Monday, November 24, 2014

Latest ASCII enhancements: New message statistic modes and Team ADOM page

As the title says we are ramping up for the first Steam release and doing so includes finishing some more UI enhancements. First of all ADOM has two new configurations for displaying statistics and messages:

The first new mode groups all data at the top:

The idea is to need to look into but one place for everything. I'm not yet 100% happy with it. I guess I will color the statistics bar in dark gray to have a better contrast to the messages. I have not yet grown accustomed to this mode but I can see the benefits.

The second new mode abbreviates statistics at the top and introduces and endless scrolling message queue at the bottom:

This mode will be truly relevant in tiled display mode (with graphics) and exists in ASCII mostly to keep things similar. In finished tiled mode you will have a modern graphical display for all statistics at the top and the messages will be overlaid with the game graphics at the bottom scrolling upwards (with more than just four lines - probably in a smaller font and with more like 8-10 lines... but we are still working on that).

Sadly there still are some kinks with that mode as the old message code was very hard to configure for these new settings. I'm working on the remaining bugs and hope that this will not steal away too much valuable time from the work for the Steam release.

Finally we have a new "Team ADOM screen" accessible from the main screen that credits all my amazing compatriots:

The graphical version should be a lot more awesome but it just seemed appropriate to also have an ASCII version :-) (the ordering BTW is semi-random and changes with every display in order to give almost everyone a different spotlight each time).

This week I'm on vacation. Work vacation that is. My wife is on a conference and the whole week has been reserved to work on ADOM from he early morning up late into the night to get as much work done as possible. Wish me luck and few bugs ;-)

Sunday, November 2, 2014

ADOM Release 52 now available for download

We are happy to announce ADOM Release 52. Mostly it's a bugfix release with some pretty important fixes:
  • Challenge games now should work correctly and are better explained in the game.
  • Saving in story mode now works correctly (e.g. you can save in a game and restore the game even after dying; results will be logged in a separate highscore list).
  • We have adjusted the save file format but your old save files should be compatible (make a backup copy nonetheless just to be sure). This should be the first time we successfully use the new "upwards compatible save file functionality introduced in R52).
Additionally release 52 contains another couple of tuned features and fixed bugs, see the change log for the complete details.

Finally release 52 finishes another discussion: The internal version number is 1.10.0. Thus it now is clear that after 9 comes 10 and we no longer will restart ADOM 0.9.9 Gamma 6 prerelease 3 trends or whatever. The current plan is that the first Steam release will be ADOM 2.0.0. Hopefully before Christmas.

If you are not yet a prerelease tester use the chance to become one. For all prerelease testers the latest version can be downloaded in the usual place.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

ADOM Release 51 now available for download

After a very long period of silence (due to complicated internal work that needed to be done for Steam, one vacation, a short period of work overload and many other factors) things now are moving much faster again.

We are proud to announce ADOM Release 51 (version 1.9.0). Here's the change log. This release still is work in progress as we are trying very hard to get ADOM ready for Steam (it would be a shame to miss Christmas time on Steam). Sadly there is still a ton of stuff to be done (and tax questions regarding the crowd funding campaign from the German tax offices don't really simplify my life...).

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Happy Second Resurrection Day!

To me it's unbelievable but we already have the second anniversary of the ADOM Resurrection day. Today two years ago the unbelievable, incredible, breath-taking determination of the ADOM community allowed us to start an exciting journey that yet has to come to a conclusion: The complete resurrection of ADOM.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

About the current ADOM development progress...

As many people have asked over the previous weeks I'd like to give a short summary regarding the progress of the promises given in the crowd funding campaign and what we actually are working on right now:

Currently we exclusively focus on getting ADOM to Steam. This task for us has highest priority for several reasons:
  1. We have been greenlit and as long as the green lighting process still exists it is a very useful barrier against a threatening myriad of mediocre games. Or in other words: If we get ADOM to Steam before this barrier falls exposure will be much more effective and we have a much better chance to be noticed by tons of potential new players. 
  2. Being very successful on Steam might mean immortality for ADOM as the possible funding gained might help us to continue developing ADOM for a very long time (far beyond what was achieved in the crowd funding campaign).
  3. Tuning ADOM for Steam makes it a much more modern and accessible game and this is good to entice a much larger community. Which in turn is good for ADOM.
Thus all our current work focusses on the milestones laid out for the Steam release.

