As many of you already know, we recently hired Openarl, a well known member of the community who developed the community tool, 'Path of Building'. Having worked with us for just over a month, we wanted to share some insight about Openarl's background and time with us.

Hi Openarl, thank you for taking part in the interview! Please tell us a little about yourself.

Hi! I’m Openarl, I’m 32 years old, and originally from Brisbane, Australia; but I’ve recently moved to Auckland to work as a gameplay programmer here at Grinding Gear Games.

The community is already familiar with you for your work on Path of Building. What made you decide to start this project?

I’ve always enjoyed theorycrafting in games but when I started playing Path of Exile I found that the existing 3rd-party tools only allowed for certain parts of a character’s build to be planned out and none offered detailed DPS calculations, so I decided to create something to fill the gaps.

Initially it just took the form of a DPS calculator that was for my use only, but I gradually expanded it to cover other aspects of build planning, and then eventually decided to release it for the community to enjoy as well.

What are the main challenges and highlights of maintaining this community tool?

Keeping up with the pace of the game’s development has always been the biggest challenge; especially since I’m also trying to work through a backlog of older game features that need to be supported, while also adding new features to the program itself to improve usability. Trying to replicate some of the more unusual mechanics has been quite challenging as well.

The periods around league launches are always special; the hype, the energy transfers, and the mad rush to implement the latest goodies. It’s always great to see community’s response once I finally get to hit the “release” button!

How did you come to work at Grinding Gear Games?

I’d considered applying for a while, so when a gameplay programmer position was advertised back in September I decided to try for it. After two interviews over VoIP I was flown over to Auckland for an in-person interview with Chris and Jonathan, then started work just two weeks later.

What would the community find most interesting about your role with us?

Contrary to what many assumed, I was hired to work only on the game, and not Path of Building, although I’m free to work on that in my spare time. My work has been quite varied so far; I’ve implemented uniques, passives, and monster skills, plus an assortment of bug fixes, tweaks, and technical improvements. And I’ve now suffered the indignity of having my character killed by a skill I helped make!

What was it like coming to the studio for the first time?

Beyond the nervousness, it was great to finally meet all my heroes, although the complete lack of capes was disappointing. They made up for it with overwhelming friendliness, though!

How has working with us so far compared with your expectations? Have there been any surprises?

What I’d heard previously about the work environment here didn’t fully prepare me for just how nice it is! Everyone has such a positive attitude towards their work, and towards each other; it’s the friendliest workplace I’ve ever been in, and I’ve had some good ones. I’ve enjoyed the work as well; it’s been really interesting learning all the systems and finding out how things are really implemented in-game compared to Path of Building.

When did you first start playing Path of Exile? What got you into the game?

I started playing at the release of the Forsaken Masters expansion in August 2014, and have played every league since, except for Torment/Bloodlines. I was introduced to the game by a friend, who still plays with me every league.

What have been the biggest highlights in your time playing Path of Exile so far?

My first solo Shaper kill back in Abyss league was definitely the biggest; I’m still working towards an uber Elder kill, but I came close in Delve with an Arc totem build. My first normal Atziri kill back in Warbands was memorable as well; it was a much bigger deal back then!

Do you have any advice for aspiring programmers?

As with anything, practice makes perfect, and with something so unforgiving of mistakes you really can’t practice too much; big projects, small projects, doesn’t matter, just code! Getting a variety of experience is good, too; it’ll broaden your thinking, and make you more employable.

What can the community look forward to in terms of things you're working on at the moment?

Game-wise, I’ve started doing some work on the next league; but nothing major at this stage. For Path of Building, there’s a few major features that are in the works, including support for Cast on Critical Strike, as well as full gem tooltips; the former is likely to be incorporated into the next major update, 1.5, which also will include some big improvements to skill configuration.
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Grinding Gear Games

PS. Arc is going to get nerfed
Last edited by BasStone on Dec 23, 2018, 6:37:48 PM
IGN: RyanStiles / DrewCarey
interesting interview
merry xmas dudes and girl dudes at ggg!
the new packs are really cool, and the interview was very interesting.

▒▒▒▒░░░░░ ++HIDEOUT IMPROVEMENT THREAD: ..../view-thread/2179528...++░░░░▒▒▒▒
Merry almost Christmas GGG
What a dream come true! Congrats on the new job!
GamingNorth on Youtube!
Headhunter drop during Legion! After 4711 hours!
Interesting read Openarl, and congrats on your getting to work with GGG - well deserved on both sides i would say.

Would also like to add a huge thanks for putting PoB on a easy accessible git repos.

Any particular reason you choose lua for PoB development?

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