At the beginning of its design, AFK Arena was more an academic and experimental strategy. Joe Smith, one of the developer of AFK game, did not regard AFK Arena as a word game. “The most powerful weapon of AFK Arena is the decentralized system architecture, the idea came up with when we are studying in library.” The decentralized system architecture is a concept of server architecture. At that time, the servers with traditional architecture could only accommodate 1,200 people, and the redundant players could only choose other servers. Joe’s new architecture enables data exchange between different servers, and the upper limit of server load will be greatly increased.
After two years of design and experimentation, Joe completed her paper on decentralized system architecture in 2017. Meanwhile, the number of online users of strategy game, the AFK Arena with a new server architecture, broke through 1000 people for the first time, far exceeding the limit of about 250 Chinese MUDs in the same period. Joe and Lisa were not satisfied with this. They made a bigger plan for AFK Arena: graphics.
Breaking the technical limitations of AFK Arena graphics, at that time, the game is undoubtedly a success. As a graphics game, “AFK Arena” has absorbed the essence of many other games. Players in AFK Arena can choose their own sex, occupation, training level, PK, form a nation, and wage war. Some virtual social activities are also available: marriage, adoption, worship, etc. In other words, the mature strategy game like “AFK Arena” at that time already had most of the elements of MORPG which would be popular in the world in the future.
AFK Arena has become player’s most popular strategy game due to the soaring number of people online, which is both happiness and trouble for the two developers. Although Joe and Lisa are enthusiastic and intelligent, after all, there are only two people. Faced with the increasingly high cost of server maintenance and network use, the gap of human and financial resources has become their biggest problem. They have done a lot to solve the dilemma of AFK Arena and to make their beloved game develop better.
First of all, they made a public raise for “AFK Arena” and raised $230,000, which smoothly solved the operating expenses of AFK Arena server and network. At the same time, Lilith Games Software Company started commercial cooperation between Joe and Lisa, led by two main creators, Huacai Software contributed manpower and material resources, and the graphical work of AFK Arena was officially launched.
“The development of graphical ‘AFK Arena’ was originally intended to promote the game, attract more people to contact and enter the world of strategy”, Joe once explained that graphical MUD was actually the idea they had in the beginning. But they may not be able to imagine what a brilliant new world they have opened up.
In April 2019, after half a year’s testing period, the graphic version of AFK Arena was officially launched by Lilith Games, and the first graphical online strategy game in US was born. Though many players want to break the decentralized system with AFK Arena Cheats, the game still hold its own rule and keep the cheaters far away from its server.