Producer's Letter


Producer's Letter - August 2010


My dear Wizards,

Some of you also might know me as my alter ego - Dalia Falmea, but I would also like to introduce myself as Leah Ruben, your newly-appointed Producer of Wizard101. I've been at KingsIsle as your Associate Producer ever since the summer of 2007, when I fell in love with Wizard101 the minute I sat down to play it. When we all assumed personas, I begged and pleaded to be Falmea. We both like spicy foods and hot summer days. I love the color red, and WISH I could get my hair to do that... it MUST be magic! Also, Falmea is a little bit who I aspire to be - a little more spontaneous than I, the constant planner and list-maker, and definitely full of passion! And...well... fire dragons are AWESOME! Who wouldn't want to be able to wield that power?

Since I've joined KingsIsle, I've been a bit of a "jack of all trades". Seriously... I've done everything from naming items to creating the first art for the alpha discs (which they very smartly decided needed to be redone by a REAL artist) to working with the sound team to audition, cast, and record all the VO, and everything in between. Recently, I've been given the honor of stepping up into the role as Producer, and thrilled that I get to continue contributing to the awesome which is Wizard101!

  What does a producer do? Well, it's hard to describe, but I'll try. Most of my day is spent making sure my team has the things they need to make all that fun new content that goes into game. I also make sure that everyone is communicating properly - whether internally here at KingsIsle or to external partners or to the community. And sometimes I have to be the tie-breaking vote between whether ninja pigs or piggles are the cooler looking pets. It's all in a day's work.

Getting that out of the way, to a subject I'm sure you're more interested in: Let's talk about Celestia. If you've been hiding under a rock, let me fill you in - Celestia will be our seventh world, and will continue the story in the wake of Malistaire's defeat. With Celestia's release, we will also be raising the level cap to 60, so all you Grandmasters out there will have some work to do to be top dog again!

But you're bright, you already know that.   What *I* can tell you as an insider is that I am SO SO SO incredibly excited for this world. Unlike Falmea, real life me LOVES the water. There are some really cool surprises that go with Celestia. Ever wondered what it would be like to take a dip in the pool in the Commons if it were *just* a little deeper? Well, you will once you take the plunge in Celestia. Sick of your level 48 spells? Well, you won't be for long, as you'll have lots of new cool toys to add to your arsenal. That's not to mention the seriously awe-inspiring new zones to adventure in and lots of goodies I haven't even mentioned. Everyone here is so excited to show you what is definitely our most ambitious world and game update yet!

However, all those lovely features take time. For example, a zone (like Savarstaad Pass in Grizzleheim) first starts as an idea in our designer's heads. Then, our artists draw a sketch of it. Then, they spend the greater part of a month just completing each zone. That's just for each zone. Most zones are 2-3 sections, so that's 2-3 times as long! Then, after those pieces are put together, a designer spends a few weeks putting in the zones where you walk, the duels, the monsters, the quests, maps, and all those other pieces that make up a zone, and at the same time, our sound engineers are putting in all the background sounds and recording and putting in the voice over for everything. Then, we have to play through it (yes, our job is rough, but we endure...) and to make sure it's all in working order and feels right. I'm getting tired just reading about it, whew!

On that note, I should get back to it. There are very important things to discuss, such as… well, stay tuned for next time. I can’t let the proverbial firecat out of the bag on that one yet…

Safe journeys,
Leah Ruben
Producer, Wizard101