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Posts with tag Blizzard-Entertainment

Third annual Blizzard Student Art Contest announces winners

Blizzard has looked through all of the entries for the third annual Blizzard Student Art Contest and chosen the winners, who were announced on the official website yesterday. Entrants this year had four different categories to choose from -- Environment, Character, and Weapons art, and also an Animation category -- the first time we've seen additional categories for the contest. Needless to say the variety of winning entries covered everything under the sun.

The top three winners were Sukjoo-Choi for the mount model shown above, Servando Lupini for an absolutely gorgeous Hallows End-themed environment design, and Duy Nguyen for an eredar-themed, incredibly ornate weapon that frankly I'd love to see a draenei slinging around. Runners up included more environment and weapon art, as well as several incredibly quirky character designs, including an otter fisherman complete with rod and knapsack full of tasty fish. Check out the official announcement page for a look at all of the entries from the talented winners, runner-ups, and honorable mentions -- and congratulations to all!

Filed under: Blizzard, News items, Contests

Diablo III: Reaper of Souls Collector's Edition content revealed

With all the talk of Warlords of Draenor and Hearthstone around here, you might have forgotten about Blizzard's other expansion release next month. Diablo III: Reaper of Souls makes it debut on March 25, and the contents of the physical Collector's Edition were finally revealed earlier this week for all to see. Purchasers of the Collector's Edition will receive several digital items, including the Treasure Goblin Pet for World of Warcraft, StarCraft II character portraits and Malthael Decals, and a Spectral Hound minion with a set of aesthetic artifacts -- helms and weapons -- to be used with Diablo III's new transmogrification feature.

Of course, this is all available with the Digital Deluxe version of the game as well, so why would you want a physical Collector's Edition? In addition to the digital goodies found in the Digital Deluxe edition, those purchasing the Collector's Edition will get a Behind-the-Scenes DVD and Blu-Ray two-disc set featuring interviews, round-table discussions and behind-the-scenes commentary on the game's development, the official Reaper of Souls soundtrack, The Art of Reaper of Souls -- a gorgeous hardcover book featuring early sketches, artwork, and 3D renders from the game, as well as a Malthael mouse pad.

The Diablo III: Reaper of Souls Collector's Edition is available for pre-order on Amazon for $79.99, as well as at a variety of other retailers. As with all Collector's Editions, supplies are limited -- if you want the physical version and all the bonuses it has to offer, you may want to pre-order your copy sooner rather than later.

Filed under: Blizzard, Diablo 3

Reminder: Blizzard Student Art Contest deadline is this Friday

The deadline for the Blizzard Student Art Contest is fast approaching! If you're working on a piece for the Blizzard Student Art Contest, which this year includes four categories for submissions -- Environment Art, Character Art, Weapon Art, or Animation -- note that the deadline for submissions is Friday, January 31. That's this Friday, so if you're still in the middle of working on submission pieces, you better start wrapping them up.

This year's contest includes a gigantic collection of prizes for winners. Grand Prize winners will receive a one year subscription to World of Warcraft, a Blizzard Entertainment notebook featuring an original sketch by a Blizzard artist, a Blizzard T-shirt, and a three-month mentorship by a member of the World of Warcraft art team in the form of email or phone critique of portfolio work. If you have yet to submit your entry, or just want another look at the official rules and information, head to the official contest page and get it in before it's too late. Good luck to all who enter!


Filed under: Blizzard, News items, Contests

StarCraft II Arcade now free to play

Good news for Blizzard fans looking for more games to play -- the StarCraft II Arcade is now completely free. StarCraft II is not only well known for the game and tournament play, but also for its creative community. The game comes with a map editor that allows you to customize and craft your own creations, using Blizzard art assets and maps to put together whatever game your creative mind happens to dream up. These creations are all available as part of the StarCraft II Arcade, a massive index of player-created games.

