7DRL 2022

7DRL 2022

The 7DRL, or 7 Day Roguelike Challenge, is a yearly one week long event where you build a game. A roguelike.

It's been around for quite a few years and while I'm not actively seeking out roguelikes to play very often, I like the concept and have played a few of the better known ones over the years. I'm also really bad at them, but I thought it might be fun to actually build one for a change. I like that it's scoped to one week and then you can call it done, or revisit later to expand.

From the start it was pretty clear that I wanted to build it for the browser, just to ease testing and have less friction for people to play it at all. I am not familiar with any proper game engine or with game development in general, so my reasoning was that I would not miss out on awesome graphics or advanced features, so browser sounded perfect. At the start I took a very brief look at how I could convert/export a LÖVE game to the browser (because I made two very basic simple games with it in the past and I because I like Lua) and also grabbed a copy of Godot, but in the end decided to stick with rot.js, which was linked on the 7DRL page - and it's actually fantastic for this.

So, after a failed attempt at making a board game representation on the computer some 15 years ago with my wife, this was our second attempt at working together on a game. Before the game jam started, we brainstormed about the setting and gameplay for a bit - the only thing that was clear was that we didn't want to make a basic dungeon crawler, like a typical clone of the actual game 'Rogue'.

In the end we settled on a fishing theme, with you, the protagonist, being represented by a boat, going around a map on water, and fishing. My part would be all the code (and some design decisions), my wife was going to do the artwork and most of the game systems and formulas. I had taken most of the week off from work anyway so it's hard to put down how many hours we worked on it - we used the full 7 days, but took long breaks during the day or just worked for a few hours on some days. Maybe 40 hours per person, I don't know.