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Other Games, Development, & Campaigns => Other Games => Topic started by: BoxCrayonTales on December 27, 2019, 06:29:54 AM

Title: Anybody know Starcraft?
Post by: BoxCrayonTales on December 27, 2019, 06:29:54 AM
I played this franchise off and on over the last two decades. My thoughts may be summed as follows: great gameplay, great artwork, abysmal storytelling.

Any other fans here?
Title: Anybody know Starcraft?
Post by: Omega on January 07, 2020, 01:22:37 AM
I had more fun with Total Annihilation.
Title: Anybody know Starcraft?
Post by: Antiquation! on January 07, 2020, 02:47:56 PM
Quote from: Omega;1118354
I had more fun with Total Annihilation.

Same. Fantastic game, I loved the scale involved. Shame my computer at the time gawked any time my masses of Peewees would open fire... I had a lot of fun with Close Combat too although that is decidedly a very different style of gameplay.

Anyhow, with regards to StarCraft I like the concept and a lot of the unit designs, but I was never good at the click economy thing (even though the gameplay itself is fairly slick). I prefer slightly slower-paced strategy. I do have to agree the story is total nonsense as far as SC goes, I could never make heads nor tails of it.
Title: Anybody know Starcraft?
Post by: Spinachcat on January 07, 2020, 11:20:22 PM
I love StarCraft. Huge fan of getting to play a 40k RTS! Eldar vs. Marines vs. Tyranids? What's not to love?

I was okay with the story, but I don't expect much from video games. I liked the character arcs with Kerrigan and Arcturus, but the entire story was just an excuse for team up missions. My only major issue with StarCraft was the hero units. You had to babysit them like fragile toddlers, and if they wandered off, they got blasted so quickly and you lost the mission.

BTW, was Total Annihilation turn based? I remember the 40k games of the SC era were turn based (and fun too).
Title: Anybody know Starcraft?
Post by: Doom on January 07, 2020, 11:41:58 PM
Quote from: Omega;1118354
I had more fun with Total Annihilation.


You, me, and like 2 other guys. That game was just so awesome, and superior to StarCraft in pretty much every way but colorful splodies.

For Spinach, TA was a RTS but actually made some sort of sense in-universe. You needed energy and metal to build everything, and all you built was machines. The whole game was centered around your Commander, basically a sentient robot--he dies, you lose.

Thing was, you had jillions of different units. A wide array of constructor bots, dozens of tank types, also aircraft and naval units...a ridiculous variety of units, I'm not even coming close to describing all the options. You could build walls and barricades, exploit terrain, your units even gained experience. The game was a full decade ahead of its time.

What killed it? Greyscale graphics, for the most part. It was still about the only RTS game that played great solitaire because you had so many options. I even attended the TA championships at E3 one year, with the winner basically building a bunch of energy to matter converters and gifting them to the other player, who then found himself unable to power his disintegrator gun while being swarmed by mini-tanks. Good times.
Title: Anybody know Starcraft?
Post by: Doom on January 07, 2020, 11:50:02 PM
Quote from: BoxCrayonTales;1117482
I played this franchise off and on over the last two decades. My thoughts may be summed as follows: great gameplay, great artwork, abysmal storytelling.

Any other fans here?

I'd go with great artwork, good storytelling (on the curve at least, where "abysmal" was slightly above average), and weak gameplay (again, on the curve...most everyone played SC, but it really seemed like nearly every other RTS had more interesting gameplay).
Title: Anybody know Starcraft?
Post by: BoxCrayonTales on January 08, 2020, 08:10:07 AM
Quote from: Antiquation!;1118406
I do have to agree the story is total nonsense as far as SC goes, I could never make heads nor tails of it.
I have a love-hate relationship with the story. When I read the SC1 manual two decades ago, and when I reread it today, I find myself hyped and inspired by the world building and plot hooks. Sure, it's fairly shallow, cliche, etc but it's not outright bad. A good writer could tell amazing military scifi stories with that premise.

The story of the first game felt like it was written by a different writer working from a different draft of the story. It did not feel like an organic or satisfying followup to the plot hooks in the manual. It also shredded the world building presented in the manual rather than building on it, which felt like an insulting slap in the face. On its own merits, it was pretty trite. The writing was very shallow, as in it was literally only a few paragraphs of dialogue in missions briefings and players were seemingly expected to fill in the blanks in their head. The alien characters were especially underdeveloped and the writer seemed not to know how to handle them, preferring to focus on the humans even when their presence did not feel organic.

The Brood War expansion story displayed a dramatic drop in quality. The script was full of bad writing: plot holes, macguffins, deus ex machinas, mary sue, blatantly idiotic behavior, interesting story threads that the writer severed carelessly, etc.

