Sunday, November 19, 2017

Surgery Update & Roguelike Celebration 2017 Videos & More

Hi everyone!

Brief update from me:

  • Surgery last week went pretty well. My hand does not hurt too much, the wound should be healed in a week or two, I can use my fingers (yeah!), I can type (not a full day yet but getting quickly better, so: rock'n roll) and I'll be back to work tomorrow. Here's a foto of the kind-of-cyberware they removed from my left arm (which is why I was joking about the CyberMonday prequel ;-) ):

  • Many people asked about my talks from Roguelike Celebration 2017. You can find them here:
(yes, I know - they re-used the 2016 image ;-)

Naturally I also recommend all the other talks from Roguelike Celebration 2017:  https://go.twitch.tv/roguelike_con/videos/all My impression (and I have others heard voice the same opinion) was that the quality level of the talks was even higher this year than in 2016 (and 2016 already was awesome) - so it's worth spending a couple of hours on topics that might interest you (or just sound fascinating - many truly were!).

Regarding ADOM: Next week will be yet another week of completely finishing up the crowdfunding stuff for production release (more bug fixes in the 3.0.x development line in order to get it to Steam and the general public; and we already have been alpha-testing the global highscore server and hopefully will move this at least to beta and a larger audience). And I'm working on fully recovering my hand.

Additionally the team slowly is starting to plan both the 20% future development track for ADOM as well as the 80+% development track for Ultimate ADOM. Exciting times ahead - see you soon!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

ADOM 3.0.2 released to our prerelease testers! (& brief pause)

Hi everyone!

The release train still is running at full steam - towards Steam so to speak ;-) We just released ADOM 3.0.2 to our prerelease testers which contains another slew of bug fixes and minor improvements. Sadly I have to report that ADOM 3.0.0 contains a major data corruption issue - save files that were created in 3.0.0 (or went through 3.0.0) probably are broken beyond repair - sorry for that :-(

The changelog can be found in the usual place!

Thanks for testing and enjoy the new release!
Thomas Biskup & Team ADOM

P.S.: After the frantic activity of the past couple of days there now will be a minor lull as I'm getting surgery tomorrow to have the metal in my left arm removed that I received due to an accident last year:



Wish me luck - I'm itching to start seriously working on Ultimate ADOM! Hopefully recovery will be fast and fully complete!

Monday, November 13, 2017

New ADOM overview video posted

Hi everyone!

This morning we finished a new ADOM overview video:



 Enjoy!

Announcing ADOM 3.0.1 for prerelease testers

Hi everyone!

since Thomas is on his way back to Europe, I have the honor to announce ADOM 3.0.1 for our prerelease testers

Please check the changelogthis version contains a lot of fixes for ADOM 3.0.0. Have fun testing!

Stay tuned!
Jochen & Team ADOM

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Five ADOM announcements made at Roguelike Celebration 2017

Hi everyone!

Today at Roguelike Celebration 2017 we were honored to give a presentation about the future of ADOM. In this post I would like to summarize five key announcements we made, which are instrumental for the future of ADOM.

Questions are welcome (preferrably in the comments below) and we will try to address them to the best of our ability.

ADOM 3.0.0 released as a prerelease test version!

Hi everyone!

Today - as a special treat honoring Roguelike Celebration 2017 - we are very proud to announce the release of ADOM 3.0.0 as a prerelease test version. ADOM 3.0.0 is one of the most feature-heavy releases we ever have done as it wraps up most of the remaining crowdfunding promises. As a consequences it includes:

  • Four new mini maps and three new community quests have been added.
  • The Ultimate Nihilist ending has been added.
  • A new special adventure - taking place after closing the gate - has been added.
  • A new special "getting funded" level with a special boss monster & minions as well as two new artifacts has been added (and 16 other new items peculiar to this level).
  • 33 (!) new artifacts have been added.
  • The legend level donor artifacts have been added.
  • Fixed and extensions to the many magical statues (a few still are unimplemented as the wishes of the donors where simply not feasible - we will work out something better with you; expect to be contacted soon).
  • The immortalization of the mega-legend level donors has been done.
  • The revised manual available in more and smaller pieces throughout the game.
  • The basic infrastructure for global highscores has been added (but will not be activated before 3.0.1 as we still are busy testing the server - more on that in an upcoming post).
The changelog has the complete list of changes as usual. 


All this should make for an exciting new release. After it has been extensively tested it will take the usual route first to Steam and then to the general public.

We are very happy about now coming to a conclusion of our crowdfunding campaign and we are looking forward to the next exciting things looming on the horizont.

Have fun!
Thomas Biskup & Team ADOM

Saturday, November 11, 2017

ADOM 2.3.8 is being released to the general public!

Hi everyone!

After a very long time (812 days to be precise) we are very proud to release ADOM 2.3.8 to the general public!

Everyone now will be able to play ADOM 2.3.8 (release 81) and enjoy the progress of more than two years of work. Hopefully, never again so much time will pass between two releases. The changes are too numerous to recount:

  • completely revised user interface & HUD & tons of graphical refinements
  • animated monsters
  • extensive support for mouse-based play
  • tons of new support for new players (like quick hints, better mouse support, simplified key mappings, etc.)
  • tons of bug fixes and minor improvements

See the changelog for a full list of changes - it's everything from release 60 upwards in the list!


There have been some changes that people ask about very often:

  • ADOM now sports a dialog system and speech bubbles for dialogs. Some of the info dialogs can be deactivated if you don't like them (Show_Info_Boxes = false in the configuration accessible via '='). Speech bubbles and most selection dialogs can't be deactivated though. If you find them less efficient than the old way, please submit appropriate criticism and ideas for enhancement.
  • ADOM now offers quick hints that explain how to access certain commands. If you don't need them or find them disturbing you can deactivate those, too (Quick_Hint_Limit = 0 in the configuration accessible via '=').
  • The pick and drop commands have been completely rewritten. They now are much more consistent and powerful but you need to get accustomed to them if your muscle memory is trained on the old system. For experienced ADOM players we recommend that you familiarize yourself with all the options and play around a little with it. It's different than before but all options are there (and more).
Generally we believe that these (and other changes) are highly beneficial, especially also for new players. If you are very experienced with ADOM it will take a moment to adjust but our experience is that this goes quickly!


