Sunday, July 29, 2012

W101C Birthday coming up!

Hey all!

Wizard101 Central's Birthday is coming up in August!
Its been up and running for 4 years! A big thanks to Jester and Olivia for creating it for all of the wizard community to join together! You know what this means? Celebrating and Contests! If you are not already signed up go sign up! More info on contests will soon be released over at Wizard101central.com ! See you there!


Sunday, July 22, 2012

Yarrr!

Hey all!

    Its been a while since I last posted! Time to get back into the routine! :)
Lately Kingsisle and Todd Coleman have been showing some cool pictures of Pirate101 in its Alpha stage! You can see updates and Pirate101 photos from Mr. Coleman on his Facebook Account. Also make sure you check out Pirate101 FB for updates.

One-Eyed Jack aka Friendly Necro has posted some cool alpha pics over at Pirate101Central!
You have to sign up/log in to view the photos! You wont want to miss it! Check them out its very cool! :) You also might wanna go check out Pirate101Central because they are holding some crown raffles for how many members have signed up. Check that out here!

Happy and Safe Sailing! *Passes bottle of Yum!*
See you soon in the Skyways!

-Johnny

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Contest Winners!

_________________________________________________________

____________________________
1st place: Destiny Soultamer "The Traveler" - 5,000 crowns
2nd place: April- "Collin Jones" - 5,000 crowns
3rd place: Kit Bailey - 5,000 crowns
____________________________
1st place: Liz Z- "Mad Eye Bart" - 5,000 crowns
2nd place: Pirate Skyrider- "Mr. Gandry" - 5,000 crowns
3rd place: Vic Za- "Lon the patched" - 5,000 crowns
____________________________
Winners:Monday- 1st Question: @MonquistanFan
2nd Question: @LionRiderKing
Tuesday-1st Qusetion: @merlin_0
2nd Question: @KyleFiresword
____________________________

I just want to thank everyone for entering! Your entries were all awesome! You can view all of the stories and drawings via the tab bar at the top of the page, just look for "Library Troubles" and "Concept" tabs. Winners enjoy your crowns, others do not worry more contests will come soon enough! Happy Sailing Pirates!

-Johnny

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Interview With Dave Greco, Lead Concept Artist for Kingsisle Entertainment!


Yarrrrrr! Hey there Pirates!

    Today I have a special surprise! I had the chance to interview Dave Greco, The lead concept artist at Kingsisle! Dave and his team over at Kingsisle are the people who take the simple ideas and turn them into awesome creations within Wizard101 and Pirate101! Thank you so much Dave for letting me Interview you and sharing an exclusive Pirate101 concept art for my blog viewers!! You and your team keep rocking at what you do!
_____________________________________________________________

1. When did you first know that you wanted to start a career in Art and Design?
I had been interested in art and being an artist from a young age, but it wasn’t until high school that I realized it was something I could realistically do for a career. Computer animation was starting to come alive in the industry, and it really opened my eyes to digital art and the involvement of art in pre-production.
 
 
 2. When did you start working at KingsIsle Entertainment?
I started at KingsIsle in March 2011, so I’ve only been here for a little over a year now. The time has really flown!
 
 
 3. Your job title is "Lead Concept Artist" ~ What does that mean, and do you enjoy it?
Being a “lead” really comes down to being a point person for the rest of the Concept Team. I make sure everyone on the Team has work lined up, is getting appropriate feedback and is heading in the right direction. Sometimes being a Lead also involves funneling feedback from the Designers to the appropriate artist on the team as well. It’s a position that has a lot more responsibility, and it’s something that I’ve been eager to step into for quite some time. Being a Lead, I sometimes don’t get as much time painting throughout the day as I used to, but getting the interaction from the rest of the team is just as rewarding.
 
 
 4. We have seen many of your concept art pieces for Wizard101, The Chrismoose Mount, Nightmare and much much more! Can you share some that you have done for Pirate101?
The only Pirate101 pieces that are approved for public view are ones that are either posted on my blog, the Facebook page, or Todd’s Facebook profile. People are always welcome to check out my blog for released concept that I have personally worked on.
 
 
 5. What was your first thought when you were told about Pirate101?
I was thrilled about the idea! I didn’t even know the project I would be working on till the first day I started. I love the imagery of a pirate setting and all the visuals that come with it. There are still so many settings and ideas to come in Pirate101 that I cannot wait to explore.
 
