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Pogue Thacker, Rogue Hacker

Edited February 17, 2023

This was my entry in the 2021 7-Day Roguelike Competition, and I'm really proud of it. It was a culmination of everything I learned over the course of 2020. Click up there to play it!

It fared pretty well in the competition, too. The jam results page on says it's ranked 6th out of 246 entries, but it's tied for 6th with 21 other games, with 5 games tied for first ahead of it. I would say that means maybe it's tied for second? And for sure it means that their ranking system, in spite of having scores out to three decimal places, needs much finer granularity. All of that said, people don't enter that competition to win, they enter it to make cool roguelikes.

I don't think I ever wrote up a formal devlog / postmortem for this one, but I did find a document with a list of the things I did on each of the seven days.

Progress log

Day 1
Got a level rendering and a camera pointed at it
Basic player movement and collision
hostile bullets and player damage
powerups moving the grid reticle around
grid/text buffer display
friendly bullets
shooting controls
using way more trig in this one
shooting stuff hooked up to grid numbers
exit -> new level
coin powerups
HP/armor/coinmult hooked up
very very basic enemy class, trying to learn more about object inheritance
rudimentary level generation

Day 2
enemy movement
damage adding impulse
room template stamping
camera zoom
bombs implemented and hooked up to grid
player speed/size/inertia hooked up to grid
20 room templates
enemy/chaser art

Day 3
more enemies
loot crates
lots more room templates
luck stat, drops from destroyed enemies and walls
preliminary/tutorial level
3 starting character classes
feedback when grid values change
pickups can now be bounced around with player bullets
Grabbed and wired up a bunch of music. Good old Francis Preve.

Day 4
short day owing to family stuff
title screen
safe zone levels every 3
more enemy variants
tracking and increasing difficulty over time
boss and boss level
designed unlockable character classes

Day 5
another short day, another short dollar
6 new unlockable character classes and all the tracking stuff necessary for them
visual and behavior polish
game over screen, high score tracking across sessions
hooked up "secret" stat
hid some stuff
worked on sprites a little

Day 6
SFX, writing, and polish
new, more impressive boss sprite
lots of playtesting
improved vfx for miscellaneous things
made it impossible to get stuck if the player's size increases too much to get through single-wide gaps
stopped pickups from spawning overlapping each other and becoming immobile
better feedback for why certain things don't work in certain grid states
took forever fixing a collision bug because I couldn't see the difference between textx and testx and something, SOMEWHERE was setting a global called textx to 1200.

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