Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Special episode on roguelike radio!

Yesterday evening Jochen and I did a special episode on Roguelike Radio concerning the ADOM crowd funding campaign. I hope we got many of the questions answered that folks put up in the past week and if you have any more questions - let us know! Thanks to Darren Grey for moderating this interesting discussion!

Till then I propose tHaT wE aLl WoRk On MoRe CoRrUpTiOnS! (three new are guaranteed so far!) ;-)


  1. Like your first visit there, a nice thing to listen to during work. : )

    One more thing for the iPad version, I understand you want to go for it to gain new players who don't know probably even of ADOM existence, but looking at the other games on the platform (even the free ones), I think you don't have any chances with it unless you get some nice tileset to get the people attention long enough to get them hook. The traditional black/white ASCII won't be any competition for other game graphics on the platform.

    Plus how will you fit all the game commands there? Rolled-down menus? Remember how many commands you got in ADOM, for example Clean Your Ears. : )

    1. Obviously the UI will have to be greatly simplified and tailored towards touch controls. Tile-based graphics is almost a given as you'd have to make them significantly larger to ensure precise tapping, especially for people with large fingers. That would, on the other hand, open doors to sliding your finger across tiles for manual movement, or tapping a tile for autoexploration, tapping a creature to attack/displace (default behavior), double-tapping it or yourself for a context menu, and so on.

      You can have floating (freely movable) control elements that expand upon tapping, akin to that recent iOS accessibility thing (assistive touch?), or adjustable zoom levels with a scrollable minimap and arrow hints at the edges of the screen pointing towards known stairs (think Spelunky), or touch gestures to switch between different menus (inventory, character info, etc.) like you would switch between desktops or iOS browser tabs.

      Obviously, as this is not exactly a fast-paced game, any OSD info such as attributes, character level, exp, etc.—anything that doesn't usually change more than once or twice per floor—don't have to be on-screen at all times. You can have a thin panel on the side with several buttons, such as "@", that would bring up some of the oft-required info or complex commands that don't need a context menu access/separate navigable screen, or where it would be unwarrantedly cumbersome to use (stuff such as eating, status/piety checks, invoking skills/mindcraft, spells, shooting—stuff that is invoked quickly and dismissed automatically upon use). Maybe a player needs to be able to define a couple simple shortcuts, such as placing one finger on the character and the other on another tile for quick access to shooting or using spells.

      It's be challenging to come up with an intuitive and highly functional touch UI, but at the same time it's exciting and very doable. I even think a cult game such as ADOM with correctly adapted interface would turn some profit regardless of donations, assuming a clever approach to pricing (voluntary 15$ or so for fans/supporters, 5$ or so otherwise) and platform availability (I think the potential benefit of releasing an Android port at the same time with iOS outweighs the additional time/cost). Stuff like highscore server, and probably something akin to achievements, would also be required for wider outreach and social integration, of course.

      Thomas has an opportunity to enter a huge, bustling market with a nearly-complete game that only needs small(ish) tweaks and redesigned interface at this point. Considering that only, like, a few thousand copies need to be sold to offset the porting expenses, it's not a bad idea. Much worse/less popular games had sold better.

    2. Some thoughts on how ADOM could work on iPad:

      - Touch to autotravel to locations (with interruptions a la w+direction walking) and open doors
      - Option to switch movement mode to tap to travel one space in that direction instead
      - Touch to interact with monster (attack if hostile, chat if non-hostile)
      - Hold+release for a menu special interactions - closing doors, swapping places, activating levers, kicking, etc
      - Buttons for commons commands like pick up, eat, read, quaff, drop (which will always be extended drop), inventory, spells, skills, special abilities, pray, tactics, etc
      - Merge drakeling spit, class powers and mindcraft powers into special abilities
      - An extra button for a menu of rare commands, like checking corruptions
      - Get rid of clean ears and wipe face, and make mudface / plugged ears timed effect statuses (wear off after x turns)
      - A row of 10 or so user-defined hotkeys, which players can assign to their favourite skills/spells/tactic settings/etc

      Backpack should have keys at the top to quickly filter by different item types, and maybe the ability to hold on certain items to bring up a menu to choose to drop/use/quaff/eat/etc - whatever is available to be performed on that item.

      Lots of lessons could be learned from Powder on this. Also Powder has the interesting payment model of free for 10 levels and pay to go past that. ADOM could do the same, so people can get a taster for the game (and get addicted) before being asked to pay.

    3. I've been playing Angband lately on my Droid and it works just fine once you get used to it. You have a keyboard area that you can switch between letters and then special characters + number pad for movement. You can also move by touching on the sides or corners of the screen to move in that direction. It really isn't bad and I've been enjoying it a lot more than I thought I would. You can zoom in and out easily with the volume controls, too. It is really small when you have everything on the screen, but on a tablet it wouldn't be bad at all.

    4. Thanks for all the input and comments. Right now the interface of the prototype relies more on "button presses" than on "gestures". But I think some touch gestures wouldn't hurt, e.g. to page through long inventory lists, etc.

  2. Awesome overall interview, two thoughts after viewing:
    1. Respectfully please don't make a deluxe version of Adom 1
    2. Will there be a 64 bit version or just 32 bit versions of the updated game? (On my Arch Linux computer for example I have to install 32 bit libs to get Adom 1 working right now)

    1. As I said, that Deluxe thing was just loud thinking. We've no actual plans in that regard ;-) The goal now is to make a truly great version of ADOM 1.2.0 (and get ADOM II 0.3.0 out before the end of the campaign) and that's it!

  3. I've added a small development state page on my homepage that lists all planned platforms and architectures.

    Linux 64 Bit is not yet listed, but I will add that right now. If you think anything else is missing, please inform me about it.