Saturday, October 3, 2015

Episode 108: Information

This is episode 108 of Roguelike Radio, where Darren Grey and Mark Johnson chat about Information in roguelikes.

You can download the mp3 of the podcast, play it in the embedded player below, or you can follow us on iTunes.

Topics Discussed:
  • The role information will play at the core of Ultima Ratio Regum.
  • Information restriction as a result of simulation - line of sight, unidentified magic items.
  • Randomness leading to a lack of information on the outcome of actions.
  • Removal of hidden information in many modern roguelikes, such as Tales of Maj'Eyal.
  • The role of item identification, how it's often implemented badly, and some thoughts on how it could be done better.
  • John Harris' post on Rogue's id system.
  • Online guides and wikis for games, and how it can lead to awkward play.
  • Designing the game to include all the information players need.
  • The tension of exploring an unknown dungeon, and how some games play on this with level messages.
  • Information changing the player behaviour, and helping keep them engaged.
  • The change in gameplay when not using field of view (making the whole map visible). (I also mentioned the FOV system in a maths-based roguelike, but it wasn't called MathRL as I claimed and I can no longer find the relevant game :-/)
  • Sound and animations to deliver information without logs.
  • Communicating important gameplay moments to the player.
  • Player knowledge of AI actions and abilities, and the impact on gameplay and tactics and how player's plan their gameplay.
  • Mark's plans for an updating log and encyclopaedia in Ultima Ratio Regum.

Join us next time when we interview Kyzrati, developer of Cogmind.


  1. Nice episode! I would really love to see more good implementations of identification systems on new roguelikes! It is a relly roguelikey mechanic, but gets boring and subgame too much...

  2. Wasn't that NumbersRL or something like that?

    Anyway, unless you enjoy writing complicated stuff, implementing complex algorithms for FOV seems rather pointless to me in general -- just loop over all the cells X on the boundary of the map, and for each of them, trace a line from the PC to X, until you hit a wall. This is just a few lines and it works. And not much slower.

  3. "dungeonmans, no item identification at all" - this is not true