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Project News

Jan 31, 2007
DragonFable Class and Skill System

I made several choices early on in DragonFable that will haunt me until... at least level 60. Specifically -- triple attack, half damage weapons (daggers/staff), and dual wielding. A wise man once said "d00d if u ch@nge ANYTHYING i will pwn u!", and by now you know I truely do listen (or at least try to as much as humanly possible) to those who love the game as much as we do. So *slams the gavel down* so be it! Lets not touch a thing and simply work around it as we move forward. More on this coming later...

Monster Hunt -- Final Version uploaded! (SOS - need help!)
I uploaded version 1.02 of Robina's Monster Hunt and fixed the bug that prevented players from unlocking the "secret level". Instead of calling it a secret level I should have called it the "evilist player ever" level.... and now that I said that -- you know what you have to do to unlock it. Can you confirm it is working now? (Be sure it says version 1.02 on the title screen!)

Jan 30, 2007
Robina Hood's Monster Hunt

New Minigame Beta -- hot off the press! While the war rages on in Amityvale, Cysero races to complete the supernatural boss* quest before you win (Will he make it?) I thought I would help stall you by giving a sneak peak preview** of our newest mini-game! (It is so addictive it just might work....) This is still a work in progress, but I would love to know what you think***. It is short, and really fun -- Battle on in the Monster Hunt MiniGame Preview!

* I smell undead... but I bet it will not stink!
** I desperately need your help testing -- due tomorrow
*** It better be good... or Twilly gets the boot in the next minigame. Erm... What? Cysero already linked the title screen of Final Puntasy? *Snaps fingers* BUSTED! Gotta remember to ask things like that before posting.

P.S. 6:45pm EST -- Robina game updated to Ver 1.0. Look for the "Version 1.0" under the copyright on the Titlescreen. It now ends in a level selection screen and a "secret level" can now be unlocked. I also added a second timer so we can compare how fast we can complete certain levels.

Jan 26, 2007
Invasion of Amityvale!

The newest event has been released! New defender's shop items, new weapon drops, and a new DA quest. The plotline in Amityvale is heading towards this mysterious castle.... defeating this war will open the path to the castle and the dangers that lay beyond.... if you can navigate the mysterious fog that is!

Jan 24, 2007
Happy Birthday Capt Rhubarb!

Yarrrr.... a hearty good birthday to ye' Cap! Ta celebrate this here momentus occasion we be sporting our Rhubarb party hats harr, harr, harrr. So if yer mellon is lacking appropriate attire, ye best be walking the plank towards Patch's hair salon!

P.S. Doomwood event starts tomorrow!

Jan 24, 2007
The Mist

Deep within the haunted forest of Doomwood there is a Castle surrounded by a grim mist. Actually, it is more of a tower than a Castle... which makes me wonder if it is in anyway connected to the Guardian Tower that was rumored to be in this forest. This remains a mystery as the mist surrounding the castle/tower has made it unapproachable. It is said that anyone who attempts to enter the mist will become hopelessly lost! What lies beyond that mist?

New news is good news!
Did you ever see the episode of The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy" which spoofed little shop of horrors featuring the song "Brains"?

*sings*
Brains, brains, I won't lie,
I'll eat their brains 'til they're zombified.
Sure, they might think it's deranged,
but they won't give it a thought after I've eaten their brains.

The show was so funny.... it is amazing what they can get away with in Kids shows these days. We met Voltaire, the spooky musician who wrote the song at DragonCon. As I mentioned before, Safiria is a HUGE Voltaire fan. We are going to be producing a mini-game with him for the newest edition of his comic book, Deady. We expect the game to be out by March. Maybe he will like it so much he will feel helplessly compelled to write a spooky song just for us.

Jan 22 & 23, 2007
Double Duece Day!

