Likeable Roguelike-like: See 24 Minutes Of Dragon Fin Soup

By Alice O'Connor on April 10th, 2014 at 4:00 pm.

Boo!

Roguelike-like RPG Dragon Fin Soup first caught our collective composite eye last month, when all we had to judge it by was a short trailer, a few screenshots, and some words from the developers about how cool they think their game is. Oh, what wide-eyed innocents we were! How trusting! How naive! How… actually quite pleasant the game does actually look in a new 24-minute gameplay video with developer commentary.

Yes, we can see it appears to have the right bits in the right place for this sort of roguelike-like–turn-based movement and combat; crafting; an excessive number of item slots–but the small touches make it interesting to me. You can cut down trees to fall on enemies. And hide behind rocks. And dual-wield frying pans or broken bottles. And try to eat almost anything. Think twice before making bets about eating your own hat, as that is not only possible, it may choke you to death. The plot’s the usual cheery fantasy blah but the dialogue does have a fun tone in places.

Of course, the real test of roguelike-like soup is whether you enjoy eating it then beg and plead with father to serve you another helping even after you choke on it, then again, and again, always again. We can only speculate upon the flavour at this point. Could it be spiced squash? Tomato and basil? Gosh, even broccoli and cauliflower?

Dragon Fin Soup’s Kickstarter campaign wraps up on Friday. Developers Grimm Bros were looking for $24,000 and have comfortably blown past that. It looks like it’ll hover around the six-figure mark by the end.

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40 Comments »

  1. JimmyG says:

    I think there’s a typo in the headline and tags: “dungeon” rather than “dragon.”

    Easy mistake to make, though.

    Oh, and the linked URL for the game has a ” at the end that causes a 404.

    • seamoss says:

      I think Alice confused this game with Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup, which incidentally just had a new release.

      • pepperfez says:

        DCSS is evolving into a very interesting game that has increasingly little to do with Dungeon Crawl.

      • AlexHeartnet says:

        Dungeon Soup? Dragon Crawl Soup? It’s going to be difficult to not confuse the two games with each other.

  2. gravity_spoon says:

    A world on back of a giant turtle ? Discworld anyone ?

  3. Marcus says:

    It’s amazing!

  4. darkChozo says:

    So, what’s the terminology judgement on what appears to be a turn-based grid-based RPG with procedural generation and an optional permadeath mode?

    • AngelTear says:

      I think we can all agree on PGTBGB(p)RPG, that is, Procedurally Generated Turn-Based Grid-Based Permadeath (in brackets because it’s optional) RPG.

      • vlonk says:

        We can call them DODAs (Dungeons of Dredmor Alike) or RoguePGs

        • pepperfez says:

          Dredmor is a pretty orthodox roguelike though, don’t you think? (I get that you’re making a joke, I just want to make sure my genre instincts are functioning)

          • Philotic Symmetrist says:

            I concur that to the best of my knowledge Dungeons of Dredmor is definitely an orthodox roguelike, albeit one where save-scumming is enabled as an option rather than a hack.

          • vlonk says:

            Your humor and genre-sense are working fine! As the RPS Hivemind has an ongoing love relationship with certain terminology… I just tried to find a term that is as close to MOBA as possible. Of course Dredmor is not dominating the genre to the point that it deserves to claim it by its own name (like Diablo did for ARPGs for a long time).

            I feel humor and names can go hand in hand quite well. The Big Bang Theory (not the sitcom) for instance was given the name at first to ridicule it.

    • The Random One says:

      Procedural Death Dungeons & Dragons.

    • lowprices says:

      While none of you fine people are guilty of it here, I think we need a term for when people get worked up over whether or not a game is really a [game genre]. I suggest “Genre-bollocking.”

    • tsff22 says:

      I believe some folks at Steam have begun calling them Procedural Death Labyrinths.

      • Philotic Symmetrist says:

        I wonder if Procedural Permadeath Labyrinth would perhaps be a slightly clearer option? Since the point is not that you die a lot but there are actual consequences and loss of progress due to death.

