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Developer graspee
Theme Sucking and spitting
Influences Kirby series, Spelunky
Released 2014
Updated 2014 (7drl)
Licensing some kind of free
P. Language C++
Platforms SDL so lots but only Win built
Interface Keyboard, most keys redefinable in menu
Game Length 1 hour for win
Official site of Sucker





Sucker is a 7 day roguelike game created in a 168-hour window as part of the 7DRL 2014 event.

Instructions copied from in-game screen

You are Pango Pango, an employee of the Happillama Realtech corporation. Your job is to investigate seemingly-abandoned space vessels and bring back valuable treasure. In order to do your job you have been given a state-of-the-art vacuum device which sucks up and shrinks down matter, living or dead.

The device normally keeps items in stasis to prevent them going off, exploding or fighting each other but your device has always been less than 100% functional and so will only achieve stasis if you use a stasis device you may find on your travels.

The device has two modes: suck and blow. The device consumes steam to operate. The steam will build up over time, one unit at a time, to a maximum of 5 units. Normal sucking or blowing uses one unit of steam, but you can also use super mode which is more powerful but needs and consumes all 5 units of steam.

A normal suck will suck in a monster or item on one of the 8 squares around you. If there's more than one target then a selector will show you which are valid directions and you can press a direction to confirm. In super mode, sucking will be able to suck an item or monster right across the room and into your weapon. Some things are too big to fit in the chamber of your vacuum, but you can still suck them towards you.

Blowing will blow the topmost item out of your vacuum. In normal mode this will deposit the item onto one of the 8 squares around you. In super mode the item will shoot out across the room and can even damage mobs that are in the way. Do note though, that you can't fire an item at a mob that is right next to you as there would be no room.

Sucking, blowing and changing the toggle switch from suck to blow or vice versa all use up one turn. To pick up an item just bump into it. If you are already carrying an item it will be swapped. Some things you will find are locked, e.g. the exit or the broom cupboard (Please rescue broom!) To unlock something, simply be carrying a key and bump into it, then bump into it again to open it or leave in the case of the exit. You can't drop the item you're carrying, only swap it with another.

Unique/rare features

The gimmick in this game is the vacuum weapon. Basically a 10 object stack. As mentioned above, you have suck mode and blow mode, and in either mode you can either do a normal operation, or a super operation. Normal operations are limited to one square radius around the character, whereas super operations have a maximum possible range of 10 squares.

Combat in the game is not traditional. Although you can pick up a sword sometimes (it's one of the items in a pool of six from which 3 items are generated each level), the basic ways of dealing with mobs are to either suck them into the vacuum, blow another item from the vacuum to kill them like a ranged attack or lure them into lava.

On each level there is a locked broom cupboard containing Independent Entity Princess Spacealina Broom who needs to be rescued. You can only rescue Broom by sucking him (sic) into the vacuum before you leave the level. On the last level there is additionally a Golden Tziken to rescue. This kind of rescuing idea is taken from Spelunky.

Unlocking the exit on level 10 and stepping through is a "normal win". Doing that plus rescuing the Golden Tziken is considered a "tziken win", "tziken takeaway" or "tziken carryout" (depending on the common phrase in user's country).

Normal features

  • There are ten "dungeon" levels 80x50, each one representing a space ship you enter to salvage things. The map generation is handled by making a series of small "patches", each of which is made by drawing rectangles and circles overlapping each other and then sometimes randomly 1 or 2-way mirroring the result. These patches are then placed in the centre of the map and pushed out radially. When a patch doesn't overlap anything else it is "stamped down". This results in levels that are guaranteed to be navigable, although sometimes a diagonal move is required.
  • The graphics are a set of 40 16x16 sprites. There's no animation.
  • The text in the game is the same font used in The Hobbit for the ZX Spectrum by Melbourne House. It is slightly unusual in being 8 pixels tall by 6 wide. It was made to fit more text onto the screen on small resolution screens.
  • There are 20 mobs per level of random types from (skeleton, kobby bomber, cake golem, gelatinous cube, imp and bat).
  • There is always on a level: locked exit, locked broom cupboard, rabbit gate, 2 keys, 5 gems, 10 gold bars and 3 "special" items, such as sword, medpack, shield etc.
  • On level 10 there is a locked chest containing the Golden Tziken.
  • Some mobs can transform under some circumstances
  • After 100 turns extra space rabbits start to randomly gate in one at a time from the rabbit gate. (2% chance per turn).
  • FOV is c++ code for recursive shadowcasting taken from this site
  • There is fairly simple coloured lighting, both a circular torch the player starts with and can turn on and off and randomly-placed lights round the walls that emit a broadly semi-circular light.
  • A primitive stealth mechanic results from use of these lights: if the player is in total darkness he will not be noticed by mobs, although once they have seen him they will be able to find him for ever.
  • There are a small number of items with specific uses, e.g. a sword you can kill mobs with by bumping into them when carrying it (limited to five uses to stop it being overpowered) and batteries which give you 5 steam instantly (basically full "mana" to enable almost back to back super vacuum use (using the battery itself takes one turn)).
  • The combat is pretty simple. The player can deal with mobs by sucking them into the vacuum, ranged attacking them by spitting a vacuum-held object at them, luring them into lava or killing them with the sword. Mobs all have 1 hit point while the player has 10.

Unimplemented Features

A number of planned features were unable to be written in time for the 7DRL challenge, these include:

  • Mobs and items in the vacuum chamber were planned to interact with each other: mobs would fight, use items and so on. Without this feature the stopwatch ("stasis device") is useless.
  • Kobby bombers were supposed to throw their bombs about; they would count down from 5 to 1 then explode. It was going to be both an additional hazard for the player and another way of killing mobs especially since bombs could be sucked up in the vacuum and fired out like RPGs.
  • Mobs were supposed to interact with items on the main map too: rabbits would pick up batteries and become shielded, visually changing and unable to be damaged by firing objects at them. This is similar to the mechanic that did get implemented: skeletons being transformed by lava into fire skeletons that look different and deal double damage.

Versions and platforms

Sucker is written in C++ with the SDL library (2.0.1). A binary is provided for Windows only. Source code is available on github at [1]

Game related links

You need to have installed the Microsoft Visual Studio 2013 redistributable. (x86 version I assume but try 64 bit if it doesn't work still). Most modern game players have this installed anyway as most steam games install it.

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