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Combat-less RL?

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Anonymous
July 28, 2005 4:13:20 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

Bear in mind, this is just an idea. It's an intellectual exercise,
and I have no intention of taking this idea any further, except
perhaps as a 7DRL.

My thought is, would it be possible to take a genre as combat
intensive as roguelikes, and create a game without that element in it?
I think so, although it'd be tricky. Now, I'm sure a few people
will argue that a roguelike without combat isn't really a roguelike,
but I disagree. I don't see combat as being a definitive component,
unlike random levels, which are.

Firstly, you'd have to find a setting in which combat is either rare
or nonexistant. A deserted island would be ideal for this, plus it
has the additional benefit of being an untapped theme in the genre.
No combat necessary. Survival is key, however, as is the long-term
goal of getting rescued.

It could be somewhat Harvest Moon-ish, on the agricultural side, and
have fishing and the like. Not to mention the ability to gather fresh
fruit. Also, you could potentially have the very interesting sub-game
involving construction with primitive tools, such as the building of
shelter, fences (to keep animals away from your food), etc. To keep
in touch with its RL roots, you could have a series of caves
throughout the island, each one containing a component necessary to
fixing a radio, to help you get rescued (yes, it's a kludgey little
hack, and implausible, but, it's a game, so, oh well). To make the
caves challenging (which will be hard without food), you make the
exploration difficult. Light is difficult to come by, inventory space
is very limited (only a few torches), and pitfalls and other nastiness
abounds. Possibly add in some puzzle features to slow the player down
even further. Also, if you make food and water a very limited
resource, you can force the player to hurry through the caves, to
avoid dehydrating/starving.

An interesting idea, I think. Not sure where I'm going with this
idea, but I'm in a wierd mood right now, sitting around, thinking of
ways to remove major elements from games, and have them still work.
So... yeah. Any thoughts on it? Anybody else have an idea of a way
to make a combat-minimal (or preferably, completely combat-free) RL?


--
My projects are currently on hold, but I do have
some junk at the site below.

http://www.freewebs.com/timsrl/index.htm

--

More about : combat

July 28, 2005 4:13:21 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

I guess i would argue that combat is a more difinitive componunt then
randome levels are. Both are essential but a RL is an RL w/o random
levels but not without combat. It could be a RL-style game in terms of
moves and graphics but weapons and combat defign the whole genre.
Interesting idea though.

-Thomas
RL: CHAZM
Anonymous
July 28, 2005 6:09:28 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

Just a thought - how about a roguelike somewhat akin to (or completely
stolen from!) the Thief series (first person, PC) - you need to perform
a series of stealth missions, where getting caught likely means death
(oriental japan maybe, or contemporary). Skills such as Hide in
Shadows, Pick Locks etc would obviously be the main focus. Each square
on a map could be shaded according to how much light there is -
therefore, hugging shadow clocked walls etc would be the way to go.
Related resources
Anonymous
July 28, 2005 8:22:41 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

It's pretty similar to 'Survival Kids' -- a game for GameBoy.
Well, you had combat in it, but it was basically Zelda-like and easily
avoided.
It was very fun to play, I must admit.
Anonymous
July 28, 2005 9:27:59 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

Most people cannot finish Thief without save reload,
so there goes your concept.

T.
Anonymous
July 28, 2005 9:41:52 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

The Sheep wrote:
> It's pretty similar to 'Survival Kids' -- a game for
> GameBoy. Well, you had combat in it, but it was
> basically Zelda-like and easily avoided. It was
> very fun to play, I must admit.

2nd Survival Kids reference on rgrd. Each time I wanna
pick that game up. As a side note, does anyone remember
the name of that whack-a-mole game referenced here about
six months ago?

On the subject of combat-less roguelikes, I like the idea.
I also like the idea of integrated puzzles, which I inferred
from Timothy Pruett's description of the caves. It'd be
interesting to have chunks of a puzzle, say like a mini-
Sokoban, sewn into a largish corridor, rather than creating
a special level. And there are a hundred puzzles that a
rl designer can rip off from other games to drop into
a level.

So, I would play DesertIlsandRL and ThiefRL, and any other
interesting combat-less roguelikes, as long as their
features were well chosen (hand-picked for fun and balance).

