Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Kicking off Ultimate ADOM

Change is in the air, my dear friends... a new year is looming ahead of us and it is probably going to be the most exciting year ever for Team ADOM (although the crowdfunding and stuff have been extremely exciting). Now that we are basically done with all the crowdfunding stuff we are going to look into the future to see what it holds. And our main focus now will be getting Ultimate ADOM on the road. The past few months have been filled with experiments, design work and more (and there are more such months ahead of us... especially in the graphical and coding department) but now we are going to focus 80+% of our full-time ADOM development jobs on trying to create the ultimate roguelike fantasy gaming experience.

While we are working on the engine in the background I will start a series of blog posts in order to discuss basic assumptions of the next generation ADOM experience (read: sacred cows... how many are we going to slaughter in order to create something better?).

So far I have planned discussion for the following topics (and more probably will be added over time; last update: 2nd of March, 2018):
  • Ultimate ADOM Product Line: "One game to rule them all" versus "As many variants as are needed to tell all interesting stories".
  • Difficulty/Setting dials: Configuring ADOM explicitly (for your personal perfect enjoyment) and implicitly (to create platform-specific game variants).
  • Senses in roguelike games: blindness, deafness, muting, being invisible - the pros and cons of these details.
  • Item status: cursed/uncursed/blessed versus a much more advanced system.
  • Item management: weight versus slots versus nothing at all?
  • Hunger: should we feel it?
  • Movement: diagonal movement versus straight movement.
  • Internationalization: translating Ultimate ADOM into other languages.
  • Item statistics: how many and which do we need when?
  • Long actions: how important are actions that cause more than one turn to pass?
  • Size: of items and monsters: do we care? And how much?
  • Permanent rewards: how should permanent modifications be handled in the future in order to reduce the urge of grinding?
  • Picking up and dropping items: Manually, automatically or a mix of it?
  • Graphics: 2D versus 3D (and what's with ASCII)?
  • Crafting: how would a smart and fun crafting system look like?
  • Salvaging: what else can you do with items besides dropping, destroying, carrying or using them?
  • Alchemy: Beyond potion recipes. How about salvaging items for their elemental energies and using those to buff spells, talents and other items?
  • Modding: What's a good modding approach and how much do you want?
  • Maps: Level sizes. How large is large enough?

These topics will not be covered in any particular order but rather as mood and need demand.

I intend to discuss these points here on the blog, on Facebook, on Twitter, on Reddit, on Steam and in our beloved forums (so: where ever you feel most comfortable). As soon as I start posting on the series I am looking forward to your opinions, ideas and feedback. The goal will be to question many of the core systems, subsystems and rules in ADOM in order to see if and how it could be improved in the future. All this while trying to keep the spirit of ADOM - we do not want to invent a completely new game that only carries the ADOM label with it. It should be recognizable and keep the beloved features that made ADOM what it is.

So stay tuned for more posts in the near future discussing actual content!

Axes high!

Merry Christmas 2017!

Merry Christmas, health, love, peace and happiness to you all!

Thomas Biskup & Team ADOM (Jochen, Krys, Lucas & Zeno)

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Public ADOM 3.0.5 Steam release now available & Christmas sale

Hi everyone!

The public ADOM Deluxe 3.0.5 release on Steam is yet another important milestone for us as it concludes our work on the ADOM crowdfunding promises.

It's also the perfect time to get into the Deluxe game if you haven't done so yet as the Christmas sale offers the best discount (10%) you'll ever get.

Read about the details of the release here and consider buying it for your friends and loved ones. 2018 will be another exciting year for ADOM but more on that later.

For now we wish you a Merry Christmas, peace, love and happiness!

Thomas Biskup & Team ADOM (Jochen, Krys, Lucas & Zeno)

P.S.: As soon as Jochen returns from his vacation we also will release ADOM 3.0.5 on IndieDB (and our own download server) to the general public.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Call for Steam reviews

Hi everyone!

We are currently pretty happy with ADOM on Steam but there is one area where we would like to improve: Steam visibility and reception heavily depends on the number of positive reviews a game receives. Since we receive a lot more favorable comments (especially with recent releases) then new reviews we'd like to ask your for a favor:

If you enjoy ADOM on Steam and so far have not written a review please write an ADOM review (no matter how short or long)!

More positive reviews mean that ADOM gets more visibility which helps us in pushing it to more people.

Thanks a lot!

Oh, and speaking of visibility: Please help us by voting for ADOM as we are trying to become the Indie Game of the Year 2017 at IndieDB:

Thanks so much!

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Announcing ADOM 3.0.5 as a prerelease and public Steam beta

Hi everyone!

We just released ADOM 3.0.5 to our prerelease testers... the most important new feature is the ability to delete highscore entries which became a necessity to allow people to remove highscores created through uncouth means before synchronizing them to Rogueleague.org. This now is possible.

All other bug fixes are documented as usual in the changelog. The prerelease is available from the same location as always.

IMPORTANT UPDATE (slight miscommunication between Jochen, who is doing the Steam deployments, and me ;-) ): ADOM 3.0.5 is already on Steam as a public beta. This page explains how to activate it.

Oh, and please vote for ADOM to become the Indie Game of the Year 2017 at IndieDB ;-) Thanks so much!

Monday, December 11, 2017

ADOM made the IndieDB Top 100 - now let's try to win!

Hi everyone!

