Their design philosophy is fantastic:
The core concept is that all choices should be /meaningful/. 'No-brainers' are ruthlessly pruned away, or given interesting side effects that could be situationally useful or terrible. And also, avoid anything that looks like grinding. These people speak my language...
Also there is just nothing fun about inventory management IMHO.
In Skyrim I always did a player.modav carryweight 10000 and things became SO much more fun.
The game should have options that let you toggle things like that
I've been playing Nethack since, although I haven't played it in the last few years because of work and kids. There was a time in Nethack where it wasn't as complicated, but once they added all the deeper features, I've never completed the game and ascended. The game is now so deep and so complicated that I couldn't solve it without reading the cheats, and even following those, and even saving my games and redoing them, I've never gotten to the point where I could ascend. I'm really good at surviving the lower levels and stealing from shops, but I've never been able to figure out how to ascend. At some point, I should reattempt this now that I'm locked down for 2 months.
My daughters (21 & 23) have inherited this addiction though the prefer the isometric Vultures’s Eye.
First encountered Nethack in 1988. Only ever ascended once in the early days. It’s definitely gotten harder over the years. But maybe that’s just my attention to detail deteriorating.
Imagine trying to learn a piano piece, but instead of being able to practice the hard parts over and over until you've mastered them, you always have to restart from the very beginning at the first mistake.
Net result: you get extremely good at the beginning, to the point that it's boring, and you always get whooped by the hard part because you barely ever get to practice it (you have to sink an hour doing easy stuff just to get 5 seconds practicing the hard stuff)
In MMOs it is common to deal with boss mechanics of increasing difficulty with a reset should the party wipe. Some MMO developers try to curb this somewhat by having the difficulty climax around the middle rather than the end.
Technical games often have this as well, with games like DDR and Guitar Hero having some sets of songs that have lengthy intros only to suddenly get hit with the difficult segment later. Think Freebird.
Nothing wrong with disliking the mechanic, though. It's a common-enough dislike that it's spawned the rogue-lite genre where you still need to go through "the slog" but you accrue things from all of your previous (mis)adventures over time such that the early bits often go by faster (or can be muted/ignored).
Excellent example. Though I think in later versions of guitar hero they added a "practice mode" where you could practice the difficult segments in isolation
Let's take your analogy and flip it around:
Imagine trying to play a game, but instead of a logical progression with consequences, you can just pick it up from whatever point you like. If you die, it doesn't matter. You can just completely skip over that part and head to the next. In fact you can begin the game at the final boss if you want.
Net result: you get extremely good at nothing to the point that it's boring because you never have to practice or repeat a single thing.
I'm not saying get rid of permadeath, I'm saying make it optional like Hollow Knight, IWtbTG, or any numerous other games where time constrained people can use save points to master the game mechanics more quickly, and kids with infinite time can play permadeath mode to their heart's content.
I couldn't disagree more. It depends on the video game, but a lot of them really get the brain working hard. And it's simply impossible for most people to be purely "productive" all the time. Video games are a great way to break from the grind but keep the brain engaged in something more challenging than, for example, watching TV.
You either get roguelikes or you don't. You clearly don't.
Once again, I couldn't disagree more. I've played Rogue-likes for more decades than I care to remember, and I "save file scum" to avoid perma-death. Sure, some individuals might "cheat" and jump to the "conclusion" of the game quickly, but that's their problem.
I don't care to repeat the same beginning of a game over and over (and over and over). It's just repetitive and annoying.
That's what I used to think, and I agree, some not so good roguelikes feel like that no matter how far you get, more of a roguelite, but I find rogue legacy is bad for that, but the good ones i've enjoyed tend to be rich in mechanics that you slowly master with each failure.
The point of roguelikes isn't the same as most action/adventure/rpg whatever games. It isn't about memorizing and mastering the levels, but about memorizing and mastering the mechanics of the game itself.
Sure there'll be some cheapshots, out of balance levels, and just plain lousy runs, but the more you play, the more you learn hoe to be good and you get further or play better on successive runs.
I do agree though, I like the idea of some kind of permanent progression between runs, I think that would solve some of the permadeath pointlessness feeling, i've seen some games do it alright, but none have really been that great. The consequences for failure still tend to be too high and it ends up making it feel like even more of a grind...rogue legacy comes to mind again...
Personally, i've been thinking of some kind of hybrid between lufia 2's ancient cave dungeons with an item system like diablo's would make for an interesting change up.
Have certain rare chests that contain maybe items and maybe spells or something that last permanently between runs if you make it to a certain level or something, so while you'd be repeating from the beginning, you'd be starting a little more well equipped as you progress.
Quite a lot of people got wiped out by a pet Xorn.
I feel like I've seen this online at some point, where there were lots of ghosts because they were all getting killed by the same thing and then accumulating in new bones files.
But yes, quite a few people have experienced this by now.
The nature of the format means that games (the ones that are actually finished) are focused, often highlighting one or two novel gameplay mechanics and/or mood/design elements. Anything more than that and the designer can't finish in 7 days. This also means that entries from 10 years ago is just as playable (IF you can get them to run) as the entries from this year.
