Posts Tagged ‘StarCraft’

Party like it’s 1998! StarCraft: Remastered out today

We’ve trapped in two main cycles of revamps, revivals, remakes, and rethings. One is giving us revivals and remakes of games from 20 years ago, while the other goes revamping games released during the previous generation of consoles. StarCraft: Remastered [official site] is from the former camp, a remake of Blizzard’s wonderful sci-fi real-time strategy game from 1998, now fancied up with new art and better support for modern systems and all that. And it’s out today.

If you had expected it to be out by now, hold on. Blizzard say that “our deployment is taking longer than initially expected” so the launch is due around 9pm (1pm PDT). Read the rest of this entry »

StarCraft Anthology won’t get matchmaking after all

After Blizzard made StarCraft free ahead of August’s launch of the fancied-up StarCraft Remastered [official site], they had said they planned to add Remastered’s new matchmaking and ladder to the free version too. (Yes, StarCraft had no matchmaking – oooh the olden days!) Blizzard have changed their minds. Matchmaking will not be added to the free old version after all, as it supports cross-version play with Remastered and Blizzard say they worried it’d end up being abused by griefers. That’s a bummer but hey, it is a free game. Read the rest of this entry »

StarCraft Remastered launching on August 14th

After being finally announced in March — confirming rumours that felt like they’d been going on forever — StarCraft Remastered [official site] now has a release date: August 14th. The remastered version will contain all the original content from the main game and the Brood War expansion, gussied up in 4K. It’s available for pre-purchase now.

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Call down the thunder: StarCraft is now free

Blizzard’s seminal 1998 strategy game StarCraft [official site] and its expansion, Brood War, are now free for all and sundry. The game that birthed modern digital sports! The game that launched a thousand zerg rushes! The game that still has the best tanks in all RTSland! Blizzard have updated StarCraft a touch to play nicer with modern computers but mostly it’s still just StarCraft (“just StarCraft” she says!). The real overhaul is coming later this summer in the not-free StarCraft Remastered. But for now, free StarCraft for all is just dandy, ta. Read the rest of this entry »

StarCraft Remastered out this summer, original to be free

Blizzard have fired two blasts from the news-barrels, finally revealing a vague release window for the long-rumoured StarCraft Remastered [official site] project, and informing the world that the original version of the game will be free to download and play once the next patch arrives. What’s more, owners of the original will be able to play against those using Remastered. StarCraft is back, even though it never really went away.

Although presumably aimed at the esports crowd, Remastered contains all of the singleplayer content and the Brood War expansion. On top of that it has 4K visuals, widescreen support, improved online functions and remastered audio. It’s coming in summer and you can see it below.

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KeSPA Announces Closure Of StarCraft Proleague

StarCraft 2

The Korea e-Sports Association, KeSPA, has announced it will be discontinuing the world’s longest-running esports league, the StarCraft ProLeague as of 18 October. Its closure comes after 14 seasons of competitive play across the Brood War and SC2 iterations of the franchise.

You can read the statement in full after the jump but I wanted to say that the golden years of competitive StarCraft were a bit before my time in PC Gaming and esports proper so what I know, I know from research and watching older VODs. With that in mind I’d really love to hear your experiences watching both ProLeague and with StarCraft in general – who you followed and why, standout moments, tiny heartbreaks – that sort of thing. Just leave a comment :) Read the rest of this entry »

Starcraft HD Kind Of, Sort Of, Maybe in the Works

Blizzard could very well announce an HD remaster of StarCraft next month, if reports from iNews24, a reputable Korean news source, are correct. iNews24 says multiple sources with access to Blizzard’s inside plans suggest that the company will reveal a StarCraft HD remake some time in September.

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A Lament For The LAN Party

Before broadband and the connected world of information, we found different ways to mix our social life and our games. LAN parties. Where our PCs had a big group hug and let us kill one another in peace. Michael Johnson remembers those times.

