Welcome to the Frozen Nerdz Podcast Episode 37.2 entitled Live at BlizzCon Blizzard Arcade Q&A! We are a your Blizzard Entertainment and Steam Free to Play discussion podcast. Each week we discuss anything that falls in between or outside those two glaciers. From talking about the games you love, the worlds you live in, AND maybe even a few you haven’t even heard of yet. Join Kilroy and Epicinsanity each week as we sit down and discuss the topics no one else is talking about as we bring you new points of view in a not so standard podcast format.
This episode was recorded LIVE from BlizzCon 2014 on Saturday, November 8th after Day 1 of the convention. And was released on Sunday, November 9th, 2014.
On Today’s show we play the audio from the BlizzCon 2014 Community Corner dedicated to the Blizzard Arcade. Listen to the episode to hear exactly what was said during the Q&A!
The Blizzard Arcade is a Battle.net innovation in StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm. It is an improved hub for finding custom games. Here at the Frozen Nerdz podcast, we are a huge fan of the Blizzard Arcade, or what we like to call it The Starcade. Each week on the Frozen Nerdz we sit down and play a new game and discuss it on the show. We then proceed to rate the game based on three factors: Ease of Play, Controls and “Stupid Funability.” Stupid Funability is our method of ranking how fun the game is! For example, “That game is stupid fun. The whole time you just fly all over the screen killing your opponent with your Roach Snake tail!” We helped with ranking the games for the 2014 Rock the Cabinet contest, and are excited for the 2015 Rock the Cabinet contest coming soon ™.
[Edit Update: 11/13/14 – I (Epicinsanity) still have to go through and edit this for names and correct content, but this is the full 37 mins of audio in text form]
M1: So, one of my goals here was to share some stuff about what we’re working on. And Hopefully to start a conversation, the kind of stuff that we’re doing in 2015, a lot of it is based on
what we’re hearing from you. We need to keep hearing from you. You need to keep talking to [dwarfs? 0:00:23.2] That’s, like I said I felt like this was my chance to come out and just hear it from you directly. Before I go into what we’re planning, I want to tell you why you’re so awesome. This is stuff that I have known, that’s really obvious to me, working inside Blizzard.
But, we don’t typically talk directly about, like, stats for what your games do. And Raph said that that might be something you’d be interested in hearing. So, we talked to our we talked to our VI team last week, and just put together a few things.
So since we launched Swarm, over five million unique users have played user-generated content, the stuff you made. Every week, 35 percent of all the players that are running StarCraft
Ii, are playing user-generated content. That’s huge. What that means is that what you do is a massive and fundamental part of the StarCraft community.
Since we launched Heart of the Swarm, over a hundred and thirteen thousand new maps have been published, which is a big number. But if my napkin math tells me that’s like six thousand maps a month. That’s crazy for a web thing; you guys do a lot of stuff. I love it. That’s actually why Arcade is so excited to be a part of something new. That’s personal.
Also I want to make sure you guys know that you are still creating new trends and creating new
communities of players. We’ve all seen Squadron Tower Defense sitting at the top of the browse screen. And good on them, right? They’ve done something awesome that really is compelling to players. And they’ve got some staying power, awesome, right?
But they’re not the only story. There’s games we’ve been watching that came out like 2013, early 2014 and have built up an impressive following this year. So, might and Magic has reached a hundred and nineteen thousand unique players. That’s a good number. Tya’s Zerg Defense came out with a hundred and twenty seven thousand unique players. And then there’s lottery Defense, who’s killing it with two hundred and eighty thousand unique players, and over a hundred and five million matches played. So, it’s possible, I think we’re totally making new popular stuff.
M2: Part of the motivation for these stats is like, I can’t– Every time Arcade comes up online, a
lot of people say, “Oh Arcade is dead.” And, “Nothing succeeds or is popular.” This was the motivation behind pulling these stats. That’s just not true. Usually we can’t talk numbers, so, it was something we wanted to share with you guys. I mean it’s still very, very healthy. Like thirty five percent, all-time stat. I’ve been wanting to throw that number out for forever. So I’m glad we finally got that out there.
