Optimal play should be fun

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Roguelikes are designed for the experienced player, and this comes with a special design aesthetic. If there are gameplay features that seem fun or interesting on the surface, but would lead to tedious gameplay if the player approached them with a single-minded attitude of playing to win, they should not be included.


  • Amnesia effects make you forget automaps and item identification. A player playing optimally should then write all maps and identifications down so that they could retain the information even when the game stops providing it. So you probably shouldn't have amnesia effects.
  • If items can be sold in shops, it might be optimal to carry every piece of junk the player finds into a shop. You could provide some quicker way to convert junk items into cash, or alternatively make shops only sell items, never buy.
  • If there is no food clock and the player's health regenerates over time, the optimal play is to stand still and regenerate any damage you have every chance you get, possibly leading to very slow progress.
  • If the player has skills that improve with use, the optimal play might be to spend the first hour of the game shooting magic missiles at a wall to make the character very skilled with the spell.