These days, custom Starcraft 2 mods lack simplicity and poise that great games do not. Once an editor over-complicates or leave out a simple detail in a mod game, he can basically ruin it.
Back in the days of WarCraft II: Tides of Darkness, Blizzard Entertainment created a map editor with the functions of building a full scenario campaign level and objectives of your own design. This map editor idea has been implemented within all other RTS games that have been created since – and only limiting the user by emanation or the know-how to use the editor. With the release of Starcraft 2, there came a new, highly evolved version of map editor – complete with ridiculous amount of content to play with. Here’s an example of what I’m talking about. This video shows the editor went so far to make games that are so unlike the ladder games, that we now have mods like TRON’s light cycles.
But here is why I’m all steamed up. Within the SC2 map editors, some RPG mods like “Special Forces” make you choose a hero based off of nothing other than name. So at the start of the game, you don’t know what your committing to. I’m sick of the endless numbers of upgrades in RPG, RTS or tower defense mods – I never know how much time I will have to invest in the game. I want to be able to understand the concept of the gameplay right away and not sit for an hour trying to figure it out. Mod games have the potential to be so good in design and play, but the creators have gotten caught up in the vast amount of possibilities in the map editor – that they’ve either forgot what makes a good game or simply lacked the vision to make one.
And, searching for good games on the list is a colossal task because of how the ranking works. It’s an endless virtual septic tank. The list of mods is based or ranked on how many hours users play them. This tends to favor the already popular games and further pads their ranking and leaving newer, potentially BETTER ones floating. I did manage to find a few games that I like and would enjoy playing. I don’t think a lot of people are aware they’re there, but, here’s one of them i can remember off the top of my head – Bunker Wars: Choices. Its simple and updated often.
Now, I dont like to complain about something and use my opinion for bashing people just to rant. So, here’s a challenge for you. I propose to anyone who mod or would like to start to mod to create a simple, fun, yet captivating game from Blizzard’s SC2 Map Editor.
I suggest you take a stroll down Nostalgia Lane to remember Nintendo’s Mario and Namco/Midway’s Galaga. Mario’s goal was simply to save the princess. But, he had to run, jump, fight off bad guys, and had fireball and an invulnerability/death touch ability from a frigging super star to do it. Galaga’s goal was simply to shoot as many spaceships as you can, gain as many points as you can, and survive – without being obliterated. Its abilities were for you to move your ship left to right, dodge and shoot, and capture one of their ship to use against them. Yeah, there were cool gun features, too – but overall, it was simple and to the point.
You should then quickly brush up on current games such as DotA, which was, in fact, berthed out of the Blizzard WarCraft 3 map editor. DotA has become one of the most successful mods that, it too, has spun off other games such as League of Legends and Heroes of Newerth, and of course its new version, DotA2.
Each of these games have their own environment but have the same goals and abilities: A team of 3 or 5 push through waves of minions, defense turrets, and the opposing heroes to destroy your enemy’s base. They have simple camera movement bird’s eye view and ever-expanding hero choices, each with various damaging, buff or debuff skills.
What these three games have in common is the overall simplicity in game play. Choose a hero, destroy defense turrets, kill opposing heroes, destroy base, win. With the exception of the variance in look and graphics, these are fun and simple games.
So, back to the challenge. I challenge you to create a mod. Write it out first. Make it fun. Make it simple. If you have the patience, throw in some really cool stuff, but don’t overdo it. When you’re done, email me so I could play it and I’ll either rant or rave about it here. Just remember, dont let a “sucky” game you make get you down. Change it, learn from it and keep in mind that a good game is not flashy or complex by nature.