Roguelike question topic

Roguelike question topic

Postby Sauer2 » 03 Jan 2017, 00:11

This is a thread where I and potentially everybody else as well ask questions about roguelikes, a genre still pretty alien to me, despite playing DoomRL and reading articles in the RogueBasin wiki.

For now: If you were about to develop a roguelike why would you still offer a text based interface instead of drawing small, pen-drawn, symbolic images on a GUI?
Why would you as the player want this?
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Re: Roguelike question topic

Postby andrewj » 03 Jan 2017, 04:56

As a player, I probably would not play it if the game only had a text interface. Some people are fine with it, they can use their imagination to visualize the monsters (etc) and are able to remember the difference between a purple 'h' and a blue 'h' (etc). Not me though.

As a programmer, it is obviously much easier to create a text interface roguelike. I certaintly couldn't create from scratch the hundreds of tiles needed for a complete game. OpenGameArt has some good tilesets, and NetHack has a good 32x32 tileset, but using these can make your game look like the other games out there, plus you often need stuff that doesn't exist in those tilesets, leading to a mishmash of styles.
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Re: Roguelike question topic

Postby eugeneloza » 03 Jan 2017, 12:51

I personally prefer graphics to text :) And interface usefulness and convenience is what makes the game more interesting to play (you don't have to struggle with weird controls, but just sit down and play).
interface instead of drawing small, pen-drawn, symbolic images on a GUI?

I've seen several very nice examples of pen-drawn images in computer games and might be a cool style feature. However, there is relatively hard to keep up the image quality.
In general, you either use available free game assets (which makes your game look similar to other games that use this tilesets, but do you really think there will be many those who will play both games to say "yes, they are similar"?) or commission/create your own unique art.
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Re: Roguelike question topic

Postby Akien » 03 Jan 2017, 13:02

The main reason nowadays to create an ascii roguelike would be if you want to go for a retro feel and appeal to old timers, just like many indie devs make retro 8-bit-like pixel art games because there's a niche market of nostalgic players for that.

But the roguelike genre has been made quite popular among mainstream players over the last few years, with great titles like Tales of Maj'Eyal, Pixel Dungeon or Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup (the latter available both in ascii and with 2D tiles), so most people nowadays enjoy playing roguelikes with 2D tiles when they are of acceptable quality. Myself I've played both, I used to play crawl a lot in ascii back when the tiled version was not particularly appealing - nowadays they've done a pretty good job on the tiles and I mostly play the graphical version.
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Re: Roguelike question topic

Postby Sauer2 » 03 Jan 2017, 14:36

Thank you for your responses. So I take it that text based roguelikes these days are made mostly for sparing the effort... and maybe some additional players.
Another reason I read in the roguebasin was that it is easier for blind people to play the text based versions, but I guess with most modern roguelikes using fake terminals that advantage is out of the window for technical reasons.

@eugeneloza: The main problem is probably that most of those tilesets seem to be generic, medieval high fantasy themed. Just another RL with elves and orcs sounds rather boring, tbh.

@Akien: What do you mean by acceptable quality? As in archiving a good enough visual contrast, kind of like andrewj described it?

Another question, if you don't mind: To those of you who played a couple of RLs, are miniquests/special rooms/in-game lore that are randomly put into the maps or not a thing?
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Re: Roguelike question topic

Postby eugeneloza » 03 Jan 2017, 15:47

Sauer2 wrote:most of those tilesets seem to be generic

Of course, if you don't want a boring generic tileset you have to draw something on your own / persuade or hire an artist. If you're speaking of pen-drawn images, you might make a roguelike in a drawn realm, where every object is pen-drawn.

are miniquests/special rooms/in-game lore that are randomly put into the maps or not a thing?

Theoretically, if you want to make a roguelike game, you should really play some of them :) I'd really recommend Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup which has nice graphics, relatively convenient interface and deep gameplay, and it's FOSS. Also try Meritous. To look from the other side of what the dungeon crawler can be I'd recommend you "Hack-Slash-Crawl" flash game, proprietary and poorly balanced, but a good demo of real-time crawler. Play a few more games, like FreeDroidRPG to get the style you want to. You may also try some first-person dungeon crawlers like and old Dungeon Hack (or, better, Eye of the Beholder), etc. In general, you don't have to master all of those, but at least looking at youtube clips would give you a nice idea on that.
So, basically the answer to your question is: It depends. There are games which have lore, there are games that don't. There are games that have mini-quests, there are games that don't. There are games that have special rooms, there are games that don't.
In general, roguelikes/roguelites strongly rely on random map generation with an excessive wiki on the game Lore and information.
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Re: Roguelike question topic

Postby Sauer2 » 03 Jan 2017, 16:30

Theoretically, if you want to make a roguelike game, you should really play some of them

Good point.
Are there any coffeebreak RLs you can recommend (aside from DoomRL)? I'd rather not spend two digit hours on a character and also rather not do tedious micro management, like eating stuff...
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Re: Roguelike question topic

Postby Akien » 03 Jan 2017, 19:43

Sauer2 wrote:Are there any coffeebreak RLs you can recommend (aside from DoomRL)? I'd rather not spend two digit hours on a character and also rather not do tedious micro management, like eating stuff...

Shattered Pixel Dungeon (fork of Pixel Dungeon, but better IMO) and Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup would be two must plays. The former is easier of access and more of a rogue-"lite", the latter is a real roguelike with a lot of depth and many characters and strategies to learn.
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Re: Roguelike question topic

Postby Sauer2 » 04 Jan 2017, 00:44

Thanks guys, that convinced me to try DCSS.
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Re: Roguelike question topic

Postby mdtrooper » 07 Jan 2017, 03:47

Sauer2 wrote:
Theoretically, if you want to make a roguelike game, you should really play some of them

Good point.
Are there any coffeebreak RLs you can recommend (aside from DoomRL)? I'd rather not spend two digit hours on a character and also rather not do tedious micro management, like eating stuff...


Brogue is a good choice for a "coffebreack". And I want to show a opposite of coffebreak Cataclysm Dark Days Ahead is a open world of zombies and you can do anything in the game....but you must spend a lot of hours of your life to learn.
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Re: Roguelike question topic

Postby Sauer2 » 07 Jan 2017, 16:03

@mdtrooper: I tried Brogue for about 15 minutes. To me, it feels like a minimalistic version of DCSS, minus the fun parts - eccentric deities and crazy character attributes, to be honest.
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Re: Roguelike question topic

Postby mdtrooper » 07 Jan 2017, 20:37

Sauer2 wrote:@mdtrooper: I tried Brogue for about 15 minutes. To me, it feels like a minimalistic version of DCSS, minus the fun parts - eccentric deities and crazy character attributes, to be honest.


Yes, yes, of course it is a basic game with a eyecandy graphics....with chars. I have the same opinion as other mates of the forum, the best coffe break roguelike in this days is Pixel Dungeon (or any fork of this).
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Re: Roguelike question topic

Postby Sauer2 » 07 Jan 2017, 21:03

Yes, yes, of course it is a basic game with a eyecandy graphics....with chars.

It looks really nice, but I find it hard to recognize the player from time to time.
I have the same opinion as other mates of the forum, the best coffe break roguelike in this days is Pixel Dungeon (or any fork of this).

I'll take a look on it, then.
That said, DCSS isn't that bad either, it's much lower on the complexity scale than feared.
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