feels like alot of indie games are now called roguelikes


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Post Sunday, 11th May 2014, 09:02

feels like alot of indie games are now called roguelikes

yes I know they resemble that feeling of a roguelike game but it just feels weird to call a 3d action brawler a roguelike game because it has random weapons and permadeath.

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Post Sunday, 11th May 2014, 09:17

Re: feels like alot of indie games are now called roguelikes

naked twister is basically a roguelike

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Post Sunday, 11th May 2014, 10:22

Re: feels like alot of indie games are now called roguelikes

Naked twister is more of a roguelite.

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Post Sunday, 11th May 2014, 13:43

Re: feels like alot of indie games are now called roguelikes

I wish the word would be used as a genre instead of as a descriptor for anything hard with maybe permadeath and maybe procedural generation. It's at the point where Company X says "Hey, we're making a roguelike," and they've basically said nothing about the game.

Is the game in the same genre as DCSS, Brogue, Nethack, etc.? Then it's a roguelike. Otherwise it's some other genre of game, maybe with roguelike elements. With that definition the word is actually useful/informative again.
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Post Sunday, 11th May 2014, 13:51

Re: feels like alot of indie games are now called roguelikes

Someone came up with the term 'Procedural Death Labyrinth' for non-traditional roguelikes.
Binding of Isaac, FTL, etc.

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Post Sunday, 11th May 2014, 15:26

Re: feels like alot of indie games are now called roguelikes

That is the greatest genre ever
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Post Sunday, 11th May 2014, 17:46

Re: feels like alot of indie games are now called roguelikes

Klown wrote:Someone came up with the term 'Procedural Death Labyrinth' for non-traditional roguelikes.
Binding of Isaac, FTL, etc.

binding of isaac is a fucking top-down action game jesus fucking christ gauntlet came out thirty fucking years ago and apparently everyone forgot what the fuck is wrong with the gaming community no fucking wonder no one takes us seriously

If we're being this pointlessly fucking vague with the definitions of words, fucking Street Fighter is a "non-traditional roguelike" because every fight plays out differently and when you lose you get sent back to the character creation screen.

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Post Sunday, 11th May 2014, 18:21

Re: feels like alot of indie games are now called roguelikes

I am entirely comfortable with calling any turn-based game with mostly procedurally generated content a 'roguelike'. I don't care if swords and fireballs were swapped out for laser swords and missiles; the flavor is another possible personal preference that people can have, but it doesn't matter when we're talking about game mechanics. It doesn't even have to be hard, if it isn't designed to be.

If somebody has a problem with this, then perhaps they should consider the merits of using two descriptors at once when talking about games. Expecting people to track two adjectives at once might be a little tough for some subset of the internet, but it's certainly better than having everybody follow their own personal definition that nobody else in the world uses.

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Post Sunday, 11th May 2014, 18:33

Re: feels like alot of indie games are now called roguelikes

Here's something trippy for you:

Not all FPSs are DOOMlikes Quake (1996) introduced Mesh3D, which is the new game standard and lead to a new style of art and mechanics for FPSs which lead them away from being remotely like DOOMlikes.

DOOMlike is considered a historical genre that you couldn't make at all now, due to how (relatively) difficult it would be to set up the same mechanics anymore (you'd have to code your own engine from scratch, based in a system no one uses anymore and make your own art editing tools, since no one uses that system anymore). Last (major) titles in Sector3D were Duke3D (1995) and BLOOD (1996). Sector3D functioned by extrapolating the interiors of a place based off of basic floorplan data and couldn't do 'true room over room' (had problems with anything being over top of anything else). Unlike mesh 3D, though it could natively handle non-Euclidean Geometry, like the room that's 4 different rooms depending on how you enter it and the 720 degree hallway (both Duke3D features).

Also, oddly enough almost every DOOMlike (excluding the outliers that weren't FPS's built in similar engines). The set of weapons was roughly the same. 1 - melee; 2 - pistol; 3 - shotgun; 4 - automatic weapon; 5 - explosive launcher; 6 - remote detonated bomb; 7-0 (Developers attempts at being unique or nothing.)

Anyways, enough about DOOMlikes.


Until recently, the Roguelike was considered a historical and mostly dead genre. It was considered one of the formative genres that lead to the Real-Time Strategy (RTS), Turn-Based Strategy (TBS) (or Tactics) and Japanese-style Role Playing Game (JRPG). But disappeared in the early 1990's; except for small indie groups. Things that were kept from it include how stats and leveling are handled in JRPGs; the tile-system in TBS's; but mostly it's remembered for spawning the RTS. [Fun Fact: Technically, the first RTS is Lemmings (1991). Though a lot of people don't consider it part of the genre, because of how strange it is, it started the indirect control concept (controlling all the {foo} by giving each {foo} orders and letting them do their own thing, instead of BEING the {foo}).] The elements of procedural generation and 'perma-death' were lost as in the longer, more complicated games; mostly out of (a) laziness [GOOD procedural generation is not easy to code] (b) growth in story-telling in games [can't have an epic story-like like a Final Fantasy game and have all the elements randomized] (c) game length [in a game that is 120+ hours long, perma-death would be far more cruel].

