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A History of Rogue

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the not-rogue-origins dept.

Role Playing (Games) 240

blacklily8 writes "Gamasutra has published "The History of Rogue: Have @ You, You Deadly Zs." Despite only the most 'primitive' audiovisuals, Rogue has continued to excite gamers and programmers worldwide, and has been ported, enhanced, and forked now for over two decades. What is it about Wichman and Toy's old UNIX RPG that has sent so many gamers to their deaths in the Dungeons of Doom, desperately seeking the fabled Amulet of Yendor? This article covers the history of the game, including the Epyx failure to make a ton of cash selling it in 1983. It also goes into rogue-like culture and development."

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fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27843125)

Read it and weep.

moria (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27843149)

moria

m0d do3n (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27843199)

',.pyfgcrlaoeuidhtns;qjkxbmwvz

That's right, I use Dvorak, bitch! Fuck QWERTY!

Re:moria (2, Insightful)

SL Baur (19540) | more than 5 years ago | (#27843507)

Offtopic? Idiot moderator.

I never got a playable Moria compiled on any of my systems. Basically, it was a VMS only game. The Unix ports never worked all that well.

Or maybe just the game play sucked. I never seemed to get past the rooms of spreading lice.

Imagination. (5, Insightful)

fractoid (1076465) | more than 5 years ago | (#27843169)

Despite only the most 'primitive' audiovisuals, Rogue has continued to excite gamers and programmers worldwide, and has been ported, enhanced, and forked now for over two decades.

Despite? Given how easily we could at least put a simple tileset on the game to make things more realistic, I'd say that Roguelikes' ongoing popularity must be at least in part _because_ of the primitive graphics. A high-rez animated monster can only ever be a high-rez animated monster, exactly as you see it on the screen. But the dashing asterisk can be whatever you imagine it to be, and that makes it better. It's just like the way books are satisfying in a way that movies can never quite be.

Re:Imagination. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27843209)

Yeah? Well, fuck you.

Re:Imagination. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27843225)

Yeah? Well, fuck you.

Brilliant argument.

Re:Imagination. (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27843309)

Such a sentence seems, at first glance, crass and offensive. However, underneath the words themselves lies a statement of beautiful grammatical ambiguity and meaning. The author of this profound statement, anonymous, has long been considered one of the greatest writers in the history of modern literature. The depth and meaning of this sentence only cements this reputation, and lifts him to new heights of literary esteem. Meanwhile, surrealism is highly prominent in this work. Truly, this sentence is in full accord with René Magritte's famous statement, "Allez manger des merdes baiseurs."

Re:Imagination. (3, Funny)

FiveDozenWhales (1360717) | more than 5 years ago | (#27843319)

Oh no! A yeti, floating eyeball, giant ant, dwarf, ooh look a scroll! wight, another floating eyeball, a couple of leprechauns...

Re:Imagination. (5, Funny)

fractoid (1076465) | more than 5 years ago | (#27843793)

Dude, no. Just no. That's not a screenshot from a Rogue game, it's Perl source. Sheesh.

Re:Imagination. (3, Interesting)

fictionpuss (1136565) | more than 5 years ago | (#27843871)

Well if you prefer your ascii graphics rendered a bit more fancifully, there's always the opengl/smooth-scrolling ascii GoblinHack [sourceforge.net] .

Re:Imagination. (4, Funny)

fractoid (1076465) | more than 5 years ago | (#27843789)

See, thanks to my imagining that you're a voluptuous redhead whom both my wife and I find irresistible, and with whom we both ended up spending the evening performing UNSPEAKABLE and yet very pleasurable acts, I actually found that quite hot.

So yes, while movies *ahem* may be more visual, a vivid imagination will always furnish a better scenario. ;)

And you like THAT? *THERE*? Wow, you filthy minx, I never would have guessed! ;)

Re:Imagination. (1)

sadness203 (1539377) | more than 5 years ago | (#27843847)

Your wife ... We are on slashdot, so stop lying!

Or did you kick a sink 'til a succubus got out of and you had endless night of pleasure since, being stripped from your clothing every passing round ?

Re:Imagination. (2, Funny)

fractoid (1076465) | more than 5 years ago | (#27843975)

Hey, I did my years of Lonely Driver Fractoidaru, then I got pounced (about 4 months after I honestly, genuinely had stopped looking) by a gorgeous young lady who decided I was going to be hers. It's rare but it does happen, and when it does... I dunno, I guess I just rolled all natural 20s that night. ;)

Actually your second option sounds pretty similar to what happened too. /rawr ;)

Re:Imagination. (1)

Zalminen (658870) | more than 5 years ago | (#27844119)

Damn, Slashdot needs a +1 Mmmm mod :)

Re:Imagination. (5, Insightful)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 5 years ago | (#27843215)

When all you have to entertain a player is a bunch of ASCII character, you know that you can't cheat on shiny effects. All that is left is game mechanics, sensible relationships between objects, and a thing that seems to go out of the game when the graphical cheesecake goes in : meaning.

