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As promised, the game is now up, please enjoy!

Day 7:

It has been a long one! I've been working 24 hours straight to meet the deadline which is just now past - and the game is a success! I will package everything up for download after a bit of a break because I'm exhausted. I've also been dealing with a stupid swollen thumb from the bee sting.

Overall, the game came out better than I expected, I had low hopes at one point - as mentioned earlier, I wasn't really sure what direction to push the stealth mechanics, and through the week I was worried it would end up too combaty and samey as some of my past games, but it definitely isn't. Whether or not the new stealthy mechanics are any good though is up to you all! Your hero has very low health, and while he can go toe-to-toe with any one enemy, needs multiple enemies worth of blood to heal just one HP. There's lots of luring and cat-and-mouse with enemies, dashing out of view and then chasing them up from behind with a back-stab when they give up the fight.

Unfortunately I had to backtrack a bit on the planned abilities - I removed the spell book I had from the Day 2 gif, and simplified the UI and controls for 6 locked in abilities. These are available from game start, although 4 of the 6 cost blood from fallen enemies. There is no real character progression, however the world progresses instead - the enemies get harder, and the challenge increases. 

Will update soon with the itch page, and include there all the fancy finished product gifs :)

Day 6 Part 2:

I was stung by a bee on the thumb. There is a lot of natural land around where I live, so they're around, and they do come in the house after dark. I think sometimes they don't always make it back to their hive before nightfall and they get lost in the dark, attracted to our house lights, then work their way inside. Once in they're angry and confused, and this one whapped me on the back of the head so I grabbed at it and it stung my hand. Today (Day 7 morning) it's swollen making typing a little difficult... I was hoping I wouldn't have to pull an all-nighter tonight to get a full 24 hours of final work in before the technical deadline of Sunday 10am, but if this impedes me too much I might have to.

Anyway, on to progress from yesterday. I did something I never even conceived I would have to do and that's write an extention to my hedge maze algorithm (seen in green in the post above) to detect/remove swastikas - it created one for me clear as day, perfectly separated from the rest of the maze. Glad it happened to me and not someone else, so I could fix it ahead of time.

I've done full enemy placement and patrolling, and some AI improvements to better track the player based on where they last saw you, but still act predictably. Also to because they have limited FOV now, to keep looking at the player when they have to go around and obstacle to approach.

I added a peek ability that offsets the player fov by one tile so you can peek around corners.

I think I might re-do my UI a bit, because I want to streamline that part a bit - I'll just give all the abilities to the player up-front, and not have item pickups or anything, but they are still cost-gated by the amount of blood you have

Day 6:

Just some screenshots for now, showing some spawns, including those out of direct LOS. Will add words and stuff in a follow up post later tonight

Day 5 part 2:

Some shots of the final world to close out the day -

With all this in place, also faced some pretty serious performance issues, which are resolved now.

Day 5:

Stuck still on world generation :( the detail is taking much longer than anticipated because lots of terrain features from my older games haven't translated into the 3d engine as easily as I had hoped. Mostly old things which form dynamic connections to images next to them, are static multi-tile objects, or even just stick up a bit into the tile above are all messed up... For example, fixing all the stuff in this open courtyard -

such that it now looks like this -

Has taken a significant chunk of today. Luckily many of these assets are reused throughout the world so it's a larger step forward than just this area, but time is running out to actually make a unique feeling game out of the world.

On the minor plus side messing around with textures gives some great looking bugs. This is the same menu screen as the gif in my Day 1 post haha

Day 4:

Much map generation done today - most of the framework of the world. Still plenty of detail to fill in, but the whole game is connected start to end, and everything has a place to go. Below is a potato quality gif of a generated world start to end, with a bunch of differently styled areas. The mapgen has come out fine I guess, but I'm not sure how I feel about the approach as a whole...

Leading up to the challenge I was in several minds about what direction exactly  to take this game, and I think I panicked a bit and went with what's most familiar to me, which is one large "corridor" level. I'm not sure this is really best though... It's going to have to lose some purity with stealth, there will be definitely be unavoidable direct combat as a result of some choke points.

I still have time left tonight to fill this out, so tomorrow should hopefully be all complete, and I can work more on abilities and interesting AI and whatnot. Clock is ticking!

