Monday, March 5, 2012

My plan for the 2012 7DRL

I've been thinking a lot about what I want to do with this year's 7DRL. For 2011 I wanted to see what it was like to not be the hero but have to cooperate with other heroes and to try a survival goal rather than the tried-and-true "descend and return". Even though it wan't very fun, I'm happy that I did that and I consider it a success. I've posted some of my ideas before, but as March approaches, I've been narrowing down what I want to focus on.

Event based architecture. I've had a lot of fun and learned much while delving into simple event based programming and I think this will be a good test of how to apply it to an interesting application. Roguelikes tend to have very messy dependancies and have an unholy number of exceptions to the rules and complex interactions so this will be a good test of how well I can make events, commands, and sagas work.

Interesting overworld. I've gotten tired of playing games that have too much uninteresting space. Long corridors, huge outdoor fields, empty room after empty room after empty room. I want small and unique spaces. Moving is so boring that some roguelikes have it automated for you. Despite all the hours I played the original Zelda as a kid I never got tired of it. Each screen had its own unique charm and character, each fit within its own little neighborhood, and each area had it's own secrets to reveal. I want that.

Random monsters. Other than the Forgotten Beasts of Dwarf Fortress, I haven't seen this implemented. I don't think I'll have DF's giant vomit monsters, just a few species with three or four random advantages each game. This should add variety like identifying potions does, except perhaps with deadlier consequences.

Dynamic quests. The more I think about it the less intimidating this seems - but that may just be my own hubris. Since it's a 7DRL I will probably only have a few quests. Getting other people to follow commands and attempt the same quests would be interesting - and it should be possible if I'm right about the connection between commands and quests.

Focusing on these means I would de-emphasize other things. There will probably be just a few simple armors, weapons, and other items. I will most likely skip magic alltogether. The game itself may not even be fun or difficult. I'm not sure what the story will be either but it should involve quests and followers. I should probably think of something soon otherwise I'll end up with just a proof of concept: a bunch of neat ideas with no theme to tie them together.

My 7 day plan:

Day 1. Hyrulian Overworld: worldgen, player controlled @
Day 2. Basic gameplay: basic creatures, basic combat, basic stats, basic items
Day 3. Monsters: randomized monsters, better creature AI, a few status effects
Day 4. Society: people, victory, basic commands
Day 5. Dynamic quests
Day 6. More content and polish....
Day 7. More content and polish....


  1. Hi Trystan,

    Love your blog.

    Currently beginning development on an indie game, but our current coder is too busy/inconsistent, so I've been on the lookout for coders that enjoy metroidvanias, and would probably enjoy help code one. It's a small team, just Me as the Lead Art and Design and a composer. With any hope, we'd be able to release it on steam and other venues.

    As we're using Unity for the game, we'd need fluency in C# or Javascript.

    If you're interested, you can email me at justanotherescape at gmail dot com


    Alex Miller

  2. Sorry, made a typo.

    It is actually justanescape @ gmail dot com.

    My mistake.