Yesterday was "big starting meeting of the year" day. We sat down debated, "brain thrus...", erm, and artixulated* the BIG PLAN for accomplishing all our RPG goals this year. Meeting days are great! Unless you want to actually get something done.... so to re-focus and clear our minds after making a brain exploding priority list of projects so big that we would probably get it done faster if we focused all our energy on making a cloning machine first -- we walked 10 minutes down the street to for an inspirational pep talk from my Master Instructor at the Martial Arts School. Fifteen minutes later we left.... and now have another project *falls over*. But, even though we are hopelessly short on time, this project is a noble one and worthy of... its own paragraph!

* Nice one Bren & Avalay & Yellowman & Slayter Dizator... and for shame Sjra... for shame!

Live Action Martial Arts Mini-game
The Shihan (Means Master of Masters), Cysero and myself were talking about AdventureQuest and DragonFable and how the 9 to 13 year old students that were there at the moment really liked games like this. (We asked the students if any of them had played and we were pretty shocked to find out they did!) So, after a little bit of discussion we thought it would be a neat idea to do a fun project with the school. We have a lot of wood to chop for DragonFable, so this project is probably a month or two away at closest, but I could use your help in the brainstorming part of this. The idea is to make a martial arts minigame featuring live actors (think photorealistic graphics like in Mortal Combat). I already have a green screen and professional photo lamps and I had a lot of experience with raster work before I started on AdventureQuest. In fact, the first AQ was going to look like this -- except the bandwidth useage would have been impossible. And yup, that was the original Frogzard. Remember, AQ was originally titled "Lore" and my favorite thing to do back then was to take something simple like this scarab and convert it into a scarab monster! Ahhh... creature frankensteining.... or digital necromancy. . . call it what you will, but it is 100% pure fun. Erm, so where were we. Oh -- right! So, there are a lot of things we could do on this gaming project... and since the Martial Arts school will be involved, I thought you guys would like to be in on it too. Right now, we need a Game Engine Concept. Now, we could do something like the old NES Kung Fu, or actually do a fighting game like Mortal Kombat, or even use the DF engine and make a small self contained Martial Arts RPG where you get new moves as you level and train. Keep in mind that this is a mini-game... any suggestions?

Thursday
It is sort of funny that we will be doing the big Thursday release on Friday. Spying on Cysero I see nine new weapons, several new monsters and smell... war.

Jan 19, 2007
The new Amityvale quest is live!

This may be my new favorite quest... but the boss is very difficult! This is one quest you will not want to sneak your way through.

Jan 18, 2007
Reviews about us from CES!

WOW! Check out these articles about us from our booth at the Consumer Electronics show. However, there are pictures in the first one. I am so going to regret this.... and yes, I am the one on the right. I know, I am ugly -- do not poke too much fun. Galanoth, Nythera and myself featured:

More stories from "The Booth"
You are never going to believe this... but a Japanese company named "Atrix Corp" was mistakenly placed in our booth which lead to a heathy fight on opening day. I took a picture of their listing to prove it! Everyone came to our booth to get the iBeta eggs... which had those little elastic grabby arm things in them... and I am sure I will get in trouble for saying this out loud (so I will whisper) *whispers* I have no idea who they are *end whispers*. Nythera and her assistant were the only people in costume on our entire floor (Their Ren fair costumes looked great though!) I am still waiting on pictures.... maybe I will post some that were not taken at when we were all worn down at closing time on the last day (and no, I did not KO the camera man... he was not worth enough EXP points)

Jan 17, 2007
Amityvale Continues

Cysero is going to release the next to last part of Amityvale this week. Then, next week we will all enter a supernatural battle which will answer many questions about Thursday (the spooky little girl in town) and reveal the boss creature!

Last Night's Server Maintenance
Zhoom took the game down for 20 minutes to run our first ever maintenance on the database server. The database is about 5 gigs (Your characters need to lose some weight!) and running smoothly. Your data load and quest save speeds should be nice and fast. Thanks Zhoom!

Jan 15, 2007
BACK!

