Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Slow return

Just a short notice... after the deep grief of the past weeks (which still is far from overcome) I nonetheless will try my best to return to normality. As a first sign he blog colors are back to normal.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

My worst day in the 21st century

Today at 1:37pm my mother left this planet. She died peacefully in sleep and I was with her till the end for which I am very grateful. Right now the pain is unbelievable and as there was so much ADOM communication in the past of couple of weeks I felt it necessary to blog about this for two reasons:
  1. I'll be gone for a moment while I come to terms with the unspeakable grief I feel right now. As I promised updates about our Steam roadmap, the state of the ADOM Lite RPG I'm sorry to say that right now other things are more important and I'll return to these topics later on (in a week or two).
  2. My mother actually is part of ADOM history in a special way: While she didn't care at all about computers, computer games and probably only has a very abstract idea what all the fuzz was about she for many years was the primary recipient of all the hundred and hundreds and hundreds of postcards I received from the ADOM postcard quest. While she probably wondered more than once about those crazy things we received, I believe she was quite proud about her son having created something that meant enough to so many people to make them send postcards from all over the world (including Antarctica). While the mailing address already had changed for a while I still regularly showed her the latest cards and she always smiled.
With that I'm going to black out for now. 

Fare thee well, Mama - I'll build a monument in ADOM to immortalize your role in the postcard quest, too.

Thanks for listening.

Friday, June 13, 2014

PC Gamer reports ADOM Greenlighting

PC Gamer has a short story about ADOM (and other games) being greenlit. Personally I'm not that opposed to Greenlight so far as many of the commenters seem to be as I believe that many of the alternatives could be far worse. But it will be interested to see how things will proceed.

Nice review by FreeIndieGames.org

Today we received a very nice review from FreeIndieGames.org. I'm particularly in love with their selection for the screenshot :-) It seems so awesomely appropriate :-D



Thursday, June 12, 2014

Centralized PC data management for the upcoming ADOM release

Below you find a demo of the upcoming centralized data management for all the important data screens for the player character:


The basic idea is to give new players an easy way to access all the data without having to learn 10-12 commands. I'm still pondering whether to remove the top line (with the player name, level and stuff) in order to save one line but on the other hand we might also consider increasing the standard number of lines on the screen. We'll see. Comments and feedback as usual is very welcome!

ADOM has been greenlit on Steam!!! (hooray and thanks!!!)

On the 11th of June, 2014, we made the next big step: ADOM has been among the 75 titles to be green lit today!

Our campaign ran for a total of 27 days before being greenlit.

In the name of Team ADOM I just can say: Thank you all so much for the incredible amount of support and feedback we have received over the past couple of weeks. Once again it has been an amazing journey and now we are at a very important and interesting point: The jump to Steam.

I yet have to validate this but I believe that we scored a number of records for the roguelike genre on Steam (as far as I know - confirmation coming later - so much to do now ;-) ):
  1. ADOM is the oldest roguelike game to ever make it to Steam (one of the foundational four or five roguelike games, depending on how you count).
  2. ADOM is the first ASCII game ever to make it to Steam (although we mostly push the graphical mode for obvious reasons).
  3. ADOM probably is the roguelike game which needed the shortest time to be greenlit on Steam (this I still need to check - sorry if I am wrong on this one ;-), comments welcome).
  4. ADOM probably is the oldest computer game still in development to ever make it to Steam (20 years as of today).
We are awed and we promise that we will do everything we can to make the first Steam release the most awesome ADOM release ever. Currently we are putting a very strong focus on modernizing the UI and making ADOM an awesome gaming experience for a much wider audience (without watering down the strengths of ADOM or its depth of play). As ADOM development (also on Steam) will continue for a very long time to come improvements will be incremental (as usual) but we are fully aware of the importance of a gleaming, shining, nay, radiating first release on Steam. So I guess sleep will have to wait for a couple of months ;-)

Thanks again to all of you - you are the most awesome community ever!!! Thanks also to Team ADOM from me personally once more, specifically to Jochen, Krys, Lucas and Zeno - it has been an inspiring and great journey so far and I am very much looking forward to the exciting ride ahead of us!!!

Thomas Biskup & Team ADOM


Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Demo: Showing some of the new movement commands

One of the biggest advantages of our Steam Greenlight campaign so far has been the tremendous motivation from non-roguelike-players to increase usability. And yes, I know, many fans from the community pushed us into that direction, too (yeah, Darren, I'm e.g. looking at you ;-) ).

I already blogged about the new movement commands I am working on right now and today I'd like to show a little demo:


IMHO they are awesome and I can't remember playing without them (being a lazy guy - if you want to optimize your movements there probably can be more optimized movements occasionally - although e.g. exploration mode is trying very hard to be very efficient).

Just saying...

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Nice coverage from Kotaku (Australia) for ADOM

And another nice article about ADOM from Kotaku (Australia) - thanks to Logan for standing up for roguelikes :-) ! Go read it!


Nice coverage from TIGSource for ADOM

We now also have been covered on TIGSource - thanks to Derek for picking up on our move towards Steam and all the stuff we are trying to achieve with ADOM! Go read the article. Now! And vote for us on Steam Greenlight if you still haven't done so!


