Author Topic: How to be a Major Roguelike?  (Read 25438 times)

guest509

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How to be a Major Roguelike?
« on: October 06, 2011, 11:21:05 AM »
  I see Crawl, Nethack, Adom and Angband are all classic and complex games. Seems like we throw ToME in there as well. Also the progenitors are often discussed here (Rogue, Moria, etc...).
  So how does one add a game to the list of Majors? Games like DoomRL are certainly popular enough. Dungeons of Dreadmore, Cardinal Quest, Desktop Dungeons, Spelunky and Legends of Yore seem to be coming along as well.
  So how do we add a new major? Or are they pretty set? And since Angband and Nethack are no longer actively developed, do we include all *bands and Slash'Em here? We certainly include DCSS.

  Just wondering...

Darren Grey

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Re: How to be a Major Roguelike?
« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2011, 11:34:13 AM »
I suppose it's a rather outdated term.  It used to be fairly clear that only a few roguelikes were big, back when only a few could justify having their own newsgroup.  Now it's quite a different matter, with newer games like Dredmor having more players than some classics like ADOM and Nethack.  Of course it's hard to tell how lasting that will be.  Still, I'd personally suggest we abandon the idea of major roguelikes - there are RLs of many flavours and many degrees of popularity, and trying to identify an elite tier does a great injustice to the variety of the genre.

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Re: How to be a Major Roguelike?
« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2011, 12:04:40 PM »
Far better to me would be to recognize the ones that are especially industrious and ambitious in terms of what they are aiming to do stylistically and perhaps in absolute terms--rough examples would be MageGuild being pretty much the king of Puzzle Roguelikes alongside Desktop Dungeons,  Sprawling World/Quest doings like ADOM, JADE, Legend of Siegfried, Rayel....

Though, I should say that Angband is still developing along nicely and the next version should be a sizable leap forward thanks in no small part to Shockbolt's wonderful tileset amidst other core improvements.  Some of the variants are trucking along rather nicely as well with big changes, like the very recent FayAngband.
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Z

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Re: How to be a Major Roguelike?
« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2011, 12:06:35 PM »
Maybe this would break the tradition, but I think this term should not be dependent on the player count, but on the size and type of the game, something like an opposite of coffebreak roguelike. ADOM, Angband, NetHack, Crawl all have several hundreds of items, monsters, lots of races and classes to choose from, several days are usually required to win the game, and in general, lots of options and huge complexity. Some roguelike developers set goals like "I want to create the new ADOM/NetHack/Crawl/etc, but even more complex", and these roguelikes become major roguelikes if given enough time, and some focus on a simple goal. I think Spelunky, DoomRL and probably all 7DRLs fall into the second category, and I would not qualify them as major roguelikes, no matter how many players play them. Both major and coffebreak roguelikes can be good or bad games, and have lots or few players.

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Re: How to be a Major Roguelike?
« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2011, 01:48:52 PM »
I think that ignores games in the middle like DoomRL (which is no longer a coffeebreak) and Dungeons of Dredmor (which has significant complexity, but not on the same scale of Nethack).  There is no black and white comparison.  Also what about old RLs like Moria, Omega and ToME2?  These are large, complex games.  Are they still major even though rarely played?

guest509

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Re: How to be a Major Roguelike?
« Reply #5 on: October 07, 2011, 07:57:06 AM »
  I dunno if they are majors, but they are the classic precurser games so they are discussed on this section of the forum.

  The effective difference I see here is one of longevity. If you are a newer game you get placed in the Not Majors, if you are old and are/were played quite a bit then you are a major.


Krice

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Re: How to be a Major Roguelike?
« Reply #6 on: October 08, 2011, 02:07:43 PM »
I think Spelunky, DoomRL and probably all 7DRLs fall into the second category, and I would not qualify them as major roguelikes

They can't be major roguelikes, because they are not roguelikes at all.

JADE is going to be the next one I guess. It looks like TB is getting more involved and getting results fast. He's such a rascal.

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Re: How to be a Major Roguelike?
« Reply #7 on: October 08, 2011, 05:22:42 PM »
They can't be major roguelikes, because they are not roguelikes at all.

Maybe Spelunky only has some roguelike elements, but why won't you qualify DoomRL as a roguelike?
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Re: How to be a Major Roguelike?
« Reply #8 on: October 08, 2011, 05:51:56 PM »
They can't be major roguelikes, because they are not roguelikes at all.

Maybe Spelunky only has some roguelike elements, but why won't you qualify DoomRL as a roguelike?
I'd like to know this as well. Not saying I disagree, just curious.

Let's see what high value factors of the Berlin interpretation says-

Random environment generation - Very primitive, but yes.
Permadeath - Yes.
Turn-based - Yes.
Grid-based - Yes.
Non-modal - Mostly yes.
Complexity - Not sure...
Resource management - Yes.
Hack'n'slash - Yes.
Exploration and discovery - Almost none as far as I remember (aside from exploring the levels).

