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Roguelike DBG games, why are there good works every month and all of them are well received?


Recently, the Roguelike DBG (Deck Building Game card building) category has become highly productive.

When the Roguelike DBG game “Monster Train” developed by Shiny Shoe was launched on Steam on May 22, the author analyzed many innovations in the game’s design perspective.

How many gameplay essences can be found in “Monster Train”?
https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/5CnoFHlNKyQc9k3FvoVY5A

On June 15th, the appearance of the Canadian independent team product “Griftlands” also allowed the author to discover many new interpretations and extensions of the Roguelike DBG gameplay. STEAM is 97% praised, and the experience is comparable to “Killing Spire”. Why do players say that this is the best value game in the first half of 2020?

However, just as the author was still addicted to the two games “Monster Train” and “Fraud Land”, “Legend of Starfall: The Story of the Wanderer” released by Indienova was launched on the Steam Mall on July 23 and gained a lot. 93% praise rate.

A green monster holding a nine-square grid, this is the battle interface of “Legend of Starfall: The Story of the Wanderer”.

As if just yesterday, the legend of “Killing the Spire” was still talked about. As a result, new Roguelike DBG games appeared on the market frequently in just a few months. What’s more surprising is that most of the recent products in this category have performed well, and players have made a high degree of recognition for the overall quality of the game and the game experience.

So why?

01 Roguelike+ in full bloom

Roguelike/Roguelite gameplay has become a popular direction for independent game teams at home and abroad when setting up new projects in recent years.

Note: Due to the definition of Roguelike/Roguelite games, as more and more games that integrate other gameplay appear, it becomes more vague. In order to avoid definition differences and understanding errors, the Roguelike game described below generally refers to “a game that contains at least Roguelike gameplay elements”.

From the point of view of core elements, the randomness of Roguelike gameplay makes players experience different every time they pass through levels. The high cost of death caused by the unidirectional and irreversible process has created resource management, behavioral decision-making, and specific pressure for each operation. The existence of the three core elements enables independent game teams with limited development capabilities to create more cost-effective game content at a lower cost. At the same time, due to its rich randomness, players have a stronger desire to play repeatedly. The positive feedback obtained after accidentally acquiring powerful equipment is also more prominent.

Since its definition is not based on gameplay composition or expression like FPS, RTS and other categories, it also has a stronger ability to integrate gameplay. When we expand our horizons, many games actually refer to the appeal of Roguelike gameplay and release them according to local conditions. In general, you can even see that behind the popular battle royale mode, there are some elements that are similar to Roguelike, such as randomly dropped airdrops and resources scattered in every corner of the map. The irreversible after death and the setting of no outside growth also made Battle Royale in a form similar to the Roguelike kernel to be favored by players.

However, despite the unique advantages of Roguelike gameplay, it is not easy for an independent game team to manage Roguelike gameplay.

On the one hand, the excessively high cost of death easily dampens players’ interest in repeated play, and the game is always forced to screen players.

On the other hand, the reasonable means of maintaining the difficulty of the game when breaking through the numerical ceiling has been developed in the past 40 years, and there are specific solutions, but they are also limited. Especially for action-oriented Roguelike games, when the game has created hundreds of equipment and props for the player, the balancing method of the game difficulty will focus on “No matter how awesome the equipment is, let him at least It takes a lot of trouble to face the level boss! But it can give him a good time when fighting mobs.”

As a result, many actions, including “Vital Energy Lost Control” and “Vitality Knight”, are designed for Roguelike games that can launch a large number of barrages to limit the player’s position, and have invincible or near-invincible monsters, in order to suppress the value as much as possible The rapid consumption of game content caused by expansion keeps the difficulty of the game within a controllable range.

For example, the fourth level BOSS experimental auditor of “Out of Control” can not only carry out a wide range of barrage attacks, but also possess clone skills. Players must observe and try to find the real body in order to cause damage to the BOSS. In this case, no matter how powerful the weapon is, the impact on the difficulty of the game is significantly reduced.

But with so many such designs on the market, players will soon feel aesthetic fatigue. Therefore, if you want to find opportunities in the Roguelike market segment, the first thing you need to do is to find the right gameplay fusion posture, and to bring players a new experience different from other Roguelike games.

In this regard, the combination of Roguelike and card gameplay is perhaps the most successful. It is precisely because of its high compatibility and good effect that Roguelike DBG gradually emerged from various innovative Roguelike gameplay.

02 Meat pigeon DBG, version answer?

In this type of game, “Killing the Spire” can be called the best player, and it also opened up the design inspiration for more Roguelike DBG boutique games. The game has only one hero unit, and the card exists as a function card that enhances the value of the character. The advantages and characteristics of the gameplay of “Killing the Spire” lie in the in-depth card construction and clear instruction in the game. The small incentive node after the end of each level-receiving cards, and the large incentive node when receiving relics, constantly pushes the player to continue to explore downwards and maintain a high level of expectations for the subsequent play experience.

After accumulating a certain amount, the player’s deck may explode due to a suitable relic or certain key cards, ushering in a rather exaggerated numerical explosion. Even if the construction fails and the player dies, the player can clearly perceive the reason for the failure, recognize the advantages and disadvantages of a certain genre, and desire to obtain a stronger deck in the next pass.

In “Monster Train”, the game has a certain similarity with “Killing Spire”, but the total card pool is richer. At the same time, through the introduction of tower defense battlefield design, a more dimensional space is created for the game: Monster will Promote upward from the bottom of the train, the entourage summoned by the player will attack on each floor, and the enemies that have not been destroyed will go up one floor in the next round.