SC2 was just as bad or worse than Brood War. The most annoying part was that it had some interesting ideas, like the missions dealing with terran rebellion, zerg evolution, or protoss politics. Unfortunately these were overshadowed by a terrible love story involving space cowboy and bug girl fighting the space devil.

The story is pretty much radioactive as far as fandoms go. Most people who cared for the storytelling jumped ship when it became clear the writing was awful, and those few who remain are either oblivious to the bad writing or unable to do more than nonconstructively complain about it. I had a bunch of flame wars with these sorts of annoying people. Where before I was happy to just dismiss the bad writing and focus on something constructive, the flame wars really soured my relationship with this franchise.

Quote from: Spinachcat;1118436
I love StarCraft. Huge fan of getting to play a 40k RTS! Eldar vs. Marines vs. Tyranids? What's not to love?
I don't find that comparison particularly accurate. The SC armies don't neatly map to 40k armies on a 1:1 basis.

The protoss are a mix of eldar, astartes, necrons, and tau. The terrans are based on space westerns and cyberpunk, with no resemblance to 40k. The zerg are a mix of tyranids and nurgle demons.

Well, at least that's the case circa SC1/BW multiplayer (http://classic.battle.net/scc/).

In the games' campaigns' story, all that world building is shredded and the politics are replaced by a handful of insane epic fantasy heroes twisting the universe to their deranged whims. The terrans are reduced to a plucky rebel hero fighting a trite evil emperor, the protoss are reduced to damsels in distress constantly needing rescue by deus ex machina, and the zerg are reduced to the pets of a psychotic succubus with daddy/boyfriend issues.

Quote from: Spinachcat;1118436
I was okay with the story, but I don't expect much from video games. I liked the character arcs with Kerrigan and Arcturus, but the entire story was just an excuse for team up missions.
I thought the character arcs were pretty bad. You know when people said that the Star Wars prequels were ruined by, among other things, the Anakin/Padme romance stealing the spotlight from other more interesting plots? SC is even worse about that.

Blizzard introduced a bunch of political actors with interesting backgrounds and plenty of room for exploration, then ignores them or destroys them.

I found Arcturus to be yet another trite and bland evil overlord. I was far more interested in the Confederacy and what their politics were like than I ever was in anything to do with the Dominion.

Same for Kerrigan. I found the Overmind and cerebrates far more interesting.

The protoss suffered a similar problem. We get introduced to this Star Wars-esque light/dark conflict only for it to be subverted when the dark protoss turn out not to be villains, but then the conflict is quickly resolved and discarded in favor of turning the protoss into damsels in distress that constantly need rescuing.

The manual introduces this whole idea where the terrans are invaded by zerg and protoss, creating a massive clusterf**k war. The games completely botch the execution in favor of absurd soap opera dynamics and lazy space magic.

Quote from: Doom;1118442
I'd go with great artwork, good storytelling (on the curve at least, where "abysmal" was slightly above average), and weak gameplay (again, on the curve...most everyone played SC, but it really seemed like nearly every other RTS had more interesting gameplay).


Even in terms of video game storytelling SC was never more than average.

Aside from what I said above about Blizzard introducing interesting ideas and botching the execution, SC also suffers from trying to shoehorn epic fantasy heroes into a military scifi setting.

This article "Total War: Great Man History (https://medium.com/@historyroundtablepodcast/total-war-great-man-history-33f8bc8833b8)" explains the basics of my complaints.

Essentially, I was expecting SC to be a fairly believable take on interstellar warfare, politics, economics, philosophy, etc. Instead I get this absurd soap opera where a handful of lunatics bend the entire universe to their whims regardless of how much sense it would make in a remotely realistic world.
Title: Anybody know Starcraft?
Post by: Antiquation! on January 08, 2020, 12:04:52 PM
Quote from: Doom;1118440
Thing was, you had jillions of different units. A wide array of constructor bots, dozens of tank types, also aircraft and naval units...a ridiculous variety of units, I'm not even coming close to describing all the options. You could build walls and barricades, exploit terrain, your units even gained experience. The game was a full decade ahead of its time.
I loved those spider-bot things that could scale mountain ridges and such. The fact that you could focus almost entirely on naval forces or air superiority as a tactic was goddamned brilliant. Sometimes for a fun way to end a game I would just send my commander into a densely populated base and make him self-destruct in that massive explosion, which I always thought was a neat option to have.

Best RTS I've ever played. I think you've inspired me to reinstall it actually.