Rgds.,
B. McQuern
Anonymous
July 28, 2005 10:03:52 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

My thoughts exactly. To me, it's just an issue of adjusting the
difficulty and game balance to take permi-death into account. Whether
or not ThiefRL would be a fun game is up for debate, I guess, but I
don't see how this is a problem. :) 
Anonymous
July 28, 2005 10:15:02 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

Timothy Pruett wrote:
> (snip) To make the
> caves challenging (which will be hard without food), you make the
> exploration difficult. Light is difficult to come by, inventory space
> is very limited (only a few torches), and pitfalls and other nastiness
> abounds. Possibly add in some puzzle features to slow the player down
> even further. Also, if you make food and water a very limited
> resource, you can force the player to hurry through the caves, to
> avoid dehydrating/starving. (snip)

I won't speak out against combat-less RLs in general, but the above
sounds less like a game and more like a lot of annoying tedium. Here
is another idea, if I want lots of tedium, I can go get a tedious,
thankless job in reality for which I actually get some money.

One problem with a no-combat RL is, you lose out on the sense of
growth. For me at least, 75% of the fun is the gradual accumulation of
power. Sure, you can gradually have your hero gain the ability to..
hold more torches.. but it's just not the same..

One thing you could try exploring is the sim city / civilization
route... in RL form... your character is in charge of a city or a
civilization, and you walk around making people do things, which causes
the city/civ to grow... this is kind of contrived though...

One very early "roguelike" in which combat was a very minor sidepoint
was Kevin Bales' "Castle Adventure", info about which can be found at
http://www.thealmightyguru.com/Reviews/CastleAdventure/
But some people would dispute this being roguelike because it lacks
random levels. The point though is the combat (all 8 fights! most of
which could be avoided) was quite secondary to the exploration. At the
same time, this made what few fights there were just that much more
intense, I still cringe in fear of Bales' ogres! (doesn't help that
with a modern system, all enemies gain superspeed and become
invincible)
Anonymous
July 28, 2005 10:54:35 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

On 28 Jul 2005 05:41:52 -0700, bamcquern@yahoo.com wrote:

>The Sheep wrote:
>> It's pretty similar to 'Survival Kids' -- a game for
>> GameBoy. Well, you had combat in it, but it was
>> basically Zelda-like and easily avoided. It was
>> very fun to play, I must admit.
>
>2nd Survival Kids reference on rgrd. Each time I wanna
>pick that game up. As a side note, does anyone remember
>the name of that whack-a-mole game referenced here about
>six months ago?

No... but it does bring to mind something: Whack-a-Mole-RL! <g>
--
auric underscore underscore at hotmail dot com
*****
Yoda of Borg am I! Assimilated shall you be! Futile resistance is, hmm?
Anonymous
July 28, 2005 3:27:04 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

Timothy Pruett wrote:
> Bear in mind, this is just an idea. It's an intellectual exercise, and
> I have no intention of taking this idea any further, except perhaps as a
> 7DRL.
>
> My thought is, would it be possible to take a genre as combat intensive
> as roguelikes, and create a game without that element in it? I think
> so, although it'd be tricky. Now, I'm sure a few people will argue that
> a roguelike without combat isn't really a roguelike, but I disagree. I
> don't see combat as being a definitive component, unlike random levels,
> which are.
>
> Firstly, you'd have to find a setting in which combat is either rare or
> nonexistant. A deserted island would be ideal for this, plus it has the
> additional benefit of being an untapped theme in the genre. No combat
> necessary. Survival is key, however, as is the long-term goal of
> getting rescued.
>
> It could be somewhat Harvest Moon-ish, on the agricultural side, and
> have fishing and the like. Not to mention the ability to gather fresh
> fruit. Also, you could potentially have the very interesting sub-game
> involving construction with primitive tools, such as the building of
> shelter, fences (to keep animals away from your food), etc. To keep in
> touch with its RL roots, you could have a series of caves throughout the
> island, each one containing a component necessary to fixing a radio, to
> help you get rescued (yes, it's a kludgey little hack, and implausible,
> but, it's a game, so, oh well). To make the caves challenging (which
> will be hard without food), you make the exploration difficult. Light
> is difficult to come by, inventory space is very limited (only a few
> torches), and pitfalls and other nastiness abounds. Possibly add in
> some puzzle features to slow the player down even further. Also, if you
> make food and water a very limited resource, you can force the player to
> hurry through the caves, to avoid dehydrating/starving.
>
> An interesting idea, I think. Not sure where I'm going with this idea,
> but I'm in a wierd mood right now, sitting around, thinking of ways to
> remove major elements from games, and have them still work. So... yeah.
> Any thoughts on it? Anybody else have an idea of a way to make a
> combat-minimal (or preferably, completely combat-free) RL?
>
>

I say make your 7drl. I would play it. I think it's a very interesting idea.
Anonymous
July 28, 2005 4:54:14 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

Quoting Thomas <comments@foresightsagas.com>:
>I guess i would argue that combat is a more difinitive componunt then
>randome levels are. Both are essential but a RL is an RL w/o random
>levels but not without combat.