So what's in the Arcade? Everything from custom maps and missions to StarCraft-themed versions of popular games like Bejeweled and Pictionary. Full access to all games in the Arcade was previously limited only to those who purchased StarCraft II. With the launch of patch 2.1, all games in the Arcade have now been made available to anyone with a Battle.net account -- even games that previously required the Heart of the Swarm. To access the Arcade, simply download and install the free trial version of StarCraft II, no purchase necessary.

Read more →

Filed under: News items, StarCraft 2

Wowhead covers popular references in WoW

If you've ever wondered about some of the more unusually-named items in World of Warcraft, they might just be named after one of Blizzard's many employees -- or even after someone in the Warcraft community. Wowhead just released an incredibly comprehensive Blizzard and Community References in WoW guide that covers what is a far larger group of references than I'd originally thought. There are even some items on the list that I didn't even know existed, like Brazie's Black Book of Secrets, sold only to Alliance raiders in Icecrown Citadel for a heart-stopping 22,000 gold, and a reference to former Encounter Designer Alexander Brazie.

It's interesting just how many of the items and NPCs we interact with on a daily basis are actually references to real-life people and events. While some are fairly obvious -- who doesn't know that Ghostcrawler the spirit beast is named after Greg Street -- others are far more obscure. I must have picked it up a thousand times, but I never realized that Robble's Wobbly Staff was actually named after someone out here in the real world.

The post, covering only Blizzard employee and community member references, is part of an absorbing pop-culture item reference series. In addition to the Blizzard employee post, the other entries so far in the series include pop culture references in achievements, as well as references inspired by video games, movies and TV, and a lengthy but fascinating post detailing comics, books, music and poetry references. Be sure to check out the entire series, it's well worth the read -- and you may just discover that item you're wearing or that quest you just completed has far more meaning than you'd originally thought.

Filed under: News items

On developer interaction and behind-the-scenes info

There's an interesting thread going on right now on the official forums, concerning the possibility of an ongoing series of interviews or video content exploring the behind-the-scenes at Blizzard. CM Zarhym chimed in with a mention of the A Day in the Life series that was released during Blizzard's 20 year anniversary celebration. But more importantly, he noted that it takes a lot of resources to put that kind of feature together, which is why Blizzard tries to pair things like interviews and behind-the-scenes info with big announcements.

And that's completely understandable. It takes time, effort and resources to put together a feature -- time and resources that could be spent on better things, like improving and working on that game we love to play. But after many other inquires and suggestions on the subject, Zarhym shared another, longer post that made everything just a little more clear -- and raised some good points about developer interaction in general.

Read more →

Filed under: Blizzard, News items

Create your own papercraft Treasure Goblin from Diablo III

The folks on the Diablo III team have decided to wish everyone a happy holiday with a fun gift -- a papercraft Treasure Goblin complete with treasure bag. This delightful and kind of creepy little guy, appropriately dubbed Lewt, is free to download on the Diablo III site. Included along with the printable sheets are step by step directions to putting both Lewt and his treasure bag together, just in time for the holidays. Once construction is complete, you can fill Lewt's treasure bag with whatever bits of treasure you think the little guy would appreciate.

And once you've done that, be sure to take some pictures of Lewt in action. Tweet your photos @Diablo with the hashtag #WHERESMYLEWT to show off your photos, and you could find yourself on the official Twitter or Facebook -- Blizzard will be sharing submitted photos, as well as photos of their own, throughout the rest of the holidays. For more information, the downloadable printout, and instructions, visit the official website.

Filed under: Arts and Crafts, Diablo 3

Help Blizzard Software Engineer Ron Nakada beat cancer

Sometimes it's easy to forget that there are so many people working behind the scenes on that game we all love to play. Ron Nakada, Senior Software Engineer at Blizzard Entertainment, was diagnosed with Stage IV colon cancer six months ago. He's been working for Blizzard Entertainment for five years on World of Warcraft and other Blizzard titles. While Nakada is currently fighting for his life, bills are piling up -- and because of this, his best friend Jon Alvarado has put together a fundraiser to help him pay expenses that weren't covered by short-term disability insurance that recently ended. It'll be some time before his long-term disability insurance kicks in, and until then his family is out of luck.

