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Edited by MuttersomeTaxicab

@mdnthrvst said:

@muttersometaxicab: ADOM's command list has well over 100 options for everything from dipping something into a well to wiping dirt off your face. I don't think it has much in common with looser inspirations such as Spelunky.

Besides, all this silly arguing over the nature of genres was pretty much put to bed with the Berlin Interpretation, still the definitive answer to the question of "what is a Roguelike?" It's nuanced and has room for exceptions, and explains rather well that Roguelike isn't solely defined by "like Rogue." There is a canon of follow-ups - NetHack, Angband, ADOM, and Crawl, as well as the original Rogue - that functionally define the genre as it has existed for decades. These follow-ups are certainly more complicated and in-depth than Rogue was, but, well, we've been playing them in many cases for over 20 years. Those games, their commonalities, and all that time counts for something.

And I don't know where you got the idea, but nobody is arguing that Dungeons of Dredmor isn't a roguelike in the same way they argued about FTL or BOI, all I'm saying is that Dredmor isn't a very good one. And in the case of Teleglitch, abandoning turn-based, tile-based combat is about the most fundamental shift you could make to the canon defined by ADOM, Angband, Crawl, Nethack, and Rogue.

RE: ADOM. This is my point. Complexity to the order of magnitude that ADOM has is not necessary to apply the term. Even according to the website you linked (thanks, by the way) The games only have to have "enough complexity to allow several solutions to common goals." Both Spelunky and ADOM fall within this spectrum handily.

Wasn't aware of the Berlin Interpretation. Good to know there are conferences about this stuff. However, roguelike will always linguistically carry the connotation of "like Rogue," but I'll leave that by the wayside since it won't really produce any new conversation.

The problem with using a canon to define a genre is that a canon is often (or should) be constantly amended, changed, debated over and railed against precisely to prevent some sort of hegemonic authority from emerging, while also allowing for healthy debate as the genre evolves and remains relevant over time.

And the key difference between your approach to the term and the Berlin Interpretation is that the BI is inherently inclusionary. Its use of "roguelike" is one that encourages plurality and allows for significant wiggle room: "The purpose of the definition is for the roguelike community to better understand what the community is studying. It is not to place constraints on developers or games." You're attaching a value judgement to Dungeons of Dredmor by saying it's "not a very good roguelike" because it's less "complex" (but still plenty complex for what it is, and more than complex enough to meet the "high value factors.") This is in utter opposition to what that site is saying, where it's more of a sliding scale. So it doesn't make sense to say that something is a "good roguelike" or "bad roguelike," but it would perhaps make sense to say something is "less roguelike" or "more roguelike." While those games are held up as canon, at what point will that canon be amended? By whom? On a whole, it seems like a generally reasonable approach, but one that's doomed to stagnation if someone starts looking at these things in terms of fidelity to 20 year old game design.

And for something like Teleglitch, yeah, it misses "turn based" and "grid based" (both constrictions that have more to do with limits of computing power at the inception of the genre that somehow became key components of design) but hits on absolutely every other condition. Sure, it's a radical deviation from the canon on those two levels, but it absolutely was designed with that style of gameplay in mind. At no point are the developers "dragging the name [of roguelikes] through the mud" - I don't think any developer that embraces roguelike mechanics is doing so to launch an assault on some entrenched ideal. Most of them are actually interested in experimenting with what that term means. Again, it seems terribly myopic to try to use that canon as an exclusionary measure.

And yeah, I'm totally in agreement: arguing about whether something is or is not a roguelike is kind of dumb. Especially when it's keeping people from playing interesting and weird games like this.

Edited by pakattak

I like the graphics. It feels like a "good" PS1 era game, which is incredibly nostalgic to me.

Posted by gbrading

Yes, go on Patrick, tell me about the Roguelikes and the Rabbits...

Posted by Reisz

@castiel said:

I don't know... I'm kinda getting tired of indie games that always has this either very pixelated look or really blocky pylogons. I just want to see something new from indie games.

Yeah, for sure. I think these games are too often given a free pass for a having a “retro” art style when they really just didn’t have a big technical or art budget and had to pick a look compatible with their resources. Choosing a retro look is the path of least resistance for indie developers. I mean, this game has some neat elements to its look, but a lot of it looks like a PS1 or mid-90s PC game with crappier textures. It didn’t convey any particularly strong atmosphere to me, though maybe having headphones on and not listening to commentary would help with that.

To put this another way: is there a “retro” style that a Patrick or Brad (or countless other critics — I don’t mean to call any one person out) would look at and say “well, that’s kind of crappy/boring looking”. I can’t really picture it. I think it’s time we start being more critical of deliberately old-school-looking games.

I will take a deliberately low fidelity look with a foundation of good design over a super polished look with fundamentally poor design any day. I don't know how many developers are specifically trying to evoke a "retro" look anymore, it's rather that there have been examples of really, really great design using minimal graphics that elevate the bar for what can be done without using Unreal Engine, Shader model 4 and a zillion polys.

If it looks good, it looks good.

Online
Posted by barleyscotch

teleglitch is awesome, find something else to host your terrible roguelike pedantry.

Edited by mdnthrvst

@muttersometaxicab said:

@mdnthrvst said:

@muttersometaxicab: ADOM's command list has well over 100 options for everything from dipping something into a well to wiping dirt off your face. I don't think it has much in common with looser inspirations such as Spelunky.

Besides, all this silly arguing over the nature of genres was pretty much put to bed with the Berlin Interpretation, still the definitive answer to the question of "what is a Roguelike?" It's nuanced and has room for exceptions, and explains rather well that Roguelike isn't solely defined by "like Rogue." There is a canon of follow-ups - NetHack, Angband, ADOM, and Crawl, as well as the original Rogue - that functionally define the genre as it has existed for decades. These follow-ups are certainly more complicated and in-depth than Rogue was, but, well, we've been playing them in many cases for over 20 years. Those games, their commonalities, and all that time counts for something.

