248: A Master Craftsman

The Heik

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Oct 12, 2008
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John Funk said:
A Master Craftsman

How do you follow up one of the best-selling games of all time, a game that was so successful it spawned an entire sport and became the archetype for its genre? If you're Dustin Browder, Lead Designer of StarCraft II, you do it very, very carefully. John Funk speaks with Browder about the immense pressure - and satisfaction - of creating Blizzard's next great RTS.

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This, ladies and gentlemen, is how a truly great game is made. You don't try and aim for the top, you don't try and have the shiniest gadgets; you make the game the best that it can be, with no sacrifices, no "keeping up with the Joneses", with only one goal in mind:

gl, hv
 

Aurora219

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Answer to the subtitle itself:

1) Give the game to Blizzard.
2) Wait.
3) Play Starcraft II.
 

Nalesnik

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Nov 10, 2008
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John Funk, what league are you in the beta? (I'm near the bottom of bronze, I got the basics down, but still learning all the subtle aspects of the game)
Add me to friend's list, maybe we can have a match together sometime. =D
username+identifier: Nalesnik.nalez
 

John Funk

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Dec 20, 2005
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Nalesnik said:
John Funk, what league are you in the beta? (I'm near the bottom of bronze, I got the basics down, but still learning all the subtle aspects of the game)
Add me to friend's list, maybe we can have a match together sometime. =D
username+identifier: Nalesnik.nalez
I'm in Gold. I really, really shouldn't be.

CFTFunk.jaynez.
 

Worgen

Follower of the Glorious Sun Butt.
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Whatever, just wash your hands.
well first you take a bunch of bad ideas and hackneyed plots and toss them in a big barrel and roll it down a hill then polish the outcome to a mirror shine
 

paketep

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StarCraft 2 without LAN support is not StarCraft. I'll keep playing the old one. I don't need any facebook in it, thank you.

However, Activision has demostrated that they can put a turd in a box and sell millions with MW2. This will sell like crazy, despite lacking the single most important feature that put StarCraft where it is today.
 

Tales of Golden Sun

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"one of the most famous and influential games of all time"

Ha.
Haha.
HAHAHAHA.

No seriously this is the first time I have ever heard of this game. People shouldn't make claims that don't hold truth.
 

elvor0

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Tales of Golden Sun said:
"one of the most famous and influential games of all time"

Ha.
Haha.
HAHAHAHA.

No seriously this is the first time I have ever heard of this game. People shouldn't make claims that don't hold truth.
Im...trying to decide wether this guy is taking the piss or not...
 

Jared

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steeple said:
great article... youv'e got to hand it to them, blizzard knows EXACTLY how to approach and create games, and its awesome to see that they're doing the same with SC2

though i would like to know what new races the developers had in mind...
They do seem to break the mold that sequls sucks...SC2 looks like, when it is released, its going to be the RTS of the year, to be sure.

Its nice to see they didny change the old formula too much, just, altered it a little ^^
 

John Funk

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Dec 20, 2005
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Tales of Golden Sun said:
"one of the most famous and influential games of all time"

Ha.
Haha.
HAHAHAHA.

No seriously this is the first time I have ever heard of this game. People shouldn't make claims that don't hold truth.
What?

If you're being serious, then that's nobody's fault but your own. It seriously boggles my mind that people haven't heard of StarCraft. That's like saying you haven't heard of Fallout, or Metal Gear Solid, or any other huge name in gaming.
 

YurdleTheTurtle

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Tales of Golden Sun said:
"one of the most famous and influential games of all time"

Ha.
Haha.
HAHAHAHA.

No seriously this is the first time I have ever heard of this game. People shouldn't make claims that don't hold truth.
Well, if you've never heard of Starcraft, you've been missing out on one of the biggest games since the last almost 12 years.

Also, just because you did not know about it, does not mean millions of other people also did not hear about it. The way you stated your claim that Funk was lying about Starcraft being popular/influential leads me to believe this is nothing more but a troll post. If you were speaking honestly, then that is sad ignorance.

---------

Great article, always intriguing to see what developers say. As I stated before I like the fact that they did experiment with stuff, even with some mechanics inspired by Relic's games. Even though they are not used in multiplayer, this certainly gives plenty of ammunition for the editor, so modders won't have to resort to weird things in order to do cover systems or other mechanics.

I'm still worried about that marketplace thing for custom maps though.
 

Shamanic Rhythm

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I'm still really surprised about the lack of LAN. LAN isn't just something for geeky house parties: LAN is often used at pro tournaments to ensure there is absolutely no lag. Even the Koreans with their astoundingly cheap and fast net will still experience the occasional lag spike while playing online. Really, what reason is there not to include it?
 

Verus76

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The reason for not including LAN is obviously to curtail pirating of the game and nothing else. That said you can setup provate games on bnet for your LAN party but you will be dependent on the connection.

What I find strange about the beta is how little it differs from the first game. The second one is 99% the same as the first. But then again perhaps that is the winning concept.
 

Grampy_bone

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Well it seems that according to Blizzard, you make a sequel to Starcraft by taking the exact same 12 year old gameplay, shuffling the units around, updating the graphics to 3D, and take out LAN.

BAM! Game of the Year!
 

Grampy_bone

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Verus76 said:
The reason for not including LAN is obviously to curtail pirating of the game and nothing else. That said you can setup provate games on bnet for your LAN party but you will be dependent on the connection.

