Author Topic: What are the biggest possible turn-off in a roguelike?  (Read 59443 times)

Fenrir

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Re: What are the biggest possible turn-off in a roguelike?
« Reply #60 on: December 12, 2011, 03:13:54 AM »
forgot:

Browser based roguelikes. I hate having to be online to have to play.

If the Roguelike happens to be created with Flash, there are browser plugins and other means to save it to your hard drive in a more permanent fashion.

Morgoth Bauglir

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Re: What are the biggest possible turn-off in a roguelike?
« Reply #61 on: April 14, 2013, 08:50:55 PM »
1 - being able to choose skills when you gain a level. It doesn’t make any sense whatsoever. You can’t spend a day swinging maces at goblins and become professional at climbing. ADOM suffers heavily from this.

2 - complete lack of a story. I want to know who I am and what I’m doing. The more story the better, as long as the gameplay doesn’t suffer too much from it. This is the best feature of ADOM.

1 - orthogonal only shooting. Doesn’t make sense.

2 - no ASCII display.

1 - lack of a concise list of commands. ADOM and Angband suffer from this (or maybe I couldn’t find the list.) Frozen Depths has a nice list that can be accessed with a command.

3 - numpad commands and inability to change. It’s hard to use numpad on my laptop  :(

2 - non-persistent dungeons.

2 - changing terminal size changes size of levels when they are generated. WTF ADOM!

1 - futuristic theme. I prefer mediaeval fantasy.

3 - combat only. There must be ways other than combat to obtain items, like the deep smiths in Frozen Depths.

Vanguard

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Re: What are the biggest possible turn-off in a roguelike?
« Reply #62 on: April 15, 2013, 05:18:03 PM »
Unoriginality - 3
I can forgive a lot if a game has new ideas. Or if it refines existing ideas.  But if a game isn't unique at something, and if it doesn't improve on its predecessors, then it doesn't have a reason to exist.

Unfair deaths - 2
This isn't okay in a permadeath game.  Actually it isn't okay in any game, but most games cover up their bad design with quicksave features and low difficulty.

Mechanics designed for something other than gameplay - 2
I don't like it when a game is made more realistic at the expense of being fun.  I don't like it when a game's rules are designed to make narrative sense instead of mechanical sense.  I don't care about "realism" in my games about wizards.

guest509

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Re: What are the biggest possible turn-off in a roguelike?
« Reply #63 on: April 15, 2013, 11:59:38 PM »
Being too long - I like a quick game with tons of variety game to game, not long games with tons of variety throughout.

Too Complex Character Generation - Having a super deep character system is fine, but let me get to the game in 1 click please.

The Arms Race - If leveling to level 5 means I now face Hobgoblins instead of Goblins, one is identical to the other except for more HitDice then you haven't actually changed the game play at all. Getting new skills per character level alleviates it somewhat, but really if leveling is just a stat bump for monsters and player then just leave it out.

Bazillions of Commands - I'll deal with some of the older games (Nethack), and forks of the older games (like Prime), having a ton of commands. A new game should learn from those mistakes and stream line things. Brogue and Rodney both do this very well.

Too Small of Graphics - 1 pixel on a tile should translate to 4 pixels on the screen. Meaning you need to blow things up by 2x for display. If you don't then much of the detail is washed out and/or things are just too small. The graphics for Crawl and Brogue both suffer this issue. It's tough to fix because blowing things up means you get less onto the screen. This causes strategy and information issues between the ascii and tile versions, or it may force a single screen level to become scrolling. So be it. That's better than having nice tiles that look like crap due to being too small.

tootboot

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Re: What are the biggest possible turn-off in a roguelike?
« Reply #64 on: April 16, 2013, 05:49:30 AM »
-Early development (Very few roguelikes are worth messing with in the early stages, and many get abandoned)
-Having to install libraries and such to play (having to install NET/Java/Visual C++ runtimes annoys me)
-Only providing an installer exe and no simple zipfile option (Personal preference)
-Overly complicated keyboard controls and no mouse option (There's no need for 50 separate commands, condense similar ones and consider eliminating the mechanics behind commands that are only used a few times per game)
-Math that's a black box (I want to be able to eyeball my chances without using a calculator, Sil and Brogue both feature good gameplay without too many obscure combat modifiers)
-Too undocumented (I like the idea that I can consult a wiki somewhere if I want to know how some aspect of the game works)

chooseusername

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Re: What are the biggest possible turn-off in a roguelike?
« Reply #65 on: April 16, 2013, 06:45:14 AM »
I'd say lack of screenshots is the biggest one for me.  It seems quite common to see a game announced with a list of features, but no screenshots.  What it says to me is: "You'll download and install this, maybe it will work or not, and even reading the limited text I've written about my game, you'll have no idea whether it will even interest you until you've managed to get it to run assuming you can..  Good luck chump!"

