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November 25, 2002

Player Construction: New Building Blocks

One of the cornerstones of Atriarch's gameplay is encouraging the player to make the world their own.  For a player to be more than just sight-seeing character, it is key that players are given the opportunity to alter the world, environment, and politics in a meaningful way.

One of the ways Atriarch encourages players to put their mark in the world is by offering the player a chance to build their own structures and cities... not just a stock building, but to actually put a unique style and layout to it.  The use of Atrian building blocks puts this powerful feature into the hands of the players while still maintaining performance necessary for online gameplay.

Earlier this year, we showed you some construction pieces players could use in Atriarch to form their own unique structures.  The example we showed was from the Eshlar region of Drasius (Look for screenshots of Drasius next month.)

These were the original player building blocks we showed:


Here are new samples of player building blocks from from two other regions in Atriarch:

Cavolon City of Trelos


Unarra Region of Bolera


October 30, 2002

Hello Everyone!

We thank you for your patience (and many emails telling us how patient you are *smile*) in waiting for new updates.  We had a last minute opportunity to take a short-term job in Rome, Italy.  Since we are an independent developer, we must attend to these sorts of opportunities.  It left us without access for updating this site for a little bit.  We thank you for your understanding.

While there, we also had an opportunity to meet and talk with European publishers and press.  We are back now and will start updating again regularly, starting next week.  The plan is to release screenshots in November and December of the first Eshlar Region to be revealed publicly: Drasius.

Good news is that although we were not online in our offices, we were still diligently working on Atriarch.  During the past month, we have continued to make progress and will be bringing you a progress report and development update soon (soon = sometime in November).

A quick side note about my time in Italy: one of the other wonderful things about visiting Italy was experiencing the culture, architecture, landscape and many original works of art.  To say I got a few ideas for Atriarch from this trip would be a bit of an understatement :-)

-Serafina, Lead Game Designer

September 4, 2002

There was a lot of activity last night on the three different Atriarch discussion boards.  Lead Game Designer, Serafina, made several posts and joined in on the discussions.  Everyone is more than welcome to join in.  Click on the topic to go directly to that discussion.

Following are topics on the Atriarch Watcher board:

Symbiote Armor and Item Aging

Group and Cooperative Skills

Mini-Games in Atriarch

Organic Machine Guns or Bows and Arrows?

Following are topics on the Atriarch Stratics board:

Average length of beta testing for most games

Should there be penalty or mutation for players who want their new character to start on a continent that is not native to their species?

Inventory Layout/UI

Following are topics on the Atriarch Vault board:

What choices should players have as starting locations for new characters?

Cavolon Egra Labs... a bit more discussion about what "sustenance" means on Atriana (see lab symbol in Aug. 21st news post below)

There will be no ad banners in Atriarch

The mysterious and changing Torpor Storm


August 29, 2002

Ask World Fusion Feature: Atriarch Vault's feature question comes from Big Hunt Boy this week.   You can read the weekly answers to fans questions here: Ask World Fusion Weekly Feature.

This week's question goes into a bit more detail than the Big Hunt Boy probably expected.  Here is a snippet from the rather lengthy and  in-depth answer:

Big Hunt Boy: Will players be able to have more than one character?

Serafina (Lead Designer): I think when a player has less characters, the characters they do have become more important and have a stronger influence and greater impact on the world itself.

...We want players to be more than the sum or their "main" and "mules".  In Atriarch, I want to see players identifying with their lineage, family, faction, accomplishment and self-defined community.


August 21, 2002

Cavolon Lab Symbols:  Players who choose to become a Cavolon Scientist as their character will learn the basics of Atrian biotechnology while working with plants and herbs to develop elixirs, salves, materials, and more.  A Cavolon will have the opportunity to study at each of nine specialized labs.  We have posted the symbols for each of the nine labs below.  You can read more about the labs and Cavolon in the Cavolon Species Profile.


wpe3.jpg (2692 bytes)

Egra Labs - sustenance


wpe1.jpg (2539 bytes)

Burra Labs - crossbreeds


wpe4.jpg (2538 bytes)

Grenn Labs - construction material


wpe5.jpg (2805 bytes)

Klora Labs - energy transfer


wpe6.jpg (2838 bytes)

Kuj Labs - mind alteration


wpe7.jpg (2410 bytes)

Matos Labs - offense


wpe8.jpg (2466 bytes)

Olva Labs - subterfuge


wpe9.jpg (2415 bytes)

Serrin Labs - enhancements


wpeA.jpg (2638 bytes)

Telsh Labs - defense



August 15, 2002

Ask World Fusion Feature: Atriarch Vault's feature questions come from Valhalid this week.   You can read the weekly answers to fans questions here: Ask World Fusion Weekly Feature.  Here is a snippet:

Valhalid: What environments are there?

Serafina (Lead Designer): Atriana's planet is arranged with certain biomes in mind to create a realistic ecosystem and environment. As we design areas in Atriana, we use the biomes to determine where we can realistically place different types creatures and plants. We believe using the biome method makes our decisions in world design a bit more sophisticated than using the well-it-looks-like-it-would-go-there method. Right now, the biomes are used by the designers, but eventually we plan to make the biomes interactive for players.

To read the rest of this answer and to Valhalid's other questions, visit here.

Can you go under water, tunnel through the ground?

Can fly through the air on a given mount, but is there a set hight or can you weave around in the air, do loop to loops etc?

Coming Next Week: Next week we will post the nine symbols used for each of the nine Cavolon Labs.


