Questions by Onrpg Senior Editor Brian Perry Jr.
Answers byArtix von Krieger (Adam Bohn), Founder of Artix Entertainment, Zorbak, Ebil blue moglin bent on world domination and Twig, little yellow moglin.
OnRPG: Can you tell us a bit about your latest two titles DragonFable and MechQuest?
Artix: Greetings and salutations Brian – and thank you for taking the time to interview us.
Zorbak: Meh, why’d you drag me along for this? I am bored already.
Artix: Please excuse Zorbak’s shyness, this is his first interview.
Zorbak: WHAT!? Lies! Lies! Lies! Quiver in fear of my incomprehensible interviewing powers! In fact, I have been in so many gazillions of interviews that it is I, ZORBAK, who should be interviewing Brian!
Artix: Indeed. *nudges Zorbak* Perhaps you should tell the folks a little bit about our role playing games that play in your web browser?
Zorbak: Meh… MechQuest and DragonFable? They are pretty good. Mostly because I’m in them. Did you see me in MechQuest’s Soluna City Finale cutscene!? How cool was that? I had the former Kingadent Slugwrath’s head in a futurama style head-jar on my desk! He was all like “blah blah blah… my son Drakath… destroy you all… blah blah…”
Twig: Fish ys!!!!! Weeeeeeeeeeeeee!
Artix: *smiles nervously* I brought Zorbak and Twig with me since they appear in both of the games. The first being DragonFable which is a tongue-in-cheek fantasy RPG in which you hatch your own dragon and travel the world on a quest to gather the orbs of elemental power. This game is actually a prequel to our first game, AdventureQuest. You will meet many of our popular characters and learn their ridiculous back stories during your journeys. Battle fierce and bizarre monsters, collect rare weapons and unlock all of the armors and skills of classes like the DragonLord, Pirate, Ninja, Ranger, Paladin, Necromancer and many more classes as we make them and release them during our weekly game updates!
Zorbak: Meh... after you mastered Necromancer why would you need anything else?
Artix: MechQuest is our newest game. It is a prequel too… we thought it would be funny to have the game take place 5,000 years before DragonFable. It features massive, building-tall, armed to the teeth war machines called Mecha. You can customize your mechas’ weapon systems then take it on dangerous missions….
Zorbak: Meh… Like delivering Pizza, bringing down a gang of werewolf bikers with Mecha that transforms in the moonlight… and helping the invading alien Shadowscythe take over the planet!
Artix: Help them take over the planet!?
Zorbak: They have a pretty cool logo.
OnRPG: What was the intention behind the design of these titles?
Artix: Players really enjoyed our first game, AdventureQuest, which was focused on clicking around the screen to explore. We wanted to make a more traditional RPG where you could walk around and explore a world, walk up to monsters and battle, and features like PvP, 3vs3 battles, and the ability to bring a friend’s character along. All of the games are updated each week with new things including quests, items and server-wide special events.
Zorbak: Say, Friday the 13th is coming up… I smell an undead war with 3 million skeletons wearing hockey masks!
Twig: Chickencow goes Cluck cluck moooooooooo! *giggle* *roll* *spaz*
Artix: It is a good thing you brought that up. Friday the 13th is going to be huge as in DragonFable we will be having the grand finale of the Doomwood zone featuring the final showdown with the master Necromancer Noxus. Players can create a free account and travel to Doomwood (it is suitable for players of all levels) and get up to date in the ongoing storyline. It involves joining me on a quest to break into a giant undead city called the Necropolis.
Zorbak: Um… Meh… Artix. I have been meaning to ask you about this letter I got from the University.
OnRPG: Why browser based instead of using a client?
Artix: There are a lot of incredible advantages to playing in the web browser.
Zorbak: Meh… you can play from any computer or flash enabled toaster oven.
Artix: No files to install, no viruses, and plays the same on Mac and PC.
Twig: Mmmmm big mac attack!!!! *Cuddle wuddle fuddle*
Zorbak: Seriously. Did you NEED to bring him?
Twig: Pew pew pew! Mac-attackatackatacka!
