This section of my website is independent from the rest of the site (which is mainly focused
on game development using Qbasic). So, here I put the articles that includes stuff (like pictures,links,thaughts,ideas etc.) that
doesn't fit anywhere else. Feel free to say what you think about this section in the Forum.
2005-02-11, Article Nr.8 "Thoughts & and stuff like that"
2003-12-05, Article Nr.7 "Roguelike games #2"
2003-08-31, Article Nr.6 "Qbasic: Hall of Fame (Games)"
2003-04-30, Article Nr.5 "The past and the future"
2003-04-05, Article Nr.4 "Retro games: A journey into the past"
2003-02-03, Article Nr.3 "Roguelike games"
2002-12-13, Article Nr.2 "Text-adventure games"
2002-12-08, Article Nr.1 "Article about Game Makers"
|Roguelike games #2
Friday, 5th December
Yes sir, this is my second article about roguelikes. The first article did explain what a roguelike is and this article will
get more into the question "why the heck arn't there any roguelikes made with Qbasic?". But for the ones who forgotten, Rogue is a text-based game made in the 1970's that started it all. You explored a dungeon, gathering items, fighting monsters and getting stronger.
The main quest was to find the Amulet of Yendor. What separated rogue from most similar text-based games of its time was how it handled the output. Most adventure games described the player's environment (eg. "You are in a small room,
with a passage out behind you"); rogue "drew" it using text. In other words, a roguelike is: single player, text based (no graphics), randomly generated dungeon levels, turn based (ie. nothing happens until you press a key that does something),
the emphasis is on good gameplay rather than good graphics and death is permanent. No loading saved games, no coming back to life. Once you die, you can only start from the beginning with a new character.
To the left Rogue by Epyx Inc. 1985. And to the right the original Rogue made by Michael C. Toy & Kenneth C. R. C. Arnold back in the early 1980's
First of all, there have been roguelikes made using Qbasic (or other BASIC languages), some full-versions and some demo versions (Progue 1 & 2, The Dungeon, Tiny Roguelike and Quest) .
So, perhaps the question should be "why the heck arn't there any GOOD roguelikes made yet using Qbasic?". As you might can imagine
I'm not that satisfied with the roguelikes that have been made using Qbasic so far. The thing is that there are so many talented
programmers in our community and some really advanced and well-designed games have been made (just look at the progress the latest years and you'll see what I'm talking about) .
So, I think that the skills to make a qbasic roguelike are avaible but still one fact remains: there have been no good roguelikes made using Qbasic yet.
The answer to my question is perhaps as easy as "no one wan't to do a roguelike...you freak!" but I don't buy that (and I'll knock you out if you talk that way to me) ;)
I mean, I buy that argument today but hell, Rogue was made early 1980 and now more then 20 years later there still is no good
qbasic roguelikes. So, ladies and gentlemens, it's time for action...
The Dungeon, one of the few "quite" playable roguelike that's been made using Qbasic
Now you might say "you little prick, do it yourself." and I understand your point of view (even if I hate you for calling me a prick). But I'm quite honest here, I've tried but
failed. It's complex to make a roguelike. Sure, anyone could probally make the generated dungeon engine and a walkaround engine with
some nice line-of-sight features. But that doesn't make it a good roguelike, no sir. The thing that is so cool with Rogue and similar
roguelikes is the fact that they offer a gameplay that really rules. And since the game regenrates every new game you play, you
can play it over and over again. One of the most important features is probally a well balanced gameplay (not too hard, not too easy) and
that will most likely take alot of time (beta-testing) to work through. So, here I stand all honest before you all telling you "I've tried but I didn't make it, I've tried but I failed".
Now, what is my intention with all this? To be honest, I think the reason is that I would love if I could motivate others to make (and most important...finish) a qbasic
roguelike. Then I'll be satisfied (and I'll shut up for good).
One thing that I've been thinking about is that when someone starts to develop a roguelike they often start by thinking
"ok, I'll make a roguelike similar to the original Rogue" and then after awhile they say "well, this shit is easy, I'll make my roguelike
much more advanced then Rogue". That's one big problem in my opinion. It's not easy to make a rogue-clone (even if that game was made early 1970) and
I think people often bites the dust when thinking "hehe...this is easy, Hell I'll make my roguelike much more advanced then this old junk!". Thoose dudes never
finish there roguelikes, they'll end up as some pre-early-not-even-alpha-demo-junk. So, make a roguelike and try to make
it exactly as the original Rogue (there are a huge amount of features in Rogue and that game still rules in my opinion). Later, if it really was "easy as hell to do", then you
can make your own super-advanced-roguelike-alá-ADOM (and also mock me for telling you that BS) ;)What's the different between a good/bad roguelike? I read a tutorial once about it and here's the author's comments about that:
Replayability. If the game is random enough, it is always fun to play and replay, because every time it is like a different game.
Freedom. There is a lot of it. You can kill just about anything. There is a lot of actions you can take. Many strategies.
Complexity. There is a lot of items, skills, classes, areas, spells.
Difficulty. While this can be off-putting, it gives you a tremendous sense of achievement to finish a roguelike or even to get far. You always have to be careful - it is easy to die, and all that playing time was for nothing.
And as a summary: Make it easy to get into and play; no reading through 50 page files to learn how to play. Keep the controls simple. The gameplay must be good. This generally distinguishes roguelikes from similar games - the emphasis is on the gameplay. Once your character dies, that's it - no coming back to life. This makes the game exciting when you are in danger. Keep it balanced. If it gets too difficult, people are discouraged. If it is too easy, there isn't much fun in it. Make it big, with plenty of items and monsters so it is interesting to explore. Make an interesting story. And, most of all, don't make it like some or other roguelike that already exists. Use fresh, new ideas. Make it original and different.
And how do you finish making your roguelike: Basically, have a plan. Decide in which order to program it, and stick to the plan as much as possible. Keep it fun for yourself. If you get bored, work on another aspect. If you are bored on programming, work on the story, or on the graphics (if you use them). Take a break. It should be fun. If it isn't, ask yourself why, and do something about it. If you are stuck, get other people to help you.
ADOM, by Thomas Biskup. By far the most advanced roguelike today
Ok, now I've mumbled on about how much I would love to see a qbasic roguelike and I guess you all are quite tired of me. But I won't give up on you, no way José ;)
So, let me try to motivate you somewhat more (or perhaps make you hate roguelikes for the rest of your lifes). Below are some nice screenshots different roguelikes, the best way of gaming...ever (*angry crowd shouts "is this guy full of shit or what?!"*) :P
Angband, based on Moria & Umoria:Alex Cutler, Andy Astrand, Sean Marsh,Geoff Hill, Charles Teague, Charles Swiger,Ben Harrison,Robert Ruehlmann
Rogue's Quest by Pearson Wung
Omega made by Laurence R. Brothers & Erik Max Francis
T.O.M.E, Tales Of Middle Earth, a Angband variant made by Angband/Zangband fanatics
So, thanks for reading and may you all have a Happy Christmas if I don't hear from you before that event.
And as usualy I'm looking forwards to discuss this article (and other) at my Forum.
Clifford Worley: Who are you?
Vincenzo Coccotti: I'm the Anti-Christ. You get me in a vendetta kind of mood, you will tell the angels in heaven that you had never seen evil so singularly personified as you did in the face of the man who killed you. My name is Vincenzo Coccotti.
- True Romance
- Jocke The Beast