All posts by darrengrey

About darrengrey

Host of Roguelike Radio, maker of small tactical roguelikes, writer for many games.

7DRL2014 – 26 Quick Highlights

With 132 successful 7DRLs at the latest count it can be hard to know what to play… Well, I’ve not played them all, but from what I’ve played and what I’ve read from others the following are 26 that you shouldn’t miss. It’s by no means an exhaustive list, and doubtless I’ve missed out on some hidden gems. Also some of them are more “interesting” to me than being brilliant games. In no particular order:

DataQueen – Shameless self-promotion, but I’m pretty happy with my entry this year and have had universally positive feedback on it! Very intense tactical game with hex grids.

TraumaRL – From the creator of PrincessRL comes another meaty and detailed game. Hard to believe this was made in 7 days! Interesting bits of story, very well polished procedural design, and a lot of replayable fun. This will keep you entertained for a lot longer than a week.

Here Be Dragons – Nice look and feel, uses party members a bit like equipment.

Hellspace – Beautifully polished sci-fi crawler. Nothing too innovative, but a very solid playthrough.

Creek Hero – Fish eat fish and changing size and growing in power. It’s weird and fun.

The Littlest Princess – Run away from a ghost to get keys for doors in a tight little puzzley game. Very cute, nicely challenging.

KRAXLN – Rock-climbing puzzley game. Not much depth, but fun whilst it lasts.

Voronoiance – Voronoi diagrams based roguelike with 1HP mechanics. Hard but satisfying.

Dice Mines – Crazy cool game where you instruct a massive party of disposal heroes.

Ragtag – Very tight and tactical game where you control 3 monsters tag-team style to kill adventurers. Nice use of enemies getting stronger as a “hunger clock”.

Power Grounds – Tiny level, every move counts game where spells are attached to grid squares.

Goldfish – Pretty ASCII browser game. Not a lot of depth, but still fun.

Impera – 1HP game where you have to carefully position yourself with respect to enemies to avoid getting hit. Beautifully minimalist.

Succession – Take over enemies and use their abilities. Not quite as good a take on this as last year’s Possession but still very fun.

The Smith’s Hand – Sell adventurers equipment as they race off to their death. A bit slow-paced, but returning to the world of Vicious Orcs makes it interesting.

Fida’i – Stealth game, nicely intense. Cone FOV is annoying, but the other mechanics work well.

Variablo – Shift parts of the level around and defeat spawning enemies. Very nice graphics and animations.

Third Planet – Cool space RL where you gain momentum as you move around. Planning turns is tricky.

Dungeon Dual – Co-op game but turn-based and asynchronous. Not the best multiplayer implementation ever, but interesting in its own way.

Eden Sector – Really big sci-fi game with lots to do. Based off Approaching Infinity.

Shit Crimson – Joyfully titled game with an interesting modular spell system.

Golden Krone Hotel – Lure vampires into daylight to kill them. Become a vampire yourself to cast spells and suck blood. Awesome!

Rogue Station – Deal with oxygen breaches and invading monsters in a sci-fi RL.

FlappyRL – Turn-based FlappyBird. Gets old quick, but for that initial few plays it’s very cool :)

Wild West Roguelike – Title says it all – this game is really cool.

FavRL – A whole roguelike in a 16×16 pixel favicon. Nicely done!

Sorry to any great games that I missed – I’ll try and get more highlights listed later.

DataQueen – Success and Update

DataQueen, my 7DRL, was a success! I finished on Saturday night but haven’t got round to posting here yet. The game is hacking and insect themed, based partly on the board game Hive, set on a hexagonal grid. You can download it here: Windows | Linux32 | Linux64 | OSX

I’m extremely pleased with how the game has turned out. It contains many novels concepts, and they gel together really well. The interesting stuff:

  • You have no hit points, instead you die if you get surrounded
  • Enemies don’t hurt you, but they all have unique abilities to harass or annoy you
  • You have free movement on green grids, and create green grids as you move about (enemies destroy them)
  • You have different attacks based on your direction of attack – these are linked into a “hex wheel” of different powers, and every turn the wheel spins. You have to get into the right position with respect to the enemy to land the right attack.
  • As you progress you get new powers and can customise your hex wheel.
  • Progressing involves hooking up different parts of the level with green grids and destroying the bosses. The bosses are challenging and fun :)

I also think it looks pretty nice :) A ToME community member kindly did the UI artwork for me, which gives it some lovely polish.

