Shhhhhhh... be waary waary kwyyy-ettt.... we are hunting Dwaguns!
You can always tell when we are making massive progress. Things get silent and the development team disappears into a black hole. Wish us luck! I will have a new update for you coming on Monday!
The First Real Quest
There are a few victories to be announced today. We saw the first 3 vs 3 battle in action (Fun!) Jackel from AQ came to visit and spent the day with us (Also Fun!) A lot more bugs were fixed (Not fun for us... but more fun for you!) and finally, we begun the creation of the first "real" quest area. We are keeping it simple, fun, straight forward and above all, filled with treasure and mystery! We know what is going to happen, but not with whom. So, what exactly is a quest area you ask? (and I am glad you did) A quest area is a starting point for a chain of related quests. Something strange will generally happen the first time you go there... pulling you into a fresh new plot-line which may alter the rest of the world for you. Typically, a quest area is loosely based around a single NPC. If you are brave and make wise choices, you just might find your way to battle the ultimate boss monster and conquer the area. Once you have won, you can revisit the dungeons located there hunt for new loot and bonus quests. We are currently planning on releasing this new area a piece at a time... expect nerve-racking cliff hangers (and yes... we have a nice looking cliff for it).
Ash Dragonblade is in town!
Today we released the dark and spooky Doomwood Forest, and two brand new monsters! (The Undead Warrior and a special surprise challenge for the high level players) Also, a brand new build of the game was released fixing over 75% of the existing bugs (including the bugs we created with the last release!). Also this week, the AdventureQuest homepage was updated (much cleaner!) and a brand new AQ town was released! Way to go everyone! Is it just me or does DragonFable look almost good enough to be an Anime?
New Items and Bug Fixes
As seen on the forums, we have been making huge progress on the enormous 4-page long bug list. This list was diligently organized by Pae based on your forum bug reports. Our goal was to fix the bugs, not nerf things that you were looking forward to getting. Hence, some of the weapons that were incorrectly selling for 200+ gold have been fixed, and we are adding new slightly-rare "junk items" that have no other use than for selling for massive amounts of shiny gold (500 gold)! We are also adding some more very rare items (2%-ish Drop Rates) to the dungeons. The healing pads have been updated so that you can tell if they are going to heal just health, mana, or both. Cysero and I would like to put a challenge in the game for those of you who are level 8+ for Friday. Check in tomorrow to see what is going to happen!
Congratulations Kolo! For being the first to get the Shadow Reaper of Doom we have created a new weapon in your honor called "Kolo's Temper Katana". All adventurers can now find this new fire weapon as a possible reward from the Marsh!
This Weeks Schedule
Today we are fixing DragonFable bugs and continuing to get the new stuff ready. Check out this screenshot from Monster Joust Madness of Dooooooooooom! Because DragonFable is such an ultra high priority we will be completing the minigame in our spare time. But, lol, it is so much fun to knock enemies off their mounts... the animation is so... so.... brutally crunchy.
Ash Dragonblade, the.... ArchKnight?
We have him. Drawn, colored, and just a few animations away from being ready for DragonFable. I spent some time reading the ArchKnight forums last night... and I agree with nearly every post I read. That is why I think we are doing a lot of the right things in DragonFable. We will not have the first Chapter of ArchKnight re-created for a while yet -- but Ash should be making a special appearance soon!
I gotta hand it to Dell, they have some top notch technical support for their beastily business servers. DragonFable development has resumed *cheers*! Also, as you read this our extensive new backup procedures are being... um... run..... *coughs* Remember -- save often and back up regularly!
Raiding the Raid Array.... or "Why are you not RAIDy yet?".
While the live DragonFable servers are performing very well, we had a catastrophic raid controller failure on our local development server this past Saturday. Raid Arrays are scary groups of hard drives which in my experience are super fast and break even faster. *Cries* Dell is sending a technician with replacement parts ASAP. Until then we are twiddling our thumbs (because we did not do a backup on Friday *looks innocent* and all the new files are trapped on the drive). Do not worry though, this is only on my local dev machine, it does not affect the live game at all. So, in the mean time we are building a new mini-game called "Monster Joust Mayhem" ... "of Dooooooom!". It picks up after Undead Assault, where our hero travels home only to find himself thrust into a duel to the death with Monster Riding Knights from another Kingdom. Throw in Zorbak, who "pimps out your ride" Moglin style and wacky hi-jinks will.... oh yes, I said "wacky hi-jinks"... (and I said it with conviction!).... will ensue!
