All posts by darrengrey

About darrengrey

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

http://7drl.roguetemple.com/

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.

7DRL 2015 reviews now live!

128 games were created in this year’s Seven Day Roguelike Challenge, and through the effort of a large and dedicated team of reviewers they have now also been thoroughly reviewed and appraised! You can find the reviews here:

http://roguetemple.com/7drl/2015/

Games were awarded a score of 1-3 in categories of Completeness, Aesthetics, Fun, Innovation, Scope and Roguelikeness. Most games got at least 2 reviews, and the top 50+ games got 3 reviews each.

Note that the process isn’t perfect, and is not used to select a “winner”, but more helps separate the top and bottom half of the field whilst giving useful feedback to the developers. If a game got a score of 2 or higher than it’s likely well worth your time to go play it!

FireTail – success!

FireTail gameplay
The fire spirit facing off against the Queen of Ice

In FireTail you play the last spirit of fire, battling against unending legions of ice, and ultimately against the dreaded Queen of Ice. You can download for Windows, Mac and Linux here:

And wow, what a week! It started with recovering from an ear operation, and on Friday my computer decided to explode. I managed to break the T-Engine in new and interesting ways, but thankfully the angelic DarkGod came to the rescue and sorted out my weird bugs. What’s been a big highlight this year is getting such a polished looking game, in no small part thanks to the wonderful work on Oryx, providing me with custom tiles for the enemies and terrain.

Some interesting features of the game:

  • You leave a trail of fire as you walk. The number of neighbouring fire tiles determines what powers you enact.
  • You have free movement on fire squares, making the fire tail of important tactical advantage.
  • Progression is based on the fire tail – when you level up you assign skills to the lengths of the tail, changing what skills are triggered when you’re surrounded by x fire tiles. The higher the number the more effective the skill, but the harder it is to get into a position to use them.
  • You die if you get surrounded in ice terrain or ice enemies. Positioning and freedom of movement is vital in combat.
  • 7 levels, 6 interesting bosses, and a bunch of enemies all with their own powers.

I’ll do a video showing off some bits of the game when I get a chance. For now please download, enjoy, and give feedback!