Today is the 9th Anniversary of Tales of Maj'Eyal first line of code!

So today, not sure why, I was looking at the very first commit on the game's code and it turns out it was done on the 17th November 2009! Making the code exactly 9 years old today!

So I thought I'd make a little retrospective of how things where at the very beginning at the 1 day, 1 week, 1 month, 6 months and 1 year marks. This way you can see how things started, including some screenshots of stuff I'm probably the only one to ever have seen ;)

Oh and if you log ingame this week, you will get a little special celebration event! Yayz!

For each step we will also count the number of files and lines of code of the game (for simplicity of counting this includes libraries too, this is mostly important for the C code).

But first, a little anecdote of how the game came into being.

Tales of Maj'Eyal was born as Tales of Middle Earth 4, set in a Tolkien setting. It was meant as the successor of my old game aptly named .. Tales of Middle Earth 2 (and the aborted 3), itself being the evolution of Tales of Middle Earth 1 and Pernangband, which was started a long time ago in 1998.

After Tales of Middle Earth 3 had mostly failed due to trying to make old non adaptable code into something new I stopped doing anything with it for a few years. Before that however Tales of Middle Earth 2 was a well known game in the, then way smaller, roguelike community. So a few years had gone by but I kinda always felt guilty to abandon my players, but I just couldn't force myself to work with such old inflexible code anymore where every new feature felt more like a struggle than a joy to add.

Then, in the middle of November 2009, I caught a bad case of the flu, I was forced to stay home for a week and well, felt like crap, sweating and being in pain in my bed for no reason. But I simply can not stay put and do nothing, I don't work this way and thus I decided that given I'd feel like crap, I could also feel like crap on my computer and work on something. All the guilt I felt of abandoning my old players, and the fact that no roguelike at that time gave me an acceptable pure spellcaster experience, made me decide that I wanted to start on Tales of Middle Earth 4, but on my own term, on my own code, starting from nothing and building from there.

I spent some hours thinking of how I'd like the main structures of the game & engine to work and articulate and then started coding it. This is probably one of my proudest code moments because the structure I devised back then handled the test of time very well and is still today the foundation of Tales of Maj'Eyal and still feels adapted to whatever new strange ideas I have for the game.

So without further ado, let's have a quick look at the first commit!

First Commit
Stats: 4 lua files totaling 104 lines and 105 C/C++ files totaling 42822 lines.

The first ever commit saw the introduction of a very (very) basic map and entities code on the Lua side, and very basic SDL display & keyboard code on the C side. There was no yet any concept of modules, but a commented line in the lua engine code shows they were planned from the starts, as it says 'dofile("/game/modules/tome/")'.

First Day

Stats: 8 lua files totaling 237 lines and 103 C/C++ files totaling 42627 lines.

On the last commit of the first day, the modules system was now working. All game tests, map example, ... were done in the "tome" module, split from the engine.
The number of lua files, and lines, had more than doubled already and was showing no signs of slowing down as you will see in the next time mark.

First Week

Stats: 53 lua files totaling 4660 lines and 137 C/C++ files totaling 47997 lines.

By the one week mark, most of the important engine's structures which still exist today, identical but much enhanced, was in place and working. This also saw the beginnings of an UI layer as seen in the screenshot with the tooltip and basic combat log. The engine also saw many additions, map generators, specialization of entities into actors and grids and so on.

The tome module was also starting to show signs of a structure that is still used to this day. with zones split into their own folders and so on.

Oh and please, delight your eyes at the magnificent player tile I drew myself! Such art, much talent! ;)

First Month

Stats: 116 lua files totaling 11413 lines and 156 C/C++ files totaling 52296 lines.

The magnificent player tile is obviously still present! But a lot of things have changed or evolved, too many to list them all but let's have a look at a few of them.

On the engine side the two biggest additions, because of how far reaching they are, are the serialization code and the temporary values code.

Every single object in memory gained this capability which for non-coders can be explained as being able to generate some text that represent the object in memory. Using this important feature the engine could now "dump" it's memory into a file and reload it later, effectively giving savefiles. And what's important about those is that they would automagically record any change to anything without me having to plan for them to save. This is extremely freeing on the design side and helped a lot to get wild with things later on.

