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Billy Basement

Edited February 6, 2023

Another of the 2020 20. I like this one. You can play it by clicking up there, or check it out check it out on

Original devlog / postmortem:

The theme of this jam was ďUndergroundĒ and the last-minute limitation was that the game had to take place in a single room. Iím not sure Basement Billy really obeys that limitation. Iím also not sure if the name is Billy Basement or Basement Billy, because I canít seem to type it the same way twice in a row. I am sure, though, that the five people who recognize the ďCellar WilliamísĒ reference will find it very amusing.

For a while, Iíve wanted to make a top down adventure game - something where you just move around a tile-based environment and interact with different objects and read little blurbs and solve really lightweight puzzles and donít fight anything.

This is the first time Iíve done a grid-based game where the player sprite actually traverses the screen space between grid spaces, and I think this makes a really outsized difference in how it feels to play. For everything other than the walls, I used sprites from an asset pack that was in that huge itch bundle. It came with walk cycle sprite sheets, so I gave that a try. I donít think I did an amazing job of wiring them in, but itís acceptable.

The theme suggested a digging/mining system, which I think adds a compelling mechanical layer to what could otherwise just be a bitsy game. I also think that adding multiple endings made it more enticing to play, but this is one of those content-driven games that I canít really experience as a player, so Iím just basing this on the feelings of an imaginary copy of me. My, arenít you handsome.

Iím very happy with the way this one turned out. Thereís a part of me that aspires to one day make something as perfect as Donít Shit Your Pants, and this might be the closest Iíve ever gotten to achieving that goal. Letís call it 10%.

Adding the endings and a handful of little hidden interactions reminded me of the secrets I built into Ghost Wizard, my 2019 7-Day Roguelike. I think there is a much better game hidden inside that game, and Billy makes me think that maybe itís as simple as the better game having an authored environment and no fighting.

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