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Hopefully a few of you on here have played Possession, and might have an opinion on this.
(If you haven't played it, it's a game where you play as a ghost and try to make your way back to the surface while possessing monsters along the way. It, as well as a free demo, is available from and


Very few people have reached the halfway mark, let alone the end of Possession. The game is currently 10 levels plus the surface, and I'm considering shortening it to be only 5 levels plus the surface. The current level 5+ creatures and levels would be rebalanced and added to the earlier levels. Would anyone actually *dislike* that? Are there any major disadvantages to this that I'm missing?

Longer Explanation:

I'm looking into making more content for Possession, but I'm wondering about where to focus my energy.

Right now, the game has 10 levels plus the surface. 64% of people have made it to level 2. I'm mainly concerned with the experience of these players, since anyone who hasn't probably either decided they weren't interested in the game, or just hasn't played it much yet.

14% of the people who made it to level 2 made it to level 5. Fair enough.

3% of the people who made it to level 2 made it to the surface, and 22% of those who made it to level 5 made it to the surface.

Unfortunately, I don't know more specifically how far most people are getting, or how often people are making it to level 5 but no farther, etc. But for 86% of the players who've put any amount of time into the game, half the content might as well not even exist, and for 97% of players, they've never made it all the way through the game.

There are a couple of reasons this might be the case:

  • The later levels are too hard.
  • The game's too long.

My suspicion is that #2 is the issue. Although there's a lot of variety in creatures and levels, there's not really a ton of variety in the way you play the game as you get further on (besides maybe needing to be more conservative with bodyswapping), so it's very possible that the game outstays its welcome.

So, I'm considering shortening the game to be only 5 levels plus the surface. The current level 5+ creatures and levels would be rebalanced and added to the earlier levels. In addition to making the game shorter, this also has the advantage of adding more variety between playthroughs, by expanding the possible content you could see at any given level (I'd probably also make it so that the first level isn't *always* the Graveyard, to make the beginning less repetitive as well).

I guess the major question is, would anyone actually *dislike* that? Are there any major disadvantages here that I'm missing?

It's not as though it would make the game "too easy," since only 14% of players are making it to level 5 anyway. If you've beaten the game as is, maybe it'll cheapen your feeling of achievement, but there's not a ton of people who have done that (but if you have and dislike this change, please reach out and let me know your thoughts).

For what it's worth, the original 7-Day Roguelike version of Possession was only 5 levels, and didn't have nearly the variety of levels and creatures this one does. If you've played both, I'm very curious what your thoughts are comparing the two.

Possession, the sequel to/remake of my 2013 7DRL Possession: Escape from the Nether Regions, has been released for Linux, Mac, and Windows.
It's a traditional turn-based roguelike where you play as a ghost trying to make your way to the surface. You are incredibly frail, but have one advantage: you can possess the bodies of the monsters you encounter, and use their strength and abilities as your own. Hop from body to body as you attempt to make it back to the surface.

  • Dozens of possessable monsters, from the horrifying to the hilarious, with a wide variety of powers.
  • Special themed levels with unique hazards, creatures and layouts. Level creation is more varied than in most roguelikes.
  • Item-less gameplay. The dead have no need for worldly possessions, they just slow you down.
  • Quick to pick up and play.
  • Entirely playable with just the keyboard, just the mouse, or a combination of the two.
  • Mod support! Add your own creatures, powers and special levels, or change the ones already there. There's even already a mod available called The Sunken City, though it's mainly intended as an example for others.
  • Choice between ASCII or Graphical mode.

Possession is available to buy on and Steam. There are downloadable demos on both platforms.

Source code for the engine is available on GitHub and licensed under the MIT license. It won't run; it only has the engine, no content. It's mainly intended to be a reference for modders.

A version of the engine by the name Roguelove is also available. This version of the engine is the recommended one for people who are interested in using the code for their own games, as it will be updated more features than are used in Possession (such as items), and is again offered under the MIT license.  It requires the LÖVE Framework.


Early Dev / Possession 2 Development Feedback
« on: May 07, 2014, 08:03:33 PM »
I've been working on a sequel to Possession, my 7DRL from last year, and keeping not-very-regular development logs on the forum. But I finally have a playable version ready, so I figured I'd make a topic here specifically for it and feedback, for people who don't care about the process but might want to play it. Still very in progress, obviously. Some things have missing/incomplete graphics, some features aren’t implemented yet, and there’s still a lot of balancing to be done. But you can try it out and see how you like it, and please let me know how you do!

