Author Topic: Roguelike Radio podcast  (Read 122533 times)

Brokenkingpin

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Re: Roguelike Radio podcast
« Reply #360 on: October 01, 2014, 03:28:41 PM »
I really liked the last episode. It motivated me to dust off some old prototype code for a roguelike I was making a few years ago.

Alvarop

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Re: Roguelike Radio podcast
« Reply #361 on: October 08, 2014, 03:00:03 AM »
This great podcast brougt me here - the roguelike communities episode, particularly.  I'm not a hardcore roguelike player (I like DCSS and roguelites... but brogue and TOME are really great too), but the discussion is very interesting.

The last episode was great indeed. You guys are motivating me to maybe try to make my own roguelike, which is cool and scary at the same time. Anyways, great, great podcast. I'll keep listening, learning and trying new games in this genre.

Darren Grey

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Re: Roguelike Radio podcast
« Reply #362 on: October 12, 2014, 08:31:20 PM »
Glad to hear people are inspired to make new roguelikes or revive old projects :) There's nothing more satisfying than getting your own game out!

And a new episode for those, interested, where Andrew and I return to Brogue:

http://www.roguelikeradio.com/2014/10/episode-92-return-to-brogue.html

mushroom patch

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Re: Roguelike Radio podcast
« Reply #363 on: October 13, 2014, 05:23:36 PM »
I was pretty astonished by the volume of whining in the episode. Not to whine about whining, but damn. The long, long discussion at the beginning diagnosing interweb drama and demographics would've been fine if it hadn't been followed by complaining about how the game is too hard, interfaces are too hard, items are too hard to identify, identified items are too useless, cursed items are too bad, it's the ugliest game ever even measured against the low-bar set by other "ASCII roguelikes" (lol, like there's some other important class of roguelikes), etc., etc., etc.

At least the Australian guy seemed to have some insight into the subject matter and sensible things to say. I particularly liked his points re: items that experienced players view as useless/pointless but play a significant role in the beginner's experience and the role of hallucination effects in widening the novice's view of the game.

Bear

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Re: Roguelike Radio podcast
« Reply #364 on: October 13, 2014, 09:20:48 PM »
I personally think that one of the main purposes of all media -- including both journalism and games -- is social commentary and, yes, criticism.

And, yes, the gaming industry deserves some goddamned criticism this decade.  They are producing the same damned game over and over and over, and have essentially abdicated anything like artistic development or progress.  Better graphics and special effects do not make something a better or different game.  Re-skinning the enemies from Nazis to Orcs to Aliens to Demons to Jihadis or whatever else, or re-skinning the setting to medieval or far future or WWII or the Middle East, doesn't matter if the gamers don't have to think in new and different ways to win.

Doom came out 21 years ago.  It was innovative, technically brilliant, a big risk for the company, had a very uncertain market, and challenged our culture to examine the way we thought about violence.  Call of Duty: Ghosts came out in 2013 and it was one more knockoff cookie-cutter exploitation of a tired genre with a captive press and a carefully cultivated market. There is no new material about violence left to cover and the current generation of First Person Shooter games is therefore fairly pointless; they provide no new experience and no new cultural commentary over that provided by Doom and Quake 20 years past.  I did that 20 years ago and don't need or want to do it again. 

Further, the industry that produced them has no desire to produce social criticism or social commentary.  They do not want to produce anything their audiences are uncomfortable with because they now *are* the mainstream, answerable to shareholders and lawsuits etc, and so are no longer in a position to criticize the mainstream.  Further, they are no longer run by anyone who *wants* to produce social criticism or challenge people's beliefs or world views.  They will give their audience games that do not challenge them to think or learn or to view the world differently than they viewed it the day previous.  Which is simply another way of saying they are no longer run by artists and no longer in the business of producing art.

If games want to remain relevant, they need to start covering new ground.  For example, the Binding of Isaac presents itself as an innovative and difficult critique of a certain kind of religious belief.  It was published by someone who thought everyone would hate it, and was astonished to find that it had a real audience.  Red Rogue presents a bit of an interesting take on mourning and obsession over a lost love.  You can play these games in the same mindset as you play a FPS, but if you think a little beyond the surface, there is real content there which is no longer available from the now-mainstream and heavily calcified big studios..

