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Messages - Rickton

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A few versions of Possession have been released since my last post.
Content Changes:
    Removed the "Adjusting to New Body" condition
    Levels are now generated 60 x 60 tiles rather than 75 x 75 tiles. This also decreases the number of creatures on the level (but the density is slightly increased)
    The old 75 x 75 size can be enabled as a "Cheat" (now called "Game Modifiers") on the new game screen
    The trail of slime from the snailperson is no longer applied on water

Bug Fixes:
    Fixed a crash that could be caused by moving using the mouse and then getting shot with a healing syringe by the orc healer
    Fixed a crash that happened when you quit directly from the new game screen
    Fixed a crash that could happen when clicking on certain locations in the load game screen

    On a crash, the game now saves an error log in the following locations:

Linux: ~/.local/share/possessionroguelike/
Windows: C:Users(YourUserName)AppDataRoamingpossessionroguelike
Mac: ~/Library/Application Support/possessionroguelike/

New Features:
    Rather than auto-assigning points to your stats when you kill an enemy, you can now choose which stats you want to increase from the character screen. There's a setting to set it back to the old style where it randomly assigns
    Tombstones can now generate on levels where you've died, with the name of your character & date of their death.

    The game will now try to autosave if it crashes. It does this in a new file, so it doesn't risk corrupting your old save.

Biggest change this version is the introduction of the Mausoleum as a potential first level. It has the same creatures as the Graveyard (because I think they're a good set to learn the game on), but a different layout so there's a bit more variety at the beginning of each game.

Content changes:
    Dwarven bombers are less likely to throw bombs on any given turn, hopefully making them slightly less annoying.
    Added an AI-only cooldown for the Brainiac's hypnotize ability, so they don't spam it constantly.
    Spiderwebs now only cause one turn of web paralysis.
    Ratlings are now all in the same faction, so if you're possessing any type of ratling, other ratlings of any type won't generally be hostile unless something else causes them to be.
    If the [redacted] is under your command, you're able to [redacted].

Interface Fixes and Changes:
    You can now move the cursor over the tiles on the map borders.
    The popups that show damage now have a small variation in their speed, and speed up as they get older. This way, if a creature takes two hits at the same time you might be able to read both of them.
    Description boxes from mousing over sidebar buttons will no longer show while a window (for example, the spell screen) is open.

    Added a calc_damage callback, which can return a number to change the amount of damage being done.

Possession is currently 25% off for the Steam Sale:
I also recently posted a "2020 in Roguelikedev" post with a retrospective on 2019 and outlook for 2020:


1. How long does it take to get to level 5?

2. Is this a project you love, or a combo of love and want to make money from? Making money is OK :)
1. For me, who made the game and so don't have to deal with learning what new things do, it takes about 1-2 hours for a winning plathrough. I'd imagine for the people who have won it's taken longer since they probably play more conservatively since they're less experienced with it.
I haven't seen how long it takes me just to get to level 5. I'd guess slightly less than half of that, since the first few levels are easier.

10 levels doesn't sound like a big game, how large is one level? If the difficulty of the game is anywhere near traditional roguelikes then I think only 10-20% players will win it. Making it easier (rather than shorter) could be a better option, but then you could alienate experienced players. How about adding difficulty levels in some form?

Also, another thing is that roguelikes are supposed to be difficult, that's one of the reasons some players like them. If the gameplay is enjoyable then winning is not that important or it may be a longer term task for the player to learn how to win the game.
Levels are 75x75 tiles. I've had some feedback that they might be too big, so I'll probably be shrinking them.
I'm actually not too concerned about the win stats, my line of thinking is along the lines that there's a significant amount of content most players aren't seeing, and moving it to the part of the game that people are experiencing would increase the variety of that part of the game (basically doubling the content), which would would make it more enjoyable.

I do have some difficulty options available when players start a new game, although I have them in a menu called "cheats" which may stop some people from using them.

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.

Missed posting this, but versions 1.0.8 and 10 have been released. I'm changing the version numbers to reflect the release number, rather than sticking with semantic versioning (1.X.X), because it didn't make much sense.

Version 1.0.8 Changes:
- You can use the Enter key on the numpad everywhere you can use the main Enter/Return key
- You can now select "it" as your pronoun when starting a new game
- The minimap gets less visible if you mouse over it

Version 10 Changes:
-The UI can now be scaled from the Settings menu. This only affects the in-game UI, not the other menus. I wouldn't recommend using it if you're not on a 4K screen, because it doesn't look very good. Anyone who does have a 4K screen, please let me know how it looks for you, and if I should update the rest of the screens to scale as well.
-If clicking would cause you to move, it now shows an arrow rather than the targeting reticule
-Fixed a crash that could be caused when receiving an achievement without Steam open

If you haven't grabbed Possession yet, it's now a spooky 13% off for Halloween on both Steam and! (until November 4) (until November 1)

If you do have it and enjoy it, please consider leaving us a review!

Version 1.0.7 (the zoom update) is released, as well as a demo version now being available on steam

Interface Changes:
-You can now zoom in and out. This can be done using the scroll wheel, or by using the - and = keys on top of the keyboard - rebindable from settings, of course! Only applies to the gameplay graphics, not the UI (UI scaling is the next project).

-You can now easily add creatures to a special level by returning a levelCreatures table from a mod. Example: levelCreatures={graveyard={'graverobber'}}

Bug fixes:
-Fixed a crash that occurred when using the scroll wheel on the spell selection screen

Version 1.0.6 (The minimap update) released!

