Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Real Time Strategy (Games) Games

Blizzard Unveils Custom StarCraft 2 Game Types, Encourages Map Design 83

Posted by Soulskill
from the my-pancakes-for-aiur dept.
StarCraft 2 launched in July, and since most of the developers' efforts since then have gone into tweaking balance issues, fixing bugs and further developing Battle.net integration, the second part of the trilogy is still quite a ways off. So, in lieu of announcements about Heart of the Swarm, the devs are using Blizzcon to showcase the map-editing tools and encourage the community to get more involved with custom maps and game types. Using the map editor, they created internally four custom games for StarCraft 2, which they’ll soon be releasing over Battle.net for free alongside three fan creations that won a recent contest. Read on for more details.

The first of the Blizzard-made maps is a humorous creation called Aiur Chef, an eight-player free-for-all in which players collect “ingredients” from around the map that are required for recipes, which each grant various rewards, such as points, items, and special powers. You compete against an opponent for a high score, and while you can’t kill each other, you are able to hinder the collection of ingredients through effects like stuns and slowing effects. Each of the three rounds has a “theme ingredient,” and you can see units running around carrying pots and drumsticks and rolling pins. There’s a new UI window showing which ingredients you have left to collect.

Another custom game, titled Left 2 Die, is based on one of the missions in the single-player campaign where players were swarmed by hordes of zombies every night, using daylight hours to rebuild and go on the offensive. Blizzard received enough positive feedback about that particular mission that they decided to go ahead and make a standalone version (tipping their hat to Valve's Left 4 Dead in the process). It's a co-op game, and as you mow down zombies you collect Zerg Biomass to buy upgrades for your army (upgrades that are shared, so you don’t have to worry about competing with your partner). There are new zombie units to contend with, inspired by those in Left 4 Dead, but adapted so they make sense in an RTS.

Next is a game called Starjeweled, which sections off half of the UI into Blizzard’s interpretation of the popular Bejeweled puzzle game. When you match a group of similar symbols, they disappear and grant you resources to spend on units, which then go out and try to attack an enemy base.

Perhaps the most notable of Blizzard's custom games is what they call Blizzard DOTA, based on the hugely popular Warcraft 3 mod Defense of the Ancients. In teams of five, players will control Heroes that can buy items, gain experience and level up, while the map constantly spawns waves of monsters from both bases. The heroes will be a collection of notable Blizzard characters from various games.

During the panel about the map tools, the Starcraft 2 team was very focused on introducing map makers to the basics of development. They talked about the necessity of making the first few minutes of a custom game easy to understand for new players, since getting massacred while being utterly confused is not an experience most players will want to repeat. They also encouraged map makers to take a more active role in soliciting and responding to feedback. Blizzard relies heavily on iteration, and they think the community would benefit from doing so as well.

Blizzard was insistent that the custom maps they will be releasing are part of an ongoing process to keep making new maps and custom games for players. One of their big goals for the immediate future is to keep demonstrating what their map editor is capable of and getting assets in the hands of players to facilitate building. To that end, the custom games they’re building will be unlocked, so the community will be able to look at the internals and modify whatever they see fit. (And speaking of security, they're working on better safeguards to keep people from copying others' maps, should the creators wish to keep them private.) Another reason they built the maps was to see in what areas the editing tools were lacking, so they could continue to add and streamline functionality.

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Blizzard Unveils Custom StarCraft 2 Game Types, Encourages Map Design

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 23, 2010 @01:37PM (#33997456)

    The game itself is amazing and I have had a lot of fun playing it, throughout the beta and the release, but I am really sad at how Bnet 2.0 turned out. The so called "social experience" is not social at all. Hard to meet and talk to new people because there are no chat channels. There's no guild support. You can't name your own custom games (what the fuck????).

    Facebook integration is great and all, but I hardly have any friends that play the game. Most of the people I played with in the original game I met on Bnet in.... chat channels. The whole thing is just so ass backards and feels like a hack.

