Artix Krieger | Thursday, April 20, 2023
Greetings and salutations friend! How are you? I am really glad to be home... but still trying to catch up! I was gone for a long time! Well, two weeks is an eternity here. There were 10 releases across our Artix Entertainment games during the two weeks we were away. So what happened at the conventions? Are you ready for story time? Grab your favorite stein of exotic, non-alcoholic beverage, buckle in, keep your hands inside the car at all times, and hold onto the rail for... STORY TIME!
Pax is... huge!
This was our very first time at the huge gaming convention in Boston. We were there to show off the new AdventureQuest Worlds: Infinity to the world for the first time ever. Dage, Zhoom, and Jongaar were running the booth. We had computers, iPads, Android tablets, and phones running a demo of the new game.
Zhoom, Dage, Jongaar, and Artix
Talking with people about AdventureQuest at the booth. Jongaar is so friendly. He is the kind of positive energy we all need in our lives.
#SeeWhatWeDidThere? We also had hand-out cards (which we ran out of by Sunday) which told players how to unlock the Axe of P'Axe in AQ3D and AQWorlds. You can still get the item for at least the next week by entering your email at www.AQ2D.com.
OMG! Not just any Moglin either.
So grateful to be here. Humbled by how many people came by our booth to share their stories about playing our games. It was so cool seeing people try out AdventureQuest Worlds: Infinity for the first time. Players asked for selfies... and I asked if I could take selfies with them too. These created so many amazing memories. Cannot wait for tomorrow!!
PAX had a mandatory mask policy this year. It was strictly enforced. So Dage created and 3D printed cool black skull masks!
People brought us stuff to sign!
I was REALLY surprised when this amazing player showed up with an Artix action figure.
OMG!!! Met so many AWESOME players of our games. Absolutely honored and humbled by their personal stories about the games and how it was a part of their lives. Despair joined us at the booth today. You may recognize her from the @ArtixGames Tik Tok channel. This was the very first convention she has ever attended.
There is a bit of mystery around Despair. Who is she? What does she have to do with AE? Did they just Photoshop her in the photos? Is she an AI hologram?
Honored to sit on a panel about making new games for the NES at PAX:East 2023. How crazy is it that people attending the most cutting edge, new video game systems packed into a room to learn how to make new games for the original 1985 Nintendo Entertainment System?
Met someone else wearing a Power Glove... we high fived.
"I love the Power Glove... it is so BAD."
At this point, it officially devolved into "Selfie-con!" XD
In all fairness, AdventureQuest Worlds: Infinity did recieve an overwhelming amount of positive feedback at the convention.
What is he doing? Oh, he is taking a picture of himself and his girlfriend in game.... wait. What?
Surprise! Ok, say you have press coming to see you. You know, journalists from game news sites and popular influencers. We knew who, because we were given a list in advance. (With so much going on all around us, that is the only way we could keep track of anyone.) Alina and I secretly made NPCs of many of the people coming to interview us. You should have seen the look of awe on their faces when they discovered they were game characters in a special "PAX only press room" in Yulgar's Inn. What game does that!?
Meeting Matt the Fierce, Xion, and Nys.... three testers of AdventureQuest Worlds:Infinity… was one of the highlights of the day for me. They surprised us by showing up at the booth.... and then took over running the booth! (This is very much in character for them. They are always helping test the games.) They had my back and I will never forget their help. Online friends get taken to an entirely different level when you meet in person. It is heartwarming that our community has such kind and wonderful people.
As you may already know, the later part of the convention was also a challenging roller coaster. My Aunt passed away during the weekend. I loved her very much and it was an unexpected tragedy for the family. If you met me during the second half of the convention and I seemed uncentered, I apologize. We powered through the weekend, and I changed my flight plans to return to Pennsylvania for the funeral.
Transparently, it is really difficult to switch between things like this. So here is what I did. I saw my role as being there for others, not for myself. Being present and being focused on whomever I was talking to, regardless of the situation was my prime directive-- alway being as helpful and useful to them as possible.
This weekend was Midwest Gaming Classic in Milwaukee. It is a huge retro convention. Joined my fellow creators who create new games for old video game systems.
