Author Topic: Introducing... RogueVR, a VIRTUAL REALITY experience of the classic!  (Read 11578 times)

SanctuaryMedia

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This is what we are currently developing, to have it ready just in time for release of the Oculus Rift and SteamVR in 2016!

Introducing... http://www.sanctuarymedia.com/RogueVR/2015/08/04/roguevr-virtual-rogue/

Let us know what you think and, if you want to make this a reality, be sure to become a Kickstarter backer at: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/sanctuarymedia/roguevr-roguelike-virtual-reality-oculus-steam-and

Krice

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Re: Introducing... RogueVR, a VIRTUAL REALITY experience of the classic!
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2015, 03:16:43 PM »
Is this based on actual Rogue or original design?

Avagart

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Re: Introducing... RogueVR, a VIRTUAL REALITY experience of the classic!
« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2015, 04:51:51 PM »
What is actual Rogue? You mean version 5.4.4?

SanctuaryMedia

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Re: Introducing... RogueVR, a VIRTUAL REALITY experience of the classic!
« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2015, 08:44:56 PM »
This is "based on" (ie. as faithful as possible) the original Rogue classic, ie. the one released for PC by Epyx in 1985

There will be changes as necessary, but the goal is to have a game that Rogue players would instantly recognize... even if the look, feel, and user interface are drastically different. To avoid copyright issues (just in case), we are changing a few of the monster names etc., but otherwise it is essentially the same.

If you have a Windows computer with Oculus, you can click here to try a little teaser demo -- no real gameplay yet, though, other than some walking around... a first level, non-procedural demo with some items and monsters and interactions will be coming soon. Following that, a procedural demo will be made available to anybody who signs on for early access

Krice

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Krice

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Re: Introducing... RogueVR, a VIRTUAL REALITY experience of the classic!
« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2015, 08:08:31 AM »
To avoid copyright issues (just in case), we are changing a few of the monster names etc.

I think it's quite bad to use content from a classic to create a kickstarter project. Even worse, some of these kind of projects do get their money.

SanctuaryMedia

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Re: Introducing... RogueVR, a VIRTUAL REALITY experience of the classic!
« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2015, 05:28:54 AM »
Fact:

The original Rogue used content from Dungeons & Dragons (including some battle/to-hit/AC mechanisms)... was that quite bad?

The original Rogue also used a copyrighted creature -- the Ur-vile, a creature created by author Stephen R. Donaldson in his books, The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant


The fact of the matter is that I am not using ANY "content" from the original; Rogue does not own the rights to trolls, dragons, orcs, zombies, etc. -- the original "took" many of those from D&D (who, in turn, had taken them from legends, folktales, mythology, Lord of the Rings, etc.)  We are including the kestrel and quagga (which are/were real animals, not a unique creation) just because it was kind of odd and hilarious that they were in a dungeon, so we wanted to keep that aspect for nostalgia's sake. 

The only Rogue content we have used is an exact screenshot of the original gameplay, just to remind people what the game was like (and to introduce it to those who never played)

If you have an issue with RogueVR, then you must really be livid about the likes of Hack, NetHack, etc. (which even *gasp* used the exact same letters/graphics to represent some of the same creatures!)


So, we have to respectfully disagree that it is somehow wrong or disrespectful to make a dungeon-crawling roguelike -- complete with all the requisite well-loved types of fantasy creatures and elements -- that is faithful to the classic (while still being something completely new and original -- never been done before!)

