AQWorlds AQWorlds

Sound FX & Music

Artix Krieger | Wednesday, June 7, 2023

*sings* "The hills are alive.... with the sound of FX & music."

OK... it is confession time.

Remember how we went to PAX: East a little while ago?

It was a big deal. A VERY big deal.

We pushed so hard to get a working "hey game reviewer come look at this" version of the game ready.

...and it was a smashing success.

But there was something missing that NO ONE noticed.

That is right. Not a single person noticed that one of the most basic features of the game was completely missing.

Our game had no sound.

Nope. No music. No SoundFX. Nothing.

It was easy to miss at PAX. The place is blaring with endless chaotic sounds of loop videos and video games that made it hard to even talk to the person standing next to you. I was relieved no one noticed. It was a calculated gamble--  with only so much time to prepare for the event we had to carefully choose which features could be ready in time. In this instance, it was the correct call. The game's strong visuals are its greatest strength. It made sense to focus on that. Especially since no one would have been able to hear the sound there anyway. But now we are finishing a ton of features that have been in progress.

AQWorlds: Infinity now has Music & SoundFX

Today, I am pleased to announce that Warlic has added a sound system that handles SoundFX and Music into AdventureQuest Worlds: Infinity. Like AdventureQuest 3D we have common sounds that are built into the game, and also have the ability to load custom sounds alongside monsters, maps, and items.

Warlic is now working on one more feature for our SoundFX. See, the existing web version of the game does not support scrolling. This means all of the players, monsters, and action happens on a single screen. So in that version of the game, all sound is played through your speakers at a constant volume. But as I logged in today, one of the testers was off-screen, far to the right.... off screen. I could hear them fighting.Despite them being far away, it sounded like they were fighting right next to me. We decided that the game really does need positional sound. So Warlic is adding in a little extra code that let your ears tell where the action is happening. So, when you log in... you may hear a faint fighting to your right. If you walk that direction it will get louder as you approach. It should be very immersive.

We are also adding priority to different kinds of SoundFX. This will make sure important sounds (like yours) play over players or environmental SoundFX.  This is especially important when you are fighting.

"Make it the same, but better"

Currently, we are using the exact same sounds from the current game. Following our philosophy of keeping it the same, but making it better we will be doing a pass at mastering the sounds. One of my favorite current sounds is known as the "Meaty Thwack". Sounds sorta like clubbing someone with a giant tuna. I think this sound has existed in all of our games. I have no idea how you improve on the perfection of that sound... and perhaps it is impossible. But we are going to take a twack at it. Even if it is just taking some of the "harshness" out of it.

Monster Animations

The other big thing happening right now is Spider's monster animation conversion tools. You will see it in the notes below. These tools will help us bring some of the animations created in Flash into Unity. There is no perfect "Just press this button and convert a monster" solution for our complex and strange monsters. But these tools have the potential to increase the speed of converting monsters by 10X.


As usual... here is the copy/pasta of the previous two weeks of meeting notes.


2023.05.31.(The hills are alive with the SoundFX of Music...)

  • Tunik
    • Animations now working in the Dialogue editor
    • Z-Order now working in the Dialogue editor
    • Fixed a major game breaking bug in the Dialogger
    • Helped Diogon troubleshoot UI prefabs
    • Next up: Quest UI & Debug APOP button
  • Warlic
    • Music & SoundFX! (Added sound system)
    • Pulled some of AQ3D's sounds for now
    • Database Sound Track Table - Now maps can have a soundtrack associated with sound track table IDs. You can test this by entering the town of Battleon. 
    • Adding custom sounds to classes, skills, and monsters
  • Yorumi
    • APOP version control. It pulls the latest version on the database side.
    • Working on Party. It is almost ready. There are a few logic issues that needs to be cleaned up. 
    • Gave a 40 minute talk to a Middle School Class about Game Development. 
    • Next up: Finishing party and then moving on to Guilds & Guild Chat.
  • Spider
    • Animation Exporter
      • Latest export text was comparable to the animations that Ghost had made (Very promising)
      • Using the original FLA file, the animator removes all of the special effects and then runs the exporter. 
      • Creates .anim files for each label
      • The naming convention of each animation layer is just by their ID. Then the FLA file gets published into a swf file, the naming gets deprecated which just leaves the number ID of the animation. 
      •  Next up: Testing and then combat node system
  • Diogon
    • UI Prefabs
  • Notes
    • Music and SoundFX
      • Music - We need to put all of the music into a single player, properly name it.
      • SoundFX - We need to re-master the SoundFX. As with everything else in the game, "The same but better."
      • Need an override field on the classes and monsters that allow us to use soundFx built into the engine, or new soundFXs baked into the monster. (Note Warlic made the SoundFX mixer class that is used in AQ3D. So we will do the same thing in AQWorlds Infinity.)