August 14, 2002

This is a quick note to let you know we will resume our regularly scheduled updates tomorrow beginning with the next installment of AT Vault's "Ask World Fusion" Feature.  See you then :-)


July 31, 2002 back up!:   A faulty repeater proved difficult to trace & caused considerable disruption to our internet connectivity.  PacBell eventually located the problem at their C.O. (central office) and fixed the problem.  Woohoo!  We're all back up and running again!

More New Screenshots:

This post is a little delayed due to a blip in the internet, but fear not!   More screenshots have been posted on fansites!

Atriarch Italia

at-italia1.jpg (6432 bytes)      at-italia2.jpg (6058 bytes)

Chatting with the Developers:

Atriarch Stratics posted the log of an impromtu chat with Lead Designer, Serafina.  She often drops into online chat rooms, particularly Stratics IRC and Socery IRC to get feedback from gamers about Atriarch.  Here is an example from the log of the types of feedback we discuss:

[Serafina] Well, what would you all think about entering a game where you were engaged by a Native immediately and given some options to help out with a "cause" or something like that?

There were a lot of great topics discussed.  If you would like to join in the discussions, there are two locations frequented by World Fusion staff.

  1. Atriarch Watcher - #atriarch (Sorcery IRC [])

  2. Atriarch Stratics - #atriarch (Stratics IRC [])


July 17, 2002

New Screenshots:

As promised, four new screenshots of the Bolera Caverns have been posted on various Atriarch fansites. If you click on the thumbnails below, it will take you directly to the fansites where they are posted.

Atriarch Stratics:

Lone Lokai fighting a Chuppa over a very very long drop.      Chuppa monsters

Atriarch Vault:

Lokai using his front flip to scare off potential attackers.      Looking down a deep cavern with spiral pathway.

Discussion of the Week:

Should players be allowed to choose where their new character starts in the world? Why or why not?

If you would like to give us your opinion or feedback, you can post it on the discussion boards of any of the following Atriarch Fansites; we will read them all:

Atriarch Watcher

Atriarch Stratics

Atriarch Vault


July 12, 2002

Naming Feature Part 5: Unarra Beastmasters:  "Name Alien Week" ends on the elusive Unarra Beastmaster Species (Race). You can read the Unarra Naming Conventions here.  Here is a snippet:

"The Unarra are the more upbeat denizens of Atriana. They're spritely and spirited, jovial and stalwart.  This of course should be represented in their names. They should be strong, but not overstated.

And yes, I think they should be feminine sounding! You still can have the strong or fierce sounding feminine names. Feminine doesn't mean 'Barbie' and 'Daisy'."

-Joss, Writer/Designer

Whew!  And that completes "Name That Alien Week."  We hope we inspired you to go out today and name an alien or two! Remember, next week, new screenshots are passed out to fansites.  We'll make a newspost about it either on Tuesday or Wednesday of next week.  See you then!

July 11, 2002

Naming Feature Part 4: Tyrusin Warrior:  We are now over half way through "Name Your Alien Week" here at World Fusion.  Today, the Tyrusin Naming Conventions have been added to the Language Section.   So, check it out if you aren't sure what to call your Warrior.  Here is a bit of what Joss had to say about naming Tyrusin:

"First, I think names need to be kept as short and concise as possible. One or two syllables is ideal. Anything over three and readers tend to gloss over it. It has to be very solid to be over three. Something like "Karanazar". Something that flows or has a hook like that, and has an obvious pronunciation."

- Joss, Writer/Designer

Click here to go directly to the Tyrusin Naming Conventions.

Tomorrow:  we will post the Unarra Naming Conventions.  (Yes, we are actually going to release a tiny bit of Unarra information *grin*)

Debate Continues:   There is a repost on RPGDot between World Fusion's Jaruh and Logan from Recon News entitled: "Atriarch: Jailing, griefing and economics."  Here is a snippet:

"One of Atriarch's founding design tenet is to give players the tools for interacting with and affecting the world through construction, politics, economy, quests, etc. In previous MMOG iterations, these tools are a patched afterthought and even then are not fully explored. By giving players opportunities to affect the world in different ways, we move away from the "treadmill" (kill-level-kill) design that other games have at their base."

-Jaruh, Community Liaison

Ask World Fusion Feature:   I received an email from DavidQuick from Atriarch Vault.   He is the brainchild behind the Ask World Fusion Weekly Feature.  He informed us that he will be on vacation for a week, so we will resume the feature when he returns.  Have a great time DavidQuick!  We all wish we were on vacation with you!

July 10, 2002

The 3rd installment of the week's Atrian Naming feature has been posted.  You can   The Lokai Naming Conventions have been added to the Language Section.  Here is a bit of what Joss had to say about naming Lokai:

"When I was trying to think of what Lokai speech might sound like, I thought alot about their environment. You can imagine the brush of windswept sand and the soft pad of footfalls across the dunes, the skitter of a chitinous appendange across a sunbleached flat or the rustle of leather against a Lokai shell. Naturally this would be represented in the Lokai's vocabulary."

- Joss, Writer/Designer

Click here to go directly to the Lokai Naming Conventions.

Tomorrow:  we will post the Tyrusin Naming Conventions.

Coming Next Week:  New Screenshots for Fansites:  We had several extra Bolera Screenshots, so we decided to pass them along to Atriarch fansites.  Community Liaison, Jaruh, will give Atriarch sites a couple new shots for posting next week.

