AQWorlds AQWorlds

Dev Diary - Skill Forge & Interactive Machines

Artix Krieger | Friday, September 29, 2023

"It is beginning to smell like Pumpkin-spice...."

As I write this, we are only two days away from October! My favorite month of the year. The spookiest time of the month-- ghosts, vampires, werewolves, and "video game development feature creep". Funny, no one ever dresses up as the last one for Halloween.

The AdventureQuest Worlds: Infinity team has been in hyper-drive mode-- and there seems to be some uplifting breakthrough every day. I would like to share some of the big ones with you below. Also, I would like to talk about how you are going to be able to join us in the first tests this year.

But first... Alina asked me to answer a few top questions!

1. [WhyNot @AqwMobileWisher] asks, "How about you pause aqw for a couple of weeks and focus on aqw:infinity... we are waiting for this game for a couple of years and only got teasers.."

Happy to clear this up. Yes, we are developing both games at the same time. The teams working on each game are different, and have different skills. The people growing the AQWorlds (Web) each week are skilled artists, animators, and writers. The people building AQWorlds: Infinity are mostly programmers (Zhoom, Tunik, Warlic, Yorumi, Spider, Captain Rhubarb) who are building the game and conversion tools. Until the tools are ready, there would be no speed increase by adding more people. Also, AQWorlds: Infinity needs content to be created in Adobe Animate / Flash... so almost everything they are building now, will ultimately go into Infinity.

In Call

The picture above is what every day looks like on Discord....

2. Is AQWorlds (Web) ever going to shut down? (Spoiler: No)

Short of an Earth-destroying asteroid or devastating internet collapse, the current version of AdventureQuest Worlds will continue running.

3. Do I get to keep all of my stuff in Infinity?

Yes. When you log into Infinity, you will have your items and be able to equip them. (As long as they have already been converted of course! If they have not been converted yet, you will see that you have it but it will say this item is waiting to be converted)

4. Why are you not posting more!?

Sorry! You deserve more update posts. In the old days when working on DragonFable, then AQWorlds, and then more recently, AQ3D, I would start each day with a post. I really enjoyed it. Understandably, for a while now I have been overwhelmed by the workload and the other urgent duties at AE. It is sorta game-dev triage... do I work on the game or make posts? Of course there needs to be time for both. Sharing with you what is happening is really important. Maybe I can call in some help.

So... here is what we have been working on!

5. How does the Unity announcement impact AdventureQuest Worlds: Infinity

Ultimately, it does not change anything-- except increasing our costs. We are committed to finishing the game and proceeding as planned.

"Unity, Monsters, Skills, and Classes oh my!"

In today's progress update we will talk about how the team is re-animating monsters, re-building class skills, and how we are able to start doing the crazy things Flash let us get away with. Also, we should talk about Unity.




So this animated GIF of the dragon Glutus is a side-by-side comparison of Infinity (left) and Web (right).

Not bad! (Especially considering I animated this one.) Reens, J6, and I spent this week building/converting this part of the 7 Deadly Dragons saga.  It was a really area to convert because it does just about every weird, tricky, and unexpected type of thing that can happen in AdventureQuest Worlds.

Thanks to J6 and Warlic... we have really gotten the map conversion process down.

Here you can see this frame without monsters...

Well, this is how the computer sees it. The blockers show which areas you cannot walk on and the pads on the ground do things when you walk on them.

Monsters and NPCs are loaded dynamically

In the web version of the game, NPCs are built into the map. In Infinity, they are built separately and loaded very much like monsters. Which means you can walk around them and they can have special animations. We still keep discovering little load glitches like weird poof in the middle of the screens bove. A lot of these fixes are minor.

Better Faceplates

In the original game, the heads that you see at the top of the screen in the nameplates were specially designed. Here in Infinity, we can define the region that shows.

Building one of each type of quest

The quest system has been getting a lot of back and forth as we build stuff and encounter issues. We reverted a big change last week after play testing. It is getting there.

Character sizing and Quality

As Reens started working in the project, we have been locking down the best way to convert characters... which will make the line thicknesses look good and prevent the characters from being too pixilated. (Thank you Mip maps setting!)

Particle Systems on 2D Monsters

The screenshot above is old. It was the first particle test on monsters. Because we will not be able to import many of the huuuuuuuge multi-frame custom drawn fire animation effects from Flash, we will be using our flash art to create particle systems. Warlic added a feature that lets you toggle particle effects on and off... for anyone playing on a toaster phone that notices a drop in frame-rate.

