What do you hate most about Roguelikes?

What do you hate most about Roguelikes?

Postby Jastiv » 07 Jun 2019, 01:58

Rogue-likes seem to be an incredibly popular genre in the free software world, with flagship games like nethack, almost everyone has played one, or at least tried to play one.
Also, a lot of people don't like rogue-likes for various reasons. What do you hate most about them?
Personally, I hate the tremendous difficulty of getting through the game with only one life. That is probably the thing I hate most about them. The second thing I hate about them is just the general difficulty of the games. If I had to add a third thing, it would probably be how turn based games lend themselves so poorly to multi-player, but that is another topic.
Wograld has some aspects of rogue-likes, but obviously not the stuff I hate the most.
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Re: What do you hate most about Roguelikes?

Postby fluffrabbit » 07 Jun 2019, 05:10

I hate high-resolution text-mode graphics where the efficient nature of text rendering is exploited to put way too much shit on the screen for me to be able to focus on what's going on. It's not immersive, it's overwhelming.

I hate diagonal movement keys. The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past figured out how to do diagonal movement properly with only 4 arrow buttons, and that is the model I base my movement systems on. 8 directional keys feels antiquated, like something from a Colecovision/Intellivision game.

I hate that twitch reflexes are not rewarded. I know that's the central nature of a roguelike, but I hate it.
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Re: What do you hate most about Roguelikes?

Postby dulsi » 07 Jun 2019, 14:59

Nothing. I don't have any problem with rules of a roguelike. I'm not fond of permadeath and used backup files to prevent it back in the day. I don't play them that much any more due to the time needed.
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Re: What do you hate most about Roguelikes?

Postby domtron » 08 Jun 2019, 15:37

Not trying to fight or anything, but the question struck me as coming from an odd direction and I dislike it for two reasons.

A) It's rather negative, if that makes sense? The question is basically saying "lets complain about Roguelikes!" When I first saw it I thought you were angling for a "What do you hate about current roguelikes and how can we fix it."

B) Building on A, part of your answer in op doesn't make too much sense to me. It comes across like you just don't like Roguelikes at all. While the definition isn't nearly universally agreed on, many define the Roguelike genre as:
  • Permadeath, losing all progress made during the game.
  • Heavy use of procedural generation.

There are a few other things that makes up a roguelike, but if you drop those things your really not making a roguelike any more. Even when permadeath is essentially removed it still exists in some way (You have the option to turn it off, you lose some but not all progress, etc). The difficulty of one life is some of what makes it fun.

IMHO it's like saying you don't like managing different attack strategies or an economy in a strategy game. Or you don't like the speed/twitch reaction of an action game. If you don't like the core ideas of a genre then do you really like the genre at all?


If I was going to criticize current roguelike games I'd say too many games try to label themselves as a roguelike when they really are not. But that's just my opinion. :)
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Re: What do you hate most about Roguelikes?

Postby drummyfish » 12 Jun 2019, 17:14

Never even tried any roguelike, mostly for one reason:

permadeath

I actually like the idea of ASCII/terminal interface, I'd play such a game only if it were more like The Elder Scrolls (open world, freedom, work on your character) rather than Tetris (get the highest score).

I have a suspicion the popularity of roguelikes stems from the simplicity of implementation (no graphics, no physics, no sound, no saves, no multiplayer, no hand-made levels, ...) rather than outstanding gameplay. (That's all okay but I'd rather see one complex TES-style game than 20 new flavors of roguelikes.)
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Re: What do you hate most about Roguelikes?

Postby fluffrabbit » 12 Jun 2019, 19:41

TES games technically have permadeath in that you don't respawn. They just also happen to have a quicksave option so can un-permadie.
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Re: What do you hate most about Roguelikes?

Postby dulsi » Yesterday, 03:13

drummyfish {l Wrote}:I have a suspicion the popularity of roguelikes stems from the simplicity of implementation (no graphics, no physics, no sound, no saves, no multiplayer, no hand-made levels, ...) rather than outstanding gameplay. (That's all okay but I'd rather see one complex TES-style game than 20 new flavors of roguelikes.)

I believe most roguelikes include graphics at this point. You can still play with text characters but I'm not sure what is most common. Simplicity is not guaranteed of roguelikes. NetHack has so many different commands they are just a single letter like in Angband. Some of them have crafting/enhancement systems. Cataclysm: Dark Days Ahead has a skill system which looks quite daunting to me. It also requires SDL2_mixer so it probably has sound. I'm not certain no hand-made levels is simpler than procedurally generated. I mean a quick procedurally generated dungeon is easy but making one that is interesting to explore may require some work. They may also have rooms that are hand-made and added to the dungeon. Dwarf Fortress (closed source game) has been praised for it's depths and complexity. Have you taken a look at Gearhead series? I still have yet to try it but I've heard good things about it. No multiplayer is due to the turn based nature but there are still some like mangband.

They may not appeal to you but I think they have a lot more in them than you give them credit for. (I know I don't like FPS. Every once in a while, I try one because of the reviews or neat concept. I keep finding I just don't like those style games.)
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Re: What do you hate most about Roguelikes?

Postby domtron » Yesterday, 03:54

A quick defense of Permadeath. :P

I like Permadeath in certain contexts. A building/design heavy game like say Mine-craft/test is not a good place for permadeath. The game needs to actually be designed for permadeath.

