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.


Here we go:


#1: ADOM 3.0.0 has been released as a prerelease version

Read the details in this blog post.

As the saying goes "after a release is before a release" so we already are working on fixing issues identified in yesterdays ADOM 2.3.8 release. We'll keep you updated ASAP.

#2: All crowdfunding promises have been completed (except for some postprocessing)

We are done with the implementation side of the crowdfunding campaign. Every physical reward has been created and almost all of them have been shipped (except for some stragglers - but that will be completely finished by end of November). All promised features have been implemented and now will be rolled out until the end of November (the global highscore feature probably being the last feature to come).

We are very happy about finishing the crowdfunding promise after 1960 days of hard work and various unexpected hiccups (don't get me started about broken arms - I'm going to have surgery on Wednesday to have all the metal removed that was grafted to me last December - wish me luck).

ADOM 3.0.0 - released this morning to our prerelease testers - is the culmination of that final batch of promises and will now move forward through prerelease testing to Steam and then to the general public.

This is a very liberating moment as we have picked up so many awesome ideas on what to do with ADOM that we have to put on the backburner due to our crowdfunding obligations. Now we finally are free to choose whatever feature deems us as awesome enough to be added to the game next.

ADOM development will continue but at a more leisurely pace and with a focus on features we have been longing to do for a long while:
  • A lot more in-game content, especially new maps and locations to add a lot more variability to the story line.
  • Continuing UI/UX enhancements for new players (as they are the lifeline for a long future of ADOM); but fear ye not if you belong to the experienced old guard - we do not foresee any more vast and sweeping changes to the UI. Rather we will focus on perfecting the graphical interface.
  • We want to greatly expand upon the community support (started with the global highscores) as well as the challenge mode.
  • We intend to rework the network mode for more interesting cooperative play.

#3: rogueleague.org will be our future platform for global highscore and community activities

The global highscore server is available at http://www.rogueleague.org. Right now it still is a very basic version and not yet open for the general public, but over the next weeks and months we will continue to expand it with various reports, statistics and more.

We want http://rogueleague.org to grow into a hub of community activities with shared highscores, achievements, player profiles and hopefully even leagues and tournaments at some point. Challenge mode in ADOM Deluxe also should greatly benefit from this.

#4: Team ADOM is funded to work full-time on future projects

We have managed to acquire an external investment that will allow our team to continue working on ADOM-related projects for at least 20 months (provided we meet our milestones).

This is probably much bigger news than you might think as it will be the first time in the history of ADOM that Jochen and I also will be able to work full-time on ADOM-related projects. The last couple of weeks we already were operating in this new mode and you might have noticed a lot more releases and communication.

Thus the future Team ADOM will see Jochen, Krys, Lucas and me operating full time on ADOM and Zeno due to his everyday scientific job and his own game developer career e.g. with HyperRogue as a part time support for NotEye-related activities.

Personally I am in the lucky position that this does not affect my main job as one of three CEOs of the German QuinScape GmbH as we have defined an 80/20 division between ADOM and QuinScape.  As my normal working weeks are something like 50-60 hours, the 80% nicely make for a fulltime ADOM work schedule. Especially as this is so much fun that I manage to squeeze in extra hours whenever I can :-)

I am blessed and very grateful about my awesome employees and colleagues at QuinScape who fully support this adventure and have taken over many of my day-to-day responsibilities and are splendidly growing with them. This for me is a true once-in-a-lifetime chance that we want to use to the best of our ability.

#5: Ultimate ADOM will be our next generation roguelike RPG platform

This probably was the biggest and most exciting announcement for us: We already have started working on our next generation roguelike RPG platform which we have named "Ultimate ADOM".
We have a preliminary website up and running for Ultimate ADOM and will expand it greatly during the next 12 months.



