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SDCC 2013 – Blizzplanet Photos Pre-Blizzard Licensing Panel

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Diablo 3 News, SDCC 2013, StarCraft 2 News, World of Warcraft News

David sent me four photos of the empty room where the Blizzard Licensing Panel will take place in in a few minutes at 2:15pm PDT / 5:15pm EDT.

Update: Ran into a few technical issues with the videos. No ETA at the moment. One video needs to be uploaded again, the other two haven’t been uploaded for me to download.

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SDCC 2013 – SDCC Exclusive Funko Mini-Sylvanas POP Vinyl and Zergling/Baneling Plush Prices Revealed

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Products News, SDCC 2013, StarCraft 2 News, World of Warcraft News

VP of Art and Cinematic Development Nick Carpenter tweeted the SDCC website updated the SDCC Exclusive merchandise page. The Funko Mini-Sylvanas POP Vinyl costs $18 and the Funko Baneling and the Zergling cost $35.

Something that totally got me off-guard is that there is no such thing as a Baneling Plush Toy, and a Zergling Plush Toy. This thing is awesome. The Zergling Plush transforms into a Baneling by opening a zipper and pulling out a hidden skin that you wrap on top of the Zergling. Holy molly! Neat! That rocked someone’s socks.

I totally recommend following @FubarNick — lot of cool stuff can be found out.

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SDCC 2013 – Sideshow Collectibles Teases StarCraft II Sixth Scale Figures

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Products News, SDCC 2013, StarCraft 2 News

Barely less than 48 hours away from the Blizzard Licensing Panel, Sideshow Collectibles has dropped a teaser for StarCraft II fans. The image shows the unpainted head of at least three different StarCraft II Sixth Scale action figures.

One is Tychus Findlay. The hair style of one of them looks like Jim Raynor. A third head reminds me of Emperor Valerian Mengsk.

Wish to find out more? Blizzplanet will have video of the Blizzard Licensing Panel on Thursday sometime around 9pm EDT / 5pm PDT. The video will be embed at the following page.

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Speculation – Blizzard All-Stars Cinematic Teaser or Gameplay Demo in the Oven?

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Heroes of the Storm, StarCraft 2 News

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The Rumor Mill gear continues to grind and its smoking chimneys to brisk. Browsing through YouTube, I unearthed a video posted by actress Tricia Helfer the day after StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm launched (March 12). She mentioned she did some voicing for another video game, but couldn’t talk about it, and just teased. She didn’t mention if this new video game is for another studio, but considering she was talking about Blizzard’s StarCraft II — it’s open to individual interpretation. Look it up in the video at 03:15.

That reminded me, a few weeks ago I reported that actor Robert Clotworthy (Jim Raynor) had been recording at Blizzard’s voice over studio on June 12. Robert tweeted the Bourbon Cowboy was at the studio. Old-school fans know that “Bourbon Cowboy” is a nickname attached to “Chris Metzen” (Senior VP of Creative/Story Development).

A fan responded to Robert’s tweet mocking that the Legacy of the Void voice over session had been spoiled. However, Robert Clotworthy responded: “Don’t jump to conclusions.”

Legacy of the Void should be in a very early infancy considering the developers just launched Heart of the Swarm 3 months before Robert’s tweet. Too soon to start recording voice over for the single player. Tricia recorded that other game session prior to the launch of Heart of the Swarm.

With Robert asking not to jump to conclusions (It’s was not a voice over for Legacy of the Void) one has to wonder what else would Tricia and Robert be recording their voice for? If you look the Blizzard All-Stars was formerly named Blizzard DOTA. In the early logo you can clearly see the silhoutte of Kerrigan and Jim Raynor.

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Either both actors recorded the cinematic teaser of Blizzard All-Stars to be shown at BlizzCon 2013 on November 8, or the Blizzard All-Stars gameplay demo required their voice overs. Of course, take all these as blatant speculation.

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StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm Launches in China – The Zerg Invades China Video

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in StarCraft 2 News

StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm has officially launched in China giving native players the ability to upgrade into the new expansion featuring the “vengeance” single-player zerg campaign, additional units and other features.

Blizzard Entertainment shared a new wallpaper designed by Luke Mancini which portrays Kerrigan and the zerg in a look-alike inked ancient chinese pictographic style (is that even a description?). This wallpaper comes in different sizes and resolutions, so make sure to visit this page to download the appropriate resolution.

