An unatural love of the number 13

Artix Krieger | Monday, July 23, 2018

The strangest conversation about World Design we will have... all day.

AdventureQuest 3D's new intro is coming. It will begin the games main storyline and you will at long last find out a little about your role in the world. While we pull a few late nights to get a required feature in on time, and Korin finishes the two cinematic cutscenes-- I would like to talk to you about what is coming next.

What is with the number 13!?

A reoccurring number of significance in our games is the number 13. It might not be obvious to the average on just how many levels this number occurs in our previous games. The 13 Lords of Chaos in AdventureQuest Worlds, the 13 parts of the DragonFable main storyline, the best common drop rate is 13%. However, the whole Friday the 13th thing is purely comedic and has nothing do to with this. But why?

To understand 13... you first must understand 12.


Warning. This is going to get deep. Throughout culture and history you see the number 12 everywhere. There are 12 months,  the western clock is divided into 12 hours, there are 12 pitch classes in an octave-- also 12 Knights at King Arthur's Round Table. (Actually that last one is a fib, with King Aurthur there are 13. But we will get back to that significantly sinister bit in a moment.)

There is a reason for everything... and for the number 12, it is the Moon.

Yup. Blame the moon for the world's obsession with the number 12. There are 12.41 luminations (New Moons) in a lunar year. 12 times a year lycanthropes get to turn into their werewolf form. The worlds calendars took this into account and it has a lot to do with why we have 12 months (often broken into 4 quarterly seasons.) Also is related to monthly menstrual cycles. (Did warn you we were going deep here, right?) Except... every 3 or 4 years you get a special year with a pesky 13th Full Moon.O_O

Every 3rd or 4th year has a 13th Moon

If you were in ancient times, and unlucky enough to be running a lunar calendar... you will run into a year with 13 full moons. Getting a year with 13 full moons was a lot like someone going potty in your breakfast cereal. It really messed things up. Especially if you were in charge of planning all the parties for your ancient Kingdom's religious order. For this reason, and many others, the number 13th got a bad rep. It was unlucky, disruptive, out of the usual. In other words...

Our kind of number...

So, I have always seen 13 as being the "special one." Take King Arthur's round table which sat 12 knights... and also King Arthur himself, the special 13th Knight. The 12 Paladins of Charlemagne in the story known as the Matter of France. Charlemagne was number 13. I am sure once you sit back and think about it, you will quickly recognize far more influential figures that were in fact, the leader (& 13th member) running with a group of 12 disciples/apostles/followers. I am not sure why the number 13 is so villainized when it is in fact one of the most special and awe inspiring numbers-- and if I were going to be a number, this is the one I would choose. (At least I always do for my locker number at the gym.)

13 parts to the design of our World

For the first main storyline of AdventureQuest 3D, we have begun designing 13 parts. Which is, of course, 12 amazing adventures that you can complete in any order-- and a special 13th one that unlocks once you have completed them.

The most challenging part is picking which adventures will make the cut. There are a never ending sea of adventures we want to make. If you think anything like me (then you are probably still connecting the dots of how the lunar cycles created a cause and effect chain ultimate resulting in cultural beliefs that resulted in why Charlemagne had 12 Paladins in the story) then you want us TO BUILD IT ALL! We do to. But if there is anything I have learned, it is we can do anything, but we cannot do everything-- at once.

A looong time ago someone noted that in an early DragonFable design notes post, I had written about Jimmy the Eye flying over a vast land recounting each area he saw. It was a years later that the player posted, "Guys! I think Artix secretly posted the release schedule of the areas years ago.... he is doing them in order. So the next one will probably be..." When I went back to re-read the old post, I was horrified that they were right. Which is why I will never make that mistake again.

The Story of Jimmy the Eye

As Jimmy the Eye's wings caught an uplift from the cold night's air... he blinked. His vision blurred revealing a beautiful and vast land. It was dark. So hard to see through the dark of this night. The moon could barely penetrate the shadows. But it did... silhouetting a massive Vampire's castle and Werewolves' lair. A few wing flaps late and suddenly the skies were as bright as day. Floating islands lined the skyline. Pirate airships locked cannons on dragons as they made their way to plunder the ninja controller territories below. There seemed to be something dome shaped under the ocean... but even with Jimmy the Eye's 20/20 vision he could not make eyes or tails of it. He banked hard to the left, gliding up on a warm air pocket. He gazed upon an endless sea of sand. Wild lightning struck the ground, warning even the most hardened adventurer from finding a way to enter the 4th dimensional black pyramid floating in the sky. Dodging the lighting arcing through the sky, he flew low into an even more horrifying sight. The Tower of Necromancy, looming over a Paladin strong hold. In this moment he was grateful that he had the Tower of Magic, protected in an enchanted forest to return home to. Jimmy the Eye saw many things on this flight... but there was one place he did not understand. Something that seemingly hid itself from his eyes. Did you ever look into the distance and feel like something was calling you? He resisted the urge and turned his gaze towards town. Things had changed there... and he was rather fond of it. So Jimmy the Eye made a bee-line to Warlic's shop were he would certainly find some eye-drops.



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