A False Saint, An Honest Rogue (humbit)

falsesainthonestrogue
Some of your experiences in the game may appear STRANGE. Do not be alarmed; this is the nature of freezing to death. – [In-game text]

[Play online (HTML5)]
[Download for Windows, Mac, Linux]

24 Comments.

  1. Good game, but don’t bother downloading – it’s just a link to the HTML version.

  2. Thanks, James! Apparently, there are quite a few people in the roguelike community who hate online only games, so I packaged it up into a download.

    I’ll include the main link also as it includes TIPS: http://humbit.com/rogue/

  3. This reminds me of the time I froze to death!

    I had a a ton of fun with this game; it strikes a perfect balance between survival sim and roguelike. Instead of killing enemies, you have to compulsively dodge ice (or pray that you’ve dropped enough equipment to keep yourself light). It makes for a really tense game.

    Also, what is the name of the painting used on the intro screen? It’s wonderful.

  4. Nice! I’m guessing I’m supposed to find a compass at some point? I keep dying but I’ll keep trying.

    The toggle units option’s a great idea. I don’t care for one or the other but it’s hard for me to keep track of stuff in Farenheit and miles, since I never use them in real life.

    • You can find a compass, but they’re rare. The trick is doing it without one! You have to use the direction of shadows combined with knowledge of what time of day it is (either through a watch or based on sunrise/sunset).

      Some of it is covered here.

  5. 🙂

    It’s this painting by László Mednyánszky. He painted a number of amazing landscapes and some disturbing portraits as well. I thought it was a pretty good match for the game. I should probably credit it somewhere.

  6. If you like survival-rougelike you should definitely try out Unreal World RPG
    -> http://www.unrealworld.fi

    It has gone free lately and really deserves some attention 😛

  7. This is pretty special. At the start I couldn’t work out why the game controlled the way it did, but I think it really emphasises the sense of disorientation the game tries to induce (successfully, in my case!)

    I’ve grown kind of obsessed with trying to win this game. Just shy of 150m on my last try. I always stumble into ice fields; the ice fields always kill me. If I dump stuff then I die of starvation or from the wind cutting through me.

    I think the Compass should be even rarer than it is. On my last playthrough I think I saw three. It’s really helpful, but possibly *too* helpful.

    Prunescholar’s spolierish (?) maybe true survival tips for those that want them:

    ***

    – shadows will point the way you need to go.
    – shooting rabbits is really helpful. You’ll need a shotgun, a bullet, and line of sight. They drop the best food item, and a top-tier piece of clothing.
    – Sleeping items seem to stack (blanket, sleeping bag, tent). Having these will help keep your temperature up.
    – Save your keys if you can. When you get really cold (and you start hallucinating) you can hide in a house until you warm up.
    – When you feel unnaturally sleepy? Don’t. Go. To. Sleep.
    – Mushrooms will sometimes cause you to lose stamina, and sometimes kill you. I believe one “type” of mushroom has a chance of deadly per game, but I’m not sure. As such, bread and corpseflower berries are better food to keep.
    – look for layerable clothing if you can
    – if you fall in the water, take your clothes off to dry
    – try and make yourself as light as possible before crossing ice

    Some survival tips which may or may not be true:

    • Nice! That’s the most detailed (and accurate) analysis I’ve seen yet. Exactly right about the movement; it’s often confusing at first, but I couldn’t make people get lost with traditional four way movement. A couple notes:

      Unfortunately, the sleeping items do not actually stack. Didn’t have enough time to implement that. Using one will stack with a cabin though. You may be noticing that carrying extra weight increases your exertion/warmth (it also makes you hungrier).

      If ice fields are killing you, you can usually go completely around them. The map is kind of composed of a bunch of these huge snow islands and you get bad ice/water where they don’t overlap. Binoculars are the best item to help you do this. When I play (and this may not be optimal), I usually drop just the heavy, unnecessary stuff and try to walk over only a few ice tiles per game.

      Good luck!

      • Awesome! Glad that I managed to get a few things right. All that suffering in the cold has been worth it :3

        It is good to know about the sleeping items. Saves me carrying a tent, two blankets and a sleeping bag and falling to my death >.> I hadn’t fully grasped the interaction between amount carried, warmth and hunger. That sort of trade-off is really pleasing to me, aesthetically.

