You can download the mp3 of the podcast, play it in the embedded player below, or you can follow us on iTunes.
- An apology for the low number of Roguelike Radio episodes in 2014 :(
- DarkGod's first year of Tales of Maj'Eyal on Steam, and his new expansion, The Ashes of Uhr'Rok, with new quests, classes and crafting.
- Jim Shepard has released Dungeonmans on Steam, following his successful Kickstarter in 2013.
- Lots of awesome new roguelikes released, including Hoplite, 868-HACK, Steam Marines, Sproggiwood, Claustrophobia, Ananias and Cardinal Quest 2.
- New versions of CataclysmDDA and ADOM.
- Things to look forward to in 2015: Unreal World on Steam (just greenlit!), Caves of Qud on Steam, ADOM on Steam, Cogmind, Ultima Ratio Regum.
- Could we get more traditional roguelikes on Steam? As a community we need to push for this to happen!
- IRDC at some point this year (maybe in the USA?) and 7DRL upcoming.
- Don't buy Steam Marines (but do follow @Worthless_Bums and read his blog articles)
- Also not mentioned on the ep - Zeno's HyperRogue has just been released on Steam!
What's a traditional roguelike exactly?ReplyDelete
Turn-based and grid-based and properly enforced permadeath. They're think-y games instead of reaction games, where success depends on your mastery of the system and the rules of the game.Delete
A Traditional Roguelike is pretty much what the Berlin Interpretation describes. As downright misguided as that Interpretation is, you can find a list of key roguelike features on the Wikipedia page for Roguelikes in general.Delete
Isn't a roguelike what the berlin interpretation was intended to describe?Delete
And so isn't a traditional roguelike just a roguelike, but avoiding offending people who feel like they should be able to call their platformer or shoot-em-up a roguelike, in order to gain whatever cache they feel the roguelike genre had from whatever it used to be?
It all seems rather confusing to me.
The quote from Darren's article 'Screw the Berlin Interpretation' does a pretty good job of summing up the Berlin Interpretation for the most part: "In the year 2008 several men and women came together in Berlin to create the last, best definition of a roguelike. It failed…"Delete
To put it bluntly, some major problems with the definition was that the people creating the definition were far to biased as to what qualities make a Roguelike while completely ignoring the spirit or the 'Essence' of what a Roguelike is. A Roguelike is not a list of features that it can or cannot have.
I could probably write up something more defining then the Berlin Definition. For example,
"A Roguelike in general is meant to be replayable and have some sort of incentive to make the player replay them. Everytime the player replays the game, even if they developed said game, they should expect that they run should be completely different due to randomized elements, and as such cannot have a complete understanding of how the run will unfold.
The player should also expect that there is a notable amount of decision making in some shape or form - tactical combat, character arrangement, inventory management, etc. They should also expect that there are consequences to their decisions both bad and good; potentially with extremely negative results such as losing the game for making a really bad decision - though not to state that it is a requirement that the player has to lose their game."
It's a genre and a design goal really. You can have an FPS and still be a roguelike design.Delete
The genre is includes any top down, randomized, grid base dungeon bash. That's what we refer to as a classic type game. Ascii is a plus. :-)
The design goal, however, is to derive interesting, repayable content using the interplay between permadeath and procedural content. Where you die in game but learn the system just a bit more each time. Any genre of game can use this as a design goal or philosophy, from dating sims and flight simulators to platformers and puzzle games.
Play for a few years and you'll see what I mean. It's a genre (what we call classics) and a design philosophy (more likely called Roguelikes).
On the subject of price and to give a personal note for some feedback towards Jim, I think Dungeonmans is probably overpriced. Same with Steam Marines also on that note.ReplyDelete
Perhaps this comment might tweak some interest for a new episode perhaps? Or maybe you already have an episode regarding getting players to play your roguelike, or just personally browsing to play a new roguelike and considerations towards what drives players to pass over a Roguelike or to give it a try.
I have to disagree, I think all roguelikes are underpriced. Specially if you measure by how much game-time value these games bring the consumer, and the tendency to stay with released products to continuously release fresh content, balance the game and strive for less bugs. A dedication that's hard to find in any other genre imo.Delete
I can only talk for myself naturally, but $15 (it's 100 NOK in Norway on Steam), is very little money for the entertainment value it brings. A pizza from a pizza place cost at least double that here in Norway!
I agree; free roguelikes are profoundly underpriced, whilst even the most expensive, to me, offers pretty incredible value for money in terms of content (meaningful, distinguishable content, not just idiotic sidequests, fetch quests, blah blah).Delete
Game time value is just something people trot out to stand in for a real analysis of value. It's meaningless.Delete
Does a slow player pay more? Does someone just finishing a crappy game they made the mistake of, but can't get a refund for, trying to get value out of it, pay less? Are their penalty payments for the bugs? No, let's assume a high hourly value and that the game is perfect bugless and provides the ideal wonderful playing experience.
I've had enough with this trojan horse that's never shown to be of substance, rather is trotted out as a undeniable fact.