I think that's tripe. Exploration and discovery are far more important
than combat. One obvious example is that robotfindskitten is minimally
roguelike, but contains no combat.
--
David Damerell <damerell@chiark.greenend.org.uk> flcl?
Today is Second Oneiros, July.
Anonymous
July 28, 2005 5:56:26 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

Thomas wrote:
> I guess i would argue that combat is a more difinitive componunt then
> randome levels are. Both are essential but a RL is an RL w/o random
> levels but not without combat. It could be a RL-style game in terms of
> moves and graphics but weapons and combat defign the whole genre.
> Interesting idea though.

A roguelike is a game which is "like rogue". Rogue was made with
randomness being the most important element, unlike the other games of
the time (Adventure), because the creators wanted to be able to play
their own game and still be surprised. Exploration was also
important, since much of Rogue's inspiration were the increasingly
popular text-based adventure games of the time, which were all focused
on exploration and puzzle-solving. Puzzle solving would likely have
found its way into Rogue as well, but I'm guessing it proved too
difficult of a thing to randomize, so instead puzzles were replaced
with combat, which serves as a weaker sort of puzzle. Everything else
that some people consider RL elements are just coincidental: ASCII
graphics, keyboard interface, etc, are just products of the technology
of the time, and aren't required in a roguelike game.


--
My projects are currently on hold, but I do have
some junk at the site below.

http://www.freewebs.com/timsrl/index.htm

--
Anonymous
July 28, 2005 6:59:57 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

konijn_ a écrit :
> Most people cannot finish Thief without save reload,
> so there goes your concept.
>
> T.
>

And is that a problem for making a ThiefRL ?
Anonymous
July 28, 2005 8:52:45 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

On Thu, 28 Jul 2005 00:13:20 -0400, Timothy Pruett
<drakalor.tourist@gmail.com> wrote:

>My thought is, would it be possible to take a genre as combat
>intensive as roguelikes, and create a game without that element in it?

Yes. We've had this discussion before, btw. The difficulty is finding
a substitute for combat. You can work to improve the exploration and
trying-things aspects of the game, but there are limited choices for
the calculated risk aspects of combat. You need something that can end
your game with a loss. In the typical RL, this is death, which usually
comes through combat and generally isn't all that interesting when it
doesn't. Traps and potions of ha-ha-you're-dead don't allow for the
complexities and the "I should have bailed out sooner" YASD of combat
fatalities.

Even most of the non-lethal RL ideas I can think of are not
combat-free, just combat-light.

Sports RLs -- command a team in an athletic contest. Things can get a
little rough, but nobody's pulling out a +7, +7 great sword of
mutilations, unless you're making a Blood Bowl RL.

There's the concept of the porn RL, where sexual encounters take the
place of violent encounters.

You can have a soft-and-cuddly RL in Happyland, where the worst thing
that happens is somebody takes your candy... but when you run out of
candy, you've lost the game, so that's just like death gameplay wise,
but makes a game suitable for those too squeamish for ASCII violence.

Stealthy infiltration/theft RL -- combat-light, since you're trying to
avoid combat, but not combat-free (unless maybe you play a perfect
game).

A survival-on-deserted-island game would, I think, be better off not
done as a RL, but it could technically be done. Actually, I have my
doubts about the whole deserted-island thing as a game if it is kept
realistic -- even with my life really on the line, that would mostly
be a lot of dull tedium. Something with pirates or cannibals or at
least wild boars to provide some active opposition seems more
promising.

--
R. Dan Henry = danhenry@inreach.com
Anonymous
July 28, 2005 9:38:27 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

Snis Pilbor wrote:
> Timothy Pruett wrote:
>
>>(snip) To make the
>>caves challenging (which will be hard without food), you make the
>>exploration difficult. Light is difficult to come by, inventory space
>>is very limited (only a few torches), and pitfalls and other nastiness
>>abounds. Possibly add in some puzzle features to slow the player down
>>even further. Also, if you make food and water a very limited
>>resource, you can force the player to hurry through the caves, to
>>avoid dehydrating/starving. (snip)
>
>
> I won't speak out against combat-less RLs in general, but the above
> sounds less like a game and more like a lot of annoying tedium. Here
> is another idea, if I want lots of tedium, I can go get a tedious,
> thankless job in reality for which I actually get some money.
>
> One problem with a no-combat RL is, you lose out on the sense of
> growth. For me at least, 75% of the fun is the gradual accumulation of
> power. Sure, you can gradually have your hero gain the ability to..
> hold more torches.. but it's just not the same..

