Author Topic: keep an Endless Sci-Fi Roguelike interesting?  (Read 34855 times)

IBOL

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keep an Endless Sci-Fi Roguelike interesting?
« on: August 20, 2013, 03:26:34 AM »
(Original post below, but exciting news here!)

This idea has developed into a full game, thanks to people here (and other forums) for the early encouragement and ideas
And Now It's On Kickstarter!
You can also download the alpha here for windows.
[/news]


i am thinking about writing a graphical, sci-fi, endless roguelike.
endless levels, with monsters, and equipment getting progressively more powerful.

Edit:
Been working on this for 30 days now. Here's The ARRP version 0.0.2
Approaching Infinity
/Edit

what would keep this interesting for players?

(I like hack'n'slash and love finding the next awesome weapon, so that's a big motivation for me)

what are your thoughts?

IBOL

[EDIT:]
basic design:
you fly ('are') a rogue spaceship, collecting salvage and treasure,
getting better ship parts & equipment.

in space, you explore new areas, battle aliens, and dock with space stations to sell salvage and buy upgrades.
you can land on planets to search for ancient artifacts, but it's dangerous. aliens, acid, volcanoes, disease.

the world would be random but each 'sector' would be constant once it was generated.
(I actually forget what that's called right now!) (persistent!)

the game would be essentially infinite, since you could keep finding new random technology forever,
but you could also 'retire' at any time, and keep that score.

using brian's idea (below) , tech upgrades would have interesting names (though still random)
more than just being a bunch of numbers.
[/edit]

« Last Edit: November 12, 2013, 04:17:16 AM by IBOL »
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malignatius

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Re: keep an Endless Sci-Fi Roguelike interesting?
« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2013, 05:15:01 AM »

getter77

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Re: keep an Endless Sci-Fi Roguelike interesting?
« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2013, 12:05:58 PM »
It has a chance, though for my thinking, to best do so it must engage with adjectives and verbs far moreso than the evils of Mathematics.

Numbers eventually ascend into a numbing haze, but expressive language tends to just get deeper as it goes down the rabbit hole.  Balance will almost certainly fall apart long before the perceived values of endless/infinite to either turn into constant slogs against high defenses or some sort of 1HP constant quick draw affair.

I'd also think multiple, game affecting narratives and character deaths potentially counting for various things would fit it well as oppose to an endless descent in a bubble in a vacuum.

Also, being sci-fi, an ace up your sleeve would be an advancing sense of the Science improving in different ways far beyond the usual numbers game of 4X Research trees and the like---oddly enough people rather accept magic to be static or on an overall decline in games in general but the opposite generally scratches an itch for advancement.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2013, 12:07:39 PM by getter77 »
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IBOL

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Re: keep an Endless Sci-Fi Roguelike interesting?
« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2013, 03:18:46 AM »
well, getter77, your idea definitely stuck with me.
from the moment I read, I wanted to incorporate it.
randomly named technologies (but that reflect what they do).

as for a USP (unique selling proposition),
I don't have one.

I just learned that I am guilty of "bottom up game design".
http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/2150/the_designers_notebook_the_.php
I always come up with tons of formulas first, then try to build a game around them.
hp=lev^2, each skill costs [current_level+1] points, maximum rarity is sqrt(level), etc.

I heard lots of complaints over the years about "there are too many fantasy roguelikes",
so I decided I try making a sci-fi one. then the numbers starting coming to me.
another inspiration I have is oryx's space tiles, but I don't know if i'll use them.
I dreamed about his tiles one night!
(for a guy with very little drawing ability like myself, graphics are such a godsend.)

something close to a USP for my game would be like:
explore an infinite galaxy full of ancient treasures, dangerous aliens,
and incredible technologies.

but that doesn't really fit the definition.

something that I try to do with my roguelikes is to pare down the command set,
so that you can play the game with the least possible number of buttons,
and you don't need to read the manual if you don't want to.
(but since my Atari days, I always loved reading game manuals.
I was really disappointed when borderlands 2 didn't come with one!)

so anyway, the real question is,
what would keep the player from retiring their character?
of course the difficulty will increase, and you can get better equipment,
but the tileset will not be infinite.
 you won't always be able to find something new as far as terrain.
and without a clear goal beyond "find the next treasure and we'll pay you even MORE!"