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Recently, Cloaken posted a link to a video that’s been viral spread around China which shows a zerg invasion in China — similar to the same promo seen in Paris. It’s real-life footage mixed with special effects and CGI.

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StarCraft II WCS American Premier League Season 2 Started July 15

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in StarCraft 2 News

The StarCraft II World Championship Series (WCS) America Premier League Season 2 started today. Blizzard Entertainment listed the schedule of each match throughout Monday, July 15 until Thursday, July 18th which covers the RO32 Week 1.

And the RO32 Week 2 schedule which covers Monday, July 22 up to Thursday, July 25.

Among the shoutcasters are Kevin Knocke, Tim Frazier, Andrew Dunne, Dan ‘Frodan’ Chou, Andre ‘Gretorp’ Hengchua, Ben ‘MrBitter’ Nichol, and Kevin ‘RotterdaM’ van der Kooi.

Videos will be available for those who miss the livestream at 3:00pm PDT each day. VODs can be found at the starcraft2.com/wcs and YouTube.com/WCSStarCraft

Visit the StarCraft II Website for the RO32 schedule.

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Sons of the Storm July 2013 Update – StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm Concept Art & DC Comics StarCraft Graphic Novel

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Products News, StarCraft 2 News, World of Warcraft News

The Blizzard Entertainment “Sons of the Storm” artists website has been updated with delicious StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm artwork. All three races get spotlight.

Among the artworks I see a concept art of the head of different Primal zerg and the flora of planet Zerus. Some icy scenes from planet Kaldir. Artwork shown in the Project Blackstone website such as the War Pigs Warhound. Some have been shown in the StarCraft II Short Stories webpage.

However, there are some never seen before — like the Dehaka concept.

As usual, the Sons of the Storm website is also showing artwork of upcoming licensed products such as the front cover of Diablo III: Book of Tyrael and the World of Warcraft: Vol’jin: Shadows of the Horde.

As I browsed through the 25 images, and reached the last one — my jaw dropped. Sharp-eye fans might remember this piece of artwork. This is the front cover of the DC Comics StarCraft Graphic Novel revealed by Hank Kanalz on July 2011 at San Diego Comic Con. Check out the 2011 SDCC coverage page to learn more.

The 120-page graphic novel is untitled still 2 years forward, but the writer was Simon Furman with art by Wei Wang. DC Comics hasn’t revealed details about the status of the StarCraft graphic novel since the SDCC 2011. Hopefully, the public view of this concept art heralds new details this upcoming SDCC 2013.

Make sure to watch Blizzplanet’s video of the Blizzard Licensed Panel (SDCC 2013) this upcoming Thursday, July 18th. Visit the Sons of the Storm website to view the recently added 25 images.

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Panel Announcement – Blizzard Entertainment: Project Blackstone: The Great Transmedia Experiment

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Project Blackstone, StarCraft 2 News

Micky Neilson announced an upcoming panel titled Blizzard Entertainment: Project Blackstone: The Great Transmedia Experiment. This panel will be held at the Hilton Costa Mesa on September 14th.

One-Day tickets cost about $30. To buy tickets visit Micky’s website.

Update (9-3-2013): dpershonock is taking video of this panel for Blizzplanet. Stay tuned to watch the video.


Blizzard Entertainment: Project Blackstone: The Great Transmedia Experiment

September 14 at 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Designed By: Micky Neilson, Cameron Dayton

The ambitious goal of Project Blackstone was to weave a narrative across multiple media, draw traffic to the StarCraft website, raise awareness of StarCraft short stories, and build hype for Blizzard Entertainment’s StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm video game. The experiment was a success on many fronts, and Project Blackstone: the Great Transmedia Experiment will be an opportunity for the creators of Project Blackstone to share their insights, war stories and opinions on what transmedia really means, and where it’s headed in the future.

Saturday, September 14, 2013 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM (Pacific Time)
Location: Laguna Beach Room 2 & 3

Venue: Hilton Costa Mesa (MAP)
3050 Bristol Street
Costa Mesa, CA 92626

Website: http://wyrdcon.com/2011/2013-program/

 

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2013 Dragon Slayer Awards Voting is now open

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Diablo 3 News, StarCraft 2 News, World of Warcraft News

The Dragon Slayer Awards 2013 opened up voting polls to choose the winners of several notable gaming categories such as:

  • Most Passionate Fan Base
  • Top Community Management team
  • Community Manager of the Year
  • Notable Gaming Personality

World of Warcraft is among the Most Passionate Fan Base category, and the category for Community Managers of the Year contains: Netahera, Bashiok, Zarhym, Vaeflare, Rygarius, Daxxari, and Nakatoir.

