Author Topic: Losing interest in roguelikes  (Read 36151 times)

zasvid

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Re: Losing interest in roguelikes
« Reply #15 on: August 01, 2013, 09:22:11 PM »
Well then, go play a few AAA games
Nooo don't play friggin Mass Effect and Skyrim! Play good RPGs!

Try Fallout 2.

I can't imagine the game consisting mostly of pop-culture references (quite outdated after 15 years) and bugs aging well.

Nachtfischer

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Re: Losing interest in roguelikes
« Reply #16 on: August 01, 2013, 09:33:56 PM »
I have been playing a lot of FTL lately. Which some people seem to consider a roguelike for some odd reason...  ::)
Well, it certainly has randomized content and permadeath! :P

It's kind of funny, because these are really the two things that are most fundamental to why I got into roguelikes and why I still love some of them, and at least why think most of them are far more interesting than 99 % of the AAA titles.

There were many discussions about permadeath, but in fact it actually just means that you can lose the game. And by extension that roguelikes really are games, because if you can't lose you're actually not even playing, you're either just experiencing something (like in all these AAA "press X to win" games) or solving a puzzle.

And input randomness is the other crucial quality of games. In a system without (effectively) random (i.e. uncertain) content you're not making decisions, you're just memorizing things. So, in a single-player game (which pretty much all roguelikes are) you have to have randomization to bring uncertainty into the system. (Many roguelikes also use output randomness to achieve that uncertainty, e.g. dice-rolling for attacks, which I'm definitely not a fan of...)

So these two things are really what I love about roguelikes. In fact, roguelikes are like this bastion of actual games in today's digital entertainment world. Granted, I've consequentially moved on to playing lots of board games now, but I still enjoy a good roguelike from time to time. Good to me means less stuff (e.g. loot, stats, bla) and more gameplay (e.g. positioning, skill usage, tactics in general). Sadly lots of "big" roguelikes are really heavy on the "stuff side" and overdo their randomization in ways unhealthy to the system itself. Therefore my favorites have become 86856527, Shiren The Wanderer, Brogue, 100 Rogues, Zaga-33 and if you stretch the genre definitions a little also Desktop Dungeons.
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Re: Losing interest in roguelikes
« Reply #17 on: August 02, 2013, 12:43:00 AM »
I have been playing a lot of FTL lately. Which some people seem to consider a roguelike for some odd reason...  ::)
Well, it certainly has randomized content and permadeath! :P

Funny, those are the two things I said I was getting tired of in roguelikes! I guess I can't kick the habit completely ;)

Quote
There were many discussions about permadeath, but in fact it actually just means that you can lose the game. And by extension that roguelikes really are games, because if you can't lose you're actually not even playing, you're either just experiencing something (like in all these AAA "press X to win" games) or solving a puzzle.

Heh, yeah. I actually have come to prefer the modern style of "can't lose" games, because it always feels like I'm making progress, and I'm never thrown unceremoniously back to the beginning of the game. I don't mind "permadeath" though in FTL and most roguelikes (except Angband), because those games are short enough (except that stupid 100 level dungeon dive, what were the Angband devs thinking?) that it doesn't feel like a huge setback. That said, I do appreciate when games throw in some sort of token penalty for losing (such as Dragon Quest's losing half your gold, or Space Pirates and Zombies' - another "roguelike"? - requirement to grind for resources to rebuild your fleet), just so it doesn't feel like you're this unstoppable time traveling killing machine! :D

Quote
And input randomness is the other crucial quality of games. In a system without (effectively) random (i.e. uncertain) content you're not making decisions, you're just memorizing things. So, in a single-player game (which pretty much all roguelikes are) you have to have randomization to bring uncertainty into the system. (Many roguelikes also use output randomness to achieve that uncertainty, e.g. dice-rolling for attacks, which I'm definitely not a fan of...)

What do you mean by "input" randomness? Like, you press the attack key, but oh noes, it doesn't count because the RNG hates you or you pressed it when the clock's millisecond hand was on the wrong number or something? That seems frustrating... surely that's not what you had in mind...
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Re: Losing interest in roguelikes
« Reply #18 on: August 02, 2013, 01:04:08 AM »
You might like Rogue Legacy. It has permadeath, but there is a build-up of money and facilities across games. So you actions still matter, but you never lose everything.

kawatan

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Re: Losing interest in roguelikes
« Reply #19 on: August 02, 2013, 03:46:16 AM »
Or if you like your buildup a little slower and your movement not twitchy and still tactical in the roguelike tradition, there's always Dungeonmans (which is about to finish its Kickstarter and just got fully funded!)
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Vanguard

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Re: Losing interest in roguelikes
« Reply #20 on: August 02, 2013, 04:41:58 AM »
What do you mean by "input" randomness? Like, you press the attack key, but oh noes, it doesn't count because the RNG hates you or you pressed it when the clock's millisecond hand was on the wrong number or something? That seems frustrating... surely that's not what you had in mind...

I believe they mean randomness that "sets the stage" for your encounters rather than randomness that determines the outcome of actions.  So randomness in enemy spawn locations, the shape of the map, which items are spawned, etc. rather than random damage and spell failure.

Nachtfischer

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Re: Losing interest in roguelikes
« Reply #21 on: August 02, 2013, 07:00:02 AM »
What do you mean by "input" randomness? Like, you press the attack key, but oh noes, it doesn't count because the RNG hates you or you pressed it when the clock's millisecond hand was on the wrong number or something? That seems frustrating... surely that's not what you had in mind...

