Missing Scrolls

I recently died playing Angband. Had been playing the character for a long time. Got complacent. That resulted in a death. So it was time to roll the dice again. This time around, I chose a human warrior. Got lucky with a unique weapon early on in the game.

This new character found some boots of speed too. I made sure I had something to prevent blindness. And I wore two items of resistance. Then I headed down deep. I cleared out a level. Had a lot of stuff I needed to sell up in town. Tried to read my scroll of recall. Ooops. I have no scrolls.

I knew I was running low on the scrolls. Happened twice in a row that I could not buy any in town. I guess the little I had must have burned up when I was not paying too close of attention. Now I needed to walk all the way up into town.

Conserved my food. Scummed the stairs. If I saw a way up, I would climb up. Otherwise just went up and down the stairs to see what random things would get generated. Any items that would help me detect the stairs were picked up. Two thirds of the way up, I found a scroll of word of recall. I decided not to use it. I came this far. Might as well walk all the way up.

World of Warcraft

I recently started watching the Sword Art Online anime. It is about player who enter an MMO and get stuck in there online. It is really good. I am still on season one. This got me thinking that I want to get into an MMO. At least I should try one out. Why not World of Warcraft?

Yes I am a bit late to the game. Ten to twelve years late for WoW. But better late than never. Okay. I found I needed to create a Battle net account. Done. I figure I would try the free version of WoW to start. Aha. They have a downloadable version. But it is 30Gb large? Wut?

I let the download go over night. Somehow it stalled. So now I am still trying to download this massive thing. I guess there must be a ton of graphics, sounds, and cut scenes in this download. After waiting so long to get the program, it had damn well better be good.

There are some advantages coming late to the scene. Maybe I could buy a high level character on of my friends is getting rid of. I could also join up with a guild that some friends may be in. Or I could just start like a newbie. That might be more fun. Let's see how this goes.

Monster Supremecy is Hard

7DRL entry Monster Supremecy has a bit of a role reversal. You are a monster who wants to see the light of day. You got to fight the other monsters, and climb up out of the dungeon.

I found the game a bit hard. The second or third monster I fight usually kills me. I try to arrange the battles so that I fight one monster at a time. My HP just go down to zero.

Is there any potion I can drink to replenish my health? How come my health just doesn't regenerate? Aside from that, the game was okay. Monster bitmap graphics were okay. Dungeon looked good.

Playing the Seven Day Band

Okay. Initially I played the Seven Day Band thinking it had something to do with a rock band. Nope. It had a lot to do with Angband. LOL.

This game is very Roguelike, with a unique twist that you answer questions to help customize the game. Most of the questions seem to be about enemies. The choices you make get stored in a text file. Then the game uses that data to control behavior.

One other thing that seemed unique was that when monsters were killed and dropped gold, a yellow rectangle would fall down the screen and land at the bottom. Hmmm. I wonder if that is anything more than a gold count down there?

Getting Booty

I played Booty Seekers. At first I did not know what to expect with that title. Turns out it is the pirate sort of booty. Graphics were really good in this one.

Initially I got raided by ninjas. I had a choice to fight or flee. I fought. Wrong choice. They robbed me. Luckily I hunted down another ship and got my revenge.

How do people make great games like this in only seven days? I want to know so I can do the same. This one may not be entirely Roguelike, but it is turn based, and has a hex grid. Good times I tell you.

Lost Patience With Infinite Energy

I tried out 7DRL entry Infinite Energy. It seems like a cross between billiards and Tron. I was able to control a ball. Another ball heads towards me shooting some sort of laser. I assume I need to get to the spiral.

I muscle my way past the enemy. Could not figure out how to kill the enemy. However I die every time I get to the spiral. WTF? At least the thing is turn based. It is not a video game. It also does not feel very Roguelike.

The game itself looks okay. The physics behind the balls feels right. I just got tired of getting killed in the game.

HUGE is Polished

I downloaded and played the 7DRL "Huge" today. It requires the Unity web player. I knew I was in for a treat when the splash screen had some neat fire effects.

The pixel graphics are good. There is some tight smoke effects on the screen. You get a HP bar on top of the screen when you fight enemies. The balance in this game seems good.

Not sure what my goal in this game is. But the thing feels really polished. People seem to be able to knock out better and better games in the 7DRL.

CARL is Hard

I played this 7DRL called CARL. The first time I played, I was boxed in by walls on all sides. WTF? Then I realized it was a random maze generation that might do that. So I restarted and I was good to go.

You got to get a red dot, then proceed to the red square. Sounds easy enough. But there are a lot of enemies. And they come at you. I played the game at least five times and died every single time.

This was some dudes first 7DRL entry. Looked good for a first try. I just wish it were a little easier to get off the first level.

Copy Frogue is Frogger

Tested out a couple more 7DRL entries today. Started with Anoxic Depths. The story is about the Yendori people. Relics of them have been found in a cave. I guess you are supposed to get rich by finding some of them. On game start, there is a slider to choose how male or female you are. I did not know this could be represented by a sliding scale. I chose to dive in the water at the bottom of the cave. All I saw was a Japanese looking character in the middle of the screen. LOL wut?