Day 3:

Started on map gen, but didn't get very far. I had some real-life errands to sort out and then after that I was plagued by a lighting bug that was causing the screen to flash red for one frame every few seconds, and it was giving me a migrane. Thankfully fixed now. Map generation always take a few days out of the time, so I'm not happy at the delay. I'm not really getting into the groove with it either, I'm not super happy with the results so far. I might need to revisit the overall world structure or something. I did find a cool maze drilling algorithm in my trash code pile though that I'm looking forward to bringing back to life for small hedge mazes in the castle garden area.

I'm having trouble with some terrain features, that are drawn in pixel art with a front/top perspective - especially multi-tile features I'm resigning to leaving "flat" like the statue below. It doesn't quite look right but it looks good enough I guess to keep going... It's gonna kill me though the more stuff I add because I'm kinda a perfectionist.

Can really see it in the super secret side perspective (not available in final game haha)

Day 2:

Been fixing up the in-game GUI and filling out my test map with new random things like fog and other various models, though there's still some replace-me images like the items below. I have a vampire main guy and here he is observing some human circulatory systems through a wall.

As a stealth game, you'll get to know where everyone is, though when they're out of sight it's just this - no enemy type or facing information. Enemies have half or quarter circle field of views which can only be seen when they're in line of sight.

As you acquire blood from defeated enemies, you can use it to purchase and power spells.

The spellbook is partially done, but will probably put it off now and finish it up later as I start putting together the actual spells.

All this UI taking much longer to do this now because unlike past games it's a) using a 3D engine which is more demanding of time and setup, and b) now includes mouse driven actions and audio which I've not historically had much experience with. Some of my animations and 3d work looks a little rough too - there's some nice smooth movement but it's jarred by occasional pop in/out for things entering leaving view and things like that. The fog is also jittery at the edges. If you look at the above gifs or just take it in general it's fine but the close details are messy. I'm going to have to keep my head on straight and ignore it until the end, otherwise I'll start to fall behind.

Tomorrow I want to skip ahead and start working on map generation. As a stealth game, the enemies and abilities all needs to fit in with the layout of the terrain.

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Day 1:

Created a cool little diorama for the menu screen, featuring our protagonist sleeping in a coffin. I kinda want the menu options to scale x1.5 (x2 is too large) but all my text rendering is currently works with integers so it could be a huge can of worms to start digging around in. Other code using it might be assuming float->int casts, so perhaps better to leave it, or maybe re-create the backing font image instead.

The 3D work this time is coming easy, as the groundwork is all golden from last year. The coffin model took a bit, because I haven't really done any modelling beyond cubes and billboards, but after than I was able to put together the above screen quite fast. I have the 7DRL week off work so I definitely have time for *some* of this kind of frippery, but probably no more modelling because I'm not experienced enough to bash out quick and dirty models for everything that will exist.

I spent more time than I would have liked trying to fix some audio issues that made the background music jolt around in volume when fading to/from different screens. I really should spend some time after this competition smoothing out my audio code because it's all very slapdash - last year was the first time I've ever used audio in any of my games (embarrassing I know) and it's extremely 7DRL quality code. Anyway one of the recent Humble Bundles has a lot of great music to go with so that's a plus, and SFX is really hard to find but last year's set is still good for re-use.

The game kind-of loads a simple test map (with lots of missing textures and models) based on my pre-existing engine, but rather that starting to look into that, or UI or gameplay just yet, I instead got a short simple opening story sequence in, and also got a good way into knocking the help screen and the win/lose screens into a shape suitable for this game. Once all of this framework is more-or-less out of the way tomorrow so I'll get into the fun part!

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EDIT: This entry was successfully completed - check it out here:


My name is Numeron, and my entry for this year will (likely) be called Rogue Vampire.

I haven't exactly worked out the goal and drive of the full game just yet, but it will be a stealth focussed game with a protagonist that is a vampire - Lurking in the shadows, surprise biting and using an array of vampire tricks to advance around a ye olde fantasy location.

Full disclosure, I'm not starting from scratch - I've been at 7DRLs for a long time now, this will be my 16th entry! I typically use the bones of my previous year's entry - ripping out stuff I don't need and shoving in everything new. This year will be no different, I am using the 3D graphics engine from last year's Dungeon Cards, and the backing game engine of many previous years.

It's 10AM on Sunday at my location, so that's my deadline next weekend.

Best of luck to everyone!

Requires Java 8+ to run -

May thanks to DFuxa for a great playthrough!

Thanks a lot!

Added new version with option to disable the camera sway

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Hey, thanks for your support!