        I’m also mulling over a generalisation of the mechanic into something like Persistent Consequence? a la XCOM ironman mode since it’s not exactly permadeath for ‘you’ in XCOM but in a way it’s potentially even more interesting than simple permadeath when you have to continue on rather than restart in spite of disastrous losses.

  5. neonordnance says:

    The main dev is active on Reddit and he’s a lovely chap. It’s always good when promising games are made by nice people.

  6. scottossington says:

    unfortunately for me its gender locked for the main charactar so I will pass.

    • AngelTear says:

      “Yeah, playing with female characters is gay, if my friends see me they’ll tease me about it for the rest of my life!”
      /satire

      Thank god, women are smarter than this, or we wouldn’t have any women in gaming at all by now.

      • PsychoWedge says:

        I know a few women who only play female characters and pass on a game where they can’t…

        • AngelTear says:

          Sorry, you’re right, I’ll correct myself:
          Thank god, *most* women are smarter than this, or we wouldn’t have any women in gaming at all by now.

          • TWChristine says:

            I think for once I’m going to have to disagree with you AngelTear, because I’ll admit I’m one of them. “Now that’s just silly!” you say, and I won’t say I necessarily disagree with you. For me, what it comes down to is simply the fact that I’ve already spent the entirety of my gaming life playing 99% of the time as a male character and I’m simply tired of it. Add in the fact that as I’m getting older and having less time for gaming, as well as less money to spend on it, I’m being more choosy about what I want to play in the first place, and something where the dev can’t be assed to add options is simply now one of the factors I take into consideration. With that said, I’m not saying WILL NOT EVAR PLAY GAME WITH MALE CHARACTAR RAR!!1, because if something great came along and that was the story they wanted to tell, then yea I might give it a shot. But when talking about your average game,..eh..if they can’t be bothered, I can’t either honestly.

          • Reapy says:

            Art assets cost money. This guy is asking for a really low amount, and that amount will buy him time and some resources. Typically a main character has the most amount of frames and assets assigned to them. Having a second skin would mean doubling up on all the assets.

            In addition all of the dialog would have to most likely be be written in double for any story elements for different genders or it might come off missing the original point.

            If the game adds equipment, if the character models are not animated and the same size, their might be unusual weapon clipping or things might not fix right, all of the gear would have to be normalized against the new model. Changing the hair might upset helmets, say you have the option for a balding female character and a long haired male character, the long hair might clip through the helmet, or the helmet might be made to fit voluminous hair and will be floating over the character’s bald head.

            It is never just a question of “can’t be bothered’ like they add a new option panel to store the gender and are done… it can be SIGNIFICANT work to offer an option of having another ‘look’ to the main character depending on the style of the game, and not all developers have the time and money to make happy the people who can’t step outside their own gender when playing a game.

          • AngelTear says:

            Christine, there are a few reasons why I wouldn’t rage (yeah, sorry, today I’m kinda raging a lot over nothing, because life – I was on the verge of going wild over the comment section under the SOMA interview) against you, and it’s not just because it’s you – although that helps =P
            - Only playing male characters perpetuates the industry’s bad habits. Only playing female characters doesn’t.
            - The philosophy of only playing characters of one’s own gender makes as much sense as not watching Lost because you’ve never been stranded on an island yourself. It closes possibilities for you, and experiencing difference is beautiful (when the plot actually allows you to and when it’s not just a placeholder sprite – but then, if it’s just a placeholder without any background or baggage or personality, gender doesn’t really matter does it?)
            - To get into gaming at all, you had to play male characters in the first place, or you would have had little to no games to introduce yourself to this world. If you consider time limitation etc, it’s ok to filter your gaming list according to certain criteria (and I generally prefer female characters too) but pulling out that kind of philosophy out of the blue sounds more like what I wrote before, that he doesn’t want to play as a girl because it’s “gay” or something.

            Am I assuming too much negativity? Probably.
            Bah.

            Meow

          • Vodka, Crisps, Plutonium says:

            So it is understandable, when a person hates/is afraid to death of, say, spiders. But it’s totally unforgiving, if one is equally afraid of catching gay from playing the role of opposite sex character, in case if she suddenly gonna bang someone?

