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Design / Re: Quack Potions
« on: June 02, 2015, 02:10:57 AM »
I would like to point out that item ID systems are as important and central to traditional roguelikes as permadeath. Not making a value judgement about item ID systems, but if you're going for a traditional roguelike, it isn't one if it doesn't have an ID system and permadeath.

If item ID systems are removed, scrolls, potions, weapons, and armor with negative effects must be removed because they become pointless. Only positive scrolls, potions, etc. will remain in the game.

This cuts out at least 50% of scrolls and potions in most roguelikes.

Design / Re: Basic role-playing system models?
« on: June 02, 2015, 02:01:05 AM »
The old roguelikes are based on AD&D 2.0. D20 was 3.0. Before that, AD&D used thac0, which is similar to D20, but backwards (if that makes sense). Lots of people found it hard to understand or annoying, so D20 was invented.

Design / Re: Going beyond hack and slash
« on: January 11, 2015, 03:41:39 PM »
It's more than boredom. I want more roleplaying and cool stuff to do than just hack and slash. I want more depth than just combat, a lot more. I want depth, complexity, and things to do that have nothing to do with combat. I don't want a game focused on combat, stat grinding, and equipment, but one focused on cool stuff you can do, roleplaying, depth. I want a roguelike that isn't about hack and slash, where hack and slash is only a combat system that is a small part of a much larger game. I want a game that focuses on kicking that sink, throwing a gem to that unicorn, fighting the police after stealing something, wishing for an overpowered item, solving sokoban, quaffing from that fountain, locking yourself in a room to escape from a horde of monsters, carving elbereth into the floor with a wand of lightning, visiting the oracle, etc. etc.

Once upon a time, the combat system was a much smaller part of the game than it is today. If you look at Nethack (or even Omega), combat is a much smaller part of the game compared to modern roguelikes where the entire game revolves around hack and slash combat.

Role playing games used to be closer to role playing games than to first person shooters. Dungeons and Dragons (especially back in 2nd ed) has a LOT more to it than fighting, and so does virtually every other pen and pencil roleplaying game. Yet, that kind of complexity seems to have been abandoned in modern roguelikes. Even the complexity of a game like Morrowind or Fallout 3 just isn't seen in roguelikes anymore. And it used to be, if you look at games like Nethack.

Design / Going beyond hack and slash
« on: December 26, 2014, 11:31:36 PM »
I've been thinking lately that (as much as I hate to admit it) maybe Krice is onto something when he says that Crawl has something wrong with its gameplay.

I used to be a huge Crawl fan, until I started making it into the late game consistently. The beginning of Crawl is amazing, but the midgame and endgame just become a kind of FPS with swords. It's kill your way to victory. Better equipment, better character, still just killing things until you win. It's boring. It's like playing an FPS. Many other roguelikes have this same problem: the entire game revolves purely around killing your way to victory while progressing purely forward in a linear way.

I guess I want something else, but I'm not quite sure what it is. The only game I can think that I know has it is (of course) Nethack.

Nethack does the whole "kill your way to victory" thing, too, but there's something more ontop of that. It's nonlinear. It has sidequests that are wholly optional. It has things like sokoban, mine town, and shops with complex interaction. It encourages you to backtrack, and to visit places that have little or nothing to do with actually winning the game (aside from collecting an ascension kit).

The fun from playing Nethack often has nothing to do with actually progressing towards winning the game. It has everything to do with kicking that sink, throwing a gem to that unicorn, fighting the police after stealing something, wishing for an overpowered item, solving sokoban, quaffing from that fountain, locking yourself in a room to escape from a horde of monsters, carving elbereth into the floor with a wand of lightning, visiting the oracle, etc. etc.

I like Dwarf Fortress' idea that losing should be fun. In Nethack, just playing around is fun. In Crawl, you're either progressing and killing your way linearly to victory, or you're doing nothing. Like many roguelikes, Crawl seems like an FPS with a sword, and also like many roguelikes its waaay too linear.

Maybe losing and just playing around should be fun? 99% of the time we spend in permadeath roguelikes involves losing and not progressing. Maybe we should make losing and not progressing fun?

What do you think? Ideas? Suggestions?

Design / Re: Cave generation I've been using
« on: May 19, 2014, 08:08:42 PM »
30 points:

100 points:

200 points:

Design / Re: Cave generation I've been using
« on: May 19, 2014, 07:41:01 PM »
I'll post some examples later.

Design / Cave generation I've been using
« on: May 17, 2014, 12:39:09 PM »
I was inspired by Krice's post to post about the cave generation algorithm I've been using recently. Rather than hijack his thread, I thought I'd post a new thread.

This is a pretty simple algorithm. I'm sure several of you already use it, but I thought I'd post it here anyway. It's not great, but it's pretty simple and can create some pretty good results.

