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Project News

Artix
Cysero
Notes That
The More
Things
Change, The
More They Are,
In Fact,
Different.

April 29th, 2008
Classic AE!

We've been having some E-mail issues lately.

The week before last we sent out the DF mail but we accidentally sent it out from the wrong e-mail address, causing thousands of DF fans to all go "huh?" at the same time. This was not our goal but it was a nice side effect.

Last week we sent out the e-mail from the correct address, however there was another hiccough in the system and several thousand people got the mail twice... three times...in some cases, up to seventeen times. We know that you're excited for the Necropolis zone and the test armors, but you probably don't need to hear about it that many times in a row. Sorry.

This just goes to demonstrate that really, we have only the most basic idea of what we are doing here.

Sure, other gaming companies may be able to send out the right number of mails from the correct address, but how many of them have a quest where you get to push over an outhouse with someone inside it?

If you don't know what I'm talking about, go back to Oaklore.

This week we're working on a secret project. I can't tell you what it is. I can't even hint at it, and I LOVE hinting at things. Let's just say that it's something that you'll really like, and you can take that to the bank. We will also be working on more Necropolis area stuff (maybe we will get a quest done, maybe not). In the meantime, we've getting together 5 brand new levels to the Lymcrest Labyrinth, and I'm making 9 new weapons for my shop (including... DUN DUN DUN... some new disease element weapons!)

   

Rolith
Rolith
Yes... It really
is 10PM.

April 28th, 2008
Lets Get Mathmatical!

Let's get to the point quickly here...Paladin class came down to the wire last week, and in the hurry to get things out in time and let the dragonlords get ahold of it, we may...perhaps... have left certain skills less balanced than one would normally like.

That's where this post comes in:

On the forums I'm contiually surprised at just how much time and energy you guys put into your technical analysis of this game. So when the heavy burdon of trying to balance the new Paladin armor came across my laptop's keyboard, I thought there would be no better place for me to turn to than the players themselves for advice.

I have created an Official Thread for discussion and debate and am looking forward to seeing all of your input. Keep in mind that because of balancing concerns the numbers might not be as strong / weak as you'd like but we will definitely keep your ideas in mind as we move forward with the finalization of this class.

Note: This is NOT announcing the armor is coming out fully this week. This post is JUST about the progress being made, not giving release information.

Above and beyond that, stay tuned as the week progresses we'll fill you in on what else is happening in the secret undergound lair!

   

Artix
Cysero
Thinks The
Hour Is
Getting Late

April 25th, 2008
Last Minute Touches

UPDATE: The release is now live!

The release is still not quite ready. I just wanted to let you guys see what we go through in the last few hours before the release is complete.

Here is my warrior, Dunn.


As you can see he's wearing the pali armor. As you can also see he's about 15 cm taller than Artix, which is odd, because in his normal armor he's the exact same height. You will also notice that his big fat head is blocking the speech bubble and his neck lost all of its healthy tan.

From this example, we can draw a few conclusions. 1) paladins have much better posture than normal warriors. 2) Dunn's face isn't tan... merely dirty.

Some things that you didn't get to see in this image are the glitches that Rolith is working on in the armor's skills, all of my various spelling errors, the fact that Noxus' speech bubbles had YOUR name on them, so it just looked as if you'd gone nuts and went evil, the Gate Keeper attacking backwards, all of the last minute nerfs to the graphics that I feel the need to do to cut down on lag, duplicate speech bubbles that need to be removed, speech bubbles in which i accidenally started typing the lyrics to 'All Along The Watchtower' instead of the script, and one very special frame where artix refused to stop running in place.

And those are only a few of the things that we deal with around thios time every week. Is it any wonder that we miss a few here and there?

This is the best job ever and we all love it, but when you're on a weekly production shcedule (which VERY few other game companies can boast) Friday, right before release, is the most stress that we have ever known and ever will know.

Personally, I think I work pretty well under pressure and Friday is when I come to life. I feel like I grow extra hands. Making sure that the release gets out to you guys in relatively good shape (read as: at least playable) is part of my job and I live for it! MAN, this is fun!