    • by bgweber (1676858)

      Did you really use the chat channels in the original?

      • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

        by binarylarry (1338699)

        yes (yes yes yes yes yes fuckdot filter)

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Chat channels were useful. It was easy to make online friends who you enjoyed playing with. Also custom games made original Starcraft shine. I remember playing a lot of turret defense when I got bored with regular play. Now I can't even have a lan party. SC2 is lame on many levels. It seems the people that like it the most are people who never truly experienced the original.
      • Did you really use the chat channels in the original?

        kekekeke

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      11 years ago i made several friends from SC BNet chats. Still today i play SC2 with them. And once a year we all get together for LAN Games... Not this year thanks to the removal of the LAN option.
    • by Kaboom13 (235759) <kaboom108@ b e llsouth.net> on Saturday October 23, 2010 @02:20PM (#33997778)

      The big hurdle to custom games right now is they are region locked. Maps from one realm can't be played on any others, which has frustrated devs to the point many of them have given up. The new popularity system also means that 99% of maps never get seen, as the list itself is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Get on the top of the list, you get played a lot because you are on top, so you get played more, etc. Blizz has tried to help by choosing "featured" maps to force to the top of the list for a few weeks, but it's kind of an ugly hack to a broken system. When you make a game, you choose the map, and then slots are automatically filled and the game starts automatically, making announcing any sort of gametype impossible. So for games like Dota, which had dozens of game types, the only way to implement it in sc2 is to make different maps, which splits the player base and keeps the map from hitting the popular list. Oh and my personal pet peeve, when the game fills, it auto starts a 30 second countdown. If people leave during this time, the countdown doesn't stop. Theres no way to stop it and get a player to fill the slot without leaving, and starting over, and if you don't leave fast enough you are stuck hitting load screen. It was a known problem in wc3 and they actually made it 10x worse not better.

    • by flabordec (984984)

      Weird thing, I have met more people in a couple months of Starcraft 2 than I did in all of Starcraft 1, because in SC we were always in the same channel and didn't really play with anyone else. This time around after some games I get a message or I send a message to one of the people who played and we chat a little about the game, sometimes we 2v2 and add them as friends so that the next time they are online I get a notification. There is not a lot of social interaction but I am playing the game to play the

    • by hagrin (896731)
      Not only do most of my Facebook friends not play SC2, I don't want most of my Facebook friends knowing that I'm a total dork and play video games still. I have enough problems keepings girls as friends, I don't need any help from Blizzard.
    • by ildon (413912) on Saturday October 23, 2010 @10:20PM (#34001018)

      It's getting really old for every story even mentioning a Blizzard game getting half filled with people complaining about battle.net 2.0. You don't like it. We get it. There's no reason to make 20 new posts in every story about how you've been buying every Blizzard game for the past 20 years but now you're never going to buy one again because you hate DRM or whatever. The majority of the time these posts are completely off-topic, too.

      Seriously, what does this post have to do with the new custom maps discussed at Blizzcon, or anything else discussed at Blizzcon, other than tangentially that they're both related to SC2? What part of the content of this post hasn't been posted 1000 times before in every story even mentioning SC2 -- or WoW -- in the past year? Not to mention the fact that one of the things you specifically mentioned, chat channels, is a feature they've been promising to add for almost just as long.

      Get over it.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by tlhIngan (30335)

        Seriously, what does this post have to do with the new custom maps discussed at Blizzcon, or anything else discussed at Blizzcon, other than tangentially that they're both related to SC2? What part of the content of this post hasn't been posted 1000 times before in every story even mentioning SC2 -- or WoW -- in the past year? Not to mention the fact that one of the things you specifically mentioned, chat channels, is a feature they've been promising to add for almost just as long.

