We just got home from Anime Impulse in LA and I am bringing you stories, pictures, and the deepest darkest secrets from our AdventureQuest 3D panel!
How did it go? Probably best summed up by YouTube's favorite Deadpool cosplayer, D Piddy. HAH! His random theatrics and gags kill us... literally. (Cysero says "Figuratively since we are not actually dead... I think") Fast forward to 3:03 in the video.
You know what is cool about D Piddy? He has been making crazy videos for years, but no one knows who he is. (Probably so Marvel does not sue him.) He never breaks character and never takes the mask off. Personally, I love that. It makes me happy knowing there are people out there doing "crazy art" just for the sake of the art and your entertainment... not just for personal fame. This was our first time meeting him, and I am definitely a fan. Also... there is a secret video of D Piddy and Dage in a sword fight, he lunges stabbing Dage in the crotch, and then Dage beats him to the ground and spanks him with his own sword... I will post this video and link you if ANYONE creates worthy fan art of what I just described.
I wish all of you could have been there! It would have been so awesome to all be together. I know so many of you could not make it, so I want to thank all of you who did. You know, this was the first time we ever traveled outside of driving distance to run a booth for a convention! We had to pack EVERYTHING into just a few bags O_O. We were surprised & honored at just how many of you came out just to see us. As promised I posted all of the selfies we took together at Anime Impulse 2017 on my Facebook page :D
"Is that... on canvas!?"
Words cannot describe the feeling when you receive such a special gift. Long time player and amazing artist, Lonely Tofu, painted the Artix and Dage characters-- and brought them to us as a gift. Give him some serious props on his @_lonelytofu_ Twitter.
"Are those made from real moglins!? I'm calling PETA"
We premiered HeroMart's newest experiment... Moglin Ear hats! What is a moglin? (Wait, how are you here if you do not know what a moglin is!?) Moglins are our magical forest creature mascot characters. Two of the most famous are Twilly & Zorbak. Twilly is the helpful red one with a little chunk missing from his ear (how did that happen?) Zorbak is the sinister and 100% "Ebil" blue one with the scar on his eye. These two hats were designed based off of them. In addition to being awesome, comfy, and high quality... the hats also include in-game items in both AdventureQuest 3D & AdventureQuest Worlds. They were without question our booth's top seller. We loved seeing people wearing them during our panel.
NOTE! The Moglin hats just went live on our online store www.HeroMart.com (and we kept the crazy pants discount if you buy that bundle that contains both of them.)
"Video premieres, secrets, and extreme thumb wrestling battles to the death!"
The highlight of our panel was the trailer for the Dragon's of Ashfall... but I would like to tell a few interesting stories first. If you have ever been to any of our panels, then you know, our panels are VERY LOUD. Mostly from the screaming, flipping, fighting, throwing of things and a side of weird videos.
At this convention I got to meet and hang out with someone I really respect. If you have ever met me in person (not online), then you know I am very soft spoken. So when this respected peer came to our panel and say me on stage for the first time... LOL! Did we mention our panels are LOUD? & CRAZY? As this was the first time he ever saw me on stage I glanced into the audience to check on him-- and he looked back with that expression of O_O. Now, you guys know that as a result of my life long commitment to the Martial Arts, I have never drank, smoked, nor done drugs. But I got the feeling he was wondering what Jekyll & Hyde transformation just happened to the quiet and polite game developer he was talking to just a while before. LOL! Truth be told, I really am an introvert. Far more comfortable in front of a monitor with a keyboard than in front of people. But I play an extrovert on TV >_>.
Our panels are a good place to score some free loot... if you are brave. We invited 6 willing competitors to dance while wearing a Moglin hat onto the stage. They were all pretty young, and frankly, adorable! Then we kicked on Zorbak's club song "Ticklish Zorbo" and they were amazing! So they all won the hats they were wearing :D Next up, a young girl took our challenge of fighting Dage to the Death (Exact challenge that was issued.) As the judge, I choose the form of combat to be... Thumb Wrestling! Either she had some serious skills, or Dage has a kind heart beating under all that armor and rotting undead flesh because the girl walked away the winner with one of our new 2017 Calendars.
