September 08, 2010
The AE Team is home with tons of Pictures and Stories
We are back from the biggest and craziest fantasy/sci-fi/anime/pop-culture convention of the year. Over 30,000 people attended DragonCon in Atlanta, Georgia this year... most in costumes... we had the time of our lives. We got to meet players of the games for the first time as well as see many familiar faces. Please note is is officially against the rules of the AE team to post photos of ourselves.... (note: we are very very bad at following rules) Read on!
Jemini from the MechQuest team as Jedi Barbie
The Battle Bus and Truckstop Payphone Madness
We crammed 36 members of the AE team into three vehicles on the way up. (Somehow we came back with 39...) At the first rest stop the noise our phones make when we get a new twitter message went off... Cysero had posted the phone number to the payphone we were standing next to and we started taking calls from players who wanted to say hi! We took calls from nearly 20 players during our pitstops!!!
Artix prepares to demonstrate the very dangerous-to-Paladins jumping jack technique
The AQWorld's Panel
"What is the difference between regular panels and Artix panels? ... well, I am pretty sure other companies do not show their home movies and chuck candy and weird DVDs at fans who answer trivia."
Our panel at DragonCon.... the wierd videos seen can never be unseen!
The players passed around the 25lb replica of the Blinding Light of Destiny
The official word from the DragonCon staff was that thanks to all of you who attended we were the #2 panel in the entire gaming track! I wore the Paladin armor that Nythera's friend crafted for me.... because, and please know I have never dressed up in cosplay before so I was quite nervous. Especially since the armor was finished literally 1 minute before I went to the panel. When I walked in, everyone started clapping.... I nearly shed a tear. But instead I showed everyone the top secret way to get an AQW Paladin to hurt themselves.... make them do jumping jacks with those upward swiveling shoulder pads!
Player's got to see the man behind the voice of EpicDuel's epic updates as Titan talked about the PvP game. Titan from EpicDuel. Cysero was... as usual... hysterical!. I have no idea how he makes us all laugh so much.... and the prizes he gave out were so weird! ...including a tutorial DVD on "how to draw pistols like a real cowboy movie star" and what has to be the worst kung fu movie... dubbed... but not in english... with a half-finished paint by number image tiger on the cover.... and the most popular item of all -- a banana signed by the AE Team.
We took questions, showed clips from movies that you will see soon as live action game and.... of course... punted Twilly. The winner of the 2010 Punt Twilly contest took home Guitar Hero for the Wii (thanks to xFinity.) Oh, and we got two very unusual gifts. Cysero was given a GIANT sock made of socks... which secretly contained a little baby green sock. One player's mother baked us 3 pies that said 'Battle On' on them!!! (We also got some super cool chain bracelets!)
Players baked and brought us Battle On Pies!? Beleen and Safiria (pictured) were prepared to throw them if we ran out of candy.
This year's in-game convention attendance item was chosen by everyone who attended the panel... a Steampunk Dragon. It has been added to the game and placed on the characters of those who signed up for it at at the panel. If you like the style of this SteamPunk pet.... read on because we are thinking of an entire zone of SteamPunk stuff that everyone can help us make! As requested by the players, the steampunk dragon explodes if you sit long enough.
DragonCon Panel SteamPunk Dragon
The only thing that could have possibly made the panel better is if you were all with us too... and maybe a live action game to go along with those videos. Next year let's work on getting both of those things!
ROLITH PROPOSED TO ALINA!
THE BEST PART OF THE WHOLE WEEKEND! During the 1st night of the convention.... DragonFable programmer Rolith proposed to DragonFable writer Alina! He chose the special spot where they had first spent time talking and getting to know each other at DragonCon 2 years ago. The proposal first happened in game in a AWESOME and funny cutscene completely unbeknownst to Alina. Players waiting anxiously to hear the result. You can still play the cutscene and see what happened by logging into DragonFable and then reading the design notes.
The Big New Game Announcement
The big news at our official panel was the announcement of a new MMO which is scheduled to start Alpha in November. Members of AQworlds will be invited to play in the alpha (Update: After reading your forum posts we are meeting on this to figure out how we can accomidate all players who have made this possible on the very limited-space testing server.) to help test our new game engine and be the first to fly around wearing your undershorts on the wrong side -- that is right... it is time for a Super Hero game!
The Artix Entertainment Party
Later that night after the panel we co-sponsored a party with Sony Online Entertainment and xFinity (formerly Comcast? ... they change their name more often than Nebula asks for new bows.) There were a shocking number of people attending with dancing, light-saber limbo...
...and.... *apologetic sigh* well for this next one I would like to give a select number of our players my apology.
Party Disaster #1: Artix Apologies
I would like to sincerely apologize to all of you who I invited, but were not able to enter due to the age restriction. Originally we were the sole sponsors of the party and it was an all ages party. Somehow, along the way this changed and we were not notified. When we found out they were carding people at the door I was really upset -- especially since I invited so many of you personally. I spent most of the party in the hall so I could talk with players who could not get in, but I know many of you had already left before then. I am truly sorry and will make it up to you. Next year we will be throwing a party on our own and you and everyone reading this post are officially invited as guests of honor.
