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View Full Version : TeamLiquid.net interviews Dustin Browder



Gifted
12-03-2009, 02:16 PM
Full Article (http://sclegacy.com/news/29-blizz/549-teamliquidnetinterviewsdustinbrowder)

Gifted
12-03-2009, 02:34 PM
What are some of your favorite quotes from this interview? Why do you like that quote?

Does it alleviate a concern you had? Does it reconfirm a hope you held onto? Do you think Dustin Browder has a firm grip on what truly needs to be done to get this game to where it needs to go?

Do you think that you'd be able to do a likewise job in his shoes or do you value his expertise?

DemolitionSquid
12-03-2009, 02:40 PM
What are some of your favorite quotes from this interview? Why do you like that quote?

The whole thing just validates everything I've said. Choice is good, the devs want choice. Macro doesn't have to be boring and repetitive. Maps should not be final balance, they're just forced to be because of the nature of diversity.


Does it alleviate a concern you had? Does it reconfirm a hope you held onto? Do you think Dustin Browder has a firm grip on what truly needs to be done to get this game to where it needs to go?

My only concern for a long time has been the macro mechanics, and the tweet a few days ago relieved that a bit. I think the devs are finally understanding that competition is supposed to be fun.


Do you think that you'd be able to do a likewise job in his shoes or do you value his expertise?

I could eat him for breakfast. His head is egglike enough methinks.

Offtopic: I'd also like to state that any leaking TL may have done in the past has no influence on my opinion of them; everyone makes mistakes.

Gifted
12-03-2009, 02:53 PM
Thanks for answering the questions, I look forward to other people's answers as well and hope they just don't focus on replying to yours :) *chuckles* Here's to hoping ^^

Regarding other sites on the other thread, let's just drop that subject as a whole and thank them now for the contribution they just brought to the community. I'd consider this one a fantastic one in terms of a read.

Norfindel
12-03-2009, 03:03 PM
TL: To follow that up, what types of challenges do you face when trying to balance the needs of the casual player versus the rage of hardcore players like in the progaming community. You had mentioned the macro mechanics being a big one.

DB: Sure that's definitely a big one – it's a place where we feel we can definitely do better but it then does break other systems. You know a great example I love reading on Teamliquid and elsewhere were not so much that you guys were missing clicks – some people said that and I didn't agree with that – but that we were missing the difference between a macro player and a micro player.

It's all about a difference in playing style. The problem is to enhance that difference, while at the same time keeping the level of quality, and not just add something that will accomplish that, even if it's not at Blizzard quality. They know they can do better with the macro mechanics.

TL: Up until Blizzcon we had heard a lot about the Queen and in previous interviews, yourself and other members of the development team had said they found Zerg to be the be pretty weak. Now when we got to Blizzcon we played and released an article where we had said we found the Queen's macro mechanic to be extremely powerful (perhaps too powerful). So a big discussion spurred from that about why was the development team finding Zerg to be so weak vs. our play test. Now obviously we only had a limited amount of time with the build, but do you have any thoughts on that?


So it's very possible that you are correct even with your limited play time. But simply, we have too limited a player pool and we are not pushing it as much as maybe we should. So who knows? We'll find out when we get to beta what the reality of that stuff is. It doesn't really...well it matters to me right now and we are going to keep working on it, but we've got plenty of time for those kinds of adjustments.

He almost says "it doesn't really matters" :). But really, i think they're going to do whatever they can right now, then they will see in beta what happends with the mechanics, tweak or change whatever they see needs changing. So, i don't expect them to come with a perfect solution right now.


I really do feel like using map balance as a method of racial balance is something that the community has quite correctly evolved because we aren't doing a lot of patches. And so you guys have taken over the balance for us in many ways by doing the map balance which I think is glorious and I think you do a great job. But initially we won't be doing that because we know we can patch and will be patching frequently. So initially we'll be doing the balancing with the races themselves. As time goes on we may evolve, I don't know right now. We may evolve into a similar type of formula where we are doing more with map balance but we may not. Certainly for the next few years with the expansions we are going to be doing a lot of stuff with the races.
This is good. Terrans were too reliant of terrain all the time in BW. If they have a good choke and/or high ground made all the difference in the world to them.

