Design Notes

IDLE GAMES & DRAGONS

Posted by on 79 comments
 
I woke up so excited to write this post for you that I was literally singing about it in the car. Out of tune.... and an awkward attempt at a high note resulted in the spilling of my coffee. It is ok, I was parked. Never sing about idle games and drive-- it is the law! BEHOLD... A MONOCHROME TEASER POSTER ANNOUNCING WHAT WE ARE BUILDING WITH CRAZY AWESOME WEIRD COOKIE CLICKER RELATED BACKSTORY!
 
 
adventureQuestDragons.jpg

I LOVE IDLE GAMES!

But what is an Idle Game? It is basically a game that plays itself. Well, sort of. You make all of the major decisions. But the tedious, grinding and farming is done automatically by the game. Because of this, you can leave Idle Games running in the background while you do other important things... like work... or *coughs* play other games, like AdventureQuest Worlds.

BUILDING AN IDLE GAME... BACKSTORY TIME!

Personally, I have been wanting to create an idle game FOREVER!!!! Well, at least since 2005 when I registered IdleQuest.com with aspirations of making an animated, self-playing RPG. There was also the idle game that Rolith and I called, THE BUTTON. What started as an inside joke about my obsession with clicking of DragonFable's big shiny red button turned into a skinner-box style game concept. The idea was you got a point every time you clicked the button. You could use the points to buy upgrades that automatically clicked the button for you or made your clicks worth more. Rolith even made a multiplayer version of this that he posted a few years back (anyone lucky enough to have been there for that?) We had so many weird conversations about making this game but it always kept getting pushed on the backburner. Then late one Friday night, we received a link for Cookie Clicker...

COOKIE CLICKER

OMG!!!! Some one made it! It was called Cookie Clicker. And they made it way better than ours would have been... because they were smart enough to build it with cookies! Rolith and I are extremely competitive when it comes to Idle Games. We ended up staying at the lab was into Saturday morning racing to get some absurd number of Cookie Clicker's Antimatter Condensors. You know... so we could make cookies from the space in-between space. It did not stop there. I played Cookie Clicker legit and hard core for months. The only problem was, I needed to leave the game up and running in a web browser-- and I switch computers a lot during the day. So I bought a cheap computer that I left on 24/7 that did nothing other than run the game. I could remote into that machine from anywhere in the world to monitor my cookie making progress and buy more cookie upgrades.  
 
CookieClicker-ArtixAd.jpg
 
Cookie Clicker was an international phenomenon. The game spawned a huge number of other idle games on the web, was imitated by fake knock-offs like "Cookie Clickers" (note the S on the end of Clicker) on iPhone and inspired other mobile games like "Make It Rain".
 
Glancing at that screenshot above you might have noticed there is an ad for AdventureQuest Worlds at the bottom right corner. WHAT!?!?!?!?!?!?!?
 
AQWorlds-Cookie02.jpg
 
How did this happen? Well... you know how we have super players of our games who go to pretty incredible lengths to send me messages in-game or Facebook or Twitter or at conventions, or send huge packages of candy to the lab etc? Because, yeah... I totally stalked the creators of Cookie Clicker in a simliar way to how I started a friendship with Voltaire, One-Eyed Doll and our other celebrity guests that appeared in our games. You know... I sent videos, mailed a broadsword, and um... man, this sounds creepier a lot than it was. (Maybe.)
 
Cookieclicker_COMPLETE.png
It is not like it was really like that in real life...
 
Artix-Cookie.jpg
Oh man...
 
Cookie Clicker was created by Orteil. He coded it in notepad and did all of the pixel art from scratch. He is also hallarious... but way too humble to ever take credit for his genius.  Cookie Clicker is hosted on Dashnet which is run by the incredibly kind and smart Opti. Because both of their names start with an "O" it is really easy to accidentally respond to the correct person if you are not paying close enough attention. Which is exactly why I did five times in a row after luring them into AQWorlds chat. 
 
 
CookieClicker-OrteilOptiArtix.jpg
 
I am not sure if I can accurately explain this... but Orteil and Opti have that honest and true indie game making spirit. You can see how much heart was put into Cookie Clicker. Just talking to them re-inspired in my everything that made me want to make games in the first place.  So I asked them one very important question...

Do you like Dragons?

