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A look at Rogue Touch, and the future of Rogue-Like gaming

Discussion about Rogue Touch for the iPhone and iPod Touch

A look at Rogue Touch, and the future of Rogue-Like gaming

Postby CommanderData » Wed Oct 14, 2009 10:02 am

Well everyone, it's been a long time since I've had a chance to make any sort of meaningful post here. Work, Life, and Death in the family all have managed to steal time away from me. Things are starting to look up again for development though. I have been quietly writing a design document for a new game, and have been considering what the final "touches" for Rogue Touch should be.

First, we can talk about Rogue Touch. As I look at the house of cards that is the Rogue Touch source code, I have to consider the best choices to make in regards to balance and playability. Those of you familiar with the original ASCII Rogue can see I've tinkered with the gameplay already, in some cases a bit too much perhaps. :mrgreen:

What I want to see happen with Rogue Touch:
1) Fix for "level-dancing"
2) Fix for wraith HP exploit
3) Fix for Nymph stealing issues
4) Secret characters for everyone who's been patient in my absence (since the one and only contest this spring!)
5) A few more pieces of equipment (that I had in mind for a long time now!)
6) Some select good ideas from the request threads (I may just choose some, or present a list to vote on)

What probably won't happen in Rogue Touch:
1) A shop
2) A way to cheat perma-death

These two items would completely break the balance of Rogue, and if I adjust the rules of the game enough to compensate it is no longer "Rogue". I do have one way to implement a shop that is not a game-breaker though, and I would like to run this by you to get opinions:

Rogue Touch: Lite! - The premise here is simple. You are taking an "aptitude test" for the guild. This consists of diving into a small training dungeon of somewhere between 3 and 5 floors. The goal is to get down to that bottom floor and retrieve your starting equipment for the true game of Rogue (where you start with a +1,+1 Mace and +1 Ring Mail). When you reach the surface, you are graded for rank, speed, and how much loot you bring out. This gives you a certain amount of *gold/credit* which can be used in the guild's pro shop to buy interesting equipment. Once you do this, you can transfer this character over to the full game of Rogue Touch and start your quest for the Amulet of Yendor with the equipment you just bought!

This serves a few purposes- one, it allows people to start a character and build up their base rank and equipment a bit before entering the dungeons of doom. Two, it provides shopping in a clever way that won't break the game too badly. Three, it helps promote Rogue Touch! This would be one of the few games in the app store that you'd want to have the free, lite version and the full version installed at the same time! Of course, for purists, you can avoid the lite version and keep playing the way you do presently. Note that anyone using this proposed "lite" game to get a boost in starting capability would be treated as a special character for online ranking. Essentially this pairing would allow you to create your own special character because you could choose your starting equipment.

I'd like to hear your thoughts about this. I actually have a proof-of-concept bit of programming set up that allows me to transfer a character and pack full of items from a "dummy app" into Rogue Touch and start the game automatically. At this point I'd need to invest the time into creating the lite version, shopping experience, and wrap all that up for submission if it sounds appealing to everyone.

*******

Now, on to the future... the design of my next game. This new game will be a "rogue-like" game, with elements of several great games represented in it... think of Diablo II, Shiren the Wanderer, and perhaps some shades of collection games like Pokemon. :mrgreen:

*Un-named ChronoSoft Project* will be a big leap forward in terms of what you think of when you look at rogue-likes on the iPhone or even in computer gaming. The graphics will be much improved, and everything will be animated. I've been working with a graphic artist already (who is also working on other iPhone contract projects, including the upcoming game Steam Pirates), trying to nail down character designs. Since this is not officially based on any existing game, I am free to model the rules as I see fit. This means that things like shopping, potential ressurrection, and other interesting gameplay mechanics can be designed in and balanced to the game correctly from the beginning. Dungeons will have a greater variety to them, there will be the potential for scripted and special events to occur in them as well.

I won't go into too much detail in this forum, as the new game really deserves it's own sub-forum for discussion. Before I finalize the design I may put up a thread to list some of the major concepts and take a few suggestions too. I don't want the new game to suffer from a "design by committee" feel, but it doesn't hurt to at least air-out some of my ideas and make sure it all sounds appealing to you, the player! :lol:

Please keep in mind that this new game will not be available for a while. The graphics alone will take a few months with several artists to complete!


Comments are welcome, Hopefully some of you will still be lurking around enough to read this!
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Re: A look at Rogue Touch, and the future of Rogue-Like gaming

Postby Jim2wheels » Wed Oct 14, 2009 11:36 am

CD..good to hear you back.

With regards to the rogue touch ideas, I think all of them are much needed - especially 1-3. But i could live without the rest quite easily. I personally think all the scoreboards should be reset after the next (and last) update as well.

I like the idea of your next game, action RPG's always seem to fit well with the iphone/itouch interface. I assume you have tried Dungeon Hunter? I think that game is the genre leader at the moment - the controls and the menu system put it miles ahead of the rest in my opinion. I also think (albeit slightly ambitiously! :D ) that you could take some good elements from Demon's Souls on the PS3, it has that come back for more feel that epitomises Rogue.

