Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The Awesome Art of Clint Young

At KingsIsle we work in what's known as a pit. Basically our desks are lined together side-by-side and back-to-back, and Artists of all flavors are mixed with Designers, Quality, Marketing, and yours truly. In essence, you're always working an arm's length away from some incredibly creative people. I do sometimes pine for my old office with a window, but other days I'm glad this forced conglomeration of people are all smushed together -- especially early in the morning when work is just setting in for the day. There's a group of us near each other that come in a bit earlier than our other counterparts and sometimes the humor hits the perfect keynote to start the day.

One of these early morning warriors is Clint Young. YES, please click that link, peruse his pictures, and comment on his blog (he has a beautiful new site that's awesome in every way). I think you'll find one section of his portfolio particularly interesting: KingsIsle Art. His work is stunning and he captured so much of that Marleybone essence that Pirate101 players are so fond of.

When we were launching Marleybone and Aqulia, one of my many tasks was pouring through concept art and finding a few certain pieces that really stood out for news agencies. The piece above was just one of those.

I have to say one of my favorite things about Clint is how much he loves drawing for his daughter. I totally get that. I've watched hours of cartoons I normally wouldn't because my kids were into them, and ended up enjoying them as well--My Little Pony Friendship is Magic is just one of them Clint and I share in common, and it's something the early morning crew in the art pit of KingsIsle has had a lot of fun teasing our resident Brony about. To those ends, do not miss this blog post. Fluttershy Fan Art by the talented Clint Young is awesome. ;)

Thanks for taking a minute to check out Clint's site! I'm sure you'll enjoy the art you see there. Again, I'm sure he'd appreciate a comment or two, so don't be shy KingsIsle fans!

Happy dueling

Friday, March 21, 2014

Awesome Thing #46 -- Marleybone Cops

For some reason this old video of mine popped in my head today.

Gotta give it up for the Marleybone Cops . . . they're awesome.

Happy Dueling

Monday, March 3, 2014

Vote for Pirate101 on MMOBomb

Heya Readers of TFN!

I'd love for you to take a second and vote for Pirate101 if you haven't already:

It'd definitely be great to make it through round 1 with the combined efforts of our fans!

Happy Dueling!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Awesome Thing #45 -- Glowy Eyes

I was recently doing the Lost Pages event with Uber Wife. Basically this event happens every few months and only lasts a week or two. Some regular mobs in the world get replaced with "Spellwrit" mobs, and you have to defeat 10 of them to gain access to a short boss tower. It's no big task downing Spellwrit Screamers on Triton Avenue, but it takes a bit to chew through the 6,000+ hitpoints of the Spellwrit Wingtooths in Azteca. O.O

Anyway . . . all of that is great, but . . . GLOWY EYES!

Each of the possessed students of the Lost Pages event has GLOWY EYES, and I really want a pair for my wizard. :) We have them in Pirate101 as well . . . like on Cadmus here:

And because glowy eyes are super cool--they make my awesome things list. :)

Happy Dueling

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Awesome Thing #44 -- Toy Trains

I may be overblowing these toy trains a bit, but for some reason I love 'em!

The large one is crafted and the small one is farmed up from the Gurtok Barrier Demon, who stockpiles these things by the bajillions apparently. They make a sound when you're near them and have a small puff of steam coming out of the top of them.

I've dedicated a whole room to them in my player housing.

I guess in a way they remind me of my dad. He seemed to always want to get into toy trains. I think he liked them as a kid, and one Christmas he went a little crazy and bought this gigantic train set mounted on a huge sheet of wood, and this thing sat in our basement taking up precious realestate for YEARS.

Dang, the only old picture of the toy train I could find is mostly showing me in a bear blanket trying to scare our dog.

He had plans to decorate the whole sheet of wood with tiny trees and miniature landscape, but it never really worked out, and my cousin stepped on the train and broke it. I know this because of a page in my journal from the time.

It was kind of a big deal.

