Tuesday, 28 February 2017

7DRL incoming

A quick "infomercial", detailing the upcoming 7 day RogueLike (7DRL) challenge!

The 2017 Seven Day Roguelike Challenge invites developers to produce a complete roguelike game in seven short days. The challenge dates are set for 4-12 March 2017. Participants are challenged to complete a game in a 168 hour window within this time period.


  1. Go here: http://7drl.org (soak up all the information)

  2. Go here: http://www.roguebasin.com/index.php?title=7DRL_Challenge_2017 (read everything)

  3. Visit the Temple http://7drl.roguetemple.com and marvel at the giants whose shoulders you may stand upon to reach higher

  4. Take a peek at the ones who made it on itch.io https://itch.io/games/tag-7drl

  5. Trawl the 7DRL twitterati for nuggets of extra info https://twitter.com/hashtag/7drl & spend some facetime with facebook https://www.facebook.com/7drlc/

  6. Listen to Roguelike Radio's new 7DRL episode for inspiration: http://www.roguelikeradio.com/2017/02/episode-133-how-to-make-traditional-7drl.html

  7. Peruse here for community tidbits and information: https://www.reddit.com/r/roguelikes/

  8. Converse with the experts and rockstars of Roguelike Development: https://www.reddit.com/r/roguelikedev/

  9. Learn how to code a RL http://www.roguebasin.com/index.php?title=Roguelike_Dev_FAQ or http://www.roguebasin.com/index.php?title=Complete_Roguelike_Tutorial,_using_python%2Blibtcod or https://gamedevelopment.tutsplus.com/tutorials/how-to-make-your-first-roguelike--gamedev-13677 or https://unity3d.com/learn/tutorials/projects/2d-roguelike-tutorial or http://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/JoshGe/20170207/290928/Two_Years_of_Roguelike_Development_FAQs.php or watch this https://youtu.be/9yJflbg0V38 or google "roguelike development coding"...

  10. Sign up, Get creative, Make something, Live the roguelike dev dream!!

P.S. Featured image is from a previous 7DRL created by Jeff Lait (yep, the guy on the latest Roguelike Radio episode) called Viscious Orcs.


Monday, 27 February 2017

A Yendorian Curse!

I had the happy fortune to play a beta preview of the accessible new roguelike The Curse of Yendor.  You can read about my experiences with the earlier build of the game over at sugarfreegamer.com

Well I'm pleased to announce that on 17th February 2017 the game was officially released on Steam!


And it's getting some positive reviews from players.

Naturally I applaud the use of ASCII in roguelikes. But, it's the approachable, streamlined and accessible titles (that are 'proper' roguelikes as opposed to indie titles adopting some aspect of roguelike mechanics ie. "roguelites" or "roguelike-likes"), that really promote the genre to the next generation of players.

Mass distribution through the likes of Steam will up the visibility, and afford the developers some remuneration for their efforts (whereas it is "traditional" to see most roguelikes given out for free).

Roguelikes are fascinating delves into tactical adventuring, that can be as complex or as streamlined a journey as you want. There is a wide spectrum and tastes for everyone and anyone! Therein lies their beauty.

The Curse of Yendor is built to be appealing and easy to play, but also challenging and rewarding. This is clearly the sort of title that the roguelike genre needs to enable new players to wave their curious blazing torches into the deep dark cavernous realms of roguelike gameplay.

Kudos to Bob Saunders (IBOL) for building the gateway into the genre. Check out his other projects! or keep up with his #gamedev posts.


Thursday, 23 February 2017

Accessible Roguelikes Binge Watch

If you push the ASCII side of roguelikes too hard onto newcomers, you might scare them off with the lack of fancy visuals... they haven't had time to adjust to the powerful tactical overview and stimulation of the imagination that the pure ASCII affords.

Anyway, under the Laserbeards banner, I cobbled together a YouTube playlist that delivers a stream of handpicked, accessible and "visually palatable" roguelikes that newcomers to the genre should be able to peruse. They can then pick and choose which titles they like the look of and hopefully give them an informed "try out".

Give it a watch, and if you like them, subscribe to the 'tubers who are delivering a valuable insight into these titles..





Trials of Zax

(ooc: After playing a quick session with Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup [DCSS], the muse took me, and I simply had to wax lyrical about what had happened - oh, and yes, this is the incident where the screenshot for the site banner comes from)


As the novice conjurer turns the corner, in this forsaken pit carved out of rock and clay, his Deep elf eyes accustomed to the low light conditions of the underground, spots a sleeping human, curled up in a ball, nesting in damp plant material.

