Author Topic: Would fans of Roguelikes play a roguelike no matter how it was made ?  (Read 30693 times)

damakun

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I ask this question because I am planning one, and I stumbled across a thread at bay12 games that mentioned Inform 7. I already have that installed and working, but that happens to be an interactive fiction tool (think Zork). I think the rogue concept may be a hard sell to IF fans unless I dripped it in prose (not hard, I like to write). But if I do that, will traditional rogue fans be turned off ? Would you try out or play a roguelike no matter how it was put together ?

magellan

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If you manage to make a *roguelike* with Inform, sure why not. If it is IF with a roguelike flair you might appeal more to the side of me that likes IF.

I have no idea how flexible inform is but if it can do a RL, why should i mind? I've heard some folks even look at RLs programmed in freebasic ;)

damakun

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If you manage to make a *roguelike* with Inform, sure why not. If it is IF with a roguelike flair you might appeal more to the side of me that likes IF.

I have no idea how flexible inform is but if it can do a RL, why should i mind? I've heard some folks even look at RLs programmed in freebasic ;)

Distinction duly noted, lol ! Out of curiosity, where would you draw the line ? Would the IF side of you be switched off if and only if you saw the @ ? Would flowery room descriptions ruin the rogue mood too much for you ?

purpleflayer

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I think that the easiest way is to make something you like and see how we think of it! ;)  By the way I have tried Inform 7 before and I am not sure how you can make a roguelike unless you provide your own curses.  Do you have a concept test that we can look at?  It sounds interesting
« Last Edit: May 02, 2009, 11:16:04 AM by purpleflayer »

getter77

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The more games that have Roguelike elements in them, or so much so to become variants, the better.  Probably....

Go for it and see what happens.   8)
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magellan

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I could have sworn that was somewhere over at the basin, even in  the developers FAQ... cant find it right now.

Anyway: "Is this (still) a roguelike?" is a frequently asked question, and i actually asked it myself.
And the best answer is "don't know. don't care" If it is fun it will find its audience, maybe even among rogue afficionados. They might start discussing it's rogueness, but that doesn't really affect the game.
If it is not it won't.


Z

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Some fans of roguelikes even play football, and there are not many roguelike elements there...

Many roguelike fans also play Spelunky or Diablo.

OTOH, for me, spatial consistency, and the world divided into cells, is one of the things I like in roguelikes, and I don't like games where this is broken, e.g. games where each fight takes you into a minigame, or Decker (which I don't consider roguelike enough, because although the rooms are graphically divided into cells, it does not matter at all for the gameplay). But these have their fans, too.

I am not sure what exactly you are trying to do, adding room descriptions to a roguelike surely does not hurt roguelikeness for me, replacing arrow movement with NORTH-SOUTH-WEST-EAST would be troublesome, and after removing the spatially consistent map altogether you no longer have a roguelike, I think.

Ex

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An interactive fiction roguelike is something I've wanted to make for a while, unfortunately I'm not very good at designing interactive fiction so I've never done it. It's a great idea though, IMO. Most MUDs are very CRPG like, having combat, levels, items etc. in an interactive fiction environment, so I think an interactive fiction roguelike is a very real possibility.

getter77

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Legerdemain already worked in a narrative into the mix in terms of style, so why not work some Roguelike into a Narrative?  I still say go for it and tweak as needed.  End of the day, if it is fun for folk you aim it at, all is well.   ;D
Brian Emre Jeffears
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Darren Grey

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Legerdemain is popular in both the IF and RL communities, so clearly cross-over is possible.  I say do it  :)

AgingMinotaur

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Agreed that developers should do what works for them; that's how most innovations happen. It's easy to get trapped in the game engine, adding mandatory RL features, until your system is too complex to add the nifty features that would make your game unique. Although I think making plans in advance is a good idea, I say go with the flow. Personally, I couldn't care less which tool is used to make a game, as long as it's system agnostic.

What interests me more, is your thoughts on what a RL/IF hybrid might look like. While I think good writing is important to a game, stuff like elaborate room descriptions can easily become entertaining (or even mind blowing) the first few times, and then something you <more>-surf through, once you know the drill. ADOM suffers from this.

