Nov 31: Beta Test: Phase I -- Launched!
I am very honored to announce the initial test launch of the Beta Test! Thank you for your patience, I hope you enjoy this test. The warrior will gain up to 5 skills (one skill per level). Once you get to level three you will have combo moves that make it really fun. The game server will be online for a little over 24 hours. It is only going down so that we have time to work on all of the bugs and issues that you discover while you play today and tomorrow. It is finally beginning... the start of something huge. (Note: See, I told you it would be at the end of Novemeber... I had a whole 6 hours left!) Head to the DragonFable homepage for the three steps to get you in the game!

Update: 200 Accounts created in the first 2 Minutes.

Tips & Notes:

  • Runs well in IE, laggy in FireFox and Mozzilla
  • You can target different enemies (useful for Boss fight!)
  • No Potions yet -- coming in the next test!
  • You can drink from the fountains in the quest to Heal
  • Zorbak will go with you after level 3
  • Positive resistances are good! (+10 Fire means you only take 90% dmg)
  • Critical Hits do Double Damage!
  • You can change the Quality in in the Game Options to make it faster

Nov 30,2005
Last Post before the first Beta Test
Yes, you read that correctly. The next post I make will be titled Beta Test: Phase I -- Launched! The game will be open for a little over 24 hours where Guardians can create their DragonFable accounts and help us test our prototype class, monster, and quest. The DragonFable bugs forum has been opened. I really need everyones help in spreading the following information... DragonFable is not scheduled for a full launch until the middle of next year. It is written all over the website, but I can tell by reading the posts that everyone's expectations are too high for this initial test. Please help everyone understand that this will be like playing AQ three years ago when it was just one room with a single test monster. It is a completely new game that is being born as you play it. We greatly need the help of you and the Guardians to test and evaluate the game engine for compatibility, speed, quality, and potential. At this early stage a lot of functionality is disabled and we expect a lot of bugs. We appriciate cheerful optimistic posts just as much as sincere, constructive critisism. After 24 hours the game will come back down offline so that we can begin fixing all the bugs and issues that were discovered in the first test. Next post coming soon!

Update: Someone linked the First AdventureQuest Test on the message forums. Just so you get an idea of what you are in for ;-)

Nov 29,2005
The DeathKnight says, "DIEEEEEE!"
I think we are overdue to break up ths design notes into multiple pages. This page is almost bigger than the DragonFable game engine. (Well, until we added the SoundFX in -- at 5KB to 12KB each, sounds build up filesize fast!) Staff testing started last night and is continuing through today. Things are going well. The remaining bugs are mostly minor issues in the test armor, town and quest files -- we are working rapidly to correct them now. The test consists of one town, one quest, one type of monster, one character class and one pet. We will need the help of Guardians to thoroughly test these prototypes during our First Guardian Testing. I am going to post an update here later today about when the first Guardian Test will take place. Battle on!

UPDATE: The staff testing went very well tonight. Prepare for a one day Guardian Testing starting early Thursday Afternoon. If we can bring it up before then, you bet we will. Battle on!

Nov 28,2005
Rawr! You know what we need to make... our very own AQ & DF version of a "See and Sound". You know, "The cow says, 'Moooooo!'". BUT... our would be like, "The Darkspawn Dracolich goes, *Insert fiery evil crunching noise here*". Or perhaps, "The Frogzard goes, 'Meep, meep!'". Or no... "The undead Knight goes, "Rawr... your soul is mine human!". Hah, got you! Everyone knows the undead are mindless drone-like subordinates of the ruler necromancer class. If the undead could move own their own... *gasps* or talk... *gasps* or... think! They could overthrow their evil masters and threaten the balance osf all things living and dead. Talking about the undead... my laptop is now among them. So it is getting shipped back today and might not be back for as long as a month *cringes*. Perhaps the Clerics and Priests at Alienware can expulse the Darkspawn from its hollow shell and pruify that holy relic. Meanwhile, Zhoom is fixing the reminaing code and database issues and I am working on content with Oishii and Arklen. We are preparing for a next staff test run on Tuesday -- and then a Guardian launch later this week. It is like an exact repeat of last week -- but this time... it is going to work! One of the big themes of DragonFable is "Not giving up"... because no matter what we are attempting in life, we cannot fail unless we give up. Keep your fingers crossed for us and check in tomorrow to see how long it will be until you are playing DragonFable!

Nov 25,2005
Work and Workstations
Zhoom is currently working on the bugs that were discovered during the staff testing. I am having computer woes this weekend and am looking forward to doing some hardware swapping and a full reinstall on my primary machine. Alienware sent me some liquid cooling gel to help with my oven (aka video card ). You can honestly keep your tea or coffee warm simply by sitting it next to my laptop). I cannot tell you how many Halloween candy bars have endured the cruel fate of melting as a result of accidentally being placed there. Heat is not a problem though... my failing hard drive is. This does not effect the DragonFable schedule, I will just be working off the other machine. Included in this post is a screenshot from the new Firecave Quest. (Yes, I blatantly grabbed that door from the Guardian tower... *whispers* expect a few of Oishii's good looking props to be smuggled into DF where needed.) Oishii's artwork plus Arklen animation = AWESOME!

