Stygian Abyss, 2015 7DRL Challenge, Victory!


Stygian Abyss is a procedurally generated first person action dungeon crawler; survive the legendary Stygian Abyss to find the Codex of Ultimate wisdom, a new adventure awaits you every time!


  • A level generator inspired in Ultima Underworld
  • Explore the environment in a first person view.
  • 8 classes with different starting equipment and skills
  • 11 spells
  • 28 different monsters
  • Melee and ranged weapons

Play online now!



I managed to survive for another year!

Many thanks to jucarave, a.k.a Exodus Destiny Dragon; we teamed up for this year and it was great working with him.

This 7DRL is made up of two different open source projects; the Stygian Generator and the Stygian Abyss 7DRL game.

The level generator can be used independently (you are welcome to use it in your project!), it’s very customizable and comes bundled with parameters to recreate the Abyss based mainly on Ultima IV. This one was started from scratch for the challenge. I will talk a bit more about it on a future post.

The 7DRL game module was developed using as a base the existing work that Jucarave had made for Britannian Underworld; from there we developed all the game related stuff like spells, combat, etc. A whole lot of work went there!

The cover art was created by Talzhemir “Manda” Penumbra; drawn and painted specially for this game. She was part of the Ultima VI dev team. Thank you!

The music is Ultima IV “Dungeon“, from Ken Arnold. C64 version from the Videogame Music Preservation Foundation

The sound effects were made by Bart, from OpenGameArt.

Graphics come directly from the Ultima IV and Ultima V tilesets, with some tweaks and original tiles being made.

This project is non-commercial, made just for fun from fans to fans.

Stygian Abyss, 2015 7DRL Challenge – Day 3 Report

<Insert whining about life being unfair and being too tired for the 7DRL challenge>

Day 3 is over, it may not look as much but I added corridors connecting the rooms, as well padding into them, which for all practical purposes means variable length corridors and irregular rooms areas. I also removed the walls, might have to put them back soonish.

Variable length for corridors
Variable length for corridors

I also added a renderer using tiles, just for fun

Looking nice
Looking nice

Also did the design for magic spells, we are supporting a subset of the spells from the original U4. Also started doing some research on the actual appearance of the original Stygian Abyss, based on the rooms on the game, following some walkthroughs and checking some wikis for maps (unfortunately haven’t been able to find images for all rooms).

What’s next:

  • Add areas (ex: Lair of the Dragon, Evil Mages Camp, Fortress of the Balron, Zorn’s Nest, Damned Graveyard, etc)
  • Add enemies (3rd level generator)
  • Fix bug with connections between areas and subareas.
  • Integrate with Exodus’ engine.

Stygian Abyss, 2015 7DRL Challenge Entry – Day 2 report

7DRL always happens the worst possible time in the year.

I’m working together with Exodus Destiny Dragon to create a 3D realtime dungeon crawler with procedural levels inspired on Ultima Underworld. We are using javascript.

It’s intended to relive the adventures of the Avatar at the end of Ultima IV, to get the Codex of Ultima Wisdom (and probably something more 😉 ) You’ll have to survive 8 intense levels finding weapons, items and magic spells to aid you in the way.

I am working mostly on design as well as the implementation of the level generator. My goal is to produce something similar to the levels of UW.

Level Generator, Day 2
Level Generator, Day 2

Meanwhile, Exodus has been working on adapting the Britannian Underworld engine to what we need, plus implementing actual dungeon crawling stuff, check out his advancement on his blog.

Fat bats
Fat bats

We are considering whether using graphics from u5, u4 NES, oryx or handmade…. It would be great if we could get the graphics from monsters on ultima v dungeons (or the FM town games), but they seem VERY hard to come up with.

News from Britannian Underworld


I have been in conversations with a lot of fine artists from TigSource, trying to define a target budget for the monsters set. The idea is to launch a crowdfunding campaign for this, as it seems to be the only way to source this much needed work. More info soon.

Level Design

Orlando has advanced greatly on his design for the first level of Deceit. He presents us his design as a 3D model.


Exodus Destiny has added more features to the engine, including switches that open doors as well as keys needed to unlock other doors, he’s also added a sample sprite from one of the artists I have been talking with, just to give us an idea of how it would look inside the game. You can check the current version here

A flying demon
A flying demon

In other less relevant news: Yet another small website movement! is now the URL for this blog.

Short news about Britannian Underworld

The project development has slowed down quite a bit since we still don’t have a pixel artist, however there are things of relevance to note.


