Friday, April 05, 2013

Super Adventure Box



On April first we launched a project I came up with at work. I lead a small team to make a nostalgia-based game within a game based on the games I grew up with like Mario and Zelda. It has been very well-received, and I'm very happy to say that our team will be getting back together soon to add to it with more levels in the coming year.  On one hand I don't feel like we deserve all the praise I've pasted below, because I think nostalgia is the very easiest way to entertain people.  On the other hand, I am proud of the work we did to make sure that the core of the game really is a solid, well-designed and executed work.  But that part is very often overshadowed by the happy chemicals that the brain releases when people of my demographic see references to Mario, Zelda, Metroid, Sonic, Castlevania, etc.

But for posterity, here are some select quotes from reviewers and fans:

PRESS:

“I will be running Super Adventure Box as many times as I possibly can in April, if only to appreciate the amount of love that went into creating it. This is a fully-realized place, packed with puzzles and secrets and some amazing 8-bit music, combining Guild Wars 2 themes with classics gaming tunes. ArenaNet went all-out for this April Fools' Day treat, creating a magnificent experience that'll have players looking forward to April every year.” – Kotaku

“For its first annual April Fools' content, the time of year when MMORPGs really let their hair down and stop taking themselves so seriously, ArenaNet has crafted the Super Adventure Box: an invention by an Asura named Moto (as in Miyamoto) which transports players into an 8-bit fantasy world filled with every Zelda/Mario/Metroid-ism you can imagine. It is, quite simply, the best April Fool's event any company has ever attempted, and it's mostly very successful.” –MMORPG

“I'm just going to say it now: you're going to love Super Adventure Box. And not just because it's a kick-back to old school video games, but because it's really fun. ArenaNet, you have really outdone yourselves with this one. I can't wait to see what types of events you guys think up next.” – Curse

“The Super Adventure Box will be available, free of charge, all through April, and it’s just as charming as can be. The chirpy hoots of monkeys, the pixelated interface elements, and the way you can pick up a shopkeeper’s table and use it to bash snakes wearing sailor hats--they're just too alluring to ignore. Guild Wars 2’s latest content may not be what you thought you wanted, but once you experience it, you just may change your chiptune.” – GameSpot

“There are some companies who can make coming up with great April Fools' Day jokes look effortless and ArenaNet has secured itself on my personal list with Super Adventure Box, an update for Guild Wars 2. Watch the commercial above and prepare for commercial-based nostalgia… Not only is the commercial fun in and of itself, the fact that the gag is an actual thing we can experience in-game simply goes a step ahead. Nice work there, ArenaNet.” – Destructoid

“ArenaNet, the developer of the hit subscription-less MMO Guild Wars 2, truly outdone itself this year with a fully playable April Fool's gag, Super Adventure Box. Players can enjoy a whole new retro-style world to conquer all for the sake of a silly holiday. Plus, you get this radical '80s-style commercial. Bravo, ArenaNet. Bravo.” –Games.com

FORUMS:

Making Converts~

Seyloren I can name 5 people that had no interest in GW2 until they saw this. 3 have bought it since last night and the other two are picking it up this week 

Hexs.8015 Now i managed to get 2 of my friends out of wow and into gw2 

Lowgrin.2478 this event made me come back to gw2

Absconditus.6804 Been showing my friends screenshots of this, and they’re all saying they want to buy the game asap. to try it for themselves, as it looks amazing. 

Slyguy84637 This thing single-handedly has brought (or will bring) me back into the game. I love this thing. 

what-if-i-told-u The SAB is the best thing that has happened to GW2 so far! I love it! it makes me want to play!

lumpofcole I haven't played GW2 in months and SAB brought me roaring back. 

Gunslingar This got my flatmates (non mmo playing girl flatmates, I might add) crowded around the screen laughing hysterically. Especially at the shop keeper. Top job good Sir! 

