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Ex-StarCraft 2 & WarCraft 3 Devs Form Frost Giant Studios to Create “Next Great RTS”

Men_in_Boxes

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Then go play turn based games...

There is a reason why every popular eSport (or even every actual sport) focuses heavily on mechanics.
A competitive game where only strategy maters (like chess) is boring to watch and to play in my opinion.

Why would I play turn based games when I'm interested in RTS games?

I would also argue that most people lack imagination. We all like StarCraft, WarCraft and Command and Conquer so most people just want better versions of those games. In reality, the genre died for a reason. If you don't understand why it died, then you're setting yourself up for failure.

Choices will always make for the most entertaining moments. Drama thrives on choice, not mechanical skill.

Chess is turn based btw.
 
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Shubh_C63

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I think I peed a little.
Words cannot describe how excited (and vary) I am.

Please be old school and half as good as Warcraft 3
 

Bolivar687

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Dawn of War 3 was absolutely brilliant, I dont care what anyone says. I played that to a semi high level and it was thrilling after all the updates and new units.

I think there is room for an RTS that recreates those first 15-minutes of DoW3 multiplayer.There's a really tight micro interplay there while you're building some bases and outposts, you have a mix of 3-5 squads, maybe a Hero, and you're figuring out where to attack the map and how to best use terrain, disruption and active abilities to outplay your opponent. I love this game but It all kind of goes to shit at the 20 minute mark when you're accumulating so many resources and you just lose track of upgrades and active abilities. When one single nuke from a titan can levels an entire army you kind of just have to throw your hands up and accept that everything else you did meant nothing. There's a very fine line between micro and macro that DoW3 tried to walk that hopefully some kind of successor can nail better.

There still is a dedicated community who plays games from around 12-5pm every day. It's still fun but tough because there is so much going on in the game and you can really get screwed without proper communication.
 

Snake00

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Why would I play turn based games when I'm interested in RTS games?

I would also argue that most people lack imagination. We all like StarCraft, WarCraft and Command and Conquer so most people just want better versions of those games. In reality, the genre died for a reason. If you don't understand why it died, then you're setting yourself up for failure.

Choices will always make for the most entertaining moments. Drama thrives on choice, not mechanical skill.

Chess is turn based btw.

If you are interested in RTS, then you have to accept that mechanical skill is always a requirement to be competitive.
If two players have the same amount of units, the player with better control will always win, no matter how simple those units are.
The question is not if, but how much mechanical skill is required.

I guess you could make the game so that it does not require much mechanical skill to execute your strategies.
But again, I have yet to see a popular esport in which the player with better mechanics cannot completely trash a bad player who makes better strategic decisions.
 

.Pennywise

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E-Sports = APM Fest = SHIT

Making a good RTS is not easy task, it's much easier to make your everyday cinematic 3rd person action adventure than a good balanced RTS. You have to take care of balance very rigorously if you don't want to have a game that lasts 1 hour a match or a game that lasts 3 minutes because it's become an APM shitshow and in order to get good games you need stupidly high APM ala Starcraft.
 
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I think there is room for an RTS that recreates those first 15-minutes of DoW3 multiplayer.There's a really tight micro interplay there while you're building some bases and outposts, you have a mix of 3-5 squads, maybe a Hero, and you're figuring out where to attack the map and how to best use terrain, disruption and active abilities to outplay your opponent. I love this game but It all kind of goes to shit at the 20 minute mark when you're accumulating so many resources and you just lose track of upgrades and active abilities. When one single nuke from a titan can levels an entire army you kind of just have to throw your hands up and accept that everything else you did meant nothing. There's a very fine line between micro and macro that DoW3 tried to walk that hopefully some kind of successor can nail better.

There still is a dedicated community who plays games from around 12-5pm every day. It's still fun but tough because there is so much going on in the game and you can really get screwed without proper communication.

You know I stopped playing DoW3 about 2 years ago not because I got bored of it, but because I was too addicted to it and it was affecting my work...I recognise what you're saying with gameplay. Early game was so tight and back and forth with cheap heroes being used to the max of their ability, and mid game was lots of strategy too, but end game lost the strategy it was just super unit stomping ground, which is kinda epic but meant gameplay is more mindless.

This was the only game which made me genuinely angry at the gamer community as the hate from them killed it, and we never got the Necrons race added to the game. What a travesty!
 
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Tschumi

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i guess you guys are disgusted that there's a woman on that jpg, right? :messenger_tears_of_joy:

And we've got the campaign dude from frozen throne.. that's pretty decent... and a dude from war3 reforged? that's horrorshow...