If you didn't play Possession, the premise is that you're a ghost trying to make your way back to the surface. You are very can't attack, and will die in one hit, but you can possess the other creatures in the dungeon.

Here are some screenshots:

Click to enlarge.

Click to Enlarge

Mac Version

Windows Version

.love file - Works on Linux, Mac or Windows but requires LÖVE Interpreter.

One instruction I forgot to include is that if you're possessing a creature with a ranged attack, you can use "f" to target it.

One of the things I'd really like feedback on for this version are the control schemes. In the first game, you had to go into a standard spell list to use your special abilities. In this one, you can use them by right-clicking your target, or by pressing a shortcut key listed in the sidebar, and the spell screen has actually been removed entirely. I also added a shortcut for possession in the "p" key.

There are also some pretty big changes from the old game (besides the graphics and more varied levels), namely that when you try to possess something while you're already in a body, you automatically leave it, whether or not you succeeded in the new possession, and you'll fly to the new target. This makes possession a little more interesting, I think, by making it riskier. Again, any feedback on that would be welcome.

Design / Permanent consequences for failure that aren't death
« on: April 06, 2014, 01:42:49 PM »
The permadeath thread got me thinking about other ways to provide meaningful consequences for death besides simply ending the game.

One of the game ideas I have (who knows if I'll ever end up making it) is a roguelike where your only method of character improvement (aside from equipment upgrades) is mutation. Mutations to make you stronger, let you shoot lasers out your eyes, grow extra arms to hold extra weapons, etc.
When you die, you would come back to life at a nearby cloning facility, but the technology is imperfect, so when you come back you'd end up with a bad mutation. The bad mutations could possibly be cured, or maybe the game could eventually end if your bad mutations just get so out of hand you're nothing but a blob or something, but I think it'd be more interesting than just simple "You die, game over."

I've seen some games where when you die, you go to some kind of underworld and have to get back out, either by fighting your way out, or solving puzzles, or whatever.

What are some other possibilites? And are there any games (roguelike or not) that do things like that?

Traditional Roguelikes (Turn-based) / Cardinal Quest 2
« on: March 24, 2014, 10:35:19 PM »
Cardinal Quest 2 came out on iOS a few days ago, and I've been playing it pretty much nonstop since then. It's really well designed, not only the game itself (I never played the first one so I don't know what's different about it), but I've been pleasantly surprised on how well it works on a touch screen too (the one problem I've encountered is that sometimes when I try to tap an enemy next to me to attack them, I tap myself and skip a turn instead). I've played a couple of other roguelikes on my phone so far that haven't really clicked, but CQ2's controls work well, and the gameplay is fast-paced enough that it's easy to pick up and play "just one game."

I really like the fact that the classes play very differently. My favorite (that I've unlocked so far) is probably the thief. I like actually having to sneak around and stealth-kill monsters. The inventory and power systems are interesting too. Any character can use any item or spell, but you only have a certain amount of slots to store them in, and the spells recharge faster depending on your stats.

The game itself is free, but the classes and class upgrades are locked, but can be opened with "morale," that's gained from progressing in the game and completing achievements. Each class also has a unique way of gaining morale (thief gets it for stealth kills, wizard gets it for killing with spells, etc.). Of course, you can also pay money to get a large amount of morale at once. I'd be interested in seeing how that system works out profit-wise, because it's not very difficult to unlock things through playing, it just takes some time.

Unfortunately it looks like it's iOS only right now, but I think an Android port is coming. Has anyone else played it yet?

Steam page for the game is now up! Beta testing happening soon! Find more info here!

Keep up-to-date on the Facebook page or Twitter for the latest news. I update them more often than making a full big post here.

Reading through this thread, you might see the game referred to as "Possession 2," because that's what I was originally calling it, but now it's just Possession.
Original Post:
Apologies if this is in the wrong place, wasn't sure if here or the Incubator was better.

   Recently I've begun working on a sequel to my 7DRL Possession. I don't know how widely-played it was, but from what I've seen people talking about it, it seems to have been pretty well-liked. Anyone who's played it, feel free to chime in with your opinions on how you think the changes I'm suggesting are terrible ideas that ruin the basic concept that made the original game so great.

   Obviously the new game will feature a ton of new content and more varied maps, but I'm also considering making some mechanical changes as well. In my mind, one of the strengths of roguelikes is that the player's choices are important. When a wrong move can wipe out your entire game and nothing can be taken back, being forced to choose between two unknown outcomes has a lot of impact.
   However, in Possession, there are a couple of places where I think the choices aren't that difficult, because the right choice is obvious.