Thanks for the brilliant support so far during the votes for Indie game of the Year 2017 at IndieDB. We managed to climb to the Top 100 - which is brilliant. And we are rated at position 11 at the time of this writing. Which also is awesome! Now let's see how far we can climb in the votes:

  • Click on the link below.
  • Click on the roguelike category on the page that opens.
  • Vote for ADOM.
  • Be included in our prayers and grateful thoughts ;-)

Some statistics for you:

So ADOM is more alive than ever! And now we need your voices to be heard in our quest to carry true roguelike gaming into the mainstream. Please vote for ADOM as your support means more to us than anything else!

Saturday, December 9, 2017

ADOM 3.0.4 prerelease and Rogueleague.org server available now

Hi everyone!

This prerelease hopefully will be the very final one before we publish a polished and complete (as far as our crowdfunding promises go) ADOM to Steam.

ADOM 3.0.4 again contains a number of bug fixes and minor enhancements as well as one major new feature: After registering you now can connect to our Rogueleague.org server to manage your global highscores (e.g. in competition to all the other ADOM players out there).


  • If you own highscores achieved by cheating you might want to delete them. In the next couple of weeks we probably also add some kind of community-driven cheat detection and cheaters will be banned from the server. If cheating becomes excessive we might be forced to limit the server to Steam only (and only in connection with Steam accounts) which would be sad but necessary if people start ruining the idea of the server. So be honest and remain a good member of the ADOM tribe :-) !
  • Connections to the global highscore server are only possible with ADOM Deluxe (and in a couple of days the Steam version). The pure ASCII version does not support this.
  • Highscores are synchronized after you quit ADOM - only then they will show up on the server.
  • You will need to register an account in order to be able to synchronize with the server.
  • The global highscores probably will enhance the fun with challenge games a lot :-)
  • Our Rogueleague.org server really is a version 0.1. We have tons of ideas on how to improve it, the layout and design needs a lot more work and we have extensive statistics planned and more - but all this takes time and we will on it step by step in the months to come. So please be patient with us :-)
Now all prerelease testers can go to the usual location and start having fun :-)

When you submit bugs or RFEs you now also can choose "Rogueleague.org" as a category in order to inspire us with your ideas of what would be great to have for a community portal - so let us know what you come up with :-)

Axes high!
Thomas Biskup & Team ADOM

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

ADOM 3.0.3 prerelease now available!

Hi everyone!

We are only one more small step away from the next huge Steam: ADOM 3.0.3 just has been released to our prerelease testers - it gain features a sizeable number of bug fixes and enhancements. Our impression is that the load of changes introduced with 3.0.0 now mostly has stabilized and that we now can do the next step to Steam.

The final major functionality not yet included is the global highscore server as we still are wrestling with some legal and data security details ("terms of use" and similar things need more attention than we anticipated - the world is truly a complicated one ;-) ). But it will be there very soon now...

If you are among the prerelease testers go to the usual location to enjoy the latest ADOM release.

Have fun playing!
Thomas & Team ADOM

P.S.: Help us win this baby here:

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Vote for ADOM as Indie of the Year 2017

Hi everyone!

It's the time of the year again to vote... we'd really love to win the "Indie of the Year 2017" award over at IndieDB. Given the fact that recently we have been doing a number of major content releases we feel that after 26 years of ADOM development this year might be a good time to win it.

If you also think so please vote here:

Monday, November 27, 2017

Nominate ADOM for the Steam Awards (& update)

Hi everyone!

Three things in this update:
  1. A call for action to nominate ADOM for the Steam awards
  2. An update on what is going on behind the scenes
  3. A reminder concerning the ongoing Autumn sale

Please nominate ADOM for the Steam awards!

Being on Steam (and being successful there) is very important for us as this on one hand guarantees the income we need to continue developing ADOM full throttle and also is important for the future of Ultimate ADOM.

Besides buying ADOM on Steam you can do us another favor: nominate ADOM for the Steam awards - the visibility we might gain is tremendously important for us. I have nominated ADOM myself for the
labour of love category
as that one seems most appropriate to me with a 25+ year history of ADOM development.

Just go to the ADOM Steam page and follow the purple links (somewhat appropriate, aren't they :-) ? )

Thanks for your continuing support!

Behind the scenes

Most of our attention right now goes into finishing the final crowdfunding campaign promise: the global highscore server. The alpha version already is running and soon our prerelease testers will be able to use it for beta testing (and then it's available for everyone who owns a Deluxe version - e.g. the Steam version).

In the future we intend to provide detailed game statistics both for your personal games as well as for all Deluxe games ever played. This should help comparing your play level to other players and give us detailed insights on how to evolve the game and its difficulty level.

That's also what I am working right now - with a little luck ADOM 3.0.3 (or ADOM 3.0.4 as the latest) will have a new statistics module that kind of logs major events during your game and creates a snapshot of many important statistics. And soon afterwards it will be on Steam with the global highscores with our new Rogueleague server.

Demo video coming shortly as soon as I finish the UI for that.

ADOM Autumn Sale

If you haven't bought ADOM on Steam now is the best time to do it as you can get it at a 10% discount (which is the maximum we ever are going to offer - we prefer adding value instead of offering discounts).

It's available for a very brief while still at this discount - so be quick if you have been thinking about getting ADOM.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Surgery Update & Roguelike Celebration 2017 Videos & More

Hi everyone!