Zenodice This event is just another amazingly well done piece of the game, I've got friends returning just to see it after I described how insanely awesome it is.
Big thanks to Anet and Josh for creating this, it's easily one of the coolest things I've seen in any MMO.

cran_duran The adventure box is ridiculously amazing and adds a whole new type of gameplay to Guild Wars 2. Many of my friends who stopped playing decided to try again last night with the update, and we were all blown away by how much fun it all was. 

blackmajixe Best content update! this is really exciting and I like the variety so far :D it's graphics are awesome and I pulled a lot of friends back into the game just for this 

AvalonBright Not gonna lie I haven't played GW2 in probably six or more months but I patched immediately upon seeing this show up and it is amazing. 



Making Money~

PolarTank SAB is the single most important start for me to stick with GW2. I will spend money in shop knowing I can have content like this.

Phantasmal This is a huge masterpiece that has me hooked! 95% of the time spent is in running the adventure box!!! I have an adventure box addiction and I need it stopped. I love this content and it is the best thing ever to have graced Guild Wars 2! Thank you Josh Foreman and team for making this. I’m a huge fan and will purchase your mini pets as a token of my huge appreciation to this content.

the_showerhead I'm buying gems right now because of how awesome SAB is, and I'll buy some more if they announce it will be permanent, or at least more frequent than once a year.

Jinacle I would have paid money for this if it were a stand alone game.

Silvri It is absolutely brilliant! I think it would be worth money as a standalone game, but I'm so happy you guys included it in the package. I have never gotten so much value out of any other game as I have out of GW2.

Coooturtle Yes, loved it, and want more of it. I would buy the game if it was its own game.

Danikat There’s actually enough content in it for it to work as a full stand-alone game.
I’m not sure how much time and effort it’d take to convert it, but they could easily sell it for the same price as other downloadable games
thavleifrim honestly take it out and put it on steam for $15 and id still buy it. 


General Praise~

Marstead Dude, you are a god. This thing is absolutely incredible and I am just shocked that you fit it into an MMO engine. It is just brilliant 

Vorch.2985 Josh Foreman is a huge asset to your team. NEVER let him or the other members of the small team working on this leave ANet. They deserve raises. I can tell you right now that competitors are going to try to steal these ideas, if not the talent themselves.

thoomfish ArenaNet management: Make Josh Foreman the new project lead in charge of "content the players universally love", give him unlimited resources, and just step the fuck back and let magic happen. 

soulwblood Josh Foreman is fucked with the amount of content he has to create now for doing such an
amazing thing

SoLeciTO Is just amazing how different things are between Blizzard and ArenaNet.
People like Josh Foreman that continually helps and answers users makes me feel that I really made an excellent purchase for this game. I actually buy gems just because i like the company, just to thank them how serious they take their job.

PolarTank people like Josh give others faith In the company. even if Josh and his team are one of a kind that’s enough for me.
Speaking of which. If you leave Josh I’m coming to lol

HalcyonKudos to the entire SAB team! Super Adventure Box came as a wonderful surprise.
And indeed, thanks to Josh Foreman here in particular, and any other developers elsewhere, for their presence on these forums. Really helps to make people feel heard appreciated as customers and fans.

Austin Theng best event ever for any MMORPG! U guys are brilliant and smart!!! THANK YOU ANET!!

Psyke.6279I can’t even begin to describe how much I love this

Ambrosia.2035 one of the best things made, has to be permanent. I will never grow tired of this.

Lady Sinaea.7043
This event is BRILLIANT! Thank you so much.

 Reiven.2543
Im not usually one to sing anet’s praises and am usually very critical of them but… HOLY KITTEN they really put a lot of effort into these extra things and god the outcomes are amazing.

Varistentia.2348
I usually never post but I just had to log in and second this, it’s way too good to go away, please make it a permanent dungeon. Being one who grew up with games in the 80s my jaw literally dropped in awe at the amount of care and accuracy of reproducing the feeling of the games of that time.

zerospin.8604
Best event ever. Totally getting flashbacks to my childhood

Arlend
Hey guys, I just registered just to show them how much I appreciate SAB!!
You can't even imagine how happy I am with it, and how many sweet childhood memories brought to me! THIS IS A-WE-SO-ME! these little things are what make you so epic guys,so please keep on making our dreams come true

MegiddoZO So I started to check this out when it started around midnight on April 1st. All of a sudden, it was 5 AM in the morning!

aVtumn Best content ever!!!!

doodoodlydoo SAB is the best thing ever and should continue to be supported.