 
 6. Did you have to research information about pirates and more before starting your drawings?
Most of the time I just get right into the drawing. I feel like we have a lifetime of pirate imagery ingrained into our heads already, which gives me a great starting point. What’s great about Pirate101 is that it’s a whole extra step on top of a pirate setting. I tend to picture a typical pirate scene, and then think, how can I make this even more unique? Most of the time, I let the painting itself figure it out as I go.
 
 
 7. You probably like both games equally but is there a preference of what you like more? Creating art for Wizard101 or Pirate101?
I definitely enjoy working on both! They both offer a different take on creatures and characters, which is great to keep you on your feet. Right now the nature of Pirate101 gives the Concept Team a little more space to create an entire world from scratch, whereas the basic look and style of Wizard101 has already been created.
 
 
 8. What happens to the concept art you are asked to create that does not get used in the game? One I remember in Wizard101 was the octopus/squid from the Celestia release.
This is definitely something that happens for all concept artists in the industry. Sometimes an idea just doesn’t work out, and the piece of art you created just gets shelved. What’s great at KingsIsle, though, is that most of the time we’ll go back and re-use it for an idea or asset later in time. Having a stash of great artwork to pick through later for ideas and inspiration is always a good to have.
 
 
 9. Is there any artwork you can share with the viewers of the blog for Pirate101?
This is a full version of a Skull Island Interior. You can see a part of this image on the Pirate101.com website, but the full image has been approved for use with this interview.


10. Finally what is your favorite part about being a concept artist for KingsIsle? Favorite piece of work?
Plain and simple, I love being part of the team we have here and being able to create games that people are passionate about. The community surrounding Wizard101, and soon to be Pirate101, is amazing, and I couldn’t ask for anything more. Knowing I am working on a project that people love really drives me throughout the day.
___________________________________________________________

    Thank you so much again Dave and everyone at Kingsisle!
I hope you all enjoyed the interview, cannot wait to see more work when more Pirate101 content comes out! I'm sure it will be brilliant. If you would like to see more of Dave's work head over to http://myelectronicdays.blogspot.com/. You can find it in my Blogroll to the right also. He has some great Avalon concepts up, of different types of Giant Famorai and more.

-Johnny

Monday, July 9, 2012

Contest Time!

____________________________________________________________________

Yarrrrrrr! Hey Pirates! Late last week I told you all about a surprise coming to Pirates of the Spiral! Well this post will answer all of your questions about it! I will be hosting 3 events starting today where you can show off your awesome imaginations and test your Pirate101 knowledge! I want to take a moment and thank all of you for being awesome and hope you enjoy the contests! I will now list the contests and details about each (If you win a prize on any of the contests you cannot win again in another!);


The Monquistan Librarian has found that some Pirates have broken into the Library! There are a series of books missing and they need to fill up the shelves before the King and Queen come visit the library! They are very picky and would throw an ape fit if they saw what happened!
(Dont tell them I said that! lol!) Its up to all of you to help and fill up the gap on the shelf.

What to do!

1. Write a story featuring your Pirate in Pirate101!
2. The story must include a friend. Everyones stories will start out in the jail cell with Captain Boochbeard and Mr. Gandry helping you escape, what happens after that is up to you!!! Be creative and use your imagination!
3. All stories must be atleast 250 words long, but no more than 850 words long.
4. Email the story to me when you are finished. (Click the treasure box to the right for it) If you are under 13, please ask your parents permission before sending an email! Thank you!
5. Put "Library Troubles" as the title in your email.
6. Include Your name, your Pirates name, and preferred email address in your entry.

Three winners will be chosen for this contest, each will get a code for 5,000 crowns.
This contest begins now, and will continue until Friday, 7/13/12. Winners will be announced as soon as I read all of the stories and pick the top 3!

~Spelling, punctuation and grammar matter!
~Like I said before, be creative with it! Use your piratey imaginations on what you think will happen after we escape the armada jail cell!
~No Foul language, please keep it rated G.
~Follow the Instructions!
~If you have any questions please post them as a comment on this post and I will get back to you!
____________________________________________________________


We all have seen the awesome artwork the artists at Kingsisle have created! Above are some of the few we saw for Pirate101! It is time for your drawing skills to shine! Let your imaginations go wild and free! Get out your pencil and paper and get at it!