Yes, this means, ADOM II is no more and won't be followed up (except for lending some ideas to Ultimate ADOM). The reasons behind this are manyfold:
  • We have a number of ideas for game content that simply is impossible to implement in ADOM with reasonable effort. And even ADOM II would not work for that as ADOM II's object-oriented structure is just too limiting and complex. Thus Ultimate ADOM will be based on an Entity-Component-System architecture which we already have prototyped and which offers huge opportunities. Expect new subsystems like crafting for items & other things, grafting (basically crafting & modifying living beings including the player character by e.g. adding extra limbs hacked off from other monsters), a vastly superior magic system (e.g. allowing for possession, soul theft, animating inanimate items and more) as well as the "open world" ideas from ADOM II.
  • We finally want to transport ADOM to a lot more platforms - not in a "on size fits all" approach but rather with optimized game variants for the relevant target platforms. So we have specific ideas for e.g. more casual game variants on smartphones compared to a highly detailed RPG experience on desktop computers or more action-oriented variants on consoles. Eventually we plan to support the following platforms (although our initial endeavors will focus on desktop and smartphones - for which we already have prototypes):
  • A little more detail on the platforms already now is available on the Ultimate ADOM website - but there is a lot more to come over the next 12 months.
  • "Ultimate ADOM" will be founded upon the background story of ADOM: The short version is that something went wrong in the final battle between Andor Drakon, supreme Lord of Chaos, and an unknown champion that managed to venture to the plane of Chaos. They fought and something happened... and all of reality was shattered in a cosmic chain reaction caused by unknown reasons. Where there was once only one world of Ancardia, now an infinite number of worlds exist, some very similar to the Ancardia you know, some heavily transformed or shattered by the cataclysmic event. All are united by the essence of Order and Chaos from the original Ancardian reality and the battle in a single dimension now has spread across the newly created multiverse. Heroes and villains are weekly linked across reality due to the very essence of Mana and their souls. You can find the full background story (so far) on the Ultimate ADOM website.
  • This will allow us to create a meta-based play environment that will connect players and your experiences on all platforms you use. Rogueleague.org will be the central exchange point for that.
  • In order to be able to address these lofty goals we first will implement the "Ultimate AGE (ADOM Game Engine)" that will include all the rules and mechanisms and will be highly configurable. External configurations then will add specific items, monsters, quests, etc. and also customize the runtime for platform-specific game variants. Titles we have rudimentarily planned include:
    • Ultimate ADOM: Shards - a casual mobile/smartphone game experience allowing you to spend just a couple of minutes to explore levels influenced by the real world
    • Ultimate ADOM: The Arena - a more battle-oriented game experience for mobile/tablets and consoles
    • Ultimate ADOM: Infinite Worlds - a highly detailed roguelike RPG for desktop systems (and maybe tablets - that will have to be seen)
    • Ultimate ADOM: Caverns of Chaos - the ultimate dungeon romp taking place on one huge dungeon level (again desktop and maybe more)
    • More to come if we get bored ;-)
  • The foundation for Ultimate ADOM will be the Unity platform. We expect to greatly benefit from the multi-platform support and will use its capabilities for yet another jump in graphical and audio quality.

In the future we will spend our time 80/20 between Ultimate ADOM and ADOM (after the final rollout of features in November is done). While 20% for ADOM might not sound like much I can assure you that this is more (especially as a sustained pace) than we had in all the years before. Thus we want to ensure that ADOM will receive regular content updates while we have enough time to work on Ultimate ADOM.

So we have big plans... which as usual carry various risks. But the signs never have been better and we now happily march into the future.

Let us know your thoughts - we hope to see you back in the infinite worlds of Ancardia happily hacking at whatever monsters stand in your way!


Axes high!

Thomas Biskup & Team ADOM

36 comments:

  1. Amazing. I'm without words. I wish that the Ultimate ADOM project is hugely successful!

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  2. Wow, Ultimate ADOM sounds very exciting! I'm still not 100% sure what it is though. A collection of interrelated games? I look forward to finding out more regardless.

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    1. Yup, a collection of interrelated games. Let's do a Roguelike Radio show on this ;-)

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  3. Wow you guys are very ambitious! I'm quite excited to see this progress and the fruits of your labors.

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  4. Great news, I'm really excited about Ultimate ADOM. I'm also really happy to hear that from now on you'll 80% time roguelike developer.

    Also do not hesitate from sacrificing most time on new project instead of Adom - I always said that while Adom is great game, it's also pretty finished game. New features and content are very nice, but they do not bring new quality and experience. I hope Ultimate ADOM will be something like I always imagined Adom II should be. Good luck guys!

    Ps. Now that you officially announced abandoning Adom II, have you thought about releasing source code?

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    1. No, I haven't. Not sure about the benefits...

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  5. Well, as a minor thing as it was probably copy+paste on the Ultimate early site, I would SUPPOSE ADOM might could run on a PSP somehow, if that's really the intention, but I would presume that the true intent is more likely to be the VITA a tad more in contemporary times with the other console platforms?

    As far as the grand scheme of it, well, of course I think it is awesome and exceeding even my largest hopes and badgerings to inspire confidence over these past several years. ADOM's best years are indeed ahead of it!

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    1. Ups, sorry. Not being much of a Playstation guy so far I need to sort out the product names :-D And we were a bit in a hurry, that's true, too.

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  6. As someone who plays a great deal on mobile platforms, seeing a dumbed down version of ADOM planned for mobile is disappointing.

