Author Topic: Roguelike Player Development  (Read 8148 times)

Sykafoo

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Roguelike Player Development
« on: July 28, 2012, 03:28:45 PM »
So, I'm not sure what the thread title makes you think of, but what I'm wanting to talk about is a thing I like to call "player development". What I mean by this is the process through which you introduce a brand new player to the genre/games that you like through steps and individual 'easier' games until you've arrived at the place where you want to be.

So for someone brand new to roguelikes (which I'm not, I'm just aware of quite a few people who are), where would you suggest starting to bring them in slowly? I don't want to start with something like Nethack or Angband, because while Angband is currently my favorite of the major roguelikes, I wouldn't anyone to have to start there.

So where do you think someone should start and what progression of games should they follow to work up to a fairly decent knowledge of the genre?

Irinka

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Re: Roguelike Player Development
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2012, 04:56:59 PM »
Depends on person. Do you have someone specific in mind? If so, it is best to choose the theme of the game that this person likes (like horror, or zombie apocalypse, or fantasy, or something like that). A game with tiles would be better than pure ASCII, although some people are fascinated by the concept of graphics made only of letters and symbols..
... so, long story short, my answer is: it always depends on a person :)

Darren Grey

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Re: Roguelike Player Development
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2012, 05:11:52 PM »
Yeah, I agree, it really is all down to the individual.  Some people will happily dive in with a super-complex game.  Others will never ever be converted to the genre by any means.

I think the whole idea of "progression" through different difficulties is a bit warped.  A game shouldn't be about difficulties, it should be about fun.  The big thing is accessibility, and Nethack and Angband are awful for that.

Games that are accessible, fun, and newbie-friendly:
 - ToME4
 - Dungeons of Dredmor
 - Shiren the Wanderer
 - Powder
 - Cardinal Quest

Most can be very challenging too.  But if people don't like dying they'll never get into this genre.

Legend

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Re: Roguelike Player Development
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2012, 08:59:16 PM »
I think that I would suggest DoomRL.
Since it is a familiar and easily recognizable theme.
The graphics version is quite nice with a pretty good interface.
It has some modern aspects such as unlockables and achievements that many current gen gamers like.
It's free.
It's not too complicated and has a relatively small command set.

Dredmor would be a good second one I think. I don't think it would generally be the best for a new player to the genre mostly because it suffers from "too much stuff" which can be an overload sometimes. And the somewhat slow walking speed of the character can be a little frustrating.

Infra Arcana may be a good starting point too. It's a little similar to DoomRL, but I find it to be a richer and more fulfilling experience.

Z

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Re: Roguelike Player Development
« Reply #4 on: July 30, 2012, 01:52:11 AM »
You should pick a roguelike(like) based on the given person's previous gaming experiences.

DoomRL for Doom players, Spelunky for platformer players, Dwarf Fortress for sim players, ADOM for CRPG fans (or something more modern in similar style), etc. Even if roguelikelikes mentioned there are far from the core, they are a good start.

Dredmor would be a good second one I think. I don't think it would generally be the best for a new player to the genre mostly because it suffers from "too much stuff" which can be an overload sometimes. And the somewhat slow walking speed of the character can be a little frustrating.
I think these things are annoying for us roguelike experts, but they are common in popular non-roguelikes, so newcomers would not notice (at least Diablo has both of these problems).

Quote
Infra Arcana may be a good starting point too. It's a little similar to DoomRL, but I find it to be a richer and more fulfilling experience.
Too hard for newcomers, IMO.

kraflab

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Re: Roguelike Player Development
« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2012, 03:29:24 AM »
Dredmor would be a good second one I think. I don't think it would generally be the best for a new player to the genre mostly because it suffers from "too much stuff" which can be an overload sometimes. And the somewhat slow walking speed of the character can be a little frustrating.
I think these things are annoying for us roguelike experts, but they are common in popular non-roguelikes, so newcomers would not notice (at least Diablo has both of these problems).

Quote
Infra Arcana may be a good starting point too. It's a little similar to DoomRL, but I find it to be a richer and more fulfilling experience.
Too hard for newcomers, IMO.

