Wednesday, July 4, 2012

36 hours into the ADOM crowd funding campaign

We managed to collect about 21,4% of the campaign goal within 2,5% of the campaign duration!!! Keep it coming, folks! You are the most awesome fans ever!

We had great coverage on Rock, Paper, Shotgun.

I posted the first official campaign update.

We are working on a cool surprise I can't quite yet mention.

Oh, and Krys provided an awesome concept art sketch I love very much and already included in the campaign description:

P.S.: And I'm looking forward to tomorrow evening as I finally will get some quality working to continue on the final archer abilities in ADOM II ;-)

P.P.S.: And I'm so curious for tomorrow morning to see if we have awesome new pledge results. Surprise me and help ADOM enter a new age!


  1. Damn, that ADOM art is just amazing. Hey Krys, why not do a little battle scene, like


    You know, like "out of the frying pan, into the fire", hrr hrr hrr.

    Thomas, I like your taste in reading. Nearly the whole Shadowrun series, tons of Mutants and Masterminds... your den looks pretty much like our living room, ha ha.

    One question on the technical side of Adom's resurrection: Will the output code for the windows version be similar the old winbeta.exe one or will it be a totally rewritten "engine"? My blind girlfriend already pledged, but it would be a real bummer if she couldn't play the new version should it be a new, graphically intensive engine her screen reader couldn't "read" (like ADOM II's java windows).

    1. Even for ADOM II it should be possible from application level to stream all output messages to standard console window, and after that reading aloud shouldn't be a much problem. Maybe also two options like: "tell me what objects/monsters you see in entire sight area" and "tell me what you see around me" could enable play even for blind people.

      Meanwhile, good luck Thomas in crowd funding campaign!

    2. ADOM already has an awesome "l"ook mode, and instead of reading every ascii symbol, the screen reader grabs the top two lines and outputs the text there, so instead of reading


      we get to hear

      "A wall"
      "a goblin. It is moderately experienced."
      "Floor" when moving the look cursor over them. Sadly, right now using ADOM II with Jaws for Windows doesn't output anything useable at all. If you want to check for yourselves, download the Jaws demo from the Freedom Scientific homepage, fire up ADOM II and have a listen, then try the same with ADOM Winbeta, which runs pretty well after a few adjustments in the screen reader profile.

      The thing my girlfriend dreads is that Thomas will completely redo the way ADOM will draw the screen, maybe by switching to a JAVA version or whatnot, and that she can't play the bugfixed version at all.

    3. We intend to keep the ASCII mode as one of the modes as accessibility always has been very good with ADOM. The player should be able to decide in which mode he'd like to run ADOM.

      But I'll talk to Jochen once more about this as he indeed changed the output routines for some platforms to directly draw on the screen. Thanks for reminding us to be careful!

  2. About tiles... I don't personally like them, I prefer ASCII. But since people are asking for them, I think an option to use tiles (so that people can make their own tiles) wouldn't hurt.

    1. I agree.
      I see a tiles support as a *must have*. You don't have to ship with tiles, but leave an option for user-made tiles.

      Playing on 24' screen with ASCII can hurt a little. : /

  3. Whew, haven't posted in a while. Nice campaign results so far!

    Regarding its goals, truth be told, what I'm most concerned with aren't bugs per se, but rather various annoying quirks of the game balance, some of which lead to potential abuse, and the other to weirdly placed difficulty spikes (why is ToEF by far the hardest point in the game for non-mages?). In short, the game is very forgiving in some ways, and completely unforgiving in the other, for no apparent reasons.

    For instance, stomafillia is rather easy to procure, and makes for the single greatest sacrificial fodder the game has to offer. It makes it rather trivial for a determined player to receive tons of pre/post-crownings way before the hardest parts of the game, and is pretty much a prerequisite for an Ultra ending. Then there are the various consequence-free shop looting techniques, gremlin hoarding, etc.

    Some things are just not particularly fair for no solid reason. No floor limit for Filk spawning makes it close to impossible to go for the Ultra endings unless you very carefully choose your first kill, making the whole process of starting the game very tedious. Considering the corruption involved, descending into the infinite dungeon below a certain point is hardly practical at all even for mages, so that leaves players with the only feasible solution: to choose a rare or unique creature for the first kill; if you don't meet it before the food runs out, restart. There's also the amulet of lifesaving, which, in my experience, is even rarer than the lesser-tier artifacts. So if you don't have it at a certain point in the game while going for an Ultra ending, the only feasible option to procure it would be to stair-hop in the infinite dungeon for hours, simply because there are no faster/more secure ways. Accidentally killing a feline out of your line of sight or in the dark isn't exactly helpful either; maybe those can be hinted at before the killing blow is dealt.

