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What makes a roguelike fun?

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Re: What makes a roguelike fun?

Postby johndramey » Wed Mar 17, 2010 8:13 pm

Rynon wrote:Well, I'm short on time, so just a quick reply for now -- I'll likely be back later for more.

Some quick ideas:
1) Past Characters could help new characters -- have characters able to select a few (1-3) bequeathable items, so that if they die, they can be used by the next character. Or, alternatively, have gold stored in a magic transport bag, that goes to their 'relative' on the surface when they die, and new characters can shop a store with the proceeds before embarking on a quest


That's actually a good idea, but the problem is someone could abuse that and just play a lot without using any gold at all and then saving up a ton of gold to use. Maybe only leave a percentage? Or maybe keep it to the last x amount of characters can be saved? Or maybe take another hint from Shiren and make a "bank" in the game where a PC can deposit some money that can be used by the next character to come along?

Rynon wrote:2) Food/time alternative - have a big baddie come to the floor if the character has spent too much time (i.e x amount of steps), to prompt him to move or die.


I dunno, I'm not a huge fan of this idea. The limit this imposes is much more concrete than the food limit. What happens if your PC gets lost in a maze? Then you are going to get squashed through no real fault of your own. Food is a softer limit, you can get screwed by one level where you get lost but the chances are you'll have a stockpile built up and can get through it. With the big baddie theory your PC can be completely screwed by one bad level.

Rynon wrote:3) Chance at some new items - identify scrolls are not nearly as frequent enough given the amount of gear one gets, but possibly cant ID/must risk pain/suffering to try. Add in an 'identify all' scroll (that is already recognized by the character), that will identify everything in the pack (but would be a rare item). Or, make the character proficient at identifying a certain type of loot (scrolls, potions, wands, armor, weapons, rings), so that they would know what the item of their proficiency is (proficiency could either be selectable or random). Alternatively, still make it a (mostly) take your chance by testing it out, but with a twist - a potentially extreme (i.e really good or bad effect) is identifiable. I.e. A cursed set of armor or a +2 set of armor would both give the character a slight shock when picked up, identifying it as possibly being good or bad. Player could then decide if they want to take the chance (shock for weapons/rings/armor, particular smell for potions, certain colour ink on scrolls, type of wood (or finish) on wands)

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That's kind of a good idea. Maybe have items that are strongly enchanted (either negatively or positively) have it have a sense of magic that the PC can feel? Not anything too much, but just sort of a prod for the PC to know this item is something worth identifying. If you do this though you should leave it so the lesser enchanted items give off no sense of enchantment. This way the PC doesn't just horde all his/her identify scrolls for those strong items?
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Postby whitehorizon08 » Fri Mar 19, 2010 7:35 pm

Roguelikes are barebones representations of models in time, space, and well being. I'm thinking of any roguelike as a piece of art where the art hinges on decision points created, and options available. The fun for me is a function of its depth.
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Re:

Postby CommanderData » Sat Mar 20, 2010 8:52 am

whitehorizon08 wrote:Roguelikes are barebones representations of models in time, space, and well being. I'm thinking of any roguelike as a piece of art where the art hinges on decision points created, and options available. The fun for me is a function of its depth.


A simple but appealing concept! I like it :D

Of course everyone has a different opinion of what constitutes art, as many people who play roguelikes will have an opinion of how "deep" they would like the gameplay to be. To some it's a better to have everything but the kitchen sink (or including the kitchen sink in NetHack's case), others would prefer to have a bit, or a lot, less to manage. They are there for the exploration.

Spirit Hunter Mineko will end up in the middle ground: More complex than rogue (and Rogue Touch), and less complex than NetHack. Where exactly in that range it ends up will be interesting to see, it continues to evolve as I challenge myself to think outside the roguelike box. :ugeek:
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Re: What makes a roguelike fun?

Postby plaidman » Thu Mar 25, 2010 2:38 pm

I've been thinking about the idea of treasure chests and traps and random treasures.

So let's say you add an additional stat to keep track of: Searching.

Each time you search an area, you have a chance to dig up a few gold pieces in a 3x3 area surrounding your character, and you gain a bit of Searching skill, the downfall is searching takes an extra turn. When you come upon a treasure chest, you can pass it, spend a turn to open it, or you can use an extra turn to search for a trap. If you search it and there's no trap, you can spend a turn to open it. If there's a trap on the chest, you can pass the treasure, or you can spend yet another turn to attempt to disarm the trap, which may fail based on the trap difficulty and your Searching skill. Either way you get the treasure, but you might get a mouthful of poison gas while you're at it.

Trap difficulty and probability the chest is trapped could be based on what level the trapped chest is found.

So, going back to the player choices having benefits and drawbacks:

Searching a random area:
+increase Searching skill
+might find some gold
-spends an extra turn
-tedious to search randomly

Find a treasure chest, open it without searching first:
+get a treasure
+uses fewer turns than searching/disarming
-spend a turn
-might be trapped

Search for the trap:
+allow you to disarm the trapped chest, or confidence that you're not opening a trapped chest
+might also find some gold on the ground
+increase Searching skill
-uses a turn

Attempt to disarm the trap
+might avoid a dart in the neck if you pass the skill check
+increase Searching skill (perhaps a larger increase than just searching the area) (perhaps increase even if you failed the skill check)
+get the chest item (even if you failed the skill check)
-uses a turn
-might fail the skill check and get a dart regardless

Ignore the treasure chest without searching or opening
+doesn't use as many turns
+no chance of triggering a trap
-no treasure
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Re: What makes a roguelike fun?

Postby rovorcen » Mon May 24, 2010 12:14 am

I may be a little late to the game here. Just downloaded your rogue touch and have enjoyed it so far. Was a bit skeptical that the retro feel and control type would be a little to rough for me but I was wrong and it has been a real fun game.

In regards to what makes a rogue-like fun: Their may be a bunch who would disagree with me but in regards to your list of things people hate perma-death, traps, searching, stat downs. To me the only time those items really become super not fun is when they become so difficult that they present a barrier to experiencing the game. What I mean here is If you have a dungeon crawler where you have different dungeons/tile sets/areas with types of monsters that can only be reached by sequentially progressing through the game, if their are tons of cheap shot mechanisms that make it very unlikely you will ever experience 40% of the game, that becomes frustrating. I understand that in rogue-like games "winning" is supposed to be a rare hard earned achievement. I dont disagree with that. In Rogue Touch the tile set is the same and the random distribution of loot you can be guaranteed to see almost all the game even if you are really bad at the game. You may miss seeing a few enemies because they spawn at a lower level but you can always polymorph something into a big baddie. So I dont feel cheated that in losing the game I wont ever see things ( besides the amulet LOL). Fargoal is mostly the sameway the random tile sets are splashed throughout the levels. An example that worries me is something like 100 rogues where if you are not particularly good at the game maybe you only ever see the Bandit Hole. You miss everything else about the game. So a rogue-like that has a bit of a story and a progression of scenery/loot/enemies/talents/bosses affects me by installing a need to see the end and gives me the sense that I am being cheated if the difficulty is so high that randomness prevents me from ever seeing more that a taste of the game.

I know that kind of goes against what a rogue-like is all about and it is only my opinion of what runs through my head when I am playing a game. However I am pretty excited to see how this project turns out. I will be real interested in giving it a try. And If i dont add my 2 cents then I cant be surprised that the developer didnt guess what I like about his games :)
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