Can you set up traps, use polymorphic spells in unpredictable ways, suffer from hallucinations or become randomly invisible in 3D RPG/FPS these days ? I heard that in WoW, it sometimes rain but it does not change a single thing to the gameplay : things keep burning, fire elemental still have a good time and no spell is affected.

Re:Imagination. (3, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#27843251)

Oh c'mon, you know just as well that as soon as anything had any ever so tiny effect in WoW, the cry to NERF RAIN would be deafening.

Sometimes I wonder if players want change in that game at all.

Re:Imagination. (4, Insightful)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 5 years ago | (#27843287)

You point out another key difference : the gamers in WoW are probably less after immersion than those in Rogue (shock!) but more after dominance. They don't really care if a bug allows them to stack two armored helmets whereas people in rogue would complain if the all elusive unicorn got stuck in corners because of a buggy AI.

Maybe the difference is not in the ascii vs graphical question but rather in the singleplayer vs multiplayer ?

Re:Imagination. (4, Interesting)

whencanistop (1224156) | more than 5 years ago | (#27843453)

I was trying to persuade the missus (yes really) that WoW was just really an extension of the rogue and Angband games I used to play but with the ability to play real time instead of turn based and actually play with/against real people.
She looked at me blankly and claimed that she didn't know what Rogue and Angband were. When I showed her, she laughed and claimed that it was completely different because of the graphics.
I maintain the similarities are there - certainly with the stats and so forth. But obviously it is a bit more advanced. As you'd expect in twenty years.

I for one welcome our new @ symbol overlords.

Re:Imagination. (3, Insightful)

SL Baur (19540) | more than 5 years ago | (#27843557)

I maintain the similarities are there

They are.

You are a braver man than I am, I will not show my wife the older games and expect her to understand why they are important. Gaming history is perhaps the least important aspect of history.

Re:Imagination. (3, Funny)

jank1887 (815982) | more than 5 years ago | (#27843753)

"and expect her to understand why they are important."

I think we just learned where the real problem lies.

Re:Imagination. (1)

fractoid (1076465) | more than 5 years ago | (#27843811)

You just made me feel incredibly lucky. My wife plays WoW and understands (although doesn't share) my passion for Starcraft.

She doesn't like Donnie Darko though. :/

Re:Imagination. (1)

ahsile (187881) | more than 5 years ago | (#27844439)

My wife refers to Nethack as "that stupid game". I managed to get her to try it once, but she died quite quickly and then never attempted it again.

I've never actually ascended in Nethack, but I still play all the time (I've stopped for a while... it was consuming a lot of time). Even still I keep trying...

Re:Imagination. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27843837)

I was trying to persuade the missus (yes really)

No one cares, dude.

Re:Imagination. (1)

sortius_nod (1080919) | more than 5 years ago | (#27844273)

WoW and most (if not all) MMOs are still really turn based when it comes to combat.

There's still the roll of the dice, still that feeling that there's no immediate feedback from player to world.

That said, yes, they are almost identical, just the graphics and the ability to play multiplayer.

Re:Imagination. (2, Interesting)

DrgnDancer (137700) | more than 5 years ago | (#27844437)

WoW is deeply immersed in the old text games, but also in the old text Internet. In some real ways it's a graphical IRC client with a game bolted on. You ccould essentially play the whole thing with /command type syntax if you could type fast enough (and remember the commands).

Re:Imagination. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27844315)

whereas people in rogue would complain if the all elusive unicorn got stuck in corners because of a buggy AI.

And, some of us would track down the source of the error, correct it, and submit the fix to the devteam :)

Re:Imagination. (2, Informative)

fractoid (1076465) | more than 5 years ago | (#27843805)

The problem was more that you can turn off weather effects (for performance reasons) so people didn't want it to be "spend $4k on a gaming rig or your opponents will have a competitive advantage". Of course the latest dungeon will apparently stress out any computer more than a year old, so that does slip sometimes... then again a good mate of mine cleared Sarth3D in both 10 and 25man versions (if you understood that go take a shot of vodka and talk to a girl) using onboard video on a 4-year-old computer. I'm glad I gave him my old 6800 Pro. >.>

Re:Imagination. (1)

Camann (1486759) | more than 5 years ago | (#27844335)

Sarth1D is a dot. Sarth2D is a line. Sarth3D is four dragons.

Re:Imagination. (4, Insightful)

FiveDozenWhales (1360717) | more than 5 years ago | (#27843295)

When all you have to entertain a player is a bunch of ASCII character, you know that you can't cheat on shiny effects. All that is left is game mechanics, sensible relationships between objects, and a thing that seems to go out of the game when the graphical cheesecake goes in : meaning.