Yes, exactly.  The problem with infra arcana is that it falls into the usual issue of having a ton of keys.  Ideally, you want someone to be able to get into the fun bits as soon as possible.  Once they see how great the genre is they will be more willing to wrestle with a game until they know how to play it.

I think dungeons of dredmor is a great choice, although anything mouse-driven or with low keys required should be good.

Legend

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Re: Roguelike Player Development
« Reply #6 on: July 30, 2012, 06:37:44 AM »
Dredmor would be a good second one I think. I don't think it would generally be the best for a new player to the genre mostly because it suffers from "too much stuff" which can be an overload sometimes. And the somewhat slow walking speed of the character can be a little frustrating.
I think these things are annoying for us roguelike experts, but they are common in popular non-roguelikes, so newcomers would not notice (at least Diablo has both of these problems).

Quote
Infra Arcana may be a good starting point too. It's a little similar to DoomRL, but I find it to be a richer and more fulfilling experience.
Too hard for newcomers, IMO.

Yes, exactly.  The problem with infra arcana is that it falls into the usual issue of having a ton of keys.  Ideally, you want someone to be able to get into the fun bits as soon as possible.  Once they see how great the genre is they will be more willing to wrestle with a game until they know how to play it.

I think dungeons of dredmor is a great choice, although anything mouse-driven or with low keys required should be good.

Personally, I don't think Infra Arcana has too many keys. Obviously it has more than Spelunky. Not as many as Nethack or Angband though either. Don't think a fair comparison can be made against Dredmor since it is mouse driven. I couldn't say exactly off hand, but I'm pretty sure IA has less than 20 essential commands.

kraflab

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Re: Roguelike Player Development
« Reply #7 on: July 30, 2012, 03:42:55 PM »
Dredmor would be a good second one I think. I don't think it would generally be the best for a new player to the genre mostly because it suffers from "too much stuff" which can be an overload sometimes. And the somewhat slow walking speed of the character can be a little frustrating.
I think these things are annoying for us roguelike experts, but they are common in popular non-roguelikes, so newcomers would not notice (at least Diablo has both of these problems).

Quote
Infra Arcana may be a good starting point too. It's a little similar to DoomRL, but I find it to be a richer and more fulfilling experience.
Too hard for newcomers, IMO.

Yes, exactly.  The problem with infra arcana is that it falls into the usual issue of having a ton of keys.  Ideally, you want someone to be able to get into the fun bits as soon as possible.  Once they see how great the genre is they will be more willing to wrestle with a game until they know how to play it.

I think dungeons of dredmor is a great choice, although anything mouse-driven or with low keys required should be good.

Personally, I don't think Infra Arcana has too many keys. Obviously it has more than Spelunky. Not as many as Nethack or Angband though either. Don't think a fair comparison can be made against Dredmor since it is mouse driven. I couldn't say exactly off hand, but I'm pretty sure IA has less than 20 essential commands.

I don't particularly think it has too many keys either, but I'm already initiated into the roguelike genre.  The comparison with DoD is exactly fair because on accessibility the mouse-driven interface specifically wins out.  Of course, it (as has been said) depends entirely on the person you are trying to get into the genre.  I am perfectly happy to read control lists but others may be turned off if they can't click-click-click to get things done.

Skeletor

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Re: Roguelike Player Development
« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2012, 12:23:37 AM »
I introduced my friends to roguelikes directly presenting them Adom.. they all loved its complexity and had a lot of fun with it.
They were already somewhat tactical-crpg oriented, though.

What I enjoy the most in roguelikes: Anti-Farming and Mac Givering my way out. Kind of what I also enjoy in life.

elwin

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Re: Roguelike Player Development
« Reply #9 on: August 01, 2012, 05:45:01 PM »
I've had the most success introducing people to DCSS.  It's straightforward enough for them to figure out the basics and then learn on their own.
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Holsety

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Re: Roguelike Player Development
« Reply #10 on: August 02, 2012, 07:44:22 AM »
TSL, DCSS and Brogue might be good places to start.
Rogue's straightforward, but might be a bit too cut and dry nowadays.
Maybe follow up with POWDER and ADOM.
You should definitely throw IVAN in there early. Sure, it's complex, but if they're not amused by losing 3 limbs and turning into a radioactive titanium golem with teleportitis along the way (and then gruesome death), the genre might not exactly be their cup of tea.
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