Brief update from me:

  • Surgery last week went pretty well. My hand does not hurt too much, the wound should be healed in a week or two, I can use my fingers (yeah!), I can type (not a full day yet but getting quickly better, so: rock'n roll) and I'll be back to work tomorrow. Here's a foto of the kind-of-cyberware they removed from my left arm (which is why I was joking about the CyberMonday prequel ;-) ):

  • Many people asked about my talks from Roguelike Celebration 2017. You can find them here:
(yes, I know - they re-used the 2016 image ;-)

Naturally I also recommend all the other talks from Roguelike Celebration 2017:  https://go.twitch.tv/roguelike_con/videos/all My impression (and I have others heard voice the same opinion) was that the quality level of the talks was even higher this year than in 2016 (and 2016 already was awesome) - so it's worth spending a couple of hours on topics that might interest you (or just sound fascinating - many truly were!).

Regarding ADOM: Next week will be yet another week of completely finishing up the crowdfunding stuff for production release (more bug fixes in the 3.0.x development line in order to get it to Steam and the general public; and we already have been alpha-testing the global highscore server and hopefully will move this at least to beta and a larger audience). And I'm working on fully recovering my hand.

Additionally the team slowly is starting to plan both the 20% future development track for ADOM as well as the 80+% development track for Ultimate ADOM. Exciting times ahead - see you soon!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

ADOM 3.0.2 released to our prerelease testers! (& brief pause)

Hi everyone!

The release train still is running at full steam - towards Steam so to speak ;-) We just released ADOM 3.0.2 to our prerelease testers which contains another slew of bug fixes and minor improvements. Sadly I have to report that ADOM 3.0.0 contains a major data corruption issue - save files that were created in 3.0.0 (or went through 3.0.0) probably are broken beyond repair - sorry for that :-(

The changelog can be found in the usual place!

Thanks for testing and enjoy the new release!
Thomas Biskup & Team ADOM

P.S.: After the frantic activity of the past couple of days there now will be a minor lull as I'm getting surgery tomorrow to have the metal in my left arm removed that I received due to an accident last year:

Wish me luck - I'm itching to start seriously working on Ultimate ADOM! Hopefully recovery will be fast and fully complete!

Monday, November 13, 2017

New ADOM overview video posted

Hi everyone!

This morning we finished a new ADOM overview video:


Announcing ADOM 3.0.1 for prerelease testers

Hi everyone!

since Thomas is on his way back to Europe, I have the honor to announce ADOM 3.0.1 for our prerelease testers

Please check the changelogthis version contains a lot of fixes for ADOM 3.0.0. Have fun testing!

Stay tuned!
Jochen & Team ADOM

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.

ADOM 3.0.0 released as a prerelease test version!

Hi everyone!

Today - as a special treat honoring Roguelike Celebration 2017 - we are very proud to announce the release of ADOM 3.0.0 as a prerelease test version. ADOM 3.0.0 is one of the most feature-heavy releases we ever have done as it wraps up most of the remaining crowdfunding promises. As a consequences it includes:

  • Four new mini maps and three new community quests have been added.
  • The Ultimate Nihilist ending has been added.
  • A new special adventure - taking place after closing the gate - has been added.
  • A new special "getting funded" level with a special boss monster & minions as well as two new artifacts has been added (and 16 other new items peculiar to this level).
  • 33 (!) new artifacts have been added.
  • The legend level donor artifacts have been added.
  • Fixed and extensions to the many magical statues (a few still are unimplemented as the wishes of the donors where simply not feasible - we will work out something better with you; expect to be contacted soon).
  • The immortalization of the mega-legend level donors has been done.
  • The revised manual available in more and smaller pieces throughout the game.
  • The basic infrastructure for global highscores has been added (but will not be activated before 3.0.1 as we still are busy testing the server - more on that in an upcoming post).
The changelog has the complete list of changes as usual. 

All this should make for an exciting new release. After it has been extensively tested it will take the usual route first to Steam and then to the general public.

We are very happy about now coming to a conclusion of our crowdfunding campaign and we are looking forward to the next exciting things looming on the horizont.

Have fun!
Thomas Biskup & Team ADOM

Saturday, November 11, 2017

ADOM 2.3.8 is being released to the general public!

Hi everyone!

After a very long time (812 days to be precise) we are very proud to release ADOM 2.3.8 to the general public!

Everyone now will be able to play ADOM 2.3.8 (release 81) and enjoy the progress of more than two years of work. Hopefully, never again so much time will pass between two releases. The changes are too numerous to recount:

  • completely revised user interface & HUD & tons of graphical refinements
  • animated monsters
  • extensive support for mouse-based play
  • tons of new support for new players (like quick hints, better mouse support, simplified key mappings, etc.)
  • tons of bug fixes and minor improvements

See the changelog for a full list of changes - it's everything from release 60 upwards in the list!

There have been some changes that people ask about very often:

  • ADOM now sports a dialog system and speech bubbles for dialogs. Some of the info dialogs can be deactivated if you don't like them (Show_Info_Boxes = false in the configuration accessible via '='). Speech bubbles and most selection dialogs can't be deactivated though. If you find them less efficient than the old way, please submit appropriate criticism and ideas for enhancement.
  • ADOM now offers quick hints that explain how to access certain commands. If you don't need them or find them disturbing you can deactivate those, too (Quick_Hint_Limit = 0 in the configuration accessible via '=').
  • The pick and drop commands have been completely rewritten. They now are much more consistent and powerful but you need to get accustomed to them if your muscle memory is trained on the old system. For experienced ADOM players we recommend that you familiarize yourself with all the options and play around a little with it. It's different than before but all options are there (and more).
Generally we believe that these (and other changes) are highly beneficial, especially also for new players. If you are very experienced with ADOM it will take a moment to adjust but our experience is that this goes quickly!

ADOM 2.3.8 can be downloaded from two locations:

Important: Files are still uploading at the time of this writing and will need a couple of more hours but the Windows version already is available at http://www.indiedb.com/games/adom-ancient-domains-of-mystery/downloads/adom-238-release-81-for-windows

If you find problems or have ideas for improvement please submit them at our bug database.

