Switch Hook – 7DRL 2016 Success

You can download Switch Hook from itch.io (I can’t insert itch.io widget here for some reason).

In the game you control a hero equipped with a switch hook. This fancy device lets you switch places with monsters dealing them some damage on the way. When there are few monsters on a level and they are weak and slow, you can use the hook like a ranged weapon without much thought, but later in the game you’ll need to choose a right target each turn and use walls, columns and passages to avoid enemies’ attacks. There are 20 tiny levels and 8 types of monsters in the game. All monsters except basic “undead warriors” have some uniques features, for example some of them can’t be damaged by the hook and others explode when they die.


I keep tinkering with the game and since the first release some cosmetic features were added: a title screen, sound effects, saving and loading etc. I’m going to try to publish Android and iOS versions, although I haven’t yet managed to run it on iPhone :-/

sc0 sc1 sc2 sc3

Here is a nice video created by Rogueliker:

The Prancing Bard – Day 7 & Success


Day 5 & Day 6 I was off for work.

On Day 7 I included a very basic Highscore Mode, where you just fight monsters until they can overwhelm you and your highscore gets saved with your name. Very simple mode, pretty difficult, as monsters swarm you eventually and for moving in a pattern is less and less space. The implementation is quite rough code-wise, the highscore .txt file can be edited with notepad, but it does the job.

I realized on the last day, that all my mechanics with finding a notes in the melody of the world is relying on identifying colors. As colorblindness in not particularly rare, I added a switch to change the colored notes to colored alphabetic characters. I hope this makes things easier and it reveals by the way how the game mechanism is setup in the code: every note is a string a,b,c,… and the melody of the world is a string and the bard song is also a string.

if bard_song in melody: … pretty simple

Several dictionaries translate ‘a’ to ‘purple note’ then.

Last but not least I switched from py2exe to pyinstaller for generating an executable and pyinstaller is very nice once it runs.

I am happy to have succeeded! Version 1.0 was having a misdirected control scheme, as the Numpad input had a conflict with the 123qweasd input I envisioned. Therefor, I changed to the unusual wersdfxcv control scheme for laptop people and lefties (plus regular vi-kes). The very reason I did not go for extending wasd to qweasdyxc was, that I have a German keyboard and this pattern and vi-keys suffer from y/z-switch. v 1.1 should also have one crash less on level 4.

I am very happy to announce v 1.1 as my official 7DRL-entry, everything else will be added as post-7drl updates to a seperate version. (sound is a popular request)

Download The Prancing Bard v1.1 7DRL here.

Find it on RogueBasin here.

Discuss on the reddit 7drl megathread.

Or give feedback in the roguetemple forums.

The Prancing Bard used REXPaint a lot.

Find my 7drl week in tweets @Nicol_Bolas #7drl.

Play notes while you move and chime into the melody of the world to unleash the harp of the storms.

Fight your way through 5 stages to defeat the cyclops or strive for the highscore in an endless stream of foes.

* Movement patterns have to be matched with the streaming notes to unleash magic
* ASCII graphics and effects
* 5 stages with monsters
* Defeat the Boss to move to the next stage
* Endless mode for highscores
* Colorblind option

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

Some Dogs Go To Hell – Success… of a sort.

Some Dogs Go To Hell is my first 7DRL entry, and indeed my first roguelike! I finished it on Saturday, but I haven’t quite had time to post about it ’till now. It’s a game about a dog who has died and been wrongfully sent to Hell, and must join together with other passed dogs to defeat the legions of the underworld and escape.


I’m calling it finished, though only just. I’m certainly not happy with it, and if I had an extra day or two there’s plenty I’d add, and plenty of issues left unfixed. Still, the core of the game was three ideas:

  1.  Gameplay based around the player character being able to see better than they can smell
  2. Complex NPC dogs that the player can convince, through correct application of social procedures (like playing and respecting other dog’s personal space) to help the PC, or by failure anger them into attacking
  3. Intricate and deadly Dwarf Fortress-esque tactical combat

… and those are all in there, and the game basically works, so in my books it’s a success.


SDGTH was done in Python 3, from scratch, using TDL, a wrapper for libtcod. I didn’t have any code written beforehand (besides the pathing and POV services libtcod provides, which is honestly the most complex code in the entire game,) though I did copy most of the systems architecture over from my other (still in development) game INJECTION.

I was gonna write a big long explanation of how the game was designed here, but WordPress isn’t cooperating. If anyone’s actually interested in it, maybe I’ll start my own blog and do it there or something.

Anyway, 7DRL was fun, if exhausting, and I’m glad I have something to show for it. I’m not going to work on SDGTH again for a while (I’m sick of looking at it!) but an enhanced post-7DRL version is definitely in the cards.