Overwolf Developer Stories: “The lane chosen” — DotaPlus

Have you ever wondered — what does it take to build an Overwolf app? Whether you have already built one, or are just starting your development process, we’re here to break it down for you.

Welcome to our first Overwolf Developers Stories post!

In this series of stories, we will share the experiences of developers working on Overwolf apps and let you peek behind the scenes on how their process works. Our aim is to shed light on the app creation flow, give you a better understanding of what creating an Overwolf app involves and show you how others did it.

Meet Amit Tsur, here is the story of DotaPlus— and his:

Amit Tsur

Amit started to game at a very young age, taking his first steps with the Zelda and Mario franchises. Tsury’s first gaming memory is some maze game his brother and him used to play back in 1989 on an old IBM AT computer.

Later in life he got into World of Warcraft, led a guild and raided for over 5 years. After his WoW career was done, he fell in love with Dota 2, a game he is addicted to even today. “My military service helped me kick my WoW addiction, I needed to find a new one. Tried LoL for 6 months, then got a Dota 2 beta key, and the rest of my life since is a blur…”

His lifestyle and later professional path has led him to learn Javascript, C/C++/C# and more.
Amit used to be an employee here at Overwolf back in 2015/2016 as a developer working on our platform, but his heart was always in independent development and in-game services.

The Creation of DotaPlus

“While I was working at Overwolf, I wasn’t even a professional web programmer or had any web programming experience, but I just thought how little info you get when drafting heroes and banning enemy choices… I felt that some real-time info could change the game.”

DotaPlus in action

“When I started, there were no game events. I had to detect heroes by myself, and do it in all resolutions/aspect ratios and what not for it to work. Image processing turned out to work pretty well. Another big challenge was to make the app user-friendly even while presenting a lot of useful information.”

Can you tell us about a difficult challenge you have encountered and how you faced it?

“At some point the app changed interface, from tabular to card based, as card seemed to be more modern UX-wise.
I was getting mixed reactions about the move from table to cards, and had to decide which is better.”

Old tabular UI vs tabs UI

“At some point I added a way to pick interface type, and collected the results”

Ability to choose between ui’s

“Finally results came in strongly in favor of tabular interface and the cards interface was scratched”

The results (false= cards, true= tabular)

“A funny story about DotaPlus. 3 Years after it’s creation — Valve has released a their own DotaPlus ,a premium monthly subscription service for Dota 2 which includes some similar features such as hero progression, role-based matchmaking, statistical analysis and more”

Your Discord community is quite large, with over 500+ active users. how did you manage to build your community?

A lot of devotion, hard work, and understanding. It helped to actually come from that community. Also important to filter noise and pick battles. It’s a balance between listening and leading.

Tsury’s announcement on his discord server about going full time on the development of DotaPlus

Do you have any tips for new Overwolf developers?

“Go for a small feature set, but make it smooth as butter”

What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned while developing your app?

“If it works amazing on your PC, it doesn’t mean jack. If you think you thought about all that can go wrong, well, think again.”

So — Tsury, I want to play a word association game. I think you know how this goes :)

Tilt — Rage quit
Passion — Dota
Coding — Life
QA- God’s little helpers
Users — Satan’s little helpers
Success — comes slowly
Failure — never comes until you decide
Backlog — endless :|
Slack — Use more than Whatsapp
Discord — Use more than Slack

What’s in the future for DotaPlus?

“I’m currently working on a re-design and re-branding process under the new name DotaNext. It’s time to refresh and modernize the look-and-feel and to differentiate the brand again after Valve took it with their own DotaPlus product. The process will include new, unique features that will broaden the app usability and potential user-base”

This was the first installment of the Overwolf developer stories. Stay tuned for the next story — about the fire that lit the stone!