Wednesday, December 17, 2014

ADOM R53 now available... for Steam beta testers

Hi everyone!

This is new: The first ADOM release (R53, version 1.11.0) available on Steam first. Mostly this happens for two reasons:
  • We want to get to Steam ASAP and thus need to receive as much feedback as soon as possible for that version.
  • The build process is getting more and more involved and thus it takes more time to build all variants. Prerelease testers will be next, promise!
Regarding the Steam version:
  • It's a closed beta available to everyone who donated $40 or more (in whatever partitioning) during our crowdfunding campaign.
  • All such donors have received a Steam key that is available through the ADOM self service portal. Follow the instructions there to log in.
  • I have created a new discussion group too discuss peculiarities regarding the Steam version.
  • We would like to get as much feedback as possible - please use our ticket system for any bugs you find and for any improvements peculiar to Steam you might want to see.
This very first Steam version definitely has beta character:
The real Steam release is going to happen when we feel that we have a very good first stable release. Lots of features didn't make it into the first Steam release (because that would delay it for even more weeks if not months) - see our advanced roadmap for those.

What we need: We are looking for all feedback we can get but some areas are of particular interest to us:
  • We want to get as many suggestions as possible on what to improve to make the Steam launch a huge success (naturally).
  • We would love to hear feedback on mouse-based play. What needs to be improved to make pure mouse-based play a better experience (we probably won't be able to all of that right away but we would like to cover the most important areas).
  • Please try the new message buffer modes (adjustable by Ctrl-nm), the various display modes (Ctrl-nd), the tutorial mode, the various other game modes, ghosts, achievements, etc. We want to hear your experiences with that, too!
  • And everything else you deem important.
We are on the verge of a new ADOM age and it's now or never... greatness or oblivion ;-)

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Now it's all or nothing: Vote for ADOM as roguelike of the year 2014!

We have made it into the final 100 at IndieDB - out of thousands of games. But now it's all or nothing: Please vote once more for ADOM so that we can take the title of roguelike of the year 2014:

And please share the news and get everyone you know to vote!

Thanks so much. I'm now back to preparing R53...

Sunday, December 7, 2014

The new ADOM title score

Don't miss out on the most awesome new title score of ADOM, devised by our sound wizard Lucas Dieguez.

And here are the lyrics by Lucas. Thanks so much to Robert Estep for helping to refine them!

Ancient valleys sorrounded by mountain sides
Trying hard to break free from eternal dark
Elder demons have risen to conquer us
Driving us off our lands 

Heroes, warriors and mages united fall
In the purple of chaos they meet their doom
Born to die in a battle to save us all
From the end of times

Yet the prophecies tell of a savior of sword, spell and might
From the Drakalor chain he would rise to free the land

Thus the world shall survive to the whim of 
The one to rule all...

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Monday, December 1, 2014

Initial ADOM achievement implementation finished

Before going to bed I just wanted to let you know that I finished the initial ADOM achievement implementation a couple of minutes ago. There is some more fine-tuning to be done. Nonetheless we are going to start with 77 achievements to be unlocked on Steam.

And here's a sample screenshot of the second achievement I unlocked:

And as I write this I suddenly remember another batch of (not very complex) achievements I wanted to add and had forgotten about (gaining level 5, 10, 20, 30, 40 and 50). I still need titles for that (something like "Wanderer", "Veteran", "Champion", "Hero", "Legend" and "Demiurge" maybe).

But now I need to sleep and will add these ones tomorrow ;-)

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Achievement design in ADOM

The next big topic with ADOM is the design of an achievement system that not just feels tacked onto the game but actually adds to the overall experience and helps new players getting into the game and attached to it. Overall I plan to have a limited number of highly interesting, guiding and helpful achievements that are "not just there". I have read quite a few articles on achievement design (especially from Gamasutra, thanks to Sascha Schnitzer for the initial pointer) and below I first will try to define the guidelines for feature design in ADOM and then apply them to all the suggestions that were provided by fans as well as the ideas that have gathered by now on my hard drive.

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...).