Next I played Copy Frogue. It took no time for me to realize that this is a Frogger clone, roguelike style. The game was hard. I never made it across all the lanes. The one time I got close, I drowned.

Finally I tried "You Have Only One Dog". It downloads as an executable. However that executable is only the installer. The game was made with GameMaker Studio. It has a small screen. It looks like the controls were drawn with pencil and paper. I laughed when I saw a dude exclaim, "I am le shop keeper." Unfortunately I let my dog starve. Not sure what any of this has to do with Roguelikes, other than it was turn based.

Get Your Koobas On

I am still checking out finished 7DRL entries. Today I started with Feeding Frenzy. The author provided "blog notes" which was a nice touch. Looks like the guy did five full days of coding. You eat power ups int he game. You can also eat some other monsters. I went down a level and got stuck in a room with no exits.

Next I played Koobas. The file I downloaded was named "7drl.zip". The game was written in Java. I appreciated that there was a batch file to run the game. There was a 3D rotating room as a splash screen. There was a Doom style interface during game play. You hold a sword that sways. Your FPS is shown in the upper left hand corner. Move toward the bars to get the gates to raise and let you pass. The bats beat me up in this game.

Finally I played "We Have a Bug". It started with a screen showing the 10 commandments of doom. WTF? You are a little devil that can move around an essentially empty screen. There is an anarchy symbol in the middle of the room. I never saw any enemies. And I never got out of the initial room.

RogueMan is Pacman

Today I checked out some more 7DRL entries. First I tried "High Upon the Mountain". It was distributed as a RAR file. There was a weird splash screen graphic on the start. In the game, winter is coming. However your village lost its crops. The graphic icon that represents you dances a bit. My character walked North. It eventually walked off the screen, and the game aborted. Ooops.

Next I tried "A Rogue Harvest". This is also known as HarvestRL. Goal is to defeat the evil spirit that haunts the village. You lose when you die, or all the villagers die or become possessed. The game is distributed via Google docs. A separate MS-DOS style window remains open when you play. I moved over an omega character on the screen, which caused me to descend down. I died in my first battle at the hands of a Giant Snake.

Finally I played RogueMan. This is a Pacman variation. The longer your play, the more ghosts there are. All ghosts are green. And there are more than four of them if you play for any time. It was hard to make turns because you need to be lined up perfectly with the paths. The screen shakes if a ghost touches you. I could not figure out how to go down the stairs in this game. It was fun though.

Fighting in the Xeno Wars

Today I continued to check out 7DRL entries. I first tried Fern Gully 3. Isn't that a movie? This game is also known as Hexxus Quest. It displays a blank screen in Internet Explorer. But it works in Firefox. The goal is to get the horn of the unicorn. There are weird symbols for the floors in the rooms. When I attack, it says, "You cast finger of death." Oh. And the monsters appear to go through the walls?

Next I tried Hurt Yoghurt. It requires the Unity web player. Use WASD to move. It starts by telling me I am at the top of the tree. Okay. There is a weird face graphic in the upper right hand corner of the screen. Something is growing in the maze. Ahh. They grow into walls blocking your path. There is music playing in the background.

Finally I played XenoWars. You get missions. Your team fires at the enemies. Sounds play when you move. You groan when you die. I could not find the target sector before biting the dust in this one.

Ending up in a Rogue Caravan

Today I start out by playing Quaff. At first I did not even know how to launch the game. Apparently you run the t-engine executable. The thing is menu based to start. There are some elaborate potion rules in this game. I did not really get into this game.

Next I played Neon Zelda. How could you not like a Zelda style game? Well let me tell you. The game starts off positive with a cool splash screen and music. The game has real time play. It is not turn based. It seems doors are a one way deal. You cannot turn back and go back out a door. I could not figure out how to kill enemies. A small bat beat up on me until I died. Next.

Last up was Rogue Caravan. This one is a bit different. You move between cities on either side of the screen to earn points. You must avoid the bandits. This is a classic strategy game. The whole board is visible at all times, which I like. Unfortunately you die as soon as the bandits find you. That makes it a bit tough. Got to work on some better tactics.

Something Different

I ran across a couple Roguelikes today that were alternative. The first was The Dungeon. In this game, the player is controlled by the computer. You can control the monsters. It is shipped as an executable which is nice. There is a cool ASCII art splash screen to start. The player moves really fast and kills monsters with ease. Apparently the player can cast ice and lightning spells. The player also seems to be able to jump over monsters in a narrow tunnel. The player wanders around a lot.

Next I took a cook at cboy. This is an abbreviation of cowboy. The game is only shipped as source code? It comes with data files for items, players, and entities. The source appears to be written in the C programming language. It uses ncurses. The code also comes with a VIM shell script that opens up all the source files. I did not bother to try to compile this thing. It felt like it was meant for UNIX.

