Spotlight on an Employee’s Wizard
Howdy fellow Wizards! I’m Gary Scott Smith, but you may know me in game as Duncan DayDreamer. On the forums I post as Arthur Wethersfield. I’m a game programmer that’s been working on Wizard101 for almost 5 years. I first started with player housing. Then I did mannequins, pets and mounts in housing, the maze game, gardening, housing games, wands on walls, housing music players, housing signs, housing teleporters, the Bric-a-Brac Elixir, the Additional Castle Elixir, buy more and sell more, spectator mode, playable musical instruments… and lots of other things!
I have a Wizard101 character that I’ve been playing since launch. As of this post, I’m level 81 and near the beginning of Azteca. My character’s primary school is Storm. With Storm, all fights are over quickly, one way or the other. I also have a level 51 character in Pirate101.
My focus at work is player housing, and other than questing, that’s my main aspect of playing Wizard101 as well. Since we added the Additional Castle Elixir I have been able to buy, acquire, or craft every house in the game – 32 at the moment! I’ve decorated most of them too.
For this blog post, I wanted to share my favorite house. Yes, I know that there are bigger and fancier houses… but I’ve always liked the Wooded Cottage. I enjoy the Wizard City sky in the background and the cottage’s cozy interior.
By the way, did you know that the unicorn that periodically appears in the grove was added before you could put pets in your houses? Now if you want, you can fill the house with unicorn pets and the unicorn that lives in the grove isn’t really necessary, but we’d never remove it!
I crafted the carousel at this house before gardening existed and farming Wintertusk made Black Pearls and Earthquake treasure cards easier to acquire. I sure spent a lot of time gathering Black Lotus in MooShu so I could craft that carousel!
I think it’s important for developers to play the games they work on, both to be familiar with the content and to thoroughly understand what works well and what doesn’t. For example, I implemented “buy more” and “sell more” features after slowly buying and selling reagents one by one… over and over! It made me wish there was a better way. I recently alphabetized the crafting recipes in our crafted recipe lists after hunting for one randomly listed recipe one too many times. For similar reasons, I like to know what players are saying about Wizard101. I read lots of blog posts; I scan our forums, the Wizard101Central forums and I listen to Ravenwood Radio.
The future is full of exciting things! See you in the spiral.
Gary Scott Smith
Senior Software Engineer II