Author Topic: What trait disqualifies a game from being a rogue-like.  (Read 34448 times)

Kevin Granade

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Re: What trait disqualifies a game from being a rogue-like.
« Reply #30 on: November 20, 2013, 04:06:59 PM »
But I easily know one when I see one.

These are roguelikes:
...
http://i1.ytimg.com/vi/yReGKEBvCqQ/maxresdefault.jpg
...
How DARE you slander Cataclysm in such a fashion! (kidding)

But honestly, I don't consider Cataclysm (or my fork DDA) to be roguelikes.  The lack of overarching quests/goals*, low emphasis on "dungeons"** and overall tone seem to me to be more than sufficient to disqualify it.  How does it stack up against the more thoughtful definitions:
Intent
It fails at this one, I have no intent to keep the game roguelike, "Any resemblance to a genre, living or dead, is purely coincidental."
A roguelike derives interesting gameplay from the interplay between permadeath and procedural generation...that's my pet definition.
Some might disagree that it meets the "interesting" part (ouch), otherwise meets it.
Privately, I use the "is it like Rogue?" test. It`s maybe crude, but I like the simplicity of it. It also helps a lot because nowadays it s very much in-demand to be considered a roguelike. Sometimes bit too much perhaps.

So if it`s turn-based, has permadeath and random content generation - plus some sort of a quest -  it`s a roguelike. For me :P Next step down would be a roguelikelike for those more daring experiments that stray from the above formula and then "an X with roguelike elements" for assorted gatecrashers.
Disqualified by the "plus a quest" part.  Would definitely qualify as a "survival RPG with roguelike elements".
In the old days the definition of RL used to be something like "An RPG game with poor graphics (compared to mainstream games), but much more complex mechanics and richer content".
It meets this one... maybe?  Is an overarching quest implied by "RPG"?  Definitely emphasizes content and mechanics over graphics.

akeley's definition is closest to my sense of what makes a roguelike, though I'm admittedly warped by the 'bands, so my internal definition is probably more properly called "'bandlike" than "roguelike"

If I see too advanced graphics, it just makes me think "I wish that effort were put in the gameplay instead". Almost total focus on the programming aspects of the game design is a huge part of the appeal of roguelikes for me.
There's some validity to this, particularly if only one person is working on the game, but I prefer to focus on wanting deeper mechanics than disproving of graphics.  I don't know if someone could pull of a good-graphics hardcore roguelike, but I don't want to discourage them from trying.  For my part, I'm simply bad at graphics, so it's a non-issue.
I have even been thinking lately about making a completely text based game.
Interactive fiction roguelike? That would be amazing if you could pull it off.  I've been thinking about working IF elements into a roguelike, specifically procedurally generated room/item/monster descriptions.

* To me, having a goal, the game being "winnable" is a critical criteria, DDA doesn't have a win condition.
** Dungeon-type exploration seems fairly core to me, though this one is admittedly more shaky.
*** Permadeath, or at least "Permaconsequences" is on the list.  Good point about X-com.
**** Procedural generation gives me pause, because I want to say "that's an implementation detail", but what it really means is that you aren't playing the same "levels" over and over as in "traditional" games.  So in that case yes it's critical.
***** This is a "footnote-like" aside.

Rickton

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Re: What trait disqualifies a game from being a rogue-like.
« Reply #31 on: November 20, 2013, 05:17:44 PM »
If I see too advanced graphics, it just makes me think "I wish that effort were put in the gameplay instead". Almost total focus on the programming aspects of the game design is a huge part of the appeal of roguelikes for me.
But time spent on the graphics doesn't necessarily mean that time was taken from the programming. The people who made the graphics could be people who just do graphics and don't even know how to program.
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NON

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Re: What trait disqualifies a game from being a rogue-like.
« Reply #32 on: November 20, 2013, 06:13:25 PM »
If I see too advanced graphics, it just makes me think "I wish that effort were put in the gameplay instead". Almost total focus on the programming aspects of the game design is a huge part of the appeal of roguelikes for me.
But time spent on the graphics doesn't necessarily mean that time was taken from the programming. The people who made the graphics could be people who just do graphics and don't even know how to program.
I had this in mind as well. But I just can't imagine Nethack with Diablo 3 graphics Or Dwarf Fortress with Starcraft 2 graphics happening any time soon. (Yeah those are extreme examples, but I hope they show what I mean)
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miki151

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Re: What trait disqualifies a game from being a rogue-like.
« Reply #33 on: November 20, 2013, 06:55:30 PM »
Hmm, is this a roguelike? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZfEzFVR5yVM

