Thursday, March 28, 2013

The long tail

Hi everyone!

Updates have been few and far inbetween right now, now because we are not working but rather because we have hit what I call the long tail of software development.
Our prime focus currently is to get the first combined NotEye/ADOM release out but this entails still a lot of detail work. We are hard on it and many other parts are being fiddled with (see below) but there  is little externally visible process.

As I am going to be traveling a fair bit during the next couple of weeks I have decided to switch my attention for a moment in order to proceed with the ADOM RPG. So here's the task list we are working on right now:
  • Jochen and Zeno and slugging away to get the first ADOM/NotEye release out of the door. We intend to be p12 the first such release. Jochen in particular still has to fiddle a fair bit withe build system, dependency management, etc.
  • Lucas is working hard on more and more soundtracks. Slowly but steadily an impressive score is being gathered. 
  • Krys is painting his soul away, below you can see the latest character variant update:

  • Sadly we also kind of encountered a problem we all totally forgot to take into consideration when doing the initial estimation: we forgot about female monster variants - which probably adds another 120 or so monsters and hardly will fit into our budget schedule :-( Damn. See the problem:
  • Due to the traveling mentioned above I am going to focus on the ADOM Lite RPG for a couple of weeks to get it to a much more complete state.
Additionally it's time for more community input. Two main issues need to be decided in order to implement them in the near future:

First of all we need to get a better idea what to do with all the new quests and maps that will be added to the game. I have a slew of ideas but I also would like to hear your input. Generally I intend to use them to make the early game more accessible and fun (but not all of them ;-) ) and I also want fill some plot holes in order to get rid of the need for spoilers. Now tell me: What would you like to see the new maps and quests get used for?

Secondly it's time for the achievements system. Jochen already has started working on the server infrastructure and client protocol for that, too, and we now would love to have more input for cool achievements. Long-time supporter and fan Sascha Schnitzer already sent me the following batch of ideas which I like a lot but there's surely a lot of cool stuff we haven't yet thought of:

It Starts Easy
Die your first death.

Time Flies If You're Having Fun
Die due to old age.

You were eaten by a grue.

Rocks Fall, Everyone Dies
Become a gaming cliché. [Death through falling rocks.]

Things Were Better Back Then
Restore a character from permadeath.

What's this?
Find a si.

Recover from being doomed.

Fortune's Favor
Have Fate smile upon you.

Resist a total of X points of fire damage.

Mad Carpenter No More
Find a way to cure Yrrigs.

A Child's Hero
Save a puppy from certain doom.

Slay a dragon. Easy, right?

Spoiled Rat
Become sick from food poisoning.

Assassin's Deed
Kill an enemy with poison.

Give and Take
Spend a total of 90,169 gold pieces in shops with one character.

Avatar of Thieves
Steal an item worth at least 6,666 gold pieces.

I Can Do This All Night
Spend 60 days continuously under water.

Cannibalism, ho!
Become a cannibal with every player race.

Stick them with the pointy end!
Dual-wield Needle and Sting.

Filk Will Never Die!
Kill Filk.

So let's gather your input and stay tuned. Hopefully will be real soon now able to do the groundbreaking ADOM/NotEye release :-)


  1. I hate achievements! So often are they the CPR to keep a dead horse kicking.

    Ok after saying that some games implement them for a humorous effect, i.e. King's Quest "achievements" for dying in various ways. But as it stands if your game (talking about any game, not just ADOM) is not attractive enough for a player to keep playing without the need to hunt for sometimes so arbitrary "achievements" then achievements won't actually make it any more attractive really in my view. Cause at the point when you're playing for achievements you're not playing for exploration or fun. It is a way of games to tell you the player what you're supposed to be "achieving", how you're supposed to be playing. It also breaks immersion somewhat by introducing a meta layer.