?
bob
« Last Edit: August 22, 2013, 03:21:28 AM by IBOL »
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Vanguard

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Re: keep an Endless Sci-Fi Roguelike interesting?
« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2013, 06:23:34 AM »
What's your reason for wanting to make an endless game?

It has a chance, though for my thinking, to best do so it must engage with adjectives and verbs far moreso than the evils of Mathematics.

Numbers eventually ascend into a numbing haze, but expressive language tends to just get deeper as it goes down the rabbit hole.  Balance will almost certainly fall apart long before the perceived values of endless/infinite to either turn into constant slogs against high defenses or some sort of 1HP constant quick draw affair.

I'd also think multiple, game affecting narratives and character deaths potentially counting for various things would fit it well as oppose to an endless descent in a bubble in a vacuum.

Also, being sci-fi, an ace up your sleeve would be an advancing sense of the Science improving in different ways far beyond the usual numbers game of 4X Research trees and the like---oddly enough people rather except magic to be static or on an overall decline in games in general but the opposite generally scratches an itch for advancement.

Good post.

getter77

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Re: keep an Endless Sci-Fi Roguelike interesting?
« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2013, 12:52:02 PM »
-I would think one of the best steps otherwise from now would be to play and harvest from The Big 4 in this sphere, to get a feel for the best general bits and determine what else you think you can come up with to fill in the gaps.  Said 4 being Prospector which is alive again over in the Announcements board, the free Transcendence which has a first paid expansion coming out soon, and the commercial folks in the form of Lost in Flatspace IIk and Drox Operative+Expansion.   Also, play Tyrian (2000), just because.

-Least number of buttons possible is a good design goal---quality doesn't come from the number of commands to memorize but rather the variety of ways you can make an impact on the game within.

-As such, the manual can be freed up to become more of a source book for the setting, lore, and other such things of interest.

-Tying in Questing and the passage of time to Retiring seems like the way to go---each major quest plotline could give a chance to retire after successful completion/being rewarded, such that time would then pass and the universe react to your accomplishment in the sea of other possible ones known and unknown had you kept going.  One's descendant would then pick up the game some decades later, the universe being a bit different and so on.  The hook could be if you died without completing a quest, the family line ends and you simply assume the role of some other random person on that same spot on the timeline---how long CAN you keep a legacy going and to what ends versus it being a given in, say, Rogue Legacy?  Will you boldly venture into the more advanced quests and risk death of the line, or take your chances building up a smaller family empire first?  And so on.  Maybe.   Historically significant families that fall into disrepair could have their private estates/space stations/planets for strangers to plunder/search for secrets, NPC and otherwise.   Combine all of that with Science also moving inexorably forward in the background and you'd have a rather different experience with each generation
« Last Edit: August 22, 2013, 12:53:58 PM by getter77 »
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requerent

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Re: keep an Endless Sci-Fi Roguelike interesting?
« Reply #6 on: August 22, 2013, 04:21:53 PM »
Novelty is the way to go with infinite. The game should increase in complexity as a by-product of being infinite.



Some sort of arbitrary narrative that keeps things interesting. Maybe you come across multiple opportunities to retire in the form of quests.

Saving a planet from a giant asteroid, or something, might exalt your status with said inhabitants and they provide you an opportunity to retire in high class. Or you come across a paradise planet that only requires 12 payments of some such amount to acquire a time-share.