Not only are you kept from cheating, it also frees up a lot of resources. When a program isn't storing landscape data, character models, textures, etc. in memory, and using at least some processor time in keeping track of them, it means you can have much more complex AI/more instances of the AI, larger areas in memory at one time, and a wide range of ongoing effects all at once.

Re:Imagination. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27843315)

You can't just throw more processor cycles and memory in and expect better AI. It doesn't scale like that at all.

True , but... (4, Insightful)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 5 years ago | (#27843343)

... if the graphics are simpler the developers can spend more time on the AI. And if theres only a few developers this is a big deal. Its probably why most text based MUDs were generally more imaginative than WoW and its clones.

Re:True , but... (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27843547)

True, but on a MUD you need good builders. I've seen too many vanilla mobs that had great descriptions, but which were just walking bits of XP to the players because the builders didn't know how to make them fight in an interesting manner.

And it's sad, too. Long ago, when I was a low-level admin on a very large, old MUD once, I went through and fixed so many mprogs, it was absurd. If you understand the mprogs, you can make mobs that actually work as a team, which can be deliberately weakened by use of player skills, and which amount to more than making sure the mobs health goes down faster than yours. If you don't, you wonder why having a mob do "kill $n" in a death trigger crashes the MUD (hint: the mob attempting to do the killing is about to get deleted) ...

Good times, but never underestimate how much you need dedicated, technical people to be able to supply a game with immersion and interaction. Commercial games generally don't bother because this is both hard and expensive. I mean, commercial game companies are not going to patch the game a decade later so that Medusa can't be killed by her own gaze attack if you blinded her with a camera first...

Re:True , but... (2, Interesting)

ahsile (187881) | more than 5 years ago | (#27844525)

We banned death progs... for just such a reason. You could have them if the admins tested and approved them.

I remember once as a junior immortal I was building an area, and set one of my mobs to load some weapons from a different area since I hadn't built any of my own yet. I managed to send the mud into a huge death spiral the next reboot as my area was loaded before the other area. That meant that I was trying to load objects which didn't exist yet... *kaboom*

I continued to be an immortal there for a long long time, and eventually graduated to be a coder. It's been a while, but I still fire up the code at times and walk through the areas. The imagination some of our builders had was amazing! New games pale in comparison.

I'm going to turn it on right now for some fun.

http://stormgate.ca/ [stormgate.ca]
telnet://stormgate.ca:2345 [stormgate.ca]

Re:True , but... (2, Interesting)

pregister (443318) | more than 5 years ago | (#27843697)

The reason MUDs were more 'imaginative' was the level of detail that area creators could use. Text allows you to describe things to the limit of your writing abilities. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but not if the picture is designed to be rendered on legacy hardware and your selection of items to place in areas is limited by whats in the toolbox or what you can get the art department to design and add.

MMO games are also limited by what kind of actions can be presented to the player in an intuitive, graphical fashion. When I first started writing areas for muds, creators could add new types of actions (in my flavor of muds, literally add_action("blah", function()); to add a "blah" verb. If you wanted a player to have to belch the Flintstones theme song in order to open a secret door, you could do so. This was great for creativity but ended up making a pretty bad game interface for the players because it wasn't a standardized system and the if 5 different creators added 'belch' it was likely a different syntax or usage in each area.

This was changed in later versions of the codebase and we restricted the ability to add actions on the fly and the admin/developer types would add verbs and verb rules which were standardized across the MUD...the interface improved for players, but the creators were limited in what they could do...if you really wanted a new action type, you had to convince an admin type to implement the verb for you.

On graphical MMO type games, your actions are limited by what you can see on the screen and what you can click on. Some games allow you to enter commands as text, but these are usually pretty limited in scope (e.g., /dance) and usually have only a cosmetic impact on the game. They could certainly design the game to use more text input but I'm pretty sure they've done some research on that and figured out most players wouldn't like it and they are trying to get the largest subscriber base. On MUDs, we were mostly just playing around with the code, making stuff we liked, and if the players liked it..hey, that was just great.

The rogue-like games were in a middle zone. The actions were limited, but there were still a hell of a lot of them and the combination of actions and items added a lot of complexity that we're a long way from seeing in MMO type games.

Re:True , but... (1)

fractoid (1076465) | more than 5 years ago | (#27843817)

(in my flavor of muds, literally add_action("blah", function()); to add a "blah" verb

And hence the origin of the term 'proc' which so many gamers use these days without understanding. "It's a weapon proc" = "when you hit with your weapon, it runs this procedure, which may cause FUCKING ANYTHING to happen but in practice usually just temporarily applies a buff to you or an instant damage spell or debuff to your target".

Re:True , but... (2, Interesting)

DrgnDancer (137700) | more than 5 years ago | (#27844581)

Actually you can perform any action in the game using a /command sequence in WoW. It's primarily used for scripting, as it would be insanely difficult to play that way, but in theory you could fight a battle with "/target Kobold, /attack target, /cast fireball target, /cast frostnova..." I don't know about moving though. You may have to do that with the actual movement keys. Not that this invalidates you point, you still can't add actions or change their affects, but it is interesting to note.