    Anyway I'll stop here because I know that there's gonna be people who find nothing wrong with achievements expressing their contrary views and I can't quite find the words I was looking for. And I know my exposition here was quite vehement when it doesn't really need to be. Just a gut reaction to the words "achievements system" so I hope you'll forgive me and I'm eager to hear what others think about this topic.

  2. Is gender at all relevant for most monsters? I recall it's only really relevant for one or two... if that's the case, could you remove gender specifications for almost all the monsters, for the time being at least?

    1. This is probably the best course of action. It would hopefully just be temporary until Thomas can afford the extra tiles.

  3. I think the classic ADOM challenge games are almost a "must" as achievements, since the community has been treating them as such, even without a formal achievement system :) The ADOM Guidebook has a list of challenge games:

    Of course these would be among the hardest achievements, but most Steam games have a wide range of achievements (from very simple ones for newbies to ultra-hard to boast).

    In addition, other achievements could be:


    Close call - Reach full health after having been at 1 HP (or alternately, survive X turns after being at 1 HP)

    Near-death experience - Be saved by an AoLS

    Blanket Run - Enter the SMC at level 1 and take the blanket

    Full Blanket Run - Enter the SMC at level 1, take the blanket, and exit through the HMV (without exiting to the wilderness through the SMC!)

    Unconventional Gourmet - Cook a corpse by frying it with a fire bolt and eat it

    Friend of the Felines - Complete the cat quest

    Champion of the Arena - As the name says

    Soul Saver - Free Griff's Soul

    Just in Time - Save Khelavaster

    Sneaky Bastard - Get past the Eternal Guardian without carrying the ring

    Egyptologist - Kill Rehetep

    Bookworm - Get the Weird Tome
    Theseus - Get the Minotaur Axe

    Martial Arts Adept - Get level 5 on unarmed fighting
    Kung Fu Master - Get grand mastery on unarmed fighting

    Psychopath - Kill everyone in Terinyo

    Animal tamer - Tame an animal with food or with music

    Master of Water - Obtain the Water Orb
    Master of Fire - Obtain the Fire Orb
    Master of Earth - Obtain the Earth Orb
    Master of Air - Obtain the Air Orb
    Master of Mana - Obtain the Mana Orb

    Dragon Slayer - Kill one dragon of each kind
    Wyrm Slayer - Kill one wyrm of each kind

    La la la I can't hear you - Be deaf when the Banshee wails

    Masochist - Wish for monsters
    Lucky sip - Get a wish from a pool
    MORE SNAKES - Get snakes from a pool, then get a wish from the same pool, wish for more snakes - OK, this is probably not very good but I had to say it, it's a forum joke :P

    Shoplifter - Successfully rob a shop
    Ocean's Eleven - Successfully rob the Casino shop

    Deep Dive - Reach level 50 of the ID
    Very Deep Dive - Reach level 100 of the ID

    Nature hater - win without using herbs
    Magic hater - win without using magic
    Weapon hater - win without using weapons
    Consistent believer - win without ever changing alignment

    Strangest death ever - be killed by an exploding frog

    ADOM is so large and full of possibilities that there are lots of possible achievements, these are just the ones coming to my head right now!

    1. Wow, some nice ideas. Completely forgot about AoLS and banshee.
      About last four - AFAIR there were some talks about automatic challenge tracking - I don't remember if it got into funded features.

  4. How much money will you need to fund the artwork female variants? If you can manage the schedule, maybe we can manage the funding... maybe file it under ~fair gender representation in video games~

  5. Please don't remove female monsters, or if you do so, do it as an option, so that we can still play with female monsters if we play in ASCII mode (where graphics are not relevant).

