Martin Jangö Studios
2015

Simpathy UI

World of Warcraft is undeniably one of the most popular computer games of all time. Being a gamer born in the early 90’s, I was hooked right after its release in 2004. About three years later, I was more or less a professional player despite still being in secondary school. A big part in my liking of the game was the ability you had to customise the game’s user interface. You could even use self-made graphics which you could import using different kinds of addons. Only a few months before I made the decision to play the game on a professional level I initiated a collaboration together with an Australian player called Simpathy who shared my interest in user interface development. Unfortunately he decided to quit playing the game altogether after a while, leaving me to continue the work on my own. At that point I had to choose whether to continue playing professionally or dedicate myself to the continued development of the interface. I chose the latter.

2015

2015

Simpathy UI has had many looks over the years since its first appearance in 2008. The initial design was not mine, but I kept generally the same look for a while in honour of my co-founder, before rethinking the design altogether. This is by far my longest design project ever, and even though it has been publicly dead for many years now, I still have a copy which I make little tweaks to from time to time just for fun. This latest design is from early 2015 and was branded the sixth and honestly most likely last version of the interface.

simpathy_ui_showcase_ui.jpg
2009

2009

I really had to dig deep into old hard drives to try to yank out some live pictures from the time I played actively. The time before dropbox and cloud services. This version that was named 4.0 was by far the most popular version and was downloaded by thousands which was a great feat at the time since installing a user interface in game was kind of a tricky process back then. I’m not entirely sure when it was released, these screenshots are dated 26th of March 2009, which makes sense since I’d just decided to quit playing professionally to focus mainly on the development of the interface. I’ve tried finding old posts on the different forums and websites where I released and showcased the interface, but it seems those servers have been flushed and most of all those old ImageShack links are long gone.

simpathy-40_2.jpg
simpathy-40_1.jpg
2008

2008

This is the oldest screenshot I could find of the interface, it is dated June 14th 2008 – right in the midst of the last patch of the expansion Burning Crusade. I believe this is a screenshot from one of our routine Sunwell clears which probably doesn’t make any kind of sense to 99,9% of the people reading this. This old version really and thoroughly looks like shit today, but back then it was, at least to my 16 year old self, the bomb.

2007

2007

As I was gathering material and dusting off old screenshots to put this project here on my portfolio I felt compelled to find a first date to mark a birthday for the interface. Sadly I have no idea when I got in contact with Simpathy in the first place, nor when he drew the first line to his initial design. But when digging around in old interface and WTF (warcraft text file) folders I was able to find textures from as early as 08:24 on December 31st 2007. which in retrospect sounds like a pretty close call to where I first got involved in the project. Did I really have nothing better to do on New Year’s Eve?! What a nerd.

trace_to_2007.jpg