Author Topic: A Fan Type Analysis of Roguelikes  (Read 28109 times)

guest509

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Re: A Fan Type Analysis of Roguelikes
« Reply #15 on: December 26, 2011, 01:50:40 PM »
You mention Super Complex twice but do not define it, is that the same as Die Hard?

What about the classical distinction between Hacks (NetHack, ADOM, Crawl) and Bands (Angband variants, also Legerdemain and LambdaRogue)? This was the major split several years ago, but does not correspond to any of your categorization.

Bands have non-permanent dungeons and limited inventories (as opposed to the permanent world in Hacks), which I hate, but there are apparently people who like it. There is also a third route: games where you can go only forwards (Rogue, DoomRL, Hydra Slayer). At a first glance it might be a bit like Band, but I have no problem with it, so I think it is actually different.

Yeah sorry for that oversight. I was defining players by what they valued. So the Die Hards are the ones that value complexity in the face of a poorish UI.

As for those other classical distinctions between Roguelikes I have not much to say. I was more trying to figure out what the different parts of the community value and not so much define the games into genres. Though I think the two discussions are infinitely related I actually do not have much to say about that side of it.

jim

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Re: A Fan Type Analysis of Roguelikes
« Reply #16 on: December 26, 2011, 10:51:47 PM »
I bought myself Dungeons of Dredmore as part of my escape from this xmas and its whiskey-fueled family bonding, and the UI is hard for me to get used to. It's even hard to pick things up. Everything takes forever. I actually get bored just trying to walk from room to room because traps are prone to showing up one foot away and there's no real auto-explore feature.

The idea that a mouse interface makes things easier is just strange to me, especially for a roguelike with such a keyboard-friendly interface (as opposed to DF, or Okami the Roguelike.)

It's like the difference between hunt and peck typing versus actually learning how to type. In the end, a roguelike has a LOT of repetitive actions. Doing everything you can to streamline the number of keystrokes required to perform common actions is the most important thing for me.

Darren Grey

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Re: A Fan Type Analysis of Roguelikes
« Reply #17 on: December 27, 2011, 05:09:57 AM »
Shift+click to pick up items easily. Get rogue trees or increase perception to see traps at further distance. And surely these gripes are incomparable to trying to learn the commands in a completely new roguelike? Especially for someone from outside the community.

Check out ToME4 for a better example of mouse interface though.

eclectocrat

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Re: A Fan Type Analysis of Roguelikes
« Reply #18 on: December 27, 2011, 05:26:07 AM »
As I rambled on above, it's not mouse vs. keyboard or anything like that. It's cognitive load + physical action - error rate. Moving your hand from the mouse to the keyboard might have a higher cost than executing a menu. Or maybe not. The point it that very few people measure these things, and just rely on 'whatever feels right'.

itkachev

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Re: A Fan Type Analysis of Roguelikes
« Reply #19 on: December 27, 2011, 07:08:38 AM »
I think a large number of keyboard commands is not bad if they are well designed and don't have any double commands (like Remove/Take off).
The 'double commands' thing (as opposed to just a single 'u') is because roguelikes traditionally go way back to text adventure games.

Text adventure games use a 'noun/verb' system. For example, 'kick door', 'open door', 'drink potion', 'throw potion', etc. The 'noun/verb' interface idea carried on eventually to roguelikes, except roguelikes added a top-down map and single-press keyboard commands.

I think that, in many ways, it's a shame that this idea eventually died out and roguelikes moved on to a simpler menu-based interface. 'Noun/verb' is potentially a much richer and more interesting interface, though I've never seen it done properly yet.

DarkGod

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Re: A Fan Type Analysis of Roguelikes
« Reply #20 on: December 27, 2011, 10:39:58 AM »
A good UI IMO should be operable entirely with keyboard, entirely with mouse or a combo of both.

Some actions might be easier with some control, but the point is that in 2012 people expect a game to react to both. When I try a new RPG I instinctively look for the inventory, levleup, ... keys, while an other player might see the icons and click them. In the end my way may be faster, but if there was no icons to click, a good percentage of players would be lost without them even trying the keyboard commands.

Loosing players is never good.

guest509

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Re: A Fan Type Analysis of Roguelikes
« Reply #21 on: December 27, 2011, 11:53:50 AM »
  As far as defining players by what they value in a game I think roguelike fans are set apart from the mainstream by the way they value graphics (low), complexity(high), difficulty(high) and replayability(high). The indie community in general are going to have low emphasis on graphics as well, but do not necessarily value high complexity, difficulty and replayability.

