The game world moves fast.... blink, and you will miss it.
Last year we converted over the entire Town of Battleon over into AQWorlds Infinity.... so, of course the town in the current game has been complete redesigned since. X_X.
Here, see for yourself...
New Forge vs Old Forge
The new version of the forge is on the left. The old version is on the right. You can tell the version on the right is AQWorlds Infinity because it has been in development so long my character's hair turned gray.(Just kidding. Spider converted ALL the hairs over. But there is a color customization problem that they are currently working on. But when AQWorlds does release year... I am tempted to make all of your characters hair gray/white. It will be our inside joke. )
We have to rebuild EVERY town screen in AQWorlds Infinity... again!?
It is the finest example of extreme comedy, that the new version of town is in the old version of the game.... which begs the question-- who is going to tell J6 that he needs up update all of the screens in town again? #Not-It
While we are at it.... what if we optimized the file loads and player counts when you explore town?
A flowchart of the Town of Battleon
Alina made this handy flow chart of town. If you are a long time player of AQWorlds, you know that some places are very dense with players (like Yulgar's Inn) and that some areas are emptier than my wallet after Amazon Prime Day. As we do our final run-through to update town... it is a good time to make some changes.
Here is what I am thinking....
- We merge more of town into a single scrollable map... "the row of shops!" and give it a really high player count.
- We would add more "life" to town... like DragonFable did
- Major shops and locations like (Yulgar's Inn, Pet Shop, Forge) all get their own instances
- We expand the "BattleOn Enter" map and add a lot of super useful portals and intractable things (like a Dragon you can fly on?) to go to important places in the world.
- Instead of walking right to the Nexus... we add progressive storyline content to the right. (This would be VERY intuitive for new players. It would also have to be crafted very creatively.)
- Move some of the hard to get to shops/areas like the Arena onto the main row of shops.
- As a general rule... areas should be bundled together by how often they get updated. So areas that get updated a lot would be their own file. That way you do not have to download all of town again every time one shop gets updated.
"Smart NPCs" for the win!
We have talked about this a lot already... but it is worth bringing up again.
In the old version of the games, the NPCs (non-player characters), speech bubbles, code, and logic were all built into the map. So, if we needed to fix a single typo, the entire map needed to be re-published, and reuploaded, and the servers needed to be told to reload the map. For a typo! (And I make a lot of typos). But this is not true in AQWorlds: Infinity!
The NPCs in AQWords Infinity are not part of the map. They are loaded separately as needed. In fact, our developers are able to place them just by walking to where we want to put them, and typing a command which "POOF!" places them into the room. Even better... ALL of the text, quests, buttons, and logic comes from the game's database. Which means we can change it on the fly while you play without you having to re-download anything.
This is all currently working.
A lot of stuff has started working recently.
We are in the middle of testing all of the quest changes from last week now.
Here are the most recent meeting notes.... as always, I just copy/pasta my actual meeting notes here for you.
2023.07.03.("Happy 3rd of July!")
- We started today's meeting talking about our very first computers and the first games we played. Then it devolved into how the 90s had robots with cowboy hats that sang songs and how now those are going to be powered by AI and we are all doomed. This week is off to a killer start.
- Tunik (We always make him go first)
- Floating APOP option
- There is a new check mark called "freeze client" in the admin. It is checked by default. If you uncheck it, the apop can stay open and you can move around! Useful for the menu when you log in in game.
- Quest Detail Panel
- Fixed issue with aspect ratio on non-19:9 ratios
- Added smart spacing last week, but we also need to change it when the header shows up (because the header is bigger now). Now there are 4 spacing settings.
- Working on disabling the APOP when secondary windows are opened (this will stop those weird ghost buttons that are not clickable from appearing)
- Helped Artix put the polygon collider visualizers into the main project
- Added all of the new Database fields for quests
- Talk to Objective now works properly
- Test quest: Talk to Artix. It only works if you take the quest to Artix.
- Also works if you tag it as an "auto turn in quest" but you will still need to talk to the NPC first.
- Every time you talk to an NPC it always sends the request to the server and it tracks who you are talking to-- this lets it check the quest complete when it is a required NPC.
- If you specify a dialog/cutscene, it should show the dialog first. Tuesday, we are going to test this and the dialog editor together.
- Next: Displaying the NPC head on the quest tracker
- Adding/Fixing slash commands
- all of the commands in Artix's doc should be working now.
- Commands now give feedback
- Not using parameters will act as "all" especially good for clearing maps and monsters.
- Next up
- Return to fixing Guild Bugs
- Re-converted all of the hairs. Need to run the masker tool.
- Warlic was manually setting up the item slots because they were not in the armor importer. Need to automate this part.
- Next up
- Combat! (Finally)
- On Wednesdays we are going over all of the tools with Warlic to document them so others can start using them.
The following notes were taken by Despair.... since I had to go to the Doctor's for a follow up on that colonoscopy. Got my results. Bad news for my haters, I am going to live. Probably for an extremely long time.
- Apops are now suspendable by UI windows and we can do this with any new ones we build.
- Fixed guild window header
- uiconfirm / messagebox / uicombatreward windows now have a more distinct border to make them pop out against windows below them.
- Removed tweens on UI windows
- Quest tracker heads were cutting holes in the UI. Fixed.
- Fixed leads in apops. Again.
- Currently debugging cutscenes in the client.
- Npc heads loading in the quest tracker.
- Still need to fix loading for customizable npcs.
- Quest Tracker opens apops instead of quest detail when an apop override is defined for a quest.
- NPC Turn-in quests check map id and npc id for turn in requirements.
- Talk to npc quest type functional
- Load dialog for quest when dialog id is defined
- Wip - dialogs are not loading properly right now.
- Fixed a bug that caused a message to appear that you don’t meet the requirements, even though the quest was successfully completed.
- Finished converting all the hairs
- Warlic will run cloud builder for hairs to push them into the game
- Combat started
Meetings sure can go on a long time....
A tale of 3 Lil' Gamers....
So, all 3 of my children have all been obsessively playing AdventureQuest 3D. Which is really surreal. I made a post on Facebook about it. Last week, each of them used the money they had saved up to buy Guardianship. Watching them play has been... illuminating. They level a lot slower than power gamers (...which probably includes you if you are reading this). It is interesting to see what things they notice and fixate on. Watching them debate about which class is more effective for which situation while I was driving them in the car. One more than one occasion I caught them practicing the attack combos of the Guardian class in real-life with the rubber Katanas we bought during Halloween. So I am VERY excited for when they, and you, are testing AQWorlds Infinity together. I am waiting until Infinity is ready before watching them test it. Some of my recommendations about the map organization above are a result of when I watched my daughter start playing AQWorlds. Because she could not read when she started playing, the places she intuitively went were not the best places for a new player to go. Redesigning town and the game to make playing more intuitive and fun would benefit everyone. Infinity is a good place to give it a try. Meanwhile, someone needs to have a serious talk with this boy about the dangers of using Necromancer and Chaos classes XD.
After writing this post, I am on my way to test all the new things the team finished putting in Infinity. Wish us luck!