M1; awesome. So, there should be a crowd here applauding for you guys, is basically what
[laughter, clapping; 0:02:54.2]
M1: Yeah, and to Raphael’s point, none of those games I just mentioned were ever featured games. Those aren’t games that we put up in the vendor, because Arcade users blogged about.
You guys did that on your own. So GG.
Okay. That’s what you’re doing to impact StarCraft players, let’s talk about what we can do. So like I said we just did a bunch of [orc-mining? 0:03:19.8] for next year, going to get kind of a list of the main things that we’re focusing on. But the first thing I need to do, is to talk about Marketplace.
We need to come out—I guess first of all I want to apologize it’s taken us so long to clarify what’s going to happen at Marketplace, to verify what we actually intend to do. Frankly it’s taken us some time to figure it out. But I hope you understand I think, a lot better what we can do that’s right for the community. So we originally talked about Marketplace as something maybe like an app store. We do not anticipate building an app store like experience. That’s just not what we think is right for arcade.
But, we’ve learned a lot about how the community works, and how content—what people want out of the Arcade. And so the approach we want to take is to work with specific game-makers who are making very high-quality content, and monetize them directly. Rather than doing this kind of wide open app store experience. So we’re going to be starting something in 2015 [something of those planks? 0:04:20.1]
We’ll be able to talk to you about more as we know exactly what we can commit to. All we want to do is take games that are very high-quality, games that reach a lot of players that are something that our players would enjoy having monetized. And use the backend that we now have in place with you for the store, to make it so that those games are able to sell something, right? Be it either in-app purchase, or an upgrade version , the HD version of the game, whatever it needs.
That also gives us the opportunity to work on a case by case basis to get what’s right for each of the partner games that we work with. We have a lot to figure out with exactly how we’re going to do that. But we are going to be able to talk to you about that far more times 2015. Yes Roland?
Roland: The point there,really for us, is not about making another business for Blizzard. It’s about how you guys deserve to be rewarded for the impact that you’ve had on the StarCraft community. So, while monetization is one angle, we also want to make sure we have lots of
different ways for recognition or reports to be happening, for making great content. So another example of that is Rock the Cabinet. We thought that was awesome because of a bunch of awesome games were made, bunch of players had a bunch of fun stuff to do. That’s really the point of any great content in Arcade, but also is a way for us to give rewards and recognition to map makers. So we’re going to do it again. Early 2015 we’ll announce the next Rock the Cabinet contest. There’ll be a lot more prizes along with that.
And we’ve got a very specific thing that we’re going to role out this time around, I think you guys are going to have a lot of fun with. And we also have a couple other reward programs besides contests that we’re working on now, we’ll let you know as soon as we have them finalized. But our ways rest in more consistently reward more mappers directly who are having a big impact on the community.
Male: Don’t clap.
Male: Don’t clap.
M1: Okay, so let’s talk about War III asset pack. I wasn’t working on this project in the beginning, but I have been a lot lately. And, it is insane how many assets there are in WarCraft III. That game was ridiculously big. So now I get it. I get it why that would be so impactful, we put in a lot for map-makers. That’s what they want is assets, and, here assets.
So we’re in the final stretch now. Those guys are doing kind of the work. We’ve also been super lucky, I don’t know if you know someone named Rene, but and since she maps for the community, she’s actually on deck into helping us with that as well. So we’re finishing up all of the importing and looking up the data to make this asset pack whole And our plan is to, in the beginning of 2015, role out another PTR.
Now, being an asset pack, there’s not a bunch of game content or big code genies coming with this. So we could just put it in retail right away. But, an asset pack on its own doesn’t necessarily make a splash for the players. So we’re taking this approach where we’re going to go to PTR first, and get you guys on PTR, making content with those assets. We’ll spend some time there.