            (btw, personally I don’t – I like to re-play any finished game with another character, no matter female or male.. although I hate wasps very much. I’m sorry, I would love to watch “Cast Away” any time, but no one will make me watch a shock-horror movie that involves those god damn alien-colored parasites!)

          • pepperfez says:

            But it’s totally unforgiving, if one is equally afraid of catching gay from playing the role of opposite sex character, in case if she suddenly gonna bang someone?
            Yup! Because irrational fear of spiders is different in kind from irrational fear of human empathy and/or harmfully disordered understanding of human sexuality. If you have a fear of “catching gay,” then you believe something dangerously wrong about how people work, and failing to get over that will make you a worse person.

          • The Random One says:

            Vodka, irrational fear of certain invertebrates harms no one. Irrational fear of a subset of people harms that subset of people, when they have to deal with you.

          • King in Winter says:

            Interesting debate because I have never been able to identify, as they put it, with a game’s MC (provided a game has one). In fact it surprised me when I started realizing some people do that. For example I have no trouble playing Atelier RPGs where the MCs are invariably female. I am just the player, the passive observer of the story. It is them that live in the virtual world, fight their battles, have their conversations, make their decision, do the adventures, have their personalities. It’s like reading a book or watching a movie – there’s no identifying with the hero, they are their own persons. So it really stumps me that some are even capable of making the game character’s gender an issue, I just can’t wrap my mind around it.

          • PsychoWedge says:

            Well, that’s because there seem to be two mindsets while playing games, especially RPGs. One set is that you play a character and this character is whatever this character is. The other is that you play as yourself, projected into the character you play. It’s not so much about if you’re a warrior or a mage or a thief but that whatever your class is, it is basically your personality inside it.

            So, following from there it is not that surprising that some people can play as any race, any gender, any class, any whatever (I myself am one of these) while other people always play humans, always with the their own gender (I know a few poeple that do that).

            Btw, over the years in MMOs I’ve actually only meat two women who played male characters while at least half of the men have toons of both genders. Dunno why that is…

      • Gap Gen says:

        I never watched Hamlet, read Pride and Prejudice or listened to La Boheme either because the protagonists are gender locked.

        • MellowKrogoth says:

          Ha ha, well said. The OP was trolling anyways, but personally I like having an RPG with a fixed character and a good story from time to time. Skyrim’s style of doing things can be fun but they have to dilute the story so much for it to work with your generic Dragonborn. In The Witcher you can’t just replace Geralt by another random person as they’re bringing to life his adventures from the books, and this game might be in the same situation if it has a rich enough story.

    • Jenks says:

      Masterfully done

      • pepperfez says:

        I don’t know, there was no particular flair, it felt rather workmanlike. A solid performance, but I would stop short of “masterful”.

        • AngelTear says:

          It also had no capitalization, no punctuation, one spelling mistake (typo?) and one grammar mistake, so yeah, I don’t see the mastery =P

  7. Jupiah says:

    I guess this is another one of the fantasy worlds where gunpowder was never invented and every gun is powered by rubber bands. Since that’s about the only thing that would explain why anyone would ever use swords and daggers in a world where shotguns and rifles exist.

    Also I find it hilarious that the game lets you eat anything you find and attack and destroy/kill anything you can see, no matter how recklessly insane and out of character such an action would be. Any game which lets you force woodchips down our gullet and smash up all your own furniture for no discernable reason has my interest.

    • Schiraman says:

      In fairness, it’s not wholly unreasonable to have both gunpowder weapons and melee weapons in common usage. In the real world it did take a fair while for firearms to fully displace traditional arms and armour – mostly because early firearms were expensive, inaccurate and unreliable.

      It’s not difficult to conceive of a fantasy world were firearms are not yet good enough, cheap enough or widespread enough to have totally overshadowed older weapons. In fact, with the addition of magic and an alternate world in general, it’s very easy to imagine. It’s even possible that magic might make guns niche or obsolete.

      As an example: perhaps magic works better with swords than with guns, and gives them comparable utility? Or perhaps guns are effective but gunpowder is very rare/expensive? Or perhaps guns are just flat-out better, but society hasn’t quite caught up with the fact yet?