Started the meeting with a round of quick "bug-scovery" - found lots of bugs and started rapidly fixing them.

  • Spider
    • Animation converter work
    • Tried different methods. SWF --> Unity was too involved. So now we repurpose the armor conversion tool to convert the monster sprites. 
    • So you have the FLa file, clean it up and remove the animation effects, then drag the FLA into the project. It will create the animation files. Go back into the FLA file and run a separate program to create sprite .PNG files with proper labeling of the monsters assets. Then, drop those sprite PNG's into the Unity project. Then, it will build the game object from the animation and art. This will let monsters be animated very closely.
    • Ease In/Out -- seems to keep the proper easing. Last we there was a concert than it  was only a standard tween. We need further testing to make sure everything is exported correctly. 
    • There is a size increase from the rotation key frames. Size increases from 350K to 750K per animation. 
    • Up next: Add the dummy that you can drag and drop to apply the animation to. 
  • Tunik
    • New APOP Implementation week
    • The pre-fabs were made at 1.2 instead of 1. Resized everything and fixed bugs. 
    • The apop mockup was missing name header components. Improvised and created something that matches the existing graphics.
    • The characters that showed up in the apops had some layering issues due to changes in the cutscene system. Created conditions so the old layering is used outside of cutscenes.
    • In the new apop system there is always a “done” button visible. Created a system to dynamically place it.
    • Worked on the dialog editor. Fixed some bugs regarding direction.
    • Next up: New quest screen. It is functional, but there are some obvious issues that I am working on. 
  • Warlic
    • SoundFX are in!
    • External loading SoundFX is now working. You can add a mixer on a monster and add custom soundFX to monsters. Just tag them with the sound you want to override. 
    • Added options in the Options Menu for music/soundFX on and off. There are also sliders to control the volume.
    • Forgot password button now takes you to the scene
    • Character create screen was broken-- fixed it. It still needs a complete overhaul. 
    • Next up: Positional audio (so you can tell if someone off screen is fighting to your right.) Character creation
  • Yorumi
    • Party Invites working with slash commands
    • Tracks leader, who is in the party, and chat.
    • Currently /pi (adding /invite as an alternate)
  • Zhoom
  • ARtix
  • Bugs and issues
    • Missing/dissapearing items
      • Cape/Back item disappearing when other players entered the screen . 
      • Default hair disappearing
      • It is possible everyone is receiving the equip/remove command with the new event dispatcher... 
    • When characters first spawn in, they are in the center of the screen and then pop to another location
    • Live Client: Typed /backflip and nothing happened, chat defocused and the text did not go away. 
    • Need to check through listeners and clean up for listeners on logout.
    • Checkboxes for SoundFX and music
    • New APOP
      • Change the Name Plate to match the mockup
      • Only show scroll bar when there is scrollable content
      • Scroll the text under the name plate (so the nameplate does not move)
      • Put all little speachbubbles above characters heads on their own UI layer that is hidden when an apop opens. 
    • Jbyrdab posted a few new bugs in discord that need to be checked
    • Respawn issue
      • Something is looping on monster respawn. Yorumi is investigating
    • Party / Party Chat
      • All chat color changes to blue when you are in a party
      • Can we change the color of speech bubble for party chat?
      • Sending a party invite to a bad name should say "user cannot be found or user has invites turned off)
      • Needs Party UI
      • You can send a party leader an invite
    • Attempting to join a map that does not exist causes all of the characters to disappear
    • Loot chest is weirdly out of position


Coming next

Seeing parties and guilds being implemented is extremely uplifting. I am picking up where I left off before getting sick. My family and I had been pretty sick the past two weeks. We had cases of Pink Eye, Pneumonia, Bronchitis, Flu, and somehow even... Food Poising. Now that things are getting back to normal, the goal is to try to convert some existing AQWorlds full areas. When stuff cannot be done or breaks, we will simply fix that-- and repeat until we have our full conversion process working. Consider it a game developer's trial by fire. I am looking forward to sharing all of the embarrassing stories of what happened in the next post. (At least, I hope there are embarrassing stories to tell.) What could possibly go wrong?

Battle on!

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