What I find strange about the beta is how little it differs from the first game. The second one is 99% the same as the first. But then again perhaps that is the winning concept.
You are wrong my friend. The reason LAN was taken out was to funnel people through Battlenet 2.0 so they could sell them crap. LAN will have no effect on pirating; the game is going to get pirated out the wazoo regardless.
 

Grampy_bone

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Rack said:
John Funk said:
I don't think that's true at all. First, I think that they HAD to use the original as a base because they were doing a sequel. Sequels are for refinements - you want a a better version of the original, that preserves what worked and does new stuff. Save huge redesigns for new IP.

They were trying to make the best game like StarCraft that they could - like Dustin said, there isn't one huge continuum for RTS design. What works in one game might work in another; StarCraft is a different type of game than, say, CoH or SupCom or Total War.
Warcraft III didn't take Warcraft II as a base, so I don't see why Starcraft II had to. Other than that they were trying to make the best game like Starcraft that they could, which is really a restrictive consideration to have to make. It seems like for better or worse they've stuck to it rather bullishly.
I tend to agree with Rack. Warcraft 3 tried something different from Warcraft 2; although a lot of fans weren't happy with those changes, which is why I suspect they chose to stick close to the original game with Starcraft 2.

But Starcraft 2 isn't just 'close' to the original, it's like the exact same game. If they had made Starcraft only a couple of years ago I could understand, but to change virtually nothing after 12 years? Even Diablo 2 had some pretty major changes from Diablo, and Diablo 3 seems set to revamp the formula once again. Starcraft 2 just seems lazy.
 

John Funk

U.N. Owen Was Him?
Dec 20, 2005
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Grampy_bone said:
Rack said:
John Funk said:
I don't think that's true at all. First, I think that they HAD to use the original as a base because they were doing a sequel. Sequels are for refinements - you want a a better version of the original, that preserves what worked and does new stuff. Save huge redesigns for new IP.

They were trying to make the best game like StarCraft that they could - like Dustin said, there isn't one huge continuum for RTS design. What works in one game might work in another; StarCraft is a different type of game than, say, CoH or SupCom or Total War.
Warcraft III didn't take Warcraft II as a base, so I don't see why Starcraft II had to. Other than that they were trying to make the best game like Starcraft that they could, which is really a restrictive consideration to have to make. It seems like for better or worse they've stuck to it rather bullishly.
I tend to agree with Rack. Warcraft 3 tried something different from Warcraft 2; although a lot of fans weren't happy with those changes, which is why I suspect they chose to stick close to the original game with Starcraft 2.

But Starcraft 2 isn't just 'close' to the original, it's like the exact same game. If they had made Starcraft only a couple of years ago I could understand, but to change virtually nothing after 12 years? Even Diablo 2 had some pretty major changes from Diablo, and Diablo 3 seems set to revamp the formula once again. Starcraft 2 just seems lazy.
I'm actually very impressed by how precisely Blizzard nailed the balance they had to have. From the beta, it feels very much like StarCraft 1, but at the same time it's *not* like StarCraft 1. It's a strange mix between familiarity and "whoa, all these new abilities and units change it up entirely." It's considerably more different than I think many people give it credit for at first glance.

Also, I believe that SC2 won't get pirated as much as other games, just because you are actively getting an inferior product. The only benefit is that you get a hacked-in LAN, and get to play with the other few thousand people who pirate (where games can be hacked/cheated, etc). Whereas people who buy the game legitimately get the new and improved Battle.net, a much wider playerbase, a better browser for custom games, all the stat tracking, etc.

Unlike many other products with restrictive DRM, the pirate doesn't get the better copy of SC2. His copy is much worse.
 

Deef

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Mar 11, 2009
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I don't get it, this isn't news, it's just an advertisement for your article.
 

Grampy_bone

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John Funk said:
I'm actually very impressed by how precisely Blizzard nailed the balance they had to have. From the beta, it feels very much like StarCraft 1, but at the same time it's *not* like StarCraft 1. It's a strange mix between familiarity and "whoa, all these new abilities and units change it up entirely." It's considerably more different than I think many people give it credit for at first glance.

Also, I believe that SC2 won't get pirated as much as other games, just because you are actively getting an inferior product. The only benefit is that you get a hacked-in LAN, and get to play with the other few thousand people who pirate (where games can be hacked/cheated, etc). Whereas people who buy the game legitimately get the new and improved Battle.net, a much wider playerbase, a better browser for custom games, all the stat tracking, etc.

Unlike many other products with restrictive DRM, the pirate doesn't get the better copy of SC2. His copy is much worse.
Fair enough; I haven't had the chance to play the game very much. Maybe it's just because the last RTS game I played was Supreme Commander 2 with it's elegant research system, but I feel that Starcraft 2's resource and upgrade mechanics--which are totally unchanged from the original--are completely archaic and outdated. Couldn't they come up with something better than Building A + Building B + Building C = Unit D? I hate that I have to build structures whose only purpose is to unlock a unit. Yeah that's classic RTS, but I thought we were past that by now.

I don't think pirates care that they're getting an inferior product. Starcraft 2 will be a mega-hit therefore it will be mega-pirated. In theory the only reason to play MW2 is for the multiplayer and it still got pirated to high heaven. By comparison I'm sure Starcraft 2 will have a much more substantial single player campaign, and as you say they will hack-in LAN support and maybe even create pirate servers like they do with WoW.