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Glad you enjoyed it! I have added a left-hand control scheme, like you described. It's the version 8 download above.

Huzzah! Thank you so much for this! Have just been having a great time evading those guards. A really great game which I am already recommending to my friends :) 

If I may ask, I am an aspiring developer (despite the the RSI - I often use Dragon & Caster voice recognition for coding) and would love a recommendation about a good tutorial (or a starting codebase) for learning to make Roguelikes. (I work mainly in Javascript or Python so far, have not yet ventured into C++, but do hope to study it someday.) I'm much more interested in learning to code directly than learning something like Unity.

Cool! Always great to have another Roguelike developer. It's a genre that really helps to focus development effort on gameplay, systems, and imagination.

I have been working on this stuff for decades so I'm not always sure what advice is relevant. But here's a shot at it.

Josh "Kyzrati" Ge is the developer of Cogmind and tireless pillar of the Roguelike-development sub-reddit. He wrote an article, How to Make a Roguelike, that has some good general advice.

Another thing they do on that sub-reddit is an annual communal working-through of the LibTCOD Roguelike tutorial. Roguelike developers being what they are, people will often work alongside in some new language they want to try. For instance, this one from Lokathor, in Rust. I've learned quite a bit from Lokathor's Haskell attempt from the year before the Rust one.

If YouTube videos are your jam, the annual Roguelike Celebration generates some good ones. I enjoyed Bob Nystrom's talk about how he architects his Roguelike, for instance. I'm still kicking myself for not going to the Roguelike Celebration yet; maybe next year.

For Javascript there's rot.js, a Roguelike development toolkit that might be of interest, for educational purposes if nothing else.

Hope this helps!

After thinking a bit, here's some advice from me specifically:

  • Deadlines are good. 7DRL, that sort of thing. To encourage finishing.
  • Testers are good. If you can rope a friend or two into playing the game for you it helps a ton. I put a keystroke logging and playback system into ThiefRL and got play session recordings from my brother and a friend, and it really helped me find spots where the game was confusing.
  • If making a game is your goal, always ask yourself what the simplest solution that could possibly work would be.
  • Make sure that AI systems are focused on the player experience. If there is a complex simulation that isn't communicated well to the player, it just looks like random things happening, or worse, is never noticed at all.
  • Making games is an endurance sport. It takes years of effort, each piece built on the ones that came before. A lot of the indie hits of recent years are 5-7 year projects, which is a bit of a slog.