Blizzard Doesn't Care About Innovation for StarCraft II

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Blizzard Doesn't Care About Innovation for StarCraft II

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Blizzard doesn't care much about innovation, it just wants to make games that people enjoy.

With Blizzard's StarCraft II scheduled for release sometime in 2010, many people might expect it to change what the world has known about StarCraft since the first game's original release in 1998. On the contrary, StarCraft II design director Dustin Browder told Gamasutra that gamers should expect a quality game, but not necessarily an incredible amount of innovation over the first.

"We're not trying to be innovative," Browder said in a forthcoming interview. "We're not trying to change for change's sake. We're just trying to make quality, and we definitely felt there were some things in the previous game that were high quality, that we weren't super confident we could do much better."

This doesn't mean that the members of Blizzard have been sitting on their hands and staring at Magic Eye pictures trying to make boats and clowns appear for the past decade, as the developer has been trying new gameplay ideas, but some just didn't work out. As an example, Browder detailed a cover system that Blizzard prototyped, similar to that from Relic Entertainment's Dawn of War series. "It wasn't a perfect cover system, but the early indications were poor," he revealed.

Browder believes that every developer should look at its game to determine what it does right and to iterate on it for improvement, and should not innovate on gameplay that doesn't necessarily need it. Still, he emphasizes that while the goal for the multiplayer portion of StarCraft II wasn't to innovate, the single-player game is very different from what has Blizzard has done before.

"For the guys who say, 'I just need something new,' we've created a whole solo play experience which we feel really scratches that itch. It's a brand-new experience. ... We have a very high-quality version of a non-linear experience in an RTS game, and we think that's an area where players who are bored of [traditional] RTS will have a lot of fun." This might help to allay the fears of some gamers that aren't finding the StarCraft II multiplayer beta innovative enough for them. For those that haven't played the beta yet, don't forget you can get easy access with a simple pre-order.

Source: Gamasutra

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Well, it's a safe bet regarding an entire fanbase is revolving around the EXACT gameplay Starcraft I offers. Making it prettier, smoother without too much change should please the fanatics.

I suppose thats a good message to go with. As long as people are happy, who cares whats new...as long as its good, enjoyable and worth every second,.

And, from what I have been hearing it will be

Well, that's certainly good. At least they're smart about the whole "change for change's sake" thing.

Well that's good seeing as how Starcraft I wasn't about innovation either.

Quite the opposite sermon from what Crytek was recently feeding us. Can trust I will be sitting in my Protossian pew come release day, praising the will of the Xel'naga. As I blast the heathen Terrans and the monstrous Zerg from my view. :D

Well it makes sense to not change Starcraft for numerous reasons, like being the national past-time of South Korea. =p

The cover system only really lent itself to Dawn of War anyway, because it made sense for that series. The marines, orks and eldar all would use it, while in Starcraft only the terrans would make sense doing it, so why bother?

Innovation isn't needed but not everyone should take this as an example. We really don't need another 100 iterations of "grey shooter" :p

It's good that Blizzard saw not changing stuff worked better for them though.

Kudos to Blizzard for knowing when to stop introducing features. Hopefully they'll be able to refine some of the ideas they came up with over the next ten years for SCIII.

Dustin is lying. Just watch the galaxy editor they just released! Wouldn't surprise me if we got FPS games similar to Counter-Strike before the end of the beta if this goes on.

redmarine:
Dustin is lying. Just watch the galaxy editor they just released! Wouldn't surprise me if we got FPS games similar to Counter-Strike before the end of the beta if this goes on.

Just because they built a super powerful engine and sdk doesn't mean they are going to use it for an fps, thats not to say someone outside of blizzard can't (and that's really the point of having a powerful engine and kit)

This is a really fancy way to say they didn't want to piss off the e-sport crowd :P

As long as it's good, why would anyone care if it reinvents the genre or not?

I love that they didn't go the route of "change for the sake of change". I haven't played StarCraft, but I've seen a number of other games and other media/tech that gets too heavy with the innovation, and the product gets hurt by it.

Doing something "safe" and doing it very well is much better than trying to over-innovate.

Excellent. Every industry needs to maintain a balance between innovation and refinement.

