Genre: Strategy
Format: Web (WebGL)
Built in: Unity (C#)

Phylactery is a weird mix of roguelike, stealth, and tower defense mechanics. As a Lich, you directly control your undead minion as it reaches your tomb. Knights are also entering and exploring your tomb, and your minion must avoid them and block their path to reach your coffin successfully. Made for the Ludum Dare #33 48h game jam.


Shortly after completing the ritual that turned you into a Lich, you were captured and sealed in a forgotten tomb for longer than you can remember. Your fading power is still enough to call out to your most feeble of minions, whom you have tasked with finding and retrieving your phylactery. They are on the way back to you now. However, their return has not gone unnoticed…

Ludum Dare is the classic 48h game jam competition. The theme for #33 was “You Are the Monster”. It took me a lot of brainstorming to come up with this idea, which was extremely complex but the only one i liked. The original concept had you choosing from a list of different minions to send out on a world map and collect your phylactery. Each location had a different % of success for each minion. Successful minions would then return to your tomb and had to traverse it to reach your coffin, each one having different abilities and being more or less suited for each situation. Repetitive streamlining of the concept into a MVP had me keep only a single minion and disregard the world map part.

The zoomed in/zoomed out map actually came out of necessity rather than design. I originally made it with the zoomed out perspective, but the dungeon was too large and made the pixel art unreadable, so i zoomed it in. This made the game less enjoyable, however, so i added the toggle. Thinking back on the original prototype, which was just blocks of different colors, i added solid backgrounds to the sprites to make them readable in zoomed out view, in what i call a “boardgame aesthetic”.

I fell out of love with the game halfway through the jam, which may or may not be very noticeable. The design isn’t great, as blockades are pretty worthless. I considered making them unbreakable but that would’ve required a more complex pathfinding for the AI. I still enjoy bits of it though, especially the Lich’s lightning ability, and it’s technologically decent, but it’s just not a great entry overall.

The LD competition requires participants to create every single asset in the game. All artwork was made in Photoshop; music was generated in cgMusic, edited in Audition; sounds were generated in Bfxr.

Player video, in which i realized i misspelled the word phylactery all over the place: