7DRL 2018 dates announced for 3-11 March

With the dawn of a new year we have a new 7DRL Challenge on the horizon! The Challenge week has been set for 3rd-11th March 2018.

This year we have forgone the usual voting for dates, as it always produces predictable results of the latest date option being chosen. Instead we are now following a rule of trying to hold the challenge in the first full week of March, with an exception being made whenever this clashes with GDC.

More information can be found on the 7DRL 2018 Challenge page.

7DRL 2017 Reviews Published

Each year a committee of reviewers goes through the successful games from the challenge and gives them ratings on various factors. This helps give developers useful feedback, whilst also sorting out the the cream of the crop for players. The 2017 7DRL reviews are now complete! Check them out, play the heck out of the highlights, and show some love to the developers in the process 🙂

There’s also a 7DRLs 2017 episode of Roguelike Radio, a new series of weekly 7DRL-playing threads at r/roguelikes, and a whole bunch of video Let’s Plays of this year’s games!

The Trapped Heart v1.1 released

I’ve released an update to my 7DRL The Trapped Heart. A big reason for this was to fix a bug in level generation that could sometimes leave the player starting in an unconnected area – a big problem! Beyond that I also noticed through videos of play that people really struggled to understand some of the new mechanics going on, so I’ve made some player behaviours simpler, improved the descriptions, added some UI improvements and added a series of tips on death

The death tips are pretty interesting as they depend on how you’ve been playing and what situation you die in. They also keep a track of what tips you’ve received in previous games to reinforce messages – you’ll never see the same message twice, but you might receive barely polite reminders!

Download for Win/OSX/Linux through itch.io:

The game has turned out to be a lot more challenging for people than expected, yet I personally find it to be way too easy! I’ll see how people find the difficulty once people play it more with the clear tips.

I’d like to do more on the story side but that’ll probably wait for a while.

Full change list for v1.1:

* New: Dungeon name announced on entry
* New: Particle effect to show when slowed
* New: Tooltip on player to show current abilities and status
* New: Pause upon death to make death situation clearer
* New: Tips on death based on gameplay
* Bugfix: All levels now assured to be connected
* Bugfix: Various typos and poor descriptions corrected
* Gameplay: Changed arcing to attack a wider range of targets
* Gameplay: Changed earthquake to be more symmetrical
* Gameplay: Tweaked Bro-Knight summons
* UI: Changed text colours to be more readable
* UI: Updated help text to make clearer
* UI: Changed descriptions of air magic to be more consistent
* UI: Changed shield appearance to be more symmetrical
* UI: Tweaked title screen image
* Performance: Reduce particle count on shields

The Trapped Heart – 7DRL 2016 Success

The Trapped Heart is a hex-based roguelike where enemies have directional shields. You need to arrange attacks from the right directions to kill them. Download from itch.io (ignore the price request):

I didn’t get all I wanted done this week, and the artist I had on board didn’t manage to make any enemy sprites (hence my shoddy artwork in the game). But I had a lot of fun designing the mechanics and interesting enemies and bosses to fit with the mechanics. The enemies combine to make for really thoughtful gameplay, having to carefully choose how to attack to bypass their shields, and some of the bosses produce terrific moments of challenge.

Attacks come in two methods – with lightning bolts and earthquakes. Bolts cause damage in a single direction, and may arc to other enemies in a clockwise direction. Earthquakes push enemies away, potentially slamming them into walls or other enemies and hitting them at a more vulnerable rear. You can upgrade both ability sets by killing bosses.

The aim of the game is to rescue your counterpart elemental spirit, but it won’t be as simple as marching through the game… The true ending is a little puzzle to unlock and requires more clever and more difficult play!

The Trapped Heart gameplay

The big piece missing is the story, which is there in parts but lacks the detail I was after. In particular the game doesn’t achieve my objective of having an Undertale-inspired multi-layered story that plays out across numerous runs. Oh well, here are some more pictures:

The Trapped Heart roguelike gameplay
Fighting a giant slug in the swamp
The Trapped Heart
Some cave critters
Knights of Undying Friendship
The Knights of Undying Friendship! Alas, without the many dialogue permutations I had hoped to include

7DRL Registration page is now open

Register your game’s details here:


You can update your details later and mark your 7DRL successful or not-quite-successful at the end of the week.

Note that registering is not the same as declaring when you start the challenge – it’s up to you at what point in the weekend you do that.

And don’t forget to post about your game and updates here!

[EDIT:] Post a comment here, or email me@tomlarsen.org, if you have any difficulties creating an account, logging in, or posting on this community blog.