Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Pony Craft

Lately it seems I find a video I want to share, but the video also spawns a whole back-story that has nothing really to do with the video. And I end up posting this whole back-story and end it with a video that has nothing really to do with the preceding post ...

I guess what I am trying to say is that I am going to post a back-story and then present the video and it will seem that the two are not really connected - except in my brain they are. This is just a warning.

I purchased StarCraft II the day it came out. I'm a fan of StarCraft and WarCraft but it's a love / hate relationship.

A long time ago, back in the late 80's, I worked for computer game company called Westwood Associates. I was a designer on the first RTS (real-time strategy) game called Dune II. I was "a" designer. Brett Sperry was really the one who created the genesis of the design. He was a big fan of a German game on the SEGA called, Herzog Zwei.

Herzog had all the elements of an RTS but I still consider it an arcade game. There will always be a debate whether the first RTS was Dune II or Herzog - but it certainly wasn't Blizzard's WarCraft or StarCraft. I'm also very suspicious as to where Blizzard got their code. At that time, employees at Virgin Entertainment (Westwood's parent company) and Blizzard were very close and their offices were practically next to each other in Irvine, California. - This is just my speculation - most former Westwood folks don't think there's any connection.

Anyway, Brett had a particular talent of taking a design to the next level. He did this with Dune and in role-playing games like Eye of the Beholder, which was an iteration from Dungeon Master by FTL. You can even see elements of modern day flight simulators in DragonStrike and interactive elements and free-flowing AI in Circuit's Edge

Westwood is gone. It was eventually purchased by Electronic Arts and sucked into the giant vacuum of EA LA. Remnants of it remain in the game company, Petroglyph Games, which is owned by Mike Legg and Joe Bostic.

----> Back to StarCraft II. I've been playing this game off and on for over six months and have yet to win one multiplayer game. I've not even gotten close to winning a game. There are way too many professionals out there - and they are so fast and efficient. Sometimes I feel bad for my guys who are just Zerg fodder.

Which leads me to this video I found on Kotaku; it's a new game called PonyCraft. Big eyed, rainbow colored unicorns - now that's something I can get my head around.

Read Kotaku article ---> Stop what you're doing

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