Read Artix's play by play below for an insider look behind the scenes as the team launched Open Beta! Shadowskull Tower & Guardian Tower are now live. Mogloween is coming next Tuesday!
1:30am - Congratulations everyone! Long live OPEN BETA!
Midnight - Final server restart - to fix a bug preventing some players from loading into the game.
11:00pm - Artix finally gets to log in and play with players!
6:30pm - Bug Hot fixes!
5:45pm - Achievement unlocked! 2,500 players online
5:40pm - Achievement Unlocked! 1,000 players online
5:30pm - OPEN BETA IS LIVE!
5:15pm EST - Twitch Stream Win $5 DragonCoin Codes/KeysRipperX just started a live Stream of AQ3D on Twitch and is giving away $5 DragonCoin codes!
4:45pm EST - I just pressed a button....
"Release processing on Steam!"
4:30pm EST - Almost time! Closed Beta Players... want to help us do the final check?
All files in place! If you had access for the closed beta, you can login now and help us test the servers marked online. This is the final check before we go live. Also, we JUST submitted the Android build to the Google Play store. So that will probably be live in about an hour or two also! Miko and Circa are working on changes to our homepage.
4:00pm EST - Last minute release notes
When Open Beta begins, all players will start in the newly updated intro! This way you can check out the new dialog cutscene system... hard to believe we got facial expressions, camera angles, emotes, different lenses, and all the little details that makes it work done in the past week. It is worth playing through the intro again to see how we can tell stories now, but if you want to skip it you can just run straight through, past the Warfiend, and use the teleporter to goto your home town. You will be able to change your hair and skin in the little panel we hacked in for 500g. Shadowskull tower will be open and waiting for you... the boss of this random dungeon has a few surprises. Guardians, at long last, will be able to enter the Guardian Tower! There is a crystal puzzle in there that is unintentionally crazy difficult... please do ask other players for help if you get stuck on it.
3:30pm EST - Final testing has begun!
Best guess for release... less than 2 hours. O_O
1:30pm EST - The update is going well... so, story time.
The wait is killing me! This is sort of like in the movies when a man is in the hospital waiting room pacing and biting his nails while his gives birth. I have no idea what that is like though-- we had our 1st child at our home in our tub. I caught him. Craziest thing ever when I lifted that little baby out of the water and he instinctively took his first breath. It was a magical moment. Maybe that is what launching Open Beta will be like. Of course... then the crying/screaming started. OK, *THAT* is what Open Beta is probably going to be like. Zhoom, Warlic and the coders are doing the database merge. It is officially "pencils down" for the content team. So everyone not working on the technical part of this release is now working on what is coming nextg... Mogloween! Which will be our first special seasonal event.
12:00pm EST - Servers down for the BIG UPDATE!
Thank you to everyone who joined us during closed beta. Dage made you a special sword (picture down far below) to commemorate your participation. Also, you will get a Closed Beta Badge.
10:50am EST - Something is happening on the "Closed Beta" server
10:50am EST - Something is happening on the "Closed Beta" server
The servers are preparing to go down... but something MYSTERIOUS is happening! Brace for end of Closed Beta apocalypse.
(From game) Mysterious Voice: You fools, scurring around like rodents, leaving your precious Battleon undefended...
10:00am EST - Pre-flight Systems Check
"Goodmorning crew, this is your Captain speaking. Looks like we are going to have some choppy weather today. Please thoroughly inspect the cabin while we run a full diagnostics check"
9:00am EST - TODAY IS THE DAY!
Good morning heroes! Grab your swords, spell books, and a can of bug spray. We are traveling to the promised land of Open Beta today... may the fates have mercy upon us all :D
7:00pm EST - Good news everyone! + Embarrassing moment
Our server code changes are complete. Also, both the cutscenes and Guardian Tower are now 98%+ complete with one issue left on each. We are finished adding new items to the shop (until our first holiday event, Mogloween, releases at the end of the week :-) During this afternoon's chaos I updated the AdventureQuest 3D STEAM page's release date to Wednesday the 19th. But I accidentally hit the button to make the whole thing live O_O. These are the kinds of horrific mistakes that happen when you reach that "special" level of sleep deprivation. No worries! Thankfully Steam is Sleepy-Artix proof so nothing actually went live. Because if it did, it would have broken like a unicorn skydiving in space without a parachute. Get a good nights rest my friends... tomorrow, we launch our first true cross-platform 3D MMORPG together! (What could possibly go wrong?)
6:00pm EST - Keeping the Closed Beta server online all night!
Tonight is officially the last night of Closed Beta. Thank you to everyone who has been helping by playing and testing! Tomorrow we will be taking the servers offline between 10am and Noon EST.
4:00pm EST - Official Announcement: Open Beta Release now happening on Wednesday
Please take a deep breath and join me in unleashing your most cringe-worthy Darth Vader-like "NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" Let the anger flow through you. And once your Hulk like rage dissipates and you return to your normal Bruce Banner like state, please share a silent nod with me knowing that this was for the good of the game. One more night of anticipation and testing will not kill u....s.... (WARNING! Explody sounds and screaming detected. Transmission suddenly lost.) It is OK, our Ghosts will finish the work and we will release AdventureQuest 3D's Open Beta tomorrow. In all fairness, we said "-ish".
3:00pm EST - Going to make one last ditch effort
Let us see how much we can get done by 4pm.... >_>
1:00pm EST - Release will likely be first thing tomorrow morning
We super close, but are also getting dangerously close to the end of the launch window for today. Everyone is pushing full steam ahead, but if we do not have everything tested and staged by 3pm EST we will have to make the call to officially push the release back until tomorrow morning. Stay tuned Heroes.
