You can download the mp3 of the podcast, play it in the embedded player below, or you can follow us on iTunes.
Topics discussed in this episode include:
- How hunger was used in the original Rogue to keep players moving forwards and staying in the danger zone
- The need to counter unlimited regenerating health
- FTL's rebel fleet acting as a hunger clock to prevent scumming and add a sense of danger
- ADOM's badly implemented early game hunger clock, and it's well implemented late game corruption clock that achieves the right effect of forcing the player onwards
- Hunger done badly in big roguelikes - usually overcome too easily by experienced players, but kills new players a lot. Done as a simulation element rather than a gameplay mechanic.
- Weaving the hunger clock mechanic into the theme of the game rather than having it tacked on (all the best ones do this)
- How many players hate hunger clock mechanics and want to explore things 100%, not realising how this ruins the game balance
- Times when a hunger clock is not suitable for a game, such as one encouraging exploration
- Corpse degradation, with an interesting example from Dungeon Ho
- Food as a strategic resource, vs the likes of potions as tactical resources - should it be this way? If food is not tactical does it have any point?
- Cold in Frozen Depths - again thematically integrated well, as well as having monsters and environment features with cold effects
- Cardinal Quest spawns zero xp monsters for sticking around on a level, Crawl spawns powerful monsters, forcing you to progress
- Removing all scumming possibilities, such as in ToME4 and many smaller roguelikes
- Insanity system in Infra Arcana which makes when to descend an interesting decision
- Nightfall, with an advancing wall of darkness as you play
- A Quest Too Far, where you get weaker as you progress and lose powerful items
- Rewarding exploration vs rewarding progression
- Teaching the player that they can't scum endlessly and they should be enjoying dangerous situations
- The Hero Trap
- The ghost in Spelunky as a real-time hunger clock (ugh!)
- Bump with a strict turn limit and advancing screen edge
- Carrot vs stick approach - incentives to progress rather than punishments for grinding
- Score and achievement incentives for faster progression - something that new players won't notice but experienced players can care more about
- UnReal World, as a hunger-focused game, which has both good simulationist hunger play and good hunger-based game design
Join us next time for more roguelike discussion, possibly even Sword of the Stars: The Pit at some point.