Re:True , but... (1)

meyekul (1204876) | more than 5 years ago | (#27843865)

I don't think that quite explains it. Any large game project is going to have a team working on the core engine, a team for mechanics, a team for graphics, a team for storyline, etc. It's not like there's one group that has to divide their time between writing content and making graphics, its just that the market has proven that most people don't care about content anymore, they just want eye candy. So, the makers focus on giving the biggest group of people what they want.

MUDs have a completely different business model. Most of them were free to play, and had absolutely no graphics (maybe ASCII art) so the developers pretty much had to focus on writing story and creative mechanics if they wanted to attract players from thousands of other MUDs with the exact same "graphics" system.

Re:Imagination. (0, Offtopic)

A12m0v (1315511) | more than 5 years ago | (#27843361)

take your logic and go to bed!
this is /.

Re:Imagination. (1)

Neeth (887729) | more than 5 years ago | (#27843377)

Indeed. If I take half your brain away you make as much sense.

About WOW and a game like rogue (2, Informative)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 5 years ago | (#27843463)

Along the same lines as Rogue, it is probably one of the reasons for a strategy game I still like Empire. All pieces are the same on both sides and all cities are equal. It is a game of strategy with chance rolled in; that being the frequency of finding cities or the enemy. No gimmicky special powers (read : wtf ) that one side has that the other does not.. no fancy animations to get in the way of what something does.

Simple games can be the best games... I am still waiting for someone to replicate Starflight

As for WOW and weather....

or at least someone on a message board somewhere else did, the weather effects do not affect NPCs nor their property because they have the weather effects slider set to off. Spells are not affected because their "magic". mmmmkay?

Re:About WOW and a game like rogue (1)

jimmydevice (699057) | more than 5 years ago | (#27843577)

I hacked rogue on my Tek 6205 UTek/UNIX workstation / 4027A graphics terminal to display
8 color programmed character graphics. My Nurse was quite fetching.
It rocked in 1988.

Re:About WOW and a game like rogue (1)

edremy (36408) | more than 5 years ago | (#27844489)

I am still waiting for someone to replicate Starflight

I've never played Starflight, but looking at Wikipedia the Escape Velocity series seems pretty similar in concept. EV Nova [ambrosiasw.com] has been ported to the PC- you might want to try the demo.

Re:Imagination. (2, Informative)

griego (1108909) | more than 5 years ago | (#27843705)

In Final Fantasy XI, the weather (and day of the week, which are all named after elements) does affect spell resist rates, as well as crafting success rates. Thunder-based spells cast during lightning storms will more often land for full damage; crafting an item using a Fire Crystal on Watersday (and/or during rainy weather) will more likely result in critical failure, causing you to lose some or all of your ingredients.

Re:Imagination. (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 5 years ago | (#27843759)

True that. But what if you have a good game AND shiny graphics? I mean look at Quake 3. No story. Grapically very outdated too, but had shiny graphics when it was new. But still alive and kicking, with a big loving community. Think of things like CPMA and Defrag.

Or how Half-Life became Counterstrike in the early days.

I think the graphics can be there, and still if it's a great game it will continue to be played.

About the hallucinations and unpredicable ways? have you ever played System Shock 1 and 2?
Because if you don't care for the outdated graphics, and have a working imagination, boy will you be in for a ride!
(Try throwing grenades in an the robots in the core reactor in System Shock 1, when you are on berzerk drugs, and still have to constantly inject anti-radiation stuff, *and* watch the cameras... while Shodan creeps the hell outta you. Or hearing the log of a person, seeing his face, then finding his head lying around in some air duct, and throwing it at the crazy robot that attacks you. The meaning behind this... of the totally crazy robot who wants to control the world, and fails because of simple things. Or of the betrayal. ...is just as deep things like as Neuromancer. Just with much more adrenaline! ^^)

Re:Imagination. (1)

Talderas (1212466) | more than 5 years ago | (#27843777)

In D&D rainy weather doesn't affect spells, and I don't recall anything about rainy weather causing fire elementals to burn any cooler. Typically natural weather doesn't affect the magical or supernatural.

Re:Imagination. (2, Interesting)

fractoid (1076465) | more than 5 years ago | (#27844029)

What annoys me is that as a mage in WoW, I can pelt someone with a frostbolt and then a fireblast, and both do full damage. They should be going "owowowow cold... *BOOM* aaah waaaarm yay" and not take much if any damage. Also magic going 'magically' *ahem* through armour. I want to see armour absorb a goodly part of a spell and convert it to a DoT ("Your breastplate of shininess absorbs 50% of the dragon's breath. On the other hand it's now very hot, and you take 200 damage every round for the next 3 rounds because your armour is burning you."

Re:Imagination. (4, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 5 years ago | (#27843785)

I just realized, after my own ode to rogue, that we are now those old cranky guys...

