Blizzplanet Interview - Pop Cap Bejeweled WoW Addon
Blizzplanet had a round of questions with T. Carl Kwoh, PopCap Games Producer, about the Bejeweled Addon for World of Warcraft. This addon is expected to be among the top downloaded and played by millions of players. World of Warcraft is an addictive game, and there is a lot of things to do. However, there is downtime here and there: Fishing, waiting for the PvP Battleground/Arena queue, waiting for the LFG tool to find you a group, leveling a tradeskill, waiting for the raid group to fill up, and flying to distant locations. What to do during those downtimes? Play the Bejeweled addon without need to alt + tab to the desktop.
Is the Bejeweled addon a Pop Cap independent project? Will the Bejeweled addon be provided only from the Pop Cap website?
T. Carl Kwoh: We’re doing this independently as a third party add-on. The official place to get the addon is on the PopCap website here: http://www.popcap.com/wow though it will also be later mirrored on major WoW UI sites. This will not be offered through any sort of official patch.
Has Pop Cap Games talked with Blizzard prior to developing the World of Warcraft addon? If so, what was their stand?
T. Carl Kwoh: We showed the mod unofficially and “off the record” to some contacts at blizzard late in development and overall the response was pretty positive. However we have not approached them officially regarding this mod.
Are there plans to create new addons based on other Pop Cap games?
T. Carl Kwoh: At this time, we don’t have any plans to do other addons based around more of our games, though we certainly thought about what else could work during development of the Bejeweled mod. If there is enough interest in the Bejeweled mod, we may consider doing stuff with some of our other games down the line.
Will there be Bejeweled matches between players? If so, how many players are supported?
T. Carl Kwoh: There are friends and guild high scores lists that players can compete on, however there are no direct multiplayer games of Bejeweled in this addon.
Does the Bejeweled addon offer achievements integrated with the World of Warcraft Achievements system for accomplishing special and unique feats? Or does the addon has its own Achievement system interface?
T. Carl Kwoh: The addon does not integrate with WoW’s in-game achievements system, but rather has its own in-addon achievement and skill system. They are integrated into the Bejeweling “Trade Skill” as one time accomplishments that will net you extra skill points on your way to 375 (and eventually 450). Additionally we have Friend and Guild high scores lists that players can compete with each other on.
Any interaction or special features with Fishing tradeskill planned?
T. Carl Kwoh: There aren’t any specific hooks (hehe) that the addon has for the Fishing tradeskill, however you can scale down the window pretty small and tuck it into the corner so its easier to play while still keeping an eye on the bobber. After late stage feedback from several sources we’ve also added in quieter versions of the sounds that you can switch to in the options so that you won’t miss the bobber sounds as easily in your gem matching frenzy.
What was your goal with investing time and manpower to develop this addon free for World of Warcraft players?
T. Carl Kwoh: The goal was to create an awesome addon that a bunch of us in the office are guaranteed to be using for life, and one that we hoped other world of warcraft players could have fun with as well. Since Michael Fromwiller (the San Jose State University student who created the original “Besharded” mod) had already started the leg work it was an easy opportunity for us to support one of our fans and an aspiring developer, get something awesome made for ourselves, and get something cool into the world for others to enjoy.
Are you planning to update the addon, if needed, each time there is a World of Warcraft patch and/or add new features?
T. Carl Kwoh: We will be keeping the addon current for any patches/updates to WoW. We are already compatible with the 3.0/WotlK API changes, so when those come out we’ll just need to update the TOC file. We definitely want to keep the addon functioning, so we’ll be keeping it up to date.
There are no new features planned at the moment, however that’s not to say there won’t be feature updates down the road. However that process will be very organic and depend on interest and time of everyone involved.
Download the Bejeweled Addon at the official Pop Cap website.
Got questions of your own about the Bejeweled addon? Submit them here to forward them to Pop Cap Games for a second round of questions.
Update: WoW Insider interviewed the original creator of the Besharded addon, who now works at Pop Cap.