We’ll get the feedback, we’ll fix bugs, so there won’t be just not a lot going on in it. It’s really about, you know, to have knew content created using that asset pack. We’ll be able to talk to you guys, play your games, feature it, put it on websites, and you know, do whatever we can to really promote young people looking at that. And then when we go to do the retail patch the retail patch is going to put your content in the front. That’s going to be the storyline. Yes there’s these assets there, but that’s not what people play. They play your games.
Male audience: When did you say that was going to happen?
M1: so the PTR will go up the first part of 2015. I’m not supposed to say this but we’re really, really being genuine. That’s the plan.
Male audience: So more free assets are coming?
M1: WarCraft IV confirmed?
Male Audience: well that’s up to the players.
M1: That’s up to the players. That’s right. That’s right. … I mean that was it, that’s the story. Any questions about that? We’re going to do it. We guarantee you guys, going to make it about your content.
Male audience: Features and the feature of the platform.
M1: So I said [orc-mining? 0:08:21.4] a couple times, that doesn’t just mean making less that you can do. We’ve been able to increase the developer resources that we’re putting directly inside Arcade, starting in 2015. And so that means people dedicated to working on these systems Aside from that, there’s a couple core features that—We’ve elicited people’s feedback,
we get a lot of feedback. Elicit a lot.
But as we parse this stuff, a couple of things we keep hearing. Something which we should really focus on more, try and figure out is loadnet’s map, and server-side bank saves. So we’re starting to look at that, trying to figure out what that means to do those featured sets. The more we have conversations and get into it, the more it’s clear that we need to understand better exactly how you guys will use those features, what do you want from them?
So I’m not going to talk about that today in particular. But also, once we get back, Bradley’s going to open up some prints on our community forums, and hopefully what you guys can give us, is as specific [use places? 0:09:19.5] as possible. Like if you have a name and are a user like “here’s my game, here’s the way I want to look at it, here’s the experience I want to creat for the players” So we can understand exactly how we need to address this feature set.
Basically there’s a lot of different things we could do. I think a couple are the right things to know.
That was that one. That’s the big step for 2015.
M2: The idea behind that is to make sure that—we don’t want to just pull in a feature, or these guys, to one of them have a feature, and it’s like, “Well that’s not exactly what we wanted.” So we want to make sure that this time is spent very effectively and efficiently, and it’s giving the developers exactly what they need.
M1: I guess I could give an example of that. So the server-side bank saves. We could make it that the way bank saves work, it just sends it to the server, and the player can begin from anywhere. And that would be fine for some kinds of popular deeds. Ending [inaudible, 0:10:10.8] seems to be kind of portable. But that wouldn’t stop people from hacking. They could still edit the bank to be [poison? 0:10:17.6] and not to the server. So if you want server-side banks because it’s about preventing hacking, that’s kind of a different feature that you’re looking for. A different way, a different format. But I think that feature. So again it’s a conversation we need to have, and I understand exactly what you guys want to get out of that feature set.
Last thing, I’ve been talking to Raph and one other community rep, Kiki, who spent a ton of time working with you guys. And based on what we’ve been doing with featured games and what we’ve seen happen, we think it’s time for us to level up our game with how we do community engagement and sharing content with players.
So, with maps published, and the workshops, the feature workshops, yeah that Raph does. When we started it was a vision to to really go and find exciting new content that we felt was polished and high-quality and really gave something new and interesting, and hadn’t really been paid attention to yet. They would be kind of news to the players. We’d spend time finding those things then bring them out, do a feature Faq. And that actually works pretty well.
So we went back we just recently were looking at some stats to say, “Oh look, how well is that working?” we felt it’s good, but really is it impacting the players? So for example, Clownz’s Gladiator Arena. If we compared the kind of players that were playing Clownz’s Gladiator Arena a month before we featured it, like a month after, that’s an eight hundred per cent increase.
Okay, that’s good. But then we look at Warships, that’s a three thousand percent increase. Or, [instep? 0:11:48.1] a five thousand percent increase. And my favorite, Aditional Pylons went up, that’s a lot of zeros, thirty seven thousand percent.
