Hello LARPers, lovers of cosplay, renaissance festival attendees, magical wizards, and fellow lovers of magic! My name is Steve, and I am a 3rd year PhD student in Mechanical Engineering, but more importantly, one of the co-founders of Magic Wizard Staff! My buddy Brian (another co-founder of MWS) and I were joking around one day, and he showed me the wizard staff ‘prop’ that he made to take Halloween in his neighborhood to the next level… My first reaction was laughter (at both how awesome and ridiculous the staff was), but my second reaction was pure excitement at the potential his idea had! We talked about the design of his wizard staff, along with the features it contained within, and I HAD to see it in person. The thing was sweet! It could extinguish fire as fast as it could create it, launch projectiles with impressive accuracy, and create a haze of smoke that with the right lighting, was a true sight to behold. As an engineer, how could I not be excited about such awesomeness?!
After I had time to look into the details of the design, I realized that there was a significant amount of untapped potential. Being an expert in mechanical design, my engineering brain went immediately to – how to we package as much awesomeness as possible into a single Magic Wizard Staff? I went home that night and started cooking up drawings of potential staff designs, put together a detailed CAD model, and began thinking about how to best develop prototypes to show people what we were working on. The next day when I showed Brian all of my work and asked him his thoughts, he stopped me and brought up a very critical point… What’s cool to Brian and I may not be what people want in THEIR Magic Wizard Staff. This prompted an extensive conversation between Brian and I about how to deliver to the world the greatest and most magical wizard staffs ever known to mankind. We decided the first step was to get feedback from people that might want a Magic Wizard Staff themselves – LARPers, cosplay lovers, and renaissance festival attendees (not that I don’t think everyone should want one, but that was a good ‘first’ place to look) – to determine what features should be in the staff along with other factors are important in designing a Magic Wizard Staff that Brian and I may not have thought of.
After countless interviews, phone calls, email conversations with potential staff end users, Brian and I determined the six base features that would blow peoples’ minds if embodied in a Magic Wizard Staff: fog, smoke rings, force rings, illumination, lightning, and flame. We immediately got to work on research and development to be able to produce prototypes that would work as a MVP (minimum viable product – check out the Lean Start Up by Eric Ries!) to generate feedback from people. Once we had a good idea of exactly what would go into how many staffs, I got to work on the engineering design component of the staffs.
Once the plan was in place, we brought in Erik (the Supreme Director of Marketing Operations for MWS) from Las Vegas and scheduled a two day ‘hackathon’ to build the prototypes… Now that we have the finished prototypes (and have caught up on sleep!), we want – no we NEED – your feedback to make sure we consider all of the factors that play into designing and developing the world’s greatest Magic Wizard Staff. Even though I’m sure that everyone agrees that the Magic Wizard Staff prototypes that we have developed are cool, everyone wants something a bit different. I can’t express enough the importance of staying closely engaged with the end users throughout the entirety of the design process… I’ve seen engineers fail over and over again in creating a product because they thought they knew what people wanted!
Our hope is that you’re able to help us meet our goal of finalizing the design, features, aesthetics, form factor, number of different available staffs, and other critical components of the Magic Wizard Staff design by giving us feedback here at magicwizardstaff.com so that we can then focus on launching a crowd funding campaign to fund actually mass manufacturing the Magic Wizard Staff (or staffs… depending on the so important feedback from YOU!) and get it (or them…) in the hands of those that will appreciate the embodiment of wizardly powers in a Magic Wizard Staff! If you sign up on the magicwizardstaff.com website, we will keep you close in the design loop so that we can use your feedback to make sure to consider all of the important factors that go into designing a Magic Wizard Staff that actually does wizard shit – seriously Google ‘wizard staff’… You won’t find anything that actually does an wizard shit – just a bunch of fancy looking sticks. As an engineer and firm believer in the value of working directly with end users in new product development, work with us and let’s develop something the world has never seen before… A Magic Wizard Staff that actually does wizard shit!
Before I get back to doing research on burrowing robots (not as fun as developing wizard staffs!), I’d like to leave you all with this to think about. The truth in this is central to all of us at Magic Wizard Staff. OK, I’m done now. Sign up to get involved in the engineering design process for MWS, so we can get these staffs manufactured and into the hands of Magic Wizard Staff lovers everywhere!!!
Chief Engineering Wizard
Magic Wizard Staff