Life at Blizzard: The Forge of Sword and Stone
Blizzard Academy supports our creative community by partnering with teams studio-wide to design customized professional development curriculum to help our folks improve at their given craft. We want our content to engage the imagination and to do it in unique ways that also resonate with our culture. And it’s a hell of a lot of fun.
This time around we partnered with the Blizzard Video, Diablo, and @warcraft teams to bring in legendary blacksmith Tony Swatton and his world-class artisans for a day of iron, history, and blacksmithing lore. You may recognize Tony from the Azeroth Armory web series, which chronicled his incredible realizations of iconic Warcraft weapons. Go check it out on YouTube if you haven’t seen it yet, it’s terrific.
In the morning we hosted a private Q&A with Tony so our artists and animators could learn first-hand how he and his team literally forge imagination into reality, how to think beyond reference material, and different approaches to creative problem solving. The goal here was to present new ways to think about the creative process for when our artists return to their work.
Then came fun for the entire campus. Throughout the afternoon the Sword and the Stone team prepared two live blacksmithing sessions. Set up in the Irvine HQ courtyard, employees dropped by to hoist mighty weapons aloft, handle film props, try chain mail on for size and learn leatherworking techniques directly from master craftspeople. Various blacksmithing stations were also set up for Tony and team to demonstrate building pieces of armor (Horde and Alliance) as well as a Damascus knife.
It was tremendously exciting to see everyone interacting up close and hearing all the conversations about the creative process. Cheers to everyone @swordandthestone for coming out and helping level our teams up and for providing an educational and entertaining glimpse into your world!”
-Bob (Dean, Blizzard Academy)