"In my day, we didn't have any a that sissy graphics stuff, we just had ASCII and we liked it that way. We weren't like the kids these days that save their games before fighting some weak underling. In our day, if we wanted to save our game before we dropped to the level where there be Balrogs, we had to write batch programs that would back up the game files. Colors? We didn't have colors. If you wanted colors in my day, you had two choices: black and white. Oh, there were some sissies who liked green or amber but those were the rich kids who had big name systems like Kaypro or Compaq. Us real men used old black and white televisions that were sitting in the basement and built our computers from Heath kits. I bet they don't even know what an RF converter is anymore.

Re:Imagination. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27844137)

I bet they don't even know what an RF converter is anymore.

If I got out of line, my mother used to remove and hide the RF converter as punishment.

Re:Imagination. (3, Insightful)

h4rm0ny (722443) | more than 5 years ago | (#27844451)


There's a certain amount of justification for the crankiness, at least short-term. When a new capability comes along, whether that's 3D effects, computer animation in movies or whatever, that is all we get for a while. Other necessary ingredients to a good product go out of the window. It's only after the makers have finally got it out of their system that they start using things judiciously. Look at a film like the recent "Let the Right One In". Excellent special effects but used very sparingly to add to the creepiness of the film as needed. Whereas you look at a vampire film ten years ago and the same technology of morphing people's faces is used everywhere and the basis of what they sell the movie on.

I'm not much of a gamer, but I'd say that computer games have been stuck in this phase for a while, but maybe it's starting to end. Perhaps it has been prolonged because graphics cards keep getting better and better so quickly. If you can keep on wowing people with graphics year after year, then you don't need to stop and look at the other ingredients for a good game. But crankiness is also misplaced. There always will be good games even if the majority just depend on the latest technological gimmicks and sooner or later, the industry settles down and relegate these gimmicks to just being one tool of many. Just some thoughts.

Re:Imagination. (4, Insightful)

zwei2stein (782480) | more than 5 years ago | (#27843221)

I would not even call ascii primitive audiovisuals. It is more of a abstraction. And it enourages developers to work on important stuff: gameplay. And if game is fun without graphics, you just hit jackpot.

But of course awesome things happen if someone manages to take that roguelike core and adds fitting graphics ( Diablo series. )

Re:Imagination. (2, Insightful)

pipoca (1142297) | more than 5 years ago | (#27843255)

The Diablos are basically a real-time Rogue-like clickfest. If you were to give them ascii graphics (but kept the gameplay), they would probably still work (although the graphics do help with the mood).

Re:Imagination. (3, Informative)

mumb0.jumb0 (1419117) | more than 5 years ago | (#27843439)

Diablo is an "action rpg". That basically means it's space invaders with character development.

There is no real adventuring - despite the randomized maps, there's very little to explore (because there's very little to find, except more monsters). There's no discovery - the identify system is token and adds nothing to the game. There's no problem solving (apart from figuring out how to blast a bunch of monsters before they blast you) because there's no depth - your options are a) attack, or b) attack.

If you think Diablo is basically a real-time Rogue-like, then you've misunderstood what is so great about Rogue.

Re:Imagination. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27843635)

Oh come on. Nuclear war with tesla-coil-powered rockets is like space invaders with character development.

Re:Imagination. (3, Interesting)

zwei2stein (782480) | more than 5 years ago | (#27843915)

Diablo is, of course, simplified because of visuals versus verbosity conflict. But it still retains core - Randomized adventure, dungeon discovery. atmosphere.

There is nothing bad at throwing out kitchen sink and doing spring cleaning. Away with steep learning curve, leave core of game.

Problem solving, for example - typical problem solving in RL basically consists of having the luck of having right item in inventory. (and remembering to pray if everything else fails) There are gonna be lots of nuances, obscure mechanics that can be abused, lots of different options to dealing with something. But it all can be condesned to "was i lucky enough to have x in backpack?". Might as well just simplify it. For example, condesate all the "equipment rusting/melting/breaking" events to simple durability loss, or all the harm character in interesting way effects to health loss, etc ...

Discovery another - in heart, discovery in roguelikes is as shallow as in Diablos - just uncover level to find enemies/loot, proceed to next level. But it works.

Depth of roguelike is in player imagination, rich enviroment that adds event to trigger more imagination (meeting rust monster beating it with wooden sword), its not just that enviroment alone - without player imagination it is just pointlessly overcomplicated dungeon crawl slash roulette.

Re:Imagination. (1)

A12m0v (1315511) | more than 5 years ago | (#27843367)

RogueTouch?

Re:Imagination. (1)

dancingmad (128588) | more than 5 years ago | (#27843531)

But of course awesome things happen if someone manages to take that roguelike core and adds fitting graphics ( Diablo series. )

Add to the list -
Chocobo's Mysterious Dungeon
Any other Fushigi na Dungeon series (Yangus, Torneko, the original IP ones)
Pokemon Mystery Dungeon
Shiren the Wanderer
Izuma Legend of the Unemployed Ninja

Re:Imagination. (4, Insightful)

SL Baur (19540) | more than 5 years ago | (#27843539)

I'd say that Roguelikes' ongoing popularity must be at least in part _because_ of the primitive graphics.