Still have some wrinkles to iron out, but we're getting closer! I'll update the DN's when we're live.

UPDATE: The release is now live!

   

Artix
Cysero
Never Could
Get The Hang
Of Thursdays.

April 24th, 2008
Worth 1000 Words

Noxus says hi.


You'll get the chance to meet this master necromancer (and Dean of Necro U) this Friday as you use the "key" to open the gates of the Necropolis! Well, not really meet...

Ghost is hard at work on the Paladin class armor which we HOPE to get out for DA testing tomorrow. You'll might be getting the chance to test out the DeathKnight AND fully trained Plai armors at the same time. The Universe might just colapse in on itself, due to an overadundance of oppositely charged awesome-sauce particles. Scientists have warned us about this for years and we have always scoffed at their warnings, but now... it might be too late!

   

Artix
Cysero
Is Not Talking
Falsely Now.

April 23th, 2008
Good Things Come To Those Who Wait

Ok guys, time for one last round of DeathKnight testing! You may have noticed the large glowing button in Flaconreach, but for those of you who missed it before, we have tweaked the DeathKnight armor and have re-released the temporary, fully-trained version for testing.


You'll find that the damage is mostly unchanged from the original test but some of the higher damage powers will now kick you right in the mana bar!

Once again we'd like to thank our DA Holders for being play-testers for us and helping us balance out one of the strongest armors we've made. We plan on keeping the damage a little stronger than average because of how difficult the armor will be to obtain in the full release. You will have to have fully trained Paladin AND Necromancer abilities to unlock the DK armor. Let us know what you think on the forums!

Let's talk about music for a bit.

I don't know about you guys but I almost always have music playing while I work (or drive or clean my apartment or game etc etc). You can ask the guys. Even though I have my earphone firmly strapped to my head most of the day they can hear my music blasting my brains out at deafening levels (Don't do that. You'll go deaf). Usually I will make my own playlists from my music library or, when I am sick of my own music, I will turn to Pandora to build me a semi-random playlist that I might like. But, from time to time I will just latch onto ONE SINGLE SONG and I won't let go until it's dead.

Right now, that song is the version of Dylan's All Along The Watchtower that Bear McCreary built for season three of BSG. This song has been covered by everyone from Hendrix to Dave Matthews... from The Dead to Peral Jam... but I really feel like THIS is the definitive version. I can't stop listening to it. I listened to it all last night, took a break to sleep, played it when I woke up, and in my car, and it's pouring out of my earphones at this very moment.

What I want to know is this: Am I the only person who will take one song, make it my personal anthem for several weeks at a time, listening to it overandoverandoverandoverandoverandoverandover, or are there others of you out there?

 



   

Artix
Artix
Principal-adin

 

 

April 22nd, 2008
The Paladin Class
In development right now!
A Paladin is a champion of good who uses love, faith and courage to better the world. In the world of Lore, there are as many different types of Paladin as there are points of view... but in each of these you will find the common traits of being both lawful and good. They are tied strongly the element of Light (in some cases... you may find this stratement to prove most untrue.) and their powers and attacks are light based making them highly effective against shadow monsters, vampires, the occasional evil transdimentional doom kitten, and of course... THE UNDEAD!

Paladin Class Armor
Legend says that a fully trained Paladin who learns the forbidden secrets of Necromancy could... well, perhaps that is a story for another time.

FORUM QUESTION: As of the moment I am posting this... the Necromancer class has ALL of the coolest skills in the game (Can you say Zombify and Control Undead!?) The Paladin needs some awesome abilities to catch up . Any ideas? (Maybe something that charges up that you can unleash all at once?)

P.S. Cysero originally drew this armor nearly two years ago. He re-vectorized and colored it yesterday... it looks AMAZING!

   

rockin'
geopetal
Granite

April 21th, 2008
Monster Making 101

So we had another monster making contest a week and a half ago and I wanted to bring you guys in on the creation of the abyssofmillinium's Undead Doll. We've had Thyton use abyssofmillinium's original artwork as inspiration for the monster's in-game appearence.

Doug

Right now, I'm working on getting the image vectorized. This means all the major lines in sketch need to be reproduced in Flash, with each moving piece of the doll being a different movie clip to be animated.

Doug

Once the image is vectorized, it gets sent to Oishii (or C or Thyton) to be colored and then Ghost for animation.

This promises to be a definately creepy encounter. :D Hope you guys like the finished product!

   

Artix
Cysero
Waits. A lot.

April 18th, 2008
Good Things Come To Those Who Wait

I hope you can see now why we didn't want to rush this release. Artix and I did more talking about this zone than we've done for quite some time and I feel like the thought really shows through, PLUS I got to actually animate this week (the cutscene and the quests... not the monsters, Ghost did those).

There is a lot more where that came from, and you haven't even entered the necropolis yet. The release has met with some pretty nice reviews from some of our most faithful (and toughest) critics... like Suuichi: "This has been one of AE's better releases. The puns were admirable to say the least. Sally was a nice addition. The little moment with Artix and Vayle was very interesting...The Armadeadon, was a nice battle to be sure. Strong attacks, a fair amount of HP, great animation with Sally there too. definitely one of the best monsters to date. As for the next quest... the Sheleton did surprise me. I was so not expecting that to appear. It made me chuckle, which DF hasn't been able to make me do since the Ghosts of Frostval Past, Present, and Future. I thank you for that....All in all, this release was fantastic."

We added a few nice new belts and rings to both quests, some DA only items and some free.

We hope that you're as excited about this zone as we are, and come back next week for more undead slaying goodness! Have a great weekend... or else!



   

Artix
Artix
NPC-adin

 

 

April 17th! 16th*, 2008
Writing a Zone: Part 2
Monsters

In tomorrow's release you will battle a brand new boss monster.
There are two ways to create monsters. Draw it from scratch (then scan, vectorize, color, animate and code) OR reassemble existing parts into a brand new creature (I like to call this frankensteining**.) This new boss monster is a little bit of both! It is easy to come up with monsters of a theme for a zone, but what is tricky is making things you find in the zone relevant to defeating them. The Paladin and Necromancer classes which are still in development will be very useful for defeating particular monsters in the zone. For example, Necromancers may have limited ability to control undead enemies... or even turn some enemies INTO undead! While Paladins have strong offensive abilities vs. undead and protection skills that will be useful for your party. Some NPCs may have unique abilities to make them unique and useful for perticular events. Thyton is currently drawing a whole slew of brand new monsters for the upcoming releases. Some of the things you will encounter in the Necropolis... you may never forget! But first... you need to find a way in there!

* The evil time travel faries strike AGAIN!
**
Originally I was going to make AdventureQuest with raster graphic monsters. I would frankenstein monsters together like... for example: This beetle which I turned into this monster. Hmmm, it seems neither my spelling and grammar have not improved much from 2002!

FORUM QUESTION: I really liked the conversations about Galanoth and Fae in yesterdays post. Since we know Galanoth will be Dragon Based, what sort of monsters do you think would be good for a character like Fae who is a fun loving nature type?

   

Artix
Artix
NPC-adin

 

 

April 16th, 2008
Writing a Zone: Part 1
Characters & Setting

For the Necropolis Saga, we chose the unexplored side of DoomWood. We did this because Amityvale was focused on spoofing classic movie monsters and for this zone we wanted to really focus on Paladins and Necromancers.
The three major characters we chose are Vayle, Noxus, and Artix. As you will see in this weeks cutscene and quest... they are tragically connected by the strings of fate. First I wrote down the backgrounds for all three characters. Then, I fleshed out the details of their current situation and pretended I was you (the player) walking into this situation. Your motivation for joining this battle is to obtain the Darkness Orb (that was the simple part.) As I have read on the forums, you are all so smart that you figured out what was likely going to happen. Normally we would try to rewrite this to surprise you.. but this time, we are going to run it just as planned, but take you deeper into the characters stories. You will get to know Artix and Vayle personally... understand why they became the people they are and if will be up to you to help them overcome their pretty serious problem. The Artix vs. the Undead video will finally go into the game, and you will be able to play it out. Surprisingly... this will not be the final boss fight. Dunnn Dunnn Dunnn....