Notable Gaming Personality — Sha of Happiness is up there against Felicia Day, Wil Wheaton, HuskyStarcraft and Totalbiscuit.

In the Machinima category is WoWCrendor and The Guild and the most notable gaming comic features WTF Comics, The Daily Brink and Penny Arcade.

Prepare your clicking-finger to choose the best nominees. Vote Now! Go go go!

Make sure to inform your favorite CM you have voted for him/her, and send cheers!

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Blizzard Careers – Job Openings June.8.2013

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Careers, Diablo 3 News, Heroes of the Storm, StarCraft 2 News, World of Warcraft News

Blizzard Entertainment welcomes fans with excellent talent and experience to apply for a career to join their team.

Months ago, Universum revealed Blizzard Entertainment ranked #6 2013 America’s Ideal Employer.

Check out the latest job openings, and hit the “Apply” link to reach the online application page. Alternatively, you can reach the Blizzard Careers recruiters directly on Twitter for questions.

There are dozens of job openings not listed here. Visit the official Blizzard Careers Page for openings in The Americas, Europe, and Asia.

Especial Tip from your Friendly-Neighborhood Blizzplanet: A good way to get a job is to befriend the recruiters and be in contact with them often — especially if the job opening you seek is not currently available. When a slot is available he/she might reach you out.

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Senior Database Engineer

Blizzard Entertainment is seeking an experienced database engineer to create high-performance scalable database systems for our internal systems. Blizzard Entertainment offers a fun, creative, and technically challenging environment with excellent compensation and a full range of benefits. — Apply

Production Director, Audio

Blizzard Entertainment is looking for a highly organized individual with outstanding communication skills, proven experience in production, and a track record of shipping AAA titles to lead our efforts in creating epic audio for video games. — Apply

Lead Database Administrator (IT Network operations)

Blizzard Entertainment is seeking an experienced database administrator to join our Blizzard operations network services team in Irvine, California. We are a world class IT organization pushing the envelope of both proprietary and open-source technology. Our team is responsible for managing hundreds of databases across platforms including Oracle, MySQL, Apache Hadoop, Redis, and other emerging technologies. — Apply

System Engineer (Battle.net)

Blizzard Entertainment is looking for a devops engineer to join the Battle.net Web reliability group! Your mission will be to help build tools, investigate problems and improve infrastructure to enhance the team’s ability to handle a large number of tasks and projects with minimal overhead and downtime. The engineer will possess a high degree of troubleshooting skills and creativity to solve uncommon issues, and will be expected to work in an environment that is extremely fast paced and interrupt driven. Due to the nature of the position and working with a multitude of teams to accomplish the tasks described, the engineer must possess excellent communication skills and will be expected to drive and facilitate large scale projects that will have significant positive impact on the team and ultimately, our gamers. — Apply

Senior Software Engineer (.NET – Support Systems)

Blizzard Entertainment is looking for a talented senior software engineer to collaborate with creative minds and big thinkers to build enterprise level business applications for Global Platform Services. Our ideal candidate has comprehensive knowledge of concepts, principles, practices and procedures in a professional software development environment. They also have experience working within agile project methodologies including Scrum. Great candidates should embrace Blizzard’s unique culture by sharing their knowledge and experiences amongst their peers through collaboration. Most importantly they must have a passion for video games and be able to thrive in a time-critical, rapid development and results-oriented environment. — Apply

Producer, Transaction Design

[Begin mission debrief] Producers, welcome to the Koprulu Sector. There is an immediate opening for one of you to bring your years of experience, superior analytical talent, and strategically agile mind to elevate our StarCraft II | Blizzard All-Stars team. Reporting to the production director of Blizzard All-Stars, this role will call upon your entire battle-earned skillset. Your primary mission will be engaging with various team leads including developers, designers, as well as business intelligence analysts, to determine data sets that will gauge player engagement / behavior, live system performance, and provide actionable intelligence in support of game feature priorities and other key objectives. Your cutting edge research and deep analyses will ultimately inform and help shape content creation and game design. — Apply