July 9, 2002

Today we added the Eshlar Naming Conventions to the Language Section.  Here is a bit of what Joss had to say:

"Eshlar names should encapsulate something of what, in their minds, makes them great. There is a bit of grandiosity to each Eshlar name. Sometimes it is simple or subdued. Other times it is grand or even royal. But every Eshlar recognizes the value of a name. Besides, who wants the placard to read 'monument by Shecky'?"

- Joss, Writer/Designer

Click here to go directly to the Eshlar Naming Conventions.

Tomorrow we will post the Lokai Naming Conventions.

July 8, 2002

As promised, today begins the first in a five-part series on Atriarch's naming conventions.  A new area has been added to the Language Section under World of Atriana where we discuss how we come up with those alien names and terms.  We hope the publication of these guidelines will also aid you in creating names for your Atriarch characters, factions, and cities :-)

Click here to go directly to the Cavolon Naming Conventions.

July 5, 2002

Hello Everyone!  Since this it is a holiday week for those in the US and many people are away on holiday or vacation, we've decided to wait until next week to update the Atriarch Naming Conventions.

Each day next week, we will post a new set of naming guidelines interwoven with brief editorial comments written by Writer and Designer, Joss.

Here is the schedule:

Monday:  Cavolon Naming Guidelines

Tuesday:  Eshlar Naming Guidelines

Wednesday:  Lokai Naming Guidelines

Thursday:  Tyrusin Naming Guidelines

Friday:  Unarra Naming Guidelines

Next Thursday will also be the third installment of "Ask World Fusion" on Atriarch Vault.   You can send in your questions anytime to So far, the questions have been great!

June 27, 2002

Ask World Fusion Weekly Feature: This is week two of Atriarch Vault's Ask World Fusion weekly feature.  Following are the questions answered by Lead Designer, Serafina.

You can read all the answers on Atriarch Vault here.

  1. Will creatures bleed, bruise, and scar?

  2. When the feature is added to Atriarch, will the blood, bruises, and scars actually mean anything in the game or will it just be eye candy?

  3. I've got a question about world modification. When digging, will you physically need to move the dirt to another location or does it just disappear as you dig?

  4. Not including the Torpor storm, will Atriana have weather systems? I'm talking ACTUAL weather system like high and low pressure zones, warm and cold fronts, a jet stream (or streams), climate zones, and/or extreme weather (hurricanes on shore, tornadoes in 'tornado alleys'). Or are weather patterns more random with certain areas tending to have certain kinds of weather.

Coming Next Week: Next week, we will include some new information on naming conventions for Atriarch.  We will discuss how we come up with those alien terms and how you can use our guidelines to help you when creating names for your Atriarch Characters, factions, cities and terms :-)

June 20, 2002

Weekly Questions: This week will start the first of a weekly exclusive on Atriarch Vault.  Each week World Fusion will choose 3-5 questions to answer about Atriarch, World Fusion, or the Volcano Engine.  The questions are submitted each week by you or whoever else is interested.  The first set of answered questions were sent in to DQ of AT Vault today.  I don't think AT Vault has posted the answers yet, but when they do, visit them here.  These were the questions answered by Lead Designer, Serafina:

  1. Will different damage types have different effects on different materials (e.g. blunt/bludgeoning damage is more effective against chain and solid structures than slashing and spiked weapons?

  2. What type of in game options will be available to uniquely identify your character from all of the other players?

  3. In EQ when a wood elf wears a banded tunic, it looks a certain way, when a human wears the same tunic it magically transforms. This statement stems these questions: Will items be interchangeable between the species?

  4. Will everything have a 'standard or normal' base movement rate, or will there be a great variation to the speed of creatures?

If you would like to submit questions for the weekly feature, then email DQ at:  

Technical Beta Update:

It has been a long while since our last technical beta play session.  We are slowly, but surely exterminating some nasty technical bugs before beginning another play session.  We know that many people are anxious to get testing regardless of the bugs.  We thank you all for you incredible support and eagerness to jump right in!

For those who have signed up for Technical Testing... we had many more people sign up to test than our current bandwidth capacity will allow.  We accepted a number of people for the Stage 1 Technical Test and have closed the sign-ups for this stage.

However, we still encourage you to sign up for future stages. Anyone who is already signed up or submitted an application previously will not need to sign up again.

New Email Testing Application: A few people who have signed up for testing have had errors with the form.  For those of you who would like to sign up, but the testing form is not working, you can now sign up via an email registration form here.

If you have already signed up, then there is no need to do so again.  If your information has changed, for example, you have a new email, then you can email your changes directly to:  

Again, thank you to everyone who is so eager to help with Atriarch.  We have had a lot of people offering services... everything from art to programming.  This is so encouraging to us and thank you so much.  We all know this is a long process and thank you for your patience!

June 11, 2002

Quick Update: Hello Everyone!  Things are moving along nicely on the Atriarch front :-)  The content team is currently building Yoloth, the Cavolon Capitol City.  Engineering is fixing some bugs we had with the sky.  The Community team is gathering content, design docs, city information and more to be released throughout the Summer.  AT Vault is starting a weekly Q&A feature where members of the Atriarch team will answer questions.

To let people know what to expect on our site, our current mode is to update once a week. We will continue to bring you an update every week (sometimes more often) with some new content or with a brief summary of what is occurring behind the scenes.  Thank you for taking the time to stay updated on Atriarch!

June 4, 2002

An email conversation (perhaps more like a friendly debate) about Atriarch between World Fusion team member Jaruh and RPG Dot's Logan is posted here.  It is currently on Logan's personal site.  It will also be posted on RPG Dot soon.  Here is a snippet:

"One of Atriarch's founding design tenet is to give players the tools for interacting with and affecting the world through construction, politics, economy, quests, etc.  In previous MMOG iterations, these tools are a patched afterthought and even then are not fully explored. By giving players opportunities to affect the world in different ways, we move away from the "treadmill" (kill-level-kill) design that other games have at their base."

