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Anybody know Starcraft?


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Istbor

Dances with Gnolls
A decent enough story. Especially when you realize how they had to tack that bit on more after-the-fact. Once they lost their license to make a dawn of war game for Warhammer 40k. Can't waste all of those assets.

And in the end it became a gamer cultural pillar.
 


Istbor

Dances with Gnolls
Really? Every story review I was ever able to find said otherwise.
I mean I am not talking award winning here. It is a video game from 1998. Whose original intent was to be Dawn of War, with Space Marines, Tyranid, and Eldar.

And what they changed it to is by no means a 'new' story. Creator aliens try to perfect life in some never-ending cycle. Someone disagrees that there should be a cycle. All powerful creator aliens get wrecked. Stuff happens, children races grow up and fight one another. Some are bigger picture than others, one is actually enslaved by the big bad and needs to get liberated to help save the universe. Big bad dies to the 'chosen' one.

Honestly, a lot of this was probably derived from Warhammer lore, and painted differently to avoid legal issues.

It needed to be simple enough for children to be able to get what was going on. When they made the latest installments that are in an age where storytelling in games is (usually) much improved, they did what they could. You can't really destroy the old story without alienating your hardcore fans who grew up on it and now had oodles of disposable income. You gotta lean into it and make the best of what story there was.

So yeah. Decent enough to make millions upon millions of dollars. Not something I would call bad at any rate. Certainly not amazing either.
 

I mean I am not talking award winning here. It is a video game from 1998. Whose original intent was to be Dawn of War, with Space Marines, Tyranid, and Eldar.

And what they changed it to is by no means a 'new' story. Creator aliens try to perfect life in some never-ending cycle. Someone disagrees that there should be a cycle. All powerful creator aliens get wrecked. Stuff happens, children races grow up and fight one another. Some are bigger picture than others, one is actually enslaved by the big bad and needs to get liberated to help save the universe. Big bad dies to the 'chosen' one.

Honestly, a lot of this was probably derived from Warhammer lore, and painted differently to avoid legal issues.

It needed to be simple enough for children to be able to get what was going on. When they made the latest installments that are in an age where storytelling in games is (usually) much improved, they did what they could. You can't really destroy the old story without alienating your hardcore fans who grew up on it and now had oodles of disposable income. You gotta lean into it and make the best of what story there was.

So yeah. Decent enough to make millions upon millions of dollars. Not something I would call bad at any rate. Certainly not amazing either.
I can’t enjoy the story as an adult. It’s absolutely a mess. I can’t engage constructively with the fans either, since everybody who disliked the story left and those remaining don’t share any of the same tastes that I do.

It really sucks for me personally because I think Starcraft has all the tools to tell basically competent military scifi stories, but instead it will forever be stuck in the rut of space cowboy and his bug girl waifu.

There’s no other game in existence that suits my tastes. I checked for years. Warhammer 40k is a no go for me because the tyranids are hella boring compared to the zerg Overmind and co’s personalities.

I don’t have millions of dollars lying around to fund my own game project either.
 

dragoner

Dying in Chargen
I first played it back in the early 2000s and found it pretty fun.

When I came back many years later and read the official plot synopsis... Well, at least the gameplay is good, right?

I played it a long ago time too, I thought the Kerrigan "Queen of Blades" art was cool, but that's about the end of playing it, I might have played Brood War, 20 years later, I don't have a lot of strong memories. We used to use the slang to zerg something was to rush it with a lot of cheap units. In the 90's I played Command and Conquer, so Starcraft was sort of a natural progression.
 



?? You're playing Starcraft for the story & not just to blow sh*** up?

Weird.
I’m the sort of person who plays RTS games for the single player experience. I like blowing stuff up as much as the next guy, but sometimes I also like to have reasons explained to me for why I am working demolition.

Starcraft’s official site originally advertised it (circa 2001 or so?) with this blurb:
A Galaxy in Chaos...
In the distant future, a small group of human exiles have been doomed to fight for survival on the edge of the galaxy. Through military strength, espionage, and deceit, a unified Terran government has maintained an uneasy peace, but as resources and fuel run short the Confederate nations find themselves looking towards the rich worlds of their alien neighbors, the enigmatic Protoss. To further complicate matters, it seems that a previously unknown species-- the Zerg-- have entered Protoss space and are destroying everything in their path. The time for war has come.

I was expecting something like Command & Conquer. Not a great story, but serviceable enough military scifi. Resource wars. Humans defending themselves from alien aggression. Aliens invading for reasons. 40k lite. Basic stuff that should be easy to write.

