Finished! (with caveats)

Here’s the final version of my 2015 7drl:

It was really a 2drl. I set a very…low bar for myself, to avoid failure. Then I crested that bar on the second day, and didn’t really do anything else for the rest of the contest.

I COULD have added a great deal of AV polish, but that’s not what a 7DRL is really about. I could also have kept adding features and functionality, but I wasn’t feeling it. What I imagined was a simple puzzle-positioning game, and I achieved that. Adding an inventory, or LOS, or more complex combat, I felt was superfluous. So I just stopped working on it.

Next time, perhaps I’ll set my goals higher, shooting for a more general-purpose RL expression. But for now, I’m happy simply to have participated.…


The basic game works! Now what?

Good question. As it is, …it’s too simple to hold much interest for long. So I’ve thought about what to add?

One answer is, collect items into an inventory, combine them into spells, and blast the monsters. More work, but the fun is well-defined.

Another answer comes from the code, where I made the exit square from an "Item" base class. This makes it easier to add more "items", of different types, that do something when the player steps on them. As it happens, the Crawl artsheet I’ve been using has loads of cool "altars".

SO that’s what I’m doing next; adding altars to the game which trigger interesting effects when you step on them. Right now, my ideas are:
-a couple of altars you teleport between
-an altar that temporarily turns you into a monstrous killing machine
-an altar that destroys enemies that are near enough
-an altar that changes the dungeon map in some way

While in the bath, I came up with two features that could give depth to this system.

-a help dialog that would explain how the altar works, when you get within one square. I considered no help text at all, and I considered hover-text using the mouse. Both are still a possibility, but my hope is that the unique altar art + help text (when close enough) will feel good to the player. Keyboard players and mobile players both have issues with mouse-based UIs, so I THINK it’s a good choice.

-a powerup bar that fills when you "scrape" an enemy. Borrowed from bullet-hell shooters, the idea is that getting close to an enemy (something you normally don’t wish to do) can benefit you. The effects of some of the altars will be enhanced by the amount your "Rage" bar is charged. The closer the enemy (that is chasing you) the more gets added to the bar.

I’m also considering a "Restart" or "Resign" button.

First playtester!

I got my wife to sit down and play. Incredibly helpful! In my experience, almost any testing is, so long as you can separate what the individual player thought/did from what players generally do.

It’s also helpful to get perfectly fresh eyes on your game. Maxis developers used to call that a "kleenex test", though I never liked the term.

The five altars are in and working.

First playable!

Here’s a screenshot of the current game state:

And here’s a link to the downloadable ZIP for the game:

It works as I imagined; move with the arrow keys and toggle between vampire and werewolf modes with SPACE. The close enemies of the opposite type will chase you.

Don’t try to attack; you never win. You must slip past the enemies and reach the exit square.

There are 10 levels, with different art, and each SHOULD have more monsters than the last.……