Im not exactly sure what ideas could be lifted onto the Iphone - but with each ground breaking release, I get more and more greedy for console like quality on my phone! The damn thing amazes me like no other device i have ever owned...

Anyway, you can be sure i will be purchasing whatever game you produce. :D
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Re: A look at Rogue Touch, and the future of Rogue-Like gaming

Postby CommanderData » Wed Oct 14, 2009 12:10 pm

Jim2Wheels, I'm glad that you agree with the game-balancing changes I listed. You're correct that the leaderboards should probably be reset as well... maybe I'll alter the score submission system a bit so that it will only accept data from the most recent copy of the game too, so that people who do not upgrade won't pollute the board with unfair advantages :D

On action RPGs - I have played Dungeon Hunter through twice now. The second time was extremely tedious since the areas and stories are identical though... spoiled a bit by my own creations :lol: That and the *loot avalanche* you get through the game makes gold and virtually any item useless in the big picture. There's no real way to gain advantages through clever use of equipment. Just continuous little bumps of +2% to this stat or that stat. I found myself missing that awesome feeling of being particularly clever when I survive a "party room" in RT... It is an extremely beautiful game, but I think the replay value and challenge are lacking.

I have not played Demon's Souls, unfortunately I don't have a PS3 or know anyone with one. I'll try to get a feel for what the game is like by looking up some video and checking Gamefaqs... Care to share any other thoughts on what makes it special in your view? What draws you in to try just a bit harder next time?

*******

A few more details about the next game planned- it will still be a top down view, but the graphics will be layered a bit, everything will be larger and more detailed, and of course it will be fully animated. Basic control will share similarities to Rogue Touch (including fast-play, touch and D-pad modes), but will have some other improvements to streamline gameplay... one of those changes will make those of you who hated searching in RT very happy :P

Overall this new (still untitled) game will show obvious nods to the rogue-like genre, but will have many new twists. You can expect to see a new cast of monsters, but a few of your old favorites (or mortal enemies) may return as well. :mrgreen:
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Re: A look at Rogue Touch, and the future of Rogue-Like gaming

Postby snograt » Wed Oct 14, 2009 2:14 pm

Eek - don't "balance" Rogue Touch yet - I only bought it yesterday!

I'm a middle-aged gamer who's mind still lives in the ol' days of Dungeon Master, Eye of the Beholder and back to the SSI "gold box" games. I can't for the life of me work out how I managed to avoid Rogue and Rougue-likes all these years - thank you for the wonderful (if belated) introduction to the genre.

Once I finally get down and back (I suck - even with a Neo ^_^) I'll look forward to anything that you can top it with!
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Re: A look at Rogue Touch, and the future of Rogue-Like gaming

Postby CommanderData » Wed Oct 14, 2009 2:49 pm

snograt wrote:Eek - don't "balance" Rogue Touch yet - I only bought it yesterday!

I'm a middle-aged gamer who's mind still lives in the ol' days of Dungeon Master, Eye of the Beholder and back to the SSI "gold box" games. I can't for the life of me work out how I managed to avoid Rogue and Rougue-likes all these years - thank you for the wonderful (if belated) introduction to the genre.

Once I finally get down and back (I suck - even with a Neo ^_^) I'll look forward to anything that you can top it with!


Ha ha! Don't worry, the "exploits" that we're talking about fixing are not in common use, but have been abused by a few people to get ridiculously deep in the dungeon or acquire massive amounts of gold.

Any other changes will only enhance the experience you've been enjoying for the last 24 hours :mrgreen: You'll find that a lot of people that hang around here have played this very regularly for a long time, some of them since it's initial release back in February of this year, and I hope you'll get that level of fun out of it as time goes on.

The "lite" concept I have may be a neat way for people such as yourself who are still new to the game to get a bit of a boost while learning what equipment and monsters are capable of. The secret characters currently available are another great choice (all secret characters will be retained in the next update, don't worry about that!)... not all of them are better than the default though, some of them we made *worse* than a normal character to provide additional challenge to the hardcore players :D

Anyway, glad that you like Rogue Touch, and I'm honored to be put on the shelf in your mind with classics like Dungeon Master, Eye of the Beholder, and other greats from back in the day! Please keep checking in for new info, and ask if you need a bit of help ;)
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Re: A look at Rogue Touch, and the future of Rogue-Like gaming

Postby NightOwl40 » Wed Oct 14, 2009 3:02 pm

Hey there CD :D

I love the ideas for the "lite" version of Rogue Touch.......might help me as I still have not managed to survive long enough to get to the surface after finding that blasted amulet :oops:

Your new project sounds great, btw :mrgreen:
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Re: A look at Rogue Touch, and the future of Rogue-Like gaming

Postby Glarvole » Wed Oct 14, 2009 5:55 pm

Sounds like an excellent plan! I will also be very happy with 1-3, but I would also like to see the lite version as well. I've yet to get the amulet, but that's mostly because I've been working on the story of Me.... A few more levels to type up, and I hope to get it done by tomorrow at the latest. ^_^

As for this new game you're making, sounds awesome! I'm in the process of making a game myself, but it's not going to the phone/pod right away.