        I’d wondered if the ice fields could be avoided – that is probably where I’ve been going wrong all this time. Binoculars, I was wrong to ignore you! Oh gosh, I have to get home and play this again to see if I can win.

        ***

        One of the reasons I think I enjoy this game as much as I do is that the number of meaningful decisions I get to make as a player (do I grab that bread from on top of the ice? track down that rabbit? Use this key to get food from a cabin now or keep it to use for shelter later?) is high compared to the amount of “grind” (walking in a straight line; inventory management). Part of this comes from doing away with the complications of the experience points and monsters of the traditional rogue format. It also has the effect of placing the player’s struggle with the environment front and centre, which I think is great design.

        (as an aside: I dig that the player character gets a variety of randomised hair / skin tones. I’m very glad that you made time to put that in.)

        Anyhow, thank you for writing a reply to my comment! It is so cool to have conversation with a designer about their game.

  8. This is really cool! I really like the way the camera works (no strafing). It’s a lot like Brandish and I think it’s actually the best and most fitting application of that kind of camera.

  9. I made it! After 361 hours. It took a bit luck as I only had to cross ice only three or four times during the entire game. Remember this is the Northern Hemisphere, the sun is never on your north!

    I’m not really sure, though, if having more than one sleeping device (tent, sleeping bag, etc.) helps you stay warmer.

  10. Spawned inside a cabin once and couldn’t get out.

    • Sorry about that. A bug certainly, but at least not one that ruins the game halfway through.

  11. Somemountainman

    Also obsessed with beating this… died 57m away. even when i get into a cabin and try and wait stuff out with a sleeping bag and decent (mostly sturdy) clothing i still end up never able to recover enough warmth… am i missing something here?

  12. Somemountainman

    ok nevermind… decided to never sleep and just continue on. this time was surprisingly easy. never found much water, never was stuck in deadly cold, and made it to the end travelling around 1200 steps.

  13. this is definitely one of the highlights of the 7DRL

  14. Well done! Never found a use for my shotgun or the two shells I had before making it to the end. The hallucinations were a great touch I noticed on one of my failed playthroughs during which I was doing great, then fell in ice and died in my sleep the next night.

  15. Finally did it! Basically I lucked out and found a lot of awesome layer-able clothing. The frozen north was no match for my double-leggings+pants combo. Also taking periodic naps was key to victory.

    Really enjoyed this game. It’s rare that I feel so driven to complete a game, but this game’s atmosphere and mechanics made it immensely compelling.

  16. I adore this game, but it has one glaring flaw. You can see the watch at night because it has glowing hands, but the compass is useless in the dark because it doesn’t. So why can’t I see the compass at night when I’m carrying a lit flashlight?? Having random objects *not* interact in lateral, mildly obscure ways is positively unroguelike. 😛 It wouldn’t muck up the balance either, since two inventory slots is a steep sacrifice just to be sure of direction at night.

    That aside, great game! At first I used to drop dead in a blink. Now, after many tries, I almost always beat it, so it really is about learning how to survive, not just luck in item drops.

    The game as it is is well balanced for the 7drl – compact, challenging, but easily doable without lifetime commitment. 🙂 For greater longetivity though, a “long trek” option would be a nice addition for those of us looking to suffer more in the wilderness…

    • Yes! The flashlight + compass is something I considered. Actually, you bring up some good points about why it would be worthwhile. I’ve heard complaints that the flashlight is currently not very good.

      At first I used to drop dead in a blink. Now, after many tries, I almost always beat it, so it really is about learning how to survive, not just luck in item drops… The game as it is is well balanced for the 7drl

      🙂 Glad to hear it because balance is so damn elusive. I think your experience definitely counters the whole “I only beat it because of lucky drops” argument.

      The long trek is probably needed. It’s something I couldn’t even imagine adding during the 7drl as my playtesters could barely play the game, let alone beat it. But the game now really needs a score/difficulty modifier for replayability. I’m thinking that harder difficulty modes will multiply your score, but they will be colder and the exit further away.

    • Here you go: v1.2

      Among other things, I added the flashlight+compass combo and difficulty (somewhat like a long trek). Those were two really good ideas. Thanks!

      If you really are looking to suffer, press ‘f’ to bring up the difficulty options.