[WIP] Rogue Fable II

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Hi Everyone!

This is my third iteration on a browser based rogue-like. Its getting pretty close to completion and I'm looking for some feedback from fellow developers.


The main objective for this project was to create a game that is playable in a single hour while containing enough content and variety to make repeated playthroughs novel and enjoyable. I'm pretty heavily inspired by Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup and I consider this an attempt to capture the spirit of that game for times when I don't have 8+ hours to do a full DCSS run.

Features, design decisions and some rambling:

Themed Zones:
The game contains a total of 7 different themed zones each with its own unique monsters, traps, environmental hazards and level generators. For each playthrough the first few dungeon levels are always the same basic zone but then in later levels 3 of these themed zones are chosen randomly. The idea here is to give the player different combinations of themed zones with each playthrough. I think that just random placement of rooms, corridors and monsters is not enough to really make each run feel different so this is my attempted solution to that problem.

Character Classes:
There are 6 classes which I've tried to differentiate as much as possible. With rogue-likes, classes are kind of a tricky problem in my opinion. With random loot, its possible that many of the items that you find may be useless if your abilities are really solidly defined by your class. So to try to overcome this I've borrowed some ideas from DCSS and given each class a starting book from which they learn their class specific abilities. Later in the dungeon you will find the books of other classes allowing you to multiclass to some extent if you choose. There are some inherent statistical differences between the classes but most of it is defined by their starting equipment and their starting book. In this way I'm trying to have the classes be most differentiated at the start of the game but then the way in which you develop your character is dependent on what you find later in the dungeon.

Damage Model:
I've continued with a fairly deterministic damage model though with the addition of random critical hits and misses thrown in a very small percent of the time. I find that random damage is just sort of noise when I play games and just makes it difficult to judge tactics while not really adding that much unpredictability. I cant really call the difference between 5,6 and 7 damage 'random'. So my solution to this was some small percent of the time there's a critical hit (x2 damage) and some small percent of the time there's a miss (0 damage). My thinking here is that this reduces noise, increases the players ability to play tactically and when the dice do fall a certain way a big effect is produced.

I've thought a lot during this project about this sort of 'meaningful randomness'. The themed zones could be seen as a form of tackling this issue. I've also generally moved away from say generating 3-6 gold per level and instead just made it a constant 4 but with a 10% chance to spawn a treasure room on a level full of piles of gold. I feel like players are unlikely to notice these small fluctuations in gold per level but a room full of treasure is sure to get their attention. This sort of design is carried through a lot of the project and is something I'll likely continue thinking about in the future.

All feedback is greatly appreciated. The game is pretty close to what I'd consider 'complete' there's just some graphics missing in a few places and maybe a few balance issues here and there. I haven't really gotten to adding a lot of help text yet so one thing I'm particularly interested in is any confusion that crops up during play, anything that doesn't make sense. Obviously balance and challenge is a pretty big deal as well. I'd like at least with the easier classes for players not to just get slaughtered in the first few minutes, so I'd appreciated your experience in this. Last but not least, crashes, bugs, weird behavior, all that stuff that I'm sure keeps us all up at night. A copy paste of the browser console after a crash would be extremely helpful.



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Great game, its an enjoyable rouguelike. I was playing ice mage for and got to floor 2, I opened the a steel door of sorts and got destroyed.

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Great game, I lost couple of hours without knowing! :) Also thanks for introducing me to DCSS.

One thing that makes the game a bit frustrating is the lack of potions/health shrooms in lower levels. Dunno if that's how all dungeon crawlers do it but it's really hard to survive without them.

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Yay! I'm a big fan of Rogue Fable, but it got a bit easy after a while and I had to give myself challenges to make it tricky again.

I already have all kinds of thoughts, but I'll give this one a dozen or so plays so so I can give more nuanced feedback. The only thing I'll say right away is... I found Rogue Fable II completely by accident --- I went to play Rogue Fable I and accidentally clicked on 'images' and saw the title screen. So I suggest advertising Rogue Fable II directly on anywhere you've hosted Rogue Fable I. Thanks, and I'll comment more later.