Quote from: BoxCrayonTales;1118460
The alien characters were especially underdeveloped and the writer seemed not to know how to handle them, preferring to focus on the humans even when their presence did not feel organic.

The Brood War expansion story displayed a dramatic drop in quality. The script was full of bad writing: plot holes, macguffins, deus ex machinas, mary sue, blatantly idiotic behavior, interesting story threads that the writer severed carelessly, etc.

Yep. The alien stories felt utterly shoehorned in, and the hero characters (and their stories) are utter tripe. The Protoss, despite being a really cool concept for an alien race, got shat on. Kerrigan is probably the singularly worst part of the entire series. Brood War was exactly the thing that killed any interest I had in the SC story; I briefly played SC2 but I paid mercilessly little attention to the narrative and I never finished any of the campaigns. At least the cutscenes look cool...
Title: Anybody know Starcraft?
Post by: wolfhillrpg on January 08, 2020, 08:25:29 PM
Spent many days being a space-marine general.  Kerrigan story line was great!  Protoss were fun to play and the Zerg were always a pain to play against.  But really is there any beating Dune?
Title: Anybody know Starcraft?
Post by: Omega on January 09, 2020, 01:04:05 AM
Personal favourites are...

Roadwar 2000: This is an odd older one as it is a vehicle strategy game and not in the style of the usual isometric or top downs. But was alot of fun to explore and grow my armada of various cars, trucks and freakish recruits.

Abomination: The Nemesis Project: A really interesting post apoc strategy game with a lovecraftian bio-horror twist.  

Warzone 2100: Another fun little post apoc strategy game. Not as robust as TA. But it played well.
Title: Anybody know Starcraft?
Post by: Antiquation! on January 09, 2020, 11:12:11 AM
Quote from: wolfhillrpg;1118539
But really is there any beating Dune?
Cool it with the war stories, grandpa. ;)
Title: Anybody know Starcraft?
Post by: BoxCrayonTales on January 10, 2020, 08:15:03 AM
Quote from: Antiquation!;1118479
Yep. The alien stories felt utterly shoehorned in, and the hero characters (and their stories) are utter tripe. The Protoss, despite being a really cool concept for an alien race, got shat on. Kerrigan is probably the singularly worst part of the entire series. Brood War was exactly the thing that killed any interest I had in the SC story; I briefly played SC2 but I paid mercilessly little attention to the narrative and I never finished any of the campaigns. At least the cutscenes look cool...


Thank you! You have no idea how frustrating it is to debate this stuff with starcraft story fans. 99% of starcraft fans don't care for the story at all. Most of those who cared about quality story left the fandom years ago. Most of those remaining have very strange ideas of what constitutes good storytelling.

Quote from: wolfhillrpg;1118539
Kerrigan story line was great!


I have no idea why people keep thinking this.

I have several rebuttals to that:

https://superior-realities.com/2014/05/02/starcraft-im-just-going-to-say-it/ is a review of BW that points out the numerous writing problems.

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/12618357/1/Birth-of-a-Queen is a fanfic adaptation/rewrite of Episode 2 that points out the numerous ways that Kerry is detrimental to the story. After twenty years of Kerry Sue worship, I found it an extremely cathartic read.

In fact, according to interviews Kerry was only added to the Episode 2 campaign because the writer thought the zerg characters were boring and was too lazy to make them interesting in their own right.
Title: Anybody know Starcraft?
Post by: Antiquation! on January 10, 2020, 10:51:31 AM
Quote from: BoxCrayonTales;1118666
Kerry Sue

LMAO! :p Never heard that before, I'll have to remember that one. Nice links by the way, great summary in the first article! I wonder if they'll ever 'reboot' Starcraft and try again with a clean slate...
Title: Anybody know Starcraft?
Post by: BoxCrayonTales on January 10, 2020, 03:01:06 PM
Quote from: Antiquation!;1118671
LMAO! :p Never heard that before, I'll have to remember that one.
You're welcome!

Quote from: Antiquation!;1118671
Nice links by the way, great summary in the first article!
That's the only critical review of BW I could find. I tried to find a similar summary for SC1, but none seem to exist.

Quote from: Antiquation!;1118671
I wonder if they'll ever 'reboot' Starcraft and try again with a clean slate...
I doubt it. Every game is basically a soft reboot anyway since Blizzard doesn't seem to care about continuity at all. This results in the overarching story being a complete mess.

Even if they reboot it, Blizz would keep making the same mistakes. Overwatch doesn't have a continuous story or really much of anything besides the most shallow character biographies, but somehow they still managed to contradict themselves several times.

