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Blizzard’s Off to DreamHack!

Blizzard reminds fans they will be at DreamHack Winter 2008 through November 27-30 where attendees will get their hands on Starcraft II and Wrath of the Lich King to experience multiplayer. Don’t miss the contests and the opportunity to get home the awesome Frostmourne sword.

Blizzard Quote:
DreamHack Winter is back, and Blizzard Entertainment will be there! We’ve partnered with TeliaSonera to give this year’s attendees a chance to play Blizzard’s upcoming StarCraft II and the recently released World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King.

You’ll find us next to the DreamArena, where Blizzard representatives will be on hand to answer questions, chat with players, and demonstrate the games. We’ll also be running several contests featuring great prizes, including the Lich King’s legendary sword Frostmourne—though don’t be surprised if Arthas himself shows up to try to stop you from winning.

This year’s DreamHack Winter takes place from 27 to 30 November at Elmia in J

BlizzCast 7: Submit Questions

All the Community managers are actively gathering questions for the next episode of BlizzCast (podcast). Feel free to submit your questions in the comments below. Simply register in order to submit your comments. I will personally send the questions to Bashiok (Diablo 3), Karune (Starcraft 2) and Nethaera (World of Warcraft).

Starcraft 2 Q&A - Batch 46

Chat with Devs: StarCraft II is definitely evolving to be even more intense than the original StarCraft, with the increased mobility of units with cliff traversing abilities, as well as new transport abilities. In response, the development team has buffed up the Terran Planetary Fortress to have splash damage as well, which has proven to hold off decently against raids now, especially with your SCVs fixing the command center at a very high rate.

As always, shoot the devs and I a w00t! if you are enjoying this Q&A batch!

—-StarCraft II Q&A Batch 46—-

1. In StarCraft II, will there be friendly fire?

Breaking News: Jim Raynor and Kerrigan Auditions

We have received heads up from a couple of agencies informing us that the voice acting role of Jim Raynor and Kerrigan the Queen of Blades are now up for grabs. It seems the Jim Raynor voice actor used in the Starcraft II cinematic and in the in-game single player demonstrations was a placeholder; or the creative team decided at last minute to change the actor.

Overall, this is an indication that Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty is on crunch mode. Voice acting is one of the few steps of development when the single-player dialogues are set in stone. As many of us witnessed, the developers revealed they were a third done with the Single Player (at the Starcraft Panels during the 2008 Blizzard Worldwide Invitationals in Paris back on June 28-29).

This was roughly five months ago. After Blizzcon, now we know that Starcraft II will be a trilogy. In short, fans could speculate they meant they were one third done with the Wings of Liberty episode.

Are we looking at an anniversary release date? (April 1); or the usual RTS release date (July 1)? We will have to wait and see.

We wish to gather feedback from the entire Starcraft Community. Do you wish Blizzard to hire the original Starcraft voice actors: Glynnis Talken (Kerrigan) and Robert Clotworthy (Jim Raynor)? Please, write up good reasons to wish these voice actors back in Starcraft II. Spread the word around your favorite forum communities.

Post your comments here. We will forward this petition to the Starcraft II team. This is your chance to get the former and loved Jim Raynor and Kerrigan voice actors back into Starcraft II!

 

StarCraft 2 - Jim Raynor, Blizzard and the Ugly

Jim Raynor is a character from the Starcraft and Starcraft: Brood War expansion who inspired many good feelings in the Single Player Campaigns. From Marshal of a backwater outpost in Mar Sara to leader of the Rebels against the Confederates, and later the Dominion and Mengsk, Jim Raynor continued his quest for a better tomorrow for humanity. No matter the odds facing him and his team. Or the challenges.

AUDIO SAMPLES

Jim meets Kerrigan

Jim Regrets

Jim Raynor, however, lost one odd that couldn’t be beaten: Blizzard. A year ago, at BlizzCon 2007, the Starcraft 2 team panels revealed that a new voice actor was given a casting to perform as Jim Raynor.  This however is not the Jim Raynor’s voice that we know and love for the past ten years. No. The reasoning behind this change was that the original concept of Jim Raynor was designed from a TV series titled Texas Ranger. With Starcraft 2, the opportunity to hire someone meeting this and other requirements presented itself.

Is this what fans want? I really doubt that. Would you enjoy upcoming Harry Potter films without Daniel Radcliffe? Would you enjoy the X-files without Scully and Mulder? Would you enjoy The Simpsons if Homer and Bart’s voice actors were replaced? In the case of the original Starcraft, the voice of an actor is what gives texture and life to a character. We have heard Jim Raynor’s voice in the single player, and the User-Map Settings games over and over for ten years. We aren’t tired of his voice. We listen to his voice, and we know immediately, that’s Jim Raynor. That’s the man who has gone through bitter and krap, and continues his fight with no rest. Like a man in real life should. Jim Raynor and his voice have become as iconic and symbolic as any other character’s of any TV show, Comic Book, Cartoon, or film franchise.

