Chitinous Crooks: Success


Play in a browser now.

Well, this was my first time doing the 7DRL Challenge. In fact, it was my first time making a game. I didn’t plan anything for this in advance, and was actually caught by surprise when I realized it was 7DRL Challenge week, but I decided to go for it. And it seems like it turned out okay.

Chitinous Crooks is a very traditional roguelike in both gameplay and aesthetics. But you have no experience levels or items to help you, just a random set of god-granted abilities. Each dungeon level, you can use up to three of these, and every time you pass a level your health is restored and you gain additional abilities to choose from.

Special thanks goes to rot.js and the tutorial at the Coding Cookies blog.

Good Points

  • Fight lobsterfolk and crabfolk in an underwater fortress.
  • You can win or lose.
  • A variety of special abilities.
  • In game help screens.
  • I added touchscreen support on the last day. It’s not perfect but it even works on some tablets.

Room for Improvement and Things I Had to Cut for Time

  • I wanted some dungeon decorations. Lobsterfolk statues, moulted exoskeletons and other things to give the Sunken Citadel more atmosphere and less boxy-roomness.
  • Some nice lofi tile graphics would also have been nice.
  • Tweaking difficulty. Sometimes it feels pretty hard but other times it feels too easy. I wonder if I could even that out.
  • I’m sure there are bugs I missed. There are always bugs.

Deathdealer — Success!

My entry into the 2015 Seven-Day Roguelike Challenge is complete! Deathdealer, an arena combat roguelike with trading card game mechanics, is finished and available for you to play.Deathdealer_screenshot


  • Survive as long as possible against endless waves of fiendishly difficult enemies
  • Mix and match three schools of magic
  • Customize your character’s deck from 69 different cards
  • Vanquish 32 types of enemies, including 6 absurdly lethal boss monsters
  • Unlock new cards every 5 waves to expand your capabilities
  • Simple controls make the game easy to play
  • Advanced ASCII graphics technology for a modern user experience


  • WASD, arrow keys, or vi-keys to move or use menus
  • 1-7 to cast spells from your hand
  • Tab to view enemy information
  • Spacebar or period to wait one turn, to make selections in menus, or to exit the deck builder
  • + and – to add or remove cards from your deck
  • Escape to quit

Known Bugs:

  • Enemy pathfinding is rather weak.
  • Minimum deck size of 20 cards is not enforced, and issues may occur with decks of 7 or fewer cards; please make your decks contain at least 20 cards.
  • No in-game help is available.
  • Completely untested on any platforms other than Mac OS X.

Download Deathdealer for Mac OS X here, or the python source (for any platform with Python) here.

Randomized Action Arena

There’s some scandalous rumour going around that Darren Grey does not like action games …er well I’ve got some bad news … 😛arena1_7drlI had come up with a vague idea for my next game project, and always enjoying procedural generated gaming experiences I had been thinking about randomized enemies. Lo-and-behold the 7DRL challenge appears – the perfect situation to create a super rough and ready tech demo to try out my new game concept.

This is my second 7DRL, and after last year’s effort I’ve learned a lot … like keeping things really simple. So gone are the gigantic mazes and broken multi-faceted systems, and in is small and functioning. So this is a twin or single shooter shoot ’em up, based in an arena with randomized obstacles and spawning enemies.

Being a Yorkshireman (Yorkshire is like Texas only with drizzle) and thus a fan of the cheap and the cheerful, I am using the following free and open source apps:

Day One was pretty much spent porting the input system which I had previously devised and ironing out all the kinks which come with a new build of the engine. Long and not terribly interesting but I did have a moving cube at the end. I then added a laser sight because shooting at static targets was a lot harder than it looked. There’s a light attack, and rechargeable heavy attack and speed boost.

Day Two was has been spent creating the actual arena and coding a simple procedural method to loading obstacles.

Next up is the fun/annoying part of coding some AI to hunt and attack the player, and of course some sort of GUI to quickly explain the interface.

And here’s some video of a cube moving around.


Space Hellion – Declaration

I’m starting a little late because I flew back home from Hong Kong to London last night (hooray for jetlag!), so I’ve got some catching up to do but we’ll see how it goes.

The idea behind Space Hellion (I might drop the ‘Space’) is to make a roguelike (a proper one) that is also a bullet-hell space shooter.  It’ll be turn-based and grid-based, with your craft constantly moving forward one space per turn.  Your bullets and enemy bullets will (normally) move two spaces per turn, so you’ll need to plan your moves carefully to shoot down enemies while avoiding their fire.

I’d like to make it a 3D behind-view Starfox-y kinda thing, where your grid is on the screen and enemies come at you through the ‘floor’, but that may make it too difficult to judge distances so I’m going to work on a simple top-down version first and get that working before I introduce the third dimension.

Stuff I’m starting from:

  • My own bare-bones Java game engine assembled from chunks of my previous 7DRLs and other aborted projects.
  • SPARTAN, which I’ll be using to make some tiles (if I need them).
  • I have one or two old sprites that I might re-use, but the vast majority of the art will have to be made during the week.
  • Some sketchy notes on story and setting, which I may or may not include.

I guess we’ll find out whether I’ve actually learned the lessons last year taught me…

Chess+ Day Two

Dungeon generation is complete and bug-free! I’m now working on spawning the appropriate enemies and getting the game loop down.

It’s even harder to see the checkerboard styling against that dark grey Unity background when your map is zoomed out, but here’s a Very Large Dungeon (much larger than any level I’d want to play) with a more traditional wall/floor coloring.

7DR-Elf : Blackfeather

For this year’s 7DRL, I’ll be making another RL using rot.js. For inspiration, I’ve turned to the web-comic Elf, by Songgu Kwon. I’m caught up in the drama of the KickStarter campaign to print a book of those comics, so I thought I’d channel that energy into a RL.



My time is limited (multiple family obligations, blah blah), so I’m keeping it as simple as possible with a fantasy setting, tried-and-true weapon types, dungeon crawling, etc. There are a few things I’ll be experimenting with:

  • Flash-back challenges — in the comic, there are some humorous asides and flashbacks that happen, I’d like to have items in the dungeon “remind” characters of past exploits, which will translate into solo peripheral dungeon levels with a limited skill and item set. Rewards would be “remembered” skills, spells, or locations of secrets in “current timeline”.
  • Multiple characters, stacked — I want to include all the characters from the Elf comic, but not create a squad-based game, so they’ll all travel together “stacked” and only one can be active at a time. Each will have its own skills, equipment, abilities, and perception (traps, tracks, danger, etc).
  • Illustrated examines — Songgu Kwon’s art is amazing and I’d like to use it in the UI as much as possible. The game itself will be ASCII, but there’ll be an area of the UI to show bitmap excerpts of the comic (and maybe original artwork…?).
  • Conditional dispositions — Certain NPCs in the game will have their attitudes toward the player’s characters change based on interaction. Potential dispositions: friendly, neutral, aggressive, fearful, curious.

I’ve started one day late, so I’d best shut up and get to work.

Chess+ Day One

This is my first 7DRL, though I’ve done a few other game jams in the past, and a couple roguelikes on my own time (doing a roguelike is basically a rite of passage for game devs, right?).

I got the idea and started making it at midnight, so I’ll be finished by midnight on March 14, central time. Working on dungeon generation today:

Got a few bugs, as you can see, but hopefully I’ll get this done today and start in on the really fun stuff tomorrow.