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Java-based Ancient Domains Engine
© Copyright 1998-2018 by Thomas Biskup. All Rights Reserved.

Important: The new JADE website is located at There you can find the latest news, downloads, etc. This website exists simply for documentation purposes. Please update your bookmarks and links!

What is all this JADE stuff about?

ADOM has become a very complex and very detailed game. It these days is much larger than I ever thought it would be. This also means that many parts of the internal code never were intended to do certain things everybody (myself included) would like to see these days. Also the scope of ADOM is somewhat limited. It just covers a minor area of the world of Ancardia, while so much is left for exploration. New concepts should be explored but the changes would be too sweeping for ADOM. Thus the time has come to think about ADOM II, code-named JADE.

What plans do you have for JADE?

JADE will basically have everything ADOM has and a lot more. Plans include:

  • A complete world with continents, weather patterns, settlements, dungeons and strange places, either randomly generated at the start of each game or chosen from a number of preselected worlds.
  • A quest generator for random quests. No two games ever will be the same.
  • Dungeon and world size only limited by the boundaries of Java-technology and your hardware.
  • No classes, but a detailed skill system, together with a guild system providing special benefits for guild membership.
  • All the races from ADOM and a few more (mist elves, ratlings, hill dwarves).
  • Complete freedom in what you want to do (e.g. explore dungeons, work as a caravan guardian, build your own castle, conquer cities, lead a life as a simple farmer, become a shopkeeper or whatever).
  • Hidden plots. (Has Chaos been truly defeated in ADOM or is something lurking behind the scenes and waiting?)
  • Monster inventories.
  • The ability to transform into another being.
  • A detailed system for morale values (on an Order...Balance...Chaos scale) and ethics (on a Good...Uncaring...Evil scale).
  • Platform independence due to Java-based technology.
  • Compressed save files.

What are the target systems for JADE?

Basically any system able to run Java-based applications. My development system is a Pentium IV-2.4 GHz with 1024 MB of RAM and lots of hard disk space. This basically means that I won't make compromises concerning game speed (it will be plain Java code without bells and whistles) or space requirements (be that RAM or hard disk space). The game will need years to be completed (see ADOM ;-), which basically means that the average system at that time will make my current development system seem like an abacus. Thus I don't see any reason to cut out options for the sake of playability. No compromises, folks.

This does not mean that I won't care for efficient code. Quite to the contrary, efficient code will be very important. It just means that I'll add everything to the game I ever wanted, no matter what that might mean for current efficiency.

For now I use JDK 1.6.0 to write JADE. This probably will evolve at the same speed as Sun decides to release new Java versions. No compromises here - I want the cutting edge (and the most bug-free edge ;-).

What is the current state of JADE?

JADE is still in development despite the lack of versions in the past couple of years. Finally the item generation system is in place, monsters work and can move (and they are as complex as the player), maps and stuff are generated and there are already lots of extension hooks in the game. The next step will be to create a running version 0.1 that at least allows some meaningful fighting, has a highscore and will allow to evolve from there in small but continuous releases.

The Universal Principles of Design Thomas Biskup recommends: The Universal Principles of Design
"A great book about design principles, no matter whether you are designing games, software or tools. I like the two-page structure: First the design principle is explained and then you get real world examples of how the principle can be applied. Combined with clear writing, a crisp layout and streamlined editing this makes for great reading!"

More details about this item can be found here: United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Germany.

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A complete list of my reading recommendations is available here.

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