It seems all the discussion of UI would indicate that the player base expansion has attracted a significant number of people that place high value on ease of play. Or in the alternative it has brought in a bunch of people that see how improving interface is the next logical step to Roguelike World Domination. :-)

DarkGod

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Re: A Fan Type Analysis of Roguelikes
« Reply #22 on: December 27, 2011, 11:57:42 AM »
It's not about gfx yes, it's about not annoying the player. The player is there to play & have fun, not learn obscure UIs

jim

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Re: A Fan Type Analysis of Roguelikes
« Reply #23 on: December 27, 2011, 03:35:02 PM »
As I rambled on above, it's not mouse vs. keyboard or anything like that. It's cognitive load + physical action - error rate. Moving your hand from the mouse to the keyboard might have a higher cost than executing a menu. Or maybe not. The point it that very few people measure these things, and just rely on 'whatever feels right'.

Yes, you said it better than I did. All I would argue is that a keyboard interface (no matter how obtuse) inevitably provides a much higher return after a greater initial investment. Given that I have spent hundreds of hours playing roguelikes, it's simple math for me to determine that a keyboard interface is better - for me. Once you play Crawl at maximum efficiency, nothing less will do. For casual players, maybe that's not the case. But then again, maybe casual players should stick to playing Angry Birds on their cell phones at Starbucks.

Darren Grey

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Re: A Fan Type Analysis of Roguelikes
« Reply #24 on: December 28, 2011, 03:18:00 AM »
But then again, maybe casual players should stick to playing Angry Birds on their cell phones at Starbucks.

You classify everyone as either a hardcore rogueliker or extreme casual gamer?  What an odd way to view the world...

Keyboard can indeed be faster much of the time, but certainly not all of the time, and is also not necessarily the most comfortable way to play (a mouse has the joy of being one-handed, so you can drink tea and kill monsters at the same time).  More importantly though learning a huge list of keyboard commands all at once is simply too demanding of new players, no matter how hardcore or casual they are.  Plenty of Crawl and ADOM players won't touch Nethack because the commands are all different and it's a pain to get used to them.  There's nothing "casual" about just wanting to be able to start enjoying a game quickly.  Learning to play a game should be fun, not a chore.  Otherwise... well, there's other games to play.

An analogy I like to use is that of Excel.  Many that have used Excel for years know the fastest keyboard shortcuts to move contents, insert formulas, etc.  Those that don't know it so well get by on context-sensitive menus and clicking on the appropriate icons.  The experts probably started the same, and built up their knowledge over time as they got used to the best way to do things.  Both groups can still get plenty out of Excel though, and it's not intimidating for new users to get real use from.  A good roguelike can similarly support both user types, and with the right tutorials and labels on menus can push the newer players towards the keyboard shortcuts over time, without demanding too much devotion to the UI at once.

guest509

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Re: A Fan Type Analysis of Roguelikes
« Reply #25 on: December 28, 2011, 03:29:53 AM »
  MS Word is the same way. Short cuts are great. But it takes awhile to get to know them.

  The interface to WoW is a bit like this. You can play the whole game with just your mouse. But you get more out of it, eventually, by using the keys.

DarkGod

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Re: A Fan Type Analysis of Roguelikes
« Reply #26 on: December 28, 2011, 08:58:23 AM »
Exactly!

The key phrase is "players play to have fun"

jim

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Re: A Fan Type Analysis of Roguelikes
« Reply #27 on: December 28, 2011, 05:48:58 PM »
I guess I basically just disagree with the "give the people what they want" mentality because I know that people choose cheetos. The best gaming experiences I have ever had have been very challenging (Megaman, ADOM, etc.) even though there were times that I wanted to set my house on fire due to my own frustation in playing those games. Every step toward meanstreaming roguelikes inevitably includes large concessions toward the cheeto mentality: optional permadeath, scaling difficulty, shorter duration of play, streamlined interface. Justified or not (probably not), I see this well-intended fan analysis as playing into what I consider to be the gentrification of roguelikes.

DarkGod

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Re: A Fan Type Analysis of Roguelikes
« Reply #28 on: December 28, 2011, 06:02:21 PM »
What has a good UI to do with being a hard game ???

Darren Grey

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Re: A Fan Type Analysis of Roguelikes
« Reply #29 on: December 28, 2011, 06:06:55 PM »
Look at Crawl and tell me that it somehow has been catering to "cheetos" with all its UI polish.