IBOL

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Re: keep an Endless Sci-Fi Roguelike interesting?
« Reply #7 on: August 22, 2013, 10:35:22 PM »
Wow I never thought o quests for this game that's a great idea
I would love to make procedural quest generator

Tried prospector
Died o unknown reason on plAnet
It didn't tell me why

Transcendance - tried to find something useful to do , then got bored and shot he good guys.  Bad idea

What I learned from this:
Give the player obvious feedback about what is hurtin them
Give the player obvious short term goals

Get them doing something useful right away

I wanted to make it endless basically so you can keep playing. Often I avoid the main quest because once you complete it the game is over. I don't want some games to end. And I love to find the next awesome item
« Last Edit: August 22, 2013, 10:37:17 PM by IBOL »
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Re: keep an Endless Sci-Fi Roguelike interesting?
« Reply #8 on: August 23, 2013, 01:16:57 AM »
IBOL did you check out my KlingonRL? It's spacey, so maybe you'll pull something from it. The design is meant to be super short with good variety, but it could easily become a much longer game with ship upgrades, a huge galaxy, multiple goals, away missions etc...

Your random monster engine from RR could also come into play to create basically an infinite number of groundscapes, flora, fauna, etc...Resource gathering and then building stuff could add to the open ended gameplay. In fact I cannot think of many open ended games that do not have some sort of crafting (Dwarf Fortress, Terraria, World of Warcraft, Eve).

Also finding artifact components for ship devices and pilot upgrades would be neat. Like you find the mutation chamber or alien physics lab or whatever. But you need crystal, metal, biofluid of a Zagnor and 3 bottles of H2 to upgrade your character with a bionic laser targetting eye piece. So it's a quest to gather the stuff, then come back and upgrade. Of course you only get between 1-3 uses out of the chamber/lab, etc...so then it's off in search of another.

Common resources like asteroid rocks and hydrogen are all over, then specialized resources like Rancor blood are much harder to find. Common 'crafting stations' like labs and medical bays are easy to find, they are on every station pretty much. But Hyper Alien Physics labs and other special crafting stations are SUPER RARE.

Since everything is used up over time you are constantly out there searching for new stuff.

You can even have a main quest of blowing up all the bad guys space stations. Which you can do by sneaking in and taking out the reactor (stealth build) or building a huge battleship and nuking it (strength build).

Your score is how many stations you've taken out, and they get harder as you move toward the core of the galaxy. There are TONS of enemy space stations, you'll never really get them all. But if you want to see the ending maybe you can take out the Mother Station around the black hole in the center of the galaxy. But you'll probably just die if you do that.

I also like how Eve allows clones. If you have a clone you wake up as them but you lose all of your cybernetics and gear and ship and everything else. I like that.

Those are just some ideas man, I was thinking about an open ended sci fi game all day and that's what I got for you.

IBOL

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Re: keep an Endless Sci-Fi Roguelike interesting?
« Reply #9 on: August 24, 2013, 06:10:51 AM »
hi, jo,
I've been fighting with iLivid for 24hrs now. I can't seem to get your game, but I watched gamehunter's lets play of it, and it looks really nice. the reason I didn't look at it before was in my mind, I had it confused with suncrusher. KlingonRL seems to have a nice balance of elements in it.

the idea of "crafting" seems interesting, and would certainly add something for players to do. I've often planned on crafting systems for my fantasy RLs , especially since I have spent literally hundreds of hours just making potions in morrowind, oblivion, and skyrim.
I think that as you progress in the game, you can disassemble unwanted components and earn 'science points' from them
(you also gain these by exploring space anomalies and mapping planets)
these could eventually be spent to design ship components in the crafting system.
(or you can sell your data to a space station)

crafting would be something that was added into the game later , not available right away. but the idea of not always being able to craft, even with the right parts is nice. adds some pinch to the decision.

blowing up bad guy space stations was one of the possible overall goals I had envisioned.
but i'm hoping to have several. at least one goal is to find all the ancient alien artifacts (AAA?)

I bought FTL today (half price on GOG for the weekend). first impressions:
-unavoidable deaths from random encounters are very frustrating, and seem common.
-focus on crew is interesting, but I don't like micromanaging them.
-the boring parts take too long and the exciting parts happen too fast.

having more luck with transcendence, but parts of it still seem tedious.
(having to go to different stations in the same star system for different things is annoying.
 put it all in one place I say.)
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Trowel

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Re: keep an Endless Sci-Fi Roguelike interesting?
« Reply #10 on: August 24, 2013, 09:58:17 PM »
I had an idea for a science fiction roguelike a while ago where you could take control of a terminal station and 'hack' into remote satellites and manipulate them to your advantage (perhaps disrupting enemy communications) or download surveillance data etc.

