While we dream of magic being real, the fantasists among us have also dreamed of attending some kind of mystical school that teaches us all the tools of the trade so we can hurl fireballs at our enemies and levitate objects. with a flick of the wrist.
And Wizard101 from KingsIsle Entertainment lets you do just that, and like magic itself, the game has a longer history than you might think. The game first launched in September 2008, which feels like a distant, mystical land 14 years later, and has continued to grow and nurture a dedicated community of gamers.
The continued success of the game is as exciting for the developers as it is for the community that still plays it. Jeff Toney, lead artist for Wizard101 who has been at KingsIsle since 2005, saw his initial expectations blown over, telling us that “you always expect a great reception for any game you make, but this has exceeded my wildest dreams. I love Wizard101’s worlds and they just keep getting sillier and more fun, so it’s always great to develop art for them.”
Leah Ruben, Senior Studio Director at Wizard101, is equally ecstatic. “I remember sitting in a pre-launch meeting thinking how cool it would be if we got 100,000 people to play the game,” she says. “Now here we are, almost 60 million accounts that have played the game over the years, having some of our best years as ‘teenagers’. It’s unreal and I’m beyond proud to be a part of it!”
But how does a community stay active for so long? Wizard101 receives three major updates a year, some of which have made significant changes to the game. For Russ Hughes, head of cinematic art and another member of the team who has been around since 2005, the biggest change was a major graphical overhaul. “Character faces now have more expression, spells have more effects, and more immersive scenes and environments have more detail,” he says. “We weren’t totally sure how it would be received, but now I’m going back and playing the old school world, and I’m really glad we’ve started making updates.”
Other team members are more excited about increasing the difficulty of the game for veteran players. Creative Design Lead Sam Johnson is particularly interested in “incorporating more intense gameplay” such as Raids, Beastmoon Hunts, and Deckathalons.
But the game is also accessible to new players. Cheryl Starcher, Principal Engineer at KingsIsle Entertainment since 2006, tells us “The game starts off simple to make it accessible to new players, but as you level up you can experience more depth as the team added more complexity to the game. game over the years. . We try to protect the experience for new players so that they can continue to experience the same game from 15 years ago at first, but then they will face more challenges as they progress.”
Whether you’re brand new to Wizard101 or returning after a long break, there’s plenty to get stuck into on your magical journey. Wizard101 is available for free, with memberships available to see everything the game has to offer. Try it for yourself today.