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A jam entry

ARDORView game page »

An Energy-themed Roguelike for 7DRL 2018
Submitted by sgtcodfish (@SgtCoDFish) with 2 days, 10 hours before the deadline

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Results

CriteriaRankScore*Raw Score
Roguelikeness#203.6673.667
Aesthethics#473.0003.000
Innovation#502.6672.667
Completeness#543.0003.000
Fun#562.6672.667
Overall#602.9442.944
Scope#662.6672.667

Ranked from 3 ratings. Score is adjusted from raw score by the median number of ratings per game in the jam.

Judge feedback

Judge feedback is anonymous and shown in a random order.

  • Ardor explores an interesting idea around converting items into energy to power your spells and torch, but it isn't developed enough to really get any good gameplay out of the central concept.

    COMPLETENESS
    Feels unfinished and lacks polish.  Frequent crash-to-desktops on the inventory screen when trying to use items, and most items cannot be used at all.  Dying or completing the game require you to manually close and re-open the program.

    AESTHETICS
    A large number of aesthetic problems which make the game very difficult to play:
    - Walls and floors are denoted only by a very slight change in colour.
    - Items and enemies both represented by letters (sometimes the same letter!) and impossible to tell apart.
    - Inventory screen only shows 5 items at a time despite having most of the box empty.  No indication what 'page' you're on.
    - Enemies show up in the log just as their letter.
    - If there is any way to equip or use items other than potions it is not discoverable.

    FUN
    The game is very basic and a number of bewhildering design choices make it fairly painful to play.  The central conceit of converting items into power is rendered pointless by the fact that there is nothing else you can do with the majority of them *but* use them as fuel, so no interesting choices.  It is impossible to tell at a glance whether anything is an item or enemy and therefore difficult to take appropriate action.  Completing the game is simply a matter of trial-and-error until you have memorised the route through the 3 levels.

    INNOVATION
    The mechanic of converting items to energy is somewhat atypical, but has been done before (for example in Jeff Lait's Everything Is Fodder).

    SCOPE
    Very little content.  No dungeon generation and items and enemies are largely interchangable.

    ROGUELIKE
    While it appears to be one at first glance, the lack of procedural generation or any meaningful interaction or choices means that the fundamental criteria are not met.

  • I liked the simplicity of the UI, the familiar presentation, familiar controls, and the focus on only one departure from tradition -- the mechanic of "converting anything to energy". The resulting sense I had was that my @ was a wizard lost in a dungeon with only her powers of matter-to-energy conversion, light generation, and magic blast to aid in survival.  The simplicity is only marred by a few stubs of ideas, like swords and armor you can pick up but not equip, that are confusing. The game is modest in scope and length,  but manages to evoke some sense of danger and exploration along the way to the last exit.

  • A simple but fun dungeon crawl with an interesting energy mechanic. The aesthetics, while simple, are reasonably good. The only difficulty is determining which ASCII symbols are enemies and which are items, since there isn't a consistent scheme and no notification of what a symbol means until you walk onto it (or see it eventually move). Addressing that would improve the score from a 3 to 4. The capping mechanic is interesting and adds something different to an otherwise standard formula. However, since the only usable item seems to be the healing potion, the obvious choice is to cap everything so long as you don't lose excess energy. If it came down to a choice between keeping your weapon and capping it for a last-ditch blast attack then that'd make the game more interesting (again, increasing the innovation and fun from a 3 to 4). The game is short and easy if you're conservative with blast attacks, but still fun to play (scope of 3) and it definitely fits the definition of a RogueLike regardless of the graphics (score of 4). Overall, a short, fun, and interesting addition to the 7DRL challenge.

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Comments

(+2)

Neat game! I included it in my 7DRL Challenge compilation video series, if you’d like to take a look. :)