Roguelike ADOM making way for Ultimate ADOM

A picture of penultimate ADOM

Adam loves ADOM. There must be something about very old roguelikes that overpowers our deputy editor. The allure of a random dungeon. The temptation to drink every potion at once. But he also once told us that the final boss of ADOM (short for Ancient Domains of Mystery) is his gaming nemesis. Well, now he has a reason to fight that giant ‘@’ sign once again. ADOM is being remastered as Ultimate ADOM. Not to be confused with our own Ultimate Adam, which is just Adam after a 7-minute power nap.

This was announced by original creator Thomas Biskup at an event celebrating roguelikes and their development. It isn’t a whole new game, however. More a new body with a fresh lick of paint on top of the same engine. There will be some new features, however, plus the ability to continue saved games on other platforms (eg. start on PC and then keep going on your Switch).

“Time and time again, I considered writing a true successor to ADOM,” said Biskup. “However, its 25-year-old code base – with a rather complex internal architecture – usually got in the way of a straightforward sequel. And so the idea for Ultimate ADOM was born… Ultimate ADOM will be based around one generic game/rules engine with ultimate customizability for different platforms and play styles.”

It’s not clear if this means the game is going to be a free update to the classic version on Steam, or a separate game altogether. But it looks like the latter. We’ve asked for clarification and we’ll let you know [Update: “It’s a whole new game,” says Biskup. “We have not yet made any decisions on upgrades & pricing.”] As for the extra gamey bits, here’s what a press release says will come to the game:

The new engine will also make it possible for players to experiment with detailed crafting and modding systems and also learn a vastly more flexible magic system. Possession, cloning, grafting body parts, and animating inanimate items like swords (and even walls and other in-world objects) are all viable strategies.

Ultimate ADOM is planned for a release on Steam in late 2018. The non-ultimate version is already there.

8 Comments

  1. His Dudeness says:

    There is Unity for UADOM. For PC too, as I get it.

  2. jimmybones says:

    The announcement on ADOM’s site *does* make it sound like a completely new game:

    “We have a number of ideas for game content that simply is impossible to implement in ADOM with reasonable effort. And even ADOM II would not work for that as ADOM II’s object-oriented structure is just too limiting and complex. Thus Ultimate ADOM will be based on an Entity-Component-System architecture which we already have prototyped and which offers huge opportunities.”

    Biskup goes on to call it “a collection of interrelated games” in a comment on that article.

  3. Michael Fogg says:

    I’ve hoped for years that TB gets his stuff together and makes a true sequel, an enlightened-roguelike (i.e. JADE). The recent history of tinkering with ADOM failed to make it a better game, IMO, and that’s fine, because ADOM is Done. It feels complete, and it had for years. So now this, announcement of some supposed Ur-Complete edition is, again, a slight disapointemnt.

    • klops says:

      I agree. I’m pretty sure no JADE is coming ever. He should be young and obsessed for that. Then again, I’m happy that the fellow whose game I’ve played more than any other game gets money for his work.

    • Tim James says:

      I’m honestly kind of tired of hearing about it. He’s been hemming and hawing about this for 15 years. In another decade we’ll be right back here. Something something code base.

      I appreciate the game and I respect that creators have struggles like this. It’s just a drinking game at this point.

  4. caff says:

    Love ADOM. It holds a special place in my heart. Here’s hoping this is a new game with a lot of the strong core principles that made the original so good.

  5. nogglebeak says:

    I’d like to congratulate you for using roguelike correctly for the first time in 2 years. I’m so proud of you.

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