So, good job feature babes, good job Raph. But it’s actually not about congratulating us, it’s basically saying, that was our mission was to find content people didn’t know about, and bring it to them, and hopefully give them something exciting. Seems like that’s working. It’s time for us to do more. So we’re going to key through the featured maps. But as Kiki likes to put it, “It’s time for us to go where the people are.” So I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but for all the time that our community people have been working on our kid continent, we havent’ done anything with Squadron TD. We haven’t done anything but our [water interface? 0:12:27.4] And things that are already popular, have a well-established community, we don’t typically speak to. And so we think we can change that. We don’t know what the answer is. Raph has been inviting some of the creators of those games to come on the, empire strike?
Raph: It’s called our game night.
M1: Game night. WE always have these internal names, but then what they really call it is something different and better. So for our game night, he’s been bringing on some of the creators of those games. Doing like learn-to-play, what was the last one, Nexus Force?
Raph: Yeah, it was about Nexus Force. The idea was to take the most popular games in the Arcades that obviously a lot of people are playing, and get your friends to try it out.”Oh, here’s
the tutorial, from the creator.” So, explain how to get into the game. So, we thought it’d be a good way of getting more eyes, and more bodies into that game. And eventually they’ll try other things besides the top the. So, that was the goal behind that.
M1: and that’s just one way we figured we could get our toes wet and see what it means to get
into these kind of already well-established communities. So that’s a goal, but we don’t have a specific vision for how we’re going to do that. We’re trying now, but I’m glad to hear from you guys, what you’d like to see. Because, we don’t need to bring players to those communities. We certainly can, we can bring more people and help them get even bigger. But they’re already big, they don’t need us to do that for them. So what can we do to promote, again, reward, engage with, make being part of those established communities more fun. So that’s that. Go where the people are.
Let’s do Q and a and then Kara’s going to talk.
M2: Any questions about, any questions about our games?
Male Audience: Going forward, what is the likelihood that the Blizzard Arcade is going to break out of StarCraft, and find itself on the battle.net client? Like all your other free-to-play games, they should be apparent, and transparent for the users that you guys [are your own state?
M1: So the question was, “What’s the likelihood we’re going to break Arcade out of being inside
the StarCraft client. I don’t have any news on that. We don’t have a plan to do that right now. I think we need to get better at how we support our game before we try to make it stand on its own. But it is certainly a topic that, when we think about, and I wouldn’t write it off. … anything else you guys want to bring up?
M2: Don’t be shy. About anything we’ve covered or not covered.
Audience: [Inaudible, 0:14:56.3
M1: Well, yeah
M1: He tests everything. But he got it on tape.
M2: Okay, you know what? For technical questions, let’s just get through our stuff, and then let’s
hang out. We’ve got really technical people right back there. That’s exactly why we brought you
guys. Be ready.
Male Audience: With your efforts at monetizing this, moving it forward, trying to bring it a monetary value to the creators, so that they can at least benefit from what they put their time
into. When you consider that,I guess that, certainly point out like using, that user purposes, well,
… maybe you can feel as though that, now that arcade has become the [gamer place for inactivity? 0:15:40.2]
M1: So the question was how do we keep monetization from basically harming the Arcade experience? How to make sure that it doesn’t create a pay-to-play situation, or a situation that sucks for the players. You know, if we were going to take the outdoor approach, that would be a huge focus, and a huge challenge. I don’t have any answer for how we can do it in that context. But [hurting? ] directly, it’s essentially being partners with content creators. I mean, that gives us the answer. We don’t have to let anything exist that isn’t good for players.
We don’t want to be draconic about it, obviously. But, so like Drew pointed pay-to-play. We’ve seen a lot of feedback from players. Its probably not good for the arcade, if the games kind of came all in front of them. All right, so maybe it’s, you clear some levels and then if you clear the rest of the levels you line up. Or, it’s a game that’s open and free-to-play, but if you want to buy
the previous skins, you buy the pre-paid skins, right? It’s really going to depend on what the game is, but a big focus for us as partner with each of the game developers is going to be, find something and it’s: A. right for that game, and B: good for the player base, right?
