Alpha Pearl: A classic roguelike, looking for testers [Demo Available]

I've been working on a little game called Pearl. It's a classic-style roguelike using the DawnLike tileset. The Tower has been standing for who knows how long, the horrors lurking within sealed for generations. However, the seal has been weakening, and fiends are beginning to slip out and wreak havoc in the world. A worldwide call for adventure and war has been sent out, a simple set of directions: "Travel to the island of Sargoza. Be armed, be ready, and have a will written". Thus, the warriors of the world descend on the foreboding Tower...

Right now, the game has a little bit of (almost) every feature I'd like to implement. From here on out, it's mostly going to be creating new content for a while. I'd be happy to get any constructive criticisms or feedback, especially regarding balance. I've included the older alphas for posterity, because yay archives.

Thank you!


Previous Versions:
Alpha 1: First compiled version
Alpha 2: More user-friendly, first instance of the Welcome Screen and in-game Changelog
Alpha 3: Might and Magic. Lots of combat-related balancing
Alpha 4: The rest of the Tower. Plus the kitchen sink.
Alpha 5: The Stuph Update. Smorgasbord.
Alpha 6: Perkaholic. Perks, wonderful perks.

Current Version:
Alpha 7: Binging on Balance. Exactly what it says on the tin.

War profiteering!

The best inns are run by dogs. It's scientific fact!

Our motley crew.

"Other shopkeepers are just wimps."

Sometimes, you just have to let the demon out...
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I noticed the Dawnlike tileset! Looks mostly good here, except for the aspect ratio stretching. Lots of distortion on the fonts especially. Will there be an option to keep the aspect ratio at default instead of stretching it?
I noticed the Dawnlike tileset! Looks mostly good here, except for the aspect ratio stretching. Lots of distortion on the fonts especially. Will there be an option to keep the aspect ratio at default instead of stretching it?
I will look into that. I need to learnt o do aspect ratios correctly. It doesn't help that I started this project on a 1920x1080 screen, then moved to a 1600x900...but that's no excuse. So yes, next update will probably include some aspect ratio options
I will look into that. I need to learnt o do aspect ratios correctly. It doesn't help that I started this project on a 1920x1080 screen, then moved to a 1600x900...but that's no excuse. So yes, next update will probably include some aspect ratio options
It's more of a pixel stretching issue. DawnLike tileset is 16x16px, the sprites themselves look scaled to 16x9, which looks poor unless you enable bilinear filtering/"Interpolate colors between pixels", which appears to have been turned off. I highly recommend Pixelated_Pope's YouTube tutorial series. It's a great starting point for learning the basics of resolution/aspect scaling in Game Maker!

I just played the demo and WOW! You've got quite a bit done so far! It's very playable. I got to the first sand level then got swarmed and murdered by spiders. The only real issue I have is that the numpad doesn't move the cursor in some menus. It's annoying to have to go from the numpad to the arrow keys every time you need to use an item. Keep up the good work!
Alright, one last little teaser before the next update...
I want to differentiate later-game equipment by giving them special properties, not just bigger numbers. I've already practiced with a few other items, but it's fun coming up with different ideas for weapons with procs and other effects in mind.

As one last little thing, I have a few ideas for what the next update will focus on. My three main ideas are:

-Elite Emissaries: Monsters can spawn as Elite versions of themselves, gaining powers like increased damage, health regen, speed, magic reflect, and maybe even some other effects. This would involve mostly updated enemies, maybe a few more enemy types added per area, and general balancing.

-Tower Gourmet: More food items would be added, and many food items will be given different buffs to help differentiate them more. There would also be more potions added into the mix, making a chance to flesh out food, potions, and buffs/debuffs in one fell swoop.

-Tower Topper: As it stands, the Final Area exists, but there has yet to be an enemy pool implemented for it. I want to put some thought into the theme for the final area, as (surprise!) there is a plot to this game, it just doesn't exist outside of some clandestine design docs. And not to spoil too much, but I want it to reveal the true nature of the Tower without needing to tell the player with words. That all being said, I could get it implemented and live with the twist getting out early. Not that there's a twist. Probably.

Alright, with all that babble out of the way, what would you all like to see next? Keeping in mind that, with this update, 4/5 areas in the game are playable, with a decent smattering of loot to keep progression semi-stable. Also keep in mind that these are not mutually exclusive; it'll all be implemented eventually.

To close that wall of text out, here's a Meatshroom Shrine.

Tonda gossa!
I live.

