Cool and very tactical game! Due to the nature of the main time travel mechanic it gets pretty deep. The irregular pentagon terrain is one of the most interesting & natural looking tiles I've seen in a RL though occasionally the tile divides can be obscured by the units causing you to try to interact with a tile you aren't actually adjacent to. It also controls really + the highlighting for targeting is very helpful. It's cool that the different types of enemies have different strategies needed to overcome them though at least with trasks(the green ones) it felt like you HAD to clone+taunt or you were dead, although I didn't realize I had a ranged spell to start at first :D. The unit boxes are a bit large, sometimes they cover each others' life bars, but highlighting at least lets you check their hp at the bottom. Sometimes it was easy to miss which was my main character and which was a clone, maybe a different color scheme like purple for them would help? I completed the challenges and the first 2 levels, but died on 3 trying to distract a fire guy and not realizing they arent melee. I think a super simple "undo" one turn spell/action would help a ton when you are unsure of the enemy's behavior or just make a misstep and end up in an unwinnable situation while also fitting thematically. Overall this is a really ambitious and innovative game!
A downloadable game for Windows and macOS
A time-traveling roguelike, where you cooperate with your past selves to overcome all odds. Summon several versions of yourself, and work with them to defeat all foes!
See the playthrough of the Ambush Challenge to get a faster introduction to chronomancy!
7DRL reviewers, please read the Feedback Requested section below!
This is a traditional roguelike: terrain is procedurally generated (except for a few special locations, like level 2), all enemies are random, it's turn based, and has permadeath. It's also very challenging, so play the introduction and attempt the challenges a few times, or watch the Ambush Challenge playthrough!
When a terrible beast attacked your village, your brother cast the Ultimate Stasis to freeze time for the beast... and himself. You can free him only with the power of a black incendium artifact, from within Ember Deep. Terrors await, but you must go forward, to have any hope of saving your brother.
- Click on a tile to move there, or attack the enemy there.
- Escape: Stop movement.
- A: Place time anchor. You can later revert to this time and place.
- R: Revert to latest time anchor.
- E: Interact; enter a cave, use stairs, pick up item.
- D: Defy, to reduce incoming damage by 2/3 and taunt adjacent enemies.
- S: Mire, delays the enemy's next action by half a turn (stacks logarithmically). Requires Mire Staff, costs 2mp.
- F: Set a fire bomb at the specified location that will do 32 damage after a couple more turns pass. Requires Fire Rod, costs 10mp.
What is Reverting?
Reverting is when you send your current player into the past. You can then see your "old self" move exactly as you did back then, and you are free to move your "new self" at the same time.
To revert, one must:
- Place a "time anchor" via button or 'a' key. This is where/when your future self will come back to.)
- Do some things, such as moving a few tiles away. These actions will be repeated after you've reverted.
- Revert via button or 'r' key. You will see time rewind, and then you will see two players: your old self and your new self.
- Do some things with your new self, and watch as your old self does the same things you did in step 2, and your new self who you now control.
If your old self fails to move the way you did back then, it will disappear. For example, if tries to move into a space that was free in its timeline but there's an enemy there now, it will disappear.
Some examples of good uses of reverting:
- If you want to fight a powerful enemy, your old self can defend (via
button or 'd' key) while your new self attacks. You can even have multiple "old self" players, one to defend and the rest to attack!
- If you want to run from a particularly powerful enemy, your old self can lure it away while your new self escapes.
- If you want to survive an ambush of multiple enemies, you can make multiple "old self" players, one to fight each enemy!
- Your old selves can cast Mire on powerful enemies to make them move slower.
- Fire button in UI was accidentally casting a development spell, changed it to be consistent with the 'f' key.
- Flames weren't blooming properly, making them look super yellow.
- Looker panel wasn't showing items on ground.
- Fixed a bug where actions weren't happening immediately until you did several in a row.
- Player could be spawned in corridors, surrounded by units.
- Bide fire effect was only showing on affected units, not locations.
- Fixed retreat challenge's Draxling's killability and low sight.
- Fixed timetraveling lunge animations and orphan views.
- Replaced the UI panel system, as it was causing NPEs and being generally difficult.
- Fixed bugs from player inputs during cinematics.
- Fixed sight being blocked by magma.
- Fixed tile overlays not disappearing at the right times.
These were fixed after 7DRL, but the original is still available in the downloads section.
I'm considering releasing this as an actual Android/iOS game, so I'm excited to get feedback from the 7DRL reviewers! I'm particularly curious about your thoughts on:
- For each category, what could I change to improve the score to a 5? (if a 5 is even possible)
- Any ideas for spells and abilities that can resonate well with chronomancy? (Besides the current Mire and Fire Bomb spells you find on levels 1 and 2)
- I made the in-game introduction and the playthrough video to help the learning curve, any ideas for how to make the learning curve even easier?
Also, as a traditional roguelike, Ember Deep is meant to be very challenging, which sometimes makes it hard to review, since we have a lot of games to get through. I highly recommend watching the 7-minute Ambush Challenge playthrough before judging, to skip past the usual half-hour learning curve, so you can see more of the game! If not, attempting the challenges a few times before diving into the game would help you too. Also, don't hesitate to use the cheats if you die, to get back to where you were, so you can see as much of the game as possible:
- Forward slash: Teleport to end
- 6: Get Mire Staff
- 7: Get Igneous Armor
- 8: Get Fire Rod
- 9: Get Obsidian Sword
- Insert: Full Heal
- Equals: Invincibility
- On main menu, press number of level to start on.
- Preview walk path when you hover over a distant tile.
- Fog of war, to increase the tension.
- Interrupt when someone enters field of view.
- Optimize game logic thread, so the web version isn't so slow.
- Music toggle (turned off the music for the latest release)
- Allow picking up potions, and have them expire after some time, so the player doesn't hoard them. Put countering back in at the same time, to give health potions more usefulness.
- Put the equipped item icons back in, after solving the too-many-icons conundrum.
- A series of puzzle levels, like the challenges!
About the Game
This game was made with:
- Domino, my Unity-based roguelike graphics engine.
- Chronobase, my time-traveling journaling database.
- Glift, the font extrusion utility by Solstice333, which turns .ttf symbols into 3D meshes (with outlines!).
- Music by Gravity Sound
I started with the underlying ECS engine from Incendian Falls, my last year's 7DRL submission. IMO, Incendian Falls was a good demo of time travel, but the gameplay didn't really show why it was useful, so this year's goal was to really design a game around chronomancy, and show situations where it's helpful.
Over the course of the week, the major tasks were:
- Making a level generator for the caves, using cellular automata and flood-filling.
- Hand-crafting the introductions, challenges, special levels using the editor, and scripting their cinematics.
- Added 8 enemy types, including entirely new enemy AIs.
- Added spells (Defy, Fire Bomb, Mire)
- Added triggers, markers, and teleporters.
- Added a main menu.
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Here is a review:
TLDR: It's a good game. Go play it. :D