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.
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 🙂
The 234 reviews rate and assess the games by established review categories, and are a great way of highlighting some of the top content produced each year. Anything scoring above a 2 average is generally worth checking out!
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 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 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: