Today sees the long awaited (by...well...some of you at least) return of Code Monkey Challenges. It was going to be yesterday, but I've spent the week eating far too well in Chicago and by the time I was able to get close to being able to roll, it was well after dinner time and the siren of Chicago Deepdish Pizza (sort of, I'd subscribe to the consideration that Deepdish is more casserole then Pizza...but still very very tasty) was calling my name. So I took my leave and decided to work tonight, New Year's Eve, and get the release ready to go.
As some of you saw in the design notes or my twitter, two weekends ago I took it upon myself to make a game in 48 hours. Well, you didn't think it's engine wouldn't wind up in DF somewhere, did you? More or less unchanged in appearance (with a few minor new features...most of which will frustrate you) from the game completed over the weekend, I submit to you this month's Code Monkey Challenge. These shouldn't take you very long, but as it's a holiday, I'm still hoping for 48 hours before you guys see Quest Complete.
Just a note: Your progress is saved only on a game-session level. If you leave and come back to save experience progress you will be on the same map you left at, but if you restart your browser or re-login to the game you will have to make your way through the maps again. That said, once the solution's been found, there is no need to fight a single tog, making this one of the friendlier CMCs I've ever done.
Special Addendum to the previous Design Notes! Happy New Years Eve to you all! I just wanted to clarify what's going to be released this weekend so no one misses anything and to firmly establish what the War Challenge is!
This week's release is: * War boss fight with foam weapons as rewards * Suggestion shop weapons in Serenity's Suggestion Shop * Fireworks for New Years * A special weapon set, helm and cape from True Mortal in Cysero's Shop at midnight * The presents opening at midnight * AND the Togicide from Rolith!
The War Challenge is, if you guys get to 100% before midnight on Saturday (EST) and beat me to finishing the final war quest you will get new levels on select defender's items (I think rings and necklaces, but I haven't decided 100% on that) and something special in Cysero's Shop.
Lim, being the evil genius that he is, has added a little taste of the special items that will be in Cysero's Shop as a rare drop the war waves. He's saying that he'll add a new ones when he notices the war is at 75%, 85% and 95%.... D;<
Unfortunately, poor Ghost is sick with pneumonia. Even though he's been zombified he still bravely tried to get the final war cutscene done for you guys, but the combination of zombie and Ghost had Artix on high alert. I've sent Ghost off to rest so that he gets better.
Though, this means that the geologist gets to make the final war cutscene.
(Well, with existing artwork but, still, I'm slightly panicking here.)
True Mortal has made some cool foam weapons as war rewards in addition to his contest weapons. (I could totally see the guys chasing each other around the office with these.)
Tomix has finished the final, very angry, slightly crazed Boss Plushie and Rolith has coded it, laughing manically the whole time. Lim is coming in and working on some of the presents. Alina is being awesome and helping me with database stuff even though she's on vacation.
So, I just have to make an awesome, amazing cutscene before you guys reach 100%.
Please fight slower.... :s
If you guys do manage to beat me (who am I kidding?) then I'll make sure to add something special to Cysero's Shop!
DISTRACTION!(fight sloooooooower) You can get FREE DragonCoins and even FREE BATTLEON POINTS through AExtras! You can also jump onto your Master Account and start earning free BattleOn Games Points using AExtras and use those Points to get stuff in ANY of our games!
Message to Ghost: First of all, you so better be in bed and resting and not reading this! If you are, don't stress and just get well soon! We got this! Maybe... Kinda... (fight sloooooooooooooooooooower) Feel better!
You guys are amazing! Awesome job getting to 50% and just in time! True Mortal's very own plushie has been added to the war waves now.... but it's not your average plushie! Will you be able to beat it?
The special DA random dungeon is also now open for you! Fight your way through the Plushies in the Snow and collect Bit's O' Stuffing to forge the new Icicle Scythes in the Defender's Rare Shop!
True Mortal has been skulking around looking for something to do (so many souls burnt!) and so... A Challenge Appears! I have tasked him with creating his first monster!
His monster is due by noon tomorrow. IF you guys get to 50% before noon the special mystery plushie will be added to the war waves! Will you be able to beat True Mortal? Or will the souls being burnt end up being yours?!
I hope everyone is having a good holiday season! After a looong trip up north, I've been spending it with family and trying to make sure my parents cat, Lucy, doesn't beat up my cat (or vice versa).