Did you guys have fun while I was gone? Miss me? .... even a little? .... um, did you even notice I was gone? *sniffs the air* Does anyone else smell fish? *chuckles* CES was a blast. I will post on it a bit more after I have settled in.

A Tale of Three Projects
We have three major projects that are underway this very moment in DragonFable. The first and most important is the Epic Storyline. I set off to come up with an order.... but instead I came back with a list of towns and quests so big it will take 5 lifetimes to make. At least we are not going to run out of things to do in DF! Second, we have the big Website redesign. There are a few things I am looking forward to, including moving the design notes updates to the homepage and Flash intensive character pages will allow people to learn a lot about your character's achievements in the game. The final project... or projects I should say are new DragonFable mini-games. My thoughts on this are that when we create minigames they will be available to play form anywhere, but if you play them in DragonFable it will unlock or power up something in the game for you. For example, the Robina minigame that I wrote is a simple arrow shooting game -- if you play it inside of DragonFable by talking to Robina, it could level up Robina so she is more powerful. This brings us to a good forum suggestion topic: What styles of mini-games would you like us to make (and yes we could make some multiplayer ones)? Think back to games you played on old console systems like the original Nintendo. If any of those games could have featured AQ/DF characters -- which one would you like to see most?

Jan 12, 2007
What a week!

Hi, this is Cysero. Artix has just boarded a plane heading from Nevada to Florida. That means that I have roughly 7 hours to post whatever I want on here.

heh.

HAHHAH.

AAAAHAHAHAHAHHAHHAHA!!!

Mostly I just wanted to say that It's been a really fun (and full) last couple of weeks. Zhoom and I have added six new weapons to the Dragon Coin shop (silver weapons WILL come in handy in today's release), I turned the Falconreach Guardian Tower upside down, We introduced Thursday in Amityvale and released her first chain quest and I turned the Falconreach Guardian Tower into a giant fish.

To cap it all off, today we released a second quest for Thursday, making our way fruther down the path in Amityvale. It's got two new monsters which have never been seen in DF before, new items never before seen in DF and a special treat for the Dragon Amulet holders.

*huff puff* It was a LOT of work and a LOT of fun running the show and I hope you guys had as much fun (and as many stress nightmares, misery loves company) as I did.

Over the last week there have been a lot of nice things said about me on the forums. I've read every one and I wish I could have thanked everyone for them individually but all I can really say is this: You must have me confused with someone else.

Have a good weekend everyone. *goes to sleep*

Jan 10, 2007
Cysero's Song

Does anyone else think he deserves his own theme song? If you had to pick an existing song (anything goes) what would make the best Cysero themesong? (And what about Zorbak, Galanoth, and the other main NPCs)

CES - Day Three
The convention is "gi-normous" taking place across two convention buildings. Our booth is in the Sands Expo Center *point on a map.... there* where, as I type this, Galanoth and Nythera are at this moment. My initial guess was I was going to have a horde of photos and stories to share with you -- but despite my best efforts, I have not even been to our booth yet. I have been trapped ALLLL the way over here *points far to the left on the map* in what has been three days of non-stop back-to-back meetings. But today, finally.... I am to be released from my businessy prison. At 3pm I should be on my way to see the convention at last! ...and likely do things embarrassing enough for a good post tomorrow!

P.S. In all honesty I have A LOT of really good stories right now... silly NDAs. You should really see how funny it is when my very "Archknight style sense of humor" completely bombs leaving a room full of people in expensive looking suits staring blankly at me. *chuckles* I just keep going until they finally snicker (or at least until they realize that I am making fun of myself on purpose... and that it is OK to laugh). The day our team starts taking itself too seriously is the day I hang up my Battleaxe and become a farmer *

* Which might be tough since my Battleaxe is currently cursed and fused with darkness which turned it into a Doom weapon which I fear will continue to grow in power and ultimately devour the wielder in the darkness which empowers it.... which sort of makes you wonder -- who's weapons were the other Doom weapons made from?

