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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

Leave a Comment
  1. Anonymous / May 7 2014 6:22 pm

    Wizard101 is my favorite!!! GO NINJA PIGS!!

  2. emily life / May 7 2014 6:32 pm

    w101 is amazing and the blog was nice too.

  3. pam / May 7 2014 6:50 pm

    i love w101 best game ever but i also like p101!

  4. Slick Jonah Silver / May 7 2014 6:54 pm

    I know a lot of you guys are saying wizard 101 is better, I started out on Pirate101 first. When I started playing wizard 101 i enjoyed it but it could do with a visual update. I know it came first but it just looks kinda bad after playing pirate 101 for the first game. I would and a lot of others would like wizards better if it looked as good or better than pirate101

    • Anonymous / May 10 2014 11:37 am

      yeah i agree i played w101 first but once i played p101 the graphics are better and its more involved so i like p101

  5. Lesley / May 7 2014 7:33 pm

    you guys rock and thank you for everything you’ve done keep doing what you do best

  6. Anonymous / May 7 2014 7:36 pm

    First those are great poems. Second I write novels and short stories all the time. I love you w101 🙂

  7. Candice / May 7 2014 8:06 pm

    Sometimes i like to draw in my free time, but i once in a while would, too, make a poem or at least try to 😛
    Here is a short poem i made:
    —-Nature—-
    The Dawn grows as the Twighlight once grew,
    The sun rises as the sun once set too,
    The glories of nature can be seen,
    To someone whom is most keen,
    The birds in the morn’ sing,
    As the spider continues its last string,
    The nature is all around,
    Just be keen…

  8. anonymous / May 7 2014 8:23 pm

    i love wizard101 after i get home from school i just start playing its sooo fun ill never stop playing

  9. Brian / May 7 2014 8:32 pm

    I think for Wizard101 as an idea would be, since the game has many warlords and such you should create high level gear if your still thinking about raising the levels, that you should take the arena gear and make it glow such as: Death, it would glow black. Or life it would glow with leaves with green. If it where in the crowns shop I can’t tell you how many people would kill to have gear like that.

  10. Anna Perez / May 7 2014 9:04 pm

    I read these 2 pieces over and over. Loved them both! Such fun! The first poem “Ode to Roadkill” was simply amazing. A truly odd homage to the daring-do of that poor reckless critter juxtaposed with the insanity of rush-hour and lives that “rage” in silence in their work-day cages. Makes me want to go sky diving again. 🙂

  11. Anonymous / May 7 2014 9:18 pm

    I like seeing others using their creative minds! I am actually at a fine arts school, so we see people showcasing their talents all the time. (During lunch, there’s people playing instruments, and we can go up to the stage to perform whatever we want. Just to share my side on creativity.) Keep on with your talent writing; you definitely have one! 🙂

  12. Taylor Wildhaven / May 7 2014 9:36 pm

    I have been playing W101 for 5 years now. I love it dearly, and i am hoping i can keep playing the game, as i get older. :). I love both pirate and wizards ❤

  13. katy perry / May 7 2014 9:49 pm

    you should add werewolves in wizard101

  14. Anonymous / May 7 2014 10:12 pm

    good game so fun

  15. virgil / May 7 2014 10:14 pm

    so cool very good game.

  16. pgpfineart / May 7 2014 11:25 pm

    absolutely love it, you have got to be a creative machine to be able to work on entire worlds and realms of imagination, i would love to see the creative process for how they come up with furniture, the plants and clothing

  17. gal / May 8 2014 1:18 am

    I like in wizard 101 that you can buy your house and decorate it

  18. DexterTheCat! / May 8 2014 1:40 am

    😀 i love playing wizard101 😛

  19. hunter / May 8 2014 3:02 am

    i love wizard101! 😀

  20. dani / May 8 2014 7:58 am

    btw lovely poems, can I get more! 🙂

  21. Anonymous / May 8 2014 9:44 am

    Wizard 101. I think you should make Ninja 101 aswell. But make it free PLEASE!!!!!! 😉 Pirate 101 should let you get to lvl 10 for free like Wizard 101

    • Anonymous / Sep 18 2014 3:15 pm

      That would be a really, really, REALLY, good idea! i would certainly play that game, if would be made by kingsisle

  22. Blaze leaf / May 8 2014 10:47 am

    Wizard101 is the best game EVER but behind it is Pirate 101 and they are the best games on my desktop and believe me i have allot of games on the desk top 🙂 🙂

  23. pam / May 8 2014 11:33 am

    i love w101 best game ever! i am lvl 30 and i am a member!

  24. Anonymous / May 8 2014 11:56 am

    i really want a double mounted horse….

  25. Strong Taylor Wright / May 8 2014 12:52 pm

    Pirate101 you’ve really changed my life
    for the past 2 years I’ve really payed the price
    and this game is really really nice.
    With all the new friends i made it’s really been a blast
    Without P101 i wouldn’t know what to do

    I’m gonna rock some tags only got $20 in my pocket.

    I’m gonna buy some P101 cards only got $20 dollars in my pocket

  26. fer / May 8 2014 12:56 pm

    in my opinion, wizard101 has more potential than pirate101. the game play, and story line get more to you. For instance, i dont like pirate101 in my opinion its not that entertaining.

