A downloadable game for Windows

About the Game

Project Forge is a board-builder roguelike that combines the mechanics of a card game and a board game. In a deck, every card has a direction it will take you towards, so you must arrange these cards to create interconnected pathways that will deal damage to your enemies.

The objective of the game is to descend to the bottom level of the dungeon and defeat the final boss. You may do so by any means necessary, such as skipping every stage or using the game's logic to destroy all who stand in your path. The dungeon is your oyster!



This prototype is a quick mockup made for testing the concept of a game out. I will go into full development a couple of months from now using the feedback gotten from this, so make sure to comment with any criticism/ideas that you have!

I might release small updates from time to time to test different things out, so make sure to check out my Twitter page for development news!



The game uses Arrow Keys, Z, X and Shift in various ways depending on the current screen, so what each button does is labeled in-game.

Control will speed up the game while R will reset it. These are debug controls left in the game for ease of use.

Screen-wise, you can use S to alternate between two screen sizes and F to switch fullscreen on or off.


SFX are from 8-Bit SFX Pack by Beep Yeah! Everything else was made by me. If you're still reading this, thank you! Did you know you can use Spacebar to switch between color palettes in-game?

If you want to stream the OST, you can do so through my Soundcloud!


Glossary (Skip this for now)

Since I made this prototype as a way to test an idea rather than to be able to stand on its own, there are a lot of unexplained variables within the game, so I'll proceed to explain some of them here. I'd recommend playing the game first and then come back here if you have any questions.



Moves the actor one space in the direction it is pointing towards.

Moves the actor two spaces in the direction it is pointing towards.

Any symbol with more than one arrow will allow the actor to choose between the directions shown.

Repeats the last movement the actor performed.

Returns the actor to the previous card they were at.

Does not move the actor. Think about it like skipping in place.

Only appears in choice cards. Any card bearing this symbol will pick one of the directions at random.



Subtracts health from the enemy.
Recover/lose health oneself.

When using a card, it exhausts all of its uses, destroying it.
It prevents a card from being destroyed, leaving it with 1 use. 

Actor loses 1 HP every time they use a card.
Subtracts this value from every attack an actor receives. Does not block traps or venom.

Traps 1 card per row from the bottom upwards. Using a trapped card will lose the actor 2 HP.
When attacked, returns all damage back to the sender. Parried attacks cannot be parried*. Does not block traps or venom.

* I'll fix this eventually I promise

Every attack an actor makes will have this value subtracted from it. Then, it will decrease by 1.
Every attack an actor makes will have this value added to it. Then, it will decrease by 1.

Going out of bounds* will lose the actor 2 additional HP.  This can only happen once per turn.

* Due to limitations, only the sides display rays. However, this effect is applied to all sides.


Innate Moves

Going out of bounds will take the actor back to the board and lose them 1 HP. 


Areas and Enemies

Backstage ColosseumFlyhead
Yorkshire MillsAllen
Los Santos ChapelLillie
Downtown AbismosSamson
The ThroneCorey

Without counting The Throne and Backstage Colosseum, you will encounter only two of these rooms at a time. It's worth replaying the game at least once to see the area and enemies that you have missed!



  • Forges crop up on the 2nd, 4th, and 7th floor. It's worth skipping enemies if it means making it to the next forge.
  • The Offset button on the inventory screen will shift your board downwards. You can use this to simulate how your board will look like in battles.
  • While on the map, enemies will start chasing if you get too close to them. Every turn, they alternate between prioritizing horizontal and vertical movement.
  • I left a debug super-weapon at the bottom of the inventory just in case you want to give the game an overall view without worrying about losing!


Known Bugs

Right now the only bug I know of is that if you walk from a crate on top of a half-platform onto a crate that's on a full platform below the player will float half a block above the ground. Since it's non-intrusive I made the choice to release the game with it. If you have any bugs you'd like to report post it in the comments or DM over on Twitter, ideas and banter are fine also!

