We’ve heard programmer Patrick Wyatt’s tales of his time spent working at Blizzard, particularly his experiences with the original Warcraft. Now Wyatt has updated his blog with a new post discussing the tribulations of developing Starcraft, including his three-word description of the initial concept and the… interesting… internal names given to the game’s objects.
According to Wyatt, “Orcs in space” is how he’d have best described the game at its inception. It’s fair to say that while Starcraft started out as familiar territory to Warcraft — both titles being real-time strategies — the games were more than different enough to justify have two franchises in the same genre.
As a programmer, I found this tid-bit interesting:
History tells us that programmers feel compelled to try every feature of their new language during the first project, and so it was with class inheritance in StarCraft. Experienced programmers will shudder when seeing the inheritance chain that was designed for the game’s units:
CUnit < CDoodad < CFlingy < CThingy
CThingy? I guess it's a bit better than "CFlingy". Anyone who's spent time editing Warcraft or Starcraft maps will be familiar with the name "CDoodad" or just "Doodad". Nice to know it originated with a programmer's experiment with inheritance.
Wyatt also mentions that Starcraft was to have voice-chat, but the hardware and software requirements were excessive, so the decision was made to dump it.
The article does use quite a bit of programmer-specific jargon, but it's an interesting read nonetheless.
Tough Times On The Road To Starcraft [Code Of Honor]
Image: Blizzard / Patrick Wyatt