Author Topic: 7DRL Reviewer Results!  (Read 4693 times)

Darren Grey

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7DRL Reviewer Results!
« on: July 08, 2013, 01:55:32 PM »
It has been a long journey, but we have finally released the 7DRL reviewer results!

http://www.roguetemple.com/7drl/2013/

Blog post with a few details:

http://www.roguetemple.com/2013/07/08/7drl-challenge-2013-evaluation-results/

XLambda

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Re: 7DRL Reviewer Results!
« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2013, 03:12:14 PM »
Hm. It's a bit sad to see my hproguelike get such a bad rating. It seems that the reviewers missed the point of the game. (Which is really excusable, considering some last-minute additions I *really* should have left out.) Here are a few notes on that.

The main points of the game were:
  • To prove that a procedurally-generated bestiary with self-documentation can be fun
  • To prove that a light clock with logarithmically decaying light strength provides interesting decisions

For some reason everybody concentrated on the sanity system, which was literally tacked on for flavor anyway. It had no purpose outside of adding a bit to the final score. The fact that the game has only five levels, and that everyone thought they couldn't go deeper because of the sanity system, shows that it was a *horrible* decision to include it.

At the same time, no one really commented on the monster generator with its self-generating monster memory, which I thought was quite elaborate and took me quite a bit of time to get working. I didn't have the time to add more interesting monster features, that might have spiced things up a bit. As it is, it's an interesting experiment in procedurally generated NPCs, and someone interested in doing this in a larger game can get some inspiration from this and srd's Mutant Aliens.

The light clock was probably not as strong as I had expected, most likely due to the overabundance of consumables. The original idea was to let people decide whether they want maximum light radius (wasting a considerable amount of battery power) or maximum battery lifetime (in which case you have to deal with a strongly decreasing light radius). Also, allowing the player to turn the flashlight on and off (with similar thoughts about the sight vs battery lifetime tradeoff) might have been more interesting if the light clock wasn't a bit broken in the first place.

What I found hilarious: Someone complained that you can finish the game instantly by going up the stairs on DLVL1 right after starting the game. Incidentally, you can do the same in Nethack (with the exception that I forgot to code a message for doing so - you get a score of zero anyway).

Darren Grey

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Re: 7DRL Reviewer Results!
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2013, 03:25:44 PM »
Well consider this a lesson in game design - a complex system is no use if the player doesn't know about it. How is it communicated that the monsters are procedurally generated and interesting? And does it really add to the gameplay? Considering the main complaints were easy AI and repetitive, simple gameplay I'm guessing not. Sounds to me like you obsessed over systems and design instead of considering the player experience.

A score of 1.92 is respectable by the way. The main area you lost marks in was Fun. Honestly, learn from this instead. Detailed criticism is very valuable. And the summaries from each reviewer were very positive, saying you'd built a good base and good features but needed more work to improve what's there.

It also goes to show that you shouldn't just add things blindly to a game. Polish off what you have and make it work well instead of adding new things for the sake of it. Lots of roguelike devs make this mistake...

And whilst we're whining, someone gave my game a 1 for Scope on Mosaic and called it a "toy" :-/

XLambda

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Re: 7DRL Reviewer Results!
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2013, 05:18:20 PM »
Heh, I wasn't exactly whining. More like lamenting my bad decisions, and the fact that I had more fun developing than people had playing.  :)

And whilst we're whining, someone gave my game a 1 for Scope on Mosaic and called it a "toy" :-/

It has the coolest soundtrack ever, because the soundtrack is the player.  :-\ I'd personally consider that to be quite an ambitious scope.

guest509

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Re: 7DRL Reviewer Results!
« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2013, 08:42:04 PM »
Oh man that's brutal Darren. My goal is always for a fun game, a fun toy is interesting but I'm a huge snob about the difference between 'toy' and 'game'. Your game was not a toy. No way.

H.P.Roguelike was hardly a bad game. For the 7DRL I say experiment away. People weren't picking up what you were laying down, that's alright.