  6. Umm... so, achievments.
    Well, there are „do N things“ kind, „finish a quest“ kind, „kill a boss monster“ kind and „do a special thing“ kind.
    I personally like fourth kind most. And first three do not require that much imagination. Using all of final score achievements is a good idea (and some has been already proposed). Getting into Library or unlocking the bug temple should be noted, as well as all (or most) quests.
    A few achievements I'd love to see:

    Unstable architecture
    - Crushed by kicking stairs.
    Power at my fingertips
    - Successfully read Wish tome.
    Should've thought twice
    - Misused a wish (by wishing immortality, etc.)
    It's called Chaos for a reason
    - Corrupted to WMoPC by using elemental orb.
    Fine details
    - Used scroll of great identify.
    - Kicked a beehive.
    Equivalent exchange
    - Dipped item in !oEx. Or hit a monster with it.
    - Identified X items (say, 250, or more) with one character.
    Why did you do that?
    - Finished Riurry's quest.
    It's dangerous to go alone
    - Summoned a familiar.
    - Got drunk.
    - Went through Living Forest not attacking any trees.
    Sacrifical fodder
    - Dealt with Demented ratling.
    Battle alchemist
    - Killed monster with alchemical fireball.
    Master alchemist
    - Mixed !oGA.

  7. I wouldn't create any achievements involving death. Eventually someone will begin to collect achievements and having to commit suicide in order to get some of them doesn't look like a good philosophy to me.

    1. For genre with this high ratio of death/victories it isn't that hard to get such achievements in the process.
      Though there certainly shouldn't be more than, say, five or six of them.

    2. It is nice if you think of it like getting them eventually as you play, but it feels wrong at the time you start going after the achievements.

  8. The Fallen Hermit: Survive a fall from climbing mountains whilst starving.

    1. Friendship is Magic: Spend time with a black wizard

  9. There's a typo in "Attonement", should be "Atonement". I also like how the si achievement tells the beginner they're on to something important.

    In addition to achievements listed by Al-Khwarizmi, there is much more meaningful stuff that could classify as an achievement (i.e. something you have to *achieve*).

    Such as:

    Yep, All Done!
    Leave the Drakalor Chain after having closed the gate.

    I'm Bad... But I Feel Good!
    Achieve the Ordinary Chaos God ending.

    Everything For This Moment
    Achieve the Ultra ending.

    Plunged Into Nonexistence
    Achieve the Ultimate Nihilist Ending.

    ...And Throw Away The Key
    Close the Chaos gate.

    Notable challenges (just formalizing what has been said earlier):

    Lithium Man
    Complete the game without visiting any locations except the Caverns of Chaos and the Tower of Eternal Flames.

    Iron Man
    Retrieve the Chaos Sceptre from the Special Infinity Level without entering any other locations, then leave the game.

    Steel Man
    Level up to 50 in the wilderness without entering any locations.

    Titanium Man
    Complete the game at a very low experience level. (Level 1 is possible, but the limit should probably be upped.)

    Eternium Man
    Level up to 50 in the Small Cave without visiting any other locations.

    Plutonium Man
    Complete the game after having killed every type of monster in the game, except the mutually exclusive ones. (Maybe there should be a certain small leeway for this?)

    Speed Player
    Complete the game within 40000 turns.

    Speed Runner
    Complete the game within 20000 turns.

    Speed Demon
    Complete the game within 10000 turns.

    Score 10 million points.

    High Scorer
    Score 25 million points.

    Scoring Monster
    Score 50 million points.

    Don't Need 'Em Smarts
    Complete the game with an illiterate character (<50 Literacy).

    Complete the game with every class.

    Other gameplay-related challenges (some should probably be hidden):

    The White Eagle
    Become an avatar of Order.

    The Grey Hawk
    Become an avatar of Balance.

    The Black Vulture
    Become an avatar of Chaos.

    At Ease With The Divine
    Get (pre-/post-) crowned five or more times in the same game.

    It's Not So Black And White
    Start as Lawful or Neutral, drop alignment to Chaotic, collect the Chaos Trinity artifacts, go back to being Lawful or Neutral.