And BTW: ADOM can also use more votes from you on TIGdb - thanks ;-)

Awesome new movement commands coming up (and more)

At least I think so. I shouldn't be talking about features that are not yet fully implemented but as I'm going to bed soon and things look as if they will work out in a most awesome way by tomorrow I just had to talk about it :-)

Monday, June 9, 2014

More version numbering thoughts...

After my initial post about revising the ADOM version numbering scheme I have taken quite a bit of time contemplating all the feedback. This morning I tried to revise the version numbering scheme for ADOM and came up with the following (probably as a compromise of the various options given as feedback):

  • The official title for my current build is "Ancient Domains Of Mystery (release 48)". Displayed on the title screen and in the windows title. Derived from a total of 48 releases (including the next one).
  • The internal version number displayed after pressing 'V' is "Ancient Domains Of Mystery (release 48, build 48a, version 1.8.0)".
The following underlying rules have been used to get to this complicated level:

  • Release is just a runnnig number that does nothing but count the number of released versions (hence 48, hopefully I didn't miscount).
  • Version is the version number adjusted for the new rules which state that MAJOR (1) will always remain fixed for ADOM, minor (currently 8) will be advanced with each public release that creates incompatibilities (and we could discuss if it then should be 5 or 6 or 7) and MINOR (currently once more 0) is only adjusted for changes that are very minor and do not invalidate save files.
  • The numerical part is advanced to the release number, if MINOR or MAJOR changes. The character part is advanced if PATCH changes (and then only the character part).


Jochens first feedback was "Too complicated. I don't like it.".

Which brought me back full circle to the arguments exchanged in the original post:

  • I want to reflect the advances state of ADOM (hence release 48).
  • Some people prefer MAJOR.MINOR.PATCH schemes (thus the internal version number 1.8.0).
  • Some people just want to have a little more information but are happy with not being flooded with meaningless information - hence "build 48a".
Now I just could go with the build number - but wouldn't that be kind of equal to dropping the "1." from the version number and just going with the second and third number? So 8.0? (or 7.0 or 6.0 - the numbers right now are not yet important)

I guess I shouldn't try to decide this in a democratic way ;-)

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Adding even more context to mouse commands

In a recent post I already blogged about the upcoming context menus for ADOM. Right now I am busy upgrading the context intelligence so that commands really are only offered if they can be executed. This might sound simpler than it actually is because some commands in ADOM check a dozen of preconditions and all that needs to be re-used in the context command selection algorithm. Which again sounds simpler than it is as ADOMs ancient codebase never was prepared for such things. But by the end of today it would be there for all commands. And there will be other side effects (that gamers probably expect but that cause headaches for programmers working on an ancient code base - like me ;-)...

Friday, June 6, 2014

It's been a good day: Covered by Rock, Paper, Shotgun :-)

Finally we also have been covered by Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Thanks, Adam! Hopefully this will give our Steam Greenlight campaign another much needed push! And I promise to everyone commenting on that thread that we right now are trying really hard to make the new ADOM UI an awesome experience for old timers and new players alike! The recent comments from new players have been very inspiring! (and yeah, old guard, thou hast been heard, too - wait for the things to come - it will be awesome!)

New context menus in ADOM

Currently improving usability for new ADOM players is our top focus. One of the improvements will be context menus (right click on a position and you will get a list of prioritized commands possible for said location). There is still a lot we need to do (the command execution is not yet very intelligent but I'm right now discussing a very powerful approach for that with Jochen which probably could easily be added for all commands) but here's a first screenshot of what will be in the first Steam version (and intermediate test versions - just not yet fully implemented... so much to do;-) ):
Currently context menus also are limited to the graphical version. ASCII seems to be more for the hardcore fans and my current impression is that for now we should focus more on the graphical versions. Naturally at some point such features will be pulled over to ASCII, too. But for now the focus is on creating the most awesome graphical roguelike out there (as far as usability goes).

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

New video review of ADOM by James Allen

James Allen kindly did a video review of ADOM on his Youtube channel. I'm very happy about him as a non-power-roguelike-gamer taking the time getting into ADOM. I really love various aspects about his video as I learned quite a bit about the problems a game like ADOM poses to new people we might try to attract.


Several of these problems are well-known but others only now really left an impression upon me. So, thanks James, for a having a deeper look at ADOM!

Player ghosts

I would like to introduce the latest new feature in ADOM: Player ghosts. This is the first big feature for the planned Steam release (and also the fist big Deluxe only feature). More than 2,000 lines of new code hopefully will make player ghosts a memorable and fun feature.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Minor setback: ADOM @ Steam Greenlight (fallen from 9 to 10)

Short update: ADOM has fallen from rank 9 to rank 10 on Steam Greenlight. As competition is pretty fierce at the top this was to be expected, especially given the fact that it's quite hard to raise more awareness for roguelikes (after a good start).

So what can be done? Probably not much right now if the press doesn't pick up some cool ADOM story. What can you do? My impression is that the number of favorites and followers also factors into the Steam ranking - so if you already voted for ADOM you might consider also marking it as a favorite and following it ;-) Maybe this gives us another nice push.

Thanks!