Cause I found it on roguebasin  :P
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NON

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Re: What trait disqualifies a game from being a rogue-like.
« Reply #34 on: November 20, 2013, 07:17:41 PM »
Interactive fiction roguelike? That would be amazing if you could pull it off.  I've been thinking about working IF elements into a roguelike, specifically procedurally generated room/item/monster descriptions.
Something like that yeah :)
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AgingMinotaur

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Re: What trait disqualifies a game from being a rogue-like.
« Reply #35 on: November 20, 2013, 10:47:26 PM »
Regarding graphics, I certainly don't think pretty graphics automatically disqualifies a game from being a Roguelike. Shiren would be an example of a wonderful RL with nice graphics. Having good graphics means a game relies less on invoking a "L"ook command, and it allows to put more info onto each tile than you can with a typical ASCII interface. However, there's a point to be made that ASCII plays well with procedural content. To illustrate what I mean, let's take statues as an example. In a team blessed with a graphical artist, you have one or more decorative tiles/models that clearly communicate that this is a statue and what it resembles. On the other hand, if your statues are just grey "S"-es or something, they can signify anything. For instance, it leaves the option for randomly generated statues, or for having tens or hundreds of different statue templates, without heaping senseless amounts of work on your artist in residence to illustrate that one feature.

I guess it would be possible, and probably very interesting, to work with random/procedural graphics. Just like a designer can hack together a system of components to generate random statues, an artist could hack together a system that generates the corresponding graphics.

In any case, I think the more sophisticated your graphics are, the more they threaten to restrict your Roguelike's complexity.

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Rickton

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Re: What trait disqualifies a game from being a rogue-like.
« Reply #36 on: November 20, 2013, 11:23:39 PM »
Interactive fiction roguelike? That would be amazing if you could pull it off.  I've been thinking about working IF elements into a roguelike, specifically procedurally generated room/item/monster descriptions.
Something like that yeah :)
Have either of you seen Kerkerkruip? It's an IF roguelike, and it's pretty neat. There's definitely a lot more (and a lot of different stuff) that could be done with the idea.
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NON

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Re: What trait disqualifies a game from being a rogue-like.
« Reply #37 on: November 21, 2013, 01:42:43 PM »
Have either of you seen Kerkerkruip? It's an IF roguelike, and it's pretty neat. There's definitely a lot more (and a lot of different stuff) that could be done with the idea.
Interesting. Thanks for the tip.
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Samildanach

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Re: What trait disqualifies a game from being a rogue-like.
« Reply #38 on: November 21, 2013, 02:02:07 PM »
Regarding graphics, I certainly don't think pretty graphics automatically disqualifies a game from being a Roguelike. Shiren would be an example of a wonderful RL with nice graphics. Having good graphics means a game relies less on invoking a "L"ook command, and it allows to put more info onto each tile than you can with a typical ASCII interface. However, there's a point to be made that ASCII plays well with procedural content. To illustrate what I mean, let's take statues as an example. In a team blessed with a graphical artist, you have one or more decorative tiles/models that clearly communicate that this is a statue and what it resembles. On the other hand, if your statues are just grey "S"-es or something, they can signify anything. For instance, it leaves the option for randomly generated statues, or for having tens or hundreds of different statue templates, without heaping senseless amounts of work on your artist in residence to illustrate that one feature.

I guess it would be possible, and probably very interesting, to work with random/procedural graphics. Just like a designer can hack together a system of components to generate random statues, an artist could hack together a system that generates the corresponding graphics.

In any case, I think the more sophisticated your graphics are, the more they threaten to restrict your Roguelike's complexity.

As always,
Minotauros
Interesting point, and the best pro-ASCII argument I've heard. I think we see that sort of variety quite rarely but maybe more could be made of ASCII visuals. Maybe more roguelike creators could ask "what can ASCII do that tiles can't?" Not that I'm criticising. I can't programme a damn thing myself.

guest509

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Re: What trait disqualifies a game from being a rogue-like.
« Reply #39 on: November 22, 2013, 01:16:11 AM »
In regards to ASCII, though it isn't necessary it has major advantages over tilesets and animated sprites.
1. Small: Very clear at small resolutions, you can get much more on the screen at once.

2. Skills: No need to have an artist, a programmer skills will do.

3. Diverse: You can do a TON with ascii, with, say, 6 colors and 54 letters you can depict 324 monsters.

4. Energy: As said above, developers can put all energy into game play.

5. Resources: they run well on older or weaker systems, and laptops.

6. Imagination: Ascii engages the icon -> representation section of your imagination. You actually have to think DRAGON. Not just see it.