If journalists and writers want to take up the job of social criticism that these people have set aside, I say more power to them.  If the first thing they want to criticize is mainstream games and how they depict women and minorities and the way that depiction has not changed at all in the last N years,, I say that's a good start.

Hell, somebody's got to do it. 

chooseusername

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Re: Roguelike Radio podcast
« Reply #365 on: October 13, 2014, 09:50:59 PM »
I personally think that one of the main purposes of all media -- including both journalism and games -- is social commentary and, yes, criticism.
...
If journalists and writers want to take up the job of social criticism that these people have set aside, I say more power to them.  If the first thing they want to criticize is mainstream games and how they depict women and minorities and the way that depiction has not changed at all in the last N years,, I say that's a good start.

Hell, somebody's got to do it.
Things should not be given a pass, because some faction of the population considers an action for the cause (whatever it might be) to
validate any lack of substance.  In the end, both the cause and the media in which it features, are better served by the journalists and writers doing a worthwhile job.

Mushy doesn't think the effort had substance to warrant it (as I read his post), and neither do I.  Do you, and why?

mushroom patch

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Re: Roguelike Radio podcast
« Reply #366 on: October 13, 2014, 10:03:36 PM »
Quote
I personally think that one of the main purposes of all media -- including both journalism and games -- is social commentary and, yes, criticism.

Hm, I'm not sure if you're responding to me. If you are, I don't disagree with what you say here.

What I would say, though, is that the discussion in the podcast is about Brogue and a variant maintained by one of the participants called unBrogue. Neither are commercial games (which is what I would take your "gaming industry" comments to pertain to) and Brogue, at least, has been praised as a worthy addition to the genre. The complaints I refer to were aimed at Brogue, which is fair enough if the general tone is measured, but it came off as more of a bitchfest to my ears.

I think their diagnosis of the low participation of women in roguelike gaming and discussion is more or less on target, but I didn't hear any ideas about addressing the situation. As such, after more than a minute or two, it starts to sound more like drawing a line between themselves and internet bad guys than social progress.

[As an aside: I don't think it's fair to convict the gaming industry for the state of the FPS genre. The fact of the matter is that id produced games of such brilliance so early (I refer to the Quake series) that there was nowhere to go but down. And indeed, that's what the gaming consumer wanted. The "sophisticated" FPS player plays Quake or Counterstrike multiplayer and is not interested in dumbed down or gimmicky imitators (although Half-Life 2: Deathmatch might be a short-lived exception) -- id and Valve basically killed that market from the beginning by creating such enduring classics. So, CoD is the only thing you can sell.]
« Last Edit: October 13, 2014, 10:20:19 PM by mushroom patch »

Bear

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Re: Roguelike Radio podcast
« Reply #367 on: October 13, 2014, 10:24:23 PM »
No, I wasn't talking about brogue.  I was talking about the controversy the response to which led off the Roguelike Radio podcast this episode. 

In case you've not been paying attention, there's a froofroo going on about misogyny and sexism in games, where those defending the industry have gone over the top in making threats to rape and kill the journalists who dare to say anything negative about those games -- which, IMO, rather underlines their point about misogyny. 

mushroom patch

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Re: Roguelike Radio podcast
« Reply #368 on: October 13, 2014, 10:42:05 PM »
Ah, okay, I see what you're saying. That wasn't what I thought they were talking about. I guess the bit about harassment didn't click for me. I'm not that plugged into wider commentary on vidya games.

Their discussion still strikes me as gratuitous and self-congratulatory though.

[Further update: upon actually looking into the incident you seem to be referring to (Anita Sarkeesian's video commentary on misogyny in video games), I'm kind of unimpressed. Women are harassed by weirdos on the internet no matter what they do. The idea that there's a connection between this and video games, posited by quite a bit of commentary on the matter, is a stretch. This kind of harassment is an unfortunate, but common, phenomenon that has existed as long as the internet has had significant numbers of unaccountable users.