ADOM 2.3.8 can be downloaded from two locations:


Important: Files are still uploading at the time of this writing and will need a couple of more hours but the Windows version already is available at http://www.indiedb.com/games/adom-ancient-domains-of-mystery/downloads/adom-238-release-81-for-windows

If you find problems or have ideas for improvement please submit them at our bug database.

And now enjoy playing the latest version of ADOM. We are curious about your feedback!

Kind regards
Thomas Biskup & Team ADOM




Friday, November 10, 2017

Character sheet for ADOM Lite RPG now available!

Hi everyone!

Finishing my (as of in: my personal ticket ;-) final crowdfunding promise:

And now enjoy the sheet and keep playing!

Kind regards
Thomas

Full Steam release: ADOM 2.3.8 is here!

Hi everyone!

Because I'm a bit jet-lagged (due to the trip to San Francisco to the Roguelike Celebration 2017) here's just a very quick note:

We have released ADOM 2.3.8 to Steam with but two fixes (see the changelog):

  • An important NotEye crash has been fixed.
  • A minor frog dialog problem has been fixed.
In the meantime we are already finishing up the next major release with tons of new stuff which you also can expect pretty soon now.

If ADOM 2.3.8 proves to be stable during the next 8-10 hours, we'll also release it as a general public release. So please test extensively!

See ya soon,
Thomas Biskup & Team ADOM

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Full Steam release: Welcome ADOM 2.3.7!

Hi everyone!

Today we are happy to announce the release of ADOM 2.3.7 to Steam!

Before I summarize the most important changes and additions I'd like to ask for help in analyzing one problem we still occasionally seem to have: In rare cases there seems to be a NotEye-related crash. The crash first has been reported in the following ticket: http://www.adom.de/forums/project.php?issueid=5572 This bug also is the main reason for not yet having released a general public version because we didn't want to introduce an annoying crash bug in the first major release after such a long time. If we don't managed to get it solved by next Thursday we'll just be pushing out the general public release hoping to the find more pointers to the root problem.

Ok, back to the release of ADOM 2.3.7, which is very nice as usual. The most important changes are:

  • The "open door" menu (when you run into a door) now reacts to the SPACE bar (by selecting 'o'pen as the default). Additionally searching for traps no longer is offered as a choice if you don't possess the relevant skill.
  • You now again can open doors by left-clicking onto them.
  • Trying to pay if you have no gold no longer crashes the game.
  • Auto-swapping positions with monsters (especially in walk-mode) no longer turns them hostile as this really could ruin your game.
  • Piety increases for paladin and priest characters now are more meaningful.
  • Some other bug fixes and minor improvements.
Here you can find the full change log. So all in all ADOM 2.3.7 is just a fine-tuning of previous releases and available now on Steam.

Behind the scenes we still are searching for above-mentioned bug and are very busy finishing the last crowdfunding promises (three in-game basically left: revision of the manual, immortalizing the legend-level-donors and global highscores and two out-of-game promises: the final shipping wave and the PDF download of the ADOM Lite RPG character sheet).

I'm back to work... enjoy ADOM 2.3.7!

Saturday, November 4, 2017

How the revised ADOM manual will turn out... (hopefully)

Hi everyone!

I'd like to share some brief thoughts on my intentions of how I am going to revise the ADOM manual (one of the last crowdfunding promises not yet tackled):

  • I have wrestled for a long time with the question on whether it should be web-based, PDF, ASCII or several of these formats. I now have decided that it will remain ASCII because our recent UI/UX tests show that people would enjoy shorter in-game help texts in more places. As (a) ADOM can only display ASCII and PDF or HTML are impossible for ADOM and (b) we do not have the resources to support a variety of documents, ASCII makes most sense.
  • I intend to break down the manual into smaller sections so that you e.g. can directly jump from the "Healing" skill to the healing skill description (and not just the whole skill section as of today).
  • I intend to add links to the manual in more places (skills, spells).
  • I will add more information to the manual. If you feel that some important information is missing please add that request in the comments section of this ticket here.
The technical side behind this plan requires writing a new manual parser and formatter to generate all the sections, links, etc. that we need internally in order to use the improved manual. Not a trivial task but I hope to get this done soon.

Thanks for listening!

Monday, October 30, 2017

Full Steam release: ADOM 2.3.6 is here!



Hi everyone!

We are happy and proud to announce ADOM 2.3.6, yet another major milestone in the recent series of ADOM releases. ADOM 2.3.6 contains a ton of changes (despite the rather small version number increase), especially related to user interface improvements and bug fixes. It is a full Steam release - no beta fiddling or anything required.

This could be the perfect time to enter the community of folks playing ADOM at Steam as we currently do have a 10% discount due to the Halloween sale - and it's not going to become better than that as we instead intend to continue increasing the value of your purchase by adding more and more content for years to come!

Major changes for ADOM 2.3.6 include:

  • Much smarter left-click interactions with the mouse (and customized mouse cursors).
  • More quick hints to point to advanced commands.
  • A streamlined and smarter tutorial to simplify getting into ADOM.
  • Humans and fighters have been buffed somewhat to make them more interesting.
  • Priests, druids and paladins start slightly more pious.
  • Priests now always start with the "Cure Light Wounds" spell. Additionally healing spells have been rebalanced.
  • Races and professions now are sorted alphabetically during character generation.
  • You now start with some quests to lead you into the right direction.
  • Paying has been greatly simplified.
  • Moving into doors now offers a much smarter dialog.
  • The various game modes have been slightly renamed to lead new players better into the game.
  • Various other minor UI/UX improvements (probably 80+ since the last release as we have started doing supervised user interface / user experience tests in our new UI/UX lab).
  • Tons of bug fixes.


Next up:

  • We are going to exchange the videos and images on Steam for much more recent versions.
  • We are going to do a full (non-Deluxe) public release of ADOM.
  • We are going to finish ADOM 2.4.0 (might become 3.0.0) to finish our crowdfunding promises.
  • And at the weekend I'm going to do the final wave of ADOM crowdfunding physical rewards shipments. Most people by now should have received their stuff and if you did not yet, please go to the crowdfunding fulfillment portal and confirm your data (not on Indiegogo - that data is long out of date and sync). If you are among the few who haven't done so and then don't confirm your data by the weekend you are out of luck. It's over after that.
And then it's going to be the future :-) !