And now enjoy playing the latest version of ADOM. We are curious about your feedback!

Kind regards
Thomas Biskup & Team ADOM

Friday, November 10, 2017

Character sheet for ADOM Lite RPG now available!

Hi everyone!

Finishing my (as of in: my personal ticket ;-) final crowdfunding promise:

And now enjoy the sheet and keep playing!

Kind regards

Full Steam release: ADOM 2.3.8 is here!

Hi everyone!

Because I'm a bit jet-lagged (due to the trip to San Francisco to the Roguelike Celebration 2017) here's just a very quick note:

We have released ADOM 2.3.8 to Steam with but two fixes (see the changelog):

  • An important NotEye crash has been fixed.
  • A minor frog dialog problem has been fixed.
In the meantime we are already finishing up the next major release with tons of new stuff which you also can expect pretty soon now.

If ADOM 2.3.8 proves to be stable during the next 8-10 hours, we'll also release it as a general public release. So please test extensively!

See ya soon,
Thomas Biskup & Team ADOM

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Full Steam release: Welcome ADOM 2.3.7!

Hi everyone!

Today we are happy to announce the release of ADOM 2.3.7 to Steam!

Before I summarize the most important changes and additions I'd like to ask for help in analyzing one problem we still occasionally seem to have: In rare cases there seems to be a NotEye-related crash. The crash first has been reported in the following ticket: http://www.adom.de/forums/project.php?issueid=5572 This bug also is the main reason for not yet having released a general public version because we didn't want to introduce an annoying crash bug in the first major release after such a long time. If we don't managed to get it solved by next Thursday we'll just be pushing out the general public release hoping to the find more pointers to the root problem.

Ok, back to the release of ADOM 2.3.7, which is very nice as usual. The most important changes are:

  • The "open door" menu (when you run into a door) now reacts to the SPACE bar (by selecting 'o'pen as the default). Additionally searching for traps no longer is offered as a choice if you don't possess the relevant skill.
  • You now again can open doors by left-clicking onto them.
  • Trying to pay if you have no gold no longer crashes the game.
  • Auto-swapping positions with monsters (especially in walk-mode) no longer turns them hostile as this really could ruin your game.
  • Piety increases for paladin and priest characters now are more meaningful.
  • Some other bug fixes and minor improvements.
Here you can find the full change log. So all in all ADOM 2.3.7 is just a fine-tuning of previous releases and available now on Steam.

Behind the scenes we still are searching for above-mentioned bug and are very busy finishing the last crowdfunding promises (three in-game basically left: revision of the manual, immortalizing the legend-level-donors and global highscores and two out-of-game promises: the final shipping wave and the PDF download of the ADOM Lite RPG character sheet).

I'm back to work... enjoy ADOM 2.3.7!

Saturday, November 4, 2017

How the revised ADOM manual will turn out... (hopefully)

Hi everyone!

I'd like to share some brief thoughts on my intentions of how I am going to revise the ADOM manual (one of the last crowdfunding promises not yet tackled):

  • I have wrestled for a long time with the question on whether it should be web-based, PDF, ASCII or several of these formats. I now have decided that it will remain ASCII because our recent UI/UX tests show that people would enjoy shorter in-game help texts in more places. As (a) ADOM can only display ASCII and PDF or HTML are impossible for ADOM and (b) we do not have the resources to support a variety of documents, ASCII makes most sense.
  • I intend to break down the manual into smaller sections so that you e.g. can directly jump from the "Healing" skill to the healing skill description (and not just the whole skill section as of today).
  • I intend to add links to the manual in more places (skills, spells).
  • I will add more information to the manual. If you feel that some important information is missing please add that request in the comments section of this ticket here.
The technical side behind this plan requires writing a new manual parser and formatter to generate all the sections, links, etc. that we need internally in order to use the improved manual. Not a trivial task but I hope to get this done soon.

Thanks for listening!

Monday, October 30, 2017

Full Steam release: ADOM 2.3.6 is here!

Hi everyone!

We are happy and proud to announce ADOM 2.3.6, yet another major milestone in the recent series of ADOM releases. ADOM 2.3.6 contains a ton of changes (despite the rather small version number increase), especially related to user interface improvements and bug fixes. It is a full Steam release - no beta fiddling or anything required.

This could be the perfect time to enter the community of folks playing ADOM at Steam as we currently do have a 10% discount due to the Halloween sale - and it's not going to become better than that as we instead intend to continue increasing the value of your purchase by adding more and more content for years to come!

Major changes for ADOM 2.3.6 include:

  • Much smarter left-click interactions with the mouse (and customized mouse cursors).
  • More quick hints to point to advanced commands.
  • A streamlined and smarter tutorial to simplify getting into ADOM.
  • Humans and fighters have been buffed somewhat to make them more interesting.
  • Priests, druids and paladins start slightly more pious.
  • Priests now always start with the "Cure Light Wounds" spell. Additionally healing spells have been rebalanced.
  • Races and professions now are sorted alphabetically during character generation.
  • You now start with some quests to lead you into the right direction.
  • Paying has been greatly simplified.
  • Moving into doors now offers a much smarter dialog.
  • The various game modes have been slightly renamed to lead new players better into the game.
  • Various other minor UI/UX improvements (probably 80+ since the last release as we have started doing supervised user interface / user experience tests in our new UI/UX lab).
  • Tons of bug fixes.

