Monday, December 21, 2015

Episode 112: Interview with Kornel Kisielewicz

This is episode 112 of Roguelike Radio, where Darren Grey interviews Kornel Kisielewicz, maker of Doom the Roguelike.

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





Topics Discussed:
  • Kornel's game: DoomRL, DiabloRL, AliensRL, Berserk
  • Jupiter Hell, the spiritual successor to DoomRL, which will be 3D
  • The origins of Doom the Roguelike as a 7DRL, and the coining of the term "coffeebreak roguelike"
  • The fast-paced, smooth gameplay of DoomRL, made extra satisfying by the music and sound effects
  • How to keep that fast pace in graphical, animated implementations, and the plans for Jupiter Hell
  • GenRogue - the supermassive roguelike Kornel tried to make
  • Designing challenge and adapting to the increasing difficulty demands of a roguelike playerbase. "There are many players that leave a game when it does not provide any further challenges."
  • DoomRL as a cornerstone of the modern style of design-focused roguelikes
  • Inspirations and design ideas behind Kornel's smaller games, including getting the ripped data on Diablo to precisely make a DiabloRL, and the manga/anime Berserk
  • AliensRL, and Kornel's future plans to develop it further
  • Doing horror properly with roguelike mechanics
  • Jupiter Hell! An ambitious spiritual successor to DoomRL, turn-based with fancy 3D graphics, with the hope of pulling in wider crowds to the roguelike fold. Kornel talks in depth about his design plans for the game.
  • Early Access and the importance of player feedback and community-sourced ideas
  • You can find updates and discussion about Jupiter Hell on the ChaosForge forums
  • How Kornel is responsible for the roguelite explosion (sort of)


Join us next time for more roguelike-y goodness!

20 comments:

  1. Great job with the interview and editing, and thanks for having me on the show! As mentioned, I'm open to any follow up questions: here, on reddit, or twitter :)

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  2. Thank you for this interview. It was very insightful. I am looking forward seeing new versions of older titles as well as Jupiter Hell in all its 3D glory. One thing that bothered me a bit is the thing you said about removing content from Doom RL. Could you tell what you have in mind? Do you wish to remove active features or just to delete the unused parts of code? Would you mind clearing this a bit for me? Thank you in advance and good luck with all the projects.

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    1. Some of the features I added seem to reduce the fun in the long run - these should either be redesigned, or removed altogether. One such example are Assemblies, or the "mandatory to win on higher level" assemblies in particular.

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    2. Ouh. Assemblies is one of coolest features in your game, Kornel. Searching mods, applying mods into elements of eq, finally making super-duper weapon or armor (or screwing everything because you as technician didn't find last necessary mod - it fits to 'roguelike harsh' greatly) is very interesting and funny. Assemly system is amazing. Please, don't get path of DCSS' devteam about 'removing tedium' ;)

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    3. Thank you for response. I quite liked creating and discovering assemblies, though I agree that due to fact that special levels provided you with preset mods, creation of several assemblies could be taken for granted. One could build whole character and game strategy on this and it could make the game a bit predictable.
      I trust your judgment and I am looking forward to news regarding your projects.

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    4. The problem with Assemblies is that they are not only strictly superior to regular weapons, but also strictly superior to many unique ones. This devalues the happiness of finding uniques, and hence makes the game more linear in following the proven path. However, this does benefit high-level play, so a solution might not be a simple one.

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    5. I definitely can see why you would want to remove assemblies or rework them somehow. It definitely felt that when playing DoomRL that you needed to assemble something to play to the later levels; you can't just ignore assemblies.

      However, it might be an idea to limit assemblies to the Technician class and rework the game so that you play the game differently with each class - Marine plays a little bit more akin to Doom, you use what you pick up and you shoot and get shot; the Scout might be more about tactically moving through the game with no item or equipment pickups.

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    6. @Davion Fuxa - But it is wrong that you have to make assemblies? Still it's possible to play with low level assemblies (still more powerful than ordinary weapons). You know, I think that this was intended. Making assemblies is best thing which was introduced in DoomRL. And why *prohibit* some things to player and *force* another?

      + I feel these class-gameplay differences about you wrote. Now, in 0.9.9.7, class choice determines how you should playing.

      @Kornel - Maybe just make uniques exceptionally powerful but even rarer?

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    7. That's the big problem - anything that is exceptionally powerful and rare breaks the game for high-level players, while a constant power level makes the game more boring for low-level players.

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  4. Excellent episode! Huzzah for Berserk making progress in the shadows of late---fitting too given yet more animated Berserk has just been announced to follow the last few movies as the manga is also going on another deep and irregular hiatus!

    Alas: GenRogue wringing? The final digit on the monkey's paw wasn't supposed to go out like this! ;)

    :lights altar candle for Night City as is moral and just:

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  5. As for Night City, it's ideas were moved to yet another concept project, but don't expect to hear about it in the next two years and without Paradox Interactive's blessing :P

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  6. As a note to Darren, I concur with Kornel that having an episode on Varying Difficulty levels might be an episode worth having. Maybe that might be actual difficulty settings, changing game modes, or just the simple starting setups (different race or class starts ups).

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    1. Agreed! I'll probably have a talk about it at CEGC (Central European Games Conference) - the talk will probably be posted online.

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  7. Interesting discussion of the issues with movement animation and how it can interfere with gameflow.
    One solution is to use exponential decay. When an object moves, its position jumps but the sprite is unaffected; it moves smoothly towards the object's location with speed proportional to its distance. The half-life of the animation can be tuned so that there's a reliable upper bound on the distance between the sprite and its object, even when the player is holding down a key to move at maximum speed.

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    1. It doesn't help with the 3d case though!

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    2. I think it could be adapted to the 3d case, provided the animations look OK being played at variable speeds. The exponential decay in draw position would be replaced by an exponential decay in animation progress.

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  9. Nice interview! I keep waiting for AliensRL updates

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