Game design, game programming and more

The StarCraft path-finding hack

Game-unit path-finding is something that most players never notice until it doesn’t work quite right, and then that minor issue becomes a rage-inducing, end-of-the-world problem. During the development of StarCraft there were times when path-finding just didn’t work at all. As the development of StarCraft dragged on it seemed like it would never be done: […]

The making of Warcraft part 3

The first-ever multiplayer game of Warcraft was a crushing victory, an abject defeat, and a tie, all at once. Wait, how is that possible? Well, therein lies a tale. This tale grew organically during the writing to include game AI, the economics of the game business, fog of war and more. Read on if you […]

StarCraft: Orcs in space go down in flames

In my previous article about StarCraft I talked about why we rebooted the project and changed it from a follow-on to Warcraft — derisively called “Orcs in space” in 1996 — into the award-winning game that we were finally able to deliver after two more years of hardship. But one noteworthy source of inspiration didn’t […]

Tough times on the road to Starcraft

I’ve been writing about the early development of Warcraft, but a recent blog post I read prompted me to start scribbling furiously, and the result is this three-part, twenty-plus page article about the development of StarCraft, along with my thoughts about writing more reliable game code. I’ll be posting the latter parts over the next […]

The making of Warcraft part 2

In my previous article about Warcraft I talked about the beginnings of a series that would come to define Blizzard Entertainment and lead it to being one of the best-known and most-loved game companies in the world. But how did Warcraft go from an idea to a full-fledged game? Let me tell you, it was […]

The making of Warcraft part 1

Back before the dawn of time, which is to say when PC games were written for the DOS operating system, I got to work on a game called Warcraft. I get to lead a project! While I had developed several PC games, a couple of Mac games, and seven console titles for the Super Nintendo […]

Scaling Guild Wars for massive concurrency

TL;DR: Server-side game recording is awesome for performing scalability testing, as well as reproducing game bugs and enabling players to replay their game experiences. How to load-test game servers In anticipation of the launch of Guild Wars 2 in August I thought it would be interesting to talk about some of the techniques we used […]

Reducing perceived latency

Before Instagram was a billion dollar company, Mike Krieger posted a presentation called Secrets to Lightning Fast Mobile Design about how his team made the Instagram photo-sharing application feel so responsive, which is one of the key reasons their company has garnered so many users so quickly. This slide caught my attention because the same […]