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October 12, 2018 / KingsIsle Community

Everything You Need to Know About Baby Animals

Here at KingsIsle we love Baby Animals. In fact, we love them so much that we updated Animal Cove’s Baby Animal system and added a brand new Baby Animal Challenge!  This update is pretty different from the Baby Animal events you’re used to seeing, so we’ve created this handy guide to all things Baby Animal!

Baby Animal Rescue Event

Baby Animal Rescue is a weekly event that you can play if you’ve reached level 45 in the game.

rescue event.PNG

Completing each level in the event will award you one, two, or three tokens of the Baby Animal you’ll be rescuing. Once you reach 10 tokens, you’ll be able to rescue the Baby Animal if you’ve unlocked the biome that the Baby Animal lives in.

One important thing to note: getting all of the tokens doesn’t automatically rescue the Baby Animal. You’ll need to open the collectibles menu at the bottom left side of your screen.

collectables

Next, navigate to the Baby Animal tab. If you have a Baby Animal that’s eligible for rescue, the Baby Animal tab will have an exclamation point to notify you. The baby Animal that you can rescue will also have an exclamation point indicator by their icon.

Animal sets

Click the Baby Animal with the exclamation point by its icon. That will bring up this menu:

rescue

Hit the large green Rescue! Button and you’ll unlock the rescue cutscene for that Baby Animal. After that, you can find your Baby Animal wandering around in their associated biome.

You may have noticed that the Baby Animals are now grouped into sets. There are currently four sets of Baby Animals: the Farm Set, the Woodland Set, the Safari Set, and the Mythical Set. We’ll explain why that’s important later in this blog post when we dive deeper into the Baby Animal Challenge Event.

One important thing to note: each Baby Animal lives in a specific biome. If you haven’t unlocked that biome yet by playing through the story, your new Baby Animal won’t have anywhere to live! You can still earn tokens from the Baby Animal Rescue Event, but you won’t be able to actually rescue them until you unlock their biome.

Already rescued all the Baby Animals? You can still earn tokens during Rescue Events for the Baby Animals you’ve previously rescued that you can use to power them up!

Star Power

Powering up your Baby Animals gives you Star Power for that animal’s set. For example, I rescued Fluffy (the adorable kitten) during the last Rescue Event. As you can see, Fluffy’s got one star power:

fluffy

Star Power is what helps you unlock levels in the brand new Baby Animal Challenge. For more on that, read on!

The Baby Animal Challenge

When a new Baby Animal Challenge begins, you’ll see this icon on the left side of your screen if you’ve reached level 45 or higher:

baby animal challenge icon

When you click it, it will take you to the main Baby Animal Challenge screen:

Baby Animal challenge UI.PNG

At the top of the screen, you’ll see which challenge you have (Farm, Woodland, or Safari). Those little floating call outs tell you how much Star Power you need to play the level and how many Baby Animal Tokens you’ll earn when you complete the level.

level indicator.PNG

You may have noticed that some of the levels are greyed out. That means that I don’t have enough Star Power to play them since I’ve only got Fluffy and Fluffy only has one Star Power. Now, say I had two Baby Animals in the Farm Set (Fluffy and Billy), both with one Star Power each. I’d be able to access the first 4 levels of the Baby Animal Challenge, not just the first 3. If I powered up Fluffy to two Star Power and had Billy with one Star Power, I would have access to the first five Baby Animal Challenge levels.

Each Baby Animal Challenge has 15 levels in total for you to complete, and you can swipe left to scroll through them and see the rewards that await you in the later levels.

higher levels

If you don’t have enough star power to get all the way to level 15, don’t worry! It’s not a bug or a glitch. The more Baby Animals you rescue and power up in Rescue Events, the further you’ll be able to get in the new Challenge Event. As an added bonus, playing the Baby Animal Challenge levels reward you with tokens that you can use to increase your Star Power. The later levels reward you with special tokens to help you unlock a Mythical Baby Animal, so you’ll definitely want to play through all 15 levels!

Don’t want to wait until the next Rescue Event to be able to complete the Baby Animal Challenge? You can visit the Island Shop and purchase Baby Animal tokens to unlock the next levels.

Purchasing Baby Animal Tokens

During Baby Animal Rescue and Baby Animal Challenge events, there are new Token Bags available for purchase in the Island Shop.

baby animal token bags

Here are a few important things to note about these Token Bags:

  • All Token Bags are randomized. There is no guarantee that you will get the exact tokens that you need to increase your star power and unlock more levels of the Baby Animal Challenge.
  • The Small, Medium, and Large Token Bags will give you random tokens from all sets. That means you have the chance to get tokens for Baby Animals in the Farm, Woodland, AND Safari sets. baby animal sml token
  • There are set-specific Token Bags available for purchase that will ONLY give you tokens for Baby Animals in that set. This is a great way to increase your chances at getting a specific Baby Animal’s token; however, these bags are also randomized. They do not guarantee you will get the exact tokens that you need to increase your star power and unlock more levels of the Baby Animal Challenge.baby animal set token

Mythical Baby Animals

Meet Twinkle Star, our first Mythical Baby Animal!

baby unicorn

Pretty cute right?

