Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Pondering stretch goals for the resurrection of ADOM

Despite what a few strange people out there seem to think I care a lot for the communities opinions - I just don't always agree :-) Over the past couple of days I have read a lot of wishes and thoughts from folks out there and I am trying to take them into account when planning stretch goals for the ADOM crowd funding campaign. I'd like to describe some of the stretch goals we have in mind (some only after listening to folks as we initially ruled them out, some because I want those features, some just because they seem to be a good idea).

Oh, and BTW - we managed to get 25% funded within 3 days. Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. But as pledges now seem to slow down I need to help in determining if we can more visibility (articles in web magazines, blogs, etc.) as each boost of visibility seems to reach previously untapped ADOM fans and everyone needs to know. I can't believe that so few of the old community remain. At least I hope there are more. But I'm getting distracted... back to stretch goals as I want to do some ADOM II programming later on.

Which goals do we have in mind?

New PC Races
I want to do ratlings (since I love them dearly) and I want to do Mist Elves (a promise I gave to a young ADOM fan 15 years ago and I still need to fulfill it). As far as I am concerned these will be among the first small stretch goals if we manage to make the basic funding goal.

New PC Classes
I'd ove to add duelists (because I love ratlings) and pyromancers (because I always loved fire-themed characters). The latter one is open for discussion if someone has better ideas. Again this will be one of the early small stretch goals.

More Corruption
I always loved the idea behind the corruption system (and I'm going to improve it in ADOM II over time). I'd like to have more variability and thus I would like to add something like 20 new corruptions. With the major change being that a PC only will receive a subset of those corruptions before being transformed into a writhing mass of primal chaos. Adds more randomness and chaos to the process which seems very appropriate.

Now for the big ones...

iPad Port
Jochen and I want them, interest was good (although not overwhelming).

Android Port
Interest was good. We only do intend to do a tablet port though as IMHO mobile devices just can't handle games with a UI complexity of ADOM (e.g. so many commands, etc.). I couldn't stand playing any of the more complex roguelike games for more than three minutes on a mobile device and then never returned.

If there were interested I'd really be tempted to finally do the ADOM pen & paper RPG as a 128 page full-color hard cover book. But only if there is interest nowadays.

Scripting Engine
It might be possible to add some scripting means to ADOM. This probably would be restricted to new items and new monsters as everything else in ADOM would require truly major changes to make it configurable. Not sure whether it's worth the effort though.

Tile-based Graphics
Yes. Honestly. I know that I didn't want to do this (and I won't probably use it as I love the ASCII display) but about 50% of the folks who said "I'm not going to donate" also said "...if there are no tiles". While I personally don't see the need I'm very well willing to listen to others. Darren Grey had a fantastic idea for an approach that might work with ADOM: He suggested getting into contact with the NotEye developer (which we now are) and discussing whether it would be possible to integrate NotEye into ADOM to get a tile-based display.

From what I can currently see this is a lot more complex than many folks seem to think but I hope that we can sort out the important questions quickly together with the NotEye developer (e.g. What screen resolution are we targeting? What size should the tiles be? Should there be a stretch goal to get a unified tile set by Krys or should we try to have a community built tile set? Or both? Which platforms should we target? How do we handle the much smaller display area?). And so on.

Releasing the source code
Since I have been flamed to death over this and really am sick of it I won't discuss the details. It's the final stretch goal and it will require more pledges than we are likely to get but I have set my mind and that's it. Final word for now.

New quests
Want an update about the Red Rooster Inn? Some volcanology? Or read a scroll of omnipotence? Or just get some more initial quests? Or later on? All possible...

Challenge Games
Interested in having integrated challenge games (like Eternium Man and others)?

Highscore Server
Interested in a global hall of fame? Specialized for the type of game you played (see above)?

Since I'd really like to select the stretch goals you are interested in I'd like to hear your opinion about which I should take into account if we get far enough. Please go to the poll to the right and vote. And please note that the PC classes and PC races are not votable since I promised them to too many people. They will be in first.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. I would love to see your take on a pen and paper RPG. I've ran a (Original D&D) campaign in the chain five or six years ago, and have always wanted to go back.

