Shadow Blessing (Full Interview)

Constellation: Lets start with discussing Dota 2, What was the first thing that came to mind when they said that they would be releasing this summer?

Shadow Blessing: im talking with Siraraz and working on a hero

Constellation: o nice

Shadow Blessing: alright

Shadow Blessing: well, im glad its finally getting there and going big

Shadow Blessing: more player and energy into the game – the better

Shadow Blessing: more gameplay, more suggestions (heroes, dota 2 features, etc

Shadow Blessing: more cosmetics

Shadow Blessing: im excited

Constellation: What are your impressions of its current creation community?

Shadow Blessing: but at the same time im wary of massive amout of inexperiened players (to dota or to moba or to team based games) that might sour the communiy or be turn away from it too fast

Shadow Blessing: th ecreation community?

Shadow Blessing: its great!

Shadow Blessing: the workshop is always churning out new things

Shadow Blessing: i am a sucker for looking up 2d/3d art for dota 2

Shadow Blessing: especially those who make dota 2 itms

Shadow Blessing: i give my feedback to them

Shadow Blessing: and really attempt to be a part of it all

Shadow Blessing: i wish i could create things like that

Shadow Blessing: and it helps be grow as i see why, what and how people add to the game

Shadow Blessing: helps me grow *

Constellation: In what ways do you hope the dota 2 cc evolves?

Shadow Blessing: expanding the workshop

Constellation: meaning?

Shadow Blessing: access to thorough tutorital to add more creatively-equipped people

Shadow Blessing: new ways to customize your dota 2 experience without harming gameplay

Shadow Blessing: im really hoping for an opportunity to suggest heroes though

Constellation: no items?

Shadow Blessing: imagine, a workshop feature that allows the creation and testing of new heroes

Shadow Blessing: heroes the developers and the community help shape

Shadow Blessing: actively, constantly

Shadow Blessing: items of course too

Constellation: what about things like the newly added gold system

Constellation: would your idea help develop those ideas

Shadow Blessing: i havent made many items; thats why i dint metion them haha

Shadow Blessing: gold system? havent heard of it

Shadow Blessing: though i suppose i can understand the concept

Constellation: unreliable and reliable gold

Shadow Blessing: but of curse!

Shadow Blessing: i’d love to push any good ideas

Shadow Blessing: thats not new?

Shadow Blessing: it was n dota 1

Shadow Blessing: now you can actually seeit though

Constellation: this reminds me of the interview with haasva he was saying that the community should be like a democracy instead he feels like its a dictatorship with Icefrog and valve at the head

Shadow Blessing: true democracy cant never succeed

Shadow Blessing: the usa is not a true democracy

Shadow Blessing: its a republic

Shadow Blessing: there has to be an agency that maintains the game stability

Shadow Blessing: and protects it against random and sudden changes out of pure chaos

Shadow Blessing: but i agree it needs to be more transparent

Shadow Blessing: even with all the players it has

Shadow Blessing: wouldnt say a dictatorship

Shadow Blessing: thats too radical and false

Shadow Blessing: they listen and read data from the community to further the game

Shadow Blessing: instead of broad changes that experiment on the players

Shadow Blessing: over long periods of time

Shadow Blessing: just because they believe they control the success of the game

Shadow Blessing: the players do

Shadow Blessing: its why dota exists

Shadow Blessing: Blizzard is the opposite

Shadow Blessing: Ea is to

Shadow Blessing: they are dictatorship

Shadow Blessing: no community input

Shadow Blessing: or too few

Shadow Blessing: they implement changes as big patches like congress passes a bill

Shadow Blessing: its a huge thing with all kinds of things

Shadow Blessing: good and bad

Shadow Blessing: all about immediate fixes and happiness

Shadow Blessing: rather than long term goals and elements that are purely positive but small

Constellation: and who is this valve?

Constellation: you went on to talk about blizzard and ea and then it seems like you went backt to valve i was confused

Shadow Blessing: from when i first mentioned Blizzard/EA to now I was still talking about them. the last sentence contrasts them to Valve

Shadow Blessing: Blizz/EA = inefficiency of congress with big sweeping changes and little direct community input aim to deliver short term contentment.

Shadow Blessing: Valve = Long term goals that are pushed through small tweaks that can only do good

Shadow Blessing: like with the reporting system

Shadow Blessing: we didnt see multiple versions of behavior control systems. instead we saw small changes to the current system that were statistically successful

Constellation: yea but is it propaganda? recently both lol and valve has come out with info saying they are the most played game.

