We've got some interesting staff adjustments on the Hearthstone team that were announced this week!
Gallon Joins the Final Design Team
One of the Grandmaster players of Hearthstone, Edward "Gallon" Goodwin, will be joining the Hearthstone team as a member of the Final Design Team!
Gallon made the announcement on Twitter via two tweets. The first of which was the announcement that he would be retiring from competitive Hearthstone play which had some community members speculate that he was offered a casting position. It was certainly a position at Blizzard!
The Final Design Team will see Gallon joining in the middle of August. Any of his work in helping balance the game won't be seen for at least a couple of expansions with how long Blizzard works on card sets, plus, it is a team effort and not any one person's work that makes our meta.
Retiring from competitive Hearthstone and parting ways with GamersOrigin.
Today I am parting ways with GamersOrigin after many years of being on the team. From the start in 2018, when I had yet to accomplish anything of merit, GamersOrigin supported my goal of being considered one of the best in the world. They have cheered me on at countless tournaments, win or lose, and have been nothing but a pleasure to work with over these past couple years. I have had many great memories all over the world, and it would not have been possible without GO. I will never forget Yann bodyhugging me with joy in Sweden after I had told him about qualifying for WESG, or spending time with Theo in China, or having a chance to do some ridiculous photoshoots at the team headquarters in France. To everyone at GamersOrigin, thank you so much for believing in me, I will always be a lifelong fan of this team and will be spamming #GOwin whenever I get a chance to!
To Yann and Theo,
Thank you guys so much for making me feel like part of the family even though I live thousands of miles away. I will miss going to events with you more than anything, and am so glad I had a chance to work with you.
Working with GamersOrigin has been nothing but perfect. I am so proud to have been part of this team and see it grow in so many different esports, and the future for GO is bright. Thank you again for taking a chance on me, hopefully I didn't disappoint!
Starting in mid-August, I'll be working at Blizzard as a Final Designer for Hearthstone.
I love Hearthstone and it has played an enormous role in my life. I cannot wait to be a part of creating it and giving players more amazing experiences with this beautiful game!
Cora "Songbird" Georgiou Moves to Initial Design
Cora "Songbird" Georgiou has left the Battlegrounds side of things and is moving on to the initial design team! It has been almost exactly a year since Cora joined the Hearthstone team, and we're glad to see her getting to express more of that creativity. Can't wait to see what you're able to get into the game, Cora!
With @GO_Gallon joining Final Design, I'll actually be returning to Initial Design after some time on Battlegrounds. Final Design was a great start to my time on Team 5, but I realized I prefer being a little bit more creative. They didn't hate me after 4 months so I'm staying!
Initial design is IMO the most fun. Looking forward to see even more of your creativity come forward
They're both really fun for different reasons tbh. If I could have perpetually bounced back and forth I would have been a very happy camper. Initial Design is just where I think I will be the most useful. (Cora)
Congrats! Know nothing about game design here… can you explain the difference a bit?
Absolutely! Initial Design is the first stage of set development. Mechanic design, archetype design, and the original card creation. Final Design takes the cards and mechanics and balances them. Decides if they're problematic at all and fixes them until they're good to go. (Cora)
Got it, thank you! Understand your point and creativity now - looks like Initial gets more of a blank slate.
Yeah exactly. We go into an expansion with a theme and that's really it. It's a lot more free form creativity. Final is lots of playtesting and small changes. You couldn't have an expansion without both, and I really loved Final. My brain is just wired a bit better for Initial. (Cora)
You rock, Cora. Taking the high road in responding to someone who is very negative is part of what makes you so great. ps Do you think you’ll ever cast again even as a one-of for fun again?
Hard to say. I loved casting but it was quite bad for my mental health at times. I love what I'm doing now and I'd like to focus on it for the time being. Never say never, though. :) (Cora)
Iksar Talks Game Design Hiring
I mean just because Cora is a woman doesn't automatically mean the reasons are related to that, i always liked Cora, but she had some bumps while casting (like all casters, this is not just directed to her) and while a great player (more than i'll ever be) she wasn't the first thing to jump into your mind when you think about what players get picked by Blizzard, you think of the "Top 10 Legend Giga-grinders" like Chakki or Gallon, so i can see why he could have some reservations about it.
I hesitate to respond to things like this because they seem ridiculous to me, but I'll bite. We hire people into game design because they have great potential as a game designers. Chakki, Cora, and Gallon all showed fantastic potential to become great game designers and were hired as a result. Having 'reservations' about someone being hired into a field with little to no understanding of any work or effort they put into being a great fit for that field is a confusing take.