Saturday, November 29, 2014

Achievement design in ADOM

The next big topic with ADOM is the design of an achievement system that not just feels tacked onto the game but actually adds to the overall experience and helps new players getting into the game and attached to it. Overall I plan to have a limited number of highly interesting, guiding and helpful achievements that are "not just there". I have read quite a few articles on achievement design (especially from Gamasutra, thanks to Sascha Schnitzer for the initial pointer) and below I first will try to define the guidelines for feature design in ADOM and then apply them to all the suggestions that were provided by fans as well as the ideas that have gathered by now on my hard drive.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Latest ASCII enhancements: New message statistic modes and Team ADOM page

As the title says we are ramping up for the first Steam release and doing so includes finishing some more UI enhancements. First of all ADOM has two new configurations for displaying statistics and messages:

The first new mode groups all data at the top:

The idea is to need to look into but one place for everything. I'm not yet 100% happy with it. I guess I will color the statistics bar in dark gray to have a better contrast to the messages. I have not yet grown accustomed to this mode but I can see the benefits.

The second new mode abbreviates statistics at the top and introduces and endless scrolling message queue at the bottom:

This mode will be truly relevant in tiled display mode (with graphics) and exists in ASCII mostly to keep things similar. In finished tiled mode you will have a modern graphical display for all statistics at the top and the messages will be overlaid with the game graphics at the bottom scrolling upwards (with more than just four lines - probably in a smaller font and with more like 8-10 lines... but we are still working on that).

Sadly there still are some kinks with that mode as the old message code was very hard to configure for these new settings. I'm working on the remaining bugs and hope that this will not steal away too much valuable time from the work for the Steam release.

Finally we have a new "Team ADOM screen" accessible from the main screen that credits all my amazing compatriots:

The graphical version should be a lot more awesome but it just seemed appropriate to also have an ASCII version :-) (the ordering BTW is semi-random and changes with every display in order to give almost everyone a different spotlight each time).

This week I'm on vacation. Work vacation that is. My wife is on a conference and the whole week has been reserved to work on ADOM from he early morning up late into the night to get as much work done as possible. Wish me luck and few bugs ;-)

Sunday, November 2, 2014

ADOM Release 52 now available for download

We are happy to announce ADOM Release 52. Mostly it's a bugfix release with some pretty important fixes:
  • Challenge games now should work correctly and are better explained in the game.
  • Saving in story mode now works correctly (e.g. you can save in a game and restore the game even after dying; results will be logged in a separate highscore list).
  • We have adjusted the save file format but your old save files should be compatible (make a backup copy nonetheless just to be sure). This should be the first time we successfully use the new "upwards compatible save file functionality introduced in R52).
Additionally release 52 contains another couple of tuned features and fixed bugs, see the change log for the complete details.

Finally release 52 finishes another discussion: The internal version number is 1.10.0. Thus it now is clear that after 9 comes 10 and we no longer will restart ADOM 0.9.9 Gamma 6 prerelease 3 trends or whatever. The current plan is that the first Steam release will be ADOM 2.0.0. Hopefully before Christmas.

If you are not yet a prerelease tester use the chance to become one. For all prerelease testers the latest version can be downloaded in the usual place.