  3. A few quick thoughts...

    Could you go into a little more detail about what you mean by the scripting engine? I wasn't quite sure what this meant so I'm not sure if it is something that I'd want to vote for or not.

    In the end, I voted for corruption and quests. None of the other goals interest me personally all that much. Integrated challenge games was a very tempting idea, although at this point there are so many challenges and some of them are so obscure, it might be hard to figure out which ones ought to be included.

    For quest locations, I feel the most logical place would probably be to drop something in the area between the Banshee and the Eternal Guardian. There's a stretch of about 8 floors there that are pretty deserted. I'm assuming that the scroll of omnipotence will probably be in the endgame, or maybe some sort of extended quest that weaves through many different locations.

    1. My idea about the scripting engine is to add some kind of parser so that players could write up text files from which new item types and monster types would be created.

      If you'd for example have something like slasher bunnies in your game you'd define something like

      slasher bunny,slasher bunnies
      (and so on)

      So you could extend ADOM monsters and items by writing text files.

  4. Just remember that the folks here have probably already donated. You need to think about what appeals beyond the core fans.

  5. Sadly iPad port is mentioned again and again and has lowest support. If you wanted ADOM in your pocket/on the go you'd go for N900 and run it through qemu (really hoping A2 will work this way someday too, java webstart sadly doesn't, maybe standalone will be a standard goal...).
    Why the bloody iPad? Android port should mean galaxytab by default. Why anything without hw keyboard beats me though. What is needed is UI overhaul. Endless pages of eq are a pain in whichever mobile form you choose. Without this iPad/tab version will be a pain (as maemo playing somewhat is). Luckily there's over a month to go, hoping I can save some cash to help whichever way forward you decide is worthwhile. (please have tiles stretchier than opensourcing though... thousands of monsters done right will require a team of designers, there are community ways to do that without any effort on your side (sdl interpreter layer between ascii to screen), check NotEye from Hydraslayer dev, even 3d. With the immense amount of monsters in ADOM this will be money thrown out the window)

  6. Like I've written on an earlier post. Don't force a tileset of your making on the players, simply leave the game open to user-made tilsets.
    This way you won't have to make an "official tileset" (less work for you), and the players can create the tiles that most of the community will enjoy (and you don't have to take part in the flame-war - "the current tiles suck and should be changes IMHO").

    btw 4th elf race? As I suspected, your one of those nasty long-ears lover. : (

    1. Also, while new classes are great (new in-game content beats all as pools shows), isn't a pyromaniac too similar to elementalist?

    2. I absolutely agree: just adding tileset support is much better than doing it yourself (or, rather, asking Krys). Eventually the fan community will come up with something amazing by itself, as is pretty much always the case with user-generated content.

    3. There are a lot of free tilesets available already (like the Oryx set), not to mention lots of fans who would be happy to make tiles themselves. I'd envisage us ending up with a few competing sets that players could pick from depending on their preference.

      I think stretch money is best spent on new content and further balancing than on creating new art assets.

  7. I've been playing ADOM on and off since the 90's (which now seem like a long time ago!) and am absolutely enamored with the game. It's thrilling to see how well the campaign is going, and no matter what features get added, it is absolutely tantalizing to think about further ADOM development.

    I would like to just relate that I still remember the thrill of discovering the bug-infested temple when it was first added way back when. The name "Ancient *Domains* of Mystery" is apt because the discovery of new, strange and wonderful locations was always the most exciting feature for me. It is also something that differentiates ADOM from other roguelikes that might feature a similar level of character development but fewer or less diversified dungeons. The addition of new quests and locations, even small ones, would be unbelievable!

    Regarding races and classes, everything you've suggested sounds incredible. I would jump on the opportunity to play a Pyromancer - would they play differently in the ToEF?!

    I am just a casual gamer and an ADOM lover and don't have the experience of many of the posters here. However, since you mentioned the possibility of adding new corruptions, I'd just like to add a footnote to my unqualified praise of the masterpiece that is ADOM:

    It has always surprised me that there are no classes that take full advantage of the powers granted by Chaos, instead of existing either indifferently or in opposition to Chaos. I know there are Paladins or Priests with chaotic alignment, but what I mean is a class that would directly engage with Chaos, thus gaining additional powers from the chaos planes. This class might start with a few corruptions, and grant a corrupting touch as a class power, for example. The idea would be that the class is enormously powerful (and a bit random, in keeping with the chaos theme) but perilously risky to play as the threat of becoming a WMoPC would exist nearly from the beginning. Chaos Knight?

    Well I don't know if this is an idea that would befit ADOM II better than the original but I think it would be pretty awesome to be able to dish out corruption instead of always receiving it.

    At any rate, congratulations on the magnificent achievement of ADOM and best of luck with continuing success in the campaign. Looking forward to ADOM 1.2.0!!!!!

    1. Interesting idea. Maybe such a class would even make some of the corrupting artifacts worth using on this side of the gate!

    2. That's a nice thought - perhaps corrupting items would deal more damage or offer more protection for this class, sort of like "Justifier" is more powerful for Paladins. I don't know what the multiplier would be. Of course, they would still corrupt! It should really be about trading power for the risk of becoming a chaos being. But just imagine a *boosted* Moon Sickle or Shield of Raw Steel...

      This is definitely a concept that would benefit from community input as I am really not an experienced player myself, though I have been familiar with the game for a long time!

    3. I love the idea of a corruption-based class. Very creative.

      I can imagine things like:
      -Tremendous strength (class power): Provides a temporary boost of +10 to all stats (like boost potions), but adds ~0.5 corruptions.
      -Corrupted form: The PC recovers 1 HP every time they receive a point of corruption (background or otherwise)... and lose 1 HP every time they lose a point of corruption, so be careful with those SoCRs!
      -Corrupted aura: The PC receives +1 DV and +1 PV for each corruption they carry.
      -Power enhancement: All positive bonuses from corruptions are doubled (level 50 probably).

    4. About the corruption touch... I think it's a good idea, but by the normal ADOM that would just morph normal creatures into terrible writhing masses of primal chaos. i think maybe every creature would pass a phase of Chaos morphing before WMoPC. like rat (hostile) - chaos rat (Neutral/tame(?)) - WMoPC (slighlty hostile)

  8. I'm also concerned that pyromancer might be too close to elementalist -- or rather, what could pyromancer do that elementalist can't? Would the fire creatures be neutral, like animals to druid?

    I'll plug my about ten-years old suggestion -- how about the artificer class which would be about constructing various kinds of golems? A bit similar to necromancer; its constructs are harder to create (you have to amass substantial amount of a single material), but also much more durable. My original idea was that you use scrolls to animate the golem, and every type of scroll would have some effect on the golem's behaviour (scroll of satiation causes the golem to heal by devouring items from the same material, scroll of danger makes it hostile, scroll of vermin control makes it target breeders over all other monsters).

    One other area of the game that I really liked was the Infinite Dungeon. I felt it was too bad that there's nothing that would really drive you to go to very low levels, since the danger level eventually evens out. I'd definitely like more special random floors. After a PC closes the gate and stops background corruption, it should be possible to go explore the ID, finding new and interesting things for hundreds of floors if the player is so inclined :)

  9. Another set of quests before the tower of internal flames would be on my wish list. Without a Ring of Ice or luck with your EQ you can spend a fair amount of time grinding looking for gear, would be nice if there were specific quests for 20-30 range. Between the Banshee and the Eternal Guardian would be ideal as mentioned.

    Chaos Knight would be excellent if he become more powerful as he became more corrupted. Either that you could be healed by corruption, so the lower levels of CoC his regen would go up.

  10. Maybe, it would be good idea to include new mobs, like wondering elves (not dark). Also, somewhat improve piety scheme, because it so annoying to get "absolutely close" due to enomorous amount of killed with altar mobs, or ridiculous amount of gold. Some new places to visit would be nice to :)

    P.S. By the way, info about shopkeepers may be changing due to race or personality.

    1. wondering elves.. nice idea.
      By the way, more villages should be added, and just not dwarfes, hurthling villages, elven villages, drakeling villages! i mean, it seems like dwarves are the draklor chain rulers!