FORUM QUESTION: What setting and characters should we use when introducing Galanoth and Fae? (Official Post)

   

Artix
Artix
Writadin

 

 

April 15th, 2008
Writing a Zone
Greetings and salutations! This week
we will be talking about how to write a complete zone*. This is a great thing to talk about since that is what I am working on this morning** . It is the most fun, and oddly, the hardest part. This is because there are endless good options you can go with, but you only get to choose one! In this saga we will be releasing new characters, classes and a huge dungeon. Check back tomorrow as we discuss the first exciting part!

FORUM QUESTION: What is your favorite fantasy setting? (i.e. Castles, Dungeons, Elven Ruins, Magical Forests, etc?)

* Um, Artix... I thought you needed to have actually completed a zone before instructing anyone else on it.
** Technically, you are procrastinating and writing about how to write a zone instead of actually writing the zone....

   

Artix
Cysero
"I do not kill
with my puns;
he who kills
with his puns
has forgotten
the face of his
father..."

April 11th, 2008
Return to the Lymcrest Labyrinth
UPDATE: The Dungeon Expansion is live!
Hiya guys, The next 5 levels of the Lymcrest Labyrinth is coming to you in a few minutes compliments of Geo and Rolith! The next 5 floors of the dungeon are a trap filled Insectopia! In Addition to the poison gas chests, there are now floor mounted spike traps and you'll find that these monsters are a little tougher than the first 5 floors! It is still a goldmine and the same temporary weapons can be found, but you'll have to be a little more careful this time...

Doug
Doug Digg in Lymcrest

Artix wants to take a really active hand in the development of this zone (of course he does, it;s filled with undead) so he and I are working closely to make this the most fun zone yet! He and I are working on the post-war celebration in Moonridge, but you were WAY too fast for us! I really can't believe how fast you owned that war. Remind me to buff the war counter next time, if you guys are going to be like that! We're going to leave the war up for the people who missed it last weekend, but soon the war will be a PERMANANT part of the Doomwood: Necropolis zone. You will have to defeat a few waves and save moonridge as the first part of the Artix quest chain.

Artix and I back to back... two of the the last true Punslingers. Expect kookiness.

The next release we will finally meet Lady Vayle and find out a little bit about her connection to our favorite paladin. I don't want to spoil anything but you'll be getting into the origins of Artix. Trust me, it's cool stuff.

But you'll have to wait until next Friday to try and find your way into the Necropolis with Artix! Until then, have fun in the Lymcrest Labyrinth mini-release!

EDIT: Oh yeah! Monster design contest winners WILL be announced today, just later. Check back here for the announcement!

 

rockin'
Geopetal

Undead Monster Making Winners!

Hey all, the juding from the Undead Monster making contest is in! Thank you to everyone that entered, there were a lot of really awesome ideas and artwork submitted! You can check out all the entries in the original thread!

Winner: (500 DCs, monster in-game)

abyssofmillinium
Name: Undead Doll
Back-story: The story goes all the way back when Thursday, the mysterious girl in Amityvale, lost her home to the spirits. Among her possessions, she left behind her favorite doll, a doll that she named Annabell when she was very young. The spirits took over everything in the house, and an especially devilish spirit soon possessed the poor doll. Without warning, the wooden toy's hard face softened to real flesh and the half doll, half human-like monster came to live in the house. But soon, the doll became restless, not contented by the luxurious haunted house. The possessed doll floated out into the dark world that surrounded it and continued its way to an unknown destination. After many, many years of traveling on its own, it became sad and lonely, as sad and lonely as a possessed doll could get. She began to create her own army of dolls, each one exact replicas of herself. By then, most of the original doll's beautiful fleshy features had rotted away, leaving a disfigured, life-sized corpse behind. Yet the spirit liked the host and she and her army went out to seek their master once again. Yet travelers beware, should you ever encounter one of these undead girls, beware of their stare, for those who have looked into their eyes have never quite been the same again...