Anyway, eventually the toy train was scrapped for a pool table and life got an upgrade. Good times those are! And because they cue memories, spout steam, and make my death house sound a bit spooky and distant with their train sounds . . . they're awesome!

Happy Dueling

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Awesome Thing #43 -- The Labyrinth (through the eyes of my tribute!)

I talked a bit about the lava flow gag in the Labyrinth a few awesome things ago, but really . . . I gotta give it up to this whole dungeon, and what better way to do that than give it, oh, 12 hours of my life learning the new foundry system in Neverwinter trying to recreate the dungeon as a parody/tribute?

Seriously, there is nothing that will make you appreciate good Designers more than trying it yourself -- I'm a farcry from a good designer. I always tend to make things more difficult than they need to be. (like my tribute to Wizard101 in Little Big Planet)

So,let's get started then . . .

If you play Neverwinter and want to give this Wizard101 Parody a shot, Search for the short code "NW-DTKOXE29P" or the term "Dragonspyre" (currently in the "For Review" tab and stop reading now, so I don't spoil anything. :)

(Click on the pictures to make them larger if the text is too small to read)

The scene opens with a young wizard in distress, one Bailey Skystaff is rage quitting.

Watch out for those Confused Sentries near the entrance!

Ahh, Dmitri will guide us through!

Oh look! Bailey's treasure deck on the ground!

Gotta get that key to cross the lava bridge.

Did I say lava bridge?

I did!

And it's not as safe as the one in Wizard101's Dragonspyre (not-so-pro tip: swim back through the lava to the beginning . . . there's some stairs there)

Once at the end, Dmitri's asked you to deal with those three scandelous criminals that The Dean had freed.

Watch out for their vengenance after their defeat!

Free their souls that are bound to their prison doors (pro-tip, there's a short cut portal behind Andor's door so you don't have to swim through all that lava)

Behold, a side quest by that famous young wizard! (Pesky spells just keep jumping out of her spell book,don't they?)

Time to unlock the center pedestal

. . . and talk to the Dean.

Wait a second, it's not supposed to play out like this, Dean?!

Dmitri scoffs at letting The Dean free.

What could go wrong here with the Property Master?

1,2,3 . . . the banners have revealed secret doors and the cloak, staff, and crystal ball have been secured. Here you go, Dean!

Oh man, I should have listened to Dmitri . . . forgot the Dean was a Death Wizard . . . MEGA FINAL BATTLE THAT'S INSANE AND REQUIRES MULTIPLE POTIONS ENSUES! This time Dmitri joins in! WOOT!

Oh, it was all a test, whew . . . glad to be part of Dragonspyre Academy


This tribute/parody in Neverwinter takes about 10-20 minutes whereas the real Labyrinth takes around an hour or two. If I would have made you crawl through a bunch of streets and open a back gate to deal with the Gallium Paladin (still thinking of adding him in as a side quest:)), it would have taken longer -- but my family's patience was wearing thin with the amount of time it was taking to 1) learn the tools (which are pretty limited, but still awesome) and 2) just put the darn thing together. Whew!

I had a ton of fun doing this, and I will say out of all of Dragonspyre's dungeons . . . this is the one that has stuck with me the most. Because of its memorable nature and my newfound respect for how awesome this zone is . . .

it's awesome.

Happy Dueling

Friday, January 24, 2014

Awesome Thing #42 -- Teleport Stones

When Grizzleheim was released, along with that was a very interesting new feature that allowed Wizards to bamf from a central location out to the further reaches of the zone with a click. THUS, THE TELEPORT STONES WERE BORN! Soon after that it became the new hot sauce for KingsIsle, and teleport stones were put in all the worlds of the Spiral.

If you knew which stone went where, using them was a HUGE time savings. I think the people who benefited most from their use were those who farmed bosses near the teleport stone exits.

There was something awesome about being the guy who knew your way around quickly and could race people to a boss, then you'd send 'em a tell saying "Hey, you still running here? You could have just ported to me like an hour ago . . ."

Anything that's a time savings is a blessing in an MMO; therefore, teleport stones are awesome.

Happy Dueling!