Seven Day Roguelike Challenge

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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.

Event rules

  • 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:


To the date, there have been fifteen annual 7DRL challenges

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