Other Roguelikes > Berserk!

Endless/Massacre : Request for Ideas

(1/9) > >>

Kornel Kisielewicz:
Today Berserk! got bashed on rec.games.roguelike.misc by a couple of people for being repetetive, boring, and unimaginative, and a bad game at all. I'll quote the original post:

--- Quote ---Ok, I was silent on the issue up to this point, but now I've got to say something unless Kornel would think that he is a god of RL scene or something. To simply put it, Berserk sucks. I think it is one of the worst RLs of 2006, especially considering it was made by the author of DoomRL and DiabloRL (which are excellent). With all the hype I simply cannot understand why people like it.

There is one dungeon (or rather, open field), hordes of typical monsters (I think there's 5 types of monsters in total) - the difference between them being purely cosmetic: one hits harder, one is slower, one shoots. That's basically it. Now that wouldn't be a problem if the game was short. No, it is too painfully long as the main character has a whopping 100HP and can restore his full HP several times. That means it takes hours to get killed unless you die from boredom before that - because there isn't much to do. The ranged weapons suck: a blast of a rocket launcher just scratches more strong monsters, other weapons are even worse. So it's basically all melee. Now, there is a feature that you can go berserk when you have low HP. Which looks and behaves exactly the same as in Crawl or DoomRL. The setting is apparently related to some Berserk manga (of which I never heard before), but it doesn't influence the game in any way. It could've easily been set in Transformers or Star Wars or whatever universe: just rename monsters and weapons and you're done. That's all: no redeeming features found. And that's a pity, because I expected something at least as good as DiabloRL, which was also made in 7 days. Instead we get an improved version of that 1drl with zombies and it's even less fun.
--- End quote ---

--- Quote ---I think it was a case of 'I love DoomRL so anything that Kornel does must be great'.

I played Berserk once then got half way through a second game and quit because of boredom.  The gameplay, while simple, was good for a 7drl but because there was no overall goal for the me to aim at I lost interest very quickly.
--- End quote ---

(if you want to argure about the above points, please do that on rgrm!)

As much as I'd like to completely disagree, I still need to note that many of the reasons presented by the author of that post are valid. As it is, Berserk! in the endless modes (Endless/Massacre) is pretty much boring. The problem with those modes is that they are endless. And they will stay that way, for this is one of the major design decisions (Campaign mode however WILL have something of a "ending" -- definitively not a "win" tough ^_^).

There are two problems with an endless game:

* You need to end it sooner than the player gets bored (my own impression was that the game had made a good length here, but maybe it should be shorter -- that is you should die earlier on average)
* You need to provide variety during the gameplay.
The first one is a question to you guys, the second one is a request for ideas.

How to make the endless gameplay more interesting?

Let me state tough, that the form will stay the same -- Massacre is a one field battle to the death, Endless is a day after day battle with no plot whatsoever.

Any ideas? Write them here, even if they are just hunches -- we may come up with something together!

I already said that i like Endless game, and it don't seems boring to me. Also Endless mode isn't so pointless, because you have some advancement after every night, and every next night becomes harder, and you face new monsters that are not similar to others. Remember Crimson Land - it's the same gameplay as Massacre, but with experience and levels. There are NO landscape at all in it. Gameplay there don't have any point too. They have 5 or 6 types(but many subtypes) of not so different monsters, even less than you have now. But CL is a successfull commercial project. And it's not boring to play one game there for half of an hour. It holds by quantity of weapons, it holds by quantity of monsters, it holds by it's Campaign,  and by it's perk system. So, as i understand, interest of gameplay in such endless games can be obtained by quantity of everything. Quantity of monster types, quantity of skills(maybe you can add here some traits in future), quantity of landscapes. All of this comes in time. I don't think that game after that need to be shorter than it is now. On the contrary if you have new monsters that appears on every next 2[3;4] levels, it must be longer than it is. Now the length is exactly enough to see Wraiths and phasehounds, and not to be bored.

What about second - i already told you about second.)) You need new monsters(you already have tread for this and LOTS of ideas), new skills and traits(maybe i can try to help here), and new landscapes(it's your work)).

Kornel Kisielewicz:
Ok, a few ideas:
-- make terrain more important -- add water, lava, add beings that can only move in those, make moving on road faster than on grass, find a use for trees, make terrain specific monsters.
-- add themed monster sets -- like snow monsters, lava/ash monsters, forest monsters -- that will be completely disjoint with the normal sets

What do you guys think?


--- Quote from: Kornel Kisielewicz on January 16, 2007, 07:05 ----- make terrain more important -- add water, lava, add beings that can only move in those, make moving on road faster than on grass, find a use for trees, make terrain specific monsters.

--- End quote ---

This will add some strategic element, so it won't be just running around all map, with big crowd of monsters after you.

--- Quote from: Kornel Kisielewicz on January 16, 2007, 07:05 ----- add themed monster sets -- like snow monsters, lava/ash monsters, forest monsters -- that will be completely disjoint with the normal sets

--- End quote ---

Themed types will do the trick with mobs, who appeares on every level - Beasts, Bulldemons, Mandagores, Imps. It will somehow vary enemies, and you won't feel sick from same b and B on every level. I don't think that we need 4 different types of Wraiths - they appeares appriximately 3 times per game, rarely more. The same with Defiler. And i can't imagine, how skeletons can differ from each other, if they appeares on different landscapes.

Being able to improve your character adds a lot to the game. However, I never feel like my character is really improving. No matter how many skills I take, it still seems to take forever to kill an M.

Perhaps giving the player more points to play with so he has more of a sense of improvement would help. Of course you would have to ramp up the difficulty of the newer monsters to even it out. But the earlier monsters should be easier to kill as the player gets more skilled and it just doesn't seem to make much difference right now.

For example, if the average game last 4-6 days that means I can only improve 2 or 3 stats once (2 points each) or Dex once (4 points). How much of a difference are those going to make? In my experience the answer is, "Not much." Having more of a sense of improvement would help that.

The other possibility would be to have more flexibility in the weapons. Allow the player to choose how many knives, etc they want each day (so if I really like Crossbow I can take all crossbow ammo instead of any cannon ammo). This could also allow for the possibility of weapon-specific skills. You could also include different kinds of melee weapons. Some of this may already be intended for the campaign mode, I don't know.


[0] Message Index

[#] Next page

Go to full version