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Developer Nathaniel Inman
Theme Hack 'n Slash
Influences Exploring The Bleak
Released 2011
Updated 0.02
Licensing GPLv3
P. Language Visual Basic .NET
Platforms Windows
Interface Ascii, Keyboard
Game Length 15 min
Official site of Kepler-10b


Kepler-10b is a fork of Exploring The Bleak. A fork is a derivative of a video game based of it's parents framework and are often called branches. Kepler-10b was created for 7DRLC 2011 which was held on March 5th to March 12th of 2011.

  • March 4th, 2011 (1 day before 7DRL Competition)* - _I'm anticipating another successful 7DRL this year. Having made so many graphical games lately I felt it necessary to ensure that this 7DRL I release something a little more... classic. What might make the displaying of this game unique is its step away from ASCII and towards Unicode 6. What if those Ethiopian characters where aliens? Long live the @!_



You are on the Cygnas System exploration team, sent to explore and take samples from the world Kepler-10b which was recently discovered to have an atmosphere coherent to livable standards. K10b is mostly rocky with little foliage, and a much higher gravity pull than Earth. It rotates around it's sun K10 every 19 1/4 Earth hours. K10b was discovered 827 years ago today, in February of 2011.

You are on Earth-week 2 of 3 of the split-team exploration. There was, unbeknownst to you, alien life on K10b and they, during your second week, amounted resistance and your core team barely escaped alive.

In order to return home you have to retrieve the ship access keys. There are five. One is already in your possession as you are captain. You must find the 4 other pilots key cards to access the main drive. The ship had split into 5 teams, each under command of a pilot. You haven't heard from the other teams since landing and hadn't planned to meet with them until week 3 where all teams were to rendezvous at the ship rally point. Wide-band communications won't reach past a thousand or so feet due to strange wave emulsions that pulse every few seconds from the K10b core.

Command your team to whatever style suits you. Wait at the ship to see if all teams will return, and possibly die of starvation from local resistance (technically, you're the aliens,) or trudge the designated locations the teams were supposed to take samples from and hopefully obtain the access keys to return home. The choice is yours to make.

How To Play

Retrieve all of the access key cards and head to the drop ship to return home. Strength increases your melee attack strength, Dexterity increases your chances to dodge attacks, Constitution gives damage reduction on all attacks, Wisdom gives you more points to distribute when you level up, Intelligence increases your ranged damage, Luck increases the amount of loot that you find, and Charisma increases the chance you'll cause enemies to flee in horror. HP is your health points, when it reaches 0 you die. EN is your suit energy which is used for your ranged weapon, when it reaches 0 you are left with melee attacks only until you recharge your energy by resting or items.


In order to level up you kill enemies by walking into them. use the num pad or arrow keys to move. Numpad keys 7,9,3, and 1 move diagnally.

  • 'p' or 't' picks up items.
  • 'i' shows your inventory.
  • '?' or 'h' shows and hides this help.
  • 's' toggles shooting the enemy (targets) press spacebar to shoot.
  • '5' on the num pad waits a turn and allows you to heal 1HP/1EN.
  • '1' is your primary skill
  • '2' is your secondary skill
  • '3' is your support skill
  • 's' shoots your ranged weapon, which consumes energy.
  • '<' goes up stairs.
  • '>' goes down stairs.
  • 'f1' shows the high scores.
  • 'f2' shows or hides the activity HUD.
  • 'f3' shows your character stats.
  • 'f4' shows level up panel.
  • 'f5' exits current game or screensaver and starts new game.

Group Types

Stealth Squad

Stealth squad focuses on ranged attacks and dealing damage before enemeis can react. When forced into melee combat the stealth squad can react quickly, dexterously, and dodge attacks and run to ranged formations to deal damage once again. They are deadly and feared in later levels, their charismatic formation causes enemies to flee.

Munitions Squad

Munitions squad is a full-force combat squad directed to be the first contact of extraterrestrial resistance. Munitions squad employs direct damage in both melee and ranged scenarios and are equiped with more vitality than other squads, allowing a higher percentage of survival in stressed situations. THough they are not versatile, they do instill intense fear in opposition.. rightfully so.

Research Squad

Research squad is aimed to be primarily focused on item retrieval and are incredibly versatile in learning, progressing both in damage or defense faster than any other squad if it is their objective while gaining experience during exploration. Research squad employs the greatest ranged damage due to their precise strikes. This efficiency and the naturally higher energy output of the group marks them quite useful.



The captains upgrades indicate how many rank points he will receive to upgrade his team every time they level up. These rank points can not only level the captains rank up but other class ranks within his group as well. Rank points are important and there are a variety of strategies on which to distribute into first depending on the players style and preference.


The mules upgrades increase the total items he can carry for the group. No other character carries items within the group other than what they have equiped which consists of a ranged weapon and armor.


The scout increases the visibility range of the group with each upgraded rank.


The tank is formidable in combat and brings to the plate the counter skill. As the tank progresses in skill ranks it increases the players chance to counter an enemies attack with a normal melee strike.


The benefactor becomes better at regenerating energy of the group naturally each round, and eventually can regenerate and cure the groups health as she becomes more adept in ranks.

The Source Code : VB.NET

  • Kepler-10b* was created using VB.NET and was forked from it's mother *Exploring The Bleak*. Code from k10b that is found to be a potential extension of ETB will be reviewed and added as it is approved in it's perspective issue number.

Open Source Licensing

All source code to the game is GNU GPL v3, all artwork is protect copyright of it's owner Nathaniel Inman. Permission may be granted to use artwork of the game by only Nathaniel Inman himself either in person or in writing to his email address available on *TOES* homepage.