcod tutorial or c + curses library but the idea since I am on ok money is to find a dev who will do the hard yakka for money.
Title: Re: I am new and unsure.
Post by: mouser on February 24, 2020, 10:16:44 PM
I think that playing single-players videogames is way more anti-social than playing MtG, Warhammer and DnD, for what it is worth.

When you have minority hobbies, you are bound to face a certain degree of rejection. It is not exclusive of games. What matters is being able to build a group of friends who share the hobby, so you all can live in your own pocket of resistance and not care what others think. I can assure you that all those Magic players don't give a crap if you don't like them or their club.

As for developing a game, I would consider taking an existing one that is close to your vision, and building from there. Another people has already done the heavy lifting for you. Take what you like and rm -rf what you don't :-P
Title: Re: I am new and unsure.
Post by: Skeletor on March 17, 2020, 05:31:21 PM
As for developing a game, I would consider taking an existing one that is close to your vision, and building from there. Another people has already done the heavy lifting for you. Take what you like and rm -rf what you don't :-P

Any notable major roguelike with open source code you can think of?
Title: Re: I am new and unsure.
Post by: Troubler on March 30, 2020, 01:28:17 AM
I wonder what ever happened to this guy.