"You made another comment earlier, that you preferred non-human CS intervention and I would argue that the more code-solutions you offer, the easier it is to grief since code has no real valuation system. So, I'd argue that the code should make the system easier for everyone to interact, but shouldn't replace the players. I've read your essays on the topic, but as you've said, I've yet to see a game that is truly anti-grief work. I think that giving useful player tools makes it easier to share the weight of the work though designer-policy decides whether it lives or dies."

- Jaruh, Community Liaison

May 29, 2002

Developer Comment from Jaruh, Community Liaison:

Greetings everyone!

Since the team gets to bask in the warm glow of E3, I'm guarding the homefront!

Springtime is a great inspiration for perspective on online communities. Most everything in the yard is in its full green, flowers are blooming and everyone is pleasant! Not getting any sleep these days means that I get to see the waking world in the warm sun rather than living only in the industrious night. Likewise, after the very positive First Look article at IGN, the latest developer journal and slew of developer comments on the various forums, the community is again showing its bloom!

Around the community, its great to see new factions emerging. I've really enjoyed reading the treatise of neutrality being offered by the Technocrats (of Daedra). Faction-creating brings out great discussions on historical strategic and philosophical premises. I invite everyone to go read and participate!  I'd love to hear if other factions are being created, or existing factions have news to share with the community.

When I first heard about Atriarch, Player Construction, the Torpor Storm and Spawning were the ideas (aside from breaking away from the fantasy genre) that captured my interest. I am enjoying reading and interacting with the latest questions about these features. You can find the discussions at: ATVault, ATWatcher, and ATStratics.

I want to highlight a few newcomers to the extended Atriarch-coverage community. A big international welcome to MMORPG News over in Sweden ( Also, a hearty congrats on the revamped sites to both ( and MMORPG Italia ( Also, look for us at, Player2Player and Look for upcoming interviews and other interaction on those sites soon! Please let me know if you come across other sites, English or not, that are carrying news of Atriarch.

We have a few upcoming Community Events planned.  The Atriarch Glossary Community Event is still actively receiving entries. Since it started, we've seen many great entries (and will add more to the official glossary soon) One entry that intrigued me came from Greg:

Tornin - A sentient that has not yet joined or has chosen not to join a faction

Torninier - A sentient without faction because it violated the rules of its faction and was expelled."

I love the idea of player ranks--the are yet another way the player can bring life to the world around them! But be wary Greg. If the terms were meant as slurs, those who aren't interested in factions may just have their own entries for those who choose such a life.:)

I want to leave off with another entry, this one from Richard:

"Good game: a game that's good. Example: what Atriarch will be."

Woo Atriarch!

Jaruh,  Community Liaison

May 21, 2002

World Fusion and the Atriarch team will be attending E3 this week.  We will be spending a lot of time talking with publishers about Atriarch.  If you are a publisher and would like to meet with us, please email Serafina to set up an appointment.

An edited log of the "Player Construction and Housing" developer chat hosted by Atriarch Stratics can be read here on Atriarch Vault.  If Atriarch Stratics posts a log, we will post the link to that one as well. Here is a snippet from the log:

Lord-Xanthor : *Sartaeus* Could buildings perform fuctions other than just protection and decoration?

WF_Serafina : Yes, buildings are definitely for more than protection and decoration.
WF_Serafina : When you fulfill the requirements for a building's function, you will be given a set of features that go along with that function.
WF_Serafina : For example, if you build a shop, then you will have the features that are available to shopkeeps.
WF_Serafina : Also, certain structures and buildings will affect the Natives (npcs)
WF_Serafina : Some buildings will be required for resource manufacturing, etc.
WF_Serafina : There will be many uses for buildings other than decorative.
WF_Serafina : Of course, we allow you to be decorative and functional :-)

Atriarch Vault also posted the open forum discussion following the developer chat where we continued to answer more questions.  Here is a snippet from this conversation:

TheGoodReverend : What is needed for upkeep of buildings? Simply monetary, or will you need to feed your building resources as well. Also, how does the game determine a building is no longer "functional?" Theoretically, you could have gaping holes in a wall, but if there are beds someone may still be willing to sleep there. Finally, will you be able to renovate decayed buildings?

Serafina : TheGoodReverend... resources will be needed ... sorta like when you have to repaint your house because it is falling down, only in an organic, alien sorta way
Serafina : We try to explain everything in "Earth" terms, but you always have to remember, there is an alien catch to most things we do.

Thanks DavidQuick for the excellent edit of the log.

May 16, 2002

Last night's Atriarch developer chat was a huge success.  We answered questions for an hour about how construction, player-housing and city building will work in the game.  We had a total of six of the Atriarch team present to answer questions.

Since there wasn't enough time to answer all the questions, we stayed after HoC to chat in an open forum with everyone and address questions with more details.

It was a lot of fun, and we look forward to the next one!  Thanks to everyone who attended. As soon as the log of the chat is posted, we'll give you a link here.  Thank you Stratics for hosting it.