And I stream. And will be streaming some development chunks at (more info on that later)

Sorry about the silence. I got a new job soon after the last post, so I've been trying to acclimate to that and take care of some other things in life. I've also got a new gaming laptop, which'll make development a little quicker.

With that, I have two announcements:

Alpha 4 is nearly done. I just need to add in a couple of bosses for the later areas, and it'll be shippable. 'The End' will not be accessible yet; reaching the end of the fourth area will allow you to loop back to the beginning of the Tower. There are no gameplay changes from doing so, however. ...yet. So far, I added a few bells and whistles to get back in the swing of things, and also added in elite enemies ahead of schedule. Here's a nice little teaser image:
All elites have increased HP, but also have a higher chance to drop loot and give more XP on death. As of now, elite enemies can be Aggressive (double DMG), Thieving (steals gold on hit), Vengeful (20% of DMG done to enemy returned to player, up to a max of 10% of player's max HP per hit), Nurtured (health regen), or Hearty (another double max HP).

There are also little item notifications, because I will admit to getting absorbed into Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night and I love the little notifications in the bottom left when you pick things up.The elite nameplates (seen above) and item notifications, however, can be turned off in the Options menu if that's not your style.

Second announcement: I will be streaming chunks of my game development time on Twitch!

I can't guarantee every chunk of development progress will be made on stream (for instance, the entirety of the endgame will be developed by me offline). However, I figured it could be a good way to both show people what game design is like, and carve out some more concrete time to spend on developing Pearl. Feel free to stop by, talk in chat, suggest features, and decry my latest questionable design choice I probably made on a whim.

Be on the lookout for an Alpha 4 Release post soon!
It's been a while, huh?

Long story short, life was happening pretty hard during the summer.

In other news...

Pearl (Alpha 4: The Whole Tower)!
Download Here!

That's right, the whole Tower is here! ...and 80% of it is accessible! (The final area still has tarp over it, sorry for any inconveniences).


  • Added every area to the game: the Graveyard, the Barracks, and 'The End'.
  • Added enemy and loot pools for each new area
  • Added item notifications whenever you pick up an item
  • Implemented elite enemies, who will be empowered in numerous ways, including double damage, health regen, and revenge damage!
  • The game now looks much crisper and the pixels make sense now
  • Added keybindings for toggling fullscreen and cycling resolution
  • Made it so the numpad can be used to navigate menus. Also, the space bar can now be used to wait
  • If you have a previous saved character, the main menu will start you on the "Load" option
  • In-game time is now saved correctly on quit
  • Changed spawn logic for enemies and the player alike
  • Added a scaling mechanic for enemies who can appear in every area of the Tower
  • Added a few more things to the Conpendium
  • Reworked the Berserker's Rage mecahnics (it's easier to build up Rage without dying now)
  • "Fixed" some broken combat calculations (note form the future: Alpha 5 will actually fix those mistakes).
And some pictures to accompany the new update:
"Revenge...? That isn't nice."

"Loot, glorious loot!"

"Eat it, ya nasty squag!"

"Brains over brawn, you abominations!"

As always, any feedback is much appreciated! I'd say Alpha 5 is 50-75% done, and it fixes a lot of things I may have rushed out in this Alpha before life crap happened. It's a bit less focused, but has some good stuff in it, including more loot! (Since even I was getting tired of seeing all those crap-tier weapons).

Thank you!


oh no... I'm going to have to find a different graphics pack now...

Joke aside, it looks bitchen.
Pearl (Alpha 5: The Stuph Update)
Download Here!

Lookit that, another version of Pearl!

This one is a bit of a smorgasbord of content, since I came back after a hiatus. The next Alpha update should be quicker and more focused.



-Added a variety of new potions and buffs to go with them
-Fixed some bugs with the effects list
-Fixed MORE damage calculation bugs regarding resists
-Should hopefully have finally seriously squashed that startup crash
-Fully implemented a few spells in the backlog
-Added more items to the spawn pools
-Implemented breakable objects that have a chance to give various types of loot
-'Balanced' the game out a bit more (note: still unbalanced)
-Fixed a variety of little quirks, bugs, and nuisances
-Reworked loot drops and loot tiers
-Added more bosses to the Graveyard: the Amalgamation (tanky legion freak), and the Necromancer (bone-summoning dancer)
-Added a 'Restore Defaults' option to the...options
-Added unique boss phases/actions to all bosses through the Mines
-Added a new spell, 'Magic Pillar', that attacks enemies near it (an AOE totem, if you will)

"Thanks, pillar friend!"
"Great googly-moogly, the planet has acne!"
Hoo boy, it's that time of the time again. Today, I am happy to announce...

