Combo Unlikely – success

I finished my 7DRL Combo Unlikely. It’s “done” but not very fun.

I was able to try out a couple ideas, which I’m fairly happy with:

  • Create combos from sets of powers, effects, and actions.
  • Use hearts as health, pickups, mana for your combos, and to purchase upgrades.
  • Simple elemental system with fire, earth, water, and air. They can be combined and used to attack or summon. When combined incorrectly (eg, fire+water) it blows up and damages you and everything nearby.
  • Simple emotion system with anger, fear, sleep, and charming. When combined incorrectly (any two different ones), it blows up and causes either of those or confusion to you and everyone nearby.

And a few things I’m not happy with:

  • I was using some artwork that I didn’t realize until a couple hours ago is licensed in a way such that I can’t share the source.
  • Not fun.
  • The UI isn’t very good to look at or use and took a lot of what little time I had.
  • Very little is explained in the ui. Who is weak to fire damage? Who is strong vs poison? What the heck kind of monster is that? How much health to enemies have?
  • I no longer have a Windows machine so it is Mac only and you can’t build it yourself due to licensing.
  • Not even close to being balanced. Or maybe it is – I didn’t playtest enough to know for sure.

I’ll write up something better later, but I’m kinda bummed out and bored with it all.

Combo unlikely, day 1

What a day! I did way more than I planned on doing.

As the name suggests, this year I’m focusing on combos and regretting past choices that are not available now because of your past hubris.

Combo-wise, you can bump to attack for 1 damage, or chose a combo for much more damage and other effects. You have a set of Powers that mostly determine the strength of your combo (+6, +4 &  poison, +2 & fire, etc), a set of Effects that mostly determine the minor effects of your combo (fire, x2 power, swap places, etc), and a set of Actions that mostly determine the shape of your combo (circular attack, cross attack, summon, etc). Chose one of each to make a combo.

Regret-wise, anything used in a combo becomes unavailable until you use all your combos. So a “x2 fire” effect would be perfect right now, but you used it 2 turns ago so all you’re left with is a “+2” effect.

Example possibilities:

  • +4 fire circular attack
  • 8 x2 rain
  • summon 6+5 fire
  • +6 knockback X-shaped attack

Also, You can play with the mouse or keyboard.

I also added basic races (humans add nothing, lizardfolk add poison, fairies add magic) and classes (elementalists add fire, earth, water, & air effects; gladiators add more combat actions, shadow mages add more sneaky and random actions). I’m sure the details are going to change a lot over the next few days but the basics are there.

Overall, an excellent day.

Dungeons of cards day 2

Cards! Packs! Merchants!

Also doors.

Dungeons now have some cards scattered around on the floor. Gold, Attack +1, and Defense +1. There’s also rare packs of cards (attack pack, defense pack, rogue pack, priest pack, etc) that can be picked up.

a gold card

Each level also has a merchant that has a pack that you can buy cards from.

a merchant

It’s a neat mix: if you want a better deck then you need to pick up gold cards, but gold cards themselves don’t do anything but make your deck less useful. Reminds me of Dominion and Thunderstone.

buy stuff

Dungeons of cards day 1

What a phenomenal day! I’m not sure if it’s because this is my 6th 7DRL or because I’ve been playing around with Unity recently but I accomplished way more than I expected to. There’s now a simple level generator, a mix of enemies with a simple ai, a good deal of UI polish, and cards!

The basic idea for this one is to mix deck building and roguelike gameplay. So you will start by picking a couple “packs” to start your deck with and collect more cards along the way. Every time you move a card is drawn from your deck; attack cards go to your attack pile, defense cards to your defense pile, and others into your hand. If any of those is over the limit, then the oldest cards are discarded. Once you run out of cards to draw, your discard pile is reshuffled into your draw pile. Attack and defense piles are resolved when you bump into someone. It’s fast and versatile and seems to work well enough so far.

cards etc.

Here’s the enemies I have so far:

  • Lizard people have slightly lower stats but come in varieties with good attack or defense cards.
  • Undead have slightly lower health but will dump disease cards into your hand which force you to discard when drawn.
  • Plant creatures can use fewer cards but will dump cards into your hand which do nothing but take up space. They also have a lot of cards that regenerate health or draw more cards.

Sometimes the UI gets a bit cluttered when attacking so I’ll have to figure out a better way of showing which cards are played when a bunch are played at once. Here I attacked a mushroom thingy that had Plant armor, Plant armor, and Defense +1 in its defense pile. It sill died though. But the plant armors dumped two Leafs into my draw pile so it will slow me down.




Screen Shot 2015-03-14 at 5.51.39 PM

I added some more minor gameplay and ui tweaks and reworked the level generator. I like it much more now. Also added spike walls that instantly kill anything that bumps into them (or is bumped into them) and a single health potion on each level. It seems like it should be easy, but I keep dying.

I could add more but I tried my idea and it’s kind of fun and I’ve got a week’s worth of cleaning and laundry to catch up on.


Terrible Clojure source on github:

Download the jar:


Creatures are now more varied and dangerous.

At the beginning of each game a list of creature prefixes and postfixes are shuffled then matched up to create a list of creatures that show up in the dungeon. If you’ve ever played Smallword, then it works like that.

Screen Shot 2015-03-13 at 7.18.56 PM
Knockback zombies just keep getting back up.


Screen Shot 2015-03-13 at 11.02.28 PM
A web guard about to get punched.


Also, a bunch of UI tweaks, insomnia-fueled refactoring, and other minor stuff.