Now, in the mainstream; when someone says 'Roguelike'; they mean something that hearkens to the parts of Roguelikes that were lost in the mainstream [procedural generation; permadeath].
NOT any RTS or TBS game. Even if Starcraft has more in common with Rogue than Binding of Isaac and you can see where the mechanics derived.

But, even if you keep to the traditional (more refined) meaning we use in a place like this; outliers are hard to define. Some people consider Dwarf Fortress a roguelike; others do not, because you control more than one character and are not exploring a dungeon. If I made a dungeon crawler with a similar stats system, procedural generation and permadeath, but used real-time combat, like an RTS, for example; would you call it a Roguelike or an RTS? Which would it fit to you?

Lastly; I think genre is an evolving concept. Music garners more obvious examples. Like if I said 'country' and you grew up in the 1950's, you might be thinking of Western Murder Ballads and Crooners like Marty Robbins, Johnny Cash and Dean Martin; which a completely different musical style than modern country, Travis Trent, Trace Adkins, etc. or Bluegrass (Allison Krauss); but all of them were just called 'country' at one point.

"Rock" and "Metal" have seen similar evolutions. No one would consider Rockabilly to really be Rock anymore, for example. And 'classic metal', like Pantera and Ozzy Osbourne is more often lumped with hard rock than current metal styles. Doesn't mean that I'm WRONG to say that Atreyu, Avenged Sevenfold and Alesana are metal. Nor is someone who calls the liks of Ozzy Osbourne, Marilyn Manson and Alice Cooper "Shock Rock", instead of the "Industrial Metal" title they would have used in their time. Everyone defines their genres a little differently because the lines are subjective and always moving.
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Post Sunday, 11th May 2014, 18:57

Re: feels like alot of indie games are now called roguelikes

bcadren wrote:Sector3D functioned by extrapolating the interiors of a place based off of basic floorplan data and couldn't do 'true room over room' (had problems with anything being over top of anything else). Unlike mesh 3D, though it could natively handle non-Euclidean Geometry, like the room that's 4 different rooms depending on how you enter it and the 720 degree hallway (both Duke3D features).
No mention of the Descent engine doing both? :(

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Post Sunday, 11th May 2014, 19:45

Re: feels like alot of indie games are now called roguelikes

When I said genre, I didn't mean to imply theme/flavour. It doesn't really matter to me whether it's in a dungeon or space or whatever. I meant genre as in FPS, JRPG, etc.

To me that simplifies the question to "What genre best describes the game?" It's clear that "roguelike" best describes games like DCSS. What about Dwarf Fortress? If you were explaining the game to someone who didn't know it, I'd think telling them it was a simulation would be more accurate/informative than telling them it's a roguelike. So that makes more sense for its genre than saying it's a roguelike.

It's not so much about whether X is or is not a roguelike or close to being a roguelike or whatever, it's about using the most sensible description for something, and (in my opinion at least) there are a lot of cases where "roguelike" is being used to describe games that could be much more accurate described as "_______ with permadeath" or "procedurally generated ______" or even just "______ with roguelike elements." As it stands, when a company says "We're making a roguelike called X," it really doesn't tell me much -- a lot less than if they say they're making an FPS or a JRPG or whatever.

This is what I mean when I say the term roguelike should be treated as a genre. You could argue that, say, Spelunky fits a lot of the features that make a roguelike, but that's still not as accurate as saying it's a (hardcore) platformer (with roguelike elements).

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Post Sunday, 11th May 2014, 20:41

Re: feels like alot of indie games are now called roguelikes

This just in! The Shining is a non-traditional romantic comedy. Jack Nicholson told a joke at one part and kissed a chick at another part. Clearly it belongs to the Romantic Comedy Genre, which was invented by Will Smith in his 2005 award-winner "Hitch". Watching them both, you can just tell that Stanley Kubrick was a huge fan of Hitch and it heavily influenced his filmmaking style.

The really unique and revolutionary thing about The Shining is how it includes bits and pieces from other genres. I don't think any Romantic Comedy prior to The Shining ever decided to dabble with homicidal mania.

Fun Fact: Technically, the first RTS is Lemmings (1991). Though a lot of people don't consider it part of the genre, because of how strange it is, it started the indirect control concept (controlling all the {foo} by giving each {foo} orders and letting them do their own thing, instead of BEING the {foo}).

jesus fucking christ

Lemmings contains no strategy. It is a fucking puzzle game. But fuck it, let's pretend words don't actually mean anything for a second:

Herzog Zwei came out in 1989
Populous came out in 1989
Legionnaire came out in fucking 82. I wasn't even alive yet!