Constellation: or is my facts wrong might be wrong

Shadow Blessing: i dont put uch capital into remors or media agenda’s

Shadow Blessing: it was a fault of a small reporting firm

Shadow Blessing: they published a document that said Dota had more players based on x data

Shadow Blessing: ultimately, they retracted that data and article

Shadow Blessing: Valve didn’t publish anything

Shadow Blessing: nor do they advertise dota

Shadow Blessing: have you ever seen a dota ad?

Shadow Blessing: on any website?

Constellation: no

Shadow Blessing: have you seen LoL?

Constellation: i remember blizzard has wow ads alot

Constellation: on television

Shadow Blessing: yeah

Shadow Blessing: because they are rich

Shadow Blessing: and want players

Shadow Blessing: for money

Shadow Blessing: valve doesnt do big shenanigans like that

Shadow Blessing: ive seen LoL and HoN ads online

Shadow Blessing: anyways

Shadow Blessing: this topic is away from the original point

Shadow Blessing: isnt it?

Constellation: no its ok alot of time i let the interview go its own course

Constellation: ill steer it back

Constellation: well its kinda forced now

Constellation: aside from dota 2 can you tell me about your personal gaming history?

Shadow Blessing: haha its okay, whatever you want 🙂

Constellation: (still working on some of my transitions)

Shadow Blessing: ive played dota 1 since before allstars and i thoroughly enjoy moba type games because of the variety of experiences you get

Shadow Blessing: teamwork, rpg, etc

Constellation: well aos didnt have the rpg feel to it

Shadow Blessing: its based on RPGS but short duration

Shadow Blessing: rather than keeping your character until the end

Shadow Blessing: you get a new one every game

Shadow Blessing: and no two experiences are the same

Shadow Blessing: RPG = role playing game

Constellation: o i was thinking like you level up your character

Constellation: and have spells

Shadow Blessing: in dota, you play a role for your team and you play a role in the game

Constellation: i dont remember spells in aos

Shadow Blessing: dota you level and have items

Constellation: yea in dota i meant aeon of strife

Constellation: from starcraft 1

Shadow Blessing: in essence, dota is a complete RPG experience in under an hour + PVP

Shadow Blessing: ah, you’re right but im talking about mobas and the modern moba specifically

Constellation: ic yea your right then

Shadow Blessing: you may have had 1 kind of ability in AoS

Shadow Blessing: even if it was pasive

Constellation: true depended on the char being played

Constellation: i guess but it wasn

Constellation: t

Constellation: developed like dota and its predecessors

Constellation: dredocessors

Constellation: predocessors

Shadow Blessing: everything has to start somewhere

Shadow Blessing: predecessor?

Constellation: yea

Shadow Blessing: you had it right

Shadow Blessing: haha

Constellation: o

Constellation: can you tell me alittle more about your gaming history?

Shadow Blessing: in what way?

Shadow Blessing: as in what games?

Constellation: o like other games you have played besides dota, clans you’ve been apart of stuff like t hat other communities?

Shadow Blessing: Diablo and Torchlight fall into the action/adventure genre i love

Shadow Blessing: the later has a workshop community

Shadow Blessing: I enjoy multiplayer games

Shadow Blessing: playing with people anbd friends bring a whole new dimension

Constellation: so no legend of legaia or zelda for you?

Shadow Blessing: it must be said, i wish i was a game designer/developer

Shadow Blessing: i like zelda too

Shadow Blessing: its adventure

Shadow Blessing: rpg

Shadow Blessing: but its single player

Shadow Blessing: single player is best for story immersion

Shadow Blessing: and not all games are best for multiplayer

Constellation: story immersion is good if they did what starcraft 1 modders do with having each player having to take part in solving a puzzle? I think theres a map on warc3 like that also

Shadow Blessing: well

Shadow Blessing: there are many ways to add story

Shadow Blessing: many good ways to tell a good story

Shadow Blessing: but singleplayer definitely has the advantage

Shadow Blessing: you dont have to anticipate other players’ actions

Shadow Blessing: or compete for something in gameplay

Shadow Blessing: you try to keep up

Shadow Blessing: it goes at your ace

Shadow Blessing: pace*

Shadow Blessing: and you know its only you

Shadow Blessing: it feels more like you’re living this other life

Shadow Blessing: just my opinion

Constellation: kinda how im going through mass effect… I play it like once a week mainly because well I like sleep and I have alot of other restraints i place on my self: blog, drawing, hero creation, writing, reading and a whole lot of sleeping XD

Constellation: o yea interviews

Constellation: anyway

Constellation: talking about stories got me wondering whats the story behind your pd tag “shadow blessing”?

