The Adventures of the Spiral Team managed to land an interview with The Friendly Necromancer.
For those of you who don’t know, the Friendly Necromancer is the Pirate101 Community Manager and an Official Wizard101 Fansite Owner.
Hope you enjoy the interview!
AoS = Black
Friendly = Red
1: When did you first know you wanted to work at Kingsisle?
There was a moment about five years ago or so when I first started blogging about Wizard101 that I had a very strange feeling that I would much rather be working at KingsIsle than working at my old job. I took some time to write up a quick resume, and I sent it in. It took a lot of patience until I finally saw that small thought through to a reality, but I’m here to tell you that if you hang on to those positive thoughts and work hard, they can come true.
2: How do you like working at Kingsisle?
Now that I’m here I realize exactly how much hard work goes into a never-ending game like Wizard101 or Pirate101, and I love watching it unfold. I like the unique family entertainment twist that makes this company great, and it’s been an awesome experience.
3: As Community Manager, what do you do? and do you enjoy it?
I wear several hats as Pirate101’s Community Manager! For one, I’m a central pivot point in the seesaw of communication between Players and Developers. Pirate101 fans have a lot to talk about and we are listening. For two, I’m a sort of a safety net for Customer Support, Quality Assurance, and Marketing. When you govern multiple Social Media platforms, as stated before, you wear several hats. It can be extremely challenging because, well, Social Media never sleeps. Finally, it is incredibly fun to be on the sidelines of our community, cheering everyone on as they battle against the Armada. I love to see players enjoying Pirate101 to its fullest.
4: At a rate of 1 to 10, how hard do you think your job is as community manager? and why?
Out of 1 being a cake job where all you do is breathe and pass paper around to people to 10 being an EMS responder working overtime with people’s lives in balance . . . I’d say an 11. Just kidding, it fluctuates between a 5 and an 8, but if you’re well prepared, you’ll have a much easier time of things. The video game industry is notorious for working people in their 20’s to life unbalancing extremes, KingsIsle is a fantastic company to work for in that regard. It not only produces great family entertainment, but it’s also concerned with a healthy work environment for those who have families of their own.
5: What’s your favorite Storyline of Wizard101/Pirate101 so far?
The Creative writing team does an amazing job, and I’ve really enjoyed all my time spent in Pirate101. My current favorite story line is the one found in Aquila. When I was a kid, I think I watched Clash of the Titans about 20 times . . . because of this alone, I’m in love with this particular book of the game.
6: If you could work for both games, what would your role to be?
Well since my boss is going to review this interview before it gets published . . . Marketing Genius III.
7:What’s your Favorite and Least Favorite part of your job and Why?
My favorite part of the job is when I make a real (and fun) difference for the players of the game. My least favorite part is when a random piece of information falls through the cracks and players take it personally. There is a lot to keep track of, and we do a bang up job of communicating changes to the game, but we are human, and therefore prone to mistakes from time to time. (hard to believe, right?)
8:How did the Alias; “One Eyed Jack” come about for you on the Message Boards?
Oh sure! When I arrived at KingsIsle, they tried to guide me toward Avery or one of the Trainers (and I doubled as Avery on Twitter during Alpha and Beta until we received our official Pirate101 handle), but in Pirate101 there seemed to be one character who was barely a step ahead of the player while still leading them to their next destination and cashing in on favors left and right. One-Eyed Jack feels mobile and “in the game” vs. Avery who sits in his office. Jack is sly, flawed, and oddly charismatic at the same time, and that made him a natural choice for me . . . he’s just a really cool pirate–ultimately found in a tavern at the top of a stitched-together hodgepodge island of old shipwrecks–a guy like that knows a thing or three.
9: Can you take us through a typical day at Kingsisle?
Well, when I first walk in to work, I have to slash my way through the cutthroats to make my way to my desk, which is a physical re-creation of the bar in Flotsam. Then I begin serving up Yum to young pirates . . . well, ok . . . maybe it isn’t that awesome. 😉 Basically the job and task at hand can change from day to day because of all those hats I have to wear, but by the end of the day I’ve done a good chunk of information gathering and sharing from all over the net about Pirate101, attended a few planning meetings, read an amazing amount of fan fiction, filed away several pieces of fan art and player screenshots, waded through a lot of questions, feedback, requests, and bug reports, and worked side by side with developers, programmers, artists, producers, and you name it as we continue to produce and announce new game updates to Pirate101.
10: What’s the one thing you’d like to be added to Pirate101 in the future?
I can’t wait to see some Ship vs. Ship PvP and perhaps some new game systems that are completely unique to Pirate101.
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