Design Notes

Breaking News

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ColorCustomization33.jpg

Next AdventureQuest 3D Alpha Test scheduled for Thursday

Calling all Alpha testers! We will be conducting our next test this Thursday, April 11th, 2013, at noon (EST). We know many players will be working or at school, so we will try to keep the alpha server online for 24 hours or more. The objective of the test will be to complete our first monster slaying quest which will earn you 250 Alpha Points. Also, secretly you will be testing our new armor/item loader and texturing system. Graphicially things will be very simliar, except the starting warrior armor is now color customizable. Of course, the color is chosen completely at random for the time being. Want the nitty gritty behind the scenes details of what we have been doing? *points at the Read More button.... "Punch it, Chewie!"

Game Designer Time: Color Customizable 3D armor

Back in our 2D games like AdventureQuest, DragonFable, and AQWorlds, making a complex armor that was also color customizable was a little bit tricky. Once an artists finished drawing and coloring an armor, we would delicately go into every piece of the armor (hands, arms, shoulders, chest, upper leg, lower leg, etc) and break each individual color into it's own layer. That layer would then be turned into a movie clip. Inside Flash, everything is treated like little movieclips. Anyway, we would add code to each of the movieclips which was smart enough to figure out what color it was supposed to be. When the armor is loaded into the game, the code on each piece tints itself the correct color.  You might be thinking, "there MUST be an easier way!" To which the answer is, sure... there are lots of not-so-great short cuts. But this is the only way to do it right in Flash. I really thought doing this in 3D would be easier.... *insert abrupt and semi-maniacally crazed laughter here*

Building a web based 3D game creates two problems. #1 is File Size. If the files are too big, the loads will be too slow, and the game will be too frustrating to play. #2 is the File Complexity. Normally the way you get around filesize is by ultra compressing the content. Or loading lots of smaller files. But in a real time massively multiplayer MMO, uncompressing and doing real time texture painting with a bunch of logic can also lead to lag, which would hurt the gameplay experience. So... in regards to Color Customizable Armor... Zhoom and Minimal have been walking a dangerous tight rope while designing the solution to the two problems. I am very proud to say, their solution, which is a new texture loader and painting system, is now complete. 

The short answer is, color customizable armors load an additional graphic file. This file is used like a stencil to spray paint the color onto your character. It gets better. They can color the main part of your armor, or the trim, or other parts seperately. This is because their stencil is smart. Only certain colors apply to certain regions.See in the picture above how the trim and base armor colors differ.

Originally, we were going to do everything with a single file. But we ran into a problem where the edges of the stencil would be really blockly looking. By loading it as a seperate file, we were able to use all the additional color information to blend the armor seamlessly. It looks really good.

The next problem we had, was painting caused a minor blip of lag. We noticed this only happened when multiple things were being painted at once. So Minimal and Zhoom added some sort of smart paint queing system. Everyone's armor waits in a line to get painted. Of course, the time waiting in the line is so short it is virtually undetectable by humans.... especially since it does not cause a moment of lag.

Next Steps in Character Customization
While you will be seeing the new color customizable armors in the next Alpha Tests, we are more excited about the character customization features we are working on next. Naturally you will be able to customize your hair and face. Also, Korin made a number of different "attitude based" idle poses. You will be able to select and change your default stance from cocky to heroic to midly crazy.

Comment Question
I want to write a post each day on the things we are working on. Major topics for this week include the world story, quest storage system (major improvements over the one we created for AQWorlds), new interface design, new monsters, and the weapon fusion system. Which would you like for tomorrow?

