The Perils of Storytelling in Roguelikes

Video game narratives are hard. How your story is presented with the addition of audience participation can cause what seem like particularly simple ideas and descriptions to take on ever more complicated readings. It can be especially tough for games in the roguelike space, given that they are meant to be difficult and played multiple times through. A third act twist or using random encounters while also attempting to build a world can be difficult to pull off, and the wrong mix of randomized narrative beats can give a stark first impression. The Waypoint Radio crew discuss this with regards to the new roguelike deckbuilder Nowhere Prophet, check back in on Night Call, and take a brief dip in the question bucket. You can listen to the full episode and read an excerpt below.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/wjvvdz/the-perils-of-storytelling-in-roguelikes

I am SHOCKED that Rob has never watched Bake Off, and I hope he rectifies the situation immediately.

Puzzles, too. Swords of Ditto tried to have something like 90% of the dungeon puzzles handled through procedural generation, but they’re almost always either absurdly easy or solve themselves. And a Zelda-like game without good puzzles is…kind of boring.

2 Likes

It seems like Cado was pretty cold on Nowhere Prophet , but for what it’s worth, I’ve been having a really good time with it. It also has multiple difficulties. I’ve played three runs on normal and won 2 or the 3.
The only downside for me is that the runs take quite a long time (like 3+hours to complete in my limited experience)

That’s a long time, slay the Spire runs usually tap out at like an hour to an hour and a half.

It feels like a lot to invest in a roguelike. I thought maybe it was my lack of famiarity with the game, but in my third run I felt very comfortable with all of my mom combat decisions Soni think it’s just a king game.
I think it’s because it has more segments than StS (4 as opposed to 3), fights seen more frequent (seems like there’s one nearly every node), and the fights are longer.
It actually plays more line hearthstone than slay the spire. In StS, getting powerful usually means settling on a wild combo or two that lets you pumpnout massive damage in just a few turns. Nowhere Prophet usually has later fights progressing to later turns where you can finally play more high end costed cards.

Is there a man more suited to studiously taking notes on Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood lectures on proper ways to keep fruit from sinking through a cake?!

3 Likes

I demand a weekly show where Rob, Patrick, and Danielle recreate food from Bake Off for Austin and Cado to judge! BE GOOD AND BAKE IS THE CONTENT WE DESERVE

5 Likes

Before the crew goes Off on Crazy Taxi Gazillionaire (I think it has a new name now) on their next episode of The Cab Cast, I would just like to bring to their attention my first ever Waypoint forum post, from Spring 2017. A small taste…

Oh God, Coimbra. I’m staring at it on my shelf right now and just reading the directions is exhausting. One thing that should be noted though, is the art is fantastic! Honestly, good art direction and components are a must for any Euro game for me because I need something pretty to convince my friends to descend into another elegant-but-complicated-and-obfuscated puzzle with me.

Edit: another thing, along with Rob’s complaint about modern euros being overly-complicated for no good reason, so many games now take up so much damn space! A friend got me Dinosaur Island for my birthday, and it has yet to be played over half a year later cause it does not fit on any table in my apartment! Pretty certain if I wanted to play it here, I’d need to get every player their own TV dinner table or something

1 Like