Finally I tried out Gore Grounds. It extracts directly to the folder where you download the zip file. I liked that. Normally the zips extract into a separate folder I need to navigate to. This was written in python. The author volunteered to fix bugs that people found. You start off as a square smiley face that seems to pulse with a heartbeat. Monsters drop a lot of stuff when killed. The initial room is tiny. Walking over the stairs takes you down them. Commands are always displayed on the screen. Not sure what to do with the door on level 2. The game displays the following message when you quit - "What a terrible place to perish".

Mediocre Friday

Played a couple more 7DRL entries today. First I played Strive. Saw a couple traits that seem to be a trend. For example, press N for new game. And also I saw a separate MSDOS style window open during the game run. I hit something on the screen. Seemed like an explosion ensued. I took damage. How can I pick up this armor on the floor? Unknown. This was written by SuperDev. His Twitter says you can use rocket launchers in this game.

Next I tried Robbery RL. I tried to move to the right but was prevented because I did not collect enough loot. LOL. This was made with PureScript? What is that? A JavaScript derivative? It says it needs IE11 or Chrome. I was able to play in Firefox. You get to choose you class in this game. nice. Font is small and red. That makes it had to read. This moves like a platformer to the right. I died fighting the first guard I met.

Last game I tried was Curse of Dry Hills. The colors on this was are nice. Messages scroll at the top of the screen in a non-obtrusive dark gray. You are informed when you regain hit points. When I died, the game gave me a hint to pick up health globes to restore my HP. That was a nice touch. There are a lot of animals out there in the wild that all want to see to kill you. What is up with that?

Strong 7DRL Contenders

Today I played three really good Roguelikes. It started with "Never To Tell". This one is called a puzzle roguelike. There are no direct attacks in this game. You need to lure the enemies to self destruct. It looked like a kids game because of the cute graphics. There are two faces on the sides of the board that sometimes have commentary. This feels like a commercial game. The author has not opened sourced the game because it might go commercial in the future.

 Next up was "Vamps and Wolves". The window title says Empary_Engine_3D. I assume this is somehow related to DirectX. Your goal in this game is to sneak out of the Dark Lord's castle. There are some dead ends in the maze. The wall graphic tiles were nice. The player character looks like he wields a staff. I laughed at some emoticons over top of the wolf enemy. Messages scrolled down the screen quickly before I could read them. Most enemies do not seem to move. Some items in the maze make some of the maze walls disappear.

Last up was Sneak. This game was made with LOVE. Your goal is to kill the bright green target. I killed it in my first try. But then you have to escape back up the stairs. I failed at that goal. Guards roam around. You see their flashlights. If the guards see you, you lose. One thing unusual about this game was that although the walls constrain your direction, you character can overlap the walls a bit. Strange.

In Search of Goblin Gold

Today I start out by playing 7DRL entry Goblin Gold. It has a hex style grid. That makes you move diagonally most of the time. The graphics are small but good. There is a health meter with hearts. I got killed pretty quickly initially. Then I figured that enemies leave you alone if you are far enough away from them. Your goal is to collect 16 chests.

Next I played Lost Valkyrie. Per the directions, you can apparently throw a spear. Looks like the game is written in Python. The read-me says the game was based on the code for Iron Fist. The game had a cool splash screen. I could not move diagonally. And I thought I heard some sounds from the game while I was in battle.

Finally I tried Forlorn Four. You name and play four different characters in a party. I could not figure out how to move unfortunately.

The RNG Rules

Today I played a couple 7DRL entries. First up I tried Scattered Dungeon. Unfortunately, all I saw was some number and a Load Game button. I pressed the button. Nothing happened. Same behavior in Internet Explorer and Firefox. Oh well.

Next was RNG. Now usually I do not prefer Roguelike games that have no maze. But this one was quite interesting. I start by clicking what looks to be a 20 sided die. You got to spin it in a square to the right. That takes you to the next stage where you allocate weapons, shields, and power to your ship. Be warned that larger dice can only fit in larger boxes.

Then you use the die again to move the game forward. There is graphical style battle with other ships. Outcome is determined by the dice. The only trouble I had with RNG was that I rolled a die into the flee box. I was not in a battle. But trying to flee when there was no enemy caused a random but powerful enemy to come and defeat me.

Finally I tried a game called "You Got Explosives". It was stored on Google docs.The read-me and the game exclaimed, "You are in a maze of twisty passages, all alike." LOL. Sounds familiar. The goal is to use explosives to blast your way out of the maze. Unfortunately I saw but never figured out how to use the explosives.

Phage is Hard

Okay another round of 7DRL games were tried. Started with Edwin's 7DRL. What a name. It did not run in Internet Explorer. Tried Firefox. Unity web browser started up. Eventually Firefox says, "Web audio API is not supported in this browser". I had to stop some script that was taking a long time to load. Never got the game to start.