Sorry Comments are now closed for this post.
Gjappy
Gjappy: Good to know!
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mrtayoro
mrtayoro: Gosh, This next aplha test going to be a blast. I can't wait to the game is complete and everyone is able to play.
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wagman599
wagman599: how do i play the alpha test ?
Ragieki
Ragieki: Awwww... noon? How long will it be up?
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RubyCrystalRose
RubyCrystalRose: Try reading the first paragraph
Alpha
Alpha: OMG thanks you so much for letting us know been waiting so long! battle on :)~
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Vindesse
Vindesse: DO IT FAST! IT THE MOST AWESOME GAME OF AE, i can see a 100 year long going game! :D
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Stewfish
Stewfish: Awesome, the last one was a blast!
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Ultimumlord
Ultimumlord: Is it Thursday yet? ...... um... Is it?
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Sean909
Sean909: when do you predict it ending?
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Legendium
Legendium: Most AE games don't really end..... They just start new stories.
BladeMaster
BladeMaster: But everyone would be at school D:
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Armored_Paw
Armored_Paw: Nice
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Armored_Paw
Armored_Paw: do u know when it comes out?
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vanspey
vanspey: noon? lots of people will still be at school.
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Damian_N.
Damian_N.: Yup. DX
protronicus
protronicus: everyone will be at school, artix! how could you do this to those of us who have school?!
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Alpha
Alpha: Not everyone...but most will he said est time tho...so they might change it too and also when the say noon they actually take longer then they say so you wont miss it and it will probably stay for a long time
Artix
Artix: We are going to try to have the test up for at least 24 hours so everyone has time to play. The quest is designed for only a short sitting.
solius
solius: no we wont...
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solius
solius: wait... i cant do it anyway.
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velc
velc: You see this is another benifet of home schooling thank you I can't wait long will it be up and how slow will the lava make my gameplay
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Alpha
Alpha: You will find that out on this Thursday, April 11th, 2013.
Reaper12
Reaper12: i know homeschooling ROCKS!!!
Artix
Artix: We will try to let it run until late Friday if possible.
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Alpha
Alpha: Yay! awesome i can play for a longer time now ;)
TheDragonFire
TheDragonFire: Wow! thank you so much! i have school, and i keep missing out on the tests. I have the original Adventure Quest, im even a guardian! it was my first online game, and i have an account for every game! (i actually have over 8 for aqw.) all of the ArtixEntertainmentGames are so amazing, i even ended up getting most of my GRADE into them!Keep up the amazing work!
velc
velc: Hi artix I can't believe I'm replying to your post My dream is to meet you in real life aND IN GAME
Gjappy
Gjappy: Artix, you should write a book once. :D
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Alpha
Alpha: Is (mostly) everything going to be Color Customizable i mean like armor, swords, helm, skin, eyes, face, and other stuff like that?
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Alpha
Alpha: Just so you know i don't mean on the next test i mean like later on as the game grows.
TheDragonFire
TheDragonFire: I sure hope! they've done that with their other games, and if this one had that, it would be just amazing!
Legendium
Legendium: Not sure. I kinda hope that not everything will be CC. If every single item in the game were CC, the game would become a cosmetic game, which is why I don't like AQWs. Too much is about looks. But all the generic "First Armor" should be. Not enough CC is bad, but the same goes for too much.
Alpha
Alpha: Yea, just need to wait. :D
KiraNightingale
KiraNightingale: Awsome cant wait to try the color custom :D
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draconiceclipser
draconiceclipser: World story first, please.
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velc
velc: Well this is very genourus thank you for letting us play longer
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velc
velc: color customization is my favorite thank you
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velc
velc: will it be delayed by an hour or more like last time Artix?
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Taini
Taini: Colooooors. :D
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ChrisX
ChrisX: Artix, just a question. In character customization, will the male build be customizable too, or are they gonna be all buffy meat cakes? Just wondering ^_^
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Reaper12
Reaper12: I cannot wait to see if we can do a little customization on swords/shields
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Kurtorath
Kurtorath: My favorite thing about any game is story. You can have the best graphics, or the best PvP, or whatever, but, for me, nothing ties all aspects of a game together like a good, compelling story. P.S. Gathering Clawg meat should be a quest for KFC (Kentucky Fried Clawg). Pwetty Pwease?
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velc
velc: If you play DragonFable thaen you will be pleased it has great storyline By the way I totally agree
Artix
Artix: what about Kentucky Friend Chickencow?
Clergy
Clergy: Color customizable weapons, maybe? That'd be pretty darn sweet.
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velc
velc: Awww YEEEAAAAAHHHHH
Shadow_J6
