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Default Rampant Games - Guest Post: The Roguelikes #1

April 28th, 2011, 04:49
Our own skavenhorde writes a guest post over at Tales of the Rampant Coyote, with a hefty piece on roguelikes. Some history, opinion, reviews and suggestions are all covered in a sort of roguelikes overview 101. A snip:
ADOM is a whole world with quests, plenty of character building, stories to follow and choices to make. Itís closer to a usual RPG than some of the other roguelikes. Iíve played. The charatcer building alone will keep you coming back for more. It offers ten different races and twenty different classes.
Iíve read that this roguelike is brutal on beginners and while I do agree I donít think of that as a negative. Like other roguelikes it will also punish you through death. Itís the main way you learn from your mistakes. If you donít like to read spoilers then you will die and die a lot before you figure out what creatures to be careful of and how to deal with them. Everything you first encounter will be a mystery to you and should be treated with kid gloves until you learn more about them. For me, that is part of the appeal to this roguelike or roguelikes in general. There are creative ways to handle situations. For example: are you low on food? Well try eating that corpse of that monster you just killed, but be aware that meat isnít just meat in this game. There can be some unexpected consequences or bonuses when trying something for the first time.
What makes ADOM stand apart from the rest are its skill system, quests, an honest to goodness plot, monster behavior and other tiny little things like the random bonus you get when creating your character. There are other little things like a wilderness, talking to NPCs to get information about quests, weather and corruption.
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April 28th, 2011, 04:49
Angband is my favorite roguelike. I've been playing it on and off since the early 90's. What I like about it is the clean setup (town at top and 100 level dungeon) and the soft barriers of progression (such as free action, resists and stat potions).

The other week I had another look at Tome (http://te4.org/ and I was amazed at the progress that has been done to it over the last few years. Decent UI and tileset with music. Not only that, but the game can integrate itself online for stats, viewing characters, etc. For example, my most successful character so far:

http://te4.org/characters/4781/tome/…2-001cc000edf0
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April 28th, 2011, 09:21
Very well written, and interesting Skaven. A lot of good history in there. Kudos. Looking forward to the next installment.
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April 28th, 2011, 09:57
Thanks. I'm glad you liked it.

I was trying to do a quick summary of the mentioned games with some relevant links to help people who might be interested in them. Some of those links are a god send when trying to figure just how deep these games get.

@Scrav Personally I love Crawl Stone Soup's tiles. They're amazing, but I have absolutely no experience with T.o.M.E. It looks interesting, but not quite as much as the others or specifically Steamband.

Finding Steamband made making that article worth every minute. Here I thought I've either played or heard about every steampunk game out there and then that wonderful game popped up on my radar.

The next article will be mostly about Angband variants and a few Nethack ones. That one was more difficult to research because a lot of the variants go defunct or there is so little information out on them. A few of them want you to download the game and use the ingame help. The forums helped with those games.

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April 28th, 2011, 10:58
I only really played Nethack to any extent (mostly on the iPhone, where I find the Ascii graphics / tilest graphics don't bother me as they do on the PC. Certainly a great and addictive game. I found the permadeath thing both to be the great draw, but also eventually the thing that drove me away. Getting further in with each new character keeps you going, but after a certain point, when my most advanced character finally bit the dust due to a stupid mistake (Hungry! Died from food poisoning again! Ack!), I found I lacked the will to go through the upper levels yet again. Are there any Roguelikes that have any kind of savepoints or allow to jump in at higher "levels"? Something that would allow us lesser gamers to experience more of the game with a bit less dedication?
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April 28th, 2011, 11:11
Ledgermain is a great roguelike-ish game where you can save your game at the inn. When you die you start over from that last save.

He had to make it this way or the game would be far too long. It's a story based roguelike-ish game that is set in a surreal world. There are no random dungeons however. Everything is static, but in all seriousness it will take you a very long time to complete this game.

Homepage

Rune also did an interview with the author not too long ago. The author is a really nice guy and made quite a unique game.

Ledgermain is free unless you would like the hintbook (actually a full fledged novel over 300 pages) and some tilesets for the game.

I believe there is another RL out there that allows you to do the same thing, but the name escapes me at the moment.

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April 28th, 2011, 17:48
Hi skavenhorde, and thanks for writing the article!

