Seven Day Roguelike Challenge
History and Rationale
In 2005, the roguelike community established a yearly event, the 7DRL Challenge, in which all the world is challenged to create a roguelike in a one-week span. This allows one to have the shared misery of knowing you are not the only one tracking down a bad pointer at the 167th hour. As a suggested schema for proposing the challenge the 7DRL Voting Specification has been created.
The annual event occurs during a week in late February or early March. There is a chance that some other challenges may arise out of schedule, thus allowing more than one challenge per year.
7DRL Challenges are NOT about being a fast coder, but rather proving you can release a finished, playable roguelike to the world. There is no winner of the challenge, but rather all those who finish are honoured for their work, the criterion is completeness.
- You CAN use external libraries, game engines, pre-existing generic code/algorithms, pre-existing generic art, etc. You can even start your game from an existing game, if you are willing to turn it out into something unique, you must however say what resources were reused.
- It is allowed and recommended to have a rough design idea of your project before starting
- Check out this article by Darren Grey for a few pointers on how to succeed at the challenge, and the 7DRL episodes of Roguelike Radio. But ultimately follow your own advice! You're the only one who can make your game.
How to participate
- After the initial date chosen for the challenge, sign up in the jam page for the year.
- Whenever you are ready to start working, take note of your starting time. You can optionally post a notice of you starting development in the game jam forum. 168 or less hours after this initial post, submit your game entry on the portal and mark it as successful or unsuccessful
- The challenge is always Saturday to Sunday; if you start after Sunday you will have less than 168 hours as in-challenge 7DRLs must be completed by the closing time. You can still use 168 hours and have a normal, out of challenge, 7DRL, however
One of the joys of the set challenge week is that you know you are not alone in your struggles with pointer errors and inscrutable bugs. A community of developers and players comes together during the week and after to revel in the challenge. To join in here are some useful links:
- Mailing list sign-up used to receive important news and updates
- 7drl.org — A community blog for the 7DRL Challenge, with many screenshots and posts of the games involved. (Now defunct?)
- Rogue Temple forums and r/roguelikedev subreddit, for general roguelike-y discussion
- RGRD irc channel and RL Discord, where a lot of the participants hang out during the challenge.
- Roguelike Radio podcast episodes relating to the 7DRL Challenge
To the date, there have been nineteen annual 7DRL challenges
- March 5th to March 13th, 2005. 7DRL Contest 2005
- February 25th to March 5th, 2006. 7DRL Contest 2006
- March 10th to March 18th, 2007 7DRL Contest 2007
- March 8th to March 16th, 2008 7DRL Contest 2008
- March 7th to March 15th, 2009 7DRL Contest 2009
- March 6th to March 14th, 2010 7DRL Contest 2010
- March 5th to March 13th, 2011 7DRL Contest 2011
- March 10th to March 18th, 2012 7DRL Contest 2012
- March 9th to March 17th, 2013 7DRL Challenge 2013
- March 8th to March 16th, 2014 7DRL Challenge 2014
- March 7th to March 15th, 2015 7DRL Challenge 2015
- March 5th to March 14th, 2016 7DRL Challenge 2016
- March 4th to March 12th, 2017 7DRL Challenge 2017
- March 3th to March 11th, 2018 7DRL Challenge 2018
- March 2th to March 10th, 2019 7DRL Challenge 2019
- February 29th to March 8th, 2019 7DRL Challenge 2020
- March 6th to March 14th, 2021 7DRL Challenge 2021
- March 5th to March 13th, 2022 7DRL Challenge 2022
- March 4th to March 12th, 2023 7DRL Challenge 2023
Besides the main annual 7DRL Challenge, there was a smaller event on October 15th to October 23rd, 2006, called the Orange October Minigun 7DRL Contest 2006