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*Spits out coffee*

That aside, what really disqualifies games as roguelikes is simpler than ASCII graphics and so on: It's being unworthy of the tradition of rogue, larn, moria, hack and nethack. That is: lacking the depth, detail, and diversity of early standard bearers and to some extent modern standard bearers. If there is any prestige to the genre -- and clearly there is -- it comes from the adrenaline rush of seeing a 'T' on the screen, as Glenn Wichman puts it, the creation of compelling gaming with the simplest technology. Without providing that kind of fullness of experience, any game's claim to being roguelike is pretense.
Oh god yes, this, exactly!

Programming / Re: Where to start?
« on: January 31, 2014, 08:12:14 AM »
When I started, I had *no* experience with C++, only some GameMaker (and an ADA-course).

I used SDL, and followed these excellent tutorials for making a simple SDL game:

I think it worked out well for me. I just tried to get a game running, and learned more C++ concepts as I  went along.

I had no idea how other roguelikes were made, I invented my own solutions for everything, which was more fun at first. Of course I made lots of horrible mistakes1, and I've had to refactor things over and over. But it was a good learning experience.

1In the very beginning, the map was an array of integers. These integers represented different terrain types. So maybe 0 was floor, 10 was wall, 20 was grass, etc. These were only referred to by their integer value throughout the code. For example when the map generator created a room, it put a bunch of zeroes in a rectangular area. When the player was walking, the game checked that the cell you attempted to walk into was != 10. I had text files on my hard drive which listed the integers, and which terrain they represented!!! This was before I even knew about enumerated types....

Now after two C++ courses, and several thousand hours of programming, my code looks very different :D

Design / Re: Roguelikes with infrequent, dangerous and interesting combat
« on: January 20, 2014, 06:28:59 PM »
Would a roguelike without any combat be possible? I mean a game that's still interesting and belongs to the genre.
Sure! It would be great with something like a procedurally generated, ascii/minimalistic graphics, turn based, single character control game about (for example) being a merchant/explorer. You could travel on the sea, exploring new lands, trading spices and exotic materials, etc - it wouldn't need combat at all. I'd definitely say that was a roguelike anyway if it had the right features and aesthetics.

Design / Re: Are required resistances fun?
« on: January 16, 2014, 09:35:24 PM »
Like, randomized combat is a good thing in small doses.  Unpredictability is fun and it can test the player's ability to react to unexpected situations.  But when you've got a significant chance to fail casting your spell [...]
I totally agree.

In the latest version of Infra Arcana, I erased a lot of senseless randomization for the reasons you mention. In particular, it used to be that spells had a certain percent chance of success (I tried slightly different approaches to this in many versions) - and damn it was frustrating to use! Now it always works, but drains spirit (mana), feels much more satisfying and tactically interesting.

Another similar issue was the resistance system - there were resistance vs physical effects and resistance vs mental effects, measured in percent. Various traits gave bonuses to these. When something tried to blind you for example, there was a check against your physical resistance - if it was 40%, you had a 40% chance to avoid the effect. It just felt... really random, in bad and confusing way. Even if you had very high resistance (like 80%), you could still be afflicted many times in a row, making you wonder if those traits really did any good at all.

Something like a shuffle bag could possibly have solved it to some degree. But I chose to rip out the system and change it to something deterministic. This feels more fun to me. If something blinds you, then you're blind - unless you are resistant to blindness, then you're guaranteed to be immune1. It's certainly more tactical and challenging than just rolling the dice and hoping for the best.

1IIRC Nethack uses this system, and have often been criticized for it - but mostly because (some) resistances are too easy to attain.

Another vine with per tile shading and "fog":
You clearly intended to stop at that T shaped corridor and walk downward, but the guy kept going forward. Imagine this happening to a player and they die because of it.

Other Announcements / Re: Roguelike Radio podcast
« on: January 09, 2014, 07:20:48 AM »
Obviously the roguelike community really needs something which summarizes the year, and the poll fills that role nicely, that's why it is so important to many people. Even if it is so flawed.

