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AQWorlds AQWorlds

The Book of Lore wants to read... you.

Artix Krieger | Wednesday, February 21, 2024

We are rebuilding the world bigger, better... and it just might make sense this time.

So we are rebuilding a massive game. AdventureQuest Worlds: Infinity (Which is coming to Steam, Apple, and Android and will let you log in with your existing character and stuff) requires us to rebuilt every monster, item, quest, cutscene, and, everything else.  For years, players (maybe you?) have written to us about issues with AdventureQuest World's early story-line. So, what if we fixed these story & flow issues? We only get one shot.

This game project's motto is "Keep what we love... also, make it better."

<whispers> "...and try to stop the devs from re-drawing every single thing"

Players have made themselves loud and clear that they want the game to stay authentic to the original. In the same breath they also list 10 trillion things they want improved. Our artists seem incapable of keeping hands off the art. Mostly because the suuuuuper old art from the early years of the game had little shading and look bad against the newer art. Aranx has been doing "glow ups" on the art to bring them up to the level of quality with the new stuff being created for the game. JX (The game artist formerly known as J6) has been the art director, guiding the changes so that things keep the feel of the originals. Of course, this is still too much of a change for die hard fans of the old school. To which my solution is to flash that meme of the little girl saying, "WHY NOT BOTH?". Specifically, with this Dragon below, we are putting both versions in the game. The new dragon with the improved shading will be in the new Dragon's Lair's revamped story. But, as a bonus, we will build a second version of the fight featuring the original dragon... along with some funny cutscenes to say in game what every old school fan of the game is thinking. That is both funny and a good solution. "Keep what everyone loves, and also make it better."

How to improve the story without changing it

Creativity is a process. It can be a pretty wild ride. The process of creating the original version of AdventureQuest Worlds in 2009 was to make up new crazy things each week and release it for you to play.  I wrote the beginnings of the main storyline the same way that I run live events.... with absolutely 0 planning. When I wrote the words "The 13 Lords of Chaos" on that title screen in flash, no one even knew what it meant yet... not even me. No one really questioned it. We came up with weird stuff all the time and made it into gloriously memorable and funny things. But it also created a lot of weird plot issues, loose ends, and inconsistency. True to the game's name, chaos has always been a part of my personal creative process. This brings me to the point. All of those weird plot inconsistencies are now painful to play through. Some of it is charming. But there are a lot of things that just do not make sense. We have a unique opportunity while rebuilding the game, to make everything.... make sense :D Also, a chance to make things more interesting for long time players.

Remember the 1st Chaos Lord, Escherion? He was an M.C. Escher inspired BattleMage with inversion magic. The maps for his area were all based on M.C. Escher art. But what was his backstory? Why did Drakath choose him to become a Chaos Lord? Why did he invert the town? What was the weird cube thing in the storyline that you needed to defeat him? None of these questions were asked nor answered in the game. Sure, some of these things were hinted at in old design notes posts. But who is going to hunt and read that now?  Instead of just copy/pasta'ing quest text, we use the collective power of our creative team to answer these these questions.

Reens and I have been spending a lot of time thinking about the above in relation to the new intro we are building. At the time of AQWorlds' release, the vast majority of our playerbase was in love with DragonFable. Sepulchure, the DoomKnight, was the main villain of that game at the time. Drakath was in that game too. Although, he was still human. The intro was created to shock long time fans of our games. But it did assume that you knew who Sepulchure was. A new player would have nooooo idea who these characters are or what was happening. Sorta how I felt at the start of Game of Thrones. If we want to have that moment in Infinity (spoiler: we do!), then we need to have a proper setup which introduces the hero to these villains and cast of characters prior to that event taking place. Which dangles a scary option in front of us. Should we create a new story that happens BEFORE the 13 Lords of Chaos in this game? I guess the question is anyone else crazing a little more Sepulchure time in AQWorlds?

Gravelyn comic book?

We should talk about this too...

A year or so ago we finished a comic book for AdventureQuest Worlds called, "Gravelyn". Pronounced "Grave-Lyn". It is just one issue and has not been released yet. It starts a little bit before the undead invasion of Swordhaven and tells the story from Gravelyn's point of view. She is an awesome main story character. We have been toying around with the idea of basing the intro on this story and having you collide with the events in the comic. One of the things I truly regret from the original AQWorlds, is that you never got to spend time with Gravelyn and get to knew her before that giant flying undead dragon castle fell from the sky. This is something I would like to do. But just because I like it does not make it feasible. This will increase the size of the intro a lot. A new player will need to complete the entire intro before entering the Town of Battleon and then being able to access the rest of the game world. Worth talking about.

The Dragon's Lair

We had been working on re-creating an adventure from AQWorld's The 7 Deadly Dragons Saga. The maps, monsters, and machines are complete. But we still need the cutscenes and music before releasing it. The music/soundFX system for cutscenes was just finished last week. This adventure was re-created with no changes from the one in the existing game. After talking about the intro, we decided the before we start the equivalent of open heart surgery on the game's main storyline, we should try doing it to a smaller area and let you try it. That area is going to be the Dragon's Lair. 

The Dragon's Lair has all of the same issues that a lot of early AQWorlds adventures do. Who is this Dragon? Why are we raiding his lair? Who are the DragonSlayers? How can it be a more fun experience to be invited to join their order? Can we get some lava shaders and particle FX in there to make the map cooler? This is what the team is working on this week and next.

Features & Combat Update

Since the last tech demo, programmers Warlic, Yorumi, Tunik, and Spider have been working on that enormous list of bugs, issues, and features. Also some database help from Captain Rhubarb. For the most part it has been going well. Warlic has been working on automating the conversion of armors. It works like the weapon converter-- it will not have its animations, but many items should be good enough to load and wear. However, the size of the Unity project resulted in no end of 6 hour build-hangs and computer crashes. This morning, he had a major victory with it.  Spider's "Skill Forge" is a tool that will enable AQWorld's balance and tester teams refine skills for the game in an incredibly fun way. We did our first content team review of it today which was really exciting. Tunik has been on the triple duty of Loot bags, Dialog Cutscenes, and general UI. The priority has been loot bags. We did not like having to walk over the bags to pick them up, so we changed it so the loot automatically flies up into a special "loot" inventory. This inventory does not take up any of your normal inventory space. The new items stay there so you can decide what to do with them. We felt it was important to be able to preview the item before moving it to your main inventory. Actually, we wanted to be able to see the main inventory and the loot bag at the same time with the item preview in the middle. Meanwhile, Yorumi fixed all of the server issues and has moved on to the backlog of stuff including being able to put quotes around names with spaces in them so you can send them private messages or goto them.

Wishlist AdventureQuest Worlds: Infinity on Steam

Thank you for following this game project! If you have not already yet, be sure to wishlist AdventureQuest Worlds: Infinity on Steam.

Battle on!
Artix

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