Starcraft released almost twenty years ago and the game has since become an iconic franchise for PC gamers. The sci-fi RTS is best known for its highly competitive scene, that is still active nearly two decades later, but it is also full of unique characters, races, and settings that have infiltrated geek pop culture. According to some of the crew who worked on the original Starcraft game, the creative process to come up with those ideas was less structured than you might expect.
The game's Zerg race and its play style are so iconic that many gamers use the term 'zerg' to describe a full on swarm assault without even realizing which game they are referencing. In a recent blog post from Blizzard, 90s Blizzard art director Samwise Didier explained what it was like coming up with the original concepts for the Zerg and the other races in the original Starcraft.
Here's Didier's elegant recollection of the creative process...
“When we made these races, we just threw a bunch of crap at the wall and saw what stuck... We knew that our Terrans were going to be rough and dirty. We knew we wanted the Protoss to be—not savage, exactly, but primal, and powerful. And we knew we wanted the Zerg to swarm.”
Unlike Blizzard's current games, which seem to go through lots of iterations and workshops for years before even hitting alpha test servers, the original Starcraft creation seems to have operated with a 'full-steam ahead' kind of philosophy...
“There wasn’t a lot of thought process... It was more of—let’s put this in, and boom. That’s our Siege Tank. That’s our Battlecruiser. There was no going back, no ‘Hey, can we redo this?’ There was no desire for that. It was cool, just as it was.”
Despite sounding unconventional, clearly the lack of formal process worked and the end was result became one of the most iconic competitive PC games of all time. It did take nearly 15 years to spawn a full sequel, but that's only because the original game stood up so well on its own (and continues to do so). A younger generation of gamers may grow up knowing the Starcraft 1 characters more from Heroes of the Storm than from the RTS, but there's no denying these races and characters and their creators have earned their spots in the PC gaming hall of fame.
What do you think of the creative process for coming up with the Starcraft races? Let us know in the comments!
Both the original StarCraft and its Brood War expansion are available now on PC and Mac.