And I don't know where you got the idea, but nobody is arguing that Dungeons of Dredmor isn't a roguelike in the same way they argued about FTL or BOI, all I'm saying is that Dredmor isn't a very good one. And in the case of Teleglitch, abandoning turn-based, tile-based combat is about the most fundamental shift you could make to the canon defined by ADOM, Angband, Crawl, Nethack, and Rogue.

RE: ADOM. This is my point. Complexity to the order of magnitude that ADOM has is not necessary to apply the term. Even according to the website you linked (thanks, by the way) The games only have to have "enough complexity to allow several solutions to common goals." Both Spelunky and ADOM fall within this spectrum handily.

Wasn't aware of the Berlin Interpretation. Good to know there are conferences about this stuff. Rhetorically, however, roguelike will always linguistically carry the connotation of "like Rogue," but I'll leave that by the wayside since it won't really produce any new conversation.

The problem with using a canon to define a genre is that a canon is often (or should) be constantly amended, changed, debated over and railed against precisely to prevent some sort of hegemonic authority from emerging, while also allowing for healthy debate as the genre evolves and remains relevant over time.

And the key difference between your approach to the term and the Berlin Interpretation is that the BI is inherently inclusionary. Its use of "roguelike" is one that encourages plurality and allows for significant wiggle room: "The purpose of the definition is for the roguelike community to better understand what the community is studying. It is not to place constraints on developers or games." You're attaching a value judgement to Dungeons of Dredmor by saying it's "not a very good roguelike" because it's less "complex" (but still plenty complex for what it is, and more than complex enough to meet the "high value factors.") This is in utter opposition to what that site is saying, where it's more of a sliding scale. So it doesn't make sense to say that something is a "good roguelike" or "bad roguelike," but it would perhaps make sense to say something is "less roguelike" or "more roguelike." While those games are held up as canon, at what point will that canon be amended? By whom? On a whole, it seems like a generally reasonable approach, but one that's doomed to stagnation if someone starts looking at these things in terms of fidelity to 20 year old game design.

And for something like Teleglitch, yeah, it misses "turn based" and "grid based" (both constrictions that have more to do with limits of computing power at the inception of the genre that somehow became key components of design) but hits on absolutely every other condition. Sure, it's a radical deviation from the canon on those two levels, but it absolutely was designed with that style of gameplay in mind. At no point are the developers "dragging the name [of roguelikes] through the mud" - I don't think any developer that embraces roguelike mechanics is doing so to launch an assault on some entrenched ideal. Most of them are actually interested in experimenting with what that term means. Again, it seems terribly myopic to try to use that canon as an exclusionary measure.

And yeah, I'm totally in agreement: arguing about whether something is or is not a roguelike is kind of dumb. Especially when it's keeping people from playing interesting and weird games like this.

Since when is judging a game inherently wrong? Listen, by saying a game is a "bad Roguelike", all I meant is that I don't think Dungeons of Dredmor is very good. I didn't say it wasn't a roguelike. It's obvious it's a roguelike. It's also terribly paced, embraces humor over gameplay balance, and encourages grinding with its crafting system. Not very fun, but it isn't the case that something doesn't "count" in a genre because it happens to be a bad game within that genre. Maybe I should've said "bad game" to prevent this misunderstanding, but oh well.

And I don't see how adding randomization and permadeath to a twin-stick shooter makes it not a twin-stick shooter. Teleglitch adds design elements from roguelikes to a fundamentally different style of game. Roguelike is not an adjective but a genre. Even games like Elona, which takes the basis of ADOM and builds it into a JRPG, keeps the fundamental paradigm of turn-based, grid-based RPG combat; that, more than anything, is at the core of what a roguelike is.

Also, I really don't want to be perceived as resenting the broader adoption of these mechanics - I've enjoyed and beaten both the Binding of Isaac and FTL, but all I'm saying is that they were radically different experiences from the typical run of Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup. Roguelikes as they had been defined before a select few indie games adopted some of their design features were all (comparatively minor) variations on the same thing - go into a dungeon, fight monsters in a turn-based and tile-based combat system, and achieve some goal by the end.

Sure, there can be multiple dungeons or an overworld or it can be a zombie survival game, but that basic mechanic is utterly fundamental - if you were to give Mario killstreaks and killcams, Mario would not suddenly become a shooter. Taking inspiration from a different thing, whether it be Call of Duty-style shooters or Roguelikes, doesn't mean you become that thing.

Though I do admit that a lot of frustration on this topic stems from some bitterness and in-group bias. My chosen Roguelike community likes what they like, and these games, as Jeff helpfully mentioned in the Quick Look, attract a very hardcore and unforgiving type of player by their very nature. I don't care, though. More than anything, all I want is for people to realize that there is more to this than the odd commerical indie game, and that the rich legacy of dungeon crawlers that spawned from Rogue is enduringly rewarding. Roguelike-like is certainly a clumsy term, but I can't see how anyone would seriously look at Crawl, NetHack, ADOM et cetera and say that Teleglitch is a part of the same genre. Borrowing ideas and taking inspiration doesn't make it the same thing.

Posted by Phished0ne

@aelric said:

Why is Ryan hooked up to oxygen tubes? Did he get really sick/hurt and I didn't hear about it?

Sleep study, depending on where you go for that kinda thing, they hook you up to oxygen to ensure you get good sleep.

Edited by KestrelPi

@reisz said:

@grantheaslip said:

@castiel said:

I don't know... I'm kinda getting tired of indie games that always has this either very pixelated look or really blocky pylogons. I just want to see something new from indie games.