Then I tried NoirRL. You play a detective who must raise cash for his brother's ransom. In this game you must explicitly open doors to get through them. I climbed the stairs up to New York city. You see what you have explored. Turns out the level extends to the end of the screen and no more. Therefore there is no scrolling. Unfortunately I could not figure out what to do in this game.

Finally I played Phage. An MSDOS style window stays open while the game runs. The font is small. But the graphics are cool. Unfortunately the game is way too hard. I died in my first battle each time I played. Then the monsters run around while I am dead. This could have been a great game with a little more balance.

Space Bears

Okay. So I thought I would give some more 7DRL games a go today. First up was the best one. It is called "Beware of the Space Bears". The terrain changes significantly when you walk outside your house. Multiple items can be stacked per spot. There was a 3D printer in one of the rooms. Unfortunately when I tried to use it, a menu came up and froze the game.

Next up was TradeWarsRL. This is supposedly based on an old BBS game called Tradewars. Your job is to go find and kill a Ferrengi ship. Aha. Sounds like a Star Trek mission. There is no visual map in this game. You got to enter coordinates for your ship to travel to. You also need to enter commands as well. Feels old school.

Last I tried Combat Chess. Sounds good as I like chess. Directions say all moves are to be made by mouse. Fine by me. Unfortunately the game bombs when I run it on my Windows 7 machine. Oh well.

We Have Graphics

My 7DRL entry RoguePac used standard ASCII graphics to draw things. Hey. That's how the original Rogue did things. So I followed suit. However while sampling all the games, I noticed a lot of sweet graphics. Time to up my game.

This coincided with me seeing a freely released Rogue Pack of graphic tiles by Kenney Vleugels. I had seen Kenney release other tiles for free before. Now there was no excuse of me not having artistic skills. I could use someone else's images.

The changes to my code were not too drastic. All the drawing happened in my paint handler in Visual Basic. Instead of composing strings of ASCII text that I write to the screen, I instead needed to draw images to the screen.

Eventually I should optimize the paint routine to use images I load when the program first loads. As it stands now, I reload the images every time the player moves. However there are only a handful of unique images I use.

Now things are looking up for my Roguelike. I think I shall declare this version 1.1. Who know? Maybe this is a start to improving my game. I really hope to improve my game development skills along the way.

Making it to the Promised Land

I tried out a couple more Roguelike entries from the 7DRL today. First up was The Chase. It seemed to be written in Python. There were some really nice graphic instructions on how to play. I was warned "you will die lots." They did not lie. There were graphic tiles for the game. I think you are the dude with the hat. The movement was really choppy. It distracted me.

Next I tried The Promised Land. Would not work in Internet Explorer. All I got was a message that said "please enable JavaScript." Worked fine in Firefox. Initially I was presented with a sign for a reward to capture a Negro. What? Is this the 1800s? Later I decide the Negro might be me. The maze screen is small. Messages for me are centered down on the bottom. I knock out some slaves by hitting them. I could wade in the water, but not go too deep. I explored the whole area. Could not figure out what to do next.

Finally I tried High Tech Survival. The download was slow to start. The files were allegedly hosted on Google docs. Unfortunately I kept getting a 415 error. The message said the requested URL was not found on the server. I had the same problem when I tried to download both of the versions referenced on the game page. Dead before I even started the game.

Save by the Cipher Trials

It has been rough going with these latest 7DRL entries. I tried one called Cinnamon Fins RL. It was slow to start. There were weird symbols in the maze. I pressed "n" for a new game. All I got from that was a big LOSE plastered over the screen. Then I tried to quit. Was forced to pressed ESC to make the program end.

Next up I tried Ponzu. It did not work in Internet Explorer. It did work in Firefox. Letter were clipped below the line, making it hard to read letters like p or q. What is there? There was no maze. I had to sell stuff. Ummm no.

Finally I got to Cipher Trials. This uses LOVE, which I assume is some library or framework. The directions say you get to make up to four mistakes per level. Use WASD to move. There was some weird perspective when moving through doors. Finally I got to open a book and see a bunch of symbols. Aha. It looks like I need to figure out what each of the symbols stands for. This could get interesting...

Not Too Lucky

I tried a couple more 7DRL games today. First was RoyaLe. It needed 1280x1024 resolution. That is just a bit too tall for my laptop screen. I needed to make an initial choice to start the game. Never figured out how to make that choice.

Next up was Dead Blinger. You play an imp. You need to pimp monsters with treasure. How is that for a change of pace? Trouble is, I could never find any treasure. I did find something. The game declared that it was "???". Umm the game does not even know what I picked up?

Finally I player Rogue For Hire. Game window was too tall for my screen. I played it anyway. The field of vision lit up nicely in the game. I was starting to get the hang of aiming. Then the game froze. Did I die? Did the program die? I will never know.

Famine Rogue

Last game I tried today was Famine Rogue. This one needs the Unity Player. When I move, it seems my food count decreases. Okay. I go and plant some food I think. There are no enemies on level one. I return home to end the day.