And you guys want to see, you don’t want to do something that is going to hurt your game, or make arcade less fun for you. So I don’t think that’s going to be something that we have a hard time solving.
Male audience; Now, in that situation, is Blizzard going to have an active vested interest in the monetization process? Because that way, they’re not just saying, “Oh, your business model
looks good,” Blizzard at least has an understanding of how it’s going to go [bustle? 0:17:13.8], all at the same time.
M1: So your question, excuse me, …
Audience: would be is—
M1: are we going to actively participate in defining the business model?
M1: We’re now getting to a level of detail I don’t think we‘ve fully nailed down, so I don’t want to speculate. But I can definitely say that the way this will work, nothing will be possible without us helping set it up. So our hands will be in it to that degree, for sure.
M2: Yeah, we don’t want to like dictate exactly how these developers necessarily want to set it
up. We want to give the freedom for them to do what they want within [their big unknown?, [0:17:51.4]. We really won’t know until we see who we partner up with and what they’re really interested in.
M3: I want to take to your earlier point. We have a responsibility to keep StarCraft [totally?
0:18:02.2] awesome. So we’ll be protecting that.
Male Audience: [very muffled] I guess my last, … with regards to like [with the albums, you’re auctioning? 0:18:12.1, … player gets paid, transfer money, [unkwn, 0:18:18.1] If Blizzard didn’t also still want to kind of transaction part in the process of this, because they’re using your servers, your ISP, to create these transactions. [unknown, 0:18:28.5]
M1: Once again, a level of detail I can’t quite talk about now. Something I said earlier I think at least helps clarify where we stand on this. This isn’t about making a business for Blizzard. It’s about finding ways for you guys to get rewarded. So, that’s where our heart is at.
Male Audience: is there going to be an online criteria for map-makers to figure out, you know, problems, to participate in this? Or is it going to be an exclusive thing?
M1: That’s one of the questions we have to answer. Let me be open about it. That’s something that we need to be a lot better about. Like, today’s the first time I’ve ever given you guys stats. I don’t know how to do it, but I would love to figure out a way we could expose more. Particularly about how your game is doing. How your game is doing. We hear that you guys want to understand that, you know, just for your own information, right? The question was, how are you going to get the game parttnered? I don’t know the answer. I know in the beginning we’re going to move carefully. Probably the first set of partners will be hand-picked. Right? It’ll be proven quantities, speak to people we know, that we’ve worked with before, and we know our players are really invested in their game. Things like that. But it’s a process that we’ll have to improve on as we go, and we’ll know more about how we do it. We don’t want to stop either, right? It’s not like, “Oh good, we got some games for sale, we’re done.” It should be something that goes on and grows.
M2: It is definitely something that I heard the partners are going to be. We want to make sure that everyone has a chance of being a partner with us, as long as it’s high-quality. So it’s not just the squadron tower Ds. He, It can be a guy who’s been working really hard on his game, it just came out, and he still Has a chance to monetize as well.Definitely want it to not be restricted, except for quality. Quality will be a big part of that, for sure.
M1: sorry,the speaker’s right there. There you are.
British Male Audience: Speaking as a, something of, priorities, I’ve been talking to the executives of Blizzard, right? So, especially Raph. What’s up pal?
Raph: [laughs] Come, just join the stage, let’s hang out.
British: Okay, so, essentially last night I had to talk with Chris [Zigady? 0:21:02.2] And we talked to him for about an hour. Now he would probably be—
M1: He’s that tall hairy guy right?
British: He’s that tall hairy guy, and I did not expect him to be that cool. So we talked to him for about an hour. And he was probably the most senior StarCraft II … Sorry, Ryan?
M1; Just John.
