Classic Roguelike ‘Ancient Domains Of Mystery’ Seeks Revival Via IndieGoGo Funding

Not quite a Kickstarter, but close enough – here’s one that lies close and true to my heart. It’s no secret that I’m a Roguelike addict. Give me Dungeon Crawl, TOME 4, DoomRL and more, and I’ll keep on hacking my way through randomly generated challenges til’ the cows come home. Ancient Domains Of Mystery (aka ADOM) is one of the old giants of the genre, and lead developer Thomas Biskup is planning on dusting it off and resuming development of it. He just needs $48,000 so that he can work on it full-time, and is raising funds via IndieGoGo.


ADOM is different from most roguelikes. For starters, it’s not set in a dungeon, but rather an entire world with villages, quest-givers, rolling hills and wild animals. There’s an overarching goal, and a rolling tide of mutating, corrupting evil sweeping across the land. It’ll even affect you, if you take too long and don’t take measures against it. It’s a much grander-feeling adventure than most dungeon crawls, although it’s notorious for being especially hard, almost up to Nethack levels of difficulty, requiring extensive research in order to make real progress. Hopefully that’s something that’ll be addressed in this update.


There’s a team of four people working on this new version – two programmers, an artist and a musician/sound guy, which suggests that this is going to be a fully graphical, high-budget update of the game. While there have been demands by some fans (although the use of the term is questionable in this context) for Biskup to release the source code for the game instead of trying to profit off it, he has amusingly put a special goal to anyone who funds the game by a full $50k – the entire ADOM source code. Printed. On paper. Not exactly the most useful of things, but an amusing shot at those making unreasonable demands.


The funding already has a few notable backers. Minecraft maestro Notch has already tweeted his full support for the project, describing the original ADOM as one of his favourite games. You can try the original freeware version of the game here, and throw some bucks at the updated version if you want here. I’m really hoping that this one gets funded – it really is one of the best games in the genre, and I’d love to see it updated to modern spec.

A geek for all seasons. A veteran of early DOS-era gaming, with encyclopaedic knowledge of things geeky on all platforms. The more obscure and bizarre, the better. If you've got indie news you want to break in a big way, send it this way!

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