Strike! The poor moglins of Frostvale are stuck working in Zadd's factory this year. They don't even get breaks for Moglinberry Juice! Can you rally them together and get them to strike? Only you can fight through Zadd's ever increasing army of plushies and save the holiday season!
At 50% a special DA only quest will be unlocked that will give access to a special set of holiday rare merge items!
It's Tomix's birthday! Everyone please wish him a happy birthday on the forum or on his Twitter! In his shop you'll find helms which will allow YOU to wear a hair style just like his! (Goatee not included.)
We've ALSO got a Dark Moon Rising shop in Falconreach to celebrate the full moon Lunar eclipse that occurred late last night! Made by True Mortal, these deep, dark Silver weapons will be sure to imbue you with the power of the night and the essence of the moon!
Once more, happy birthday Tomix, from all of us here in your Artix Entertainment family!
So, I’ve been working on numerous projects lately. The upcoming Frostval releases and next week’s CMC are two I can talk about, and there are several more. I’ve been so busy, in fact, that I’ve missed a good part of the Holiday season and didn’t get shopping for presents until far, far too late in the game. Good thing for express shipping!
So what did I do the last weekend before I leave the Underground Lab for first my homelands in PA then the great city of Chicago to meet Alina’s family for the first time? Finish up some project or another to get ahead for the busy week to come? Wrap presents?
I made a game in 48 hours. From scratch. With no help. Artix and I entered a competition whose goal is to create an entire game in 48 hours based on a theme (DISCOVERY) provided at the start.
Why would I ever do that? For fun.
Sometimes I have a weird idea of fun.
But sometimes, with the massive todo list I have, it’s nice to take a step back and produce something self-contained that isn’t just a piece of what feels like an unfinishable puzzle.
So Friday Night at 9pm, after I finished the DF Release, I ran home, set up at my home desktop and started to work in a caffeine induced fervor. Which was considerably more helpful then Artix’s caffeine deprived fever, which he realized he had only just before the competition started.
So the weekend was full of half-started ideas and rapid coding for those of you who follow my Twitter, you got to see all of it in an incredibly fun live stream of my desktop, as well as got to play the different versions along the way.
48 hours after we started, we both have not unredeemable games for submission.
I also produced a cute little monkey. I’m no artist, but I like the little guy, even if (according to Alina’s helpful photoshop along the way) he ate my face.
* Hey, it was something like 4am Saturday night when I made the title menu… I like it enough to keep the typo.
Overall, it was a really fun experience, and I'm glad I had those of you who watched the process to cheer me on! It was great reading your comments and feedback on Twitter and in chat. If you've got an idea for a game, competitions like this are a great way to make yourself sit down and produce something playable.
Alina just IM'd me this to add in, because she is procrastinating making the database entries for the surprise shop tomorrow.**
Codemonkey got up, got coffee, codemonkey went to work. Codemonkey made a new videogame, codemonkey didn't shirk! Codemonkey had many players cheering him on, they gave him much support. Codemonkey wants to say thank YOU, for helping to see him THROUGH, Codemonkey thanks you. Codemonkey thanks you!
** Whoops! Not a surprise anymore, I guess. Oh well. You won't know what it's for until tomorrow! :D
As the sun slowly sets in Falconreach, it's time for you to return to Frostvale. The kidnapped moglins depend on you!
So open up the Frostval book, take a moment to grab the Red, Green, and Blue presents from the Frostval 2010 shop (accessible in any of the book's chapters) and point your cursors towards Act 11! You'll be headed into a factory of fear patrolled by the cutest monsters you'll ever have to take down. In fact, you could say you'll have to beat the stuffing out of them!
They'll be on the move patrolling the factory, so you'll have to use stealth and dexterity to avoid coming into contact with them. If you DO, there are three NEW plushie monsters that have been added to the monster group this week: Tomix, Rolith, and Sepulchure plushies! (If you never wanted to cuddle a doomknight before, you will NOW!)
And that's not all we have for you this week! Ghost has made a HUGE walkaround area connecting FIVE zones and towns together; it's sure to keep you exploring for a while! The walkaround path will also take you to a brand-new town, VerdeRoche, one of the greeniest and rockiest towns around! What will you find there? Who knows? (I don't, I haven't been there yet either!)