I think we can expect the whole poll, controversy, and ideas for improvement to be discussed on Roguelike Radio soon. And this would obviously include Noxico.
Is it so hard to set up a somewhat non-cheatable poll?

There seems to be lots of resources for it onlne:

Programming / Re: Infra Arcana map generation demo
« on: December 20, 2013, 12:10:36 PM »
If I recall correctly the cave simply fills the empty space between rooms and corridors.

Yet it looks like the cavern is generated over the existing rooms and merges them in the cavern. I guess it doesn't matter as far as everything is connected.
Ah yeah it does seem to modify the map pretty heavily. Well I'm planning to do a bunch of refactoring and add tests for map generation, so things may change (or at least be more tightly controlled).

Programming / Re: Infra Arcana map generation demo
« on: December 19, 2013, 12:27:23 PM »
Quote from: Krice
That second generation with some kind of cavern looks interesting.
Yeah that map turned out pretty nice. A central cave with rooms surrounding it :)

Quote from: Krice
How do you avoid the cavern breaking the basic structure (badly)? Or is it supposed to do it?
If I recall correctly the cave simply fills the empty space between rooms and corridors. Haven't looked at that code for a while, but it's a good guess that it marks every floor cell + every cell adjacent to floor cells as blocking (excluding cells inside the area the cave originates from) - then a floodfill converts all walls to floor, and adjacent walls to cave walls.

Programming / Infra Arcana map generation demo
« on: December 19, 2013, 09:27:08 AM »
I did some videos to show the map generation process of Infra Arcana. Maybe someone here is interested in this :)

It's a pretty simple Rogue-style 3x3 map, with some extra stuff added to it.

Design / Re: First person narrative
« on: December 18, 2013, 08:28:55 AM »
Alright, 1st person stays for theming reasons (journal-like narrative).

Other Announcements / Re: Roguelike Radio podcast
« on: December 10, 2013, 08:03:30 PM »
110 minutes of procedurally generated joy :)
I loved that comment in the intro. Just a calm "matter-of-fact" statement that this is a procedurally generated episode (an outrageous concept, even terrifying to imagine that level of AI). Nearly choked on my food when I heard it ;D

Design / Re: First person narrative
« on: December 10, 2013, 06:17:37 PM »
[...]distancing effect [...] by introducing a separate self into the frame.
This is interesting! I understand exactly what they mean!

The first person narrative, which was supposed to increase immediacy, actually distance you from the events. This is totally unintuitive, but it's true! Instead of just the game and the player, there is a third entity - the character - who, because of this form of narrative - is clearly something different from the player. It was supposed to make the player feel more "in the character's shoes", but it does the opposite.

With regular second person narrative, YOU "hear something from the north", YOU "are confused", YOU *are* the character.

The first person narration is cool.  It's like I'm reading my character's journal.
Yeah this is a benefit of this form - the narrative becomes journal-like, which is cool. But I'm thinking the benefits of second person narrative outweigh this...

Design / Re: First person narrative
« on: December 10, 2013, 04:30:00 PM »
Oh, yeah I suppose it should be second person! :-[

I mean "You hear a sound!"


Design / First person narrative
« on: December 10, 2013, 03:11:03 PM »
I'd like to hear your opinions on first person vs second person perspective in log messages.

For more than a year now, the narrative in Infra Arcana has been in first person - "I hear a growling voice!(NE)". The idea was that this would increase immersion, by putting you in the main character's perspective.

However I've started to doubt it. It feels weird that the player character is talking to the player about himself. For some reason it's easier for me to accept that the game is talking to the player (second person perspective).

Also, second person has more "classic" roguelike feeling, which is a strong argument for me.

What do you think of this?

If you play Infra Arcana, would you be upset if I changed to second person perspective? :P

Edit: I mean "second person perspective", not "third" - thanks George.

The topic was briefly discussed in some episode of Roguelike radio, I think it was this one:

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