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!

Sunday, April 23, 2017

The physical side of ADOM

Today I'd like to provide some insides into the physical side of ADOM. Before the Resurrect ADOM development crowdfunding campaign there did not exist any real tangible assets for ADOM - which changed during the crowdfunding campaign where I promised things like postcards and pen & paper roleplaying games & boxes.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

A Glowing Example


Actually, I mean the title literally. There's an example of how glows work in ADOM inside :)

But before we move on to some nasty (but cool-looking!) Steel Horrors and Molochs, I'd like to take this opportunity to wish you all Happy Easter from the entire ADOM team.

We hope you'll be able to get some time off, create amazing plans and fantasies, and find courage and dedication to make them happen. But just getting some time off will be great :) Happy Easter everyone!

I was looking for a suitable picture to mark the occasion...I know of a few Easter Eggs (haha) in the game, but I didn't want to spoil anything, so here's some bunnies instead. One seems kind of odd. Ah well...



...read on to check out the new glow animations :)

Sunday, April 9, 2017

ADOM crowdfunding progress

Hi everyone!

Quick update from me about the current happenings regarding ADOM:
  • The past two weeks I have been focussed on moving ahead with the stuff that needs to be done to finally fulfill the still open crowdfunding rewards. Specifically we have been working on the remaining physical stuff (the poster map was updated for printing for the great folks that pledged for the limited ADOM rpg box), I have started writing the ADOM Lite RPG Arcana booklet (another 32 page booklet just for those box donors), Krys has provided a cover for that, and we have laid put a roadmap to work on the remaining virtual rewards (e.g. ADOM extensions). Jochen has been busy working on the ADOM community server code (shared highscores and more surprises for the future).
  • Next week should finally see wave 2 of shipping ADOM Lite RPG (mailing about already shipped copies as well as your statet on Tuesday, actual shipment probably by the end of the week or on the Easter weekend) and a lot more work on finishing the RPG boxes.
  • In parallel I am still working on the largest batch of new features in a long time (volcano quest, lots of new levels, staves - a new category of rechargeable magic items, primeval beings and more). This task actually is somewhat annoying as I started it before I broke my arm and before we had GIT. The code changes now are so entangled that we still can't use the GIT advantages as I need to get this huge batch finished.
  • That next batch will go to the prerelease testers as there are so many new features that we need all your talents battling bugs and the Steam release will be somewhat later.
  • After this huge batch we will move to much smaller updates in order to finally profit from GIT as our new version control system.
Behind the scenes more is going on but I still need another probably 3-4 weeks to be able to talk about that (hopefully at the beginning of May). You won't be disappointed - I promise :-)

(and I had yet another sickness phase - one more horrible cold - 2017 hates me - I have been sick for more days than in my while life before and by now am deeply frustrated)

Luckily Spring finally has reached Germany and all the sun has been very good for my mood. The hand mostly is ok again (as far as programming goes) although I still feel intense pain in the joint after prolonged typing. But that's something I can get by with.

So keep alert for the RPG lite shipping mails if you are still waiting for your copies (on Tuesday) and the actual shipping notice on the weekend.

Stay tuned!

Saturday, April 1, 2017

A Glimpse at ADOM Worlds!


Greetings ADOM™ fans. We'd like to talk about something special today - you'll be pleased to know that we are moving forward with another ambitious project under the ADOM™ brand name. Say hello to ADOM Worlds™!

As a team we decided to move where nobody has gone before and create a Minecraft-inspired 3D roguelike with various influences from many other genres.

The core idea behind ADOM Worlds™ is to build the largest,  most imposing Cthulhuoid Castle. It's a race against time versus four other opponents in local and online multiplayer.

Each game takes place on the barren PlAnE oF cHaOs, which means that incredibly strong monsters, scarce resources and an ever-shifting ground plane will make the game a suitable challenge for roguelike fans.

The winner is determined based on scores for the Castles' volume, mass, real estate value and overall corruptive effects, as well as the average number of cHaOs tendrils per cubic foot. All this assuming the owner survives until the end of the round. The cHaOs PlAnE is indeed an unforgiving place.

Of course block-based Castle building isn't the only focus of ADOM Worlds™. As with any respectable roguelike you'll be able to level up your character. learn skills and abilities, gain items and gold and so on. It's not ADOM™ without all of that, now is it?

All these elements put together should create a volatile mix of "easy to pick up" but "difficult to master" gameplay.

Expect a full list of features soon, and in the meantime enjoy our first teaser image of ADOM Worlds™!

Saturday, March 25, 2017

The ADOM build system

Hi,

this week I'll cover the ADOM build system - something I've started working on shortly after I got more involved with ADOM development.