RTS games have absolutely fucking nothing to do with Roguelikes. Starcraft is about as far as it is possible to get from Rogue, as is immediately obvious to anyone who has played both games. Tactics and Strategy games have been around for THOUSANDS OF YEARS. The idea that roguelikes were "formative" is fucking ludicrous. Roguelikes are a niche, far outside genre. If genre is a tree, Tactics and Strategy are thick trunks near the base and roguelikes are a fucking leaf dangling from a twig on the far end of a branch on the far end of another branch.

You may as well tell me that Eminem invented Rap, Hip-Hop, Blues, and Jazz.

because you control more than one character and are not exploring a dungeon.

:shock: I have a HESu in shoals right now, turns out I'm not playing a roguelike! Who would've guessed? :lol:

in a game that is 120+ hours long, perma-death would be far more cruel

If you think this is true then you don't understand the point of permadeath in the first place.

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Post Sunday, 11th May 2014, 20:59

Re: feels like alot of indie games are now called roguelikes

TDA you've done it again

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Post Sunday, 11th May 2014, 21:00

Re: feels like alot of indie games are now called roguelikes

I'm just glad someone else knows Populous exists.
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Post Sunday, 11th May 2014, 22:36

Re: feels like alot of indie games are now called roguelikes

bcadren wrote:[snipped]


I take exception to the concept that music falls into categories as easily as games. As guitarist for most of my life 36 of 48 years, and an aficionado of Classic Rock, I have listened to any number of mixes and matches between genres. Fusion, Latin, Rock, Hair metal, Acid Rock Acid Metal, and the list is endless.Ozzy and Steely Dan has so little in common but they are both in the Classic Rock category. Black Sabbath was a hippy trippy acid rock band before "Heavy Metal" was invented as a term. And even though many musicologists credit Led Zeppelin (and Iron Butterfly??!) with the advent of the genre, they were really all over the place going from Blues (When the Levee Breaks), to Funk (the Crunge), to Pop (Going to California), to Hard Rock (Immigrant Song), to Country (Most of the rest of III).

TL;DR: Labeling is mostly a marketing thing not a matter of what really fits into xyz boxes.

Abominae wrote:I'm just glad someone else knows Populous exists.

Probably a larger population of roguelike players than other gamers know Populous as it was one of the few Heavy Thinking games on the NES (there were others but in general they fit into certain categories and were vastly outnumbered by the platformers that required massive reflexes over brains.)

TheDefiniteArticle wrote:Legionnaire came out in fucking 82. I wasn't even alive yet!
Heh I was in High School and never heard of it.


Also if we want to nitpick Diablo I & II more fit the Roguelike Genre than most AAA games.

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Post Monday, 12th May 2014, 03:50

Re: feels like alot of indie games are now called roguelikes

Dwarf Fortress's Fort Mode isn't anything like a roguelike at all (unless your definition of roguelike is "ASCII graphics and a horrible UI, also it is possible to lose"). Adventure Mode maybe qualifies. Controlling more than one person isn't really what disqualifies it though, it's more the fact that it's fundamentally a sandbox.
Klown wrote:Someone came up with the term 'Procedural Death Labyrinth' for non-traditional roguelikes.
Binding of Isaac, FTL, etc.
If this prevents roguelike purists from getting angry at nothing then it's a good idea I guess.
Last edited by Leafsnail on Monday, 12th May 2014, 04:01, edited 2 times in total.

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Post Monday, 12th May 2014, 03:55

Re: feels like alot of indie games are now called roguelikes


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Post Monday, 12th May 2014, 03:58

Re: feels like alot of indie games are now called roguelikes

Really, The Shining (1980) is a wet fart.
take it easy

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Post Monday, 12th May 2014, 04:01

Re: feels like alot of indie games are now called roguelikes

This thread turned out to be highly interesting. Good job Team Tavern.
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Post Monday, 12th May 2014, 04:01

Re: feels like alot of indie games are now called roguelikes


Binding of Isaac also describes itself as "a randomly generated action RPG shooter with heavy Rogue-like elements" rather than as a rogue-like. Seems like a perfectly fair description to me.

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Post Monday, 12th May 2014, 04:14

Re: feels like alot of indie games are now called roguelikes

TheDefiniteArticle wrote:But fuck it, let's pretend words don't actually mean anything for a second


Oh, so that explains your posting history.
take it easy

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Post Monday, 12th May 2014, 04:37

Re: feels like alot of indie games are now called roguelikes

I argued with the Catacomb Kids developers about marketing their game as a roguelike. It's just a dungeon-themed action platformer, therefore lacking the two most defining attributes of roguelikes: turn-basedness & item destruction. I'm not so sure about that second one, but gammafunk insists.