12:00pm EST "It's always high noon somewhere"
The intro quest changes are now complete. The Guardian Tower is on its (hopefully) last round of testing for more bugs. Dage and Thyton finished the new weapons for GreenGuard forest (nice stuff!). We are going to add them as purchasable items. One of them reminds me of a smaller version of Guts sword from Berzerk. So I am requesting they put in a crafting quest to upgrade through level 5. Zhoom is adding a few new security/stability features and then he is going to finish setting up the new game servers. It is hard to judge if we have too few or too many at this point. Korin and I are slogging through the remaining dialog cutscene retro fixes.
Blue screen? (Most YouTubers use Green Screens, but Hollywood likes the Blue Screen.)
9:00am EST - I stop shaving when we start the final crunch of every one of our new game releases. Which is more comical than manly since I completely lack the ability to grow respectable facial hair. So for the past week, instead of looking like evil Artix, I just look like I rolled a 1 (on a D20 using D&D rules) trying to wash my chin. Back during the week when we were releasing AQWorlds I remember going to Starbucks and the nice girl behind the counter actually handed me a napkin and said, "Excuse me sir, I think you have some dirt on your face." Warlic (Programmer) on the other hand has incredible magical beard powers. Korin (Animator), Cysero (Writing) & Yergen (Director?) definitely put some stat points into their beard-ibility too. If I had a philosopher's stone, I would use its powers to transmute my stubble into a majestic Kingly beard. Then I would be wise and noble... well, right up until we release which is the exact moment I shave. BECAUSE THAT IS TRADITION!
8:00am EST - The "mostest funnest" thing about our play-by-plays is reading the things no other game studio would tell you. For example, our secret underground lab's men's room potty just got clogged. We also know a group of botters/exploiters are already perched waiting for the release of the game. They have been building their tools since the start of closed beta, but because we have been so aggressive at banning accounts during the closed beta they have been keeping them more secret and closely guarded than usual. A cross-platform MMORPG release of this complexity is challenging enough without the extra burden these people will add. I am not a psychic, but I can easily predict the future regarding this. The first wave of problems will happen, and then we will spend lots of time fixing it. And it will repeat over and over like the movie Edge of Tomorrow (Originally called "All you Need is Kill" or オール・ユー・ニード・イズ・キル in the original Japanese Manga. ) But replace every time Tom Cruise dies and wakes up in the movie with a server reboot. I wish we could just reboot the server to unclog the toilet.
7:00am EST - Noooo... why... why would anyone wake up this early!? *lovingly bashes alarm clock with hammer*
1:30am EST - "I broke things." - Artix
12:21am EST - It is really dark here at the lab... and someone keeps moving the creepy clown so you walk into it when you go to the bathroom.
8:15pm EST - Our first release AFTER Open Beta will be Mogloween! This will be pretty special since it will be our first ever 3D seasonal event.
7:40pm EST - Official call! Servers staying up tonight.
We will be working through the night, so why not keep the servers up so you hang out and play the Closed Beta? Here is the latest update of things happening now:
vs. Wrong Lens (Exact same shot, but using a wide angle lens)
6:30pm EST - Game Servers *MIGHT* stay up tonight!
Oh boy, it is going to be a super late night tonight, LOL. Anyone want to take bets on how many of us will be sleeping at the lab? We are currently working through a number of last minute bug fixes, and dialog cut-scene fixes. Apparently I threw a curve ball at the team when our brand new dialog system, which was set up for humans talking to each other, suddenly needed small sized NPCs (moglins), Mounted NPCs (Guardian Rider), weird NPCs (Gaz on his cart.), and one GIANT NPC. We also have two interesting features coming with the Guardian Tower release that have produced equally interesting bugs. One is in our first puzzle in the Guardian Mage chamber. The second, with a.. uh... secret area. Especially designed for any sneaky Rogues out there. We also made a few last minute improvements to the questing system which will REALLY help out new players... or at least players not familiar with the traditional questing system in our games. There is a ton more I would like to do... but the best course of action is to fix what we have now, and then continue to release improvements with our frequent game updates. The theme of our Open Beta release is officially, "We sure have a lot more to build and do, but just look how far we have already come!" We are still on schedule for a release tomorrow.
4:00pm EST - Dear Closed Beta players... never say that Dage the Evil does not love you :D He walked in this morning and said, "Would it be alright if I took some time today to make something for the Closed Beta players?" Yergen, Cysero and I all turned and said at the same time... "O_O YES!!!!!!!!!!!!"
3:30pm EST - Last chance to login and play on the Closed Beta before we take the servers offline.
2:00pm EST - A mysterious voice delivered an urgent message on the live server... twice... before being banned by the server for spamming. "That'll teach you mysterious live event narrator!" (Man, I love our games.) The mysterious voice promised to find you, somehow, when Open Beta begins.
1pm EST These are the last moments of CLOSED BETA. Login and join us until the servers go down for the big update! Meanwhile, we are adding some bonus quests and crafting to the upcoming new version of the intro.
Noon EST - Artix & Cysero are still working on the intro and Guardian tower. The new "dialog cutscene system" now features camera lenses (field of view), facial expressions, and custom shots. This new system was literally completed this morning and we must remake all 50 of our existing cut-scenes to apply it. Totally worth it though... it brings so much more character and life to the game. Exactly what AQ3D needed. Meanwhile, Dage is building a surprise for everyone who participated in Closed Beta.
10am EST - Team huddles, caffeine, the smell of fear and panic...
9am EST - All team members reporting for duty!
Previously - Long nights, working through weekends. It is all sort of a blur really...