20 votes

The original roguelike, Rogue, is releasing on Steam

17 comments

  1. [12]
    balooga
    Link
    Is it accurate to call Rogue a "roguelike?"

    Is it accurate to call Rogue a "roguelike?"

    17 votes
    1. [10]
      hungariantoast
      Link Parent
      Being someone who has opinions on the use of "roguelike" these days... this joke hurts 🙃

      Being someone who has opinions on the use of "roguelike" these days... this joke hurts 🙃

      7 votes
      1. moocow1452
        Link Parent
        I dunno, this game seems a little basic for a roguelike, like if the Binding of Isaac had less polish, or if Dead Cells skimped on the permanent progression mechanics. I just don't think it will...

        I dunno, this game seems a little basic for a roguelike, like if the Binding of Isaac had less polish, or if Dead Cells skimped on the permanent progression mechanics. I just don't think it will catch on...

        11 votes
      2. [8]
        kfwyre
        Link Parent
        Do tell! I could actually see a discussion on the term "roguelike" itself being worth its own thread.

        Do tell!

        I could actually see a discussion on the term "roguelike" itself being worth its own thread.

        1 vote
        1. [7]
          hungariantoast
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          The "short" version is this: The developers of games like Hades, Spelunky, or most egregiously, As Far As The Eye, call their games "roguelikes", but these games are almost nothing like rogue, and...
          • Exemplary

          The "short" version is this:

          The developers of games like Hades, Spelunky, or most egregiously, As Far As The Eye, call their games "roguelikes", but these games are almost nothing like rogue, and the term "roguelike" has been transformed into a saturated, almost meaningless marketing term. When these developers (and many others) call their games "roguelikes", or say they have "roguelike mechanics", or they're "inspired by roguelikes", what they almost always mean is that their game includes permadeath (with or without meta-progression) and procedural generation of some kind.

          This is a problem because there is an active, niche community of players and developers of actual roguelikes that are very much like Rogue, but because the term/genre/category of "roguelike" is so widely and wildly used by just about anyone, discovering these games has only become more difficult, much to the detriment of the communities formed around them.

          Actual roguelikes would include games like NetHack, Angband, or even Cogmind. Compare these games to those mentioned above and the difference between a roguelike and a roguelite becomes quite clear.

          So, for example, I dislike calling a 2D platforming game a "roguelike" just because it also has procedurally generated levels and permadeath. That doesn't make it a roguelike, that just makes it a 2D platforming game with procedurally generated levels and permadeath.

          There have been attempts over the years to better define what "roguelike" games actually should be, such as what gameplay and aesthetic choices developers should adhere to. The most well known and most "official" definition would be the "Berlin Interpretation" that was created by developers and fans at the 2008 International Roguelike Development Conference. Unfortunately, as the name suggests, the "Berlin Interpretation" is an interpretation of the roguelike genre, and not an actual standard that the community could use to include, exclude, or otherwise categorize games with. The creation of the interpretation also unfortunately left out quite a few prominent roguelike developers at the time it was created, because they didn't attend the conference or otherwise were not involved. It also does not help that, twelve years since the creation of the interpretation, the field of active and prominent roguelike developers has changed significantly.

          Personally, I want games that are not like Rogue to stop marketing themselves under the term "roguelike", because that would help to preserve and protect the niche community of actual roguelikes that stick close to the genre's roots.

          Unfortunately, without a well-defined, largely agreed upon standard with which games can be included or exclude from the classification of "roguelike", it is almost impossible to actually steer the trend with which the term is used.

          And let me be clear, I don't want to exclude games from being able to call themselves "roguelikes" because I'm mean. I absolutely want games like Spelunky and Hades to exist because they are amazing games, I just want them to sufficiently identify their separation from Rogue and its legacy, for the benefit or games that aren't as separated.

          So ideally, there would be the "true roguelikes" such as NetHack, and there would be a widely accepted standard that games have to adhere to so that they can call themselves "roguelikes", but there would also be another term and genre for games that are inspired by Rogue and roguelikes, but are very separated from that legacy.

          "Roguelite" is the most popular term for games that aren't roguelikes, but are close. There's also "roguelike-like", which I dis-like. There's also "procedural death labyrinth", which is pretty cool, but I still think there could be a better term for these games.


          And once again, just to drive the point home, I'm not taking this stance because I'm some hardcore asshole who hates indie developers. I just believe that it would be better for everyone, developers and players, if we could cleanly separate games that stick closely to Rogue's legacy, gameplay, and aesthetic, from games that don't. Both approaches are great. I want both types of games to exist. I just wish we had a better way of categorizing them that didn't involve one half being cannibalized.

