Roguelikes/Roguelites - What do you think of this genre?

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ITSMILNER
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PostRoguelikes/Roguelites - What do you think of this genre?
by ITSMILNER » Fri Feb 08, 2019 12:30 pm

Roguelike is a subgenre of role-playing video game characterized by a dungeon crawl through procedurally generated levels, turn-based gameplay, tile-based graphics, and permanent death of the player character. .


It the past couple of years this genre of game seems to have become really popular especially with indies. It seems to have spawned some off-shoots as well (Roguelites? Not sure what the differences are tbh)

What do you guys think of this genre? I know a few of you really enjoyed the likes of Dead Cells and Binding of Issac. What do you find the most appealing about them? At first, I thought the genre was terrible, the idea of losing all progress when you die just seemed like you could waste so much time for little reward.

I have started to warm to them though, I really enjoy playing Flinthook, with that though, you get a sense of progression. As you progress through levels you get money and loot which you then use towards your next run. I don't really enjoy BoI that much as, for me, that sense of progression is not present.

Thoughts?

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PostRe: Roguelikes/Roguelites - What do you think of this genre?
by Preezy » Fri Feb 08, 2019 12:34 pm

I don't know if I've actually played a Roguelike/roguelite before - but losing everything on death sounds frustrating and not for people with little time to game.

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PostRe: Roguelikes/Roguelites - What do you think of this genre?
by Frank » Fri Feb 08, 2019 12:44 pm

Dreadful idea. It's a bit boring how many indie games now shout from the rooftops about being ROGUELIKES and it's just a massive turn off. Procedurally generated levels and losing everything when you die are the worst trends in gaming. Just feels lazy more than anything.

Would you count ZombiU as a rogue-like with it's perma-death mechanic? I got bored of that so quickly.

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PostRe: Roguelikes/Roguelites - What do you think of this genre?
by IAmTheSaladMan » Fri Feb 08, 2019 1:02 pm

I don't usually like them but I had Rogue Legacy from PS+ and rather enjoyed it. I thought the whole genetic traits mechanic was pretty fun.

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PostRe: Roguelikes/Roguelites - What do you think of this genre?
by OrangeRKN » Fri Feb 08, 2019 1:33 pm

Frank wrote:Would you count ZombiU as a rogue-like with it's perma-death mechanic? I got bored of that so quickly.


No, it's permadeath in flavour only and functionally is just a life system/continue where you have to recover your past equipment. Permadeath in the context of roguelikes means starting the game over in a new "run".

There are plenty of really good rouguelikes and rougelites, and there are even more middling and bad games, just as you'd expect in any genre. I think rougelites get unfairly lumped together as a genre, with people's criticisms of the poor games affecting their views on the best. The main points I would make are:

1) Procedural generation does not equal a lack of design, but poorly designed procedural generation is often because a developer incorrectly tries to use it in place of design

2) A lack of in-game progression is not a lack of progression, as a well made rougelike encourages and rewards a progression in player skill, ability and knowledge

3) Many roguelites do have some in-game progression

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PostRe: Roguelikes/Roguelites - What do you think of this genre?
by Moggy » Fri Feb 08, 2019 1:58 pm

IAmTheSaladMan wrote:I don't usually like them but I had Rogue Legacy from PS+ and rather enjoyed it. I thought the whole genetic traits mechanic was pretty fun.


I think Rogue Legacy is the only Roguelike I have ever played. I enjoyed it for a bit but it got boring after a while.

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PostRe: Roguelikes/Roguelites - What do you think of this genre?
by Jenuall » Fri Feb 08, 2019 2:00 pm

It's not a genre I tend to favour, the only game I can think of that I really enjoy which fits somewhere in this genre is Dead Cells.

I quite liked the Prey Mooncrash DLC that came out last year which had some Roguelike/Roguelite aspects to it, but I would have much preferred more traditional content if I'm honest.

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PostRe: Roguelikes/Roguelites - What do you think of this genre?
by OrangeRKN » Fri Feb 08, 2019 2:23 pm

Rogue-lite is pretty broadly encompassing (moreso than roguelike), I'm surprised if most people here haven't played at least one of Spelunky, FTL, The Binding of Isaac or Darkest Dungeon.

