An Overwatch Hero Generator for Random Choosing

By |2018-08-06T18:14:53+00:00August 6th, 2018|Categories: Interviews|

Adapting your strategy to suit your current situation can indeed help you seal the victory. When the opponent contracts, you need to expand; and when the opponent expands, you need to contract. Rarely do you see players succeed when they stubbornly fight fire with fire. Besides, such an approach lacks subtlety and thought. This sentiment certainly rings true in games such as Overwatch, where intricate strategies need to be constantly reworked and executed with flawless proficiency. You need the flexibility to adapt to the game’s rising challenges and change your approach accordingly. Otherwise, you’re finished!

Here’s where the nifty Overwatch Hero Generator comes in. If you’re wondering what it does, all you need to do is look at the name as it does exactly what it suggests. While the seeds for this app came to “Yernemm” years ago, its usefulness sure is as relevant today as it was back then. We talked to him recently and picked his brain about his nifty little creation. Here’s a quick peek inside the mind of the Random Hero Generator’s developer.

Overwatch Hero Generator 2

(1) Tell us about yourself (your name/nickname, hometown, age, occupation, favorite games that you play and what platform(s) you play)?

I prefer to keep my own details private. I tend to just use the name “Yernemm” online. I live in England and I’m a student. Ever since around launch, Overwatch has remained as my favorite game. I play other games every now and then but Overwatch has definitely been my favorite. I mainly play on PC but I also like playing on the Nintendo Switch from time to time, especially Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey. I also enjoy spending time on Discord, mainly on the r/BrigitteMains server.

(2) Share with us how it feels to be the creator of something big for this game?

I wouldn’t say I made anything that big. A lot of people have downloaded the Random Hero Generator app and I’m honestly just surprised more than anything. I wasn’t expecting that many people to find this small project useful but I’m glad they did. In a way, it motivates me to continue working on it and make other projects too. It shows that through my apps and programs, I’m able to help others have fun with the game which is nice.

(3) What inspired you to create an app specifically for this game? When did it cross your mind to create your app?

This idea first came up almost two years ago by now I think. Back when Overwatch first came out it used to have a “weekly brawl” system before the arcade feature was added. This system would add a fun and usually silly mode to the game and it would be switched out each week. One of these modes was mystery heroes which I personally found to be one of the best ways to learn how to play different heroes. This mode forces you to play random heroes so you have to learn and adapt after each respawn. Today, this mode is typically available all the time in the Overwatch arcade but back then, we would have to wait weeks in order to play it. And that’s where the idea originated from what if I made a program that let you choose a random hero so you could essentially play something similar to the mystery heroes brawl at any time? At first, this started off as a simple web page that I made using HTML, JavaScript and a bit of CSS. I decided to host my website and keep that project on it.

Eventually, I started making more projects and the website started growing. I promoted my Random Hero Generator on Reddit and various other sites until eventually, it would start getting a small amount of consistent traffic each day. A couple of months passed and I was thinking of making an Android app. It seemed complicated so I stayed away from it for a while. Eventually, I got a private message on Reddit from someone who used my Hero Generator website. The user told me that they liked my page and asked if I would ever consider making it into a mobile app. The site was designed for desktop and it didn’t look great on mobile since I’m not that good with web design. This message motivated me to actually go ahead and make the app. It was the first mobile app I have ever made and I ended up having to use tools and programming languages that I really wasn’t familiar with. Making something completely new was a fun learning experience and that’s how I got to the point of making an Android app.

(4) Do you work independently or in a team? If in a team, how big is it?

With all of my programming projects, I work independently. I would be interested in maybe work in a team on something bigger one day but I like the freedom that I get from working alone. Besides, it’s all mainly a hobby so I don’t really need a team.

(5) From the developer’s (and gamer’s) perspective, how do you think the app affects the overall experience of the game?

It might help some people choosing heroes quicker. Although the mystery heroes mode does that for you, it chooses from all heroes and it locks you in. This app can let you have a similar experience to that mode but it also lets you choose from different categories of heroes and you can always re-roll if you’re unhappy with the result.

(6) Is there any margin of error when it comes to the app’s performance and provided information?

The app lets you generate a hero to counter another hero. Now, this can have some error in it. When I choose the hero counters, I usually ask around in the community and use my own judgment to determine them. However, as balance changes and updates arrive, hero counters may change and the app won’t always keep up with this. So although most of the information there should be more or less correct, the hero counters might be more subjective.

(7) When it comes to designing the user experience/UX of the app, what motivated you or what influences did you have?

I didn’t really have any specific inspirations. The main things I wanted the app to be design-wise were that it should be simple to use, it should let you generate a hero quickly, the hero should always be visible on screen to minimize scrolling, and it should more or less follow a similar theme to Overwatch. I actually tried to recreate the buttons from the web version of the tool so that the app felt like a more optimized version of that tool.

