StarCraft II Was Not Designed As A Game

When Blizzard Entertainment's Dustin Browder and his team started working on StarCraft II they had a specific goal in mind: to design it as an e-sport that rivals its predecessor.

The original StarCraft has become a national sport in Korea for a long time and Browder was aiming for its sequel to reach the same status. In his own words: "This is going to be insanely hard. It's going to be like inventing Basketball 2."

In 2005 Supreme Commander and Dawn of War were the top selling RTS games and they both featured plenty of factions, each with tens of playable units; However, Blizzard instructed Browder that StarCraft II was to have 3 factions and 45 playable units only. Browder was disappointed by those restrictions, but he was reassured by Blizzard: "Hey man, don't worry, this isn't like other games that you play, this is an e-sport."

Browder's guidelines to creating a good e-sport game were simple and sensible: it must be fun to watch by an audience, it must be visually pleasant and clear, it must be simple, it must involve skill and it must provide an amount of uncertainty.

With such a low limit on the number of units allowed, the design team faced a very tough challenge while trying to make the game easy to learn but near impossible to master. They also had to increase the game's dependence on the player's skill - which is the exact opposite of the design mindset they were accustomed to: bringing players of all skill levels together.

But the most distinctive feature is uncertainty and that's why Browder made it his top design priority. A prime example he gave was the famous "Zerg rush", a tactic used by StarCraft players to win multiplayer games very early but it is considered to be a cheap way to win by most players. Browder chose to keep the Zerg rush in StarCraft II - while ensuring that it is counterable - because it provides a degree of uncertainty right off the bat.

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Comments

I am not a big Starcraft

I am not a big Starcraft player but I enjoy to watch shoutcasts (commentary for multiplayer matches).

The funny thing is if you watch SC 2 pro gaming all games are most likely based on very few units, all initial units. It is very rare you see endgame units.

And I do think Company of Heroes always was a better RTS for competitive play. To this date it still has a very healthy and steady player basement. For some reason it never became a real e-sport title.

Zerg rush is the reason I

Zerg rush is the reason I uninstalled SC2 and never played it since.

I beat the campaign (what a joke) and started playing MP. After about 2 hours and a couple "decent" matches, I realized the bulk of the SC2 players only use Zerg rush. I prefer multiplayer matches to last more than 45 seconds so I'll be playing something else.

It's focus shifted...

from a decent single player campaign, to a decent single player campaign with massive budget custscenes that were neat, but unnecessary, and are the real reason the single player aspect got launched into three different releases. Plus it's a great money grab to make someone buy the same game three times if they want to play it all.

Yet...

yet...they don't seem to realize the concept of cover required although it is an RTS they consider it an e-sport starcraft is still an e-sport to this day but I don't understand why they are not willing to learn the concept of cover and how a well dug in position in cover is advantageous in a gun fight and to eliminate it is to probably overwhelm them with melee or... a large amount of numbers so even they can't do much.

Meh

Yes we know, once a upon a time a company grew all arrogant and haughty and turned its franchise into a zombie driven megalith. Today it enjoys penny pinching society and turning preteens into cash reserves, Blizzard has absolutely no vision at all and to a true gamer it represents a part of society devoid of intelligent life.

You put WoW next to Bambi and Bambi wins!

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