          So yeah, that's the gist of it. I feel pretty strongly about this, but I also try to not be too serious or grumpy about it. Hopefully my comments here help demonstrate that.

          12 votes
          1. [4]
            Rocket_Man
            Link Parent
            I understand it might be a little strange. But why not accept most people's definition of roguelike and call games similar to the actual rogue game something else?

            I understand it might be a little strange. But why not accept most people's definition of roguelike and call games similar to the actual rogue game something else?

            10 votes
            1. [2]
              hungariantoast
              Link Parent
              That's a perfectly reasonable and probably more viable way of going about it. If I or someone else were to ever try and corral the various "true roguelike" developers into doing something about...
              • Exemplary

              That's a perfectly reasonable and probably more viable way of going about it. If I or someone else were to ever try and corral the various "true roguelike" developers into doing something about the genre-naming issue, I suspect that's how it would actually go down.

              When I talk about the issue, I think I default to the idea of "reclaim the term roguelike" rather than "evacuate to a different term" because I consider it more poetically just. Get off my lawn!

              What's funny though is that, in my compendium of notes for various roguelike-ish game ideas, I refer to those games as "rogue-playing games", because the ideas very much describe role-playing games, just with a grid-based, turned-based "roguelike" aesthetic.

              6 votes
              1. Adys
                Link Parent
                Oh I love that :)

                rogue-playing games

                Oh I love that :)

                3 votes
            2. Pistos
              Link Parent
              It seems reasonable and sensible to use terminology like "true roguelike" or "classic roguelike".

              It seems reasonable and sensible to use terminology like "true roguelike" or "classic roguelike".

          2. Good_Apollo
            Link Parent
            Looking through my Steam library I think the only game I own that can really be called a rogue-like is Sword and the Stars: The Pit. It really is a genre all it’s own and the catchall pop version...

            Looking through my Steam library I think the only game I own that can really be called a rogue-like is Sword and the Stars: The Pit.

            It really is a genre all it’s own and the catchall pop version doesn’t really capture it.

            2 votes
          3. hook
            Link Parent
            I very much agree. I would probably draw the line somewhere between Dungeons of Dredmor and Crypt of the Necrodancer. A similar thing I recently noticed is a stricter definition of what is a...

            I very much agree.

            I would probably draw the line somewhere between Dungeons of Dredmor and Crypt of the Necrodancer.

            A similar thing I recently noticed is a stricter definition of what is a Shoot'em'up.

            https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=YbKi60sKwiY
            https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=u2jCu-4DVZM

            2 votes
    2. mrbig
      Link Parent
      Logically yes. John is John-like, he just happens to be a lot John-like (enough for him to actually be John!).

      Logically yes. John is John-like, he just happens to be a lot John-like (enough for him to actually be John!).

      6 votes
  2. [4]
    zod000
    Link
    The most ironic thing about this is that it appears to only be officially compatible with Windows.

    The most ironic thing about this is that it appears to only be officially compatible with Windows.

    7 votes
    1. [3]
      knocklessmonster
      Link Parent
      Which is odd considering the source is under a BSD license, and it runs on everything.

      Which is odd considering the source is under a BSD license, and it runs on everything.

      7 votes
      1. [2]
        cfabbro
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        This Steam release is based on Epyx Inc's port of Rogue though, specifically Epyx Rogue v1.49 for the IBM PC, according to the article... so it kinda makes sense it will only run on Windows. It...

        This Steam release is based on Epyx Inc's port of Rogue though, specifically Epyx Rogue v1.49 for the IBM PC, according to the article... so it kinda makes sense it will only run on Windows. It still might work via Proton though.

        4 votes
        1. Moonchild
          Link Parent
          I expect it's running through dosbox. Current 64-bit windows can't even run 16-bit binaries directly.

          I expect it's running through dosbox. Current 64-bit windows can't even run 16-bit binaries directly.

          1 vote
  3. knocklessmonster
    Link
    I've got mixed feelings on this. It'll be nice to have it available in its original format without DOSBox, but it's also so simple that DOSBox makes it trivial. I sort of hoped for something like...

    I've got mixed feelings on this. It'll be nice to have it available in its original format without DOSBox, but it's also so simple that DOSBox makes it trivial. I sort of hoped for something like NotEye (what ADOM built its current front end around) to be used to "upgrade" it, but also respect the preservation of the classic design.

    5 votes