Zax embraces the dark stillness around him, and focuses keenly on this errant man, seemingly at ease enough to rest, in this stinking underworld. Even in his prone position, the man is sizeable compared to Zax. No doubt when erect he would tower over the dark faced elf. This giant is wrapped in colourful robes, adorned with simplistic symbols of what can only be described as bravado. Stars, cudgels, staves and sickles. Primitive at best, in comparison to the cursive scripts of the deepest elf markings.

"I need to get past this monstrosity to follow the cavern deeper, to find my kin" thought Zax, silently.

As small as he was, Zax's ability to hide himself amongst the clay walls, was questionable. But turning back could cost him dearly in time, trying to find another tunnel through. So he hitched his robe up, and tightened the corded belt, and begun steadily edging forward towards this slumbering monster. If Zax could skirt around the floral carpet, the pooled slurry of clay that lined the floor could provide silent slippery movement.

Each new lateral step, seemed to take longer and longer to make, as Zax approached this menace. The dank air clung to his face suffocating his panic, as he slid slowly around the man. Passing the snoring brute, was intense as a half cough spluttered out of the man's mouth during his dream-state.

Zax had made good progress, gliding along at a dart-worms pace, relief in sight as the tunnel bore left sharply. Zax hugged the moist clay walls, and attempted a rolling move left. As he did, his foot lifted from the soiled floor and the vacuum left behind made a large sucking noise, not dissimilar to hog snuffling rogue-berries.

The man beast awoke.

His bleary eyes snapped fast onto Zax, clutching the wall. And in no time, was up on his feet and grabbing at a long sharp scythe nestled amongst the foliage bedding.

"You have made a grave mistake, trespassing on Sigmund's domain!", said the giant, bristling with anger.

Sigmund charged at Zax, with the scythe held aloft, it's sharpened head waving from side to side with every bound.

Zax panicked. He slipped a little, then sped around the corner to the left. Eyes wider than ever, he could see the snaking corridors ahead with utter elven clarity. Mid flight, he raised his fist in and opened his fingers into a claw. The power of conjuration flowed through his arm, into his hands and burst into a nebulous flame, nestled in his finger spokes, agitated and angry. Summoning an imp was a taxing process, but this was a desperate situation, and he had to do it on the run.

Chanting the spell, broken words tumbling out of his lips, due to the turbulence of travelling at a sprint, he nearly fumbled the linguistics needed. Concentrating he kept it together, and spat out the last phrase needed. A ball of flame light exploded from his hand and swarmed the ceiling of the tunnel, illuminating a path ahead and behind with equal measure.

During this light-show, Zax could here the shouts of Sigmund echoing past him, he must be close. As the light-show condensed into a swirling smoke, a form began to take shape behind Zax, an crimson impish demon appeared.

As the imp took form, it already had a sense of purpose imbued by it's summoner. It turned on it's hooves and clocking the enraged human, set itself about the man, charging with demonic vigour.

The crimson imp engulfed Sigmund, claws fixing itself upon the man's face. Ripping and tearing what it could. Sigmund swatted the imp from his path as emergent magicks crackled around his wrists. The imp bowled away for a moment, shuddered and set itself again to attack.

Meanwhile Zax made some distance, turned and unleashed a magic dart towards Sigmund with a flurry of evocation and a snap of his hand. The pulsing yellow dart, shimmered as it flew down the corridor, slightly weaving to the right homing in on the human. It struck him from behind and exploded into shards of burning light, singeing the coloured cassock and making Sigmund wince in pain.

Sigmund battered the imp away again, and turned onto Zax once more. Zax spun on his heels and fled as fast as his small frame would allow. The crimson imp was fading fast, but managed to grapple with Sigmund one last time, wrapping its claws around his leg, before disintegrating into dizzying clouds of smoke evapourating into nothingness. Sigmund stumbled a little, bur corrected himself and sped on.

With only enough magic left to summon one more imp, Zax needed to use his enhanced vision to anticipate turns and twists in the corridors ahead to try and lithely put more distance and time between him and this approaching beast. Distance would keep him out of harms way, but time, more importantly would allow for his magicks to swell once again, perhaps enough for another imp attack?

Zax, summoned another imp, this time his conjuration had moulded an Iron imp, a tougher version of the demon, but unfortunately a much slower apparition.
The imp made a bee-line towards the oncoming man, but Sigmund knocked it aside with his scythe in one deft sweep. The imp barrel rolled down an adjoining corridor, got up, and set off after the man again. But the man was slightly faster than the slow metallic demon. So the pursuit would be long, and the imp wasn't likely to catch or more importantly damage this brute.