Next up:

  • We are going to exchange the videos and images on Steam for much more recent versions.
  • We are going to do a full (non-Deluxe) public release of ADOM.
  • We are going to finish ADOM 2.4.0 (might become 3.0.0) to finish our crowdfunding promises.
  • And at the weekend I'm going to do the final wave of ADOM crowdfunding physical rewards shipments. Most people by now should have received their stuff and if you did not yet, please go to the crowdfunding fulfillment portal and confirm your data (not on Indiegogo - that data is long out of date and sync). If you are among the few who haven't done so and then don't confirm your data by the weekend you are out of luck. It's over after that.
And then it's going to be the future :-) !

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

ADOM 2.3.5 released as Steam beta!

Hi everyone!

Finally. Finally. Finally. We are getting back to full speed :-)

Team ADOM is very proud to announce the release ADOM 2.3.5 as a Steam Beta to the general public. Effectively this means that - if you have bought Steam on ADOM - you now can play ADOM 2.3.5 as beta version. The process to access the ADOM 2.3.5 beta is described here: http://www.ancientdomainsofmystery.com/p/adom-beta-steam.html

The general public release (which will be ADOM 2.3.6) hopefully will follow very soon - we just want to get feedback on stability, first impressions, etc. for a couple of days before it will be launched.

Note that ADOM 2.3.5 still is a beta version - there might be bugs, crashes, etc. that we didn't discover in our tests. So be prepared for a little bumpiness - experience has taught us that general public releases are very different from prerelease test releases, which in turn yield a very different experience to our local tests.

ADOM 2.3.5 is the culmination of more than a year of development (one year and one day today - our last release was ADOM 2.2.6 on October, 16th, 2016). We are still very sorry for the long break but it's mostly my fault as I severely broke my hand in December last year and it took a very long time to recover.

But the good news is that we now are up to full speed and will be much faster due to being full recovered and having our GIT infrastructure well up and running. While ADOM 2.3.5 has just been released, we already are working on
  • ADOM 2.3.6 - which will bring tons of additional UI/UX enhancements as now finally have installed a real UI/UX lab and are doing supervised playtesting with new ADOM players (from all kinds of folks - ranging from people who never before have played a computer game to people who have logged thousands of hours into casual games, 3D games and/or indie games). The results so far are humbling - and extremely helpful. You can follow the progress in our special UI/UX milestone.
  • ADOM 2.4.0 - which will finish providing all remaining crowdfunding promises and is well on track. We hope to finish ADOM 2.4.0 by end of October.
Both versions have have been - together with ADOM 2.3.5 - under parallel development and this is working very nicely for us.

What can you expect in the Steam Beta of ADOM 2.3.5?

Tons of changes and new stuff. You can read the full change log here (and you need to read all changes from ADOM 2.3.0 up to ADOM 2.3.5). Thus I'd like to highlight a few of the more exciting changes:
  • We have completely redesigned the graphical HUD - it's much more beautiful, functional and elegant now.
  • There has been lots of graphical fine-tuning. Especially noticeable will be that many monsters now are animated (and we are working on the remaining monsters and the PC as you read this).
  • We have worked a lot on being able to play by mouse and general making better use of graphical assets. This should be a lot more convenient now. Additions include much better context-sensitive menus, smart tooltips (which no longer require you to enter look mode in the graphical game), smarter click interactions, variable mouse cursors indicating the next left-click-action, speech bubbles, a dialog system, a menu when pressing the ESC key, graphical quick hints to better introduce you to key commands, many tweaks to the UI (the inventory e.g. works much more conveniently now), many more screens now are graphical, etc. pp.
  • A new "easy" game mode has been added that should make it much more fun for new players to get introduced to ADOM (and you won't be missing any content in easy mode - the game is just somewhat nicer to you).
  • Point-based character generation now should be a lot of fun and offers many more options!
  • The long-awaited Rolf quest and the volcano quest (crowdfunding promises) now are in the game.
  • 117 new items and 22 new monsters have been added.
  • New immunities, resistances, item abilities (e.g. levitation) and a whole new category of items (rechargeable items) have been added.
  • Quests now have a much more elaborate and detailed status screen.
  • The configuration settings now have a menu system that makes it much easier to configure many aspects of ADOM.
  • You now can configure if you want to use talents as all, if they should be preselected by ADOM or if you want to manually select them. Additionally you can configure "your luck" during the game (e.g. cause ADOM to slightly fudge die rolls in your favor).
  • Missile stacking/reloading has been greatly simplified. Additionally picking/dropping stuff has been completely revamped and now is much more powerful.
And that's just some of the highlights :-)

What about the prerelease testers?

Jochen currently is building all the binaries for our prerelease testers, too. Sadly this is a much more involved process than deploying to Steam (especially as it takes a long while to upload all the binaries). Expect the prerelease binaries to be available at some point this afternoon (German time) - i n about 5-7 hours at most. You will then be able to download ADOM 2.3.5 as a prerelease test version from the usual location.

What's up next?

The next major milestone for us is the release of a stable ADOM version in the very near future - which probably will coincide with a general public release for everyone (or be close nearby - we really need to do some more testing on the non-Deluxe version which we haven't started in over 12 months and will probably have some broken parts due to the vast amount of changes... but it should follow on the heels of the general Steam release).

Saturday, October 14, 2017

The ADOM front: Steam, UI/UX & more

Hi folks!

