Archive for March, 2013

Last week I joined the “7 Day Roguelike Challenge” and wrote the game Alchemy. The goals I set myself were.

  • Complete a playable roguelike game in 7 days
  • Learn more about Clojure!
  • Share some of my experiences

Having successfully completed the first two goals, this is my attempt to deliver on the last point. In this (somewhat extended) post I’m going to describe my experiences using Clojure for the 7DRL challenge – with discussion how to get the most out of Clojure for game development.


Alchemy Day 7: Completion!

Posted: March 18, 2013 in Uncategorized

Final day of coding on Alchemy!

It was a bit of a scramble to bring everything together and tune the gameplay, but it all somehow worked out as a finished game in the end.

2013-03-17 Final 7DRL screenshot

You can download the final .jar file here:

And then run it in the usual way (either double click it, or do “java -jar alchemy.jar”). You need Java 1.6 or higher.


Today I focused on a key gameplay element: the crafting and use of potions

2013-03-16 Alchemy

Potions offer a lot of interesting gameplay:

  • You can drink them for (hopefully!) positive effects
  • You can throw them at monsters
  • You can use an analysis lab (pictures) to identify a potion and determine what ingredients a potion requires. This costs you a potion though…
  • You can create them if you find the right ingredients and know the recipe. But ingredients are scarce! So you need to plan with care….


Today was about getting dungeon generation working:

2013-03-16 Dungeon building

I was going for a fairly traditional Rogue-style effect in my dungeons: Rooms connected by twisty corridors. I’m quite pleased with how it is starting to look.

My algorithm is roughly:

– Recursively sub-divide the dungeon into zones, BSP-style
– At each division, add one or two connection points between the zones. The connection points will be either doors or corridors
– At the lowest level, build either a specific room with the connections turned into doors or a set of twist passages

I’m still working on room decoration: I maintain a list of rooms and after the basic level is laid out I run a “decorate” function that adds items of interest, monsters and other scenery to specific rooms.

Today I worked mainly on monsters and combat.

2013-03-16 Combat


Lots of nice features:

  • Hits can cause effects to be added to the target, e.g. poisoning from snake bites. The time spent implementing the effect system has really paid off here!
  • Various factors affect combat: you can dodge blows (with agility), block blows (with your weapon/ shield) and score critical hits if you are skilful enough
  • Support for different weapons / attack types is implemented though I’m not sure if I will have time to make all the weapon items and related functionality
  • Events can be trigger when something dies – currently just using this to create random item drops

Would like to write more but have more coding to do…. another update soon!


Today was another day of good progress. The race against time is definitely on – I’ve spent probably too much time on the core engine, which is pretty cool but probably overkill for a 7DRL.

Nevertheless, I’m feeling optimistic that I will be able to finish a working game in time, although it might no be possible to get in all the advanced features I would like.
2013-03-14 More Progress

As you can see, it is now starting to look like a proper Roguelike. I’ve decided to go for a fairly “classic” look.


Day 2 of Alchemy was tough – trying to snatch some hours of game coding in between “real work”. Nevertheless still managed to make some good progress.

2013-03-13 LOS features

As you can see, it’s starting to look a bit more like a real Roguelike. But equally importantly, things are starting to come together under the hood.