The temporary values code of entities is a bit technical too but basically, imagine that any actor/grid/object/... has a whole bunch of properties (color, weight, price, damage, life, whatever). This system allows any part of the code to tell an entity "ok now you add X to the value of this property of this object". This is rather easy and basically just adding two numbers; but the other side of the system is that later on the code can say "ok now revert *this specific change* and not the rest". Effectively the engine remembers every change to every property of every entity and thus is later able to revert them individually. This is heavily used by all talents and timed effects code (and much more). For example, every single time you use a regeneration infusion in game, this system is used.

On the side of that the engine also saw the addition of other important systems like multiple, switchable, map generators, the further specialization of entities into objects, and thus an inventory system, the ability to have either turn-based or realtime game modules, and the talents/timed effects code.

Six Months

Stats: 461 lua files totaling 50739 lines and 238 C/C++ files totaling 82574 lines.

While up to the first month all I had to fight "ingame" were dragons of death, the next months would see the addition of actual playable game data. The screenshot even starts to look like a game at that point. On it the most notable thing we can see is the addition of a tileset instead of using ASCII tiles. But this is not all at all!

The engine started to support sounds and musics, the switch to LuaJIT code for more speed, the support for customizable options and keybinds. It also saw the birth of the "boot" module. This is what you see when you start the game: the main menu where you can set options, start a new character, load one, and so on. This is actually a game module like any other!

It is also the first time the number of lua files (but not the number of lines) passed the number of C files, good times!

On the game side there was much progress made, and could be recognizable by players today (even though the game had not yet transitioned to its own setting yet). It had multiple playable zones, many objects and NPCs, a whole bunch of classes (the wilders being the latest added at the time) and even some quests working.
Also for fun, notice how on the screenshot there is a potion of lesser healing listed. Yes at this time the inscriptions system didn't exist yet.

Somewhere along the line the first alpha was sent to some of my old players and later on public beta started.

First Year

Stats: 1283 lua files totaling 138612 lines and 278 C/C++ files totaling 132743 lines.

Potions are gone! Inscriptions are in! Yes, one of the very important ToME system was never planned to exist; it only came into being when a player suggested it'd work better than spam quaffing potions like other games did. And it did work so much better.

Oh yeah an other thing that is gone: the Tolkien setting! Replaced by my own custom one. While I really love Tolkien's work it wasn't fitting anymore for the wild stuff I wanted to do. Also I had been bitten by a C&D letter long ago with Pernangband and I didn't really want to repeat the experience. And doing my own setting was liberating! "Eyalverse" is my baby now, the more stories and facts I write for it, the more ideas I get! It is both great and frightening because I can easily see myself adding new stuff to it in 20 years ;)

Aside from that the game was now really starting to feel like an actual big game with many zones, quests, classes, races and so on. Lore notes started to appear, providing insight into the past of the game's universe, or npc's motivations, or simply random fun bits like the minions of The Master writing poems to his glory!
Oh and it could be won, which is kinda important too ;)

Some of the whacky classes were already in, like the chronomancers. Funny thing about them too: remember the serialization code I talked about much earlier that is used to make savefiles? This is also the very basis of time spells that let you go back to the past! And that cool See the Threads spell were you can live three different timelines and choose your best? Yup that too! When you do choose at the end, you actually have 3 copies of the game world inside the game!

The engine received even more additions, to AI and pathing (distance maps, A*), to map generation and so on and so forth. But the two huge additions are most certainly the switch of the whole graphical stack using OpenGL directly instead of SDL and the addition of a particles system to display spell effects.

The first online features also started to appear, namely the saving of your unlocks, achievements, .. online. There wasn't yet any ingame chat or character's sheet upload though.

This is also the first time that there are more lua code lines than C code lines. And you have to understand that the C lines include many third parties libraries I use while the lua code have very little, so that's a whole bunch of custom lua code ;)


Stats: 2467 lua files totaling 382106 lines and 466 C/C++ files totaling 230310 lines.

And finally this brings us to today, as you can see the lua files and line count has the C side thoroughly beat and this is not including any official addon or expansions. If those were to be used the counter would skyrocket!

I will not even try to list all the changes that happened in 8 years, there are far too many but it's been a wild ride, full of joy and sometimes annoying bugs. What's more, and best, about it is that I have not been alone for this amazing ride, I've always had the support of a great community and out of it along the years many individuals have stepped forward and gave their time and energy to contribute many important stuff to the code. I can not list them all here (they are in the credits in any case) but they, and all players, have my thanks!