For real, if they wanna make the 'next great rts', all power to them. Lots of SC2 pedigree at least. I'm very excited.
 

jigglet

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This is exciting. Given the pedigree we’re unlikely to get yet another “fuck base building” COH clone.
 

diffusionx

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I feel like I've been hearing about new studios from Ex Blizzard devs for the past 10 years and nothing has ever come of it.

It's been a thing since Hellgate London in 2006 lol. Back then I think there was some "secret sauce" in that building from the interaction of all the people, and they couldn't recreate it on their own. But now, Blizzard is just another dev.

Good luck to these people but if their game stinks then whatever they did in Irvine won't matter.
 
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Bolivar687

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This was the only game which made me genuinely angry at the gamer community as the hate from them killed it, and we never got the Necrons race added to the game. What a travesty!

Me too, but I also held a lot of it against Relic, the dev interaction with the beta testers and diehard community was practically non-existent. A couple maps and heroes in the year after launch felt like a paltry effort compared to the turnarounds we saw for Diablo III or Rainbow 6 Siege. It should've been all hands on deck, instead they let one of their marquee franchises just drift out to sea.

Eventually I've made peace with it, there's a remnant of a community there to play when I feel like it, and there will hopefully be more RTS gems on the horizon. Sorry to hear about your addiction, though! That's awesome and rough at the same time.
 
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Techies

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Last RTS I played was Final Assault in VR. I enjoyed it a lot, but stopped playing it eventually.
VR feels like the next step forward for the genre, but...

I'm tired of micro managing and just don't feel like playing any RTS atm, heck I'm over MOBA's too.
 
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Me too, but I also held a lot of it against Relic, the dev interaction with the beta testers and diehard community was practically non-existent. A couple maps and heroes in the year after launch felt like a paltry effort compared to the turnarounds we saw for Diablo III or Rainbow 6 Siege. It should've been all hands on deck, instead they let one of their marquee franchises just drift out to sea.

Eventually I've made peace with it, there's a remnant of a community there to play when I feel like it, and there will hopefully be more RTS gems on the horizon. Sorry to hear about your addiction, though! That's awesome and rough at the same time.

Yeah that's true. I think SEGA werent fully commited to publishing it as it was mothballed at one time and underfunded Relic as a result.

And lol I werent fully serious with the addiction I just came to conclusion I was playing too long for a game that would cease to get support and concentrated on my work.
 

Coolwhhip

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Playtonic showed us that some old Rare names doesn't mean the company will be able to recreate something of the same quality at all. We don't know who at Blizzard made Starcraft so great, it could have been 1 creative director, that's missing here.
 

DGrayson

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Great article and the point is right there. These games made money to Blizzard, just not enough money.

They should still make enough money to a smaller publisher/developer, assuming the level of quality is there.
 

McCheese

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Great article and the point is right there. These games made money to Blizzard, just not enough money.

They should still make enough money to a smaller publisher/developer, assuming the level of quality is there.

StarCraft 2 was and still is a fucking amazing game to watch, the GSL tournaments are still far more entertaining than overwatch and hearthstone.

To be fair blizzard did invest a lot of time and money trying to help it take off, but lack of non-koreans getting to the semi finals really didn't help.

But financially the game sold really well, and if frost giant focus less on eSports and more on just making a solid single and multiplayer game I think it could be a runaway success given their pedigree.

Please don't be built for the current streamer/esport/twitch market, that stuff can fuck off and is detrimental to what makes RTS games fun.
 
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treemk

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The key word in RTS is STRATEGY.

If they can bring the focus back to strategy, and not APM, I'm so in.

Yeah if you ignore the other two words...there is a very obvious way to play strategy games where speed doesn't matter, it's called turn based. Anyways, unlikely they will do this, this is looking like it will be more like a SC3 with a different IP.
 

treemk

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Why would I play turn based games when I'm interested in RTS games?

I would also argue that most people lack imagination. We all like StarCraft, WarCraft and Command and Conquer so most people just want better versions of those games. In reality, the genre died for a reason. If you don't understand why it died, then you're setting yourself up for failure.

Choices will always make for the most entertaining moments. Drama thrives on choice, not mechanical skill.

Chess is turn based btw.

If it's dead how am I still watching pro SC and SC2?
 

lh032

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STARCRAFT!??
WARCRAFT!!??