Yeah, for sure. I think these games are too often given a free pass for a having a “retro” art style when they really just didn’t have a big technical or art budget and had to pick a look compatible with their resources. Choosing a retro look is the path of least resistance for indie developers. I mean, this game has some neat elements to its look, but a lot of it looks like a PS1 or mid-90s PC game with crappier textures. It didn’t convey any particularly strong atmosphere to me, though maybe having headphones on and not listening to commentary would help with that.

To put this another way: is there a “retro” style that a Patrick or Brad (or countless other critics — I don’t mean to call any one person out) would look at and say “well, that’s kind of crappy/boring looking”. I can’t really picture it. I think it’s time we start being more critical of deliberately old-school-looking games.

I will take a deliberately low fidelity look with a foundation of good design over a super polished look with fundamentally poor design any day. I don't know how many developers are specifically trying to evoke a "retro" look anymore, it's rather that there have been examples of really, really great design using minimal graphics that elevate the bar for what can be done without using Unreal Engine, Shader model 4 and a zillion polys.

If it looks good, it looks good.

Not only that, but often it's a style choice with a very good reason. I am the artist on the games I make, and I'm the artist because I've got some good sensibilities about how to make things look nice, and consistent.

To me, the most important thing in getting a game to look good is consistency - does everything look like it belongs in the same game? is there some sort of unity of character design? is the colour palette well thought out? and so on.

As an artist, I am not particularly technically skilled, but I know enough to create nice, consistent pixel art, and do a few things in other styles. But I often choose pixel art as that's usually the easiest for me to animate, and is just personally more enjoyable for me to work with. It's got nothing to do with a retro trend or whatever, it's just often the best way for me to make a game that looks good with the limited time, ability and resources I have, and I think that's important.

So I'm always a little disheartened when I see people criticising retro aesthetics as such, and I find @GrantHeaslip's comment particularly baffling - it's not so much that it's the path of least resistance - it's simply in many (but far, far from all) cases the answer to the question 'How can I, with the time, ability and resources I have, make this game look as good as possible?' Why should we be calling out Indie developers for wanting to make their game look as good as possible?

Posted by aceofspudz

Well, what is a good name for these games? Saying 'a game with roguelike elements' is tiring and frankly, roguelike fans get pissy if you do even that. So at least if I call something a roguelike, they'll still get pissy and I don't have to tire myself out attempting to appease them, which is impossible unless I'm talking about one of their pet games.

Edited by mdnthrvst

@aceofspudz: Call something a roguelike-like. That's what everyone usually does. Roguelikes just haven't gotten this much attention in decades, so their fans are pretty particular about the whole thing when people misrepresent them.

Posted by HellknightLeon

Wow you guys talk a fuck lot about this stuff... I thought that was a forums thing. Oh well. The game looks kinda cool. I might need to check it out... on whatever its on... Needs to hit Steam.

Posted by MuttersomeTaxicab

@muttersometaxicab said:

@mdnthrvst said:

@muttersometaxicab: ADOM's command list has well over 100 options for everything from dipping something into a well to wiping dirt off your face. I don't think it has much in common with looser inspirations such as Spelunky.

Besides, all this silly arguing over the nature of genres was pretty much put to bed with the Berlin Interpretation, still the definitive answer to the question of "what is a Roguelike?" It's nuanced and has room for exceptions, and explains rather well that Roguelike isn't solely defined by "like Rogue." There is a canon of follow-ups - NetHack, Angband, ADOM, and Crawl, as well as the original Rogue - that functionally define the genre as it has existed for decades. These follow-ups are certainly more complicated and in-depth than Rogue was, but, well, we've been playing them in many cases for over 20 years. Those games, their commonalities, and all that time counts for something.

And I don't know where you got the idea, but nobody is arguing that Dungeons of Dredmor isn't a roguelike in the same way they argued about FTL or BOI, all I'm saying is that Dredmor isn't a very good one. And in the case of Teleglitch, abandoning turn-based, tile-based combat is about the most fundamental shift you could make to the canon defined by ADOM, Angband, Crawl, Nethack, and Rogue.

RE: ADOM. This is my point. Complexity to the order of magnitude that ADOM has is not necessary to apply the term. Even according to the website you linked (thanks, by the way) The games only have to have "enough complexity to allow several solutions to common goals." Both Spelunky and ADOM fall within this spectrum handily.

Wasn't aware of the Berlin Interpretation. Good to know there are conferences about this stuff. Rhetorically, however, roguelike will always linguistically carry the connotation of "like Rogue," but I'll leave that by the wayside since it won't really produce any new conversation.

The problem with using a canon to define a genre is that a canon is often (or should) be constantly amended, changed, debated over and railed against precisely to prevent some sort of hegemonic authority from emerging, while also allowing for healthy debate as the genre evolves and remains relevant over time.

And the key difference between your approach to the term and the Berlin Interpretation is that the BI is inherently inclusionary. Its use of "roguelike" is one that encourages plurality and allows for significant wiggle room: "The purpose of the definition is for the roguelike community to better understand what the community is studying. It is not to place constraints on developers or games." You're attaching a value judgement to Dungeons of Dredmor by saying it's "not a very good roguelike" because it's less "complex" (but still plenty complex for what it is, and more than complex enough to meet the "high value factors.") This is in utter opposition to what that site is saying, where it's more of a sliding scale. So it doesn't make sense to say that something is a "good roguelike" or "bad roguelike," but it would perhaps make sense to say something is "less roguelike" or "more roguelike." While those games are held up as canon, at what point will that canon be amended? By whom? On a whole, it seems like a generally reasonable approach, but one that's doomed to stagnation if someone starts looking at these things in terms of fidelity to 20 year old game design.