Nov 23,2005
I would like to say Thank You
It is that time of the year again. While I think that many of us are truly thankful year round, the holiday season encourages us to express it lot more. I am very grateful to have met so many wonderful people online, and for the opportunity to work along side such an amazing team of creative people. I am thankful that you are here reading this now... because it means that you care about AdventureQuest and DragonFable... and if you care... well, I just want to say... thank you for giving my life meaning.

If you live in the States and are celebrating Thanksgiving -- be safe, have fun and eat lots of Turkey! We are back on schedule today. Stay tuned tonight for initial test results and a Guardian Beta Test launch date announcement! In the mean time, perhaps someone would like to start a thread on the message boards where we can all post about what we are thankful for this year. We may all be gamers, but we also have a lot of other things going on in our lives... might be fun to share some of it :-)

UPDATE: 8pm -- Yay! We broke everything we could possibly break during the staf testing. We are going to fix the bugs by the end of Friday. This changes the schedule... expect the Guardian Beta Test to begin on Tuesday!

Nov 22,2005
Staff Test Moved to Wednesday
Noooooooooo! Say it is not so.... how could this have happened. Every day DragonFable is not released is like a day without air, sunshine, or peanut butter chocolate ice cream (with fudge topping!). But fear not friends, for we bravely march forward towards our inevitable victory! (Or at least beta launch.) Meanwhile, I shall attempt to bribe you with more character screenshots.

Nov 21,2005
Getting... so.... close!
Today we are continuing to clean up and prepare DragonFable for the first test event. Our first test for Guardians will consist of one playable class, one town, and one quest featuring various fire monsters using one model. Naturally the reason there is only one of everything is so that we can work out the bugs in a single unified place before applying the code to all of the other files that are like it. *cringes remember having to update 200 AQ monsters one night to fix one line of code*. Thus... behold, the modified test schedule:

  • Staff Test Round #2: Tuesday Night
  • Guardian Test #1: Later this week! (Depends on Staff Testing)

Nov 18,2005
Three cheers for Arklen!
A major bug was discovered with the Warrior class armor two days ago -- it required an entire recreation of the character class... frame by frame, piece by piece. Arklen spent all last night recreating the file -- and this morning, when we put it in... IT WORKED! Go Arklen Go! Go Arklen Go! Here is a scary screenshot demonstrating hair, weapon, and facial expression customization (he looks so blade-happy)! Oishii has been working hard finishing the cast of characters for DragonFable... here is a little sneak peak. Hail to the King! (Yes, we know his shoes are brown... but re-examine his name a bit...) Also, just pretend you did not see the Bloodelf... it was just an illusion. Just an illusion! Tell us what you think on the message forums!

Nov 17,2005
Pyromancy (Good for BBQ)
Updated! (Promo image contains 100% more ebil!)
The town of Testopia has become under siege by a nefarious (*chuckles* Lets see how many times I can use the word nefarious in one game) Elementalist known as Xan. His fire, wind, and earth elementals will certainly destroy the small undefended town... unless... some hero shows up to save them... someone who is good at battling monsters... maybe someone you know.... someone you know... personally? Why is he attacking the town, how did he get his powers, what is his ultimate diabolical goal? (We have no idea but if we are releasing Beta next week we better make something up fast!) Xan is one of the many villians which will be appearing in DragonFable -- and he has a little history with Warlic. Let us know what you think on the message forums!

Nov 16,2005
The Heat is on!
Our sinister beta fire monsters are starting to cast fire balls and look to see if you are already on fire before trying to engulf you in flames again. The effect stack (which controls things like buffs, curses, posions, etc) is now working and it seems that every little feature we add multiples the workload 10 fold. But that is alright... we are cleaning up the engine and preparing for the Guardian test launch. Here is a list of objectives that must be completed before the launch:

  • Final Warrior Player Model (Animations, customization, char creation, skills)
  • Level Up Rewards
  • Website (Terms, Email Activation, Password Changer)
  • Add two playable quests and and some objectives in Testopia!
  • Final walk-though clean up.....
  • Release Beta!

It sounds like a lot, but most of these things have been in the works for a long time and are just wrapping up and coming together. From this moment on, let us refer to this as Beta: Phase 1. In the next phase we will be adding random weapon and armor rewards, shopping, and showing the true potential of DragonFable! Each step of the way should be exciting for all of us.

Nov 15,2005
Battlesystem of MonsterSlaying +5
DragonFable supports 3.5 vs 6+ battles! (.5 for a pet and 6+ as many as we can squish onto our small screenspace). It is turn based, but the battles are extremely fast. The monsters can surround you, heal each other, target strategically important members of your party... but if you use your skills wisely you can ruin their evil plans at every turn easily dispatching them for piles of exp and gold. There is virtually no limit to the number of elements in DF. In addition to elemental resistances like fire, wood, metal, ice, energy there are also resistances to skills such as stun, curse, poison, paralyze, cheese-transmutation, etc. We plan to add new special moves with each class. Special moves will be balanced by having mana requirements, cooldown times, and combo hit requirements. For example... as a Blademaster (Warrior) if you succeed with your normal attack, it will unlock the skill DoubleStrike (150% dmg, cost 10 mana) on your next turn. If you are successful with DoubleStrike it will unlock PowerStrike (200% dmg, cost 20 mana) for your next move! There are a lot of fun things we can give your character(s) the ability do -- which is the point, you want to log in and have a great time battling monsters, gaining new ways to defeat them and getting the strongest items and gear in the game on your lunchbreak. Beta is coming soon!

