Roguelikes and all things Roguish

Day One Bug fixes, Updated RLDR to version 0.1.3

So I fixed many problems with the recently introduced bloodsuckers that were causing crashes, and I also fixed some places in the code where content was blocked out from player access. So that should all be working! Enjoy!

Thanks for playing!


As always dev page and download are here:

Main Page

I have to do several programming assignments so don’t expect this to receive my fullest attention for the next two weeks or so. Ill still keep working on it and replying to feedback however. Finals week is coming up and I need to be ready for that.

RLDR Alpha Release

So over the past couple weeks I have been polishing up Dark Realms’ for an alpha release and its finally here!


I also made some UI changes the testers recommended, which should make things much nicer. Such as more keyboard input, for inventory, however inventory and most of the game, can still be controlled with the mouse.

There is currently no way to win, but there are many ways to die and you can tell me and everyone else how far down you get,  and tell me stories about the ludicrous things that happen in your game!

You can get more info, and a download on the main download page here


Give me your feedback, I am always open to suggestions!


The Grey/Gray Goo Problem.

When I talk about “Grey Goo” or “Gray goo” however you want to spell it i’m not talking about the hypothetical apocalyptic scenario, when nanobots eat the world, like in this image:

Or this image:

(Who knew the end of the world could be so……………… cool looking)

Im talking about this forum post:


Or this image:



The grey goo problem i’m referring to, is what happens when there is so much meaningless, (eg no game-play effect) procedural generation in a game that the player simply stops caring.

This is a problem that people have reported in No Mans Sky (the creatures are just copy pasted versions of each other with parts swapped and have little to no meaningful game-play attached to them) , all planets have life, and all planets have weird random colours that don’t tend to work with each other (and may be part of the reason that game hasn’t been as popular as first expected)  and numerous other titles, spore (to a lesser extent) all the creatures are basically the same with different stats , In some cases dwarf fortress (to an even lesser extent), I love dwarf fortress by the way, so i’m not trying to bash it. And many other games that I am not mentioning.

In a recent version of my roguelike  (which I gave to a couple people), I also had this problem.

(For those of you who don’t know, my roguelike procedurally generates pretty much everything using a special kind of  AI I cooked up so this is a real potential problem for me!)

What happened was that in this previous version of my game, I had just finished adding a “procedural item generator” that names items, assigns stats etc, with the help of my AI balance bot (as I like to call it), which prevents super OP things or super underpowered things from spawning. What happened in this version is that players stopped caring about the names of items, and just looked at them as stat boosters, and ignored most of them as-well, because they assumed they would be average since everything had its own name, and stats, and those names really meant nothing.

I realized this was a problem, and it caused more confusion then it got rid of (which was the entire point of procedurally naming them, so players could tell them apart!)

So I had to figure out a way to fix it.


Well how do you fix “random mush”? or “gray goo”?

I had to ask myself that, and the answer is obviously, to make it NOT mush, and to make it more memorable.

This has now been fixed and this is how I did it.

So now, each section of the dungeon has a list of 14 items named and generated for them, and rare , MUCH higher quality items that do receive their own names, (what used to happen is that there was  1 in 20 chance an item would be rare, and the only real difference was the color in your inventory and the name) They have now been buffed.

The dungeon section will be populated with items from this list (every 3 levels is a new section) and much rarer (though more common then  they used to be) special much more powerful items that will be useful even for the next section that do in fact have there own names.

So now when you see an items name, you know it will have the same stats the rest of those same items you encountered in the current section (and you are more likely to remember the names of the items)) so you will KNOW how powerful it is from the name, and so you will know how useful they will be, this also results in items that are much more memorable because it only generates 7 procedural armor and 7 procedural weapons for each section.(not counting rares) One section may not have the type of staff you want, so you can seek it out in the next section.

This mimics how most roguelike devs usually pre-make these items, except in this case an AI is doing it for each section. Which should result in more memorable gameplay.

Also rare items are finally useful and all the items are much more memorable and meaningful.

I plan to improve on this new system even more with items that are strong against specific creatures (who could potentially be a couple sections ahead in the dungeon, to make them even more interesting and memorable in the long run)

Thats all for today.











What have I been up to?

I finally had some time to update dark realms, the game now displays player stats and names items



The names are rather boring right now “dagger of incineration” basically means “fire dagger of some kind” but eventually I will start making the names more meaningful.