(8) What programming language or tool did you use to create this app? Do you have any favorite PLs or tools in particular?

The Hero Generator for Overwatch was made with Android Studio which uses Java for the code and XML for the layout. I don’t typically use this but it seemed to be simpler than other alternatives. It doesn’t allow for cross-platform mobile development but I never planned on releasing on any platform other than Android so I didn’t mind. The original web version was written in JavaScript which is actually my favorite programming language right now.

(9) What were your biggest challenges for this project? How did you overcome them?

I guess the main challenge was actually learning to use Android Studio. I have already made a browser version of this beforehand so it was mainly a case of learning Java, XML, and certain techniques for mobile app development. This has been the first mobile app that I have ever made so it was definitely a new experience for me. Knowing other programming languages beforehand typically makes it easier to learn a new one though so it wasn’t that bad. I followed a couple YouTube tutorials and online guides until I got some early prototypes working.

(10) Are you expecting the game’s expansions to change your app’s dynamics and performance? Is it something that you’ve already prepared to tackle?

As new heroes are added to Overwatch, I have to update the app with new information about the heroes. For example, Wrecking Ball was recently revealed as a new hero. It may even be released to live by the time this gets published. I have to typically wait a couple weeks to gather the necessary information for hero counters as well as the image assets before I can release an update featuring the new hero so that’s something I will be working on very soon. Overwatch has also recently merged the “Defense” and “Offense” roles into a single “Damage” role so I’m gonna have to update the app to reflect these changes as well. Either way, anything that adds a new hero, drastically changes how a hero is played or changes how some heroes are categorized will require me to make changes to the app.

(11) Are there any exciting new developments for your app that you would care to share?

I’m not currently working on adding any features to this app at the moment. I am of course preparing to add Wrecking Ball with all of the counter and role information to it. I am also going to be adding the new “Damage” role to the app as well. These updates are mainly just for maintaining the app and making sure that it is up to date. I was considering adding a team composition generation option but I don’t think it’s very useful and I’m not sure if there is any demand for it. The web version has this feature so I guess if people want it then I may consider working on that. However, I am mainly working on other projects right now, namely OWET (OverWatch Extract Toolkit) and my Discord bot. Most of my projects can be found on my website.

(12) Do you plan to create more apps like these for other games in the future?

That depends on how interested I am in the game. It wouldn’t be that difficult to make a similar app for another game, as long as that game also has a selection of playable characters to choose from. However, I mainly make most of my projects primarily for myself. If I know that it’s something I might find useful personally, then there’s a chance that other people might find it useful too. However, I am willing to make something if there is demand for it so I may end up making something similar for other games in the future.

(13) Could you share a few quick tips to new players of the game?

  • Experiment with different heroes. There’s 28 of them in the game and more will be added in the future. If you’re restricting yourself to just a couple of them or maybe even one then you might be missing out on finding a hero that you’re really good at. Go play some mystery heroes, that helps with trying different heroes out.
  • Make sure that you’re aware of how to play against the enemy heroes. Counter-picking heroes (switching to a hero that is strong against a certain enemy composition) will help you to win you more games. From my experience, the best way to learn how to counter a hero is to play that hero. Pay attention to which enemy strategies give you a difficult time when playing that hero and then try these strategies out yourself to counter an enemy player who is using that hero.
  • Remember about the objective
  • Try to have fun. Overwatch is a great game but sometimes people just get angry when playing it so it’s important to remember that you should just have fun.

(14) Any advice you’d like to share to aspiring game app or web developers?

Just go for it. It may look like starting a project is extremely hard or near impossible, especially if you don’t have much experience with programming. It may be challenging and you may not understand everything at first but that’s fine. Start small, watch some tutorials, follow some simple guides and make some simple programs. As you learn more, you can slowly begin to make more complex programs until eventually, you will be able to make what you wanted (within reason). The best way to learn programming is to actually go ahead and start programming. You will learn through experience faster than by reading a programming book. Personally, I would recommend JavaScript for people who wish to learn programming as it’s relatively simple for beginners but it’s also widely used, especially in web development. But at the end of the day, the language you choose doesn’t matter. As long as it’s something you are comfortable with then you should be fine. Once you learn one language, then learning new ones becomes easier as many languages share similar syntax and concepts.

Wrap-Up

Don’t forget to try out the Random Hero Generator app for Overwatch by Yernemm.

We publish exciting developer stories like these on our blog. We also feature updates and releases on the latest games, and we review some of the most obscure gaming gadgets.

For more Interviews, check this out: Fly High the Royale Way with a Fornite Stats App

One Comment

  1. Yernemm August 8, 2018 at 10:52 am - Reply

    Thanks for having me, guys! Don’t forget to check out my guy ‘adeiuscw’ on Steam for an epic time!

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