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21st Century Schizoid Space Marine

I think the GDC Advisory Board is meeting today to decide what talks we’ll get to see at the next GDC. I really hope that someone from Blizzard submitted a talk about the design of StarCraft 2. Specifically, I’d like to see hear how they dealt with the design challenge of creating something that was both a videogame product ie. a chunk of media that people buy and consume, and something like Baseball – an institution that’s a multi-million dollar industry unto itself with professional players, a large audience, peripheral media, and thousands of people whose lives and livelihoods revolve around it.

I’m curious about the practical aspects of, for example, whether Blizzard as a company makes money from the Koren e-sports scene. But more than that there’s just something fascinating about how SC2 straddles that line, not just for Korean pro-gamers, but for all of us. On the one hand we have what is, basically, a sort of Chess variant, a complex strategy game with a highly technical timing/skill component and, on the other hand, an experience, an interactive romp through a vivid cartoon dreamscape of mythic archetypes. It’s a perfect expression of the deep (and irresovable?) conflict at the heart of videogames, and I’d love to hear what the folks at Blizzard think about as they weave through it.

3 Comments

  1. I’m pretty sure that they threatened to hire assassins to murder the developers’ families if the game didn’t reach certain sales targets.

    It’s all about motivating your staff and creating the right work environment.

    Sunday, September 12, 2010 at 7:40 am | Permalink
  2. Jonathan Frye wrote:

    I also wonder how much of an effect Blizzard merging with Activision may had on the process (if at all), especially since Starcraft II had long been in development at the time. Blizzard is know for such quality, but also for taking their time. Activision does not have the same reputation.

    Tuesday, September 14, 2010 at 4:56 pm | Permalink
  3. Has the game been released yet in Korea?

    Wednesday, October 13, 2010 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

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