Constellation: sounds like it make a good book title

12:16 AM – Shadow Blessing: exactly

12:16 AM – Shadow Blessing: when i played mass effect, i had to focus on it

12:16 AM – Shadow Blessing: and play it through in a relatively short amount of time

12:16 AM – Shadow Blessing: so i dont love immersion

12:17 AM – Shadow Blessing: haha

12:17 AM – Shadow Blessing: well

12:17 AM – Shadow Blessing: im an a writer at heart

12:17 AM – Shadow Blessing: i used to write poems all the time

12:18 AM – Shadow Blessing: in my childhood, i crafted a title i believe best symbolized who i was and what i was becoming

12:18 AM – Shadow Blessing: Shadow’s Blessing

12:18 AM – Constellation: i see alot of writers like to add shadow to their persona lol ill tell you my email address afterwards

12:18 AM – Shadow Blessing: a shadow is often negative thing, even a curse sometimes but it can be a blessing. despite my shortcomings i was proud to be me

12:19 AM – Shadow Blessing: haha sure thing

12:19 AM – Constellation: continue my bad

12:21 AM – Shadow Blessing: that sums it up really

12:22 AM – Shadow Blessing: i sought to use my sorrow and shadow to empower myslf

12:22 AM – Shadow Blessing: rather than be burdened byit

12:22 AM – Shadow Blessing: curses and blessings

12:22 AM – Shadow Blessing: story of my life

Shadow Blessing: that is my mind*

Constellation: which reminds me earlier you said that you wanted to be a developer? are you going to school for that or is creating just a hobby?

Shadow Blessing: right now, its a hobby

Shadow Blessing: but one i want to one day turn into a career

Shadow Blessing: either as a writer or a developer or both

Constellation: many do both but I think when crunch t ime comes you put writing on hold

Constellation: i dont know just going by what ive heard

Constellation: im an aspiring designer myself so i understand the feeling

Shadow Blessing: ah cool, well cheers to us haha

Constellation: yea

Constellation: Suggesting is fun and all but have you ever considered any other parts of the dota scene such as the proscene, shoutcasting or video making? In other words, Dota has many other areas in its world a player could be a part of, what brought you to the suggestions forum?

Shadow Blessing: i have, but im am uncertain of how to engage those fields

Shadow Blessing: its much less overtly creative

Constellation: What do you think of the shaper’s challenge?

Shadow Blessing: i think the Shaper’s challege is great and a licing challenege

Shadow Blessing: living challenge*

Shadow Blessing: keeps pushing paradigms and encourages thought and friendly competition all for the sake of sharing and creative exploration

Shadow Blessing: ingenious really

Constellation: have you ever been a part of it?

Shadow Blessing: yeah

Shadow Blessing: the first one i think?

Shadow Blessing: or the seocnd

Shadow Blessing: one of the first ones

Constellation: can you tell me alittle about your entry and the though process you had while creating it?

Constellation: thought*

Shadow Blessing: unfortunately, i take my time to fully develop ideas so the week or so the challenges are needed to be submitted wasn’t enough

Shadow Blessing: the entry was a concept i already had

Shadow Blessing: i just copy and pasted really

Shadow Blessing: BUT

Shadow Blessing: the challenge helped me develop it more

Shadow Blessing: bu giving me another perpective to look at the hero from

Shadow Blessing: and ultimately, the concept is better for it

Shadow Blessing: so im glad i tried

Shadow Blessing: i was expected to win

Shadow Blessing: but didnt garner the points

Shadow Blessing: the Hero was called Exanimuc, the Prime armour

Constellation: o i remember seeing that hero as a thread

Shadow Blessing: it was a collaboration with a pre-professional concept artist. he drew it, i concepualized that entire hero with his feedback

Shadow Blessing: from story to animation mechanics to the abilities

Shadow Blessing: cool hero

Shadow Blessing: i didnt like it at first but it grew on me and is one of the few heroes i have actually brought to near, what i call, completion

Shadow Blessing: haha

Constellation: what are lessons you’ve learned that you would pass on to other players?

