...when we are dead. Until then, KEEP GOING!
This year, our 10th anniversary year, is our most ambitious and by far our most challenging. As you read this the AdventureQuest Worlds team is recoding the game to fix the lag and bugs then moving on to creating guilds and guild PvP, DragonFable's Chapter 2 finale is less than a few weeks away, MechQuest is getting ready to start its grand finale, "Galaxy at War", we are getting ready to continue the tests for the new 3D game we are developing, AdventureQuest 3D: Legend of LORE, meanwhile several members of our team have been stolen by EbilCorp to create another new game, Oversoul. Additionally, we are working on the AQWorlds Artbook, the 2013 calendar, Drakath, Cysero & Galanoth action figures, and.... *takes a deeeeeeep breath* ... we are finally going to do what we set out to do three years ago. Create a unified website for you and ONE LOGIN TO RULE THEM ALL! (Secret: It is going to happen right here, on www.Artix.com)
The Artix.com "One Login to Rule Them All" project continues
I was taught, and believe "the only way to fail is to quit." The famous inventor of the lightbulb, Thomas Edison, made 1,000 unsuccessful attempts before he finally created one that worked. When interviewed he said, "I didn't fail 1,000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps." Of course, you already know that about us and you are a part of it. That is why you are reading this right now. Sure, everyone likes seeing us epically mess up and fall on our faces... but the truly fascinating part to watch is how we always get right back up and keep on going until we get it right. So I want you to know we are are fixing all of the problems you have told us about at Portal.BattleOn.com by building a bigger, better website right here.Our goal is to have EVERYTHING.... upgraded forums, unified player support, all game management, cross game achievements, gamer pages, etc. done by summer next year. We will be starting by releasing the new site design in about 2 weeks along with the AdventureQuest 3D Beta website. Then, just like how we evolve our games, we will begin upgrading the features of the website one step at a time.
Games you can currently play with your Artix Entertainment Account
Within a year, you will be able to access all of the games with your existing Artix Entertainment "One Login to Rule Them All" account. Actually, you can test your login right now by clicking login at the top right of the webpage. It is the exact same login you use for Portal.BattleOn.com. The login box asks you to use your email, but if you signed up when we used to use account names, use your account name instead of email.
- AdventureQuest 3D Beta Test (Testing resumes soon.)
- OverSoul Alpha Test (Testing starting soon. Wait! Why is EbilCorp using our login!?)
- Pony vs Pony
Artix & Cysero visit MOSI
Yesterday, Cysero and I visited MOSI (Tampa's Museum of Science and Industry) and spent time with 22 young students taking the Summer Video Game Design camp. A bunch of us at AE volenteered to participate in their various educational summer programs. Because this was a game design class, I stayed up the night before and made a small 4 page guide for creating adventures "The AE way!" It is super condensed, but a great place to start when building stories and characters for your adventures. Many of you on Twitter were requesting to see it... so I posted the Video Game World Creator's Tips & Tricks as a .PDF right here for you to download! I hope it is useful to you.(You know, until I made this... I never fully appriciated all the things my teachers from school made for the class.)
AQWorlds Mega Bug Fix (GO Yorumi!)
Thanks to all of the amazing testers on the AQWorlds PTR server, Yorumi was able to find "THE CRAZY NaN BUG." I would like to share the nitty gritty details of this bug... but first, from your Twitter and Facebook messages I realized that many players do not know what is actually happening behind the scenes on the PTR (aka Public Test Realm.) and why it restarts so much. Really tricky bugs like the Crazy NaN bug do not appear on our normal staff-only test servers. In order to cause them we need to do two things: 1.) Have tons of players on. 2.) Create a special version of the game server which watches for specific things and then writes the errors somewhere we can investigate. So, everytime you have seen the server restart, you are playing on a new version of the game server which is doing massive bug hunting and testing. Because of this... by process of elimination.... we found the Great GrandDaddy of all AQWorlds problems: THE CRAZY NaN Bug.
If you played our older games you may have hit a monster for "NaN" damage. What is NaN? (not to be confused with the delicious bread at Indian Restaurants) NaN stands for "Not a Number." It is what happens when you ask Flash what 1 + "a" equals. That is not a variable, that is actually the letter "a." It breaks the computer's brain. In human terms it is sort of like asking someone what the color blue smells like. But how could this be a problem for us? We have gotten really good at protecting our games from NaN problems... REALLY GOOD. I mean we use a function EVERYWHERE that makes sure that nothing isNaN. That was not a typo, the function is actually called isNaN(). Say "isNaN" in a silly cat voice in your head... it is sorta cute. Remember the NaN Cat from the AQWorlds Meme release? Anyway... despite all of our isNaN checks, every once in a while some NaNs were still getting through and generating hordes of mysterious and unexpainable errors on the server. After two days of non-stop banging heads against desk, Yorumi finally figured it out. isNaN, as cute as it is, does not work in ONE very specific situation. To demonstrate, let's feed isNaN some things that are Not a Number and see what happens:
Is Not a Number?
isNaN("a") = True
isNaN("chicken") = True
isNaN("I like dinosaurs that shoot lasers out of their eyes") = True
isNaN(<null>) = True
isNaN("") = False!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!
WHAT!? How is nothing a valid number? This was flat out illogical & baffling! So there it is... because the isNaN function fails under that one specific condition, there are mabye thousands of tiny rare bugs that occassionally happen in AQWorlds, generating thousands of errors. Once we found the problem it was super easy to fix. Yorumi changed every instance of isNaN in the game to also look for empty "" values. This fix might actually speed up literally every part of the game server.... the PTR server is currently running the fix. Help us continue the tests!
Extra Long Design Notes!
I wrote you a lot extra today since I will be flying north on a short mission for the Secret Order of Undead Slayers. It is a shame the orders do not tell me what sort of undead we will be facing. The orders are delivered by ghosts oh phantom paper that disolves into the ether once it is read. I am pretty sure the creepy noises they make during delivery are just for atmosphere and not really needed. Until I return on Monday, Kiara will be posting updates on here and on my Twitter. Battle on!
Comments/Forum/Twitter/FaceBook Question: What features would you like to see on the new Artix.com? (Examples: A character page that shows off all your games' characters? Ability to hide PonyVsPony -- ok, that is my feature request. A screen that let you play multiple games on a single page?)