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Posts with tag starcraft

Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm launch schedule

Starcraft II Heart of the Swarm launch schedule
Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm officially launches, as the image suggests, on March 12, but, with the game launching at midnight tonight, launch events have kicked off all over the world. The evening of March 11 is when celebrations began in Sydney, Australia, where, at the time of writing, the game has been available for purchase for a full eight hours.

Events are currently taking place in Europe, with activities underway and being broadcast live on Blizzard's official twitch channel right now. The European events include a tournament featuring well-known players such as Stephano, LucifroN, Grubby and White-Ra, who are competing live on stage, mixed in with developer interviews, exclusive content and more!

If you're too late to check out the European streams, which finish at 8pm EST, fear not, because the US events kick off at 9pm PST, with Day9 and Husky kicking off proceedings. There will be live show matches, displaying the new "take command" feature, and new custom games, and two attendees will have the opportunity to play with Suppy and ViBE in a 2v2 pro/am match.

Mike Morhaime, Chris Metzen, Chris Sigaty and Sam Didier will be in attendance at the US event, taking part in developer presentations, custom games and much more. Again, if you weren't able to make it to Irvine to attend the event, this will all be broadcast live via the official Twitch channel. Do check out Blizzard's launch pages for further information on any of the events.


Filed under: Blizzard, StarCraft 2

Project Blackstone site goes live, password discovered

Project Blackstone goes live
Back in November, Blizzard registered a few domain names, including the mysterious projectblackstone.com. As it remain untouched, we were left wondering if it could signal a new game on the horizon -- perhaps something to do with Titan. Well, today Project Blackstone is live and has been redirected to a battle.net site.

It looks to be a viral advertising campaign for Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm, and it's an impressive follow-up to the game's recently revealed opening cinematic.

You'll need to log in to the Project Blackstone page, and lucky for you we have the access code!

Y7_$0>0k_3<$m

Seems like a few clever folks on Reddit discovered the password in the source code of the Project Blackstone page, within an encrypted chunk of text. Head over to the site to read your messages from Dr. Helek Branamoor and the rest of the Blackstone Research staff. We're guessing that new ones will be posted every week, so keep a close eye on the site!

It also appears that Dr. Branamoor is on Twitter, and he doesn't look like someone I'd want to work for. What do you think about Project Blackstone so far?

Filed under: Blizzard, News items, StarCraft 2

Why Ghostcrawler appears in the credits to StarCraft I

Why Ghostcrawler appears in the credits of StarCraft I
Kudos to @PennyRush for noticing WoW's lead system designer's name (Dr. Gregory T. Street) in the credits to the original StarCraft. These credits came out in 1998 when the original StarCraft was released, a whole 10 years before Ghostcrawler joined the WoW team.

The reason?


Getting a job with Blizzard through great (and professional) interaction isn't something new, either. A lot of the early WoW guys were hired on, in part, because of their knowledge and skill with the original EverQuest. Well, perhaps I shouldn't call Tigole's interaction's totally professional at that time, his forum and website rants were pretty legendary (yet also 100% correct). It also helped to have Rob Pardo as the guild leader.

Nonetheless, let this be a lesson to all the future game designers out there... keep it cool, keep it smart, and you'll make the necessary inroads.

Filed under: News items

The Art of Blizzard Entertainment exhibition to open on January 12

The Art of Blizzard Entertainment exhibition hits LA Jan 12
The Art of Blizzard Entertainment, a massive 376 page collection of artwork from Warcraft, StarCraft and Diablo, will be available for purchase later this month. But if you're in the Los Angeles area and you're wanting a sneak peek at what the book has to offer, you may want to clear your calendar at some point in the coming weeks. Gallery Nucleus, located in Alhambra California, will be hosting a special collection of over 50 pieces of artwork from your favorite Blizzard games, including an extensive collection of concept art.

The exhibition will be at Gallery Nucleus from January 12 through February 3, 2012. However, there will be an opening reception from 7-11pm on January 12. Guests attending will have plenty of games and activities to keep them occupied, as well as an opportunity to get exclusive posters and other commemorative items. There is a $5 entrance fee at the door for the reception, however those that show up in costume will get in for free.

In addition to the artwork and events, several of the Blizzard Entertainment artists featured in the book will be in attendance giving painting demos, signing books, and simply hanging out with attendees. For more information on what sounds like an incredibly fun time, you can check out Gallery Nucleus' official website.


Filed under: Events, Blizzard, News items

Latest issue of ImagineFX features Blizzard art and more

Whether you're a fan of Blizzard's vast array of art from all of its franchises, or you're an artist wanting to know more about the process behind it all, this month's issue of ImagineFX magazine is definitely worth picking up. The December issue features workshops by Samwise Didier and Laurel D Austin, as well as exclusive art by Alex Ross, Boris Vallejo and Julie Bell, Craig Mullins, Alex Horley, and many more, all topped off with a cover image of Jaina Proudmoore by Glenn Rane.

One of my top reasons for purchasing collector's editions of Blizzard games has always been the art books included in those editions. You don't really think about the sheer amount of artistry that goes into designing an expansion when you're simply wandering around in game -- but the art books provide that behind-the-scenes glimpse of development. Blizzard has some truly talented artists on staff, and the ImagineFX issue is another place to get a look at all the hard work that they do.