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PostRe: Roguelikes/Roguelites - What do you think of this genre?
by Preezy » Fri Feb 08, 2019 2:50 pm

OrangeRKN wrote:Rogue-lite is pretty broadly encompassing (moreso than roguelike), I'm surprised if most people here haven't played at least one of Spelunky, FTL, The Binding of Isaac or Darkest Dungeon.

No, no, no and no.

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PostRe: Roguelikes/Roguelites - What do you think of this genre?
by IAmTheSaladMan » Fri Feb 08, 2019 2:55 pm

I was actually enjoying Binding of Isaac to begin with until it glitched out on me erasing my progress, unlocked characters and trophies stopped pinging. I never went back to it after that.

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PostRe: Roguelikes/Roguelites - What do you think of this genre?
by Moggy » Fri Feb 08, 2019 2:56 pm

OrangeRKN wrote:Rogue-lite is pretty broadly encompassing (moreso than roguelike), I'm surprised if most people here haven't played at least one of Spelunky, FTL, The Binding of Isaac or Darkest Dungeon.


Spelunky - briefly played

FTL - never heard of it

The Binding of Isaac - briefly played

Darkest Dungeon - never heard of it

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PostRe: Roguelikes/Roguelites - What do you think of this genre?
by OrangeRKN » Fri Feb 08, 2019 3:05 pm

Moggy wrote:FTL - never heard of it


It's from the Into the Breach devs, FTL was their first game. Strategy fans should love it.

It's critic score on metacritic (84) also matches the user score (8.4), which I've never seen before :lol:


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PostRe: Roguelikes/Roguelites - What do you think of this genre?
by Zartan » Fri Feb 08, 2019 3:34 pm

Binding of Isaac may well be my favourite game of all time, I got 100% on the PC and I am slowly doing the same on Switch (literally the only thing I play on Switch too)

FTL is amazing, but really, really hard. Spelunky is one that never clicked with me. Darkest Dungeon I think is really cool, but it is super Grindy, and I only played it once they nerfed the grind.

You should add Slay the Spire that game is awesome, I highly recommend that to everyone.

Everspace is also a rogue-like though it falls outside the definition mainly as it is a space combat game

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PostRe: Roguelikes/Roguelites - What do you think of this genre?
by Balladeer » Fri Feb 08, 2019 3:46 pm

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PostRe: Roguelikes/Roguelites - What do you think of this genre?
by OrangeRKN » Fri Feb 08, 2019 3:53 pm

I haven't played Slay the Spire, didn't realise it was also a roguelite. They were less recommendations anyway (although I would recommend all of them!) and more examples of big and successful games across a variety of genres (other than "roguelite"). Spelunky is a platformer, Binding of Isaac a twin-stick shooter, FTL a strategy game and Darkest Dungeon an RPG. So even though they all share roguelike elements, they'd probably appeal to different people.

There are other recent games like Sky Rouge (arcade flight), One More Dungeon (FPS), Dead Cells (metroidvania), Moonlighter (action RPG), Heart&Slash (character action) and Bad North (tactics), that all fall into different genres as well as being roguelites.

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PostRe: Roguelikes/Roguelites - What do you think of this genre?
by Godzilla » Fri Feb 08, 2019 4:13 pm

Hate the idea of the genre but.... Dead Cells though. It's just so good.

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PostRe: Roguelikes/Roguelites - What do you think of this genre?
by Balladeer » Fri Feb 08, 2019 4:30 pm

I should probably say a bit more...

I really like level design. It is my favourite part of games. I used to design my own levels when I was a child, but they were rubbish because level design is hard. Making a memorable level, with memorable moments, is for me the pinnacle of what anybody working on games should do (with exceptions for multiplayer-focussed genres, but then I don't consider them the pinnacle of working on games. Sorry Masahiro).

