This week, after a visit from KillerPet, the sooty circle is covered with glitter, fairy dust, and horse hair! Why, you ask? We go from the relatively complex last time, to the well, we will let you decide that part, later. After the exciting background section, we will take a look at WoW PuG: Builder, My Little Companion, and then Crabby.
Killerpet, better known as Mark in real life, has degrees in Electronic Engineering and Integrated Circuit Engineering. He has lived in Ireland his entire life and currently resides there with his girlfriend, who shares his interest in WoW.
Mark slowly began creating AddOns because he thought they would be useful for his gaming.
“The first AddOns I made were simple, ‘push button, display text’ style,” he said. “There are usually two types of AddOns that I make: an AddOn that I think would be particularly useful to me or fills a particular niche that no other AddOn does.”
One he made for his girlfriend, called KaraReady, helped her have “all the information of what each spec should have to be ready for Karazhan.” She was in charge of a 10-man Karazhan guild at the time.
Before this, Mark was able to figure out the layout of the ToC file, register events, and determine the overall makeup of an AddOn by working on a “Welcome Home” AddOn, using the Ace framework, version two at the time. He also credits previous coding experience in BASIC and C for making the AddOn process easier. The only stumbling block for this gamer were SavedVariables, which he found “difficult to load without Ace” in between gaming sessions.
Besides Mark’s “helpful” AddOns, which include “RaidRoll,” “Invitehelper,” “WoW PuG: Builder” and the newly released “Power Auras: Sound/Image Packs,” he also creates “fun” AddOns to test his coding abilities. These include “Jigsaw Master,” “WoW Trumps,” “My Little Companion” and “Crabby.”
Mark has also created AddOns that “never see the light of day,” including one for a Nonogram game and another to check gear and enchantments. One secret AddOn, of which there is only one copy, has helped Mark do something other gamers cannot.
“There was one AddOn that ended up making me over 1 million gold,” he revealed. “It helps me earn about 2,000 to 4,000 gold profit for 15 minutes of work, once a day.”
Mark takes pride in his AddOns, especially WoW PuG: Builder and My Little Companion.
“I’m really happy where [WoW PuG: Builder] ended up, with draggable playerframes, and I use it whenever I am setting up a PuG for BH25,” he said. “I find it very easy to do a ‘spec run’...since there are 19 different specs.”
Mark started My Little Companion just to see if he could.
“I had no experience using spritemaps or animating an image in WoW,” he explained. “I had some experience using SetTexCoord() when I was making WoW PuG: Builder and thought I might be able to use that to display an animated sprite.”
As for the mystery of the ponies...
“The reason for using the ponies was 50% due to watching [My Little Pony] with my girlfriend and 50% from ‘My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic’ thread over on MMO-Champion,” he said. “They want Pinky and Rarity next.”
Besides coding a wide variety of AddOns, Mark cannnot wait for the next “The Walking Dead” episode or the new season of “Game of Thrones” to begin. He also spent much of this past summer becoming qualified in rope access and tracking down radio pirates as part of an internship. Mark also looks forward to reading users’ comments on his AddOns.
“Even something as simple as ‘thanks’ inspires me to make more and better AddOns.”
WoW PuG: Builder (WP:B) allows you to quickly and easily recruit PuG (Pick-up Group) members to help you clear content.
Just the right amount of options and settings to help create the perfect group.
The 'preview' window, at the bottom of the 'settings' frame, is especially nice. That way, you know exactly what will be sent to the channels of your choice, before you send it.My Little Companion (MLC) adds something that folks will find either completely frivolous or totally cute, cuddly, and downright amazing. We tend toward the latter beliefs, obviously! MLC allows you to pick and choose from a varienty of characters who will hang out with you and provide for some often-needed comedic relief.
Although not fans of 'Clippy', we lamented the removal of the MS Office Assistants, specifically Power Pup and Scribble, with MSO 2010, so MLC brings back a bit of that excitement and nostalgia. But, you say, Power Pup would tap on your screen and talk to you... well, read on!
Crabby: The Dungeon Helper (CDH) is a dependant AddOn of MLC and it adds, you guessed it, chat bubbles when Crabby is your selected on-screen companion!
Perhaps Mark will give this some thought. Add an API so that he and others can access the creatures and pipe help text, dungeon/raid isntructions, et al through them. The possibilities are endless!
As noted by Mark up in the background section, sending a quick 'bravo', 'well done', or possibly moving up to a donation, can go a long way toward keeping 'your' Authors motivated and happy. Especially for folks not used to FOSS environments, that is something that can only help you, both within the WoWverse, and in the future. We offer our thanks to him for participating and look forward to more of his great work in the future.
Should someone be searching for a person with a ton of talent, potential, and great 'people skills' to fill a techno/artistic position - seriously give Mark some consideration and send him a site PM!!
That is all for now, FireFans. Please be sure to join us next week as we discover bigger, better, smaller, worse, and more!
'Into the Fire' is brought to you by Curse. In addition to some other features, we primarily highlight not only the work, but also the people behind it. We do this by inviting some of our AddOn Author friends to bring their AddOns and tell us a bit about themselves and their creations - beckoning them into the fire, if you will. =)
Feel free to contact Nechckn, via site PM, if you have any particular Authors about whom you would like to know more, AddOns you cannot live without, or quirky questions. We will not normally reply to individuals, but will try to include the people and topics you find of interest.