Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.

Topics - jere

Pages: [1]
7DRLs / [7DRL 2018][Success] - DEAD FACE
« on: March 11, 2018, 11:18:48 PM »

I started the very first day sick, so that sucked. Otherwise things went pretty smoothly.

The game consists of 5 levels of battling multi-tile mechs and a hacking mini-game. You can only take over the mechs by successfully hacking them. I tried to incorporate, in a very loose way, some real world stuff related to hacking.


The hacking is based around hex numbers. In fact, the title is all hex and intended to be a fictional magic debug value. You see a memory dump on the left in hex and even the corresponding ASCII data (I really wanted a post-hack cutscene where you see passwords and stuff scroll by as you scan memory). Your goal, like most puzzle games, is to clear (e.g. zero out) the memory.

On the right, you have 5 "progs". I realized that hex numbers almost line up perfectly with playing cards (1-9, face cards vs 0-9, A-F), so the progs are really just a playing card metaphor. 0-9 can be used to replace all instances of the same number. A-F each can be used to delete rows that have a pair of that number plus they each have unique abilities. I had a good idea of what the cards should do going into the challenge and most of that got thrown away because it was too hard to use. I leaned towards abilities that could be used often and felt good. A playtester suggested a penalty for typing a command that would have no effect to prevent you from mindlessly typing everything and that really helped.


I had made Dumuzid in 2015, one of the first multi-tile 7DRLs. Mechs seemed like a good fit for another multi-tile game. In DEAD FACE, you can control each tile separately, which can be batteries, shields, or weapons. There's a power mechanic sort of like FTL so you can only power about half of what's on your mech and even less if your batteries get destroyed.

Surprisingly, the game turned into somewhat of a bullet-hell. It's very easy to accidentally turn the ALERT level up high and when that happens everything in the levels starts unloading on you. You move as fast as projectiles (when on foot at least), so you're able to weave in and out of sprays of bullets. I reviewed some of the past entries that did well on Fun. Dodging was a pretty common theme...

Things I didn't get in: an overheating mechanic, glowing/glitch/CRT effects, a city overworld with rain and badass cybperpunk advertisements. I couldn't think of a way to make the city mechanically interesting anyway. On the plus side, my failed attempting at writing a glow effect turned into a creepy backdrop for the corporation names:

Other Announcements / IRDC 2017 - Any takers?
« on: June 17, 2017, 11:37:21 PM »
It's about halfway through the year and I haven't heard any chatter about IRDC 2017. I'm in the states, so I'm specifically talking about the US version but I haven't heard mention of the European one either.

The last 2 were in Atlanta and Brooklyn and I recall both being announced by now in the year. So I figure that process should probably be starting now if it's gonna happen.

I know it's an exhausting thing to organize a conference, so I imagine the previous organizers may not want to do it again. I really would like to hold one in Raleigh. However, I have no idea to get space downtown while also keeping the whole thing free. It sounds like universities are a good option, but my alma mater is a couple miles away from the downtown area. Any one want to host?  ;)

I guess I should also mention there is the Roguelike Celebration. That was a huge event last year on the west coast and it could probably fill the need for an IRDC maybe.... but it's also a much bigger group and seems less dev focused.

7DRLs / Zurvivors [7drl 2017] [Success]
« on: March 13, 2017, 12:02:13 AM »
A zombie survival roguelike. You play as a parent & child that can welcome more survivors into your group. Careful though! Bringing the wrong people into your crew can be disastrous. Your goal is to bring the child to safety. Nothing else matters.


  • A day/night cycle with increased zombie activity at night.
  • Road system. Driving is great if you have the gas.
  • Individually modeled appendages that can get broken, bitten, or amputated.
  • Complex emotion system. Do something bad to one of your group members may result in people who like them hating you.

Play here: blog post

Needs some balancing still I think. Definitely winnable if you know what you're doing, but it's easy to get screwed.



Golden Krone Hotel is a gothic horror roguelike. Fight vampires with sunlight or become a vampire yourself and sneak in the shadows.
  • It's a roguelike, really! Turn-based combat, permadeath, and challenging gameplay
  • Fully dynamic lighting. Bend light to your will by manipulating torches and sunlight
  • A groundbreaking potion identification system that rewards risk taking
  • Each run requires you to play as both human and vampire, each with different strengths and weaknesses. Humans are frail spellcasters. Vampires are brawlers with super human speed and strength.