But we're going to do everything you can to make it as flexible as possible to do everything creatively on your feet at the time. So you can't just become complacent and memorize a build and just run with it.

It's going to be kind of a constant arms race. We're going to be looking for ways to make it a flexible game where there's always new decisions to be made and always creative problems being presented to you. At the same time, the community is going to be looking to break that – you guys are going to be looking for ways to make just one build that always wins. Because that's what I always want to do - always win.

So that's going to be the challenge for us, and again it's not that we are trying to destroy anything specific to the original Starcraft, but we are trying to limit anything that comes up where its like “that's the obvious move.”

That's the stuff! Options! The higher the amount of options available to the player, the higher the possibility that someone does something unexpected, and unexpected stuff is the key of RTS gameplay. If you can surprise the enemy, with an unexpected but valid build, scouting becomes much more important. If you can choose several responses to an enemy build, it won't be predictible.

Spartan
12-03-2009, 03:27 PM
Really nice interview. Though most of it has been reiterated countless times it is still good to know they're sticking to what they say.

ArcherofAiur
12-03-2009, 03:59 PM
Can we talk about the best line of the whole interview.

The benefit you guys bring to the game, the passion and knowledge this community brings has been a huge benefit working on the game. It's had a huge influence and I think it has made the game a lot better.

:D That is why I am part of the SC2 community!

DemolitionSquid
12-03-2009, 04:09 PM
I'm just here to be a douche.

Spartan
12-03-2009, 05:10 PM
You're doing a bad job at it. :D

Hamshank
12-03-2009, 05:57 PM
This was a great interview as always -- thanks for sharing it.
Lots of new information.

I wonder what he meant about "juicy patches", it sounded like he was hinting about DLC, possibly paid? It would make sense, it's such a money maker.

Gifted
12-03-2009, 06:00 PM
By ensuring that it's compared to WoW, I believe it had nothing to do with DLC in that inference. In short, Between products, WoW has a significant amount of patches. By modelling after this, we may see Battle.net improvements that are something we'll be anticipating weeks beforehand. Who knows, I wouldn't be surprised to hear them put up a test server of sorts.

For those who don't play WoW, this is a very good thing to have confirmed. Essentially they're giving solid support to Battle.net.

SuperKiller
12-03-2009, 06:57 PM
I'm thinking patches and updates for bnet itself

<3 TL staff

Spartan
12-04-2009, 05:21 AM
Let's just hope they do constant patching this time around.

Gifted
12-04-2009, 01:57 PM
Well, if it's "constant" by terms of World of Warcraft which they elude to... I suspect we can see some of the following traits:

- Patches for B.net itself (not the games) which involve fixing bugs and vunerabilities that are found. (This is comparible to how steam patches themselves maybe once every 2-3 weeks)
- Large "content" packages that involve new features that couldn't make ship. (Think Marketplace, new DLC (if it exists), eSports features, Replay posting, Cloud technology updates, rollout of B.net compatibility to older games, incorporation of 3rd party ladders such as ICCUP2, etc.... which they have eluded to much of within many interviews.)
- Speculation: They could also incorporate some sort of test system to allow for easier distribution/testing of the patches before they come out.

Hunter_I
12-04-2009, 02:06 PM
Well, dustin, if Blizzard gets hit by a meteor tomorrow, and you all die, noone will have SC2 to think how awsome it is, because it's not even betta-ready yet. In fact, it looks like half of us will have gray hair and severe dimentia, before we get to buy SC2 in our local shop.

Gifted
12-04-2009, 03:41 PM
Well, dustin, if Blizzard gets hit by a meteor tomorrow, and you all die, noone will have SC2 to think how awsome it is, because it's not even betta-ready yet. In fact, it looks like half of us will have gray hair and severe dimentia, before we get to buy SC2 in our local shop.I'm sure his intent was about after the game was released and how much he and the rest of the team are pouring their efforts into make the game as good as it can be. This is no different than any other game they've created (or even cut as it didn't stand up to the level of quality they stand for).

