Saturday, March 23, 2013

Episode 66: 7DRLs 2013 - Winner Reflections

This is episode 66 of Roguelike Radio, where we discuss the 2013 7DRL Challenge. Talking this episode are Darren Grey, Jeff Lait, Paul Jeffries, Eben Howard, Tom Ford and Yuji Kasugi - all 7DRL victors this year! This first episode in what will be a series of 7DRL coverage focuses on the immediate reaction of a number of successful developers.

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

Topics discussed in this episode include:
 - Gasping in amazement at the 154 successful roguelikes, with a big pat on the back to everyone who was successful!  (And a sympathetic hug for those who failed!)
 - Gasping in further amazement at GameHunter's start on Let's Playing every 7DRL, and Jo Bradshaw's mini-reviews of ALL 7DRLs already!
 - The 7DRL London Afterparty (if you missed it you missed out!)
 - Yuji Kosugi's Versus Time, a 2-4 player local multiplayer roguelike, turn-based but with a chess clock system, an impressive success for a first time 7DRLer
 - Paul Jeffries' Rogue's Eye, a first person Dungeon Master style game with roguelike gameplay (which was a big break away from what he originally started working on)
 - Eben Howard's Attack the Geth, a Mass Effect themed sci-fi roguelike with cool sounds
 - Tom Ford's FlatlineRL, a combat and positioning focused roguelike with a lives system, somewhat inspired by Hotline Miami
 - Jeff Lait's Malachite Dreams, an exploration game that seeds itself from your character name, with procedural puzzles that require physical note-taking
 - Darren Grey's Mosaic, a map manipulation game with a roughly coded procedural sound engine that generates music based on how you've filled in the map
 - How sound can add to a game, and some of the challenges in getting this to work well for games
 - Mucking about with random sounds on bfxr can produce good results
 - Particle effects, woo!
 - Lessons learned, things we're proud of, and stuff that helps build for the future
 - David Craddock's daily interviews with several 7DRLers, and the advantage of having to give brief daily updates to someone else and regularly reflecting on plans
 - The joys of creation!
 - Remembering the failures, some of which looked very hopeful - there are some overviews from Eben and gim
 - Further discussion on RogueTemple and

Join us next time for a wider look at this year's epic crop of Seven Day Roguelikes!


  1. Another great episode. Thanks for the shout out. This thing came down in such a huge way I just couldn't handle the mess. SOOOO many games. I just played them all just to organize it a bit.

    Did you notice the much higher failure rate this year? Last year we had like 40% fail, this year it's nearer to 60%. Also many of the games declared to be successful are barely playable. That might be the same as last year though, I didn't play all the games last year.

    What I do know is that even with all the failures and semi-successes there are dozens of games worth your time in this year's challenge. I'm still shocked.

    1. I think more people registered this year in advance. Previously when registration meant a newsgroup post many just didn't register, and so were silent failures.

      As for quality / how finished the games are, I think a lot of these Unity users and 1GAMers spent too long on graphical flair and not enough on gameplay. Polish in the wrong areas, as I said in the ep :) This is a roguelike challenge, it's gameplay we want!

    2. Yeah. I remember back maybe 2 years ago I wrote up this convoluted piece on Roguetemple about what different types of gamers value, as ascertained by poll results.

      Whatever the specific conclusions flair is definitely not of high value in our little nitch. Rule based gaming circles (strategy, RL, tabletop) value gameplay above all. Not narrative, not graphics, not twitch or spacial skill. You can even cross genres and most won't bitch as long as the gameplay is paramount.

      It's okay though. My first year I did an arena shooter. Now look at me! :-)

    3. Guilty as charged :-) My biggest problem actually became getting the pathfinding to work with turn-based rules, and orienting walls correctly for all sorts of corner-cases. Bottom line, Unity3D lacks good roguelike tools.

      With a proper patch, hopefully we can actually make some fun gameplay too!

      A lot of interesting games this year, I'm humbled at what some developers are able to do in seven days!

      Cheers for the episode :-)

  2. Hey Darren I like the music in your game. But my favorite game is Gwar. So...

  3. Thanks for another episode. I actually listened to this one twice in a row just because of how nice it is to hear a little more of the nitty gritty details of programming (algorithms used, problems that came up, how you each handled them, etc).

    I still hope to eventually hear a stealth episode, but if I may plant the seed now, I'd love to hear a much more algorithm heavy discussion. Such as what algorithms you use and why for what situations, problems you encounter because of them, results you didn't expect, etc. I still think my main reason for never completing a game is because I enjoy tinkering with and learning new ways to generate maps, ai, fov, etc.

    Thanks for the episode and please keep them coming!

  4. Darren, so I played Malachite Dreams with the name "Grey" for fun.

    The ladder maze is the hardest puzzle in the game IMO, and unfortunately the magic mapping spell that makes it doable is at the end of yours; I solved it by using fire on ladders to mark where I'd been until I got to the end. For what it's worth, I finished the game with that name before ever finishing the ladder maze.

    The teleporter mazes are easier to solve by going around randomly than doing any silly drawing.

    Oh, and try visiting the big guy in the starting house when the map is rotated for some laughs.

  5. If you've written a blog post about what you learned from your roguelike attempt, then don't forget to update the Retrospectives page at If you've learned anything from your successes or failures, then please share them with the developer community!