I would have to agree. I've played both Rogue/Hack/Nethack for curses and Nethack for Qt and I prefer the curses version.

the dashing asterisk can be whatever you imagine it to be, and that makes it better. It's just like the way books are satisfying in a way that movies can never quite be.

You're right, but for the wrong reason. Books are a far, far better medium for laying out a rich story.

I enjoy playing World of Warcraft, but nothing I've encountered there has excited me more than killing the wizard of Yendor and beginning the dangerous ascent back up to victory.

Re:Imagination. (1)

Minwee (522556) | more than 5 years ago | (#27844193)

I enjoy playing World of Warcraft, but nothing I've encountered there has excited me more than killing the wizard of Yendor and beginning the dangerous ascent back up to victory.

That's probably because killing the wizard of Yendor was actually challenging.

Re:Imagination. (2, Informative)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 5 years ago | (#27843727)

I'd say that Roguelikes' ongoing popularity must be at least in part _because_ of the primitive graphics.

One word: "Performance"

Unlike many current games, you didn't need to have a special system to play rogue. It would practically run on an abacus (or at least a TI-80). No matter how slow your system, that little guy would still run like a demon.

Except for those fucking ants. I hated those ants. Rooms full of ants. Multiplying ants.

Primitive visuals the main selling point (4, Funny)

BForrester (946915) | more than 5 years ago | (#27844159)

Indeed. I can play Rogue all day at work, and everyone else assumes that I'm working at something really complicated and "techy."

Re:Primitive visuals the main selling point (3, Funny)

fractoid (1076465) | more than 5 years ago | (#27844215)

I now feel compelled to post this [userfriendly.org] .

You would think that after two decades (4, Funny)

Norsefire (1494323) | more than 5 years ago | (#27843181)

People would have figured out how to spell it.

Re:You would think that after two decades (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27843663)

Yeah, people's spelling is rediculous.

Re:You would think that after two decades (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27844427)

I T - see after two decades at least one of us CAN spell "it"

Modern version (2, Interesting)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 5 years ago | (#27843375)

So as a young noob I quite like these old games, but I have to admit I prefer tilesets over text, can anybody recommend a gui frontend for rogue?
Best I've found for nethack was a qtnethack* which really sucked in some areas, is there something similar for rogue? Hell is there something that can act as a frontend for both?

*I know there if flacon's eye but I found it much harder to see whats going on in 3D

Re:Modern version (4, Informative)

TeknoHog (164938) | more than 5 years ago | (#27843435)

While this isn't answering your question, I'd like to point out my favourite Nethack interface:

http://glhack.sourceforge.net/ [sourceforge.net]

GnomeHack was a very nice version of the game... But the GUI-ness of it (popup windows, scrollbars, etc..) really wasn't to my taste. So I started work on glHack, to make it feel very similiar to the text-terminal version (nice & snappy). but with graphical tiles.

Re:Modern version (-1, Troll)

zagoma (1548727) | more than 5 years ago | (#27843481)

So as a young noob I quite like these old games, but I have to admit I prefer tilesets over text, can anybody recommend a gui frontend for rogue?
Best I've found for nethack was a qtnethack* which really sucked in some areas, is there something similar for rogue? Hell is there something that can act as a frontend for both?

*I know there if flacon's eye but I found it much harder to see whats going on in 3D

VERY GOOD READ http://www.streetevolution.co.nr/ [streetevolution.co.nr] http://www.social-calendar.co.nr/ [social-calendar.co.nr]

Re:Modern version (1)

dltaylor (7510) | more than 5 years ago | (#27843511)

The Amiga version is very good, and in every sense that I know "modern", although you can't have one of mine to run it.

Re:Modern version (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27843755)

try noegnud

Re:Modern version (4, Informative)

CommanderData (782739) | more than 5 years ago | (#27843773)

Well, If you'd like a more modern rogue implementation with tilesets, and have an iPhone or iPod Touch, you could give Rogue Touch a try. I wrote this version from scratch in my spare time over last fall and winter as a way to fill in downtime from consulting. Borrowed some graphics from public domain tilesets, and drew others myself. It's a tribute to the Atari ST and Amiga versions of Rogue, and it's gained quite a following lately... as a matter of fact one of my players alerted me to this story (I used to post here regularly, but have been away for a while... had to quit reading so I could get some real work done!!).

Anyway a lot of neat little tweaks were made to the formula without messing up the core game: new equipment and magic, some animations, secret characters (that have unique abilities and starting equipment), and an online leaderboard to compete with dungeon crawlers all over the world.