Instead I got nonsensical soap operas about shallow, unlikeable and inconsistent characters. We have an entire “galaxy in chaos” and that’s the best that the writers could do?

Pretty much the only character I remember actually liking was the Overmind, but it only had a few paragraphs of chewing the scenery before it got killed off. After that, the story was an endless stream of “Raynor this, Kerry that, space magic everywhere.”

How difficult is it to write Starship Troopers with space robot elves added as a third side? This should be easy peasy even by the already low standards of video game stories.
 


ccs

40th lv DM
I’m the sort of person who plays RTS games for the single player experience. I like blowing stuff up as much as the next guy, but sometimes I also like to have reasons explained to me for why I am working demolition.

Starcraft’s official site originally advertised it (circa 2001 or so?) with this blurb:


I was expecting something like Command & Conquer. Not a great story, but serviceable enough military scifi. Resource wars. Humans defending themselves from alien aggression. Aliens invading for reasons. 40k lite. Basic stuff that should be easy to write.

Instead I got nonsensical soap operas about shallow, unlikeable and inconsistent characters. We have an entire “galaxy in chaos” and that’s the best that the writers could do?

Pretty much the only character I remember actually liking was the Overmind, but it only had a few paragraphs of chewing the scenery before it got killed off. After that, the story was an endless stream of “Raynor this, Kerry that, space magic everywhere.”

Well, that IS 40k lite.....
I mean, you can have the lite version like this with the serial numbers filed off, or you can have the full on GW version. Either way your getting unlikable/non-memorable inconsistent characters, nonsense, & space magic everywhere....
The only difference is the quantity.
 


Given that the original Starship Troopers was written by one of the most lauded authors of the Golden Age of Sci-Fi? It ain't easy.
I know that SST sets a high bar, but I don't think that's a good excuse.

There's this let's play that goes through the game's campaigns and analyzes everything from presentations to gameplay to storytelling, etc.

Lots of fans think SC2's story is a betrayal of everything SC1's story was. After watching that review, I can't understand how anybody could think so.
 

dragoner

Dying in Chargen
I was expecting something like Command & Conquer. Not a great story, but serviceable enough military scifi. Resource wars. Humans defending themselves from alien aggression. Aliens invading for reasons. 40k lite. Basic stuff that should be easy to write.

I played out the missions too, except unlike C&C, SC's forces were fairly unbalanced towards the Zerg, you could just keep zerging, zerging, zerging while building, where as Humans, even if you got the star cruiser, it was rather pointless. C&C sort of had that with the mobile artillery though, you could stand off and kill all their towers, then do a combined tank rush followed by infantry attack. There was also a ww2 one of these style games.
 



@BoxCrayonTales I agree with you. I was disappointed with the evolution of the story in SC2.
To be entirely fair to SC2, SC1 didn’t set a high bar nor a solid foundation. The playlist I plugged earlier goes into detail about that.

Here’s another very brief comparison:

Blizzard didn’t write a military science fiction story in the first place. They wrote an interpersonal drama dressed up as a war story. They had no idea what they were doing. The story was very slapdash too.

The story introduced interesting and seemingly deep political actors only to immediately kill them off, making the setting unstable and not something to invest in. Confederate nations, zerg swarm, protoss empire, UED... all got killed off in the same game that introduced them.

The story revolves around a handful a recurring characters and the rest of the universe just bends to their whims regardless of whether it makes any sense. Mengsk takes over the galactic empire because plot device, Kerry takes over the million year old alien swarm because plot device, and the protoss feel like an afterthought.

(That’s why all the fanfiction is about Raynor/Kerry romance. Blizzard simply didn’t care to invest in the setting outside of the interpersonal drama. Compare this with, say, the Warhammer 40k fanfiction that is vastly more diverse because Games Workshop writes whole books about every army.)

You see the same thing in Warcraft. It has “war” literally in its name, but the actual story is a soap opera.

Can you imagine if these stories were retold in military history textbooks?

“A twenty something woman took control of an alien swarm with her mary sue powers to get back at her ex-boyfriend.”

“The king of the living dead invaded a continent to gaslight a prince.”

Blizzard has never been able to write well. We give Starcraft 1 and Warcraft 3 a free pass because of nostalgia. If you stop to critically analyze the stories, then they fall apart.

Compare this to Command & Conquer. I’m not going to say it has great stories because they’re excuses to explain why you’re waging war. But they’re actually about the war and politics and stuff. That stuff doesn’t take a back seat to interpersonal drama.
 

dragoner

Dying in Chargen
C&C had it's sort of ridiculous fan servicey stuff too:
 



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