A change of a character’s voice or in the case of TV series or films, the actor, can be justified if the original actor has passed away.  The show must go on. However, when the actor is willing to continue his role from the bottom of his heart, and the administration decides to change the actor to stick to the original plan for a character … something is really, really bad. It is not a smart decision to tick off the fanbase. The voice actor was hired for the roll in Starcraft, and its expansion pack. Starcraft 2 should have the same voice actor performing Jim Raynor as we know and love.

Glynnis Talken reprised her role as Sarah Kerrigan the Queen of Blades in Starcraft 2. The same should have been done with Robert Clotworthy for his role as Jim Raynor. I will play Starcraft 2 regardless with the new voice actor.  But there will be a stake buried deep in my mind permanently … that is no longer Jim Raynor. That’s someone else. Every time I play the Starcraft 2 Single Player campaign … it will echo within my mind: “That is not the Jim Raynor I have known for ten years.”

Robert Clotworthy informed Blizzplanet the following:

I just found out today that I will not be returning as the voice of Jim Raynor.  The casting director of Starcraft 2 contacted Blizzard and was told that they appreciated my work, but were going in another direction.  I am obviously disappointed by their decision.  I was looking forward to returning as Raynor and was hoping that Blizzard would at the very least have given me the opportunity of auditioning. 

It has been my privilege to have been the voice of Jim Raynor.  I am disappointed by Blizzard’s decision, but I must respect it.  I wish Blizzard only the best with StarCraft 2, and I am certain the game will live up to everyone’s expectations.  Thank you to all the fans who have given me their support and enthusiasm, it means a lot to me.

Robert Clotworthy”

A year ago, Blizzplanet interviewed Robert Clotworthy shortly after Starcraft 2 was officially announced at the 2007 Blizzard Worldwide Invitationals in South Korea. He expressed his feelings toward his role as Jim Raynor.

Robert Clotworthy has been actor or voice over actor of over a hundred film, TV episode, cartoon and game projects in the past thirty years of his career. Among them: Batman (Game), Tekken 5, Everquest II, The Young and the Restless, The Davinci Code (Game), Matlock, Melrose Place, Remington Steele, Three’s Company, Dynasty, The Rockford Files (1978), Columbo, M*A*S*H* and many others. Read his entire career background at imdb.com.

Starcraft 2 - Zerg Unveiled

March 10th 9:40am – It is said from South Korea that Starcraft2.com (US) will unveil the Zerg webpage on March 11th.

March 10th 12:20am – High Resolution Images by Thisisgame.com

Everyone is screaming while held tight on their seats in an euphoric ecstasis. However, one thing seems certain … with the Zerg race officially unveiled, this means only one thing: Starcraft 2 Beta Test might happen any time between April-June.  The 2008 Blizzard Worldwide Invitationals (Paris, France) will happen on June. Here hoping Beta is soon.

Update: March 9th 11:15pm – New Starcraft II Cinematic Video from GameTrailers. Transcript by Edfishy.

We are Swarm.
We burned a path of annihilation across the stars.
And then—We vanished.
Four years ago we faded into the shadows.
We thrived.
We, evolved.
Now, the time has come for us to step back … into … the light.
Now, worlds will tremble once again.
Empires will fall.
Alliances(?) will shatter.
We are the swarm.
But we are becoming … much… much more.
For the final metamorphasis has only just begun.

UPDATE: March 9th 10:22pm EST – SCLegacy is getting hammered.  And I am getting multiple people whispering me findings on the net. This is crazy. Edfishy from Project Revolution Team just gave me a heads up of some Korean forums linking these images.

From GameFAQ, YYZ reports the following:

Overseer
- Upgrades from the Overlord and now has an attack. The Overlord doesn’t have detection.  You must upgrade to Overseer in order to gain detection of burrowed and invisible enemy units. However, the detection range has been increased.

Queen
- The queen is a vastly different unit. She has the powerful ability to control Zerg base defense. The queen can create special structures and extend creep. It has the ability to create toxic creep. And it can make buildings regenerate faster. You can only create one Queen at a time on the map. It has an ability named Deep Tunnel which allows it to move to any hatchery spread on the map.

Roach
- The roach is a very fast moving unit with 90 hit points that recovers health quickly. Requires sustained damage to effectively kill it.

