Greetings & salutations,
On behalf of all of us here at the Artix Entertainment “Secret Underground Lab”, thank you for being a part of our amazing video game community. This year we celebrated our 15th anniversary of making video games together! We witnessed the eclipse (both in-game and in real life), did our first game release during a hurricane, discovered (and even 3D printed a few) fidget spinners, helped a non-profit 3D print a functional prosthetic arm for a little girl, and somehow, AdventureQuest 3D even appeared in a prime time ABC TV Show. Read on for a look back at 2017, and a glimpse into our upcoming adventures together in the new year.
"15 Years, Morty! You & Artix Entertainment, Morty! ...for 100 years, Morty! A thousand years Artix Entertainment, Morty!"
Achievement Unlocked :D Congratulations to everyone for helping us reach this incredible milestone. It is not about the number, it is about the underlying determination, effort, and willpower that was accomplished over 15 years by our game making community.
Yup! At the heart of our video games is our weekly updates. The majority of players will never understand how hard it is to make and release fresh new game content every single week-- for 15 years without missing a beat. Could the original AdventureQuest be qualified for an entry in the Guiness Book of World Records because of this?
This month, an episode of the ABC TV Show, Designated Survivor, had a scene where a major character was playing AdventureQuest 3D! Check out Season 2, Episode 8 “Home”, at about the 37:25 minute mark. It is a bit of a sneak peak, because the character is battling a boss from from our upcoming “The Dragons of Ashfall Saga: Part III” update.
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Famous Fantasy Weapon-Smith, Michael Cthulu from the TV Show "Big Giant Swords On Discovery" created a real life version of Artix's battleaxe. Designed perfectly to size, it weighs over 90lbs… everyone was wondering if I would be able to actually lift it when we unboxed it the other day. You can see the full video of it being created on YouTube.
Watch the Axe Unboxing on Youtube, or read the post about it
Over 1,735,881 accounts have been created for our newest video game, AdventureQuest 3D-- even though we have never run an ad for it (yet). The game’s main storyline has started and the development of new features and content has been accelerating.
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We are pretty sure this was an industry “1st”. We held a very unique live event. People playing AdventureQuest 3D on their computers, phones, and tablets all logged into the same server. There, they entered a giant room built for 100 players to see each other, and play together fighting monsters. Our staff was in there too using their powers to create swarms of monsters and giant boss fights. We ran the event live from a panel (meeting room event) at a convention where not only was the massive horde of people fighting projected on a big screen-- the people in the audience all had their phones and tablets out playing too.
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One of the strangest things of 2017 was the fidget spinner craze. I really wanted one. So we 3D printed a bunch of unique designs until we finally made one that "mostly" fit in a human hand. (The others were huge!) A very small number of them were printed... and are floating around out there, somewhere.
This year we built a special version of AdventureQuest 3D that worked with a VIVE HTC virtual reality headset. We built it pretty darn quick too! Just in time to show off how any device can be used to play AdventureQuest 3D at GDC (Game Developers Conference) in San Francisco.
Hurricane Irma was one of the most powerful storm in recorded history. When the storm path was predicted to directly hit us, I was deeply impressed by how the team managed to still accomplish the weekly releases while prioritizing the safety of their families. (Including getting the releases the following week when we had no power.)
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“Heroes never die.” When talking about an immortalized video game dog, this quote from Overwatch becomes literally true. My dog, Daimyo, named after my martial arts school, passed away this year. A loyal companion who was with me as I wrote the first line of code in our games. He was featured on the boxes for our toys and games at Toys”R”Us, appeared in 7 of our video games, and to this day over 1 million players own an adorable, armored, rare in-game pet version of him.
I am pleased to announce that my wife and I are expecting a third baby! It is a boy! Kai (assuming my 1st choice of Voltaire gets vetoed...) is expected to spawn this April.
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Before a panel of Grandmasters, I tested for and earned my 4th Degree Black Belt. During the graduation ceremony, I was deeply honored to be bestowed with the title “Shihan”, along with a Kanata etched with my name and new rank.
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We have a few fresh faces at the lab! Vesper is our new office administrator. Requin has joined the player support team. PanicPop & Perseus joined the AdventureQuest 3D team as programmers. Equally exciting are Zohrah (QA/PS), Alley Cat (ED), Crulon (AQWorlds Artist), and Axeros (AQWorlds Artist) who have made the jump from helping in our Creative Community to working with us as contractors. Would also like to recognize all of the new community testers, moderators, and bug hunters that joined us this year!
Designing an aesthetic fantasy shell for the arm.
When the local non-profit Much Foundation & their engineering genius friend reached out to us to help create a functional 3D printed prosthetic arm for a little girl-- we said an immediately and enthusiastic YES! We took 3D scans of the girl’s good arm and hand, and our artists worked under her cheerful and creative direction on the design. That is one of the biggest tech companies in the world got involved. Using their incredible technology and budget they were far better suited to produce the arm this girl needed. It is unbelievable what they made. The girl and her mother brought the 1st prototype over to my home. It cost about $15,000 to produce and was fully functional (she could even make the fingers move.) But.. LOL, during the visit we accidentally broke it. It is alright though, they wanted it “thoroughly tested” and version #2 should be even better.
The most important project we have been working on this year is the conversion of our hit 2D MMORPG game, AdventureQuest Worlds, to cross-platform. This is part of the project to move all of our games off of the Flash platform before 2020. The obvious targets are to make them available to play on computers, phones, and tablets like our new 3D game. But also playable on the Web using a technology called WebGL. I use the word “conversion” lightly, because the vast majority of the game will need to be completely rebuilt. Our top priority is to make sure that players can load all their existing armor and items into the new version of the game. Warlic has designed and coded a reliable system that makes this possible. Converting all 10,000 items in the game is still going to be a major task in 2018! But this new version of AQWorlds will run at 60 frames per second with more particle effects-- and people are going to lose their minds when they experience it.
Play AQWorlds at www.AQ.com
This year we saw the unforgettable Caitiff Saga finale, got new play styles for the DragonLord class, the defensive stats got a redesign, and the addition of the Monster Challenge Arena. Moving forward we are figuring out how to get Verlyrus down to the lab. Being in close proximity will be vital when it is his turn to work with the team here and lead DragonFable to becoming cross-platform.
Play DragonFable at www.DragonFable.com
15 years… and still it is filled with loving fans who battle monsters and eagerly anticipate the new weekly releases. The new account vault that was added allows you to move your items between your characters. The Vampire and Werewolf subraces got an awesome overhaul. And most importantly, the early parts of the game got an update-- helping out the new players who are signing up and joining us each day.
Play the original AdventureQuest at www.Battleon.com
Thank you again for being a part of the universe we are building together. To you, your friends, and family, have a fun, safe, and adventure filled time this holiday season. Prepare for an epic 2018!
QUESTION: What was your favorite memory of 2017?