It's an idea that, despite low funding so far, we are finding a lot of excitement and support for online. We thought maybe a roguelike forum would feel the same!  [Maybe we didn't put enough ASCII in our virtual world  ;) ]
« Last Edit: August 08, 2015, 05:34:38 AM by SanctuaryMedia »

Krice

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Re: Introducing... RogueVR, a VIRTUAL REALITY experience of the classic!
« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2015, 07:57:45 AM »
the original "took" many of those from D&D

D&D as tabletop system and computer games are two different things. If you make a 3D version of Rogue, it's not nearly as original as Rogue was. But people try their luck these days with anything they think can produce money. I can't say it's bad if players are willing to pay for that. It's they who are dumb, not the developers.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2015, 07:59:30 AM by Krice »

getter77

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Re: Introducing... RogueVR, a VIRTUAL REALITY experience of the classic!
« Reply #8 on: August 08, 2015, 12:56:03 PM »
Run your race SanctuaryMedia---I think you just got overly caught on a turn of phrase mixed with a lack of sporting intent.

Your real issue will be the still low adoption point of VR devices, even if growing, combined with the now "buried" few disclaimers that the game can still function as a normal 3D (first person) Roguelike and such without it---the core crux of the latter seemingly too heavy a lean on the initial VR Rogue central premise to tantalize all that much as opposed to having a robust character development backend or other "meatier" ambitions.   There are similar, but different, problems that can doom kickstarters that try to handle both single and multiplayer at the same time.   For instance, for a project like this hearkening back to the genesis of the original Rogue specifically, it would probably come off enormously better to position it as a springboard to show that the tech has indeed improved enough to moreso encapsulate the sum experience of the classic P&P tabletop wranglings of Wichman and friends from that point in time---doing all the things they could only dream of for lack of specific skills and the tech wall they slammed into full force and had to cut out of their vision.

It seems a bit too early and lacking in the bold creative ambitions that stir folks up in the VR camp and otherwise to the point of a benevolent contagion to get the kind of traction needed to reach your initial funding target, especially without that opening surge usually beget from pedigree, community building beforehand, and a bit of straight damned luck.
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SanctuaryMedia

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Re: Introducing... RogueVR, a VIRTUAL REALITY experience of the classic!
« Reply #9 on: August 09, 2015, 05:46:03 AM »
Actually, all of the above seems very astute:

1) Yes, a dungeon-crawler RPG set in a procedurally-generated world will not have the originality of the first Rogue. And that's why we call them "roguelikes" -- as tribute to that wonderful idea of random generation for replayability!  The fact of the matter is that we could have very easily made the same game (more or less) and called it "Dank Dungeons" or something; it would have the same fantasy setting, creatures, and D&D-based gameplay, and would be procedurally generated... so would that be better than using the word "Rogue" anywhere in the title or publicity? We felt that it would actually be more of a rip-off/disingenuous to do so, because we would be pretending like what we are doing is completely original... when it isn't. We owe it all to Toy, Wichmann, et al. some 35 years ago. (and, in fact, we have tried to reach out to them via email, even before Kickstarter campaign and any production, to see if they would like to be on-board this project in any capacity, but unable to reach them so far)

2) The observation that it is still probably too "early" for wide acceptance, and that VR as an industry, is probably too young is also pretty spot-on, I think.  This Kickstarter was, in part, an experiment to gauge that -- to see both interest and how widespread adoption (or planned near-term adoption) of VR games is.  To that degree, we are seeing a lot of interest (hundreds of likes and followers on Facebook in the past 5 days)

3) While the "concept" of the game is not original, the fantasy rogue-like clone aspect was really meant to propel something that is brand new: virtual reality and the particulars related to it. This project actually began not because we were looking to make a Rogue clone or even a roguelike at all, but because we are developing an interactive suit that lends itself naturally to immersive gestural and full-body interactions (swinging a sword, archery, etc.) and thought a fantasy setting would be perfect to showcase that. Once we realized how simple it would be to go from there to a full-fledged experience if we kept it simple (ie. original Rogue or similar), it was a no-brainer to take that next step. [PS. That VR jacket/harness and its capabilities will be revealed soon...]  Even without the jacket, there are certain ways in which VR creates new ways of thinking about interaction and game design, much like Rogue brought new ways of thinking about graphics and graphical gameplay all those years ago. There are constraints, limitations, and opportunities that are unique. For example, the way you move around the world has to change even from FPS-style gameplay (Facebook/Oculus didn't seem to get the memo on this -- they are building thumbstick controllers, and moving like that via controller is a completely motion-sickness-inducing experience. And I don't get motion sickness easily); it is a whole new world, and while the concept and setting of our game are a complete tribute to Rogue, the bigger tribute is recognizing how to move things forward in exciting new directions when they present themselves. 