STAR WARS RTS!!!!!???

surprise GIF
 

Men_in_Boxes

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Yeah if you ignore the other two words...there is a very obvious way to play strategy games where speed doesn't matter, it's called turn based. Anyways, unlikely they will do this, this is looking like it will be more like a SC3 with a different IP.



Vs.



Both of the above examples are "Real Time". Call me crazy, but I think strategy should be the primary focus in these games, not multitasking plate spinning.
 

treemk

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Vs.



Both of the above examples are "Real Time". Call me crazy, but I think strategy should be the primary focus in these games, not multitasking plate spinning.

People who say this dont understand the strategy, its not plate spinning, its how fast your mind can know what to do next and how to use time efficienly. I got my friends from silver to diamond by sitting over their shoulder coaching them through games. People like to blame their hands and apm when they are mentally slow, have terrible strategies and waste their time on all the wrong things. Its more like blitz chess.
 
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Men_in_Boxes

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People who say this dont understand the strategy, its not plate spinning, its how fast your mind can know what to do next and how to use time efficienly. I got my friends from silver to diamond by sitting over their shoulder coaching them through games. People like to blame their hands and apm when they are mentally slow, have terrible strategies and waste their time on all the wrong things. Its more like blitz chess.

Games that require coaching to reveal themselves are deeply flawed games.
 

treemk

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Games that require coaching to reveal themselves are deeply flawed games.

That's a weird take, you can improve on anything in life by getting coaching from someone who is better than you. The game is essentially 20 years old, you can try to reinvent the wheel if you want but you only hold yourself back if you don't want to learn from others. Back in the early days of SC2 Mr. Bitter made a Youtube series called "12 weeks with the pros" where he paid for professional SC2 coaching and posted it all on Youtube. From watching that, dedication, practice I got into Masters. It's a lie bad players tell themselves and I've heard it all the time "I'm smarter strategically but I lost cause he was faster". Strategically you probably have no idea what you are doing.
 
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Men_in_Boxes

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That's a weird take, you can improve on anything in life by getting coaching from someone who is better than you. The game is essentially 20 years old, you can try to reinvent the wheel if you want but you only hold yourself back if you don't want to learn from others. Back in the early days of SC2 Mr. Bitter made a Youtube series called "12 weeks with the pros" where he paid for professional SC2 coaching and posted it all on Youtube. From watching that, dedication, practice I got into Masters. It's a lie bad players tell themselves and I've heard it all the time "I'm smarter strategically but I lost cause he was faster". Strategically you probably have no idea what you are doing.

The whole "git gud son" argument doesn't hold much weight with me. RTS games died for a reason. They need to figure that reason out if they ever want to see it flourish again. There's always a contingent of fans that think "No they don't. They just need to do what they've always done and their new game will do great."

The medium is too new to start throwing phrases like "reinvent the wheel" around.
 

Snake00

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The whole "git gud son" argument doesn't hold much weight with me. RTS games died for a reason. They need to figure that reason out if they ever want to see it flourish again. There's always a contingent of fans that think "No they don't. They just need to do what they've always done and their new game will do great."

The medium is too new to start throwing phrases like "reinvent the wheel" around.
The whole point of a competitive game ist to get good.

Also if SC/SC2 would have been the only strategy focused game you are imagining, we wouldn't be talking about it being dead right now, because it wouldn't have been alive in the first place.

Btw. the curren pro scene in sc2 is pretty sick imo. And the game is far from being dead.
 
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Men_in_Boxes

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The whole point of a competitive game ist to get good.

Also if SC/SC2 would have been the only strategy focused game you are imagining, we wouldn't be talking about it being dead right now, because it wouldn't have been alive in the first place.

Btw. the curren pro scene in sc2 is pretty sick imo. And the game is far from being dead.

Because there's no other way to "git gud" than by following the very specific formula established by StarCraft + Warcraft where awful strategy can decimate sound strategy as long as there's enough APM advantage present, right?

There are too many people that view the industry as fans. Fans that can't fathom new game design if it spells the end of old game design.

There's a reason why the RTS genre plummeted from the stratosphere in the last 25 years. Let's try to hypothesize why.
 

BabyYoda

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Playtonic showed us that some old Rare names doesn't mean the company will be able to recreate something of the same quality at all. We don't know who at Blizzard made Starcraft so great, it could have been 1 creative director, that's missing here.
And then Playtonic released their second game which was really good, so you're point is a little moot ;)
 

99Luffy

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SC2 would have been a classic if they didnt include esports players in the development process. Wtf would you make a games mechanics catered to these 500apm pro players?
 