I believe they mean randomness that "sets the stage" for your encounters rather than randomness that determines the outcome of actions.  So randomness in enemy spawn locations, the shape of the map, which items are spawned, etc. rather than random damage and spell failure.
Exactly. The (usually bad) opposite is output randomness where your decisions themselves go through a "random noise filter" before being executed.

You might like Rogue Legacy. It has permadeath, but there is a build-up of money and facilities across games. So you actions still matter, but you never lose everything.
That is THE one thing I hate about this game.

I really like Isaac and I love Spelunky, because they understand what makes them exciting games. It's you as the player who gets better at them, who learns something new all the time. They give you the ability to excel in a system of decision-making (and lots of physical execution, too... but with Isaac and especially Spelunky I think decisions clearly trump execution in the long run).
 
In Rogue Legacy these qualities are also there somewhere, but far too watered-down through all the grinding. You collect permament character upgrades ALL the time. You grind for money to buy stuff etc. You get better as a player, too, but you're never sure how much it was your skill building up or your character building up when you get further.
 
That really, really bothers me about Rogue Legacy. I think it would have been a lot better without all the grindy crap.
 
That said, it's obviously still far more interesting than 99 % of the AAA stuff out there.  ;)
« Last Edit: August 02, 2013, 07:02:14 AM by Nachtfischer »
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Ex

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Re: Losing interest in roguelikes
« Reply #22 on: August 02, 2013, 07:51:56 AM »
I'm actually pretty sick of developing roguelikes because of the random content generation. I want to actually DESIGN content these days, not just write an algorithm to do it for me. Even if you have a generation algorithm that allows an enormous amount of design, it's still stuck together randomly. That random element inherently waters down the amount of design that you as a developer can do. Even with clever dungeon generators that use a huge amount of hand designed content, I'm still sick of not being able to really design games.

In short, I want to design levels, not level generation algorithms. I'm really tired of designing level generation algorithms instead of levels.

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Re: Losing interest in roguelikes
« Reply #23 on: August 02, 2013, 08:45:41 AM »
In defence of Rogue Legacy, some people HAVE beaten it with their very first character... so it is possible, but probably only insane people can actually do it.
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Nachtfischer

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Re: Losing interest in roguelikes
« Reply #24 on: August 02, 2013, 01:58:43 PM »
In short, I want to design levels, not level generation algorithms. I'm really tired of designing level generation algorithms instead of levels.
Alright. That means you want to be a puzzle constructor and not a game designer. I see how the word "design" is used in very different contexts here, but I call "game design" the creation of a system of rules. What you described there is "level design", which is usually associated with puzzles not actually meant to be replayed (like Portal, Super Mario or Mass Effect; whereby the latter two have some game-like elements), and not with games.

In defence of Rogue Legacy, some people HAVE beaten it with their very first character... so it is possible, but probably only insane people can actually do it.
That's not really a defence, though. Even if that's possible, the game and its rules are desigend around the grinding part.
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Anvilfolk

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Re: Losing interest in roguelikes
« Reply #25 on: August 02, 2013, 02:40:56 PM »
I'll concede the point, but I personally kind of enjoy this sort of meta-game. I like the idea that there's a little something that carries on from all my dead characters... and I don't mean my ghosts that are trying to kill me.

I like to enjoy the basic gameplay, and then between the games that use the basic gameplay, there's some bigger meta-game. I really like that feeling of involvement, progression and power to change the way things go :)
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Vanguard

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Re: Losing interest in roguelikes
« Reply #26 on: August 02, 2013, 02:54:15 PM »
Alright. That means you want to be a puzzle constructor and not a game designer. I see how the word "design" is used in very different contexts here, but I call "game design" the creation of a system of rules. What you described there is "level design", which is usually associated with puzzles not actually meant to be replayed (like Portal, Super Mario or Mass Effect; whereby the latter two have some game-like elements), and not with games.

Not all static levels are puzzles.

Kevin Granade

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Re: Losing interest in roguelikes
« Reply #27 on: August 02, 2013, 03:07:52 PM »
In short, I want to design levels, not level generation algorithms. I'm really tired of designing level generation algorithms instead of levels.
I'm extremely confused, do a game based around static levels, or add static levels to an existing game you're working on, what's stopping you?

Nachtfischer

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Re: Losing interest in roguelikes
« Reply #28 on: August 02, 2013, 04:51:02 PM »
Alright. That means you want to be a puzzle constructor and not a game designer. I see how the word "design" is used in very different contexts here, but I call "game design" the creation of a system of rules. What you described there is "level design", which is usually associated with puzzles not actually meant to be replayed (like Portal, Super Mario or Mass Effect; whereby the latter two have some game-like elements), and not with games.

Not all static levels are puzzles.
Ah, yeah... right. So then Elig meant static levels with random enemy placement or something else randomized? Or multiplayer in fixed arenas? Because it didn't sound like that actually. Sounded more like the "everything handcrafted single-player experience" approach, which tends to be very puzzle-ish. ;)
« Last Edit: August 02, 2013, 04:53:34 PM by Nachtfischer »
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Krice

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Re: Losing interest in roguelikes
« Reply #29 on: August 02, 2013, 06:48:32 PM »
In short, I want to design levels, not level generation algorithms. I'm really tired of designing level generation algorithms instead of levels.

It's all possible. I think half of level themes in my RL Teemu are more or less designed, they only have minor differences between gameplays. I'm going into that direction with Kaduria also.