Blizzard designer Dustin Browder has said StarCraft II’s final form was drastically confined by the need to make it eSports-friendly, but that it was “worth it”.
During a presentation at GDC, as reported by Kotaku, Browder asked rhetorically: was the headache of making the game spectator friendly worth it?
“It totally was,” he answered himself. “This stuff is cool.”
“This stuff” includes a number of StarCraft II’s design constraints, put in place to ensure the game remains watchable and understandable to spectators, and retains a dynamic competition rather than degenerate into an arms race.
“This is why the artists hate me,” Browder said, showing images of an Ultralisk unit to scale, and then as it appears in game – much, much smaller, so as to avoid obscuring other units.
“This is why the designers hate me,” he added, comparing Starcraft II’s 45 unit types to Supreme Commander’s 150.
“Too many units causes confusion,” he explained. “In football, there’s one unit: the human. Of course, there are wide receivers, quarterbacks and other roles, but when you see those game pieces moving around in a football game, you know what they’re capable of.”