Sunday, August 05, 2012

What kind of Roguelike am I trying to make?

And who is my target audience?

In my 'what is a Roguelike?' post I briefly wrote about the different types of Roguelikes there are. More or less I am aiming to make a fairly traditional Roguelike. A turn based dungeon crawling rpg with experience and character progression.

In terms of how hardcore and complicated it is my decision was probably made as soon as I decided I wanted to make it easily portable to mobile. Making a game playable on mobile means no keyboard commands and much smaller screen space for information, feedback and controls. This means for it to function the game needs to be relatively simple, and that pretty much rules out a super-complex hardcore Roguelike, which to be honest is probably a good thing anyway since I don't think I would have the time or resources to build something like that anyway.

This all lead to the fact that I'm looking to make a decidedly casual Roguelike. By this I don't mean something dumb or with no depth - it's definitely got to have more to it than your standard bump to attack 7 day rogue. I just mean that you have to be able to play it without reading a manual, and all the stats and information you need to be able to understand it need to be accessible within one click, or two clicks if it's not core information.

I also want there to be more instant gratification, from items and increase in power, than in most Roguelikes. I want players to think 'Wow loot!' and 'Ding!, level up!' and for it to be exciting and really cool, something that doesn't happen so much in a lot of traditional Roguelikes, which tend to have flatter power progression. This is great for getting people initially hooked on your game but could have implications later on for the longevity of the game. We'll see how it goes.

So, the answer is that I'm making a casual, small to mideium size, high power curve Roguelike without the complex systems seen in many games, and with a simple, easy to use interface.

This will almost certainly alienate some hardcore players who are looking for something deeper, but the success of casual Roguelikes like Dredmor, 100 Rogues and Cardinal Quest show that there are enough casual players to make up for it. As long as you make something good.

The answer to who my target audience is, is someone who enjoys classic Roguelikes but who sometimes finds them often overly obscure and difficult to play. Someone who loves games like BG, FF and Diablo, plus fast paced combat and strategy focused games like League of Legends and DOTA. Basically, my target audience is me, and if I can make a game that I enjoy I'll be happy, and I'm sure lots of other people will enjoy it too.

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