Cogmind (mentioned elsewhere on this thread) started as a 7drl.
Each year they have judges grade each entry, so you can look at archives like http://www.roguetemple.com/7drl/2010/ to find the highest-rated ones and focus your search there, if you like.
Roguelike Radio usually has a show about the 7drl results, e.g. http://www.roguelikeradio.com/2018/05/episode-145-7drls-2018... .
> you can immediately see that this article was stitched together by throwing some wikipedia articles together if it references the Berlin interpretation
> it's also hilarious if the guild of disgruntled adventurers is referenced as fun addition :)
> I'm not sure if I should feel insulted [by the article's description of my roguelike]
I mostly agree with these. I also feel a bit slighted by one of the descriptions. I'm also not sure quite what to make of the fact that they don't mention the two most prominent recent roguelikes: caves of qud, and cogmind.
I think it's this: https://github.com/RoguelikeRestorationProject/urogue1.03
Windows GUI launcher - https://github.com/remyroy/CDDA-Game-Launcher/releases
Linux/Docker CLI launcher - https://github.com/houseabsolute/catalauncher/releases
The Linux one is mine and could in theory work on macOS too. Patches are welcome.
The thing that makes it worthwhile is that it is so easy to jump in and out of the game. You play few moves while waiting in line, then put it in your pocket. Play for half an hour while watching TV. Your player gets into impossible situation, just put the game away and resume later with fresh ideas. The game is so deep you can get a feeling of living a parallel life. You pause your life to play game, then you pause game to continue your life. Can be a surreal experience. It is so much more complex and satisfying than your average mobile game.
I've also found the developers very friendly and welcoming to new contributors.
Cogmind was mentioned elsewhere; robots, guns and commercial-level polish.
(Personally, I'm working on a gun-oriented RL in my spare time, but it's going pretty slow ATM.)
Duskers is another scifi roguelike with a pretty cool premise: you command a bunch of remote drones while they explore randomly-generated derelict ships, possibly infestated with aliens and/or rogue robots. Your drones are generally helpless against hostiles, so the key strategy is to avoid rooms with enemies (or find creative ways to destroy them without a direct confrontation). Very, very cool.
I personally enjoyed the game an order of magnitude more. Sure, I lost some of the raw fear that grips you when you are deep into a good run and an unexpected squid appears, but I have a wife and kids and very limited time, and beating the game without saves would've taken an eternity.
In general I like playing games without permadeath until I'm really good at them. Then I enable permadeath as an added challenge.
But as someone who's done just about everything in that game I see where you're coming from.
In the end I have gravitated towards my personal favorite style of play, building a vicious boarding squad comprised of mantis or those rock dudes, that still required a constant danger of losing some crewmembers, but yielded more scrap in return after victory.
For the sake of curiosity, can you describe those surefire ways to win?
The core principle is to be able to adapt to whatever the have is sending your way. For every ship/layout variant, there are several paths which you can exploit. Some ships are more heavily skewed towards certain strategies (like if you have a 4-person teleport pad, you DEFINITELY should employ a heavy boarding strategies), but you always have some options.
There 2 main aspects to FTL warfare: you should kill your enemy and you should keep yourself safe.
To kill enemies, there are 3 reliable ways that I've found: lasers, drones and boarding.
With starting cruiser, you already have Burst Laser II that does 3 shots, and it's arguably the best starting gun. What you need to win the game is to have 2-4 shots more than enemy shield level, to drop down their shields and then do damage to systems. The heaviest shield level is 4, so if you are capable to deliver an 8-volley barrage, you can reduce the final boss ship quite fast. If you do NOT have firepower to drop enemy shields, missiles/bombs really help, since they can bypass shields and damage the critical systems. So, for starting ship, all you have to do is to luck your way for some more firepower. You can also augment it with teleporting, if you happen to find a couple of mantis crew members. If you find some good beam weapon, you can use this instead after shields drop, targeting most dangerous systems (I always tried to disable cloaking / mind controlling structures first, but that depends.Sometimes you need to disable their drone control first, if they have some nasty repair drones or attacking drone)
Drones is another surefire way to kill the enemy. Augment a couple of Mark II offensive drones with ion weapons, and most enemy ships will be disabled 5 seconds after combat starts.
Third reliable way to win is boarding/teleporting. Just find a couple of mantis crew members (though rock guys are no slouch either), and drop them to the enemy to kill off their crew, just be ready to bring them back or do some micromanagement running away from enemy if your teleporter is disabled. And of course be sure to destroy their medlab facility, so wounded enemy won't be healed. This way requires the player to be most alert, cause you can lose your crew rather easily, but it's the most rewarding, cause you often get the ship intact, giving you the most scrap bonuses. Curiously, the last boss battle is split into 3 phases, and if you manage to kill all enemy crew on the first approach (rather hard, you need to disable their level3 healing facility), then all other phases are really easy: you just teleport your killer crew and disable their piloting, shields, and other systems really fast. You can also easily disable their isolated crew who run their offensive beam weaponry, and disabling those really helps.
