"Hyperbolic" but not in the literary device sense
May 15, 2016 8:11 PM   Subscribe

I know that you've gotten bored of roguelikes because they're so easy to wrap your head around and master, so here's one that takes place in hyperbolic space
posted by DoctorFedora (19 comments total) 32 users marked this as a favorite
A game where you can get hopelessly lost by wandering ten tiles off course.
posted by Phssthpok at 8:21 PM on May 15, 2016 [5 favorites]

I wrote about this for @Play, and its in my book too! It's a wonderful little game, and worth shooting Zeno Rogue a few bucks for the "gold" version on whatever platform you're buying it from.
posted by JHarris at 8:27 PM on May 15, 2016

BTW, if you like non-Euclidian roguelikes, might I suggest the brain-warping Jacob's Matrix, by roguelike dev whirlwind Jeff Lait?
posted by JHarris at 8:28 PM on May 15, 2016 [1 favorite]

Sorry to just related-link-dump, but I just wanted to share two fantastic little pieces of hyperbolic kool-aid that you might enjoy:

1) Matthew Cook's exposition of life in hyperbolicland.

2) "Not Knot", a guided tour that builds up what you would see in a hyperbolic space
posted by miniraptor at 8:55 PM on May 15, 2016 [13 favorites]

no offense, but this looks excruciatingly boring to play. i say this as a pretty experienced roguelike fan.
posted by p3on at 9:22 PM on May 15, 2016

It's actually a lot of fun! It's just the right length, I think. It's a 1 HP game without direct character improving. This means you die after only one hit, but also most enemies also die with one hit. It's not nearly as unforgiving as it might sound, because the game prevents you from moving into "check."

And there's a ton of interesting areas to find, each with special rules! Like:
  • Plants with vines you can prune with attacks. If you can get to the center of the plant, the whole thing dies immediately.
  • A land where, as you move, the ground behind you disappears, so you have to keep running in a direction. All the enemies act the same way though, so it's kind of like Tron light cycles.
  • One area has "gravity," a direction that you can't walk against unless there's a ledge above you you can "grab."
  • In one area, dead enemies tend to get entombed by living walls that grow to surround then, and if you're not careful they might entomb you too.
  • One area has two different colored ground. You can't move from one color to the other, but you can change the color you're standing on, and other surrounding areas, by killing colored "slime" enemies.
  • One of my favorite areas turns out to be pretty much Minesweeper.
Another interesting thing about it is that, while your character has no stats or advancement himself, if you get a lot of treasure in a given area, you unlock powerup orbs that might appear in other areas. Anyway, I've had a lot of fun with it. I guess this counts as a personal recommendation.
posted by JHarris at 9:36 PM on May 15, 2016 [15 favorites]

Hyper rogue really is something special. I've probably got more bang for buck out of it than any other game I have on Steam. And the free version is just the "full" version one major release behind, so there's really no reason not to give it a try.

The designer has also recently produced a series of posts elaborating on how he designed a lot of the lands. Well worth the read if you're as obsessed with this game as I am. Part 1 Part 2 Part 3.
posted by Proofs and Refutations at 10:47 PM on May 15, 2016 [1 favorite]

Have a look at these 3d printed hinged surfaces [youtube video] to get an idea of what the 'map' looks like.
posted by Pyry at 11:06 PM on May 15, 2016 [3 favorites]

posted by cortex at 11:43 PM on May 15, 2016 [12 favorites]

So we’ll see you in, oh, about a year then Cortex?

Seriously, this looks awesome.
posted by pharm at 12:53 AM on May 16, 2016

I don't think anything could sell me any harder on a game than your intro text, DoctorFedora. Well done.
posted by Alex404 at 4:00 AM on May 16, 2016 [1 favorite]

I could go on for a while about all the cool areas, my description above was just a sample. I hear there is a very advanced zone (not reached by me yet) where you look for a holy grail in the middle of a vast hyperplane circle. The grail is in the exact center. If you start from one edge and proceed directly in towards the center you'll find it, but if you deviate from a straight line, your only real hope to find it is to backtrack exactly and resume your course.
posted by JHarris at 9:26 AM on May 16, 2016

Oh yes, they're so easy to master.

*looks at 25 years of un-ascended nethack runs*
*softly weeps*
posted by lumpenprole at 9:44 AM on May 16, 2016 [3 favorites]

This is amazing.
posted by equalpants at 9:31 PM on May 16, 2016

I really want to play this, but as always when I opened steam after not having opened it for a while, it tried to self-update, failed, and brought down the whole OS. OS X has gotten really good -- no other app I've used has managed to hose the OS in years. I go months between reboots on my laptop. But steam does it every time.
posted by lastobelus at 10:39 PM on May 16, 2016

Have a look at these 3d printed hinged surfaces [youtube video] to get an idea of what the 'map' looks like.

Wow neat, it reminds me of a visualization of extra dimensions that I can't locate right now.

What is the relationship between curvature and extra dimensions? On a sphere, plane, or Poincaré disk you need two coordinates to represent your position, locally it's two dimensional. But on a sphere the amount of space is finite, on a plane infinite, and the hyperbolic plane somehow... more infinite, a kind of mapped infinity. Is a higher dimension the limit as curvature goes to -infinity? I can see how curvature increasing to +infinity shrinks a sphere down to a point, so is the hyperbolic plane like a volume-filling fluffy doily that eventually gets so fluffy and dense it might as well be a solid block?
posted by nom de poop at 11:17 PM on May 16, 2016

If you were to project it into Euclidean space, yeah, but the trick is that it stays flat in its own hyperbolic space
posted by DoctorFedora at 4:07 AM on May 17, 2016

The full version of HyperRogue has just been updated with three new lands! Including the delightful "Galapagos" where you help baby turtles find their parents. The game just gets better and better.
posted by Proofs and Refutations at 6:19 PM on May 20, 2016 [1 favorite]

What a cool game! I'm a couple hours in, and I feel it has this quality of sadness about it, because you're always wandering into new lands and almost never revisiting old ones. Once you lose something it's very hard to find it again. (And I love that that's connected to the fact that in hyperbolic space, lines that start off parallel end up curving away from each other quickly -- so the ability to say 'what direction' something is in decays very quickly). Thanks for the recommendation!
posted by gold-in-green at 11:50 PM on May 21, 2016 [2 favorites]

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