Sunday 29 July 2012

Elitism in roguelike scene

This subject was discussed in the roguelike radio with Hugh "Darren Grey" Grant and Ido Yehieli. What I think of this whole matter is that some people are too keen to accuse others to be elitistic if we even can use that term in roguelike development scene. I think roguelike developers are actually the least elitist group of developers out there. Just think of it. Most roguelike games are not only free, but include open source to share ideas, design and programming techniques. It's not like we were typical software developers with silly amount of money and couple of sports cars. I'm proud of the fact that game development for me is anything else than trying to make money.

There has been some talk about how to make roguelikes more accessible to "average" players. Isn't that kind of thinking actually elitism? I like to think that players are clever, possibly even more so than me. I don't design games for dummies like all commercial game developers seem to do. I want to make roguelike games which are as complex as possible. (Of course it's easier said than done.)

There is something I kind of agree with and it's the discussion about "what is a roguelike". It's a pointless discussion, because the genre isn't strictly defined. Well, other than being turn-based, including permadeath and random content. And role-playing. I think that should cover it. But I think we all know when a game is more than just @ walking on screen or one-trick pony like 7DRL games.

When you try to make games more accessible or try to think what players want you end up creating games like Fable. For me the most important thing in game development is having a clear vision of what you want as game developer and a player. However it's good to keep yourself open to suggestions if there is something in your game that players might hate. Let's not forget that most game developers are not good at what they do. So it's important to learn from the feedback, while keeping your own mind.

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