Warcraft is the worst of the lot since it received the most attention. It has a sprawling backstory that makes no sense due to continuous retcons, mistakes, and writers with very different ideas how to approach the story.
Title: Anybody know Starcraft?
Post by: Antiquation! on January 10, 2020, 03:28:30 PM
Quote from: BoxCrayonTales;1118701
I doubt it. Every game is basically a soft reboot anyway since Blizzard doesn't seem to care about continuity at all. This results in the overarching story being a complete mess.

Even if they reboot it, Blizz would keep making the same mistakes. Overwatch doesn't have a continuous story or really much of anything besides the most shallow character biographies, but somehow they still managed to contradict themselves several times.

Warcraft is the worst of the lot since it received the most attention. It has a sprawling backstory that makes no sense due to continuous retcons, mistakes, and writers with very different ideas how to approach the story.

Unfortunately you're probably right. You know, it makes me wonder if those die-hard Blizzard fanatics maybe just enjoy these big, sprawling morasses of crapola that Blizzard calls 'lore'? Warcraft is a goddamned travesty; I remember trying to read one of the novels (can't remember the title) and I couldn't even finish it due to all the recursive nonsense, I even enjoyed the Terminator novelizations more than that pile of endless self-referential trash. I miss when it was still just a cute little RTS with cartoony looking orcs, I could never get into WoW (and from what I understand, it's added even more nonsense "lore" to the Warcraft universe?).

I'm unsure of how Overwatch characters are as popular as they are, it's like a form of idol worship for some people and as you noted, they're cardboard cutout stereotypes with little backstory.
Title: Anybody know Starcraft?
Post by: BoxCrayonTales on January 10, 2020, 06:06:35 PM
Quote from: Antiquation!;1118709
Unfortunately you're probably right. You know, it makes me wonder if those die-hard Blizzard fanatics maybe just enjoy these big, sprawling morasses of crapola that Blizzard calls 'lore'? Warcraft is a goddamned travesty; I remember trying to read one of the novels (can't remember the title) and I couldn't even finish it due to all the recursive nonsense, I even enjoyed the Terminator novelizations more than that pile of endless self-referential trash. I miss when it was still just a cute little RTS with cartoony looking orcs, I could never get into WoW (and from what I understand, it's added even more nonsense "lore" to the Warcraft universe?).

I'm unsure of how Overwatch characters are as popular as they are, it's like a form of idol worship for some people and as you noted, they're cardboard cutout stereotypes with little backstory.


I try working on fanfics every so often that take the lore in wildly different (and hopefully better) directions from canon. It's thankless work because I'm no experience in writing, Starcraft lore has such an anemic fandom to begin with and most remaining fans aren't interesting in seeing stories like that. The most popular starcraft fanfic trend is self-inserts where a teenage boy controls the zerg on a generic fantasy genre planet and doesn't act like an evil monster. It's frustrating.

Sometimes I try to work on an original setting that recycles the ideas I liked about Starcraft. It would probably work better as an RPG campaign setting, I think. I don't have the expertise to make my own RTS, sadly.

There's an unofficial StarCraft tabletop RPG made by a "Leovaunt" who works really hard to make it into a functional campaign setting. While the work is admirable, it cannot overcome the sheer silliness of the canon story. https://www.stellarrealmsgames.com/starcraft

Do you think anybody in the scifi RPG scene would be interested in my ideas for a less silly StarCraft AU? I can share my major points of divergence if you want to know.
Title: Anybody know Starcraft?
Post by: wolfhillrpg on January 10, 2020, 07:17:44 PM
Quote from: Antiquation!;1118594
Cool it with the war stories, grandpa. ;)


A little bit of coffee came out of my nose with this one.  Thank you for the great laugh!


I think I liked the Kerrigan storyline because it was simple and lazy.  Did people really play StarCraft for its story anyways?  Did anyone care that we ran around collecting coins as a plumber to save a princess from a dragon?  Fun is fun, no matter how crappy the story is.  Life's too short, sometimes you just have to enjoy the ride.  

On a semi-side notè anyone else ever quote Vasquez while playing the space-marines
Vasquez: Look man! I only need to know one thing – where they are.
Title: Anybody know Starcraft?
Post by: BoxCrayonTales on January 10, 2020, 09:51:32 PM
Quote from: wolfhillrpg;1118745
I think I liked the Kerrigan storyline because it was simple and lazy.  Did people really play StarCraft for its story anyways?  Did anyone care that we ran around collecting coins as a plumber to save a princess from a dragon?  Fun is fun, no matter how crappy the story is.  Life's too short, sometimes you just have to enjoy the ride.  


