Tuesday 24 June 2008


This one is pretty interesting new roguelike project by Mario Donick. Unfortunately it's also an example of game design issues that seem to plague roguelike development. There are two important factors of erratic design. One of them is that most roguelikes borrow user interface styles from ancient roguelikes like Nethack and ADOM, and they probably honestly think they are good user interfaces while in reality they are not.

The other more important reason for failure in game design is that some people think their ideas must be the best way to implement a feature. They are too selfish and don't realize why common interface rules were invented in the first place. User interface knowledge is something you need to learn to understand it and never just create something you think is cool and working like a charm.

LambdaRogue has these issues in user interface and its role-playing system too, but it's still a promising roguelike project and I'm going to follow the development of that game as much as I can.

It's actually the only interesting roguelike project at the moment, because you can see the effort he is putting into the development. It's something opposite than 7DRLs which are nothing more than simple ASCII action games. If I want to play an action game I play Pacman or something else with graphics (invented in 1970's).


Anonymous said...

Thanks for that entry! You've got a response in the LambdaRogue dev blog.

Rodneylives said...

In defense of old-school roguelike interfaces, once you learn them they are arguably the quickest way to play such a game. (The same thing is often said about the Unix text editor vi, possibly because the traditional roguelike control style borrows heavily from vi.)

And this is an unexpectedly powerful control style if implemented well. Rogue and Nethack, for example, support entering a number before a command to repeat it mutliple times.

Krice said...

If you save some extra keyboard hits for less used commands it's not going to be "powerful". I haven't yet learned all keyboard commands in Nethack. I have to check them from keyboard list all the time. Nethack (and vi) are examples of backwards thinking and making everything as complicated as possible.