And for the third part of tonight's release, we've updated the Falconreach Guardian Tower Arena! For years it's been a single room with the same three monsters from the beginning of the game. Now, Guardian Myra has undertaken to completely revamp the arena, adding four rooms to make a total of FIVE dens of destruction for you to battle your way through! The monsters in them come from quests throughout the game, so you'll probably see some old favorites and maybe one or two you haven't seen in years. Win your fights and claim your Badges of Valor. Then talk to Guardian Myra (standing to the left of the Arena doors) to merge them together to create one of the following items (made by Ghost and True Mortal):
Spirit of the Wind Scythe
Neela Paani Dagger
Neela Paani Staff
Neela Paani Axe
The weapon set comes in levels 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, and 60 and is Water element. The scythe comes in levels 5, 15, 25, 35, 45, and 55 and is Wind element.
Our big Frostval event is coming NEXT week and not a single member of the DragonFable team will be at the Secret Undergroun Lab to release it! We're all going home for the holidays to spend time with family and friends. So if you're planning on traveling home to see loved ones, stay safe and have fun! We'll be here with an update, even if you're a day late to play it. Just make sure not to miss it, because it's going to be full of presents, plushies, and puns! (What better way to spend the holiday?)
The holidays are here, along with the best BattleOn Games events of the year, like the awesome George Lowe "Lowe Down Throw Down" at EpicDuel.com! Did you know that you can use our AExtras special offers system to earn FREE Varium in EpicDuel, AdventureCoins in AQWorlds, and Dragon Coins in DragonFable? Just go to this page! You can also earn BattleOn Games Points using AExtras by going here for your Master Account and use those Points to get stuff in ANY of our games!
Things have been crazy here at the lab as we all work furiously on each game's Frostval releases in a flurry of new art and a frenzy of new code! (But the only flurries we've seen are here at the Secret Underground Lab. The sky remains, as usual, free of snowflakes. /sadface!)
And what can YOU expect from DragonFable this week? An avalanche of new content!
We've got the second Frostval release full of perilous plushies that will actually move to intercept you as you try to rescue the moglins trapped by that treacherous- oh, wait, you don't know who the villain is yet. No matter, you'll find that out this week! It's not Frostval unless some villain somewhere is plotting to bring an end to the season's merriment and joy, right? Right! And it's YOUR job to restore them!
We've also got a major update to the Falconreach Guardian Tower Arena! Where once there was only one arena with a couple monsters, now there will be FIVE arenas! And five different groups of monsters to battle! Can you become the Champion of the Arena? Take a look at some of the rewards that you'll be able to claim with enough wins there:
And that's not all! We've also got a HUGE walkaround area coming this Friday! Ghost has outdone himself with a pathway filled with new art that will connect FIVE different zones and towns! You'll have a LOT of exploring to do, Adventurers! Those armored boots were made for walking, and that's just what you'll have to do! (Only enchanted armor boots will walk all over you, and the only pair in Lore are owned by Cysero, and he's not sharing. Too dangerous.)
Have fun speculating on what you'll find in this week's release, guys! And before I go, a forum question: What villain would you like to see return in the next holiday event? (Heroes Heart Day looks like it's next, right?)
Serenity is inviting you to come to her in and sit by the fire with a glass of warm moglinberry juice while the sun begins to set on the town of Falconreach. But don't think the day is done for you, Hero! Oh no, you've still got a whole release left to battle through!
If you click on the Frostval button in Falconreach, you'll be magically transported to the Frostval storybook, which is sitting in the center of the cheery moglin town of Frostvale. But the moglins aren't full of Frostval merriment right now; they're too busy worrying about what will happen to them THIS year! Can you go and reassure them that they're safe, and that there's nothing to worry about? (You believe that, right?) Spread some joy, share some holiday tales, and play with the little moglins running about the shelter where they've hunkered down.
And speaking of PLAYING... Twig has a new boardgame! It's called TweatLand, and it's how you'll play through Frostval this year. This new minigame is based off one of our favorite childhood boardgames in real life!
(We actually went out to a thrift store and bought a copy for inspiration! We played for RESEARCH! Not just to take an hour off work. Yup. It's the total truth. Rolith lost, but in the spirit of the holiday, he was a very good loser, and only ate half the winner's cookie-based reward.)