Just a quick update regarding our current work:

  • We'll be on Steam with a beta very soon now - one more bug/new feature to get right (custom mouse cursors for much better left-click interactions) and then we'll be there.
  • We have been spending a lot more time on examining the user experience for new ADOM players. And it's without doubt still horrible (although much better than 12 months ago). I sadly have come to realize that we have been making a mistake (as hard as it sounds) by mostly discussing UI/UX within the existing community. The existing community mostly consists of too many roguelike/ADOM experts who just fail to see (like me) what barriers these games pose to general players. 
  • As a result we have started doing supervised tests with new players of varying experience in a UI/UX lab setting and the results have been staggering: ADOM presents incredible barriers to get into the game (still, despite hundreds of UI issues we already worked on). But the good news is that we believe we now finally are learning the important UI/UX issues (maybe a bit late, but whatever) and will be able to work on them without ruining the game for existing players. Our UI/UX milestone in the ticket database lists our findings and while this stuff won't make it into the next Steam release I really hope that we will be able to include most of it into the release after that: http://www.adom.de/forums/projectmilestone.php?do=issuelist&milestoneid=8&filter=active
So our priorities right now are:
  1. Releasing on Steam.
  2. Improving UI/UX.
  3. Finishing the crowdfunding promises (which we hope to do this month!).
  4. Getting ready for the Roguelike Celebration (meet me there) and big announcements.
Stay tuned for updates!

Friday, October 6, 2017

Announcing the (graphical) prerelease of ADOM 2.3.4

Hi everyone!

Today marks another important milestone to getting ADOM back on track and rolling after this rather bumpy year: We just released ADOM 2.3.4 to our prerelease testers. This release contains the full graphical glory of ADOM Deluxe. Now you will be able to try out tons of amazing features accumulated over more than nine months in our graphical user interface:
  • a new HUD
  • better typography
  • (mostly) animated monsters
  • better tooltips & dialogs,
  • refined icons and graphics in general,
  • many new music & sound effects,
  • a huge amount of usability enhancements in order to simplify playing ADOM by mouse (really important for the Steam release),
  • and more: read the changelog for the full details (and note that many of the changes listed  between 2.3.0 and 2.3.4 will finally be visible in the graphical release - especially in the 2.3.0 release notes)
ADOM 2.3.4 still is somewhat rough around the edges and a couple of features are still under development (e.g. the personalized and animated PC sprites). We also expect it to be buggy (comparably to the ADOM 2.3.0 ASCII release). So expect to meet some rough spots - but we strongly believe that it is one of the best releases ever.

We now need your support in quickly stabilizing the graphical release in the same amazing way you so far worked on making the ASCII version much better as we now want to do the Steam release as soon as possible to then turn over to much smaller and more regular releases.

As usual the prerelease can be downloaded from the usual location.

What's up next?

Starting today I will be working on the remaining crowdfunding promises. I finally have updated the project flowchart for the current state:

From the flowchart you can see that most of the remaining tasks are now the part that is the biggest fun to me: adding content.

There are still a lot of levels, items & artifacts to be designed and that's the part of ADOM I always enjoyed the most. Immediately after this release we will use a two-pronged approach to continue:
  • I will immediately start adding content (maps, monsters, items, artifacts, quests) from a big pool of notes that has been lying for far too long. 
  • The rest of Team ADOM will continue working on stabilizing the current version in order to get both to Steam and to a general public release.
Once we have the next Steam & public release (which will be in October... hopefully sooner than later) we will change our development process to much smaller and more agile releases in much more regular intervals.

And then we'll have some more news at the Roguelike Celebration in San Francisco.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Announcing the (pre)release of ADOM 2.3.3 (ASCII again)

Hi everyone!

We are happy to announce the (pre)release of ADOM 2.3.3 - yet another ASCII-only (pre)release for our impending graphical and Steam release. Besides having fixed lots of bugs and optimized some of the new features even more (see the changelog) we this time would like to direct the attention of our prerelease testers to two focus areas:

  • We have revised the configurable character generation process. You now can choose between the following base difficulty modes:
    • Tutorial (the introduction as you know it)
    • Easy (a new mode that reduces deadliness and somewhat favors the player)
    • Classic (roguelike, the standard mode for ADOM ever since the game was created)
    • Personalized (the configurable character generation sequence)
    • Please try them out, test the navigation and provide us with feedback. The idea here to find an easier introduction for new players with the Easy mode - and give experienced players more means to personalize their game experience (among other things with a means to configure a "medium" level for hunger, fudge die rolls to some extent and configure on whether and how to use talents in your game).
    • This mode is a very important addition for Steam where we learned that many of the more casual games get too easily frustrated by the steep learning curve in ADOM. Together with the many UI enhancements (and many more to come in the graphical version) we hope that they will enjoy ADOM far more and that this will allow us to get better visibility with a wider audience (more happening in the background for that - stay tuned for a later update).
  • Since ADOM 2.3.0 we have included a completely revised point-based character generation process for your attributes. It provides a lot more flexibility and basically factors in all the points for your disposal which in former versions were hard-wired. Naturally we also would like to know how you like that mode.
That's it - barring any major hiccups the next release will be the graphical prerelease - we are closing in. Here are some more teasers to what is going on with the graphical version :-)

Thursday, September 21, 2017

More ideas for streamlining the ADOM UI

Hi everyone!

Today I pondered slaughtering a potential holy cow (but maybe not - I'm curious for the responses):

I'm sure people who know their key presses in reflex-like motions will hate me but IMHO it makes a lot of sense to have more intuitive bindings and I never have been afraid to look at holy cows while sharpening a knife.

The next logical step would be to sort races, professions and star signs alphabetically on the corresponding selection screens instead of using the current chaotic mess.

But I have a gut feeling that I will create some irritations with long time fans. On the other hand I strongly believe that all these changes would be very beneficial for new players.