You don't need a subscription to pick up ImagineFX, you can simply purchase a single issue on their website if you'd like. And for the sake of convenience, the magazine is available in both print and digital versions -- so there's no need to wait for shipping, either. Learn more about the issue on the official website, or go ahead and order your issue today.


Filed under: Blizzard, News items

Global Writing Contest 2011 winning entries released

Winning entries of the 2011 Global Writing contest released
Remember last year's Global Writing Contest? After months of deliberation, Blizzard carefully chose and announced several winners, leaving the stories to be posted at a later date. That date is today, apparently, as the grand prize-winning story The Exit has now been posted on the official site, along with excerpts from several of the runners-up. The Global Writing Contest was a chance for players to put pen to paper and craft a story set in any of the universes Blizzard has created. The winning story, The Exit, is a StarCraft tale, while the posted finalist excerpts are all set in the Warcraft universe.

At the moment, we have yet to see any hint of a Global Writing Contest for this year. Hopefully, this won't be the last we see of the Global Writing Contest, since it was a beloved addition to Blizzard's usual round of contests and giveaways. That said, the finalists and grand prize-winning stories from last year are all well worth the read. Congratulations to all the winners! To read The Exit as well as the excerpts from the other finalists, check out the full post on the official site.

Filed under: News items, Contests, Lore

Blizzard panel and Sam Didier at the San Diego Comic-Con 2012

Blizzard panel at the San Diego Comicon!
WoW Insider has received a tip that there will be a Blizzard panel at the San Diego Comic-Con!

From 2:15 to 3:15 on Thursday, July 12, Chris Metzen (Blizzard Entertainment SVP, story and franchise development) and special guests will be hosting a panel in room 6BCF. The panel is listed as a product showcase for WoW, StarCraft and Diablo, and the blurb says that they will "reveal never-before-seen licensed products and plans for 2012/2013. Talk to the designers, writers and artists themselves as we dig into Mega Bloks, novels, comics, statues and more."

This panel will, of course, include a Q&A alongside the reveals mentioned above, so if you're in the San Diego area and already have tickets to Comic-Con, this sounds like a fantastically exciting opportunity to hob-nob with the Blizzard team and quiz them about everything you need to know about their games.

But wait, there's more! Sam "Samwise" Didier, the art director at Blizzard Entertainment responsible for creating much of the artwork for the Warcraft, StarCraft, and the Diablo series and the senior art director on StarCraft II, will be in the Artists' Alley at table DD-09. The Artists' Alley gives Comic-Con attendees the chance to meet and greet some of their favorite artists, and you might even be able to buy original art, sketches, and exclusive, limited edition prints and sketchbooks.

I would have loved to put in a link to buy Comic-Con tickets, but it seems from the website that it is completely sold out. So close to the time, I'm guessing this isn't a great surprise -- but still, a shame. So if you're lucky enough to have tickets, head on over!

[Thanks for the tips, Serrotatauren!]

Filed under: Comics, Mists of Pandaria

StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm playable at MLG, Wings of Liberty on sale

StarCraft II Heart of the Swarm beta playable at MLG, Wings of Liberty on sale
The upcoming weekend is a big one for StarCraft fans: The United States Nationals of the StarCraft II World Championship is taking place at the MLG Spring Championship all weekend long. For those of you not interested the e-sports scene, there's another event coinciding with this one: The Heart of the Swarm press event is taking place this weekend, and an early build of the upcoming expansion is playable at demo stations on the MLG floor. Heart of the Swarm isn't officially in the beta phase yet, so this will be the first time players have an opportunity to see the expansion first-hand.

To celebrate both the Nationals and the Heart of the Swarm preview, Blizzard has put StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty on sale for the weekend. Blizzard has taken 33% off of the standard box price of $59.99, bringing the price down to $39.99.

Update: Check Battle.net for further information on this weekend's events as well as a pair of video previews of Heart of the Swarm. You can also find the videos embedded below.

Read more →

Filed under: StarCraft 2

Blizzard's Versailles office adorned with infested Kerrigan statue

Image
Blizzard headquarters in Irvine has been lording its orc statue over the other Blizzard foreign offices, smirking and laughing, reigning as king of the statues outside of game companies' buildings. A challenger has finally emerged at the Blizzard offices in Versailles, France -- an amazing sculpture of Sarah Kerrigan, the Queen of Blades, from the StarCraft series.

The statue looks awesome and there's plenty of pictures up on Blizzard's Facebook page. Check out the pictures and tell us what you think. Will the next statue be Diablo-related and feature the best angel ever, Tyrael? We can only hope.

Filed under: Blizzard, News items

Zerg Rush attacks your Google search

Image
While it's not strictly World of Warcraft-related, we're obviously big fans of Blizzard around here. So it's pretty cool when search giant Google includes an Easter egg that's a direct shout-out to the company. Go to Google and search for Zerg Rush.