Finally, we had the grand prize. See, Stryche made me a special one-of-a-kind convention bag with the AdventureQuest 3D logo on it. I secretly filled it with goodies from our booth... no one actually knew what was in it. I jested that it was unwashed socks and underpants. Then we played 100+ player paper/rock/scissors to win it! They way this works... is everyone in the room is playing vs me. It is simple, if you do not win, you have to sit down. We continue playing until there is only 1 person left... the winner. One lucky player walked away with my bag full of stuff :D
A year earlier when I had attended Anime Expo, I got to see Danny Choo's panel. Among other achievements, he is the creator of the worlds most popular blog on Japanese Culture, host of the show Culture Japan, and the inventor of the Smart Doll. What impressed me about his presentation is he spent 1/3rd talking about his current stuff, then 1/3rd about his new stuff, and then he spent the last 1/3rd giving back to the audience by teaching a philosophy that helped him achieve these goals. I thought.. WOW! I wanted to do the same thing. So we brainstormed what we could talk about during our panel: Overcoming procrastination, coming up with exciting new plot lines, meeting weekly deadlines, handling issues on social media, and being true to who we are-- but because most of the people at Anime Impulse did not really even know who we are yet, it was a no brainier to tell the story of how we created this video game studio from scratch.
Within the 100% transparent story of how I started the studio and how we handled both the good and bad times, there are so many valuable insights that directly apply to the people listening-- regardless of their current level of success. It is my hope that my story inspires people to follow their own creative passions-- and to strongly reinforce the most important thing that we all must do to accomplish anything we want in life. Which is... no matter how scary it is, to take that first step and put yourself out there.
"Dragons and DragonLords and DragonSlayers Oh My!"
We premiered the trailer for the Dragon's of Ashfall! To the surprise of everyone watching, it was the actual in-game cutscene! Recorded straight out of the game with no editing (except for the sound FX I added). Up until now you have only seen our dialog-style cutscenes. You know, the "talking heads" type. But the Dragons of Ashfall saga kicks off with our first ever Cinematic Style cutscene! Prepare to witness it for yourself when you step into the Dragonslayer's camp for the first time. If you read Cysero's design notes, you saw that we are pushing it back so we can get another feature in that will let quests span multiple areas of the games-- essential since you will be going on adventures from the DragonSlayer's camp.
One of the greatest things about going to a convention is getting to meet and talk to really interesting people. First and foremost I was excited to meet all of you who played our games. Other highlights included meeting Gaku Space, who is the voice actor of Overwatch's Genji (I asked him to say the thing). Also his co-star, Christian Howard, who plays Ken in the live action Street Fighter: Assassin's Fist (available on Netflix & Hulu).
We got to chat with headlining cosplayer Rinnie Riot (FB | Instagram | Selfie) -- and it is really exciting because I believe it was her first time as a guest to a convention. We also got to hang out with Armor crafter/Cosplay award winner/Twitch Streamer Vertvixen -- who we are trying to get to help us in building new versions of the Artix and Dage armors for future conventions >_>. I got a selfie with one of Taiwan's top cosplayers, Ely! But it came out blurry O_O. I think this was her first convention in the United States-- hope she comes back for a redo. Also, of course there was Danny Choo, Dpiddy, and OMG so many awesome people. We were also in a podcast with StrCast, but can I link that here? Our part was clean, but most of it was 16+. Needless to say I was really excited. I came home feeling inspired and, as a personal goal, I am working harder so I can be an ever better person... creating more fun, good experiences, and good karma for everyone I interact with.
Ever notice that Artix always seems to be wearing the same outfit?
Well, that explains it. At least he does not have to spend long trying to figure out what to wear in the morning.
We are signing up now for our 2017 Convention run. If there is somewhere you think we should be, let me know in the comment section below! We did get tickets for GDC (Game Developers Conference) and will also be at all of the major conventions in the Tampa Bay, Florida Area!
"It is good for the spirit to go adventuring... and even better to share stories and feelings with your friends." Thank you for reading. I will be working with the team on Dragons of Ashfall Saga improvements if you need me.