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Really nice game!, but i cant pass level 8, always the same error, (sometimes in other levels). If you fix it please tell me that i want to win :P.

The error was:

Uncaught TypeError: Cannot read property 'x' of null
    at Object.gs.isTileIndexInBounds (main.js:3332)
    at Object.gs.getTile (main.js:3201)
    at Object.gs.getStairIndex (main.js:2893)
    at Object.gs.placeStairs (main.js:7302)
    at Object.gs.generateLevel (main.js:6953)
    at Object.gs.changeLevel (main.js:3642)
    at Object.gs.zoneTo (main.js:3692)
    at ZoneLine.func (main.js:20939)
    at c.SignalBinding.execute (phaser.min.js:11)
    at c.Signal.dispatch (phaser.min.js:11)

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Thanks for the feedback everyone!

DCSS is incredible, glad I could share the magic. Its very inspiring to me as a designer in that its one of the few games that feels absolutely massive and yet maintains a razor sharp focus on its core gameplay. By lower levels do you mean the levels at the end of the game? Depth confuses me with ascending numbers... for descending floors... urggg! Generally speaking the late levels require you to have played reasonably conservatively so that you have a big stash or resources to spend. Also by the time you hit the last levels (fire or ice) you should basically be avoiding combat and just trying to hit the next stairs as quickly as possible. I've intentionally designed those levels to be just a bit to challenging to just slog through normally. I want the last few levels to feel like a desperate sprint for the finish line, quaffing potions and scarffing food as you desperately try to find your way down, all under constant attack.

Yay I have a fan! :P 

Looking forward to hearing your feedback as someone who's played both games. I'll be releasing to more web portals in the coming days. Trying to release slowly to different parts of the web so I don't get the massive influx of bug reports on day 1.

Speaking of bug reports lol.... I'll look into fixing that. Thanks for the heads up.

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More comments to come...

I did get a crash playing on itch.  I was on level 3 or 4 of the dungeon and hit an unexpectedly tough fight and went down and up the stairs to the next level, for tactical reasons (freedom to use items and possibly cause foes to be unaware when I moved back up).  I probably went down, up, down, up, down, up in 6 out of 10 moves or so and the game crashed when I tried to go back up.

Would you prefer comments to your email?  I haven't done much programming in the last 15 years or so but I develop table-top games so I'll have lots of thoughts on gameplay, balance, and so on.  Ping me to @gmail.com, address MrParkerBohn if you want --- it seems to me like that would be overall better than IM or posting here.


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It's a really good game, I've played different classes, and i feel that necromancer is the easiest to play.

I got an error tho, 

main.js:13413 Uncaught trying to place Bat tileIndex is occupied by: Bat

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It's really dumb that my attack does the same damage every single time. Yeah I read your descritpion of why... but it's dumb. Sorry. It takes all of the mystery out of the fight.

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Thanks for feedback everyone, trying to fix up those crashes at the moment. The console logs are very helpful.

I guess we'l have to agree to disagree over the constant damage.

Thanks for the feedback! Dying is pretty core to roguelikes especially when your new to a specific game. The friends who were helping me test able to autopilot down to at least level 8 very quickly after only a few hours of experience with the game so I feel like the difficulty is pretty close to 'right'. Its a tricky balancing act because I want to balance the game for repeat players, keeping the early game from becoming to easy while still trying not to just kill first time users in the first 10 seconds. I'll see what sort of reviews it gets on general web portals like newgrounds and kong where players are likely not familiar with the genre. Some sort of easy mode with respawn points is always a possibility if its just crushing non-roguelike players.

I've uploaded the game now to Kongregate and would appreciate ratings from anyone who has the time to help get it out of the 'under judgement' section. Not asking for 5/5 just honest reviews based on your experience with it so far.


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