  27. Anonymous / May 8 2014 3:01 pm

    I pick both because pirate101 and wizard are the same but battle styles are different and I like it like the crowns are one that everybody needs.

  28. jasmine iceshield lvl 34 / May 8 2014 4:03 pm

    wizard101 is the best game in the whole world! ❤

  29. Anthony WinterShield / May 8 2014 4:40 pm

    Hello Wizard101 Central! I’ve been a member of your game for about 6 years. And I would love to tell you this poem.

    I have been playing this game forever
    Wizard101 is kinda clever,
    But when i opened the door to this game,
    I found myself to this magical world of magic and wonder,
    I always found the game great.
    Now rate this as a gate

  30. Simon Olsson / May 8 2014 4:56 pm

    I have an idea of a battle, when but only when you are at el dorado in pirate101 could you have a battle with all 4 of the armada generals (phule, rokke, bishop and deacon) that would be awesome but you are companied with avery, boochbeard and his monkey as allies that are 10 lvl higher then the armada leaders are. i think that should be a great surprise that deacon returns and rokke does that to when they got destroyed.

  31. Harrison / May 8 2014 5:00 pm

    my dad is on level 34!!!!

  32. Gabriel Lifeshield lvl 77 Life / May 8 2014 5:14 pm

    w101 is best, no doubt about it

  33. Anonymous / May 8 2014 5:53 pm

    Wizards 4 ever!!!

  34. amin santana / May 8 2014 6:45 pm

    well how about a game were more elements like water and wind it will be nc in wizard and maybe machine and earth i think wizard 101 will be better if i have more elements you khow more epic battle and i will like that wizard have a skin maker relly i like to do skins and then sell it to other players it will be cool well in my opinin o yeah an one more thing it will be a good trainig for a pet to have a farm so how about a man ho take care of the pets for some gold for every day you let it it will be cool so this is my opinien and thanks for read :3 plz do what u cant to make wizard like we all like is still awesome as it is thaks :3 again XD

  35. kevin dragon hunter / May 8 2014 6:46 pm

    wizard 101 is awesome and cool but the should put more quest’s in wizard city and grizzle helm in stuff like that that would be awesome if they do that.

  36. Jarvis / May 8 2014 7:47 pm

    peaceful and nice

  37. Anonymous / May 8 2014 7:59 pm

    how do I get to amber esatate?

  38. Anonymous / May 8 2014 8:00 pm

    Guys, I know a lot of you think that Wizard101 is better than Pirate101, but really, there really is no better or worse. They put a lot of time into both. Pirate101 has companions and a neat battling system. And Wizard101 a really good storyline and many more levels. So in my opinion, I wouldn’t be able to tell you which one is better.

  39. Mason StrongBlade / May 8 2014 8:10 pm

    Please try to get more content for wizard101, for max levels and low levels

  40. jorge franco / May 8 2014 8:46 pm

    Very addicting game if your a dare devil or appeal to other people easily, I rage quit about 6 times each time about 2 months but I always come back, in fact I am about to start playing right now after my last time when I lost 1400 in rating pvp O_o but okay ;3

  41. Tireless Blake West / May 8 2014 8:58 pm

    Here Is a Haiku written by ME:
    Test Realm:
    I am angry now
    When is the update coming?
    Been waiting all spring

  42. Anonymous / May 8 2014 10:13 pm

    wizard 101 rules hands down XD

  43. Tasha Ghostriver / May 8 2014 10:19 pm

    Wizard101,
    and Pirate101.
    Both these games,
    are tons of fun!

  44. Anonymous / May 8 2014 11:42 pm

    Wizard101 is better Pirate101 does not make sense to me on how to play!

  45. nobodyzsukey / May 8 2014 11:56 pm

    SOUNDNESS OF SOUL
    By S. S. Carpenter
    Ó1999, S. S. Carpenter, All rights reserved.

    An ailing mind is not
    An ailing spirit.
    There is no “hole” in my soul.
    My soul has kept me saner
    Than my best thinking.

    Simplifying was a necessity
    To stay grounded during the
    Chaotic storms of my mind.
    And, by accident, I found
    Simplicity is food
    To nuture the soul.
    This gift is not medicine for illness;
    It is a wise and sound approach to Life.

    Here and Now is all I ever have.
    Here and Now I choose to ignore my churning mind.
    Here and Now I open my eyes
    To the winter branches on the trees
    Who reach in one, simple direction:
    Toward the heavens …
    And I am at peace.

  46. ruben / May 10 2014 4:23 am

    i am allways playing on KingsIsle or drawing!

  47. Harrison / May 10 2014 1:52 pm

    that is funny. i like you re poem!!!

  48. Anonymous / May 10 2014 8:28 pm

    Pirates: A Haiku

    Many a pirate
    Has wondered in great dismay:
    “Why is the Yum gone?”

  49. Joshua Firewalker / May 10 2014 10:02 pm

    i liked it a lot. i usually like to do video games with creative ability, like minecraft, or halo forge. those are fun and help with creativity.

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