Skill Forge


This needs an entire post just for itself.

Spider built an in-game editor for devs to let them custom build skills.The screenshot is not from some special editor... that is actually a screen shot from the game O_O.

Combat is now working

We had been working with a broken version of combat for a long while-- it is working properly now in a way we can test.

Cross Platform stuff

When redesigning maps... we really need to pay special attention to how it will look on different devices. Arrows and objects might be hidden under the interface on different platforms. How terrible would it be if you were supposed to click on something that was covered! It seems like such a minor thing, but converting the game has a never ending sea of weird "gotchas" like this that we are figuring out how to fix.

New Login screen

Hey! Why am I the only online? We had a placeholder login screen for a long time... this was nice to see.


So when you hear about comically horrific bugs... this is a fun example. We changed these pop up boxes to have custom labels. Mostly, we use these for things like making sure you want to leave a map. In this screenshot, it was asking if you wanted to change the area, even though you were really trying to delete an XP boost. Also, this is when I noticed we did not have a slider for selling more than 1 thing at a time yet, LOL!

OK.... ready for something more complicated?

How about we talk about...


As you read this we are working on Machines. (Literally. I am in voice chat and Zhoom & Warlic are designing edge case stuff.) What are machines? Well, these are the the invisible things in the game that makes everything work. This topic also deserves an entire post of its own. Building machines for single player games takes a little bit of thought....

Imagine you are making a door. Well, the door starts closed. How do you open the door? You could click on it, or walk over a pressure plate, or pull a lever. Are there requirements for opening the door? Does the door require a key? Do you need to have an item in your hand or be a certain class? And when you do open the door, you need to play the opening animation. Then, once the door is open, does it stay open? Does it stay open after you log off and log back in? Does opening the door complete a quest? Is the door a magic portal that disapears after the quest is complete?  A single player machine needs to be able to do all of these things. But we are making an MMORPG-- how do you make this door multiplayer? Do other players see it open. There it is-- now you understand the importance and purpose of the interactive machines we are building. 

Our machines need to be able to do all of the above... and that is exactly what Warlic is making them do.

We also need them to be easier to use than the ones we built in AdventureQuest 3D (spoiler: we made them too complex over there.) One of the guiding lights that I feel very strong about-- "If something is simple to do, it gets used. If something is too complex, it is dreaded and avoided." This is especially important to consider when building these tools.

The goal is to make super complex things, very simple to actually do with these tools.

Player Tests?

Our goal remains to release a version of AdventureQuest Worlds: Infinity by the end of the year. The likelihood of that being a Tech Demo followed by Alpha Testing (like we did for AdventureQuest 3D) is increasing.

If anyone is actually thinking this is going to be a complete, fully functional, 100% perfect version of the game.... it will not be.

This game will need your help. LOTS of your help.  We will have a strong base game, a starting point from which you can give us feedback which we will use to rapidly fix stuff, make improvements, and add the features features you want. We will need your help making sure items are properly converted.  We will need your help prioritizing what order items are converted in.

Over the past week, I have been sitting idle in AQWorlds (web) while working. Players have asked me a ton of questions about the new game. I got a lot of questions about what new features Infinity will have and what sort of content will be in it. I made a point of really explaining that our first priority is replicating the beauty and fun of the existing game-- and as you know, it has been challenging. Sure, we added new features like scrolling, WASD & joystick support, particle systems, dynamic NPCs, and cross-platform support. It is vital that we get Infinity up to the level of the current game before we go crazy adding new features and improvements. To do that, we are going to need your help.

The Tech Demo and Alpha Tests will feel a lot like being part of a building a brand new game. Except... in this case, you will already know exactly what you want. Because you will notice things that are missing-- things that you depend on. And when you point them out, we will build them. This is what any tester of AdventureQuest Worlds: Infinity should expect. If you want to test... you are coming to help us build this game. In all fairness, we built the original AQWorlds together-- why would this experience be any different?

Do not hold me to these dates... but at our current pace, it looks like we could be ready for the Tech Demo in November, and the Alpha Testing in December. If that holds true, we will be ready to start mass conversion at some point in November.



Your copy/pasta of our team meeting notes to catch up on what has been happening behind the scenes.