UltraMegaMegaMan I talk a lot of shit about things that are wrong with this game but in my opinion not only is the Adventure Box one of the best things in GW2 or mmos it's one of the best things I've seen in gaming ever.
It's easily the best minigame within a game ever, for sure. So many standalone games try to capture the 8 bit or 16 bit feel and don't succeed, or it feels forced, or it isn't fun. Adventure box excels in every aspect. They successfully created a 2D game atmosphere in a 3D environment. Everything was done right: the sound, the music, the controls, the weapons, the enemies, the shop.

Galenmereth The gameplay and level design is incredible; that it's "just" a game within a game makes it double impressive.
As a gamer, I'm having more fun than I've had playing platformers since Mario 64. The creativity and amount of secrets to discover lifts it from being a fun diversion to an amazingly fun experience. It's so great!

chasan Another home run for you sir, you've done a really great job on making something fun and unique and I cant wait to get home to play it some more.

Bonefield It's amazing. What makes it so great for me, I think, is that it combines so many awesome elements from both modern and older games, and attached to a persistent world. I dunno what I'm trying to say except that I think you've hit on something really special that's way bigger than just being a cool minigame.

thorrising I can honestly say I haven't met a single player in the game that doesn't treat SAB the same way I felt when i was 6 and got my N64, its just such a superbly designed environment 

TheDagnus This is hands down my favorite piece of content. More than just the retro shot you get from it, it is awesomely designed. Music, Gameplay, Setup, I am truly awed, this is not just a mini-game.
My guild mates and I all agreed that this is by far the best update put in the game from the fun perspective. We not only want it to stay, but we want it to EXPAND: Hard Mode, Time Attack, Secrets, Bonus Stages, New Stages, you name it, we want it.
For all that is worth, you made my full guild scream of excitement and happiness.

phobophobia I was skeptical when I was first told about it but after playing through some of it, I love it.

CerealNinja I'm still blown away with how amazing it was.

scarpain It's honestly one of the coolest things I've ever seen put into an MMO!

FeignedAptitude More like this and Clocktower

Charrwhisperer best minigame ever in any mmo ive played

Marstead The Super Adventure Box is masterfully implemented and possibly the most fun I have ever had in an online game. The folks responsible should be commended

Malicaena Not a lot of things make me stay up more than a day without me noticing. Love the aesthetics and design. Love the way the levels differ from one another with new mechanics introduced in each one. Love how we gotta actually explore to unlock and discover everything and how useful the unlockable weapons/tools are. It's just really great content in general.

lbix SAB generates poor parenting decisions. That's all I'll say except for the fact I'm not proud of what I've done. Thank you!

pippin254 This is ridiculous amounts of fun, from both an aesthetic sense and a jumping puzzle sense.

dat3nshi I don't even like jumping puzzles or platformers but this is easily one of the coolest things in this already pretty cool game.

DeathDealerGER I have been up all night and been doing SAB for almost 8 hours now.. I just can not stop playing it.

richajf This is seriously too awesome...

FW it's an amazing concept and one that was created obviously with hard work and talent.

ZCAvian Absolutely wonderful the whole way through.

DaddyTaco I absolutely love SAB! It's a genius idea and incredible amounts of fun!

KantoRegionChampRed It is easily my favorite thing right now.

khayman77 Brilliant design, above and beyond what anyone expected it to be.

pontoko I have never seen such an amazing event.
fakeddit this is easily the most unique, original and creative thing i've seen in any mmo

morphemass I think SAB is the best content update to date

cyberghost47 I love this! Best Idea EVER!

