For gamers whose childhood and early youth were in the 1990s, StarCraft can evoke nostalgia. This already classic title lived to see a sequel in 2010, bringing younger generations together as well. It sparked the creation of a series of comics, short stories, and books, furthering the storyline presented in the games. It proved to be a phenomenon among Koreans and proudly entered the e-sports and... astronaut community.
photo: Blizzard Press Center press materials
Exactly March 28, 1998, was the world premiere of the first part of the now cult title.
Blizzard’s origins date back to the early 1990s, when the company, founded by three University of California graduates: Allen Adham, Michael Morhaime, and Frank Pearce, began to strive to produce its own computer games.
The company was initially called Silicon & Synapse Inc. and went through name rebranding twice before becoming known as Blizzard Entertainment.
Already under the Blizzard banner, it began releasing its best-known titles, which, in addition to StarCraft, include the WarCraft and Diablo series.
Real-time strategy, abbreviated as RTS, is a type of computer game that allows players to take ad hoc action without waiting for their turn. It is a genre that promotes rapid decision-making skills, in which the consequences of choices are immediately apparent.
The term “real-time strategy game” was first used in 1992 by Brett Sperry, who was responsible for the production of Dune II, released under the banner of Westwood Studios (later absorbed by Electronic Arts).
The action takes place in the future, in outer space. The player’s task is to eliminate opponents by using the strategy of developing the base, creating units, and launching an attack on the opponent’s bases, to bring about his voluntary surrender or the destruction of all his buildings.
After each game, players can consult a scoreboard, showing the values achieved in various areas, including the rate of raw material collection, the value of the army, the overall score, and the order of construction.
One of them is the humans, called Terrans. It is a relatively easy-to-maintain race, with a balanced cost of individual buildings and units, requiring the erection of buildings with the participation of a worker (SCV).
The Protoss are a highly technologically advanced alien race that is quite expensive to maintain, but allows the simultaneous summoning of buildings with the participation of only one worker (Probe), who does not participate in the entire process of building, but only initiates their materialization.
The last race is the Zerg, which is a rather expansive alien race, focused on numerical superiority. The cost of creating units and buildings compared to the other races is lower. The creation of buildings involves the sacrifice of a worker (Drone), which evolves into the target stage.
In each case, the player can choose to create units that fight at close quarters or at a distance, as well as infantry and aviation. Each race has its own unique characteristics, which require adjusting strategies to achieve the best results.
Blizzard has managed to get its fans used to being patient while waiting for new titles. It was no different with the StarCraft series, which kept them waiting for more than 12 years.
On July 27, 2010, StarCraft II finally arrived on the market, but it did not offer to go through the campaign of every race, like its 1998 predecessor. Blizzard decided to release the new installment as a trilogy. In 2010, a Terran campaign–Wings of Liberty–was released, three years later a Zerg campaign–Heart of the Swarm, and finally in 2015 a Protoss campaign–the Legacy of the Void.
The title was positively reviewed, receiving high marks from critics and fans.
The game has an elaborate storyline, telling a coherent and engaging story that can be followed through campaigns focused on each race. However, this is not the only form of gameplay the title offers. For those eager to duel with other players, there is a multiplayer clash option, during which you can additionally join forces with another player or AI. Another option available is a player vs. computer clash. Unlike the first StarCraft, in the second installment of the series you can adjust the difficulty level of the AI, as well as conduct a clash that will continuously assess the level of difficulty you are able to handle.
StarCraft II introduced co-op missions with the addition of various weekly mutations.
Brood War was released in late 1998 and supplemented the gameplay with a continuation of the storyline in three new campaigns, one for each of the space races.
New units were added to the game, including a medic in Terran, a lurker in Zerg, and a dark templar in Protoss.
It could only be unlocked if the last mission available in the game was completed within 5 minutes.
The secret mission shed some light on the existence of so-called hybrids, whose presence was not more widely presented until the second installment of the series.
The light was shed on this unusual idea by former Blizzard Entertainment vice president Chris Metzen in 2015, admitting that the title was indeed intended to focus on vampires in its initial development, but plans were abandoned in favor of the story we now know.
At the beginning of the 21st century, StarCraft games began to be broadcast on South Korean television. They were so popular that it was decided to create a separate station - Ongamenet (OGN), and at the time of their greatest popularity, they were broadcast by as many as three channels - around the clock.
Nowadays, the broadcasts are available on the Internet and still gather many viewers.
A popular event among gamers and fans is Intel Extreme Masters, which has been held in Katowice, Poland, since 2013 and is broadcast online.
The event brings together e-sports players dueling in various titles, including StarCraft II.
Over the years, many comic books, short stories, and books have been written in the StarCraft universe, expanding on the storyline depicted in the games.
In 1999, NASA astronaut Daniel Barry took a copy of the first game on his voyage to the International Space Station, giving it more than 150 laps of our planet before the mission was over.
Currently, the “first StarCraft disc in space” is housed at Blizzard’s headquarters.
It improved graphics to 4K quality, refreshed the soundtrack, and improved online features while maintaining the original gameplay.