Sunday, May 22, 2016

The state of ADOM (long overdue update)

As I for more than two months fell for the oldest of mistakes (not talking to the community and fans out there) it now truly is time to restart communication about the state of ADOM. Reasons for not communicating are outlined at the bottom as the state of ADOM seems more important to me.

So what happened during the past couple of weeks?

Lucas has created a ton of new musical compositions that currently are being integrated into the game and will lift the audible experience we provide to a totally new level. Below you find a couple of links to samples (but please not that all of these pieces are copyrighted and no permission is given to use them elsewhere outside of ADOM - if you would like to enlist Lucas' skills get into contact with us and I'm sure we can work something out; just don't steal/pirate the hard work of others):
Please also note that these pieces are samples, more work is happening on them every day and new pieces are underway, too. If you are as smitten by Lucas' work than I am I heartily recommend following Lucas on Twitter to get continuous updates and read what he currently is up to!

On the graphical side Krys has been very busy working on various graphical aspects of the game:
  • First of all Krys has been adding themed dungeon tiles to the game (a major effort). I really think that the new tiles add a totally new dimension of flavor to the dungeons. Enjoy some of the following previews (there are more variants but we don't want to spoil everything ;-) ):

  • Additionally Krys has been adding more details to the existing dungeon levels which can be seen in the following previews:

  • One of the important internal (technical) additions Krys devised and Zeno implemented is that we now can have much larger tiles of which only parts will be displayed - but this allows for much nicer graphical enhancements that are less systematic:
  • Due to the requirements of the new character generation process we also have been discussing and refining the various UI elements of ADOM (although that part still is work in progress). Here you can see a design study:
  • Finally (in addition to constant detail changes and fiddling Krys is doing with existing artwork) he has polished the ADOM RPG cover a bit more (see old and new in comparison):

As with Lucas if you enjoy Krys' work follow Krys on Twitter and visit is own website to enjoy his marvelous talents!

The final image above leads me to a rather ugly topic: Basically I have done nothing with ADOM Lite RPG since my last post (for reasons outlined below - which don't really help). I'm going to post the unboxing video during the coming week and I have reserved the next Friday for a full day of ADOM RPG work in order to get things rolling again.

Finally, regarding my lack of communication: The reason is simple: Personal health issues. After my last post we went on vacation (and the time was great), returned to tons of day-to-day work (I spent a very busy week on a conference among other things) and then fell sick. First it seemed like a cold, then it appeared to be some kind of nasty virus and I was almost out of business for two complete weeks (getting antibiotics and stuff, which basically turned my brain into some soft mushy substance). Sadly after a week some symptoms returned and though I'm not totally sick I'm easily exhausted and tired and just get by with the usual daily chores and work. I have new doctor appointments but the whole state is totally frustrating as I lack the usual bubbly energy that drives me doing ADOM. For a moment I have wondered about general exhaustion, burnout or similar things but as I'm still functioning decently enough on all other levels I assume that it's more of a illness related problem that keeps my energy on a lower than normal level.

All this is not an excuse for not communicating but stopping communication is the first thing I usually do when I get sick (call it the "lone wolf syndrome"). So to improve things I have turned to creating routine... I now have a fixed appointment every sunday in my calendar as the minimum interval to post updates. Additionally I'm doing all I can to restore my usual health and energy (e.g. my food by now has completely changed to very healthy, I'm doing sports, seeing doctors again next week, etc.)

Due to these effects Jochen and Zeno mostly have been blocked as I was not available for extensions to the core engine. Zeno has done some work on our new moving dungeon parts, on integrating the new character generation process and other details, but that's where we no are going to restart. In the end it shows that ADOM almost has grown into a full day job and it becomes harder and harder to run this as a hobby. Which creates interesting questions for which I do not yet have the right answers (working on that, too).

So to summarize:
  • I am sorry for once again disappointing your expectations. It's becoming a pattern but it somehow seems to mirror ADOM becoming bigger and bigger (once again) without right now being able to scale all resources appropriately (Krys and Lucas already are working full-time on ADOM, Zeno as much as his other responsibilities and interests allow and Jochen and I still have to treat this as a kind of hobby).
  • Things now will pick up again, slowly at first and then faster. We are still 150% committed to ADOM. But at times bad things happen and throw you off track. Which was my case during the past two months. I'm happy to come back and look forward to better times.
  • Our priority will be on releasing a new version ASAP. We might do another general test release first before we dare to do a Steam release (in order to now introduce major bugs on the paying community at Steam). But we understand that a new release should happen as soon as possible.
Feel free to ask whatever concerns you (preferably here in the comments so that I can respond for everyone).

35 comments:

  1. Thanks for the update!

    PS: I can't seem to find any differences in the cover image...

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    1. That's the early proposal image I've sent to TB, basically just the wings shortened and a vignette.