Day 2 has an enemy solider in the field. I kill him. Still planting food I guess? I return home to get to day 3. When day 3 starts, I find that I can harvest my crops. I get to eat my food. I am powering up. Even kill a couple more soldiers.

Next day in the game, I am back to planting crops. I die of starvation. Maybe I should switch up my tactics, and forget fighting soliders? Or perhaps I should make a bee line to home to get to day 3 before my food runs out. I don't know.

This game is fun in that it has a new twist.

Triple Fail

I tried a few more games tonight. First was SavageRL. It was hosted on itch.io. This was needed Unity Web Player, which I have. You start out on a hex board. You must click a hex location to select your zone. For some reason, my money count is decreasing on the upper right hand corner. After selecting a zone, the screen changes to some 3D view controlled by the keyboard. I could not get my bearing in this game. Quit before I ever found a monster to attack.

Next I tried Here Be Dragons 2. It requires Flash which I presume I have. The thing does not work in Internet Explorer nor Firefox. Oh well.

Last I tried Six Way Wanderer. There is a dude with a staff in the enter of the screen. Rotating around him are six icons. Okay. I guess those are the six ways? I could not figure how to get this game to even start. LOL. What a waste.

Couple More Duds

I played a couple new 7DRL entries today. First one was Malleus Goblinficarium. There did not seem to be any maze in this game. There were five dice on the bottom of the screen. Two dancing characters stood on two sides of what looked to be a fire. WTF is this?

Next up was Rogue Space Marine. It was made with Gamemaker Studio. I found a lot of files in the directory when I unzipped the thing. You got a space suit on. Looks like possible moves are highlighted in green. The bad guys shoot at you. I could never figure out how to attack them though.

Last game was Omicron. It is shared on a Google drive as an executable. This executable is a self-extractor for the game. Looks like it was written in Java and comes with its own JRE. It seems like you need to click to move with this game. My first enemy was a dragon. I could not figure out how to attack the darn thing. I gave up quick.

Ori, Ochi, Onoe

Now for something different. I was at the itch.io site, trying to download a 7DRL entry. I had heard about this site before. It seems to be a storefront for independent developers to sell their wares. I searched around the site and found "Ori, Ochi, Onoe". It is an interactive fiction game.

Okay. So the title of the game is three women's names. I start up the game. I figure the narrator must be one of the women. Then this naarator gets a girlfriend. Oh oh. Is this some type of lesbian literature? Turns out the narrator is a dude. Okay.

I like that the game makes it easy to save your progress. You use one of the available bookmarks. There is a lot of music. There are graphics for the different scenes. You mostly read text that you cycle through. Once in a while, a graphic of a person is superimposed on top of the background graphic.

Let's see where this goes. Maybe the three women are chicks that the narrator meets during the story.

RogueX is Fun

Today I started by playing RogueX. This game needs the Unity Web Player. I was happy that it worked in Internet Explorer for me. Another interesting fact is that the game was developed by a 13 year old. Nice.

The game purports to have random maze generation. However the dungeon looked too strategically draw to just be random. Either that, or there is a good routine to make the paths interesting. I have not died in this game yet. Is this due to my skills? Or maybe the game is not too hard. I like that.

There is an annoying development console which spits out messages that scroll up over top of the playing field. Buttons to close/clear it work temporarily until there are more messages. I could only see part of the development messages. I laughed when I saw one message state that "object reference not set to an instance of an ..."

The map is centered in this game. Normally that annoys me. But in this game it is fine. The little cherries are for health. Diagonal movements don't seem to work. And every time you go on top of stairs or armor, you got to use the mouse to answer the question of whether you want to go down or wield the armor. That is annoying.

All thing said, this game is really fun. Colors are nice. Game play is good. Feels balanced in my favor which I like. I wonder if I could just go on forever into the depths of RogueX?


The latest game I played today was Synthesizer. The web page had some ads on it. Maybe I should go click and make somebody some money? There were several versions of the game for different operating systems. I opted to play the web version.

The maze is in the bottom left hand corner of the screen. Two enemies engaged me in combat at the same time. I guess the squares with patterns in them must be the walls. Weird sounds were going on in the background as I played.

There was a "Pattern 001" label near the maze. And there were a whole bunch of controls all over the screen. Damn it. This is a game where you must read the instructions. Otherwise you are screwed. Somehow I think you must make good music in the game. Not sure how that affects the roguelike battles.

Ducksoup Dungeon

The splash screen for Ducksoup Dungeon makes it look like this is a Nintendo game cartridge. The game does not seem to work in Internet Explorer. You start by choosing a character. I did not have any gold. So my only option was to choose the duck. Press F to finalize your choice.

There is music playing in the background as you play. The lighting moves in and out like a heartbeat. It is a nice effect. I figured that you press D to jump and F to fire. This game feels like a black and white version of Super Mario Brothers. Maybe that is why they showed the Nintendo cartridge in the beginning.

Initially I felt like I was stuck in a small area. Then I figured that I needed to blast my way out. And I needed to press the up arrow key to go through the doors. Oh this is very Mario like. The quality on this one felt very strong. Almost like a commercial game. Quite something for a 7DRL.