Nov 14,2005
Chocolate and Suger Coated Deep Fried Twinky!
Mmmmmm.... we have been eating far too much health food. This weekend, Zhoom, Galanoth, Drakia, and myself went to a local event called "Rib Fest". I was hoping their was going to be undead (you can imagine my dissapointment). But I did eat one of those Twinkys! (OMG it was soooooo gooooood!) Also, you can tell Galanoth came back down to visit by the tropical storm forming South of Florida *cringe*. On with the game news: Updates about DragonFable are about to become very regular again. Stay tuned for news about the new Battle system... coming tomorrow!

Nov 11,2005
Have you ever wondered?
... just what it was like working with Artix? Sure, he is a super nice fellow who would give the shirt off his back for anyone in need BUT he suffers from a rare and deadly curse known as "ChangesHisMindAboutGameStuffAlotAndDrivesEveryOneCrazy". This curse has been known, on many occasions to lead to dramatic scenes such as the following:

Zhoom: "Great, all done! Bug Free."
Artix: "Really? Awesome! Oh... can it do this too by chance?"
Zhoom: "Um.... sure... give me a minute"
(5 minutes later)
Artix: "Excellent. Oh... can it possibly do something else to?"
Zhoom: "Um... ok... sure, no problem"
(30 minutes later)
Zhoom: "All done!"
Artix: "On second thought can we change it to do this?
Zhoom: "Sure... but..."
Artix: "... OH! And we need it to do this too which means we need to change this, this, this, this, this, this, this and this... oh and this too!"
Zhoom: "..."
(1 hour later)
Zhoom: "Great, all done! Bug Free."
Artix: "Really? Awesome! Oh... can it do this too by chance?"
*Safiria hides under her desk as Zhoom reaches for the bazooka*

Note: Zhoom has been putting in extreme hours putting in features that will make DragonFable the best RPG ever made when it is finally complete. Cross your fingers for a "test" Beta launch for Guardians next week! Go Zhoom go!

Nov 7,2005
Zorbak goes to Con Updated
See the updates at the Zorbak Website which now features a NecronomiCon section. The Georgia forest adventure with Twilly is coming next! Also, I just received a letter from the Toy company letting me know that the Twilly and Zorbak plushies are scheduled to arrive around December 15th! Meanwhile, in DragonFable... Zhoom spent the last three days re-organizing the code to make developing the final Battle system easier. Starting tomorrow... it is time to make the magic and mayhem!

Nov 4,2005
Staff Alpha Test
Wooooooooohooooooooo! We spent several hours on Friday testing a working alpha of DragonFable. While not all of the staff members were able to attend (We had limited bandwith on our development server) we will be moving to one of the public servers shortly for a full staff test. A good deal of work remains to be completed on the interface and the combat system. Although, keep your fingers crossed for us, if all goes well we may be able to begin the Guardian test within the next two weeks (one if we score a critical hit on our coding)! This test was a big step forward, making DragonFable playable for the first time -- showing off our scripting engine, exploration system, combat system, and Oishii's amaaaaaazing art... slicing and dicing fire elementals at 24fps. Battle on!

Nov 3,2005
With a charisma this high, it is hard to "Resist"
In AdventureQuest there are 8 elements (9 if you include... Element X) which determine how much damage you are able to do to an enemy with a certain type of weapon. In DragonFable, we are expanding the number of elements... infinitely! Aye, your eyes did not deceive you, there will be an unlimited number of resistances in DragonFable. If you have a wild imagination your mind must be swarming with the crazy posibilities ahead of us. By default, if you do not have a resistance it will be at 100%.. For example, your resistance to healing will not be defined, so you will receive 100% of the benefit of being healed. You could buff your healing up to, lets say 150% and get healed for a lot more than normal. Or... in the worse case scenario, you might become undead. And your healing drops to -200%. Which means drinking a healing potion would actually harm you.... a lot! Races will have built in resistances and stat bonuses. For example, the undead are immune to Stun, Fear, Poison, Desease, etc and absorb Darkness by default -- individual undead units are further defined (a lot like a cascading style sheet) allowing exceptions and abominations to be created. Want to come up with fun racial bonuses and resistances? Share your ideas on the DragonFable Message Forum.

Nov 1,2005
This weekend (or early next week at the latest) we will be updating Zorbak goes to Con with brand new photos from both Necronomicon and from... um... Georgia! Meanwhile, in the land of Testopia (On the continent of Prototypia), a small town named Alpha town has a dream.. a dream of becoming a Beta town!