I couldn't reproduce your issue exactly but I narrowed it down to a couple of potential things (depending on what you mean by can't escape) - an issue with the wonky hack I use to wait for the shooting animation to complete before allowing turns to continue (had lots of problems with this during the week), or bad telegraphing of being out-of-energy (note also you can draw a new hand by click the draw pile!). I fixed the latter by flashing the energy cards when trying to play abilities without enough, the former I'll need some more time for... Incidentally while playing around with it I found some unrelated issues with the mage aoe, in the case when it kills another mob so fixed that too!

I have released V1.1 with these changes, thank you!

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Dungeon Cards -

Deep in the forest lies an ancient temple built upon a cursed ruin. Evil radiates from the depths, but you know that great risk comes with great reward. You're a rogue after all...

Dungeon Cards is a tactical deck-building roguelike. The cards in your deck are weapons you pick up along your descent. Positioning is very important, and taking a wrong step can put your limited health pool at risk, but as a sneaky rogue you're adept at maneuvering into the right place for the right attack.

I am crazy tired, I had to pull that all nighter after all, and even so I only really got a few hours to actually play test the game... the balance is probably completely shot, but hey, it's ready to goooo!

Day 6

Finally got all the enemy types in as well as moving and dying when injured, as well as card graphics, and also damage indicators which will be be important for an understanding of the consequences of a particular move. Also three level themes, starting with the forest seen below (having just jumped down a hole in a forest, this seems apt for the first levels).

This is going to sound crazy, but the game doesn't really play yet - the enemies have AI that positions them for attacks, but doesn't execute them yet.. so for 6 days I've been running on the hope that this whole idea actually works, because if it doesn't I've really painted myself into a corner! I may be starting on the last day, but it's technically Saturday morning and I started on Sunday midday - so really have until then and I can pull an all-nighter to keep polishing if I need, effectively giving me an additional day's of dev time. We'll see...

Oh incidentally, altering the graphics so often leads to a great bug if I forget to update the sheet - all the textures get mixed up haha it's a different trip every time

Day 5

With only 2 days to go I'm swinging between feeling like I have it under control, to being behind. I keep getting pulled back by additional clean-up detail like audio, and dual control with mouse/keyboard - I've never had audio or mouse in any game I've made before, so this really is a mold breaker. I got a start on all the attack cards, including working out what they do, how they upgrade, and how they go from being picked in the hand to applied on the board (different cards have different ranges, directions, may or may not be blocked by enemies etc). They aren't quite ready, but I really need to focus on a complete game to feel better about my timeline so that's today's job - enemy types, AI, and dungeon generation. Where previous years map generation has taken multiple days thanks to the sprawling nature of my past games, this will pretty much just be placement in the one room per level. Once that's done I can go back to the extensible stuff, like more or less cards, depending on how much time I have at the end.

Below is the current state of shield, spear and wand, but I also have sword, bow, axe, and dart

Thanks, lots is bought or acquired through creative commons, but most of it in some way yes! The tile sets I get help set a consistent design language (which I'm bad at doing from scratch), but often don't fill all the holes I'm after, so from there I extend and alter and re-color and re-size quite a lot.

Day 4

Progressing alright, but definitely feeling the pressure - I'm hoping the time left is enough, it sure helps that I've taken the week off work but I still only have 3 days!

The code base is really turning into a mess, I have a lot of animations and transitions and stuff, and rather than having a central controller for timing and input handling under certain conditions (e.g. disabled while transitioning) I've just added timer after timer, and there's a mess of "if this timer running do not do". I also have a lot of magic numbers to place things just so, which in some cases need to be kept consistent with other magic numbers making changing things hard. My HandHandler class is now 1600 lines long because it handles logic it's not supposed to and so much more! I will definitely be throwing this game in the bin after the competition is over, but keeping on with 3D in general for sure. I'm learning a lot!

I have effectively completed the card handling, and I added functionality to view the deck, upgrade/delete cards, and select new cards from an offering.

This is pretty much done, including card upgrade ability which as can see below adds a + to the attack title, and doesn't allow upgrade of energy cards above level 5.

I did this after the "level up" cards though so they are added to the hand and handled there - I'll probably move them over to the new system

Day 3

Got some load-in working for the hero and enemies (which currently cannot be interacted with),, as well as hatches to the next level and reload for the following level. I also hacked in the win/death screen from last year's 7drl because well why reinvent the wheel - has a bit of touch up of course to suit 3d look and feel.

