Blizzard woes?

Blizzard has one of the best track records in gaming history, with every game release becoming a massive hit. But they have had their share of failures as well: Warcraft Adventures was canned after a year or two, and Warcraft 3 was redesigned from the ground up two years after development started. Now, you may have heard that Blizzard has haltedthe development of Starcraft: Ghost.

So is Starcraft: Ghost going the way of Adventures, or will they pull off a redesign? A fairly descriptive job offer from Blizzard may offer a hint or two: they say "consoles", and they say "action, tactical or first-person shooter genres".

Whichever way it goes, my hat is off to a company that is willing to accept their mistakes and go the extra mile to ensure that nothing but the best comes out of their studios. Other companies are not given the luxury of a second try.

Somewhat related to the topic of revitalized games, any Total Annihilation lover should know about Spring.

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UPC 2006 Lecture Slides

Ah, GDC trip prevented me from uploading the slides from my lecture at the Universidad Politécnica de Cataluña on March 16th 2006. Here you go! Edit: Updated with the latest version of the slides.

They are in Spanish, and if you have read other slides from previous lectures, most of the material will ring a bell. Call me lazy, but there’s a reason for that: lectures aimed at general audiences (any student at the University) can’t dive too much on the details of technical issues or they will necessarily alienate parts of the audience who don’t have the necessary background. Therefore, I basically try to give a good overview of what’s involved in the business of professional videogame development: history, process, team composition and a few bits of philosophy. The real meat is in the Q&A session, anyway. 🙂

The Gamelab at the Universidad de Oviedo has kindly invited me to give another lecture on July 13th, and with the expectation of a fairly technical audience, it will contain new and more in-depth material.

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GDC 2006

Cool as ever, with lots of interesting insights and a few disappointments. My one-liner summary: "How we stopped worrying and loved to Prototype". I’ll post some notes and impressions on various lectures later this week. You can hop over to the GDC Archives or Gamasutra for slides and writeups on several conferences.

Edit: Alberto Garcia-Baquero passed me this link to the Microsoft GDC presentations

Mandatory Will Wright article link

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Making of Shadow of the Colossus

Ok, so maybe not a full-fledged Making of feature, but a very interesting interview with the creators of two of the most beautiful and unique games of the past 5 years: ICO and Shadow of the Colossus. Focus is mostly on visual technology, but there’s a little bit for everyone. Both the game and the article are a must for anyone interested in game development.

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Spore gameplay video

I didn’t know there was actual footage from Will Wright’s Spore presentation at last GDC. Watch it. The technology involved in all the procedural modelling and animation of the creatures looks nothing short of amazing.

I hope Maxis has authorized its release, and they don’t send a black van to my house. In this day and age where google search gets sued for copyright infringement, you never know. 🙂

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