ASCII And Ye Shall Receive: 7 Day Roguelikes

If you play as many roguelikes as I do, peoples’ email addresses begin to look like a vulnerable hero trapped in a corridor and surrounded by terrifying monsters. These most complex and cruel of dungeon crawlers may be destroying my ability to communicate electronically, particularly with anyone going by the name ‘DoUgLAS’, but my desire for them cannot be satiated. In the coming days, there will be an influx of new roguelikes, springing from the creative cauldron of the 7 Day Roguelike Challenge. Running from the 9th to the 17th of this month, it’s a fairly self-explanatory event. Make a roguelike in 168 hours or die trying do what I do and wait ’til other people have done the hard work, then just play them.

If you’re planning to make a roguelike, let us know about it in the comments below. If not, while you’re waiting for the results, why not play with some of my personal highlights from last years challenge?


  1. Tinus says:

    I’ll be working on one, collaborating with friend like we did last year during 7DFPS. (We made something akin to Tresspasser: link to

    It looks like we’ll be trying to apply roguelike design methodologies to a racing game. Think endurance racing through ever-more hostile and treacherous landscape, with dwindling fuel and your vehicle wearing and tearing, items that will either boost or hinder your vehicle, and so forth. And the permadeath thing. And we really want to do cooperative play in a single vehicle where one player does the moment-to-moment vehicle control, and the other does higher-level planning and management.

    I wonder if real-time 3D gameplay is sacrilege when it comes to roguelikes.

    Looking forward to getting started!

    • Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

      Does it include Road Mimics that look like ordinary road but eat cars?

    • Arkh says:

      I’m my experience with roguelikes players, anything that doesn’t follow the basic forms is a sacrilege,so probably 3D modeling will be. But please, don’t let that disencourage you, I would be very interested in it.

    • LionsPhil says:

      You mean the second player isn’t leaning out the window trying to manually pump fuel while hitting things with a spanner?

      (Hmm. Sounds a bit like a Land Rover simulator…)

    • Tinus says:

      Don’t know if anyone will still read this, but our game The Aurora Wager can be found here: link to

      It features hot air balloon action!

  2. pakoito says:

    Every year great stuff comes out of this, cannot wait :D

  3. Gravy100 says:

    I can’t wait for this, as an aside does anyone know of any roguelikes that are good on a mobile phone?

    • frightlever says:

      What sort of mobile phone?

      100 rogues is decent on iOS. Actually, it’s a pretty huge question. There are dozens of them now between iOS and Android.

    • Kyrall says:

      Hyperrogue 3 is pretty awesome.

    • mjrmua says:

      There’s an android port of nethack around.

      • The Random One says:

        It’s awful because you have to pull up the keyboard to do anything, even move.

    • li says:

      I tried many on my minuscule-screen Android phone, only Gustafsson’s port of NetHack has been really fun so far.
      I’d be glad to get any good advice too.

      • Gravy100 says:

        I too am on a tiny screened android, i have tried nethack on it but found it a bit fiddly, not sure if i’ve tried the one you mentioned but certainly there could well be a gap for a streamlined ‘travel’ roguelike…

    • jonbro says:

      Zaga33 on ios is excellent. It is also available on mac / win.

    • alantwelve says:

      Nethack’s been mentioned and there’s Slash’EM, Angband and DC:SS also in the Play Store for Android. Also there’s Roguelike Classics which has a number of, er, Rogue-likes (including Rogue and Moria, from memory).

      I think there’s a tiles version of DC:SS too, but not in the Play Store.

      Edit: yes, DC:SS tiles available here:

      link to

    • Galefury says:

      There’s a port of Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup for Android. Two even, an official port of the tiles version (current development version only, download from link to ) and an unofficial port of the console version (stable version only, in the app store).

    • Chevy says:

      Pixel Dungeon on Android is pretty excellent.

    • DarkFarmer says:

      I just got permission from my girlfriend to participate in this jam I am STOKED!. And responding to your side-note, I’ve made 2 roguelike-inspired puzzle RPGs, Gem Goblin and Rogue Miner. Gem Goblin is available for Android. Rogue Miner is a more “fully realized vision” of gem goblin which is available for iOS only.

    • oyog says:

      There’s a short roguelike for Android that I play on my Galaxy SII called Dweller. Nothing special but it’s a good time killer and it’s free! link to

  4. Tei says:

    I am making a roguelike too. but is more like Dwarf Fortress meets The Oregon Trail. Is a bout a dwarf expedition to the underground,so have more sim and gameboard-y elements than rogue. So maybe I am not making a roguelike.

    • Brun says:

      This is a wagon made by Urist McCraftsdwarf. All craftsmanship is of the highest quality. The wagon is made from bronze, copper, and rope reed cloth. The wagon is encrusted with blue garnet gems. The wagon menaces with spikes of bronze. On the wagon is an image of a buffalo and Urist McHunter the dwarf. The buffalo is striking a menacing pose. Urist McHunter is screaming.

      • Lanfranc says:

        Urist McHunter has been very unhappy lately. He was caught in the rain recently. He slept in the mud recently. He was accosted by terrible vermin. He suffered from dysentery recently. He was woken by noise while sleeping recently. He was attacked by a buffalo recently. He sustained major injuries recently. He admired a good quality wagon lately.

      • CMaster says:

        Your dwarves clearly have more sense when it comes to materials than mine.