That was about killing enemies. Now, about keeping yourself safe. One, evade chance really helps, so try to have your evade ratio as high as possible, with best possible pilot. Second, try to bring your shields to a lever where expected opposition can't drop it with one volley, this progressively needs a raise towards the later stages. Third, CLOAKING helps, if you have it. Time it for the heaviest volleys/missile barrage, like those launched by the final ship. Four, defensive drones rule! With Mark II defensive drone, you can practically not worry about incoming missiles. Though it's a bit expensive to maintain, unless you have a drone retraction arm (or how it's called, it allows a drone parts reuse, or something).
That's basically it. I never figured out good ways to fight with missiles, but I'm sure there is a strategy that works for them too. Hope that helps. :)
All in all, after figuring it all out, I don't remember losing a game ever if I managed to get past sector 1.
P.S. Bonus: if you ever run into a droneship that can't get past your shields, there is a gamey tactics to level up all your crew with zero risk: just reduce your offensive attacks so you hit their shields, and wait till your pilot, shields, drive and weapon operators level up after evading shots. Then rotate them in their stations, and continue. This can be achieved even on sector 1 easily, and having high level crew REALLY helps. Leveling up combat ability is not that easy, unfortunately, but doable, too.
Each turn you get to see what the vek (enemy aliens) are about to do, and it's up to you to disrupt their moves so they don't destroy buildings etc.
Each vek move plays an ascending tone one after the other, and even though they're not loud and the notes aren't discordant or anything, it gets really stressful when there are a lot of them.
I love this game.
Slay the Spire is often also called a roguelike, and if it gets its teeth into you, watch out. Steam says I have 350 hours logged in it and I still enjoy the heck out of it.
- I could plainly tell how hard it was trying to be edgy
- the graphics were an eyesore
- the gameplay just wasn't fun for me
Congratulations Amy, slex has been noted by Ars Technica now :D
I had seen people playing on twitch, it looked cool. Turn based, RPG, permadeath, difficult. All up my alley. Jumped into it and got my butt whooped for a while but then it clicked. And BOOM i was off, many months later and hundreds of hours later i was done with Darkest Dungeon.
Since then, Slay the Spire baby. Wow that game owns hard. about 300 hours here. It's a deck-building (card game) turn based rogue-like. Recommend it to all!
Sure, the abilities are card-shaped and there are drawing mechanics, but it doesn't really play like a deck-builder at all.
I think the main differentiator for me, and where I thin Slay the Spire sets it apart from normal deck builders, is that the enemies you're fighting aren't playing by the same rules. The enemies don't have cards, or decks or similar abilities.
Because of this, the enemies can be really thematic and varied and have interesting mechanics and don't need to be balanced around playing by the same rules as the player.
As a consequence it doesn't feel like a deck builder to me, the abilities just happen to be card-shaped.
Add in the relics which are one of the more important parts of the run, and really the skills involved aren't at all like other deck building games.
But yes, huge recommendation from me too, definitely the best rogue-lite game in years. (~450 hours played for me, and probably twice that watching it on twich).
Another tricky aspect to the game is that any given card may be great in one deck and terrible in another, to the point where taking it makes your deck worse. Strong players (such as jorbs, whom you can find on twitch) tend to lean very heavily on the card remove feature in order to get rid of bad cards.
There is definitely a luck component to the game but skilled players are pushing that boundary every day. Winning streaks on ascension 20 (the hardest difficulty level) are possible and always growing.
Funnily enough a really thin deck can also be a problem. If you have 15 cards and Nemesis adds 5 burns, you're in trouble without a way to handle that. Instead of thin or fat, the best way to think of it IMO is consistency (draw and exhaust help this).
I really like how each Act tests different strengths and exposes different weaknesses. A20 is tough but rewarding.
On lower ascensions you get far fewer status cards added, and if you're a new player you probably don't have act 4 unlocked.
There's definitely a lot of depth that you have to unlock over time. I sometimes watch Jorbs on YouTube as background noise and he'll often think over a single turn for 15 minutes or more. I don't have that patience.
I finally started playing it recently and am hooked. I’m still working on the zero gold run achievement —- it’s so frustrating making it to the caves and stepping on gold buried behind the snow foreground :( I’m determined to finish it before the lockdown is over, though.
I Carbonized  Angband to make it playable on OS X. Then I Cocoaized it a few years later. What a rarefied game, that you can play it for years!
Tickit is much nicer, and comes with what is possibly the only good way of reading modifier characters from a terminal (seriously).
Alternately, if you're ok with not running in a terminal, check out bearlibterminal.
It was not only my first roguelike but also the first C codebase that I ever played around in. I was blown away in the 90s installing Linux as a teenager and it coming with GCC built in. I owe the dev team for getting me really interested in computers as more than a consumer of games.
But, it's creaky and idiosyncratic and has a lot of sharp edges that people who have been playing it for decades are quick to forgive, but if you're coming to the genre from, well, anything else, you're going to get put off, hard.