Constellation: creation wise

Constellation: like with hero creating

Shadow Blessing: i could write an entire thread on good design and advice

Shadow Blessing: i always try to help genuine and promising designers grow

Constellation: dejavu

Shadow Blessing: just as i hope to gro and learn

Shadow Blessing: lol

Shadow Blessing: seldom do people stop and take time to share with you thwir thoughts and help you – without regard to their personal gain

Shadow Blessing: i like to believe im a nice guy

Shadow Blessing: and will take that time to help someone

Shadow Blessing: my best advise would be relax and look at all the pieces of your concept from a many angles as possible

Shadow Blessing: dont get attached to a single idea or mechanic or whatver

Shadow Blessing: let he whole thing be free

Shadow Blessing: to change/grow – wheter subtlely or wildly

Shadow Blessing: whether that be subtlely or wildly*

Shadow Blessing: too many times a pomising design is harmed or ruined but anchors the designers place upon their on ideas

Shadow Blessing: like theme

Shadow Blessing: i hate theme

Shadow Blessing: its important to be somewhat asthetic logical

Shadow Blessing: but you dont need to draw all your inspiration or shape design around a single cosmetic or lore idea

Shadow Blessing: it has be able to stand on its own as a gameplay concept

Shadow Blessing: before you start trying to match ta heme

Shadow Blessing: a theme*

Constellation: yea someone else told me something similar that theme should be the last thing you put in

Shadow Blessing: very last

Shadow Blessing: also, dont aim to “finsih” your idea. acknowledge that perfection is impossible

Shadow Blessing: and a flexible model or concept is the best one

Shadow Blessing: one that has several points each with their own “sphere of possibiliies”

Shadow Blessing: my design philosophy is spherical fluidity

Shadow Blessing: you know how a circle is made up of infinite point equidistant from a center?

Shadow Blessing: this is my philosophy

Shadow Blessing: rather than a straight line

Shadow Blessing: or even a slightly curve done

Constellation: I think it was spiritbaker that said that their are two types of heroes. The synergistic and the flashy. Flashy stems on interesting game play mechanics or a new flashy unique skill that everything else hinges on and the other relies on synergy. Do you believe this about hero creation?

Shadow Blessing: rather than nuke-stun-damage; mine would be active-single target/multitarget/aoe/self cast point-instant/delay-damage mechanic (burst/dot/etc)-debuff/buff/nothing-etcetcetc

Shadow Blessing: i believe their are infinite types of well designed heroes

Shadow Blessing: you must follow good design principle foremostly

Shadow Blessing: synergy is a design principle

Shadow Blessing: i dont believe any hero in dota is a “flashy” hero

Shadow Blessing: even one like invoker

Shadow Blessing: its complication confounds his power

Shadow Blessing: like mechanics balance his power by relying on player skill

Shadow Blessing: and preparation

Shadow Blessing: which in turn gives im a unique feel and story that you feel when you play him

Constellation: well his words wasn’t flashy it was more it has something unique about them

Shadow Blessing: just one brief example of many

Shadow Blessing: i see

Shadow Blessing: perhaps it can be summed up simply

Shadow Blessing: or perhaps not

Shadow Blessing: i’d rather believe in endless possiblities

Shadow Blessing: works much better if you’re a designer

Shadow Blessing: frees you up from trying to make a certain “kind” of herp

Shadow Blessing: hero

Constellation: herpderp?

Constellation: jking

Constellation: had to put that in

Constellation: lets go back to dota 2 for a second what model would you change if you could change one?

Constellation: and decide the design

Shadow Blessing: lol

Shadow Blessing: i have to ask you to be more elaborate

Shadow Blessing: you mean, select a hero and give it a new model for any reason ?

Constellation: select any hero model and change how it looks aesthetically

Constellation: change it comepletely no hats involved

Shadow Blessing: hm

Shadow Blessing: so this implies i dislike a hero’s model and have a better idea for it?

