This year is my 5th time participating in 7drl. I wanted to make a zombie survival game inspired by The Walking Dead. The thing I like about TWD is the interesting characters, especially villains. The most important choice the characters have to make is often to who to let into their group.
So the primary goal was to make a party roguelike with interesting procedural characters (not all of who you necessarily want in your group).
In Zurvivors, you start as a parent and their child. Your goal is to get the child to safety, even if the parent doesn’t make it along for the ride. As you wander the wilderness, you encounter pack of zombies, roving gangs who want to kill you, and desperate survivors who want into your group. Taking in the wrong people could be disastrous.
Over the previous 4 challenges, I’ve done pixel art, simple shapes, and ASCII. Instead I decided to try out an interesting quasi-3d technique I had read about last year. Zurvivors has NO 3d models, at least not in the traditional sense. Rather each tile is composed of up to 100 distinct 2D layers that can be rotated and shifted independently. For Procjam I made a tool that generates trees out of layers and I reused the code to generate trees and buildings for Zurvivors.
Performance wise, it’s not spectacular… at least with each tile being composed of one hundred 256×256 pixel textures. But it seemed to work well enough for a turn based game. The benefits are pretty nice though. No 3D modeling and yet I get a reasonable 3D effect, plus shadows come along for free.
One other graphics win: I drew the ground tiles using GIMP. It turns out the “Make Seamless” feature is awesome for making tiles.
Some cool features this year:
- A day/night cycle with increased zombie activity at night.
- Road system. Driving is great if you have the gas.
- Individually modeled appendages that can get broken, bitten, or amputated.
- Complex emotion system. Do something bad to one of your group members may result in people who like them hating you.
Things that didn’t work out great:
- The combat is a little hard to understand and, well, way hard right now.
- As usual, the scope was way too big. There were several features I didn’t get implemented. A bunch of traits have been left unimplemented, but they sort of work as flavor.
You can play Zurvivors here.
Dumuzid is finished and it’s playable in your browser.
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Dumuzid is an abstract, 1HP roguelike. It’s got a bit of an ancient Sumerian theme, but it’s lightweight.
The idea behind this game was: what if the player/monsters weren’t just 1 tile wide? In the above screenshot, the player consists of 23 tiles. This can lead to some crazy situations.
One cool thing about the game is that it should be really easy to get into. EVERYTHING is accomplished through 4-directional movement. Once in game, there are no menus, modals, or text whatsoever. That doesn’t mean the game is shallow. In fact, there are 7 spells and an inventory (and that’s without any HUD or menus)! The combat can be surprisingly tense. The mechanics might be a little weird, but this year I caved and wrote a “How to play” which can be viewed from the title menu.
There’s a score system too and I spent most of the last day adding really cool leaderboards.
This is my 3rd 7DRL (previously I made Golden Krone Hotel and A False Saint, An Honest Rogue). I’ve already been told this game is more compelling than my last one. Go figure.
Protip: use a library if you can. I used rot.js this time and instead of pulling my hair out I’m finishing 14 hours early.
A few notes on Golden Krone Hotel:
I’ve written a postmortem. I was happy with the overall product, but I made some big mistakes too.
I’ve released v1.2. It addresses several common complaints:
- Support for smaller window sizes: 980×530 and 800×360
- Green Man strength capped. No more 300 damage hits! 🙂
- Potions can be described in the potion menu.
- Potions are no longer shuffled (I had a good reason to do this to start, but I don’t think it’s worth the hassle)
If you’ve been putting off playing because of resolution or some annoyances with the game, now would be a good time to try it out. It’ll probably be the last update I make.
I also want to mention a couple Let’s Plays. Game Hunter did a good job covering GKH:
And if you’re not bothered by profanity, this is a really fun romp through the tower:
Having just beat my game at 4:30am for the first time, I can now say success!
I’ve wanted to make a game about killing vampires with sunlight beaming through windows/holes in walls for a while. It was a lot harder than I expected to make that the focus of the game though. Mainly because of the layout required (if you don’t have a complete open floor, only the far edges get the sunlight) and also because it’s such a weird concept that I clearly had trouble getting my testers to care about that mechanic.
So it’s partly about the sunlight but more-so about playing as a character that switches back and forth between vampire and human. I’m sure this has been done to death, but I had a fun time implementing it. And this year I really tried to make as hardcore a roguelike as I could (instead of just a PDL).
Probably the coolest part of the game is the dynamic lighting. There is sunlight that beams in from the outside and torches that flicker. You can even toggle the torches depending on what you want to do. Hint: turning them off helps when you’re a vampire.
There’s a semblance of a story in there too, but don’t worry about it because the writing is complete shite. Sadly, the mini-bosses and potion crafting never made it in. But I did waste a decent amount of time screwing around with bfxr, so there’s cute sound effects.
Here’s the link.
Game Hunter is doing a bang-up job with reviewing 2013 7DRLs. He’s already posted 6 reviews and the last one was for my game. As I don’t seem to be showing up on any “check out at least these 5-10 games” lists, here is my shameless plug:
In all seriousness, Game Hunter is pretty clever. He certainly made sense of 86856527 faster than I could and he quickly noticed things about my game that my testers never figured out. Even so, there are still some confusing aspects of the game (that’s the joy of RLs, right?) I posted some more tips in the comment section.
I’m not completely sure what constitutes a “success”, but I’m fairly happy with what I have. “A False Saint, An Honest Rogue” is a wilderness survival game. Instead of health, you have to manage your body temperature, along with a hunger clock. I should also point you to ColdRL. Pretty funny that we both have “core body temperature” indicators. Some of the features I’m proud of:
- Day/night cycle, which is central to game play.
- A robust clothing system (in place of armor). Allows layering.
- Lots of neat items
The main problem I had (besides staying up until 5am adding new features at the last minute) was balance. It was way too hard for anyone I had test it, but if I turned down the difficulty at all, I felt it was too easy. I don’t know how anyone does it! Also, not having “enemies” leaves a pretty big game play gap that is hard to fill.