      I worked on it much more (hey, there was extra time so I took advantage of that :P) and the real end result is here:

      https://twitter.com/RavenmoreArt/status/734466735487733764

      As you can see it's quite a bit cleaner and more detailed :)

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  2. We have waited for 1.2.0 much longer :)

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  3. Thomas,

    I backed the RPG because I remember all the times (many years ago now) that my group of friends would discuss how much we wanted to play it together if you ever decided to release the rules. I know you want it to be perfect because that is how you work. I also know it has been a big source of stress for you. Please believe me when I say that I can't wait to hold it in my hands but that I also don't want it to be a project that burns you out and makes you regret offering it in the first place. Please take care of yourself and be well first. ADOM has become so much more than I ever dreamed it would, having the RPG on my bookshelf in a place of honor is just a bonus.

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  4. Sickness is no fun, and I understand completely. Thank you for letting us know what's happening! I look forward to the next update and the future of ADOM :)

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  6. do your best :) sounds like something you should take serious. get well soon

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  7. These things take time even with illness confounding the mix---on the whole the team has been working, so on the whole the future will be all the better for it as far as ADOM goes.

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  8. The lone wolf thing is completely understandable—I involuntarily end up doing the same, and it has done quite some numbers on me and my then-current job when I was in a bad relationship which often triggered the state.

    Btw, how has ADOM been doing on Steam thus far? It's been half a year already. Has it lived up to the expectations with regards to audience retention and sales numbers/revenue? You should write a post about it sometime. If it has performed well, that'd be great news; if it hasn't, maybe some of us would have some ideas on what to do about it.

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  9. We have been following ADOM for > 15 years, no problem to wait for news for a few months :)

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  10. Take it easy, health is first. Great job team!

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  11. To be honest I haven't really noticed the lack of updates, I've been enjoying the game in its current state. Hope you feel better, I'm looking forward to what you guys are working on.

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  12. To be honest I haven't really noticed the lack of updates, I've been enjoying the game in its current state. Hope you feel better, I'm looking forward to what you guys are working on.

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  13. People complain too much. I'm happy for any update I get, hell, we have waited years for updates before.

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  14. I agree with the others, I do the lone wolf thing too - I know it's bad when I do it but totally understand when others do! Glad you're doing better, that sounded like a bad one.

    I hope you come up with something creative and good on your time scheduling. Looking forward to the new stuff when the time comes!

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  15. Let me be one more person to encourage you: I've played ADOM for more than a decade! Even if you were to never ship the RPG (which I pledged for), I would consider it more than a fair price for how much enjoyment I've had and will continue to have playing your game. Thank you for all your hard work! Please get well soon and let things be done when they're done.

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  16. Get better soon and don't worry too much about delays, we all need you healthy :)

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  17. Don't beat yourself up Thomas - you and your team do amazing work. You have passion, creativity, and exceptional programming skills. I'm sure most people who support the campaign have done so because they believe in what you have achieved already with ADOM. As long as you enjoy what you are doing you might as well take as much time as you need. Cheers!

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  18. I'm a pretty new player to ADOM but i'm absolutely loving it so far!
    ADOM's what introduced me to the Rogue-Like genre in the first place.

    Knowing that it's not yet going to be abandoned keeps this game as one of my favorites.

    P.S

    If you ever decided to add a new race PLEASE ADD A MINOTAUR. Minotaur's are to awesome to not be in a Rogue-Like! Plus, they're my go to race on World of Warcraft...

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    1. There are minotaurs in ADOM :-) Even a minotaur emperor. And a big maze :-) Just keep searching...

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    2. I think he means as a playable race.

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    3. I think he means as a playable race, ie: gnome, troll, drakeling, etc.

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  19. Best wishes for improved health, Thomas. Ask your doctor to consider CFS and allergies, perhaps; antibiotics aren't effective against any virus like a cold.

    - @AdamLGRing

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  20. Hi Thomas,

    First of all, please get better!
    I still can't wait to get my Adom Lite RPG, but I don't mind waiting (especially when I saw some pics from work in progress). However, since it took that long, I have one question: how do I change delivery address (I moved to a new house)?

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    1. Soon I will update the portal so that everyone can enter their current address there (in exactly the way it should show up on a shipping label to prevent any trouble).

      As soon as this feature is up I'll post about it across all channels and you will have ample time to update your address.

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  21. No problemo :) Get well! We can wait :3

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  22. Goodness, your health and wellbeing comes before all else. Very kind of you to explain to the community.

    Hope things start to look up for you soon, that sounds like no fun at all :-(

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  23. Concerning the ADOM Lite RPG, I get that there is going to be a limited print for just the Indiegogo backers. However, for those of us who missed the Indiegogo campaign, and would love to play the tabletop version of ADOM, will the ruleset be released as a PDF later on paid/free (your call) for those of us who do want it but can't get a limited print?

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    1. "Sadly" I promised that it will be a once-in-a-lifetime limited edition never to be reprinted. So the answer is: no. There is no other way to get it.

      Some of the backers ordered multiple copies and I guess there will be some limited trading going on (but probably for steep prices).

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    2. How is a pdf version considered a print? When I hear limited print, I think of a book, not a pdf. But if not, oh well. Can't get everything in life.

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  24. I'm very excited about the excellent progress shown here, can't wait to try out the patched new ADOM content!

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  25. I'm very excited about the excellent progress shown here, can't wait to try out the patched new ADOM content!

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