And in the spirit of Frostval fun, some of your house items have received a holiday update, so head on home and check to see if YOU have one (or more!) of the items we've... slightly altered for the season!
Once you've played through the first part of Frostval, why not head down underground? Far, FAR underground in Ravenloss! You need to escape the prison where you were the last time we left the dark undertown, and the slimey, sludge-laden sewers are the only way out you see. If you can, try to concentrate on looking for the Aurora Key while you're down there.
Be careful, though. Since Ravenloss IS an abandoned city, the sewers aren't exactly well-maintained. You'd better not go blasting your way through the monsters and walls down there, because who knows WHAT could fall on you and Tomix?! Remember, heroes, in the Ravenloss sewers, BOOM means DOOM!
If you're TOO careful in your explorations, though, you might miss a few key things down there. Like the next Embodiment (what ARE those things for, you ask? You'll find out soon enough! Muahahaha!) and Murk, who has come hunting sludge bubbles for some unexplained purpose. (It IS Murk, after all. What do we REALLY know about his purposes in Ravenloss?) If you can collect enough sludge bubbles from the Sewers quest, though, Murk will be happy to trade you some REALLY nifty weapons and helms!
And check out the Theater in Falconsnest! It's staffed by TheaterMaster Extraordinaire, Zevox! (You know him from the forums. Thanks for the suggestion, Zevox!) It's the permanent home of the Falconreach Idle voiceacting event!
And now for some exciting news about the Holiday Sweepstakes from Cysero!
You guys have one week to respond to my e-mail with whatever item you selected from the availble HeroMart items and give me the address to which to which we should mail your prize!
If you don't respond within the week, we'll have to pick new winners. Hope to hear from you soon.
Congratulations again and thanks for playing BattleOn Games!
Have an awesome weekend! I think I'm going to drag Rolith off to a dollar store so we can buy things for the Secret Underground Lab's Secret Santa Gag Gift (to come later this month, on a very secret day). We'll be sure to let you know what we get! (Once the recipients get their gifts, of course. Don't want to spoil the surprise TOO early!) And then we have to decide what we're making for the Secret Santa potluck lunch.
Who wants to bet Artix is going to make something with Paladin-brand Holy Wasabi? And if Cysero brings something with Yogurt in it, the first person to guess which flavor he used will get a... thing. A very shiny thing!
What should the DragonFable team bring to the potluck? Each person has to bring one dish. Give us your ideas and we'll see what we can cook up. Literally!
Enjoy the release and stay warm, you people with snow in the air and on the ground! If you're lucky enough to be in a warmer climate, it's only just time to pull out your jackets.
In the next Ravenloss quest, you'll have to travel deep underground (even MORE underground than you have been) because you'll be venturing through Ravenloss' sewers!
If you can, while you're down there, try to remember to look for the Aurora Key! Golden and shining, in the Ravenloss sewers the key should stand out like a shiny thing in a puddle of sewage. Which is what it will be.
Look high, look low, just don't look in that hole! (Unless you're looking for Murk. Then by all means look in that hole.)
And here's an update! Ghost has slipped me a preview of his next walkaround zone, and I get to show it to you! But this isn't coming this week. It'll be released NEXT week!
You won't want to miss this weekend's release! With the first week of Frostval AND the continuation of Ravenloss, it'll be a week to remember!
The house smells like a Christmas tree, I have hot chocolate next to me, Christmas carols are playing on the TV... all I'm missing is SNOW! And that's what inspired me to have a late-night update for you!
So without further ado....
While you weren't looking, snow has fallen on Falconreach! Isn't it beautiful? Just don't eat the yellow snow! (BAD Spots the Three-headed Puppy!)
And for all you rare hunters and Defender's Medal farmers out there, Thanksgiving is going away this Friday, so battle battle BATTLE ON! as you fight to reach your goals!
And expect an update to Falconsnest sometime this week. The Theater is going to open and with it, the permanent home of the Falconreach Idle event!
Also, the Day of the Ninja appeared quietly and has left just as stealthily in the shadow of the falling snow. (Ninjas can move BETWEEN snowflakes!) Enjoy your rares, those of you who got them!
I'm going to go bake some cookies! If the attempt works, maybe I'll bring them into the Secret Underground Lab tomorrow!