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Post Monday, 12th May 2014, 07:40

Re: feels like alot of indie games are now called roguelikes

Ayutzia wrote:I argued with the Catacomb Kids developers about marketing their game as a roguelike. It's just a dungeon-themed action platformer, therefore lacking the two most defining attributes of roguelikes: turn-basedness & item destruction. I'm not so sure about that second one, but gammafunk insists.

I believe there was a similar discussion on Roguebasin a few years ago. And there was a list someone posited for what a Roguelike should have to fit into that genre. I don't remember what it was off the top but it was mainly:

- Perma death
- Randomly generated non-persistent dungeons (though persistent dungeons could also exist)
- Randomly generated monsters
- Randomly generated items.
- turn based (so that when you move everything else moves, not I go then you go.)

I don't recall item destruction as part of the list at all.

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Post Monday, 12th May 2014, 19:45

Re: feels like alot of indie games are now called roguelikes

There is a game called Risk of Rain that advertises itself as possessing "roguelike elements", noting "permanent death" as the main similarity. Things like that really irritate me, because saying that game is similar to roguelike is like saying the firefight mode from Halo was also similar to a roguelike. Unlocked items carry over in-between games so it's not really true permadeath, either.
Last edited by Laraso on Tuesday, 13th May 2014, 03:45, edited 1 time in total.

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Post Monday, 12th May 2014, 20:01

Re: feels like alot of indie games are now called roguelikes

How is "roguelike" an effective marketing buzzword anyhow?

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Post Monday, 12th May 2014, 20:58

Re: feels like alot of indie games are now called roguelikes

When you say "like a roguelike" I generally assume that means "It possesses the key features that set roguelikes apart from the majority of other games". For me that basically means:
- Random environment generation + Permadeath: Most games ask you to complete a challenge or series of challenges that were specifically designed by the development team. Roguelikes are structured in a fundamentally different way: you have to take on a different randomly generated challenge each time. It's not just the permadeath that matters - it's the interaction between permadeath and a randomly generated set of challenges.
- You will get different tools each time around, and you have to adapt to use them effectively (this is somewhat related to the above point, but I think it's also important).

Attributes like "turn-based" or "grid-based" aren't really distinguishing at all. There are plenty of games which meet those criteria (early Final Fantasy games? Advance Wars?) which are completely and utterly different from roguelikes in every way. Whereas I think if you have the above two qualities then the decisions you make will on some level resemble those you make in a roguelike (depending on how pedantic you are going to be about them). Yeah, you could say for something to be a Roguelike it has to be turn-based, grid-based and non-modal, but surely if something possesses every other factor (and indeed, the important factors) then it isn't wrong to say they have roguelike elements.

Here's the Berlin Interpretation if anyone wants to see it, although I don't really agree with a lot of the points. Some of them (like ASCII, dungeons) are cosmetic, while others (Complexity, Tactical Challenge) are just features of a good roguelike/game. I guess the "turn-based and grid-based" points are valid requirements to be a true Roguelike, but as discussed above I don't think those are the key parts of the experience.
http://www.roguebasin.com/index.php?tit ... rpretation

Laraso wrote:There is a game called Risk of Rain that advertises itself as possessing "rougelike elements", noting "permanent death" as the main similarity. Things like that really irritate me, because saying that game is similar to rougelike is like saying the firefight mode from Halo was also similar to a rougelike. Unlocked items carry over in-between games so it's not really true permadeath, either.
Permanent death, randomly spawning enemies and bosses and randomly chosen stages. Seems reasonably roguelike-ish to me. Also if being able to get items from your previous playthroughs is unacceptable then you'd have to disqualify Nethack.

under_bridge wrote:How is "roguelike" an effective marketing buzzword anyhow?
It isn't. If your game possesses key similarities to a roguelike (like BoI or FTL) then it may attract more people who are likely to enjoy your game. So in other words you can get more money by accurately describing your product.

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Post Monday, 12th May 2014, 21:28

Re: feels like alot of indie games are now called roguelikes

Things Binding of Isaac has in common with traditional roguelikes:
- randomized loot
- randomized maps
- permadeath

Things Rogue Legacy has in common with traditional roguelikes:
- the word rogue in the title

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Post Monday, 12th May 2014, 23:58

Re: feels like alot of indie games are now called roguelikes

There's a distinction between necessary and sufficient, however. Turn-based structure is necessary to qualify as a roguelike, but it isn't sufficient to define it. Compare Spelunky, which is a platformer that has procedurally generated challenges. Reflexes are important when you're playing Spelunky, which is a substantial difference compared to Rogue and its derivatives, where you can take as much time to think between moves as you want. A person talking about Spelunky might mention its similarities to roguelikes if they want to talk about its procedurally generated content, but its pacing and the skills it requires of its player are relevantly different and that's important to the game too. You really need both turn-based structure and procedural generation.

