I've just started the last power pledge drive that will happen during the ADOM crowd funding campaign: Artifacts! For every $500 donated starting at the current level of $31.468 a new artifact will be added to the game. For every day in which which manage to collect a full $1.000 amount, 2 new items will be added to the game! (Multiples count, yes) This power pledge drive is going to be the longest running as it will be up for a full 14 days and end on the 24th of August. This really is going to be the last power pledge drive for ADOM - there is nothing else to save for, so if you haven't pledged yet, now is the perfect time!
-Tiles would be an extra. You always will be able to play ADOM as ASCII-only and thus it would continue to run on older systems. We haven't yet decided on whether it would be one binary with options for both or two distinct binaries but currently we lean towards the latter as that would allow a much smaller download for the ASCII version.
-Tile development would happen in parallel to the other planned features. Thus there would be continuous updates for all donors. Depending on the parallel development speeds and challenges we can't foresee today we even might consider releasing ADOM 1.2.x and ADOM 1.3.x in order to get all things done. This is yet another detail we so far haven't discussed.
-Tiles will be 64x64 to ensure a decent quality for the custom built set. It is possible to support other resolutions (like 32x32)rather easily because NotEye is very flexible in this regard. We are going for 64x64 as Krys is actually drawing the tiles at much higher resolution and downscaling them and I learned that downscaling works almost perfectly until you reach that 64x64 limit. 32x32 requires a lot of manual repairs and as computer resolutions seem to be increasing all the time (and things like Retina and its successors are going to be standards soon) we'd love to have a beautiful tile set for the custom variant. But as several resolutions could be supported bot community built sets and my preferred set by Krys are an option.
-Regarding Steam and others. Yes, it might be an option to position ADOM (Deluxe) on Steam in order to finance both the continuous future development of the free and the paid version - but this requires the game to be beautiful.
-There won't be any facings. The whole ADOM engine doesn't have any notion of facings and thus there is no need for that.
-Right now we are not planning to do images for the individualized parts of a characters equipment. IMHO this is so much work that we'd probably need another $10.000-$20.000 for just that feature. Which is too much as far as I am concerned.
Right now I'd like to pose a purely theoretical question: Some of the goals of the ADOM crowd funding campaign have been pretty personal (improved manual, in game graphics) and I know they didn't meet that much enthusiasm. One other goal - tile support - didn't meet much enthusiasm on my behalf as I didn't see a viable way of doing it. So far. This has changed.
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.
But the question is: How to do it with out limited resources? Basically there are three approaches:
-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.
So there we are. How do you feel about minor alterations to the campaign goals (exchanging static images for tiles, not revising the manual) in exchange for at least a minor NotEye integration and maybe more? Please give feedback as I don't want to hurt any feelings
Sadly we didn't have the knowledge we have now when we started the campaign - so that's evolution.
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