Also did a lot of work on the hand, drawing, discarding, and refreshing the draw when empty - it looks nice!

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Day 2

Polished off the menus screen with working card options, as well as sound and music. It's really hard to find good SFX, I bought several SFX/music bundles from humble but they're all useless jangling chimes, squelches, zapows, and kachonks all with reverberations, faint staticy noise over the top like a bad recording, start at like 300ms into the clip and other stuff that makes it all really hard to use. Where is a soft quick paf for a click, a short soft sh for moving cards? Finding good sounds is like finding good graphics, it they're bad they can put the whole experience off...

Anyway, also got a transition into and back out of the game screen, as well as some basic structure for the game itself, including moving guy. I need to remember to stop nit-picking minor details though, considering this year I still need to write the whole engine from scratch.

Day 1

To assist my ramping up with the 3d tools, I have completed a little 3d vignette for the menu screen. I'm trying to keep things clean, but it's tricky - there are quite a few components to 3d work (especially when you aren't importing models) so it took longer than I hoped to put this together. Still it looks pretty good. I also have a rain animation that I might try to fit in, but we'll see. Another cool thing is that it currently runs at an eye watering 1600 fps, and while I have a kinda beefy computer it's good to know there's a lot of room for extras even at the low end.

Thankfully I ended up with some time left over after putting the little scene together, so I got a start on the hand of cards, and ray-picking when I mouse over to focus on that particular card. In the menu screen, I'll use cards as a stand-in for a more boring button menu. Ups downs tilts zlayers it's way more complex than 2d work but much more rewarding...

Moving the camera like this makes gifs huge though, so sorry about the quality!

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Update: this game has made a successful entry! check out the page here -


Hello all! My name is Numeron, and this will be my 15th 7DRL entry - Dungeon Cards (possibly with a future name change)

15 entries sure is a lot (check my stuff out if you're interested!), but at this point I'm not so sure that's an advantage any more. I'm not the bright minded youth I once was, more like I'm becoming a risk-averse grouchy old dev who shakes his fist at new fangled technologies haha. Maybe it's time to break that cycle though -

Unlike the last bunch of years, I won't be building this entry on the bones of last year, I'm starting fresh with a new codebase! I'm exploring into the world of 3 dimensions (just graphics wise for now, not for the gameplay), so there will be plenty of new things for me to learn this year. This also means the scope will be lower, I'm going to try to make more of a tight puzzle-like tactical game than long-form RPG as is more typical of my entries.

I'll try to keep this thread up to date with my progress at the end of each day, but for now the simple idea is - a deck builder, with cards representing attacks/abilities on the grid, taking place in small single room levels (unless I find myself with a lot more time than expected)

Thanks Slashie!

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In the past few years I've used a topic in this space to keep a daily dev blog of my progress through the 7 days.

As far as I can tell now though I can only post in three sections labelled QA, Team-making, and Resources, none of which seem suited to that...

Can a moderator please add a new section?

Thanks to Blind for this demo run!

Hey thanks a lot! Great to hear you made it to the end!

Thanks for playing, glad you liked it! Sound has definitely been a big missing piece in all my 7drls - something I can hopefully take care of next year :)

Not sure about my older games here on itch. I guess as time goes on and me and my games get better, feedback and attention on the old me isn't something I really want to spend time on heh.

Thanks for playing, glad you liked it!

After java 1.8 patch 221, Oracle requires developers purchase a license for commercial uses. Even though games here are often free (non-commercial), it can be easier/safer to avoid the whole situation by sticking to 1.8. Later versions of java should be able to execute 1.8 jars with no problem, so in theory this shouldn't impact the end user, but that said java can be fickle/annoying for the end user anyway - the exe wrap is by far the most popular download.

Thanks a lot!

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Hello, I'm not sure if this is a compliment or a complaint/accusation :) Thanks, if the former! If the latter, my 7drls have started off with the code-base of the previous year's 7drl for a while now, and I declared this to be the case per the rules - I've actually been re-using my same code-base since the 7drl in 2011, so it has slowly turned into a relatively advanced engine for RLs. You can also check out my previous 7drl entries to see that this is a pretty normal scope and quality for me, both attributes which have slowly climbed in the 14 years I've entered the challenge. 