sandwich_bird
12-05-2009, 01:35 AM
Well, dustin, if Blizzard gets hit by a meteor tomorrow, and you all die, noone will have SC2 to think how awsome it is, because it's not even betta-ready yet. In fact, it looks like half of us will have gray hair and severe dimentia, before we get to buy SC2 in our local shop.Well I don't know about you guys but if a zombie apocalypse would start tomorrow I wouldn't try to escape to Alaska (like in almost every zombie movie), I'd make my way to Blizzard HQ to play SC2 :D

pure.Wasted
12-05-2009, 05:36 AM
Favorite quotes? On the serious side of things, both the "micro vs. macro player" bit and the "...was a hard pill to swallow" bits show that he has a great understanding (now, if not before) of what he's gotten himself into. And understanding that is (hopefully?) the first step of figuring out what to do next.

Really, I'm surprised this interview has gotten such acclaim. For someone like me who already liked Browder a lot to begin with... it reaffirmed my faith, I suppose, but it definitely didn't revolutionize anything.


That said, he does provide some interesting insights into the way the community-developers relationship works, which is an area we hear about oh-so-very-rarely. And being the community, and all, it's quite understandable that this is an area we'd want to know a LOT more about. Two thumbs up for Dustin, two thumbs up for the interview... but a tad more conservatively. ;)

Gifted
12-05-2009, 10:37 AM
WARNING: Personal opinion. I may be incorrect or correct. Doesn't matter as it's my personal thoughts/observations. Please make a point to "agree/disagree" and not say "right/wrong". Thank you!

While I'm on the same page as you Pure.Wasted, I think the reason this is acclaimed so much is due to community morale. I think many of us can feel the tone of the SC2 community as a WHOLE shift lately to a more negative aspect. With what people feel has been a lack of communication (which is IMHO wrong as the communication has only shifted from blue posts to twitter posts) the community feels like it's disconnected with the developers in charge of the game that they're passionate about.

This coupled with the overall mentality that "SC2 is ready for beta, Battle.net is in the works" people might feel their suggestions to improve the game unjustified. Because "Why suggest or discuss it with them if it's "ready for beta" and won't get much further until then". It's a hard thing for community morale to swallow because they UNDERSTAND why it is, but they don't neccessarily appreciate the way it has become.

When people feel discouraged that "nothing is truly changing" they can believe that the game ACTUALLY isn't evolving or changing in reality, which can be even more discouraging. They may view it as "SC2 on back burner" while another team works on battle.net and they polish SC2 Single Player. This can be a frustrating view to have... even if it's not the reality they suspect it is.

Let's not even go into the beta delays... that's like telling my 5 year old child on yule-tide morning that Christmas is on the 26th.. It may be a trivial wait compared to what he's endured but those 24 hours will be meticulously measured and weigh down his heart. Doubt in his mind may even go so far as to suggest ... "What if it's the 27th?" as is natural for a person who faces bad news is to prepare for worse news.

Recently comments such as "Working on new protoss mechanic" or "We're still looking into ways to help Zerg improve" are things that the community that has been discouraged has needed to hear. It makes them feel like their passion and investment doesn't amount to nothing. And an interview like this shows them that while they may have felt discouraged... it might be for naught as SC2 is not back burner and is still being worked on. In short, I feel that the larger that a person appreciates this interview... the more of the weight on their passion may have been lifted...

Just my two cents... I apologize for the rambling.

FrozenArbiter
12-05-2009, 11:31 AM
Who knows, I wouldn't be surprised to hear them put up a test server of sorts.
They already have this for WC3 right? Westfall or something?

Hunter_I
12-05-2009, 01:10 PM
I'm sure his intent was about after the game was released and how much he and the rest of the team are pouring their efforts into make the game as good as it can be. This is no different than any other game they've created (or even cut as it didn't stand up to the level of quality they stand for).

Well, it is true that Blizzard makes games as close to perfect as it can be, and sure SC2 won't be any different. BUT, this time the teasing goes for just too long. We've been getting the snippets since the very announcement. T'wasn't the case with SC1, or WC3, sure there was some tease, but not this endless ball-pulling.
Sure, business wise Blizz does great, I mean check out all the income from conferences, festivals and merchandise. But damn, can we have the bloody game already?

Kimera757
12-05-2009, 02:29 PM
Info on Warcraft III was available from Blizzard in 1999. It didn't come out until 2002.