So it may be missing two critical components, depending how you look at it. And of course you don't have to agree with this definition of a RL either.
« Last Edit: October 08, 2011, 05:56:40 PM by NON »
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ido

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Re: How to be a Major Roguelike?
« Reply #9 on: October 08, 2011, 09:03:36 PM »
Spelunky is tun based?

Also, while the levels are tiles based the character seem to be able to move continually (i.e. a char can be 0.7 on one tile and 0.3 on another)  .

Krice

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Re: How to be a Major Roguelike?
« Reply #10 on: October 08, 2011, 09:07:44 PM »
DoomRL is action shooter, it's just turn-based. Roguelikes should be role-playing games in the way they are usually. Otherwise you could call a turn based Tetris with ascii graphics a roguelike. That doesn't sound right.

ido

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Re: How to be a Major Roguelike?
« Reply #11 on: October 08, 2011, 10:57:41 PM »
Roguelikes should be role-playing games in the way they are usually. Otherwise you could call a turn based Tetris with ascii graphics a roguelike. That doesn't sound right.

It sounds to me like you are talking about adom-likes rather than roguelikes.

guest509

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Re: How to be a Major Roguelike?
« Reply #12 on: October 09, 2011, 03:55:20 AM »
  In case you are new to this site, Krice has a very strict and traditional view of what a Rogue-Like is. It is more akin to what some of us would call Rogue-Clone. DoomRL is definitely like rogue in many ways, so can aptly be called a Roguelike.

  This whole RPG thing is silly anyway because DoomRL has plenty of stats and character class mechanics that place it firmly in the RPG camp. Though SciFi can be a bit nontraditional to roleplay.

  Try not to get too mixed up with the definitions. I'm sure there are people that say Roguelikes are not RPG's because there is very little actual roleplay.

  Creativity always pushes the bounds of easy definition.

Bear

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Re: How to be a Major Roguelike?
« Reply #13 on: October 09, 2011, 05:35:47 AM »
I dunno.  I've always seen the "kill things and take their stuff" mechanic as being more central to roguelike games than the "roleplaying" mechanic. Not that roguelikes are devoid of roleplaying, and roleplaying can make the game more fun if the players do it.

But roleplaying is a funny thing.  It's the players that do it, not the game.  I've seen a kid playing asteroids and having a wonderful time yelling orders at his imaginary gunnery officer and his imaginary navigation officer, who were named Plantaganett and Moj├žek respectively.  So does that make asteroids a roleplaying game?  Not really, although it was for this kid.  And I've seen people show up at D&D games and annoy the hell out of everyone by minmaxing every decision and absolutely refusing to roleplay at all.  So even though D&D is a roleplaying game, it turns out that people can still engage in it while refusing to roleplay.

And roguelikes are somewhere in the middle.  They're not social games like D&D where you have other players who are there to roleplay and want you to do so as well, but they're also not so purely tactical/strategic that roleplaying is merely a weakness to be avoided, or purely irrelevant, like Chess or Go. 

Kill Things and Take Their Stuff is absolutely central to roguelike gameplay.  I think roleplaying should add enjoyment to the game, and provide ways to choose between valid tactical options, but it's not as central as Kill Things and Take Their Stuff.

But nobody has really said what they think is missing from a game that makes it "not a roleplaying game."  At a guess, I'm supposing that the Power Curve is important to a lot of roleplayers; the advance in equipment or intrinsic power through the game is considered very important in a lot of traditional roleplaying games.   And on that point DoomRL doesn't deliver as much as "traditional" roguelike games. 


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Re: How to be a Major Roguelike?
« Reply #14 on: October 09, 2011, 05:52:39 AM »
On How to be a Major Roguelike.

I think that having a large player base that continues to find the game fun over a long long period of time qualifies something as a "major" roguelike.

No matter what else it has, if people can play it through a few times and then get bored with it, it isn't a major roguelike.  Even if a million people play Dungeons of Dredmor or Chocobo's Mystery Dungeon, if those million mostly get to the point where the game's not fun anymore, within a few weeks or months, then in my mind it fails to qualify as a "Major" roguelike game. 

So, to my mind, if you want to make a "major" game make a game that continues to present interesting tactically-different challenges, in a lot of different ways.  Give the character lots of different ways to interact with his environment and equipment.   Give him interesting challenges with several different solutions.  Give him opportunities to roleplay and opportunities to minmax.  Engage his mind by limiting what he can do mindlessly - keep things interesting enough that 'spoilers' can't reliably tell him how to win.  And time will tell how well you've succeeded.  If you wind up with a whole lot of fanatics who've been playing for ten years and still think it's fun, then you've managed to make a major roguelike game.