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

ADOM 2.3.5 released as Steam beta!

Hi everyone!

Finally. Finally. Finally. We are getting back to full speed :-)

Team ADOM is very proud to announce the release ADOM 2.3.5 as a Steam Beta to the general public. Effectively this means that - if you have bought Steam on ADOM - you now can play ADOM 2.3.5 as beta version. The process to access the ADOM 2.3.5 beta is described here: http://www.ancientdomainsofmystery.com/p/adom-beta-steam.html


The general public release (which will be ADOM 2.3.6) hopefully will follow very soon - we just want to get feedback on stability, first impressions, etc. for a couple of days before it will be launched.

Note that ADOM 2.3.5 still is a beta version - there might be bugs, crashes, etc. that we didn't discover in our tests. So be prepared for a little bumpiness - experience has taught us that general public releases are very different from prerelease test releases, which in turn yield a very different experience to our local tests.

ADOM 2.3.5 is the culmination of more than a year of development (one year and one day today - our last release was ADOM 2.2.6 on October, 16th, 2016). We are still very sorry for the long break but it's mostly my fault as I severely broke my hand in December last year and it took a very long time to recover.

But the good news is that we now are up to full speed and will be much faster due to being full recovered and having our GIT infrastructure well up and running. While ADOM 2.3.5 has just been released, we already are working on
  • ADOM 2.3.6 - which will bring tons of additional UI/UX enhancements as now finally have installed a real UI/UX lab and are doing supervised playtesting with new ADOM players (from all kinds of folks - ranging from people who never before have played a computer game to people who have logged thousands of hours into casual games, 3D games and/or indie games). The results so far are humbling - and extremely helpful. You can follow the progress in our special UI/UX milestone.
  • ADOM 2.4.0 - which will finish providing all remaining crowdfunding promises and is well on track. We hope to finish ADOM 2.4.0 by end of October.
Both versions have have been - together with ADOM 2.3.5 - under parallel development and this is working very nicely for us.

What can you expect in the Steam Beta of ADOM 2.3.5?

Tons of changes and new stuff. You can read the full change log here (and you need to read all changes from ADOM 2.3.0 up to ADOM 2.3.5). Thus I'd like to highlight a few of the more exciting changes:
  • We have completely redesigned the graphical HUD - it's much more beautiful, functional and elegant now.
  • There has been lots of graphical fine-tuning. Especially noticeable will be that many monsters now are animated (and we are working on the remaining monsters and the PC as you read this).
  • We have worked a lot on being able to play by mouse and general making better use of graphical assets. This should be a lot more convenient now. Additions include much better context-sensitive menus, smart tooltips (which no longer require you to enter look mode in the graphical game), smarter click interactions, variable mouse cursors indicating the next left-click-action, speech bubbles, a dialog system, a menu when pressing the ESC key, graphical quick hints to better introduce you to key commands, many tweaks to the UI (the inventory e.g. works much more conveniently now), many more screens now are graphical, etc. pp.
  • A new "easy" game mode has been added that should make it much more fun for new players to get introduced to ADOM (and you won't be missing any content in easy mode - the game is just somewhat nicer to you).
  • Point-based character generation now should be a lot of fun and offers many more options!
  • The long-awaited Rolf quest and the volcano quest (crowdfunding promises) now are in the game.
  • 117 new items and 22 new monsters have been added.
  • New immunities, resistances, item abilities (e.g. levitation) and a whole new category of items (rechargeable items) have been added.
  • Quests now have a much more elaborate and detailed status screen.
  • The configuration settings now have a menu system that makes it much easier to configure many aspects of ADOM.
  • You now can configure if you want to use talents as all, if they should be preselected by ADOM or if you want to manually select them. Additionally you can configure "your luck" during the game (e.g. cause ADOM to slightly fudge die rolls in your favor).
  • Missile stacking/reloading has been greatly simplified. Additionally picking/dropping stuff has been completely revamped and now is much more powerful.
And that's just some of the highlights :-)




What about the prerelease testers?

Jochen currently is building all the binaries for our prerelease testers, too. Sadly this is a much more involved process than deploying to Steam (especially as it takes a long while to upload all the binaries). Expect the prerelease binaries to be available at some point this afternoon (German time) - i n about 5-7 hours at most. You will then be able to download ADOM 2.3.5 as a prerelease test version from the usual location.

What's up next?

The next major milestone for us is the release of a stable ADOM version in the very near future - which probably will coincide with a general public release for everyone (or be close nearby - we really need to do some more testing on the non-Deluxe version which we haven't started in over 12 months and will probably have some broken parts due to the vast amount of changes... but it should follow on the heels of the general Steam release).

Saturday, October 14, 2017

The ADOM front: Steam, UI/UX & more

Hi folks!

Just a quick update regarding our current work:

  • We'll be on Steam with a beta very soon now - one more bug/new feature to get right (custom mouse cursors for much better left-click interactions) and then we'll be there.
  • We have been spending a lot more time on examining the user experience for new ADOM players. And it's without doubt still horrible (although much better than 12 months ago). I sadly have come to realize that we have been making a mistake (as hard as it sounds) by mostly discussing UI/UX within the existing community. The existing community mostly consists of too many roguelike/ADOM experts who just fail to see (like me) what barriers these games pose to general players. 
  • As a result we have started doing supervised tests with new players of varying experience in a UI/UX lab setting and the results have been staggering: ADOM presents incredible barriers to get into the game (still, despite hundreds of UI issues we already worked on). But the good news is that we believe we now finally are learning the important UI/UX issues (maybe a bit late, but whatever) and will be able to work on them without ruining the game for existing players. Our UI/UX milestone in the ticket database lists our findings and while this stuff won't make it into the next Steam release I really hope that we will be able to include most of it into the release after that: http://www.adom.de/forums/projectmilestone.php?do=issuelist&milestoneid=8&filter=active
So our priorities right now are:
  1. Releasing on Steam.
  2. Improving UI/UX.
  3. Finishing the crowdfunding promises (which we hope to do this month!).
  4. Getting ready for the Roguelike Celebration (meet me there) and big announcements.
Stay tuned for updates!