Blizzard really needs to delay the announcements of games, IMO.

Gifted
12-05-2009, 02:42 PM
Well, it is true that Blizzard makes games as close to perfect as it can be, and sure SC2 won't be any different. BUT, this time the teasing goes for just too long. We've been getting the snippets since the very announcement. T'wasn't the case with SC1, or WC3, sure there was some tease, but not this endless ball-pulling.
Sure, business wise Blizz does great, I mean check out all the income from conferences, festivals and merchandise. But damn, can we have the bloody game already?In reference to how this was not done with SC1/WC3, that's because the industry is different this time around. The scope of the project is significantly larger.

I find it interesting that I hear people complain about the information they've received about the game every 1-3 business days. I would rather have that then have a lack of communication which is more the staple for the majority of other companies.

Regarding the delay itself and why it's taken so long... Blizzard Entertainment is one of the few companies in the world that has the ability to let their designers make the calls on the games. Other companies have the issue that the developers are beholden to the people that finance video games the publishers (http://www.wolfsheadonline.com/?p=3481#5821b). The only mistake they've made is announcing the game too early... but even Rob Pardo admits that (http://www.industrygamers.com/news/blizzards-pardo-we-always-announce-all-of-our-games-too-early/).

I would rather have a polished game delayed which I can't wait for ... than a buggy game I was excited about.

ArcherofAiur
12-05-2009, 04:00 PM
i think people are taking the beta delays way to seriously. I knew this was what the wait would be like on the day they unvieled Starcraft 2. At this point ive waited through WC3 and WOW's development. You just have to realize that this is what the making of a Blizzard game is like.

And for the record I dont think announcing it later would have done much. For one the community has allot of impact on the game. Furthermore whether they announce it or not Ive been waiting for 11 years. Id rather wait with new pictures and info then silence.

Norfindel
12-06-2009, 09:47 AM
Info on Warcraft III was available from Blizzard in 1999. It didn't come out until 2002.

Blizzard really needs to delay the announcements of games, IMO.
Well, they're working on SC2 since The Frozen Throne, so they waited plenty of time, but they weren't expecting the delay.

Kimera757
12-06-2009, 11:32 AM
Well, they're working on SC2 since The Frozen Throne, so they waited plenty of time, but they weren't expecting the delay.

True, as they themselves admitted. Still, they should have known better. But of course they won't.

It's not the end of the world or anything, but IMO they shouldn't have announced StarCraft II until March 2008 (when they announced the zerg).

Pandonetho
12-06-2009, 02:21 PM
I'm fine with them announcing it in 2007. Way too much has changed due to fan feedback that I would otherwise not have accepted in the game.

Santrega
12-07-2009, 03:59 PM
I'm fine with them announcing it in 2007. Way too much has changed due to fan feedback that I would otherwise not have accepted in the game.

And some things changed that were really cool, and never should have been removed :(

hyde
12-10-2009, 01:03 AM
too bad bobby kotick and friends at activision are forcing them to sell the game in 3 packs.

Pandonetho
12-10-2009, 01:09 AM
too bad bobby kotick and friends at activision are forcing them to sell the game in 3 packs.

Says who?

DemolitionSquid
12-10-2009, 10:23 AM
too bad bobby kotick and friends at activision are forcing them to sell the game in 3 packs.

Kotick is a douche, but the 1 main game and 2 expansions was not his idea. It's also a GOOD idea. You're the fool for not supporting it.

newcomplex
12-13-2009, 09:28 PM
too bad bobby kotick and friends at activision are forcing them to sell the game in 3 packs.

You want blizzard to sell 90 single player missions in one game?

Its one game, and two expansions. It isn't complicated. The original game is full priced, comes with 3 multiplayer races, and 30 missions. The two expansions are priced as expansions (meaning 10$ off from what the original was priced at), 25-30 missions, and a couple units for multiplayer.

What is wrong with that? Thats basically the same getup we had with warcraft 2, sc1, and wc3 except their making 30 more missions to sell as an additional expansion.

Second, Activison cannot force blizzard to do anything. Their stocks are split almost 50/50, with blizzard owning slightly more.