As for the future? Well, as long as players keep loving the game and getting even more friends to play I'll happily keep developing it. If one thing is certain is that I do not lack ideas about new stories to tell in the "Eyalverse", only time is lacking! So watch out for a huge 1.6 patch coming to you! Also know that the next expansion is already being work on and will focus on stuff that happens on Eyal at the same time as the main campaign but... elsewhere.
Hell there may even be some new cool stuff coming to Embers of Rage... did anybody say new class? No ? Oh I thought so..

But for now I feel like I've written more than enough and if you managed to read it all and not get utterly bored, I thank you and will see you soon!

Have fun in Eyal!


Love the game and learning a bit about it is really cool. I hope this game continues. I will keep supporting.

Well Done

A friend recommended this to me--albeit in a roundabout way by manner of a fanfiction of his chronomancer character, heh. It's real fun, I swear, I haven't seen time just vanish into my computer like this in a long while. You done good. Real good, man.

Thank you

Thanks for continuing to develop this game. I've been on and off for several years now and over time its become my favorite Roguelike. Its always fun to come back after a break and see what is new. It gives a great deal of replayability.


Congrats! :)

Right on my birthday, lol :D. Congrats!

Many Thanks. It amazing and

Many Thanks. It amazing and very cool game.

Ah the memories

Thanks for the game, time sure does fly. Good times were had by all.

Ah the memories

Thanks for the game, time sure does fly. Good times were had by all.

Thank you for existing, DarkGod

I usually get bored of games frequently, even fun AAA ones like Arkham and Skyrim, and wouldn't play them anymore after a couple of dozen hours. TOME, however, is still irresistable even after a hundred hours and deaths. And I'm just on my fourth post-T2 character now, and I have no doubt I'll still be playing this for the next thousand hours knowing I just gotta try the mindslayer, chronomancer, necromancer, and other so fun builds, too. Again, thanks for existing and for this gem of a life experience, DarkGod

One of the best games ever

One of the best games ever played. Congratulations and thank you very much


<3 <3 <3

The running death count

Added to daily. <3 Excellent work.


Thank you for a wonderful game. <3

Praise DarkGod!

I have been playing ToME on and off for the past 5 years. I have had a lot of fun and am glad to be a minion in your army. I look forward to the years to come :D

Happy birthday ToME!

Happy birthday ToME!

Happy Birthday!

Had the game for a few years now, been enjoying coming back to it. I hope you guys have a nice cake picked out, hopefully a shot or two to celebrate. Thanks again, y'all.

Happy birthday ToME

I'm a relatively new player, but this game has become one of my absolute favorites. It's still a joy to experience every time, and for a game I've got approaching 400 hours in, that's truly special. Thank you so much for this excellent experience, and I wait with bated breath for whatever's coming down the line.

Happy Birthday!

ToME is probably the game i have the most hours in overall. Thanks for supporting it over such a long period of time and being awesome in general! \o/

Happy Birthday!



Wish you achieve all another goals you have)) Nice game btw, darkgod)))

Great job

Great job

Happy birthday ToME code! The

Happy birthday ToME code! The game holds a very special place in my life. I started playing around beta40 version and I will await eagerly for any new contents (and buy any DLC on release if I can).

Il miglior...

Roguelike di sempre. Se mai se ne volesse fare la versione nella lingua di Dante, molto volentieri. Auguri TOME e bravo DarkGod


Thanks for writing that up, it was very interesting and fun to read. I know that i will continue to support this project as you continue to develop for it

Thank you

Thank you for the good game, darkgod.

Incredible accomplishment

It was about a year ago a friend asked me what game I'd choose if I got locked on a desert island and only had an opportunity to choose just one. Without hesitation, I picked TOME. Must have only been at 800 hrs at that point with still so much to accomplish.

Now at 1269 hours, no regrets. Only dreams. Just waiting for my island!

Happy BIrthday!

Happy BIrthday!

Happy BIrthday!

Happy BIrthday!

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday to my favorite game of all time. Thanks for all the effort.

was there for angband, was

was there for angband, was there for pernangband, was there for tome 2.x, 3.x, 4x. and now TOME. Met (online) lord bucket, was raised on dimwitt.

