Hey guys! Been a crazy couple of weeks. From the great Lab Plague of 2022, a lab-wide power outage, to Zhoom growing a goatee like Evil Spock from the mirror verse of Star Trek.... it has been a roller coaster.
Co-writing this post with the team to give you an update on the progress of our upcoming AdventureQuest 3D releases. Also, some behind the stories mayhem for your amusement.
So let us get started!
Being back in the lab makes it easier for the entire team to share things. Like... covid? Today's weekend report comes after the surprise lab plague of 2022! (I just copy/pasta'd this section from the AdventureQuest Worlds: Unity Mobile post I made earlier today.)
Humor is important. When you are down and out... staring into an endless pit of despair and hopelessness-- cracking a joke is a pro strategy. Well, it works for Deadpool, Spiderman, and I. How about you? Because between us... let me tell you, these past three weeks have been MAXIMUM comedy. Sure, I can tell you how challenging it has been with nearly EVERYONE at the lab taking turns being sick (in the worst possible timing). But instead, going to give you a good chuckle at my expense. After the family and I recovering from the first wave, I got sick (AGAIN) with an ear & sinus thing that KO'd me like King Kong punching a Dricken. Then, while still sick, our roof sprang a leak. The water heater blew out. We had a severe gas leak. The last one was pretty bad and super serious. As a friend in the D&DK chat said, "We were one fart away from complete annihilation." Although, hindsight being 20/22, I think he meant "match away". None of that compared to the truly scary thing I did while this was happening. >_> I read Twitter every day. (Bruuuuutal) The 9/10 anxiety was compounded by the withdrawal symptoms from cold turkey cutting out Pepsi and Coffee. (But I went crawling back to coffee like a zombie to brains in at a science convention). On Thursday when I finally came out of my exhausted funk, my backlog of work, queued messed up, and "urgent things" was horrifying. Missing one day at our pace is pretty bad. This.... this sorta requires a mulligan week XD. But I do not want to tempt the fates to turn this into a trilogy! X_X
One of the most highly anticipated upcoming story releases is the Nulgath Saga. It touches and twists on themes from the Nulgath storyline found in our previous games. We really wanted to do an interesting spin on it... like we did with Ashfall & the DragonSlayers. Of course, creating a MMORPG saga is about a lot more than just writing. Being 100% transparent, we had at least one team member that absolutely refused to work on it. (That was a surprise.) In all fairness, it is a pretty dark release. (Or at least, very red.) While we do not touch on any religious or political subject matter in AdventureQuest 3D, this certainly delves into a gray area. The first area of this saga is Seleden Forest. It is very red and very creepy. Featuring new music by Jongaar, and some iconic story characters-- it is definitely an intro. The second part of the saga is a series of dungeon adventures ultimately climaxing into what most players will really want. Because you said that you really liked Ashfall in the survey, we did our best to follow that tempo and build up. Bad timing and the lab plague knocked us completely out of our original timeline for releasing this saga. Originally part 1 would be released and then the following month, part. But we had decided to merge parts 1 & 2 together and to do a much bigger release. But with the delays, I think releasing and expanding part one ASAP is the correct course of action-- and then releasing part 2 as quickly after as possible. Barring no more surprises, next week should be the dog release, and the following week should, cross your claws, be the release of Extended Nulgath: Part 1. (By extended, Memet and I added 5 NPCs with challenges around the map that are not part of the main storyline.)
It has only been a few weeks since the team went all in on making new classes. There are 17 classes we wrote on the board that we really want to make. Some are easier to build than others. We wanted to release two classes with the Sandsea saga. I am pretty mad that it did not materialize. Those two classes have been re-envisioned. Everything is subject to change, but one will be a life-leaching healer, and after hearing your feedback... our next bow class needs a different name than assassin. We have one coder (almost) dedicated to classes. Samurai is the furthest along. Check out the art preview of it on the other post.
The team found a bug as the challenge was bring released that allowed players to be invincible anywhere in the game if they did a series of things in the challenge. Needless to say, we very quickly fixed the bug. But this resulted in the boss being way easier than intended. Then, following week the mechanic was fixed to work as intended. But this is where the real problems started. There is a specific strategy to beating this boss. Players who first experienced the boss without the strategy being needed.... were in for a pretty big shock. (Spoiler: The key to fighting this boss is to tilt the platform that you are standing on.) Without knowing this-- the boss sure does feel unbeatable! Communication on this change was already really bad because half the team was sick and the coders thought they were just patching a bug to intended gameplay. In the future, we must do a mini news post here to explain situations like this.
Just prior to our onslaught of problems, I had been involved in outlining the revamped main storyline. Dage and the team has worked on the art revamp of the characters. This is going to be my highest priority once the Nulgath Saga is up and running. My vision for the main storyline is to run it in between the sagas. That is, every time you complete a saga and light up the portal in the center of town, you will be able to proceed to the next part of the main story with Vane and his Void Horrors.
Along with the revamped main storyline, we will once again need to adjust the intro.
The cosmetic cutter from this week's release was an unreleased item from an older release. There has been a lot of call for the release of some items that did not make their releases. This includes a bunch of unreleased Sandsea stuff.
Behind the scenes one of our biggest woes was Photoshop dropping its 3D painting support. Huge pain in the greaves. Our entire team had been texturing out 3D items with it. At some point we will need to move to subsurface painter.
Our game client is coded in C# using Unity. While Unity has long term support for older versions, every once in a blue moon it becomes a requirement to port everything to a newer version. It is that time once again. When it does happen, we will need to freeze the dev server for about a week while Zhoom does the upgrade and converts every asset in the game. Last time we did this, we secretly pre-added a release to run during it.
Our hunt continues for a senior level Unity/C# programmer. Our coding team is maxed and we are in desperate need of one to build any new features (like housing).
Nearly two years ago, we invested heavily in protecting our servers. Players from those days remember the near non-stop denial-of-service attacks against the games. Things had been better. A little over a week ago, we changed a URL of one of our API's, which put it outside of our CloudFlare protection, and the hackers went to town on it. Got slammed with 730K+ brute force attacks. This is nothing compared to the old days. This has been fixed. Player support has been notified to be on the lookout for any problems. Also, and more dangerous.... Attackers regularly create fake websites that ask you to log in with your AQWorlds, AQ3D, or other game account. DO NOT. Never enter your username/password on anything but the official site and game. If they promise something too good to be true, it most definitely is.
Through the full Nulgath Saga the level cap will slowly rise to 40. This is where the big challenge fights will start. There will be new capstones.
A former AQ3D writer returned to write the finale of Lolosia. It is... pretty big. Possibly too big to do correctly in time for Talk Like a Pirate Day. Just being transparent: We have two options. #1 Attempt to do the super big release. Or #2 do a Samurai themed release for Talk Like a Pirate Day, and move Lolosia after Mogloween when we will have more time.
Mogloween is the favorite time of year for many of us and this one is going to be extra special. This October, Artix Entertainment will be celebrating its 20th anniversary! We are plotting something fun for AdventureQuest 3D to do alongside the other games. It is scary how fast it is approaching O_O.
I hope you enjoyed this novel-length update. Thank you for reading all the way to the end!
So.... question. How sharp does a Katana need to be to cut through the cosmos? Because that is how sharp the item that was just released in AdventureQuest 3D is.
See you in game.
Artix & the AdventureQuest 3D Team
P.S. Also, yes... Zhoom really did grow a facial hair. He is normally so clean shaven. It is so weird!