As you know we provide ADOM for many different operating systems (e.g. Windows, macOS, Linux, NetBSD, OpenBSD, FreeBSD, Raspbian and AmigaOS). It would take (too) much time to manually build an ADOM executable for each operating system, so we decided to fully automate this task.

What were the requirements?

We wanted to be able to build all executables on a single computer. This would make it possible to build a new ADOM release everywhere without having to carry around a lot of hardware. We also wanted it to be fully automated without having to do manual steps.

What is the ADOM build system?

The ADOM build system (that's what we call it) is a combination of virtual machines and shell scripts that automates the creation of all the ADOM executables/packages.

We use 14 virtual machines (one for each operating system) and utilize VirtualBox for virtualization. 

How does the build system work?

Since ADOM is programmed in C we use makefiles to build the ADOM executable.
  1. everything starts with a single "make" command in the shell
  2. this make command then calls other shell scripts that each create a single executable
  3. these shell scripts execute the following steps (4-8)
  4. start the virtual machine
  5. get the specified revision of source code from the repository
  6. execute another makefile that compiles the source code
  7. download the resulting executable from the virtual machine to the current computer
  8. stop the virtual machine
We can build all or a single executable depending on the parameters. Since the Git migration we can also specify the revision(s) of source codes for each repository (ADOM source code, NotEye source code and Steam SDK), so we can build every version we once built again without much hassle.

How long does it take?

To speed up the creation process we start 4 virtual machines in parallel. This reduces the time required to build all 28 executables/packages to around 20 minutes.

The executables for AmigaOS and Raspbian are cross compiled to make the compilation faster (it takes around 15 minutes to compile ADOM on a RaspberryPi 1).

What are the benefits?

Automatic building of executables is less error prone than building manually. Since we can build all executables on a single computer we don't need a "server farm" with lots of different computers.

What are the drawbacks?

Keeping all the virtual machines up to date can be a time consuming task.

What about continuous integration?

In theory we could use the build system for continuous integration. But since automated testing of ADOM is not really possible (it's not a technical problem but caused by the randomness of the game) we don't use it that way.

Will you add other operating systems?

If the demand is high enough we might consider adding more operating systems.

Until next time!

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Animation and Line of Sight live previews

As Jochen moves on with the community server (I hope we can get some more details soon as it seems to have sparked some interest ;)) the graphical side has been progressing nicely these past two weeks.

First of all we wanted to give you a quick high quality sneak peek of what animations feel like in action. Take a look at a lone PC wandering through Dwarftown. We added some extras just to keep things interesting. Don't worry, it's just created in Exploration Mode with a Wand of Wishing. Killer Bugs won't be part of Dwarftowns' fauna in the next patch ;)

Create, Discover and Share GIFs on Gfycat

Saturday, March 11, 2017

The technical side of ADOM

Hi everyone,

my name is Jochen and I'm the co-developer of ADOM. I've been working on ADOM since 1996 where I started to port ADOM to the Amiga computer. In the following years I've ported ADOM to different other operating systems like BeOS, Windows and macOS.


Since the crowdfunding campaign (about one year earlier actually) I'm also working on the ADOM source code itself. This means adding new features (e.g. the NotEye integration, the animation and sound system, the event system, etc.) and also fixing old and new bugs. ;) I'm also responsible for the ADOM infrastructure, e.g. our repository servers and some websites.

So, what did I do in the last few months?
  • I migrated all source code (and other) repositories from Subversion to Git
  • I updated the ADOM build system (which creates the binaries for all the different operating systems we support) to use the new Git repositories
  • I also updated the build system to use the latest version of each operating system
  • I prepared a Team ADOM cloud where we can share files more easily

Since last week I've been busy working on the new ADOM community server. We already started this in 2013 and also had a working prototype. But we weren't quite satisfied with it and there were some difficult decisions to make, so we decided to postpone it. It's quite shocking that it's 2017 now, but I promise that it won't take another 4 years until it is available.

The old prototype used TCP/IP socket communication between ADOM and the Java server. The new server will provide a REST API for ADOM, so we have to rewrite some of the code. Thankfully we already used JSON for data transfer in the prototype, so we can reuse this part of the code. The new server (at the least the part that ADOM will be "talking" to) will be based on Node.js.

We still need to decide which framework we will be using for the corresponding community website. But more on that later. ;)

That's it for now... until next time!

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Ever expanding soundscape - where no roguelike has gone before.

