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May 1, 2014 / KingsIsle Entertainment

Creativity at KingsIsle

Today we want to showcase some of the creativity we’re lucky to have at KingsIsle.  This doesn’t just apply to making games though – many of our employees have highly creative hobbies outside of the office as well!

My making the statement that KingsIsle is the most creative environment I have ever worked in is probably no surprise to anyone reading this. What’s really fun to see is how this creativity manifests outside of our day to day work. Given this I thought it would be fun to start a series on the KingsIsle blog showcasing some of this creativity.

For this first installment, I wanted to showcase our very own Executive Producer William Haskins. By day he’s an incredibly talented producer, but at night his creativity really comes out. He has been writing poetry for years. I was able to convince him to share a bit on his background as well as a few of his original works here on the blog. I hope everyone enjoys the work. I’d also encourage any budding poets out there reading this to share your own poetry in the comments section.


Howdy. My name is William Haskins and I am Executive Producer here at KingsIsle.

I started out with the company as Associate Producer on Wizard101, back when it was little more than a lot of brainstorming and some hilarious doodles scrawled on index cards. I took the helm as Producer for the two years leading up to its launch and shepherded it through its first year or so as a Live game.

I then served as Senior Producer throughout the development and launch of Pirate101. Now, in my role as EP, I oversee both games, in addition to our fascinating new projects.
Though I’ve been in the videogame industry since the 1990s (spanning two centuries, yo!) and have been at KingsIsle now for nine years, I have been writing poetry for much, much longer. It’s been a constant thread in my life since before I was a teenager, and it’s something I will do as long as I live.

Robert Graves famously said: “There’s no money in poetry, but then there’s no poetry in money, either.” Fortunately, I have been extraordinarily blessed to be able to make a living in a highly creative environment, which allows me to take care of my family doing something I love and still be inspired on a daily basis by the creative energy that surrounds me. I try to take this forward into my writing.

Anyway, here are a couple of my poems. Hope you enjoy.

One of the (many) perils of commuting in Austin is the dreaded traffic jam. One day, both before and after work, this slow crawl brought me in uncomfortably close proximity to a possum that had made the mistake of straying into the highway when traffic was actually moving. It didn’t end well for him, but it inspired this meditation on risk and, ultimately, mortality itself:

Ode to Roadkill
I saw you at eight
and again at six,
your fur blood-matted,
eyes like ice,
your grimace greeting
the traffic, speeding
to places where
slaves while away
their days and
nights in cages,
swallowing rages.

I wonder if they
ever felt the rush
or risked the risk
to bolt between
those metal monsters
on instinct alone;
I wonder if you
took some satisfaction
in those errant tracks in
the roadside grass and
foolish fear of
the human heart.

Sleep well, my friend.

The buzzards will wait
until rush hour ends
and traffic thins, when
the sun isn’t watching,
then pierce your skin
and take you home,
piece by piece.

Peace.

creative-poetry

This one is an admonition (to myself, as much as to anyone else) to never squander creativity, no matter what life throws at you. Though the metaphor of the pen connects it to the act of writing, it applies to any creative endeavor:

Alea Jacta Est
In fury’s grasp
or throes of pain,
when nightmares stalk
the waking brain,
and monsters wear
the masks of men—

still the mind,
move the pen.

Beneath the heel
of tyrants’ wrath,
when robber-barons
plot your path,
to journey through
the vipers’ den—

steel the soul,
move the pen.

And when the
final die is cast,
each breath connected
to your last,
a matter of
not if, but when—

steal the night,
move the pen.


Thank you for sharing this poetry with us William! If you are a fan of creative writing, make sure you check out the Wizard101 Fan Fiction and Pirate101 Fan Fiction sections. We love to publish poetry alongside the creative prose of our players!

150 Comments

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  1. Joshua Firewalker / May 10 2014 10:05 pm

    wizards is the best, much better story and characters. more in-depth feeling, and is interesting too. it never ends, i like that, and personal, who doesnt like summoning a freakin’ cat on fire to attack people!

  2. Practical Gorman Whitman / May 11 2014 7:42 am

    This is a poem by Robert Frost. Some of you may have heard of him. Anyway, the poem is:

    Desert Places

    Snow falling and night falling. fast oh fast
    In a field I look into going past,
    And the ground almost covered smooth,
    But a few weeds and stubble showing last.

    The woods around it have it–it is theirs.
    All animals have smothered in their lairs.
    I am too absent-spirited to count;
    The loneliness includes me unawares.

    And lonely as it is that loneliness
    Will be more lonely ere it will be less–
    A blanker whiteness of benighted snow
    With no expression, nothing to express.

    They cannot scare me with their empty spaces
    Between stars–on where no human race is.
    I have it in me so much nearer home
    To scare myself with my own desert places.

  3. noah taylor / Sep 15 2014 4:57 pm

    finally today marks the day I finally finished mooshu it took me a few times on the boss but I won with only 45 health left I made an epic come back now I finally get a chance to start the world of Ds so pumped 😀

    • ethan sea breeze / Sep 16 2014 2:23 pm

      good job I still need to finish kroc lol I am so low on money for crowns but its still so fun lvl 23 😀

  4. Sydney Thundersong / Dec 5 2014 12:43 am

    These are so moving and absolutely beautiful… I can’t believe I hadn’t come by them on this site before. Creativity is one of the most pure and wonderful things in this world and I shall cherish it forever. I personally view art not as a hobby but as a ritualistic compulsion which I would perish without. I think that those lines “steel the mind, move the pen” touch on that feeling. Amazing work, you guys! ^-^

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