May 14, 2002

Developer Chat Tomorrow (Wednesday): Atriarch House of Commons will be held on the Stratics IRC on Wednesday, May 15th, 6pm PST.  Atriarch developers so far on the roster to attend include:

  • Serafina, Lead Game Designer
  • Arc, Chief Architect and Lead Programmer
  • Mo, Lead Artist
  • Mythfit, Ecosystem Designer and Writer

This will be your chance to talk live with the developers, ask questions about Atriarch.  The topic of the chat is:

Topic: "Player Construction and Housing"

If there are any changes to the roster, we will update it here.  If you would like to join us for the chat, you can do so on IRC here:  If this is your first time attending an online chat, you can get step-by-step instructions for beginners at Atriarch Stratics.  Half way down the page, instructions begin with "If you're new to IRC..."

May 9, 2002

One of the cornerstones of Atriarch's gameplay is the dynamic and highly customizable player-construction feature.  The next couple weeks, we will be focusing on sharing the innovations that Atriarch brings to online worlds in the area of player-housing and city construction. 

Sample Building Blocks and Sample Player-Building:


(There will be a developer chat about this topic next week.  Be sure to read the details about it below.)

Developer Comments: This week's developer comment is from Mo, Atriarch's Lead Artist.  He discusses how he goes about making the player-construction pieces.

Recently, as you all know, I have been frantically working on new terrain for us all to wander and explore in Atriarch. At the same time I have also been creating architecture to go along with that terrain. Again, at the same time I have been creating the building blocks for that architecture that will be used for player construction. 

Creating these building blocks at first was a little daunting because it started out too literal, meaning the blocks were actually "blocks" and were not based on any existing architecture in the game. It consisted of a couple of basic primitive shapes you would most commonly find in a 3D software package, blocks, cones, wedges, cylinders, etc. But as we have established the look of the architecture for the areas we have in the game so far, making these blocks has become very easy.

Quite simply, I take an existing structure and break it down into it's most basic components, walls, pillars, arches, pyramids, roofs, floors, awnings, walkways, etc. After that I'll add some decorative pieces that the player can add to their structure to make it look a little more "homey", like pots, torches, or any special ornamental features from the original architecture. 

Once the pieces are created it's just a matter of creating a scale ratio so the pieces all fit and work together, much like Legos all fit together. The easiest way to do that is to literally cut the original building blocks away from the existing architecture. After that, I'll clean the block up and keep it's texture consistent with it's architectural counterpart. That way, once the model is done, the texturing is almost done for you. 

After the blocks are created, I make a test structure to compare it to the original architecture, and then make any adjustments I need to the pieces as I go. Trust me when I say there isn't much more to it then that. You all wanna play with our building blocks now, don't you?


Developer Chat: Atriarch House of Commons will be held on the Stratics IRC on Wednesday, May 15th, 6pm PST.  Atriarch developers so far on the roster to attend include:

  • Serafina, Lead Game Designer
  • Arc, Chief Architect and Lead Programmer
  • Mo, Lead Artist
  • Mythfit, Ecosystem Designer and Writer

This will be your chance to talk live with the developers, ask questions about Atriarch.  The topic of the chat is:

Topic: "Player Construction and Housing"

If there are any changes to the roster, we will update it here.  If you would like to join us for the chat, you can do so on IRC here:  If this is your first time attending an online chat, you can get step-by-step instructions for beginners at Atriarch Stratics.  Half way down the page, instructions begin with "If you're new to IRC..."

May 2, 2002

New Screenshots!!!  The Bolera Caverns is Atriarch's first "dungeon" area released.

April 30, 2002

It is time for the WFFFFP!

World-Fusion-Family-Friends-and-Fans picnic :-)

This Saturday, May 4th, if you happen to be in the Southern California area, we invite you to join us for a fun afternoon at the park.  This is nothing formal, just a gathering we have now and then for anyone who wants to get together, chat, play games and experience the sun at the same time :-)

When: May 4th, 1pm

Where: Huntington Beach, California

Details: If you want details, you can email 

Sometime this week, we will be putting up the new screenshots from the Bolera Caverns, Atriarch's first "dungeon" area.


April 27, 2002

IGN Previews Atriarch:  Tal, the Editor-n-Chief of IGN PC, took the time last month to preview Atriarch live while at the Game Developer's Conference.  He was so impressed with Atriarch that he made the preview a top feature story!  Woo Atriarch!

Here are some snippets from the 3-page preview:

"One of the things that Serafina was most excited with was the building interface, and with good other MMORPGs have given you so many options. While there will be some pre-made buildings, most of the structures in the game will be built by the players themselves. This building construction is actually the genesis of Atriarch in a sense."

"We got to see some of the combat animations and they looked pretty damn cool at this point."

"All in all our first glimpse of Atriarch left us impressed, and we were certainly pleasantly surprised after seeing it in action."

"We're definitely hoping everything goes well in the publisher search as the game concepts make Atriarch sound like one of the most immersive games ever, and if anybody out there is looking for a promising online RPG to publish, Atriarch certainly looks like a contender in the MMORPG arena. Give Serafina a ring, and tell her IGN sent you."

Are you listening publishers?  *smile*  Thanks IGN.

Included with the preview are over 30 brand New Screenshots, 20 of which are from Bolera Caverns, Atriarch's first "dungeon."  Since IGN has a new subscription policy and not everyone can access them, we will be posting some of the new screenshots on this site next week!

Stay tuned, we have lots of new stuff coming beginning next week :-)  If you can't wait until then, visit any of of the Community Sites and discuss Atriarch on the boards.


April 25, 2002

Player-Content in Atriarch: Lead Designer, Serafina Pechan posted at Gamespy.  You can read the entire journal here.  It includes some examples of the many styles of construction pieces that are used by players to create their own structures.  The Developer Journal section has a list of Serafina's previous diary entries.  