 
SecretNewMobileGameProject.jpg
 
 
Artix: Orteil, what do you think about Dragons?
Orteil: they're uh
Orteil: they're radical.
Orteil: then again i call everything radical
Orteil: oh
Orteil: "dragons : they're alright"
 
...then I, uh, begged them until they said they would help us with the project anyway :-)
 

ADVENTUREQUEST: DRAGONS

Dragons is an idle game where you hatch a Dragon egg and then raise it to a full size, element-breathing, world conquering, Dragon. Except there is not one Dragon... there are lots. Each Dragon will have a unique story told through the simple Idle Game style interface. Each Dragon is also obsessed with a different type of Gem which is what you will initially click on to earn points for your Dragon until you get upgrades so the Dragon can earn gems on it's own. True to the way of the idle game, we are adding a feature so your dragons will continue earning gems even when the app or website is closed.
 
Krenos_baby.jpg
Baby Energy Dragon - drawn by Oishii, Painted by Dage.
 
The Dragons are being drawn by Dage, Thyton and Oishii. Originally we were going to anime-style shade them, but both Dage and Thyton's painting skills are getting so amazing that we asked them if it would be possible to paint them all. So far the results have been breathtaking. Yergen is working on subtle animations to give them even more life.
 
AdultEnergyDragon.jpg
 
We painted the interface too. Warlic is coding it as you read this. It is hands-down the most beautiful thing our team has produced yet. Meanwhile, I have been working on the writing the stories and progression system with the Cookie Clicker guys. I *REALLY* enjoy working with them. Hope they feel the same. This game is a lot smaller in scope than our other game projects. So, why am I more excited about this than I have ever been about a game before?
 
Check back often to find out how you can help us test and brainstorm for our upcoming mobile/web idle game, AdventureQuest Dragons! (Cysero's Note: If you REALLY want to know how to become a tester for our games, FOLLOW THESE INSTRUCTIONS) 
 
 

P.S. Follow/Like our official Dragons Facebook page!
P.P.S. Do you like Dragons?