Friday, October 6, 2017

Announcing the (graphical) prerelease of ADOM 2.3.4

Hi everyone!

Today marks another important milestone to getting ADOM back on track and rolling after this rather bumpy year: We just released ADOM 2.3.4 to our prerelease testers. This release contains the full graphical glory of ADOM Deluxe. Now you will be able to try out tons of amazing features accumulated over more than nine months in our graphical user interface:
  • a new HUD
  • better typography
  • (mostly) animated monsters
  • better tooltips & dialogs,
  • refined icons and graphics in general,
  • many new music & sound effects,
  • a huge amount of usability enhancements in order to simplify playing ADOM by mouse (really important for the Steam release),
  • and more: read the changelog for the full details (and note that many of the changes listed  between 2.3.0 and 2.3.4 will finally be visible in the graphical release - especially in the 2.3.0 release notes)
ADOM 2.3.4 still is somewhat rough around the edges and a couple of features are still under development (e.g. the personalized and animated PC sprites). We also expect it to be buggy (comparably to the ADOM 2.3.0 ASCII release). So expect to meet some rough spots - but we strongly believe that it is one of the best releases ever.

We now need your support in quickly stabilizing the graphical release in the same amazing way you so far worked on making the ASCII version much better as we now want to do the Steam release as soon as possible to then turn over to much smaller and more regular releases.

As usual the prerelease can be downloaded from the usual location.

What's up next?

Starting today I will be working on the remaining crowdfunding promises. I finally have updated the project flowchart for the current state:

From the flowchart you can see that most of the remaining tasks are now the part that is the biggest fun to me: adding content.

There are still a lot of levels, items & artifacts to be designed and that's the part of ADOM I always enjoyed the most. Immediately after this release we will use a two-pronged approach to continue:
  • I will immediately start adding content (maps, monsters, items, artifacts, quests) from a big pool of notes that has been lying for far too long. 
  • The rest of Team ADOM will continue working on stabilizing the current version in order to get both to Steam and to a general public release.
Once we have the next Steam & public release (which will be in October... hopefully sooner than later) we will change our development process to much smaller and more agile releases in much more regular intervals.

And then we'll have some more news at the Roguelike Celebration in San Francisco.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Announcing the (pre)release of ADOM 2.3.3 (ASCII again)

Hi everyone!

We are happy to announce the (pre)release of ADOM 2.3.3 - yet another ASCII-only (pre)release for our impending graphical and Steam release. Besides having fixed lots of bugs and optimized some of the new features even more (see the changelog) we this time would like to direct the attention of our prerelease testers to two focus areas:

  • We have revised the configurable character generation process. You now can choose between the following base difficulty modes:
    • Tutorial (the introduction as you know it)
    • Easy (a new mode that reduces deadliness and somewhat favors the player)
    • Classic (roguelike, the standard mode for ADOM ever since the game was created)
    • Personalized (the configurable character generation sequence)
    • Please try them out, test the navigation and provide us with feedback. The idea here to find an easier introduction for new players with the Easy mode - and give experienced players more means to personalize their game experience (among other things with a means to configure a "medium" level for hunger, fudge die rolls to some extent and configure on whether and how to use talents in your game).
    • This mode is a very important addition for Steam where we learned that many of the more casual games get too easily frustrated by the steep learning curve in ADOM. Together with the many UI enhancements (and many more to come in the graphical version) we hope that they will enjoy ADOM far more and that this will allow us to get better visibility with a wider audience (more happening in the background for that - stay tuned for a later update).
  • Since ADOM 2.3.0 we have included a completely revised point-based character generation process for your attributes. It provides a lot more flexibility and basically factors in all the points for your disposal which in former versions were hard-wired. Naturally we also would like to know how you like that mode.
That's it - barring any major hiccups the next release will be the graphical prerelease - we are closing in. Here are some more teasers to what is going on with the graphical version :-)



Thursday, September 21, 2017

More ideas for streamlining the ADOM UI

Hi everyone!

Today I pondered slaughtering a potential holy cow (but maybe not - I'm curious for the responses):


I'm sure people who know their key presses in reflex-like motions will hate me but IMHO it makes a lot of sense to have more intuitive bindings and I never have been afraid to look at holy cows while sharpening a knife.

The next logical step would be to sort races, professions and star signs alphabetically on the corresponding selection screens instead of using the current chaotic mess.

But I have a gut feeling that I will create some irritations with long time fans. On the other hand I strongly believe that all these changes would be very beneficial for new players.

So let me hear your thoughts!

P.S.: Yes, I also shortened the texts in the menus as the many filling words ("View the...", "Read the...", ...) probably just unnecessarily clutter the screen.

P.P.S.: Yes, there is a new game mode progression. The idea here is the following:

  • "Tutorial game" is the introduction you should take to learn the basic mechanisms of the game.
  • "Standard game" is a game mode that is suited at the "average" (and more casual) player out there. Hunger effects will be lessened (probably just cumulative negative attribute modifiers instead of killing effects, slightly better survivability). It should serve to show all the tricks and traps of the game but with less immediate killing power. No talents.
  • "Roguelike game" is the standard way of playing ADOM (but without the customization screen - basically spontaneous selection at each step).
  • "Customized game" is the complex customization screen you have today.
  • The other modes are unchanged.
The next release also will add more customization options:
  • "Hunger" no longer will be just on or off but get a third "debilitating" setting. And "on" probably will be renamed to "deadly".
  • "Talents" will be added with the settings "off", "automatic selection" and "custom selection".
  • "Balance" will be added with the settings "Roguelike" (die rolls like today) and "Pampered" (making die rolls in certain situations slightly more favourable for the player with the goal of making gameplay even more exciting - I found this article very fascinating: https://www.polygon.com/2017/9/8/16263050/game-design-magic-tricks)
The above-mentioned standard game will use "Talents: off" and "Balance: pampered". 

MerkenMerken

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Announcing ADOM 2.3.2 for prerelease testers

Hi everyone!