        Because instead of fixing

      • by brkello (642429)

        I am totally with you. It is impossible to read games.slashdot.org anymore. No one talks about the topic. They all have some reason why the corporation is evil and how everyone should boycott and pirate. Same predictable posts get modded up while interesting discussion goes no where. Slashdot is overrun with ideologues trying to out Libertarian each other. Please, we all know you think Blizzard evil. Just stfu and don't comment unless you actually want to talk about the game. If you aren't playing, yo

  • Not interested (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Vicegrip (82853) on Saturday October 23, 2010 @01:45PM (#33997516) Journal
    Not interested in being a slave to the Blizzard content masters.
    • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

      by HBI (604924)

      ...or even buying it without LAN play.

      • by sh3p (1716756)
        I've already hosted a couple StarCraft II LAN Parties and everyone had a great time.
        • Basically, this. With SC1 you had to do some iptables magic behind NAT if you lanned + online play, since not everyone can make it to lans.

          QUIT.
          WHINING.

    • by nobodyman (90587) * on Saturday October 23, 2010 @01:54PM (#33997582) Homepage

      All of your content gets loaded onto Blizzard's infrastructure. There is no local storage. If they don't like your map/gametype -- for any reason -- they can wipe it from existence. Why do they do this? Because they can [arstechnica.com] .

      Because we can. Literally. We have a support department now of size and ability to enforce these types of things. --Bashiok, Blizzard Community Manager

  • SOTIS (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Nevermind that there's already a good DOTA, Storm Of The Imperial Sanctum...

    You can play as the M.U.L.E.!!

    I'm really hoping that someone will come up with a version of The Elements. It was a hugely popular custom map during SC1's first few years.

    • Luckily, now that all maps are hosted and controlled by Blizzard, they could change that.
      • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Original AC here.

        So far blizz hasn't yanked any maps just for the hell of it. The few they have were indeed breaking the rules in one way or another, and once it was sorted out they were allowed to be put back up. Blizz knows that it would be ten kinds of bad to be pulling maps for no reason, so it's very safe to assume that as long as you play by the rules your maps will stay up and be available to whoever is bored enough to click "get more" enough times to find it.

        The largest threat to custom maps is the

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Vaphell (1489021)

          quite recently they outright banned a game called Nexus Wars. It is a words based game and has a dictionary with 30k words attached to it. Long story short the dictionary spewed 'dike' randomly and the game was banned with no warning (so creator could not remove the word from the pool) for inappropriate language. Their system has ambiguosity written all over it - nobody knows the full list of bad words and judging from the chat filters it's ridiculous if anything like it (chat filters out words: black, whit

          • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

            by Anonymous Coward

            Original AC here again..

            "more than 2hrs" wtf man this is a GAME, it isn't a cluster requiring five nines of uptime.

            The creator retains full control of what's in the map, banned or not. Nexus Wars was back up the same day. Again, blizz hasn't yanked anything for the hell of yanking it. It's enough of a 'family game' that nobody wants maps with cussing in them, even me. I do find it a bit odd that they ban maps with the same foul language that is in their unit sounds and campaign maps; "Hell, it's about time"

            • by Vaphell (1489021)

              some guy works his ass off to provide an added value to their game for free, his map worked its ass off to get strong following and climb the broken popularity system and it's ok to ruin his work with a single mouse click because some bored mod followed some loosely defined rules?

              Maybe there is a new version but my bet is it was not unbanned but reuploaded with a different name and will have to gain popularity from 0, because the score of the old version doesn't count.
              Add transferring any rights to the cont

          • I wonder if the dutch know how obscene their system of sea-walls is?
        • The few they have were indeed breaking the rules

          Maybe we wouldn't have a problem with that if they weren't forcing us into a position where breaking 'the rules' matters?

          Sorry, the few friends that I did play SC with never had any need for third party intervention in our games.

  • This is awesome news. There were several custom map types in SC1 that have become a genre in itself (tower defense, mass, impossible scenarios, etc). The SC2 map editor has much more flexibility and should provide many more interesting variants of the game!

  • ...so it would run better on wine.
    Cheers!
  • by Anonymous Coward

    the way custom maps are published has always been horrible in bnet 2.0 so far. you find a really good custom you like one of three things happen to it...

