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March 5, 2015 / KingsIsle Entertainment

Cast a Spell at This Wizard-Themed Sleepover

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Abracadabra! Do you want to give your young Wizard a party to remember? Throw a Wizard-themed sleepover and make the magic come to life. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

First, the Invitations

Roughly two weeks before the party, you’ll want to invite your guests over for a spellbound night of fun. For invitations, dye pieces of cardstock with tea bags to give a worn effect. Once the paper has dried, use fun calligraphy to write the details of the party, requesting that your child’s Wizard friends wear their favorite magic pajamas. Add glitter and roll into a magic scroll with ribbon for a fun twist!

Prepping for the Party

The day before the party, you’ll want to get everything set up for a night of spell-casting. Start off with everyone’s favorite: food.

Create a magical potion for guests by putting a couple of drops of food coloring into three or four different pitchers of lemon-lime soda. The kids can mix and match their drinks to create kooky potions.

For dinner, serve sandwiches or slices of pizza cut with a star-shaped cookie cutter to keep up the magical theme. Add carrot sticks, celery, and broccoli as a means of Mana Energy.

For dessert, create mystical cupcakes. Homemade or store-bought, add a Wizard’s flair to colorfully frosted cupcakes with sprinkles, edible glitter, and a pretzel stick as a wand. For older Wizards, set up a cupcake-decorating station with all of the ingredients for conjuring up an enchanting snack to get them excited for the night ahead.

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It’s Game Time!

Entertain the kids with this variation on a popular party game. Instead of pinning a tail on a donkey, the kids will Pin the Wand on the Wizard. Draw or print a large picture of a Wizard (Merle Ambrose, anyone?), and give the kids Popsicle sticks with their names on one side and double-sided tape on the other. Blindfold each kid one at a time and spin them around before they try to get the wand as close as they can to the Wizard’s hand.

After a fun game of Pin the Wand on the Wizard, give each kid a plain dowel rod and set up a “wand shop,” a table where the kids can decorate their wands. Provide paint, glitter, sequins, and even tinsel icicles as “unicorn hair.” The kids will have a blast conjuring up their own spells with their one-of-a-kind wands.

Next up is a fun game of Wizard-themed Mad Libs. Write descriptions of popular wizard stories (or your own!), such as the tale of King Arthur or the plot of Harry Potter. Then replace important words with blanks labeled with things like “funny noise,” “Wizard name,” “favorite food,” etc. Encourage the kids to have fun and use Wizard-themed words and phrases to fill in the blanks for an enchanting story.

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Winding Down for the Night

With so many exciting things to do during the course of your child’s slumber party, you’ll need true magic to get all the kids to settle down. You can unlock this achievement by planning the evening accordingly, with quieter activities, such as the word games or a movie, at the end of the evening.

There are lots of great, age-appropriate Wizard movies to help you get the kids ready for bedtime. For younger Wizards, go with a classic like Disney’s “The Sword in the Stone,” or perhaps “The Wizard of Oz.” For kids who are old enough, the “Harry Potter” and “Lord of the Rings” movies are other Wizard favorites.

Taking these tips and adding your own creative flair will certainly help create a memorable party for your favorite Wizards. Happy party planning!

March 3, 2015 / KingsIsle Community

Unique Names Day!

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Unique Names Day is one of those weird holidays that . . . we simply love! Recently while building a graphic for our 50 Million player celebration, we ran some statistics that showed our “Top Wizard” and “Top Pirate” names. You know who you are . . . Wolf Dragonflame, Scarlet Swift, Brave Scarlet Silver, and Dead-eye Wolf Silver!

This same search for information also showed us the “least popular wizard names,” but we don’t like to call them “least popular” . . . we like to call them “unique!”

Here’s the list for Pirate101:

Pirate Least Common Prefix – Male
1. Darling
2. Cowardly
3. Pretty

Pirate Least Common Prefix – Female
1. Gawky
2. Cowardly
3. Glib

Pirate Least Common First Name – Male
1. Layne
2. Caley
3. Carlyle

Pirate Least Common First Name – Female
1. Layne
2. Anneke
3. Fabienne

Pirate Least Common Last Name – Male
1. De Bouff
2. Norrington
3. Ushawe

Pirate Least Common Last Name – Female
1. De Bouff
2. Ushawe
3. Upham

So using the least common parts you get:
Darling Layne De Bouff (Male)
Gawky Layne De Bouff (Female)

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Here’s the list for Wizard101:

Wizard Least Common First Name – Male
1. Caley
2. Cowan
3. Lail

Wizard Least Common First Name – Female
1. Brecken
2. Deirdre
3. Ginelle

Wizard Least Common Last Name – Male
1. DaisyPyre
2. WyrmFlower
3. DaisyWraith

Wizard Least Common Last Name – Female
1. FrogBrand
2. WyrmFountain
3. WyrmPetal

So using the least common parts you get:
Caley DaisyPyre (Male)
Brecken FrogBrand (Female)

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Now THOSE are some unique names!

