Live Music Events?

Artix Krieger | Monday, May 13, 2019

Yes... live music events.

While the team is hard at work on the town fixes and next wave of content, how about we look to the distant future and talk about our upcoming live event features... and what they could mean for in-game concerts.

Fun fact: We have done Live Events in MMOs before

Our first live musical event in an MMO was waaaaay back in 2009. The game was AdventureQuest Worlds. The dark and spooky musician Aurelio Voltaire joined us on a haunted pirate ship setting sail for a secret treasure filled isle. This event solved the question of "how can you run a live, interactive event, where all 30,000 people playing were the main character." The event was written up in GAMER magazine. I even got to do a TedX talk on it O_O. Of course, during the actual event we crashed all the servers... it was a veritable nightmare. But I fondly remember sitting at the war room table... the room packed with developers... and Aurelio Voltaire on the phone saying, "Is this supposed to happen?" After the event premiered, we created a "re-run" mode which let players... you know... actually play through it without being kicked off every 30 seconds. It was one of the coolest things we had ever done. It is something I always wanted to do more of... and we did. That's how we met One-Eyed Doll, the Might be Giants, and our other musical friends. The ultimate goal... is to take it to an entirely new level.

Live Events in AdventureQuest 3D

Up until now, our live events have just been mods spawning monsters. Sometimes with a loose narrative, written and changed in real-time based on the random things players were saying in chat. Our game's ability to broadcast events (monster spawns, notifications, etc) across rooms and servers is really powerful. But it is only 25% of what we really need to make amazing live events. If you have been following our Game Plan (I update it each Monday), then you have likely seen the "Live Event Phase II" line item on there. That is what I would like to talk to you about... in this novel of a post. Love that you actually read these. Because, let's face it. Everyone else stopped already. If you are reading this line, you are the real deal.

Under the hood: How to make a musical live event.... surprisingly complicated

OK, so we want to do a live musical event. We just add music right? Nope. Not if we want to have the music trigger stage FX, monster spawns, interactive moments. Also, what if you join your friend in the middle of a song? To accomplish this, we need to flip the whole thing around and make the streaming music the core of it. That means, the server needs to send you the music stream... and then make sure your game is in sync with everyone else. All of the lights, animations, and interactivity has to happen in time with the music.... and so do the monster spawns. You have already seen some things working in this game thanks to our server "machines". So... with some modifications, we can definitely accomplish this music/server syncing.

What would a live music event be like?

When you enter the new city of Battleon, to your upper-right in the skyline, there is a Colosseum. I think it should be there. Although, we could certianly do them on the stage at Yulgar's or in the social area too. Main event headliners? Yeah... it should happen in the Colosseum. You enter into a room holding the max number of players we can. There is a broad cast of when the next show will begin. Then... the event begins. The stage with the band rises from the ground, lights go in all directions, monsters and treasure chests spawn along with the music. Perhaps the inside of the Colosseum changes... we can do... anything in there. Songs are short. So we are talking about a 3 and 1/2 minute event. One that ends in a boss fight and prizes. Probably tokens that you can collect to turn in for more significant prizes.

Like Saturday Night Live

I have always envisioned our games like Saturday Night Live. Our new weekly areas and quests are like the skit, and each week should also come with a special musical guest. I know, I know, you are thinking... but you guys are not even consistently doing weekly content releases yet. True, but if you do not dream and see the vision in your head-- how can you ever possibly get it to happen? And we have had a new release every single week since last September-- the game client updates technically count too. (No one seems to notice just how many of those there are) I share this vision of the future of AdventureQuest 3D with you for a few reasons. I want you to be involved in every aspect of our world as it evolves. Also, I want you to peek inside my head. When you peer past those whirling gears, you see a swirl of PvP, Live Events, and regular new areas, classes, monsters, and treasure.

Your turn... if you were directing a live event inside the Colosseum, who would you get? What would you create?

You've been to a lot of concerts right? What bands would you like to see in game? What crazy things would you have happen in your 3 and 1/2 minute song event? What monsters would you unleash into the audience? What giant FX and surprising things would you have happen to the people participating.

Share your ideas and creativity below.

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