Sorry if I'm coming down a bit too hard on you for this, the 7drl is the only jam I ever enter and I take it pretty seriously every year - I always take the week off work, and put 14 hour days (the final night often being all-nighter) into producing the best result that I can... 

End of a weekend of rest! Time for a little post challenge introspection.

To start with, I've released a post-challenge update version to fix one low impact UI bug, and one relatively high impact crash in the AI. Overall a pretty good outcome for stability to have just one known crash after 3-4 days of release :D

For atmosphere and style I think I nailed it - It's been a while since I've done this much pixel work, and I created loads of new terrain types for the sci-fi theme which I haven't done since 2017! There was a point where the gray on gray color scheme everything started looking "muddy" and confusing, especially once I started adding more ground stuff. Navigating rooms started being a bit difficult so I spent a few hours darkening non-passable terrain so at-a-glance the user can see where they can walk without having to visually identify each feature. For example, I went from this to this -

The effect is subtle (note, the walls, boxes and shelves), but makes faster play much easier.

On the downside, I don't think I did survivors very well. The game already has a bit of back-tracking due to the pipes and exploding pods, having to ferry survivors around is another annoyance on top. I had an idea after the submission period to add a keybinding to "send-home" so at least you can send them off and not have to worry. Alternatively they could be hardier to make keeping them on a better option, but they're kinda stupid around explosions...

Even though the pipes contributed to backtracking, it wasn't as bad - I liked them. They introduce hard decisions about completing exploration, it means not all ships can be completed unless you're willing to pay the price in health. I know some players won't like this, but knowing when to call it is an extremely roguelike skill.

As far as longer term improvements in my approach, I learned a lot from watching streams last year (and look forward to doing so again this year), and I was able to implement some simple straight forward improvements to fix troubles they were having...

First off, I found people having issues with difficulty - this is no surprise for a traditional roguelike in modern times, and with my games in particular (I'm pretty good at roguelikes myself so can't really match difficulty to my own skill). So, I supplied normal and easy new game versions, however no-one I saw play would ever take the easy game, even if they were dying over and over on normal - I think likely some form of gamer pride. This year's fix for this was to rebrand easy to normal, and normal to hard - pride issues fixed! The game is probably still too hard overall but at least people should take the easier route this year.

Next was keybindings - last year, despite having "Help" as a menu item, forcibly showing them the help screen on first game load, adding a message to "Press F1 for help", some people still ended up mashing the keyboard in confusion. This year, I repeat the "Press F1 for help" message every time an unbound key is pressed, there's no way to escape assistance now! In addition to that, keybindings are tricky in general. Some users obviously have less traditional RL experience and couldn't handle the numpad, insisting on WASD. I can't imagine how anyone would be comfortable with those wonky keys for diagonal movements, but each to their own - This year users get to change movement bindings right out of the gate (last year I made them available in a post-challenge update).

And I guess that's kind it!

I haven't seen my game on stream yet, but it's loaded up with Tiger J, hopefully to be run through on Wednesday 5.30 EST ;) See you there!

Hey, thanks for the feedback x3! Hardspace was what kicked off the idea, but destructible terrain ended up a stone too far after spending time on all the other stuff :P

Your profile pic/name are ringing some bells for me - did you maybe stream 7drls one year? If so you should again!

Hey, Thanks for the feedback! Yeah survivors probably could have been done a bit better, I had an idea afterwards for a keybinding to send-home... at least I had the foresight to only spawn them within certain range of the dock so ferrying them back mid-explore isn't too bad :P

End of day 7 - For real!

Welcome employee 22195, you are on time for your shift!

Your job today is to clear derelict space crafts, so they can be stripped for metal later...

Payments are made for eliminating threats, rescuing survivors, collecting scrap, and retrieving the black box at the rear of each craft. Stay safe!

Check it out -

End of day 7 - Sort of.

It's 1am, and I'm finally playing the game - but it needs much more polish and balance work. I actually started the challenge at midday on Saturday which gives me another 11 hours and I'm going to push that through. Next post will be a victory lap though, I know it :)

End of day 6!

I have all the proc gen complete, except for a bit of extra work to randomly scatter damage, gibs and bones about. Here is the above scout ship with rooms full of neato stuff:

Here is how one looks from the ground -

It's not just these small scout ships either, I have 5 types including transport, science, other salvage ships, and a super secret final type you'll have to play to find out ;) Each type is larger than the previous. Tomorrow will be adding in enemies and balancing things.