Well, maybe there are items to be found in the caves other than
torches... maybe a flashlight, which takes much less room and gives
light for longer, but there's just one of them in the game. Maybe a
climbing harness that will allow you to descend into some of the chasms
in these caves. Maybe an old map showing parts of the island and new
places to go and explore. Maybe a canteen that is easier to carry,
allowing you to explore for longer before returning to the surface.
Maybe better carpentry equipment allowing you to bypass the entire radio
fetching operation and building yourself a boat. Or some recipes or
seeds making you able to make longer-lasting or more compact rations.
And that's just off the top of my head.
Anonymous
July 29, 2005 1:52:46 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

R. Dan Henry wrote:
> On Thu, 28 Jul 2005 00:13:20 -0400, Timothy Pruett
> <drakalor.tourist@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>
>>My thought is, would it be possible to take a genre as combat
>>intensive as roguelikes, and create a game without that element in it?
>
>
> Yes. We've had this discussion before, btw.

Oh, my bad. Didn't recall it.

> The difficulty is finding
> a substitute for combat. You can work to improve the exploration and
> trying-things aspects of the game, but there are limited choices for
> the calculated risk aspects of combat. You need something that can end
> your game with a loss. In the typical RL, this is death, which usually
> comes through combat and generally isn't all that interesting when it
> doesn't. Traps and potions of ha-ha-you're-dead don't allow for the
> complexities and the "I should have bailed out sooner" YASD of combat
> fatalities.

Yeah, it would be tough, that's part of the reason why it makes an
appealing exercise.

> Even most of the non-lethal RL ideas I can think of are not
> combat-free, just combat-light.
>
> Sports RLs -- command a team in an athletic contest. Things can get a
> little rough, but nobody's pulling out a +7, +7 great sword of
> mutilations, unless you're making a Blood Bowl RL.

Could be doable. Starcraft had several somewhat enjoyable sports maps.
Granted, they involved combat, usually to exchange the
ball/puck/whatever, but the combat wasn't really necessary, just caused
by the limitations of the system.

> There's the concept of the porn RL, where sexual encounters take the
> place of violent encounters.

Would be, um, different, to say the least. However, I just quit my job
at an adult video store (shudder), and would rather not think about that
nonsense for a long while.

> You can have a soft-and-cuddly RL in Happyland, where the worst thing
> that happens is somebody takes your candy... but when you run out of
> candy, you've lost the game, so that's just like death gameplay wise,
> but makes a game suitable for those too squeamish for ASCII violence.

Yeah, that ASCII violence. Just wait until DoomRL gets attacked by
Hillary Clinton, for it's graphic depiction of dismembered 'i's and '@'s.

Actually, I think the previous one would be more offensive. We can't
handle the terrors of ASCII porn.

8===> *ahem*

> Stealthy infiltration/theft RL -- combat-light, since you're trying to
> avoid combat, but not combat-free (unless maybe you play a perfect
> game).

This one would be great. Thief or Metal Gear Sold-ish, or maybe like
Tenchu, with the whole ninja/assassin angle.

> A survival-on-deserted-island game would, I think, be better off not
> done as a RL, but it could technically be done. Actually, I have my
> doubts about the whole deserted-island thing as a game if it is kept
> realistic -- even with my life really on the line, that would mostly
> be a lot of dull tedium. Something with pirates or cannibals or at
> least wild boars to provide some active opposition seems more
> promising.

I thought about boars, or wild cats, or something else to add in, but,
since my little mental challenge involved no combat, I couldn't really
use it.
Anonymous
July 29, 2005 6:57:38 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

In article <d_YFe.32936$Iv5.15049@fe02.lga>, Timothy Pruett <drakalor.tourist@gmail.com> wrote:
>To make the
>caves challenging (which will be hard without food), you make the
>exploration difficult. Light is difficult to come by, inventory space
>is very limited (only a few torches), and pitfalls and other nastiness
>abounds. Possibly add in some puzzle features to slow the player down
>even further. Also, if you make food and water a very limited
>resource, you can force the player to hurry through the caves, to
>avoid dehydrating/starving.

Have you ever played Wanderer?
http://www.steveshipway.org/software/wanderer/f_wandere...

Alan
Anonymous
July 29, 2005 6:57:39 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

R. Alan Monroe wrote:
> In article <d_YFe.32936$Iv5.15049@fe02.lga>, Timothy Pruett <drakalor.tourist@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>>To make the
>>caves challenging (which will be hard without food), you make the
>>exploration difficult. Light is difficult to come by, inventory space
>>is very limited (only a few torches), and pitfalls and other nastiness
>>abounds. Possibly add in some puzzle features to slow the player down
>>even further. Also, if you make food and water a very limited
>>resource, you can force the player to hurry through the caves, to
>>avoid dehydrating/starving.
>
>
> Have you ever played Wanderer?
> http://www.steveshipway.org/software/wanderer/f_wandere...