Human Resources Manager

Blizzard Entertainment is looking for an experienced and innovative human resources manager to join our human resources (HR) team in Irvine, CA. This role will be a strategic talent partner to our customer service and IT teams. This position will report to the senior human resource director for global business operations. — Apply

Assistant Technical Designer (Blizzard All-Stars / StarCraft II)

The StarCraft II & Blizzard All-Stars team is looking for several talented assistant technical designers with a strong technical background to help us build heroes, units, and abilities for our SC2 Multiplayer / Campaign and Blizzard All-Stars. The ideal candidate must be able to collaborate with design, engineering, and art groups to efficiently and creatively configure data. Experience building levels, or scripting using any popular real-time strategy (RTS) game toolset is a major plus. — Apply

Network Administrator

Blizzard Entertainment is seeking a network administrator with experience in administrating customer-facing network infrastructure. Focus areas include administration of switches and routers, load balancing, access list and firewall management, application debugging, and supporting internally developed tools. The ideal candidate will have a solid understanding of TCP / IP and the OSI model, exhibit a high attention to detail, and adjust quickly to an ever-changing and evolving environment. If you have a pragmatic mind that can multitask and prioritize your workload in a fast-paced and interrupt-driven work environment, then read on. — Apply

Associate Level Designer (Blizzard All-Stars/StarCraft II)

The StarCraft II team is looking for a talented associate level designer with experience building levels using any popular real-time strategy (RTS) game toolset (StarCraft II editor, Warcraft III world editor, etc). Associate level designers must be able to create fun and interesting environments that look and play great. The ideal candidate has industry experience on a shipped product, or has created and published trigger maps in the fan/mod community. — Apply

Editorial Manager (Online Publishing)

Our online publishing division is looking for a groundbreaking editorial manager to set up shop and assist in coordinating and curating high quality content across all of their platforms. The position will initially focus on the StarCraft II World Championship Series, but the depth and scope of responsibility will quickly expand out on a Zerg-rush scale.

At Blizzard, we are truly passionate about the products we make, and our goal is to create content that we would enjoy ourselves as gamers. We’re enthusiastic about our work and take on multiple roles in our quest to create the highest quality content possible. — Apply

Blizzard Academy Art Trainer (World of Warcraft)

Blizzard Entertainment is a wildly creative place to work with a rich and passionate art community. Blizzard Academy specializes in helping others to learn, grow and succeed in this dynamic environment.

As we prepare to launch our apprenticeship program, we are looking for a talented artist who is inspired by educating the next generation to fill the role of Art Trainer. Our ideal instructor is an experienced production artist who has also had the opportunity to teach professionally. The trainer will have cross-disciplinary experience with a focus in character modeling and texture painting. Is that you?

The art trainer will be responsible for designing the inaugural curriculum of our new apprenticeship program, is a key member of the program’s launch team, and key driver of its success. They will support and grow the program on an ongoing basis for future sessions. They will work closely with leadership and production artists across teams at Blizzard to develop content and deliver training to meet our production needs. Subjects will include proprietary tools, workflows and processes, as well as specific instruction in the art styles of our games. — Apply

User Experience Designer

Are you the type of person who uses a product and immediately strives to figure out how you could design it better? Do you enjoy solving problems at a conceptual level, but also love figuring out the details when it comes time to make those conceptual ideas concrete? We’re looking for a UX Designer to join our corporate applications UX team to do exactly that!

The UX designer will be working on internal applications that aid the company and our players with solutions that streamline efficiency, support game development, and foster Blizzard Entertainment’s culture and core values in the workplace. The UX designer will collaborate with a variety of teams (customer service, game development, human resources, etc.) to design solutions that meet strategic business objectives while also creating a useful, intuitive, and epic experience for our users.

This role is best suited for someone who embodies the philosophy that UX design is centered around people, and that our goal is about getting things right for our users, not about just getting things done.

Through research, design, testing, and iteration, the UX designer will be involved in all phases of the user-centered design process. — Apply

 
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James Waugh – The Three Es: The Value of Transmedia Fiction For Franchise Development

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Products News, Diablo 3 News, StarCraft 2 News, World of Warcraft News

New York Times bestselling writer and World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria senior story developer James Waugh recently posted an exclusive article titled “The Three Es: The Value of Transmedia Fiction For Franchise Development” for the Transmedia Coalition website where he explains how fleshing out a story and transcending it beyond the original media into other media can give depth to characters and stories. Make fans engage into discussions.