We are still looking for an artist for the project, if you’d like to contribute and gain great fame and virtue, here’s a list of stuff 🙂


Exodus Destiny has completely remade the engine using WebGL instead of the hand made raycasting software rendering he was using on the first version of the engine (which was pretty impressive from the technical POV), in his mind he’s achieved what he wanted to do with it in, learning a lot in the process of making it and pushing it to its limits; however the game still ran a bit slow on low-end machines, and that was his main motivation to do the new one.

Different Height floors


Along with improved performance, this will allow several new things like:

  • Easily support different height terrain, as can be seen in the current demo
  • We could eventually incorporate some 3D models (UW did it with the rocks :P)
  • Rendering stuff is simplified, leveraging ED’s development power to work on more things directly related to the game

Of course, we are keeping with the initial idea of following the original Ultima Underworld style, so we won’t be using all the power put at our disposal with WebGL. The only drawback is that now you’ll need a browser that supports WebGL.

You can find the current version here, it’s Open Source so if you want to take a look and collaborate, it’s here

The former, simpler version of the engine is probably going to be used in the future for a simpler 3D dungeon hack’n slash game.

Music and Sound

This version also includes the first track sent to us by Cantarelli Cantarelli, it’s a melancholic track that we are going to be using probably in the menu screen. We were also contacted by Stephen Johnson, a sound design / voice-over specialist, whose skills may come in handy for the weapon and environmental SFXs, as well as a possible Intro ala UW.

Level Design

We have been chatting along with Orlando, defining the posibilites given by the engine for puzzle design.

News on Britannian Underworld

Pixel Art

We still haven’t been able to find artists for the team, however I’ve broken down a list of the art we need for the monsters (that’s the main asset we are missing, we can handle textures and UI art for the most part.) The full list is here.

We are looking forward for community contributions! if you can do the art for one of the enemies you are welcome to contribute, let’s build this all together 🙂 The continued existence of the project is in your hands

For each enemy we need the following 4 frames animations:

  • Front, walking towards the player
  • Attacking the player
  • Taking damage
  • Dying

Screen Shot 2014-08-28 at 10.06.55 PM


Exodus Destiny continues advancing on the engine, working on the first version of the Enemy Factory, doing fixes on the texture rendering for walls and continuing polishing the Angled walls.

Screen Shot 2014-08-28 at 10.19.38 PM

Level Design

Orlando has sent us new drafts for the design of the first level of Deceit, he’s onward to finish phase 2, after which we’ll proceed to boil it down to the tech design including the textures needed.

nibel 1_V1


So far, Tony Vai and Cantarelli Cantarelli have joined the team and are willing to start composing awesome music and SFXs for the project. More news about this soon


A possible radical change

We have been debating on what direction to take the project towards, since we haven’t been able to find an interested pixel artist (interested to make it just for the love of it and not for money), this is a sample of how it looks using the original 16×16 graphics from U4, which is definitively a complete change from the original idea. I personally like it, but we haven’t decided on it yet… we are considering at least increasing their resolution to 32×32. You can play online here. (Remember it looks better on firefox)

Should also note that Exodus Destiny has so far added support for pixel fonts as well as the js minification pipeline. The new UI is WIP, using sprites from Denzi.

Screen Shot 2014-08-23 at 10.47.00 PM Screen Shot 2014-08-23 at 10.47.47 PM Screen Shot 2014-08-23 at 10.48.19 PM

We need a pixel artist

Different height stuff
Different height stuff

Exodus Destiny continues working on the engine while Orlando’s been working on the design for the first level.

A preliminary draft for the first level
A preliminary draft for the first level

Newest additions to the engine include interacting with objects using the mouse, as well as varying height walls and objects. He also continues on his quest for perfect behaving angled walls. Check it out

WE NEED A PIXEL ARTIST! This is critical for the project to continue onward! Are you a hardcore Ultima fan with awesome pixel skillz? you are welcome into the project! We need:

  • 64×64 Textures for the levels: Walls, floors and other level adornments
  • 64×64 Animated sprites for the enemies
  • User Interface frame (320×200)

Britannia Underworld, definitions and alpha dev

Exodus Destiny continues working on the engine, current version allows the following (and more):

  • Looking up and down (Using 1 and 3)
  • Water tiles
  • Walking animations

I also continue working on the design, coordinating some stuff related to the level design with Orlando, the wiki keeps growing.

Also exchanged some ideas with Mike Mann regarding Pixel Art, he might surprise us soon with some UI and tiles work.