After ADOM 2.3.0 and ADOM 2.3.1 we are happy to announce ADOM 2.3.2 for our prerelease testers. Again we have lots of bug fixes but as I am a bit late in doing the official announcement (being on vacation - in theory) we sadly also already have our first bug report :-( Luckily it's not tremendously important in so far as most players never will even get close to that situation in the game - but it is very annoying as it again affects one of the cool new quests. So there probably soon will be yet another release in the very near future.

The changelog is getting shorter but still somewhat impressive. Enjoy the game for now and also give us some feedback on the revised point-based character generation, pick/drop, etc.

Stay tuned!
Thomas & Team ADOM

P.S.: Our focus (besides maybe another small bug fix release on the sideline now is a graphical release - we are getting closer).

Desperate bug hunt in ADOM 2.3.1 - we slaughtered the bug!

*** UPDATE: The hunt is over!!! Congratulations & thanks to Laukku for providing a save game that finally allowed us to reproduce the problem in a reliable way. Now we also could fix it. It was a damn complex item identity problem and some conservative safe guard code from the old drop routines seem to have been lost in the transition to the new code ***

Hi everyone!

Currently we face one remaining truly major bug that was introduced in 2.3.0 and has been plaguing as again and again: http://www.adom.de/forums/project.php?issueid=4991

It does not make any sense to release 2.3.2 before we have fixed this bug. Sadly we fail to reliably reproduce it. It happens every once in a while but so far we have not found the actions required to get it reliably - which prevents us from understanding and fixing it.

As this one bug is holding up everything else (more releases, finishing the crowdfunding promises, Steam release, etc.) we hereby would like to make a special offer to our prerelease testers:

The first person who manages to produce a save file that allows us to reliably reproduce this bug will receive a free copy of the ADOM Lite RPG with a special dedication. I do have a few surplus copies so I feel that I could give away one of those.

Please try to create a save file that (preferrably within the next action) allows us to reproduce the bug described above. It seems to happen when you pick up / drop items in a shop. The Terinyo food shop works perfectly for that - we just have no idea how to get this bug. It just happens sometimes and everything else is unclear to us.

Thanks for your help!

Thomas & Team ADOM

P.S.: If none of our prerelease testers manages to reliably reproduce this guy, we might consider doing some kind of more public release to help finding it as I feel that we are wasting our very limited resources on trying to get this guy and achieving nothing :-/

Monday, September 18, 2017

ADOM 2.3.1 (release 74) released to prerelease testers

Hi everyone!

Almost directly on the heels of ADOM 2.3.0 follows ADOM 2.3.1. As expected ADOM 2.3.0 was a pretty experimental release and contained... err... well... a number of issues and room for improvement ;-) And so we repaired and improved.

The changelog is pretty impressive again although it's mostly fixes and fine-tuning (87 official tickets and more stuff going on behind the scenes - the result of almost 72 hours of frantic work behind the scenes). We are particularly grateful to Grond (master bug hunter who almost single-handedly killed every bug existant in the release), but also to Laukku, Ben Mathiesen und Qui from the forums. Your help was invaluable (and thanks also to everyone else who contributed). I also have to thank Jochen once more for being an undaunting force of bug destruction - great teamwork!

So without further ado we dearly recommend that you download the latest ASCII-only prerelease from the usual location.

Depending on how many more issues are found we now move towards finishing the graphical version.

Enjoy!

Thursday, September 14, 2017

ADOM 2.3.0 (r73) released to prerelease testers

Hi everyone!

After the longest break (pardon the pun) since the Resurrect ADOM development crowdfunding campaign we finally are getting back on track. Tonight we released ADOM 2.3.0 (r73), a special release in many respects:

  • It is the first "ASCII only" (pre)release in a very long while. The reasons are twofold:
    • We have added so much stuff that our graphics wizards in Team ADOM are still hard at work with catching up.
    • We are fed up with the long break and want to get feedback as soon as possible. As some features are still missing in the graphical version (or broken) we decided to put the ASCII version on the testing block.
  • It is probably the biggest release ever we have done. The issue tracker lists about 140 tickets (to be honest: after yet another 15 hour day I didn't count) for this release but the number has to be taken with some caution (partially because graphics fixes also are listed for the version number, partially because a single ticket can mean huge changes). Some of the huge changes are:
    • More than 100 new items including a completely new category with new mechanisms,
    • Rolf and Volcano quest added,
    • an ASCII windowing framework to make interactions more obvious and don't miss them in endless text wastes,
    • a speech bubble system for conversations,
    • a completely revised pick/drop dialog (I'm pretty nervous about that one as it is a very deep change and probably needs a lot of fine-tuning),
    • completely revised screens for quest status, talents as well as merged screens for skills and spells to simplify navigation,
    • a new quick hint system that tries to teach keyboard commands with tooltips,
    • a new look (and target) mode
    • and hundreds of other major and minor changes.
  • It is probably the most experimental release ever. This kind of follows out of bullet points #1 and #2 because we tested stuff - but our resources are far too limited to test everything. As a consequence regard this as a true prerelease: 
    • There probably will be crashes.
    • Characters might get lost.
    • Save files might get corrupted (although we haven't seen this so far).
    • Or in other words: Here be dragons. Proceed at your own risk.
The prerelease is available via the prerelease tester access. Follow the instructions and start playing as soon as possible :-) The change log can be found here (also as usual).

Please use our bug reporting system for all your findings. Discussions about the changes are especially welcome in the ADOM forum. We want to get any problems sorted out as soon as possible, because our roadmap looks like this:
  • Stabilize the ASCII version ASAP.
  • In parallel add more unaddressed promises from the crowdfunding campaign.
  • As soon as the ASCII version is stable, we will do at least one graphical prerelease for an equivalent feedback round on the graphical version.
  • Then we will go to Steam beta with the prerelease.
  • As soon as we know that the Steam beta is stable, we will make a public Steam release (including one of our front page lucky shots) to increase awareness. A major topic of our work for the past couple of months has been the simplification and enhancement of the UI - as a consequence it is a bit sad that you can't yet see all the fantastic changes in the NotEye/ADOM version. But we promise: the wait is worth it. IMHO the upcoming graphical release is spectacular.
On a side note we (again) changed the version numbering system:
  • We have returned to the major.minor.patch level system.
  • We still count releases but you now only can see the number with the 'v' command.
  • This will allow us to do more branches in our GIT system so that we can have parallel development and bugfix branches. For the current version the 2.3.x branch will be used for bug fixes (with x > 1) and the next real big feature release branch will be 2.4.0.
Ok, we return to work immediately. So much to do and so many plans :-)

See ya soon with the next release!