Introducing Nythera the.... hmmm, we do not know what class she is yet!
First, I have some great news to share with you. From all over the globe, waves of Guardians have come to see the new release and have been supporting us with rave reviews. Last night alone, 34,035 items were found by players in the dungeons. Yes, you heard that right.... that means there were at least thirty-four thousand dungeon runs last night. (That is a lot!) We have a bookstore's worth of bugs to fix and then even more new stuff is coming.We plan to make it easier to get to quests and to add a lot more to do!
Today I also have a very special announcement. We have added a new member to the local Artix Entertainment team to help fix any problems you may have with your DragonFable and AdventureQuest accounts. From this moment forward, she shall be known in our community as *insert theme music* Nythera.... beware of the darkness and mystery that surrounds her. The LoreMasters say the the Vultures may have something to do with her arrival... and the pen too! Only one thing is for certain.... Safiria is very happy to have some help in assisting you and the other AQ/DF players. Battle on!
DragonFable Beta 2B is Live!
This is a landmark moment in the creation of DragonFable....from here, it all begins. There is still so much to be done, but finally is shaping into a fun, playable game. We are anxiously waiting to hear what you think on the forums. While we do not have a "Team" page up for DF yet, I would like to give everyone a huge round of applause for making the game live tonight! I would like especially congratulate the efforts of Arklen, Oishii, Safiria, Rolith, Galanoth, Captain Rhubarb, Pae -- and especially Zhoom and Cysero. Without all of your hard work, late nights, and special effort this release would not have never happened. Not only did you guys pull it off, but the Forums and IRC are full of praises about how awesome DragonFable is looking! But now, I finally get a normal night of Zzzzz... Zzzzz.... Zzzzzz......
Yesterday we worked harder than I can ever remember. Staff testing found a lot of bugs, but we are determined to get this up for you tonight. I hope that this next release shows off the potential of DragonFable and finally gives us the foundation to begin releasing regular updates like AdventureQuest. The next post should read -- Beta 2B is live!
Creationism vs Pushbackism
In the beginning, the Ancient ones created the world in 6 days. ..and on the 7th day... they pushed the release date back. *beat*... and they pushed it back again *beat* ...and there were bugs -- oh the terrible bugs! Carniverous man eating bugs of DOOOOOOOOM *beat* ... and behind the bugs there was an enourmous sea of never ending work that even working through the weekend could not overcome.... *beat* But there was hope for this land.... this land full of adventure and monsters and ultra rare super loot (So, umm, you already know where this is going, right?) *beat* ...and this is why the great and awesome players (you) would not even flinch if you heard that we needed to push the dead line baaaaaa....
..... ouch! I will take that as a no. Alright, I can do this though -- we have a portion of the new release working, I can section it off and upload it Wednesday night for you. Then we can release the other parts as they are done. It is the fastest way to get you into the action while we finish up the massive amount of remaining work. Sound good? *beat...?* Alright -- it is a plan then! Prepare yourselves Wednesday night for:
DragonFable Beta: Phase 2b (or not to B) -- Special Release!
Return of the Vultures
Ten miles from the secret underground headquarters of Artix Entertainment (or my living room -- you pick) lies a heavily trafficked coffee shop where we attended yet another interview. The three dark Vultures.... somehow, unbelievably, almost impossibly... were there, waiting for us. Coincidence?...or are they the eyes of a mysterious force spying on our actions? Perhaps they know about the secret.... either way, I asked Oishii to make three Black Vultures for DragonFable. For causing me to lose sleep at night, they deserve a cameo in game. In other news, Axes and Staffs are being added to DragonFable!
Thank you for support on the boards! We really do have the best players on the internet. Thank you so much for all of the support on the forums, we will get this up and running for you ASAP. In a story related to yesterday's Vultures... Safiria and I were at another interview and this time, a giant gust of wind picked up a binder hurling it at her face which left her with a small cut. Then later, I dropped my pen and it landed under the table... exactly like this and did not move. I smell voodoo!
Doom, Doom, Doom... and a semi-factual re-enactment!
