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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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  • by SharpFang ( 651121 ) on Wednesday April 27, 2011 @04:00AM (#35950580) Homepage Journal

    Diablo and its derivatives, Diablo 2 and Torchlight - are they Roguelikes?
    Quite crude for roguelikes, but the generated landscape changing with each game, varied monsters, levelled dungeon with ability to backtrace, random-generated items, and generally quite a bit of roguelike elements...
    I think the thing that could make them apart from the genre is lack of "turn-based" mode, kinda like an active pause - even entering the inventory does not pause. But is it enough?

  • by a_n_d_e_r_s ( 136412 ) on Wednesday April 27, 2011 @04:08AM (#35950608) Homepage Journal

    Its a dupe from an earlier submission that was not deemed fit to become a story []

    So its actually someone writing a story and then spamming the slashdot submission to get it in here.

    Sadly it's not better then the last time this sad story was submitted - can it please die - don't comment please.

  • by DNS-and-BIND ( 461968 ) on Wednesday April 27, 2011 @04:48AM (#35950758) Homepage
    Sheesh, God forbid anyone actually try to play the game as it was intended, rather than use every bit of fun-draining information available on the net to make the game into an 'achievement' instead of 'fun'.
  • by mcvos ( 645701 ) on Wednesday April 27, 2011 @05:32AM (#35950936)

    Roguelikes don't have anywhere near enough roleplaying (none whatsoever, generally) to be RPGs. They're basically simple hack & slash games, but what makes them interesting is the tactical problem solving. You encounter a monster, swarm of monsters or other situation that's just too hard to overcome by your usual methods, so you need to think of something clever. You need to think, and you need time to think (which you don't have in an action game).

    This is something all true roguelikes (nethack, moria, angband, adom) have in common. They are incredibly challenging and almost impossible to win. (I only managed to finish adom once through outrageous save scumming.) They require thinking and creativity. They need to be turn based and have a ridiculous number of options. They have to be fucking hard. It's about overcoming the challenges, not about experiencing some story (because there is none).

  • Re:Nethack (Score:3, Interesting)

    by bhaak1 ( 219906 ) <> on Wednesday April 27, 2011 @07:46AM (#35951362) Homepage

    Roguelikes have a long history and some of those old decisions don't fit well into the modern computer environments. For example vi-keys (although almost all modern roguelikes support numpad) are such a case. Without tradition, developers probably would use a solution base on the nowadays more common WASD.

    But there's also a reason for not changing. You've already got a lot of people familiar with certain concepts.

    As a NetHack fork developer I don't want to alienate the large Vanilla player base by introducing new keys that would confuse them. Even though I know that it isn't the best possible interface for beginners.

    Luckily you can try to improve an interface without completely overhaul it. It's not the best possible solution but a good compromise.

    With Vanilla NetHack you've got the problem that it really hasn't changed much since mid-90s and is dormant since 2003. I wouldn't hold my breath for a version with a better interface from the DevTeam.

  • Re:Nethack (Score:3, Interesting)

    by hey hey hey ( 659173 ) on Wednesday April 27, 2011 @12:23PM (#35954152)
    Based on your UID number, you probably remember... but the keyboards at the time Rogue (and vi) came out didn't _have_ cursor keys.

    You can't tell by my UID, but I was actually AT Berkeley when Rogue and vi came out. The ADM-3A terminal (which was by far the most common terminal there, and lots of other places) had a left arrow on the H, a down arrow on the J, a up arrow on the K and a right arrow on the L. Not cursor keys per-se, but a dang strong hint.

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