        I normally get “menaces with spikes of alpaca wool” and “an image in coal of a human and a giant”

        • The Random One says:

          “There is a picture of a picture of cheese in it.”

  5. feersum endjinn says:

    I know ten times longer development does not mean a game that is ten times better, but I’ve always been curious about what the real advantage of these limited-time game-development things are. I’m speaking in terms of producing games that are enjoyable to play, as I can imagine for the developers it’s a good way of demonstrating relative ball sizes.

    • Galefury says:

      Mostly its a way to get people to develop games at all. Time constraints are very motivating.

    • DarrenGrey says:

      There’s a problem with many developers working without end on roguelikes, never releasing anything. The 7DRL competition encourages people to *actually produce something*. It’s most certainly not about comparing ball sizes – roguelike developers are very open and supporting of each other. More mutual balls massaging than comparing sizes. Um, maybe that’s not a great analogy…

      Plus there have been fantastic results before, like PrincessRL, Demonhunt, Zaga-33 and Vicious Orcs. Excellent polished games that often do innovative and exciting things.

    • PAK-9 says:

      The time pressure forces the developer to make something playable and relatively complete (not necessarily in terms of features but the complete concept needs to be there) rather than allowing their focus to drift away into whatever minor part of the game they may be interested in developing.

      I personally find it’s also strongly motivating if you have to hit a deadline.

      • feersum endjinn says:

        It seems a bit like a way for indie developers to simulate the pressure that a publisher would exert on them in mainstream games publishing. Most the Roguelikes I’ve played have been of the sprawling, try-to-do-everything type (e.g. Nethack), but your answers have intrigued me, I may try some of last years games now.

    • robotacid says:

      Working on something for ages can turn polish into straight up masturbation.

      I was given harsh time constraints to make icon-sized games last year – the result was gameplay with zero bullshit, there wasn’t time to worry about it. There wasn’t even enough room in 50×50 pixels to warrant any interruption in gameplay or any game elements you hadn’t seen already.

      They all went down rather well apparently.

    • Berzee says:

      It probably also encourages more people to get over the initial blocking factors that keep people from making games. Because it’s only 7 days, you don’t have to worry that it’s going to take over your life for a long time. And because it’s only 7 days, you can freely show it to people and still have an escape route from embarrassment if it turns out not to be very good. =)

  6. robotacid says:

    I shall be attempting to make Super Mario RL. Mario platforming tropes in a turn-based world.

    I’ve made a metric fuckload of platformers so I’ve some headway at least.

  7. DarrenGrey says:

    I’m making a 7DRL called Mosaic – will be like a cross between Qix and Tonematrix with an @ symbol. Some more useful 7DRL links for people:

    RogueBasin wiki page (there’s also lots of useful dev stuff on RogueBasin)
    Facebook event
    RogueTemple forums (for news and general roguelikey discussion)
    London Post-7DRL meetup

    A lot of the OneGameAMonth lot are taking part in the 7DRL for the March game, so it should lead to some interesting results from outside the traditional roguelike crowd. And lots of pointless debates on “What is a roguelike?” :-/

  8. HighlordKiwi says:

    I’ll be joining in, making a space based game that does away with a grid in favour of SteamBirds style movement. Apart from that it’ll have all other other rogue-like essentials including ASCII art (which makes less sense if you don’t have a grid, but there you go).

    It’s a really bad week for me to try this but I should be able to at least get the basics working.

  9. Volute says:

    We’re also going to participate with my studio (StormAlligator). We love jams and the 7DLR is a great occasion to try our hand at making a roguelike for the first time.

    We’re probably going for something multiplayer. Not sure we’re going to make it, but it’ll be fun to try.

  10. Tukuturi says:

    This is great! I need some new roguelikes to pass the time while I wait on my copy of the tabletop rules for ADOM.

  11. squareking says:

    I might use this as the catalyst to learn how to make a RL. Wouldn’t participate, but it’d be fun (maybe?) to try to string something together. I think something similar to System Shock 2 in RL form would be pretty damn rad.

    • DarrenGrey says:

      You could definitely learn to make a roguelike in 7 days and create something interesting. You just have to keep your scope very restricted and throw out a lot of genre tropes like items. Here’s a python+libtcod tutorial that’ll get you started very quick!

  12. SominiTheCommenter says:

    I hope some Unic-odes come out of this.

  13. tormos says:

    This post inspired me to stop bitching about being bored on Spring Break and actually make a game next week. Given that i’ve never completed a game before, expect my rogue-like to have impressive features like “moving” and “maybe some combat”

  14. Numeron says:

    This will be my 6th 7DRL, and I am making an open world city scavanger game, where the goal is to survive and find different checklist items with the ultimate goal of repairing a portal and getting the hell out. Things like reactivating the power at the power station building, collecting a gas mask from a cdc strike team in an infected building (dont worry, not zombies!)

    Last year I tied in second place with the judging, and the year before tied in first, so this year hoping for another hit! My handle is Numeron, keep an eye out :)

  15. Benkyo says:

    Best opening line on RPS ever!

    Hell, that’s my quote of the year:
    “If you play as many roguelikes as I do, peoples’ email addresses begin to look like a vulnerable hero trapped in a corridor and surrounded by terrifying monsters. “

  16. Cloudiest Nights says:

    I’ll be entering!

    …And now I’ll be working on two competitions at once. Lovely.

    Alrighty, I have my game idea down. Be on the lookout for End to Infinity, a squad-based real-time roguelike!