8')
Last edited by Glarvole on Thu Oct 15, 2009 3:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: A look at Rogue Touch, and the future of Rogue-Like gaming

Postby Nighthawk » Wed Oct 14, 2009 8:40 pm

Condolences on the loss of family. Glad to have you back on the forums!

1-3 and 5 (if easy to implement) sound good. I'll gladly forego my secret character, especially considering it was more like a scenario than just a character.

Rogue Touch: Lite sounds like a good idea.

Like the sound of the new project, but I have a confession: maybe it's just my fat (clubbed) fingers, but I have yet to find an action-type game that uses a D-Pad/Quasi-Analog Knob control that I didn't get totally frustrated with and give up. I think it's the lack of tactile feedback. If it's more of a "click to move/attack" type a la Diablo, that would work for me. Additionally, when it comes to Rogue-likes, I heavily prefer turn-based but will make exceptions where the live-action provides deeper gameplay (Persona series, where being stealthy is an asset).

Lastly, be careful with using certain parts of Diablo as a model, namely the randomly generated loot. Make sure that it generates useful items a greater percentage of the time.
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Re: A look at Rogue Touch, and the future of Rogue-Like gaming

Postby swhatley » Thu Oct 15, 2009 1:31 pm

CD,

I like your ideas for RTLite nad the Roguesmart store. The store should have some standard items and then some nice random items. BTW, in the store, would there be a chance of buying a cursed item that is in, let's say, the unidentified items bin? That would be interesting for risk takers to take a chance on buying a powerful or cursed item from the UIB. If you do this last idea, be sure to prompt the buyer, "The item could be normal, powerful, or CURSED! Are you sure?" or something like that and with the fine print of "Scroll of Identity not included.".

As far as the original RT, the one feature from the ones I've suggested in the RT request thread is the ability to choose between the male or female avatar. It would be nice to have more avatar choices like 4 male and 4 female but the 2 choices would do fine. Can hardly wait for the new surprises (items and/or monsters) you have in mind for the new RT version.

As for as "Project Unknown Title" (or PUT, for short) goes, I hope it is mostly turn based like RT instead of full action. I checked out Dungeon Hunter as mentioned above and find controlling the action to be difficult on such a small screen. The movement control just seems too hyper to me. But, I do really like how it brings in helper characters to fight along beside your character. It gets lonely traveling through a dungeon by yourself. Also, having different character classes like in Angband (or Moria) would be fun.

I need to get back to playing RT because it is fun. Thanks for the hard work you have done. And, I look forward to what comes next!

Thanks & Enjoy life!
Steven
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Re: A look at Rogue Touch, and the future of Rogue-Like gaming

Postby JonathanCR » Thu Oct 15, 2009 1:58 pm

I think it's a very good idea to make just the listed (minor) fixes to Rogue Touch, and save the new ideas for a new game. Rogue Touch isn't broken - it doesn't need fixing.

The Rogue Touch Lite idea is brilliant. In fact you should call it something else - perhaps Rogue Touch Prelude or something - to indicate that it's a little different from the usual "lite" offering. It's especially clever because while most "lite" games aim to get the player interested in the game and persuade them to buy the full thing, this one would also get the player interested in the character they have already built up and want to see what happens to him next. (Hope they don't get *too* attached to him though...)

As for the new game, I'm very pleased to hear that you're working on it, given the excellence of Rogue Touch itself. I'm sure that a roguelike game from you with new and original elements will be something special. It's not entirely clear from your description, though, whether you're thinking in terms of a roguelike game (i.e. turn-based, all "action" is imaginary) or something that plays more like Diablo (i.e. real-time, all action is fairly graphic). As people have indicated there are already games of the latter kind available on the iThing and there would be a lot of competition involved. (And personally I'm not a great fan of the "clickfest" style of RPG - you just can't get the complexity of objects and actions that you can in a roguelike game, because you don't have time to browse the menus or whatever to use/perform them in realtime - but that's probably beside the point.) However, there are no roguelikes that I know of available on the device, other than Rogue Touch and its rival Rogue, so there is a clearer field. I commented in a couple of other threads about how I enjoyed Moria back in the day, or the various 'bands, and I know I'd love to see an elaborate roguelike game of that ilk on the iThing. If it's an original game rather than a port of an existing one then so much the better.

It's good to hear that you're planning on giving it snazzier graphics. I love the smart graphics of Rogue Touch (I could never play these things with ASCII "graphics", that's just too hardcore for me) so I'm sure you will do a good job with these. One point though: to my mind, a *big* advantage of the simple and unanimated graphics of Rogue Touch, compared to many other games, is that they don't drain the battery. It is a really big plus to be able to play it for a long time on journeys without the device giving up the ghost. If the planned new game has more elaborate graphics and animations, will it drain the battery more? To some extent of course this isn't a problem, but I wouldn't like it to become like the real graphics-fest games where you have to recharge the device so much it's barely mobile at all!
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