Constellation: yea

Shadow Blessing: well, ive always wanted to make chen more… inspired

Shadow Blessing: i think he looks aweful is dota 1 and dota 2

Shadow Blessing: in*

Shadow Blessing: always thought he should be a lion haha

Shadow Blessing: like from narnia

Shadow Blessing: not mounted or jsut a man

Shadow Blessing: but the beast itself

Shadow Blessing: leading other beasts

Shadow Blessing: and warlock’s face looks funny hah

Shadow Blessing: truth be told, i may be able to remake all the heroes look “better” in my own way

Shadow Blessing: its just how i think

Shadow Blessing: like ive sai

Shadow Blessing: always reiterating and creating

Constellation: you said your a writer? can you tell me alittle bit about your writing? what genre you write in? how long you’ve been doing it?  basic history

Constellation: yo’re

Constellation: doh

Constellation: you’re

Constellation: if you’re comfortable sharing it

Shadow Blessing: yup

Shadow Blessing: its very unpredicatable

Shadow Blessing: and chaotic

Shadow Blessing: i get storms of ideas

Shadow Blessing: write them down

Shadow Blessing: and MAYBe get to them

Shadow Blessing: i have hundreds of ideas scattered about on paper, my phone and random resturante napkins

Shadow Blessing: i wake up at night, sometimes multiple imes to write own idea i desperately do not want to forget

Shadow Blessing: and i let the ideas swim together

Shadow Blessing: many of them find uses when i hve project and they become relevant

Shadow Blessing: or start writing something different

Shadow Blessing: its quite magical sometimes

Constellation: you’re of your storms seem like a extreme version of most people i know but I hear it gets worse the more you write

Shadow Blessing: almost like someone is whispering into my ear what i should write

Shadow Blessing: it does

Constellation: can you tell me about the first story you wrote?

Shadow Blessing: im sad i only have 2 hands and 2 eyes t fully embrace my ideas

Shadow Blessing: hm

Shadow Blessing: well

Shadow Blessing: thats hard to say

Shadow Blessing: which was the FIRST

Shadow Blessing: probably some 1st grade wrting assignment

Constellation: everyone does that i mean on your own

Shadow Blessing: though one of the first peoms i wrote was caled “Shadow’s Blessing”

Shadow Blessing: im not sure i can find it in a reasonable amount of time right now

Shadow Blessing: oh, and i like to memorize peotry too haha

Constellation: o really I heard tahts a good trait to have also

Constellation: you seem to be taking your writing seriously

Shadow Blessing: helps as a bio major haha

Shadow Blessing: at least thats what i am for now

Constellation: I see

Shadow Blessing: i think the peom “Shadow’s Blessing” went like this: “Upon the edges of infinity likes the abyss of oblivion, where the shadows of memories are ruled by darkness. Upon the ruins of time, a lone boy dances, awaiting the echoes of his requiem to return to him. He waits alone, wearing unseen masks and doesn’t even know he’s wearing them….” i i dont recall the rest at this time nor do i think its correct haha

Constellation: i see

Shadow Blessing: lies the abyss*

Constellation: whats lies the abyss about?

Constellation: o

Constellation: its in the poem

Constellation: last question

Constellation: what type of books do you read?

Constellation: and which were your favorites?

Shadow Blessing: books of peotry

Shadow Blessing: like William Butler Yeats (he’s my favorite poet)

Shadow Blessing: books of great writers (like Ernest Hemmingway; basically made a hero based on him)

Shadow Blessing: and epic fiction too

Shadow Blessing: though im just starting to get into that

Shadow Blessing: like a Song of Fire and Ice

Constellation: yea epic fantasy is the “best”

Constellation: not to fond of that series though

Shadow Blessing: a bit of everything in there

Shadow Blessing: i enjoy realism

Shadow Blessing: so the fantasy I enjoy must be executed with a certain degree of realism

Shadow Blessing: as ironic as that sounds

Constellation: o i didnt get far i got turned off by how the chapters headings are shown

Constellation: ill have to try and read through it

Constellation: it just gets confusing if your readings without a bookmark

Shadow Blessing: its rather believable and it draws upon real human history to craft its drama and story

Shadow Blessing: not that it makes it historical

Shadow Blessing: but rather, it really has a firm grasp on humanity’s tendencies and nature

Shadow Blessing: not overly optimistic

Shadow Blessing: with happy endings

Shadow Blessing: i hate happy endings

Shadow Blessing: they are not real

Shadow Blessing: not by thmselves

Shadow Blessing: every real story is happy and sad, in equal parts

Constellation: that is true

Constellation: Well its been alot of questions, lets end with a thank you for letting me interview you

Shadow Blessing: thank you for your time to