If you're planning to discuss NetHack variants, it might be worth mentioning the graphical interfaces that exist - even if they only change the appearance rather than the gameplay, many people might have only heard of the text-mode version. As a shameless but relevant advertisement, I point out the "Falcon's Eye" interface that I created some years ago (isometric, mouse-based, with sound & music). As I understand it, a number of people have started playing NetHack using the Falcon's Eye interface.
- website and downloads here: http://falconseye.sourceforge.net/
- Wikipedia article here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Falcon%27s_Eye
- screenshots at MobyGames: http://www.mobygames.com/game/window…ye/screenshots
- while I haven't worked on the interface lately, a fork called Vulture's has been created which has ongoing development: http://www.darkarts.co.za/vulture/news

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April 28th, 2011, 19:46
Originally Posted by GhanBuriGhan View Post
… Are there any Roguelikes that have any kind of savepoints or allow to jump in at higher "levels"? Something that would allow us lesser gamers to experience more of the game with a bit less dedication?
Just play the PC version (use the tileset to avoid the uglies) and copy the save files.
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April 28th, 2011, 21:06
@Jaako - wow, that is impressive, I'll try it!
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April 28th, 2011, 21:11
Originally Posted by JaakkoPeltonen View Post
- while I haven't worked on the interface lately, a fork called Vulture's has been created which has ongoing development: http://www.darkarts.co.za/vulture/news
Vulture still exists ???

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April 29th, 2011, 07:03
Originally Posted by JaakkoPeltonen View Post
Hi skavenhorde, and thanks for writing the article!

If you're planning to discuss NetHack variants, it might be worth mentioning the graphical interfaces that exist - even if they only change the appearance rather than the gameplay, many people might have only heard of the text-mode version. As a shameless but relevant advertisement, I point out the "Falcon's Eye" interface that I created some years ago (isometric, mouse-based, with sound & music). As I understand it, a number of people have started playing NetHack using the Falcon's Eye interface.
- website and downloads here: http://falconseye.sourceforge.net/
- Wikipedia article here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Falcon%27s_Eye
- screenshots at MobyGames: http://www.mobygames.com/game/window…ye/screenshots
- while I haven't worked on the interface lately, a fork called Vulture's has been created which has ongoing development: http://www.darkarts.co.za/vulture/news
I remember Falcon's Eye quite fondly from my coffee breaks at work. It didn't capture my attention as much as ADOM did, but that was because I didn't know what a roguelike was at that time. All I knew is that I couldn't keep my dang kitty from getting in the way, going wild or surviving.

I definitely mentioned Vulture. Actually I looked for your game first. Too bad you stopped, but at least someone else took up the reigns. A lot of these variants aren't so lucky. I mentioned Falcon's Eye in passing, but since you were so nice to provide links I think I can update that information.

I'm not happy with the next article at all because it mostly deals with the variants to Angband and Nethack. Bad thing about talking about a variant is that the information you can find on some of them is sparse at best. A lot of them want you to download the game first so that the ingame help can explain the new rules or what-have-you.

I did not like that. If they are not changing the setting or doing something major like adding tilesets or graphics then they need to write down what they changed. It doesn't need to be every little thing, but a general summary with some examples would be nice. Like better AI, 4 new magic schools, 5 new character classes, etc…

Oh well, the third one is coming along nicely. I found tons of information on all the roguelikes I wanted to highlight.

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Last edited by skavenhorde; April 29th, 2011 at 09:53.
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April 29th, 2011, 15:44
Hey Skaven, what about roguelike fictions, like legerdemain?

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April 29th, 2011, 16:30
All in good time, my friend.

I have to get past the big 5 rouglikes before I head onto the others.

It's funny I thought that these introductory roguelike articles would be over with in two parts. The first one dedicated to the big 5 and the second to all of the others out there, but Angband took me by surprise with its dozens of variants.

I have actually played - and am still playing - Legerdmain so the introduction will be less from research gathered from the web and more from personal experience.

BTW, did you get the buy the novel and tilesets? Having that novel while playing the game makes for a unique experience. I guess it's supposed to be a hintbook, but I do it backwards. I play the game and then read up to the point where my character is. Doesn't always work out exactly like that because sometimes I don't go the same way that the character in the book does, but for the majority of it it works out fine and breathes more life into the game than playing without it would have.

Still love those question marks in the game though. Sorta like a DM explaining the world around you, but the novel takes it a step further. It brings back memories of the goldbox series where you looked up journal entries, but instead of diary entries you have a novel breathing even more life into this game.

If your interested the third article will cover Crawl, Crawl Stone Soup, Legerdmain, Rogue Survivor, UnReal World and a few others. I'll probably bore everyone out there by the time I'm done.

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Last edited by skavenhorde; April 29th, 2011 at 16:41.
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April 29th, 2011, 19:43
What you do is some kind of Ground Research.
And I mean it in a positive sense !

ď Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius Ė and a lot of courage Ė to move in the opposite direction.ď (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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