Infestor
- The infestor replaces the defiler. It can cast dark swarm. It may move toward the enemy while burrowed. Disease seems to mimic the Science Vessel’s irradiation. The Infestor can infest any building including barracks.

Corrupter
- The corruptor attacks air units. Instead of destroying them, it “corrupts” them possessing the enemy unit. It can cause a large group of units to fight each other, quickly turning the tide of the battle.

Swarm Guardian
- The swarm guardian is much like the original guardian, but it can now also create broodlings and has a longer range of attack.

Ultralisk
- The Ultralisk can now burrow.

More info translated to english at TeamLiquid.  (Thanks, Entropy).

Unofficial Starcraft Chronicles CGI Film – Ship Ahoy!

Once a talented Croatian CGI Artist, and fan of the Starcraft? RTS game had a … dream. To gather other talented Starcraft fans from every corner of the globe, beyond the discrimination boundaries of real-life wars, race, or beliefs.  Coming together to create a fan-made masterpiece … an Unofficial CGI film of Starcraft.

Two weeks ago, Joystiq and Kotaku headlined … Starcraft Chronicles: Calling all 3D animators and the like!
Today, people from Asia, Europe, Africa, The Americas and Australia form a strong team of 131 members.  Over 75 3D modelers. And it keeps growing every passing day. And not just any kind of fan, but old-school Starcraft fans who are now in TV stations, Hollywood CGI Industry, Game Studios and corporations, Film, Graphics and Animation College Students and graduates. The list goes on. Everyone aware that it is a volunteer and non-profit project. Love for this legendary RTS game and for Blizzard Entertainment pouring through their veins.  This is no longer the dream of one man. It has evolved into the collective dream of the Zerg … I mean, of many talented fans.  It is a tribute to the many years of games of excellence, and to the talented team of Blizzard Entertainment. And a gift from fans to fans who have long awaited a sequel to Starcraft.

In the upcoming days, Team Leader Kristijan Stuhli and Mitch will release a Workflow/Pipeline plan to all team members. Project Managers and supervisors will be assigned.  The Concept Art team already started production, which initiates the first cycle of development of a short Teaser trailer.  The teaser will hype Starcraft fans and will show a glimpse of what this team is capable of for the lengthier 30-minutes CGI Film.

Although Blizzard Entertainment has not issued any comment about the unofficial fan-made CGI film, DiVX Corporation has offered encoding support and distribution of the Teaser Trailer and CGI Film. No release date of the teaser trailer is available at this early stage of development.

If you wish to know exactly how the Starcraft Chronicles Unofficial CGI Film will look like, for comparison’s sake, watch this Marvel Ultimate Alliance Teaser trailer at Gametrailers.com—Kristijan Stuhli says the Starcraft Chronicles CGI should be better. I’ll leave you that as homework.

Currently only experienced High-poly 3D Modelers for characters and vehicles are considered to join before closing recruitment.  Expert Texturers(Maya only), and Concept Artists are still welcome to join up the CGI team. Below are more samples of some of the members at the moment of recruitment.

PS: Blizzard GIVE US STARCRAFT 2 !!  /bow


Samples by
laoheshang


Digital Art by Julie Loomer – Matte Painter
?2006 Lucasfilm

 

J. J. Franzen – is an experienced industry veteran from South Park (Technology Supervisor) and Team America: World Police (2004) (Animator: Additional Animation). South Park and Team America are TM & Copyright of 2004?Paramount Pictures. All rights reserved. J. J. Franzen uses his spare time and/or weekends to help with the Starcraft Chronicles CGI – as a volunteer Lighting /Rendering Supervisor and Consultant. He is a fan of the Starcraft game, like all of the team members. Note: Team America was directed and written by Trey Parker & written by Matt Stone – who are not involved in the Starcraft CGI development.

PiNPOiNT is an experienced animator. His latest work was at Everyone’s Hero CGI film (September 2006). Both images are TM and ?2006 Fox and its related entities. All rights reserved. Property of Fox. TM and ?IDT Entertainment and its related entities. All rights reserved.

Aeres is a 3D Modeler and Animator from Malaysa

Naughtyboy – Experienced concept artist of characters and creatures with awesome realism and focus to details.

Mkapelac – 3D Modeler

Mitch – proficient in 3DSMAX, Maya, AutoCAD, Autodesk Inventor, and Modo

bodhisattva – proficient in 3DSMAX, speciallizing in Animation,

character building process including skeleton binding and keyframe animation.

StarCraft?

?1998 Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. All rights reserved. StarCraft and Blizzard Entertainment are trademarks or registered trademarks of Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries.

Blizzard Entertainment?