And for something like Teleglitch, yeah, it misses "turn based" and "grid based" (both constrictions that have more to do with limits of computing power at the inception of the genre that somehow became key components of design) but hits on absolutely every other condition. Sure, it's a radical deviation from the canon on those two levels, but it absolutely was designed with that style of gameplay in mind. At no point are the developers "dragging the name [of roguelikes] through the mud" - I don't think any developer that embraces roguelike mechanics is doing so to launch an assault on some entrenched ideal. Most of them are actually interested in experimenting with what that term means. Again, it seems terribly myopic to try to use that canon as an exclusionary measure.

And yeah, I'm totally in agreement: arguing about whether something is or is not a roguelike is kind of dumb. Especially when it's keeping people from playing interesting and weird games like this.

Since when is judging a game inherently wrong? Listen, by saying a game is a "bad Roguelike", all I meant is that I don't think Dungeons of Dredmor is very good. I didn't say it wasn't a roguelike. It's obvious it's a roguelike. It's also terribly paced, embraces humor over gameplay balance, and encourages grinding with its crafting system. Not very fun, but it isn't the case that something doesn't "count" in a genre because it happens to be a bad game within that genre. Maybe I should've said "bad game" to prevent this misunderstanding, but oh well.

And I don't see how adding randomization and permadeath to a twin-stick shooter makes it not a twin-stick shooter. Teleglitch adds design elements from roguelikes to a fundamentally different style of game. Roguelike is not an adjective but a genre. Even games like Elona, which takes the basis of ADOM and builds it into a JRPG, keeps the fundamental paradigm of turn-based, grid-based RPG combat; that, more than anything, is at the core of what a roguelike is.

Also, I really don't want to be perceived as resenting the broader adoption of these mechanics - I've enjoyed and beaten both the Binding of Isaac and FTL, but all I'm saying is that they were radically different experiences from the typical run of Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup. Roguelikes as they had been defined before a select few indie games adopted some of their design features were all (comparatively minor) variations on the same thing - go into a dungeon, fight monsters in a turn-based and tile-based combat system, and achieve some goal by the end.

Sure, there can be multiple dungeons or an overworld or it can be a zombie survival game, but that basic mechanic is utterly fundamental - if you were to give Mario killstreaks and killcams, Mario would not suddenly become a shooter. Taking inspiration from a different thing, whether it be Call of Duty-style shooters or Roguelikes, doesn't mean you become that thing.

Though I do admit that a lot of frustration on this topic stems from some bitterness and in-group bias. My chosen Roguelike community likes what they like, and these games, as Jeff helpfully mentioned in the Quick Look, attract a very hardcore and unforgiving type of player by their very nature. I don't care, though. More than anything, all I want is for people to realize that there is more to this than the odd commerical indie game, and that the rich legacy of dungeon crawlers that spawned from Rogue is enduringly rewarding. Roguelike-like is certainly a clumsy term, but I can't see how anyone would seriously look at Crawl, NetHack, ADOM et cetera and say that Teleglitch is a part of the same genre. Borrowing ideas and taking inspiration doesn't make it the same thing.

Ah. That's where the disconnect is. I actually really liked Dungeons of Dredmor, in spite of how gleefully unfair it was. Saying that you thought Dungeons of Dredmor is a bad game would've clarified.

If there was one thing that I disagreed with in the Berlin Interpretation, it's that they called "roguelike" a genre rather than a class or adjective. That said, it's not like genres fare any better in video game development anyways. Video game development is rife with hybridized genres and cross-pollenation, anyways. Especially since most roguelike games would handily fall under the increasingly ephemeral umbrella of RPG.
I think you're mislabeling what Teleglitch is, but if you're going to use the Berlin Interpretation to shut out my argument about "roguelike" meaning "games like Rogue" you're also going to have to abide by it, too, which means allowing that, even though Teleglitch isn't EXACTLY like ADOM or Nethack or whatever, it still falls in line with the ethos of roguelike game design, and it's been made explicitly clear by the devs on their Desura page that they designed the game with roguelike gameplay in mind. And finally, the definition you're claiming to follow is diametrically opposed to exclusionary tactics. It's not a ruleset to beat people over the head with. It may have different moment-to-moment gameplay from DCSS or whatever, but that doesn't mean that Teleglitch (or any of these more modernized roguelikes) can't be described by the term because it's missing a couple narrow elements from the equation. For me, it's not erasing or dragging roguelike as a descriptor "through the mud" but pushing its horizons, attracting new people into the weird cult of people who enjoy this stuff. The same people that will probably not think twice about checking out TOME or DCSS.

And like I said, that canon needs some re-evaluation. I love most of those games dearly, too, and it's not like they're ever going to go away. I mean, how much did that Indiegogo raise for ADOM2? How long was that article on Dwarf Fortress in the New York Times? Who in their right mind is going to try to topple ADOM or Nethack in terms of sheer audacity?

Genre theory is one of the weirdest things I studied in school. To the point where it's safe to say that all genres are full of contradictions and exceptions. It just blows my mind that there are people that point to a veeerrrry tiny sliver of gameplay, point to that and say NO NO NO NO THIS IS IT THIS IS MY GENRE YOU GET OUT.
Especially since I'd love to see more people play these games, but whenever something that falls outside of the fallacious circle that's been drawn around what a "true roguelike" is, there's always that vocal minority that is too busy shouting people down about definitions, when they could be drawing potential fans in. (Not saying that's you. You've been very civil.)

Posted by MuttersomeTaxicab

Well, what is a good name for these games? Saying 'a game with roguelike elements' is tiring and frankly, roguelike fans get pissy if you do even that. So at least if I call something a roguelike, they'll still get pissy and I don't have to tire myself out attempting to appease them, which is impossible unless I'm talking about one of their pet games.

Just call it a roguelike. If things like this keep coming out, even if you try to call it a "roguelike-like" for now it'll get shortened to roguelike before long.