All this stuff is a bunch of 0 and 1's, but i feel in a way proud due to this journey.

All hail DG.




Thanks for sharing this. It's hard to believe that it's been this long. This is definitely your labor of love.

Cool beans!

While I knew much of the history it is awesome to get insights into the thinking behind the history. Thanks for sharing and happy 9th Anniversary.

Happy B-Day Maj'Eyal!

I'm new to this game myself, maybe about 2 months or so. And it is such an enticing game. What a story background for a game. So glad I found this game, and thank you for posting the tid-bits of history - it only makes TOME that much more attractive.

Happy B-Day Maj'Eyal!

I'm new to this game myself, maybe about 2 months or so. And it is such an enticing game. What a story background for a game. So glad I found this game, and thank you for posting the tid-bits of history - it only makes TOME that much more attractive.


Didnt know that one of my favourite games has the same "birthday" as me. Super interesting to see the early WiP, and the way it came along. Im exited how ToME will end up in 5 years from now. Keep the good work up, Lord Dark God


This game is an amazing piece of work with a lot of contributors and a lovely community. As a faithful minion who has sunk whole weeks of time into this game, I don't think I can even begin to explain how awesome I feel it is. And it all started such mundanely! Heh. All praise DarkGod! :3


I've played and loved roguelikes for a long time, starting with the likes of Moria on Amiga way back in the day. *angbands used to boe my favorites, so when I first tried ToME2 I was instantly in love. ToME4 took a bit more time to get into, at first I strongly disliked the move away from Tolkien, but along the way my heart changed and have for a long time now thought that the decision was absolutely correct, and what we have now is by far the best roguelike, ever.

Thanks for the what must be thousands of hours wast^Z well spent playing your games! <3

Lovely game

Thank you for making this wonderful game, I can't believe I have hundreds of hours logged into it :)

Best Rougelike

100/10 I eagerly await the future of Eyal!


This is my favourite roguelike by far, and the world you have created is fantastic. I'm glad you're still enjoying creating new content for it :D

Thank you,

You are real inspiration!

Happy Birthday/Thanksgiving!

Thank you darkgod, for this sweet game.
I also finally bought the Forbidden Cults too.
Keep on keeping on man.


tome4 is the best game

Oh the hours

I, an old man with ailments of age, still remember when I tried first versions of the aberration of an roguelike like TOME4, when it first came out.

A few dungeons, and the impossibility of killing even the easiest of (nowadays) bosses in a T1 area :)
Man it was hard. A few subsequent updates later, still rather raw, and oh so hard.

Still, for some reason, I came back every now and then. Died a lot, and still came back.

Now, after quite a few wins, and quite a few more deaths later... been quite simply the most time consuming game I've ever played. The replayability with difficulties, classes, and weird addons gives always a fresh and unique flavor to the game.

Got to hand it to you Darkgod, even if the tears of players revitalises your coding skills and general well being, the fact, that I've not touched (maybe slightly tickled once or twice) another roguelike after TOME4, is a testament of your legacy on the annals of gaming.

(oh and the ailments of age, 40+ of age, just lazy probably, that's why I'm hurting sometimes I suppose)

Keep on going, you have quite a loyal fanbase to keep you company!

p.s. Fanbase: do donate. Even if Darkgod doesn't need mortal sustenance, I'm sure his family appreciates it ;)

The new guy in an old game.

I see that this game is celebrating nine years of existence, but I'm one of the newer players. I've only had this game for less than half a year. I've only got 87 measly hours. I'm only on my 6th character in the main mode. I've only beaten the full arena once on normal difficulty. When I see this, I ask myself what I'm going to do next. The answer is easy: I'm going to play my 6th character, a Dwarven Barbarian, cliche I know but I love him, until he either dies for good or finally nets me a win in this game. I look at this game's milestone, and I only hope that I still enjoy it when I have ten times as many hours on it just as much as I do now. It's a great game that I wasn't expecting to be so great. Cheers to nine years of life ToME. May your character deaths be fair, and may your victories be celebrated.

Thank you and congrats

I still playing, watching for every addon and dreaming about Android version of TOME

Thank you to my Favorite Game Dev!

Your creativity in creating your wild mechanics is unmatched! I wish other games had 1/10th the amount of inspiration when creating their skills and abilities.

Thank you for sharing your talent with the world!