Author Topic: Issues with Rogue-likes from a Rogue-like dev  (Read 13379 times)

keithburgun

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Issues with Rogue-likes from a Rogue-like dev
« on: February 01, 2016, 06:57:11 PM »
Hello, all! You might have heard me on the Roguelike Radio podcast a few times and talking about some of my issues with Rogue-likes. I have a new podcast now and the last two episodes talk a lot about Rogue-like design, and I thought you guys might like to check that out.

Episode 16 - A Conversation about Rogue-likes with Black Shell Games:
http://keithburgun.net/cgd-podcast-episode-16-a-conversation-about-rogue-likes-with-black-shell-games/

Episode 17 - Rogue-likes and Other "Bar" Games:
http://keithburgun.net/cgd-podcast-episode-17-rogue-likes-and-other-bar-games/

Let me know what you think.

Kyzrati

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Re: Issues with Rogue-likes from a Rogue-like dev
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2016, 03:12:53 AM »
For anyone who doesn't know, Black Shell is a terrible business that used the success of their first game (built on the back of a massive army of spambots and deceptive marketing tactics) to set up a PR company that now takes advantage of indie devs by tricking them into signing binding contracts then stealing 30% of their revenue despite providing no real services, and then threatens legal action when these devs find out they were duped and try to tell anyone about it.

Sorry Keith, but you're still giving a voice to this cancer on the industry, one that many many people hate with a passion, for good reason, and anywhere their name is even mentioned is opportunity and cause to inform more people.

Do not buy their games (Sanctuary RPG).

For more discussion on this podcast and Black Shell.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2016, 10:16:02 AM by Kyzrati »

getter77

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Re: Issues with Rogue-likes from a Rogue-like dev
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2016, 03:36:05 AM »
Yeah, pretty much no heralds sowing the seeds of progress in the RL community---if anything, closer to slash & burn agriculture going for those short term gains for the few at the expense of turning off many and/or posterity.  One of the outstandingly rare instances where I completely stopped following the goings on for something even somewhat to do with the Roguelike scene due to all the spam and negative surrounding intrigue.
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Krice

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Re: Issues with Rogue-likes from a Rogue-like dev
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2016, 12:38:31 PM »
I don't know what those podcasts were about, but I can pretty much guess. It's the same old problem when someone tries to commercialize roguelikes, it has been tried long ago.

Funny thing is that ADOM is trying to do that, but it only makes the game worse! It's hilarious. You know, all those sucky animations and sound effects adding nothing to gameplay, if making it just more annoying.

There's been actual discussion about UI of roguelikes. I think these days it's unfair to judge games that are from 90's and some even started in 80's! And on top of that I think key-per-command is great UI design if it's used properly. That said it's also possible to reduce the amount of direct commands and use menus for less frequent commands, but key-per-command is still a viable solution.

Another problem is that there is not much commercial appeal in tile based game with lot of complexity. It just doesn't work that way. It's much safer for commercial developers to choose easier games for making money. I know they look at roguelikes as a niche market, but is it really worth all that trouble? I don't think so. If you just want to make money it's better create something for today's fast mobile game market. Easy gameplay with immediate hook. That's the recipe for winning.

Worthless_Bums

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Re: Issues with Rogue-likes from a Rogue-like dev
« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2016, 03:20:58 PM »
Another problem is that there is not much commercial appeal in tile based game with lot of complexity. It just doesn't work that way. It's much safer for commercial developers to choose easier games for making money. I know they look at roguelikes as a niche market, but is it really worth all that trouble? I don't think so. If you just want to make money it's better create something for today's fast mobile game market. Easy gameplay with immediate hook. That's the recipe for winning.
Really.

Paul Jeffries

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Re: Issues with Rogue-likes from a Rogue-like dev
« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2016, 09:58:03 PM »
I listened to this mainly to see whether the Black Shell guys sounded like the dodgy used-car-salesman stereotype I had in my head.