    Things like that force you on some very particular paths in order to succeed and plague the early parts of the game with restarts, which, coupled with the typical length of a single session, sucks some of the enjoyment out. In my opinion, fixing the game's existing balance issues like that and making it more open to variation should be a priority before adding complex new features, as it would win back the players who have since moved on to shorter, less abusable games like DCSS and ToME. As for the UI enhancements, I hope you consider adding in the improvements featured in the ADOM Sage.

    Just my two cents.

    1. Keep in mind that the Filk quest, the AoLS and the cat quest are not necessary to finish the game, they are extra quests intended for hardcore players. I'm fine with them being extra hard, and I don't think it's wrong that they can also depend on luck. You are not expected to do those things, it's just advanced stuff that you can do for an extra edge. I think if they were guaranteed, that would take out from the fun of the game.

      However, I agree with you about cheap scumming techniques like stomafillia, gremlin bombing, etc. I'd like to see them removed or penalized in some way. Also, the biggest unbalance factor IMHO is the casino. You shouldn't be able to get infinite gold with no negative consequences at all. I think it would be quite fine if repeatedly using the slot machine used up turns and triggered corruption (maybe that was the intended functionality), but with no corruption the endgame is a scumfest.

      About the ToEF I'm a bit torn. I mean, yes, it's a difficulty spike and rationally speaking I guess that's bad. But I have grown using to preparing for the ToEF and knowing that that moment is a climax. I love the excitement of facing the ACW. I wouldn't like to see the ToEF nerfed although I must confess that's more emotional than rational. I don't know, maybe if we reach teh stretch goals to add more quest locations, TB will add some more interesting places to go in the early midgame so that characters can reach the ToEF more prepared. That would be a good improvement IMHO.

    2. >Keep in mind that the Filk quest, the AoLS and the cat quest are not necessary to finish the game, they are extra quests intended for hardcore players. I'm fine with them being extra hard, and I don't think it's wrong that they can also depend on luck.

      It's not that they're extra hard. Actually, for the most part they aren't. It's just that:
      1) they shouldn't be *entirely* reliant on luck or item scumming (AoLS)—there are cleverer ways of making something hard;
      2) they shouldn't assume your fault for something that clearly isn't (cat quest)—it's already challenging, no need making it frustrating;
      3) they shouldn't require startscumming (Filk)—descending down 300+ floors of ID isn't extra hard, it's just not worth it whatsoever. No serious player would even consider that and expect coming back to the surface. Capping it at, say, 150 would retain the extra challenge AND some worth for non-mages/archers or players who can't be bothered looking for boars or arranging some other ridiculous setups.

      In any case, scumming techniques, even if legit, should not be a preferred way of doing something in a well-balanced game. Either they should be nerfed to a point where they don't make a significant difference, or the game should provide other, similarly effective means of attaining the same goals. It's the usual choice of strict vs. flexible.

    3. I like your thoughts and can agree on many of them, some more, some less. Please go to and post requests for enhancement (one thing per request) and we definitely will consider them. Patching loopholes and fixing some unbalanced features is one of the goals and we still are very open about suggestions.

    4. You actually don't need to startscum for Filk, just kill an outlaw in Terrinyo, they're actually not all that common & easy enough to dodge. I do agree with the AofLS. Wandering around the infinite dungeon waiting for 1 to generate is incredibly tedious. The Ultimate Ending is more annoying then challenging.

    5. @Michael
      I don't remember the last time I saw an outlaw in Terinyo... Maybe I'm playing the wrong way? (Shrug)

      A better method I know is killing a beggar in Lawenilothehl. They're much rarer than most creatures—actually, I think the town is their only natural spawning place. It's probably the most effective method, but beggars aren't always spawned on the map when you first enter the town, and while looking for one you can well have 1-2 assassins and a couple other hostiles chasing after you. If you're a non-melee character, the only feasible way to keep Filk as close to the surface as possible without compromising useful quests is killing Hotzenplotz, his bodyguards, or Kranf Niest (or Kranach, if you manage to run into him on your way). Any melee class will most likely die attempting that.

      @Thomas Biskup
      Sure, will do!

    6. *shrug* I've done ultras where the first kill was a goblin or kobold or something. You're only really screwed if you have to kill something that is a common summon like a rat or giant rat. If you can get to Filk before reaching the SIL, it's not really any problem.

      I've always taken the stance that it is a bad idea to decide to go for an ultra from the beginning. If a wish or AoLS drops into my lap during the regular course of play, I might go for it, but otherwise I'm happy to ditch the ultra and go for a closer.

      I would be really disappointed if the ToEF was made easier--if anything, I'd rather see the endgame difficulty increased. Post-ToEF, the game is basically won unless you screw up the Mana Temple.

      I can envision a big herb nerf doing a lot to improve game balance, though I was thinking that reducing the effectiveness of stat boosters is probably the more important one than stoma. I think good methods of dealing with this have already been proposed in the thread TB noted.