Author Topic: Can a Roguelike with only monsters be fun?  (Read 21698 times)

jasonpickering

  • Rogueliker
  • ***
  • Posts: 274
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
    • Email
Can a Roguelike with only monsters be fun?
« on: December 19, 2011, 06:58:14 PM »
Wasn't really sure what to call this. but here goes. So I was developing a very small roguelike game over the thanksgiving break and decided to expand on it, because it seemed like the idea had merit. so basically this was the premise. the player is on a very small island with many enemies and only 5 health. most enemies die with 1 hit. there are no items or spells. the spells come in the form of monsters. so as an example: Killing a Fairy will give the player 1 heart, or killing a yeti will freeze all monsters for 3 turns. Do you think something like this could be a decent challenge without adding potions or spells, just giving a wide variety of monsters with interesting mechanics. In game so far are:

1. Mouse - Normal enemy
2. Skeleon - on death collapses into a pile of bones. after 5 turns comes back to life. works as a temporary wall
3. Goblin - normal enemy but takes to hits to kill
4. Fairy - heals the player
5. Yeti - freezes the enemies

So what other monsters and "Spells" do you think i could add. I am running a little low on ideas at the moment. I will try posting a build later so you can see it.


Pueo

  • Rogueliker
  • ***
  • Posts: 263
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Can a Roguelike with only monsters be fun?
« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2011, 07:40:24 PM »
This seems like a great idea! Perhaps add a "Night and Day" mechanic, so that maybe only easy/useful monsters spawn during the day, and the big bads spawn at night. That would give the player a break. Some monsters might be:

Some aquatic animals, since you're on an island. Maybe add a a swimming element?
Fish: On death spreads fish oil a few squares away. Maybe fish oil slows down enemies?
Octopus: On death blinds (with ink) nearby enemies for a few turns
Shark: On death, make a spike trap (Take the shark's teeth)
Seal: Amphibious, when killed, gives ability to swim (Use seal skin for flippers)
Blowfish: Poisonous, when killed, gives ability to breathe underwater (allows you to go further from land)(use body as like an air tank)
Frog: Poisonous, on death, poison nearby monsters

Some land animals:
Monkey: Able to jump over traps (Skeleton wall, etc)
Bears: Take 3 hits to kill. Big challenge
Pigs: On death, create a 5 turn wall (with the pig's big body), but doesn't come back to life. Can be set on fire
Pheonix: Flying. On death, sets fire to everything within a few squares.

So far, that's what I can think of.  
{O.o}
 |)__)
   ” ”   o RLY?

lulero

  • Newcomer
  • Posts: 20
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Can a Roguelike with only monsters be fun?
« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2011, 07:49:00 PM »
I like the idea. I suppose it's relatively short since there's no character progression.

Do Yetis take only one hit to kill as well? If so I'd rename the goblin to something scarier.

With the idea of combos in mind, here are some monsters/effects ideas:
  • Chief - Fear, all monsters but undeads run away until they get out of LOS - rare
  • Necromancer (undead) - All skeletons in sight die for good - rare
  • Doppleganger - Take the shape (and death effect) of the last killed monster - uncommon/rare
  • Genie - Player hits twice harder for 3-5 turns - uncommon
  • Bomber - Unless frozen everything in a 3x3 square (including the player) take 1 hit - rarer than fairies
« Last Edit: December 19, 2011, 08:00:17 PM by lulero »

jasonpickering

  • Rogueliker
  • ***
  • Posts: 274
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Can a Roguelike with only monsters be fun?
« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2011, 08:00:12 PM »
thanks Pueo. I thought about adding a night and day before, with most monsters being stronger at night, but it was a little bizarre and really messed up the balancing. I will use some of your ideas, although i might change the creature names. like the pig might be replaced with the troll (trolls turn to stone).

lulero thats probably a good idea about renaming the goblin. I like all those ideas.

Another Idea I had was a Hydra. it has 1 HP. on death it comes back after 5 turns with 2 HP. etc etc.

here is a mockup. to give you an idea. the islands are very tiny to limit movement.


another idea i had was doing different environments with specific enemies. if the island is a graveyard island there is a higher chance of getting skeletons and that's where the necromancer would be.

Pueo

  • Rogueliker
  • ***
  • Posts: 263
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Can a Roguelike with only monsters be fun?
« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2011, 08:13:52 PM »
thanks Pueo.  I will use some of your ideas, although i might change the creature names. like the pig might be replaced with the troll (trolls turn to stone).

Another Idea I had was a Hydra. it has 1 HP. on death it comes back after 5 turns with 2 HP. etc etc.

another idea i had was doing different environments with specific enemies. if the island is a graveyard island there is a higher chance of getting skeletons and that's where the necromancer would be.

1. Yeah, some of the names might not fit your theme, but feel free to do whatever you want with my ideas.

2. The hydra sounds awesome, but eventually it would just become unbeatable. Would there be a special way to kill it *coughlightitonfirewithmyawesomepheonixcough* ;) or would you just have to avoid it?

