A roguelike developer's diary.
Shamus Young and FTL
(I would write more, but I'm sure that regular readers of this blog will be able to add what I'm planning on saying on the comments section either here or there).
I suppose some of the core attributes of roguelikes just aren't for everybody. Its a shame really.I have to agree with some of his complaints though, restarting a new game gets pretty annoying when you have almost no customization options. Its funny, I just finished a blog post on that exact topic a few minutes ago. I wont go into what I said, but you can read it here if you would like. http://roguelikesme.blogspot.com/2012/10/finaly-talking-about-some-gameplay.html
There is this horrible assumption amongst gamers that the point is not to have fun, but to win...
> It’s like a game of Civilization where only the top two difficulty tiers are available, you can only play as one faction at the outset, you can’t choose your start location, and new players have to lose a bunch of times before they can even map out the scope of the system they’re trying to overcome... that actually seems like a pretty astute comparison.
>> civ comparison> ... that actually seems like a pretty astute comparison.To be honest, the very first time you play the civ genre you are going to lose a few times before you can map out the scope of the game. I'm sad that the author doesn't realize this. That he can play civ well because he has a lot of experience with it (and civ++ is not that big a leap). Not so much with roguelikes.It is like complaining about bicycles that are unintuitive, when all you have ever done is driven a car.
That guy should have just said, "Um...so this is a roguelike..."It takes a lot of patience to enjoy the genre.
I find it strange that even some rogue-like players complain about FTL's difficulty. In Dungeon Crawl I have only once managed to get a rune, in ADoM I rarely survive my first quest, and in UnAngband I don't get far either, but in FTL on easy I got all the way to the boss battle on my first go.There's something strange going on here.
I think what Shamus is saying (being a regular reader of his blog myself) is not so much "this is hard and requires patience and learning" but more "I don't have the ability to make meaningful choices from the outset and thus am doomed to failure by pure random chance." I know he's played a ton of roguelikes and obtuse, murderous games like Dwarf Fortress, so I don't think his complaints lie in the basic mechanics of a roguelike and more in the specific mechanics that FTL employs.
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