I’ve just updated the game to give it a score system and a couple of minor tweaks. The score system I may change later… Anyway, here’s some screenies:

Feedback very welcome! I might try to polish up the game even more.

7DRL Evaluation Results released!

Many moons it has been since the 154 7DRLs were released, but slavering in the background have been an army of 39 reviewers desperately playing these labours of love and scribbling little notes on sheets. After this long process we have finally collated a set of reviews and scores for almost every 7DRL made this year. I present you with our glorious offering:

http://www.roguetemple.com/7drl/2013/

Some notes on using the site:

  • Reviews are subjective and based on personal opinion – take them with a pinch of salt! As a rule of thumb anything with a 2+ is considered good.
  • Click on column heading to re-sort by that value
  • Click on score values to see detailed review/justification information in the bottom pane
  • Some of the game links may be outdated – let us know if you find any errors
  • 75% of games have 3 reviews, and 33% have 2 reviews, 423 reviews total
  • No one was able to get 10bar Roguelike or Random Chance running :(

Special thanks go out to Jo Bradshaw and Xecutor who did 40 and 39 reviews respectively! Also thanks to GameHunter for doing videos of almost every 7DRL – links to specific game videos are next to the reviews.

There are a lot of real gems in here, and a huge amount of variety, showing the roguelike scene is as fresh as vibrant as it has ever been. Do go try some of these great games, and give feedback to the devs after their hard work.

Mosaic 1.1 – the obligatory post-7DRL bugfixes and tweaks

The game is now complete!  Well, in truth I’ve had a few new ideas, but this release settles everything designed into the game originally.  Players should find the Es more manageable, but may find more challenge elsewhere.  The music is also a little less painful.  Downloads and full release notes:

http://www.gamesofgrey.com/blog/?p=292

Have fun!  And any feedback is greatly appreciated.

7DRL Reviewers Needed!

With a record-smashing number of 7DRLs completed this year the traditional bunch of reviewers just can’t cope. So we’re looking to expand our ranks to include a lot more people from the roguelike community to help review all of the 7DRLs made this year. What we’re looking for:

  • Experienced roguelike players or developers, especially those with good knowledge of 7DRLs
  • You must be willing to spend at least an hour a game on at least 10 games, chosen at random, that may be shite or buggy or hard to get running with poor instructions etc
  • You must give objective ratings from 1-3 on 6 areas (see http://www.roguetemple.com/7drl/2012/ for examples) with short written justifications for each
  • Write an overall description of the game, that is both informative for players and constructive for the developers
  • A RogueTemple account so you can join in lively discussion on the private subforum

Sound like something that interests you? Then please fill in this form: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1SHU4UCAnBuXqsZP6X_9K-aP2iqzxrBpKUQMNIsKkLfM/viewform and help make history!

Mosaic complete! Grab your tiles and raise your batons…

Mosaic is successfully complete! And it’s everything I wanted it to be :D You lay down tiles with your movements, and enclosing areas fills them in with tiles, killing enemies within. In the last hours I managed to cobble together a procedural music engine that generates sounds based one the position of mosaic tiles on the map – AND IT SOUNDS AMAZING! Maybe I’m skewed because I thought it would sound awful, especially since I know nothing of audio or music theory…

More details and the downloads for Windows/Mac/Linux. Hover over the ‘?‘ in-game for detailed instructions, or look at the spoilers in the Escape menu for more details.

Too lazy to download? Okay, here’s a video:

Mosaic – Testers Needed

Mosaic is now already at what I can call a complete state, but I have 12 hours left and I’m still looking to add more polish, in particular sounds. However what I could dearly do with right now is an idea of game balance, and for that I need playtesters! Here’s the current build:

http://gamesofgrey.com/games/mosaic-alpha.zip (Windows standalone)
http://gamesofgrey.com/games/mosaic-mod-alpha.zip (module folder only to work with T-Engine 1.0.0)

It’s a quick game and easy to get into, so I’d appreciate anyone giving it a quick whirl. Let me know how far you get, how easy/hard/boring you find it, and what you think of the enemy balance.  Having tested myself I feel it’s exactly the right level of difficulty, but I’ve made the serious mistake in the past of thinking that’s fine for other people :/

The only known bug at present is the laying of a superfluous tile on level change. This has been there from day 1 and in spite of many hours of effort I haven’t managed to fix it! It doesn’t change game balance at all, but it’s quite annoying >:(