    1.creativity in bnet is limited as if you try innovative controls bnet 2.0 lags any form of custom interface beyond fun playability.

    2. The map maker deletes the map. thus preventing any one from ever playing it again.

    3. It gets deleted by blizzard for random offensive content that isnt even offensive... thus preventing any one from ever playing it again.

    thu

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 23, 2010 @02:20PM (#33997780)

    Just review the EULA, not only do they stipulate that they own all content uploaded to battle.net. They also pass apple-esk divine judgement of randomness on what qualifies to be publically playable.

    Basically they gave their would be mod community the a giant middle finger.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by fishbowl (7759)

      Bear in mind that for a while, Blizzard has been taking orders from people whose positions of power came from the success of the Shrek video game franchise and Guitar Hero. If you're expecting these people to understand the value of a grass roots developer community, think again. It's not just that they are hostile, it's that they just plain don't get it. And if you've ever been down the org chart from someone who makes decisions like this, you understand that you really don't get the opportunity to expl

      • I seriously doubt Activision has that kind of pull. There's a reason it was a merger and not a purchase. Blizzard could have given Activision the finger if it didn't think the terms of the merger left them with more control, not less.
        • by seebs (15766)

          Yeah, that's not how the Real ID thing seems to have gone. People who know Blizzard employees regularly reported during the forums fiasco that it was essentially 100% opposed by Blizzard staff, but that Activision declared it was a "marketing" issue and thus under their control.

          So far as I can tell, if Blizzard had a vote, Real ID would be a nickname-based system that people actually liked, not an adjunct to Facebook.

        • I seriously doubt Activision has that kind of pull. There's a reason it was a merger and not a purchase. Blizzard could have given Activision the finger if it didn't think the terms of the merger left them with more control, not less.

          You assume that the concerns of those guiding the merger were gaining or maintaining control. How do you know they don't have less control, but more money?

      • by znerk (1162519) on Saturday October 23, 2010 @03:15PM (#33998210)

        It's not just that they are hostile, it's that they just plain don't get it.

        Yep, the same way they just "don't get" that removing the ability to play on a LAN breaks the game for many buyers.
        The same way they "don't get" that they are killing the potential longevity of this game with their draconian control measures.
        The same way they "don't get" their entire user base.

        I have purchased several copies of damn near every game Blizzard has made for the last 2 decades. I haven't been on battle.net since the days of Diablo I.
        I (and the other 3 members of my family) used to be huge WoW players.
        I don't see any Blizzard games on the current (or near future) market that grab enough interest (now that I see what they did to StarCraft) to entice me to spend more than about $20 on anything they've got. $60 is ridiculous, especially since they're requiring me to go online to activate single-player mode, I can't just drop in at a LAN party and play, I can get banned (and locked out of single-player mode) for cheating in single-player... The list goes on. Blizzard, you really dropped the ball with this one.

        If the problem is that your developers (or whoever is actually steering your company) "just don't get it", you better find someone who does... fast.

        The kicker is that these decision makers are probably right. They are probably driving a quarter or two of unprecedented growth for the company.

        ... followed by an amazing swan-dive that will drag the entire company into the gutter. Good job looking at the short term, fellas!

        --
        "We'll show those pirates what for! We'll alienate our customer base, and bankrupt ourselves! Let's see them steal our intellectual property after that!"

        • $60 is ridiculous

          USD $88.15 is even worse. Just because I live in Australia.

        • If anything, I bet Blizzard will go from strength to strength and become more profitable than ever.

          A few people might not like it, but the rest of the world won't have a problem with it. If geeks on Slashdot rant about something being locked down and not open, you can bet that it's going to go on to be really successful.