Here is a snippet:

"First, player housing barely scratches the surface of what Atriarch can do. This is a construction system, not just a housing system. If you want to build a secret fortress of doom, then go for it. Second, imagine every building you own, including your house, can be unique in size, shape, and appearance from every other player if you want. Third, now imagine that you could care less about taking the time to design a building and just want a place to store your loot. You can buy and trade blueprints and layouts of structures that other player-characters design for you. Of course, this all happens in-game and is very much a part of the world culture, economy, politics, and story."

Vote Atriarch! In other news, RPGDot is holding a poll for anticipated games in development.  The poll is on the left-hand side of the main site.  We encourage you to vote for Atriarch!  Woo Atriarch!


April 17, 2002

A quick update to let everyone know development of Atriarch continues to progress.  We are currently working the Cavolon City of Yoloth in the Mirecleat region.  As soon as we have time to come up for air, we'll put together some maps of the cities and regions on the website.


New Wallpaper Section: As you know, we are working our way through this website, cleaning it up a bit.  As we make changes, we will be sure to keep you up to date.  The most recent section to be updated is the Download Section.  There is a new Atriarch Wallpaper Section with various renderings of Atriarch you can download.  Formerly on IGN, Atriarch's Spawn of Afton: Part 2 movie was moved to our site for download. 


April 11, 2002

Although the Visitor's Center is under construction, we've replaced the "coming soon" sign with a quick reference guide to this site.

We have begun posting weekly developer comments from the World Fusion team.  Since Lead Game Designer, Serafina's Developer Journal has historically been posted on Gamespy, we are going to continue with that tradition.  As soon as we find out the day her journal is to be posted, we'll let you know.  She will be writing about player-driven content.


April 4, 2002

Atriarch's Chief Architect, Arc, posted some developer's comments in response to a question asked about the World Fusion's Volcano Engine.  Arc posted the response on the discussion boards of a game developer site called, ... an excellent site :-)

Warning though, Arc's post does get technical.  If you would like to read the entire post, go here.

Here is a short excerpt:

"Communication between clients and servers uses a custom protocol that we created in C++. We have ostensibly named this protocol ROMP: Remote Object Messaging Protocol. The name comes from the fact that the engine software is 100% object-oriented; hence all communications are messages that invoke operations on remote objects."


April 1, 2002

Jonric, Editor-in-Chief of IGN's RPG Vault included in his GDC 2002 Report a highly positive account of his impressions when seeing Atriarch live for the first time:

"Atriarch. Lead Game Designer Serafina Pechan represented the World Fusion team, and despite some setbacks in 2001, she seemed back to her usual very enthusiastic self. She reported having a number of appointments to show the game to publishers in her hotel, and was also kind enough to give me a look on the final evening. Since the flow of information has been slow for some time, I didn't know what to expect, but the demo was certainly impressive. The highlight was probably the system by which players will be able to create buildings. It uses pieces - Serafina compared them to Lego - that can be stacked in innumerable configurations. The possible scale is quite staggering; she showed one player-built structure that was huge, several stories high if not more. Judging from the handful of areas I saw, the planet of Atriana will be both visually distinctive and varied. The alien character races are pretty cool to see in action, as are the world's varied and highly imaginative creatures. Since the project is currently self-funded, its target launch date remains uncertain. Let's hope the publishers who saw the game were as impressed as I was."

March 28, 2002

Developer Comments:  Visual Arts Department

Hi everyone, My name is Matt or as most of you know me MO. I am Atriarch's lead artist, which to the layman means I'm in charge of all the graphics production for the game. Everything from concept art to models to textures to animation.

Currently I have been working on terrain. I have found from the very beginning that the biggest challenge in creating terrain is scale, especially when there's something more unique than rolling foothills or mountains. The terrain always looks different to me after we put it in the engine to test. Something I found to be helpful when creating terrain is to put in objects that are of different size but give me a sense of scale to the characters, like buildings for example. At first I was putting the characters in for scale but that was useless because they just become a little speck.

Arc is always improving the state of the engine itself which allows me to be more generous with polygons than I was when I created Atriarch's very first piece of terrain.  Being able to use more polys helps my job  tremendously, it keeps you from having to be clever with the use of polygons. Mountains can have more  wrinkles, caves can be crooked and curved, ledges and  paths can be beveled, it just opens the door to create  much more interesting terrain.

Creating textures for terrain is really fun, especially if you have a good library of images to work from. I think my wife believes I'm crazy every time we go hiking or are on vacation and I have access to the camera. I'm constantly trying to add to my image library. She always catches me bent over a rock, snapping a picture.

I wanna thank all our fans for keeping the faith and being so patient with us while we try to create this monster.

lead artist


March 27, 2002

We are back from the Game Developer's Conference.  What a great conference it was!  It was a mixture of meetings with publishers, attending roundtables and talks about game development, and of course a lot of socializing with other game fanatics.

For the first time ever, we gave private showings of Atriarch to the press as well as to other developers.  We were especially excited to see other game developers also be excited about Atriarch.  The most common thing we heard when showing Atriarch was that the real-time world was so much more beautiful than the screenshots and they couldn't wait to play Atriarch.  I'm sure you all can imagine the huge smile that put on our faces :-)

Tomorrow we will resume regular updates, beginning with the next in a series of Developer Comments.

On a completely different note, thank you to Jonathan Hill in Virginia who was kind enough to send us this message:  "altoos is a word in Afrikaans (Dutch?) meaning 'always' or 'ever'. Thought maybe you guys might have known that, or might find it an interesting metaphor for a persistent world's sun :)"  We learn something new everyday.  Thanks for letting us know Jonathan.