I agree that the reaction amplifies her point in that it brings a lot of attention and third party commentary to her videos, but this is only because the general internet consumer is not aware of the dynamic between creepy guys on the internet and online feminism.]
« Last Edit: October 13, 2014, 11:23:39 PM by mushroom patch »

jere

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Re: Roguelike Radio podcast
« Reply #369 on: October 14, 2014, 12:25:54 AM »
I thought RR was pretty much "90 minutes of Darren complaining about a roguelike." How are else are you going to fill up a whole show? This game is great. See you next week.

In all seriousness, I don't see the problem with someone sharing their opinion about what they do or don't enjoy within a game. It's quite subjective, but that's what I want to hear on a podcast. If I wanted the specifications on the game, I would go read a wiki. I found myself agreeing with Darren quite a bit. I've only played Brogue briefly, but identification systems and cursed items in other games seem to be very luck based and they don't add much for me. Identification is tedious, but a no-brainer. It's kind of funny that we accept "permadeath and procedural" as enough to be rogue-lite at least, but if you're going after a roguelike label you absolutely have to put in a slew of obtuse mechanics just because Rogue happened to have them.

I take your point on beginners finding certain mechanics pointless (e.g. hallucination), yet  experts know they're really important. I'd like some more discussion on this, but I'm leaning towards: the beginner isn't having fun... can you really argue with that?

Quote
Women are harassed by weirdos on the internet no matter what they do. The idea that there's a connection between this and video games, posited by quite a bit of commentary on the matter, is a stretch. This kind of harassment is an unfortunate, but common, phenomenon that has existed as long as the internet has had significant numbers of unaccountable users.

This is one of the biggest justifications used by the gamergate crowd. As they continue to harass, threaten (not just Sarkeesian), hack, and dox people, they repeat in unison "There is no harassment in gamergate. Ignore the trolls."  OK, there are trolls in every community. So what? Why can't we actively condemn the trollls??? We're not getting death threats; we're getting a 5 minute discussion. Seems like we should be willing to put up with that if we really are against the harassment.
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reaver

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Re: Roguelike Radio podcast
« Reply #370 on: October 14, 2014, 07:15:30 AM »
Women are an unfortunately natural target by not being a big part of the obnoxiously 'loud' hater crowd  -- just guessing, but I'd love to see a survey about male/female ratio in online haters that post threatening shit -- and therefore easier to prey on as not generally 'being one of them'. I remember reading recently about Lennart Poettering (https://plus.google.com/+LennartPoetteringTheOneAndOnly/posts/J2TZrTvu7vd) who might have pissed a lot of people and apparently some of those started collecting BitCoins to hire a hitman. Did we see it all over the news? No. Probably wouldn't make such a good story: "Angry nerds threaten angry nerd". Attacks on women are all the rage right now apparently, but attack a woman nowadays, and especially a media person (Sarkeesian, Lawrence) and there's a shitstorm coming.

Sad thing is that the gamergate thing has apparently valid points by criticising bad journalism (as I've read, as I'm not into video-game press anymore), but looks like it's the same thing with feminism: The man-hater feminists are quite vocal and give the rest a bad name (term is already poisoned). Similarly the woman-hater gamergate people got quite vocal too and there goes this one down the drain...


Darren Grey

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Re: Roguelike Radio podcast
« Reply #371 on: October 14, 2014, 12:14:33 PM »
I think their diagnosis of the low participation of women in roguelike gaming and discussion is more or less on target, but I didn't hear any ideas about addressing the situation. As such, after more than a minute or two, it starts to sound more like drawing a line between themselves and internet bad guys than social progress.

I think this is a fair assessment. We know there are problems and we don't have any good answers. We'd like the community in general to be open and welcoming (which it generally is - I think roguelikes as a genre are great for accessibility in terms of gameplay and content) and we'd like to encourage more women to step forward and be voices in the community and develop more games. More people in general actually, but there's a specific imbalance with women at the moment.

If others have ideas for what we or the community can do on a practical level then that's obviously very welcome. Part of the role of the podcast is to encourage more discussion.

