Saturday, March 7, 2009

Interview with Icefrog (Dota map developer)

I got a peek at icefrog's blog..He had this Q & A thing..
Here's some of the interview..
enjoy! I bow to you icefrog for a job well done!

Q: Is IceFrog a person or a clan? Is DotA really just a one-man-code-all game? How did you come up with the name IceFrog?

A: I actually thought this was a joke the first time someone asked me, but I've been asked many times since, so I guess not. I'm just a person, 25 years old. While I am the only person that edits the map, I don't really consider it a one-man job. I have many beta testers that help out with testing and feedback. I'll save the story about how I picked the name IceFrog for another day though.

Q: What is the most annoying thing about developing DotA? 

A: Some type of bugs take up so much time to fix that it can become very tiresome. An example would be in my most recent updates (6.58-6.59) which was resolved in 6.59b. As a result of some of the new code rewrites aimed at improving performance, a few rare but critical bugs appeared. You would get things like permanently invulnerable heroes, broken abilities or fatal errors and the game would be ruined completely. Although I know that many players find it annoying to continually re-download the map, it is necessary to fix these kind of bugs asap. I consider this the most annoying part because it results in many long boring nights of debugging replays when compared with the more exciting aspect of working on improving gameplay or content. It comes with the territory though, so I don't really mind.

Q: You have stated that you are going to have Tauren Cheiftain for 6.60, is there anything you can tell us about him?

A: It is too early to say really. He is one of my favorite hero models in Warcraft III though, so I certainly hope he turns out well.

Q: Why do you remake heroes? How do you decide which ones? 

A: Remaking heroes is always a controversial thing because players often get attached them, so when those heroes change for better or worse, the players that liked them are disappointed. That being said, the primary requirement for a hero to be remade is if players don't enjoy playing with that hero. I try to balance out the fun factor while keeping as much of the core feeling of the original hero the same (when possible) in order to keep the existing fans of that hero satisfied. Often I ask non-beta testers, who have told me via email that they enjoy a certain hero, to review the new version and to make sure they are still satisfied with it.


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