Design Notes

April 23, 2024

AQWorlds: Infinity For Dummies Guide Book

Excruciatingly Available at Bones & Gnomefells

Peek inside (read on) for an Infinity progress update, new animation sneaky peeks, intentionally confusing tech mumbo jumbo, and (REDACTED).

The "Dummy" is called... Mr. Guy

You may already know Mr. Guy. We have covered him before in previous posts. He is the "dummy" character. Sorta like a digital mannequin. He is a placeholder that is replaced my all player pieces in the game, cutscenes, and for previewing items in your inventory. His skin is gray and his hair is white for color customization reasons. He has one of every possible piece of equipment that a character to can wear. When creating a new animation, they must use Mr. Guy to create it. This is why you will almost always see Mr. Guy in animation previews.

While appearing to spend a lot of time at the digital gym on his 8-pack, Mr. Guy thinks that every body type is beautiful. Probably because he is... literally.... every-body. Also, sometimes Monsters. One way of thinking about it... everyone has some Mr. Guy (or Ms. Girl) deep within us.

We discovered a number of problems with Mr. Guy across the various projects that form together like Voltron to make AdventureQuest: Infinity. (Does anyone even know what Voltron is any more? Originally I was going to go with Transformer Constructicons forming Devastator or enough skulls forming Vordred... shared pop cultural references are in such a weird place these days) Now that we have cinematic cutscenes working, we started finding issues when making them. Mr. Guy needs rebuilt. So, Ghost is biting the bullet and rebuilding Mr. Guy as you ready this. (Sorry Ghost!) ...also, Ms. Girl.

New Animation Sneak Peeks!

The DragonSlayer class (Infinity version) is getting some new animations. Spider & Immortal Joe have the Skill Forge (a tool to build new classes & monsters) functional. Nulgath just sent in these new animations.

Spinning like a large Hadron Collider.... potential risk of creating a DPS black hole.

Bladed upper cut. This technique is probably barred from the upcoming Mike Tyson vs Jake Paul fight. But you will be able to perform it in game without having to wear mandatory head gear.

Rolling a 1 when attempting to start your camp fire. Use this technique to smoke the competition.

Sticking your knife into the electrical outlook.

"DragonSphere Y power up!" OK... so my kids watched Goku go Super Saiyan for the first time last weekend. But since we always do everything out of order, it was the one where he went Super Saiyan 3 against Majin Buu. The power up goes on for quite a while in that episode. My oldest son turned to me and said, "Seriously... how long is this going to go on?" My wife glanced at the TV, worked on something in the house, went outside to water her plants, came back in, looked at the TV and said, "Is he STILL powering up?" As Goku powered up the Earth started shaking and breaking apart. The other two kids are watching unblinkingly as Goku's hair starts getting awkwardly rock-star big. I was sitting there on the couch thinking, "Ah, now this is peak parenting!"

Running to get groceries during a multi-episode power up.

Mr. Guy got lonely. So, our animator, Ghost, started working on Ms. Girl. This is important because these two models are animated differently.

Why... the Green!?

"To mess with green screens, of course!"

Some armors and skins are color customizable. To make sure they work, we often test using extreme colors. Reens, for example, really likes using green. As the saying goes, "It is not easy being green..." when "...the color customizer breaks."

New Loot Inventory System

When you get items, they will go into a special loot bag. This means you can pick up a bunch of stuff and then decide what to do with it later.... with previews. The loot inventory persists when you log out. We limited it to 20 items... and as you get more items, it should auto destroy the oldest ones. It would be nice to make an option to prioritize rare items over trash drops. But I think you will agree, we need to get the base functionality working and get the game up for you to play before adding those sort of quality of life features.

Destruction to all Dialog Boxes!

I hate modals (those pop up dialog boxes). Sometimes, they serve a purpose... but as a general rule, we should get rid of them whenever possible. This was put here to make sure you knew you got an item. Instead, we are going to move the item from your loot bag to your inventory... and have the new item be up at the top of the list where you can instantly see and use it. If you close and re-open your inventory, everything will go back to being in alphabetical order.

"Use this skill when the fighting is starting to Drag-on!"

Techno Mumbo Jumbo Engage!

There are two major topics we did not discuss in today's update. The biggest one is major issue with the armor importer. Warlic & Spider built a system to automatically import (most) AQWorlds armors. They will not have animations or any special features, but hey, at least you will have the art when you login! But Unity's default way of importing things was not designed to handle importing the insane volume (Hundreds of thousands?) of individual armor parts through the sprite packer to export asset bundles. During some tests of the armor importer, the process said it would take 60 hours for just the armors starting with an "A"! ...but the process would never actually finish. Honestly, there are a lot of things I do not understand about the importer and its complex set of daisy-chained systems. Anything I am writing now is probably oversimplified and inaccurate. Warlic & Spider (and now Zhoom, too) have been experimenting and working on potential solutions. As of Monday's full team sync up, things are finally looking promising.

A More Lively Undead Game

The second thing.... while working on Willow Creek, the team noticed that the new game did not look "as alive" as the existing AQWorlds. The NPCs are not animated and do not blink. So the the content team lost their minds and started rebuilding the NPCs as fully functional actors with all of the player animations. (I love this about this team so much.) This happened while I was out of the country. Both Zhoom and I were out of the country-- hence the eerie radio silence. The original AQWorlds has a whole lot of super weird bugs baked into it. Things that we did when we were first making the game that would haunt us for the decade and a half that followed. We only get one shot at making the base of AQWorlds Infinity right. Once the game is live and you are playing it, it will be too late to change the core stuff. We are already running super late... so we are going to get these things right now, while we still can.

We are currently preparing the DragonSlayer Class and updated Dragon's Lair for the next Tech Demo.

If you enjoyed this book, please rate it 5-stars & look forward to future Artix Entertainment Press books including

  • Of Dice and Men
  • How to Win Games & Influence Players
  • Hairy Potty & the Chamber of Secretions
  • The Catcher in the Jimmy the Eye
  • Bored of the Rings
  • War and Peas
  • To Kill a MockingTweet
  • Grave New World
  • Slime and Puns'I'Ment

Until the next design notes post...

Battle on!
Artix & the AQWorlds Infinity Team

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