Tweet Cysero a "Happy Birthday... or else!" to his @Cysero Twitter.
In our game universe, Cysero is The Mad Weaponsmith. The guy who has your missing left sock. He is surprisingly tall for a green mage. He is more imposing than some tank-knights. He uses his chaos magic to forge powerful and strange weapons for you. He is famous for a mix of both weird and amazing things. For example, Cysero is the one who created Artix's battleaxe, the Blinding Light of Destiny. He is a pacifist... and never engages in direct combat. Which is a inconceivable ethical choice for a weapon smith. The hammer on his back is for smithy purposes only. Cysero was once perfectly captured by the villain Lionfang, who draw a circle around him in chalk with the words "Do not cross" written on it.
In real life, Cysero is the lead writer of AdventureQuest 3D-- amongst other things. Today's design notes post is a good chance to tell a story about real-life Cysero.
It was waaaaay back in 2004 when Zhoom, Oishii, and I started building a game together called DragonFable. We were looking for an artist. We were working around the dining room table of my house back then. Cysero saw an ad we posted on craigs list and easily passed my phone interview with him. When he showed up at the front door of my house... he must have thought to himself, "This is a house?" Anyway, my Grandfather had just been walking out. Cysero asked, "Uh, is this the right place?" My Grandfather said, "Yeah, and you're in luck... he's in a good mood." Patted him twice on the back and walked off. Cysero came in and we told him what we were doing. I asked him "Can you draw a helmet?" He said, sure. And I gave him a piece of paper with a faint DragonFable character head on it, a pencil and showed him to a place to sit in the other room. A few minutes later he came out with a few helms! Spoiler: They were awesome. Hired him on the spot.
Wait a minute! If he's a writer how come you hired him as an artist!? Hold on to your helm... we are getting to that.
So during DragonFable's long Beta phase... Zhoom, Cysero and I really bonded. We would work on games all day, and then play games all night. We became incredibly close friends that were there for each other during the good times and the bad ones... and there were plenty of bad ones. One time, after all three of us had experienced rough break ups, we just hopped in a car and drove to Miami. Sat on the beach and talked about life and how we were going to make it better until the sun rose.
Once our weekly releases began in DragonFable, we never stopped. So when I needed to leave town for a week and would have no internet access, Cysero took over. Upon returning, I was shocked to discover he had turned the Guardian Tower into a Fish and done all sorts of weird things to the game. The players LOVED IT. It was the moment I realized... he is funnier than I am. So in addition to doing art, he wrote the releases, and assembled the maps, and did database/item work. He became the game lead of DragonFable and ran it for a very long time.
We had built a lot of games together, and had upgraded to a real office, and then an ever bigger one at this point. At the time I was creating a new project with Zhoom... our 1st MMO, which was called AdventureQuest Worlds. The initial launch did not go well and we were facing a lot of challenges. I asked Cysero if he would come work on the project and help us. He single-handedly flipped the game around in less than a month. Not many people know this. But it is true. This week, AdventureQuest Worlds is celebrating its 10th Birthday. A MAJOR achievement for a video game by anyone's standards. Especially when you consider the size of the weekly releases in that MMO. Some of my favorite Cysero releases included Vath the Chaos DragonLord, Leigermaine - magic itself, and the Sand Sea. He was game lead for a lot of our games at one point! And the one who said the line resulting in the T-Shirt...
Cysero's humor and interaction with player is very... to the point. He always tells it straight and never pulls his punches. "Have a nice day... or else!" You either love him, or hate him. He is stoically genuine-- genuinely cares about equal rights, the environment, and has reached the highest expert level of geekdom knowledge on movies, TV, games, and internet-stuffs. Do you have "that one friend that always knows you which movies you will like"? Cysero is that guy to our team.
I hope you enjoyed this peek into Cysero's history. You know, we begged and lured him to join the AdventureQuest 3D team for the same reason we needed him on our previous games. Cysero, Zhoom and I have a long history of developing the heck of out of a game until it becomes legendary. So grateful to have someone as amazing as Cysero in our community and in my life.
What are your favorite Cysero memories from the games or social media?
Also, be sure to tweet Cysero a "Happy Birthday... or else!" to his @Cysero Twitter.
P.S. There were some Moglins in that header image! AdventureQuest 3D is prepared for the Moglin Kickstarter rewards-- we are getting the surveys out to backers as soon as possible, which will be next week. BackerKit will make it possible for anyone who missed out or wanted to use PayPal to pledge.