The setting, monsters, potions, etc. are irrelevant; the main "content" that Rogue contributed was procedural design, and in that regard, every procedural and roguelike game has "taken" their content. And it's a great thing. Likewise, the new thing we hope our project contributes to the world of gaming is a showcase of how to effectively have a natural, intuitive, user-friendly interface to interact with a VR fantasy RPG world.

4)  We are going to continue the process, at least to the point of first-level demo so people can get the full experience (yes, it would have been preferable to have the demo out before the Kickstarter, but starting the Kickstarter was a no-risk scenario. If we fail, what did we lose? A couple of hours of time for posting the content and spreading the word?)  The Kickstarter was a multi-purpose endeavor, and raising funds (sadly, we are seeing a lot of developers lowering their standards to settle for paltry, poverty-level funding because that's all Kickstarters manage to make these days...)  was only part of that. Many purposes were: (a) get the word out / build publicity; (b) gauge public interest; (c) set deadlines and accountability for ourselves (really, for me; we are a microstudio and I am the developer, the other person is more for business and HR etc); (d) if we get the funding, then great, it becomes a priority and ensures we can meet the deadline and make it happen

As such, it may "fail" as a Kickstarter but failure is just a stepping stone to success. If failure were a problem, software wouldn't exist because everybody would throw in the towel at the first bug. (has anybody here made bug-free software on the first try? I know I haven't.)

The main thing to remember is: This isn't a cash-grab. It isn't a get-rich-quick scheme. It isn't a way to stab the original creators of Rogue in the back. It is a labor of love centered around a tribute to a game that was one of my earliest PC gaming memories and one of the first moments I realized I wanted to -- and actually could -- program the computer to do what I wanted it to (I was 8 years old, and decided to start programming in BASIC on a 286 DOS machine at that time.)

The Kickstarter may or may not fail (we are slowly building momentum, and there's no telling when that will become critical. Probably no sooner than we can get a real demo out  ::) ) We may or may not re-boot it at a later date (like, after VR comes out for the public, esp. all three of the majors: Oculus, Steam, Sony. Hint: We probably will), but we can promise you this: VR is an amazing way to experience the world of Rogue (which, after all, was an attempt on its own to get the user to have to rely less on their imaginations and provide a more graphical experience for the time), and I promise you that if you haven't tried it yet, you should.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2015, 05:49:35 AM by SanctuaryMedia »

getter77

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Re: Introducing... RogueVR, a VIRTUAL REALITY experience of the classic!
« Reply #10 on: August 09, 2015, 12:23:55 PM »
1)The name isn't really any substantive issue---Rogue Hearts Dungeon on the PS2 and various other commercial stabs at it especially lately put that to bed pretty well.

3)I think the lack of the mechanical Eureka hook is what keeps things pared down.  For instance, If I had to magic hat my way to only one initial VR Roguelike based off of a bona fide classic---just about the strongest case for a spiritual successor project that would go a long ways towards solving age old problems with the original on top of enhancing it further specifically because of unique VR sensibilities...it would have to be indomitable Omega and the infamous "Floating Inventory Slot".   Things like that and the sprawling, insane world and content otherwise whose reach at the time far exceeding their grasp would surely be ample to draw folks moreso in.

If The Suit is the true focus at the heart of the matter as the vehicle for the future, well, that may well dampen the confidence of folks moreso enamored with the game itself that the killer drive and passion is there to go the distance---given this is a gaming KS, as opposed to one in the also relatively healthy Hardware side of KS...the whole split focus thing, etc.

