Main Roguelike Discussion

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01:42:54 AM Apr 27th 2016
Goodness, I have half a mind to just nuke the examples list. I know the term has been diluted in popular culture recently but this is just obscene. Are we going to entertain the idea of "roguelike" having no meaning beyond procedural generation and permadeath, or should we be cutting out a good chunk of the "examples"?
02:18:21 AM Apr 27th 2016
A less destructive proposal:

Break down the examples into folders of categories; the Hacks, the Bands, the Coffeebreak games and the experiments, adding a fifth "roguelike-like" category. Yes, there's significant overlap, so these should probably be loosely enforced. The point is it gives roguelike-like examples a dedicated, separate place and calls them out as such, in a way that future editors should immediately catch on.
02:58:52 PM Apr 27th 2016
I'm rifling through the examples for categorization now, and it feels like there's a fifth category, codified by the Mystery Dungeon series, although there's a probable Ur-Example in Azure Dreams. They seem to take heavily after Bands, but diverge in a few fundamental ways:

  • Dungeons are not persistent, but in contrast to Bands, they're usually finite and often relatively small.
  • Gameplay is centered on a cycle of completing a small dungeon or a section of a larger dungeon, then returning to a common town to buy/sell items and gear and possibly improve equipment.
  • Permadeath is downplayed; death generally only returns you to town empty-handed. Similarly, food is often eliminated.
  • Line of sight is usually not a game mechanic; any objects, walls, or other entities between you and a monster, trap, or item, has no influence on whether they're shown onscreen.
  • More directly controllable allies (that are usually distinct tile-occupying entities themselves) are common

Despite spurning a few of the more famous aspects of roguelikes, they adhere strictly to less-noticed but fundamental mechanics, like turn-based grid-based gameplay and crawling through procedurally generated dungeons with high randomness. I'd say they count, but are too different from the Hacks and Bands, and too consistent to sit under the wide "Coffeebreak" or "Experimental" umbrellas.
04:51:32 AM Apr 28th 2016
I say go for adding a fifth category if it's clearly useful. These aren't official categories in any case. The Hack/Band distinction has long been made in roguelike circles, but these days we do have a wealth of roguelike-ish concepts, so we shouldn't be afraid to expand the list. :)
03:11:00 PM Jun 14th 2016
Quite a few of these examples don't even meet the "Permadeath and Randomly Generated Map" examples. Dark Cloud and Dark Chronicle don't have permadeath. Sunless Sea doesn't have generated locations (to the best of my knowledge). Lots of these are just RP Gs, and don't even meet the very relaxed definition of Roguelike.
01:42:25 PM Jul 3rd 2016
edited by Leliel
Sunless Sea does have randomized locations-the beta just didn't ship with that system.
06:20:49 PM May 5th 2013
Beam Me Up, Scotty!. The page quote was wrong:

You die... Would you like to have your possessions identified? (Y/N)
-NetHack Death Screen

The correct quote is:

You die... Do you want your possessions identified? (Y/N)

Even then, the "(Y/N)" does not appear exactly like that in the game.
11:01:21 AM Jan 19th 2011
What inspirations did Borderlands take from Diablo? I've played both, and I'm not seeing any "Diablo-like" traits to it. It also doesn't meet the key criteria of a Roguelike, so why should it be on the Roguelike index? Shouldn't that line be somewhere in the Diablo page instead?
01:55:01 AM Apr 27th 2016
Borderlands cribbed quite a lot from Diablo, the big ones being:

  • Randomized equipment with random stats plus a smattering of unique gear that themselves have some randomized stats.
  • Characters that can freely jump between game instances, gear and all.
  • Quest-driven progression in a sandbox-style world with designated safe havens.

But, yes, neither have any place here.
01:06:35 PM May 15th 2010
Could someone, anyone, actually come along and frikkin' give this genre of game a real name instead of glorifying some shitty old PC game by calling the rest of these sort of games "Rogue-like"? Geez.
01:19:55 PM May 15th 2010
The Trope Namer is the Trope Maker. Yes, it is old —it was around in the 1980s. But that is double-edged.

Both the genre and the name for the genre were firmly established before Eternal September and the modernization of the internet. Many fans of this genre were using the 'Net that long ago; many others still use Usenet to discuss it. The genre will have to have a modern breakout hit — say, the first successful "roguelike" for the Nintendo Wii — before anyone dares rename it.
01:31:36 PM May 15th 2010
Note: there might be alternate names for this genre (citations needed, natch). There are a few gamer 'zines that (quite reasonably) don't know anything about Rogue. If they ran into a game of this sort, then they might call it a Diablo-type. Every gamer has head of Diablo.

"Mystery Dungeon"-type might also be good, and has the advantage of being descriptive even for those who don't play the games. (One of the defining traits of a roguelike is the randomized dungeon.) But that might be better as a subtype, since it looks like most games using that name are Japanese or Pokémon (yes, I know that's redundant). Maybe Eastern roguelikes can be "Mystery Dungeon" and Western roguelikes can be "Angband-type." (NetHack is the single most popular roguelike, but there are a lot of games naming themselves after Angband.)
11:42:50 PM Jun 25th 2010
edited by EricDVH
Probably the closest thing to an alternative name would be Dungeon Crawler, though as the Dungeon Crawling trope notes, there are some games typically classed as dungeon crawlers without Randomly Generated Levels (I'd point to the early Might & Magic titles or maybe even Gauntlet as examples.)

Also, Diablo clones are a bit more particular than “modern roguelikes,” since they specifically include realtime action, and usually Co-Op Multiplayer.
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