If there are screenshots, it gives you an idea of many things.  Some indication of how ready for play it really is.  Some indication that it looks like something worth your time.  Some indication that the gameplay or interface is something you could enjoy using/playing.

Vanguard

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Re: What are the biggest possible turn-off in a roguelike?
« Reply #66 on: April 16, 2013, 01:25:02 PM »
1 - being able to choose skills when you gain a level. It doesn’t make any sense whatsoever. You can’t spend a day swinging maces at goblins and become professional at climbing. ADOM suffers heavily from this.

I don't like those at all.  "Learn by doing" systems almost universally require metagaming.  I understand that learning by leveling isn't realistic.  But learning through practice means you do the exact same thing as you would in a more traditional system, except you also need to waste your time grinding out useless low level abilities until they become useful.

Like, if you're a swordguy and you want to be a spearguy, you need to get a spear, and go fight harmless enemies (because your low spear skill will get you killed against dangerous enemies) and you need to sit there doing this repetitive task until your spear skill is high enough to use for real.  It doesn't add any depth or strategy or anything, it just means more busywork.

I'm not trying to call you out or anything.  I just think that what some people consider to be flaws are actually legitimate design decisions with solid reasons behind them.  I think a back and forth discussion on that kind of thing is more valuable than "well I sure do hate ASCII" or whatever.

ido

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Re: What are the biggest possible turn-off in a roguelike?
« Reply #67 on: April 16, 2013, 01:54:31 PM »
I just think that what some people consider to be flaws are actually legitimate design decisions with solid reasons behind them.  I think a back and forth discussion on that kind of thing is more valuable than "well I sure do hate ASCII" or whatever.

Yeah, I think a lot of the discussion here is basically just personal pet-peeves and is of little use for game-design (or development) purposes.

But then again the question was phrased in a very subjective matter, so can't really blame anyone that tells us about their own subjective opinion (useless as it may be objectively speaking).

I think the most we can take of this thread is to identify the most common "pet-peeves", but then again this is just telling you how to make a game the fairly hard-core audience of roguetemple would like (e.g. I'm pretty sure most people don't really care about independent zip-files vs installers).
« Last Edit: April 16, 2013, 01:57:54 PM by ido »

AgingMinotaur

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Re: What are the biggest possible turn-off in a roguelike?
« Reply #68 on: April 16, 2013, 06:46:13 PM »
... and, a thread like this can serve as inspirational reading. I surely wouldn't have thought of all these pet peeves by myself. But I grant that it isn't of much scientific use. And I must add ;) I fully agree with Vanguard's point about swords and spears. To me, separate weapon skills is an actual turn-off. Very annoying to find a nice artifact weapon you're not skilled with, playing ADOM or Crawl. OTOH, games like Caves of Qud or TOME does this nicely: There are weapon skills divided into axes, swords, etc. But they mainly grant special attacks and tactical moves. So you can have your cake and eat it: fight reasonably well with all weapons, but still specialize in one arms group (there is little more bad-ass than dual wielding kukris with "Pointed Circle" in CoQ 8)).

As always,
Minotauros
This matir, as laborintus, Dedalus hous, hath many halkes and hurnes ... wyndynges and wrynkelynges.

guest509

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Re: What are the biggest possible turn-off in a roguelike?
« Reply #69 on: April 17, 2013, 01:08:59 AM »
Yes my old cow friend, the old 'narrow weapon skills' issue is alive an well in today's designs. It adds to the junk drops issue too.