The Roguelikes-as-Slot-Machines thing is something I think you have to take game-by-game; I don't see it being intrinsic or endemic to the genre.  I thought that the 'Roguelikes are easy to balance' comment a little later on betrayed a certain lack of insight; where Roguelikes are chance-driven is largely not the result of design intent but of poor balancing of generated content.

jere

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Re: Issues with Rogue-likes from a Rogue-like dev
« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2016, 01:37:54 AM »
I saw there wasn't too much discussion here, so I decided to post a response on reddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/roguelikes/comments/44319z/clockwork_game_design_ep_17_roguelikes_and_other/
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keithburgun

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Re: Issues with Rogue-likes from a Rogue-like dev
« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2016, 04:30:10 AM »
I hadn't heard any of this biz about Black Shell before I did the podcast. They messaged me and we had a discussion via email just about game design and they seemed to be interested in the conversation, and, as Rogue-like devs, it seemed like a conversation worth having. My podcast doesn't talk at all about their business practices. My podcast is about as far from a "business" podcast as you can get. So I'm definitely not endorsing their tactics or whatever.

Anyway, thanks for listening. I also did do a follow-up episode that explains my views on the Rogue-likes as skinner boxes thing a bit more:

http://keithburgun.net/cgd-podcast-episode-17-rogue-likes-and-other-bar-games/

Kyzrati

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Re: Issues with Rogue-likes from a Rogue-like dev
« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2016, 04:46:31 AM »
You miss the point. By giving them any credibility whatsoever, in any capacity at all, you're enabling their practices when people read/hear something from them that isn't talking about how nasty they are.

Anything propagated about them in the public space should be negative, period.

Here's hoping yet another developer doesn't come along and learn about them only via your podcast, see that they do "PR" for indie games, figure they must be good guys, then have their dreams crushed.

Sorry but by its very existence that podcast is doing the community at large a disservice. Black Shell actively seeks ways to regain their credibility and muddy the waters while they continue scamming. Contacting you is just another way to do that. You're not the first, but you were duped.

Krice

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Re: Issues with Rogue-likes from a Rogue-like dev
« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2016, 01:32:04 PM »
Sorry but by its very existence that podcast is doing the community at large a disservice. Black Shell actively seeks ways to regain their credibility and muddy the waters while they continue scamming.

Who is signing up a contract with some shady company anyway? Is that even a common practice?

Kyzrati

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Re: Issues with Rogue-likes from a Rogue-like dev
« Reply #10 on: February 05, 2016, 01:49:12 PM »
It's pretty easy to take advantage of indie devs, who usually have next to no money or experience, and are even less likely to have business experience/sense.

The thing is Black Shell Media does a fairly good job of appearing to be professional, if you don't do due diligence on them. A lot of people just aren't savvy enough to look for opinions on who they're signing with, and anyone who helps BSM in their quest to muddy the waters makes a proper appraisal that much more difficult.

Anywhere the name Black Shell Media appears should be used to point out how terrible they are.

jere

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Re: Issues with Rogue-likes from a Rogue-like dev
« Reply #11 on: February 05, 2016, 03:07:22 PM »
Quote
Who is signing up a contract with some shady company anyway?

Plenty of people on /r/gamedev apparently. Many game devs completely lack any business or marketing sense (which is why they're motivated to seek out these relationships in the first place).
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Krice

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Re: Issues with Rogue-likes from a Rogue-like dev
« Reply #12 on: February 05, 2016, 10:34:28 PM »
Many game devs completely lack any business or marketing sense (which is why they're motivated to seek out these relationships in the first place).

I think it's still surprising, but I guess the hope for money makes people try everything. That's one of reasons I like roguelikes from development point of view, because when you are programming one it doesn't involve money. Well, besides ADOM, but it's more like milking the brand thing.

getter77

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Re: Issues with Rogue-likes from a Rogue-like dev
« Reply #13 on: February 05, 2016, 10:47:15 PM »
ADOM has no place on the same plane of existence as the BSM actions/reckonings in this topic---as the former is wholly legitimate both in comparison to the latter and in absolutes across the board.  ADOM is...normal, same as Caves of Qud and a great many others really.
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Krice

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Re: Issues with Rogue-likes from a Rogue-like dev
« Reply #14 on: February 06, 2016, 07:53:04 AM »
ADOM has no place on the same plane of existence as the BSM actions/reckonings in this topic

I was talking about money and what people are willing to do to get it. Stop being such a fanboy. ADOM was continued only because crowd funding option became available. Without that we would have never seen that game again. Of course, it's a different thing compared to what these BSM people are doing (or as the internet says they are doing, we don't have any better proof about that).