Yes, you read that headline right: dragons.
Last weekend, the Wizards Unite team held a panel at San Diego Comic-Con where they talked about the process of making the game and announced new content and features coming soon to Wizards Unite.
The panel was moderated by Felicia Day (Supernatural, The Guild, Geek and Sundry), known for her work as a writer, producer, actress, creator, and gamer. The panelists were:
- Mary Casey (Executive Director of Product, WB Games San Francisco)
- April Stegall (Senior Art Manager, WB Games San Francisco)
- Archit Bhargava (Director of Worldwide Marketing, Niantic Labs)
- Alex Moffit (Product Manager, Niantic Labs)
A lot of news, big and small, was revealed during the panel, so let’s dive in, starting with the biggest things first: dragons and adventure sync!
At the panel, the team officially announced that dragons will be coming soon to Wizards Unite. They’ll debut at the Wizards Unite Fan Festival August 31st-September 1st.
After that, they’ll be released as regionals outside of the event. Dragons are Oddities, so players will need to fight them to return them. Here’s a preview of what they’ll look like:
Two new registry pages for dragons were previewed at the panel as well, each with two dragons and two eggs, for a total of eight new Foundables. New characters associated with dragons (Charlie Weasley?) will also be coming soon.
In other big news, the panel announced a background mode coming to Wizards Unite. Players of Pokémon GO will be familiar with this feature, called Adventure Sync in that game (no official name for the feature in Wizards Unite yet). The feature allows players to earn credit for distance walked even while the app is off, a highly requested feature in Wizards Unite.
The feature works by integrating data with Apple Health or Google Fit and relies on your device’s step counter, rather than on GPS data, which means players will be able to unlock Portkeys with the game off, whether walking around town or exercising on a treadmill.
Adventure Sync in Pokémon GO launched with additional rewards for meeting weekly goals of 5km, 25km, and 50km walked, so Wizards Unite may also see the addition of similar goals and bonuses to encourage exercise. This could include anything from Spell Energy to Scrolls and Books, from Potions to Portkeys with rare fragments.
Whatever the rewards and whatever name the feature has for Wizards Unite though, the feature should greatly improve battery life and general quality of life. Once it’s released, we’ll be sure to share a full breakdown of the feature and how to use it.
Fan Festival Tickets
As soon as the panel ended, ticket drawings for the Wizards Unite Fan Festival in Indianapolis went live in the app. More information about tickets and the Fan Festival coming is available now in our What to Expect from the Wizards Untie Fan Festival guide.
Of course, the panelists had plenty else to share with attendees about their vision for the game and how it was made. Here are the key points:
- The story is driven by relationships and is meant to be a mystery. More characters and arcs, major and minor, are coming.
- Mary Casey emphasized that Wizards Unite is about giving players the chance to be the hero and to be able to step directly into the wizarding world
- There’s no focus on Hogwarts Houses because the game is worldwide, not just Hogwarts, and this is about the players, not Ron, Harry, and Hermione.
- The creators love the audio of the game, especially the voiceovers, and want players to play with sound on.
- Alex Moffit about the map and what players see on it: “Nothing is by accident.”
- Time of day, weather, moon, etc. all impact what appears on the map—including mention of certain things appearing after it rains.
- Niantic reiterated their three goals: exercise, exploration, and social interaction.
- The game is meant to be collaborative; different professions should complement each other.
- The Wizards Unite team created the design for Erklings, since it was only mentioned in the books but never shown in the movies
- Many of the animations were done using actors and CGI.
Finally, the panel also announced that Scholastic will publish an official game guide in the United States in September, which promises “magical secrets from the developers.” No other news about this guide is available yet.