Jochen, Zeno and Krys seem to have come up with a very decent approach to be able to integrate NotEye into ADOM to support graphical tile support (thanks again to Darren Grey for bringing it up).
The final tipping point for me was to see how amazing the tiles look that Krys created so far for demo and testing purposes. Beautiful. As far as I am concerned the most beautiful tiles I ever have seen in a roguelike game. But that's my opinion (and the reaction of a few people I showed the demo sketches to - they were... amazed... to put it carefully).
So I finally am changing my mind:
- Tile support for ADOM seems to be possible with reasonable effort (kudos to Zeno for the flexible way in which NotEye integrates into other games!).
- Tile support can be beautiful. Having seen Krys' demo tiles so far I'm for the first time ever willing to leave ASCII characters behind me and play with tiles. And that for sure means something.
- I now think that ADOM should have tile support.
- Define stretch goals for the campaign. I'd guess right now (we are still crunching numbers) that the effort mostly lies with Krys who'd have to draw an amazing amount of tiles and to a lesser extent with Jochen, Zeno and me to integrate NotEye into ADOM and maybe also port it to the Mac. Seeing that right now we'll be having a tough fight to reach the funding goal stretch goals do not really seem too realistic... even if it just were something like $4.000-$6.000 extra (uneducated guess - don't hold me for the numbers... as I said... we are number crunching right now... it might be less, it might be more, don't know yet).
- Change some campaign goals of the existing campaign - at the risk of alienating existing donors. The way I'd go would be to drop the "restructure the manual" subgoal, change the "Exciting new graphics for the title screen and some quest-related events" subgoal to "Create the most awesome tile set ever" and see how Jochen, Zeno, Krys and I can get by with that.
- Do a mix of the two. Try to get some work done with minor changes to the goals defined but define one stretch goal for a really beautiful tile set (e.g. integrate NotEye in a way that would allow for a community effort and then see if the stretch goal is met). Personally I'd love to have a unified tile set from Krys as his demo is the most beautiful tile set I so far have seen for any roguelike.
BTW, there would be an extra benefit of this: ADOM II could make use of the same tile set and if we can make this happen for ADOM I hereby promise to integrate tile support into a future ADOM II version :-)
Please post to the comments and I will consider your opinions carefully! Oh, and please spread the word regarding this discussion on Reddit, Facebook and wherever else you feel it might be well placed ;-)
P.S.: Here's a demo picture from our internal discussion (click for the larger version):
I don't know...ReplyDelete
You need a better manual, but tile support would get you a larger playing audience.
It looks nice when empty and with a few items. What does it look when it has a greater vault with ancient red dragons? I think it easily gets messed up graphic-wise. 80 x D looks nice on a screen but 80 x fearsome dragons (or will they be the same size as goblins?).ReplyDelete
Graphic tile set would require fewer monsters (more boss monsters overall) to be good looking and functional.
Tileset still needs to be abstract, a D is a dragon "of some sort". ! is some kind of potion, so we would have a beautiful icon for potion, not an icon for every potion in the world. So, they need to be abstract enough as an umbrella for everything that falls under that, as abstract as an ascii symbol. Then our imagination is still at work. If that works out, it would be lovely. I think it's an important step, I would push it into the main part of the campaign. I wouldn't put much work into the manual, the web is full of helpfull guides. I never use the manual these days except for the key bindings.ReplyDelete
I'm not sure. For me Adom has meant ASCII and imagination, I don't need my fantasy novels to have pictures, so why does ADOM need tiles, far better to enhance the engine (incorporate Sage type features) and new quests.ReplyDelete
I do agree that the implementation of these particular tiles look nice, I just think its the wrong direction!
I say screw manual :)ReplyDelete
I suppose that you should add ability to change tilesets (skins).ReplyDelete
So out of the box it will be pack of 2 things
1) good ol' ascii
2) new-age grapic tileset
And having skin-engine, you'll get plenty of custom user created skins.
So i'd like to take both ascii and tiles.
And as programmer I don't really see problem here.
You'll have just 2 Views in your MVC. Not a big deal.
Just my 2c.
To be honest, I'd never use the tile set (after looking at it once to see what was made) as to me ADOM is acsii and I love it for that - it'd lose any sense of nostalgia it has and would spoil a lot of what I think makes ADOM good (the 'l'ook keep for those "holy hell, what *is* that?" moments, followed by minimal stat details as you haven't observed/interacted with it that much yet).ReplyDelete
Of cause, if it gets the funding needed to finish the drive then I'll happily forego the manual updates (it aint like I need it anymore, and as undaddy said - there are more than enough online supports to help these days).
I would suggest starting a poll to see what the response (and additional funding) would be from this move however, something like this:
Do you want to see these changes?
* Yes, I haven't pledged but will with the tile set added in.
* Yes, I have pledged but want to see the tile set added in.
* I don't mind, I probably wont use the tile set, but wont object to the change.
* No, I have pledged and I don't want to lose the promised manual changes.