What to do!
1. Draw a Place or NPC for Pirate101!
2. You may notice on the ones we have seen so far they have details about the drawing next to them! Yours will too, and you must name your concept art!
3. Coloring is optional!
4. Take a picture or scan the drawing and then upload it to your computer.
5. Email me the drawing, (Click the treasure chest to the right for it) If you are under 13 please ask your parents permission before emailing me! Thanks!
6. Put "Concept Creation" as the emails title.

Three winners will be chosen for this contest, each will get a code for 5,000 crowns!
This contest will begin now, and will end on Friday, 7/13/12. Winners will be announced after Going through them all and choosing the top 3!

~If you have any questions for this contest leave them in the comments on this post and I will get back to you!
____________________________________________________________


Captain Avery has found Magical treasure chests with a note tied to them!
"After correctly answering the question on the treasure chest given to you, it will open and the treasure inside will be yours!" Well since Captain has enough loot back on Skull Island, he has decided to give me the chests to pass along to you guys! I will be asking a total of 4 questions tomorrow on Twitter. If you want to participate for this contest you must follow me on it. Ask your parents permission if you do not have a twitter account before creating one.
You can find me at @Jcentral1. Please follow me for future Pirate101 information and events!
I will be doing 2 questions today, and 2 tomorrow (Tuesday).
I will remind you all about it on twitter before asking the question to give you time to prepare!
Now go start studying all your Pirate101 lore!

What to do!
1. Follow me @Jcentral1
2. Watch for the trivia questions when I ask them, be prepared to answer!
3. First one to correctly answer the question recieves the treasure chest filled with crowns (5,000)
4. I will send you the code via DM.
5. I will be doing 2 questions today, and 2 tomorrow (Tuesday)

Winners:
Monday- 1st Question: @MonquistanFan
2nd Question: @LionRiderKing
Tuesday-1st Qusetion: @merlin_0
2nd Question: @KyleFiresword
Any questions? Feel free to leave them in the comments section on this post.
____________________________________________________________

Goodluck to you all and I hope you enjoy the contests!
Special thanks to Kingsisle!!!

-Johnny

Friday, July 6, 2012

Surprise on Monday!


Hey all! Just wanted to let you know a little parrot told me that on Monday there will be a surprise here on Pirates of the Spiral! Come check it out on Monday, July 9th! See ya then Pirates! Have a wonderful weekend! Happy and Safe sailin'!

-Johnny

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The "Pixar" Effect


    Have you ever heard of "Toy Story", "Finding Nemo", or maybe "Monster's Inc"? You maybe know these as Pixar movies. The cool things about these type of movies are that, they are awesome for the kids to watch, but have humerous parts in them that usually only adults will understand. Therefore making it a great movie for chidren, Adults, and even Older folks. That is what the "Pixar" Effect means.

    Kingsisle has used the "Pixar" effect in both Wizard101 and now Pirate101 and will probably continue to do so in both games, and future games. Usually you see other company's creating games for certain generations, for example maybe a Mario game usually is a great childrens game for the Wii. Another example would be Modern Warfare or Halo targeted for the Mature audience. The great thing about Wizard101, Pirate101 and other games that use the "Pixar" Effect is that it opens the door to all generation groups allowing them to all enjoy and play the game together. This is great for Family's and Grandparents who would like to find a hobby to play together and just have an awesome time!

    Gamesnews.com has recently had an interview with Kingsisle about Pirate101 that was released today on their site. You can read up more about the "Pixar Effect" and more on the article here. There are some hidden tidbits about Pirate101 that you can discover also! :) One of my favorite parts in the article is they say that the Frogfather character in Pirate101 has a voice similiar to Godfather type movies which will be awesome LOL. Cannot wait to try it out!

   Thank you for stopping by and hopefully I will see you all soon in the skyways!
Happy and safe sailing everyone! Have an awesome 4th of July tomorrow!

Johnny


Monday, July 2, 2012

Concept Art 101


Hey everybody!

    I Hope you all are having a wonderful Monday! :)
I wanted to talk about "Concept art" today.
Lets first look at the definition of Concept Art;

"Concept art is a form of illustration where the main goal is to convey a visual representation of a design, idea, and/or mood for use in films, video games, animation, or comic books before it is put into the final product."

    A lot of people start with concept art before they actually implement the idea into the game.
Some make it into the game, and others may not. I've been looking at some of the Pirate101 concept art and I'm really interested in some of them. I'm going to post at a few of my favorites and tell you what I personally think about them, and how they will fit into the game.

Zenda Concept

 Ok here is the first piece I want to talk about.