Blizzard Entertainment is a trademark or registered trademark of Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries. All rights reserved.

The Starcraft Conundrum

Starcraft is by far the Best RTS game of all time – with over 9 millions copies sold worldwide, since 1998.  A Real-time-strategy game that has lived on for eight years straight without any sign of weakening.  The game still devotes many worldwide Starcraft tournaments year-round with prizes ranging $25,000-$100,000.  Almost a national sport in Korea, and a most played game in many nations around the world.

The Starcraft franchise was expanded when Blizzard Entertainment announced with a lot of hype the console game Starcraft: Ghost, on September 22, 2002.  For four long years, every Starcraft fan has awaited this game with anticipation.  The game originally was developed by Nihilistic Software and Blizzard Entertainment.  The development cycle was extended when the expected Summer 2004 game release date was delayed. On 2004, Nihilistic departed the project due to a contractual commitment to develop Marvel Nemesis: Rise of the Imperfects.

Shortly after, Swingin’Ape Studios was welcomed aboard to resume development of Starcraft:Ghost [July 8, 2004], however, the development of the Gamecube version of Starcraft: Ghost was dropped.  A year later, Blizzard Entertainment surprised us with the acquisition of Swingin’ Ape Studios to become Blizzard Consoles Department [May 16, 2005].  When everyone thought Starcraft: Ghost was about to be released, the worst nightmare of any fan happened after Microsoft released the first Community Technology preview version of XNA [March 14, 2006]; and announced XNA officially at the Game Developers Conference in San Jose, California [on March 24].  That very same day, Blizzard Entertainment issued a Press Release … Starcraft: Ghost was postponed indefinitely.  This immediately rose up the idea that the XNA announcement and the postponement of Starcraft: Ghost were related.  That, and some rumors around the net that Blizzard had acquired 1,000 optetron servers.  Here you may read what XNA Technology does, to make sense out of this.

Many fans refuse to accept the game is dead, like known-vaporware Warcraft Adventures.  Blizzard has announced plans to develop games for Xbox 360 and PS3, and a recent job opening requested knowledge of Wii a plus.  Whether Starcraft: Ghost will be ported to the next generation consoles is yet to be seen as there is no official announcement. We will just have to sit and await its outcome.

After a four-year wait on a hyped-game that didn’t come out,  fans are bummed out for the long wait, and others – like me – for spending some money in advance [/Hijacks thread: Yea, I am still pissed over spending $99.99 on a GameCube and $299 on a huge TV exclusively to play Starcraft: Ghost, to have it cancelled two weeks before its announced Spring 2004 release date!].  Returning to sanity … minus some $400 bucks in my pocket … and after a couple of yoga-meditation humming, we may still look forward to see the game return from its hiatus.  In the meantime,  old-school Starcraft fans still have a couple of interesting and significant pocketbooks to take a look at for its lore and emotional value: Starcraft: Queen of Blades by Aaron Rosenberg – based during the time Sarah Kerrigan is captured by the Zerg, and emerges from a chrysallis as the Queen of Blades.  The book released on May 2006 immerse us into the culture of the Dark Templar when Tassadar undergoes training with Zeratul. Other cameo appearances in the book are Jim Raynor, General Duke, Daggoth, Zazz and the Overmind among others.  Another pocketbook to be released at an undermined date is the prequel to the console game, titled Starcraft Ghost: Nova by Keith R.A. DeCandido.  Personally, my hope in the Starcraft franchise is not dead yet. Yea, call me a masochist … but the dream still lives on.

This might be still unknown to the majority of the fans, but Christie Golden – writer of Warcraft: Lord of the Clans, and author of many Star Trek novels—specially the Voyager series—will write a Starcraft Trilogy.  With both books mentioned above and a trilogy coming out, this gotta mean something is planned down the pipe by Blizzard Entertainment in the near future.  The title and plot of the Starcraft trilogy pocketbook is still unknown. However, Christie Golden promised an interview with us around November, when she will be able to talk more openly about the trilogy.

Beyond the books, a starcraft lore boost thriller and a hope that Starcraft: Ghost makes a return on Next Generation consoles – though uncertain, all we have are fan-made projects to satiate our crave for more Starcraft groove.  First, we have the Project Revolution – a Total Conversion that will allow fans to play Starcraft in 3D using the Warcraft 3 Engine.  It will be featured on PCGamer Magazine on September 2006 issue.  A total conversion made by fans for fans, worth to get our paws onto.  I was shown a short gameplay video a couple months ago.  Trust me … it looks gorgeous in 3D.  The date release of the total conversion Project Revolution is not too far away, according to one of its developers.  Wait and see!