That's not the problem, no. I had numerous arguments in the past with people who refused to acknowledge that Blizzard always tells bad stories. I'm the sort of person who refuses to settle for garbage, so telling me that you love eating garbage and I should be honored to be force fed garbage... I think you get the point.

Starcraft fandom is basically what Star Wars fandom would look like if the majority of Star Wars fans gave up on Star Wars in disgust, leaving a vocal minority of lunatics who treat the scripts of all nine movies as gospel and worship the directors as infallible gods.
Title: Anybody know Starcraft?
Post by: GameDaddy on January 11, 2020, 01:18:40 AM
Quote from: BoxCrayonTales;1117482
I played this franchise off and on over the last two decades. My thoughts may be summed as follows: great gameplay, great artwork, abysmal storytelling.

Any other fans here?


Was a fan of the original StarCraft, didn't like StarCraft II much. The games that I really did like that were similar were Imperium Galactica, and Masters of Orion, which included trade and diplomacy mixed in with tactical combat actions. I also really liked the Warhammer 40k, the original, where you had these squads of Space marines under your command, and had some tactical objective to accomplish in order to complete a scenario or campaign, a planet or ship invasion. Also liked Playing Outpost, and Outpost II: Divided Destiny. It helped immensely that these sci-fi games had a soundtrack made by Tangerine Dream.
Title: Anybody know Starcraft?
Post by: Antiquation! on January 11, 2020, 11:34:22 AM
Quote from: BoxCrayonTales;1118737
I try working on fanfics every so often that take the lore in wildly different (and hopefully better) directions from canon. It's thankless work because I'm no experience in writing, Starcraft lore has such an anemic fandom to begin with and most remaining fans aren't interesting in seeing stories like that. The most popular starcraft fanfic trend is self-inserts where a teenage boy controls the zerg on a generic fantasy genre planet and doesn't act like an evil monster. It's frustrating.

Sometimes I try to work on an original setting that recycles the ideas I liked about Starcraft. It would probably work better as an RPG campaign setting, I think. I don't have the expertise to make my own RTS, sadly.

There's an unofficial StarCraft tabletop RPG made by a "Leovaunt" who works really hard to make it into a functional campaign setting. While the work is admirable, it cannot overcome the sheer silliness of the canon story. https://www.stellarrealmsgames.com/starcraft

Do you think anybody in the scifi RPG scene would be interested in my ideas for a less silly StarCraft AU? I can share my major points of divergence if you want to know.
I would be curious to hear about your major points of divergence. My wife writes a lot of fan fiction (though mainly for the DC universe) so I might point her to this; I'm not certain how familiar she is with SC though to be honest. I agree with you in that I think it would make for a good campaign setting for sure, although I think it would need the Star Wars treatment where whoever picked up the license would need to interpret and fabricate quite a bit more of the setting whole-cloth to provide breathing room.
Quote from: wolfhillrpg;1118745
A little bit of coffee came out of my nose with this one.  Thank you for the great laugh!


I think I liked the Kerrigan storyline because it was simple and lazy.  Did people really play StarCraft for its story anyways?  Did anyone care that we ran around collecting coins as a plumber to save a princess from a dragon?  Fun is fun, no matter how crappy the story is.  Life's too short, sometimes you just have to enjoy the ride.  

On a semi-side notè anyone else ever quote Vasquez while playing the space-marines
Vasquez: Look man! I only need to know one thing – where they are.
You know, if talking about the game as a whole I think that's a solid point. Most of the people I knew personally who played SC *didn't* care about the story; most of the discussion revolved around tactics for online multiplayer and such. Your opinion of the story is certainly valid, and it appears we both agree it was simple and lazy! :p I mean, SC is not exactly a deep RP experience or anything; one could argue the plot is mainly window dressing. However, when specifically talking about the story I definitely think it had some serious missteps that decreased my investment in it. The gameplay of course was fairly tight as well as accessible for its time, which to your point I think is the primary reason the game endured.

Personally, I always found myself purposely misquoting Zeratul... "I do this for Hire!" :D

Quote from: GameDaddy;1118764
Was a fan of the original StarCraft, didn't like StarCraft II much. The games that I really did like that were similar were Imperium Galactica, and Masters of Orion, which included trade and diplomacy mixed in with tactical combat actions. I also really liked the Warhammer 40k, the original, where you had these squads of Space marines under your command, and had some tactical objective to accomplish in order to complete a scenario or campaign, a planet or ship invasion. Also liked Playing Outpost, and Outpost II: Divided Destiny. It helped immensely that these sci-fi games had a soundtrack made by Tangerine Dream.
Masters of Orion was quite good, yes. Sorry to say I don't remember playing any of the others you mention. Although speaking of 40k, did you ever play any of the original Space Hulk videogames? I enjoyed those a lot. Warhammer Fantasy also had a really fun RTS where you needed to purchase, outfit and design your units ahead of time (or purchase the temporary assistance of whatever mercenaries were available), though I can't recall the name off the top of my head; the fact that you used actual troop formations as well as positioning/regiment facings mattering greatly was quite a revelation to me at the time. It appeared to me that they had put in quite a bit of effort in mimicking the tabletop wargame mechanics including morale and such... of course, in real-time I found tactics much more difficult to plan out and time effectively!

