Ah! Wakfu. An ambitious MMORPG for which I acted both as Lead Gamedesigner and Team Lead. Fun times!
During my time at Ankama, I started by working on their Flagship MMO, DOFUS. Back then, the company decided to start development on their next-in-line game, Wakfu.
And, as a matter of fact, this was pretty much a start from scratch: there was nothing but a couple artworks and a vague bullet-list defining the whole game.
Creating the character classes, combat mechanics, designing the UIs, writing the lore, building the world… There was so much to do! That period also saw the team go from about 10 to over 70 people, which required me to pick up new skills on bigger-scale management than my previous experiences, how to handle recruiting, and so on.
The project was a first for the company in many aspects. It marked their departure from their Flash-based engine but also was the first large-scale project they’d make. What a ride it was!
I’m proud to say that I’ve helped veer the game toward more innovative mechanics than your usual MMO: Player-run politics, a working and dynamic Ecosystem and the Challenges, an open-ended world events system in place of the traditional quests mechanics. (System that actually has much in common with recently released Guild Wars 2 events system.)
Also, my job had a lot of side tasks that gave me a lot of opportunity to learn more and meet the actual players: my job also required me to oversee the whole communication around the project, so I ended up managing the game’s blog, events in conventions (which culminated when Ankama launched their very own “Ankama Conventions”), being active on the players’ forums, being ITW’ed for podcasts or televisions or whatnots…
Since the whole project also shares its IP with the television animation production by Ankama Animation, also called Wakfu, I’ve also had the chance to participate in the animation’s scenario by providing context both for and from the game.
This was a great experience, really, even tho I lost a lot of hairs in the process!
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