Here's how it works: you select a bunch of random points on the map, and assign each point a unique ID number. Then connect the closest two points that have different ID numbers using a line with a width greater than 1. After connecting the closest two points, loop over the points and change the unique ID of any point that has the same unique ID as the second point in the pair to the unique id of the first point. Wash, rinse, repeat until all points have the same ID. Here's an outline:

1. Add random points to list with unique ID numbers
2. Loop:
  3. Find closest two points that have different IDs
  4. Draw line between the two points
  5. Loop over all points and change the ID numbers of any points that have the same ID as the second point to the ID number of the first point
  6. You are done when all points have the same ID number

Using higher numbers of points gives a more satisfying and cave-like look. Because the algorithm always connects the closest points, a very large number of points can be connected in a sane and aesthetically pleasing way in very small areas. This algorithm is also useful for rivers.

This algorithm doesn't create loops. Technically it links everything together into a perfect maze, so if you want loops you have to (for each loop you want) connect two (distant/non-neighboring/not already connected) points that have the same IDs. If you connect points completely at random (instead of the closest two), you end up with a pretty crazy spiderweby thing that doesn't look very good, but may be useful to you.

Programming / Underhall postmortem.
« on: August 08, 2013, 06:26:53 AM »
Inspired by Andrew Doull's post mortem of BRogue on Ascii Dreams, I wrote up a quick postmortem for Underhall. Enjoy:

Other Announcements / Re: Losing interest in roguelikes
« on: August 02, 2013, 07:51:56 AM »
I'm actually pretty sick of developing roguelikes because of the random content generation. I want to actually DESIGN content these days, not just write an algorithm to do it for me. Even if you have a generation algorithm that allows an enormous amount of design, it's still stuck together randomly. That random element inherently waters down the amount of design that you as a developer can do. Even with clever dungeon generators that use a huge amount of hand designed content, I'm still sick of not being able to really design games.

In short, I want to design levels, not level generation algorithms. I'm really tired of designing level generation algorithms instead of levels.

Decided to release this for free. I'm too lazy to update the download, so enter registration code "DragonBlood" it unlocks the full game.

Download it here:

And enter registration code "DragonBlood" on the main menu. Enjoy!

Programming / Re: Game Idea Folder
« on: June 10, 2013, 10:09:58 PM »
I have a text file that I write down all of my ideas into. It's easily over 1000 by now. I've kept it going for years. Here's a small random copypasta from it:

- Spaceship/FPS where you mine/steal stuff from various asteroids/abandoned bases (maybe to upgrade your ship?)
- Mage game: whole game is spell casting instead of melee. (maybe w/ wands? Include wands?)
- Game takes place in caverns: 2x heightmaps ontop of each other
- Game in which you glide between platforms avoiding obstacles to reach some goal.
- Buy+Combine supplies to make stuff to sell in your store.
- Grave robber: dig graves, rob tombs for treasure
- Build a base to survive a constant onslaught of zombies
- Salvage: Need oxigen to survive on broken space stations/ships to collect junk to upgrade your stuff. Start projects at base which take a specific amount of time.
- Ninja/tenchu game: Tile based (free movement? Seek mouse?). Anyone who sees you attacks you, otherwise you just have to assasinate someone. Hide in stuff, behind stuff, etc. Enemy visibility is always shown for whole map.

99% of these ideas never make it past the idea stage.

Programming / Re: New language
« on: May 26, 2013, 05:36:21 PM »
The most obvious is C, but I'm pretty sure you want something aside from that so...

A lot of people I know use Python as a hobby. I think it's OO, but I keep hearing good things about it. It seems like every new coder who I meet who learned how to code recently codes in python. Seems to be enjoying some popularity right now.

JavaScript is okay, although it really, really makes me angry with some of the features it lacks (File IO for example). But it's pretty straight forward and simple.

You could learn ASM for a classic system like the NES, Atari, or C64 or something, but that probably wouldn't count as a hobby with how much work it would be.

There's the various Linux shell scripting languages. They can do some pretty cool stuff.

If you wanted to go old school, you could learn pascal.

Other Announcements / Re: How did the hero get the character '@'?
« on: May 26, 2013, 05:18:28 PM »
Many early Rogue builds show your character as a smiley.
The old unix versions of rogue used an @ symbol. It might have had to do with compatibility. Early unix systems that played rogue might not have had access to all the same symbols, but they all had access to @. Or it might have taken inspiration from early unix mail programs that used @ like modern e-mail addresses do. I've also heard that it's supposed to look like an adventurer in the middle holding a shield or sword or something. Who knows though.

Maybe one of the authors of rogue knows or has said in an interview somewhere?

Being able to actually lose is a core feature. The only thing that differentiates this genre from the wider RPG genre.
There are tons of games that aren't roguelikes that use permadeath. I honestly find it really funny that anyone would consider it a core feature, let alone the most important core feature. I bet that if myself and several other people hadn't brought up our dislike for it that no one would think it was any more important than any other feature.

Here's some other core features just to remind everyone:
Random Environment Generation
Turn Based Interaction
Single command set
Free form
Discovery mechanics
Single player
Plenty of content
Complex non-trivial world and object interactions
High ramped difficulty
Monsters are players
Character-based display
Hack and Slash

Programming / Re: Physics Engine Implementation in Roguelikes
« on: May 13, 2013, 12:14:25 AM »
I guess my question is: will it make gameplay better or more fun? It seems like a lot of work for something that might not improve the game.

Basic Newtonian physics is really easy though, as long as you don't want complicated stuff. Requerent's ideas are all good.

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