7. Temptation: There's no temptation to sacrifice gameplay for sound and visuals, if you are a gameplay person then this is awesome.

8. Looks Better: A shoddy tileset by someone with minimal skill looks like hell compared to simple ascii.

9. Cool Points: Playing in ASCII, and having it actually be fun for you, is just cool and amazing. Don't be too snobby, but come on, you play a game that most people think looks like The Matrix.

10. Tradition: If you are into that classic feel, ascii is traditional.

Then there's the one huge negative: Not many gamers will actually play an ascii game.

Vanguard

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Re: What trait disqualifies a game from being a rogue-like.
« Reply #40 on: November 22, 2013, 05:12:08 AM »
Then there's the one huge negative: Not many gamers will actually play an ascii game.

On the other hand, I bet the overlap is pretty strong between these guys and people who won't play permadeath games.

miki151

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Re: What trait disqualifies a game from being a rogue-like.
« Reply #41 on: November 22, 2013, 02:00:32 PM »
Then there's the one huge negative: Not many gamers will actually play an ascii game.
Depends. When I was in high school, a lot of kids played ADOM and I don't remember anyone commenting that it's silly or something. And those were already the days of fancy 3d stuff. I think the game has a certain visual appeal and a not too high learning curve (in terms of interface) so that it's easy to pick up.

Maybe it's not about ascii, but just cluttered and complicated interfaces?
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Vanguard

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Re: What trait disqualifies a game from being a rogue-like.
« Reply #42 on: November 22, 2013, 02:38:44 PM »
In any case, I think the more sophisticated your graphics are, the more they threaten to restrict your Roguelike's complexity.

That's a really interesting point.  For a long time I've thought that voice puts a lot of restrictions on games, especially RPGs.  I didn't realize that graphics can do the same thing.

Rickton

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Re: What trait disqualifies a game from being a rogue-like.
« Reply #43 on: November 22, 2013, 03:14:56 PM »
Then there's the one huge negative: Not many gamers will actually play an ascii game.

On the other hand, I bet the overlap is pretty strong between these guys and people who won't play permadeath games.
I dunno, I think permadeath is coming into popularity. FTL, Dredmor and Binding of Isaac seem to have done pretty well. And I think Diablo's hardcore mode is fairly popular. Even Minecraft added a permadeath mode recently, though I have no idea how popular it is...given the focus of the game is building stuff over time, probably not very.
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Holsety

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Re: What trait disqualifies a game from being a rogue-like.
« Reply #44 on: November 23, 2013, 07:09:05 PM »
Just like Dracula has the Belmonts to vanquish him, we need some heroes to quell threads like these :V

I liked the answer "Intent". Don't you just hate it when a dev whose never played a roguelike just wants to slap the label onto his game because it's "popular with the internet kids"?
I feel sorry for the term because there's so many games that want to be called "roguelike", and plenty that are while they shouldn't be.

My stance on the issue is that ADOM, Brogue, and Crawl are clearly the same kind of thing, and Spelunky and Diablo are clearly different kinds of things, despite some similarities.  The only word we have that properly describes those first games is "roguelike."  If we extend its meaning to include Diablo et al. then we don't have a good word for that anymore.

It isn't an elitist thing about how Spelunky isn't a real roguelike.  "Roguelike" is just a more useful term when it describes something concrete and specific.

Wise words from Vanguard. I disagree on spelunky though. It's pretty much EXACTLY Rogue, except realtime and a platformer. The food clock has been replaced with phantoms that come kill you when you spend too long on a single floor. Spelunky is SO roguelike.
You've got your "food-clock", your resource management (health, bombs, rope) and your quest (except it's GO DOWN instead of GO DOWN AND UP AGAIN). With permadeath and proc.gen.
It's a completely different SORT of game, but it's inherited Rogue's spirit PERFECTLY. So you're right, but you're wrong. I understand what you're saying! I think.

Somewhat related, I'd also like to see the concept of permadeath/permafailure separated from the roguelike genre, not because roguelikes don't need it, but because it has so much potential to benefit other types of games.  Most competitive multiplayer games essentially feature permafailure, though it isn't referred to by that name.  Lots of arcade games are secretly meant to be played as permadeath games.  It's a great feature with incredible benefits and exaggerated weaknesses.  It should be something every designer considers for their projects, not an exotic, niche thing that only appeals to weird people.

This reminds me of a previous similar thread where I got a little weird in the head about what constitutes a game. I'm too tired for those shenanigans again, but I don't think separating permadeath from the roguelike label will help keep out undesirables.
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