I plan to add many many more tactical creature abilities, and I plan to allow the player to jump 1 square (which will take 2 turns) and that should make the game a bit more interesting. I’m thinking creatures leaving trails of lava or slime behind them which forces you to jump over them, I also plan on adding “reach” and creatures that are in air, and so you will need a weapon with “reach” to attack them while they are in air or you will have to attack them whilst jumping.

Lots of interesting things like that, the goal being of course to make them game more engaging.


Until next Time .




Old Prototypes, More Thrive and other stuff.

I decided to upload an old prototype I made for thrive in 2013 on the website, I feel it is good enough to show off, many people complained at the time once the place that was hosting got rid of the download, so now you wont have to worry.

It is a prototype that simulates an ecosystem and evolution, the ecosystem comes about naturally through the evolutionary process, its fun to play with anyway. You can also take control of a cell, and use this “avatar” cell as your means of influencing/playing as a creature in  the world.

Capture2.JPGCapture.JPGHowever, if your original avatar’s genus goes extinct you will be stuck observing from a god-like perspective.

In other news, I continued working on the flag passing code for thrive, and I have several programming assignments I need to finish up this month and school takes priority, so don’t expect as much this month (though I will probably finish up the flag passing stuff).

I may put some work into dark realms as well, but its hard to juggle the stuff I need to do so don’t expect a huge amount of work on that.

You can download it in the downloads section of the website, or you can download it here Thrive Prototype

What have I been up to? (Thrive edition!)

So recently , I have been putting work into thrive instead of my roguelike, there are many reasons, first of which is that thrive is starting to take off, which is good, and the roguelike is still rather obscure (to anyone not in the roguelike community).

The second reason being that since I am back to school, it is much easier to occasionally put work into thrive ( A team project, with goals, and a pretty mature codebase) then it is to put work into my solo developed roguelike (mostly because I have to do everything in it, its still early so I am doing a-lot of infrastructure stuff).

That doesn’t mean I am not working on the roguelike it just means i am putting more work into thrive relatively then I am into my roguelike.

For those of you who don’t know thrive is an open source evolution game which can very well be described as  “an attempt to create high impact scientific communication through play using Xenobiology as a setting” (Quote from one of the other developers)




My Favorite image:


Thrive has recently received some press coverage as well:


Though it has been a little while since I last contributed to Thrive’s codebase  I am back in and doing some coding work, my current project is allowing us to pass flags between game states for things like a free build editor, among other things.

The free build editor will be  a new “mode” where you can use an infinite number of mutation points to create whatever microbes you want. (though they wont carry over to the main game)

My previous project involved user interface tweaks and genus/species separation and name generation.

Just thought I would let you guys know what I have been up to.


You can download thrive here

Until next time.




Progression is finally here!

So, I finally have full progression implemented. It took about a week (with a  couple days of playing stellaris, sorry) , but it is finally implemented.I still have some miscellaneous fun things I want to do, a name generator for items that is better than the current one , things like adding helmets, and boots , etc. and having those together defend you from 1 or 2 elements partially,. But the  basis (chest pieces, numerous types of weapons) are in. And you could theoretically play the game infinitely for infinite progression because all the items are dynamically generated based on how deep you are and their types.

Weapons can now be of 6 different types, with a rare variant for each type.

  • Swords

Metal Swords, Poison Swords, and Fire Swords are weapons that do a specific type of damage, for full power, but they are limited because they only do damage with one element.

  • Staffs

Staffs are a weapon that does both poison and fire damage (and magic, later), but they are limited because in comparison to a sword for example, they have the same amount of points possible, but they will assign it to both elements, so its like having two half damage elemental swords (with a  random element).

  • Poison Daggers

Poison Daggers are a weapon that does both poison and physical damage.

  • Fire Daggers

Fire Daggers are a weapon that does both fire and physical damage.


Both types of daggers are limited because they do only a small amount of physical damage, but also do an okay amount of elemental damage.


So now the players will be making a choice as to what kinds of weapons they wish to use.

  • Armor

I also have armor, and armor can (currently) be of 3 types, fire armor, poison armor, and metal armor, they work similar to how the swords worked in the previous section, but I plan to add smaller armor pieces like helmets and boots later on, that will allow the player to further customize their characters to do and be defended by specific elements.


All these items are dynamically generated based on how deep in the dungeon you are.


