I Think I like You. Like, Rogue-Like you..

"Why do you like that?" is sort of a weird question to ask someone. It's a bit like "Why are you tall?" or  "Why don't you like beetroot?" (which, btw, is wrong. Beetroot is the business).

It's weird to ask and often even stranger to answer. But it's something I've started asking myself. Why do I have as many hours in Slay the Spire as I do unplayed games in my steam library *cough* 50 *cough*? Why do Enter the Gungeon and Darkest Dungeon (sick rhyme) strategies fill my thoughts while I'm stacking shelves at my part-time job?

The last time I felt this way was during my first, beautiful playthrough of Borderlands 2. It occupied an unhealthy portion of my thoughts and it consumed most of my (admittedly limited) social life. God, I loved every damn moment of it. I loved the guns, I loved the skill-trees. I loved trying out weird new builds only to get thrashed in Fink's Slaughterdome and respec immediately. I think above all else, I adored the fact that amongst its bulging skill trees, and often unwieldy mechanics (looking at you, health-gating), it never took itself too seriously.

I think for the first time as a "Gamer", but more importantly, as a Game Developer, I found my "Why?". I want to make skill trees that people can pour their heart and soul into, but at the same time, I want to make unusable guns that shriek at you when you pull the trigger (fuck you, bane). I want to make satisfying, thought-provoking combat buuuuut I also want that combat to be against giant living bullets that shoot smaller versions of themselves.

Roguelikes like Gungeon or Binding of Isaac seem to exist in their own little universe where dense mechanics and hours of pattern recognition slide in nicely right alongside crude humour and obscure references. That shit is me in a nutshell.

Guns that wear hats and do kickflips. Self-flagellation as an archetype. Items that memeily (it's a word) reference its predecessors. Sign me up.

I've been working on my professional presence, so here's a rough draft for my business card -

"Riley Lollback.

Roguelike liker.

Climber of Skill Trees.

Lover of stupid shit."