Regarding soundtracks, I think you're absolutely right about their effectiveness in creating an enthralling experience. The first example I always go to is the Halo OST by Martin O'Donnell, an absolutely fantastic, swelling score which has more or less merged with the identity of the Halo universe itself. It is as John Williams is to Star Wars. With real time strategy, I usually look to Red Alert / Command and Conquer as prime examples of memorable soundtracks.
Title: Anybody know Starcraft?
Post by: BoxCrayonTales on January 11, 2020, 02:27:13 PM
Quote from: Antiquation!;1118798
I would be curious to hear about your major points of divergence. My wife writes a lot of fan fiction (though mainly for the DC universe) so I might point her to this; I'm not certain how familiar she is with SC though to be honest. I agree with you in that I think it would make for a good campaign setting for sure, although I think it would need the Star Wars treatment where whoever picked up the license would need to interpret and fabricate quite a bit more of the setting whole-cloth to provide breathing room.

Yep. The SC world building is extremely shallow and the writers add to and rewrite it on the fly without regard for consistency. It tries to be military scifi fiction but immediately fails because it ignores the basic realities of things like logistics, economics, politics, geography, astronomy, etc. I won't bore you with the details.

Background
Anyway, to provide a bit of background: SC is constantly rewritten during development and between installments. SC1's development alone may be divided into several periods:
My pitch
My basic idea for a campaign setting is to recycle all the good ideas while discarding the bad ones. Rather than focusing on the romance of space cowboy and his bug waifu that ruined the setting, I'd focus on the political and military situations involving the Terran nations, the Protoss tribes, and the Zerg broods.

Koprulu sector is being fought over by the United Earth Directorate, the Confederacy, Umojan Protectorate, Kel-Morian Combine, Sons of Korhal, and various other groups. Pretty much your standard scifi fare. I like how the Confederacy is depicted as this weird cross of Southern heritage (they use a Confederate flag even!), space cowboys and cyberpunk dystopia. Really refreshing in the age of crazy leftism taking over the media landscape. (In the games the Confederacy was replaced by the Dominion, but they're pretty much identical except with all the political drama replaced by a generic evil emperor and the Southern heritage scrubbed away so I don't find them remotely interesting.) The Confederacy is a literal confederacy of hundreds of different colonies with their own colonial governments and militia, tho the federal government is authoritarian (par the course for scifi) and the de facto leaders are the "Old Families." The Old Families are basically the Houses from Game of Thrones ported to scifi, so they're perfect for political drama. The world building is so generic that you can just import whatever concepts you like from other humanocentric scifi settings like Battletech, Cyberpunk 2020, Serenity, or whatever.

Then you throw in the alien invasions. The zerg want to eat the terrans to acquire their useful transhuman traits, because that's the zerg's shtick. The protoss expedition to the sector, tipped off by the discovery of zerg deep space probes, wants to exterminate the zerg and after glassing terran colonies come into conflict with the terrans.

The protoss aren't universally genocidal, tho. There's a schism in the expedition where some protoss want to protect and even work alongside the terrans. Then there are protoss tribes who aren't part of the empire, whether because they never joined or were exiled. These include groups like nerazim, taldarim, ihanrii, and whatever else Blizzard retcons in the future. Basically the same thing you see with the oodles of elf varieties in fantasy games, except in space.

The zerg are an excuse to explore the players' "evil" impulses. Their whole shtick involves eating any species they find useful and creating biological weapons. If you liked mad scientists or the like in fantasy/scifi games, then you'll love these guys. Most of them are devoted to the Overmind, a Lovecraftian deity who talks to its children like the Old Testament God and promises they will become perfect by consuming the terrans and ultimately the protoss. Some of the zerg aren't affiliated with the Overmind, but those ones aren't interesting to me because they're either short-sighted talking animals or cyborg zombie slaves to terrans/protoss.