    Errand Runner
    Successfully complete all the time-limited sidequests in the same game. (Kranach, cute dog, minotaur emperor, etc. Kranach's corpse must be given to the sheriff; the dog must survive.)

    Expert Archaeologist
    Collect 18 artifacts in the same game.

    What Are You Going To Do With These?
    Collect all the artifacts that contain the essence of Chaos and Corruption in the same game. (That is, the Chaos Trinity, the Raw Steel trinity, Boots of Great Speed, and the Black Tome of Alsophocus.)

    Virtues Are Always Rewarded
    Pick up True Strength.

    Not So Useless
    Get awarded with an artifact for finding a use for the potion of uselessness.

    Desecrate every grave in both graveyards.

    It's A Miracle!
    Survive the final onslaught of sickness while at <12 To.

    The Downward Spiral
    Attain the maximum amount of concurrent corruptions.

    I Hate Minotaurs
    Explore all the dead-end branches of the minotaur maze (at least 70% of the map must be revealed on each floor).

    1. Some more:

      Hot Shower
      Remove the maximum allowed amount of corruptions all in one go.

      Kill 10+ bosses during the same game.

      Notable Perseverance
      Get any single attribute to 50+ points.

      Amazing Perseverance
      Get all attributes to 40+ points during the same game.

      Also for some fun stuff:

      Become sacrificed by an enemy.

      Problematic Relationship
      Greatly anger your deity or sacrifice yourself.

      Take A Wrong Turn
      Enter the Chaos Plane without the proper gear.

      I Better Leave
      Leave the Drakalor Chain without having closed the Chaos gate.

      Collect n achievements. (Will depend on the total amount of achievements; thinking 40% or so.)

      Collect n achievements. (~80% of the total.)

      Supreme Achiever
      Collect all achievements.

    2. And some more:

      There's No Such Thing As Overkill
      Get awarded with Trident of the Red Rooster

      Most Unpleasant Customer
      Make 3+ shopkeepers hostile during the same game.

      Deadly Allergy
      Die by iron poisoning when playing as a Mist Elf.

      So Which One Is It?
      Have Cursed, Doomed, Lucky, and Fate Smiles intrinsics all at the same time.

      Enter the bug-infested temple.

      Hulk Smash
      Deal over 150 points of damage to a single target with a single attack, counted after PV reduction.

      Don't Want To Be Here
      Discover a threat room filled with Emperor Liches.

  10. I think the "don't change alignment" achievement should be split into 3 achievements, one for each alignment, since the game plays different depending which you stick with.

  11. Is it me, or is "Cannibalism, ho!" impossible, due to the lack of high/grey/mist elf, gnome, and drakeling monsters? Or would other things count for those, i.e. dark elves for other elves, lizard men for drakelings, et cetera?

  12. I think the best achievements are the ones that make you play the game a little different than you might normally(do a side quest, go a different route, etc.). Along the same line, I think having an individual achievement for beating the game with each class would be great, not just one achievement for beating it with every class. Going further, you could even think up some system to give a bronze/silver/gold medal for each class depending on something like score, time, or a combination.

  13. I think that a really neat quest would be to befriend a certain number of animals and bring them to a druid or some other critter-friendly guy. It would give a little more benefit to the music skills in game. The reward could be based on the variety and relative strength of the creatures.

  14. Brrriiinnnggg mmmmeeee ttttooo liiiiiffffffeee! - Use Necromancy successfully. (Nod to Evanescence
    I like the Druid Druid, I like the ... DRUID! - Reach level 50 with a Druid class (Old Chewits advert in the UK)

    Who's the hero now, Mr Frodo? - Complete the game as a Hobbit Farmer (or Reach level 50 as a Hobbit Farmer?)

    This useless scroll is so useless. Let's throw it away - Won't spoil this one

    Head Lich? Not a problem! - Slay an Emperor Lich

    Assassinate the Assassin like an Assassin - Backstab a friendly Assassin with an Assassin.