For those new to Atriarch, Altoos is the name of Atriana's Sun.  The Sun and 3 Moons of Atriana were named after four Lokai siblings from The Old Times.  It was the time when the Lokai heritage of exploration and adventure was birthed.  The legend of the Four Lokai Siblings is on our new Community Calendar and scheduled to be posted soon.


March 18, 2002

This week is the Game Developer's Conference in San Jose, California.  Last year, our very own Arc spoke on a panel called, Server Load Issues for Massively Multiplayer Online Games.  This year World Fusion will be attending again.

In addition to attending for educational purposes, our focus will be to talk with publishers and interested parties about Atriarch.  We will be giving private showings of Atriarch live.  If you will be attending GDC and would like to see Atriarch live, then drop us an email at:

Website updates will resume after we return from the conference in one week.  We have a lot of exciting things planned, including the highly anticipated and requested new Unarra concept artwork.  You can view the former version of the Unarra here.  Of course, we will also give you the lowdown on the conference.  Until then... have a great week!


March 14, 2002

Developer Comments:

Engineering Update by Arc, Chief Architect

Hello all. Although it has been a while since you have heard from the engineering team, we have been making significant progress--all things considered. The economic slow down last year hit us hard, as it did many people and companies. A lot of our engineering manpower has been drained in our efforts to recover. Nevertheless, we survived the worst of it and are now making steady progress in our efforts to complete Atriarch for release. Trust me when I say that no one is more eager to get the game out there than we are. Now for the update.

For the last couple of months, the World Fusion Engine (code name: Volcano) has been "off its wheels" as we have conducted a major rewrite of the 3-D graphics and persistence subsystems. This was necessary to eliminate a nasty client-side lag problem and enable significant performance optimizations that will shortly be achieved. As you know, most 3-D games, both massively multiplayer and single-player, manifest various kinds of lag. Although many players assume that most lag is due to a slowdown in the actual rendering of the graphics, lag is usually caused by persistence: the loading of 3-D geometry and texture data. Level and zone-based engines typically resolve the persistence lag by loading as much data up front before each level or zone is activated, causing the players to stare at a frozen display while this occurs (the all too familiar LOADING... PLEASE WAIT...).

From the onset, we have designed the World Fusion engine to support seamless worlds such as Atriana: a spherical, truly three dimensional world with no zones whatsoever, neither above ground nor below. Achieving this requires a very different approach to the persistence mechanisms used by the 3-D subsystem. Data is only loaded as needed, piece by piece; there are no preloading stages that cause the player to wait. Therefore, data loading has to occur in parallel to all other game activities: user input, rendering, sound, animation, physics calculations, and artificial intelligence. Multithreaded design and programming is very helpful, if not essential to this task.

Unfortunately, multithreading has been key to our lag problems for some time. Although, the entire foundation of software that the World Fusion engine is built on has been designed to support multiple threads of control, one critical piece has had trouble doing so: the persistence subsystem, i.e. the database system. In this case, we also got hit with a double whammy because the only part of the engine that was built on commercial software was--you guessed it--the database system.

As it turns out, the vendor actually fixed the problem with their database system that was preventing multithreading from working. Unfortunately for us, they did so in a subsequent release *after* changing the licensing agreement. That is, the original version was royalty free, whereas the version that is fixed requires a royalty for every single user--and not a small one at that. This is a very common situation known as the "vendor lock-in" antipattern. I firmly suggest to anyone developing software to avoid this type of hostage situation at all costs.

Having experienced this sort of problem many times in the past, all of our application code has been protected by an isolation layer that keeps it from being directly dependent on the API of the vendor's database product. Instead, we have created an abstraction that conforms to the ODMG (Object Data Management Group) standard and written a Bridge (design pattern) to the database product. Nevertheless, we still had to conduct a nontrivial ongoing effort of replacing the implementation of the database system. I can reassure you however that our new solution utilizes open source and free software, as does quite a bit of the engine already. Some examples include TAO (the ACE orb), PostgreSQL, libpng, and code from the Graphics Gems series of books. On the servers and development tools side we already use open source and open standards all over: OpenGL, GNU/Linux, GNU Make, GCC (C++ compiler), GDB & DDD, ViM, VNC; and the list goes on and on.

That's the report for now; I hope I haven't bored you to death. Now I have to do some more eXtreme Programming so we can get this game out there!



March 8, 2002

Atriarch in the Press:


SPIN Magazine (December 2001) ...    

"The new generation of these games is prettier, larger, and more interactive.  In these four titles [in which they include Atriarch] lies the future of all video games."

PC Gamer (February 2002) ...              

"Why we should be excited:  Innovation."

" This is the first online game that will allow you to have offspring, either in the form of a new player character or yourself when you die.  Your heirs will gain whatever goods, house, or empire you've managed to build up for yourself."

We are happy to see gamers are excited by the possibilities of Atriarch :-)  If you are one of those gamers who are excited, please email PC Gamer and SPIN Magazine to let them know and thank them for covering Atriarch!


March 5, 2002

New Team Member:

World Fusion would like to welcome Jaruh, the newest member to join the Atriarch team.

Jaruh's focus is to maintain regular communication with the Atriarch community and act as a liaison between gamers and the development team.  Jaruh will be making sure the design team is aware of feedback and  concerns, as well as when the excitement is brewing :-)

For many people who have been following Atriarch, you will also be very happy to hear that one of Jaruh's goals is to make sure we keep this website updated consistently :-)  So, whether the update is small or large, we will continue to keep you informed.