Why Early Access?
“While Golden Krone Hotel is already fully playable and beatable, your support could make the game dramatically better.

Like any other roguelike, the emergent gameplay in Golden Krone Hotel results in a lot of unexpected and zany situations. Fine tuning all that takes time and requires feedback from many players.

During that time, we want to hear all your stories about stupid deaths and hard fought victories. And we also want input from the community on how the game should evolve.”

7DRLs / The Only Shadow That the Desert Knows [7DRL 2016 - Success]
« on: March 17, 2016, 03:01:40 PM »
A game about time travel. Your goal is to track down 5 legendary artifacts, so it's somewhat of a mystery game. And you should use pen and paper!

Features a Qud style world map, procedural history with hundreds of NPCs, procedural books, and dirt simple combat.

After 4 times doing 7drl, this is the closest I came to declaring failure, but after all the game had a lot of cool stuff and there was a working victory condition:

As far as the development, it was very tough. I knew it was an ambitious idea, but the difficulty of writing the time travel, fixing unending bugs, and managing the RNG (so that history was guaranteed to repeat itself unless you intervene) was a shock.

I also spent a lot of time fiddling with pathfinding, because I was trying to do some stupid things and I had forgotten a bit about how A* worked. At one point, I was trying to pathfind NPCs at a distance of 1000 tiles (which I figured was reasonable) and was totally perplexed at why rot.js was visiting 4.5 million tiles to accomplish this! Turns out that this is sort of the expected result when one is using manhattan distance. I spent a whole night trying to write my own pathfinding, which sort of worked but was buggy, before finally breaking the pathfinding down into chunks. The chunking method worked fine. All in all, I spent about 5 days on a single feature: getting NPC heroes to walk from their city to a dungeon, climb to the bottom, try to fight a boss, and return if successful.

As you can guess, the game didn't quite live up to what I imagined, though I think it's still pretty damn cool. I spent the last few days after the challenge fixing bugs and polishing it, which I feel a little guilty about. But I simply had to revisit it to get some closure.

So I put out v1.2 this morning. I'm much happier with it.

Design / Thoughts on this identification system idea?
« on: April 27, 2015, 06:19:31 PM »
John Harris wrote a great article on identification systems. Frankly, the ID system in Golden Krone Hotel is not particularly interesting. This article gave me a simple idea for a better one:

Instead of unidentified potions being complete mysteries, the player can see that each potion is one of let's say 4 possibilities. So I might see that one potion I am carrying is either:

Potion of Might
Potion of Restore Abilities
Potion of Immolation
Health Potion

This solves my biggest complaint with ID systems: it all feels like a dice roll. I might have the best potion in the game, I might have the worst. The safest and most boring option is to waste the potion in a quiet spot. In this system, however, I know I'm only getting a handful of outcomes. The risk/reward is more straightforward. I also think this is better for beginners because they don't have to rely on encyclopedic knowledge of all items to calculate the expected value of quaffing a potion.

In this situation, it might be worthwhile to chug this potion during a tight situation because I have a 50% chance of getting help in battle, a 25% chance of taking damage (and even Immolation might have advantages), and a 25% of nothing happening assuming I don't have any stat deficits.

Those 4 possibilities will of course get winnowed down throughout the game. If I were to chug a Potion of Might in this example, I'll know right away what it is. Using a Potion of Restore Abilities without stat loss or a Health Potion at full health would only remove two possibilities (I know the other two potions have immediate effects and nothing happens).

There's a bit of a domino effect in this idea in that identifying one potion type may identify another and so on. To mitigate that, it might be good to bundle up the potions: those 4 example potions would always be listed together as the "possible" potions for each other.

I'd really like to follow some of Harris's principles here:

Can bad items sometimes be put to positive use?
I should be able to completely eliminate any purely bad potions. For instance, I want to have a Potion of Blindness that is useful against some Medusa type creature.

