Oct 27,2005
User Interface vs User Interference
Making a game is easy(*), making a game fun is hard work! I think that a lot of people will be surprised at just how fast DragonFable is going to play. A massive amount of thought has been put into DragonFables functionality and user interface. A lot of things we ended up with made us feel like we spent hours reinventing the wheel. We truly have a new level of respect for many of the games that came out a long time ago -- we can only imagine the meetings they must have had over things like "how do you show the player what their current target is". On a side note -- this weekend is Necrocon! A convention in Tampa, FL that has Zorbak's interest to say the least! Perhaps if we are lucky we will get a few new pictures for Zorbak's site this weekend. If you are going Trick or Treating this weekend (In AdventureQuest or in the "other" world) have fun, be safe, and get lots of caaaaaaandy!

(*) easy, adv. "Knowing and using Flash, Actionscript, Database design/connectivity, Server Side Scripting, Networking, Legal, Finance, Accounting, Customer support, Art, Animation, Music, Writing, and the occasional bad pun... easy!" (Note: Definition changed from Adj to Adverb -- thanks Dadric!)

Happy Mogloween!
AdventureQuest is currently celebrating three years of web based adventuring.

Oct 26,2005

The Battle System
It is easy, fast, and getting a big critical hit will give you a warm and fuzzy feeling! You can have up to three allies and a pet on your side battling against up to three opponents. Select a target, then click on what you want to do. On your character's turn, all of your attacks, spells and special abilities will appear as buttons. Every few levels, you should gain a new class skill adding a little more fun and strategy to the combat. By default, the middle monster (or the last monster you attacked) will be automatically selected as your target when you start your turn. In the future there may even be strategic reasons why you would want to target and attack friendly combatants (Ever see Inuyasha's brother's sword?). Our initial batch of monsters will be quite dumb... attacking wildly and randomly. However, expect well balanced groups of challenging foes who know how to battle against seasoned adventurers. As soon as we complete the first version of the battle system, we are going to do a little clean up work and prepare a "Alpha Test" Quest. We will need the help of AQ Guardians to go through the quest several times testing (and trying to break) the game. More news on this to come!

Update: Wednesday, 2:45pm -- Zhoom wins the first battle in DragonFable!

Oct 21,2005
Zhoom and myself hiked through the woods in search of the origin of a weak wireless signal that we detected (Lets call it "War-hiking") earlier in the morning. We found the signal coming from a Gym... where I wrote the best news update ever while Zhoom downloaded the MS-XML patch we desperately needed to continue working... BUT -- my laptop abruptly ran out of power and the news post dissapeared along with the sound of my once spinning hard-drive. Moral: Always bring your power cable. Meanwhile, in another part of Georgia... our Artix Entertainment, LLC Spy Satellite (I am making this one up) captured this image: Twilly & Zorbak. (Note: This frightening and is the first image of the final Twilly and Zorbak prototypes)

ALERT: Twilly and Zorbak have gone missing... adventuring in the wilds of Georgia?

Oct 21,2005

DragonFable is being made... in the mountains! - Artix
Galanoth flew down to Florida earlier this week (Luring another hurricane as per tradition with his visits). He returned home early and is now launching the AdventureQuest Wizard class and soon the highly anticipated start of Mogloween (Celebrating AQ's 3rd Birthday!). Meanwhile, in anticipation of the upcoming storm several of us relocated and are now continuing to work on DragonFable from a remote and secret location deep within the mountains (more like big wooded hills) of North Georgia. (No, seriously, I am not making this up). We are getting close to having the engine completed. I am far past the point of obsession and just would like to let everyone know that nothing will prevent me from completing DragonFable, even if I have to sell all of my worldly possessions, spare body parts and soul to do it. For all other inquiries on the November Beta Test start for Guardians, please refer to the Oct 12th post. In other news, the Twilly and Zorbak Prototypes were brought on the trip along with a camera... "Meh heh heh heh"

Oct 18,2005

//Sorry folks, the coding bug got me!
this.project = isGoingWell + "and we are about to..."
AttackOur += ("1st" + monster); if (AllGoesWell) { with (this) { WeCanAll.gotoAndPlay("DragonFable Beta" + onSchedule)
WeRealyHopeThatThis = new Function(ality){ isWorthIt(); TheFinal.push("is always the hardest") // Wish us luck... :-) } } }

Oct 17,2005
Breaking stuff faster than you can say whoops!
This developer's journal is very honest. Perhaps, too honest.... but this is how things really go. The true behind the scenes struggles and horror that you would expect from people working on an ambitious dream -- to create the greatest Flash RPG in the world! Our current goal is to have a working battle system by the end of the week. Well, this one works, but it has very limited options and... is... really easy to beat. *Chuckles* (Note: This is also what it looks like when you set the z-ordering backwards on the monsters)

Oct 14,2005
Getting ready to Quest!
First things first; as promised, live from the database: A working character info screen! (Nice stats, eh?) Also, here is a screenshot of the current quest info screen. From the first screenshot you can also see that the health bars are now working. The scripting engine is once again working and quests are loading from the database. We did not get to work on the battle engine yesterday, but there are just a few more things that need to be done first. We decided to make the quests winnable first (since defeating a monster is not always needed to win a quest.) These posts are going to get a lot more interesting as soon as work on the Battle Engine is underway. Then you can find out about the fighting strategy of DragonFable and get an idea for which character class you want to play first.