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    1. What do you expect on smartphones? I do not know a single port of even moderately complex roguelikes (like Nethack - which has far less statistics than ADOM) that work on mobile phones. Each and every port I know is completely unplayable.

      Ideas welcome!

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    2. There are several functioning nethack ports on ios in addition to the excellent Pathos. You mention "less statistics" but really it is the interface that is the limiting factor, not the amount of data or systems in the game. Pathos solves this by changing the interface to make it friendlier and thus departing a little bit from "true" nethack.

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    3. Will try this Pathos, but at the moment I have tried loads of Android roguelikes and my impression from experience is the same as that of TB. The roguelikes and RPG's I like most on Android are Powder and Dungeons of Chaos, but both are way, way less complex than ADOM in terms of controls and things you can do.

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    4. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    5. Saying of Android, there are fully functional ports of Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup and Angband and its variants, but these aren't quite handy. But there is also NetHack (Martin Gurr made NetHack and UnNetHack ports which have such a great interface that the game is somewhat more playable on smartphone than on PC - and without a single "dumbed-downness" or restriction!), and there is even the Cataclysm:DDA with touchscreen-oriented interface. Sounds complex enough?

      Yes, I'm disappointed with the very idea of the dumbed down mobile ADoM too. My hopes for mobie ADoM are dead...

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    6. I tried all the ports you mention except Cataclysm:DDA and found them quite unplayable. Of course, to each their own, YMMV, etc. To me, a game needs really simple controls to be played on touch screen, anything more makes me quit and go to my PC. I've never understood the push to do mobile everything as I don't like to play the same kind of games on mobile than on PC. From that point of view, dumbed down mobile ADOM sounds like a good idea to me, as long as the PC version is also maintained.

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    7. @Vladislav Kovun: Explain to me how a working UI for a full-featured ADOM on a smartphone should work and I will try it. I have been unable to come up with a single working idea (tablet is a different story, naturally).

      I didn't know about Pathos, thanks for the pointer. I just downloaded it and tried it for a brief moment.

      The graphics are not my taste - I'd take ASCII any time over what they have. The UI is better than most other Hack/Rogue/Nethack UIs I have seen so far - but it's still easy to mis-click.

      So I still would call it a niche game.

      And you have to see that the actual rules statistics in Nethack are far simpler than in ADOM... at least in the beginning. It would be interesting to see the UI in action once you get uncursed oiled ...whatever-attributes-Nethack-allows... items.

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    8. Hello Thomas!
      First of all, can you please tell me what _exactly_ do you dislike in the mentioned NetHack port? I mean, it has the following:
      1. I can scroll the dungeon map with the simple swipe gesture. I can pitch to zoom. The map auto-centers around my character when I move.
      2. Wherever the screen position is, the message line and my character stats are always fully on-screen.
      3. I can tap to travel to any tile in the dungeon. Yes, while is useful for travel only, not for accurate tapping on enemies to attack nor tapping the specific tile to move here...
      4. ...but I can use the onscreen directional keypad (it can be swithced on in the settings), which is like the "joystick of hjkl keys and diagonals". It is very useful and handy, and I can do minimal mistakes with accurate moving or attacking.
      5. I've got one-line scrollable directional keypad bar on the bottom of the screen with the most frequently used keys like "eat", "zap", "read spell", "read scroll/book", "pay", "put on", etc. I can easily customize it straight out of the settings, adding/removing buttons or changing their order. That keypad does not even ovelap the map.
      6. I've got the extended commands menu, where are the less frequently used keys, like "pray", "offer", "ride", "invoke", etc. The menu itself is scrollable native Android menu.
      7. In case of... something, I can pray for the help to the full-featured retractable onscreen qwerty keyboard with everything... I don't know why it is here, I've did a full playthrough of NetHack without a single use of it, because all the mentioned controls already have everything you may ever need.
      7. Every ingame menu with choosing the variants (inventory, character creation) is transformed into scrollable touch menu without any onscreen keyboard (that very thing is more useful than the handling on PC, haha). The menu buttons can contain even the pictures (of items) if you play with a tileset.
      8. Every menu with y/n/q prompt is transformed into the touch menu with y/n/q buttons.
      9. I can set the opacity of the every keypad or statusbar.
      Every android menus/prompts can be theoretically replaced with the stylized fancy menu with nice graphics or something.
      Tell me please, what exactly is unplayable here? Every input aspect is accessible, you don't need to mess with the software keyboard at all, absolutely any game action can be accessed with one or maximum of two taps on screen.

      >It would be interesting to see the UI in action once you get uncursed oiled ...whatever-attributes-Nethack-allows... items.