Growing up as a PC gamer in the 90’s was a curious experience, the dawn of the internet age was upon us, but everything was still a little bit rough around the edges. To illustrate this – try playing the dial-up modem noise to a millennial and tell them that this sound used to accompany turning on the internet and they’ll say something precocious like “You had to turn on the internet?” before laughing in your face and stealing all your pogs.

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StarCraft’s Dehaka Will Be The 50th Hero Of The Storm

Prepare the cake and light up the candles, because Heroes of the Storm [official site] has announced its next hero, bringing the roster up to 50 characters! What do you say? We don’t do candles and cake anymore? We just give them an achievement?

Anyway, as reported by Destructoid, it’s Dehaka’s turn to join Blizzard’s MOBA. He comes from Starcraft, and among his abilities it stands out that he won’t be able to use mounts.

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StarCraft: Building A Brilliant Brood War Bot

The Student StarCraft AI Tournament is an AI vs AI tournament which pits bots programmed to play StarCraft: Brood War against one another. SSCAIT started in 2011 and is one of three major Brood War AI tournaments. Last year’s student division title went to Martin Rooijackers and his creation, LetaBot. They also won the 2014 student and mixed division. This year Martin and LetaBot made it through to the quarter-finals.

While the bots continue to battle I’ve been asking Martin to tell me more about how they work. Are some of Starcraft’s races easier to build bots for than others? What’s the hardest thing to get bots to do? And is LetaBot built to dominate a bot meta or could it take on humans too?

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Seems Blizzard Are Revamping Diablo 2, StarCraft, WC3

[Update: Oh! Blizzard told GameSpot it’s simply to maintain them. Dreams are always so short-lived. Hey, maybe do consider revamping them though! That would be lovely. Official support for modern resolutions in Diablo II would be a grand start.]

Once a games studio has been around for long enough, different generations of players will each have their own idea of the devs’ finest days. Perhaps like many in their early thirties, the Blizzard games I think of most fondly are Diablo II, the first StarCraft, and Warcraft III (which isn’t to say I dislike their modern games, of course). If you’re in a similar position, good news! Going by a job listing, it looks like Blizzard are planning to tart up those three classics.

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What Are The Best Game Manuals?

The omnipresence of the Internet, together with the ease of modern control schemes, has all but eradicated the need for game manuals. Who needs a glossy paper booklet when they have Reddit and GameFAQs and YouTube? Who has time to read with such a gluttony of entertainment options available at their fingertips?

But game manuals and owner’s guides aren’t just about information. The best ones can be beautiful: cornucopias of concept art and comic panels, hives of witty one-liners, knots of clever prose intertwined with moments of weird. I want to talk about, if not the best, then at least my favourite manuals – and then I want to know about yours.

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Gigantic Is A Gorgeous Not-MOBA From StarCraft’s Lead

Owl Man And Rat Cat In... Strike Cool Poses Even Though They're Probably Gonna Fall Over In Two Seconds

Gigantic pretty clearly wants to be a big deal. It’s from the former lead designer of StarCraft and Guild Wars, it has $20 million in backing, and its team size is kind of, er, gigantic for an indie studio. So it can talk the talk, but can it justify a series of costly expenditures on the part of shadowy investors and/or see why kids love Cinnamon Toast Crunch? That’s the $20 million question, but it certainly looks like an intriguing prospect. Gigantic includes MOBA elements (teams of five facing off in a big ol’ battle arena), but the difference is you’re not on defense. Rather, both teams have a hulking colossus that accompanies them into combat, with defending/destroying them serving as your main objective. Meanwhile, the whole thing is action-based, with physics-based abilities and WASD controls steamrolling over the classic top-down approach. Impressive debut trailer below.

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The Devil Cries: Rob Pardo Pardos Ways With Blizzard

That headline might be confusing for some of you, so allow me to elaborate: Rob Pardo’s been one of Blizzard’s top designers for 17 years, making him – among many other things – one of Diablo‘s many daddies. So when I say the devil cries, I’m mostly referring to that. I’m sure he’s blowing his 666 nostrils into a +44 WIS Hanky Of Wretched Despondency as we speak, the poor primeval force.