The process would be a sort of game in itself where you would have to manipulate memory values in a stack... I never did flesh it out into anything more than a concept, though I imagined it would be some sort of pseudo puzzle where you would have a password value stored somewhere in the stack and you had to manipulate the execution program to overwrite the password value...

Another idea I had was to include some sort of genetics system, whereby you could alter the DNA of monsters resident on a planet. Perhaps you could craft a virus and infect a corpse with it, other monsters eat the corpse, the virus spreads and affects the monsters in some way, changing their characteristics either positively or negatively. But you have to be careful not to infect yourself with the virus then, if an infected monster bites you or you eat the monster corpse for food etc.

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Re: keep an Endless Sci-Fi Roguelike interesting?
« Reply #11 on: August 25, 2013, 01:19:20 AM »
hi, jo,
I've been fighting with iLivid for 24hrs now
I would recommend keeping iLivid off your computer and not clicking any buttons that say iLivid on them... If you're trying to get KlingonRL off Sendspace, the only button you need to click is the one that says "Click here to start download from sendspace". The rest are all evil.

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Re: keep an Endless Sci-Fi Roguelike interesting?
« Reply #12 on: August 26, 2013, 07:51:02 PM »
I did some thinking about how to make a Dwarf fortress in space mining like game, more interesting. I was thinking about a variant of a food clock, not an internal one (the amount of food you carry on you). But more an external one, A large superhuman/transhuman threat coming after you. Like the Revelation space 'wolves', or the Cylons, or an AI like the AI wars antagonists, the eclipse phase AI Titans and exsurgents or Ziltoid. Basically a 'thing' that is coming after you. And if you keep sitting around it will eventually kill you. And it will never stop going after you. And the longer you survive, or the more of his stuff you kill/destroy/evade, the more persistant it gets.

With the interesting thing being that you are managing a fleet of ships. And the arrival of the Big Bad is sudden, and usually not advertised. So then it becomes a mad dash to get as much of your stuff offplanet and back into your fleets before missiles/nanoswarms/Relativistic kill vehicles arrive and blast parts of your fleet to bits.

I know it is a bit out there. And has a way to large scope for a roguelike, as RL's are not that great at management of a lot of assets. So I have no clue as of yet how to properly implement it. But thinking about it has been interesting.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2013, 01:26:03 PM by Soyweiser »

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Re: keep an Endless Sci-Fi Roguelike interesting?
« Reply #13 on: August 27, 2013, 08:29:36 AM »
I bought FTL today (half price on GOG for the weekend). first impressions:
-unavoidable deaths from random encounters are very frustrating, and seem common.
-focus on crew is interesting, but I don't like micromanaging them.
-the boring parts take too long and the exciting parts happen too fast.

having more luck with transcendence, but parts of it still seem tedious.
(having to go to different stations in the same star system for different things is annoying.
 put it all in one place I say.)
Interesting, you have described exactly what I think about those 2 games.

About endless games, I once envisioned something like that, in fact, my current project started to be an endless adventure, but the truth is that I came to realize that most games I enjoyed did had a purpose, a main goal, and it was this goal that pressed me to finish them. What I mean is that without a goal there is a good change the player won't have a sense of accomplishment and get bored of it, something that happens a lot when I play RL. I think that procedurally generated games could generate everything from scratch based on a main seed, including the player's main objective. This would maintain the game's replay value very high while at the same time providing a meaning for players to enjoy it. Creating a new main seed then would be like creating a new unexplored game with a unique scenario and objective.

Ending games feels very rewarding towards the time we invest playing them.

« Last Edit: August 27, 2013, 12:03:03 PM by Endorya »
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guest509

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Re: keep an Endless Sci-Fi Roguelike interesting?
« Reply #14 on: August 28, 2013, 06:51:40 AM »
Hey IBOL are you going for actually endless or are you going for sandbox?

Thought I'd ask as they can overlap quite a bit. Endless is much harder to pull off I think...