The software department is a "desert of joy".
This was originally posted by Peter Leon on the forum.
Interface matters. A steep learning curve is consuming much of my precious spare time. Therefore I prefer games that are easy to learn but tough to master. I've tried Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup, I've tried Ancient Domains of Mystery, oh - and I REALLY tried Dwarf Fortress. I had no fun with these games. I simply hadn't enough time figuring out how to use their controls in a more effective way and so I didn't enjoy these games to the full potential of entertainment they probably have. What I want to say is this: Maybe interface does not matter that much to all different kinds of players, but interface matters a lot to me and my kind of players because of the reasons stated above. Brogue does a pretty good job here.
Graphics matter. That does not necessarily mean graphics have to be realistic or detailed in any way. They simply have to fit gameplay and should transport all the information the player needs without confusing the player (the same goes for controls and interface). Tiled versions of roguelike games often look prettier than their ascii pendants, but - maybe this is just my bad taste - somehow lack a coherent style. Therefore I prefer ascii. That does not mean ascii is superior by nature. What I really didn´t like about Dwarf Fortress was the big mass of symbols on my screen that kept me from understanding the things they represented. Brogue is ascii as it should be: Beautiful enough to please the players eyes, simple enough to be understood immediately.
Roguelikes aren't mainstream. I work at a big electronics store with lots of departments (I am from the Foto department). Whenever I have to go to the stock and fetch something I need to walk through the software department. I don't like that department. You will find all mainstream games there that you can think of. I've tried many of them. I don't want to play them anymore. They are all the same. They are boring one and all. There is nothing new to discover in these games after you've played them for a couple of weeks. The software department is a "desert of joy" in my opinion. Roguelike games provide a deeper gameplay, give room for experiments. Yes I fail often. I play brogue now for almost three month and haven't made an ascension yet. Maybe I never will. I don't care, but also I do not know too many people who think in the same manner. Maybe roguelike gaming has kept that feeling of freshness because it was not influenced that much from mainstream? I don't know, but one thing I do know: Mainstream always means a good thing is turned into a life- and loveless product for the sake of money.
Now, this post is only meant to represent my personal opinion and it is not meant to harm anyone. By the way: Thanks for the game to those who made and contributed to it.