Posted by Patman99

@aceofspudz said:

Well, what is a good name for these games? Saying 'a game with roguelike elements' is tiring and frankly, roguelike fans get pissy if you do even that. So at least if I call something a roguelike, they'll still get pissy and I don't have to tire myself out attempting to appease them, which is impossible unless I'm talking about one of their pet games.

Just call it a roguelike. If things like this keep coming out, even if you try to call it a "roguelike-like" for now it'll get shortened to roguelike before long.

Exactly. Terms can be expanded and I feel that roguelike describes a game that has permanent death, meant to be replayed multiple times, a high difficulty curve, and has some sort of randomization. "roguelike" has expanded beyond simply describing a game like rogue. People just need to stop getting up in arms about something that is actually fairly trivial.

Posted by mdnthrvst

@muttersometaxicab: Saying that you don't consider moment-to-moment gameplay to be a crucial part of the character of a game just isn't something I can abide by. Teleglitch, from a mechanical perspective, has far more in common with the likes of Renegade Ops than any Roguelike.

It's an action game. Your timing and manual dexterity count for avoiding the melee attacks of the monsters, and aiming your gun is a matter of drawing it over the enemy with the mouse cursor and firing. That has nothing to do with the turn-based tactics of a Roguelike.

What are you even trying to gain by having people muddy the waters, so to speak? Cachet? Is the Roguelike name really that valuable to people that they want to apply it to any game that takes inspiration from the genre, despite said game's fundamentally different gameplay foundations?

All that I can see coming of it is confusion.

Edited by mdnthrvst

@patman99: Trivial to you because you don't play these games. You were exposed to the term and its meaning by the recent surge of interest caused by roguelike-likes, not by any affinity for the genre as it has existed for over three decades, and the rich legacy of games that take direct inspiration from Rogue, on a far deeper level than randomization and permadeath. Those two things don't make a twin-stick shooter a Roguelike.

I'm sure it's easy for you to blithely declare that something has 'expanded beyond what it used to be' if you've got no personal knowledge or investment in what it always has been. I love these games and I know these games.

I'm also sounding like a blowhard. I know that I probably seem like I reject any serious expansion of the term's meaning, but that's not my point; I just know, as I play something like the Binding of Isaac, something designed to be enjoyed and beaten by most of its commercial, non-hardcore audience, that this is not the thing I love. It's fascinating and interesting and fun, but still diffferent.

A more instructive case is Elona, which I've mentioned in passing: it actually shirks permadeath entirely but maintains all other core systems of a Roguelike, including turn-based, tile-based combat, random dungeons, character progression, blessed/uncursed/cursed systems, and item identification, all features which are deeply baked into the genre.

Is Elona a roguelike? I don't know. That's a far more interesting conversation than arguing about whether this horror-themed shooter or that teleportation-themed shooter or this spaceship game is a roguelike.

Edited by JamesM

Sure, there can be multiple dungeons or an overworld or it can be a zombie survival game, but that basic mechanic is utterly fundamental - if you were to give Mario killstreaks and killcams, Mario would not suddenly become a shooter. Taking inspiration from a different thing, whether it be Call of Duty-style shooters or Roguelikes, doesn't mean you become that thing.

I don't have any real investment in either side of this argument, but I would like to point out that you missed the opportunity for a great non-hypothetical analogy here: when Call of Duty 4 multiplayer added character classes and experience points, it did not become an RPG.

Posted by Robaota

@jamesm said:

@mdnthrvst said:

Sure, there can be multiple dungeons or an overworld or it can be a zombie survival game, but that basic mechanic is utterly fundamental - if you were to give Mario killstreaks and killcams, Mario would not suddenly become a shooter. Taking inspiration from a different thing, whether it be Call of Duty-style shooters or Roguelikes, doesn't mean you become that thing.

I don't have any real investment in either side of this argument, but I would like to point out that you missed the opportunity for a great non-hypothetical analogy here: when Call of Duty 4 multiplayer added character classes and experience points, it did not become an RPG.

But people did say that Call of Duty 4 multiplayer employed some RPG elements.

That being said this whole argument is quite silly.

Posted by bybeach

Kind of a trip, I like it. Only good things can come from Estonia, and don't they have a wierd net or something thing going there? Also a statue of Frank Zappa somewhere there...or maybe some other 'obscure' East Euro Nation.

As for the roguelike dispute, I understand the principle of keeping a concept pure. But if parts can be separated and bolted on to other games, well, thats going to happen. My only disparate comment is I thought the shotgun overpowered, and perhaps the moving walls a once time sucker punch?

Edited by MuttersomeTaxicab
@mdnthrvst said:

@muttersometaxicab: Saying that you don't consider moment-to-moment gameplay to be a crucial part of the character of a game just isn't something I can abide by. Teleglitch, from a mechanical perspective, has far more in common with the likes of Renegade Ops than any Roguelike.

It's an action game. Your timing and manual dexterity count for avoiding the melee attacks of the monsters, and aiming your gun is a matter of drawing it over the enemy with the mouse cursor and firing. That has nothing to do with the turn-based tactics of a Roguelike.

What are you even trying to gain by having people muddy the waters, so to speak? Cachet? Is the Roguelike name really that valuable to people that they want to apply it to any game that takes inspiration from the genre, despite said game's fundamentally different gameplay foundations?

All that I can see coming of it is confusion.

Comparing Teleglitch to Renegade Ops confirms that you haven't played it and may not have really paid much attention to the video. Ammo is super scarce. Aiming is fiddly. You are not dumping into dudes like a twin stick shooter. A more reasonable comparison would've been early Resident Evil games. There may not be turn-based tactics, but it hits every single other point in the definition you supplied.

I tried to make this as clear as I could before but I guess I'll try again:

This list can be used to determine how roguelike a game is. Missing some points does not mean the game is not a roguelike. Likewise, possessing some points does not mean the game is a roguelike.