That's right, heroes and heroines, Frostval is starting THIS WEEK! And boy do we have a fun game-plan laid out for this year. During last year's Frostval was full of hugs; this year's? Well... I'm not going to spoil the overarching plot of this Frostval (sorry!), but it's full of things that most of you SQUEEEE about whenever you see them!
We've also got the next Ravenloss quest coming! It's been a while since the last quest release in it, so let me refresh your memory. When we left off, you were imprisoned in a prison (of course) and you finally found a way out, but did NOT find Riadne. So now it's time to make your escape and the only way to do THAT is through the sewers! Think happy thoughts, because you definitely won't be smelling happy smells!
And IF Ghost can squeeze the ectoplasm into action, we'll ALSO have a new walkaround path for you sometime this week. But that's just a MAYBE! He's got a LOT to do for the cutscenes for both releases; Ghosts might not be able to die again, but they can drop from exhaustion!
You will need a BattleOn Master Acccount to create your character and/or Alpha Test. Without a Master Account you won't be able to do anything.
You will be able to create your character AND claim your name if you have ever spent a SINGLE DOLLAR on ANY BattleOn game account that you have tied to your Master Account. If you don't have that account tied to your Master Account then you will not be able to create your character.
If, and only if, you have a current, active AQW MEMBERSHIP tied to your Master Accountthen you will be able to enter HeroSmash and help us Alpha Test.
Please keep in mind that this is just a bare bones version of HeroSmash. We have a long way to go before we event get to Beta Testing and we NEED your feedback to lead us unto Beta phase and make the game great, but keep your expectations reasonable, and above all else have fun.
As Artix mentioned, we will only be Alpha Testing on ONE server which means that only about 1500 people at a time will be able to play. If the server is full, KEEP TRYING! You may be the next to enter the game as soon as someone logs out or lags out.
We have some great and horrible stories from AQW's Alpha Phase. We expect huge disasters in the HS Alpha. HS isn't scheuled for full release until NEXT SUMMER so Alpha Testers will not only be the first ti test HeroSmash, they will be the ONLY people to test it for a long while.
I'm sure there will eventually be treats in HeroSmash for those who help test, but who knows what they will be. Maybe you can tell US what to give to Alpha Testers in our HeroSmash Forums!
The BattleOn Holiday Sweepstakes
It ends THIS FRIDAY, and with HeroSmash on the way there is NO REASON to not have a BattleOn Master Account. Get one. Friday we will have the drawing and (if we can) we will announce the winners on the AQW Design Notes!
Happy Monday, and here's to the start of a happy holiday season! I've got all MY presents wrapped; how about you? (Rolith doesn't have ANY presents wrapped. Slacker! :D)
And DragonFable is celebrating it for all you ninja-nuts and pirate-pwnzer's out there! So grab your naginatas, stash your kodachis, and hide yourselves in the shadows because Thyton is coming to town and to help you celebrate, he's got TWO new Day of the Ninja shops for you!
Day of the Ninja Revered Pet Shop!
Thyton's first nin-tastic shop offering is the Revered Pet Shop! These pets may look familiar if you've been to the Shadow of the Wind Village pet shop. Thyton keeps an eye on ALL the occupants of his town, and the pet shop is no different. But these pets are special; they've grown and been trained in the ways of assisting heroes. So martial your courage and equip one of these higher-levelled favorites and charge into battle, full of the ninja spirit!
Revered Post-Adolescent Ninja Terrapin (level 35)
Revered Shadow Monkey (level 40)
Revered Ancestral Boar Spirit (level 45)
Revered Ancient Snake Spiirit (level 50)
Revered Sneevil Ninja Buddy (level 55)
Revered Ancient Ninja Terrapin (level 60)
Thyton's Weapon Shop!
All ninjas need to be able to master the Shadows if they're to succeed in their duties. But they ALSO need good weapons! Thyton favors the work of True Mortal, an up-and-coming weaponsmith in Lore, so he's polished the ninja weaponry True Mortal made to a high shine and is now happy to sell them to YOU for a low price!