Choose your ride....
If you make a mistake we can just take this one and undo it.... XD
...remember all those times I called a computer a computron. Nobody ever got it. But congratulations! now, you will know what the reference is talking about for the rest of your life. Bring 6 "C" batteries...
One of the cool attractions was a faithful recreation of the Nintendo store from the Super Nintendo era.
In the display there they had the sword from the Legend of Zelda commercial
I was promoting Dungeons & DoomKnights, my 8-bit game for the original Nintendo Entertainment System. The game was finished and shipped to backers last year along with a magazine that I created to surprise and thank them.
*whispers* We have still have some available at HeroMart.
I took the remaining copies up there. A lot of my friends from the NES Maker community who helped make it were there too.
Dale Coop (the assembly language coder from France who's young son made Kubo 3 and Skate Cat for the NES) was here too. As are other people who contributed to Dungeons and DoomKnights, including FJ. Real-life achievement call-out: FJ's game (Chaos Between Realms) won a previous ByteOff challenge and was chosen to be the special "reward game" that all attendees who bought the "Very Important Gamer" (ViG) ticket received.
See, there are two major factions within the NES Homebrew community. There has certainly been some turbulence and bitter feuding between them. BUT.... during this extremely memorable event, all factions converged at a pub...and you know that my friends and I were responsible for setting it up this potentially disastrous scenario. Instead of breaking out into a brawl, the factions united and EVERYONE went back and hung out at the special homebrew room at the convention to hang out. It was absolutely incredible.
You never know what is going to happen at a convention. That is... you never know who you will meet, what you will learn, or what magic will be unleashed
This week, Apple suddenly started featuring AdventureQuest 3D! AMAZING! As you may already know, you cannot pay to be featured. It is something Apple selects on their own. This has the potential of bringing lots of new players to the game. We can clearly trace back why we are now featured on Apple to PAX. If we had not been there, or if the crew had not been so friendly and passionate about the games, they may have never taken notice of us.
The entire AdventureQuest 3D team pushed hard in the weeks before PAX to ensure the Nulgath, Part 2A release would be ready, so visitors to the booth could play it at the convention. (Note: Of the core 3D team members, only Zhoom and I are working on AdventureQuest Worlds: Infinity. The entire rest of the team is solely focused on updating AdventureQuest 3D.)
In order to get ready for PAX, the entire team went into turbo mode to get everything from the new combat, to NPCs, to polished maps, to new UI and login screens, and massive bug fixes. Secretly, this was the true goal of signing up for the convention. By creating an "immovable deadline" it would hyperdrive the game's development. In this regard, it was a huge victory, and I am so proud of the entire team. We just need to keep this momentum going.
Players were not the only ones interested in learning about the new version of AdventureQuest Worlds. If we were not on anyone's radar before, we sure are now! Since the conventions we have been doing interviews with a number of major gaming websites. The next one is tomorrow.
Since the convention, morale has been super high. Zhoom in particular saw how much people cared about what we were making. Being here in the lab, staring at code day after day.... Dealing with the never-ending issues and complaints can be very draining. Seeing people's reactions in person changed everything. Zhoom looked at me and said, "I never knew how much impact our games had. Almost everyone here knows who we are... they all played our games." Did you ever see the Doctor Who episode where they took Van Gough to an art gallery where he got to see people looking at his work? The moment... was like that.
You deserve a medal for reading all the way down here. It was incredibly important for us to go to this convention, and I am glad we did. I returned home to the expected pile of problems and challenges that snuck up while I was gone BUT (and this is a critical point) we accomplished the mission. Our quest in going to PAX was to shift the progress of AdventureQuest Worlds: Infinity into hyperdrive, and we did. The benefits of attending are still helping the games as you read this. The conventions filled us with hope, joy, and an insatiable need to make stuff. Lots and lots of stuff. And we are very grateful for the opportunity to make it for and with you.
Maybe at the next convention I will be able to take a selfie with you.
P.S. Do not forget to drop your email at www.AQ2D.com for the Axe of P'Axe and my insider love letters updates about AdventureQuest Worlds: Infinity.