Friday, November 30, 2012

Behind the Magic of Magic School!

Today I was able to pry Georgia away from working on the sequel to Magic School to talk to him about the recent launch of Magic School: Book 1! Take a look at what he had to say about writing the biggest new story our studio has tackled since Cause of Death!

Writer Fact: Austen and Lilly demanded that Georgia put the adorable animal familiars in this picture.

MD: I remember when we polled people months ago about what type of genre they'd want to see new content for. What took so long?

G: The short answer is that a lot of unexpected delays cropped up. We had some big studio changes to deal with, we wrote a whole new megapack, and then other products like Cause of Death got a little behind and needed some fill-in episodes written... Not to mention the pre-Christmas push! Plus, I'll confess that the writing itself was slower than usual because I ended up doing the bulk of it by myself!

MD: And that's not the only difference from your usual routine.

G: That's right. I started out writing SHS, but for the last year or so, I've written exclusively for Cause of Death. It was definitely a big adjustment writing about teens again. The good news is a lot of what I've learned writing Cause of Death made it into Magic School, especially in regards to the tone and feel of the storytelling. I really hope Cause of Death fans will be willing to make the jump to Surviving High School to try out Magic School.

MD: I heard from the writing team that you "agonized" over the writing for Magic School. What were you worried about?

G: Starting a new story is always huge a responsibility. I put everything I had into making it the best I could because I knew it was going to need a ton of new art and it was going to be big, and that it'd have to have a bigger price tag because of that. I really wanted our fans felt like it was worth it! So I jammed in everything I could think of... You learn spell casting, you get to pick what your character looks like, you get to choose your familiar... You even get to choose whether you want to be aligned with order or chaos!

MD: Anything you'd like to say to people who are on the fence about buying Magic School: Book 1?

G: Go get it now! Please? It's got action, magic, romance, adventure... And did I mention that you can have a pet catbat in this story?

Catbat says "Squeeow!"

Friday, November 2, 2012

Meet the Team

You've read interviews from the team, but here's a look at each of the writers!

Likes: Sun dresses in winter, baking pies, and eating any form of pasta
Dislikes: Monochromatic color schemes, bad hair days, and ladders in FPS games
Austen earned her nickname because of her great affinity for Pride and Prejudice. On the writing team, she's known for attempting to slip antiquated speech into her episodes, where people frequently exclaim, "Goodness! I've got to get to the ball before the clock doth strike midnight!" She is also known for militantly maintaining the organization of the kitchen in the office and her fondness for charts and spreadsheets to track episode progress.

Likes: Nerf guns, PopTarts, zombie defense strategy
Dislikes: Greek yogurt, technical difficulties, not finding the droids you're looking for
Winchester got his nickname after the odd assortment of toy weapons he keeps at his desk, including the homemade blowgun he once used to shoot an apple off of the intern's head. He has since been voted Most Likely To Be Serial Killer in the office, and considers it his highest honor to date. When he's not hard at work on CoD episodes, he is out searching the world for strange new flavors of PopTart.

Likes: Ribbons and bows, cupcakes, and Soul Calibur
Dislikes: Vacuum cleaners, ambiguous weather, and fruit flavored candy
Lilly's nickname comes from her affinity for flowers and the fact that all of her other quirks are too weird to make for catchy nicknames. Originally a writer for Surviving High School from back in the '08 mobile version's day, Lilly fondly remembers the days of Raven, Blake, Renzo, and Anna. She's known on the writing team for having people state each other's names frequently in serious conversations, because in her words, "That's how you know the conversation is serious!"

Likes: Basketball, board games, and large glasses of cola with ice
Dislikes: Traffic, doing dishes, and wasps
Known for trying to insert at least one slang phrase from the '50's into his episodes, Doc has been writing for SHS for two and a half years. He also manages the SHS Facebook and Twitter accounts. Recently, he's developed the bizarre habit of eating raw ginger at his desk, a habit he'd describe as "the cat's pajamas!"

Likes: Post-apocalyptic stories, spicy food, and bothering Lilly
Dislikes: Lines, driving, and traffic (which is basically driving in line, so, double-whammy)
Originally born in Russia, Rasputin has been writing for the team since the days of Surviving Hollywood. At any given minute, his booming voice can be heard in the office, retelling a bawdy anecdote or trying out a standup routine. On the writing team, he's known for never allowing two characters to kiss inside a building. In his world, kisses always happen outside, preferably with people lunging at each other.

Likes: Photoshop, solid color polo shirts, and carrot cake
Dislikes: Wearing shoes, driving, and guns that don't shoot straight
Georgia's nickname comes from the stories that he tells the team about growing up in Georgia--including several things that he thinks of as 'normal' but the rest of the team assures him are not, including "Greasy Flagpole Competitions" and "Devil's Night". Known on the writing team for drawing diagrams to explain his points and having characters shout event text.