Hearthstone Design Inspiration

For those of you who don’t know, Blizzard (the company that created Hearthstone, World of Warcraft, Heroes of the Storm, StarCraft, Diablo, Overwatch…) is like the Apple of game design. Their attention to detail is insanely meticulous. When someone says their product was built with love, Blizzard is the bar.

Hearthstone is filled with all sorts of Easter eggs, micro interactions and tiny little details. While most apps and games try to minimize long load times, Hearthstone celebrates it.

Hearthstone loading 2

Hearthstone’s match making load screen.

They could have slapped in a boring screen with a load bar, but they had some fun with it. I think there’s a lesson to be learned in these little details.

Recently, I saw a cool animation on Dribbble by Kyle Decker that was inspired by Hearthstone. To bring in these kinds of details to a product, a culture has to be built around going the extra mile. It’s pretty crazy that he was able to do this all with code.

Dat motion blurrrrrr tho.

As I work on Input, I’m trying to balance between building the essentials versus adding the special touches that add a wow factor. Here’s an example of a small animation tied to a micro-interaction when a user posts. Notice the tiny little animation in the button that resembles our logo. The animation prevents the user from double clicking and communicates that a post is being sent.

Button animation during posting.

I know these kinds of things won’t help us find product market fit… but there’s just something about exercising your love for details and the small things. I’m tickled by cool hover states, minimal transitions and micro-interactions. The best designs are often unnoticed… but on the other hand, I think there are times where users will welcome personality and a little extra somethin’ somethin’.

By the way, I made a Hearthstone video with my buddy Justin Ho. It’s a quick pilot to see if: a) it’s something that he’s interested in doing long term, and b) it’s something that I have time to edit. If you didn’t know, Justin (aka Lyrondak) was ranked #11 in the world last season. I actually believe he could be #1 in the world if he really tried.

The Greedy McGreeds original Hearthstone Deck.

This was our first attempt, so the audio and lighting is a little janky. Creating these videos is just a good excuse to fly drones and play crazy troll decks in Hearthstone.

Anyway, I’m not sure if this is something that we’re going to commit to yet… but I’m pretty determined to work on a video project at some point. I’m just waiting for the right opportunity. You’ll see some more experimental YouTube content soon.

Dinner at Great China


Last night, a group of coworkers and friends got together for some fine dining at Great China, located in Berkeley. The food was pretty amazing, and we shared hilarious stories of times when we got drunk in the past.


This restaurant was suggested by Rudy and Laney, and as far as I’m concerned, it’s solid. The quality of each dish was consistently high, and the overall price was reasonable (though a little on the higher side). It cost us roughly $50 per person, but there was a tremendous amount of food, and the quality was impressive. And that’s what this place is all about, the food. Nothing fancy—no TV screens, no fancy furniture or ambience—just good asian food.


It’s nice to see everyone try all the dishes. There’s an open-mindedness about trying new experiences here, and I like that. Everyone tried everything. Bravo!


The first dish was called a double skin noodle (I think). It’s a transparent noodle mixed together in front of you. The noodles were delicious—similar to a very thin asian crepe that you get at dim sum.


Next up, peaking duck wraps. The duck was good—solid and not too fatty. It’s something that I’ve had many times in my life, and this was on the good end of the spectrum.


Here’s some of the sauce. Gotta go light on it—a touch too much can be overpowering. The key to the wrap is to not put too much of anything. Focus more on the balance of the wrap, versus quantity.


Northern style break rolls served with crab meat (pictured below).


This was Rudy’s favorite dish. For me, I liked it, but it wasn’t the star of the evening.


This was the star. Clams in a sauce sauce/oil sauce. The quality of the clams was close to a texture you’d find in a scallop. I never had clams that had an almost flakey texture, and the sauce was phenomenal. This sauce is almost identical to the one my mom makes… except this was a little more on the oily side. Nonetheless, this dish stood out in my mind, and it’s worth writing home about. If you go here, I would highly recommend the clams.

And for Justin, he ended up ordering another dish of clams for himself because he liked it so much.


Veggies were good. I think this was some kind of squash.


Filleted fish with a thick sauce.


Fried shrimp with walnuts. My god, this was good too. The size of the shrimp were perfect, and each shrimp was glazed flawlessly.


Pork on pork on pork. Yeh, this was the heaviest dish of the night. It’s a pro belly on top of diced pork. Normally, it’s supposed to be juicy and flavorful, but I think tonight it was a little on the dry side, and way too oily. It’s something that’s going to be way too rich for most people. I could see how this would be delicious with some rice if it were a little less dry.


So there you have it. Great China—a memorable dinner with some dishes that are definitely worth trying if you’re in town.


Oh by the way, we went and got some ice cream afterwards. And let me just say that the ice cream is actually priced fair here. In SF, you’re paying about $10-15 for two scoops of ice cream at the mall. Yeh, that’s crazy town.

In Berkeley, it was $2 for two scoops. I like that. This something nice about this part of California, and I’m looking forward to exploring it more.


Thanks everyone for coming out and making it a fun night.