On the other hand, even though perma-death is a common feature in roguelikes, I don't think it is essential. Shiren the Wanderer and Pokémon Mystery Dungeon have essentially similar gameplay compared to clear roguelikes, but the impact of death is toned down in order to make them more accessible to children. This seems to be a reasonable adjustment of difficulty for a common genre, not a complete change in genre.

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Post Tuesday, 13th May 2014, 00:33

Re: feels like alot of indie games are now called roguelikes

That's why you mention the fact that it's a platformer when you describe it. If you say, eg, "It is a platformer with roguelike elements" then that clearly tells you what the differences and similarities are.
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Post Tuesday, 13th May 2014, 00:46

Re: feels like alot of indie games are now called roguelikes

Public question: Do you consider Pokemon Mystery Dungeon a Roguelike?
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Post Tuesday, 13th May 2014, 00:49

Re: feels like alot of indie games are now called roguelikes

While "platformer with roguelike elements" may be more accurate as a description, it doesn't tell you very much about the game. Platformer implies something about gameplay, but "with roguelike elements," while more accurate, is very vague.

People are out there making games, and they aren't doing so in a vacuum; they are drawing influence and inspiration from each other, while at the same time also trying to be distinct and novel. (Well, at least you do that if you are trying to make a good game and take game design seriously as a craft, and not just be completely derivative and rip stuff off.)

Because there are real patterns of influence and distinct styles and genres, terms such as "roguelike" aren't meaningless. But, for one thing, a lot of games are hard to pin down just with these generic descriptions. And, for another thing, certain elements that were once key to, and (mostly) unique to, certain genres no longer are. Lots of games that are mostly focused on FPS gameplay, maybe with a bit of classic platforming and level exploration, have elements that were traditionally staples of RPGs: your dude levels up, gets armor with different effects, has to manage allies/multiple characters, it has become much more common for FPS games to have more of a fleshed out story and mythology and character development than in the past, etc.

Lots of games have randomized elements, including semi-randomized map generation and loot generation. This may have started as something *mostly* confined to certain types of game, but is now very widespread. The more widespread it becomes, the less useful it is to describe that as an "RPG-element" or a "roguelike" element. At the same time, since "genre mixing" has become quite prevalent, and a lot of these boundaries have broken down, there are some games that are self-consciously "throwbacks" to very traditionally crafted games within a certain genre.
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Post Tuesday, 13th May 2014, 00:59

Re: feels like alot of indie games are now called roguelikes

Leafsnail wrote:Permanent death, randomly spawning enemies and bosses and randomly chosen stages. Seems reasonably roguelike-ish to me. Also if being able to get items from your previous playthroughs is unacceptable then you'd have to disqualify Nethack.


If "random" is all it takes to be a roguelike, then would you consider a game like Warframe to be roguelike as well? Because I certainly don't.

And I wouldn't know anything about Nethack, the only roguelike games I've played did not carry any progress between characters.

EDIT: Just to clarify, there are unlockable items in Risk of Rain. As in, items you cannot obtain from the outset, but after fulfilling requirement X just once it unlocks and becomes available for every subsequent character you play afterwards.
Last edited by Laraso on Tuesday, 13th May 2014, 03:45, edited 3 times in total.
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Post Tuesday, 13th May 2014, 01:52

Re: feels like alot of indie games are now called roguelikes

Leafsnail wrote:When you say "like a roguelike" I generally assume that means "It possesses the key features that set roguelikes apart from the majority of other games". For me that basically means:
- Random environment generation + Permadeath: Most games ask you to complete a challenge or series of challenges that were specifically designed by the development team. Roguelikes are structured in a fundamentally different way: you have to take on a different randomly generated challenge each time. It's not just the permadeath that matters - it's the interaction between permadeath and a randomly generated set of challenges.
- You will get different tools each time around, and you have to adapt to use them effectively (this is somewhat related to the above point, but I think it's also important).

Attributes like "turn-based" or "grid-based" aren't really distinguishing at all. There are plenty of games which meet those criteria (early Final Fantasy games? Advance Wars?) which are completely and utterly different from roguelikes in every way. Whereas I think if you have the above two qualities then the decisions you make will on some level resemble those you make in a roguelike (depending on how pedantic you are going to be about them). Yeah, you could say for something to be a Roguelike it has to be turn-based, grid-based and non-modal, but surely if something possesses every other factor (and indeed, the important factors) then it isn't wrong to say they have roguelike elements.