Basically, its Warhammer 40k lite. If you thought 40k was too depressing, convoluted or whatever, then I think this works as a cheerier simpler replacement. Honestly, the world building we have isn't actually all that much but damn would it work well in the hands of someone who actually cares to explore it. "No bad ideas, only bad execution" and all that.
Title: Anybody know Starcraft?
Post by: Spinachcat on January 11, 2020, 10:39:01 PM
I never thought SC (or WarCraft) was about storytelling. The games were about Army A vs. Army B, either multi-player or vs. the computer. The single-player story missions were mostly just training scenarios as you were dripped new units to play and fight against and by the end of the missions, you were "ready" to play the "real" game of multiplayer fights where nothing from the storyline mattered.

I don't really disagree with any of the critique of the SC storyline or characters, but I doubt much popular modern entertainment can stand up to any literary criticism. It's almost all disposable eye candy soap opera. I love 40k, but the absurdities of the convoluted canon can't be denied.
Title: Anybody know Starcraft?
Post by: Antiquation! on January 12, 2020, 01:09:17 AM
Quote from: Spinachcat;1118737
I love 40k, but the absurdities of the convoluted canon can't be denied.

Shut your mouth, that's the best part of the setting!:p
Title: Anybody know Starcraft?
Post by: Antiquation! on January 12, 2020, 01:25:56 AM
Quote from: BoxCrayonTales;1118827
Yep. The SC world building is extremely shallow and the writers add to and rewrite it on the fly without regard for consistency. It tries to be military scifi fiction but immediately fails because it ignores the basic realities of things like logistics, economics, politics, geography, astronomy, etc. I won't bore you with the details.
The summary of your changes is very nice, thanks! Those have the potential to make SC a much more viable setting for an RPG than it was and appears to provide much more space for adventure and intrigue over convoluted space battles.
Title: Anybody know Starcraft?
Post by: VisionStorm on January 12, 2020, 06:13:38 PM
I haven't played SC in ages and barely even remember much of it, especially any part of the story, but as Spinachcat mentioned, I doubt anyone played them for the story (though, the world-building concepts themselves are nice). I used to play LAN multiplayer with friends of mine after work over a decade ago, and we'd mostly play RTS games, including WarCraft, Star Craft and Command & Conquer: Generals.

It's hard to say which troops I liked more, since I shifted so many times. I probably liked Zerg most at first, but eventually moved on to Protos, then Terrans. I remember wanting to play a tabletop RPG based on the setting back in the day, but never got around it.
Title: Anybody know Starcraft?
Post by: BoxCrayonTales on January 12, 2020, 06:19:42 PM
Quote from: Spinachcat;1118858
I don't really disagree with any of the critique of the SC storyline or characters, but I doubt much popular modern entertainment can stand up to any literary criticism. It's almost all disposable eye candy soap opera.
Video game stories are generally mediocre, but there are standout examples. It generally depends on the genre tho. Adventure games, computer roleplaying games, visual novels and other genres that depend on storytelling have higher standards than video games in general.

Quote from: Spinachcat;1118858
I love 40k, but the absurdities of the convoluted canon can't be denied.
That's part of the appeal. Games Workshop even acknowledges it. Where fandumb comes in are the people who think the imperium is genuinely heroic. It doesn't help that they're basically the main character faction.

Quote from: Antiquation!;1118866
The summary of your changes is very nice, thanks! Those have the potential to make SC a much more viable setting for an RPG than it was and appears to provide much more space for adventure and intrigue over convoluted space battles.
Thank you guys for your understanding responses.

I really want to write my own Starcraft clone, but there are so many barriers to that. I don't have experience with writing or game design. I don't have funding even if I did. I like the aliens over the humans but that puts me in a minority it seems. My whole situation is frustrating.

I could try to write a campaign setting for Leovaunt's Starcraft RPG, but then only for an audience who otherwise wouldn't like Starcraft's lore in the first place.

Would that be worth it? Is there an audience?
Title: Anybody know Starcraft?
Post by: Spinachcat on January 13, 2020, 03:43:30 AM
The 40k Imperium is genuinely heroic in the sense they are the only hope for humanity...and humans are a total mess. That's always been the best part of 40k RPGs is playing a hero trying to do something to save humanity inside a truly insane system that's the only thing holding back the nightmares of the universe, but also often makes things worse. That's much of the grim humor in the grim darkness.

StarCraft really didn't have any humor and took its soap opera rather seriously.
Title: Anybody know Starcraft?
Post by: BoxCrayonTales on January 13, 2020, 07:18:42 AM
Quote from: Spinachcat;1118944
The 40k Imperium is genuinely heroic in the sense they are the only hope for humanity...and humans are a total mess. That's always been the best part of 40k RPGs is playing a hero trying to do something to save humanity inside a truly insane system that's the only thing holding back the nightmares of the universe, but also often makes things worse. That's much of the grim humor in the grim darkness.
I don't want this tangent to take over the thread, so I won't say much. I will say that the fandumb doesn't understand this. That's why it's fandumb.