The purpose of the definition is for the roguelike community to better understand what the community is studying. It is not to place constraints on developers or games.

This is from the website you directed me to. It ostensibly had the definition you claim to stand by. Read it carefully. At no point does it say "IF THIS GAME ISN'T TURN-BASED THEN FUCK IT WE AIN'T SENDIN NO XMAS CARDS."

Personally? I don't expect to gain a thing. Roguelikes will continue to be made, which is awesome. It's already hitting a point where game journalists are using "roguelike" to describe game mechanics that are not explicitly patterned off games like ADOM, and eventually that vocal minority will dwindle or become increasingly irrelevant. Nobody's taking anything from the hardline roguelike fans because most of these games are still incorporating the elements laid out by those very hardline fans. The only people that are muddying the water are fanatics that froth and spit and cuss and blind themselves to the fact that having roguelike elements adapted into friendlier indie games only means that more terrific roguelikes are going to be made. It means that the "genre" as you call it, won't stagnate.

Edit: and thanks to this discussion, I have now downloaded Elona and Cataclysm.

Edited by MuttersomeTaxicab

@bybeach said:

My only disparate comment is I thought the shotgun overpowered, and perhaps the moving walls a once time sucker punch?

The shotgun is overpowered, but once you get past a few levels (a feat in itself) ammo for it is super, super scarce.

Kinda bums me out they didn't get into the crafting system, too. It can get pretty insane.

Posted by BeachThunder

Personally, I don't think Wolfenstein 3-D, Doom or Team Fortress 2 are actually First Person Shooters. All FPSs have to be black and white, be played in a vertical resolution, have a giant eyeball as a protagonist, and must be multiplayer only.

Team Fortress 2 is multiplayer only, so maybe we could perhaps consider thinking about calling it an FPS-lite-lite-lite; however, I will accept a shortened down version, "FPS-lite", but TF2 should never be considered an FPS.

The gods at NASA bestowed the genre of First-Person-Shooters as a gift to Gamers. So please do not besmirch the good name of FPSs with all of those newfanged doohickeys that have 'features' such as real time movement, visible guns, and colours...

Edited by mdnthrvst

@muttersometaxicab said:
@mdnthrvst said:

@muttersometaxicab: Saying that you don't consider moment-to-moment gameplay to be a crucial part of the character of a game just isn't something I can abide by. Teleglitch, from a mechanical perspective, has far more in common with the likes of Renegade Ops than any Roguelike.

It's an action game. Your timing and manual dexterity count for avoiding the melee attacks of the monsters, and aiming your gun is a matter of drawing it over the enemy with the mouse cursor and firing. That has nothing to do with the turn-based tactics of a Roguelike.

What are you even trying to gain by having people muddy the waters, so to speak? Cachet? Is the Roguelike name really that valuable to people that they want to apply it to any game that takes inspiration from the genre, despite said game's fundamentally different gameplay foundations?

All that I can see coming of it is confusion.

Comparing Teleglitch to Renegade Ops confirms that you haven't played it and may not have really paid much attention to the video. Ammo is super scarce. Aiming is fiddly. You are not dumping into dudes like a twin stick shooter. A more reasonable comparison would've been early Resident Evil games. There may not be turn-based tactics, but it hits every single other point in the definition you supplied.

I tried to make this as clear as I could before but I guess I'll try again:

This list can be used to determine how roguelike a game is. Missing some points does not mean the game is not a roguelike. Likewise, possessing some points does not mean the game is a roguelike.

The purpose of the definition is for the roguelike community to better understand what the community is studying. It is not to place constraints on developers or games.

This is from the website you directed me to. It ostensibly had the definition you claim to stand by. Read it carefully. At no point does it say "IF THIS GAME ISN'T TURN-BASED THEN FUCK IT WE AIN'T SENDIN NO XMAS CARDS."

Personally? I don't expect to gain a thing. Roguelikes will continue to be made, which is awesome. It's already hitting a point where game journalists are using "roguelike" to describe game mechanics that are not explicitly patterned off games like ADOM, and eventually that vocal minority will dwindle or become increasingly irrelevant. Nobody's taking anything from the hardline roguelike fans because most of these games are still incorporating the elements laid out by those very hardline fans. The only people that are muddying the water are fanatics that froth and spit and cuss and blind themselves to the fact that having roguelike elements adapted into friendlier indie games only means that more terrific roguelikes are going to be made. It means that the "genre" as you call it, won't stagnate.

Edit: and thanks to this discussion, I have now downloaded Elona and Cataclysm.

I watched the video just fine, thank you. It doesn't matter how scarce or plentiful ammo is or how many bullets a monster soaks up. That's all minutia on the level of identification scrolls functioning differently in NetHack and Crawl.

When there is a timing element to aiming and shooting at an enemy, a game becomes an action game. Roguelikes aren't action games, plain and simple. On a purely cognitive level the experience of play becomes more stressful and tense by the incorporation of real-time combat. You can't get more fundamentally different than taking discrete turns and reacting to a timer.

Also, I have not once expressed resentment for the existence of Teleglitch, Isaac, or what have you. I'm glad these games exist. I like them. I know that they aren't Roguelikes, I know that they take inspiration from Roguelikes, and that's all fine. I even agree with you that these roguelike-likes are a good thing for the original genre, bringing it new exposure and attention; they just aren't the same style of games, and no rhetorical tricks can remove Teleglitch's real-time combat.

Also, I merely supplied the Berlin Interpretation to give myself some outside leverage. It is not the final arbiter in this conversation and I don't blindly submit to its pronouncements. Turn-based combat is the single most important thing.