British: [laughter] and yet, with our project, we created, I do think, the largest project. Between your CEO and our project, they’re pretty much tied in terms of quality. And yet, he had never heard of us. [Know he hated us?, 0:21:31.3] It’s like, why is that not getting up the chain of command? Like why aren’t you guys pushing mixed projects and showing people who are senior at Blizzard, “This is what our community’s creating. This is what they’re capable of. Maybe we should get them into the company, maybe we should give them more support.”I know last night when I was talking to the [gent sir? 0:21:52.0] who was sitting here before—
British: Tim. He was saying for a gaming development conference, but it should also be, not only the monetization But like having a kind of fast training to the company. Like getting someone to say, “Hey we really like what you’re doing, we can provide you with additional training. And hopefully some day you can get into Blizzard and join the family and start working there.”
M1: Okay, so the question was, I think it as a couple questions in there. 1: Shouldn’t we be
doing more to highlight quality content to, sort of the higher-ups, right? The folks that I report to?
And the other one was, what should we be doing to support content creators in the learning and excelling at their craft? Okay.
So on the first one, … like just to put it into perspective, if you look at the organization that is team one, that Chris is in charge of, there’s a whole lot of stuff going on. And he actually doesn’t typically get involved at the detail-level on any of it. Right now he has, there are times when we bring stuff to him and say, “We need hhelp here. We need you to understand in more detail what’s going on so that we can get your leadership, right?” Or we need your support getting something done.
But the way Chris works, is to empower his people, all right? and to say, “Raph, Jordan, go be
awesome. And, get it done. And let me know if you have trouble.” So, when we go to Chris for, is when we sit back and say, “You know what? We got to have an answer for monetization.” And every once in a while he comes around, and we just kind of, “Yeah we’re working on it.”
“You know, Chris, it’d be good if we could get some more development resources so we could consistently work on this stuff. Can we get the help to do this?”
That’s where Chris puts his muscle in. And that’s why we’re able, … Everything I’ve talked about today, by the way, is the result of a coming-up-the-chain, coming to Chris, him working with the rest of the executive staff saying, “All right, this is something we need to do.” Then going back with us and saying, “All right. You have no [fourth at being assets? 0:23:53.7] So it’s not something I, I don’t know.
So that’s where his involvement is at that level. Where it comes to looking at specific content, I mean the man’s time is his own, right? Whether he’s played that, he’s played Heroes, he’s looking at Starcraft, right? So he’s not going to be able to look at every game.
The second question was about something that kara is here to talk about more today. Because I
think you’re saying how do we do better to level people up in their craft in the stuff for Arcade? That’s actually a great transition for Kara to talk about a program that she’s working on, that I think addresses what you’re talking about. Were there other burning questions?
Okay, we’re going to bring Kara on, she’s going to talk, after this question and then we’ll have more Q and a after. Okay. What was your Question?
Male Audience: You know, with monetizing different Arcade games, the question arises, I mean,
the StarCraft II engine was very good for turn-based strategy and MOBA and real-time strategy
games. But a lot of them, Arcade developers, they’re just trying to do things outside their genre.
M1: So I think the question was, our tech right now in the StarCraft engine, is really good for
some things, okay at other kinds of games, and there’s certain kinds of game experiences that just don’t work well at all. I mean, first-person shooter might be a good example of—You can put the camera in the first-person view and give it [out? 0:25:45.3], but, does it necessarily feel good? And a lot of the things that you want to do In a first-person shooter, either aren’t very easy, or impossible, you just can’t be fluid and tight like you would in a game, in an engine that
was made for that. And are we going to, do we have plans to expand on that? I guess the short answer is no.
There are always little things we can do, … Oh, Aaron says, … Aaron wants to add. So let me just finish real quick. And then Aaron’s going to add. There are always things we can do to get better at what is in scope. But I think the further you try to go out of scope, like I think first-person shooter is a great example of, … we probably would need to make a different game engine to make first-person shoters awesoe. I don’t see us going that far out, right? It doesn’t mean we can’t enable, like you threw out a bunch of examples. Turn-based gaming, real-time strategy gaming, you can make card games, you can make action MOBA type of games, that’s already a lot of bredth, right? So we can certainly do more to smooth out the edges, make it stuff that does kind of complement the engine [strengths, that’s easier to do? But yeah, going all chaotic to a different realm is probably out of the works.
