Into the dungeon...

Spire of Chaos

No one could stop the dragon, and now he is ruling your beloved city. A seasoned adventurer like you know that he will get bored and devour everyone in a few days. But a seasoned adventurer likes you knows there is nothing that can harm the monster except for an enchanted dragon slaying arrow.

Nobody has seen one of those in ages. It is said that the wizard kept one in his tower nearby... but he died a century ago. Others have tried to get into the building just to escape with reports of deadly traps and monsters. There is no choice now but face the dangers within if you are to slay the evil dragon. The time is running out and the path will certainly be filled with peril, it's not an accident this place is called...


You have a week, adventurer.

My first solo entry in PW! A dungeon crawl rogue-like....


Slowest Moving Character in a Bright Blue Cape Award
Presented by LeopardShark

Tower of Abandoned Footware
Presented by rdb

The "Cobbler" award for interesting footware taxonomy in a dungeon crawler.
Presented by ntoll

Every step a trap
Presented by zwerver

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Ratings (show detail)

Overall: 3.5
Fun: 3.5
Production: 3.5
Innovation: 3.3

8% respondents marked the game as not working.
Respondents: 11


File Uploader Date
1.2 version with no music, to make upload smaller
Darni 2019/09/29 22:01
Final upload
Darni 2019/09/29 10:44
Into the dungeon...
Darni 2019/09/28 21:22

Diary Entries

Almost there

In 1832, Thomas Cole painted Romantic Landscape with Ruined Tower.

This has been my inspiration during the week (and I got to include this image in my game)

Now, time to upload the final entry, or at least the first "finished" entry... I'll try to get some tweaks in the hours left and see if they can make the cut.

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Upload issues...

I guess this is the time where upload issues begin:
502 Bad Gateway
The proxy server received an invalid response from an upstream server.
Apache/2.2.22 (Ubuntu) Server at Port 443

Probably a combination of a large-ish submission from me (~25 MB, I went a bit overboard with the soundtracks) and server on fire close to the deadline. So, jic:

$ sha256sum release/
068b9b7887fd318cd7dec8438b685c566386ac82e75a35fcb8105faf9a0b3b2d  release/

The uploader script finishes with a 302 pointing to with the file not uploaded...


Goal Line!

OK, after a long week I'm quite happy with the results. I still haven't been able to upload my submission but it's reachable from github.

There are a million things that didn't make the cut, of course. A kind of game like this thrives in having infinite content, so it was a good exercise of figuring out what was critical and what could be taken out. There are only a few things that I could have added and were really a few hours away:

  • Adjusting the parameters of each level to get more uniqueness from one to other
  • Adding more kinds of monsters instead of the single "generic monster blob/thing" I ended up having (which could have helped a lot to the above)
  • Adding different kinds of doors/ matching keys

If I look at my ideas list, there's a very extensive line of stuff that was postponed and I may do later:

  • A magic system (the original character was supposed to be a wizard too) but the core mechanics ate all the time and spell-casting was a large investment (mostly because then I needed to implement a wide array of spells before it was interesting)
  • An ability system, that can be received when leveling up. I wanted to give you in each level a choice of one out of 2 or 3 abilities picked randomly from the whole pool of abilities. That would force you to mix and match interesting characters on each play-through instead of thinking about "the optimal build"
  • The two above would have allowed a class system (i.e warrior vs rogue vs mage).
  • Walking vs running. one would include a search for traps to be more "careful", the other would take less time. In the end I defaulted to running. This was really simple to implement (use shift+arrow to walk, add a search in between each step), but I felt it would have been useful to explain and make visible the consequences of that to the player (i.e. feedback).
  • Conditions (like poison, or curses)
  • And of course even more monsters, traps and treasure
  • For monsters I was thinking on a combination system to get more variety where you get a base creature plus an adjective. For example a "swarm of X" it's an X but harder to escape from, a "Giant X" is an X that deals more damage, etc. I also had plans for different effects for monster besides "you take damage"
  • Tons of polish: On text messages, that sometimes are built with incorrect grammar, f-strings are great but not THAT smart unfortunately. Adding more graphics, visual feedback, floor tiles, actual walls, lighting, animations, ...

But all in all, I'm proud of the end result, and hoping you enjoy it!

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A strategy guide

With people evaluating the game, I thought it would be nice to provide a strategy guide... The game is beatable with some experience in it, probably hard if you're new. I've separated tips in two sections, the top ones (labeled as TIPS) are gamerules that can be useful (and you'll probably can figure out yourself if you pay attention), and the second section (labeled as SPOILERS), has some tricks that you might want to discover by yourself:


  • Each level has an entrance and an exit that you should try to find
  • Different actions take different time. Take a look at the clock on the bottom left, you have until the end of day seven or you lose.
  • There's always a path to the exit of each level. If you don't find it, try searching (S key) for hidden doors in the perimeter of the explored area. If you don't have high awareness, you may need to search each square a few times to find it.
  • You'll see small dark grey extensions of a corridors to the sides indicating paths that are yet unexplored.
  • Check your HP bar if you're taking damage. If it's low, you can always rest (R key); that recovers all your HP. You spend a lot of time, but resting should make it unusual to lose because your HP got down to zero.
  • Items can give you bonuses to actions, but you have to choose to use the item on the relevant menu. Those options are shown in green (and are generally better than the equivalent non-green option)
  • You can only carry one pair of boots, if you pick one, you have to drop the other


  • You are trying to get to the top of the tower, not explore everything/pick up all items/kill all monsters. If you go for a "completionist" approach, you'll most likely run out of time. many obstacles you can just walk around
  • If you need to get extra items, fight monsters. They sometimes drop loot.
  • Alternating search and walk makes you go more slowly, but lowers the chance of stepping on a random trap significantly.
  • There are never traps where monsters or items are. And traps within doors only affect you when trying (successfully or not) to open it.
  • Breaking/unlocking a door triggers a trap, but destroys the trap afterwards. Trying to untrap it might trigger it many times instead. Depending on how strong/agile you are, you might choose to take the hit. (especially if you are in a hurry)
  • Walking through a trap is sometimes a good option if you're in a hurry (and the trap is not the kind that delays you)
  • The exit of each level is always in the bottom right corner of the map. Try to always make progress towards it
  • Try to have something on your feet always, even if you don't use it. Those acid trap pits are nasty.
  • Depending on what you're good at (fighting monsters vs opening doors), you most likely want to choose a path where you can take advantage of your skills/items.
  • This is a balance issue that I'd like to fix: There are more than enough health potions. So upgrading your health is usually not worth it
  • This is a balance issue that I'd like to fix: escaping a monster is usually a bad idea (if you don't want to fight it, don't move into its room on the first place!). That makes the boots of escaping a pretty useless item... except for protecting your feet. Very occasionally an escape is useful (if you get to a monster room to check what's behind a corner and see that it's a dead end with nothing of value).

Good luck!

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