Rolling Around on Roli

I made it to page three of the 2015 7DRL entries at Rogue Temple. This time around, most of the game I checked out actually worked. So let's talk about Roli. It requires the Unity Web Player, which I guess I must have already. Running the game made Windows ask me if I wanted Unity to modify my system. I let it make the changes.

The splash screen for Roli has a purple cube that rotates in 3D. Nice touch. Once I started the game, I saw the relevance. Apparently you are a purple jellybean that keeps moving on a rotating cube. If you fall in the holes that appear, you get assimilated by the cube. Is this the Borg?

It seems your goal is to run over the blue jellybeans. The counter on the screen indicates that I needed to capture all 18 blue jellybeans. I cannot say. I could never get all the jellybeans. This game is fun but hard. I can only imagine the game gets harder as you go along.

The purple jellybean moves in the direction it is going unless you change directions. This does not feel like a roguelike game. But it was nice to play.

When You Got To Go...

I tried out a couple more 7DRL entry games today. First up was Goblins-COM. This does not seem to be a turn based game. It is real time. The map was small. But it was cool looking. Unfortunately I could never figure out how to move, even when I consulted the instructions. Next.

Then I tried "I Need To Go". On the game site it was called "I Gotta Go". Oh boy. Your goal is to find the toilet, so you can go to the bathroom. Ha ha. The screen is really distracting. It took a long while to figure out where I was. The background colors change and the spotlight beams switch up. Very annoying actually. People get mad if they see you relieving yourself. I got thrown out of the bar every time. This game was good for a laugh or two. The unique thing about it, aside from the distracting screen, was that music played during the whole game. That's a nice touch.

Last up I tried Into The Darkness. It is distributed through itch.io. The game requires a modern browser. Of course it did not work in my Internet Explorer. But it did run in Firefox. The map moves to keep you centered. In my first battle, I got poisoned and died. Oh well. I had enough of that game.

7DRL Bad Luck All Around

Today I started by downloaded 7DRL entry APPA2. Not sure what that stands for. It unzips into a folder called WindowsNoEditor. What? I presume this thing uses the Unreal engine. Because it detected that I did not have the Microsoft Visual C++ runtime or DirectX. Luckily Unreal could download and install those required pieces.

APPA2 is played in a hex grid which I suppose is in space because I pilot some kind of ship. The whole grid shifts each time I move. Moving causes the ship to automatically fire lasers at close by enemies. The enemies come after you. After a battle or two I died. The movement seemed slow.

Next up I tried Theseus. This game is downloaded from itch.io. You got to find and kill the minotaur. Apparently the maze shifts as you play. I never really noticed because some bird killed me in my first battle. The same bird killed me in the first battle in my next two tries. Ack. This game is too hard.

Finally I looked at a game called Scroll. I laughed at the requirements for the thing. You need the Haskell platform. ncurses, a browser, and telnet. Well I got an old browser. But that is it. So I skipped this game. Having a bad day with the roguelike entries today.

Second Page. Second Stepper.

I got to the second page of 7DRL entries at rogue temple. First up is Second Stepper. You got to install the Unity Web Player for this thing to run. Okay. Level one has you finding a partner. LOL. Then you control both your player and your partner at the same time. There is an hourglass timer on the screen. No monsters on level one. Level two adds enemies that fire are you like the Asteroids arcade game.

Next up I tried Heart of Morning. It had MS-DOS style text screens. Felt very retro. The window for the game is a fixed size which was a distraction. I can't complain much because my own entry had a fixed window. There were a lot of monster encountered in this game. However I liked that I killed about 20 and am still alive. Some of the tunnels require diagonal movement to navigate. They are drawn strange in that you see the path for the tunnels, but not the walls on the sides. This feels very much like a class roguelike, which I enjoy.

Ardennes Redux

I tried playing Warden's Duty. At first I thought I was doomed because it requires a modern browser. The direction say to press enter. Pressing enter in Internet Explorer does nothing. However it did work in Firefox. There are some weird stats on the bottom of the screen like a fluctuating health bar. Not sure I fully understand the movement in this game. Sometimes I press a direction and nothing happens. Later I press a movement and see a huge font monster on the screen. The wonky movement just could not keep my interest.

Then I moved on to Adrennes. This was the first game I saw after finishing my own Roguelike. It was not finished then. Now it is done. Apparently it is based on a game called No Soldier Left Behind. And it shows. You choose a mission. You choose actions for each of your soldiers. The actions are cards. Sounds like a Risk or Conquest style board game. The mission I chose only gave me 24 moves to achieve my goal. Pressure on. I liked the fact that there are already post-7DRL bug fixes for this game.

Bad Luck in the Rogue Sector

I seem to be having a bunch of bad luck playing the 7DRL entries for this year. Started out with Random Action Arena. That's quite a name for a Roguelike. The requirements mentioned DirectX 9.0C. Not sure whether I got that on my machine or not. Turns out I must not. The game complained that X3DAudio1_7.dll was missing. Then it bombed.