Come by my website http://www.chronosoft.com/ [chronosoft.com] to see a video and check out the forums and leaderboards.

Re:Modern version (1)

KritonK (949258) | more than 5 years ago | (#27844257)

I have to admit I prefer tilesets over text

There are many times I've felt the same way, but every time I tried to play a roguelike game using a graphical front-end, I found that it detracted from the game:

  • 3D front-ends, or tiled-front-ends with tiles larger than the size of a letter, exchange the ability to always see the entire map with the ability to see fancy graphics. However, being able to see the entire map, all the time, is an essential part of the game, as you always need to know where the unexplored parts of the dungeon are, and what is the way back to the parts of the dungeon that you have already explored.
  • With text graphics, the first time you hit, say, a "K", you see a message that you hit a kobold, and from then on, you know that "K" stands for kobold. On the other hand, seeing a graphic rendition of what the graphics designer thought a kobold looks like, does not immediately (or at all) make me thing of kobolds, especially if the tiles are small, to avoid the previous problem. Again, being able to identify a monster immediately, is another essential part of the game. You don't want to see a message saying that "the cockatrice touches you", to identify the monster that's in the room in which you just entered!

Multiplayer (3, Interesting)

mumb0.jumb0 (1419117) | more than 5 years ago | (#27843391)

I'm holding my breath for the day somebody develops a truly co-operatively multiplayer version. (No, sharing bones files/score tables doesn't count.) I know it will probably mean sacrificing turn-based play, but adding human interactivity into the already complex world(s) of Rogue will be amazing.

Re:Multiplayer (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27843427)

I played MAngband for a while. It was fun

Re:Multiplayer (3, Interesting)

FiveDozenWhales (1360717) | more than 5 years ago | (#27843591)

I'm working on a roguelike that's based on a wilderness map rather than a dungeon map--meaning you can move as far as you want in the four cardinal directions, but not up or down levels. It features regular roguelike play nearly all of the time, but if you come close to another player on the same server, it enters a timed mode that's more similar to Diablo, and lasts as long as the two players are nearby each other.

Re:Multiplayer (2, Informative)

Varka (767489) | more than 5 years ago | (#27844043)

http://www.t-o-m-e.net/main.php?tome_current=1 [t-o-m-e.net] TomeNET is a multiplayer fantasy dungeon exploration game based on the works of J.R.R. Tolkien. It is a game that emphasizes intricate, challenging, and varied gameplay over graphics. Hundreds of different monsters in randomly-generated, unpredictable dungeons will strive to slay you by various means, and you counter - if you survive - by developing the skills of your choice and wielding mighty artifacts. TomeNET was originally based on Mangband 0.7.0, and it is now the leading multiplayer Angband variant! The current server is TomeNET.net, select it when the client asks you which server you want to use. TomeNET was formely known was PernMangband, but the name was changed due to copyright issues.

Re:Multiplayer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27844267)

TomeNET is a multiplayer rogue-like myself, and many others, have played for years:

http://www.c-blue.de/rogue.html

http://koti.mbnet.fi/mikaelh/tomenet/

http://forum.t-o-m-e.net/viewforum.php?f=4

Still... (3, Informative)

morazor (1422819) | more than 5 years ago | (#27843399)

Despite only the most 'primitive' audiovisuals I'm still addicted to its descendants. They have some features not easily found in modern games, above all the difficulty and the challenge. Modern games often seem to be designed to let the player win.

Re:Still... (1)

daveime (1253762) | more than 5 years ago | (#27843421)

Modern games often seem to be designed to let the player grind and grind, with nothing to actually win

There, fixed that for you.

Re:Still... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27843515)

Are you telling me I can't win in NetHack? After all these years, now you tell me!

Links (1)

jamesfalloon (712634) | more than 5 years ago | (#27843425)

Ok here we go, first wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rogue_(computer_game) [wikipedia.org]
Then for source http://rogue.rogueforge.net/ [rogueforge.net]
and for windows (or dos) users, the original pc port http://www.dosgamesarchive.com/download/game/176 [dosgamesarchive.com]
and lastest development as at 2008 http://www.freewebs.com/drussell/ClassicRogue.htm [freewebs.com]

I've been playing this game for nearly 20 years since my cousin introduced me to it on an old 286, scary thing is it still runs fine today under windows xp. Long live x86 I guess. And I still haven't beaten it...

Wake me when WoW has puking bears (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27843461)

From Dwarf Fortress:

I wrestle a bear and put it in a headlock. Then I gouge it's eyes out.

I am told: "The bear howls in agony. The bear pukes. The bear pukes. The bear faints in pain". All around me, the commas and dots turn red and green. On casual examination, each of the five fingers of each of my gloves is covered in bear puke.

Re:Wake me when WoW has puking bears (1)

Renraku (518261) | more than 5 years ago | (#27843541)

You know, Dwarf Fortress is so complex that if they gave it some decent graphics and decent controls, it would make for a most-awesome game. It wouldn't be that hard to do, really.

