Design Notes

October 14, 2023

Friday, October 13th Play by Play

Yoshino writes another design notes?!

Haii everyone, Yoshino here! With the recent Friday the 13th release shenanigans that happened on the backend, I was given approval to reveal some of the inner works of it.

10/13/2023 - Yoshino's Friday Play by Play

11:00 AM Ghost loses electricity*, Yoshino is asleep, Reens checks in and offers to help with the cutscene for Ghost in case his power doesn't come back.

11:30 AM Yoshino still asleep, Alina (who is usually in meetings on Fridays before doing the marketing) begins making artsy things to help out, since Reens usually does a lot of the little art things on Fridays like doing the war meter and making it all pretty and thematical to the release. 

12:30 PM Ghost's electricity is restored, Darkon shares some progress to help Ghost along the cutscene, Yoshino is now online.

2:30 PM Teka suddenly vanishes. She's one of our lovely graphic designers. (I hope y'all wished her a happy birthday last month! <_<)

2:50 PM Alina's artsy things are finished for the war. 

3:00 PM Alina & Cylisse go over the items, making sure I didn't miss anything.

3:30 PM Teka's is now online. She also lost power for a bit but is now able to keep on working on our graphic designs for the release.

4:00 PM I start to look at all the classes that I'll have to change.

5:00 PM The War Meter breaks. That percentage isn't showing its correct value. I begin to call in Reens for help.

5:20 PM Ghost calls it potentially 1 hour until he's done.

5:30 PM Reens fixes the war meter for me. Day is saved, and release is looking to come out fairly soon** without any TM this time**

6:00 PM Finished making all classes to be AC Tagged. They wouldn't actually stay with their updated ac tag until the release is live.

7:30 PM I summon Immortal Joe to my castle to gimme all the details on things and we update the war meter with a small icon to signify Gravelyn's fate is in your hands! (She didn't have a small head icon during testing)

8:00 PM Ghost finishes his cutscene, We get it up and visible to the testers.

8:10 PM Cylisse notices Sigrid doesn't have any backhair in the cutscenes so she looks a lot older in them without it. This goes for all of the cutscenes made for the week so adjustments to them have to be made.

8:30 PM I begin to look at the GameMenu and change things in and out. 

8:50 PM All of the GameMenu images from Teka is done!

9:00 PM GameMenu is 90% done! Time to make sure the war is working as intended.

9:10 PM The War suddenly isn't increasing on turn ins. All turn ins are going into the void and not counting for war progress. Internal panic begins.

9:15 PM Alina pops in to my castle to speed things along and offer some assistance on things.

9:20 PM Rhubarb pops in and tells me 'you have this here and it should be like that.' and fixes the War Meter turn ins. The release is saved!***

9:30 PM We now head back to testing the war and realize that the buttons for reaching a certain percent aren't working anymore. It probably stopped working much earlier in the day when we fixed the war percentage.

10:00 PM Finalizing the release with the release testers, Alina took over doing Battleon for me. (send her much love)

10:30 PM Sudden shift in the air as I have to do a small rebuild of the map to get it working.****

11:00 PM We're 99% done! All I needed were images for the GameMenu. During all of this, there were a lot of gold moderator messages going on in the game from the Ghost of Alina.

11:09 PM Server shutdown timer initiated.

11:17 PM Players are in the map and the release is live! :D

* is forshadowing how the day will go. Just keep on reading, you'll see..
** It was an early release.. right? :D
*** Surely nothing can go wrong right past this point, right?

Anyways, I'm going to go fly away now! Thanks for reading!

Alina's Post-Script

This was the first full-sized holiday event with Yoshino as the primary release builder and test lead*****. What that means is, starting on Tuesday, Yoshino began working with all of the pieces of each part of release (from Cylisse's script + quest text to the monster, map, and NPC art created by Crulon, Darkon, Snowvers, and Aciel... all the way to Reens, Ghost, and Darkon's cutscene files). Like a Master Clockmaker, they got all of the parts to fit together... and then move in time.

Once the release was assembled, in the middle of the week, Yoshino ran through it to catch the most obvious errors, then passed it off to testers to begin their run-through. At the same time, Yoshino worked with Immortal Joe (the game + balance designer) to make sure all of the merge shop reward****** recipes were accurate and the combat felt balanced. 

This is hands down the most complex, difficult role on the team. You need a thorough knowledge of how every part of the game fits together, a working knowledge of map coding and file assembly, and then trouble-shooting the files you've put together. You need a basic understanding of animation and how the sound engine works.

For the last year and a half, Yoshino has been steadily leveling up, "stealing" more opportunities to build releases, host live events, and cause all the good trouble. We knew this day would arrive, and as luck would have it (pun intended)... their first major release just happened to be on Friday the 13th.

... >_> ...

On a Friday the 13th where almost everything that COULD go wrong, did. And yet, through it all, Yoshino kept cracking jokes, solving problems, and getting things done. There's a reason we tapped Yoshino to step up into this role; aside from skill and dedication, they've got the heart to be a good lead. The post he wrote above shines a light on each of his team members, and none on himself.... Which is why this post-script was added.

It takes a team to make a game, and with luck, you come across the right people to help take that game to the next level. For over 1.5 years, Yoshino has been working on AdventureQuest Worlds, alongside Spider, Eht, Immortal Joe, Captain Rhubarb, Reens, and all our creators. I can't think of a better dev to step into Reens' role.

Both he and I, and the entire AQWorlds team, appreciate your patience as we battled the Doom Triad's clear efforts to prevent this release from launching. We all hope you enjoyed it, and please... for the love of Lore... finish this fight before Gravelyn's health meter reaches 0. 

***** Before this, Reens (who has worked on AQWorlds for 15 years in one role or another) is now focusing primarily on AQW:Infinity. She is still here to help out if Yoshino needs an extra hand, and is always available to answer questions.

****** Prior to assembling the release, Yoshino also worked on testing all of the collection and reward sets.

Tags: Yoshino, Alina,
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