3. The environments thing sounds awesome, but would you get a new environment every game, or would they blend together in one level? If you're going for graphical, it might be a little hard to get them to blend right (look at Minecraft - one moment you could be in a frozen wasteland, but step left a few feet and you're in the jungle. It's especially jarring when you see this: http://i1133.photobucket.com/albums/m591/MinecraftScreenshots/2011-05-24_172904.png.
« Last Edit: December 19, 2011, 08:21:03 PM by Pueo »
{O.o}
 |)__)
   ” ”   o RLY?

lulero

  • Newcomer
  • Posts: 20
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Can a Roguelike with only monsters be fun?
« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2011, 08:16:20 PM »
Very nice, I really look forward to play this.

I tweaked my ideas a bit for better interactions, like fear doesn't affect undeads and bombers don't explode if frozen. Is player death the only possible outcome? If not, how to deal with hydras, something similar to that "bomber don't explode if frozen" idea?

There's one thing I'm a bit concerned about. With so few movement options the player might not have the luxury to decide on an order to kill things and it would take a lot of luck. Not sure how to achieve this either, and hard to find out without playtesting.

Pueo

  • Rogueliker
  • ***
  • Posts: 263
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Can a Roguelike with only monsters be fun?
« Reply #6 on: December 19, 2011, 08:22:05 PM »
Oh, and be sure to try and port it to OS X. I really hope it turns out awesome, and I would be so sad if I couldn't play  :'(
You could always use me as a guinea pig  :D
{O.o}
 |)__)
   ” ”   o RLY?

jasonpickering

  • Rogueliker
  • ***
  • Posts: 274
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Can a Roguelike with only monsters be fun?
« Reply #7 on: December 19, 2011, 08:30:02 PM »
most likely it would be IOs and flash. well the main goal is to get to the 5th island and grab the Amulet. so the game is more like dodging the monsters then killing them all. once you get to the bridge you move on to the next level. similar to stairs in some roguelikes. so for the hydra its basically knocking it down and running like hell before it gets back up.




Pueo

  • Rogueliker
  • ***
  • Posts: 263
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Can a Roguelike with only monsters be fun?
« Reply #8 on: December 19, 2011, 09:37:57 PM »
Great, can't wait to see how it works out!
{O.o}
 |)__)
   ” ”   o RLY?

Darren Grey

  • Rogueliker
  • ***
  • Posts: 2027
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • It is pitch black. You are likely to eat someone.
    • View Profile
    • Games of Grey
Re: Can a Roguelike with only monsters be fun?
« Reply #9 on: December 19, 2011, 11:15:05 PM »
This is a very cool and original idea. Best thing to do is fudge together a quick test version.

Hamish

  • Newcomer
  • Posts: 37
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Can a Roguelike with only monsters be fun?
« Reply #10 on: December 19, 2011, 11:21:22 PM »
This sounds like it needs a puzzle element involved. Perhaps if the player was able to shunt enemies without killing them it could add a little risk - 'should I try to move this powerup/monster and risk a few hits to get more from its death effect?'

You could also add some environmental hazards to manipulate - lava to be frozen, holes to be filled in (with crabshells or something) rocks to be smashed.

Hi

  • 7DRL Reviewer
  • Rogueliker
  • *
  • Posts: 154
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Can a Roguelike with only monsters be fun?
« Reply #11 on: December 20, 2011, 12:12:44 AM »
I really enjoy making lowfi tiles.  If there are creatures in your game that you do not have graphics for, I would be happy to make some that match the style of what you have.

jasonpickering

  • Rogueliker
  • ***
  • Posts: 274
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Can a Roguelike with only monsters be fun?
« Reply #12 on: December 20, 2011, 12:54:40 AM »
well here is what I had so far.

Test

its mouse controls right now. which are pretty much just clicking the tile you wish to move to. Its only Cardinal directions at the moment.

Current enemies are the Mouse, Skeleton, Goblin, Yeti, and Fairy. there is no ending yet, in the full game you win when you reach the Alter on the 5th island.

Hi: Nah I think I will be fine, but you should make some tilesets. I think one thing we should do as a community is put together a huge amount of 16x16 tiles. It would be a great resource.

Hamish: Yeah it does feel slightly puzzle like and I think I want to continue that route. I don't know what you mean by shunt  enemies. I think Environmental stuff could be a good idea.

Darren: thanks

lulero

  • Newcomer
  • Posts: 20
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Can a Roguelike with only monsters be fun?
« Reply #13 on: December 20, 2011, 01:18:33 AM »
Nice work. Is your aim an android application or similar (since it would fit a touch interface)?

As I said earlier the limited movement options hurt though. The basic idea is very nice but you don't really get to choose what monster to kill first so it comes mostly down to how the monsters spawn.

jasonpickering

  • Rogueliker
  • ***
  • Posts: 274
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Can a Roguelike with only monsters be fun?
« Reply #14 on: December 20, 2011, 01:28:18 AM »
My Aim is IOS and possible just sitelocked flash versions (I will add keyboard controls for it). Don't know about android as I cant test it. Yes the player does feel a little forced as to what monsters they can fight and I would love to give them more of an option. Any ideas?