Honorable Mention: (400 DCs)

Tomix
vadriel
rhodan842
acoryst
declanite
synth
omega2064
googler
LANDIS
Amberjak
Kitsukaru
Rowena J Wells
Nidoking
kunoichi

Again, congratualtions to all the winners and a big thank you to all the mods that judged the contest (Alac, Circe, LordBarrius, Aelthai, RoninofDreams, Cyrus and Kieral)!

   

Artix
Artix
Battladin!

 

 

April 10th, 2008
Death Certificate
We have a local restaurant named Rapscallions which serves delicious seafood and WINGS! Warlic prides himself on his hot wing eating threshold.... which is why he was required to produce the following (and clearly legally binding) document before being allowed to eat wings THIS hot!


(This is a scan of the actual document we signed...
... exactly how we signed it.)

I merely licked one of the wings and my tongue is still suffering in agonizing pain. Warlic must be putting up some sort of a magical shield to withstand that Xan-like heat!

Tomorrow's & Next Week's Releases!
Congratulations on defeating the undead army so quickly! (You surpassed our expectations by over 5 days!) We are hard at work on part 2. However, we will need an extra week* to prepare the Necropolis: Part 2, which will open at a celebration in your honor in the town of Mooncrest! (... and our newest NPC will make her first appearance!) So, tomorrow, we have a special release for you that Geopetal and Rolith prepared just in case.

Come tommorow and see what is released!

* As you know we work on a weekly schedule. We start new projects on Monday and finish it in order to release for you on Friday. It is amazing that we have been doing that since AQ's release 5 years ago. Sometimes, we are working on something so important that we do not want to rush it! As you and our friends on the forums know... our best work comes out when we take the proper time to do it right! The Necropolis has the potential to be the best zone added to the game to date. Until then, we have a special "hold you over" release for tomorrow. Wish us luck!

   

Artix
Artix
Battladin!

Artix
Cysero
Is Made Of
Spare Parts

 

April 4rdness, 2008
The Battle for Moonridge
The Necromantress has attacked Falconreach each and Friday the 13th. Now she is sending her new waves of undead including unspeakable mix-and-match abominations to attack the town of Moonridge! Moonridge also happens to be home to one of the largest malls in DoomWood* . This is our chance to stop her... we must defeat her army. Perhaps she would be capable of opening the door to the Necropolis.

* The undead love shopping.. and braaaaaaaains!
** Maybe we should attack undead armories

New Features and Things
Woah, there are a lot of updates this week!

  • Defenders Shop
    Two new levels of Defender's Rings and Necklaces (Free and DA) have been added.
  • Mouse Overs
    We added the functionality from MechQuest that allows you to roll your mouse over things to get messages in the bottom right hand side of your screen. This can currently be seen in the new Artix area.
  • New Artix NPC
    So far we have spent our time on the WEST side of Doomwod. For Artix's story we will be heading to the EAST side. Expect to learn the secrets of his backstory, purify your Doom Weapons (and his!), and begin training as a Paladin. To freshen things up a bit, as you probably already saw on the homepage, Artix now has brand new NPC art!
  • 5 New Helms
    In addition to Defender's medals, five new styles of helms will drop from the war waves!
  • Moonridge DragonStrike
    Our second Dragonlord & Dragon minigame has been released allowing you to do bombing runs over Moonridge to help with the war. If you can beat all 10 waves you are guarenteed to get one of the Helms or some yummy Dragon Chow!
  • Mix-And-Match Armor
    One of Vayles latest creations is a randomized Frankenstien which is build from the parts of 5 different monsters! Look for them in the war waves (note: The initial image of the monster and the monster you actually fight may not match)
  • Weekend Rare Shop
    Two new items are now available in the Weekend Rare shop including the Invisibility cloak (Ironically, it only turns itself invisible) and the Lil' Undead Monkey on your back (He is really cute for being a.. skeleton?)

