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Fans of StarCraft may be familiar with the story; a small videogame development company, gaining popularity because of its "Humans vs Orcs" RTS games, decided to create a space RTS which, from conception until beta, looked and played like a trainwreck. This space RTS eventually turned into StarCraft, which remained the world's most famous and most-played RTS for twelve years until StarCraft II came along. Many sites have written articles about the progression and evolution of StarCraft (such as our Evolution of StarCraft article), but it's a rare sight to see a developer for the original StarCraft come forward to discuss the troubles of making such a great game.

Patrick Wyatt, former executive of Blizzard Entertainment, wrote on his blog explaining the problems he and the rest of his team faced when programming StarCraft.

At the time of the StarCraft reboot, according to Johnny Wilson, then Editor in Chief of Computer Gaming World, the largest-distribution gaming magazine of that time, there were over eighty (80!!) RTS games in development. With so many competitors on our heels, including Westwood Studios, the company that originated the modern RTS play-style, we needed to make something that kicked ass.

And we were no longer an underdog; with the successes of Warcraft and Diablo continuing to fill the news we sure wouldn't be getting any slack from players or the gaming press. In the gaming world you're only ever as good as your last game. We needed to go far beyond what we'd done previously, and that required taking risks.

 

The article is fairly long and gives an insider perspective on the development of the game. To read the full post, click here.

Source:
Code of Honor - Tough times on the road to Starcraft

The Smithsonian Institution, in its decision to explore videogames as an expression of art, took votes from people in over a hundred countries to decide which games will debut in their upcoming The Art of Video Games exhibit. One of the games chosen was our beloved StarCraft.

The Art of Video Games is one of the first exhibitions to explore the forty-year evolution of video games as an artistic medium, with a focus on striking visual effects and the creative use of new technologies. It features some of the most influential artists and designers during five eras of game technology, from early pioneers to contemporary designers. The exhibition focuses on the interplay of graphics, technology and storytelling through some of the best games for twenty gaming systems ranging from the Atari VCS to the PlayStation 3.

 

The Smithsonian website has the tour dates of the exhibit, a list of the featured games, and a description of the exhibit, so be sure to check those out if you are interested.

Source:
Smithsonian American Art Museum - Exhibitions: The Art of Video Games

During the past week, TeamLiquid.net has been covering a now-infamous match fixing scandal, which currently involves several famous Korean progamers and a handful of others that had participated in the illegal events that took place. Coverage had officially begun after Newsis.com, Fomos.kr and The Korean Times had confirmed rumors regarding the results of a recent Korean criminal investigation. This group of 16 individuals had either collaborated in fixing matches or had knowledge of the illegal activity going on.

To the dismay of thousands of loyal StarCraft progamer fans across the world, it has been confirmed that many tournament matches were fixed in order allow these individuals to profit and collect millions. The current and ex-programers that were responsible for throwing their own matches were promised amounts ranging between 2-6 million at a time by the brokers involved. Meanwhile, these brokers and other collaborators had collected from their gambling earnings and made an effort to hide the truth from the eyes of the unknowing public.

The KeSPA investigation was thought to be started after the discovery of privately recorded practice matches were found. These practice tapes were being sold from various progamers' teammates to other rival progamer teams in order to give the rivals an unfair advantage. Once it had become apparent that progamers were selling out their own teammates to the competition, an official investigation had begun. Investigators started diging deeper and deeper, until more crimes and evidence were brought to the public's attention.

As of right now, several of the guilty programers that have been revealed by the investigation have come forward and apologized to public for their immoral actions. These include progamers such as YellOw[ArnC] (Z), UpMaGiC (T), go.go (T) and type-b (Z). It has also been announced that players such as Luxury (Z) and Yarnc (Z) have had their contracts terminated by teams and that they have now retired. Other progamers such as Justin (T) and DarkElf (T) and even the famous sAviOr (Z) have been unofficially pinned down as suspects, but have yet to respond to the allegations. Fans have already confirmed them as guilty, considering the incriminating details that have already been released by investigators.

sAviOr is quite possibly the most controversial suspect out of the entire group. His current coach, Cho Kyuu Nam has gone on the record defending sAviOr by previously claiming that all of the criminal accusations made towards sAviOr were false. The world famous Zerg player may now soon have to answer to all of his loyal fans and even his coach as well.

UPDATE: News has surfaced stating that sAviOr (Z) has been released by his team, CJ Entus. KeSPA is also forcing sAviOr to retire. Hwansin (T) has also come forward to apologize for his actions on his cyworld (social network account.)

Click here to read more about the current coverage.

Sources:
TeamLiquid.net - Match Fixing Scandal Confirmed
Newsis.com - 11 Progamers Prosecuted for Match Fixing (Korean)
Fomos.kr - Prosecutors Announced Investigation Results (Korean)
The Korean Times - StarCraft Gamers Indicted for Game Fixing (Korean)
Fomos.kr - Luxary's Retirement Disclosure (Korean)
Osen.mt.co.kr - CJ released "Bonjwa" sAviOr (Korean)
Cyworld.com - Hwasin's Apology (Korean)

Over the years, StarCraft has been a primarily Multiplayer-driven game. The Sci-Fi RTS and its community have both been kept alive by the spirit of competition between professional players all over the world and the love of their own fans. The game's single-player experience has since captivated others over the years, because of its compelling Sci-Fi story and lore.

Beyond this, the game has also provided a private arena for its most casual fans ever since its initial release. This arena is known by many player as the art of good old fashioned comp stomping. Most players would challenge themselves to see how many computer opponents they could take on at once, simply because the AI was as crude and lackluster as you would expect from a Legacy game such as StarCraft. A pair of PhD students hope to remedy this by developing an intelligent AI opponent that not only plays on a much higher level, but also evolves and learns build orders by evaluating data from others' replays.

