Wizards (and Pirates) invade Wizard World!
Today KingsIsle Community manager Leala aka Professor Greyrose gives us a look into the recent Austin Wizard World Comic Con.
Last weekend, some of the KingsIsle developers and I got the opportunity to present two panels at Wizard World Comic Con in Austin, Texas. I love comic conventions, with all the costumes, shopping and great artists to be seen. I’d never been to Wizard World before, but I was quite impressed by the variety of presenters and exhibitors at the event. It was also my first time ever participating in a panel, so I was super nervous! But, with the help of my very knowledgeable coworkers, I think it turned out great.
Our first panel was titled “How to get into the Games Industry,” featuring KingsIsle representatives from Art, Sound, Writing, Programming, Community, Animation and Design. There was something for everyone! Lots of people in the audience had questions about where they should focus when starting out, and we were all happy to provide stories of what we have learned from our own experiences. Though the art and programming paths seemed to be the most popular with attendees, I tried to do my best to share what a fun (and important) role community management plays in the game industry. Happy players are a game’s greatest asset, I say!
Gary Smith represented the programming side of game development with some great advice for new programmers. We also got to learn about a very popular path in game development from Valerie Head. She started in Quality Assurance and took extra time out of her days to learn the game design tools, eventually leading to her current role as Game Designer. For those interested in sound, Associate Producer Kat Wenske shared her extensive knowledge of music and audio recording tools.
Senior Animator, Kiko Buyo also did a great job in representing his department. Not many people understood how animation works, so he showed them using volunteers from the audience to create key frames and animate the actions in between.
Our second panel was about Wizard101 and Pirate101, so we took the opportunity to share some of the behind-the-scenes information about how the games were created. Principal Artist, Jeff Toney walked us through the process of the design of Bartleby from initial concept to the final, textured model that ended up in game (Missing eye included!). Associate Creative Designer, Beau Paul, shared how the story of the games are written, and treated us all to a taste of voice acting, as a character you may recognize, Boochbeard in Pirate101. And finally, I was excited to tell our audience (that included some big Doctor Who fans) about the new B.O.X.E.S. event happening in Wizard101.
The highlight of the convention for me, however, was getting to meet Kirsten from Cosability, an advocacy group for cosplayers with disabilities. Kirsten started the group to encourage others to find fun and creative ways to work with their disability while costuming. Doctor Who fans will recognize her costume as Davros, the Emperor Dalek, from Doctor Who. Kirsten is also a new player of Pirate101, so we all wish her a warm welcome to the Skyway!
-Leala aka Professor Greyrose