New Feet Tours

Artix Krieger | Monday, December 19, 2016

Developing Features

Best Stalker Design Notes post EVER!

I swear I thought I heard the devs say they were working on new "feet tours." (So it out loud.) So I put on my camo ninja uniform and using all the cool moves I learned from 1980s Chuck Norris moves, I stealthily flipped across the room and hid inside a bush to spy some more. O_O

Here is what I heard....

Spying on Zhoom (Game Engine)

Zhoom is the lead coder on AdventureQuest 3D. He built DragonFable, MechQuest, AdventureQuest Worlds, BattleGems, and pretty much every one of our successful and loved video games with me.  I overheard his concern about getting the new game client out before the Apple Submission cutoff date which is tomorrow. That is, every year, the Apple App store closes down submissions for the holidays. Which is a good idea for them in my humble opinion-- since the holidays often lunge developers into a psychotic frenzy of last minute updates, which break things which in turn urgently needs another update. So it looks like he will be submitting the newest client of AdventureQuest 3D at the end of the month when it opens back up. The good news is that this does not affect content updates, and it will also give us more time to properly test the upcoming features. At this point I backflipped over to a bush near Cysero's desk to see what they were saying.

Spying on Cysero & Yergen (Dragons of Ashfall)

I overheard them say something about a Frostval update this week. Sounds like players who want to upgrade their seasonal items to level 15 will get their wish granted. Most of the chatter was about the 1st new area of the Dragons of Ashfall saga. Holy smokes this looks like it is going to be a big one. I am not sure if I heard them right, but it sounds like Ashfall might open next week O_O. They almost heard my gasp, so I threw down a smoke bomb and retreated to Kraken's lair. 

Spying on Kraken (Banks)

Kraken is a programmer who has been with us a few years now. He isolated himself into some weird make shift office which is the equivalent of a box fort made with cubical walls lit by Christmas lights. He had been working on Banks which to my knowledge is finished and in testing. All players will be get a free bank vault. You will have to go to a major town or banker NPC to access the bank. Your first bank vault will hold at least 20 items. Unless you are a Guardian, in which case you will get more. Or if you are a Collector's Guardian you will get even more. If you need more space, you can by additional vaults with DragonCrystals. The way it was coded, all your vaults will be the same size- which is pretty awesome. Now, Kraken seems to be working on the backend for cosmetic item slots. This feature will allow you to equip the look of any item on top of any normally equipped ite..... AHHH! Kraken is getting up to get coffee. *Uses sneaky speed jutsu to go to Warlic's room*

Spying on Warlic (Parties)

In real life, Warlic is also one of our coders. Which is weird since you likely know him as our music and sound FX guy... he is also my best friend since 5th grade. Recently he has been training to do a Marathon (partially related to why I wrote that super long post last week.) Right now, Warlic appears to be wrapping up the party system.  This will allow players to stick together as they travel around the game and do adventures, dungeons, and special events. *Quietly tip toes to the next room*

Spying on Panic Pop & Perseus (Map System)

Panic Pop & Perseus are the two newest additions to the AE team. They were the creators of the game Black Odyssey. To make a very long story short, we became friends, destiny declared that it was inevitable that we work together, and now we do! The guys even live in my old house... where I built the very first AdventureQuest. Recently, Panic Pop drew and coded our new upcoming map system. This will finally replace that quick travel menu with an explorable and unlockable world map. It looks really good, but testing revealed it needed a few improvements. So right now the maps user interface is getting an overhaul to make it faster and easier to navigate on all screens. Meanwhile Perseus has been working closely with Zhoom, digging into the multiplayer game engine itself. His top priority is our new interactive object system which will allow single users to take control of objects in the game world. The ways we can use this are endless... from sitting in chairs to flying atop Dragons and everything in between.

Spying on Oishii/Fisn (Map)

Her monitor is filled with complicated spread sheets and chat with the testers. She is the one who actually enters all of the new weapons, armor, items, monsters, etc into the database. While she is best known as Oishii for drawing all of our original and DragonFable characters-- now she goes by Fisn (Fishing?) and balances the game. With the Frostval maps and items done, she is focused on all the new things coming with Ashfall... which includes the Dragonslayer items, new monsters, quests, item drops, and making sure the half dozen new zones that are coming are balanced.