This covers the basic replies, in that you can see how many people want this change but who haven't donated yet - and you can see how many people will react to the change who already have. As alienating those who have already donated is *not* a good move as a large reduction in the raised funds might very well kill this thing outright.
I added the poll on Thomas' FB page.Delete
To be honest I'm not that fussed about any of these things - gameplay changes and additions are what's important. But I do think tiles are needed to engage a new generation of players and bring in more funds. Some things to consider:ReplyDelete
- Creating a full tile set is a huge amount of work. Far far more than you can realistically imagine at this stage.
- Integrating the tiles in properly is a huge amount of work too - things like tweaking the dungeon generator to display the torch glow tiles, or the right door tiles, etc.
- Tiles will never look properly right. Things like dragons and balors are just going to look weird.
- There are already a lot of more simple tilesets out there that will work straight out of the box. The Oryx tileset in particular. The community would doubtless produce a lot more.
So overall I'd vote for option 3, simply because it's the most feasible. I don't want the new ADOM releases bogged down by the immense amount of work that would be required to get a whole new tileset made and integrated well. Tile support makes sense to have as part of the main campaign, but a whole new tileset from scratch should very much be a stretch thing.
Regarding the manual, I'd suggest making the game read from a text file, and then the community can keep it up to date. Less work for you :) Can do the same with the title screen - have the game check for a png file, and if it's not there use the text interface instead.
Good idea about the community-edited manual. One could use git or a similar version control system to oversee and greenlight all commits.Delete
Agreed about the amount of work required to do a complete tileset as well. This should definitely not be a part of the original campaign as people will run out of money before Krys would finish drawing all the monsters. Most of them have been traditionally distinguished by multiple colors, so... Again this could be a community effort controllable via version control system with Thomas and Krys as the supervisors.
My opinion is that Thomas should keep the campaign and its funding for something only his team can do well.
I love the community managed manual and I'd like to build on the idea. Use markdown (or better yet multimarkdown) as the format for the text file(s).Delete
I support tile awesomeness :) However, you shouldn't be afraid to release intermediate version, since this could take a long time.ReplyDelete
Some quick numbers: with 1280x768 screen resolution (I guess that should be standard today), you have enough space for 16x16 tiles, assuming that they will be square.
I guess every monster will need at least four tiles for facings. Or maybe eight, with ADOM putting such an emphasis on diagonal movement? And what will happen with PC, will we get a separate tiles for every race/class combination? (that would be awesome :)). Or maybe just for the most interesting combinations and generic race tile as a fallback?
Only one tile is needed for anything - up and down are irrelevant to show (and confusing to show) whilst left and right will just be flips of each other. Check out Cardinal Quest for how this can be done effectively.Delete
Awsome tileset, awsome tileset, AWSOME TILESET, AWSOME TILESET!!ReplyDelete
Are you planning to create graphics also for characters' visible equipment and how are you doing it?ReplyDelete
I'm currently doing that for my game and it is quite painful, as I have to draw every item for left facing, right facing and dead characters. I will be in trouble when I implement bows, as they don't fit to the current positioning of hands. :D
I want tiles. I don't want manual. I have already pledged for the fundraiser and I don't mind having the project change.ReplyDelete
One of my favorite "rougelike" tile sets is the one used in Triangle Wizard. Granted, that is a real time rougelike game but the use of different fonts and affects really makes it more clear what you are facing while still retaining most of the simplicity of the ASCII art. I would love a tileset in that type.ReplyDelete
I don't mind the change in goal, especially since it would get new players in the game and I would be willing to bet that at least someone would be willing to help with a manual. I know I would.
The tileset looks fantastic. Clean and crisp. Also, if I understand it correctly the player can choose between different graphics. ASCII or tiles etc. So the hardcore players do not loose anything.ReplyDelete
The tiles look great, but they seem to belong in a different game. Unless there's a way to keep the ASCII characters instead, then I'm not down with this at all. And if there isn't a way to keep the ASCII characters... Is it the first of April?ReplyDelete
100% tiles for me, although I think those walls should be a bit shorter vertically.ReplyDelete
I like ascii, so tileset is not requirement for me. Still I recognize that tileset seems to be requirement to get money flowing from general public. Thus it seems sensible to go with 2 (I'm existing donor, I don't mind).ReplyDelete
Definitely add tile support as a stretch goal. Don't change the campaign goals. People like me pledged with those in mind.ReplyDelete
I guess I'm a bit of a purist; I love the old ACSII stuff. I really do. It can easily be played over a terminal (I always play ADOM via terminal on a Linux box), keeps the game smaller, and it has that lovely roguelike feel.ReplyDelete
But, newer audiences appreciate graphical tiles. Dungeons of Dredmor was released via Steam a while ago and it saw excellent sales numbers - numbers that wouldn't have been even close were it just ASCII characters.
Hm. ADOM on Steam...
Anyway. Please do what you think is best for ADOM. I love the game, I've pledged my support, and that won't change. ADOM has given me more hours of game time than any other game I've played - and I still keep playing it as I have been for ten years. And it hasn't cost me a penny.
