Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Episode 17: Roguelike of the Year 2011

Welcome to this week's episode of Roguelike Radio. Episode 17 celebrates the diversity and popularity of roguelikes with a discussion about the possibility of there being a roguelike of the year and what that even means. You can still vote for the 5th annual Ascii Dreams Roguelike of the Year as well, so take the opportunity to listen to the show then cast or change your vote. Talking this week are Darren Grey, Ido Yehieli and Andrew Doull.

The mp3 of the podcast can be downloaded here, played in the embedded player below, or you can follow us on iTunes.

Topics covered this week include:
- The origin of the Ascii Dreams Roguelike of the Year
- This years controversial choices
- The panellists pick their favourites and honourable mentions for the year
- Top ten choices you may not have heard of

Advocacy threads for Angband, Brogue, Dungeons of Dredmor and Tome 4

We'll be taking a short break over the festive season and will be returning mid January.


  1. Donnie Russell made LarnHD

    His version of Rogue is awesome. It's actually called Classic Rogue. Not Rogue HD.

    His other ports like MAGHD and Revived Hack are also very good.

    Infra Arcana would be my RL of the year pick. I think it stands out very well from the crowd in aspects like theme and mechanics. I hope you guys do a show on it next year.

  2. If you listen carefully you'd notice I've already corrected it to ClassicRogue a couple of minutes later :)

  3. Great episode. With regards to the heavy criticism of Dredmor in the community: I know I've been a culprit in the past. Having said that, I do recognize Dredmor's enormous importance in growing the community. I fundamentally disagree with anyone who thinks it should not be considered a Roguelike.

    Have a Happy Holidays everyone. Looking forward to hearing about TOME4 in the New Year!

  4. Yeah, I did notice. But I posted the comment before you had corrected yourself. Needless to say, I kinda felt like a dodo a few minutes later after hearing it. Sorry about that.

  5. anyone check out Ascii Wilderness Pre-Alpha? Inspired by UnReal World and written in Lua.

  6. Another genuinely interesting, far-ranging discussion. This is fast becoming one of my favorite gaming podcasts; I'm very much looking forward to the ToME4 episode, and next year in general. An observation, and a suggestion: I've noticed that there's consistently a good bit of talk most episodes about "roguelikeness", and how much of it a given game will have. I humbly suggest an episode devoted to the Berlin Interpretation (or, more generally, the question "What is a roguelike?"): what you all think of it as a criterion, what you'd add or subtract, what parts are more or less important to being a roguelike, is it more useful or more limiting going forward. I think a hash-out of fundamentals is something you guys would be great at. Anyway, best wishes for the New Year, and thanks for making an excellent podcast!

  7. I would not really be for it, in part because I've already been part of that discussion in Berlin and I think we've summarized our conclusions pretty well in roguebasin :)

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  9. People are getting confused about roguelikes as they're now viewing it as a thematical/aesthetical thing rather than viewing it as a game genre (dungeon crawling single unit turnbased tactical game with an emphasis on exploration), as evident by people thinking action games such as 'The Blinding of Isaac' are roguelikes.

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  11. @Alastair John Jack: So Final Fantasy Tactics is not TBS because it has units that can level up, Mass Effect 2 is not RPG because it's too twitch-heavy...right?

    Here's 2 words for you: genre hybrid...mixing things up together...Triangle Wizard is real-time, but people consider it as roguelike...Unreal World has no dungeon, still roguelike...your definition is just a little too constrained...

  12. The thing about rogue-likes is that there are so many different opinions about what constitutes a rogue-like that you are never going to get a consensus. The best you can do is to agree to disagree.

    In any case, it's hardly important what is and is not a rogue-like, except as far as polls and competitions are concerned. When I saw Binding of Isaac on the top Rogue of the year list, I may or may not agree that it is a rogue like by my definition -- all I have to do is agree that it meets Andrew's definition for purposes of the poll. I'm perfectly ok with that.

    The best thing about podcasts like this, as well as the Ascii Dreams poll, and so on, is that I'm finding all sorts of new things to try that I may not have ever heard of otherwise. Thanks for killing all of my spare time lol. Happy holidays to everyone.

  13. I present you the Chicken Burger argument:

    You order a burger, you receive a burger but it has chicken instead of beef in it. The chef is insisting that this is "his" take on the "burger genre". But regardless of how the burger is, this smacks of fraud.

    If it's a chicken burger, call it a godammned chicken burger. And don't go calling a normal burger a "classic" burger either. It's a burger, plain and simple.

    If you're not making a straight forward burger, that's fine, but if it's a chicken burger, a bacon burger, or a zelda-roguelike, just accept the prefix.

    The fussy people will be happy and people looking for something a little different will be happy.

  14. TBoI never pretended to be anything but a shooter-roguelike, which is the title its creator has given it.

  15. RobotAcid: Your chicken burger analogy is totally broken. You're basically arguing burger restaurants should never have a chicken burger on the menu.

  16. Going back to my comment, I feel it's totally fair to call a chicken burger a burger, simply because people who like burgers may like chicken burgers as well -- that's the main purpose of labeling, right?

    A label exists in order to attract an audience. Someone who likes rogue-likes may also like The Binding of Isaac because it has some rogue-like aspects to it. Now, it may also have aspects that are NOT rogue-like as well (which is why not everyone will agree). But for purposes of marketing, comparing it to a rogue-like is totally fair.

    It may be disconcerting if the ONLY kinds of games you like are traditional rogue-likes. But if you agree to look at this from a point of view other than your own, it makes perfect sense. Or, at least I can see how it makes perfect sense to someone else.

  17. That's not to say that I agree that a restaurant should not put on their menu that their burgers are made with chicken -- but that's not what's happening. Look at any of the marketing for the Binding of Isaac, and it's clear that it's an arcade-style game as well. There's no dishonesty involved.

    But if a game is free, who cares? If you like it, great. If you don't, it's not a huge deal anyway.