Author Topic: My two cents about Permadeath  (Read 125657 times)

Vanguard

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Re: My two cents about Permadeath
« Reply #120 on: April 06, 2014, 11:12:06 PM »
It is not genre defining classification.

Yes it is.  Everyone associates permadeath with roguelikes.  The association is so strong that these days people are erroneously using the word "roguelike" to describe anything with permadeath.

LazyCat

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Re: My two cents about Permadeath
« Reply #121 on: April 07, 2014, 12:33:02 AM »
Clearing one part of a game at a time with infinite mistakes is vastly easier than clearing an entire game in one go with no mistakes.

But don't take my word for it, test it yourself.  Go get an emulator and an infamously tough game like Ghosts 'n Goblins or DoDonPachi Dai-Ou-Jou.  Try to 1 credit clear the game while using save states.  You'll probably be able to do it in one or two sittings.  Next try to 1cc the game without save states.  You won't be able to do it.  It's more than just a matter of taking enough time.  Your skill level is not high enough and you won't get anywhere until you improve.

Save abuse really is a useful tool for learning how to play a game quickly, but to say it doesn't reduce difficulty is astonishingly wrong.

Game difficulty and difficulty to learn is not the same thing. Monsters don't go any slower after you save, they don't have less health, game and its difficulty stay absolutely the same.

Faster and easier is not the same thing. It's faster to complete a game with saving because you don't have to start all over 100 more times until you finally get back where you were and hopefully learn something this time around. Tedious to learn and difficult to play is not the same thing.

mushroom patch

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Re: My two cents about Permadeath
« Reply #122 on: April 07, 2014, 12:39:14 AM »
These kinds of discussions are pretty sad. The genre could be so much better and broader if people had a more nuanced view of what rogue is, how its successors expanded on rogue, and how new games might expand on what's been done before. Roguelike should mean "in the tradition that started with rogue," not "replicating the mechanics (but bizarrely, not the theme) of rogue." Of course, this is just another discussion of why the so-called "Berlin interpretation" sucks (lol, btw -- the great minds behind the rgrd web-based diaspora got together to set down the fundamental intellectual framework of roguelike development, in much the way physicists of the early 20th century codified the principles of quantum mechanics in the "Copenhagen interpretation").

Roguelikes have to be turn based (according to a nonsensical definition of "turn based" -- i.e. it just has to wait for user input before anything happens). Roguelikes have to be single player. Roguelikes have to regenerate the world when the player dies.

So in other words, all the interesting avenues that people have considered any time they've talked about their roguelike experiences with someone other than the walls of their dorm room can never be realized within the genre. What if my guy met your guy in a dark alley? Well, that's not possible and if it happened, the game wouldn't be a legitimate roguelike anymore. What if I want to play co-op style with a buddy of mine like we do in D&D? Well, even if there were a game that let you do that with terminal graphics, a grid based map and interface, keyboard commands, random maps, items, and monster behavior, that wouldn't a real roguelike, especially if it allowed you to bring dead characters back to life like you can -- in principle -- in D&D.

The distinctive idiom of roguelike games is not permadeath, it's random and/or procedural generation of game content (and, not coincidentally, this is the mechanic people appropriate in commercial games marketed as "roguelike"). Unfortunately, too many people have allowed the interaction between these two notions in the context of a single player game to confuse the issue. The result is a stagnating genre, increasingly being overtaken by marketing efforts from companies making games with little to do with roguelikes. That's great for people who want drive web traffic, not great for people who want to see advances in line with what's been in the nethack FAQ for over twenty years.

(Also, I'd like to distance myself from this nonsense about permadeath not making games more difficult -- this is so obviously and straightforwardly wrong it's amazing there could be controversy. I'm all for permadeath in single player roguelike games, I just think the emphasis on permadeath is wildly misplaced.)

pat

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Re: My two cents about Permadeath
« Reply #123 on: April 07, 2014, 01:41:40 AM »
Game difficulty and difficulty to learn is not the same thing. Monsters don't go any slower after you save, they don't have less health, game and its difficulty stay absolutely the same.