  11. - iPad, Android ports: I don't care for them, I'm in the group of people who think that touch displays are just not suitable for roguelikes.

    - ADOM RPG: It's interesting and I'd personally like to see it, but I don't know if it's a good idea to include it in a video game funding campaign, as many video game players don't play pen and paper RPG's.

    - Challenge games, highscore server: Nice features! And a server to play and spectate games (similar to jaakkos's defunct server - if you never saw this, you can ask in the ADOM forums) would be even better.

    - Scripting engine: Yes, please!

    - More corruptions, more quests: This would be awesome!

    - Tiles: I agree with above posters that it would be good to include tile support (because many people want it, not because I have a particular interest in it - I prefer ASCII). But I agree with only including the support so that the community can make tiles, not to make your own tiles - your team's time is better spent elsewhere.

  12. Regarding the pen&paper RPG, you should consider developing it as a product separate from the ADOM funding campaign. After all, it's a tangible item with completely different usage scenario. And it's also something you can sell without fear that anybody would pirate it.

    So, I'd try gauging interest sometime after this campaign has finished, and, if there are enough people up for it, doing some research on the time and expenses involved. If everything works out, you could do a limited pre-order-based run, and see if it's viable to continue.

  13. Great ideas for stretch goals! I'd be thrilled for any of the following:

    More corruptions
    Classes that use chaos (Chaos Knight, Chaos Mage)
    More quests

    I've already donated once, but if we get close to one of these stretches I might be convinced to donate again. :)

    A lot of people have already mentioned this, but pyromancers sound pretty similar to elementalists. How would you distinguish them?

    I have no interest in a high score server. I played for a while on the ADOM server a few years back, and all the visible high scores were from a few people playing speed games. The point score just depends too much on the type of game you play.

  14. Wow, I'm impressed that there's been ~300 responses... Seems clear that the demand is for extra content over side services or ports. Though I think a scripting engine has more potential than people realise... An "Add-on" system recently implemented in ToME4 has proved very popular for people wanting to make their own things, especially where the main creator doesn't want them in his game for thematic reasons.

    A high score server might be more valued if the score system was revamped to not be so open to abuse. But even then there's already an excellent dedicated web-site for ADOM high scores on , and in general public high scores aren't of interest to many.

  15. You have to consider the type of players voting or even posting here. It's mostly the fans and harcore-players, I guess. So it's only natural that they have a desire for new content (they know most of the existing content) and challenges (they maybe even beat the game already ;)).

    Still tile-support got more than 100 votes. And for the more "casual" players who just put some money into the project (or in fact did not do so yet because they are turned off by the no-graphics) and don't follow the news on a daily basis from now on (and therefore possibly did not vote) it might be one of the most important things. For non-hardcore-roguelikers (whose money you'll probably need to reach the goal or rather goals) it's just a thousand times more accessible looking at little pictures moving around than letters.

    Just don't underestimate the value of "side services" like tiles. Even though they're of little importance to most of "us"...

  16. Hello, i just wanted to +1 the artificer idea, as i have a strange fondness for classes like tinker/weaponsmith/artificer.

    Also have you considered implementing some of the cool features from ADOM II, such as adding the tinker class to ADOM or any of the new mechanics (only the ones that ADOM 1 engine can do)

    Final idea, if ADoM II is set after the events in ADoM 1 ( i cant remember if this is so) then i think it would be cool if memorial files of now long dead heros could effect ADOM 2. As an example Alyce the female priest might have died to a chaos monk in the CoC, then when creating a human in ADOM 2 part of the back story could be affected saying something like "... Is descendant of Alyce, who was slain by an unholy servant of chaos" and in game this would give charecter some leaning towards law and perhaps bonus/minus to fighting chaos monks ( as character is in a rage to avenge ancestor/ is fearful to be killed in same way)

  17. Just to summarize: you convinced me that it would be a much better class stretch goal to have Chaos Knights instead of Pyromancers. I love the ideas for them and have some of my own - so it will be Chaos Knights and Duelists!

  18. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.