VERGER: a tiny roguelike in four seasons - year one

Hey hi! I'm bryan (or hexcavator, or bryin, depending on how we've met). VERGER is a small, colorful roguelike I've been building in my spare time. It started as an entry to 7DRL 2018, when I became fixated on the idea of a game with seasonal cycles where the goal was to survive a full year.

Each season would feature unique weather, monsters, power-ups, etc. Difficulty would increase steadily, but your starting point would change every playthrough, creating narrative and gameplay variety.

Armed with this admittedly thin premise, I dove into Pico-8 and spent a frantic week teaching myself procedural generation & turn-based game code. The result was bare-bones but somehow satisfying.

I quickly realized my real goal was creating distilled vignettes of the things I love about RPGs -- weird characters; memorable landscapes; snappy combat; oblique arcana -- while stripping away the unnecessarily huge scale and ambitions associated with modern "open worlds". I aimed for an experience that could last 15-20 minutes while still delivering on the key the beats of the genre.

After the jam ended, I continued cramming features into the cart, but quickly slammed into Pico-8's memory limitations — or, more accurately, my own inability to avoid them. I had some experience with LOVE, so I spent a week porting my code and built out from there.

Through many stops and starts, including a two month setback caused by dropping my external HDD and frying a bunch of not-backed-up files, I've been working my way towards a more polished proof of concept. Now, after about a year, I'm feeling pretty close to that vision.

My short-term goal is to start submitting a demo build to shows (probably MAGFest first, as I'm familiar with the process and I feel like VERGER is a good aesthetic fit), and hopefully using that momentum to drive things to the home stretch. A free demo on itch is also in the works!

I'd estimate the game is about 75% code complete and 40-50% content complete. Lately I've spent a lot of time implementing tutorials and hardening the controls and UI; next comes more diverse monster behavior and a bunch of pseudo-procedural narrative snippets, then hopefully a bunch of custom interactable objects (altars to pray at, fires to burn stuff, I dunno yet?)

Anyhow, that's a bit about where things are at and where they're headed! If any of the above appeals to ya, I'm always grateful for feedback, follows, or to field questions/comments/whatever! Thanks for checking out VERGER, and pls stay tuned for more real soon!


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Looks enticing, very excited

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can't wait to play it!