Good for them. Iteration and refinement is a lot harder then innovation. Ask a random gamer to come up with an innovative idea, and they will give you a huge list: Ask them to make a prototype and refine that idea repeatedly, and you will be met with blank stares. Innovation may be the breath of fresh air for the industry, the thing whose constant influx keeps it vital and alive, and something that the industry appears to desperately need of late, but refinement and iteration are the lifeblood. Blizzard is one of the few companies who can say this, and everyone will explain why its a good thing.

I've played the beta, and the new changes are good, in my opinion.

Chrono Boosting makes the Protoss competitive in the new arena. Nukes are easier to use, but half as strong, for those who like them. Medic/Marines are still evil (now that the medics fly). And the loss of the Dragoon was easily replaced with the Immortals and Stalkers, both of which are cool.

And zerg still specializes at ramming hundreds of units down your can as fast as possible. Some things never change, and never should.

as long that they dont follow the trend like nintendo's pokemons series (wich is more or less "stagnation - the game" IMHO), i dont mind.

I think the gamers will be the ones to decide if the game's changed too much or not enough. That being said, Blizzard has always focused on "Polish" which is different from quality, but not much different. They don't rush titles, they pay attention to details, and while they may miss bugs from time to time (thats the quality aspect) they do make great games in the end.

Honestly I find this sort of candidness kind of refreshing coming from a game developer. It's one of the first instances that I can recall where a dev basically invoked the old adage "If it ain't broke, don't fix it".
Maybe a couple of new things would be nice, but I always enjoyed Starcraft for what it was and tend to spend most of my time with sequels and continuations comparing them to how much worse they are than the original because of the "innovations" that went into them. Mercenaries 1 and 2 being a prime example of this.
I kind of wish more developers would just make "more of the same" without feeling this express need to incorporate a whole boatload of new things or completely change old formulas for new ones. I understand full well that that isn't how new games and engines get made, but at the same time, sometimes it's nice to take what works and just go with it.
In this case, graphical upgrades and all that goodness are just icing on the cake so long as we get more crazy starcraft action.
Of course maybe I'm older than my years and just resistant to change, but I'm pretty happy to hear this, especially from a heavy hitter like Blizzard...arguably one of the most successful video game developers out there.

(Edited for clarity and rewording.)

As someone who never played SC1 but has played the bejesus out of the beta this year, I can confidently say that no innovation was necessary. SC2 is an AMAZING RTS. I always believe innovation just for the sake of innovation is pointless. Hell, look at the Wii. It may be more popular than God, but hardcore gamers flocked away from it in disgust.

In other news, to the surprise of absolutely nobody, Blizzard will appeal the AO rating the South Koreans gave them, and Blizzard is likely to give Terran a buff over Protoss in the near future.

Any news on UK price of the Collector's Edition? Anyone? [/broken record]

First thought: Yeah, why should they make an entirely different game and then slap the Starcraft-brand on it?
Second thought: Why make a new game if you don't intend to change anything... Maybe you just feel redundant of constantly making WoW-updates.

I'd consider SCII more a renovation over innovation considering the key elements that make a completely different battlefield altogether.

Gladion:
First thought: Yeah, why should they make an entirely different game and then slap the Starcraft-brand on it?

To be honest, I was actually incredibly pumped for Ghost.

This is a good idea in my honest opinion. If they keep what made the game great, change a little here and there and make it look much better then it's going to do well. Too much change ruin a game.

Richard Hannay:

Gladion:
First thought: Yeah, why should they make an entirely different game and then slap the Starcraft-brand on it?

To be honest, I was actually incredibly pumped for Ghost.

;) Same. I said something wrong, though: What I meant was "Why make something completely different to the original and then call it Starcraft 2.
With Ghost they pretty much made clear "this is something different, folks".

Innovation sometimes leads to great things, sure, but it also usually fails.
Fans wants StarCraft, not an experiment.

So, if I get this straight, multiplayer is the same but singleplayer has innovated.

So, casual players - like me - who are more interested in the story and having fun than anything else - like me - are going to get innovation and new stuff.

While pro players don't have their favorite mechanics spoiled...

That's actually really sensible and clever!

Wtg Blizzard.