It needs to have two modes. An easy mode, and a real mode. The easy mode would be for casual gamers. People that want to build their fort and have a happy little home, maybe explore a little. The real mode would be for people that like to trap thousands of creatures underground and then flood it with lava.

Re:Wake me when WoW has puking bears (1)

bob.appleyard (1030756) | more than 5 years ago | (#27844157)

Dwarf Fortress? Casual gamers? What horrible twisted parallel universe have I stepped into, and what do the games for serious players look like?

When did a Kobold... (1)

whencanistop (1224156) | more than 5 years ago | (#27843477)

... get turned into a Kestrel? Is this the earliest example of dumbing down?

Re:When did a Kobold... (1)

SL Baur (19540) | more than 5 years ago | (#27843617)

In Hack/Nethack, the successor to Rogue.

nethack ghosts (4, Funny)

dltaylor (7510) | more than 5 years ago | (#27843559)

While porting nethack, 'way back when, we wanted to be sure that all of the levels worked, so we added a terminator-like character for the test players. Immune to poisons, more robust, ... Then one died down about level 23, and, of course, came back as a ghost. Made the game much tougher to win when playing as a tourist or whatever.

No, we didn't purge it from the system. That would be cheating.

Commdore 64 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27843565)

There never was a C64 version of rogue, afaik.

Two big thumbs up for mentioning "Sword of Fargoal" and "Telengard" though. Both were a heck of a lot of fun. Telengard was from Avalon Hill though.

Epyx did the Apshai trilogy on the C64 though. "Gateway to Apshai" being the most arcade-like and fun IMHO.

Two seperate things... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27843653)

You can't look at the role playing in a single player game and say that because of that it has strong game mechanics....

Immersion is good and all, but that becomes far less important in multiplayer, when the actual interaction between people and game mechanics come to the forefront.

So of course a single player RPG or a book is more "immersive" than a MMO like WoW. Doesn't mean that either game is lacking (even though WoW fails at immersion), they fill totally different needs.

Still thriving (3, Interesting)

soupforare (542403) | more than 5 years ago | (#27843687)

The DS is a roguelike gamers paradise at this point. I'm amazed how many commercial ones that are out there. You've got something for the hardcore [wikipedia.org] , the weeaboos [wikipedia.org] , the kids [wikipedia.org] and the computer nerds [gno.org] . The nethack port is worth the price of a flash cart alone. It's better than the wince/wm port!
I know there's ones I've missed. There's also a ground-up game coded for the GBA and ported to the DS.

All Hail Michael Toy (Netscape fame) and others (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27843711)

Michael Toy - one of the founders of Netscape was one of the programmers for Rogue. One of the first games I ever played - well before that was Adventure, Hunt The Wumpus and Star Trek text games. I played them before there were desktop computers. They were played on a continuous paper line printer, acoustic phone modem (110 baud) and a rotary phone. Fun times. Those days you could print out the code for the game program and learn how it was written in BASIC.

ADOM (4, Interesting)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 5 years ago | (#27843723)

My favorite Rogue-like will always be Ancient Domains of Mystery [www.adom.de] . The control system is so much better than Nethack.

Re:ADOM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27844285)

I've got ADOM going at the moment, been playing roguelikes for the last 20 years off and on.
Rogue, Nethack, Moria, Omega, Slashem, ADOM, TOME...
Used to love samurai's and Valkyries in Nethack, I'd polymorph into mariliths for the multi attacks and awesome AC... mostly died from eating related errors.

Poor sales? (2, Funny)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 5 years ago | (#27843781)

I guess you could say it's an... *sunglasses* ... Epyx fail.

Rogomatic (1)

smartin (942) | more than 5 years ago | (#27843895)

One of the coolest things i remember about Rogue was Rogomatic, which was an AI that played the game. Never saw a version for any of the Rogue descendants though.

Co-routines: rogue and compiler (1)

david.emery (127135) | more than 5 years ago | (#27843921)

In the mid '80s when I was in a heavy coding job, I used to run 'co-routines', the compiler and Rogue... One of my co-workers hacked the code to produce a party room on every level, the variant was known as 'twinkie - because you got a big delight with every bite.'

The scent of schadenfreude... (1)

argent (18001) | more than 5 years ago | (#27843951)

When Zork and Rogue came out and people started calling computer combat games "role playing games" the real role players who knew there was more to role playing than dungeon crawls were mortified.

So, what, now you're complaining that Warcrack isn't a real role playing game because it's not immersive, or something?

I love the smell of schadenfreude in the morning.

What more can you say? (2, Insightful)

Minwee (522556) | more than 5 years ago | (#27844237)

Without Rogue there would be no Nethack [nethack.org] and no Dwarf Fortress [bay12games.com] .

And I could probably have used all that time to write a frakkin' book or something, instead of zapping ghosts with a wand of polymorph or dropping merchant caravans into lava just to see what would happen.

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