Interface Changes:
  • There's now a minimap! It can be disabled from the settings page.
  • The stairs up are now colored yellow in ASCII mode, and have an up arrow attached to the tile in graphical mode. The up arrow is drawn on top of whatever else is on the tile, so if something is standing on the stairs it's easier to see them.
  • The default preferences are now set to show creature stats on the sidebar. (This only applies to people who haven't played the game yet)

Gameplay changes:
  • Flying creatures who move over water while on fire now have their fire put out

Code/modding changes:
  • Tilesets can now have separate colors for the ground and the walls in ASCII mode (and the Graveyard has been updated to use this feature to more closely match its appearance in graphical mode)
  • There's now a Map:get_blocking_feature function to check and return a movement-blocking feature in a tile

Bug fixes:
  • Fixed a crash in the credits screen in ASCII mode

Steam version on Linux:
  • Possession now launches using your system's libraries rather than the Steam runtime's. This is to fix an issue where the game was not launching on some systems (notably running Manjaro). If this causes a problem and the game's not able to launch on your system when it could before, please let me know!

There's now a demo available on

Excellence and a novel approach on the engine offerings.   8)
Thanks! I have no idea if anything in the engine will be useful to anyone at all, but it's there.

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.


A week until Possession comes out! Until then, you can also hear the soundtrack at

The last music track is finished! It's for the Tavern level, you can listen to it here:

More excitingly, this marks the completion of the game!

I'm setting the release date to July 18th. It will release in the afternoon EST.

You might wonder, if the game is done, why not release it now? Well, I'm going out of town (tomorrow!) for a few weeks and won't have the ability to make any fixes that might come up. Then when I get back, it's likely the Steam Summer Sale will start soon and I don't want to release during that. Giving myself a few more weeks also give me time to create a new trailer and screenshots to replace the ones from the in-progress version of the game, and to finish the example mod level (although if I don't get that done, I still am going to release!). This'll also give me time to send the game out to reviewers/streamers.

On that note, if you're reading this and are a interested in reviewing/streaming/LPing the game, drop me a link to your previous work in a PM or at contact (at) Size of your audience isn't an issue, but I do want to make sure people emailing me for keys are actually playing games (you wouldn't believe how many emails I've gotten trying to scam free keys even for an unreleased game!)

And if you haven't wishlisted Possession yet, you can check it out on Steam at

Things are still coming along. Work on music is a big slow going because creating music digitally isn't something I have a ton of experience with (and really, creating music period isn't something I've done much of since I was in a band back in high school!)

I've got a little under 3/4 of the tracks done now. As a preview, here's the track for the generic dungeon levels:

Another thing that I realized I need to do before release is ensure that modding works properly, and to do that I need to actually create a mod!
So I'm creating an entire extra level, with unique creatures, features, etc. to test that it all works. I'll also be releasing the source for so it can be used as an example for any mod-makers.

To make things clear: While Possession will support extensive modding from Day 1, the Steam version won't have Steam Workshop integration in the initial release. I hope to add it down the line, but I honestly haven't really even looked into what that will entail yet so I can't promise it.

Happy new year!
Just wanted to let everyone know things are still moving along. I've finished implementing all the achievements, and tested them to make sure they're all theoretically achievable:

I've also sent the game out for beta testing round 2 (this actually happened back in December). If I'd previously contacted you about testing and you didn't get the email, please let me know!

I've asked the testers to have their feedback to me by the end of January. While testing is ongoing, I've been getting some work done on the music.

I believe I'm done with creating the sounds for the game! Obviously I'm sure one or two might have been missed that will come up in testing, but aside from that I should be done with them.

Now the last thing that should remain before Beta 2 is implementing and testing all the achievements.

Unfortunately, although I really wanted to get the game out this year, it doesn't look like that'll be happening. I do plan to have Beta 2 out for testing next month, though.

Here's a brief update on the status of Possession.
The game's gone out to a small group of initial testers, and I've got some feedback that I'll be working on.

Aside from that, the main things I still need to do are:
  • Sounds
  • Music
  • Achievements
  • Steam integration for achievements

All of those were things that I was working on while making the rest of the game, but decided to put on hold to finish the content and gameplay. So I already had a good amount of sounds and some music made, it's not all coming from scratch here! I've mostly been working on finishing up the sounds recently, and I've been making good progress on that.

I'll be sending the game out for a second round of testing to a larger group once I have the sounds and achievements done. I'll be working on the music and Steam integration while it's with the second round. I have several people who have expressed interest in testing who haven't gotten it yet, so for the time being I'm not taking more applicants. I'll make another post if that changes.

Sorry for the radio silence. Apparently I missed posting the past few posts here!

But I'm happy to announce that as of yesterday, Possession is finally gameplay complete!

Now, it's not ready for release yet, because there are still some things that need to be done (some sounds, music, and achievements, for example), but it's ready to be sent out for gameplay testing and bug hunting!

It may still be a week or two before I send the game out to testers. I have to get the distributables together, and I want to run through it one more time to make sure nothing immediately horrible stands out, but I'm ready to start putting together a list of testers.

Testing will be unpaid, but testers who provide solid and detailed feedback will have their name in the credits, and receive a free copy of the game upon release.

Expectations for beta testers:

I will provide a feedback form, and I expect the testers to try and play through the game multiple times (not necessarily all the way through, since it is a permadeath game, but at least multiple runs), trying to do weird things and break as much as possible. Provided I manage to get the beta out in the next week or so, I'd like to have feedback in by the end of September.

Let me know if you're interested! You can email me at "contact at weirdfellows dot com" (or reply here, or send me a private message). Please include what Operating System (including distribution if using Linux) and version of the OS you're running. Either Mac, Windows, or a 64-bit Linux system is fine.

Depending on the number of people who are interested, I can't promise that everyone who asks will be a tester, and I may hold off until a second round of testing for some.

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