Archive for the ‘7DRL 2009’ Tag

More 7DRLs: Domination and Dungeon Minder

I’m really loving the 7DRLs for how easy it is to get into them.

dominationscreen

Domination sets you and AI-controlled team members versus other teams in a capture the flag game. You have two slots from which to cast spells, and spell refills are never in short supply. This one is less of a roguelike in a traditional sense — really a topdown RTT game — but is fun for a quick play. I think it’d be great networked.

The 7DRLs friendliness — like just two spells to keep track of here — is of course partly a limit imposed by the structure of the 7DRL. But I really feel that it’s not only possible but important to think about taking this into the structure of a larger, longer game.

Dungeon Minder is really cute and entertaining. You’re a faery accompanying a hero as he despoils a dungeon in roguelike fashion.

dungeonminderscreen

I don’t know if this was planned, but I like how you as the faery get more moves than the hero — you can flit here and there and it really emphasizes the nature of the character.

As a counterpoint to spells in Domination, you get nine spells in Dungeon Minder, and they’re actually not laid out in a simple way (not a complex way either, really). I was a little confused at first why the spell types don’t map more directly to the spell keys (instead of spells of like type grouped together on their keyboard directly, the mapping feels more random, like the dev wanted you to stop and think what spell was on what key).

Unfortunately I was not such a good dungeon minder:

dungeonminderscreen02

Dungeon Minder uses libtcod, and you can see the BSP partitioning for the map creation in action. I have to admit I don’t like the look of the map — and single cell width corridors seem especially weird looking. It looks like I’d want to rough up the BSP map a little with some post-process filtering of some kind…

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decimation!

Decimation is a fun light-hearted puzzle-roguelike.

decimation0

It rather reminded me of the mini-games in God Wars 2, and I suspect you could use this mechanic equally well in a RPG or tactical game with some dress-up of swords and sorcery or laser guns or what have you. The basic idea is that you’re the number zero, beset by the monsters one thru nine. Each monster has properties of speed, strength, and perception either inversely proportional or proportional to its number designation. It’s a simple but effective set of rules. The only downside is that on a simple playing board, it’s easy to get either swamped or take out monsters one-by-one depending on the starting conditions. There’s not much in between it seems.

In the RGRD thread there were some good comments on how to add to the game.

Right, I didn’t mention how you go about taking out monsters — it’s with these symbols: +, -, *, /! It’s almost too perfect — a tightly constructed little roguelike puzzle game that’s quite replayable. I’m not sure if a similar game already exists, but if not I think this concept could really build an audience.

It’s time for some decimation!!

decimationyavp

FLOWgue

I’m sorry, forgive the title. It’s very late and I just finished DDRogue (link to zip).

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The majority of roguelikes I’ve played — maybe all of them? — use bump attacks. Basically you run into things to attack them. DDRogue brilliantly revises this mechanic, reshaping it into something new.

ddroguescreen1

As you descend into the dungeon, you find pieces of your past, and remember special combat moves you were trained in. In a fantastic piece of cinema (for a roguelike anyway, though I’m reminded of that Crysis demake) the game shows you how to perform each move, which involves maneuvering around and through your opponents in specific patterns.

These patterns introduce a flow to roguelike combat that elevates it way above the usual bump and grind. It’s quite brilliant.

Maybe symptomatic of the 7DRL, there is a lack of content in DDR — mostly the same enemies and a few too many dungeon levels — but the game revives itself toward the end and definitely is worth playing through. I ran through on easy (with lots of potions) and Tupp wasn’t ever in any serious danger.

zombies! Cypress Tree Manor

My first successful victory! (I need to replay Chickhack)

cypresstreeyavp

Playing Cypress is a quick romp through a zombie-filled house, complete with shovels, chainsaws (mmm….chainsaws), other survivors frantically running around, and a zombie-soundtrack. I liked that the survivors weren’t your enemies unless they (or you) got in the way. It lent a satisfying urgency to the whole thing.

cypresstreescreen

Perhaps due to this being a 7DRL, there is no field of view or fog of war in Cypress. While on the one hand you lose some of the fun of surprise zombie ambushes this way, on the other hand it changes the gameplay to more of a strategic boardgame where you play against the AI. I liked this approach and don’t feel like it subtracted from the overall experience.

The only drawback to the game is that sometimes the levels are impossible to win. However the game has a quick restart and is relatively short, so it’s not that big of a deal.

adventures of Tuppens: Chickhack

You are a young chick warrior from your village. A terrible drought has caused all your village’s crops to dry up, and there is a risk of famine! So, your village elder asked you to search for the fabled Sacred Grove in the distant mountains, where the Seed of Life is rumoured to lie.

chickhackscreen

Things were looking pretty good for Tuppens. He had a good stock of sharp twigs, two dozen petals on his magic rose, and a magical beak. He entered the Sacred Grove…and before he knew it he was the sliced turkey in an Eagle and Elemental sandwhich.

It was a good effort.

chickhackyasd

Chickhack is the incredibly charming entry by purpleflayer into the recent 7 Day Roguelike comp organized at RGRD. Like other roguelikes with honed and evocative gameplay, Chickhack does a lot with a little, and should be a lesson for any roguelike developer. The only place where it falters in my opinion is in the repetitiveness of its level design, but in a 7DRL I imagine you need to prioritize. Every element of this game reinforces the theme and setting, and the economy of its command set is really refreshing in comparison to many roguelikes.

In a sense the repetition of the levels works to the game’s advantage in the 10th level, a wow moment for me — play the game, it’s short enough, and you’ll see what I mean.

Note that you’ll need a c64 emulator to play the game — the developer recommends VICE which I found to work well. You might want to double the speed in the VICE options menu, else movement in the game might feel slow.