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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

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Dustin Browder Discusses StarCraft II Design Philosophy
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 2 comments

IGN has posted a new StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty interview with Blizzard Entertainment's Dustin Browder. The lead game designer discussed the company's efforts to offer content for both casual and hardcore players, as well as attempts to convince a Western audience that games can be a spectator's sport. StarCraft 2 will pick up a few years after the end of Broodwar and will follow the story of the Terrans.

"This is sort of a Blizzard core design philosophy," Dustin Browder, StarCraft II's lead game designer told us. "We always cater to the hardcore community. Always. From minute one we focus on them, and then we try to make it more accessible after that... A lot of other companies say 'casual first because they're the biggest numbers… and then someday we'll deal with those hardcore guys if we get time to get to them...,' but we say 'look, at the end of the day, everybody has the chance to become a hardcore person if only you'll let them'."

Dustin maps it out: "Try your campaign, cool. Okay, try your skirmish – you can get some achievements playing skirmish for a few games. How about these challenges that you can play? Each of these challenges is about five to ten minutes, and each one of them teaches you a core bit of RTS StarCraft II strategy. Why don't you try those out? We've got some achievements for you there too. Hey, you know what? You should go online. There's this casual league online – you should click on that and see what happens there. It's a casual league, there's no rush maps, the game speed is set a little bit slower, why don't you try that for a couple of weeks? Hey, you know what might be fun? Maybe you should play a 2v2, just one. So if we can sort of step it out for them it'll be great. If they just play the campaign then click on 'play [online] game', then, oh God, it's going to be horrible."

"My feeling," he continued, "is that well designed RTS games are dramatic and they're fun to watch; just as, you know, poker, is dramatic and fun to watch, or baseball, is dramatic and fun to watch. Now, in baseball, if you don't understand the relationship between the pitcher and the batter, it's actually really boring. I know people complain about it, and they say 'it's the worst game ever', and I say, 'well, do you know about the pitcher and the batter and what's going on there?' 'No', well okay then, you're lost! There's so much going on between the curve balls and the fast balls and throwing them on the inside so he steps off the plate – there's all this stuff going on and you have to know what that is to really get geeked up about it, and be watching every pitch. And StarCraft's the same way."

"If you can teach them a little bit," he explained, "just to get their feet wet, so they understand the big sweeping movements – 'the aliens killed the humans!', right, they'll get the basics and then if you teach them 'oh, you see how he did that micro with the Marauder where he tagged the guy and the guy tried to run but he picked him off anyway'... then your knowledge will grow over time, and eventually you'll understand the depth of it."
Read the full interview at the page linked below.

IGN: StarCraft 2 Interview
Blizzard Entertainment
StarCraft II: Wings Of Liberty
Buy StarCraft II: Wings Of Liberty

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Archives  News  Dustin Browder Discusses StarCraft II Design Philosophy