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.