I thought RR was pretty much "90 minutes of Darren complaining about a roguelike." How are else are you going to fill up a whole show? This game is great. See you next week.

Hah! I think I was actually quite positive in this episode. And Pender got in touch with me to say he loved the podcast (though he disagrees with my opinions on colour choices ;)).

I did praise a lot of the things in the game, and tried to temper my negativity by emphasising where it was more down to personal preference and how the negative elements stand out all the more because of how good the game is. Also at least this time I've actually gotten very far in the game :P

Rickton

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Re: Roguelike Radio podcast
« Reply #372 on: October 14, 2014, 02:26:38 PM »
it's the ugliest game ever even measured against the low-bar set by other "ASCII roguelikes"
Did they actually say this? About Brogue? I think Brogue is one of the best-looking ASCII roguelikes (although strictly speaking it's not pure ASCII, but still).
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Darren Grey

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Re: Roguelike Radio podcast
« Reply #373 on: October 14, 2014, 02:38:20 PM »
Did they actually say this? About Brogue? I think Brogue is one of the best-looking ASCII roguelikes (although strictly speaking it's not pure ASCII, but still).

No, he's exaggerating, but I have said a few times in the past that I think Brogue is an ugly game. In the episode I clarified that it's about the clashing colour choices, which sometimes even interfere with gameplay (a big no-no for any graphics style for me). Also I said I think it has the most beautiful environments of any roguelike I've played, really lovely caverns to explore, which might be why so many praise its visuals.

mushroom patch

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Re: Roguelike Radio podcast
« Reply #374 on: October 14, 2014, 02:42:33 PM »

Quote
Women are harassed by weirdos on the internet no matter what they do. The idea that there's a connection between this and video games, posited by quite a bit of commentary on the matter, is a stretch. This kind of harassment is an unfortunate, but common, phenomenon that has existed as long as the internet has had significant numbers of unaccountable users.

This is one of the biggest justifications used by the gamergate crowd. As they continue to harass, threaten (not just Sarkeesian), hack, and dox people, they repeat in unison "There is no harassment in gamergate. Ignore the trolls."  OK, there are trolls in every community. So what? Why can't we actively condemn the trollls??? We're not getting death threats; we're getting a 5 minute discussion. Seems like we should be willing to put up with that if we really are against the harassment.

I'm confused. How is calling "the trolls" weirdos, creepy, etc. not condemning them? What good does it do to condemn them? And how is it the responsibility of uninvolved parties to spend their time writing condemnations as opposed to expressing their opinions on the actual substance raised by critics and Sarkeesian in particular?

Women are an unfortunately natural target by not being a big part of the obnoxiously 'loud' hater crowd  -- just guessing, but I'd love to see a survey about male/female ratio in online haters that post threatening shit -- and therefore easier to prey on as not generally 'being one of them'.

I think your guess is probably right on target: About 100% of death/rape/assault threats are made by men with mental problems and internet connections (although feminists make a good point that these people are probably more outwardly normal looking in public life than some might think).

Quote
Sad thing is that the gamergate thing has apparently valid points by criticising bad journalism (as I've read, as I'm not into video-game press anymore), but looks like it's the same thing with feminism: The man-hater feminists are quite vocal and give the rest a bad name (term is already poisoned). Similarly the woman-hater gamergate people got quite vocal too and there goes this one down the drain...

As problematic as AAA video games are from the perspective of feminist theory, I'd say feminists are at least as problematic as political allies of the left. I'm all for social justice, but looking around my country, at least, I'm hard pressed to believe that a jargon laden, professorial dressing down of popular media products is going to help the cause or certainly advance the interests of workers and renters -- for whom, it must be admitted in many cases, raunchy, violent video games are a valued escape.

I sometimes worry the online social justice scene is turning into a modern temperance movement. Freddie deBoer had a good take on this trend. http://dish.andrewsullivan.com/2014/08/21/where-online-social-liberalism-lost-the-script/

Now to give equal time, "haters" are bad, especially the crazy ones who attempt to silence women's voices through intimidation and threats. More needs to be done to protect women from such harassment, etc.