Saturday, February 23, 2013

Episode 62: How to Make a Good 7DRL part 1

This is episode 62 of Roguelike Radio, where we talk about How to Make a Good 7DRL. Talking this week are Darren Grey, Tom Ford, Numeron, Eben Howard, Ido Yehieli and Jeff Lait.  Due to the length of the recording it has been split into two recordings - the second part will be out in a few days.

You can download the mp3 of the podcast, play it in the embedded player below, or you can follow us on iTunes.

This episode follows up from the "How to Make a 7DRL" episode from last year, which had practical tips on organisation and time-planning.  An overview of the guests for this episode:
 - Tom Ford (DDRogue, PrincessRL)
 - Ido Yehieli (CryptRover, Fruits of the Forest, A Most Peculiar Adventure, Detribus, Fuel)
 - Darren Grey (Toby the Trapper, Broken Bottle)
 - Numeron (Crown of the Forest, Domination, Domination Empires, Man in the Mirror, Nightfall)
 - Eben Howard (Excitable Digger, Earl Spork, EmoSquid, Wyrm)
 - Jeff Lait (You Only Live Once, Letter Hunt, Save Scummer, Fatherhood, Jacob's Matrix, Smart Kobold, Vicious Orcs, Sword in Hand)

Topics discussed in this episode include:
 - The upcoming 2013 Seven Day Roguelike Challenge
 - The evaluation criteria used by the judging committee: Completeness, Aesthetics, Fun, Innovation, Scope, Roguelikeness
 - The elusiveness of Fun
 - The importance of not putting too much stock on the judging committee criteria
 - Coming up with new and unique ideas, especially in the realms of pushing the roguelikeness of a game and breaking tropes
 - The suggestion of an updated Berlin Interpretation at the next International Roguelike Developers Conference
 - How to grab people and keep them playing, and not wasting time in getting to the good stuff in a small game
 - Knowing your audience, and choosing to go "full geek" or wider appeal
 - Seeking feedback on the sixth or seventh day to pick up obvious and important issues
 - Polish, polish, polish!
 - The community spirit during the week on the #rgrd IRC channel
 - Doing things like tiles, visuals and writing when tired instead of the dangers of late-night coding
 - Story in 7DRLs and designing a 7DRL as a short story
 - Playing with permadeath and permaconsequence and death of different stages
 - The open space for innovation, especially when focusing very narrowly on one little area or feature
 - The alternative approach of everything including the kitchen sink and making a content-rich roguelike
 - The challenge of making a mobile roguelike

Join us next time for part two of How to Make a Good 7DRL, where discussion includes what we think was so good about our past successes and our plans for this year.


  1. I like the kitchen sink approach. What else is someone supposed to do with a year full of ideas? Single-gimmick games also tend to either become boring once I figure out the one gimmick or too frustrating when I can't figure out the one way to win.

  2. Love these double episodes, can't wait to find time for a proper listen! Thanks a lot for the effort guys! I'm really starting to get hyped for this whole 7DRL thing.

  3. Such great ideas! I'm loving the great fellowship you guys managed to assemble for this meeting. Everyone seemed to have something interesting to say.

  4. Definitely one of my favorite episodes so far. I enjoy the ideas and perspectives from the developers behind most of my favortie 7DRLs. Looking forward to the second part.

  5. Note that if anyone is using Unity for their 7DRL I have several trial codes to offer out. E-mail me at darrenjohngrey at if you want one!

    1. Has this been done? A 7DRL in Unity? I think I remember seeing some hybrids done in Unity, like maybe a side scroller? But never a 7DRL.

      I've checking Unity out a bit, and it's WAY over my head. I could surely figure it out with enough months of practice, but I'm not really a programmer. I'll stick with gamemaker, even though it has totally gone complex/commercial.

      I'm actually thinking of checking out Darkgod's engine in my next go. It's actually much better suited to my project, but I fear the learning curve.

    2. Actually you should forgive my over use of actually....

    3. Joseph: Check out Playmaker for Unity3D :)

  6. Don't forget to check out the Retrospectives page at Learn from those who have attempted the challenge before. Also, share what you learned!