James starts sharing his experience as a kid with The Transformers brand. He had no clue who Optimus Prime and Megatron were. They were mere plastic toys that friends at school played with during break time. How his passion for the characters grew later when the TV animated series aired, and the depth of those characters, their personalities, their feelings and needs were fleshed out in the Marvel Transfromers comics.

I was a bit older than 10 years when all this happened in the mid-80s (1984-1987), and this article brought fond memories. I feel portrayed.

His experience as a child, and later as a teen with The Transformers brand is the primer that made James Waugh a Lead Writer (Franchise Development) for Blizzard Entertainment.

James talks about Deathwing since Warcraft II: Beyond the Dark Portal up to the moment the story developers agreed to bring Deathwing as the main villain of the Cataclysm expansion.

According to James Waugh, the three powerful aspects of the value of transmedia fiction for franchise development are:

  • Enriching the IP
  • Engage the Fans
  • The Evangelizers

Read James Waugh’s article.

Works

Among many works, James Waugh wrote or co-wrote the following transmedia projects:

StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void & Unannounced MMO

Currently, James Waugh is working on the story for StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void as Lead Writer, Blizzard All-Stars, Lead story developer on the upcoming Warcraft feature film, and writer for the Unannounced MMO (It’s kinda interesting it’s not referenced as the Next-Gen MMO, don’t you think? hint-hint).

About the StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void part — Dustin Browder revealed the following during a Reddit AMA:

1. In a year from now, how far are you into the developement of Legacy of The Void, and what else will you be working on?

Dustin: We have started on Legacy story, scripts and missions.

2. How many people are working in the starcraft departement of Blizzard?

Dustin: 80+ developers, hundreds of QA + Cinematics + other support personel. Look at the credits for Wings. All of those people made significant contributions to that game.

3. While Starcraft 2 was well received in most of the world, the transition from Broodwar to Starcraft 2 in Korea was very rough. If you could go back in time to 2010, what would do different in regards to KeSPA and the korean market?

Dustin: We were very happy for KeSPA to support SC2. I was not part of any discussions with them and I don’t know the details, sorry.

4. Tell us a funny/embarasing story that happened durring the developement of Heart of The Swarm!

Dustin: I get to play David Kim quite a bit when he runs out of real players to play against or when we are not yet in Beta. I barely beat him in a game one day and went over to his desk to celebrate my victory only to find out he had been reading email during the decisive battle.

 

Seems Blizzard Entertainment might have their card deck full of announcements for BlizzCon (November 8-9).

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StarCraft II Arcade Highlight: Weekend of Freedom

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in StarCraft 2 News

Blizzard Entertainment is gearing up this 4th of July weekend with the “StarCraft II Arcade Highlight: Weekend of Freedom” promo.

The Weekend of Freedom will last from July 3rd to July 8th.

All the past Arcade Highlights are now free to play through the StarCraft II Starter Edition.

Blizzard wishes to know which game is your favorite and encourage you to vote for the five best games featured in the StarCraft II Arcade.

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SDCC 2013 – Blizzard Entertainment Schedule

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Products News, Diablo 3 News, SDCC 2013, StarCraft 2 News, World of Warcraft News

Blizzard Entertainment posted the San Diego Comic Con schedule. Sideshow Collectibles will show the painted Diablo Polystone statue and a Deathwing statue.

Insight Editions will display the Diablo III: Book of Tyrael.

There are several book signings scheduled throughout Thursday-Saturday.

All Blizzard licensed partner booths can be found here.

The Blizzard Publishing Panel will take place on Thursday at 2:15pm. The Floor Map showing the Blizzard Panel Hall 6BCF is here — look for the right-wing. (left-click the image once to zoom in)

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Check out Blizzard’s San Diego Comic-Con schedule of events including panels, booth activities, and partner shenanigans. Copies of your favorite Blizzard books will be available for purchase at the booth—don’t forget to get yours signed by our featured guests at the times listed below. Look for us at booth #115, and be sure to get there early before everything is gone!

Funko Booth #5343

Funko will also be selling a limited amount of the Shadow Illidan at their booth. If you haven’t seen this little guy yet, check out our blog post on our SDCC exclusives.

Sideshow #1929

Come by to check out the painted Diablo statue in all its hellish glory, and the first look at Deathwing. Sideshow will also be showing off a previously unannounced statue that will be revealed in the Blizzard panel on Thursday.