Spying on Korin

Spying on Korin is the easiest! ... I just watch his live stream. He likes to stream while animating new monsters. Although, plot cutscenes like his current project are hush, hush, top secret. There are two extremely important cinematic cutscenes in the Ashfall saga. One that you will see at the very beginning... which will introduce our newest villain, a Dragonlord named Ta.... ooooooh, shiny! What is that over there?

Spying on Dage & Thyton  (Map)

Dage and Thyton do concepting and the digital painting of our 3D models. When we moved the entire team into one giant area (which we call Content Keep) we placed their desks next to each other. This is for two reasons. 1st. They are both HIGHLY COMPETITIVE! Every day of drawing is like a day of PvP deathmatch for them. 2nd. No matter which way you enter Content Keep from you see their massive CINTIQ drawing tablet screens filled with glorious art-in-progress. Inspiring to say the least. Right now they seem to be split between the new Ashfall items and finishing the remaining Kickstarter Weapon Backer's items. The last thing I saw was a glimpse of a new Dragon on Dage's screen... how many Dragons are there going to be in Ashfall O_O

Spying on Xero & Llusion  (3D Models and Maps)

Xero is so quiet and focused! You do not even need to sneak up on him. You can literally just walk up behind him and watch. He creates 3D models with the same artful skill that our artists paint. Of course he can paint too... you probably did not know that Xero painted most of the original characters in the game long before Dage joined the team. We did an art draw once where we had a live model come to the studio and we converted the green screen room into a art studio for a night. Xero's pencil work was so life like! Do not tell the other guys I said this, but if I had to pick a winner from that live draw... *coughs* Xero.

That was not the only live draws we have done. At DragonCon we siezed the lounge floor of the Marriott where over a dozen artists gathered to draw cosplayers in awesome poses. As a thank you, they were given all the artwork afterwords. It was pretty fun... at least I think it was. I was not actually there... well, I was there-- but on the other end of the giant open floor. This event just happened to start in the middle of our hang out time with the players. There were a lot of young players with there parents there this time too. When the live draw started, all of the adults moved to the other side... which was a good idea since the live draw was not always exactly kid friendly. But the parents all went with them too O_O... leaving and entrusting me with their army of highly caffeinated children. Which shall ever be remembered as the "Artix day care and death pit area" -- I still have the scars to prove it! Our younger players are awesome and almost as loud as me :D --expectantly, everyone on both sides of the floor had an awesome time.

Llusion is on the phone with Autodesk, appearently there is a licensing issue with his new computer and 3DSMAX.

Spying on myself  (Artix)

Artix is supposed to be finishing the AQ3D trailer, meeting with Zhoom on the Quest UI re-re-refix changes, and preparing for the Anime Impulse convention in January. But he is sitting as his computer writing a really long design notes... again. I hope it is not another one of those weird ones where he derails and starts talking about how hard it is to find black skull covered boxer shorts at retail stores. Or one of those ones where he creates a paradoxical endless loop... watching his screen I can tell he is writing.

... watching his screen I can tell he is writing.

... watching his screen I can tell he is writing.

... watching his screen I can tell he is writing.

... watching his screen I can tell he is writing.

... watching his screen I can tell he is writing.

... watching his screen I can tell he is writing.

... watching his screen I can tell he is writing.

(loop for infinity)

Oh my gosh! a package from J6 just arrived at the lab. It is a large wooden box. Last time we got a box like this it was a Galanoth helmet. This box is just slightly smaller.... seriously no idea what is inside. Maybe we should open it in a live stream tomorrow and find out what it is together?

In the mean time, stay ninja stealthy my friends...

P.S. We need a bush stealth transformation in game.

Cysero: Artix, were you just just telling me about how we needed to write shorter and more consience design notes?
Artix: ....
Cysero: -_-
Artix: Tomorrow?

Also, this is a fun thing.


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