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LazyParrot

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Because there's no other way to "git gud" than by following the very specific formula established by StarCraft + Warcraft where awful strategy can decimate sound strategy as long as there's enough APM advantage present, right?
Any game where you can directly control large numbers of individual units in real time is gonna give a massive advantage to players who can do it more quickly, precisely and efficiently than others. No way to change that without turning your game into something other than an RTS.
 

Men_in_Boxes

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Any game where you can directly control large numbers of individual units in real time is gonna give a massive advantage to players who can do it more quickly, precisely and efficiently than others. No way to change that without turning your game into something other than an RTS.

"Real Time Strategy"

How were General Patton's, General McCarthers, or General Grants APM? Did their military victories come from giving more orders, faster, than their opposition?

You've got to open your mind Quaid. Game design and strategy are still in the prenatal phase. You can't invent the new by being tethered to the past.
 

LazyParrot

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How were General Patton's, General McCarthers, or General Grants APM? Did their military victories come from giving more orders, faster, than their opposition?
What the hell kind of comparison is that? These people commanded campaigns that could last months, and they relied on a staff of messengers and advisors to figure out what was even going on and what to do about it. Any game trying to replicate the experience of being in their shoes wouldn't be an RTS, that's for sure.
 
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treemk

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The whole "git gud son" argument doesn't hold much weight with me. RTS games died for a reason. They need to figure that reason out if they ever want to see it flourish again. There's always a contingent of fans that think "No they don't. They just need to do what they've always done and their new game will do great."

The medium is too new to start throwing phrases like "reinvent the wheel" around.

There's something incredibly childish about describing a ~23 year old game that still has a healthy pro scene, with a ~11 year old sequel that also has a healthy pro scene as "dead". Most of the "live" games of today will be literally dead in 5-10 years and SC or a successor will still be going strong. It's a Ricky Bobby if you're not first your last mentality, or like trying to explain why my favorite local burger joint should change because they aren't as successful to McDonald's. Obviously a successor like Frost Giant or someone else will have to innovate to leave a mark, but not in the ways you are asking for. There is room for improvement if you look at Brood War and SC2 and take some from both, competitive RTS is too refined to flip the table with a few gimmicks to cater to weak players.
 
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bender

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These spinoffs usually end up being varying degrees of disappointing.
 

Men_in_Boxes

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There's something incredibly childish about describing a ~23 year old game that still has a healthy pro scene, with a ~11 year old sequel that also has a healthy pro scene as "dead". Most of the "live" games of today will be literally dead in 5-10 years and SC or a successor will still be going strong. It's a Ricky Bobby if you're not first your last mentality, or like trying to explain why my favorite local burger joint should change because they aren't as successful to McDonald's. Obviously a successor like Frost Giant or someone else will have to innovate to leave a mark, but not in the ways you are asking for. There is room for improvement if you look at Brood War and SC2 and take some from both, competitive RTS is too refined to flip the table with a few gimmicks to cater to weak players.

Your definition of dead and my definition of dead are two different things. We both know that.

"Rock music is dead" often provokes people such as yourself.

"OMG there's so much good rock music you just don't know where to find it!"

That response obviously ignores my relatively clear intention of highlighting rock musics fall from popularity.

I'm merely asking the question as to why such a popular genre in the 90s has fallen out of favor so much. I believe I know. Do you?

I think critics also ignore the words in the acronym RTS because to them, RTS is one or two very specific games.

Real Time - Not turn based.
Strategy - Choices made before conflict that influences the outcome of said conflict.

The definition is exponentially more vast than StarCraft and WarCraft.
 
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treemk

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Because there's no other way to "git gud" than by following the very specific formula established by StarCraft + Warcraft where awful strategy can decimate sound strategy as long as there's enough APM advantage present, right?

There are too many people that view the industry as fans. Fans that can't fathom new game design if it spells the end of old game design.

There's a reason why the RTS genre plummeted from the stratosphere in the last 25 years. Let's try to hypothesize why.

The "formula" is good strategy, you really sound like you are talking out of your ass. Unless you are physically/mentally handicapped APM is not going to be an issue, APM drops when you don't know quickly and confidently what you should be doing in game.