Coming Monday!
The winner of the first monster creation contest will have their monster added to the game! DefenderX's Doom Cola machine will be found by taking the griffon to Dr. Voltabolt. Two levels of a new pet (The Brightbulb) will be available. Everyone who has merged an item at Dr. Voltabolt's previously will have it upgraded auotmatically to a RARE version . Identical, but less rare items will replace them and will require less items to construct. (So if you want a rare one, this weekend is your last chance!)

CYSERO'S NOTE: Hi guys, we KNOW that the Spare Parts monster doesn't look the same on the map as he does in the battle. That's not a glitch or a bug... we just couldn't do it any other way. Thanks!

   

Artix
Artix
Doomadin

 

April 3rdness, 2008
The Necropolis
Hidden deep within the largest graveyard of Doomwood lies a
terrible, terrible secret. A vast subterranian land of the walking dead filled with horrors and abominations that give even the most evil monsters nightmares*. Necromancers and Doom Knights are said to flock to this place for its endless supply of dark secrets. Some rumors suggest it is a university of the dark arts** where Necromancers and Doom Knights go to train and increase their dreaded power. This place is known only as... THE NECROPOLIS!

* Well, this and that Valentines event we threw *shivers* ... so much pink!
** We would love to show you the next greated undead monster. The only problem is... you have not made it yet! "Doom U" -- Get your degree online in Thaumaturgy with a minor in summoning! Enjoy special extra curricular activities including hurling waves of undead soldiers at the town of Falconreach. First year students recieve a free Necronomicon with enrollment! ... and... um... Free Undead Demos!

Our newest Saga is about to begin....
(Rumor has it an army of the undead is marching on the Moonridge!)

New Forum Contest
Necropolis Undead Monster Madness!
Create your own super fun undead monster. Mix and match any wild combination, add a story, make sketches, go wild. Must be original! We will select one grand prize winner to have their monster added to the game and they will recieve 500 Dragoncoins. Ten additional winners will recieve an honorable mention on the design notes and 400 Dragon Coins. As always, there will be additional prizes created if anyone truly goes above and beyond!

Official Contest Thread

   

Artix
Cysero
Won't Look
Back!

April 2nd, 2008
A Tale Of Two Axes

I just wanted to share something with you.

When I started working for Artix Entertainment, the first project I was put on (other than DF which we were still developing) was Undead Assault.

I did almost all of the terrible animation in the minigame but most notably I did the art for all of the weapons in the weapon shop. Artix and I sat down and talked a lot about the battleaxe that he'd always wanted. It was made of highly piloshed gold and silver, full of holy might just waiting to be unleashed against the evil undead. This was the birth of the Artix's Battleaxe.

You may have seen a golden version of the axe if you've ever faced Artix in PvP.

This is where a picture of a terrible axe goes.

This one of the first 5 weapons that I was ever actually paid real money to draw and I was VERY proud of it.

Let's jump ahead to the present day. I'm still making weapons but since those days we've finished the DF engine, left beta behind us, fully launched the game and populated the world with hundreds of quests and monsters and THOUSANDS of items!

This Friday we head back to Doomwood to fight beside Artix and attempt to save the town of Moonridge from an undead invasion, while trying to find clues to the location of the Orb of Darkness. We've made a brand vew version of the Artix NPC (who will be your main contact in the zone) and we put that axe in his hand. It looked stupid.

It appears to be made of cheese. The lines are all wobbly, the proportions are all wrong. I hate that thing. You couldn't vanquish an undead gerbil with that piece of junk. I HAD to make a new one.

This is where a picture of a much better axe goes.

I look back on the old axe and I have to really wonder what was wrong with me? Was I really that bad or are my standards just much higher now that I basicly run the game? How much better will be in another few years of this? I can't wait to look back on this axe and scream at myself for putting such a terrible graphic in the game.

It just goes to show you... something... I'm not sure what. There's a moral in here somewhere about.... I dunno... having low standards, or something. Maybe it's about not ever settling for less than the very best that you can do. That sounds good, so lets use that.

Stay on your toes, heroes. This friday will be your first glimpse at "Doomwood: The Necropolis"!

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