Hello! I'm Tom. I designed a game called Gunpoint, about rewiring things and punching people, and now I'm working on a new one called Heat Signature, about sneaking aboard randomly generated spaceships. Here's some more info on all the games I've worked on, here's the podcast I do, here are the videos I make on YouTube, here are some of the articles I wrote for PC Gamer, and here are two short stories I wrote for the Machine of Death collections.
It’s a game from Blizzard, and yet it’s artistically uninteresting. I’m sure it’ll be wonderful, but why does it look so vapid and plastic? These might as well be sprites, they have no depth or character to them. In the original the Zerg looked sticky and disgusting. In this they look like a breakfast cereal.
Blizzard have never had the edge with tech, but their artists always wildly over-compenstated by giving everything wonderfully exaggerated character. Even with the primitive Warcraft 3 engine, they managed to make units look cool enough that you could zoom in on them for cutscenes, and watch them talk. And as you can see, you wouldn’t want to zoom in on these guys.
Anyway, excited nonetheless. Beww!
bob_Arctor: Meh. The gameplay video did absolutely nothing to excite me.
We have Dawn of War and Company of Heros, not that they massively interested me, but they are obviously better than this.
RTS used to be my favourite genre, now I just can't get excited about it.
The napoleonic 3d wargame looks good. Can't remember the name, Tim Stone mentioned it in PCG.
The civil war ones were a nice idea but the interface and presentation put me off buying them, 2d sprites and a restrictive camera, unrewarding fighting animations, difficult to do things.
Bobsy: I mostly want to play SC2 for the dialogue, story and cutscenes (and the Dark Templar). Playing -Craft RTSs is an exercise in patience as missions become increasingly complicated and effort-consuming. There'd better be an easy mode for this.
Jason L: Did...Did I just see Jerry Holkins lament the lack of 'other games inside' the most brazenly, exhaustively, aggressively mod-friendly entertainment software product in history?
Tom Francis: I don't know - got a link? I couldn't see it in the latest news post.
Your use of this extremely old post reminds me I ought to have one up about StarCraft 2 now that I've played it. The plasticness isn't so much of a problem - it's still there on the Terrans, but the Zerg look properly gross now.
Warcraft III was, by comparison [with Starcraft II], chockablock with innovations and crazy bullshit - the sort of prayerful long pass that a company with Blizzard's talent and resources can bring to fruition. I don't know who else is supposed to take these chances. Beyond its narrative strengths, which were manifold, its technological and philosophical bones gave rise to Defense of the Ancients, which I've argued constitutes an entirely new genre. It was a game so bold that it contained games within it. Where is that bold heart?
The artistic point is fine, but there on the back hand is a dose of WTF.
I'm sure you've written about SCII on PCG. I regret the post now, sorry. It was late enough that I shouldn't have allowed myself to post anything, Twitter gave me bullshit, and James was the closest familiar post box where I wouldn't be disrupting a discussion about the actual game.
Tom Francis: No, it's cool. Kind of an incredible point. Even if you ignore the toolset, the number of SCII missions that are games in themselves rather than a standard base assault is crazy. It's actually a fault, I think.
Unrelatedly, I wonder if Warcraft 3 had threw this much tired cliche at me and I just accepted it, or if StarCraft 2 really is the narrative downturn it feels like for Blizzard. I feel like it's trying to bore me, sometimes.