Our Favorite Wizard101 Memories (Part 1)
Our month-long celebration for Wizard101’s birthday is almost over, and we’ve had a great time hearing from our fans about their favorite Wizard101 moments on the official Message Boards.
On that message board thread, Helenie Nightseer asked if a few KingsIsle Staff members could also share their favorite memories about Wizard101. Professor Falmea spread the word of Helenie’s request, and we received some amazing memories from our staff to share with you all. So many, in fact, we’re going to make this a three-part blog post. Thanks for the request, Helenie!
Gary Scott Smith, Principle Software Engineer
As a player: In 2008, I was pretty excited to get a Lightning Bat pet from Wave Bringer. Before Advanced Pets that pet was very rare and Wave Bringer was hard to farm before we added mounts and now teleporters.
As a developer: Doing a play test for the first housing game, Tag, with other developers. Afterword I received a very brief email from Todd Coleman (VP and Creative Director at the time). It read “Tag is very cool.”
Nathan Sumsion, Lead Designer
For me, some of my favorite moments making the game include:
Shadow Magic – I loved working on a new school of magic that is available to all wizards from all schools, and has implications that affect the entire Spiral. It was fun to see how it wove into the fabric of our story, and it was challenging to design its core mechanics in such a way as to help player progression in the higher levels of the game. I really like the feel of using this powerful, unstable magic to change my wizard’s form with Shadow Self spells, and to summon creatures made of shadow that may or may not help me in combat, depending on my actions.
Ultra-Dungeons – I wanted to create a way to allow players to have rematches against some of their favorite bosses in the game, and I’m very happy we were able to introduce these short one-shot dungeons.
The B.O.X.E.S. Event – I love the story behind this one, visiting the past of some of my favorite characters in the game. I love how we put it together, allowing players of various levels to be able to participate in it, and how we could travel from one area to another using the Telegraph Box. I love any time we can use The Professor in our content.
Fishing – Incorporating a system as big as Fishing into existing worlds in the Spiral was no small undertaking! Working with the team to figure out how the system would work, how deep it was going to be, and how it would be introduced into the game took a lot of planning. And I love the actual fish. I’m very happy with how this system turned out.
As a player some of my favorite moments include:
- The fight on Xibalba at the end of Azteca was exciting! Seeing Malistaire back from the dead and struggling to defeat him on the face of a comet screaming through space, hurtling towards Azteca. I cheered when I emerged victorious from that one.
- I love The Great Beast encounter in Khrysalis. Seeing the beast rise from the ocean the first time is amazing.
- I also loved growing 2 large groups of King Parsleys and capitalizing on the 7th Anniversary double-gardening exp. Hello Amber!
Joel White, Senior Designer
The first time I took the boat in Krok. At the time it was the first cinematic sequence in game, and I love Egyptology. It made my inner geek so excited. Then the day I found the hidden vendor in Krok … I squeeed.
Valerie Kromas, Game Designer
As a developer, one of my most favorite moments working on Wizard101 was when we had the opportunity to work with The Make a Wish Foundation. Any adult will probably tell you that sometimes during our careers we wonder how much impact we’re actually making on the world; working with The Make A Wish Foundation really echoed the sentiment that what we do here at KingsIsle does contribute to the daily lives of others! Putting together the content for our contribution was probably one of the most heartfelt moments I’ve ever experienced as a game developer, which I will cherish forever.
As a player, I really loved getting my Master of Karate and Friendship badge; I felt super special and like I was part of a secret club! Second favorite moment was when we as a group finally got to beat Morganthe. I was so tired of chasing her around and fixing all the things in The Spiral that she broke that I squealed with joy the first time I saw her fall into the void of space.
Jesse Slate, Senior Animator
My favorite memory was animating Prof. Greyrose and Falmea together for the KingsIsle A.L.S. Ice Bucket Challenge video. First, I’m proud to work for a company that has a high regard for charities like Make a Wish and Austin Children’s Shelter, so it was especially satisfying to contribute animation for a higher cause. What made this task all the more exciting was animating these legendary characters. It felt like going into my Grandma’s attic and blowing the dust off an old toy.
Thanks again for joining us on this trip down memory lane! Part 2 of our favorite Wizard101 memories will continue tomorrow!