 Gravizt Though the [weapon]skins don't appeal to me at all, which makes doing it completely wasted on my part, except for the achievement points, I just cant stop running through it. It really is amazingly great fun, and I would love to see the concept go further. A brilliant job was most certainly done on this. 

FlirtyChair I would sign on to do nothing other than this even daily

jmdbcool The most fun I've had in GW2 in a long time. I love the format, love the references; everything about it was very well executed. 



Best in Guild Wars~

Mkalafut.1273 No event so far in GW2 has given me so much joy 

cannons.8109 This is the most fun part of GW2 right now. I shall do nothing except play in the box for the entire month. Whoever at Anet is responsible for this must be promoted to CEO immediately. 

jivebeaver the subgame is better than the actual game. how does that happen? 

MithrisGW Most fun my guild as had in guild wars 2 yet.

UndergroundGU7 The most fun I've had in this game since release 

Archanoth This is by far the best patch GW2 has had so far. The Super Adventure Box is incredibly amazing! 

Gorillaz951 This has to be the single BEST update to the game ever. 

Soki.3027It is a higher quality update than what we’ve seen of the Living Story, and it’s extremely fun.

Maelzrael.8142 Best dungeon in any game ever. +1000 to this.

lockheedlight.5910 This is easily the most fun dungeon I have done in this game. 

Dommmmmmmmmm.6984
This is the best dungeon in the game. 

Wykillin It might be more fun than most of the game. 

Tyrfing666 Best content released so far, more creative stuff like this please! 

TimeBomb.3427
This is by far the best event GW2 has ever had, and it’s the most fun I’ve had in an MMO in years.
I am in love with this dungeon, and cannot thank the designers, especially Josh, enough. Thank you so very much for making the perfect combination of nostalgia and modern-day MMO. I honestly really appreciate it.


Bringing Joy~

darkly39r My face physically hurts from smiling too much while playing it 

parrotsmother I can't even tell you how much I enjoy this thing. It was all I could do to keep myself from screaming with joy the first time I played it. <3 div="" nbsp="">

Warmaster_Bacon IT IS THE GREATEST THING EVER ADDED TO A GAME! it just put a huge smile on my face when I started playing it, everyone in my group was talking in caps screaming LOOK WHAT I FOUND! 

qi3ber I couldn't stop giggling like a schoolchild all last night. 

WinterBloom could NOT stop smiling while playing this with people. Went with three randoms and my girlfriend, and we were laughing and having a blast all the way through! 

nbik Thank you so much, this is just unbelievably fun, couldn't stop giggling the whole way. 

ganondorff I tried SAB with a friend and three others the moment it opened, and we couldn't stop laughing. Everyone was freaking out and telling how much they loved it. 


Bringing Tears~

Johnnyrs.3782 I’m giddy too remembering my childhood playing these type of games. Almost to the point of crying I’m having so much fun. I just love that I can take my fancy graphical characters through this old style world. Just so awesome. Made my day! 


Making More Fun than... Anything!~

Cassssss I've loved it. Best thing in a game ever!

jesdestruitx This is the most fun I've ever had in any game.
This content alone restored my childhood. I just spent all night constantly playing this content over and over with glee. I’ve never nerdgasm’d so hard in my entire life. 

rockstar_nailbombs Just wanted you to know that SAB makes me giggle with glee, clap excitedly, and hop up and down in my computer chair. All your (and everyone else's) hard work has most definitely culminated into one of the most amazing things I've experienced in videogaming to date. 

ctsnicky.5183 it was seriously the most fun I’ve had in ages. 

Fyrebrand.4859 Frankly, this is the coolest thing an MMORPG has ever done, and it makes you look good as developers. It shows that you get the heritage of games, and it’s an avenue for you to show off your awesome level design skills 

Torguish.4786
I mean really, this is the most fun i’ve had in a long time in any mmorpg. 

zaydoc One of the best experiences I've had in gaming in a long, long time. 

ProjectGSX SAB is one of the coolest things Ive ever seen. 

gobberpooper This is literally the greatest thing I've done in a video game. 

kazooie5659 this is easily the most fun I've had in ever.