Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Episode 28: 7DRLs 2012 part 1

Welcome to Roguelike Radio episode 28, where we talk about the Seven Day Roguelikes released in 2012. This is the first of a multipart as we try vainly to cover the highlights of 62 successes from this year's 7DRL challenge. Talking this episode are Darren Grey, Ido Yehieli and Jeff Lait.

The mp3 of the podcast can be downloaded here, played in the embedded player below, or you can follow us on iTunes.

Topics covered this week include:
- 62 successful 7DRLs
- Bjorn Ritzl's list of successes
- Jeff Lait's success Sword in Hand
- Ido Yehieli's success Fuel
- Darren Grey's failure Rogue Rage
- High quality and low number of failures this year
- Good graphics and good ASCII
- The problems with Python
- Lack of Unity roguelikes
- Several 7DRLs we've played, including Dead Night Forest Chapter 2: The Lost Caravan, Hope, HyperRogue II, Jelly, Me Against the Mutants, Nightfall, Roadlike, Smooth Rogue, SUN CRUSHER!!!, Zaga-33.

Join us next week for further discussion of the 7DRLs of 2012.


  1. You guys might want to check DrashRL, I made it for the challenge some years ago... it has no experience levels (you get new skills by diving) and implicit combat skills. it's over at

  2. Slashie I love your game. Hasn't basically everyone tried it? I thought it to be one of the more popular small games.

  3. To Ido - Fuel is obviously a Roguelike, or as Roguelike as possible from a side view. What really matters is that it is a solid game. Congratulations. As far as the controls how about letting the player click on the abilities in the HUD. Just a thought. Other than that I’d prefer WASD to move, space to grav belt and arrows to fire. In between levels I didn’t realize how to use the crystals, I thought the game had locked up.

    Roadlike? I’m not sure it’s really a game, more of a toy, but goddamn is it a fun toy!
    As for Me Against the Mutants I just didn’t really get it.

    Thanks for the Sun Crusher plug. When cutting my design down I dropped a lot of the Roguelikeness and prioritized the cheap fun factor. The original design had the Angband play flow where you return to the home base to refuel and repair. It also had pickups of various items to help your ship. There was also a branching game universe with more than one wormhole per star system. So searching and exploration was part of the game. But all that got dropped in favor of BOOOM!!!! LOOK AT THAT AWESOME! :-)

    There have been several games I cannot get running. If I cannot just download and play I won’t play it. I’m not going to reconfigure too much just for one game that I may or may not be excited about anyway. I’m not a webgame fan but man at least I can get them running.

    1. TheUberHunter made a nice video of "Me Against The Mutants":

      Perhaps you get it now. ;)

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  5. Thanks Joseph, I'll have to think about all that stuff on the weekend.

    BTW I see Darren forgot to link to Fuel's roguebasin page as we mentioned we'll do during the podcast, so here it is for anyone who is interested.

    1. Please take my critique as minor. The game is solid as is. We are down to talking about the little things now.

    2. Sorry, forgot links for all our games. That's what happens when posting in a rush :/ Edited into the article now.

  6. - The problems with Python

    What problems with python? Just let me listen to this tonight, I'll debunk everything!

  7. I haven't heard the show yet either but problems with python I encountered when following the roguelike:

    1) The swamp monsters game wouldn't run, complaining about missing termios lib when I ran it on Windows with the python download which comes with IDLE.

    2) Hellmouth wouldn't run at least in my Windows install of Python. Gave me "Import * only allowed at module level"

    3) IDLE itself has problems which meant that at least one of the python roguelikes this year wouldn't exit cleanly and instead stopped responding (messy). This is I think a known issue with IDLE.

    One of the problems for Windows developers with raw python (and also raw REBOL, raw ruby etc.) is that the consoles don't have ANSI colour support, probably because Win32 console doesn't have ansi colour support. There are of course ways to print in colour in the win32 console by writing directly to it, but this seems to be a step too far for language developers porting to Windows. I tried to get ruby console working in colour in Windows yesterday and fell into a nightmare land of wrappers for wrappers for things which didn't build. It made me almost wipe off Windows and install ubuntu, until I remember I have a billion games on steam that I then couldn't play. (Not that I play them now, but... I could).

  8. When I did a roguelike in python+curses in 2010, I was able to run it on mac and linux easily, everyone on linux was able to run it easily, everyone else who had a mac had trouble running it (I think because "import curses" doesn't do anything without installing something), and windows was just a complete disaster. Even now that I've got a windows box I wouldn't fancy trying to get wcurses or pdcurses functioning with python. That's why I used C++ this year.

  9. Yes, there are some problems with python, and unfortunately libtcod's python wrapper makes that even work. It's the reason why I stopped using python.

  10. Thanks for the comments on Zaga-33.
    Re. the discussion on iOS - I've actually been porting this to iOS this week, along with some extra polish (trying to flesh it out a little without spoiling the minimalism). So while it's not a great platform for getting something out in 7 days for the reasons you discussed, one game started as a 7DRL is making its way there!

  11. After listening to the podcast and reading above comments:
    With libtcod, it's easy - py2exe provides everything you need to make an executable for windows. I've made it work (30 minutes?) with my game. I know it works on every tested machine, had no complaints (except for crashing that may be caused by something else).
    Curses - I don't know. Never used that library with python.

    Either way, please don't hate the language because of poor packaging by developers. That is shortsighted. Python works, libtcod + python works (even though it's not quite native).

    Cheers to the next episode, so it may come sooner :D

    1. Yeah, if more people used py2exe then it wouldn't be such a problem, but I know a lot of devs don't like py2exe quite frankly it shouldn't be needed. There is also the problem with curses for Windows. libtcod can get around that of course, but devs shouldn't be forced to use that. I can't help but hate on a language which seems so centred on Linux development. In the same way I criticise C# and some Windows-centred languages. They can be done right of course, but it's not always easy or intuitive for developers or end users.

      Python irks me more for its claims to be cross-platform whilst being painfully unsupportive of this. It's a scripting language for goodness sake, why should it need py2exe?! Java, for all its flaws, does not suffer this.

      Anyway, my main hate is against the devs who think so little about those who are meant to play their games, but python must share some blame for not making it easier in the first place.

  12. Thanks for mentioning HyperRogue. :) I thought that the fact that monsters chasing you line up is a bug in the monster AI, but it is indeed caused by the geometry. Thanks, I did not notice that.

    Sword in Hand is very nice, but I think a bit more clarity would be helpful. I could not get why I "drain" skeletons and zombies and my power level does not seem to change (the answer is that you lose 1 point for each normal attack), that you have "X" and "O" signs above special attacks which carry useful information, and that you can eXamine yourself and enemies if you still don't understand how your actions affect the blood level. I was amazed by the map structure when I first saw it in Jacob's Matrix (IIRC), but in Sword in Hand, I find it a bit confusing. Just minor drawbacks. :)

    I would call Fuel much more roguelike than spelunkylike. Spelunky is real time and non-discrete space, and it is important. Side view and the graphical style are original in a roguelike, but still qualifies IMO.

  13. "62 successful 7DRLs"?

    Bjorn's list says 63. Who's the missing one?

    1. The missing one is "Ascent Into the Depths of the Beyond", which we do not include because it was written in 8 days, not 7, by the developer's own admission.

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  15. Another great podcast guys! Thanks for highlighting your favorite 7DRL's, I still have many to play.

    I thought I'd chime in about all the Python concerns, but instead I created an article at RogueBasin about creating executables from Python scripts. Hopefully some find it helpful.

  16. Hi graspee. Regrets for your problems on Windows with swamp monster/python. I did a special windows build after the competition was closed, but it's only the monochrome version. (Unix users can now get a colour version with slightly elss stupid AI in a more recent post)

    The mechanisms for doing colour between win32 and unix are significantly difficult and my impression is that it's hard to do from scratch on Windows. I'm concerned that I'll build up a whole lot of cruft to generalise it, and end up with swampy code.

    I'm confused about where I want to go. On the one hand, multiplatform support is pretty important to me. On the other, I want to build everything up myself and not lean on frameworks.

    I work with a Windows hacker and have a win32 box with dev tools installed though, and python can make system calls through a standard library called ctypes so this mightn't be the last word yet.

  17. Fuel was pretty good. It needs to stop killing me on starting a level though because it crashes the whole game.

  18. Roadlike really is satisfying. I'm currently level 22. :-D

  19. Great episode and really has me excited to finally get around to playing these games.

    If I could give one constructive criticism to Ido, it would be to ask if you could please slow down a bit when talking. You speak English perfectly (and much better than I can speak any other language than English) but sometimes you rush words and they are hard to parse with your accent.

  20. Also, what was the name of that PDF 7drl?

    I hope my last comment doesn't come off as too critical; I think Ido is one of my favorite contributers to this podcast (well thought ut and balanced opinions :) )

  21. It's not too late to share your wisdom! If you wrote a blog post about what you learned from your 2012 roguelike attempt, then don't forget to update the Retrospectives page at Please share your lessons learned with the developer community!