Are there enough items in the game, relative to the length of the game and item generation rate, that the player is reasonably sure not to find everything in one game?
I want potions to be the only consumable and I'm planning on at least 30 kinds. Combined with a relatively short play time, this might work. It raises another issue though: is it too overwhelming for the player to have 20 items of the same kind in their inventory? Would it be much better to split the items up into scrolls and potions? If so, I lose some of the benefit here.

Are items sometimes not identified after use?
I'm brainstorming really hard to come up with items that only have effects in certain situations. I usually hate wasting scrolls/potions and not figuring out what I had. But at least in this system, you should typically find out something about the item you were holding through the process of elimination.


Early Dev / Golden Krone Hotel
« on: April 22, 2015, 11:38:43 AM »
Hello, my precious @s.

Golden Krone Hotel is a roguelike about switching between human and vampire forms (analogous to mage and brawler classes), killing vampires with sunlight, and sneaking around by manipulating torches. You can play the game in your browser here.

The game started as a 7DRL, but is now on Steam Greenlight and you could make my fricking day by voting for it right now. I'm not just throwing it out there as is. I have a lot planned: content, polish, and trying to make the gameplay more deep.

One of the main things is making the game simply look better by adding a 2.5D effect. I made a short post in /r/roguelikedev about this change and overcoming the resulting performance issues. Here's the new look:

I've already added fog of war and increased the number of visible tiles. And here's an overview of some other things I'm thinking about:

  • Improve level generation, so there are fewer dead ends, floating hallways, and other weirdness.
  • More items and reworking the inventory system to consist of 2 kinds of items instead of just 1. Putting this on the UI without additional menus and adding nice icons for each.
  • Full dialogue/story rewrite. Yea, the stuff I added at 4am the last night of 7DRL isn't going to cut it.
  • A real tutorial
  • Explicit damage types and resistances. More statuses like confusion.
  • More branches, so the game is longer and there is an optional extended endgame. Planned so far: LAB, FACTORY, GRAVEYARD, GROTTO, DEEP CAVES, UNDERGROUND RIVER, MAELSTROM, UNDERWORLD
  • Lava and water tiles (vampires can't cross water at all).
  • Giving vampires collectible abilities, so the vampire combat is more interesting than just bump everything.
  • About a dozen more spells and an additional spell slot. Books will offer the choice to learn 1 of 2 spells.
  • New monsters: toadstools, skeletons, demons, and more.

Let me know your ideas. To be perfectly honest, I'll be valuing what I see here a little more than the ideas that pop on Steam.

7DRLs / Dumuzid - 7DRL 2015 - SUCCESS!
« on: March 12, 2015, 02:04:20 AM »
Here's a picture to quickly explain Dumuzid. Your character isn't standing over a black thing (a pit perhaps?). That black shape IS your character.

Dumuzid is an abstract, 1HP (sort of) roguelike. It explores what RLs might look like if the enemies weren't always 1 tile wide. The combat riffs off of Katamari/Osmos.

The game is extremely minimalistic. I'm proud to say, except for the opening screen and ending, there are no menus and no text whatsoever. And yet there's still an inventory of sorts. I'm tempted to not even include a tutorial or how-to-play, but I think one is going to be needed.

Here is the current build. Please have a go!

Controls: WASD/arrows and right mouse button to cycle through zoom settings. I'd suggest Google Chrome for now.

Day 4 is wrapping up and Dumuzid is certainly playable. There's plenty of polish left and I need to solve a couple major design quandaries (e.g. your character gets stuck easily.... which is kind of the point, but I still need some escape hatch there).

Upcoming stuff:
  • continuously spawning monsters as a hunger clock and to prevent getting stuck permanently
  • score system: contort yourself into predefined shapes to score points
  • visible spell effects
  • procedurally generated wall mosaics
  • maybe: music, sounds, a tutorial, a cutscene

7DRLs / Golden Krone Hotel
« on: March 17, 2014, 03:41:42 PM »
It's my 2nd year entering and I am pretty happy.

Play online here (ideally with resolution > 1200x700 and Chrome):

And feel free to ask questions! I did my best to make the mechanics clear, but while watching playtesters I realized there are still some confusing aspects.

Pages: [1]