Obviously "turn-based" and "grid-based" aren't exclusive to the roguelike genre, rather it is the particular combination of such features that really defines what it means to be "roguelike". You can't just say "X + Y = roguelike", there is something more to it, something unique that I can't really put into words. For example, when I look at this, this, and even this, I can almost immediately identify the game as being a roguelike.

However, when I look at this and this, "roguelike" is the very last thing on my mind. And yet, both games self-identify as being "roguelike".
Last edited by Laraso on Tuesday, 13th May 2014, 03:44, edited 1 time in total.

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Post Tuesday, 13th May 2014, 02:04

Re: feels like alot of indie games are now called roguelikes

and into wrote:While "platformer with roguelike elements" may be more accurate as a description, it doesn't tell you very much about the game. Platformer implies something about gameplay, but "with roguelike elements," while more accurate, is very vague.
Sure, a four word description of a game is never going to tell you that much about it. But it tells you enough to decide whether you want to read more about it.

Laraso wrote:If "random" is all it takes to be a rougelike, then would you consider a game like Warframe to be rougelike as well? Because I certainly don't.
I don't know, I've never played Warframe. Does it have permadeath and does the game refresh with an entirely different set of enemies and levels after you die? If it doesn't then it doesn't meet the description I stated upthread.

Laraso wrote:EDIT: Just to clarify, there are unlockable items in Risk of Rain. As in, items you cannot obtain from the outset, but after fulfilling requirement X it unlocks and becomes available for every character you play afterwards.
And? I haven't actually played Risk of Rain, but what is the issue you're identifying here? If Dungeon Crawl made it so that eg, you can't play a Mummy until you've won at least one other race, would that make it not a roguelike (you don't have to comment on whether this would be a good idea)?

Laraso wrote:Obviously "turn-based" and "grid-based" aren't exclusive to the rougelike genre, rather it is the particular combination of such features that really defines what it means to be "rougelike". It's really hard to just say "X + Y = rougelike", there is something more to it, something unique that I can't really put into words. For example, when I look at this, this, and even this, I can almost immediately identify the game as being a rougelike.

However, when I look at this and this, "rougelike" is the very last thing on my mind. And yet, both games self-identify as being "rougelike".
As we've already established Risk of Rain does not call itself a roguelike, it merely alludes to the similarity of the game's structure. C Wars is perhaps erroneous in referring to itself as a Roguelike, but then again I have no knowledge of how the game actually plays. "It doesn't look like these three roguelikes" seems like a bad criteria, one could just as easily claim that modern FPS games cannot be such because they do not resemble Doom.

In any case my main point is that there shouldn't be any objection to saying something has "roguelike elements" when the game possesses the main things that make roguelikes actually distinct from other games, particularly when you also describe what the game's differences from traditional roguelikes are in the same breath.
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Post Tuesday, 13th May 2014, 02:05

Re: feels like alot of indie games are now called roguelikes

bcadren wrote:Public question: Do you consider Pokemon Mystery Dungeon a Roguelike?


I consider it erotica, personally.
take it easy

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Post Tuesday, 13th May 2014, 02:26

Re: feels like alot of indie games are now called roguelikes

Leafsnail wrote:
Laraso wrote:If "random" is all it takes to be a roguelike, then would you consider a game like Warframe to be roguelike as well? Because I certainly don't.
I don't know, I've never played Warframe. Does it have permadeath and does the game refresh with an entirely different set of enemies and levels after you die? If it doesn't then it doesn't meet the description I stated upthread.


The levels are randomly generated and enemies are randomly spawned, there is no permadeath though.

Leafsnail wrote:
Laraso wrote:EDIT: Just to clarify, there are unlockable items in Risk of Rain. As in, items you cannot obtain from the outset, but after fulfilling requirement X it unlocks and becomes available for every character you play afterwards.
And? I haven't actually played Risk of Rain, but what is the issue you're identifying here? If Dungeon Crawl made it so that eg, you can't play a Mummy until you've won at least one other race, would that make it not a roguelike (you don't have to comment on whether this would be a good idea)?


The distinction is not "you can't play Mu until after you've won Hu", rather a better example would be "you cannot use staves with any character until after you've killed 50 orbs of fire with a bow". There is permanent progression that carries over to every character you ever play. That in-and-of-itself doesn't disqualify it from being a roguelike, my point there was that it disqualifies it from having true permadeath.

Leafsnail wrote:
Laraso wrote:Obviously "turn-based" and "grid-based" aren't exclusive to the roguelike genre, rather it is the particular combination of such features that really defines what it means to be "roguelike". It's really hard to just say "X + Y = roguelike", there is something more to it, something unique that I can't really put into words. For example, when I look at this, this, and even this, I can almost immediately identify the game as being a roguelike.