Gladion:

Richard Hannay:

Gladion:
First thought: Yeah, why should they make an entirely different game and then slap the Starcraft-brand on it?

To be honest, I was actually incredibly pumped for Ghost.

;) Same. I said something wrong, though: What I meant was "Why make something completely different to the original and then call it Starcraft 2.
With Ghost they pretty much made clear "this is something different, folks".

Oh Ghost, all that you could've been... *sighs and lights a candle*

Tom Goldman:
We have a very high-quality version of a non-linear experience in an RTS game, and we think that's an area where players who are bored of [traditional] RTS will have a lot of fun."

this particular line actually makes me a little afraid. Afraid, because it might turn out like dawn of war. I remember playing aformentioned dawn of war (and all it's expansions), and I enjoyed the storybased [traditional] campaign. Then came dark crusade, where they opted into a "non-linear" experience. they changed the campaign from going from one mission to the next into a risk-like system, where you move 1 army across the map, conquering provinces. You were totally free in how you progressed the game, but the only highquality missions were when you conquered a capitol. This was a bit of a letdown, since all other missions were either capture the critical location, or annihilate the enemy.
And now I'm afraid it'll go the same way in Starcraft II, maybe with the typical blizzard cutscenes after vanquishing an enemy.

I'm still hoping for the best though.

Serris:

Tom Goldman:
We have a very high-quality version of a non-linear experience in an RTS game, and we think that's an area where players who are bored of [traditional] RTS will have a lot of fun."

this particular line actually makes me a little afraid. Afraid, because it might turn out like dawn of war. I remember playing aformentioned dawn of war (and all it's expansions), and I enjoyed the storybased [traditional] campaign. Then came dark crusade, where they opted into a "non-linear" experience. they changed the campaign from going from one mission to the next into a risk-like system, where you move 1 army across the map, conquering provinces. You were totally free in how you progressed the game, but the only highquality missions were when you conquered a capitol. This was a bit of a letdown, since all other missions were either capture the critical location, or annihilate the enemy.
And now I'm afraid it'll go the same way in Starcraft II, maybe with the typical blizzard cutscenes after vanquishing an enemy.

I'm still hoping for the best though.

Nah, the 'campaign' of Dark Crusade was more of a huge skirmish, without any sort of story to hope for. With Starcraft 2, as far as I know, the only non-linearity you get is being able to do missions in different orders, aswell as some side missions. The story itself stays the same, hell, didn't you hear they're making a trilogy? :)

Good for them. It's good that a company can make a new game in a series without having to completely redesign it. Several sequels to games I have liked have been so different that they may as well have had no relation at all.

ciortas1:

Serris:

Tom Goldman:
We have a very high-quality version of a non-linear experience in an RTS game, and we think that's an area where players who are bored of [traditional] RTS will have a lot of fun."

this particular line actually makes me a little afraid. Afraid, because it might turn out like dawn of war. I remember playing aformentioned dawn of war (and all it's expansions), and I enjoyed the storybased [traditional] campaign. Then came dark crusade, where they opted into a "non-linear" experience. they changed the campaign from going from one mission to the next into a risk-like system, where you move 1 army across the map, conquering provinces. You were totally free in how you progressed the game, but the only highquality missions were when you conquered a capitol. This was a bit of a letdown, since all other missions were either capture the critical location, or annihilate the enemy.
And now I'm afraid it'll go the same way in Starcraft II, maybe with the typical blizzard cutscenes after vanquishing an enemy.

I'm still hoping for the best though.

Nah, the 'campaign' of Dark Crusade was more of a huge skirmish, without any sort of story to hope for. With Starcraft 2, as far as I know, the only non-linearity you get is being able to do missions in different orders, aswell as some side missions. The story itself stays the same, hell, didn't you hear they're making a trilogy? :)

ah, then it was soulstorm that had the decent mission ones. yeah, it's a trilogy, but well, you could say that each race in soulstorm had it's own "campaign" too, since they got different stories when you beat an enemy race (the necrons wanted the chaos dead because the C'tan gods didn't like the chaos gods)

No wonder they never came up with fresh original unit types.

But more game-play wise, Blizzard doesn't want to risk-take with Star Craft 2. Maybe they fear releasing a crap game and BOOM! Blizzard's most anticipated game has failed.

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