Here is the first in a series of Developer's Comments from our newest member, Jaruh:

Developer Comments:

Atriarch Community Update

Hello all. I'm the newest member of the team, but I've been hyper-active over the last two months. I have one goal in mind for my position as Community Liaison: Ensuring World Fusion provides great Customer Care even before you're our customer!

For those who haven't heard yet, one (of many parts) of my job duties is to create and maintain a Community Calendar. When they aren't slogging away at code or design or music or the other million facets that go into creating a fun massive game, this internal tool will help the development team keep active in the community. If my job seems daunting, the other developers will be sweating tanks by the time I'm done with them! But its all in the name of fun, right?! :)

I'm very excited about planning and executing the events we have coming as part of our Community Calendar. While we have some good ideas for contests, behind the scenes looks at the developer's life, and straight information about the game, we're always interested in hearing about what you'd like to hear about.

As the events on the Calendar role out, I'll have more to say, but for now...

Woo Atriarch!

Dale 'Jaruh' Garnier-Wells

Every week a member of the team will post their own thoughts under the heading, Developer Comments.  Next week's Developer Comment will be written by Arc, World Fusion's Chief Architect.

Atriarch Points Updated:

Anyone is welcome to participate in events that will give you Atriarch and Atrios Points which you can turn in for Prizes.  It is easy and does not require any sort of signing up.  You need only participate.

For those who are following the race to the grand prize, it looks as if Synon is in the lead with 50.1 Atriarch Points. Speranza and Davidquick are neck and neck for second place, each with 38.55 Atriarch Points.

They are followed closely by Taraturg (32.2); Nguvu-dhibiti (30.85); General Zang (29.3); TheGoodReverend (28.25); Dyant Tre`Ainar (27.5); Req (27.3); Soralis (25.55); Ry-eye (22.5); Steeleye (22)

You can check the Point Rankings here.

The Atriarch Glossary Community Event is ongoing.  We have begun updating the Atriarch Glossary with terms you have submitted.

January 17, 2002 - oops:  We made a typo in the Atriarch Community Event.  No, we will not be giving 1 Atrios point for terms and definitions.  We will be giving 25 Atrios points for each.  Thank you to Synon of the APDT (Atriarch Player Development Team) for bringing that to our attention.

January 14, 2002 - New Atriarch Community Event: Everyone is welcome to participate in Atriarch's most recent Community Event: The Atriarch Glossary.  You can earn Atriarch and Atrios Points just by emailing in an Atriarch term and definition to be used in Official Atriarch Glossary.  Rules and Guidelines are below. Everyone who participates will receive Atriarch and Atrios Points redeemable for Prizes.  Extra Atriarch Points will be given as prizes for special categories, for example, most obscure, yet relevant, Atriarch term and definition. Event Rules: To participate email an Atriarch-specific term and definition that is already officially in use to Atriarch terms are all over this site, on discussion boards and on fansites.

  • Everyone who participates will automatically receive an Atriarch Point.
  • A person who submits any term and definition accepted for use in the glossary will receive 25 Atrios points for every term.
  • Send one email for each term.
  • Put in the subject of the email: AT Glossary: <term>
  • Term must already officially be in use.
  • No definition that is already published in any current Atriarch Glossary will qualify.  It must either be a term not already documented in a glossary, or a new and improved definition of a current word.
  • Text only please.

We will update the Official Atriarch Glossary weekly. If you have any questions, please email  Community Event Inspiration: The book, The Professor and the Madman, is the about the origin of the Oxford English Dictionary (OED).  The massive compilation of words and definitions that comprise the more than 20 volumes of the OED were gathered by volunteers from all around the world.  Millions of words and definitions were mailed on index cards and sorted through by Professor James Murray, editor of the OED.  The single largest contributor was,  Dr. Minor, a retired American army surgeon and Civil War veteran, who was locked up in an Asylum for the criminally insane after murdering a man in London. This story of the OED inspired me to begin our own Atriarch Dictionary Compilation Event.  The current Atriarch Glossary is incomplete.  So what better way to bring it up to date than through a community event? Have fun and thanks for participating!

December 31, 2001 - Happy New Year: The team at World Fusion would like to wish everyone a fun and Happy New Year!  Website Updates: Thank you to everyone who took the time to email us the  broken links in the site.  They now should be fixed.  If you come across anymore, please email us at  Our next step is to add the Visitor's Center, update the game information (the FAQ is a bit old), and make available several downloads and new media.  Beta News: For those in Atriarch's Technical Beta, we will be adding a News Section on the AT Beta Site to keep beta testers better informed of play session scheduling.  Jahmbo is also enhancing the AT Beta Site so that you can change the information in your beta application without needing to send a request email.  Until these changes have taken place, please continue to send changes to your Beta Account or Beta Application to  Upcoming Community Event: Next week, we will begin a New Community Event.  The current Atriarch Glossary is a little short considering the rich story, culture and environment of Atriana.  The contest will revolve around creating a comprehensive glossary of Atriarch names and terms.  Anyone who contributes a term for entry in the glossary will receive Atriarch Points redeemable for Prizes.  There will be a winners in different categories, for example, the most obscure reference that is also relevant.  Official rules and details about this Community Event will be posted next week.

December 27, 2001 - New Screenshots of Bolera (a forested area on the Unarra Continent) have been added to the Screenshot Section.

This website is also being updated.  There are new sections under construction and older sections under renovation.  There are new and easier to read menus on the left, including a new Visitor's Center which should be ready soon.  If you come across a dead link or old information, please email us at  We appreciate your feedback.

Last updated: January 06, 2005

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