My nemesis game design, diablo III, had a version of this. Each character class needs a specific weapon type. You might find a good weapon, but the likelyhood of it being of use to your character is low. So you sell it on the Auction House and use the money to buy a good weapon that fits your character. And Blizzard takes a cut of both transactions.

Sorry for the tangent, I never miss an opportunity to deride the DIII design choices.

ido

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Re: What are the biggest possible turn-off in a roguelike?
« Reply #70 on: April 17, 2013, 08:52:54 AM »
I thought Diablo 1 had a pretty good solution for this tho - any class can use any weapon, but each gets a significant boost to attack-rate for a specific weapon class (the wizard for staves, the warrior for simple melee weapons like swords and axes, the rogue for bows & crossbows, etc).

So you have a distinct incentive to use your "class appropriate" weapons but if you find an absolutely god-like inappropriate weapon you can still use it with a reasonable penalty, compared to the class it was meant for.

ido

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Re: What are the biggest possible turn-off in a roguelike?
« Reply #71 on: April 17, 2013, 08:59:29 AM »
i think one thread I *can* weave through a lot of replies here, be it too many keys, unnecessarily detailed  skills, overly complex char generation, barriers to play in the form of obscure dependencies, obtuse/unclear/undocumented mechanics, unexplained controls, etc is that extraneous complexities that don't contribute to the core strength of the experience should be cleaned up.

Which again is kind of an obvious conclusion these days, although it wasn't that obvious 5+ years ago apparently (judging by how recently developers started to act upon it).

Morgoth Bauglir

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Re: What are the biggest possible turn-off in a roguelike?
« Reply #72 on: April 17, 2013, 03:02:26 PM »
I don't like those at all.  "Learn by doing" systems almost universally require metagaming.  I understand that learning by leveling isn't realistic.  But learning through practice means you do the exact same thing as you would in a more traditional system, except you also need to waste your time grinding out useless low level abilities until they become useful.

Like, if you're a swordguy and you want to be a spearguy, you need to get a spear, and go fight harmless enemies (because your low spear skill will get you killed against dangerous enemies) and you need to sit there doing this repetitive task until your spear skill is high enough to use for real.  It doesn't add any depth or strategy or anything, it just means more busywork.

I'm not trying to call you out or anything.  I just think that what some people consider to be flaws are actually legitimate design decisions with solid reasons behind them.  I think a back and forth discussion on that kind of thing is more valuable than "well I sure do hate ASCII" or whatever.

Ideally, fighting with a sword would train both the specific sword skill and the general fighting skill or strength; so if you spend half the game fighting with a sword you will do OK with a spear, but even better with a sword. But that’s not the example I gave; my problem is with games that let you choose what you want to train, even if the skill is completely unrelated to what the character is actually doing.

I think it does add depth and strategy. I use different strategies on Frozen Depths depending on what skills I want to train. Having learn-by-doing doesn’t force me to grind, it forces me to plan far ahead.

Vanguard

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Re: What are the biggest possible turn-off in a roguelike?
« Reply #73 on: April 17, 2013, 04:19:38 PM »
Right, and what I'm saying is that games that let you choose your attribute/skill gains give you what you were going to have anyway without all the extra grind.

Let's say fighters can start with 1 level in the spellcasting skill, and can raise it to a maximum of 3.  Let's just say they can do that.  If you choose what you level, you put two skill points in spellcasting and you're done.  In a "learn by doing" system, you need to find a nonthreatening enemy to spam your ridiculously ineffective level 1 magic missile spell on until it finally goes up, and then you go back to actually playing the game.

Either way you get your level 3 spells.  Either way a low level fighters use weapons on dangerous enemies, and high level fighters use a combination of weapons and level 3 magic.  The only difference is that in one system, the player is free to use whatever ability makes the most sense in any given situation, while in the other system they have to waste a bunch of time using their least useful skills.

Neither method inherently makes narrative sense, though either could be justified.  But "learn by doing" systems don't make mechanical sense, and "learn by choice" systems do.

guest509

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Re: What are the biggest possible turn-off in a roguelike?
« Reply #74 on: April 17, 2013, 05:36:52 PM »
I tend to dislike skill building. I guess when I was a kid leveling up and getting stronger made sense, because that's what I did everyday. Now I prefer strategic resource use and zero grinding, 'cuz I just don't have the patience. Getting old!