P.S.: Here are some of the mind-blowing changes of the upcoming graphical release on which all of Team ADOM have also been doing amazing work:
  • a completely revised HUD which is much clearer and more beautiful than the previous one
  • tooltips
  • mouse-based navigation
  • animated monsters
  • more icons, warning, indicators, etc.
  • real scaling for big screen resolutions
  • multi-monitor support
  • and more!

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Huge content update merged into main branch

Hi everyone!

Today I reached the second very important milestone in this week: I have been working on a content branch for many months (greatly delayed due to the broken hand misery at the end of last year and during Q1 of 2017). Finally I finished most of the stuff (the one big open thing being the volcano quest - but even for that the stage has been set). Everything has merged from my private development branch into the main ADOM development branch and now we are very close to the first test release (and then public releases) after a long time.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

The (almost) final crowdfunding reward wave has shipped!

Hi everyone!

Today a very important milestone has been reached: The final wave of the "Resurrect ADOM development" crowdfunding campaign have shipped.

(well, it's probably the second to last wave because there will be one more small wave, probably at the end of October, in order to fix returned packages, etc. - but then it's over and done)

I've slept but 8 hours in the past 72 hours because it took a suprising amount of effort to
  • sort out addresses, check them and fix some of them (e.g. because some persons omitted their country)
  • select code pieces for the code certificates and get these printed,
  • package the certificates safely,
  • pack all the ADOM Lite RPG boxes (which we affectionately named "ADOM Resurrection Loot Boxes") including more code certificates, box certificates, the ADOM Lite RPG rules and the ADOM Arcana boxes, the poster map, a die (attuned by rolling it) etc. pp.
  • fill the boxes to prevent damage,
  • then bubble-wrap the boxes,
  • package them in the shipping boxes,
  • fill out tax forms, shipment forms, etc.
  • fulfill more ADOM Lite RPG orders,
  • personalize more ADOM postcards and send them.
So I'm really happy about having managed this. Below you find some impressions from the past 72 hours:
  • Packaging stuff:

  • Protecting the ADOM Resurrection Loot boxes:


  • In mid-packaging I ran out of my first batch of bubble-wrap, luckily I had taken care of that by ordering ample reserves:

  • In the end I prevailed:

  • Next I stuffed the car of my wife with all the boxes:



(the other stuff is not visible due to all the boxes)

And then I brought our small local post office to a kind of halt for about an hour. I had announced my coming, they were well prepared but sadly other visitors blocked the second worker with very problematic requests - and I got some angry looks from a slowly growing lynch mob because I was standing at the counter with my mountain of boxes.



But luckily after one efficient hour of processing the shipments plus me paying a minor fortune for shipping now everything is on its way. All boxes can be tracked so that problems should be easily identifyable.

Time for celebration :-)


I'm now looking forward to get photos (please post them in social media, too) of packages arriving (I'm curious what the state will be), unboxing videos, etc.

I'm now back to working on the remaining software promises - I still hope to get all that stuff finished by end of September. Wish me luck :-) !

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Final roll call: Physical ADOM crowdfunding rewards need your address

Dear donors of the ADOM crowdfunding campaign,

the final shipment of all remaining physical rewards is due in the very near future (e.g. beginning at the weekend). Still a couple of dozen people did not provide a shipping address.

This is the final call for submitting your address! Please go to
and log in there as described in order to provide your address!

Not doing so within the next 48 hours probably will result in your physical rewards being delayed for another year or two at least as I now finally want to get over with this and can send only so many reminders (at least two dozen reminders during the past two years). Without a confirmed address I will have to assume that you have moved on and no longer care for ADOM - which would be very sad.

Act now!

Thanks
Thomas Biskup

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Physical crowdfunding rewards, revised talent screen and more

Hi everyone!

After I spent a week vacationing in the USA (visiting GEN CON 50 both for fun and to meet some legendary RPG personalities... the latter being related to ADOM activities that probably will be announced at the next Roguelike Celebration in San Francisco) I'd quickly like to get you all updated on what's been going on behind the scenes (and my inability to get the video below uploaded for more than a week due to strange problems with my iPhone delayed all this).

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Quick hints & quest dialogs

Hi everyone!

While we continue working on the next release busily I'd like to demonstrate a few things that have been added since my last report:
  • ADOM now has quest dialogs to make it harder to miss new quests. (Additionally - but not shown in the video below - the quests have been made somewhat more extensive in their descriptions and the quest status screen offers a few more details. Also not shown is the dialog announcing the completion of a quest... oh, and completing quests now most of the time yields a few extra experience points).
  • ADOM now has a quick hint system. ADOM shows a kind of ASCII tooltip in some situations to indicate which commands might be particularly helpful. The tooltips show up only a limited number of times (10 by default, but that is configurable).
See the video below to get an impression of these features:



Additionally we have been working on many other things:
  • Krys continues to animate monster by monster - a couple of dozen still are left but we are getting to 100% coverage.
  • Zeno is very busy catching up with the many ASCII enhancements and also has started tackling some long-requested features for the graphical mode, Most important IMHO here is the ability to scale much better to different screen resolutions.
  • We have added more improvements to mouse controls. Shooting now is just a single left-click onto an enemy (but you can change it to double clicks by configuration).
  • I have progressed with the Rolf and volcano quest (but there's still quite a bit to do).
  • And there have been tons of other details (like being able to skip (more) with the mouse, new tiles for location entries on the wilderness with easier to discern entries, etc.).
If all goes well I'm hoping for a prerelease version by end of next week (but ASCII only) for our prerelease texters and from there we'll progress to the Steam release. And afterwards we will finally be able to enjoy the benefits of our new GIT based development pipeline by releasing much more often.

Stay tuned!