  • I am currently working on the new game options settings and next will be tacking lots of internal additions in order to allow for a graphical inventory (and much more - what we call 'the tome of knowledge').
  • Jochen is transforming our save file structures. In the future we will be able to have compatible save files, even if this will slow development somewhat. But very important for Steam.
  • Zeno and Krys are refining the interface and adding tons of graphical bells and whistles.
  • Lucas is churning out scores of sound effects to enriched the game experience tremendously.
Many of the things we right now are doing are far beyond the scope of what was promised in the crowd funding campaign. And this comes at a temporary price: The other important activities (like finally finishing the RPG) currently rest. Not indefinitely but they rest. I have to ask and hope for your continuing patience. You all will receive the physical rewards and I want to have them out before Christmas but as long as we are not yet on Steam we'll focus all energy on that endeavor. Even at the price of delaying other promises more.

As explained above we do this in the hope of being able to work on ADOM far beyond the budget of the crowd funding campaign which should be beneficial and fun for all of us.

Comments welcome, but that's how it is right now.

(BTW, if you are one of the donors receiving physical goods - fear not. I will ask for a confirmation of your current shipping address well in advance of beginning the shipping process, so you are safe, even if you have moved in the meantime).

Below you find a quick teaser to the new ASCII game options menu for ADOM Deluxe to your enjoyment (hopefully ;-) ):

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

The joys of Steam, part I

Now that we are getting into the details of moving ADOM to Steam we suddenly stumble upon all kinds of weird challenges. I'm amazed about ho simplistic todays gaming seems to be :-) Or maybe we are just too stupid to understand the Steam API.

Just as an example:
The modern world no longer seems to have interesting highscores, just "leaderboards". Meaning: I can store the ID of a player and his score in such a leaderboard. The score is a 32 bit signed integer...and then you store another 32 such integers. But not text. None at all. Such much for making the "leaderboards" interesting to read... we could attach "user generated content" to a leaderboard entry - but you have to load each such piece of content separately so making the leaderboard more interesting by adding user generated content is not even meaningful possible as that content is not meant to be displayed. So we have pretty boring leaderboards with just a username and a score.

I mean, a simple text addition of up to 200 characters or so would have been nice to actually turn leaderboards into something truly interesting to behold. But roguelike games really seem to be incredibly different from the rest of the world. It never would have occurred to me that this even could be a topic...

How will you like that?

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

The new challenge mode for ADOM Deluxe

Right now I'm working on the new challenge mode for ADOM Deluxe. It's progressing quite nicely and all suggestions from the linked ticket already have been included. I still need to implement the actual in game effects and we yet have to link this up with shared highscores on Steam and so some work on blocking all but the first game result (you will be able to play a challenge more than once but my current idea is to only accept the first game result in the shared highscore; locally you will have a highscore of your own). Here are two screenshots illustrating the progress and hinting at some of the features of the mode...

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Fiddling with the ADOM Deluxe menu screens

Right now I am toying with the new design and interaction workflow for the ADOM Deluxe menu screens - in ASCII mode. Once the dust settles and I am happy with the design (and Team ADOM agrees ;-) ) Krys & Co. will turn the ASCII design into a beautiful graphical layout.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Announcing the release of ADOM R50!

Hi everyone!

We are proud to announce ADOM Release 50 - the 50th time a new ADOM version has seen the light of the day since its inception in 1994. While the release is only a rather minor bug fix release it represents an important milestone for one other reason: After a short pause in development activity we now will be moving forward with full force in order to get to Steam as soon as possible.

The roadmap for the ADOM Steam release has been laid out (although some more minor points probably will be added) and there is some pretty extensive work ahead of us. ADOM Deluxe on Steam really will be the best ADOM ever. And we wanted to start working on some of the more extensive changes with a stable version out there.

ADOM R50 is yet another closed prerelease but you can join the circle of prerelease testers if you want - Enjoy!