Jan 9, 2007
Nythera

In DragonFable, Warlic has a young apprentice named Nythera. Why he keeps her around we have no idea.... she is constantly trying and plotting to poison and kill him. She has at least tried to dispose of him several times a day and at least once per night for the past several months. Every new thing she teaches him just increases the odds that she will one day pull off one of her underhanded schemes. Perhaps Warlic sees potential in her, or perhaps a good apprentice is just hard to find. Nevertheless... Nythera is a character that will be appearing in DragonFable and just might surprise you (or try to kill you, which ever comes first)

Day 1.5 of the Show
Mmmmm Stingray. Tastes like.... chicken-fish? Twig certainly would have liked it! I only have a few minutes before my next meeting begins and this is the first time I have had a chance to post an update -- so I hope you do not mind a quick one!

Galanoth and Nythera are running the booth. Galanoth is just amazing.... he is such a good person and I think it instantly comes across when people meet him. Even the Senior Business Development Manager from Adobe (Who makes Flash... you know, that thing we make our games with) came by and did a double take at what we have been accomplishing. Today, waves of chaotic interviews are coming Galanoth's way -- wish him luck!

I admit to being jealous, while Galanoth is spreading the word about AdventureQuest and DragonFable, I am a few buildings away.... deep underground in a secret chamber* facilitating meeting after important meeting (With my cool video!). While I signed lots of important and scary sounding paperwork that does not allow me to tell you about ANYTHING I am doing here.... I can proudly say this.... in binary:

01000111 01101111 01101111 01100100 00100000 01110100 01101000 01101001 01101110 01100111 01110011 00100000 01100001 01110010 01100101 00100000 01100011 01101111 01101101 01101001 01101110 01100111 00100000 01111001 01101111 01110101 01110010 00100000 01110111 01100001 01111001 00100001

* TRUE! -- You would be surprised how hard it is to get a good meeting place with these other 250,000 people who showed up in Las Vegas for the convention. It was fine once we cleared out all of the giant man eating spiders and swept away the webbing.

Jan 7, 2007
CES Prologue

It was a dark and stormy night*. The remaining members of the A.E. team are arriving one by one, clad in their finest armor** and ready for the challenges*** that await them. For tomorrow CES begins! Wish us luck (Please note: Galanoth and I will be posting you news and updates whenever and wherever we can find secure internet access).

* Actually it was pretty sunny during the day
** Armor... Armani... same difference (Give or take 5 Melee Defense).
*** Finding the restrooms in time

Jan 5, 2007
Bacony maddness!

As Cysero prepares to release the new haunted quest he made for you tonight, I would once again like to say.... oh boy, you guys are in trouble next week!

Onward to CES
It is time for me to board the giant metal flying dragon that will fly me to the show. Before I depart, I would like to share two quick stories. First, we had a hard drive failure in one of the database server raid arrays yesterday (This counts as Cysero's first crisis). Most companies do not openly celebrate their catastrophic hardware horror stories... but that is where we shine! Amazingly, we were only down for 10 minutes. Nice job Zhoom! We have some pretty beefy redudancy and backups guarding your characters like gorillaphant sized pitbulls. When there is a serious problem it is comforting, and pretty cool to see it in action. In a completely creepy and unrelated story.... last night at midnight I was testing the DVDs I made for our booth. Black cats showed up out of no where and were watching the video through the window. Um... is that bad luck or did I offend a few Yaga familars while in Doomwood? Also, Rolith returned home after a great trip with us this week. It was great having him down here and we are all looking forward to his next visit. *checks watch* Well, I am off... the next time you hear from me it will be my first post from CES. Remember, what happens in DragonFable stays in DragonFable!

Jan 4, 2007
Cysero takes over DragonFable!

Be afraid, be very afraid.... For the next week, Cysero is large and in charge! He can change anything he wants... make anything, and do anything (even add more bacon)! I am counting on you guys to keep an eye on him. This all starts tomorrow with Cysero's release of a brand new spooky quest.

Artix and Galanoth at CES!
All next week I will be writing to you from the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. Five members in total of the team are going to be there to run the booth, suite, and attend lots of crazy meetings. Does anyone want anything while we are out there?

DragonFable Timeline
The Chapter system in DragonFable will mark your progress through the games main storyline. Think of each major zone as a chapter. There will be easy to access books located conveniently in the first screen of every zone that you can access to see what you have done, and what you should do next. The main storyline (think of it as Season 1) will have a definite ending complete with the ultimate mega boss monster fight. The creative team is currently putting together new art and animation for the stockpile of NPCs, monsters, items, and classes. My goal is to release a chapter every 1 to 2 months complete with wars and special events. If you are "caught up" in the storyline you will be able to experience everything as it happens. If you are behind, you should be able to play through it quickly and catch up to us. We may attempt to make the chapters playable "out of order".

I will be finalizing the zone/theme order during my trip. This is order we will actually release areas in. If there is a specific type of area/theme you would like to see in the game.... let us know on the forums now! Currently we have pirate coves, ninja training grounds, volcanic dragon lairs, dark forests of evil, enchanted forests with druids, the underworld, stormy deserts with pyramids, flying cities, mountainous Wizard laboratories, frozen castles, and more... If you have an original idea for a place that would just be amazing to explore, tell me about it on the forums. Instead of just making a list... pick a single place and go into great detail about it (That is what I have been doing for my areas). Talk about who lives there, what problems they have, what sort of monsters are there -- who is the boss monster behind it? See you on the forums!

Jan 2, 2007
Holy Monday of Carnage!

... and then I realized it was Tuesday.... so.. .much...to do! The emails... the emails are everywhere.... HE..L.... *gurgle* *gurgle* *gurlge* (It makes me happy that things are back to normal)

Jan 1, 2007
Present Boxes are Open!

As adventurers from all over the world open their gifts they are delighted to find the first box contains the very rare white "Frostvale Cloak" which raises your resistance to frost attacks +5. The DA version increases your crit % by an additional point. This cloak is set at level 1, but is actually level 35. The second box which rattled and shaked opens to reveal the cute, cuddly and joyfully deadly "Frost Pwny" and "Black Ice Pwny" pets. As you unleash the unbridled (because they do not have saddles) doom of these rare pets you can sing the Official "My Little Pwny (TM)" theme song... now, if someone would just be so kind to write it (We will be waiting!)

Good morning!
My Father always said it was good luck to do work on the first day of the New Year. Both Cysero and I are wide awake* at the secret underground lab today preparing for the flurry of game making that starts tomorrow. Meanwhile, Rolith is preparing for his first trip down to meet with us. It is the beginning of a fresh new year, a new beginning, a brand new start, a.... **

* Correction, Cysero is STILL awake.... and as for me.... I will not bore you with the details of how I got roped into a fancy smancy black tie party amongst Tampa's elite who looked at me as if they never saw anyone break into kata on the dance floor before (It is amazing how hard it is to do jump spin kicks in this tux armor) but as usual it is a little awkward being the only person at the entire event who does not drink. Ever since I was 8 years old and first started training in the martial arts I made the vow not to drink, smoke, nor use drugs. Once I started teaching and leveled up to the age where drinking was legal I did not want to be a hypocrite and made the difficult choice to continue until the day my HP bar drops to 0. Actually, there is more to the story but you will have to ask me about that in person one day. Back on my 21st birthday, armed with a bag of oreo cookies, my best friend and I went to every club in Pittsburgh and ordered a milk -- you would be surprised at how hard it was to actually get any! Fortunately, today, I have caffeine to abuse.... <coughs> perhaps we can work on that this year. Hey! Give that back... "it is only my second cup! (TM)"

*
* He just goes on for hours and hours, we stopped him there for you.

Read more in the Design Notes Archive.

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