The Promised Land, my first roguelike

I’ve been meaning to make a proper roguelike for a while.

I traditionally use Gamemaker for projects (I have been for nearly 9 years), but it’s not the best program for the kind of light, graphically stripped down game that roguelikes usually are. I always wanted to use ASCII graphics, but with GM, using ASCII would be literally more trouble than using sprites, which somewhat defeats the purpose.

After I learned javascript, I mocked up a couple roguelikes, but they never even got past engine stage. One even had a pretty nifty level generator, but I could never get line of sight working properly, so I eventually abandoned that as well.

When one of the people I follow on twitter mentioned 7DRL,  I thought it a great change to finally make one of these. I wasn’t without apprehension however. I’ve done many 72 and 48 hour jams in the past, but 7 days is in a way more difficult, because you have to maintain interest and not get burned out over a time period two or three times as long. I tried 7DFPS last year, but came out with little more than the 3D collision engine I’d come in with.
I mentioned in a tweet that I would bet $50 I’d lose motivation and give up. Well, I owe myself $50, because not only did I finish, I could have worked for another few days as well. There’s just so much to add that I didn’t get a chance too. I had grand plans for an epic final challenge at the Canadian border, special items with unique properties, and a much larger item pool. Time, however, is a cruel mistress.
It’s not all bad. I did manage to include lots of alcohol (My game’s version of potions), and while programming it, an unintended element emerged, which is always a fun experience. 4,358 lines of javascript + change in HTML & css later, and the game is complete.

While I’m here, I’ll just plug my game. It was made mostly in a weird stress-induced haze, and it includes many bugs, but it’s done, and I’m proud of it. Go play it now if you like.

In the end, I had a lot of fun, and I made a game that I’m pretty happy with.  If I have the time, I’ll see you all next year!

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