Lucas isn't messing around when it comes to weapon sounds :)

Lucas has been hard at work digging into ADOM sounds. This week's focus was on combat audio, making the sounds clearer, easier to distinguish, and generally more detailed and pleasant to the ear. As you can see from the twitter pic above, Lucas is really going to town with this :) Given that rouglikes in general aren't known for their sweeping soundscape, Lucas' attention to detail blows me away every time.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Fog of War descends upon Ancardia

Orcs tend to start with low perception..and thus can't see very far.

When deciding what features to add to graphical mode, one of our core rules is: graphical shouldn't show stuff that you don't know about in ASCII mode*. Just allow you to see more at a glance. So one promintent feature we haven't touched yet that fits this rule really well is Line of Sight.

How far you can see is dependent on your perception and modified by a wide range of factors. And yet ADOM does provide the current exact view range directly - the "l"ook command clearly states where your LoS ends by adding a "you recall:" prefix for tiles that are not currently visible.

However, the game doesn't give any clear visual indication, so we're experimenting with that right now. Zeno is doing his magic again so that you don't have any doubts where your sight range ends :)

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Bringing ADOM to life

The technical side of Team ADOM is busy preparing the playing field for things to come. That leaves us artists free to do anything we want! Well...more or less, anyway. We're focused on bringing more life to the "fancy ADOM version" through sights and sounds.



So what are we up to this week? :) Read on. There's a moving picture inside, I promise!

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Let the regular blog updates commence!

Sprite update preview to catch your attention ;)

Greetings ADOM fans! Krys here, also known as Ravenmore. I'm Lead Artist on Team ADOM, which means I direct a talented team of artists consisting of myself....yeah. I know.

I'd like to take a minute to explain our new blog schedule planned for 2017.

So what's going on? 

TL;DR: More developers on the blog. Weekly posts. First status update at the bottom. 
Read on to check out what's in store for this blog in 2017 :)

Friday, February 3, 2017

A small step towards more updates

Hi everyone!

While for a long while I have been the only author on this blog, my broken hand/arm led me to invite Jochen (my co-developer for ADOM) and Krys (our amazingly talented lead artist) as authors to this blog. Hopefully this will allow us to provide more regular behind-the-scene updates!

Regards
Thomas

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Broken arm update

Hi everyone!

Just a brief update (because I'm still typing with a single hand) to my accident:
  • Surgery for now is over. Although I now have a part-titanium arm with more screws than a T-1000.
  • The fracture has been pretty bad (every doctor who looked at the initial x-ray said something like "dear lord!"). My arm/hand will be 1.5-2 inches shorter for the rest of my life.
  • I still can't use my left hand for anything more complicated than flipping a page. The fingers are still too thick for my tastes, I can' t turn my hand upwards or bend it decently. Fingers still are somewhat swollen, joints hurt. Given it's been almost six weeks since surgery I am highly concerned by now but both the doctors and therapists tell me that this is normal given the rather severe fracture I had.
  • I'm getting therapy right now but things have been improving very slowly.
  • I got a CT last year and - while the bones are healing - the doctor estimated another six weeks before they really are firmly reconnected.
  • My guess is that it will be March before I slowly can restart my programming work - which is highly frustrating as I had intended to start the year with a big announcement. The big announcement still is very likely to come but it will be March at best now because I simply can't work. (and it is truly a big, exciting and overwhelming positive announcement - quite mind-blowing... which f...ing frustrates me as it makes no sense to talk about it right now).
Currently I spent my days with a very limited set of activities:
  • Re-training my left hand.
  • Watching Netflix & stuff.
  • Reading.
  • Visiting doctors.
  • I am studying news trying to get a feeling for a world with a president Trump.
Regarding Team ADOM:
  • Krys, Jochen and Zeno are working on animated sprites (yeah, slightly moving monsters).
  • Lucas is composing more stuff.
  • We all have been discussing the big announcement and what follows from it.
  • Wave 1 has been shipped.
  • A single package was returned to me due to insufficient postage (which is weird in two regards: It was one of three packages to St. Petersburg, Russia and the other two were not returned - and the postage fee is the same for the whole world).
  • Packages so far seem to have taken anything between two days and six weeks or more to arrive.
  • After wave 1 at least another 79 people have confirmed there shipping addresses.
  • Due to my inability to do almost anything in the shipping process wave probably will be delayed until March. This is very frustrating for since all the stuff is standing here but filtering the lists, confirmation mails, etc. requires some programming and I just can't do it right now.
  • Before shipping wave 2 an email will be sent to everyone in wave 1 to see if packages got lost.
I'll post an update as soon as there is any helpful progress. While there are no updates please just assume that we are trying hard to make meaningful progress.

Thanks for listening. Wish me luck with the recovery process - I can use every bit of good fortune right now. Here are some closing pics of my new self: