Friday, March 30, 2012

Episode 29: 7DRLs 2012 part 2

Welcome to Roguelike Radio episode 29, where we talk again about the Seven Day Roguelikes released in 2012. Talking this episode are Darren Grey, Ido Yehieli and Todd Page.

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
- In-browser games vs a downloaded exec
- Integrated squad-based gameplay into roguelikes
- Scope vs content in a 7DRL
- The pitfalls of overconfidence in developing a 7DRL, and getting too easily distracted
- Making a game in a team in a limited timeframe (or how not to make a 7DRL)
- Further praise for the high quality of this year's releases
- A number of 7DRLs highlighted, including RoboCaptain, Steel Knights, Kaiju King, Porta Lucis, Kitchen Master, The Challenge!, Fragile Wrath, Shadow Rogue, DuneRL, cogmind, Drakefire Chasm, Ascension of the Drillworms, phage, The Adventurer's Guild, I rule, you rule, we all rule old-school Hyrule

Join us next week for more roguelike discussion. Feel free to post in the comments about more games you'd like us to feature or topics you'd like to hear discussed.


  1. I'm excited to be on the podcast but also sad that this is the first one I can't listen to. :)

    Thanks to all of the 7DRL creators for making a great batch this year. Still not sure how I am going to make it through all of them!!

  2. Chris here, developer of Porta Lucis.

    Unfortunately I wound up pushing a broken PC build during a late-night maintenance fix, once again demonstrating that you should always test (and get sleep!) before doing a release.

    If you're interested in playing the game, it should definitely work now. If you find you have any problems, just let me know and I'll be on them with haste (although I also understand that not everyone wants to play hunt-the-bug with developers). The game is still available from the original blog post:

    Thanks for the mention! Enjoyed the episode, as always.

  3. You can't listen to it? Is it a technical issue? Would you like me to email the .mp3 to you or something?

    Good episode. Tons of quality games this year. I'm a bit ashamed of my own entry.

  4. Joseph: It's not a technical issue. He listened to it while it was being made...

  5. Obviously he could not name it ZeldaRL because there is already an old 7DRL by Slash with this name.

  6. I have not played Drakefire Chasm yet, but coming to think of it, it seems that the "play as a dragon" concept is actually a quite popular idea, and many roguelikes include it, in some form. There is an Angband variant called DrAngband which is about that (I have not tried it). Crawl has a "Dragon Form" spell, and a Draconian race. ADOM has a Drakeling race, not really much like a dragon, but anyway. NetHack allows polymorphing into a dragon, or taming and riding dragons. Valhalla/Ragnarok also allows polymorph (no use I think, since dragons you can polymorph into are quite weak). My Vapors of Insanity aims to take this polymorph mechanic further.

    Some quick ideas for topics: "4-way movement vs 8-way movement vs hex", "is it possible to have a roguelike without combat", "Curses vs libtcod vs tiles vs 3D", "epic vs coffebreak", "inventory limits: good or bad", "skill systems in roguelikes", "team based roguelikes"...

  7. A discussion of ADOM and the current development of ADOM2/JADE would be interesting. Especially if you can get Biskup to come on. If only so I can put a voice to the name I alternately feature in my shrine and on my dartboard. :P

    Also, discussion of NetHack's ancestry, dev history and its (lack of) variants may provide fruitful discussion.

  8. Zeno: Some good subjects there that I'd love to talk about :)

    Moniker: We're already lining up Thomas Biskup for an episode in the non too distant future - stay tuned for that.

  9. Is there any sort of requirement to being in an episode? I've sort of wondered, personally.

    "You must release X roguelikes to ride."

  10. Hey Darren & co, I'm a big fan of your show. I hope you don't mind that I added this blog to news parser. The goal is to ease everyone's life, as there are currently no such roguelike focused websites. The bot is currently tracking 14 blogs/sites.

  11. PureQuestion: Just being relevant to the topic, generally. We usually seek out fans of game x, or developers who have used feature y. Cool site! Really well laid out. You should advertise this more! We need a successor to Planet Roguelike. Check out this thread for more feed listings:

  12. Darren Grey: Thank you for pointing out the thread, Roguebase tracks 26 feeds now. :)

  13. Thanks for the shout-out to The Adventurer's Guild! I originally wanted to have combat change the turn format into a more Fallout 1+2 or Jagged Alliance 1+2 AP-based system, but time constraints forced me to keep only one turn system, probably for the best. As you discuss in this episode, it's not exactly obvious how to bridge the interface and pacing gap between a roguelike and a tactical-squad turn-based game.

    I've got some ideas that I would like to experiment with on this very topic, although what I have planned for the next incarnation of The Adventurer's Guild might have a very different feel to it.


    Ebyan "Nolithius" Alvarez-Buylla

  14. You are too kind, HF! Cogmind was almost entirely rehashed X@COM code, though the game ends up playing completely differently (much more like a traditional RL). The time saved by not having to code all the same basic crap meant I could spent most of the week making sure the game was interesting to play--i.e., a real game rather than some feature-limited demo-ish 7DRL. Too bad you hadn't yet played much though, so you weren't able to say more about the game ;)

    About the discussion regarding obtaining statistics about/from players, aside from download counts (which are always nice) I found that running a competition where players send in score sheets that include lots of details about their play style and what they encountered goes a long way towards learning more about your player base (and game in general). A fair number of players sent in records manually, and some of those who didn't still posted excerpts on forums, which was interesting as well.

  15. 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!