For example, I read one fanfic where an inquisitor euthanized children because they witnessed a demonic possession and he lacked a means of erasing their memories. He didn't want to kill them, but he knew the consequences of not doing so were much worse. The fanfic got a lot of flak from 40k fans even tho the inquisitor's actions were believable in-universe.

Quote from: Spinachcat;1118944
StarCraft really didn't have any humor and took its soap opera rather seriously.
To its detriment. Now the story is radioactive.

Anyway, do you think there's an audience for the AU SC campaign setting I suggested? The one where the soap opera was excised?
Title: Anybody know Starcraft?
Post by: BoxCrayonTales on January 13, 2020, 07:53:19 AM
Quote from: Spinachcat;1118944
The 40k Imperium is genuinely heroic in the sense they are the only hope for humanity...and humans are a total mess. That's always been the best part of 40k RPGs is playing a hero trying to do something to save humanity inside a truly insane system that's the only thing holding back the nightmares of the universe, but also often makes things worse. That's much of the grim humor in the grim darkness.
I don't want this tangent to take over the thread, so I won't say much. I will say that the fandumb doesn't understand this. That's why it's fandumb.

For example, I read one fanfic where an inquisitor euthanized children because they witnessed a demonic possession and he lacked a means of erasing their memories. He didn't want to kill them, but he knew the consequences of not doing so were much worse. The fanfic got a lot of flak from 40k fans even tho the inquisitor's actions were believable in-universe.

Quote from: Spinachcat;1118944
StarCraft really didn't have any humor and took its soap opera rather seriously.
To its detriment. Now the story is radioactive.

Anyway, do you think there's an audience for the AU SC campaign setting I suggested? The one where the soap opera was excised?


[/HR]

I write StarCraft fanfiction if anyone's interested.
Title: Anybody know Starcraft?
Post by: Spinachcat on January 14, 2020, 04:36:12 AM
Quote from: BoxCrayonTales;1118954
For example, I read one fanfic where an inquisitor euthanized children because they witnessed a demonic possession and he lacked a means of erasing their memories. He didn't want to kill them, but he knew the consequences of not doing so were much worse. The fanfic got a lot of flak from 40k fans even tho the inquisitor's actions were believable in-universe.


That fanfic is 100% in line with 40k canon. From Rogue Trader (aka 40k 1e) we learn the Grey Knights "cleanse" whole regiments of Imperial Guard after a successful battle with Chaos. That's how messed up Chaos is. It's so infectious that if you heroically win a battle against them, you need to be brain wiped (at minimum) or killed outright and that's the price of victory.


Quote from: BoxCrayonTales;1118954
Anyway, do you think there's an audience for the AU SC campaign setting I suggested? The one where the soap opera was excised?


Yes, if done well. I agree there's world building potential underneath the soap opera.

But without control of the IP, I don't see how you would reach an audience of notable size.
Title: Anybody know Starcraft?
Post by: BoxCrayonTales on January 14, 2020, 07:22:23 AM
Quote from: Spinachcat;1119040
Yes, if done well. I agree there's world building potential underneath the soap opera.

But without control of the IP, I don't see how you would reach an audience of notable size.
I figured that too. Hence, I'm also working on an original universe that recycles the premise of Starcraft without the soap opera aspects.

If anybody's interested in collaboratively brainstorming the world building, then let me know.
Title: Anybody know Starcraft?
Post by: BoxCrayonTales on July 20, 2020, 04:52:03 PM
Blizz posted a story summary on their blog: https://starcraft2.com/en-us/news/23331587

It's... just as bad as you would expect it to be.
Title: Anybody know Starcraft?
Post by: Ratman_tf on July 20, 2020, 09:09:47 PM
People pay attention to the lore?

The best writing Blizzard did was on the original Diablo, because there was so little of it compared to "cutscene, the game".
Title: Anybody know Starcraft?
Post by: BoxCrayonTales on July 20, 2020, 10:36:18 PM
Quote from: Ratman_tf;1140900
People pay attention to the lore?

The best writing Blizzard did was on the original Diablo, because there was so little of it compared to "cutscene, the game".


It's absolutely maddening for me. I like all the art and the units and stuff. But the story is frankly awful.

This makes it really difficult to discuss with people who actually like the game. I don't know what's wrong with me, but for some reason I can't have constructive storycrafting conversations with other fans of the game.