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Classic Games (Games) Games

Roguelikes: the Misnamed Genre 201

ZorbaTHut writes "I've been playing a lot of Dungeon Crawl: Stone Soup lately. It's a great example of a roguelike (and open source, too). But I can't stop thinking that perhaps 'roguelike' is the wrong term for the genre. 'Roguelikes aren’t about dungeons. They’re not about text-based graphics, or random artifacts, or permadeath. ... Roguelikes are about using an unpredictable toolkit with complex interactions in order to overcome unpredictable challenges.'"
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Roguelikes: the Misnamed Genre

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  • maybe to you... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by waddgodd ( 34934 ) on Wednesday April 27, 2011 @04:01AM (#35950584) Homepage Journal

    To the rest of us, rougelikes are just that, clones of rogue. Clearly Star Trek isn't a roguelike, yet it's "about using an unpredictable toolkit with complex interactions in order to overcome unpredictable challenges.", no?

  • by shutdown -p now ( 807394 ) on Wednesday April 27, 2011 @04:02AM (#35950588) Journal

    "Roguelike" means "like Rogue [wikipedia.org]", no more and no less. There's no need to try to seek some deeper meaning in there. If the game has top-down view, intricate RPG-like stats, but mostly consists of slaying things rather than heavy NPC interaction and advanced storyline, it's a roguelike. All of these are necessary components - e.g. Stonekeep is not a roguelike, because it's first-person.

    As for the "new" definition in TFS/TFA, it's so vague as to be meaningless. Heck, it's broad enough to match contraption games (like Crazy Machines).

  • Re:Nethack (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Per Abrahamsen ( 1397 ) on Wednesday April 27, 2011 @04:13AM (#35950622) Homepage

    I know it is a joke, but the connection is there. The original rogue is vi-like, adopting the cursor keys of vi.

  • by DNS-and-BIND ( 461968 ) on Wednesday April 27, 2011 @04:50AM (#35950770) Homepage
    It's just a bunch of nincompoops playing games that aren't like Rogue in any way, and calling them 'roguelikes' because they use a console interface.
  • by cgomezr ( 1074699 ) on Wednesday April 27, 2011 @08:23AM (#35951550)

    That the term "roguelike" is vague is a well-known fact, but there are definitions around much better than the one in the article: http://roguebasin.roguelikedevelopment.org/index.php?title=What_a_roguelike_is [roguelikedevelopment.org]

    The distinguishing features of roguelikes are random world generation, permadeath, complexity of item interaction, RPG-like stats, killing scores of monsters, grid-based motion, turn-based mechanics and arguably ASCII interface. A game may be a roguelike and not have all of these, but if it has, say, all but two, it is undoubtedly a roguelike.

    The reasoning in the article that leads into calling "Super Smash Bros Brawl" a roguelike is just ludicrous. Of course there is no limit to how one can redefine a term, but one should not expect to be taken seriously after saying that every animal with four paws should be called a dog. Saying that "Super Smash Bros Brawl" is a roguelike because it is complex in some way goes against the common use of the word. The author of the article should find a different name for what he means.

Some people manage by the book, even though they don't know who wrote the book or even what book.