Two Design Principles In Rogue Legacy

Core Gameplay Loops

A core gameplay loop consists of the player performing an action, the player’s reaction to what happens as a result and the need to repeat the initial action to progress.

Rogue Legacy is a Rogue-like game created by Cellar Door Games. It demonstrates this principle in the way that it utilises player character death. Whenever your character is killed, you are returned to the title screen, where you are prompted to “choose an heir”. They are the next character that you play with, and each has different attributes, which range from useful such as perfect memory to the ridiculous like alektorophobia (fear of chickens).

Once you have chosen your heir, you may then purchase upgrades, abilities and equipment that you can use for the rest of the game. If you never died, then you would be unable to upgrade your character, making further progression difficult.


Imperfect Information

Imperfect Information occurs when some part of a game is hidden from the player. This can range from locations to enemies and clues. Rogue Legacy utilises imperfect information throughout the game to keep it challenging.

As you explore the castle, you reveal rooms on the castle map. There is only one rule to the castle layout, the Maya is to the north, the Darkness below and the Gardens to the right. Otherwise, the player has no idea what room they are going to encounter next, or where they need to go to reach the next boss.

Another way Rogue Legacy implements imperfect information is through the character traits. Some characters are near or far-sighted, while others are insane and see enemies that aren’t actually there and cannot be defeated but do not cause damage. As a player, you can try to avoid characters that provide imperfect information, but there are occasions where it is a choice between how well you can see, and playing the run upside-down.


Despain, W. et al. (2012) 100 Principles of Game Design. San Francisco: New Riders.

Leave a Reply