So let me hear your thoughts!

P.S.: Yes, I also shortened the texts in the menus as the many filling words ("View the...", "Read the...", ...) probably just unnecessarily clutter the screen.

P.P.S.: Yes, there is a new game mode progression. The idea here is the following:

  • "Tutorial game" is the introduction you should take to learn the basic mechanisms of the game.
  • "Standard game" is a game mode that is suited at the "average" (and more casual) player out there. Hunger effects will be lessened (probably just cumulative negative attribute modifiers instead of killing effects, slightly better survivability). It should serve to show all the tricks and traps of the game but with less immediate killing power. No talents.
  • "Roguelike game" is the standard way of playing ADOM (but without the customization screen - basically spontaneous selection at each step).
  • "Customized game" is the complex customization screen you have today.
  • The other modes are unchanged.
The next release also will add more customization options:
  • "Hunger" no longer will be just on or off but get a third "debilitating" setting. And "on" probably will be renamed to "deadly".
  • "Talents" will be added with the settings "off", "automatic selection" and "custom selection".
  • "Balance" will be added with the settings "Roguelike" (die rolls like today) and "Pampered" (making die rolls in certain situations slightly more favourable for the player with the goal of making gameplay even more exciting - I found this article very fascinating: https://www.polygon.com/2017/9/8/16263050/game-design-magic-tricks)
The above-mentioned standard game will use "Talents: off" and "Balance: pampered". 


Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Announcing ADOM 2.3.2 for prerelease testers

Hi everyone!

After ADOM 2.3.0 and ADOM 2.3.1 we are happy to announce ADOM 2.3.2 for our prerelease testers. Again we have lots of bug fixes but as I am a bit late in doing the official announcement (being on vacation - in theory) we sadly also already have our first bug report :-( Luckily it's not tremendously important in so far as most players never will even get close to that situation in the game - but it is very annoying as it again affects one of the cool new quests. So there probably soon will be yet another release in the very near future.

The changelog is getting shorter but still somewhat impressive. Enjoy the game for now and also give us some feedback on the revised point-based character generation, pick/drop, etc.

Stay tuned!
Thomas & Team ADOM

P.S.: Our focus (besides maybe another small bug fix release on the sideline now is a graphical release - we are getting closer).

Desperate bug hunt in ADOM 2.3.1 - we slaughtered the bug!

*** UPDATE: The hunt is over!!! Congratulations & thanks to Laukku for providing a save game that finally allowed us to reproduce the problem in a reliable way. Now we also could fix it. It was a damn complex item identity problem and some conservative safe guard code from the old drop routines seem to have been lost in the transition to the new code ***

Hi everyone!

Currently we face one remaining truly major bug that was introduced in 2.3.0 and has been plaguing as again and again: http://www.adom.de/forums/project.php?issueid=4991

It does not make any sense to release 2.3.2 before we have fixed this bug. Sadly we fail to reliably reproduce it. It happens every once in a while but so far we have not found the actions required to get it reliably - which prevents us from understanding and fixing it.

As this one bug is holding up everything else (more releases, finishing the crowdfunding promises, Steam release, etc.) we hereby would like to make a special offer to our prerelease testers:

The first person who manages to produce a save file that allows us to reliably reproduce this bug will receive a free copy of the ADOM Lite RPG with a special dedication. I do have a few surplus copies so I feel that I could give away one of those.

Please try to create a save file that (preferrably within the next action) allows us to reproduce the bug described above. It seems to happen when you pick up / drop items in a shop. The Terinyo food shop works perfectly for that - we just have no idea how to get this bug. It just happens sometimes and everything else is unclear to us.

Thanks for your help!

Thomas & Team ADOM

P.S.: If none of our prerelease testers manages to reliably reproduce this guy, we might consider doing some kind of more public release to help finding it as I feel that we are wasting our very limited resources on trying to get this guy and achieving nothing :-/

Monday, September 18, 2017

ADOM 2.3.1 (release 74) released to prerelease testers

Hi everyone!

Almost directly on the heels of ADOM 2.3.0 follows ADOM 2.3.1. As expected ADOM 2.3.0 was a pretty experimental release and contained... err... well... a number of issues and room for improvement ;-) And so we repaired and improved.

The changelog is pretty impressive again although it's mostly fixes and fine-tuning (87 official tickets and more stuff going on behind the scenes - the result of almost 72 hours of frantic work behind the scenes). We are particularly grateful to Grond (master bug hunter who almost single-handedly killed every bug existant in the release), but also to Laukku, Ben Mathiesen und Qui from the forums. Your help was invaluable (and thanks also to everyone else who contributed). I also have to thank Jochen once more for being an undaunting force of bug destruction - great teamwork!

So without further ado we dearly recommend that you download the latest ASCII-only prerelease from the usual location.

Depending on how many more issues are found we now move towards finishing the graphical version.


Thursday, September 14, 2017

ADOM 2.3.0 (r73) released to prerelease testers

Hi everyone!