Safiria and I were returning from an interview this morning and as I was pulling into my driveway... three Black Vultures were in my yard staring intensly at the room I use as an office. Creepy does not begin to explain this one. A foreshadowing of darkness? Are the dark forces sending notice of my impending doom? Have we filled my laptop with so many undead monsters that the smell attracted them? Is this where Safiria is storing all those missing hacker bodies? Either way you look at it.... it is disturbingly AWESOME!
Back in DragonFable news: Today's Database Item entry process is best told as a semi-factual re-enactment. I do not know how many developers would be so eager to share the first day of working with a new system, but... well.. *hides*... Enjoy!
Artix: "Alright, lets build one to test this... go to the page."
Safiria: "It broke..."
Artix: "Not a problem, lets do this in the mean time..."
Cysero: "The Development Server stopped responding."
Artix: "Hmmm, ok lets try this then..."
Safiria: "Nope, I think that just broke too."
Zhoom: "All fixed, try now"
*Insert Collective Cheer*
Artix: "Awesome! Lets do the next part now..."
Safiria: "It is not working"
Artix: "What about the...?"
Artix: "Or the..."
Cysero: "Not working"
Artix: "Hmmm, what if...."
Zhoom: "All fixed, try now"
*Insert Collective Cheer*
Artix: "Wooohooo! How many have we completed so far?"
Safiria: "We are still on the first one, Artix."
- Repeat -
Truth be told, it is the most fun I have had in the last two months. The Friday Deadline is looming over us like a giant shadow of eeeeeeeeevil!
Monsters and Mayhem
So much to do, so little time. Zhoom is working on the code in the warrior class file while Cysero and I rig the dungeons up to the Database. Oishii colored 40 to 50 of Cysero's new weapons which we will be adding to the Database later today. All of the items in this release will be 1 to 10, with just a few higher level items that will cause a frenzy on the message forums until the server cap is increased. The tough part coming up (that I am worried about) is getting the random templates for the quests to sync up. I hope you guys really enjoy this when it is released (That is why we are making it)!
Servers Offline for Expansion and Upgrades
We are starting the upgrades, wish us luck! The servers are expected to come back online during the day on Friday.
Zhoom just finished pulling the database. Even though only Guardians can play, many free-players have created accounts... which is why there are currently 417,876 DragonFable accounts. (That is a lot!) Of these accounts we need to delete 108,856 of them due to changes. The good news is that none of these accounts belong to Guardians! *Listens as everyone who created a character lets loose a giant breath of relief*
Our changes to the database have merged together nicely! A few new benefits of this upgrade will be customizable hair styles and equipable hats/helms. Of course, we will need a barber and a few hats and helms first! The main character now stops attacking after defeating an enemy (Specifically in Double and Triple Attacks) and if your last attack was a hit, it will still unlock the next part of the combo. New Warrior skills that are being added include: Warcry, Defend, Stun, Throwing Weapon, Aimed Strike, Power Strike, Double Attack, Triple Attack, Mana Strike, Wound, Multi Strike, Strength Sap, and Berserk.
Three and a half years of Game Making!
I am very grateful for being able to work alongside such great people on such a fun project. Those of you on the message forums, who keeps my spirits high through the tough times -- I could never thank you enough. Three and a half years ago, when I was all alone, showing a demo of AdventureQuest to some online friends in an IRC room -- they fell out of their chair laughing at me and told me no one would ever play that game. There was a definitive moment where my finger hovered over the delete key to just scrap it all.... but I pressed the upload button instead. It was the best decision I had ever made because I got the chance to speak with you here and hear you on the forums. We went through hurdle after hurdle... both technical and financial. Remember the days when we crashed the servers hourly? I will never forget those insane over-night code redesigns and our first multi-thousand dollar bandwidth bill. That was a long, long time ago. It feels good knowing we have defeated every challenge that was thrown at us... and when I say 'We', I mean both the developers and our gaming community. Now, 'We' are stronger than ever and about to take the next huge step forward with DragonFable. DragonFable is the game that I have always dreamed about making, and I appreciate you giving me the opportunity to create it. If you have just found us recently, then you have arrived at the right time. For all of us, this is a new beginning and I am deeply honored to know you will be a part of it. Battle on!
"We are told that talent creates its own opportunities. But it sometimes seems that intense desire creates not only its own opportunities, but its own talents."
- Eric Hoffer, 1902-1983, Author and Philosopher