      I can make the screenshot of "+2 blessed greased silver dragon scale mail" in the inventory menu.

      Sorry for my bad English, I hope my text is understandable enough :)

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  7. I'm really excited to see that even though you are working on Ultimate Adom you still want to give more stuff and content to Adom. That really excites me, as you don't normally see that.

    I do agree Adom is a finished game, but I love seeing it still get more love (as it could always use some polish and adjustments :p)

    I saw in the presentation that Mods were a possibility in Ultimate Adom, which peaks my interests greatly. It's a shame Adom isn't moddable or will be moddable in the foreseeable feature, but I'm glad to see Ultimate will have it :)

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  8. If there is somewhere I could be hurling sacks of cash to make UADOM just happen that little bit faster, tell me. Please, please tell me.

    I'm taking UADOM to be a sort of randomized world of Ancardia with slightly longer lasting characters and minimal similarities with each playthrough. EG, sometimes the puppy cave is there, sometimes a twisting maw of death is there, sometimes nothing. More than just randomized dungeons and such, a wholly randomized world. If it is anything close to what I am imagining, then please forgive the puddle of drool slowing growing bigger on the floor.

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    1. LOL, sacks of cash surely would help as e.g. creating art is very time-consuming :-D So if you want to hurl sacks of cash at us that definitely would help ;-) Contact me at creator(at)ancientdomainsofmystery.com do discuss the details ;-)

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  9. Any thoughts about a vr supported adom of sorts, I love the level ADOM draws me in now and the thoughts of physically being immersed in an ADOM world wandering through dungeons and hacking monsters 🤓.

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    1. Not really yet as so far I have not a single VR RPG game that was fun. Pointers welcome :-)

      Currently I still believe that VR in its current state is highly overrated as much as I love the idea. So for now I'd need pointers to inspiring games :-)

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    2. All you need to do is imagine the player standing in a room with a large tabletop in front of them. On the table is the roguelike game, as if it is a tabletop miniatures game (except it can scroll maybe).

      The first person to do this could make sacks of cash. Again, maybe. Or maybe they will just give the idea to someone who does it better, like happened with infiniminer -> minecraft.

      The first person to do a game like this simply has to use my great idea though which is near the end of the game, while the player is focused on the table in front of them that they have been playing on for say 20 hours, the final boss appears lurking at the window of the virtual room the player is in before then SMASHING DOWN THE DOOR AND RUSHING IN. Make sure to record people dying from playing this. Great idea. No downsides.

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  10. Congratulations, Thomas! Awesome to hear all this news--the future of ADOM seems bright, indeed. (Too bad I couldn't make #roguelikecel again this year to congratulate you in person, but maybe we'll catch up in 2018 :D)

    Looking forward to what you do with Ultimate ADOM, so many good ideas in there and you all definitely have the expertise to pull it off.

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    1. Thanks a lot. And most of this was inspired by things we discussed during Roguelike Celebration 2016. So I'll be eternally indebted :-) !

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    2. Such good times... happy to have inspired The Creator :). Enjoy the next couple years of being a mostly-full-time dev (and do try avoid injuring yourself--you and me both seem to have a knack for this :P)

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    3. yeah, really, is this a "final destination"-like thing? I hope I suffer no accident :)

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    4. Haha.... YOU'RE NEXT, Slashie! Have you noticed any bad RNG foreshadowing lately?

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  11. It's been almost 20 years since I started playing ADOM on my beloved 486 Dx2. Still playing it, from time to time, and still enjoying it.
    Best of luck in your future endeavors.

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  12. Great news! Good luck Thomas and I'm looking forward to check it out!

    Any plans to make Ultimate AGE public (ina form of lib/framework, not source) and extensible? Just wander if it would allow any kind of modding and/or creating community content (from very basic additions to total overhauls like ie. recreating original ADOM experience with a new engine).

    Cheers! Feel free to ask for a crate of beer anytime you're near silesian district of Poland. :)

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  13. Great news everyone!Its nice to divide adom and uadom,Im personally stays with the classic one,but ultimate version should add more new people.Mods also good. Axes high!

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  14. best of luck on your surgery! you'll always be a hero to me (and many others i'm sure!). we'll be thinking of you on wednesday

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  15. Good luck, Thomas! Thanks for your team's efforts.

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  16. Oh my goodness, I think I just went through hearth attack! Good luck to you, Thomas, in making our dreams come true :D

    By the way, this grafting thing sounds very interesting. I would LOVE to add to my character a cat's ass, so this stupid cats would just sniff it and go away instead of attacking me :D

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