100% of the proceeds from the fundraiser will go to Nakada and his family to help pay medical bills and keep utilities running over the holidays and beyond. For more information on Ron, as well as information on making donations, Alvarado's fundraiser page on YouCaring has all the details.

Filed under: Blizzard, News items

Heroes of the Storm Developer Q&A highlights

Yesterday, Senior Community Development Manager Kevin Johnson sat down with Game Director Dustin Browder and Senior 3D artist Phil Gonzales to answer the community's questions on Blizzard's upcoming Hero Brawler. They covered several key topics, and provided some nuggets of new information. If you'd like to watch the interview in full, you can check out the video on WoW Insider.

But let's go through and summarize the key points they covered. This isn't in the order it happened in the video, because it seemed more logical to categorize it by topic.

Overall Design and Philosophy
  • It is going to be free-to-play!
  • Beta is not ready yet, they're working to get it out as soon as they can. There isn't an exact date yet. Internal testing is ongoing.
  • One of the biggest defining qualities for Heroes is the importance of the different maps. This is something that separates it from other MOBAs, you'll want to take different heroes and different strategies and so on. Also, there's heroes with extensive lore behind them, that's a hugely important element, and they aren't afraid to challenge any aspect of the design to make it fun.

Read more →

Filed under: Heroes of the Storm

Hearthstone Innkeeper's Invitational first rounds online

The Hearthstone Innkeeper's Invitational was a rousing success at BlizzCon 2013, and now you can view the first-round videos online. Hearthstone's official Youtube channel has just posted videos of all four of the first rounds of the Innkeeper's Invitational -- the semi-finals and finals are of course still available on BlizzCon's official website, or over at Twitch, for those interested in seeing the tournament from beginning to end.

The first four matches feature Day[9] vs. Reckful, Hafu vs. Kripparrian, Trump vs. Husky, and Noxious vs. Artosis. Hearthstone may not be out just yet, but even in beta, the game has managed to capture the attention and devotion of those in the beta. With open beta not too far away, hopefully the enthusiasm for this entertaining little card game will continue -- and hopefully we'll see a second Innkeeper's Invitational at the next BlizzCon. For coverage of all of the first-round games, visit Hearthstone's official Youtube channel -- and if you'd like more information on the players involved, you can check out the cards each player was packing for the tournament on Hearthstone's official blog.

Filed under: News items, BlizzCon, Hearthstone Insider

Happy birthday to WoW

Old Ragnaros
As Anne pointed out in today's Queue, we are wishing the inimitable Chris Metzen a happy birthday today, and it's a pleasant coincidence that Blizzard is also wishing WoW its official happy birthday today, as well. Nine years is a long time for any one game to be going strong--though, of course, we could probably argue that WoW isn't a single mere game, it's a conglomeration of all its marvelous patches, expansions, tweaks, and adjustments from over the years.

Blizzard's official happy birthday announcement focuses on the strength of the WoW community, and I feel that whether or not you're entirely pleased with the direction the game is taking at the moment, the WoW community is definitely something that inspires and humbles. We're all just people, and we're not always perfect, but over the last nine years WoW has certainly had an enormous impact on the lives of its many players, myself included. World of Warcraft has catalyzed a complete transformation of my career and has formed the initial glue for some of the most cherished friendships of my life. Earlier this year I was at the wedding of two of my best friends, who met each other through WoW. What an amazing gift this game has been to my life, and to the lives of many others. Thank you Blizzard, from the bottom of my heart, and happy birthday, World of Warcraft.


Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard

Warlords of Draenor, Blizzard to make appearance at DreamHack Winter 2013

Blizzard Entertainment will be making an appearance at DreamHack Winter 2013 in Jönköping, Sweden -- and it's just been announced that Warlords of Draenor will as well. DreamHack is the world's largest digital festival and holds the official world record as the world's largest LAN party, promising an exciting time for Europeans attending the event and also an opportunity to play and see Warlords of Draenor, the new WoW expansion, firsthand. Along with Warlords, those attending will also be able to play both Hearthstone and Diablo III: Reaper of Souls.

In addition, Blizzard will have several Hearthstone-themed contests for those attending, including a sound-a-like contest, a card-crafting contest, and a contest that will have players finding clues and building decks out of seven secret cards in order to challenge the Hearthstone crew. If that weren't enough, the European Community team will be on-hand to say hello, chat, mingle, and maybe even settle down to play some Diablo III.

If you missed out on BlizzCon, this is the perfect opportunity to get a glimpse and some hands-on-time with the next expansion. DreamHack Winter 2013 takes place November 28 - December 1, 2013. For more information on the festival, as well as tickets and scheduling, be sure to check out DreamHack's official site.

Filed under: Blizzard, News items

Blizzard Entertainment Student Art Contest making a return

Are you a college or university art student with a passion for World of Warcraft? Good news -- the Blizzard Student Art Contest is about to make a return. Blizzard Entertainment's university relations team, along with the World of Warcraft development team, are looking for original artwork or animations that would work within the World of Warcraft universe. The contest itself doesn't officially begin until December, but hopeful artists may want to begin work on their projects now, just to make sure you've got plenty of time to submit your absolute best work.

This year, Blizzard has upped the ante and added new categories to the contest. Artists can create Environment Art, Character Art, Weapon Art, or Animation -- either a battle scene or flavor animation. Check out the winners from the previous two years for inspiration if you'd like -- and take a look at our interview with one of the previoius winners, Peter K. Lee, whose Darkmoon Carousel design actually made it into the game! Winners of the contest will get some amazing prizes, including a three-month mentorship by a member of the World of Warcraft art team, a one year game subscription, and more. Check out the official announcement page for more information, and for updates on the contest as it becomes available, join the official Blizzard Careers group on LinkedIn. Good luck to all who enter!


Filed under: Blizzard, News items, Contests

New Christie Golden novel on the way

Amidst all the BlizzCon excitement yesterday, author Christie Golden decided to drop an interesting bit of information on Twitter -- she's working on a new novel. Not just any novel, but a WoW novel that ties in with the new expansion, Warlords of Draenor. Obviously no title or plot information has been released, but since Golden has written several novels with expansion lead-in titles, it stands to reason this novel will hopefully form some kind of bridge between Mists and Warlords.

With titles like Lord of the Clans, Rise of the Horde, The Shattering, and Thrall: Twilight of the Aspects under her belt, Golden is also incredibly familiar with the history of the orcish race. While we don't know how much this novel will feature any of the key players in Warlords, it's safe to say that this is going to be a pretty amazing read. Hopefully we'll see more information regarding this mysterious new title soon.


Filed under: Blizzard, News items, Lore

Blizzard announces 2013 Pumpkin Carving Contest winners

Blizzard announces 2013 Pumpkin Contest winners
The winners from this year's Pumpkin Carving Contest have been chosen and announced! Five winners were chosen to receive a copy of Diablo III: Book of Tyrael. In addition, another twenty pumpkins were chosen as Honorable Mentions and displayed on the site for all to see. The winners this year include a couple of stunning Diablo III entries as well as some World of Warcraft entries, including the gorgeous cloud serpent pumpkin we mentioned yesterday.

All pumpkins are available for viewing on the official announcement of winners. Included among the honorable mentions are a pretty stunning version of the Ashes of A'lar, a gorgeous portrait of Sylvanas, an incredibly detailed picture of Diablo, and many more. Check out the gallery for some pretty awe-inspiring examples of pumpkin carving expertise, and congratulations to all the winners!

Filed under: Blizzard, News items, Contests

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