Friday, April 18, 2014

ADOM 1.2.0p21 released - Happy Easter Holiday!

Hi everyone! After a much too extended period of silence (and I don't want to bother you with the details) here we finally go with

the release of ADOM 1.2.0 Prerelease 21

The latest version incorporates sweeping minor and major changes (details below) and lays the groundwork for the next sequence of extensions. Please read the notes below carefully and - if you are not yet a member of the prerelease program - consider to join it ;-)
The changes to the latest version of ADOM are manyfold. Some changes affect configuration options:
  • the NotEye configuration files (config.noe and config-adom.noe) are now located in the adom.data directory
  • many of the new graphic enhancements (status icons, animated water, etc.) can be turned off in the NotEye configuration menu "ADOM-specific options"
  • we recommend increasing the "frames per second" (fps) value to 30 if your PC is fast enough to handle it (the default is 15 fps)
Some of the most important other changes are the following additions and modifications (minor spoilers ahead - but only very minor in as far as I tell you a little bit of changes in difficulty in certain areas; the main fun should not be spoiled at all ;-) ):
  • The most exciting and frightening change of all:
    We have toyed greatly with the distribution of monsters on the later levels - I'm really curious for feedback on this one. As a side note the evolution rate of monsters also has been fiddled with. Corruption rates for later games also have been down tuned somewhat in order to make it more worthwhile to explore the late stages of the game. Experience points for some late game monsters have been down tuned as well to hopefully rebalance things.
  • ADOM now contains a tutorial mode that introduces newbie players to the game and simplifies some aspects of the game (e.g. hunger). These restrictions get removed gradually, an introductory dungeon has been added and hints try to teach various concepts of the game.
    The most important aspect is that the tutorial mode is highly extensible so I'm really looking forward to suggestions regarding additional hints and stuff in order to simplify the introductory game. This also should be an important feature of the game once we try to make it known to a wider public via Steam. Tutorial mode only allows you to play as a human fighter (and I have currently no support to offer more classes as providing correct hints for the more complex classes really is a challenge in itself) and features a special introductory dungeon that teaches you the most important commands and concepts as well as giving you an idea of what kind of tricks ADOM might allow.
  • Two new dungeons have been added for levels 15+.
    The palace of the ice queen currently just is the proverbial tip of the iceberg - the maps and quests will be greatly expanded over the next couple of releases as I plan to create a major story line with many twists and turns around that place and its inhabitants. There will be optional connections to other parts of the game and a lot more detail only can be added once more of the other special quests are available (e.g. the upcoming volcano quest). Nonetheless it technically introduces some nifty new features, helped to revise monster intelligence somewhat and features the first larger scale battle in ADOM.
  • Update: 82% of the statues promised in the crowd funding campaign now have been implemented. The ones left are the very difficult to impossible ones. We'll take them as an inspiration and implement the remaining ones over the next couple of releases.
  • Appearance now is somewhat more useful (although the discussion about it had some controversies I really like that change).
  • Various usability enhancements have been added
    (e.g. quick-marking mindcrafter powers, the ability to take item notes, a word match search filter for the inventory and allowing to use + and - with the look command [although I'm not yet completely happy with the revised interface]).
  • The final battle against Andor Drakon has been buffed (by both buffing Andor Drakon and enhancing the difficulty of the Plane of Chaos itself).
  • As usual tons of bugs have been fixed (special thanks to Jochen once more who again and again proves to be the most meticulous bug slayer around here!). One particular annoying feature has been removed (related to wishes and scrolls of corruption removal).
  • Some performance improvements have been added
    (e.g loading/saving games now should be at least twice as fast as before).
  • Work on videos for Steam is progressing (but we know that we need to be faster). We want to get to Steam Greenlight as soon as possible, preferably before it's removed and the onslaught of mediocre games begins.
As usual all the details can be found in the change log and you can download ADOM here if you are a member of the prerelease test community.
As usual this should be the best ADOM release ever - have fun playing and enjoy the Easter weekend!

15 comments:

  1. Killer changelog! That was worth waiting for. Thanks Thomas and the team, and happy holidays to you all!

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  2. whut?
    my PC needs to be "fast enough" to perform at 30 fps?
    those sprites are really hard to render I guess....

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  3. It's the animations of water and stuff that cause trouble right now performance at 30fps. That's probably the price of several abstraction layers that are right now stapled on top the default ADOM UI - compared to games that have been programmed and optimized for just one graphics mode.

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    1. Dwarf Fortress runs smoothly with sprite graphics, while it has much more things to render and whole different level of computation complexity, keeping in mind that was acheived with no interaction between the creators of original game and graphics modders. Just sayin' ;)

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    2. Dwarf Fortress only has static bitmaps, Thomas is talking about animations. Just sayin' :)

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    3. Not true. DF has animated sprites as well. Even if it was, simple animated sprite with several frames (such as water) should not be a thing that drops your FPS under 30

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    4. Any links? Couldn't find any. (I'm sure there are if you say so, I'm just curious what am I missing :) ).

      Even if there are sets with 12+ frames per animation as in ADOM currently, note that DF is way way simpler: 1 square = 1 tile. ADOM has shadows, multiple sprites per square, animated character movement and projectiles. Takes a while to smooth all that out.

      Anyway, not saying that hiccups with fairly simple 2D graphics are acceptable, but ADOM is a pretty special case in this regard. I'm sure this will improve over time :)

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    5. Stonesense for example: http://dwarffortresswiki.org/index.php/Utility:Stonesense/Adding_Content#Animating_Creatures

      glad that we agree on this point and I'm looking forward for improvement too ;)

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    6. NotEye aims to provide high versatility/moddability/simplicity of programming, but unfortunately, this comes at the cost of efficiency. There are some things that could be easily optimized when targetting a specific GUI, but with NotEye's versatility it is much harder.

      Still, I get 53 fps in the dungeon on my computer (which is a few years old and not optimized for graphics). However, 30 fps was too much for one of the machines we tested, so we have decided to set the default to 15 fps just in case.

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  4. Any updates on ADOM Lite RPG?

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    1. ADOM Lite will be tackled (as according to my original plan ;-) ) after the release of p21. Basically I'm "just" three months late. As p21 sadly seems to contain a number of bad crash bugs (not unexpected after changing so many details over a period of almost four months) I probably will spend a couple of days fixing the problems in p21 to then release p22. Then I'll finish the ADOM Lite RPG next.

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  5. Will totally try out the tutorial mode since I'm still a complete noob.

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    1. Please let me know your thoughts. I'm really interested in stuff we should add to tutorial mode in order to improve the gaming experience for new players. Any ideas are welcome!

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  6. Started my first game in new patch all excited as a Dwarf Priest. I clear the first dungeon and boom, terrible river on first level dog cave. Will be very annoying to try to cross and then cross again on way out. Ok fine, I accept RNG can be bad sometimes. Head straight to CoC and boom, bad river first level. Quit and annoyingly discourged.

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    1. I had the same experience a short while ago. So you have been heard: http://www.adom.de/forums/project.php?issueid=2876

      BTW, which level was your dwarf priest when he entered the dungeons?

      (The chance to have a river generated is 1 in 15 BTW - on non-special levels - so your experience was a 1 in 225).

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