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Most bigly ADOM news update in a long while (physical rewards, videos, pictures, so many new features)

Hi everyone!

After a flurry of posts two weeks ago we fell a little more silent - because sometimes things are just bigger and harder pieces of work. In the past two weeks several topics we begun have been brought to some kind of conclusion while other major topics have been started:

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Questioning question-based character generation

I currently feel like removing question-based attribute/character generation. The reasons are summarized here: http://www.adom.de/forums/project.php?issueid=4853

Feel free to oppose me in that issue ;-)

Friday, July 14, 2017

Point-based character generation and the effects of background stories

Hi everyone!

Today I started concerning myself with an issue that has raised quite a lot of discussion, anger, disappointment and a mix of other reactions: point-based character generation and the effects of the background stories on final attributes. There is a ticket for the issue and there were many discussions and concerns both on the official ADOM forums and the Steam forums (and maybe other places). So it's time to improve this.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Rethinking item management in ADOM

Hi everyone!

The past couple of days I have been trying to play ADOM mouse-only. Leaving a well-known environment (playing ADOM by keyboard) sometimes opens up interesting new angles and perspectives on things. Since starting to play mouse-based I have felt uncomfortable with the way of how part of ADOM's item management works - specifically picking up and dropping things.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

A week of work on the ADOM UI

Hi everyone!

After being a bit spammy last week, I decided to summarize the progress of this week in one longer blog post (and a second follow-up post will ask a question that bothers me right now quite a bit regarding picking up and dropping items).

But first here's the latest news about the progress of this week:

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Communication bubbles in ADOM

Hi everyone!

Today I'm particularly proud to present a masterpiece of ASCII art (*cough*, *cough* - bare with me - without Krys my artistic abilities are somewhat rudimentary ;-) ).

For a long time (and especially with the new graphical mode) people rightfully complained about dialogs with NPCs and monsters and the texts uttered by them were not very well readable.

I have taken these complaints to heart and proudly present the new ADOM speech bubble mechanism I implemented:



These bubbles adjust in size, in theory the text contained can be pageable and ADOM tries to position them smartly so that neither the involved speakers nor the nearby context gets obscured. There yet has to be a lot of testing to see if this works well in all instances (prerelease testers, you'll get work in the nearer future :-) ) but I am very happy with the current mechanism. And I find it remarkably beautiful for ASCII art :-)

Let me know what you think!
(and as usual my dear compatriots in crime [Team ADOM] are under pressure to catch up graphically with my ASCII designs ;-) )

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

New dialog widgets in ADOM

Hi everyone!

Another milestone has been completed in our quest to simplify the ADOM user interface and make it more accessible for new players: Starting with the next release ADOM is going to use dialog widgets to display meta game information and to input values expected from the PC.

The video below gives a brief demo about how this will look in ASCII mode - graphical mode is still under construction:



Especially in graphical mode players often believed that the game was "hung" when they just had hit an key combination that resulted in some input request and said request was barely noticeable in the message buffer. In the revised implementation the message buffer is only used for actual game information concerning your actions and surroundings and all (most?) meta information is displayed in dialogs.

Next up: Speech bubbles / dialog boxes for conversations to make it easier to follow discussions with NPCs and to reduce irritations about missed message texts from NPCs.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Better direction selection in ADOM

Hi everyone!

As part of our "Ease of Use UI" milestone I am happy to present the new ADOM direction selector in the following video (it is easy to notice, reminds you of which action you currently are trying to execute and lists the keys for selecting a direction in a more mnemonic way):


As usual the NotEye implementation for our graphical mode is upcoming.

Enjoy!

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Look better in ADOM

Hi everyone!

As part of our "Ease of use UI" milestone we are tackling a variety of issues with ADOM. Today I spent quite a number of hours on completely rewriting 'l'ook mode and by now think that the new look mode has become really nice and beautiful.

We still need to implement it in NotEye but below you can already find a video that shows you the new 'l'ook mode in ADOM:
  • Navigation now adds the ability to iterate through "interesting" spots (e.g. stairs, altars, item stacks and more) besides the existing ability to iterate through monsters and manually navigating the map.
  • The information about the current spot now is displayed in a kind of ASCII information window that collects all information about the current map spot. ADOM tries to position the information window as smartly as possible so that it is close enough to the cursor for easy persual but far enough away in order to not obscure your view.
  • You now can inspect item stacks as long as they are in sight.
  • Monster memory is available as usual.
  • For all types of situations all information now is displayed (e.g. tiles, features, monsters and items).
  • As all information is displayed in an information window the key help for look mode no longer will be obscured and you can see all available keys all the time.
  • The mechanism is easily extendable so that if we decide to add more data we no longer will have problems with lack of space in the message area.
In total I believe that the new look mode really has become pretty beautiful. I'm also looking forward to the NotEye implementation for our graphical mode. Hopefully we will be able to implement true tooltips so that you don't even need to activate look mode explicitly but rather just can hover over the map with the mouse.

And now enjoy the ASCII demo video:


Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Simplifying the ADOM UI...

Hi everyone!

In our continuing quest to simplify ADOM we today have gathered a long list of issues with the goal of simplifying ADOM more for new players. You can find it here: http://www.adom.de/forums/projectmilestone.php?milestoneid=8

And now we are looking for more input - but the goal is not to refine the UI for expert players and longtime fans - we know that there is a ton of proposals to fine-tune the UI even more for people expertly battling Chaos for a long time. Quite to the contrary we would like to unexperienced players, casual players and newcomers to the roguelike genre more favours. We have made several attempts in the past and want to continue to evolve the UI.

Thus we'd be very grateful for comments on the issues listed in the milestone above. If you have new or other ideas please add issues to our issue tracker and post a link in the comments below for us to review, so that we can decide whether to include your issues in that milestone or not.

Thanks for your continuing support!
Thomas & Team ADOM

P.S.: Naturally in the background we are working on finishing lots of new content. Stay tuned for that, too!

Monday, June 19, 2017

Weekly Progress Report - A Sneak Peek into the Donor Rewards.

Hi guys,

No seismic changes since last week. Physical crowdfunding rewards right now are in our focus. Just dropping in to give you a peek at the Arcana suplement unboxing and the Boxed Edition cover.