This is a very tower defense logic that allows players to pay attention to the placement of the followers, the calculation of the damage value, and consider the overall situation in conjunction with the venue. The design of the venue obviously complements and reinterprets the basic gameplay of card construction.

In the game, you can use pure tower defense ideas to deploy heavy defenses on each layer; you can also use hero units as the core, relying on patching, spell buff cards and other methods to “raise Gu”; you can also follow the spell damage genre, through stacking spell combo Kill enemies with high blood volume in seconds.

Although the total card pool of “Monster Train” is not particularly rich and the game process is obviously short, because of the rich dimensions of the deck construction and the tower defense battle logic, players can also get numerical explosions and strategizing in the game. Pleasure. After successfully constructing various powerful combination cards, players will retain high expectations for verifying the strength of the deck.

And “Land of Fraud” uses Roguelike DBG+RPG gameplay. It can also be said that this work is based on RPG gameplay and is performed in the form of Roguelike and card construction.

First of all, the game has a relatively complete world view. Players can either negotiate with NPCs in the game or choose to fight. At the same time, the game sets corresponding rewards and punishments for each behavior decision of the player. For example, after killing the opponent, you may get an instant reward, but it reduces your affinity with other NPCs, and the opponent may hate you. In the long term, it will have a negative effect on the player’s rewards when acquiring items and completing tasks.

Therefore, the game improves the compatibility of RPG and Roguelike DBG gameplay by setting short-term to long-term player behaviors, including irreversible rewards and punishments in the game.

Going back to “Legend of Starfall: The Story of the Wanderer”, which was launched not long ago, the game uses the Nine Palace format and has an imaginative battle venue design. All the players’ cards are divided into items (weapons, armor, potions) and skills, and they will be mixed with level monsters in the arena at the same time. Different from other Roguelike DBG games, “Wanderer’s Story” integrates the in-game development and the process of breaking through, which can be understood as the players are both developing and fighting at the same time. Players can change weapons immediately after fighting monsters, or put on armor and be beaten again. In addition, many of the game’s props are consumables, which also makes the game’s card construction more instantaneous, which raises the requirement for players to make immediate decisions.


In addition, holding this strange sirocco in Jiugongge sometimes prompts what the next card to join Jiugongge is. Players can also use this as a reference to come up with the most reasonable and cost-effective solution. Hmm…like Tetris.

In fact, reviewing these games, we can find some successful elements of Roguelike DBG games.

First of all, it is more inclined to the design of Roguelite, that is, to join the outside development, in order to reduce the frustration of the player after death. Or combined by design, cards with numerical explosion capabilities provide a more refreshing experience while allowing players to have more repetitive play to form a super-powered deck.

For example, the total thickness of the card pool is relatively abundant, and more importantly, the multi-dimensionality of the card pool. The diversification of development routes is enough to make up for the lack of the total thickness of the card pool, and create in-depth game content in a more cost-effective way.

For example, the gameplay innovations that show their magical powers are more obvious differences. For example, the tower defense of “Monster Train”, the role-playing of “Land of Fraud”, the slight Tetris of “Legend of the Stars: The Wanderer’s Story” both visual perception…like “Ratropolis” (Mouse’s big city state/night city state) 》, and even added real-time combat and management construction on the basis of Roguelike DBG, further integrating a variety of gameplay elements.

Considering that the card game itself has the ability to interpret almost any theme and any world view, we can even think that the next Roguelike DBG game can be anything.

In addition, in the late game of the card game, when faced with the collapse of the game difficulty curve caused by the numerical explosion, it also has more roundabout space than the action-like Roguelike. For example, design a boss that allows the player to get stuck, put a negative Buff card on the player, affect the continuity and burst strength of the combo, or use some entry mechanism to avoid the player’s attack.


The effect of the “Monster Train” revenge fragment card is that if the card is still in the hand at the end of the round, it will cause 1 damage to the player’s fire.

Take “Monster Train” as an example, some enemies in the later stage will have the ability to skip floors. In this way, at least when the player uses the enhanced follower deck, the deck strength will therefore not be able to fully play out. “Legend of Starfall: The Story of the Wanderer” is a way of directly washing both hands and monsters into the nine square grid, which reduces the player’s hand space-the more monsters, the fewer hands available.

03 future

So far, Roguelike DBG games have shown extremely high inclusiveness and have also proved their potential with actual market performance. Especially for independent game teams, to design a Roguelike DBG game, you can refer to many successful cases, and through the integration of gameplay, you can design products that can be recognized by players in a cost-effective manner.

In addition, Roguelike games also have gaps that are temporarily insurmountable, that is, the game is randomly generated based on some simple rules, and does not have the ability to stably attract players. To put it bluntly, some of the randomly generated levels of the current Roguelike game are still relatively silly, causing players to feel bored when playing repeatedly. Therefore, Roguelike will still be a relatively niche category, and 3A-level works cannot be born.

However, with the development of general artificial intelligence, we can maintain high expectations for the future of Roguelike games: Assuming that the random levels of the game are designed by AI, then one of the most obvious shortcomings of this category will be No longer exists. Next, just look forward to more Roguelike games with many faces.

Author: Chong Junior
Source: Game Dragon Tiger News
Original address: https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/P91K_TG0LvWIq-xWzEVezQ

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