As it turns out, Unique Names Day is actually a part of a week-long “informal” holiday known as “Celebrate Your Name Week.” So let’s celebrate your names, Wizards! If you love your in game name, please share it in the comments below.

February 26, 2015 / KingsIsle Community

What’s your favorite Fairy Tale?

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It’s National Tell a Fairy Tale Day, so we asked our writers to take a moment to talk about their favorite Fairy Tale or Tall Tale influence in Wizard101 and Pirate101. Here’s what they had to say.

Jesse Scoble (King Artorius):
It’s no secret that Wizard101 pulls constantly from history, mythology, legends, children’s literature, folk and fairy tales (and of course, pop culture, too, but that’s for another time and place). It’s not always easy, or important, to draw a bright line between a myth and a fairy tale, so let’s instead focus on a few examples from Wizard101.

In Khrysalis, my associate writer, “The Thundersnake”, proposed a Three Blind Mice story. It fit very nicely with the idea of the Burrowers as an oppressed people, suffering under the cruel wrath of a mean woman (Morganthe as the butcher’s wife). So he combined the Three Blind Mice nursery rhyme with the names of three interesting blind characters from various fantasy/SF sources (Romo, Geordi, and Aemon), and came up with a goal of finding several missing music boxes (to play into the idea of a children’s song).

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In Avalon, we played a great deal with Arthurian tales as inspiration for many of our quests. For example, we took the old French and German stories about Melusine, a fairy or part-fairy, who has a fish tail although she can appear as a normal woman. She is encountered by a traveler who falls in love with her without realizing her true nature. She agrees to marry him on condition that he never enters her chambers on a Saturday, for on that day she returns to her mermaid form. When her husband breaks his promise and sees her true form, she curses him, and/or vanishes forever.

We took elements of that fairy tale and translated them into a version that felt appropriate for the Spiral. We downplayed the elements of romantic love, but kept the essence of a fairy who is frightened of revealing her true form. In our version, Melusine is half fox (like many of the Avalon characters) and half mermaid. Finn Gingersnap is a young man, or fox, who heard stories about Melusine’s beauty and wit, and wanted to be her friend. When he surprised her swimming in the pool outside the tower of Belle Regard, she cursed him to never leave Belle Regard until the tower falls (which would presumably kill him). When Finn offers to do anything to prove his friendship, Melusine gives the Wizard a chance to fashion a magical fish tail for Finn, so that he can spend half his life in the water with her, and they can spend the other half of the time living together in the tower. In order to accomplish all of this, the Wizard must defeat and then befriend the Black Knight (Finn’s sister, who guards Belle Regarde to protect her brother), obtain a portion of silver from Scurvy Skirkers, then have a silversmith fashion the silver into a fish tail, and finally get a three-colored serpent to enchant the tail.

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And in doing all that, we probably touched on a half-a-dozen other fairy tales in the process!

Sam Johnson (Blind Mew):
It’s not precisely a fairy tale per se, but if you open it up to mythology I’m very proud of what we did in Aquila: the main story is a riff on both the Illiad and the Odyssey, two of the biggest cornerstones of western mythology. It was a little tricky to twist them into a family-friendly format with KI’s unique brand of humor, but I think we got some great bits out of the Illiad: Eagilles needing to be coaxed back into battle with a party and a song, the Golden Egg the war is being fought over standing in for both Helen of Troy and Eris’ golden apple (and of course what hatches out of it), and the Trojan Mouse. Finding ways to make the episodes from the Odyssey actually work as MMO gameplay was a big challenge – the Sirens and Scylla and Charybdis were very hard to pull off but I think they work perfectly. Of all of those references, I think I get the biggest chuckle out of the notion that Polyphemus was just a hapless Cyclops cave-sitting for his cousin Argos who got absolutely rolled by that jerk Ulysses.

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Thanks to our writers for taking time out of their busy schedules to share with us! Now it’s your turn . . . what’s your favorite Wizard101 or Pirate101 Fairy Tale or Tall Tale?