2023.09.25.Last week of November

  • Tunik
    • Focused on NPC scale this week.
      • Issue where NPCs would spawn in wrong place in APOPs
      • This was due to code from PAX that needed fixed. 
      • Now NPCs will appear at the right place on all screens. 
    • Characters on Quest screen work the same now too.
    • Quest list screen
      • It was originally 3 panels, but after testing we decided to make it like AQWorlds and AQ3D and put it into a single panel. 
      • This is now complete.
    • Portrait Framer
      • We have officially gotten rid of the camera framer and only use camera focus now. As long as it has a 2D collider it will frame the monsters head correctly in the panel. 
  • Warlic
    • Machine week!
      • Worked on a local only version of the machine for the AQW content crew
      • Added notification system for these local machines (i.e. You have 3 monsters left to kill)
    • Removed Portrait Framer stuff from the game and removed all references to it. 
    • Create a branch and started working on Machine Editors
      • This is an IN-GAME tool for Devs
      • Add Actions/Requirements
      • Got pretty far... can click on a machine and edit some of the functionality on it. 
      • Needs to save data (requires process for submitting JSON data to server)
      • Need a UI.
      • Next phase: Server side state saving...
  • Yorumi
    • Guilds!
      • A few recent changes to the server broke things.
      • Guild broadcaster fixed.
      • Database commands were not finding the players in the list of members. Working on fixing this currently. This is the last fix required for guilds
      • Guilds still needs a UI.
    • Fixed remaining /command bugs
  • Spider
    • Combat!
    • Finished first iteration of Skill Forge (that is the new name for the node system builder)
    • It is now usable by devs In game...
    • ARTIX: WHAT!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!
    • All info is now stored server side only. 
    • Posted a video to show how it works: A dev can build skills for classes on the fly. They can be edited, tweaked, and then saved to the server. 
  • Zhoom: "I have worked on so many projects. This is the first time if feels like we focused on tooling and how to build before we released it."

2023.09.18.Talk Like a Pirate Week

  • Tunik
    • UI changes for Artix
    • Dev buttons renamed
    • News APOP now uses ID 1
    • Quest screen font sizes now match
    • Default text sizes in speech bubbles is now larger
    • Added spacing to the top of text bubbles.
    • Old prefab for text headers updated with new one
    • Quest NPCs were showing at the wrong size on some screens -- fixed
    • Started on Nested PRefabs
  • Warlic
    • Started on Machines
      • Created the first quest machine -- loads machine data from server and gets a list of actions and requirements. You can go to the Forest map and click on the balloon to see a basic machine that does a notify. Since these are at the database level, they are extremely secure. 
      • Next up: Working on requirements
    • Added buttons for Devs to add APOPs straight in game!
      • Just click the (+) button to create a new database APOP and add it to the character.
      • Requires access level, and an admin login with an additional special api key for security. 
    • Bug fixes
      • Quest detail now only shows its end text once the quest is complete (the bug was in quests that had no requirement)
      • Fixed monster names reverting when screens were switched in dev mode.
      • NPC's now show the proper (!), (?), or gray (?) depending on your quest status for all quests. 
    • Tweaks to how info is shown for devs like monster ID.
    • Talk quests are handled differently than normal quests (because even though you have not talked to them yet the quest is technically ready to turn in). Talk to quests will now only show the gold (?)
    • Added new SoundFX including AQW's bling sound.
    • Closing quest detail during the APOP screen would leave some panels up. This has been fixed.
  • Yorumi
    • Built basic machine functionality on the server / database
    • Bug Fixes
      • /commands are nearly all done (a few more to go)
      • Machine flow bugs should be working
  • Spider
    • Cleaned up combat code
    • Skill Forge (previously called Nodes) are dynamically generated through code-- so it is no longer needed to make a manual prefab each time. 
    • Will have Skill Forge (node based) combat (1st draft) ready to show by Wednesday! Will need early feedback. Process: 
      • Load spell
      • Tweak Spell
      • Save Spell to database
      • See it in action in game....
  • J6
    • Currently working on maps... doing the 8th Chaos Lord
  • Ghost
    • Working on animations for a special test class
    • Massive login testing (back and forth between both versions of the game)
    • Artix and Reens need to review NPC conversion process