Shadow_J6: I will make 1 Video on test and I will make on all server on alpha to see other players what is new coming up :) https://twitter.com/AE_JivkoBG follow me and you will see it after friday :)
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BladeMaster
BladeMaster: A story would be nice, if you could pull it off :P But, being with AE for a long time, I know you could pull off anything in any amount of time with enough caffeine :P
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zablablukas
zablablukas: Hope you guys fixed the pink screen bug :) (no offense Beleen!)
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Artix
Artix: The Pink Screen Bug has been fixed with the introduction of "fall back shaders"
Ark_Zong
Ark_Zong: Today u should post either quest storage or weapon fusion, plz let quests last even when u log out cause when i did this hard quest on AQW there was a server shutdown
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_fx_
_fx_: why only mildly crazy i want full on maniac.
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Lionrazor
Lionrazor: Hey there, thanks so much for the 24 hour server up-time, we really appreciate it :D
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Artix
Artix: Thank you for the positive comments back!
Blaze
Blaze: hmh...i got a question about this...do we just need to log in to the Game to become Alpha Tester or need to register or Something ???
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Magyarka
Magyarka: Will there be a guardian upgrade? Or can we use our current upgrades? Im a , guardian, dragonlord, was a member for like a half year, i bouht the card game and the 2013 calendar
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Jolisa
Jolisa: Will I be able to change my skin color?
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Alpha
Alpha: Not yet, but hopefully later on you can! :)
zablablukas
zablablukas: Oh I almost forgot I waould like to see something about weapon fusion tomorrow!
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Colossus
Colossus: Excellent stuff! I hope that the next Alpha Test will reveal many problems (Wow, I sound like Chairman Platinum...) and that the functions as well as the servers will not mess up. Most of all, though, I'm so grateful that you guys have finally decided to extend the time the server is online to accommodate AlphaKnights from all over the world. :) See you in-game, all! Battle on!
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velc
velc: Can we have Dragonlord or maybe gaurdian and a seperate x-gaurdian maybe evolved dragonlord too These classes would have seperate skills not sure about starlord though does mq have something like that
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Good_J5
Good_J5: There are Color customize Cool.When this game Put?
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Kylestien
Kylestien: I would like to hear all of them! Also, Only MILDLY Crazy Stance? (Is sad)
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SAMUEL919
SAMUEL919: I CANT WAIT
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RubyCrystalRose
RubyCrystalRose: Thanks so much for having the test last 24 hours. Beats staying up till midnight. Can't wait till the test!
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Tiamaat
Tiamaat: Wow, custom color armor and a quest to test? Nice! I definitely won't miss this test. As for what topic for tomorrow, I think the world story or new monsters would be most interesting. I love a good back story and new beasties are fun too.
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grayfoxrunning
grayfoxrunning: Even at my age, this is beginning to excite me. Your games help me keep my short term memory that is fading fast. lol. Go gang go!!!!
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Humming bird
Humming bird: yes!, Now i will have a pleasant start to my school holidays. Cant wait to see the new color customization.
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Legendium
Legendium: The world story. I love the story elements of games the most. Partially so I can prove to a person on the forums that it's the staff that write the story, and that only very seldom do players get to suggest story content. Because all the ideas that person is giving is pretty much building the story before the staff got to have a say. Also, really Artix? The title is Breaking News, and you don't make a single pun on breaking the game?
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xThornius
xThornius: I'd like to hear about the weapon fusion system, will it make a weapon, that looks different from the two weapons that are fused, or will it just take the appearance from a weapon, and the stats from another weapon? Also, I only assumed that's what you meant with weapon fusing.
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novarian
novarian: world story or monsters and mostly weapon fusion sound most important.
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velc
velc: Is the pink armor/monster bug gonna still be there or is it fixed
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YamiKakyuu
YamiKakyuu: For me I choose World Story since Im eager to hear how this is going to completely different from the Lore we all know and love.
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Tonemaro
Tonemaro: Do world story first! Also, I was wondering if the level cap was going to be raised for this test...
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Alpha
Alpha: I would like to know that too
Gjappy
Gjappy: Not sure, but it surely will raise in the future.
velc
velc: Oh my gosh those swords are huge
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Artix
Artix: AdventureQuest 3D swords... are HUGE!!!!! (You know... for fighting big monsters)
velc
velc: Well that makes sense thats why our heroes are ripped all the time Artix replyed to my post eeeeeee.
Cyber512
Cyber512: YES!!! YES!!! THANK YOU ARTIX! :D. but it better not be like last time... that i crashed my chrome browser before playing successfully (WEIRD, huh?) :D also maybe when its successful try a 48 HOUR run. Battle on! (and you guys better be starting on a first gameplay basics next time. \