Thyton's Katana and High Katana (levels 35 and 55)
Thyton's Kodachi and High Kodachi (levels 35 and 55)
Thyton's Naginata and High Naginata (levels 35 and 55)
Pirates may be hearrrrrty, but ninjas are swift, silent, and deadly! Take these battle-aids that Thyton is offering you and use them wisely, grasshopper. And remember, if a wise old man tells you to chop wood and carry water, keep on eye on him (even when your back is turned). He may just hit you with a big stick! Solely to enhance your training, of course!*
Happy Day of the Ninja tomorrow! Thyton will only be in Falconreach for a few days; he can't leave his village unprotected for long! So take advantage of these shops while you still can, because once they're gone, they won't be back until next year (if at all)!
* Got to love those old warrior-training martial movies, right?
Our first release tonight (there will be TWO!) will give you a glimpse of Vayle's tortured existence after the events of the Darkness Orb storyline in Doomwood.
Remember, time works differently in DragonFable than it does in real life. In game-time, it's only been a few weeks since you and Artix shone so brightly in the Darkness Orb quest chain.
Journey through Amityvale as you search for Vayle's lair. Once you find it, you'll need to convince her that you want to help her. But beware, she's NOT very happy with you! IF you can manage to talk through her rage (and with as upset as Vayle is, that's NOT guaranteed), then it'll be time for Tomix to do his stuff! He IS a Soulweaver, after all!
Rewards will be:
Viridian Circle necklace (level 53)
Serpentine Band necklace (level 43)
Jinxie Charm necklace (level 33)
and a trinket (DA only) which will raise your defenses for 3 turns while healing you
Geopetal's Stone Orb Saga quest will be going live later tonight, so be sure to keep checking back for news on that!
We hope you have fun with Part 1 of this weekend's release, and if you're getting ready to celebrate the holidays, now's the time to start thinking about what we'll be doing for Frostval, because it's coming up. FAST.
And since the holidays ARE coming up so fast, what better time than to treat yourself or someone you love to a swanky swag item from HeroMart? We’ve got many items in stock, all based on art and concepts from our hit online RPG and MMO games! What kind of items? How about the 2011 Year of the Moglin calendar, which comes with a Chronomancer class, armor, or mech in four of our games! We’ve also got our first full-length novel, “The Dragon’s Secret” in stock, as well as ChickenCow T-shirts (cluck cluck mooooo!) and more! And don’t forget about our newest item, BattleOn Points virtual gift certificates which you can print out or email to yourself or your friends. And that’s not all, because we’re planning on many many new and exciting items for the future!
Now I'm off to drag Rolith to a craft store. I want to learn how to crochet like Jemini and Ai No Miko. And maybe I'll be able to talk Rolith into learning, too! We could be grannies together in rocking chairs, crocheting scarves that we'll never use (what with living in Florida and all). Sounds fun to me!
So, reading the response to Obsidian Tog made me realize something: I’m not being evil enough. Also there have been several bugs with the combat engine that have been left alone for far too long and it was about time I stopped avoiding the maze of code that is our TWO separate battle engines (one for new quests and the legacy one from pre-9.0 era that runs the majority of fights in DragonFable even still) and fix the problems.
What’s been fixed in 9.8? I’ll do a quick list for those of you wanting a cliffnotes:
Having negative stats will no longer deal zero damage – true for both players and monsters
Weapons with on-hit specials will now only affect the hit they trigger on – not continually hit every strike after the first one in a special
These bugs were both in the player’s favor and as such lower priority, but they lead to a very unbalanced game that resulted in some armors being far more powerful than ever intended (looking at you ChickenCow Lord). These bug fixes will let us make more classes with fun animations and more weapons with on-hit specials.
These bugs were tracked down thanks to the help of the community, a bonus big props to our bugs lead Verlyrus!
The Battle Engine is held together with string and sheer force of will, so playing inside it is like poking a cobra with the Cobra Annoying Stick (Patent Pending Ebil Corp). Things will go badly. Very badly. It went about as well as you’d expect.
Long story short, I took a mop and a flamethrower into the battle engine and walked out victorious, resulting in a much more organized base of code and two big bugs as trophies of the rampage. With that we should see more bug fixes like these two in the future with considerably fewer headaches. (for those of you artistically inclined – Rolith wielding a mop and a flamethrower would make an epic piece of fanart).
I love the smell of Mop and Glo in the mornin’!
Oh, also, Hard Mode now scales monster’s stats, and has increased their damage noticeably.