Faster and easier is not the same thing. It's faster to complete a game with saving because you don't have to start all over 100 more times until you finally get back where you were and hopefully learn something this time around. Tedious to learn and difficult to play is not the same thing.
I can not get my head around what draws you to play "roguelikes" if what you are talking about in this thread is what you want in a game, there's a million RPGs where you can do exactly what you're talking about, it's like you've decided that you must like roguelikes no matter what even if that means changing the definition of what they are until they're something that you enjoy

Surely a game like the temple of elemental evil is exactly what you're describing and actually designed to be played that way? there's nothing wrong with that either, it's just different

I just don't get it, I played years of nethack and got into roguelikes that way and everything I like about them is defeated entirely by savescumming and I would assume that the silent majority of people who played games like that over the years agree.

LazyCat

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Re: My two cents about Permadeath
« Reply #124 on: April 07, 2014, 02:45:18 AM »
Yes it is.  Everyone associates permadeath with roguelikes.  The association is so strong that these days people are erroneously using the word "roguelike" to describe anything with permadeath.

You don't define a genre with number of lives.

You don't know whether it must be ASCII, does it really have to force permadeath, is it necessary to have terrible user interface, or would real-time indeed make it so much unlike Rogue. Ambiguous classification is not classification at all, it's meaningless.

A genre is classification that differentiates between specific, not general properties. Resolution, color, control scheme, level design, type of graphics and such are general properties, like number of lives. Those are properties of any and every game, they can not define a genre.


What's really strange here, is that only reason for this insistence on permadeath is - that's how roguelikes are supposed to be. That is no reason or explanation for anything, "supposed to be" doesn't mean "better".

mushroom patch

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Re: My two cents about Permadeath
« Reply #125 on: April 07, 2014, 03:17:52 AM »
Yes it is.  Everyone associates permadeath with roguelikes.  The association is so strong that these days people are erroneously using the word "roguelike" to describe anything with permadeath.

You don't define a genre with number of lives.

You don't know whether it must be ASCII, does it really have to force permadeath, is it necessary to have terrible user interface, or would real-time indeed make it so much unlike Rogue. Ambiguous classification is not classification at all, it's meaningless.

A genre is classification that differentiates between specific, not general properties. Resolution, color, control scheme, level design, type of graphics and such are general properties, like number of lives. Those are properties of any and every game, they can not define a genre.

I read a lot of internet discussion -- too much, really -- and this line of argument has to be one of silliest I've seen in some time. If genre means anything outside of its original context (art, music, and literature) then the idioms and aspects of design you mention are precisely the kind of things that could define a genre. Your argument boils down to: "You can't define a genre that way!" Well, actually, you can.

Quote
What's really strange here, is that only reason for this insistence on permadeath is - that's how roguelikes are supposed to be. That is no reason or explanation for anything, "supposed to be" doesn't mean "better".

Again, this misses the point. If "permadeath" is common to all classic examples, there's a good case to be made that it's an aspect of the genre. And maybe roguelikes suck. There's a lot of evidence in this direction. Certainly, much of the draw of this website and others like it is the invitation to write games that suck in a safe context, where deficiencies of all kinds can be written off as being true to the genre or due to artificial time constraints (7DRLs).

The right argument against permadeath is that it is a consequence of other design choices, design choices that were essentially forced on the early roguelikes by primitive technology. The single player dogma, in particular, is ludicrous today and not in keeping with the general idea of rogue -- to play a dungeons and dragons style roleplaying game on a computer in a replayable way (in other words, the computer creates a new "campaign" for you every play). If a mechanic like permadeath does not make sense under some reasonable permutation of the genre -- e.g. multiplayer games -- then it should not be enshrined as a fundamental principle, or to the extent it is, it contributes to the genre becoming a backwater primarily exploited as a "retro gaming" marketing tactic.

Vanguard

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Re: My two cents about Permadeath
« Reply #126 on: April 07, 2014, 04:34:04 AM »
Game difficulty and difficulty to learn is not the same thing. Monsters don't go any slower after you save, they don't have less health, game and its difficulty stay absolutely the same.

Instead of talking about it all day, go take my test and we'll have proof.  Let's really find out whether saving affects difficulty instead of typing a bunch of words that won't accomplish anything.

Vanguard

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Re: My two cents about Permadeath
« Reply #127 on: April 07, 2014, 04:39:06 AM »
So in other words, all the interesting avenues that people have considered any time they've talked about their roguelike experiences with someone other than the walls of their dorm room can never be realized within the genre.