Insight Editions #1134

Each day Insight Editions will be holding a random drawing to give away a copy of The Art of Blizzard. They will also be showing off spreads from the upcoming Diablo: Book of Tyrael.

Thursday, July 18

11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. – Art of Blizzard Signing

Wei Wang and Glenn Rane will be signing copies of “Art of Blizzard,” which you can buy at the booth. The Art of Blizzard details some of the most iconic artwork Blizzard has produced over the years in this full-color compilation.

1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m – World of Warcraft Tribute Signings (UDON booth #4529)

A selection of top-flight artists will be on hand to sign and maybe even sketch in your copy of World of Warcraft Tribute. Tribute artists scheduled to appear include Justin Bechtold, Kevin Cameron, Sean Galloway, Matt Grigsby, Dax Gordine, Gregory Higerd, Don Ho, Edwin Huang, Arun Naina, AJ Nazzaro, Laura Rivera, Emmanuel Fuentes, Patrick Scullin, and Arnold Tsang. (Subject to change)

2:15 p.m. – 3:15 p.m. – Blizzard Licensing Panel (Hall 6BCF)

Chris Metzen (Blizzard Entertainment SVP Story and Franchise Development) and a team of esteemed guests reveal never-before-seen licensed products and plans for 2013/2014. Talk to the designers, writers and artists as we dig into toys, novels, comics, statues, and more. Panel and extended game Q&A session moderated by Kat Hunter (host of BlizzCon coverage on DIRECTV).

4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. – UDON World of Warcraft Tribute Art Book Signings

Come by the Blizzard booth to meet artists Justin Bechtold, Ginny Higerd, and Arun Naina, whose art is featured in the World of Warcraft Tribute fanart book, curated by UDON.

Friday, July 19

11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. – World of Warcraft: Dark Riders Signing

Writer Mike Costa will be signing your World of Warcraft: Dark Riders comics at the Blizzard booth.

1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m – World of Warcraft Tribute Signings (UDON booth #4529)

A selection of top-flight artists will be on hand to sign and maybe even sketch in your copy of World of Warcraft Tribute. Tribute artists scheduled to appear include Justin Bechtold, Kevin Cameron, Sean Galloway, Matt Grigsby, Dax Gordine, Gregory Higerd, Don Ho, Edwin Huang, Arun Naina, AJ Nazzaro, Laura Rivera, Emmanuel Fuentes, Patrick Scullin, and Arnold Tsang. (Subject to change)

2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. – Vol’jin: Shadows of the Horde Signing

Give us your best troll impression when you pick up your copy of this newly released book and have it signed by author Mike Stackpole. Ya, mon!

4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. – Pearl of Pandaria Signing

Blizzard’s Micky Neilson and artist Sean Galloway join forces to sign their NY Times Bestselling original graphic novel, featuring the Pandarian adventures of Li Li Stormstout.

Saturday, July 20

11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. – Art of Blizzard Signing

Chris Metzen, Bill Petras, and Roman Kenney will be pleased to sign their name in your book!

1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m – World of Warcraft Tribute Signings (UDON booth #4529)

A selection of top-flight artists will be on hand to sign and maybe even sketch in your copy of World of Warcraft Tribute. Tribute artists scheduled to appear include Justin Bechtold, Kevin Cameron, Sean Galloway, Matt Grigsby, Dax Gordine, Gregory Higerd, Don Ho, Edwin Huang, Arun Naina, AJ Nazzaro, Laura Rivera, Emmanuel Fuentes, Patrick Scullin, and Arnold Tsang. (Subject to change)

2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. – Vol’jin: Shadows of the Horde Signing

Author Mike Stackpole will be signing his newly released book for attendees.

 
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Should StarCraft II Have Mini-Campaigns?

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in StarCraft 2 News

Blizzard Entertainment fans waited nigh three years between the release date of StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty and the expansion: Heart of the Swarm. In contrast, World of Warcraft players experience several major content patches throughout the lifespan of an expansion.

For example, the World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria expansion has seen so far 4 major content patches, and with no new expansion announcements until BlizzCon, and considering a 6-month beta testing, it is unknown if a patch 5.5 might hit the live servers before the next expansion launches:

  • Patch 5.1: Landfall
  • Patch 5.2: The Isle of Thunder
  • Patch 5.3: Escalation
  • Patch 5.4: Siege of Orgrimmar

So the question is, why don’t StarCraft II players have major content patches or additions to the single-player during the 2-3 years time-frame until the next expansion?