This short clip showcases the new AI (Blue Terran) fighting against a human player by laying spider mines on top of a bridge out the human player's sight. The AI's developers not only want to see if their AI, EISBot, can make the default StarCraft AI obsolete, but they also want to prove that it can compete against the best StarCraft pro-gamers in the world.

Real-time strategy games provide an excellent environment for A.I. research and creating bots that are capable of defeating skilled players in this domain is still an open problem. EISBot is the Expressive Intelligence Studio's StarCraft bot and is part of our dissertation research. It is coded in a reactive planning language and is composed of managers that handle different aspects of gameplay. EISBot selects build orders from a set of replays using case-based reasoning. Our goal is to build a bot that learns how to play StarCraft competitively based on analysis of expert StarCraft replays.


Even though the sample clip above shows EISBot playing TvT, the bot plays Protoss as its race of choice. It currently has a healthy 20% win ratio against human players this early in development.

Click here to read more.

Sources:
Tomshardware.com
Gamepro.com

StarCraft: Legacy has decided to return to its roots with a little bit of hardcore writing for this article. l33telboi has written an in-depth analysis about the physics of the C-14 Impaler Gauss Rifle. How would those rifles that Marines tote around compare to other Terran weapons or even modern weaponry?

By looking at the technical specifications of the C-14 gauss rifle and its ammunition we thus find that it should have a kinetic energy between 15 and 34 kilojoules, assuming the absolute minimum muzzle velocity. Why is kinetic energy important? It's pretty much how we determine if one gun is more powerful then another in modern days. Of course in truth a comparison is far more complicated than so, but kinetic energy is a good rough indicator. So, for comparison, an M16 assault rifle bullet has a kinetic energy of about 1.7 kilojoules, and an AK-47 assault rifle has a kinetic energy of around 2 kilojoules. The figures for the C-14 are quite high when compared with modern assault rifles. So what sorts of modern weapons have similar kinetic energies? Well, a heavy machine gun firing .50 cal BMG rounds has a kinetic energy between 15 and 20 kilojoules, so that's roughly on par. What all this means is that we can assume at least rough parity between the two in terms of kinetic energy. But to point out - the .50 cal BMG (or 12.7 mm) machine gun is something you mount on modern vehicles, like Hummvees. There are also some anti-materiel rifles using the same round, most famously the M2 Barrett.

 

Read the rest here.

Source:
Quantifying the C-14 “Impaler” Gauss Rifle


  

StarCraft.org, the oldest StarCraft fansite, and host to the Blizzard Authorized Maps Database since 1998, has relaunched. Our friends at StarCraft.org have put in lots of work into the site's coding. This is your go-to place for maps, mods, fanfiction, blogs, art and more. Check it out!

Source:
StarCraft.org

Korean e-Sports Player Association (KeSPA), the preimere leader for competative gaming in Korea, recently launched an English portal into the world of Korean e-Sports. The site provides much of the same information as its Korean counterpart with updated player rankings, upcoming proleague matches and industry news and much more.

English KeSPA Site Launch

KeSPA's latest efforts to develop an English website is the first of many steps needed to bridge the Korean e-Sports community to the rest of the world. With the release of an english website, it could be a step forward in cooperation between the Blizzard and KeSPA or simply prepare the expansion of similar organizations to other countries such as the United Kingdoms. Regardless of KeSPA's goal, the addition of the english website provides a more convinient look into the Korean eSports scene to the English speaking community.

Source: 
KeSPA e-Sports

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The newest episode of the Ascension of Duran StarCraft campaign has just been released:

It's finally here! After a lot of work and late nights I proudly present to you Ascension of Duran: Dark Purposes. This is the second Ascension of Duran campaign in the series and has custom sound, graphics and challenging game play.

 

As always, this Campaign Creations campaign is of the highest quality and has had much work put into it. Check out and download the campaign over at the official page, and remember to check out the progress for Campaign Creation's beta key contest campaigns as well.

Sources:
Campaign Creations - Ascension of Duran
Campaign Creations - Ascension of Duran: Dark Purposes

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Welcome to StarCraft: Legacy's Pimpest Plays 2007! Indeed, we'll be the first to say that this release is unapologetically late. Nonetheless, we have persevered to bring to you what we feel serves as the benchmark, the gold standard, for StarCraft's greatest moments. Even in 2007, hot on the heels of the announcement of StarCraft's sequel, the game's players and plays have continued to evolve. The art of StarCraft is still practiced by people whose passion for the game is surpassed only by their skill and innovation.

There are eight finalists, two honorable mentions and one unPimpest Play. The unPimpest Play is awarded to the spectacular "choke." The Honorable Mentions are awarded often to the small tricks or boundless clicks. We hope you enjoy SC:Legacy's most popular feature. The submission form for Pimpest Plays 2008 will be up soon.

Source:
StarCraft: Legacy's Pimpest Plays 2007


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Patch 1.16.1 has been released for StarCraft. The most notable change is the CPU Throttling option, which allows StarCraft to run in fewer CPU cycles.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
- patch 1.16.1
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Feature Changes

- In-game Speed Options menu now has a "Enable CPU Throttling" checkbox.
  Enabling this option will allow StarCraft to consume fewer CPU cycles. By
  default this option is off.

Bug Fixes

- Fixed an issue with the reply feature where any character followed by an "r"
  was being treated as a reply.
- Removed an unnecessary delay when processing palette cycling updates.
- Lessened the imposed delay in the CPU Throttling feature.


Discuss this article in the forum.

Source:
Battle.net - StarCraft Patch 1.16.1
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