After the longest break (pardon the pun) since the Resurrect ADOM development crowdfunding campaign we finally are getting back on track. Tonight we released ADOM 2.3.0 (r73), a special release in many respects:

  • It is the first "ASCII only" (pre)release in a very long while. The reasons are twofold:
    • We have added so much stuff that our graphics wizards in Team ADOM are still hard at work with catching up.
    • We are fed up with the long break and want to get feedback as soon as possible. As some features are still missing in the graphical version (or broken) we decided to put the ASCII version on the testing block.
  • It is probably the biggest release ever we have done. The issue tracker lists about 140 tickets (to be honest: after yet another 15 hour day I didn't count) for this release but the number has to be taken with some caution (partially because graphics fixes also are listed for the version number, partially because a single ticket can mean huge changes). Some of the huge changes are:
    • More than 100 new items including a completely new category with new mechanisms,
    • Rolf and Volcano quest added,
    • an ASCII windowing framework to make interactions more obvious and don't miss them in endless text wastes,
    • a speech bubble system for conversations,
    • a completely revised pick/drop dialog (I'm pretty nervous about that one as it is a very deep change and probably needs a lot of fine-tuning),
    • completely revised screens for quest status, talents as well as merged screens for skills and spells to simplify navigation,
    • a new quick hint system that tries to teach keyboard commands with tooltips,
    • a new look (and target) mode
    • and hundreds of other major and minor changes.
  • It is probably the most experimental release ever. This kind of follows out of bullet points #1 and #2 because we tested stuff - but our resources are far too limited to test everything. As a consequence regard this as a true prerelease: 
    • There probably will be crashes.
    • Characters might get lost.
    • Save files might get corrupted (although we haven't seen this so far).
    • Or in other words: Here be dragons. Proceed at your own risk.
The prerelease is available via the prerelease tester access. Follow the instructions and start playing as soon as possible :-) The change log can be found here (also as usual).

Please use our bug reporting system for all your findings. Discussions about the changes are especially welcome in the ADOM forum. We want to get any problems sorted out as soon as possible, because our roadmap looks like this:
  • Stabilize the ASCII version ASAP.
  • In parallel add more unaddressed promises from the crowdfunding campaign.
  • As soon as the ASCII version is stable, we will do at least one graphical prerelease for an equivalent feedback round on the graphical version.
  • Then we will go to Steam beta with the prerelease.
  • As soon as we know that the Steam beta is stable, we will make a public Steam release (including one of our front page lucky shots) to increase awareness. A major topic of our work for the past couple of months has been the simplification and enhancement of the UI - as a consequence it is a bit sad that you can't yet see all the fantastic changes in the NotEye/ADOM version. But we promise: the wait is worth it. IMHO the upcoming graphical release is spectacular.
On a side note we (again) changed the version numbering system:
  • We have returned to the major.minor.patch level system.
  • We still count releases but you now only can see the number with the 'v' command.
  • This will allow us to do more branches in our GIT system so that we can have parallel development and bugfix branches. For the current version the 2.3.x branch will be used for bug fixes (with x > 1) and the next real big feature release branch will be 2.4.0.
Ok, we return to work immediately. So much to do and so many plans :-)

See ya soon with the next release!

P.S.: Here are some of the mind-blowing changes of the upcoming graphical release on which all of Team ADOM have also been doing amazing work:
  • a completely revised HUD which is much clearer and more beautiful than the previous one
  • tooltips
  • mouse-based navigation
  • animated monsters
  • more icons, warning, indicators, etc.
  • real scaling for big screen resolutions
  • multi-monitor support
  • and more!

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Huge content update merged into main branch

Hi everyone!

Today I reached the second very important milestone in this week: I have been working on a content branch for many months (greatly delayed due to the broken hand misery at the end of last year and during Q1 of 2017). Finally I finished most of the stuff (the one big open thing being the volcano quest - but even for that the stage has been set). Everything has merged from my private development branch into the main ADOM development branch and now we are very close to the first test release (and then public releases) after a long time.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

The (almost) final crowdfunding reward wave has shipped!

Hi everyone!

Today a very important milestone has been reached: The final wave of the "Resurrect ADOM development" crowdfunding campaign have shipped.

(well, it's probably the second to last wave because there will be one more small wave, probably at the end of October, in order to fix returned packages, etc. - but then it's over and done)

I've slept but 8 hours in the past 72 hours because it took a suprising amount of effort to
  • sort out addresses, check them and fix some of them (e.g. because some persons omitted their country)
  • select code pieces for the code certificates and get these printed,
  • package the certificates safely,
  • pack all the ADOM Lite RPG boxes (which we affectionately named "ADOM Resurrection Loot Boxes") including more code certificates, box certificates, the ADOM Lite RPG rules and the ADOM Arcana boxes, the poster map, a die (attuned by rolling it) etc. pp.
  • fill the boxes to prevent damage,
  • then bubble-wrap the boxes,
  • package them in the shipping boxes,
  • fill out tax forms, shipment forms, etc.
  • fulfill more ADOM Lite RPG orders,
  • personalize more ADOM postcards and send them.
So I'm really happy about having managed this. Below you find some impressions from the past 72 hours:
  • Packaging stuff:

  • Protecting the ADOM Resurrection Loot boxes:

  • In mid-packaging I ran out of my first batch of bubble-wrap, luckily I had taken care of that by ordering ample reserves:

  • In the end I prevailed:

  • Next I stuffed the car of my wife with all the boxes:

(the other stuff is not visible due to all the boxes)

And then I brought our small local post office to a kind of halt for about an hour. I had announced my coming, they were well prepared but sadly other visitors blocked the second worker with very problematic requests - and I got some angry looks from a slowly growing lynch mob because I was standing at the counter with my mountain of boxes.

But luckily after one efficient hour of processing the shipments plus me paying a minor fortune for shipping now everything is on its way. All boxes can be tracked so that problems should be easily identifyable.

Time for celebration :-)

I'm now looking forward to get photos (please post them in social media, too) of packages arriving (I'm curious what the state will be), unboxing videos, etc.

I'm now back to working on the remaining software promises - I still hope to get all that stuff finished by end of September. Wish me luck :-) !