DragonCon 2016 Review

Artix Krieger | Tuesday, September 6, 2016


We just got back from the DragonCon 2016 convention in Atlanta, Georgia, and brought you stories! ...including Xavier Woods, Pokemon, Hurricanes, armored dance-off, Voltaire, Cruxshadows, and hijacking panels.

The AdventureQuest 3D Panel!

Ok... onto the good stuff 1st! That way if you want to just skim the rest of the novel-length post you will not feel like you missed it :D

AdventureQuest 3D Panel DragonCon 2016

The AdventureQuest 3D Panel at DragonCon 2016

We have ONE RULE. What happens in an Artix Entertainment panel... gets immediately posted publicly for all of our friends online to laugh at enjoy!

Panel Twilly Shhhh

We also have that other rule about how all the candy we bring needs to be hurled at the audience at top speed.

Artix talks about AdventureQuest 3D

Thank you to everyone who made the perilous trip out to see us. Although, we were surprised at how many people did not know that AQ3D was a true cross-platform game. That is that the game is designed to let you login and play your character on the same world as everyone else... no matter what device you are playing from.

We also talked about:

We also had a BIG ANNOUNCEMENT that we were saving for the end of the panel.

Pose Contest

This year's hijinx included an epic pose competition and that time EVERY SINGLE PERSON there battled Cysero in Paper/Rock/Scissors... and Cysero won (because of really clever cheaty rules.)

Paper Rock Sciissors

I learned this game from Danny Choo's panel at Anime Expo. If you need to pick a single winner from a huge room full of people... you can play Paper/Rock/Scissors. The rules are super simple. Every goes at the same time. But EVERYONE is playing against the guy in charge. If you lose or tie, you need to sit down. Everyone standing continues until only a few people are left. Then you bring them to the front of the room so they can duel to the death in front of everyone. 

NOTE: There was an unfortunate photo taken where everyone had chosen paper and their hands were still in the air... *coughs* it sorta looked like everyone was cosplaying the losing side of World War II. *Deletes*

Cysero: How mic work? *ooof*

We know a lot of you have creative projects and interests that you want to see happen. But with so many distractions in our life, it is really hard to get going. This is why we spent about a third of the panel on the topic of motivation. You can also read the design notes post on Motivation here. I feel very strongly that our online video game community is about more than just the games, but about all of us encouraging and supporting each other in our passions... so that we can all find our way to success and happiness.

Thank you again to all of you who came. Oh, remember that big announcement? O_o True Story. We were all having such a good time we FORGOT TO MAKE IT! (seriously) So I will be posting that announcement here on AQ3D.com later this week!

"I will show you where the 'GYM' is he said..."

On Friday I said, "We should go to the Gym!" Cysero immediately said, "Sure, I will show you were it is." I was like, "Really!?" Thinking to myself, wow Cysero, way to go. Then we all walk outside and Cysero pulls out his phone and launches Pokemon Go. /Facepalm (Note: We did take the Gym)

Pokemon Go Dage

Stryche and Dage got ultra scary contact lenses and... never... took.. them... out.... O_O. They just sat there staring at me the whole time. Dage also bought a combat-durable Red Lightsaber. It went great with his armor and fangs. People asked him who he was cosplaying as-- I kept wanting to step in and answer, "a medieval Jedi vampire from Hogwartz... you know, from that one episode of Star Trek with the Sith Lords."

It was a dark and stormy... drive.

Ok... so going back to the beginning of this adventure. Concerned (and wisely so!) that the tropical depression forming outside Florida last week would turn into a full blown hurricane... and make landfall on the entire stretch of highway we were scheduled to drive between here at the lab and George, where Dragoncon is-- we hastefully packed and drove up on Wednesday. It was a good move. It was also 8 hours of uninterrupted time to talk about AdventureQuest 3D and the new areas we are creating for it now.

I borrowed a car for the drive that was big enough for all of us and Dage's armor. On this trip was Cysero, Dage, Stryche, and legendary former AE player support team mad-man, Zazul. I think this was Zazul's 13th DragonCon O_O. 

DragonCon now spans 6 hotels!

It is well known that DragonCon hides its true number of attendees so that it is not shut down by the fire marshal. Last year somewhere between 50,000 and 80,000 people attended. Anyone who attended last year painfully remembers being sandwiched in the endless sea of cosplaying people, literally unable to move. This year, they solved that problem.. either very cleverly, or very unintentionally.

Because DragonCon now spanned 6 hotels, the huge crowed of trapped people were no longer in the buildings... but attempting to cross the streets of downtown Atlanta. It was like that zombie scene straight out of The Walking Dead: Season 1, but replace the zombies with Cosplayers.