M2: Yeah. Another thing to note to is that because of a lot of the shared tech we have between like StarCraft and Heroes, there’s new tech being created all the time. [Infect types? 0:27:17.0] New ways to, you know, just top breaks. Like getting into lots of different [infect? 0:27:23.0] types.
They’re just new things that you couldn’t do before. So while we are sticking to that saee technique, top-down views is probably going to give you your best experience. You’re going to have [unknown? 0:27:35.8], the next-page event and all that stuff. Just because, there’s been a ton of work, going into the teams to make it. But, …
M1: I was talking to the guys before coming here, and we struggled a bit, because, we’re actually not good at keeping lists of everything that we’ve done. But if anybody is playing Heroes of the Storm, that’s the same version of the engine that Void is being built on. So, anything cool that you see, even little details like, “Oh I just love the way they did that you now find in the Newearth.” Whatever it is that’s happening in that game, for the most part, all that’s going to be in Void, whether we use it for Void or not. Because they’re honestly what works.
M1: All right, I’m going to hand this off to Kara. She’s got cool stuff to talk about. We’ll do more Q and a, and—
M2: –does that guy have a question?
M1: We can keep on hanging out. … What’s that? … Oh, okay.
Auiience: I’m in the [inaudible, 0:28:24.3]
M1: I’m sorry?
Audience: I’m the [inaudible, 0:28:26.0]
M1: [Tell it is? 0:28:27.1]
M3: Tell her to grab the one that’s right in front of her.
M2: [I’ll tell you later? 0:28:29.4] I need a better answer,totally want to do it though.
Kara: Skip the line. … Hi guys. I’m going to keep my comments real brief. I’m relatively new to the team. I’m from the community side, from the EA Sports side. My son’s are well-known StarCraft pro-players turned [testers? 0:28:53.6] Day9 and Chaseless.
Day9 of course, has got a game-design degree, and super interested in modding, indie
game design. Actually had hoped to join us here today and meet you all. Unfortunately they shifted his casting schedule. So he’s on stage right now, but he sends his regards.
I’ve been brought in by Chris [Zigady?, 0:29:18.6], he’s the head of our team, to help improve communications with you all on some of these projects. One of the things they had me doing early on is talking with some of you about what was needed on the resource side in order for you to make more fabulous mods, more fabulous games. And one of the most frequent responses was, “We need better documentation. You keep patching this thing, you keep updating it, you know, we’re trying on the side to make great community websites, but over time, even those websites that have great articles and links, become eventually dead or broken or obsolete. And even though you’ve had some documentation that you’ve made available that gets us up and running in the beginning, when you hit intermediate level, you very quickly hit a wall.” And you really are depending on senior members of the comunitty To be graceful enough to give you the time and mentor you so that you can get really sophisticated at the tool.
So we want to fix that. We want to collaborate with you, to write great documentation, for the
Galaxy editor. One of the questions we had when we started chatting with you all was, “what does great documentation look like? How do you learn? What should we be doing?” We were fortunate enough that at the time that I staarted doing this research, Rand Shudder, who’s the guy who modded out the user interface for StarCraft, called GamePart, was collaborating with us in-house.
He’s a super-cool guy, he’s got some supercool modders. Christof Oliolers?, 0:31:14.4] in Germany is working with him on that project, Andrew [Zira?, 0:31:18.5] there’s a couple of guys who are working on it. I spent a lot of time chatting with them about what it was like to learn in the editor. They put me in touch with other modders online. And what I heard was that everybody learns a different way. Some people said, “We want modular learning, linear, we want book-smart, step-by-step tutorials.” Some people said, “I never read anything, I want Youtube videos.” Other people said, “If you know what you’re doing, somebody asks you a question, you make them a map. And you hand them a map.”