Tales of Maj'Eyal is a new roguelike that shirks a lot of the genre's conventions - potions, rods, the ID minigame, and even introduces permanence in the form of character creation unlocks. But playing Tales of Maj'Eyal is not unlike playing DCSS or Rogue; turns pass as you and the dungeon inhabitants that oppose you fight to the death.

Edited by mdnthrvst

@beachthunder: That joke might work if the crux of my entire argument weren't that the basic gameplay structure of a given game is the single most important determinant in its classification. If you see through a character's eyes and shoot at dudes, of course it's a first-person shooter, whether the game's as simple as Quake or as ridiculously complicated as Arma.

Diversification is good. There are probably assholes out there who try to place silly limitations on things, but that's not my objective; a turn-based, tile-based, combat-focused game with some implementation of randomness and permadeath is about as sensible a definition for Roguelike as there is, and we constantly see games such as Tales of Maj'Eyal, Elona, or Cataclysm push those boundaries. It's just that the games pushing the boundaries aren't the popular or commercial ones journalists talk about.

Posted by HaltIamReptar

holy shit are people who are way into roguelikes boring fucks

Posted by BeachThunder

@mdnthrvst: Well, the protagonist of Maze War has only one eye and there's only one other dude to shoot. Hm, so I guess Maze War isn't an FPS after all; maybe I need to reconsider my views :(

Edited by mdnthrvst
@beachthunder said:

@mdnthrvst: Well, the protagonist of Maze War has only one eye and there's only one other dude to shoot. Hm, so I guess Maze War isn't an FPS after all; maybe I need to reconsider my views :(

Wasn't the dude in Crysis 2 technically dead? How would his eyes work? Shit, you're right. It must not be a first person shooter.

Okay new definition: One eye. Or no eyes. The protagonist might be a blind telepathic special forces agent.

Posted by MuttersomeTaxicab

@muttersometaxicab said:
@mdnthrvst said:

@muttersometaxicab: Saying that you don't consider moment-to-moment gameplay to be a crucial part of the character of a game just isn't something I can abide by. Teleglitch, from a mechanical perspective, has far more in common with the likes of Renegade Ops than any Roguelike.

It's an action game. Your timing and manual dexterity count for avoiding the melee attacks of the monsters, and aiming your gun is a matter of drawing it over the enemy with the mouse cursor and firing. That has nothing to do with the turn-based tactics of a Roguelike.

What are you even trying to gain by having people muddy the waters, so to speak? Cachet? Is the Roguelike name really that valuable to people that they want to apply it to any game that takes inspiration from the genre, despite said game's fundamentally different gameplay foundations?

All that I can see coming of it is confusion.

Comparing Teleglitch to Renegade Ops confirms that you haven't played it and may not have really paid much attention to the video. Ammo is super scarce. Aiming is fiddly. You are not dumping into dudes like a twin stick shooter. A more reasonable comparison would've been early Resident Evil games. There may not be turn-based tactics, but it hits every single other point in the definition you supplied.

I tried to make this as clear as I could before but I guess I'll try again:

This list can be used to determine how roguelike a game is. Missing some points does not mean the game is not a roguelike. Likewise, possessing some points does not mean the game is a roguelike.

The purpose of the definition is for the roguelike community to better understand what the community is studying. It is not to place constraints on developers or games.

This is from the website you directed me to. It ostensibly had the definition you claim to stand by. Read it carefully. At no point does it say "IF THIS GAME ISN'T TURN-BASED THEN FUCK IT WE AIN'T SENDIN NO XMAS CARDS."

Personally? I don't expect to gain a thing. Roguelikes will continue to be made, which is awesome. It's already hitting a point where game journalists are using "roguelike" to describe game mechanics that are not explicitly patterned off games like ADOM, and eventually that vocal minority will dwindle or become increasingly irrelevant. Nobody's taking anything from the hardline roguelike fans because most of these games are still incorporating the elements laid out by those very hardline fans. The only people that are muddying the water are fanatics that froth and spit and cuss and blind themselves to the fact that having roguelike elements adapted into friendlier indie games only means that more terrific roguelikes are going to be made. It means that the "genre" as you call it, won't stagnate.

Edit: and thanks to this discussion, I have now downloaded Elona and Cataclysm.

I watched the video just fine, thank you. It doesn't matter how scarce or plentiful ammo is or how many bullets a monster soaks up. That's all minutia on the level of identification scrolls functioning differently in NetHack and Crawl.

When there is a timing element to aiming and shooting at an enemy, a game becomes an action game. Roguelikes aren't action games, plain and simple. On a purely cognitive level the experience of play becomes more stressful and tense by the incorporation of real-time combat. You can't get more fundamentally different than taking discrete turns and reacting to a timer.

Also, I have not once expressed resentment for the existence of Teleglitch, Isaac, or what have you. I'm glad these games exist. I like them. I know that they aren't Roguelikes, I know that they take inspiration from Roguelikes, and that's all fine. I even agree with you that these roguelike-likes are a good thing for the original genre, bringing it new exposure and attention; they just aren't the same style of games, and no rhetorical tricks can remove Teleglitch's real-time combat.

Yep. This is why I consider the term an adjective/descriptor of games. Although, even though these games don't jive with the canon, they completely fit in with the overarching definition, which seems to have been deliberately left open for these kinds of occasions.

While I'd contend that Nethack and ADOM can get plenty stressful when you're 5 hours into a playthrough and in dire shape, but I don't think we'll get anywhere belabouring points. I think I have a better handle on why roguelike die-hards react the way they do to games like BoI and Teleglitch (even if I disagree with it/find it inconsistent with their own terms and frustrating since it can sometimes alienate potential new fans. Although with Teleglitch, I imagine our protracted ranting has probably mutually alienated people.)

At any rate, might as well agree to disagree.

Now. Off to play Cataclysm!