Voltaire! Cruxshadows! Nerf Herder!

The music at DragoCon was great this year! (It was also sort of a best of everyone who has appeared in our games with Jonathan Coulton, Paul & Storm, The Cruxshadows, Voltaire and more.)

Voltaire playing on opening night.

The Cruxshadows

If you have not played the event yet in AQWorlds, then you should /join Cruxshadows to check it out. We got to talk to their lead singer, Rogue, a lot while working on the event, so I was very excited to finally meet him in person. (OK, well I met him before... but he did not know who I was back then. MULLIGAN!) If you do know already follow his work, then you would be most surprised to find out how warm and caring he is in person. Judging from appearances you would expect him to act all aloof or bad@$$, but... like I said, his soft and gentle demeanor is incredibly surprising. he is also very huggy... watch out you are not impailed by his hair.

Rogue and Artix

At the Cruxshadows merch booth they had a few things of interest for AQworlds players...

Nerf Herder

Nerf Herder is the band that did the opening song from the Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV show. We went to their concert. OMG they are freaking amazing! Their music is funny like Jonathan Coulton and Voltaire... but they have a really heavy rock / grunge sound to them that I really like. Check out their stuff and let me know what you think. We should see if we can get them to do an event with us.

Artix Hosted 3 VERY LOUD Panels

I thought we were only going to host our AdventureQuest 3D panel until someone was looking at the schedule and said, "Oh weird, there is someone else named Adam Bohn hosting a Social media panel." My first thought was neat, I can fight him to the death... THERE CAN ONLY BE ONE! Turns out it was me ;-( "Stop hitting yourself, stop hitting yourself!"

Hijacking Panel #1 - Indie Game Development

So Friday morning I went down to scout out the Video Game area and figure out where our panel was going to be. The director in charge of the hall recognized me and told me that there was an Indie Game Dev panel happening RIGHT NOW but both of the hosts were missing. I boldly and bravely offered to host immediately! *gulps* ...and walked into the PACKED room.

With no script, no computer, and most importantly no coffee in my bloodstream... I slowly and deliberately walked up onto the stage. Like a Samurai disarming himself of his Katanas I removed my sachel (If you go to a con, a sachel is a must... that is where you put all the stuff you buy!) and fully extended my arm out... like I was being dramatic dropping a mic, and suddenly let it fall to the floor. Everyone was now staring at my intently having no idea who I was or what I was about to do. I slowly moved into the mic and whispered... "I have bad news... and some good news."

30 minutes later the panel was laughing and carefully listening on their edge of their seats. The seats for the record were still full-- no one left! It was probably my best panel at the con. Through a carefully crafted set of questions answered with a show of hands, I discerned what they wanted to get out of this panel and then told a special version of my own story that let me spend time on the subjects that mattered to them. I also got to try out the Paper/Rock/Scissors thing there for the first time.

Hijacking Panel #2 - Social Media in Video Games

In this panel I found myself paired up with some industry heavyweights... including the community managers from Trion Studios and Smite along with a real heavyweight, WWE Wrestler, Xavier Woods. I was not officially in charge of the panel, but because I had made a few slides the night before and had my laptop hooked up to the screen everyone assumed I was.

Xavier Woods

Before the panel had started, I went outside and talked to people lining up to find out what it was that they wanted to get from the panel. Most of them said they were just there to see Xavier Woods >_>. So I declared it the Xavier Woods panel :D

Xavier Woods and Artix

Other things happened too >_>

  • Dage and I had a "Dance off to the Death"
    Although... in all fairness, he had been wearing that full set of armor ALL DAY.
  • A player from the Air Force "Coined Us!"
  • We ate Dinner with George Lowe (Space Ghost)
  • We got to sample the local cuisine on the road trip.
  • I had already lost by voice by the end of Friday night.
  • We made up a strange D&D style game and played it on Friday Night
  • Cysero was having so much fun he stayed at the Con when we left... we assume he will find his way home somehow.
  • We got a TON of inspiration for AdventureQuest 3D

This week in AdventureQuest 3D

I hope you enjoyed this post. Cysero took all of the good pictures... if you have been following his Facebook page, there are more good photos of cosplayers and interesting things. It was a good weekend to recharge our creative batteries, and now our focus is firmly fixated on AdventureQuest 3D's new upcoming areas. Join me tomorrow as we talk about what comes first... the Dragon Egg or the Dragon. (Note: Volcanic fiery Dragonkind zone coming next!)

Play AdventureQuest 3D


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