To unlock Twinkle Star, you can only earn tokens through the Baby Animal Challenge. Mythical Baby Animals will NOT appear in the Baby Animal Rescue Events. To power up these Mythical Baby Animals, you’ll need to earn a certain number of tokens AND rainbow crystals, a special new currency that you also earn by completing Baby Animal Challenge levels.

Phew! There are a lot of new aspects to the Baby Animal system and we hope that this makes things a bit clearer for you. What part of the new update are you most excited about?

September 26, 2018 / KingsIsle Community

10 Things You Might Not Know About the Making of Wizard101

The Spiral is a magical place with Wizard City at the center of all the worlds that are or could be. But, the Spiral had to come from somewhere. Who conjured Merle Ambrose? How did Ravenwood School come to be? What evil genius summoned the diabolical Malistaire and Morganthe? It all began with an idea, but that idea was brought to life by our talented KingsIsle team.

wizard

In the last KI Live, we brought in some members who have been with the team throughout Wizard101’s development to reminisce about their favorite moments and to reveal some interesting development trivia. To celebrate our 10th anniversary, we’re updating and expanding this post to bring you 10 things that you might not know about the creation of Wizard101!

  1. It started out as a real card game

Believe it or not, the premise behind the game didn’t magically appear. The team spent a long time physically playing with a deck of character cards, some dice, and beads that symbolized the power-up and other boosts. They scribbled down rules, ideas, and notes about what worked and didn’t. They knew that the core of any good game, no matter how amazing the graphics and effects, is that it is fun to play. Fun fact: our design team still uses this strategy today for designing new mini games! You can see more in this video:

  1. Wizard101 Wasn’t meant to fit in with other MMOs

When the heroes mentioned above came together, they thought about all the other games out there, like World of Warcraft, and realized there were not many games designed for parents and kids to play together. Quests in most MMOs are filled with violent battles and weapons that are not appropriate for children, so the creators wanted to come up with a game that was suitable for the whole family. In addition, the chat feature within the game is filtered to be safe for players of all ages.

  1. Finding Nemo, Toy Story, and Wizard101

Turns out Pixar’s model played into the inspiration behind Wizard101. Like the team behind Pixar, the heads at KingsIsle wanted to create a world that would be engaging and safe for children, but still interesting and challenging for adults.

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  1. It was made in record time

The team of heroes had an ambitious goal: They wanted to launch their new game within three years, which is a pretty short video game development time in the gaming industry. By keeping the initial features compact and focused, they imagined, designed, tested and programmed the game on time!

  1. Built with Grandma’s computer in mind

The creators realized that many kids and families don’t have the latest technology, so the game was meticulously designed to run well and look great on any system, even the older systems. The specs that this game requires were actually thought out with a purpose. The designers knew casual users without huge gaming rigs and kids on hand-me-down computers would be playing Wizard101, so the focus needed to be on the game being easily accessible and able to run on minimal RAM and processing power.

  1. Wizard City’s design came from multiple concepts.

The team reached out to a variety of artists with the same ask: a floating city with a huge tree in the middle and a crystal incorporated somewhere within. Each artist came up with a unique piece of concept art, which we’ve compiled here:

There are details from each of these concepts that you’ll find in the final version of Wizard City. Which ones can you spot?

  1. The First Worlds Were Built With “Lego Pieces”

When building the first worlds, the design team used a system referred to internally as “Lego pieces.” Worlds like Krokotopia and Marleybone were built using a series of straight, corner and T-shaped modular pieces that they could snap together. Grizzleheim was the first world built without the “Lego pieces” where all the maps were custom built.

  1. The World Moves Around You

One landmark of Wizard101’s development was creating the boat ride in Krokotopia. The team wanted to give players the experience of being on a boat, being able to walk around on the boat, and actually seeing the world move as your boat moved. That task proved more difficult than expected, which led to a creative solution from the team. Instead of having the boat move, they kept the boat stationary and instead animated the world around the boat to simulate movement. You can see a similar effect with the balloon cars of Marleybone and the dragon ride in Dragonspyre!

krok ride

  1. Celestia Was the Biggest, Most Ambitious World (At the Time of Development)

Celestia’s introduced a new type of magic, 27 large zones, a ton of gameplay hours, and a high level of difficulty that was eventually adjusted. The most ambitious part of building Celestia was creating underwater tech like light refracting and swimming mechanics.

  1. You Can Hear KingsIsle Employee Voices In-Game

KingsIsle doesn’t just bring in the pros for voice acting. While many of our main characters are voiced by professional voice actors, our sound department will often ask KingsIsle employees to voice background and smaller characters. Sometimes they even let us voice main characters! Mike Sears, a Senior Narrative Game Designer, voices a LOT of characters including Sparck, Empyrea’s highly logical Science Officer!

Picture 2018-07-05 13-12-03

Wizard101 is constantly evolving, bringing about new spells, characters, and technology. The creators of the game frequently refer to it as the best project they’ve ever worked on, and you can see why!

Were you surprised by any of these facts? Let us know in the comments section below!

September 20, 2018 / KingsIsle Community

Celebrating 10 Years of Magic!

We are so excited about our 10th Anniversary that we created an infographic to share some fun stats with you all! Ever wondered how much gold is in the Spiral or what the most common Wizard name is? Now you know!

wizard101_10th_anniversary_infographic

Which fact was most surprising to you? Let us know in the comments!