However, when I look at this and this, "roguelike" is the very last thing on my mind. And yet, both games self-identify as being "roguelike".
As we've already established Risk of Rain does not call itself a roguelike, it merely alludes to the similarity of the game's structure. C Wars is perhaps erroneous in referring to itself as a Roguelike, but then again I have no knowledge of how the game actually plays. "It doesn't look like these three roguelikes" seems like a bad criteria, one could just as easily claim that modern FPS games cannot be such because they do not resemble Doom.

In any case my main point is that there shouldn't be any objection to saying something has "roguelike elements" when the game possesses the main things that make roguelikes actually distinct from other games, particularly when you also describe what the game's differences from traditional roguelikes are in the same breath.


The problem I have with Risk of Rain saying that it has roguelike "elements" is that the game as a whole is so far disconnected from actual roguelikes that the need to relate itself as being similar just because of permadeath is irrelevant to the point of being erroneous. It's a completely different type of game, permadeath is just a game design concept and its presence alone is not a significant enough relation to Rouge to justify making that connection, and furthermore permadeath was never exclusive to the roguelikes to begin. In the same way that I wouldn't say Dark Souls is like DCSS just because they both have inventory management, I wouldn't come to the conclusion that Risk of Rain is like Rouge just because they both feature permanent death.

My point about those two games not looking like the other three roguelikes I gave as examples is totally valid. You can identify those games as being roguelikes just by looking at the screenshots, much in the same way that you can tell if a game is first-person or third-person. You could argue that games like The Elder Scrolls series can be played in both first-person and third-person, therefore you cannot tell from screenshots, but that is false because at any given point the game is only being played in either first-person or third-person, and not both. So unless at some point in Risk of Rain the game looks even only remotely like this, I really don't understand how you can say with a straight face that it is "roguelike". Even if games like Risk of Rain only advertise themselves as having "elements" of roguelikes or even just roguelike-like (even though by its very definition a roguelike is a game which shares many elements with Rouge, making the distinction between being "roguelike" and "roguelike-like" even further obfuscated and redundant), it's still too dissimilar to warrant mentioning, and even mentioning roguelikes at all in the game's description only serves to dillute and further abstract what it actually means to be "roguelike".

To be honest, I don't even consider "roguelike" to be a genre at all. A genre is something like "action" or "fantasy", and yet the actual content of different "roguelikes" is so varied that I can only come to the conclusion that a roguelike is actually just a design and interface model, with all other things relating to "genre" being separate, in much the same way that The Elder Scrolls can be played in both first and third person without actually changing the content of the game in any meaningful way.
Last edited by Laraso on Tuesday, 13th May 2014, 03:43, edited 4 times in total.

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Post Tuesday, 13th May 2014, 02:56

Re: feels like alot of indie games are now called roguelikes

Laraso wrote:To be honest, I don't even consider "rougelike" to be a genre at all.


Long Live the Queen is a pretty nifty game, honestly. There are quite a few similar games in existence, too, although I'm not sure I'd bundle them separately from other manager sims even though they have a common subject matter.
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Post Tuesday, 13th May 2014, 03:10

Re: feels like alot of indie games are now called roguelikes

KoboldLord wrote:
Laraso wrote:To be honest, I don't even consider "roguelike" to be a genre at all.


Long Live the Queen is a pretty nifty game, honestly. There are quite a few similar games in existence, too, although I'm not sure I'd bundle them separately from other manager sims even though they have a common subject matter.


I think you're missing my point, I'm saying that I do not consider "roguelike" to be a genre, that doesn't mean for example a fantasy roguelike is somehow a different kind of fantasy than a fantasy MMORPG. Both the roguelike and the MMORPG fall under the fantasy genre, but that doesn't implicitly mean the MMORPG is a roguelike or "roguelike-like" (whatever that means).

"Random generation with permadeath" doesn't make something a roguelike any more than "linear levels with checkpoints" makes something a first person shooter. If you look at this screenshot you cannot tell if DCSS has randomly generated levels nor can you tell if it has permadeath (the two things that Leafsnail said were the most distinct about roguelikes), but by the general design of the interface you can almost immediately tell that it is in fact a roguelike, the two most notably distinct features of which include the "grid-based" level and "turn-based" gameplay (both of which Leafsnail said were the least distinct things about roguelikes).
Last edited by Laraso on Tuesday, 13th May 2014, 03:42, edited 2 times in total.

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Post Tuesday, 13th May 2014, 03:31

Re: feels like alot of indie games are now called roguelikes

If this prevents roguelike purists from getting angry at nothing then it's a good idea I guess.

If some guy breaks into my house and shoots me, he didn't donate lead to me in a non-traditional manner. He fucking murdered me. Proper language is important, the most important thing in human civilization. I can quote Orwell here if you like.

Binding of Isaac also describes itself as "a randomly generated action RPG shooter with heavy Rogue-like elements" rather than as a rogue-like. Seems like a perfectly fair description to me.