Next up was the game Stay Strong. It is distributed as a raw executable. I like that. No installs. No unzipping. Just download and run. Windows warned me this was an unverified application. I went ahead anyway. The screen was small. But the font was big. Weird combo. I died in the first monster battle. Ouch. The funny thing was that the monster kept moving long after I was dead.

Finally I tried out Rogue Sector. I got excited when I started this thing up. You get to choose a ship. The three ship choices are rotating on the screen, waiting for you to choose. I picked the one with the best shields. I want to live as long as possible on my first run. You click on destination hex positions to move. Apparently all movement it by mouse. After a couple moves, the game froze. Damn.

Loving the Void Sanctum

All right. I tried out Conservation of Ninjutsu. Felt like deja vu. Internet Explorer complained about WebGL. Okay. I reverted back to Firefox. This game seemed to lock up my Firefox browser. The window would not respond to me. Oh well. I killed the browser and that was that for the game.

Then I downloaded Void Sanctum. Weird name. Great game so far. The center of the screen is your standard roguelike display. Except the colors are pretty nice. There are some other graphics around the border of the screen. I got to read a cool real looking scroll. It reminded me of the game Myst.

At first it felt like there were a lot of doors in the dungeon. The paths were constrained. Then I got past the scroll and the dungeon opened up. There was a lot of free space once I figured to pass the /// symbols, which must have been a door to the outside world.

There are a lot of things to like about Void Sanctum. There is a slick GUI for inventory management. You literally drag and drop items to the center of the screen to wield them. I also like the splattering of blood on the screen when you kill a monster. I got a lot more exploring to do in this game.

Feeling Dumb in DUMAZID

I went to the web page for the 7DRL game Firetail. The small animation on the page looked cool. The game is on a hex board. You battle ice. You leave a trail of fire. Very good. I downloaded and unzipped the file. Launched the thing. Got an impressive splash screen. But it did not fit on my screen. The mouse cursor turned into a crystal. But I could proceed no further.

Next I went on to DUMUZID. I liked that it was online. I really liked that it had instructions. The thing also had a leaderboard. Nice. I want to get my name up on there. The thing that is complicated is that the game changes the mechanics a bit. You absorb enemies. Your character becomes some kind of growing tetris object.

Unfortunately I had trouble figuring out the symbology on DUMUZID. I ended up getting killed a lot when I did not know what was happening. Never even found the stairs down to the second level. Believe me I tried. Oh well. I had fun trying at least. Onto some other new games.

Stuck in the Stygian Abyss

Okay. Time to check out other peoples' 7DRL entries. Saw a game that required MINGW. Not sure what that is. Probably means I don't have it. Next. Then I saw a game that required a certain version of Python and Pygame. I got both of those. But I have the wrong versions.

Then I spied Stygian Abyss. It just required a modern browser. That sounds like my kind of easy to install game. I pointed Internet Explorer to the URL. But I was informed "your browser does not support WEBGL". That's okay. I have Firefox for these kind of scenarios. Unfortunately Firefox infoemd me "your browser doesn't support the audio api". Ack. I clicked through anyway with Firefox.

Took a while to read the instructions on the screen. The font color matched the background color so it was hard to make out. I finally saw that WASD controlled directions. Aha. This thing is a first person perspective. I grabbed an item off the floor. But all I found were ends. I am supposed to use the mouse to turn around. Damned if I can figure out how to do that. Okay I give up.

The intro screen on Stygian reminded me of Dragons Lair. I was a bit excited at that level of splash screen polish. I bet if I could figure out the controls, I might have a good time with this one.

7DRL Complete

I built a release version of my Roguelike game RoguePac to my web server. Posted the link to RoguePac on the Rogue Temple page. Declared the thing finished there. I guess it is still early. There were over 150 games listed on the site. I think only a couple other ones were finished. Man I wish I had more time this week to work on the thing.

I saw a screen shot of another game that is in progress. The game is called Adrennes by someone named Lone Spelunker. I wonder how they put together those sweet graphics? And I see they have some type of hexagon board, if you could call it that. Hmm. Seems like some type of war strategy game. Let's hope that one gets completed this week so I can take it for a test drive.

Finishing Up My Roguelike

I decided to make the goal of my Roguelike game RoguePac to achieve character level 10 in the game. Yeah. That's not a grand quest. But it is good enough. The goal was not to make some type of ground breaking Roguelike. It was to get experience writing a real program using Visual Basic. Mission achieved. I am amazed at how much VB I have forgotten since I took a college class in it a year ago.

My finishing touch was to add an instructions screen that comes up when the game first starts. I want to give the player a fighting chance against this gang of ghosts. And that is to make sure the player knows how to move, and to inform them that they need to eat those power pellets. Sure this is not a Pacman game. But it is a Pacman style Roguelike.