I think the most common pitfall in this admittedly very unexplored area, is to add fixed IF content to the procedurally generated RL dungeons. What I feel, instead, is that the roguelike genre is so great because of the randomness/replayability, and to really take advantage of IF-like features (such as a storyline, or puzzles), you should ideally tie it up with the principle of randomness, in a meaningful way. If, in every game, you have to visit the librarian to get the magic book you need to solve the sphinx' riddle, gameplay can easily deteriorate into "grind dungeon A, 'c'hat with librarian, grind dungeon B, 'c'hat with sphinx." On the other hand, a lot of storyline could be generated procedurally (with great difficulty, of that I assure you), using some narrative templates and narrative memes. One story template might for instance require a helper, a tool, an antagonist and a difficulty to overcome. The template itself would just be a story with holes in it. But pretty soon, you would want the memes used to fill these holes to conain even smaller holes that can be filled be even more randomly chosen content. Let's say the helper might (or might not) be unavaiable, for a numer of (randomly chosen) reasons -- he might be stuck in jail, and you need to get him out. Or some other problem preoccupies him (a quest to solve) As far as I've understood, Gearhead goes a bit in this direction. I've played it only a little, and it looks interesting, but I can't stand mechas! Legerdemain, while an excellent game with a great atmosphere, mostly plays fixed content.

This turned out to be quite a rant. The original post touches on one of my personal hobby horses, as it were. I'm sure you have entirely different ideas about all of this.

Must go to sleep now,
Minotauros
This matir, as laborintus, Dedalus hous, hath many halkes and hurnes ... wyndynges and wrynkelynges.

AgingMinotaur

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Just adding som icing to the cake: A good place to start thinking about procedurally generated narratives, might be the good old structuralists, Vladimir Propp (wikipedia) being the most obvious theorist to use. A quick search even reveals a proppian fairy tale generator. Whaddya know. And of course, there's Tales Online (here and here).

As always,
Minotauros
This matir, as laborintus, Dedalus hous, hath many halkes and hurnes ... wyndynges and wrynkelynges.

mariodonick

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I agree to AgingMinotaur and his link to structuralism might be helpful. However, just some thoughts of my own on the topic, as I'm struggling with both sides (IF and RL), too.

For me, the most important point in IF is to provide a relevant (in the sense of pragmatics and psycholinguistics), aesthetic and interactive textual experience. This does not only include prescribed plots one can explore in the classical "you're standing in front of a tree. It's leaves are bright green"-style, but also smaller parts of texts with a coherence (again in the sense of linguistics) of some kind. Thus, a classical story is not necessary for intriguing IF, as long as there is a minimum set of elements adding to cognitive representations that can be filed under a certain "topic". In easier words: Give me bits of text and as long as these bits create a coherent imagination, the coherence requirement is fulfilled. However, I will only "play" this IF if it fulfills the aesthetic requirement (consisting of a good writing style, atmospheric descriptions etc.) as well as the interactive requirement (possibilities to manipulate the environment, to talk with NPCs etc.)

I think the 1st, mainly structural, requirement is the connection to RL, at least as long you imagine something while playing (I know, however, that many players don't connect the symbols to anything; not fighting the dragon which is associated by convention with that D, but indeed the actual D). So it is possible to have random generated environments which nevertheless offer texts that add to the coherence I spoke of. Legerdemain is a good example, the descriptions in Incursion also to this category, and I try to achieve something similar in LambdaRogue -- giving lots of information on plot, background story etc. while at the same time not forcing the player to read anything of it, to not reduce the replay value. The player should have fun while caring about the plot, but also while just diving into the dungeons and killing enemies.

It is a difficult task.
https://mariodonick.itch.io/lambdarogue-the-book-of-stars
-- LR: The Book of Stars graphical roguelike RPG

Ex

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I would personally be happy just with:

Code: [Select]
Your are in a room. The exits are north, west and southwest.
There is an angry wolf here. There is a bat here. There are 3 scrolls of identify here.
> hit wolf
You hit the wolf for 13. The wolf hits you for 10. The bat hits you for 1.

Even just that would be cool. Especially if there were different rooms descriptions, and weird ways to enter/exit rooms (climbing on things, pulling levers, solving puzzles, finding items etc.). It would be very much like a single player MUD with randomly connected rooms.

mariodonick

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A random generated MUD would surely be an option as a game genre on its own, but I wonder how someone would implement the tactical gameplay (based on FOV and LOS) of roguelikes. I also think that a single player MUD had to go very strongly in the IF direction to be entertaining, just to avoid boring descriptions. A MUD for multiplayer works well, because it is a room for socializing; there are more important things to do than interacting with the barely described environment. (I know that there a MUDs with very good descriptions; the works of Iron Realms are a very good example of this, like Achaea, Aetoilia etc.)

Whatever, if the simple, often boring "just facts" descriptions of MUDs without any artistic prose were added to the normal dungeon view of a RL, this would not improve anything, as everything important is visible (and better visible as texts could describe it) on the map anyway.

I believe that the IF part in a RL should add things not possible before. Add spice to the dungeon view, so to say.
https://mariodonick.itch.io/lambdarogue-the-book-of-stars
-- LR: The Book of Stars graphical roguelike RPG