RTS declined in popularity for a few reasons. They were well suited for the computers at the time and declined in popularity as 3d graphics cards and games built for them grew. Brood War hit a pinnacle that could not be surpassed, WC3 made a splash but ultimately fell short. They are a more difficult and refined game in a market that became increasingly mass marketed for everyone. The team game aspect of RTS evolved into MOBAs. MOBAs also have a somewhat similar trajectory, you have League and DOTA2, regardless of how many companies tried to cash in on it those are the only two that matter. At some point when you have chess, you have to question if you actually need another chess. The truly good video games will have to go that route unless they want to be gimmick cash grabs with gimmick new features that get shit out every other year. I think SC and SC2 are pretty close, but there is some room for improvement.
 

Men_in_Boxes

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What the hell kind of comparison is that? These people commanded campaigns that could last months, and they relied on a staff of messengers and advisors to figure out what was even going on and what to do about it. Any game trying to replicate the experience of being in their shoes wouldn't be an RTS, that's for sure.

If you can't imagine game design based on the word strategy, that doesn't look like StarCraft or WarCraft, I'm not sure we have a basis for a conversation.

"Strategy is the purposeful orientation toward success in a complex, competitive conflict."

Not APM.

That's one definition of the word strategy found on West Points website. It's pretty large isn't it?

The future of RTS isn't StarCraft II. It's League of Legends, Fortnite, EVE, and Rust. It's the next thing.

Maybe the spiritual successor to the games you love have a place in the modern gaming landscape. Maybe they don't. I'm more pessimistic.
 

treemk

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If you can't imagine game design based on the word strategy, that doesn't look like StarCraft or WarCraft, I'm not sure we have a basis for a conversation.

"Strategy is the purposeful orientation toward success in a complex, competitive conflict."

Not APM.

That's one definition of the word strategy found on West Points website. It's pretty large isn't it?

The future of RTS isn't StarCraft II. It's League of Legends, Fortnite, EVE, and Rust. It's the next thing.

Maybe the spiritual successor to the games you love have a place in the modern gaming landscape. Maybe they don't. I'm more pessimistic.

Strategy in an RTS, as an example, is identifying an attack is incoming and being able to prepare for it before it arrives. It could be slowed done enough so that *even you* will have enough time to do it. Everyone who loves RTS might as well watch paint dry and you will get bored of it in a couple weeks or months, it won't work. League might always be more popular that SC but it will never be able to replace it for those who love it.
 
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Men_in_Boxes

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The "formula" is good strategy, you really sound like you are talking out of your ass. Unless you are physically/mentally handicapped APM is not going to be an issue, APM drops when you don't know quickly and confidently what you should be doing in game.

RTS declined in popularity for a few reasons. They were well suited for the computers at the time and declined in popularity as 3d graphics cards and games built for them grew. Brood War hit a pinnacle that could not be surpassed, WC3 made a splash but ultimately fell short. They are a more difficult and refined game in a market that became increasingly mass marketed for everyone. The team game aspect of RTS evolved into MOBAs. MOBAs also have a somewhat similar trajectory, you have League and DOTA2, regardless of how many companies tried to cash in on it those are the only two that matter. At some point when you have chess, you have to question if you actually need another chess. The truly good video games will have to go that route unless they want to be gimmick cash grabs with gimmick new features that get shit out every other year. I think SC and SC2 are pretty close, but there is some room for improvement.

I think I'm just more interested in what the word strategy could look like in future games, while you're more interested in tieing games down to a very narrow view of what the RTS genre was.

To each their own.
 

LazyParrot

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If you can't imagine game design based on the word strategy, that doesn't look like StarCraft or WarCraft, I'm not sure we have a basis for a conversation.
Stop moving the goalposts. This is specifically about real time strategy. And while RTS games don't have to look like Starcraft or Warcraft, they do have to let the player control units in real time. As long as that is true, the player who can do it faster and more efficiently will have a significant advantage. There's no way around it.

The way you make it sound getting around these constraints should be trivial. Let's hear some of your suggestions then.
 
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treemk

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I think I'm just more interested in what the word strategy could look like in future games, while you're more interested in tieing games down to a very narrow view of what the RTS genre was.

To each their own.

Fair enough, I do like games that mix it up (supreme commander, dawn of war, company of heroes, etc.) but when it comes to 1v1 I think the SC formula can be refined but not replaced, and I think that is what Frost Giant is trying to do.
 

treemk

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I'm done with RTS since Starcraft Brood War.

23 years later, everything else has disappointed me.

I like SC2 a lot but I can relate. Some things about it are so annoying, I think if it had limited unit selection, units clumped a little less, and battles were a little slower it would be great.
 
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