2023.09.11.Map Stuff Working

  • Warlic
    • APOP Builder
    • Quest system fixes/improvements
    • Up next: Must eat frogs
      • APOP stuff
      • Switch hairs to use asset bundles X_X
      • A gazillion not so fast tasks which are not high priority (quest machine, adding gauntlets as an equip type, helms, cloud builder changes)
  • Tunik
    • New server screen! (matches the existing game)
    • Need to get data pulled into the server screen still
    • Fixed performance of inventory and shop screens
    • Scroll bar resizes as your inventory increases (It now clamps at top and bottom which feels better)
    • Up next:
      • Working on buttons and cutscenes with Artix
      • Multi-Quest tracker
  • Spider
    • Combat polishing and fixes done
    • Up next:
      • Node builder! (Now renamed to "Skill Factory")
      • More combat polish
  • Yorumi
    • Fixed all of the slash commands & server side validation
  • Reens & J6
    • Major map push! 
    • All Greenguard areas connecting the Town of Battleon have art and colliders.
  • Zhoom
    • Multi-Quest tracker - adds a button to the right side that allows you to track multiple quests and collapse it. 
    • Clicking the quest will make it your active one (super intuitive)
  • Captain Rhubarb
    • Major Admin/Database tool changes
  • Artix
    • Up next
      • Review changes to quest system
      • Review changes to database admin tools
      • Review slash commands
      • Build one of each quest template
  • More Stuff
    • SoundFX
      • Remaster sounds
      • Change soundFX to play at the correct time of the animation (not in the damage bubble appear)

2023.08.28.Review Day

  • Tunik
    • News screen button functionality in mini-menu
    • Player clone masking on the character screen
    • Various changes to the yes / no window
    • Re-worked how NPC heads are scaled in the UI.
    • Fixing Character Layering/Sizing in the UI
  • Warlic
    • Transfer pads
      • They now check to make sure the room exists before trying to go to it. This is something that the existing AQWorlds does not check. 
    • "Book Ends" on map screens
      • We made a decision to fade the edges if your screen size was bigger than the map. This is because the maps can be different sizes.
      • Color customizable! Definable on a cell by cell basis.
      • Possible to force them on or off too.
    • Are you sure? Check box
      • Added the ability to add confirmation windows when transferring maps
    • Quest issues
      • Turn in quests - the turn in quests were making the quests invisible because of the filter. This has been fixed.
      • Capt. Rhubarb is adding a second field to separate get quests from turn in quests in the database.
      • Fixed auto saga for Saga #0 (this is only for quests that are not on a story line... but it caused a huge bug because the game kept trying to put you on the Saga 0 storyline.)
    • Monsters and NPCs have name labels now 
      • Hostile is red
      • Friendly is..... Probably going to need to be change
    • NPC Apop size issue - fixed.
    • Edge collider now automatically spawn! (No need for map makers to put them in the maps any more)
  • Spider
    • Combat Stability
      • Fixed target facing after charging
      • Adjusted charge range so player is no longer on top of the monster
      • Player no longer charges the monster if already in range
    • Node System
      • Added Node Range (checking distance between player and mob)
        • Monster movement is not tracked by server currently.
        • So, implementing server size monster position. This will make node range accurate
      • Chat will tell you if you are out of range.
  • Yorumi
    • Clear Quest command
      • Now clears monsters and other quest related things too.
    • Cell pads are now optional
    • /cell now gives the list of cells
    • Next up: Adding direction to move to me.
    • Adding X,Y information for the Goto Player command
  • Artix
    • Map Editor Tools
  • Feature Request
    • Maps Project: Set Confiner Collider so that it determines the vertical height of the playable area and zoom the orthographic camera to it.  
  • Team Goals and Stuff
    • Monsters
      • Frogzard 
    • Areas
      • Battleon
        • Fix all maps linking in to use those those names
      • Lair
      • 1st part of Story (Opening of Game)
      • Through 1st Chaos Lord
    • J6
      • Asd
    • Ghost
      • Available 1st two weeks of Sept
      • Zhoom reserved his time for Spider's combat system
    • Darkon
      • Working with Lodrian on animation. Might be able to help.
  • News Button
    • Based it off of the Dev button.... so we now have a news  button!
    • Character screen was not being mapped out properly.
    • If you had a giant sword it would block the stats
    • So now it works like the target panel does. 
  • Changes to the map change screen
  • Fixed NPC Head display issue with Warlic
    • New system:" takes width of the box trying to display and then the height, then uses a percentage to figure out where they should be.
    • Warlic and Artix added "Camera Focus" object to every NPC and monster in the game
    • Warlic note: Target panel & Questt tracker are now using this too!

Thank you

Battle on!


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