   The first, which may not really be that much of a problem, is that there's no incentive to continue exploring the level once you've found the stairs. There are no items or treasure to pick up, so you're not going to find anything useful. The only reason to stick around would be to prepare for the boss fight.
   One way I'm going to change that is by some levels having keys or bosses/mini-bosses scattered around that you have to find/defeat before going to the next level, rather than the boss just showing up when you try to go up the stairs. (Keys would be abstracted, there still won't be an inventory, because I just feel like dealing with items while switching bodies all the time would be a major pain).
   I'm also considering putting "soul orbs" scattered around the level that enable you to increase the powers of your ghost and maybe even gain special abilities, but I'm not too sure about that. I feel like that might detract from the central premise of the game, that your ghost is totally weak and powerless except for possession.

   The second, and in my mind more important problem (because it involves the central mechanic of the game), is that it's almost always better to possess a new body instead of stay with your current one. Granted, if the new body is a different monster you have to make the decision of switching to a different monster that you might not like as much as the one you're possessing, so that's fine. But if you encounter another copy of the monster you're currently possessing, there's no reason not to pick the new one. Either the old body's already been in some fights and so has taken damage, or if not, fighting the new monster will cause the old body to take damage, so you might as well just possess the new body and keep full health.
   I've got a few ideas on how to make this choice more interesting. First of all, I'm pretty much certain I'm going to have the possessed creature "level up" as you defeat other creatures. This'll also make it so that lower-level creatures are still useable in higher-level areas; in theory, I'd like it to be possible (if extremely difficult) to play through the whole game while only possessing a single creature.
   In the old game, damaging a creature made it easier to possess, but possessing a creature healed it completely, so really the only risk you faced was that you might accidentally kill it. I'll probably also change it so possessing something doesn't heal it completely, so you have to weight the consequences of damaging it to make it easier to possess, but also meaning it'll be weaker once you DO take control.

Then there are a couple of other ideas I'm tossing around that'll change the way things work a bit more, that I'm more interested in getting feedback on:
  • You have to leave your current body to possess a new one: In effect, using the possession skill while in a body will automatically leave it, even if the possession fails.
  • You have to be next to a creature to possess it: Using the possession skill will cause the ghost to zoom to the target. This also makes it riskier because if you fail you have more of a chance of being attacked (I'd probably make it so the intended target would be stunned for a turn, so failing a possession isn't a guaranteed insta-kill, but you'd still have to worry about enemies NEAR your target).
  • However, if you're in a body AND next to the target of the possession, you don't have to leave the body (but the chances of success might be lower than if you were out of a body).

Anyway, if anyone has any comments about any of the above, feel free to chime in. I'm normally pretty bad with doing dev logs, but I'm really going to try to actually post stuff about the development of Possession 2.

7DRLs / 2013 7DRLs playable on Mac
« on: March 21, 2013, 05:14:45 PM »
I'm not including games that you have to compile or install anything for, just because I'm not willing to do that right now. I'd imagine a lot of games would also work under WINE, but I haven't tried it with any of them.
This isn't an exhaustive list, of course, just what I've tried. I'll be adding more as I try them, and if you know of others, please post them, and I'll add them to the list as well.

Back Up
Firestorm City
Live as Long as Possible
Rogue Break

Theoretically playable on Mac, but didn't work for me (my computer is really old, though, so that might be the issue):
NinjaRL (runs in Terminal. Crashed after the instructions screen for me)
So Many Jagged Shards (Mac app doesn't open for me)
Tetrogue (Mac app doesn't open for me)

Hopefully, all of the browser games should work, but I'm including them here for completeness. Some require the Unity player.
3D Rogue
Comrade Pixel
Cutpurse Castle
Distant Echoes of Ancient Lies
Down the Brain
Han Yolo (haven't tested actually playing it since my computer's too old, but the main screen loads)
Hush Little One
It Did Not End Well
Faith in RL
Now Hiring Zookeepers
Rogue's Labyrinth
Smashing Bad
Starship Rex
The Conception (Somewhat. It loaded, but the game screen didn't display for me. Again, probably the fault of my computer or browser.)

In this game you play as a ghost escaped from the Nether Regions, trying to make your way to the surface. You are incredibly frail, but have one advantage: you can possess the bodies of the monsters you encounter.

- 5 levels, each with unique possessable monsters
- A wide variety of creature powers
- Exploding bodies!
- Item-less gameplay
- A monsterpedia, which tracks the details of the monsters you possess
- Quick to pick up and play
- Humorous descriptions
- Separate ASCII/graphical modes for creatures and the environment

Give it a try! Playable on Mac, Windows or Linux

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