    Mindless Negative Feedback - Be damaged/killed by mindcrafting backlash when using mindcraft on Undead

    I'm not really good with these things.

    1. Now, Negative feedback is really nice.
      Others... well, as a past of „get to level 50 with a class X“ group of achievements. Also I didn't get first two at all.

  15. Nature's friend
    Don't kill any animal for any reson.

    Puppy Trainer
    Train the cute dog up to level X.

    Starnge decision
    Build a bridge through an ordinary river :)

    Dig a grave as a result of unsuccessfull book reading.

    Wall kicker
    Kick down a wall with a monk.

    Succesfully bookcast a wish with all atrributes at 1.

    Vegeterian man
    Succesfully finish the game without eating any meat or corpses.

    Carbon Fiber Man
    Only 100s of inventory can be carried at any given time.

    Atheist Man
    The PC does not acknowledge the existence of the gods, never asks for divine assistance and never uses an altar for any reason.

    Offer piece to a monster.

  16. "Stick them with the pointy end!"

    Heh, I hadn't even realized that Needle could be considered a George R.R. Martin shoutout. (Retroactively, I assume, since ADOM was released in 1994, and AGoT in 1996, though I don't know if Needle and Sting were in the game already.)

  17. Funny dark sage! But then, considering achievements.

    I would like to see, how many people have the same game experience - through funny achievements maybe, or through longer and clearer description, or probably just a few hints on player's general game style. Also there certainly may be rare achievements.

  18. Prerelease 12 is now available... you know where to get it.

  19. If there are achievements for winning the game with various races or classes, here are names I'd suggest.

    Oh, the Humanity! - Human
    Me Smash Everything! - Troll
    Above It All - High Elf
    Shades of Gray - Gray Elf
    Darkest Hour - Dark Elf
    King of the Mountain - Dwarf
    Ultimate Prankster - Gnome
    Half-Sized Hero - Hurthling
    Leader of the Horde - Orc
    Highly Evolved Reptile - Drakeling
    From the Mists of Time (or maybe Race Against the Time) - Mist Elf
    Mighty Vermin - Ratling

    Fellowship of Ancardia - win the game with all races.

    Hack & Slash - Fighter
    True Champion - Paladin
    Free-Range - Ranger
    Master Thief - Thief
    Silent Killer - Assassin
    Archmage - Wizard
    God's Best Buddy - Priest
    Sane Minstrel - Bard
    Enlightenment - Monk
    Heal the World - Healer
    Mr. Smith - Weaponsmith
    Farslayer - Archer
    Business as Usual - Merchant
    Garden of Eden - Farmer
    Mind Over Matter - Mindcrafter
    Unnecessary Brutality - Barbarian
    One With Nature - Druid
    Gravelord - Necromancer
    Elementary, Dear Khelavaster - Elementalist
    Beast of the Best - Beastfighter
    MaStEr Of ChAoS - Chaos Knight
    Dueled the World - Duelist

    Jack of All Trades - won as characters of all classes

    Other ideas:

    Nice Try - attempt to wish for more wishes
    Beloved by Fate - win the game with a character obtained by letting fate decide
    This Really Hurths - train thrown rocks or slings to high level with a hurthling character

    Also, "Time Flies If You're Having Fun" might be better as "Time Flies When You're Having Fun".

  20. Prerelease 13 is now finished, it contains a very important bugfix, so please upgrade if you are playing Prerelease 12!

  21. Great! Thanks for the bugfix, it was unmotivating to play without bolts.

  22. "Cannibalism, Ho!"
    Someone's been playing Recettear.

  23. About new quests. Maybe it is worth to make alternative quest chain for dark characters like ChAoS knight. There is a few chaotic quests, but as far as I know, they cant be encontered early in game and the dont form any specific plot.

    So im suggesting to make more readable 'dark' path. It will help to fill some plot holes, and will make easier to add other Chaotic races and classes in future (if planned so) =)