That, however, is only the beginning of Pardo’s legendary ledger, which spans everything from the original StarCraft to Warcraft III to World of Warcraft to Diablo III. He’s been everywhere (as lead designer or chief creative officer for a lot of it), worked on projects great and not-so-great. And now he’s leaving.

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Former Civilization IV Lead On Mars Game, Revitalizing RTS

Mohawk Games is an excellent name for a company. And so it is that former Civilization IV lead designer and Spore man Soren Johnson approaches me sporting the company haircut. It’s a recent trim job for the old headshrub, he tells me, but he wears it well. However, the brain beneath the mohawk – the mind behind some of strategy gaming’s greatest greats – is the real main attraction here. Johnson’s goal is to design “core strategy games” in conjunction with Civ V art director Dorian Newcomb and in partnership with Galactic Civilizations (no relation) developer Stardock.

First on the docket? A still unnamed Mars economy RTS with no units and 13 different resource types. Is it madness? Probably, but it’s the good kind, the kind that drives a man to shave off most of his hair before a business conference, the kind that sounds wicked fun when people exchange fireside tales of their favorite matches.

Go below for a discussion with both men about how the game works, boardgame influences, how videogames might be able to replicate boardgaming’s face-to-face appeal, designing strategy that’s extremely complex but also accessible, release plans, and heaps more.

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The Tale Of The Ultimate Starcraft AI


The techno-chaps over at Ars Technica have posted an interesting story about the development of the ultimate Starcraft AI. Written by student Haomiao Huang, it’s the story of the “Berkeley Overmind”, which recently beat Starcraft pros a former Starcraft pro in head-to-head matches (although it is a way off beating the real current masters, it seems). Here’s a snippet: “In theory, a computer should be great at controlling many units simultaneously, since it’s not limited by human speeds. Indeed, there is a common misconception that because StarCraft is real-time, it must be game of reflexes. But while speed is useful and important, it is no substitute for knowing the right thing to do… To handle these issues and limit computational overhead, our agent uses artificial potential fields for unit movement. The potential field controller generates virtual forces that push the mutalisks around, balancing attractive forces on targets with repulsive forces on threats. Summing up the forces acting on a mutalisk gives a direction to fly, resulting in a simple but robust control scheme.”

A useful read for those of you interested in the subtleties of game AI, with some illustrative videos. Go read!

The Best Kind Of Zealotry: A StarCraft Life

I have discovered the magic-select-thingy-button in Photoshop. Is the end of an era of incredibly-shitty Gillen Photoshop? Evidently, no.

ChaosSmurf found himself inspired by the humanity of Starcraft commentator Day(9)‘s latest broadcast – a two hour confessional about his life as a gamer, and specifically Starcraft. He lobbed it over. I went to just briefly check its vibe, and all of a sudden I’m half an hour into it, just carried along with the enthusiasm and period detail. I suspect anyone who dug the hell out of Gaming Made Me series will find something to enjoy here. And I’ll agree that having a brother is one of the best peripherals a young gamer can have. You’ll find the footage below…
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Starcraft Pros In Cheat Scandal


I’m not entirely sure how to dig deeper into this particular drama, as the main source sites are in Korean, and the auto-translations aren’t proving to be particularly useful. Anyway, the story as originated here reports that top Korean players are being named and shamed for throwing matches to make money on illegal betting. It’s apparently been a problem that the e-sports organisers have been trying to stamp out for a while, and it has now reached an impass, with players being outed, or forced to retire. It’s the biggest drama the game has seen in some time, and could shake things up for the leagues as they move ahead to the Starcraft II launch, with sponsorship being put at risk, and so forth.

You are permitted to respond to this article by chuckling to yourself and thinking “ah, e-sports. I remember them.”