So, it’s a bit ambitious, but frankly, we’d like to create documentation that includes all of those things. We’d love to see a really cool map repository, we’d love to see really linear documentation, we love to see Youtube videos. Of course we’re in the hand-waving phase right now. I may be a little overly ambitious in what we can pull off. But, a lot of what we can do really depends on my ability to collaborate with you. Because you guys have a lot of this expertise, out in the community. So, these guys have kindly let me show up here at the end of their panel to make a plea that you guys get in touch with me.
We’ve specked out some ideas that we think are cool, that I’d like more feedback from you
about how we should structure this. And I’m looking for people who can work with us to create it.
And we want this to be a long-term project, this is going to be a very very cool way to have a lot of contact with people at Blizzard, and to build something really lasting and really cool for the community.
So, if any of you have any interest in any aspect of that, … You know I worry that when I say documentation people will flee for the hills and think, “Oh my god this is writing! I don’t want to do that.” I need all kinds of talent. If nothing else, if nobody wants to write it, I need to interview people, so that I can understand more myself, and get your feedback. Please come give me your name after this. I’d actually hope to buy everybody beers, I figure that’s a good enticement to get names. But in fact there’s a couple of other interesting things scheduled after this, so I probably won’tdo that now. I live on Skype, I’m very easy to get ahold of. I’m chained to my desk at Blizzard. You should have no difficulty finding me. Please guys. I mean, Raph is also very easy to get ahold of.
Raph: You got a small crew here can contact me, which means you can contact Kara.
Kara: Yeah. So anyway, I’m super-stoked about this, I love community projects. I love
community, my background is as an entrepreneur. I like to get stuff done. So, hope you’re going
to step forward and we’ll get to know each other better, Okay? Thank you so much.
M1: There you go. So that’s pretty much most of what we have to say from our end. We have some time left, so we can spend the rest of the time Q and a. we can do it like this where we’re all on stage. Or we could have, come all together and talk. Or you can break up and, Ryan you can talk to the technical guys and they can discuss however you want to. So, let me know what you guys are thinking, what other questions remain.
M2: Talk about them [on legal? 0:34:46.9]
Kara: Does everybody else—
M1: Jordan doesn’t like the stage, the lime-light.
Kara: So interesting, guys!
M1: Actually, you know what? Yeah, let’s do this, let’s do the rounds, who are you guys? I’m
sorry I forgot your name. I’m sorry, I forgot your name.
M1: this is Brandy. Say hi.
M1: Bryan [runs in Abilene?, 0:35:06.7] on StarCraft Universe project.
M2: StarCraft huge.
John: I’m John Fortuna, The lead designer of ultimate Boss pedals
M1: yeah, right up there, right over there.
Eric: I’m Eric Fitsea, I also work on Ultimate Boss Battles
Audience; Hey me too
Audience: Good work.
Killroy: I’m Killroy. I’m a podcaster for the Frozen Nerdz podcast. We cover StarCraft.
Epicinsanity: And I’m his cohost, this is awesome being in a room with all these creators.
Dry Ice: I’m Dry Ice, I’m the data editor for [Tofu?, 0:35:44.9], and a game mechanics designer.
British Audience; Good day Archer, Mate. [laughter] Sorry, I’m Doug bary. Essentially I’m the UI editor, I do the triggers, all the coding behind 21st World CR. So between us, we make the duo that made Tofu. So,
Audience: So, you’re one of us. You love StarCraft.
Robert: I’m Robert Zamaka, music mixer for the MOBA Bloodbrother games. So how’s that?
M2: I got you, we’re good.
M1: Okay, well, unless there are like burning questions that everyone needs to hear all at once,
microphone style, I’m going to just wrap up and you go with dana on this. Is that good for everybody?
M2: all right. Thank you everyone for coming, that was awesome.
M3: thanks guys.
M1: thank you.