I'd also be wary about dismissing "content" as unimportant or window dressing---rpgs and Roguelikes aren't quite at the bottom of the abyss with 4X games as a monstrous spreadsheet out to consume us all.  World building can be incredibly potent---as it was elder D&D and such world building that beget Rogue in the first place and even beyond that....the FAR more successful Tabletop P&P side of Kickstarter arrived far sooner than the computer game side of it and it is an aspect that they would neglect at their explicit peril especially as you are trying to essentially sell a (partially formed) vision as it is.

4)Yeah, nothing wrong with taking multiple stabs at KS---many have done it before and made it just fine...though you do then have to be extra diligent to show marked progression at each crack at it, as otherwise folks will hearken back to the ever-tricky First Impressions and wave the lot of it off.   The schisms of the emerging VR market are something of a new problem on KS and the world over, so there's only so much that can be reckoned from up to now and applied towards it.
Brian Emre Jeffears
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akeley

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Re: Introducing... RogueVR, a VIRTUAL REALITY experience of the classic!
« Reply #11 on: August 09, 2015, 04:13:51 PM »
Sorry, but to be brutally honest I just see this as a big mismatch. Roguelikes are perfectly comfortable in the ASCII world/turn based slowness (aw ok, let`s go extravagant with tiles) and don`t really need more than that. Meanwhile VR is all about freedom and gfx extravaganza. So..strange bedfellows, really.   

Now, of course, it can be done...but is there any point in doing it? I can see how it`s kind of easy to come up with such idea - RLs are cool, VR is cool, so let`s mix`em up! But frankly, the potion you came up with is rather muddy. At least if you were writing a new roguelike from scratch (as you said in a post above it`s apparently "very easy") it would be something to get excited about, but as it is...well.

I`d say, scratch this campaign and start anew with something actually interesting and exciting. Like that "sci-fi/industrial-espionage first-person shooter VR game" you apparently were working on before...


SanctuaryMedia

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Re: Introducing... RogueVR, a VIRTUAL REALITY experience of the classic!
« Reply #12 on: August 09, 2015, 07:49:12 PM »
What you essentially just said is that any first-person RPG is bound to fail in VR.

Why do I say "any" first-person RPG? Because your mindset falls into the same trap as other people's (as I noted previously): that first-person experience in VR should imitate first-person experience on the computer screen... ie, real-time / free-range movement.

The reality is actually the opposite; turn-based is actually even more suitable for VR than it is in a typical 3D non-VR first-person game, and here's why:
  • rapid movements in VR cause vertigo/nausea/motion-sickness. You can't just be running around all over the place. (about the closest you can come is a game like Temple Run, where you are moving quickly but constrained to one forward direction... so, no major movement/orientation changes. Even that is borderline.)
  • you can't just use a controller (or mouse or keyboard) to move around the environment like you do on a computer screen. It is instant vertigo when your head thinks it is facing one direction, then suddenly it spins to face another. Likewise, the motion of your body movements (like strafing) when moving is jarring.
  • because of the two above conditions, a game that involves slow and methodical moving (walking, especially in the direction you are facing) is ideal. Well, since you can't very easily use a controller to do this and have it be a comfortable experience, this means there are generally "look-triggered events" that need to occur, which automatically slow the game down, but make it a 100% natural fit for turn-based (not real-time) gameplay

Our project is to showcase the ways that things must change when you go from first-person on a computer monitor to first-person in VR. People want to do it the same way... you can't (or, at least, you shouldn't, because it's a miserable experience)

[In fact, even our industrial-espionage game has a major innovation/difference in the method of movement/gameplay, such that movement and even speed become a natural part of the game; hint:  you aren't walking/running around like most FPS games because, as I've already pointed out, that experience sucks in VR. Anybody who thinks CoD, Battlefield, CounterStrike, Team Fortress would be fun in VR should give it a try and keep a timer running to see how long they can go before feeling queasy.]