Rated 4.3 out of 5 stars
(9 total ratings)
GenreStrategy, Card Game, Role Playing
Tags2D, Deck Building, Difficult, GameMaker, Pixel Art, Roguelike, Short, Turn-based


Project Forge (Game) 63 MB
Into the Empty (Soundtrack) 34 MB


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Hi ! This is a nice prototype, I struggled at first to understand what the offset button does in the menu, and how the lines are arranged during battles. But that's a promising prototype ! Thanks for sharing it ! :)


You're right, I should've made the mechanics a bit more intuitive. Thank you for playing it!

This is cool! I like how the strategy is deep; All it needs is a story!

Thank you so much! The entire story for the game is written already, so it will be implemented when I write the new engine.

Awesome! I’m looking forward to the completed game


Made a video

Nice work, looking forward to seeing how this one progresses.

Hey thaniel, very cool looking game, but I'm so lost... The turns move so quickly, I don't have any chance to see what each individual card does. My suggestion here would be to by default, advance your turn on a button press. So press Z, then the actor does the next thing they're scheduled to do. There could also be a fast forward button that automatically plays the turn like it does now. This way you could stop and see what each card has done. 

I was also very confused as to why I was taking damage. This is part of the problem above, but I noticed that during my turn I was taking damage... somehow? I wasn't going off the board, does one of the starting items hurt you instead of opponent? 

Perhaps you could also include more info for the player to learn ingame? Maybe when hovering over an item in the inventory, it could highlight the spots you could end up in? Or maybe you could give a short text description of what each card does? One thing that would be particularly helpful would be allowing you to hover over different symbols in the game to get a description of what it means.

Ok just finished my first run all the way through. Seriously awesome game dood! once a run gets going and your board has a few routes its very very fun. Amazing work.

A few would be nice features imo: 

Somewhere to see your entire board. Right now the board editor only shows you a 3x3 of your board. Would be nice to be able to take pictures of your board to show how crazy your run gets haha.

would be nice if there was an easier way to input diagonals, I messed up once or twice on choice cards. imo Mouse controls would help this alot, just when the player needs to move, click the space they will move to rather than the keyboard.

Again seriously seriously awesome game. 

Happy development!

I was also thinking about increasing the inventory display size. As for mouse controls, that will be a bit harder to implement, but I'll see what I can do.

Thank you so much for the feedback!

(1 edit)

HEY, what a cool concept! I am really enjoying it so far, so take what I say purely as feed back, everything is mostly related to clarity and clarity is super important in a game like this were its a entirely unique system.

Imo turns are way to fast and confusing. I would love to see a half speed mode and some more confirmation on what's even happening. being able to slow down and speed up as the player is what monster train does, lets you slow down when you are figuring out how things work, and speed up when you kind of start getting it.

Another fix to the problem above would be to just store the damage to each side, then deal it all at once after the ball stops, so that the player has time to realize how much damage is gonna be dealt.

Feels like your going for a retro-vibe, so I know mouse controls might not be what your considering. But I think for a game like this is might be somewhat necessary, tool tips and in game explanations of things would go a long way. Little pop ups to explain key words, etc. Plus moving the board around on mouse just seems like it would be more intuitive. This could go against the retro vibe as what I am kinda suggesting here is "be more like modern deck builders" which you don't have to be if it would kill the vibe.

Big side thing, took me like 5 runs to realize breaking boxs damage me. That should be made ALOT more obvious imo. Maybe a damage animation or damage number over the character would help.

Gameplay wise I feel like there was a lack of agency during the turns, most of the fun and strategy comes from building the board I found. Which makes the first fight kinda a crap shoot. Since you always have the same board. Not sure how to fix this, maybe add a free random part choice at the start of every run?

Again I am just trying to give feedback, I am honestly loving the game so far! really fantastic work. 

Edit: Also Bug it un-fullscreens every reset