Even the best algorithm designing the best level is unlikely to make a memorable one, and if it does it'll be for all the wrong reasons. (And therefore probably isn't 'the best algorithm'... eh, details.) Apart from anything else, memorable levels are usually passed through, at least in part, a couple of times. Because in most cases, that's how you remember them. The best bit of BotW, which is an astounding game, is Eventide Island, a small area that you crawl all over. Full procedural generation (not the partial stuff seen in American Redneck) doesn't allow for that.

That's me trying to rationalise it, but it's fair to say that it's gone beyond that for me. The words 'procedural generation' alone are almost enough to trigger my gag reflex these days. After those childhood level design attempts, the idea that it might be left to a machine to put the elements together appals me on what is almost an ideological level.

Progressing through death is fine, I'll say that much for roguelikes. Die but wake up with new stuff. It's just the randomised levels/worlds, whatever randomised levels/worlds (apart from F-Zero X's X Cup, natch), that stick in my craw.

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PostRe: Roguelikes/Roguelites - What do you think of this genre?
by Karl » Fri Feb 08, 2019 4:34 pm

NetHack is the only good roguelike.

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PostRe: Roguelikes/Roguelites - What do you think of this genre?
by ITSMILNER » Fri Feb 08, 2019 4:51 pm

I also still hate when a really good indie game is announced and then 'Roguelike' is mentioned :|

As long as you get some sort of progression out of a run then I don't think they are overly bad.....Like I said, Flinthook was great because when you die in a run, money/loot you collected up to a certain point is saved. You can then use this to level up your character, making him stronger or have better abilities which you take into the next subsequent run.

If I spent an hour+ on a game, only to then die and lose everything I had done in that time..... :evil:

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PostRe: Roguelikes/Roguelites - What do you think of this genre?
by OrangeRKN » Fri Feb 08, 2019 5:01 pm

Balladeer wrote:Even the best algorithm designing the best level is unlikely to make a memorable one, and if it does it'll be for all the wrong reasons. (And therefore probably isn't 'the best algorithm'... eh, details.) Apart from anything else, memorable levels are usually passed through, at least in part, a couple of times. Because in most cases, that's how you remember them. The best bit of BotW, which is an astounding game, is Eventide Island, a small area that you crawl all over. Full procedural generation (not the partial stuff seen in American Redneck) doesn't allow for that.


The random, procedural approach creates memorable moments by making unique, unrepeatable experiences. In No Man's Sky (not a roguelike, but a game built around procedural generation), the draw of the game is that you are personally discovering worlds that no other person has ever seen or set foot on. It's an exploration into the unknown, a novelty that can only be emulated with hand-crafted level design, an illusion that doesn't hold up to multiple playthroughs or discussion with friends.

That isn't to say progression through procedurally generated levels can't be familiar and learned. In The Binding of Isaac you progress through the basement, then the caves, the depths, and finally the womb (and more with expansions). In Spelunky you progress through the mines, the jungle, the ice caves and the temple. These are individual and deliberate environments, and while the specifics of the levels change the character remains consistent. The more you explore these levels, despite the unique nature of each run, the more elements and rules you recognise and learn. What enemies to expect, what items you might find, in Isaac even what room layouts the level will be made up of. Someone who has played countless runs through these environments will be much more capable of traversing them, and have much more knowledge of what they contain, despite each of those runs changing in some randomised way.

What procedural generation does over hand-crafted level design is place the focus on player ability and skill with the game's mechanics, rather than the player being able to learn the level and get through it by rote learning. Every level in Super Mario Bros. can be beat by following a simple set of instructions - press this button at this point in time. Initially the game is reactionary, but through familiarity and repeated attempts it becomes deterministic. Roguelites defy such an approach. You can't beat Spelunky by just learning when you need to jump and where enemies spawn, instead you are forced to always be reactionary. The mechanics, not the level design, are the primary focus, and it is the mechanics that must be mastered. Beating the game can be done with some good luck, and often a successful run will always require an element of luck, but the more you play of the game and the better you get, the better runs you will have.

That isn't me saying that the roguelike mechanics mastery approach is better than hand-crafted level design, there is a place for both. A game like Celeste is built around learning levels by rote, and it still has fantastic game mechanics. They are just different approaches to game design, and both can be designed well and designed poorly.


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