flexibeast.space - gemlog - 2021-10-11

Roguelikes and maths

Reading through an r/roguelikes thread:

“Early game repetativeness [sic]”

and in particular this comment:


in which u/Glimmergaze writes:

The willingness to eat crow, and persist in trying to understand the game's systems (maybe through soliciting outside advice) and implications and avoid blaming the game (even when the game deserves a share of the blame), makes the roguelike player.


But the worse the player is, and the more averse to learning to get better, the faster even a roguelike's procedural generation algorithms will exhaust themselves.

it occurred to me that there might be a parallel between learning maths and ‘learning’ a roguelike.

If you're someone who enjoys learning precise rules and exploiting them at precisely the right time, then perhaps you prefer the mathematics typically taught prior to learning proof-based maths. But if you enjoy learning heuristics and developing additional heuristics about when to use those heuristics, proof-based maths might be more to your liking.

Analogously, if you want to be able to Complete a game by learning what thing you have to do at precisely what time, roguelikes might not be for you. But in my own case, i like roguelikes because they're not ‘completeable’ in that sense, keeping me entertained by continually forcing me to learn better heuristics. i don't get satisfaction from knowing one needs the almanac to be able to predict an eclipse to be able to distract the border guard to be able to make it across the border. :-)

🏷 maths


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