Artix: We keep all of your character data securely on our servers. So you can play at home on your computer. Get up, drive to your grandmother’s, open a web browser and continue playing where you left off.
OnRPG: What are the advantages of using Flash for a game compared to something more traditional like C++?
Artix: There are lots of reasons!
Zorbak: Meh… for example, you don’t know C++, do you, Artix?
Artix: Yup, that is probably the biggest one.
OnRPG: While you need to connect to the internet to play these games, are you able to interact with other players or do the games play more like a traditional RPG where players are in it themselves?
Twig: Artwiz and Zorby are in da baffroom so Twigsy answer dis one kay? Der are warz! Big warz and alls the adventurererers works togetter to beats meeeeeeelooooons of bad guys kay? BOOM BOOM BOOM Kapaow! Likes dat! Mmmmmmm….. day are makings a Mmmm Mmmmm Ohhhh nest butts Twigsy not loud to tawk bout dat kay?
OnRPG: These games are free to play but you are obviously creating them to make a profit. How does your business model work?
Artix: Our first game was intended to be completely free. It was only when we were forced to start getting dedicated servers that we asked the players for help.
Zorbak: Meh… they are a non-profit company… not by choice.
Artix: *kicks Zorbak under the table* Just kidding. We have gathered an incredible team of talented creative individuals and our company is very healthy and growing. To keep the servers running strong and the team fed we…
Zorbak: … invest heavily in peanuts, meh heh…..
Artix: *Puts duct tape over Zorbak’s mouth*… that is better.
Artix: To keep the games running smoothly we ask that players who enjoy the game upgrade their account with a one-time only payment. This upgrade unlocks the full game for your character giving you access to exclusive areas, powerful items, and unlimited access. This has worked very well for us over the past 5 years. Cards to upgrade any of our three games are currently available in the electronics section of Target stores. We truly feel that we have provided one of the best values for your gaming dollar. Players who upgraded in AdventureQuest on that first day have received access to all of the new special content released since… which is a lot!
OnRPG: How often is new content released to players?
Artix: We release new content for the games each and every week. Additionally we release special holiday events and run contests with in-game prizes. Twig, did you bring the release schedule?
Twig: Weleasss shwedoool! *holds up chart*
Friday: DragonFable (and MechQuest weapon release day)
Zorbak: Mmm… Mmmm… Mmmrrrrrrr……
Artix: The typical week starts with Galanoth (AQ), Warlic (MQ), Cysero (DF) and I and talking while looking over the forums. We figure out a plan for the week then group up with our teams to make it happen. The players play a really huge role in determining what we do next. Our development cycle is a living, breathing (sometimes not breathing if it is undead) cycle of interaction and listening to player responses.
OnRPG: Have you considered trying to publish the titles on consoles/handhelds now that they are internet ready as well?
Zorbak: Mmh. MMmmmm… MmmMMm… Mmmrrhhhrrrrr…… MMmmmm… MmmMMm… Mmmrrrrrrr…… MMmmmm… MmmMMm… Mmmrrrrrrr…… mmmmM. Mmhhhhh….
Artix: I agree.
OnRPG: What one aspect do you feel keeps players coming back for more?
Artix: If I could only give one answer? Hmmm.. Twig?
Twig: Ice cweeeeeeeeeeeam!
Artix: I would have to say that it is the campy style we create the games in. We do not take ourselves too seriously and…
Zorbak: *Slaps Duct tape on Artix’s mouth* Take that! Mehehehehe…. The real reason they keep coming back Brian?
Zorbak: Doom. It is all about darkness and power. Anyone can reanimate the dead… but a real necromancer can…
Twig: *Puts Duct tape on Zorbaks Mouth*
Twig: Da weel weason dat dap la…..
Zorbak: & Artix: *Put Duct Tape on Twig’s mouth*
<moment of silence>
OnRPG: Which game is your favorite and why?
Zorbak: Mmmm….Mhmmhm mhhhh. Mmmmh Mmmmmh.
Artix: Mmmh, Mhrmhmrh. Mhrh mhh.
Twig: Mmmmh mh mhhhhmmm!