That’s a very good question actually. A technically proper answer is that StarCraft II is not an MMO and there is no monthly subscription to justify the manpower and resources. The StarCraft II Team is busy iterating ideas at the creative story and concept art level, the 3D modelers spend a long time with models and animations, the cinematics team does its time-consuming magic, and later the mission maps get created and balanced. Beta testing and further iteration and balance. Then the difficulty-modes. Lot of work.

In short, it’s a long process to get a StarCraft II expansion ironed out and ready for beta testing.

It’s no secret now that Blizzard Entertainment created a small team of developers dedicated exclusively to develop small video games … Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft.

Thus, something I would like to see for StarCraft II and future StarCraft RTS games is the creation of a small team of developers to expand the StarCraft mythos.

Back in 2009, I interviewed Chris Metzen (VP of Creative Development) during the StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty single-player press event held at Blizzard’s Headquarters. I pitched several questions at Chris Metzen about StarCraft II and the StarCraft printed-media such as novels, manga, and comics.

From the pages of Christie Golden’s StarCraft: Dark Templar, Book 1, players experienced the Tal’drim. The Reporter Lockwell and the Dark Voice Amon came from the StarCraft: Frontline manga. The War Pigs mercenaries players hire came from the StarCraft Comics by Simon Furman.

One way or another, the printed-media meshed somewhat with the two StarCraft II episodes, but in some cases at a very minimal fraction.

There are so many awesome StarCraft stories and plots in the novels, the manga, and the comics. Add to that the website short stories and the excitingly breathtaking Project Blackstone transmedia.

Why aren’t these stories brought into StarCraft II? It escapes me. It’s been 4 years since that interview with Chris Metzen. Yet my mind keeps soaring on that thought.

Mini-Campaigns

Anyone who played old-school StarCraft and StarCraft: Brood War will remember the mini-campaign titled StarCraft: Enslavers. This mini-campaign consisted of 4 maps with a cool story deemed canon. One of the maps had a choice A or choice B, similar to the Nova/Gabriel Tosh mission in StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty.

Personally, I’d create a small team only focused on pumping out at least two or three mini-campaigns a year whether for StarCraft II, or future RTS/RPG games.

The Creative Team could spotlight some of those cool plots from the manga, the novels, the comics, Project Blackstone and the online short stories in these mini-campaigns.

Some examples:

  • Colin Phash
  • Project Blackstone
  • Gestalt Zero
  • Michael Liberty/Lockwell (before or after Arcturus’ death)
  • Ghost Academy
  • Jake Ramsey and Rosemary Dahl
  • The War Pigs
  • Gabriel Tosh (before, during, or after SC2)
  • Lio Travski (after joining the datastream. Fun infiltration missions into Terran or Protoss buildings)
  • Ariel Hanson in Haven

A good opportunity to introduce new non-playable races too as local enemies of certain planets like Safe Haven. Maybe borrow some random elements from Diablo III so that each time the same maps have different quests for replayability.

These mini-campaign packs could have new addons, backgrounds, tiles — that way map makers would like to obtain these mini-campaign packs too to create maps for the StarCraft II Arcade. New portraits, decals, skins and animations exclusive to mini-campaign owners.

The mini-campaigns could be purchased as a DLC through the Battle.net Launcher twice or three times a year. That way by the time the next episode is launched there are at least 6-9 mini-campaigns between expansions or sequels.

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SDCC 2013 – New Sideshow Collectibles Blizzard Licensed Product?

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Products News, Diablo 3 News, SDCC 2013, StarCraft 2 News, World of Warcraft News

I will consider this one a rumor. San Diego Comic Con attendees who love polystone statues, and sixth scale figures might be interested to visit the Blizzard booth. My crystal ball whispered me there might be either a new product or new products from Sideshow Collectibles which have not been officially announced. This might or might not happen.

If this mystery product(s) is more than a rumor, it will be shown exclusively at the Blizzard Entertainment booth # 115 (Hall A). Heed the call, and visit the Blizzard booth.

Check out some of the new Blizzard Licensed merchandise announced a few days ago to be sold at the Blizzard booth, and the floor map where I marked all the Blizzard Licensed partners booths.

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Disclaimer: The blurred image is merely a placeholder. (It’s the shape of a Star Wars Stormtrooper)

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