This decade has done a lot for the rogue-like genre among indie and mainstream developers. Building on the success of Spelunky and the Binding of Isaac, roguelikes, souls-likes, rogue-lites, and possibly more connotations have sprung up. The subgenre has become immensely popular with indie devs all trying to make the next big success, and it has caused a hotly debated discussion for every new game: what’s the difference between a rogue-like and a rogue-lite?
While some use this to troll, there is an actual game design discussion to be had here, and what we’re going to break down today.
In the past decade I have played many roguelites, roguelikes, rogue-lites, and any other term that uses “like” in it. The roguelike genre has become famous thanks to indie devs who are able to experiment with procedural and random generation at an easier scale compared to AAA development. That was until I played Prey Mooncrash that without really advertising it, Arkane Studios created the first roguelike from a AAA studio, and it shows both the highs and lows surrounding it.
For this week’s cast, I spoke with Adam who is the lead designer over at Windy Games on his studios first major title Miasma Caves — a pacifist rogue-like.
For this segment, we sat down to talk about what makes a good rogue-like, and the essential parts that must be there.