Author Topic: A Fan Type Analysis of Roguelikes  (Read 28138 times)

Darren Grey

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Re: A Fan Type Analysis of Roguelikes
« Reply #60 on: January 04, 2012, 06:27:04 PM »
Two rows is more ergonomic, and more similar to the traditional WASD control. To make it more intuitive you could squash your hexes, though this doesn't suit ASCII text so well.

Holsety

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Re: A Fan Type Analysis of Roguelikes
« Reply #61 on: January 04, 2012, 06:35:42 PM »
Perhaps, but that doesn't say anything about what gameplay they want, which is far more important.  Would a smooth operator prefer Brogue or ToME4?
They're both very smooth as far as gameplay goes. Brogue's a very organic evolution of Rogue, and ToME is cooldowns-the-roguelike; it shows skills and their corresponding turn-cooldown-timers right there on screen. They've both got very friendly interfaces, but I think Brogue would win since it cuts out all the pre-game fussing (naming, class, race, difficulty, stats, feats, perks and all the hoo-ha) and puts you straight in the action.
All you see is the level and the health of all enemies in your line of sight. It doesn't get more user friendly than that.
If, as you said, the Smooth Operator is the DoD type, then Brogue should easily be closer to their preferences than ToME.

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I don't think that you have to sacrifice capability for interface.  It helps if the game is designed from the ground up with both combined, but any game can simply have extras on top of the existing interface to make it play smoother.  Or alternatives in the options.  The original game can be left untouched but the new interface makes it more accessible for new players to try out.  Even if there are changes to the gameplay the older versions will be available to download.

I'd really rather judge it off screenshots/mockups. I think interfaces are very much up to personal preference. Incursion/Crawl's "The goblin is washing your socks! The hobgoblin is cleaning your <MOREx20>" infernal messages at the top of the screen that one has to actively scroll past with a button press get on my nerves. Angband's optional extra dialog windows get on my nerves too, but I'm sure there's people who find them very handy and informative (even vital).

When in doubt, Fork It? Third party frontends would be an ideal solution, but good luck writing one that can work with every single existing roguelike!


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Antoher justification for its use in ToME4 is to give you a sense of achievement when playing a game even if you die.  So your character dies at level 30 after some stupid moves, but at least you can think "Oh well, I unlocked this and that race and class, so it wasn't all for nothing".  I felt that a bit with early characters I admit.  However I also find it irritating for the few ones I've yet to unlock, or the new classes that get added.  I might lobby DarkGod to make all unlocks open for those who donate a specific amount (much like you can turn off permadeath if you donate enough - the justification being he thinks it's bad game design, but is happy for people to pay for the game they want).
I don't really require shinies to comfort me when my character dies  ;D.
Think of it this way. I can go wrestle the golden headband of Trymenas from the Yellow Priest to unlock Farseers so I can unlock Goldsingers by smiting 20 enemies to death with Prophecies...
Or I can just turn on Crawl and play whatever I feel like from second 0 without having to bother unlocking things.
If I get bored with a certain combination I can freely pick any other combination I feel like playing.
Withholding content from the player is just not a smart idea.

The earliest roguelikes had you starting out as just some mook, with no skills or classes or races to bother you.
Then came the races and classes. More options, a step forward. Then came the skills. More options, a step forward. Then came the taking away of races and classes so you have to do things you really can't be bothered to unlock them? I can't call that a step forward. I can't call paid DLC in console and PC games a step forward.

If you're going to say that unlocking things isn't such a pain as I'm making it out to be, why even bother locking them to begin with? It's not the same as with achievements/trophies/stickers in certain other videogames. You unlock those, but they're nothing but eye-candy you can look at and boast about. They're cleanly seperate from the actual game and gameplay.

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Inelegant solutions though.  The best solution is hex grids, with QWEASD as the input.

4-way movement feels restrictive at first, but after a while you get used to it and it's not so bad.  It's just part of the rules of the game.  You don't feel annoyed that rooks in chess are only 4-way, for instance.  Some of the nerdrage against Dredmor and Cardinal Quest's 4-way movement is just silly.  Interface-wise it makes a huge amount of sense, and the benefits for those games far outweigh the gameplay restrictions.
When comparing 4-way to 8-way movement you can't really say it feels restrictive "at first". It's half the options and will continue to feel restrictive forever.
I'd love to hear how it makes a huge amount of sense for those games and benefits them. I, for one, can't see a single problem.

Take this example; There's a trap in front of a hallway.
8-way movement gives you these options: Disarm, step on it, move diagonally into the hallway avoiding the trap.
4-way movement gives you these options: Disarm, step on it.

How about this one; You're in a hallway and there's two monsters at the end of it.
4-way movement gives you these options:
-Fight one monster and then fight the other one since it takes the others place. When you've killed both you can move on.
-Turn around and go back.

8-way movement gives you these options:
-Turn around and go back.
-Move diagonally, slipping past them in the one free space, after which you've got a whole room of options to fight or flee.
-Fight one and then fight the other OR slip past him from the two open spaces you can move into diagonally.

Mean one; you're surrounded by 7 monsters. There's one diagonal space open...

There's nothing to be gained going from 8-way to 4-way unless I've overlooked something important.

Since we're on the subject of 4-way movement; Moraff's Dungeons of the Unforgiven. It has a fair amount of roguelike features and one of the most... interesting user interfaces I've ever seen. Basically your character sees north, south, east and west at the SAME TIME. This gives you FOUR view windows along with the top-down map.
You can move your character forward, backward or turn left/right, only being able to attack whatever is in front of you. There's your 4-way movement done right.

Foes don't show up on the top-down map, hence the four view windows and the tank-controls. Elegant? Not really. Ridiculous? Probably. Would it work with 8-way movement? Nnnnnno.
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Pueo

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Re: A Fan Type Analysis of Roguelikes
« Reply #62 on: January 06, 2012, 05:06:57 AM »
When comparing 4-way to 8-way movement you can't really say it feels restrictive "at first". It's half the options and will continue to feel restrictive forever.
I do agree here.

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Take this example; There's a trap in front of a hallway.
8-way movement gives you these options: Disarm, step on it, move diagonally into the hallway avoiding the trap.
4-way movement gives you these options: Disarm, step on it.
I would say, from an unbiased point of view, that any decent level generator wouldn't place a trap in front of a hallway if it knew it only have 4-way controls.

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How about this one; You're in a hallway and there's two monsters at the end of it.
4-way movement gives you these options:
-Fight one monster and then fight the other one since it takes the others place. When you've killed both you can move on.
-Turn around and go back.
8-way movement gives you these options:
-Turn around and go back.
-Move diagonally, slipping past them in the one free space, after which you've got a whole room of options to fight or flee.
-Fight one and then fight the other OR slip past him from the two open spaces you can move into diagonally.
I say you're right here, 8-way gives more versatility in a fight, and makes it more realistic.

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Mean one; you're surrounded by 7 monsters. There's one diagonal space open...
Yup, screwed... Unless you have 8-way movement :)

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There's nothing to be gained going from 8-way to 4-way unless I've overlooked something important.
The only thing I can think would be gained is simplicity. I really don't enjoy the whole HJKLYI setup (that puts NESW all on one line), or whatever it is.  I would really much rather go with a hex, like QWEASDZXC or UIOJKLM,. (comma and period act as south and south-east)
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