Posted by mdnthrvst

@muttersometaxicab: I'm sure your handle on hardcore roguelike fans probably aligns well with Jeff's. Most of us are petty, exclusive, self-contradictory, unreasonable assholes.

My justification for being obnoxious about the term 'roguelike' stems not from community but from my own judgments having spent years playing these games, as well as the new breed of commercial games that they gave rise to.

(Which is another salient point that we unfortunately missed: Every single major Roguelike since Rogue has been pure freeware, and these indie games aren't, which is another major source of bitterness and contention: the view is that a bunch of new-jacks are profiting from a dumbing-down of this niche, inaccessible old thing that a small minority really likes.)

Anyway, a tip for Cataclysm: Go into the Options with '?', press 2, and change your window size. It's all a bunch of binary nonsense so you can't just drag it, and for a while even this wasn't possible.

Also, the game's curator, the Darkling Wolf, is updating this shit like a madman. Depending on what version you download/compile, temperature might be completely fucked to the point of freezing to death in 60 degree weather.

Posted by MeatSim

That wall ate you! it must have been really hungry. Don't forget to feed your walls folks.

Posted by Karass

Oh my gosh, that wallpaper. Is Ryan well? Where and when was that picture taken?

Posted by barleyscotch

I am seriously bummed out that there's more pedantic arguing happening than legit discussion of an awesome game.

you guys should feel bad about yourselves and the choices you've made.

Posted by utamaru

Guys it's a top down shooter with some kind of permadeath mechanic and a randomly generated world i think.

Posted by zkillz

Jeff and Patrick,

Rather than being dismissive of people pointing out you're misusing the descriptor "roguelike," maybe you can find a more accurate descriptor, considering it is your job to talk and write about video games.

Edited by utamaru

Welcome to the RogueLike Community

rule number 1: you don't talk about roguelikes.

Seriously though, is it so horrible that they point out that these elements of the game are inspired by a certain genre? I get that the RogueLike Community is all about inaccessibility but could it not be possible that someone actually got into the Real Thing through for example this game or something like FTL?

You can attribute "creating a selling game" to "dumbing down" all you want. Jay-Z already admitted to it so it's pretty cool these days anyway.

Edited by theveej

note to self. Never read the comment section for a roguelike-like-like-like (should I put anymore likes there to not offend anyone?) game QL. EVERYTHING THAT IS DISCUSSED IS WAY OVER MY HEAD AND MY HEAD HURTS NOW.

looks like a cool game though.

Posted by delorean99947

Holy shit, my scroll bar is really small for a video on Giant Bomb because of these paragraphs...

Online
Posted by utamaru

@delorean99947 said:

Holy shit, my scroll bar is really small for a video on Giant Bomb because of these paragraphs...

nested quotes five stars

Posted by Grilledcheez

Seems ok, nothing I'm really in the mood to play at the moment

Posted by evanbower

@meatsim said:

That wall ate you! it must have been really hungry. Don't forget to feed your walls folks.

Reading some earlier comments on this video made me think maybe it was time to call it a life, but this post convinced me to remove the barrel from my mouth.

Posted by evanbower

@mdnthrvst: I wish you could give your argument without using the words "us" and "commercial" so often. Both got a cringe from me every time they showed up.

Also, apparently it is cool to use the word "comedy" when talking about both Shakespearean plays and The Hangover Part 2. None of my English professors seemed concerned about besmirching the term, at least.

Edited by marbleCmoney

Game looks neat.

Posted by The_Laughing_Man

PATRICK WHY YOU MISS ALL THE SECRETS?!

Posted by ectoplasma

@zkillz: This is a roguelike though

Edited by mdnthrvst

@evanbower said:

@mdnthrvst: I wish you could give your argument without using the words "us" and "commercial" so often. Both got a cringe from me every time they showed up.

Also, apparently it is cool to use the word "comedy" when talking about both Shakespearean plays and The Hangover Part 2. None of my English professors seemed concerned about besmirching the term, at least.

Roguelikes have traditionally never been commercial games. The ones that continue to come out on a regular basis are not commercial games. You can go down the list of every newly-released Roguelike at RogueBasin and play every single one of them without spending a penny.

On the other hand, roguelike-likes uniformly are.

It's not a bad thing, but it is something to consider, and another reason why these (very good!) derivative games don't easily fit into the genre they take inspiration from.

About the 'us'... well, yeah, I can see where you're coming from about that being grating. Sorry.

Oh, I found both The Hangover (the first) and the Taming of the Shrew rather funny, for what it's worth, so comedy seems rather apt. Not sure what that has to do with anything.

Posted by SatelliteOfLove

Most Roguelike purists are actually defending Rogueripoffs.

Posted by prestonhedges

"Roguelike" as a term has been around for 33 years. It's been used to describe a very specific subset of games for 32 of those years. That's longer than I've been alive. So I'm pretty sure we've nailed down what a Roguelike is. And guess what? This isn't one.

Edited by Dan_CiTi

@prestonhedges said:

"Roguelike" as a term has been around for 33 years. It's been used to describe a very specific subset of games for 32 of those years. That's longer than I've been alive. So I'm pretty sure we've nailed down what a Roguelike is. And guess what? This isn't one.

Roguelikelike, there done.

@mdnthrvst: Well, technically some of them have been free or have free versions, like Spelunky or are Pay What You Want. It is a lot like Classical music, where as something from the Baroque Period is Baroque music because it was from a specific time and place, and had specific sound and structure, though if someone were take those techniques and make modern, very similar music, it wouldn't be "Baroque Period" and never could be unless it was a recreation/new performance of one of those pieces.

Edited by beepmachine

This game looks neat. I love the little touch of having the graphics get discolored and (more) pixelated when your fire a gun.

And why is everyone so concerned about what is or isn't a roguelike. It's like arguing of genres of music. Just enjoy the games duders.

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