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Xellos
Xellos: I think I was in the top ten in the multiplayer button game. AND YES I LIKE DRAGONS ... but potatoes are better!
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DeadJak
DeadJak: Potato clicker?
Fife M
Fife M: Y'all are so funny!! Love the backstory. The art looks amazing (as always)! Best of luck with the game, and don't forget to thank Ortiel and Opti for all the help! ;D
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Reithus
Reithus: DRAAAAGONS! I can't wait for this! You guys are truly amazing, and I have no doubt that you'll continue getting much better!
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Relenam
Relenam: Woohoo! I love Dragons! And inspiring stories! I hope you have a blast creating this.
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BlackCrowKnight
BlackCrowKnight: I'm tossing my money on my computer screen but nothing is happening~
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Gingkage
Gingkage: That baby dragon... IT'S ADORABLE! <3
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Chicken3000
Chicken3000: I can feel the money loosening from my pocket as we speak.
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Megalus Doomslayer
Megalus Doomslayer: The description was nondescript. I'm very worried about hype. If the game is just going to be stories we click to have unfold, make sure you don't hype the customization features. Leaving too much to the imagination allows people to run wild with expectations.
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NoLynch
NoLynch: My general opinion on idle games is to stay away from them, due to their apparent inspiration from tests with rats about conditioning the brain to become accustomed to achieving reward for minimal action, but I'll be willing to give Dragons a try, since it's from Artix Entertainment, and they have never steered me wrong before!
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dwarfpersona
dwarfpersona: AMIGERSH DRAGONS!!!!!!
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Mr.Butter
Mr.Butter: Butter>Potatoes. But Dragons are good too I suppose! :D
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Gjappy
Gjappy: I like dragons!! I love this idea of a dragon game, and for sure not having to grind or farm too much is very appealing! + awesome stories (I love stories!!) and good art.. This will be an EPIC game. If I can help on it somehow I certainly will! ^^
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luna soulfire
luna soulfire: I guess I'm not a part of the cool crowd because I've never heard of Idle Games before, nor have I ever heard of Cookie Clicker or whatever it's called. well, whatever, I'm sure it'll have exclusives for AQWorlds, so I'm in I guess.
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The Fall Guy
The Fall Guy: NICE! btw, was the cookie clicker guys inspired by Roliths and yours THE BUTTON? Also, I have played Cookie clicker before (and got addicted) and always wondered how your ad came there. Now I know :)
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Voodoo
Voodoo: I LOVE Cookie Clicker, and I LOVE AE. But I didn't think these two worlds would ever collide. I mean, I stalk AE and I stalk Orteil, but who knew Artix stalked Orteil too? My level of hype is unreal. It's been years since a project of yours excited me that much Artix! Well done :)
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DerpSonic
DerpSonic: I know right? His excitement is so contagious!
Fire
Fire: Dangerously contagious! xD
Voodoo
Voodoo: By the way, Cookie Clicker is extremely funny. Will your game be humorous too?
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Joegreenbeen
Joegreenbeen: DRAGONS? DRAGONS!?DRAGONS!!!! Okay, I'm done now.
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The Jop
The Jop: I wish you would focus on games that need help, like Oversoul and Herosmash, and not create new games that basically just play themselves past a point...
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The Jop
The Jop: If you have children that are dying from illnesses, you try to treat them, right? Instead of having more children to take their places.
Fife M
Fife M: You should read Cysero's post Life's Blood. Making these mobile games might be AE's way of making money/ getting a bit of traffic to try to resurrect the dying games. AE cares about ALL their games and I know they don't want to have to give up on any of their creations.
shadowmoon522
shadowmoon522: "But the tedious, grinding and farming is done automatically by the game."
one must leave the bots to bot
"So I bought a cheap computer that I left on 24/7 that did nothing other than run the game."
where the hell do you find a cheep pc?
anyway, i hope this mobile game will be multi-platfrom like battlegems
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Dangoni
Dangoni: Dragons are the soul of a warrior ! or a Dragonborn haha
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reallysillydude
reallysillydude: That sounds like SO MUCH FUN!
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Lafbael
Lafbael: I'm a fan :)
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18lunastar
18lunastar: I think dragons are ok, I like angels a lot more though. It takes a lot more than just dragons to make a good game. I don't play a game just because it has dragons. There's lots of things that make a good game, it all just depends on everything I guess.
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Headmancer Theron
Headmancer Theron: Do you like Dragons? Yeah, we like Dragons! Do you like Wyverns? Yeah, we like Wyverns! Do you like Dravir? Yeah, we like Dravir! Doo doo doo doo can't wait to get a clickin'!
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MrKirbyXIII
MrKirbyXIII: I love dragons. I expect this to be beautiful and funny and cool with Dage, Oishii and Thyton on the art and you and whoever else on story and jokes. I expect the gameplay to be the same as typical such games this time around, but I'm open entirely for you, Cookie Clicker duo and Warlic, and random AE members and fans' ideas, to surprise us like you did with going from Bejewelled and Candy Crush to BattleGems, which takes the genre to the REAL next level.
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amyrlin
amyrlin: I love Dragons!! Hope to get a dragon tattoo someday! Sounds like a lot of fun!
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The Extraordinary Mr. E
The Extraordinary Mr. E: I was genuinely interested in this game until I read it was an "Idle Game". I played Cookie Clicker, and it was fun until the novelty wore off, which was very quick. I rather play a game than a game play itself. Hopefully "Secret Project #2" is more appealing.
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Menirz
Menirz: I look forward to getting the chance to test this game out, hopefully i can get some friends hooked on it too - because the competition in these idle games is great lol.