Saturday, June 10, 2017

Weekly Development Update

Hello,

Short recap of the week :) We're picking up tempo and the dev repository is firing up with daily changes. Let's shed some light about what's going on.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Dev State update - June 2017

Hi everyone!

Quick update on the status of each developer, and our current tasks / focus areas. But first, an animated Hydra with some lesser daemons to catch your eye ;)


Monday, May 29, 2017

Sharks in ADOM

SPOILER ALERT: ADOM has sharks. And some other marine wildlife.

Sharks are one of those creatures where ASCII and graphical versions of the game are really at odds when it comes to how difficult it is to depict the creature.

In ASCII the shark looks roughly like this:

 A 

So that's pretty simple :) But as an animated graphical sprite the shark adds a very special challenge:
it moves in the "depth" plane rather than horizontally or vertically relative to the "camera". That means our limb-based movement animation is just no good. Custom frames are a must.

"Depth" (or z-axis) based movement is really tricky to get right. We want to get the sharks body to visibly bend, but at the same time the silhouette will remain largely unchanged. Not an easy feat!

On the upside the movement itself is pretty straightforward, so I can probably get away with just winging it instead of analyzing references in great detail (or so I hope! You be the judge ;))

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Advanced ADOM Animations

So, you know, ADOM is at least in part an AAA product - the Advanced ADOM Animations part ;)

As you already know, to have a complete set we need to go through about 550 monster sprites to animate. That's a *lot*. We needed a way to get through them (relatively) fast. One of our methods to speed things up is using a single animation set for all monsters with similar anatomy. For example  all humanoids  share the same basic animation set. That way we still have to prepare 550 sprites, but we don't have to invent 550 individual animations. (The system can be easily extended, so although this is a good starting point it doesn't mean we won't customize the animations further down the line).

We also try to make the animations minimalistic at this stage - so no fancy extra frames, no unnecessary elements, limbs, etc.

This is all well and good, but every once in a while we run into a monster that just doesn't work well within these limitations.

We've had some good honest feedback back in February about the early animation attempts. Just a quick recap of the animation gif that post contained:

Monday, May 15, 2017

ADOM Arcana supplement unveiled

Hi everyone!

Today I'd like to give you brief teaser about one of the most rare ADOM collectibles to be created during the Resurrect ADOM Development crowdfunding campaign: The ADOM Arcana supplement.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Customizable Player Character

So in today's episode of "what exciting stuff I animated this week" ...nah, just kidding, let's not go there this time. (We do have all generic monsters covered, by the way. All that's left are dragons, elemental creatures, balors, sharks, eels and such. You know, the *hard* and *important* ones. But that also means you could run a game of ADOM and not run into a lot of static sprites at this point, which is great :) 

Instead let's focus on the Player sprites for a change. As I mentioned some time ago, having modular animated sprites opens up the road to something we've always wanted to see in the game - more detailed player character representations. I've been doing workload calculations for that this week, I've also have some prototypes ready, so let's take a look at what's in the pipeline. We're showing this off early because we're interested in your opinions on the matter. :)


First of all, for pure gameplay reasons we'd like the PC sprite to show actual armor worn. Right now the "torso" and "legs" parts are merged into one sprite and are based on class rather than equipment. So you have a "robe" for casters, "leather" for lighter classes and "plate" for warriors and such. This can be very misleading if you're a warrior but your chainmail just got eaten by a Rust Monster.


With the planned changes finally you'll be able to see that shiny new scale mail you just donned. A personal highlight for me are Thick Furs (also seen in the gif below), finally proper attire for ADOMs barbarians :)

Sunday, April 30, 2017

The ADOM event system

This week I've been working on adding more ADOM soundtracks by Lucas, and thought you might want to know what triggers them to be played in-game. There's a cool yet simple (or complex? :p) underlying mechanic called the event system.

During the early integration phase of ADOM and NotEye (which was around the end of 2012) we needed to find a way to control NotEye from ADOM (e.g. to show a specific screen or play a sound effect). We also decided to integrate ADOM and NotEye very loosely, so that we could easily switch to other frontends (if required).

NotEye provides a Curses like interface which is used by ADOM to deliver the screen contents (text and colors) which NotEye then renders (in ASCII mode). It also provides a keyboard/mouse interface which ADOM uses to get the player input.

Additionally ADOM provides a (quite complex) JSON data structure which NotEye can access to retrieve information about the whole game map (e.g. monsters, items, tiles, traps) that is used in "graphical" mode.

But this still wasn't enough. What if we wanted to play an animation or sound effect when the player used his weapon? After some discussion we decided to use an event system: the idea was to trigger events from ADOM and then let NotEye decide how to react to them.

We use events for a lot of things (e.g. to control NotEye, play music/sound effects, show animations). You can find all event definitions in the file <ADOM>/games/adom-tables.noe ("gameeventids").

Each event is represented by a JSON object (we really like JSON) with one or more properties.

For example, this is an event that is triggered whenever the player uses his weapon:



It contains the weapon type, the hit type (either a hit or a miss), the direction of the attack and other values that might be useful (the game_event_id is required for all events).

So, how is this event handled by NotEye once it is triggered from ADOM? NotEye loops over every event it receives and hands it over to every "module" (e.g. the animation module, the sound module). Each module then can decide to either react to the event or to ignore it.

The animation module reacts to the weapon event, we use it to play a "swish" animation to indicate the attack (the line is taken from the <ADOM>/gfx/adom/anim.cfg configuration file):

event=GE_WEAPON_USED, direction=SE, hit-type=NORMAL_HIT | CRITICAL_HIT, ...

This line describes what animation should be played once the GE_WEAPON_USED event is received (more on that in another article).

Additionally the sound module reacts to it, we play a sound effect (taken from the <ADOM>/sound/sound.cfg configuration file):

event=GE_WEAPON_USED, item-weapon-type=IWT_SWORD, file=weapon/sword_1.wav

So one event triggered from ADOM results in two actions: an animation is shown and a sound effect is played. As you can see, the event system is very flexible and extendable.

With all this in place handling new events, like playing a sound after loading a game, or triggering animations is a breeze. Hopefully we'll get more of those soon :)

Until next time!