While RogueVR is not exactly tile-based (that could possibly put too much of a constraint on the suspension of disbelief), it is fairly slow and methodical turn-based -- no need to run around, and you have time to actually make decisions and choices. (Honestly, I've often preferred this even for non-VR first-person RPGs on the computer... I never did the real-time battles in Fallout 3, for example; always chose the turn-based combat system.)

I get the feeling not many (if any?) people on this forum have tried much VR...
It's really motivational for us to get this game out there and show how things should be done!

akeley

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Re: Introducing... RogueVR, a VIRTUAL REALITY experience of the classic!
« Reply #13 on: August 10, 2015, 08:20:37 PM »
What you essentially just said is that any first-person RPG is bound to fail in VR.

I neither said nor implied that. You did, and then ran with it. Now, it`s true, I`m no expert on VR - I kind of check on it every decade or so to see if it`s still a gimmick...and at last I thought that Oculus was supposed to sort those persistent nausea problems, no? But you say that corporations throwing billions of dollars at it got it all wrong, and that your company will show them how it really should be done. Ummm...well, okay then. I`m sure everybody will be super thrilled learning that they should forget about SkyrimVR and will be saved by RogueVR instead.

My post regarded Rogue and its transition to VR. Or rather lack of need for such an exercise. But even putting aside that angle, what about gameplay? Rogue works so well because it`s a tight, cleverly designed game which plays slick & fast - and that`s tied to the presentation; the single ASCII screen. Throw it in 3D - never even mind VR - and all of a sudden it just sounds like a recipe for something truly tedious. There`s a reason that among hundreds of true roguelikes - and even unbound by conventions roguelites - there`s only a handful (actually, any?) that has chosen turn based 3D as its main system. It`s because the roguelike gameplay translates very poorly to such environment.

But okay, maybe I just don`t get it and there are folks out there who would enjoy it. It is, of course possible (even forgetting the fact that your version - not grid based, with "hybrid" TB system, without the "irrelevant" flavours like monsters is not exactly "faithful" to original, in fact it changes it completely...but let`s not dwell on details). And if it was just some enthusiast-level project - like fan translation or a big mod, or other VR related remakes - I`d say "hey, it`s not for me, but good luck anyway".

As it is though, you decided to attach a 35K price tag to it. On Kickstarter. That`s a different ballgame. When it first started Kickstarter was quite idealistic and nice idea - in 2015, not so much anymore. Sorry, but I`m not buying this whole "gauging interest" angle - it`s not what this platform was intended for. So maybe what you say is true, and it`s not a "cash grab"...but to be honest, at best it just comes across as an opportunistic "hey let`s see what happens" move.

You say that the game will get made anyway - if so, then what`s the money for? In fact that last question is just one of many that springs up to mind reading your pitch. Who exactly are SanctuaryMedia and what is their track record? Why is their website a single non-interactive jpg? Why are there several errors in the opening paragraph alone?

Maybe I`m nitpicking but it really doesn`t inspire confidence. Like stating that you have hundreds of likes/followers when your Fb page shows 8 (eight). Or claiming to have "sci-fi/industrial-espionage first-person shooter VR game" shelved - kinda project that usually takes big teams and big bucks to pull off, yet you guys (guy?) just dropped it to dedicate yourselves to  RogueVR. Commendable!

But sure, I might be just a rambling old skeptic and it will all end well. I`d be quite curious to see what future brings to this endeavour...keep us posted ;)

Gornova

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Re: Introducing... RogueVR, a VIRTUAL REALITY experience of the classic!
« Reply #14 on: September 24, 2015, 07:18:27 AM »
About roguelike and 3d, I have to mention Legend of Grimrock 1&2:

http://www.grimrock.net/

And sells good on steam:
http://steamspy.com/app/207170
http://steamspy.com/app/251730

So, maybe "VR step" is a natural step ? I'm thinking it's possible, but require great gameplay anyway :D (meaning: with my RL skills it's impossible! )
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