Party Disaster #2: Artix wipes out on stage... then loses voice... in style
This was the first time we had ever done something like this -- we were very unprepared. Now, I always speak to you very personally sharing the good times, bad times... and then there are stories like this one. The other companies at the party all had giant banners, marketing materials on the tables, a live web video feed and a bearded dwarf lady in full armor (who had some killer dance moves for the record) We.... um.... did not know we were supposed to bring anything, LOL! When our Dwarven co-sponsor got up on stage and gave out tons and tons of free stuff... we gulped. Then when they gave out tons of MORE free stuff... we... gulped again. we were informed that it was our turn to go up in front of the 500+ person crowd and I was to say a few words on behalf of our company. *Panic* Now, that was a tough act to follow... even if we had brought anything! It is sort of like finding out you were supposed to give a speech in front of the class... right after the super smart guy who always made you look bad in front of the cute girl you had a crush on had just given their speech. (Was that a bit too personal? I wonder what Tim Kibiki is doing now. Anyway!) So it is my belief that there are only two options in a situation like this. 1.) You can swallow hard, walk up on stage, and politely thank everyone for coming and hope no one notices. Or 2.).... (and my choice).... you run up onto the stage full throttle, grab the mic while yelling BAAAAAAAATTTTTTLLLLLLEEEEEEEEEEE....... (like Kimberly from One Eyed Doll during that live event) and then flipping wipe out onto the stage as hard as physically possible. I tumbled and hit the stage so hard that the audio equipment jumped. Every one in the room suddenly turned to the stage as the room went dead silent. I stayed motionless the obligatory 2 seconds then sprung back like a spring on my shoulders and did a martial arts kip-ups, jumping back to my feet and yelled into the mic.... OOOOOOONNNNNNNNNNNNN!!!!!!!!! The room laughed and cheered. With a surge of confidence I thanked the crowd and ad-libbed, "We are WAAAAY to poor to have brought you free stuff... ", and over the room's laughter I continued, "HOWEVER... if you walk over and talk to the lovely Safiria standing *points* over there she will here she will give you a free item in our hit MMO AQWorlds!" Then Cysero said a few words and I took the mic and shouted "PARTY ON!" as we walked off the stage. In the crowd... a bunch of people said, "Hey... isn't he supposed to say Battle On?" So I grabbed the mic and screamed Battle On so loud that people in the buildings OTHER party heard me.
Later... that night.... or into the wee hours of the morning... We saw Voltaire's perform in front of 4,000+ of his fans. Sporting a newly grown beard (very odd!) he sang songs from his two new albums "Spooky Songs for Creepy Kids" which features cover art from the event and the AQW live event versions of the songs.. AND... (and this is not made up)... songs from his *blinks* new Country album "Hate Lives in a Small Town" Very strange! They are available for pre-order on his voltaire website.
Cysero & Alces Battle Robots
For those of you following C's Twitter they and their friend entered their robot "Binky the WarBear" into the robotics competition. With 2 wins and 2 losses, Binky did a mighty fine job! But the underdog robo-win of the event went to a 6th Grader who's mechanical monster beat everyone including even the favored to win MIT Robotics student's machine in the final match
Our favorite match was Nuclear Kitten 5.1 vs Wedgie!
Celebrities & Thanks!
There were a ton of celebrities at DragonCon... for example, Stan Lee's room was right next to mine. We got to see Kaylee from Firefly, Data/Riker/Counselor Troi from Star Trek, and even Buck Rogers! (This way was easier than calling them by their real names and then explaining who they were) George Lowe was there -- and surprisingly hard to get past the line to talk to! .. and no DragonCon would be compete without sitting uncomfortably in the elevator with Kevin Sorbo (Hercules) and not saying a word. But the people we were most excited to see at the con was the staff and players who came to see us. DragonCon is the only time we get to see far away staff like Westwind, Aelthai, Pae, Vivi, Kamui, Stratos, Razer, Koi, and Maegwyn. Also, Sunumbrella once again returned all the way from New Zealand to see us.... and all of the other familiar faces that joined us this year. Thank you for coming and making this the biggest and most memorable time ever!
Zorbak... erm... Twilly goes to Con!
Each year, Zorbak has run around with his camera taking pictures with people in the best and craziest costumes! However, this was Twilly's last year at DragonCon (There are less than 100 of him left at Jinx and is about to go perma rare as the new Twilly 2011 is being released next year.) So we photographed Twilly trying to heal and cure all of the zombies, monsters and other cosplayers! These photos will show up on the Zorbak goes to Con website later this week!
SteamPunk... the next big thing!
Imagine an alternate reality where steam became the source of all energy in the world. Set in a Victorian themed world full of romance and adventure with steam powered vehicles, crazy goggles, and clockwork mechanical madness... this is SteamPunk. (Did you ever see the movie Wild Wild West with Will Smith?) It is growing in popularity faster than that time we put tribbles in our server room. People were dressed up as steam punk super heroes, and there was even a steam punk Ash from Army of Darkness! All of the old anime stalls seemed to be converted to SteamPunk stalls selling weird retro-steam-nerf-weapons and victorian hats, and... half the AE team came back wearing steam punk goggles. We want to do a SteamPunk zone in AQWorlds. Instead of doing the same ol' same ol' we want to do something really crazy. I was thinking a Clockwork Necromancer with an army of steam-augmented undead (but you guys know me...) Do you have any ideas? Have you ever heard of this genre before? What would you like to see in the next AQworld's major storyline? (...and do you think we could get away with some Doctor Who references?)
Forum Question: Steam Punk Storyline!? COME BRAINSTORM ON THE FORUMS!