Sigmund was upon Zax, range enough to swipe at him with the scythe. Zax felt his left side explode with pain, this was no normal weapon but magically imbued with lightning. Jolted by the attack, Zax tumbled to the sodden floor, rolled with more force than he could control, and bashed his head on the side of a rock.

Sigmund towered over him. Laughing maniacally. Raising the scythe for another blow.

Zax shuddered.

The man tumbled forward, over Zax and falling into the mud beyond. The iron imp had caught up, and charged at his back, with all his metallic momentum, the imp had uncentered the man, just at the right time. The imp weaved around Zax, as he was getting up, and started another charge at Sigmund.

Zax stood up, could see the imp being lifted into the air by a crackling jolt of the scythe, and let loose another magic dart. The dart seared the man once again, shaking him visibly. He dropped his scythe. The imp was fading, smokey curls of dull silver twisting and melting away. Zax ran in another direction, down another corridor. Jumping and leaping across corridor crossways, trying to take the least likely path.

Sigmund picked up his scythe, wiped the blood off his chin and started out after the little deep elf once again.

Zax was drained, his magicks low, his body wracked with pain and fatigue. He had to keep running, keep regenerating his magical spell-force. Keep his distance.

A wrong turn into a dead-end Zax lost it. Spinning around, he retraced his way in, and come to the cavernous crossroads again. Sigmund arrived, yelling and shouting phrases of hatred or madness, Zax could not tell which. Zax began loosing what little magic he had left as magic darts whizzing around in circles above, landing in succession on Sigmund. Knocking him from side to side, but never quite forcing him over.

Sigmund wheeled his scythe in a long arc above his head and downwards towards the elf. It hit Zax in the chest, a massive deep blow, sending violent bolts of lighting through his weakened body. Twitching and convulsing Zax had little control over himself.

Sigmund wanted to land the killing blow, and stomped over to the prone elf.

Zax could feel his life ebbing away, but the delay had left him with some magical force accrued. Laying back, he summoned what arcane energy he could, and let out an almighty magic dart that hit the advancing Sigmund point blank. Punching a hole in his robed tunic, scattering his scythe to the other end of the cavern. Clutching his chest, Sigmund stared at the broken elf in disbelief. Then fell flat on his face into the stagnant mud.

Zax cried.

But felt a little bit more powerful.

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Ananias released on iOS! (and Steam)

Streamlined modern mobile friendly roguelike Ananias from Slashie has finally been released on iOS!

It was only a week ago that the game showed up on Steam, but the title has been in development for quite some time, and was free to play in your browser or through itch.io.

The game has really come on since it's first incarnations out of 7 day roguelike (7DRL) development, and it has evolved along the way to become more and more polished and easier to play on all platforms.


For more information on the Game, or to purchase it direct:




Winter is coming...

An introductory playthrough (I did for Laserbeards) of the fighting hero's arctic dungeon delve of the Frozen Depths..

"The land of Glacia has started to freeze all over. The surface people will perish, should the temperature drop much lower. The high council has selected you to go to the Frozen Depths of Glacia, find out the source of coldness and get rid of it. If you return to the surface, you'll be executed as a coward, if you die on the way, another poor one will be sent down through another entrance to the complex, but if you succeed in your quest, you'll become a hero. Many have failed and many will fail... Now you're all alone in the Frozen Depths. Will you make it?"


Free to play, bring to life your adventure through your own imagination! Wrap the action around the schematics of your abstracted ASCII view, using your naturally fertile creative mind, add as little or as much detail as you want!!

Survive the icy impossible.

Winter is coming...


An @ barely alive...

Welcome to this site of adulation for the Roguelike genre!

I'm hoping we can pique the interest of those adventurers who frequent these hash tag halls. Roguelikes and 'lites' appear to be undergoing a bit of a boom at the moment, with every developer wanting to adopt a hint of roguelike mechanic(s) into their games. With the army of @'s rushing through the procedurally generated pits of hell, I'm hoping to point them towards other roguelikes that have often paved the way for this new sensation.

Perhaps champion the beauty and simplicity of the ASCII character set to depict the action concisely and succinctly enough for them to make their tactical decisions. 3d, sprite, tile or ASCII, all roguelikes are welcome here, but why not take a peek at how the genre began and how it still maintains itself today.