You know what they say, "A Design Notes a Day keeps the Doctor... from re-animating the recently deceased into an undead abomination that will hunt us down under the next full moon."
Greetings and salutations my most honorable and venerable friends. You can smell the pumpkin spice in the air... which means, at long last, the haunted winds of a monster filled October are upon us. This is a special month of our online video game community. Nearly all our games were born in an October (Might have been intentional). As I write this AdventureQuest Worlds is celebrating its 10th Birthday-- which is absolutely amazing. We have a horrifying line up of game releases coming to you in AdventureQuest 3D too! (Horrifying because there are so many we have no idea how to get them all live in time!)
Prepare for the return of Mogloween, our monster filled haunted house. Then, grab some garlic and re-connect with your inner Belmont as we delve into the Vampire's Castle in Darkovia part III. While that would be plenty to sink your teeth into, we figured it would be a grave mistake not to continue straight on to the Werewolf's Lair and grand finale. These major storyline events will certainly go into November. Join us to be a part of each of these releases as it happens! Simultaneously we will be updating the older content and releasing more of the classes-- check the daily design notes for more on this.
I did something really unusual this weekend... I actually took a Saturday off. Yup, the whole day! Used my chill time to beat Castlevania 2: Simon's Quest on the original Nintendo. Last time I had done this, I was in middle school. The weirdest part... was after I put in the cartridge and turned it on, there was no "Please wait while system updates..." message XD. You may not know this, but the original Castlevania was probably THE GAME that catapulted my feeling from "I really like games" into "OMG I LOVE GAMES AHHHH AHHHHHH AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!! PLEASE LET ME MAKE THINGS LIKE THIS FOREVER!!!! PLEASE. PLEASE! PLEASE!!!!!".
Oddly enough... I never owned Castlevania myself. At least not when I was a young child. See, I did not own any major game systems. Some of my richer friends did. I would go to their house and get to sit on the couch and watch them play. At best we would take turns... I would die in 5 seconds and they would proceed to play Zelda for several hours >_<. I probably read that Legend of Zelda instruction manual that came in the box 600 times through.
A few years later we did get a Nintendo (NES). I saved up money shoveling snow and was able to buy Castlevania 2: Simon's Quest in Febuary or March I think. Played the living heck out of it...... except... I could not figure out how to do anything! It was not a technically hard game to play. But the puzzles and bad translations made figuring out what you were supposed to do near impossible. Like kneeling down next to the water with a blue orb for 15 seconds to make the water magically drain. Or the REALLY insane one-- kneeling with the red orb for 15 seconds in the middle of no where, with no indication of where you are or that you should do it there... because it was the furthest point opposite of the direction you were supposed to go...to summon a whirlwind to take you to an inaccessible castle on the exact other side of the map. /facepalm. I am pretty sure the only reason they had puzzles like this was to make you use their 1-900 tip line. Fortunately, a friend at school got "Nintendo Power Magazine" and it had a clue on what to do. This would not have been much of a challenge today-- but back then there was no internet nor Google. Even playing it today was incredibly challenging for me. Took nearly 8 hours. As an undead-slayer... I always felt Dracula was one of the most worthy adversaries.
So this weekend, as I entered Dracula's Castle to re-assemble him from his body parts so I could kill him again and end the curse (Actual plot of Castlevania 2...) I breathed an air of nostalgic vampire-hunting glory. I remembered why I love video games. I felt it... I really felt it. You know, it is not the pixels or words on the screen. It is what you see in your imagination and feel in your heart. Video games bring the creativity and cleverness out of us. Probably why Thyton and Dage love looking at and studying video game art. This morning, Johngarr (who created all three musical pieces for Lolosia), taught me how to play Bloody Tears (One of the fan favorite songs from Castlevania 2) on Guitar. He is really good. He is composing a few tracks for Darkovia's Vampire Castle. While we are doing something original for our Vampire lair and story... but I think it is safe to say there will be some blatant nods to the game that put the eternal flame of game development into my heart. Battle on!
P.S. Also... a design notes every day this month!? Will they be shorter? Please say yes. Find out tomorrow O_O
QUESTION: What was your first game? What was the game that "turned you into a gamer"? Answer below in the comments.