This is my 4th 7DRL and the first time I've cracked the top half of the rankings. My first year I understood, but the next two years I was flabbergasted. Totally bewildered. But this year I'm in the top 10 and could not be more confused.

I liked my game, sure, but none of my friends would even play it. I tried to make something very short but with maximum variety each play. Hard but fair. It worked I guess. No idea why. No idea at all.

I think if we could know when we started designing just how our game was going to strike people we'd be rich. It'd be like winning the lottery.

"Hey EA, you want to release a hit game? Make it like this..."

zasvid

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Re: 7DRL Reviewer Results!
« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2013, 04:38:30 PM »
Ha! I'm quite happy with the reviews of my game, for they lined up with my assessment of Nightmare Tyrant, with a bit of positive surprises.

I particularly liked the section on Aesthetics, where responses ranged from "This is really beautiful" to "The glyphs and the colors make my eyes bleed!".

Generally speaking, I must thank all the reviewers for such a titanic job well done. Between the reviews and Uberhunter's videos, there's a mountain of feedback that's useful for any Roguelike developer and in quite a condense form. It's awesome.

pat

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Re: 7DRL Reviewer Results!
« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2013, 04:39:26 AM »
yeah, I think the review of Rasatala is really quite fair and detailed as well in the circumstances. They definitely identified the issues with it which I agree with but also obviously spent enough time with the game to get a handle on the complexities and some of the strategy. It's really quite an impressive effort to get through all the games considering how many of them there were this year.

Eben

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Re: 7DRL Reviewer Results!
« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2013, 05:56:19 AM »
it saddened me to see one reviewer of Attack The Geth didn't bother to read the help screen and didn't ever try to make a custom robot... plus I know they didn't play much because they indicate that they think maybe the level doesn't change much when in fact it doesn't change at all (there's only one static level)

ah well, I mostly ignored the total score and took the well formed criticism from the other reviewers and GameHunter and KawaiiDragoness' Let's Play videos

Darren Grey

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Re: 7DRL Reviewer Results!
« Reply #8 on: July 10, 2013, 09:15:01 AM »
Consider that the actions of the reviewer are still much better than those of the average player. If they are missing out on things then it implies your design is too subtle and many many other players would miss out on these elements.

AgingMinotaur

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Re: 7DRL Reviewer Results!
« Reply #9 on: July 10, 2013, 11:32:45 PM »
XLambda: I tried out HPRL once, descending all the way and returning with 0% sanity and 3380 points. It was pretty easy to survive, especially considering the monsters don't follow you diagonally into corridors. The monster memory provided amusing descriptions, which I think is a feat in itself – but the idea would work much better if the randomized properties provided the monsters with tangibly different properties. I guess some attributes provide stat tweaks ("resilient" increase health, "oh noes it's dodecahedral" increase sanity loss, etc.), but nothing that I noticed. In a more complex game, one could have flying monsters ignoring traps, as well as monsters with special strategies, attacks, and so forth, all reflected in the monster memory. In many traditional RLs, monster memory evolves as your character observes the monster (experiencing firsthand its powers and resistances). A more developed version of that would naturally work well in a game like this.

Anyway, I think the idea to have procedurally generated species in RLs is in grave need of more research/work, so I give the game standing ovations.

To the reviewers: Thanks for the impressive effort! Don't forget to post a notice on the 7drl community blog ;)

As always,
Minotauros
« Last Edit: July 10, 2013, 11:36:49 PM by AgingMinotaur »
This matir, as laborintus, Dedalus hous, hath many halkes and hurnes ... wyndynges and wrynkelynges.

guest509

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Re: 7DRL Reviewer Results!
« Reply #10 on: July 18, 2013, 10:45:56 PM »
Looking at some of the top 10 games from years past, and looking at the top 10 this year, I'd have to say this year stacks up very well.

Hard to beat games like Viscious Orcs, Princess RL and what not, but man this year there were just a BUNCH of top quality games in there. With huge unparalleled variety.

Darren Grey

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Re: 7DRL Reviewer Results!
« Reply #11 on: July 18, 2013, 11:34:19 PM »
The variety especially. A great range of completely novel games!