Permadeath makes game progression more dependant on player skill. I think it increases the pavlov effect (I think I'm using the right term). You do X or do Y poorly and you have a harsher punishment, but do things right and you make it farther than in the last run. Each hit point is more precious because it brings you closer to a permanent end. It makes the player do things more efficiently each time so they can get farther.

Permadeath is also good to set a certain tone for a game if they are trying to make a point. Can be used for either philosophy of "nothing matters everything will reset anyway" or "make choices carefully or suffer a dire consequence". Probably others too, I'm no expert writer able to come up with those things.
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Re: What do you hate most about Roguelikes?

Postby fluffrabbit » Yesterday, 04:10

I think permadeath presents a philosophical issue about game design.

Let's say you design the most realistic medieval knight simulator ever. The knights go into battle surrounded by troops in heavy armor. The actual likelihood of death is quite low, despite appearances. If permadeath is defined as an autosave system that deletes everything when you die, there is an actual risk associated with making creative decisions. So tone matters. It's a story.

On the other hand, roguelikes with permadeath are pixels and symbols that nobody cares about, so imho they're just arcade games rather than life sims.
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Re: What do you hate most about Roguelikes?

Postby drummyfish » Today, 05:02

I guess permadeath is a topic that can be discussed endlessly from all different perspectives, and I am not saying it is bad per se, just that it's what keeps me from playing roguelikes.

My point is I like RPGs (character development, complex mechanics) and I like Tetris (permadeath, no saves, simplicity, skills and highscores). I just can't for the love of god find the enjoyment in the mix of these two.
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Re: What do you hate most about Roguelikes?

Postby fluffrabbit » Today, 05:24

I like arcade games like Metal Slug and Street Fighter, and roguelikes feel like arcade games. Except you can play your fill of arcade games in an hour or two, while roguelikes can go on and on and on, and when you die it's over. If you only play games to kill time, I suppose roguelikes are pretty optimized for that task.
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Re: What do you hate most about Roguelikes?

Postby drummyfish » Today, 06:19

Or another take: it feels like a big waste to create a complex game (e.g. as you mentioned the alchemy system etc.) and then make it an arcade. An extreme case of this would be e.g. creating something like GTA V, then adding permadeath and only let people compete in how far in the missions they can get without dying -- you kill most of the potential fun with such a complex game -- the endgame fun -- and probably put off a large number of potential players. It's okay to add an arcade mode, but it shouldn't be all there is. I already feel the same about story-driven games that simply end as soon as you finish the story and don't let you play any further, it's a wasted fun.

Also please only take this as an attempt at a constructive criticism of the genre, it's great that many people enjoy it, but this is something I feel a lot of people might be missing. Someone please create an ASCII RPG in TES style.
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Re: What do you hate most about Roguelikes?

Postby fluffrabbit » Today, 06:44

I have talked about alchemy systems in other threads. There is much work to be done on that front, and my current proprietary game project completely revolves around the alchemy system. But for roguelikes, in my limited experience with the genre, it seems that developers shove in tons of loot to collect and other things. It's more than just alchemy.

If we're talking Nethack, it's an RPG that seems to be as complex as Dungeons and Dragons, but one can get blasted into oblivion so fast that I have derived no joy from it. It's a big bag of content that you can't enjoy; you just get killed in the second room if you don't know what you're doing.

Someone please create an ASCII RPG in TES style.

There are roguelikes that are purely graphical. The best example I can think of is the open source Android game Pixel Dungeon. It's written in Java and the desktop version isn't FLOSS, but it's still an okay example visually. To each their own.

Personally, I try to imagine myself in a future where you jack into a virtual reality and have your memories erased, and the more convincingly real the experience is, the less likely your brain is to forfeit it. As Agent Smith said, humans measure reality by the amount of suffering. I'd rather suffer realistically than screw around with unconvincing text graphics and respawns, but that's just me.
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Re: What do you hate most about Roguelikes?

Postby Lyberta » Today, 09:53

Someone please make roguelike first person shooter.
I'm tired.
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Re: What do you hate most about Roguelikes?

Postby fluffrabbit » Today, 10:04

Lyberta {l Wrote}:Someone please make roguelike first person shooter.

It's been done. One is called Superhot. Its roguelike element is time, though I believe the levels are manmade.

There was another one someone was making in Unity a few years ago, a procedurally generated dungeon crawler, though I think it was realtime.
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Re: What do you hate most about Roguelikes?

Postby drummyfish » Today, 12:10

Superhot was awesome but I can't see how that's roguelike. Anyway, we need a free clone please :)
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Re: What do you hate most about Roguelikes?

Postby fluffrabbit » Today, 12:30

drummyfish {l Wrote}:Superhot was awesome but I can't see how that's roguelike. Anyway, we need a free clone please :)

It's a roguelike because it only goes when you move.

Anyways, here you are calling for the commencement of a 3D FPS project that would probably take a lot of time unless it were a mod to an existing open source FPS like Sauerbraten. At the same time folks around here don't want to wait for the development of a simpler and less ambitious 2D game clone like Tux Torture. (A truly serendipitous name imho.)
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Re: What do you hate most about Roguelikes?

Postby Lyberta » Today, 15:22

I just want FPS with random maps so I play it 24/7 and not get bored.
I'm tired.
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Re: What do you hate most about Roguelikes?

Postby fluffrabbit » Today, 16:35

Procedural maps that aren't boring? That's non-trivial. Minecraft/test use Perlin noise and large open spaces, but I think they stay interesting just by virtue of coming with a lot of content. There are Mine-clones in the FPS genre, but they're the epitome of cheap garbage.
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