Fun little game. Thanks for the link.
Anonymous
July 29, 2005 6:59:25 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

In article <1122554512.240818.326510@g43g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>, bamcquern@yahoo.com wrote:
>pick that game up. As a side note, does anyone remember
>the name of that whack-a-mole game referenced here about
>six months ago?

Tontie?

Alan
Anonymous
July 29, 2005 9:11:58 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

In article <AhhGe.1335$c63.533@fe05.lga>, Timothy Pruett <drakalor.tourist@gmail.com> wrote:
>R. Alan Monroe wrote:
>> In article <d_YFe.32936$Iv5.15049@fe02.lga>, Timothy Pruett
> <drakalor.tourist@gmail.com> wrote:
>>
>>>To make the
>>>caves challenging (which will be hard without food), you make the
>>>exploration difficult. Light is difficult to come by, inventory space
>>>is very limited (only a few torches), and pitfalls and other nastiness
>>>abounds. Possibly add in some puzzle features to slow the player down
>>>even further. Also, if you make food and water a very limited
>>>resource, you can force the player to hurry through the caves, to
>>>avoid dehydrating/starving.
>>
>>
>> Have you ever played Wanderer?
>> http://www.steveshipway.org/software/wanderer/f_wandere...
>
>Fun little game. Thanks for the link.
>

Yep. It kind of embodies some of the things described upthread. You
have a limited number of moves, plenty of pitfalls, and there are
monsters but no combat (you have to trick the monsters into following
you into cages). And of course it's grid- and turn-based.

Alan
July 31, 2005 10:57:38 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

A friend of mine told me that at one time there was a version of Kevin
Bales' Castle Adventure made for either gw-basic or qbasic. Does anyone
know where I can get a copy of the basic code?
Anonymous
August 1, 2005 2:29:25 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

On Thu, 28 Jul 2005 21:52:46 -0500, Timothy Pruett
<drakalor.tourist@gmail.com> wrote:

>R. Dan Henry wrote:
>> On Thu, 28 Jul 2005 00:13:20 -0400, Timothy Pruett
>> <drakalor.tourist@gmail.com> wrote:

>>>My thought is, would it be possible to take a genre as combat
>>>intensive as roguelikes, and create a game without that element in it?

>> Yes. We've had this discussion before, btw.

>Oh, my bad. Didn't recall it.

Oh, no bad. The dragon thread has resurrected the multi-tile object
discussion and we've had that more often. And this wasn't even an easy
subject to Google, either.

Also, there's an old saying, "Repetition is the soul of Usenet." Well,
maybe it's not all *that* old, but it is worth repeating. :-)

--
R. Dan Henry = danhenry@inreach.com
Anonymous
August 2, 2005 12:09:33 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

BTW, I am working on a desert island RL. (
http://groups-beta.google.com/group/rec.games.roguelike...
) There were several desert island games mentioned there, including
Survival Kids.

Although, when I say I'm working on it, it's more like I have a little
code and several ideas and will code more later... :p 

Anyway, I intend to make survival the major challenge. You have to
find food and fresh water and something for shelter. It isn't going to
be completely combat-free but attacking the wildcat with sticks
probably isn't a very good idea. Finding useful items and making
intelligent use of them would be a big part of the game.

As for character growth, it will likely be skill based. As you build
more fires, you get better at it, so you waste less fuel (for example).
So your character might not ever be able to lift a boulder but your
character does get better at surviving, which lets you explore further
from your food/water supply and eventually escape the island.

Also of note, there is a roguelike game called The Unreal World that is
fairly combat light (even counting hunting as combat, there are other
ways to get food). The biggest problem with that game is they charge
$30 for it. It's fun but not $30 fun.
Anonymous
August 16, 2005 6:15:53 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

Christophe wrote:
> konijn_ a écrit :
>
>> Most people cannot finish Thief without save reload,
>> so there goes your concept.
>>
>> T.
>
> And is that a problem for making a ThiefRL ?

Sounds like a fun idea. Actually....
--
At your service,
Kornel Kisielewicz (charonATmagma-net.pl) [http://chaos.magma-net.pl]
"Kornel just won't release the code because his compiler is a jealous
mistress and doesn't want any of Kornel's code ever being touched by
another woman. ;) " -- Twisted One
!