News Update: Zhoom just played and won the very first DF quest! (Which was a perilious journey fraught with peril... he had to walk from one side of the screen to the other which earned him a whomping 100 exp!) Safiria made us all Strawberry drinks to celebrate. If you would like to celebrate the first quest (and are not allergic to Stawberries) we highly recommend making or getting an exotic, non-alcholic frozen strawberry drink this weekend! (They look like HP potions)

Oct 13,2005
I am writing this post early (9pm the night before) as we are just wrapping up and I thought you might like to know where we are at. The game is successfully loading the player, monster, and npc data in a "usable" form -- as fearfully explained in the Oct 11th post. (WOOOHOOOOO!) The walk around engine is now fully working which means we are now working on.. *play the COOL music here* The battle engine!

Update: Because of the ability to bring along, or even play NPCs... Dragonfable has to have the most insane structure of all time. We are truly in the sludgy icky part of the development process where everything comes together. AND, *laughing*, we are running short on creative words that are synonyms for character/player/avatar/unit/party/etc to use for variable names. Feel bad for Zhoom... he is trying to make the new scripting engine (which was done before I changed it on him) ... (that controls literally every moving thing on the screen) ... (that is the foundation for everything that happens in dragonfable) work no matter where the movieclip in our berserk series of timelines and embedded movieclips. The good news, however, is that by tomorrow you will see the first screenshot of a character info screen! *Insert nervous chuckle here*

Oct 12,2005
"Have faith"
Life tests us by throwing all of our most difficult challenges at us... all at once, back to back, and seemingly non-stop. Our actions during these difficult times are the very things that determine our destiny. Because you truly are the main character in real life, when this time comes for you and you experience the feeling that only someone at their lowest point of helplessness can feel... when you have done everything you can... made all the choices you can make... and are faced with the task persevering with indominatable spirit... the one thing left, is to simply, "Have faith".

So... anyone want to see a screenshot of the monsters dynamically loaded for battle?

Oct 11,2005
Zhoom vs the Monsters
Yesterday we built the first monster pack. It features a fire elemental, an earth elemental, and a random undead fellow (who really needs a bath). We also altered the walk around engine so that your character can be a different size, and move at a different speed depending on the scene. This means some scenes will be "close ups" and others you will be far shot landscape views. We can make your character 1x1 pixel or fill the screen with your characters toe. We encountered a funny bug where the character randomly started moon walking... but we are done moving backwards now and have officially begun the final and most complicated step. This dangerous and difficult task will weigh heavily on Zhoom's shoulders today -- integrating the character, monster, npc data that is in one set of files with the code, functions, and movieclips that makes up the graphical models (Sorry about that, I did not know a better way to put it... he is um... putting everything together today!) Keep your fingers crossed for him. Go Zhoom go!

Oct 10,2005
Zorbak and Twilly dolls arrived!
.... and they look, AWESOME! Also, it is Monday and every just arrived to resume work on DragonFable today. Through the weekend we wrote the data definitions for the battle system which will let us have buffs, debuffs, and limitless options for combatants. The game promised 3 vs 3, but it seems it would be very possible to do 3 vs 100 (assuming we could fit them all on the screen). On a complete side note -- our new pre-loader is working. Much improved! This new pre-loader allows you to load multiple files at once and if any part fails, it gives you the choice to retry or exit back to the main screen. This new pre-loader works for anything from weapons to towns which means it is very unlikely that you will ever be booted out of DragonFable for a file load bug. We also are in he process of making a random character name generator (To help in the brain storming process for players making new characters). To demo it I made a quick random weapon generator. It has a very small vocabulary but it neat! Perhaps someone would like to start lists of weapons, materials, titles, and effects on the message forum that we could plug into it. Does anyone know which movie the "you know... for kids" quote comes from?

Oct 7,2005
One step forward... and two more step forwards
We did it! We actually logged into the game and walked around for the first time today! On our private testing server we now have the following functionality working:

  • New user sign up
  • Login
  • Create new characters
  • Character selection (and management)
  • Loading character, starting town and quest files
  • Exploration and basic interaction
  • Semi working Inventory, Quest, and "The Temporary Item Sack"

Several AQ npcs have now been converted to DragonFable format -- Galanoth, Artix, Robina and Warlic. Next we need a moglin or two (what game would be complete without one!?). But... I have question for you. How could anyone possibly improve Zorbak? If the AQ banner is still up on the right, take another glance at him. He is stylish, angsty, and 100% ebil. Do you think we should keep him exactly as he is? Also, do not forget it is October -- which means Mogloween is coming -- which will be the celebration of AQ's 3rd birthday! (3 years!!!!)

Sept 27,2005
Back from Vancouver - Artix
After a long business trip and three weeks of icky strep throat I am finally back to 100%. Currently, some popular AQ characters are being altered to "DF Style" for the beta quests. New art coming in a few days!

Sept 7,2005
Back from DragonCon - Artix
I just returned from DragonCon (If you have not seen the Zorbak Goes to Con page which is full of pictures from the event... be sure to check it out!) A new "DragonFable" logo is now in place. A special thanks to Mysizaar for the design concept! It is not the final version, but it kicks the old ones arse! We have been making incredible progress on the game. Currently, Oishii is drawing buildings for the huge new starting town while Zhoom is playing "connect the characters to the database". In other news there are a lot of things being created for AdventureQuest this week for the next big event in that game. You can bet your Vorpal Blade it will involve Zorbak (Although, I keep hearing something about Leroy Jenkins too.)

July 26,2005

New website released! - Artix
I am very pleased to report our new official DragonFable website is live! For a short while now, we had a little information site up and running and we were curious how long it would take anyone to find it. Google located it after only a few days -- which is amazing! I hope you like this design and layout. Web design is not my strong suit, but the site is extremely functional and can go a long way for us. Please let us know what you think on the AQ message forums.

General News
Game Content Update - Artix
We now have the completed artwork for thirteen new monsters, five male class armors, five female class armors, two NPC models, an interface, 20 + ability icons, and two game areas (Forest and Caves). Some of the new artwork was used to create the graphics on this site. We hope you like it! Let us know what you think so far.