The second fan-made Starcraft project to keep an eye on is Starcraft? Chronicles – a high-quality CGI Film.  The news of a unofficial fan-made CGI Animation Film surely hyped up many fans when Joystiq and Kotaku featured it on the news.  Immediately the leader of the project was swamped with 160 emails of 3D modellers, animators, voice actors, Sound/Music Composers volunteering themselves for the CGI Film.  Even Hollywood film/CGI professionals became interested, and excited in volunteering to make their dream of a fan-made CGI Animation film a reality.  From day one, the Starcraft Chronicles leader- Croatian Kristijan Stuhli – said the film will be non-profit and none of the volunteers will be paid – to not violate the EULA or infringe international copyrights and trademark of Starcraft?.

That really didn’t mattered to some experienced and professionals that have been fans of Starcraft since 1998.  The possibility of creating something like this as a fan-made project, is exciting to them.  With the boom of World of Warcraft machinima movie contests; and the rise of fan-made World of Warcraft drama movies flooding YouTube, and Video Google; the development of a fan-made Starcraft CGI Animation film simply rocks.  Recruitment of 3D modellers, animators and voice actors is still open until August 14.  The number and limit of volunteer fans Kristijan Stuhli (known as Critical.Mechanism) expects is still undisclosed.  Suffice to say, it will be an enormous fan team.  The Starcraft Chronicles team is currently getting acquainted with each other, sharing samples of their work, doing some Starcraft models for testing purposes to see what everyone’s style and quality is before organizing into sub-groups and assigning supervisors and a project manager.  This will be resolved in two weeks when development of the CGI film will officially begin full thrust. Currently there are 32 modellers, and around 12 animators, not counting many Concept artists, sound/music composers, voice actors, web developers, and localization volunteers. If you got the skills, talent, and experience as 3D modeller join up the team.—Stay tuned for more updates in the upcoming days. Beneath you may take a sneak peek to the samples of the talented Starcraft Chronicles team to have a slight idea of the CGI film potential. For more images—[Full Gallery]


Interviews

? Starcraft: Queen of Blades
? Starcraft Ghost: Nova

Fan-Made Projects

? Project Revolution
? Starcraft Chronicles


Tank wireframe by cold wolf*


Tank clay by cold wolf*

*Concept Art is copyright ?2002 Blizzard Entertainment

 

Aeres is a 3D Modeler and Animator from Malaysa

Naughtyboy – Experienced concept artist of characters and creatures with awesome realism and focus to details.

Mkapelac – 3D Modeler

Mitch – proficient in 3DSMAX, Maya, AutoCAD, Autodesk Inventor, and Modo

bodhisattva – proficient in 3DSMAX, speciallizing in Animation, character building process including skeleton binding and keyframe animation.

 

Starcraft - I

In celebration of StarCraft’s 10-year anniversary, we’d like to invite every one of you to participate in our “I <3 SC" photo mosaic project, which will be a compilation of photos featuring StarCraft enthusiasts from all around the world. This is your chance to be a part of StarCraft history, as we bring together 10 years worth of StarCraft players from all age groups and nationalities into one massive wall of StarCraft.

Image Submission Parameters:

Please take a picture of yourself or your friends including our StarCraft “I <3 SC" image in creative and unique ways. This picture must be in jpeg format, have a resolution of at least 1024 x 768, and be no greater than 2 MB in size. As long as the “I <3 SC" logo is clearly visible, images can be digital photos or third-party generated content. These picture submissions will be used to form a mosaic that will be featured on the official Blizzard website. Read the full contest rules and submission link.

Additionally, submit your entry to Blizzplanet here.

Your submission will be shown to visitors of Blizzplanet at the front page.

Prize: Three lucky participants will receive a Starcraft 2 T-Shirt.

This contest is open only to residents of Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and the United States—who do not live in Arizona, Conneticut, North Dakota, Maryland or Vermont; or the Province of Quebec, or residents of the Australian states of victoria, Queensland or the Australian Capital Territory (“Entrants”).  IF YOU ARE NOT A RESIDENT OF THESE AREAS YOU ARE NOT ELIGIBLE TO WIN A PRIZE. (Read the full contest rules)


Download “I <3 SC" images:

SAMPLES OF “I <3 SC" MOSSAIC

Glynnis Returns as Sarah Kerrigan

I have been in contact with Glynnis in the past months, and as reported recently, she went to the San Diego Comic Con to meet the Blizzard folks there.  She had been spearheading her way to get back her role in the past months.  Glynnis barely commented on the subject, but finally confirmed her participation in Starcraft II in her August newsletter released today.  I do not know how this affect our upcoming interview, or if she will be able to discuss certain details.

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