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Lynx
Lynx: Thursday is the day after my testing this week ends! I have 6 hours of testing total these next two days. Excited for color customization!
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Hurricane150
Hurricane150: I was wanting to ask that is the Game's name legend of lore or is it like the 13 lords of chaos in AQWorlds? lol=(Legend of Lore)
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solius
solius: i dont have school on thursday but im not a member on any game what so ever and i will get it on a diferent day because the time zone is like a day off
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solius
solius: i dont mean as in that fun place for timezone i mean a diferent time on a diferent place on the planet
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Menirz
Menirz: World story sounds pretty great! Im always a fan of the story. Or the quest storage system, cause the "only active for this login" gets really annoying should any issue kick me out for whatever reason (which happened all too frequently in AQW). Itd be nice if things were permanent, or even just held like an hour after a logout... maybe you can implement this in AQ3D ;)
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Firetool
Firetool: cant wait for the test last time couldent get it
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Legionpony
Legionpony: It will be good for this new game if we have mounts to ride on and also color aswell and flying mounts to explore the world
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velc
velc: Do you mean like in wizard 101?
Alpha
Alpha: Flying dragon mounts! :D
raveolot86
raveolot86: the world story wood(would)be nice to hear about
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branden80
branden80: i want to know whats going on behind the scenes of oversoul, i want to know what they are doing, and how we could help, if at all.
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ben14715
ben14715: The World Story would be good to start, Just with little concepts, nothing too final or implied. Ideas that are thought from open minds would be nice.
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stori11
stori11: I have 2 questions for you, Mr. Artix.
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stori11
stori11: Well, I forgot about enter, my bad, anyways, why switch over to flash from unity? Second, why not create a downloadable client? Even optionally for those willing to download it. Im sure making AQ3D a client based game would fix many issues and allow for much better performance.
Thyrst
Thyrst: I would like to know that, too.
Lightningninjastorm
Lightningninjastorm: They have a reputation as having in-browser games and being different from most game companies, not to mention you would then have to have players either manually download or the game-server client automatically download updates. This also takes up space on people's computer, and if you have ever played games you have to download with HUGE player base there tends to be HUGE lag, for example, Wizard 101.
velc
velc: Quick question artix is the trim gonna be custom for this test or just the base?
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Coypi
Coypi: Stori11, the whole point of this is so Artix and his team can make the first web based 3D game. -Coypi, Aspiring Game Developer
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Emril
Emril: Oh, heck to the yes! I love the idle stance change idea! Also, I can't decide.... weapon fusion sounds AWESOME!!!! But I also want to see the story...... :P
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Equinox
Equinox: Question: Will the cap for Alpha Points be raised above 450 by the time the test starts?
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Alpha
Alpha: Its 600 right now
Martial
Martial: IT ALREADY HAS. I HAVE 600 ALPHA POINTS.
Ninjaty
Ninjaty: The cap is currently 600, so it's already above 450.
KJinx101
KJinx101: It's already reached 600 [there was a gem quest]
deathslayer99k
deathslayer99k: My first alpha test im pumped.
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KJinx101
KJinx101: This should be a good one. like the rest.
Time-god-guthix
Time-god-guthix: alright,i play runescape on my pc and dc-universe online on my ps3. i hop this will give me the same experiences as those game
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mrtayoro
mrtayoro: Will you guys will be doing another thing where u give artix points for drops like you did last time. Please do if possibles. Even though the aplha test is mainly on Characters looks.
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Zyxovan Gigablade
Zyxovan Gigablade: I can just imagine the panic that this game will cause on April Fool's Day, 2014. The derp* will look beautiful. And I predict the weather on that day will be...muffins*.
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Alpha
Alpha: the weapon fusion system please!
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SamX
SamX: Khh..... I need to adjust my computer time to EST!!!!
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velc
velc: New alpha test man this is gonna be epic
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velc
velc: Here is a countdown to alpha test sacramento time http://www.timeanddate.com/countdown/generic?p0=217&iso=20130411T09&year=2013&month=4&day=11&hour=9&min=0&sec=0&msg=alpha%20test
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Gjappy
Gjappy: The quests will give 250 Alpha Points in Total like Artix said, that means that the Alpha Points cap will raise to 850.
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velc
velc: 1000 minutes away from alpha test 0.004 BATTLEON BATTLEON BATTLEON BATTLEON BATTLEON BATTLEON BATTLEON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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