I assume your comment was at Trefall more than me since I talking about "content" rather than "time" (though the two are clearly related), but I feel I should reply (and I don't think he was using it as an "undeniable fact", since he did say IF you measure by time). The game time = value idea normally has two implicit assumptions: firstly, that we are talking about games which are actually sufficiently interesting/enjoyable/varied to *merit* a significant time commitment from a player (so to use a literary example, nobody sane would praise a Twilight novel for being longer than a Pynchon novel, say); and secondly we're talking about the average player's experience. We're not assuming the game is perfect and ideal; we're assuming the game is worth playing, and that an average player interested in that genre is playing it; and I really don't get what you mean about someone finishing a crappy game paying... less... how does that work?Delete
Anyway, the point is that assuming the average player and a game worth playing, clearly a game which has more to do for price X is superior to a game which has less to do with price X; more of something enjoyable to the average player is better. And there's also, I think, a question of genre specificity - roguelikes more than many other genres pride themselves (albeit implicitly) on offering massive replayability, compared to many AAA games which offer a single playthrough, maybe with a few extra difficulties thrown in. Similarly, all roguelikes whether classic/modern/whatever generally have a high skill ceiling, so we can reasonably assume that weaker players are less likely to be playing them, and by extension, players playing them for a decent length of time are going to be getting a lot out of them, or improving rapidly to the point where they can. At the same time, roguelikes will of course never show you too much of the game in a single playthrough, and are designed to allow the player to develop mastery of the game's systems over time and coming to understand the situations the RNG can throw at you.
Of course you're right that quantity is not as important as quality per se, but for a given level of quality, clearly quantity is then highly desirable; I think time, *especially* in roguelikes when you will never see even a fraction of the content in one playthrough (AND you can make some reasonable assumptions about the average player), can be a meaningful metric; the longer the player can go without seeing the same content, and the longer the player can go and continue seeing *new* content, is surely integral to the roguelike experience? It does raise questions about the balance between content which is/is not understandable given previous player experiences of other content, but that's a different issue...
I think maybe it depends what you mean by "overpriced". Looking at a concept of long-term value that the player gets from a game, I'd say that good roguelikes are dramatically underpriced. ToME, for example, is a ridiculously good game for free/6 bucks.Delete
On the other hand, if you're talking about pricing as a tool in maximising sales and ultimately total revenues, I think Davion could have a point. For players who haven't played a roguelike before, and don't understand that good graphics aren't the point, it's easy to look at games on Steam and think "wait a minute, I could get some awesome 3D graphics game for $15, why should I buy this old-school bitmap/ASCII thing?"
To get people to take a punt on a roguelike, it might be better to set a risibly low price as an entry-point and then gently encourage donations during the game - much like ToME does. I probably wouldn't have bought ToME for $15, but I'll happily pay more for it now that I know how great it is and what it's worth to me.
Just to clearify, by game-time I referred to the amount of time players that gets the game pour into it without the game getting boring/uninteresting. It's like the amount of time you'd pour into Skyrim if you liked that experience, not the amount of time someone who didn't like Skyrim would put into it. And like Mark (URR) said, it does expect that said game is fun for the consumer.Delete
Or in other words, what Mark said, and Edward has a good point as well naturally. But I have to say that graphically I think the top roguelikes are up to par graphically. It's not like 2D don't sell, we're kind of passed that time when everything had to be 3D I think.
Actually, my thinking was less to do with the game itself and more to do with the fact that the games 'are roguelikes'. An important thing to understand about roguelikes is that roguelike players are extremely 'risk adverse' - who knew right?Delete
Okay, seriously, one key aspect about roguelike games is that they can run the gauntlet in terms of what sort of gameplay content the player might expect. Looking at Dungeonmans or Steam Marines, I'm essentially just looking at a lone developer who put his game on Steam.
Anyhow, I'll state again that I think there could be some merit in a sort of episode idea revolving around making money and still getting people to play - or even just try your roguelike
Very good point, Mr URR. Well articulated. I was going to add something but I think you covered it all.Delete
Caves of Qud is coming to Steam?! The mind boggles. I didn't see that coming.ReplyDelete
What type of help would you need to produce more Roguelike Radio?ReplyDelete
Seconded. I have quite a lot of commitments already but I might be able to pitch in, depending on what's involved.Delete
Now that Eben has gone all professional game developer in SF, I think Darren is pretty much the only "active" regular on RLR, and he's very busy himself from what I gather. So I think what RLR really needs is another active regular that can help Darren set up episodes. I bet just organizing these shows is time consuming, and in the past the show had more active regulars that helped out with that I think.Delete
And you'd be awesome on RLR Alan ;-) Your roguelike let's plays on youtube are great!Delete
One roguelike-ish game from 2014 that I haven't heard mentioned on the show is Dream Quest. It's blend of deckbuilding + roguelike (Permadeath, random levels, almost impossible to win, etc). It was released on iOS this year, and according to the dev's twitter (@DreamQuestGame) on PC/Mac just recently. I've personally only tried it on the phone however, but it's a unity game.ReplyDelete
Absolutely worth checking out, one of the best designed games released last year. Art is awful, but you get used to it. I've probably played it 100+ times and won only once.
I love deck building and I love roguelikes. Sign me up!Delete
I haven't even heard of this game...
Here's a tweet from the dev with a link to a humble widget for the pc/mac version. I'd play it on mobile if you can, it runs great. Apparently MtG's Richard Garfield is a big fan of the game, so that gives some credit to the deck-building part of the game.
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