So if I set Smash Bros. to random stage, items on, one stock, it has "heavy rogue-like elements"??? Random loot, random maps, and permadeath, it fits all the criteria!!

"Rogue-like elements" is actually code for "I'm too lazy/incompetent to design good levels, so I used procedural level generation because even a flowchart is better than I am at making games". The former is of course better marketing. As a fan of Toejam & Earl, I naturally find this all incredibly hilarious, because it is much more similar to Rogue than any of these bullshit modern games like Binding of Isaac and Spelunky, and ToeJam & Earl has an option to TURN OFF all the randomness!

"RPG" is even worse. It's original meaning is entirely lost. Nowadays it literally just means "this game contains upgrades of some kind". An excerpt from Harvard's prestigious game design course:
RPG stands for Rocket Propelled Grenade. It is a colloquial term which originated in the FPS genre, appearing in a wide variety of games, such as Call of Duty, Call of Duty 2, Call of Duty Black Ops 2, and Call of Duty Modern Warfare. It's use in describing a game is to refer to the power of the player character's offensive abilities, i.e. "This ability is as powerful as a Rocket Propelled Grenade." Because explosions are entertaining, it is considered advantageous for a game to contain as many "RPG Elements" as possible.


Binding of Isaac is an action shooter with randomized levels, but that just doesn't sound pretentious enough.

How is "roguelike" an effective marketing buzzword anyhow?

Actual roguelikes are typically of high quality. "Metroidvanias" enjoy a similar prestige-by-association (and have the same problem of games that are obviously not Metroidvanias claiming to be). It's not surprising for people to try to hamfistedly shove their game into a particular genre when that genre is associated with excellence in the public perception.

modern FPS games cannot be such because they do not resemble Doom.

Modern FPS games DO resemble Doom.

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Post Tuesday, 13th May 2014, 03:34

Re: feels like alot of indie games are now called roguelikes

IT'S ROGUE FOR FUCK'S SAKE.

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Post Tuesday, 13th May 2014, 03:36

Re: feels like alot of indie games are now called roguelikes

dck wrote:IT'S ROGUE FOR FUCK'S SAKE.


Rouge is the one word that I can never seem to spell correctly.

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Post Tuesday, 13th May 2014, 04:12

Re: feels like alot of indie games are now called roguelikes

A rougelike is a specific type of Sonic the Hedgehog fan character.

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Post Tuesday, 13th May 2014, 05:08

Re: feels like alot of indie games are now called roguelikes

nerds
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Post Tuesday, 13th May 2014, 05:21

Re: feels like alot of indie games are now called roguelikes

So is Dungeons of Dredmor a roguelike or not, help me out here

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Post Tuesday, 13th May 2014, 05:25

Re: feels like alot of indie games are now called roguelikes

Rogue Shooter: The FPS Roguelike
"First-person shooters and roguelikes have finally tied the knot!"
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Post Tuesday, 13th May 2014, 06:54

Re: feels like alot of indie games are now called roguelikes

zrn wrote:Rogue Shooter: The FPS Roguelike
"First-person shooters and roguelikes have finally tied the knot!"


Looks like a DOOM/DN3D-esque corridor shooter with character progression and inventory management. I fail to see how this classifies as a roguelike unless people actually consider random generation and permadeath to be the only things necessary to get branded as a roguelike.

Maybe I should make my own low budget space dogfighter combat survival indie game with randomly generated enemies and randomly generated cloaked black market weapon dealer shops and a pilot level up / experience point system, then push it through Steam Greenlight under the name of "Roguelikes in space!"
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Post Tuesday, 13th May 2014, 08:31

Re: feels like alot of indie games are now called roguelikes

Why do we bag out indie devs who are inspired by roguelikes but want to try the core ideas out in a different genre, anyway? After all, the point of a roguelike is -

Your SKILL matters

There's no set plot to go through, no quicksaves, no guarantee of victory. You have to rise to the challenge of beating the game, it won't help you.

Don't we need more games like that in our lives - something to grow with, not just consume - not less?

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Post Tuesday, 13th May 2014, 09:04

Re: feels like alot of indie games are now called roguelikes

Cheibrodos wrote:I like stuff smashing stuff


me too
Spoiler: show
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Post Tuesday, 13th May 2014, 23:28

Re: feels like alot of indie games are now called roguelikes

Isn't Rouge-like Pink?

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Post Wednesday, 14th May 2014, 04:09

Re: feels like alot of indie games are now called roguelikes

Patashu wrote:So is Dungeons of Dredmor a roguelike or not, help me out here

Dungeons of Dredmor is most certainly a roguelike. Turn based, grid based, procedurally generated floors, permadeath, portal vaults, RPG stats & levels, randomized item drops, equipment with rolled statistics + non-random equipment, etc. I could go on and on because everything about Dredmor is roguelike.
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