    "Zenda" is a Prison located near Monquista. It is located in the Tierra Primata Skyway.
You can see if you look closely at the photo at the bottom there is a ship port where ships land, then the bridge leading to the prison. I have a feeling our Pirates will visit this place sometime during our adventure in Monquista. Maybe we will be prisoners ourselves if we do something wrong? Or maybe the King or Queen asks us to go there for a quest? Will be interesting to see how it fits into the storyline.

King Fernando

"His benevolent resplendency Fernando, the sixth of that name, King of Monquista and Skull Island, Overlord Protector of Marleybone and Aquila. At five years, Fernando's reign has been one of the longest in Monquistan history. The King's cunning and political savvy at manipulating the dozens of Noble Families is unmatched."

    Ok, so what made me interested in this concept art is actually the description. I bolded the part that caught me by surprise. . . . Aquila? You may ask yourself, what is Aquila? Well if you Google it, you will see that it is actually a constellation in the northern sky;

"Aquila is a constellation in the northern sky. Its name is Latin for 'eagle' and it represents the bird who carried Zeus's/Jupiter's thunderbolts in Greco-Roman mythology. Aquila lies just a few degrees North of the celestial equator"

    So this means 2 things, Aquila could either be a place or a thing. It could very well be a place located near "Polaris" another world we have heard about recently in Wizard101, and on the Pirate101 website. But I thought about a piece of concept art that Mr. Coleman shared with us of an "Eagle" could also tie into this? Maybe it is a "power"? Here is the piece I am talking about-


Mr. Coleman while sharing this stated;

"Saturday morning at the office! This is unusual for me, since I try to keep my weekends reserved for 100% family time. But on rare occasions it is helpful to clean off my wall-sized whiteboard and dig into some gritty design problems. This morning I'm working out the details of some new powers. Here's some concept art, to give it context."

This is why I believe that "Aquila" may be some sort of power? Look at the right hand side of the pic, an eagle is shown. Maybe King Fernando has a pet eagle hidden away? LOL.

Moving on..
Aztecosaur Mummy

    Here we see a new type of "Mob" that will be located on Skull Island somewhere, most likely the ruins. My first thought when looking at this was, they remind me of the kroks back in Krokotopia. Maybe they are distant cousins to them, Or these are their great ancestors? Would love a connection of Krok somewhere in the storyline!! The one on the right reminds me of Alhazred the balance teacher covered in cloth and hunched over LOL. These fellows will be trying to scare us out of the ruins under skull island and are protecting something that was once their's most likely. A little hoodoo magic, or a shot of the musketeers zap gun will do the trick ;). Or perhaps you fancy a sword instead?

Undead Pirate Monkey

    Next we have the Undead Pirate Monkey piece.
This actually tells us that the "Monkey Paw" relic hidden under Monquista actually curses monquistans and possibly other races? We need to learn much about the Monkey paw before trying to find it. This actually reminds me alot of Pirates of the Carribean Curse of the Black Pearl movie.
In the movie, Captain Barbossa's crew get cursed by the ancient aztec gold coins they find, and are cursed into the undead. Throughout the movie they try and find the one that can cure them with their blood. I wonder if this will be similiar to what we have to do in Monquista? Cant wait to find out!!

Ratbeard
   
    At first I thought this piece was of a possible mob character. But then I saw that it looks like the one on the left is a possible first stage of a companion, and when you "upgrade" them, it was said they get better looking gear and stats. It looks to me like the one on the right hand side is indeed, "upgraded". Gold Trim, Golden Skull on hat, Feather, and better clothes all together. It looks like Ratbeard will be a companion in the game to me! What do you think?

Penguin Officer

    Lastly is this background image of the Penguin Officer. After catching something particular in this image, It made my mind start thinking. If you look closely at the badge on his chest, there is a "P" on it. This could possibly stand for "Polaris". If he is indeed from Polaris, that means that most of the folk there are possibly penguins? Woot very interesting!! We have heard alot about the "Polarian" War so I bet we will beable to visit this world soon enough if not in the beta! This definatly reminded me of the "Penguingonia" Joke from the "Zafaria behind the scenes video from Kingsisle's Youtube channel. Mr. Coleman and Mr. Hall have Ross go visit africa for sound bits for the World of Zafaria. Then when he returns they joke around with him saying penguingonia is a much better world haha and hint about him going to Antartica. LOL (At around 1:50 mark)



    And that folks concludes Concept Art 101! :)
Hope to see you all soon! What is your favorite concept art piece?
Safe Sailing!

-Johnny