Pearl: Alpha 6 (Perkaholic)!
Download Here!

Now, with every 5th level gained, you will have the option to choose one of three perks to augment your character, make their life harder, or make them hit harder!


These perks are tracked in a re-worked Character Sheet. Perks can also be gained by drinking the rare and valuable Perky Pop (please don't sue, Treyarch). There are 30 perks in the game thus far (enough for a character to go from level 1 to the cap at 50 and get the "normal" amount of perks).

-Added particle effects for loot drops, to show the item's tier
-Fixed a bug where enemy HP bars would rapidly flash
-Fixed a bug where the game would try to load a save file when creating a new character while another character already existed
-Fixed some item-spawning nonsense, and the inventory and unequip menus now have button prompts in them
-Added Perks! You may choose a perk once every 5th level, or may get one if you're lucky and find the new Perky Pop consumable
-Implemented 30(!) perks (more to come(!!))
-Increased the upper bound of money drops per area, and merchnts work correctly now
-Implemented controller support, 'cos why not?
-Implemented a diagonal movement toggle, which will allow those without a numpad to move in 'true' diagonal fashion consistently
-Added some more starter items and further filled out item pools
-Fixed an oversight where an invincible character could still take revenge damage
-Made it so that aiming a gun or spell will automatically lock the target square to the nearest enemy (as long as they're in range)
-Enemies now occasionally leave corpses on death
-Tweaked enemy spawn numbers and made them slightly more intelligent when trying to swarm the player
-Implemented auto-save on returning to town, in case of crashes or other tomfoolery

The next update won't be as fun or innovative, but it IS gonna be a much-needed balancing update, so that I have a solid foundation to continue adding content that isn't also horribly balanced. So, spreadsheets, calculations, and number-crunching is coming.

....good thing I kinda like doing that.

As a last note, my plan at the moment is to (hopefully) have the base, 1.0 release by the end of the year, or maybe mid-January 2020 at the latest. If some people play it and ask for more stuff, I'll continue supporting the game. Otherwise, I'll try and release it in a state that I feel is "full" and move on to another project. ...Or I'll put all my effort into finally graduating.

As a post-last note, we now have a Discord server! Come over, hang out, shoot the breeze, post bugs, do as ya feel! You can join the Discord here:

Thanks everyone, have a great day!
It only took college finals and a rewrite of a quarter of my item database, but we're here!

Pearl: Alpha 7 (Binging on Balance)!
Download Here!

This is mostly a boring behind-the-scenes update, although shields did get a major rework (they have block chance and damage mitigation stats now), and there wasn't much in the way for new content (just a few items to even out the item pools). Also, the forums don't seem to want to let me upload any images right now. So boring text it is!

-Added more items and tightened stat distributions per tier for each item type
-Increased the base inventory size by 2, bringing it up to 10
-The Slayer is now locked into using the Slayer's Sword and its boss-bequeathed upgrades
-Angellic and Demonic weapons now correctly enact their unique properties
-Radiant weapons now have their special effects implemented
-Added more information into the Compendium. Also learned how to spell 'Compendium'
-Item comparisons are no longer displayed in the Unequip menu
-Shields now both have a chance to block, and an amount of damage that they block (eg you take 10 dmg, your shield blocks 50% dmg, you will take 5 dmg if you successfully block)
-Energy loss from hunger has been slowed down
-Stat gain perks have been buffed
-Revenge Elites do less revenge damage
-The player's max energy is now increased by 2 at every 10th level
-Spells cost less energy to use, some have also had their base damage buffed
-Added five new perks: Instant Gratification, Sneaking Mission, Messy Eater, All In, and Fearless
-Adjusted the leveling curve (you now level faster, but it drops off after the first dozen or so levels)
-Implemented 'economics' (sold items give you 30% less money, and bought items cost 30% more. The Worth stat in your inventory is the midpoint between those prices)

So...a whole buncha numbers! Not mentioned were the obligatory enemy stat shifts. I mostly wanted to speed the pace of the game up a little bit, and get rid of some needlessly annoying or redundant stuff. Also, Arcanists are now exactly 143.25% more viable (don't worry, I got that number from a science wizard).

Luckily, while playtesting and shifting stuff in the background, I came up with a few more ideas for the next update, which should mostly be new content. I'm also moving the release window back a bit, in the sense that I now don't really have one. I'll see how much work I can get done on Pearl before winter break is up (around the 12th of January) and see what's left after that. I don't want to leave the game feeling like it's fundamentally lacking, but I also want to avoid feature creep.

Happy (belated) New Year's, everyone, and thank you!