(EDIT: Note, after I published the blog post, I realized these gifs were very low quality, I am sorry about that, ll get better ones up tomorrow, so you might as well skip past them to the end)

The items are also procedural (eg, there is a random element)






Me showing off a couple random samples of items in the arena, as you can see, the stats of these weapons varies quite a bit, and that is only for the first section and that is only a couple of them. Also you will notice I abandoned the idea of random/identifiable potions because there is enough randomness already!




That dagger, is special, it took all its points and assigned it to physical damage, that happens sometimes.


I also have special items, which are called “rare” a rare item will show up as blue in the players inventory, and they have a +1 to all relevant statistics, so you can get armor that is rare on the first level for example, and that armor may fully protect you from one element for the entire next section.



The Future Of The Game

After several days (had to have been at least 4, maybe more I didn’t look back at old blog posts) of programming/procrastination/code cleanup/random feature adding to aid in procrastination I finally have the procedural item generator, and item spawning based on frequencies  balance fixes, health tooltips, and  lots of other things done. It took alot of work, but now I can generate and spawn items on the fly, and by name,  and  can also generate premade items all from the same generalized  list (which also includes all the item frequencies!).

My first fully procedural item is skeletons and skulls, they act as a way of helping the player come up with a  story in his/her head, and there is a chance they will reference a creature in the dungeon (only vermin right now, because I don’t have progression fully implemented yet)  the player may not have seen yet. They have a frequency of 25/100.Capture.JPG

All other items (which are all mostly premade right now, except the players starting weapon (which is a random elemental dagger) have a frequency of 10/100. But there are alot of them.

Food (which right now is this one fruit called an epel (because I want to make  a fruit generator eventually, because why not, so I might as well use a name I hope will pop up when I do get to that)  also has a frequency of  10/100.


Now that that is done, I will get monster progression in -> then set up the weapon generation code for creating balanced procedural weapons based on your depth. (its there, but it doesn’t progress yet), It probably wont be difficult to balance since the monsters already have some idea about how powerful they are supposed to be based on a “level” which is not really a level but just an abstract “use this number to assign points to creature that the AI can use to choose stats” concept. I can use the same for weapons.

Since the item gen code is completely done, this will probably take me less then a day, it may even be in by tonight (I just need to make an algorithm for weapon progression)


After that is done, I will proceed to work on this xml based “GameSet” system which I described in the recent sharing Saturday.

(Quote from sharing Saturday)

  • I will use my new xml parsing/writing code to create these things i’m calling “Game Sets” A “Game set” will allow players to (optionally) play through a game repeatably with the same “Set” of procedurally generated creatures so that they can play the game like any other standard roguelike (Until I get to the point that I start working on proper “world” saving and overworlds and such, at which point you will play in the same world over several characters) , it will also ask you when you die if you want to play with the previous game set, which is handy.


Game sets will be the way that a player can play with the same set of creatures and by extension (since items are based on creatures), items. Until the game has progressed to the point where I feel comfortable having a world generator. (and then allowing saving the world)


After this I might just release the first publicly available version or I may not, depends on what happens in the next few weeks.


Now Gifs!


(Note, it cut out the bottom part of the log and the tooltips about monster health, but if you look closely you can see text at the top right of the screen that is cut off when I mouse over a creature)


I might just replace that with an “everything you can see” type tooltip like what brogue has.

Imgur Link


Another One:


hehe, I tried to use a fire sword of a fire resistant creature and died, of course I did.

But that death was my fault, not the generator’s Hopefully thats how all deaths feel in this game.


I also show off the log in this one.

imgur link



What have I been up to?

I added an arena mode to make testing easier today, and that enabled me to fix a new bug that popped up. I am still working on the item gen code, I don’t have a tremendous amount of freetime, but I think Ill finish the item generation code by tomorrow.Though I do have some things I need to get done tomorrow that might delay that another day.

A screenshot of the arena:



I also got rid of miss chances on normal creatures entirely in order to make combat completely deterministic ( the dodge chance was the only random element), and then added a new “ability” that a creature can have that enables it to dodge.


I also picked up a gif making tool (Courtesy of reddit) , so I can now make gifs of my game, to show it off.

Like this one:

A gif from the game.


(Note, some of the UI, like the mouse over/monster health/bottom of the log are partially off the gif so you cant see them, I am unable to record the entire window for some reason)

Spoiler, This was actually a YASD, I should have ran left.

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