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Bishop512
Bishop512: This game sounds like it will be AWESOME!!! I LOVE dragons! And didi I mention I also LOVE DRAGONS?!?
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CloudFlame
CloudFlame: Breathtaking art! A splendid painting from Dage The Evil and art from Oishii
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DeepShift
DeepShift: Do ya like dragons? YEAH I LIKE DRAGONS!
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DerpSonic
DerpSonic: YOU'RE A BANAAAANA!!
Wazikamawata
Wazikamawata: I'm pathetically addicted to idle games, so here's to hoping my account history is clean enough to be considered for a position.
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Riash
Riash: ahh this looks so good! cant wait for it to be released :D
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DarkonDrago
DarkonDrago: The game sounds great so far! What I wish to see is daily updates after the game was released. Add more dragons and events like that.
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RavenRose
RavenRose: Ooooh my goodness xD This sounds like a blast! I can't wait for it! <3
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BloodWynne
BloodWynne: I am so happy to see you so excited again, Artix! I've tried a lot of idle games and generally get bored of them after a week or so. But none have ever been about dragons before! I love dragons! I love dragons more than people! This might be the idle game that keeps me hooked! <3
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Bishop512
Bishop512: I agree!
Mako
Mako: AAAGH THE DRAGON-NESS OF THAT PICTURE IS TOO MUCH!! *covers eyes with hands and starts screaming randomly while running in circles*
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KJinx101
KJinx101: I can't wait! this is gonna have amazing graphics!
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KJinx101
KJinx101: And of course I love dragons!!!
AndroJ
AndroJ: awesome!!
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Fuzzyink
Fuzzyink: Dragons?! YAY!!!! I love them. Especially mean looking dragons :D
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Zereldo
Zereldo: I'm actually a lot more intrigued but this than I thought I would be. The idea of linking a story to these dragons is great. I hope since I am a tester I can test this XD
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Sappig
Sappig: Im a really big fan of AE and i think that this game gonna be a big succes
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powerdragonae
powerdragonae: Bro can I haz Dragonz?
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Glerax
Glerax: Yes, dragons are amazing! (Especially dracoliches..hail sepulchure)
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Wildsky360
Wildsky360: This will redefine epic....
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Cookie
Cookie: WOW This Game Will Be Great, I'm Was So Love The Dragon :3 Please Release It How Fast You Can.
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Xcalibre
Xcalibre: Firstly!: Any Dragon you guys create will knock off Cyceros SOCKS (hopefully they wont be soaked in nitroglycerin). Secondly!: I've been playing your games since 2007!! I have complete Faith in you all!!!!!!!! YOU'RE all my Heroes (ingame and out.) Thirdly!: Dont let galanoth see you doing this. BATTLEON YOU BRILLIANT MINDS!!!!!!!
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The Architect
The Architect: Oooh! Like the new concept. Multiple dragons with their own back stories? Sounds awesome! Is it gonna be like a farm of dragons or something cause not sure they're really farm animals?
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gijoe528
gijoe528: Wow, can't wait. Art looks AMAZING!!!
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Relaxbleu
Relaxbleu: yes i like dragons
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sidali
sidali: I very like it <3 make it the king of dragons ! :D
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LSHDS
LSHDS: Oooh, big fan of idle games, as well as AE, so I will definitely look out for once this game starts, and possibly try to nab a tester position. One thing I do hope though, is that it doesn't have significant if at all premium content. I understand the needs of a business to make money, but nothing ruins an idle game faster than paid content (imagine having to pay $1 every time you wanted to click on a golden cookie).
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Braken
Braken: Every time I read a post like this, the way everyone at Artix interacts with others just reminds me of Cry and the Late Night Crew.
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Rizda
Rizda: I love Very much these dragons, this was a beautiful idea for a game :)
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dan12345678910
dan12345678910: plz don't make this realesed months after it was said to like battle gems
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DerpSonic
DerpSonic: You managed to get help from the creators of Cookie Clicker thselves
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DerpSonic
DerpSonic: --themselves?! Well played Artix! I bow to your superior stalking skills. Oh, and YES,I do believe that dragons are awesome! This game will be fantastic, I'm sure.
Fire
Fire: Going to be pretty cool with the story. Hope there's a dragon of time to raise! :D
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ForeverMan724
ForeverMan724: im so hooked on cookies now O_o
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Zosime
Zosime: I love dragons! Super excited for this game, omg. Have a lot of fun :D
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ForeverMan724
ForeverMan724: after playing CookieClicker i totally want to see what AE can do with DRAGONS!! ^_^ i love cookies but i love dragons more ^_~ Go Artix Go
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JakeHarrison
JakeHarrison: Is this gonna be one of those games where our battles are fought by the computer? I hope not, I hate those type of games.
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DragonMageX
DragonMageX: when are you gonna release it?
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Zhing
Zhing: DRAGONS R AWESOME!!!
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angel7090695001
angel7090695001: I love dragons and can't wait to be able to hatch them
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Crawler3333
Crawler3333: I hope this game will make it to PC as well.
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Specter2495
Specter2495: Im confused,is the Adventure Quest Dragons a mobile game or a computer game...Or both...
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Specter2495
Specter2495: And yes,I like dragons...Especially Dark Dragons And Fire Dragons :D ....
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