Monday, January 29, 2018

Four weeks of Ultimate ADOM development (UADOM Update #2)

Hi everyone!

Another two weeks passed at lightning speed... I barely can believe it. We have been very hard working on Ultimate ADOM (and Jochen managed to squeeze in some ADOM bug fixing but we yet need to get into shape for the next release). So what has been done over the past two weeks:

  • I finally finished my prototype: The PC can move, blocking features etc. work and I can fight and kill a fully armed orc. In theory the orc also can fight back but the code for that still is a bit primitive. While this might sound trivial (and I know I can implement that with a simple setup in an afternoon) I'm still very happy with that progress because the underlying AGE (ADOM Game Engine) architecture that was built for that simple purpose can do so much more and the above scenario is the smallest proof of concept I could think about. Much of what already has been created will only show its true power later one once we work on the real game content.
  • The prototype includes mechanisms for dying and resurrection, multiple damage types caused by singular attacks (e.g. a holy mace of fire & brimstone causing 2d4 crushing damage, 3d6 fire damage and +9 holy damage against undead) as well as combat mechanisms for arbitrary body shapes (e.g. detailed attacks with claws, teeth and the tail for a great winged poison drake or 2-4 melee attacks with different weapons for a four-armed ettin, etc.).
  • The ASCII engine I'm using for my prototype has seem some optimization (although I still is woefully incomplete and ugly - Jochen now will start to elaborate it).
  • The underlying entity component system has been greatly elaborated (there are many more very convenient JSON based means of configuration now), tested (many ugly bugs squished) and refined (it's becoming more straightforward and I'm working hard on refactoring special cases as soon as possible to make the underlying engine as stable as possible). All that right now is not very meaningful to you as a player but in the end it will allow us to produce more amazing content at much greater speed than ever before ;-)
  • We have mostly concluded our 2D tests with Unity and now evaluate whether a 3D version might be the way to go. Additionally we are still very busy discussing the general feel of the art. We definitely want it to be darker and more gritty than in ADOM Classic but there are so many options we so far failed to finalize our ideas.
  • We learned a lot about performance in Unity. AGE (ADOM Game Engine) is heavily optimized to be able to utilize hundreds of thousands of entities with many complex components and while we haven't stress-tested that we already learned a lot about what not to do (including such curiosities like "comparing two colors is much more costly than rendering a 30x30 pixel area" - I'm still from an age when graphics where not that fast :-D )
  • Our new artist - Bastian von Gostomski - just today was onboarded to Team ADOM and for the time being he will work on concept art and help us to evolve the graphical style of Ultimate ADOM. Here are two pieces he already produced:
Image #1: Into the Eye of Darkness

A picture from the final battle between Andor Drakon and some unnamed champion. From that final battle that ushered in the Ultimate Age of ADOM:

Image #2: A Portrait of Andor Drakon, supreme Lord of Chaos

And he produced several refined versions of the Andor Drakon sketch I already posted this afternoon - let us know in the comments which one you prefer and why:

Version #1 (very dark and and kindof younger than in the later ones):

Version #2 (hair is more visible, they eyes are slightly differently filled with corruption):

Version #3 (hair still more visible than in #1, less corruption again in the eyes):

By the end of the week I'll take a brief break (and keep you updated on that - yet another surprise) to be back in full strength very soon.

Axes High!

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