(I also still have yet to beat it, sigh.)
Isn't NotEye under the GPL? How can you integrate it without making Adom Free Software?ReplyDelete
I suppose you don't have to link against it, but I'd just like this confirmed. :)Delete
He's working with the author of NotEye so I guess he can just ask him to release it under a custom license for ADOM. The GPL does not forbid that as long as the author himself agrees to do it.Delete
That's what we would be doing. Zeno would grant a legally binding licensing exception which he can do as he is the sole owner of the NotEye code and thus ADOM doesn't need to be GPLed.Delete
*nod* Thanks for the explanation, I didn't notice the Zeno from the post was NotEye's author.Delete
I understand that tilesets are greatly desired by a lot of fans...my question is: Is it an either or decision? I understand that the integration of tilesets will cost a lot of money (at this point it seems like it is justified). For purists, will we be able to disable tilesets if we want to? For me, part of the engagement and sentimentality relates to the ascii nature of the game (this also relates to why those 3d renderings of ascii characters in ADOM homepage were funny and cool). I also enjoyed the added benefit of being able to play in front of coworkers and stuff and them not having any idea what I was doing or even knowing I was playing a game. I do agree with the OP though...as a skeptic and someone whose tried nethack and others that now have tilesets who didn't like those renderings, the sample is pretty slick and easy on the eyes.
The user-generated manual is a no-brainer. The user-base for this game is highly knowledgeable and would already be creating help documents even if there was an official one.
As a newbie ADOM player that just contributed to the indiegogo project -- I really really like the tiles.ReplyDelete
I vote tiles, even if it means changing the stated goals of the campaign. I was happy to donate to ADOM just as a long ago fan, and I think a great looking tileset would bring a lot of new people to a wonderful game. Yes, a better manual is important, but roguelike fans have long been accustomed to wiki hunting. I think in the long run a new look for the game is going to have a more positive impact on ADOM's future.ReplyDelete
Some people mention that you'll get lots of donor money with tiles, but it would not be the ADOM we all love anymore. Save the tiles for ADOM-II, and let ADOM remain, that's my opinion. It seems like the people who wants tiles in ADOM are maybe really looking for another game to play?ReplyDelete
Oh, and one drawback that I haven't seen here yet: ADOM still works fine on very old platforms, I see that as a nice thing that may very well be worth to keep.
Krys´ tileset looks really nice (and it would be a great publicity also). I'm voting for dropping the manual subgoal.ReplyDelete
It looks like the visible playing area would be a lot smaller. Seems like it would make navigation in game a lot more difficult. I suspect that a lot of the purists will stick with ASCII, but if tiles are what you need to bring the game to a broader audience, I guess that's what has to happen.ReplyDelete
As a compensation you get an overview map displayed so that you have better orientation.Delete
I see no grand issue with shifting things around a bit---the paramount thing here, again, is REACHING the initial goal. However that works, and whatever fair contorting is needed, this and this alone with the way things have been situated is where everything starts.ReplyDelete
As opposed to scrapping the manual plans and other such things, well, be not in such a hurry---just bump them further back on the viable to-do list as the core intent of this entire campaign IS to have ADOM enjoy a Potion of Youth as opposed to just a newfound "expiration date".
Tiles as another big thing would almost certainly help to draw in more people, as it is the common way of things nowadays outside of going abstract like Triangle Wizard or Infra Arcana.
I'm very much in favor of tile support. Not because I would use it myself - I play ADOM on the server and would continue using ASCII - but because it'll help modernize the game. I have a lot of friends I've tried to introduce to ADOM who simply can't get into it because of the ASCII graphics. Tiles would help lure in more victi... Er, I mean, make the game accessible to a much wider audience. :)ReplyDelete
How feasible would it be to integrate multiplayer support into the game? I mean, a global highscore list, and possibly the ability to SSH into a server I and play the game on the server using the tileset? I don't know if that would be relatively easy or too difficult too feasibly do.
There is an unofficial SSH server already running for 1.1.1 (also runs 1.0.0 and maybe some older versions IIRC), and it's fairly popular. I would assume that there will be an interest in getting it up-to-date with newer versions as time goes on, although I don't know how much work that would involve. Since the infrastructure is mostly already in place, it might not be so bad.Delete
Global highscore list was one of the possible stretch goals, although, if the server's highscore lists are any indication, it would be rapidly populated by speedrunners and archmages.
Where is the multiplayer server? Or the server at all? I found one a while ago, but it seemed to have died and nobody had picked up the gauntlet to keep it going.Delete
My support is for tiles too.
I am fine with tiles as long as I can disable them and use old roguelike interface.ReplyDelete
I would recommend setting up a web page wherein the community can upload tiles and then people vote on them. Possibly only allow the "serious players" who pay a fee (or paid one for the IndieGoGo campaign) to vote. Then, whichever tiles are the most popular would comprise the default tileset for the next released version of ADOM -- though anyone would be free to arrange their own tileset from any of the tiles contributed by the community.ReplyDelete