  • by znerk (1162519) on Saturday October 23, 2010 @03:00PM (#33998070)

    Blizzard (over)charges US$60 for their new game, disallows LAN play, cuts off their player base (Seriously? Get caught cheating in SC2 and you're not allowed to play anymore? In single player?), can't deliver new product (what part of this, exactly, isn't just a rehash of the existing franchise, with newer graphics?), and now wants everyone to get excited about map editing? Back in the days of Q2 and Unreal, I could see that... map editors where new and exciting tech back then... but the current RTS market? Even for a huge franchise (but now shrinking, due to Blizzard's slipshod handling of this latest entry), a map editor is less of a "wow factor" than an obvious and expected component in an RTS. No map editor? Multiplayer lasts for a few months, then stops. Without new maps, your game lasts only as long as you are actively (and expensively) promoting it. Duh.

    in lieu of announcements about Heart of the Swarm, the devs are using Blizzcon to showcase the map-editing tools

    Right... Call me when they have something worth looking at, because as far as I can tell, StarCraft2 isn't.

    • by hedwards (940851)
      That's my feeling about that. I'd love to play it, but with Blizzard being so dickish about things which aren't that big a deal, I'm going to have to pass. And if Diablo III gets the same treatment, which it likely will, I won't be playing that either. Which is a shame since I was really looking forward to both games.
    • by ukyoCE (106879)

      Blizzard charges US$60 for their new game, disallows LAN play, cuts off their player base [for cheating], ... is a rehash of the existing franchise

      You just described every major game in the market. Sorry if I'm struggling to muster the anger to raise my pitchfork for business that became standard 5-10 years ago.

      and now wants everyone to get excited about map editing? Back in the days of Q2 and Unreal, I could see that... map editors where new and exciting tech back then

      No they weren't. Wolfenstein and Warcraft 2 were two of my first map editing experiences, quite a while before Q2. There was map editing before those games too.

      But if you're going to call SC2 map editing "just map editing" you may as well call WOW "just D&D" or call Halo Reach "just an fps". Such a broad generalization is pointless and

    • by anerki (169995)

      This is the so-manieth post about cheating in single player mode gets you banned.

      No, cheating in single player mode does NOT get you banned. It's allowed, been implemented and done.

      Cheating to get ACHIEVEMENTS however, is an entirely different matter. Since you're bypassing the built-in system that when you cheat (which can be a hell-lot-of-fun) achievements are disabled for you ... It's honestly not _that_ hard to see the difference between those two.

  • by traindirector (1001483) on Saturday October 23, 2010 @04:11PM (#33998628)

    When I read they were introducing new map types and play modes, my first hope was that they'd bring back team melee [battle.net].

    And before someone says it's already in the game, it's not. It was a really innovative way to play RTS as a team, and it's a shame they haven't included it. If you don't remember the mode from the original, have a look at the thread on the forum asking for its return [battle.net].

    • by JTsyo (1338447)
      Back in SC1 it was fun picking 2 different races so you started off with both workers.
  • I am a pretty big rts fan. Even though I don't play all that much computer games and even though I run Debian on my desktops I actually purchased copies of Warcraft III and Starcaft. I believe those are among the very few games I ever bought. And the only Windows games I bought within the last ten years (I got myself Tribes 2 and Civilization CTP from Loki and UT2004, all for Linux). I was really looking forward to Starcraft 2 and even considered a Windows partition or a purchase of Crossover Games (Wine on

    • by Darkfred (245270)

      You are not an RTS fan. You are a linux guy. Can you be both? I don't think you can, not in today's game market. Perhaps you were an rts fan years ago and still have nostalgia for the genre, but you have chosen to remove yourself from the evolution of the genre and the pc game playing playerbase in general.
      You can look down on us from your high, and game free ideological throne. But the pragmatic, actual game fans, have long since switched back to windows. Or at least dual boot. Or a hackintosh if you are w

  • You stifle creativity.

    I wonder how popular this game will be in 10 years.

    • by JTsyo (1338447)
      the article says the Blizzard maps will be unlocked so people can can how it works.

A committee is a group that keeps the minutes and loses hours. -- Milton Berle

Working...