Why is this a problem?  You can still make your amazing co-op dungeon crawler if you want to.  Definitions of what is and isn't a roguelike can't stop you or anyone else from doing that.

I don't consider Spelunky to be a roguelike, but regardless of whether it is or isn't, it's a superb game.  It wouldn't be any better if I said it was a roguelike, and it wouldn't be any worse if you said it wasn't.

LazyCat

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Re: My two cents about Permadeath
« Reply #128 on: April 07, 2014, 09:47:29 AM »
Instead of talking about it all day, go take my test and we'll have proof.  Let's really find out whether saving affects difficulty instead of typing a bunch of words that won't accomplish anything.

I tested it. Monsters didn't go any slower after I saved, they didn't have less health, or anything. Game and its difficulty stayed absolutely the same. Is your observation different?


Let you and me start playing the same game today. I will save at the beginning of each floor, you don't save at all. Suppose now we both die on 10th floor. So I reload my save and then wait for you to reach 10th floor again. When you finally get there and we both continue playing, is the game going to be any easier for me? The answer is no.

LazyCat

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Re: My two cents about Permadeath
« Reply #129 on: April 07, 2014, 10:46:13 AM »
(Also, I'd like to distance myself from this nonsense about permadeath not making games more difficult -- this is so obviously and straightforwardly wrong it's amazing there could be controversy.

Game difficulty is defined in a binary file, saving a game state does not alter that binary file, it can not change the game difficulty. You should realize then the difficulty you are talking about can not possibly be "game difficulty", but something else. It is easy to confuse tedium for difficulty.

reaver

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Re: My two cents about Permadeath
« Reply #130 on: April 07, 2014, 11:04:20 AM »
Game difficulty is defined in a binary file, saving a game state does not alter that binary file, it can not change the game difficulty. You should realize then the difficulty you are talking about can not possibly be "game difficulty", but something else. It is easy to confuse tedium for difficulty.

Disagree, especially if the game has RNG. If you play DnD and roll a miss, you don't get to re-roll till you get a hit or a critical. Tedium is not removed by running the RNG till you get the success you want, this actually increases the tedium.

LazyCat

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Re: My two cents about Permadeath
« Reply #131 on: April 07, 2014, 11:20:39 AM »
I just don't get it, I played years of nethack and got into roguelikes that way and everything I like about them is defeated entirely by savescumming and I would assume that the silent majority of people who played games like that over the years agree.

I don't mind permadeath. The question is why wouldn't there be both.

Suppose we confirmed 90% of people don't play roguelikes because of permadeath, would you agree then it is in developer's and everyone's interest to include save option after all? Would such option ruin anything for you?

LazyCat

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Re: My two cents about Permadeath
« Reply #132 on: April 07, 2014, 11:34:28 AM »
Disagree, especially if the game has RNG. If you play DnD and roll a miss, you don't get to re-roll till you get a hit or a critical. Tedium is not removed by running the RNG till you get the success you want, this actually increases the tedium.

I agree with that, only if that was true it would mean there is no any skill involved in the game at all. I don't know what's worse, I can only assure you that some roguelikes do require skill. And then you can save-scum all you want, but you will not advance until you improve.

pat

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Re: My two cents about Permadeath
« Reply #133 on: April 07, 2014, 11:36:34 AM »
Quote from: LazyCat link=topic=4007.msg36152
Suppose we confirmed 90% of people don't play roguelikes because of permadeath, would you agree then it is in developer's and everyone's interest to include save option after all? Would such option ruin anything for you?
it would ruin everything because the game would be catering for two fundamentally opposed audiences and become an incoherent thematic mess which i would hate, ie dungeons of dredmore. If you aren't a gentle virgin nerd who burns for the sweet release of permadeath then you are a blight on this bizarre community

LazyCat

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Re: My two cents about Permadeath
« Reply #134 on: April 07, 2014, 12:29:19 PM »
it would ruin everything because the game would be catering for two fundamentally opposed audiences and become an incoherent thematic mess which i would hate, ie dungeons of dredmore. If you aren't a gentle virgin nerd who burns for the sweet release of permadeath then you are a blight on this bizarre community

I was afraid that was the case. Now we must fight. Fight to death. No... to permadeath! Whichever audience counts greater number of people wins the right to define what is roguelike and what is good or bad for it. Do you accept the challenge?