I completed this year's challenge in a record two days. This week I am going to be busy with work. Could not get any time off this year. I wish I could spend a whole week diving in and producing a sweet VB implementation. But I guess that's what the 7DRL is all about. You don't get a lot of time. You got to make the hard decisions and produce something rather quickly. Perhaps I will know enough Python to write a Python Roguelike next year.

Roguelike Power Pellets

I have implemented the Pacman power pellets in my Roguelike game RoguePac. Initially I wanted the pellets to be round. But they were too hard to see in the maze. So I used "x" to mark the spot. Ghosts change their symbology when the player runs over the power pellet.

I let the ghost still chase the player, even when they are afraid. The played can just kill them with one hit then. I also let the ghosts respawn afraid. Makes my life easier. Also allow the ghosts to consume the power pellets themselves. They don't get any special powers. I just did not bother to implement a smart redraw to put the power pellets back after the ghosts ran over them.

There was some tricky updates to make sure all ghosts show them new afraid symbol. At first I thought I could just let the ghost move routine take care of it. But sometimes ghosts get stuck in the maze and do not move. So I wanted to make sure those ghosts changed their symbols too. So I just call a routine to force redraw of all ghosts when either a pellet is eaten, or the timer is up.

Now I am looking forward to determining how the player wins the game. I have been toying with the idea of a player leveling up to a certain level. That is not hard to code. It might feel lacking to the player. I figure they might want a more noble quest. I will sleep on it.

Multiple Enemies

Having implemented one monster that attacks the player, I then proceeded to code up multiple monsters. The basic algorithms stayed the same. I just needed to create an array of monsters. Then I converted anything that referenced the once ghost into an iteration over all the ghosts. This basically meant figuring out the index into the ghost array, and then using that index to get the specific ghost values.

Now with multiple ghosts, the game is harder. Eventually I want the player to be able to get some power pellets like Pacman. Then the ghosts should be trivial to kill for a while. However I think the next action is to implement level ups for the player. If the player can kill a lot of ghosts, then the level increases.

Hmm. Maybe the player can level up faster if they first eat the power pellets and kill the ghosts while they are weak. Decisions decisions.

Roguelike Battle Mechanics

My Roguelike game RoguePac is coming along quite nicely. Previously I had added the ability for the player to attack and kill the ghosts. Now the ghosts attack back. It is a delicate balance to figure out player and monster hit points to start. Also tough to balance how much damage each does. Things are going to get thrown out of whack when I add more than one monster.

I did add some messaging to help the player figure out what is going on in the midst of battle. For now I put all the messages for one iteration through the game on a single line. Let's hope that I don't overflow the width of the screen. I also added a statistics line which only has the player hit points for now. Last thing I did was make the game halt once the player dies.

Okay. I think it might be time to add a couple more monsters into the mix. That will make it harder for the player to hack and slash. I want the player to need to have some tactics to survive the RoguePac.

Roguelike Progress

Now that I had a player moving around my maze, I figured it was time to add some monsters. Well I decided to start with just one monster. If I could get that to work, I could then expand to an array of monsters processed with a loop.

I got down to business with general Roguelike mechanics. The monster cannot walk through walls. The monster tries to move towards the player. If there is a wall in the optimal direction, the monster will try another move in the general direction of the player.

After that, I thought it was a good time to start the battle mechanics. I got the player to start hitting the monster. With enough hits the monster dies and respawns somewhere else in the maze. Now I just need the monster to hit back. Oh yeah. I also need to add some messaging to alert the player what is going on.

7DRL Progress Day 1

All right. This afternoon I got down to business. I studied up my notes from my Visual Basic college class. Then I reviewed about ten small programs I wrote. I thought I was ready to go. Then I tried to display my maze and found that I did not know how to display ASCII graphics on the screen. Doh!

Well Google is my friend. I found the bare bones idea on how to manually paint the screen of a Visual Basic form. So I was off to the races. Got some text to show up. Then I created an array to hold the contents of my dungeon. Success.

Next I draw the character player. Finally I tried to implement moving the player. The screen was flickering bad when I refreshed the screen to show the new position of the player. Oh no. Luckily a Google search helped me figure out that I needed to turn on double buffering.

Good start for day one. The only trouble I see is that I got to go to work every day this week. So I had better make a lot more progress tomorrow. Maybe I will get up early? And do a little each day after work. One last day to clean up, and I should have a basic roguelike going on.

7DRL Begins

All right. It is time once again to write a roguelike game in seven days. This year I plan to have a Pacman based theme. I will call my game RoguePac. Initially I thought I might be able to write my game in the Python programming language. However I am still learning it. And I don't think I can pump out something that draws a dungeon within a week.

I do like to use the 7DRL challenge to push myself to learn something new. Therefore I think I shall write the game in Visual Basic. I took a community college class in VB around a year ago. Did a lot of small programs to learn during the class. Never did create that big project outside of the class. Now is the time.

Good luck to all in the 7DRL challenge. Today is the first day. But I already say around 120 project registered on Rogue Temple. Impressive. Let's hope we see some good stuff this year.