When you follow those simple instructions, your screen is swarmed with Os that will slowly eat up the text on your screen. Click on the Os to do battle! The better you click on the Os, the higher score you will achieve. While this probably won't quite get you over any StarCraft jones you're feeling, this little screen game is a welcome distraction in the middle of a rough work day. How well are you scoring so far?

Filed under: News items

StarCraft vs. Warcraft: What is the WoW community missing?

For the past year or so, I've been living a double life. To some, I am a skilled and tenacious night elf priestess, adventuring through Azeroth at the charge of the Holy Light, healing the injured and saving the incompetent. To others, however, I am but a lowly brood mother, commanding a swarming, parasitic army with occasional success against my enemies across the Koprulu sector. Don't follow me? Basically, I've just been playing a lot of StarCraft 2 whenever I'm not raiding.

Still, being heavily invested in WoW and StarCraft has really felt like living two lives at times, especially when you consider how dramatically different they both are. And I'm not talking about the gameplay; obviously one would expect an MMORPG and an RTS to be incomparable. What I mean is that that the culture and community that surrounds these two games are distinctively different, despite the fact that the games share some of their playerbase with one another. You'd think that one game community would be pretty similar to the next, but they're not.

The whole thing has left me with a lot of questions to turn over in my mind. Is it possible that the WoW and StarCraft communities could learn from the other? Seven years in, is it even possible for the WoW community to change in any significant way at this point? And if so, is there something missing in the WoW community? To explore the idea further, I started making a list of all the things I thought the StarCraft community had that the WoW community was lacking.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Blizzard announces 2011 Global Writing Contest winners

Did you try your hand at the penning some Blizzard prose this year? Blizzard just released the list of winners from this year's Global Writing Contest, including one grand prize winner, seven finalists and a host of honorable mentions. The grand prize winner this year is The Exit by Danny McAleese, who will receive a trip to Blizzard's headquarters to meet and eat with Blizzard's writing staff, as well as a ton of signed novels and a Doomhammer by Epic Weapons. The seven finalists will also receive a collection of signed novels to call their own.

The winning entry, as well as excerpts from all seven finalists, will be posted on the Blizzard website soon. Congratulations to all the winners and recipients of honorable mentions! Check after the break for the grand prize winner and finalists, and for a full list of winners, check out the official announcement on Blizzard's website.

Read more →

Filed under: News items, Contests

Blizzard announces 2011 holiday card contest

Blizzard is once again flinging open its doors and welcoming holiday card designs in its annual Holiday Card Contest. All you have to do to enter is design a holiday card with a Warcraft, StarCraft, or Diablo theme using the template provided on the official contest page. The cards will be judged for originality, design, humor, and holiday cheer.

As always, the prizes are sweet, including the Marauder StarCraft II Gaming Keyboard, the Banshee StarCraft II Gaming Headset, the Spectre StarCraft II Gaming Mouse, and the StarCraft II Zerg Edition Messenger Bag. And for all those artists out there, the first place winner will also receive a Wacom Bamboo Create Pen Tablet, perfect for scribbling up all kinds of artistic creations.

Check out the contest page for the template, full rules and prize list, and take a look at last year's winners while you're there. If you're planning on entering, better get started -- entries must be received by Dec. 13, 2011.

Filed under: Blizzard, Contests

Chris Metzen talks about heroes

Chris Metzen
Eurogamer.net recently sat down with Blizzard Senior Vice President of Creative Development Chris Metzen. They talked about the story for all three of Blizzard's big franchises and the ins and outs of creating stories and heroes for each one.

On Warcraft, Metzen waxed philosophical on creating a meaningful story for 11 million fans who are each carving out their own individual stories on their own characters, and on translating that story culturally as well linguistically between all the different cultures of the people who play WoW. As Metzen observed, a story that goes over well in North America may fall flat in China. He also talked about making lore decisions and balancing the needs and wants of the players and the writers. Sometimes the players want you to go right when you want to go left, and it is a challenge, he says, to decide which way to go.

Read more →

Filed under: Lore, Interviews

Chris Metzen discusses the role of the writer at GDC Online

So how does a writer fit into World of Warcraft? If you ask Chris Metzen, they are the cheerleaders, torchbearers and keepers of the flame, responsible for the keeping the heart in the game. In a presentation at GDC Online in Austin, Texas, Metzen talked a bit about the balance between writing and gameplay and the job of a writer at Blizzard.

Though lore has taken more of a front seat in Cataclysm, it's ultimately the gameplay that comes first with Blizzard, even before the story. According to Metzen, if you don't make it fun in the first 3 minutes of gameplay, you've failed. If the gameplay is a turn-off, it doesn't matter how wonderful the story is -- people still aren't going to want to play it. The presentation is an interesting look at some of the less-highlighted aspects of game development, and Gamasutra has coverage of the whole presentation. For those interested in what the job of a writer looks like at Blizzard Entertainment or wondering what goes on when creating a story as massive as Warcraft, it's a really interesting read.

But that's not all from GDC Online -- Blizzard writers also got together to discuss great gaming moments and the challenges of game design. The coverage of the event discusses more about the writing process, fan feedback, and creating memorable stories. Check out the full story over on Gamasutra as well.

Filed under: News items, Cataclysm

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