Stay Strong (Success!)


Here’s the game:


(This is a gif, click on it to see the game in action)

It’s an experimental, minimalist survival roguelike with a few simple mechanics. You can move with the arrow keys, and you can smash walls and enemies by collecting exclamation points and bumping into them. The goal is to escape the deadly forest without being killed by its bloodthirsty inhabitants.


I hadn’t planned on making a 7DRL. In fact, I didn’t even know the event was upcoming. By sheer luck I happened to be working on an ASCII game called Road Drivin’ in GameMaker (which I may still finish) and it made the perfect base for a roguelike. When I found out about 7DRL I decided to backburner Road Drivin’ for a week and crank out a quick game.

I had been messing around with Road Drivin’ for a while, implementing mechanics like blood pools that leave a trail when you walk through them, basic chase AI, smashable terrain, and so on, so I had a pretty good foundation to work from.


  1. Added a bit of code to convert the game from real time to turn based
  2. Added the exclamation point pickups
  3. Put in a few debug features so I could quickly test new features
  4. Added randomly placed enemies and items
  5. Added an endgame feature with a rudimentary scoring system.

If you’d like to see the actual development of the code, I uploaded each feature commit to github:


The dev stages above don’t sound like much, but the devil is in the details as they say. There were a few nights where I was up late trying to get procedural enemy generation working without crazy crashes, and even one night where I stayed up until 3:30AM trying to implement an external file system for loading levels from text files, only to fail. As a result, the static rooms are completely hard coded with conditionals.

There were a lot of ideas I didn’t get to implement that I think would make Stay Strong into a pretty deep game, but I’ll have to wait and see if it gets any positive feedback before I commit myself to it.

Making Stay Strong for 7DRL was a lot of hard work in a short time, but it was a great experience. I had been feeling a bit guilty about just cleaning up the engine code of Road Drivin’ without actually making a game, and 7DRL was the perfect motivator for getting a game done without too much worry about polish.

Hope you enjoy it!

Love, Ashley Pringle

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