StarCraft 2's designer stands by tradition, promises updates 'soon'

To hear Starcraft 2 designer Dustin Browder tell it, creating games at Blizzard takes years of fighting and yelling rather than coding or creating art -- every little decision is a "a three-week or longer holy war." Browder says that the controversial decision to release the RTS as three titles was made to get the game out faster -- after all that arguing, Blizzard figured that it needed to release something, and if that had been the whole game, we'd have been waiting even longer. As it was, he says, "we wanted to get a product into consumers' hands sometime before the end of the decade. Even that we didn't quite make, I guess, but it was still sooner!"

Browder answers fans' concerns about how closely the second game resembles the first by suggesting that adapting RTS competitors' innovations wouldn't have made the game more successful. "I haven't really seen another gameplay experience that's attracted millions of players with hundreds of thousands playing online," he says. "I have not seen someone else be successful by removing economy. I have not seen other RTSes be successful by removing micro."

And finally, he says to look for future updates coming to the game, both in the form of patches to Battle.net, and in the other versions. There's no timeline set yet for the paid user maps program, but Blizzard is working on more art for modders, and updates "for our fans to get more value out of Battle.net." As for what updates will be in the second retail title, Heart of the Swarm, Browder seems to hint that Blizzard just hasn't decided yet. They must still be throwing things and yelling down in Irvine.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.