Blizzplanet Fan Art Status

For those fans that missed it,  the World of Warcract/Starcraft: Ghost Fan Art contest will still take submissions until October 31 to give time to those who tried to submit when our email was full.  I forgot to delete the trash folder when I deleted previous submissions.  So for fans to catch up, the deadline was moved to give time for resubmission.  The images were uploaded few weeks ago with a texture layer as watermark.  Originals found in other fan sites or contests will be disqualified.  We want to make sure that the Contest is fair and that the authors are really the authors.  You can view the submission Far Arts Here.

We want to announce the winners of 10 pocketbooks, chosen after the Q&A event with Richard A. Knaak.  The winners chose their reward out of 4 options:  Warcraft: Day of the Dragon,  War of the Ancients: Well of Eternity, War of the Ancients: Demon Soul or Warcraft Manga: The Sunwell Trilogy.  The winners were:

Heretic
Thorek
Zodiac
Saxe
Jarlaxle
KnEtwErX
sticker
Certhos
Pesmerga
MonStar

Richard A. Knaak Q&A Transcript:  War of the Ancients & Warcraft Manga

Here we have for all fans that didn’t make it to the Q&A event and for fan sites wishing to host locally the Q&A, you are free to host it as a way to support Richard A. Knaak and Blizzard’s projects:

- War of the Ancients: Demon Soul pocketbook
- Warcraft Manga: The Sunwell Trilogy

Read the transcript here.

Thanks Blizzard Entertainment, D&D and Tokyopop for sponsoring Richard A. Knaak and for his presence here with the Blizzard Fans in the Q&A event.

WOW Community Radio arises!

Although this is not a Blizzplanet project, we will support it for its community value.:

World of Warcraft Radio is an independently funded project to bring talk radio to the WoW community. Each week the radio will be having shoutcast programs with coverage of game content, current events, interviews with community members, and other WoW related content.

Beginning this Saturday at 7pm EST
we encourage everyone to come out and support community involvement. We will be on irc at:

irc.wyldryde.org
#wowradio

You can visit the website (under construction) at http://www.wcradio.com and come time for the broadcast, visit http://wcradio.com:8000/listen.pls to connect to our live stream(Winamp)

We look forward to seeing you there. If you have any questions, feel free to email myself, Athalus, at athalus@wcradio.com or visit us in that IRC channel.

-Gareth Cales

Source: Wow Forum Thread

Wow Open Beta Soon !

Blizzard announced proudly to launch World of Warcraft Open Beta very soon.  Although not all expected features may be included in the commercial version, Blizzard promises to keep working on their past announced features and to keep adding content.  Open Beta will start in USA in a few weeks or days.  There is no date specified, but knowing Blizzard’s past experiences, they do not make such announcements unless they are convinced they are ready.  Blizzard cares to not make the same mistakes of the past when giving deadlines.  The past months, concerning World of Warcraft, has been hectic when giving out dates; but when something is announced it doesn’t take long before the announcement is carried out.  Expect an open beta sooner than you may think:

Blizzard:
“We are happy to announce that we will soon be accepting applicants for the World of Warcraft? Open Beta Test for North America. The open phase of beta will give people a chance to enter Azeroth and play World of Warcraft before the game is released. More details will become available in the days ahead, so stay tuned.”

10-hour UMS contest

Star Alliance and Campaign Creations hosted a contest where participants must complete a UMS map for starcraft within 10 hours (honor system).  This contest is over, Dark Primus who led the competition has notified the public that he will be uploading all submissions.

StarCraft downloads.

Clicky!

Thanks to the StarCraft modding comunity for these three downloads.  All three of these projects may be found no-where else.  I’ll try and get MFTGATMF into a smaller rar file within the week.

About the Affilites

Sorry for the lack of an affilite listing, that’s actually something I wanted to get installed before the launch of the new site, but slipped my mind completely.  So now would be your best chance to contact me about becoming an affilite.  Secondly, I will be installing a download module, with downloads.

To those who have given me sugestion on what you would like to see from Blizzplanet cudos, I’ll do my best.  If anyone wants to post news please use our news thread (or forum) and I’ll have it posted on the main page, thank-you.

Blizzplanet relaunches soon

After a long absence due to some security issues with PHPnuke, we will be relaunching in October.  DarkNemesis has been working on a custom website system for few months, and has notified me that we may be ready to roll on October back to normal.

During the wait on the new system, I dedicated to play World of Warcraft.  I am currently lvl 55 Druid.  Soon as possible, we will have World of Warcraft content.  The news of all Blizzard games will now be possible with the new system.  The Starcraft Ghost/Wow Fan Art contest will resume.  I was able to download all the submissions from the fanforce.net email account.  Fans that were not able to submit due to the email account being full, can now submit the fan art.  I deleted everything after downloading the submissions that got through.

I will be taking a look at the submissions and will be made public on October.  The deadline of August 31 has been cancelled due to the fact the site was standby with the security breaches.  We had to disable the news and content system to avoid further attacks or deletion attempts.

Fan Art Contest will be open until October 31 as a way to give time to those who tried to submit and couldn’t go through with the email account full.  My apologies for the inconveniences and the unannounced vacation due to the security breaches.

About BlizzPlanet’s Status

Should take us about to the end of the month to finish up.

Starcraft Campaign Contest is experiencing communication difficulties.

Fanart Contest is on hold untill we have all the images upload the fanforce email is being read through.

The forum is going to be post-poned untill the CMS is fine-tuned.  However I do accept sugestions from their the sugestion thread in the forums or that nifty little script in the side bar called message programmer (thet’s me!).  You can also contact me, contact info rmation is in the temporary forums.

Blizzplanet interviews Richard A. Knaak

Blizzplanet will interview Richard A. Knaak on Saturday October 16th at 1:00 PM (Central Time / -6 GMT) on the following IRC Public Channel:

irc.wc3campaigns.com
Channel: #blizzplanet

Fans may start parking on our IRC channel to discuss Blizzard games and Warcraft Lore, or simply open discussions.  We are pleased to have Richard A. Knaak once more sharing part of his time with the fans to discuss his latest project War of the Ancients: Demon Soul.  Back in February 18th,  he spoke with fans from countries like China, Germany, Spain, France and many others.  Richard told me in private that he enjoyed the interaction with Blizzard Fans.  We invite you to come to the Public Channel above to make your questions about War of the Ancients: Demon Soul and Warcraft Manga.

Previous works of Richard A. Knaak among his over 25 books in the last 17 years are: Dungeon&Dragons (D&D) titles,  Legend of Huma, Dragonlance, Dragonrealm, Minotaur Wars, Warcraft: Day of the Dragon and Diablo: The Kingdom of Shadow.  Feel free to share your questions for the interview and to discuss with other fans the warcraft lore and your experiences reading War of the Ancients: Well of Eternity (book 1), in our forums at the following Thread.

To celebrate Blizzplanet relaunch, we bring to you this interview and thanks to Richard 2 Exclusive screenshots of the upcoming Blizzard Project: Warcraft Manga

New site system

I’ve created a new site management system, for the next week or so expect some major changes to occur.

Keys of Sealing

Keys of Sealing 2.21 News post from: RazorclawX
quote:
I created a new version of Keys of Sealing. This version requiresthe TFT 1.17 beta patch or later to play. This version has asignificantly smaller file size and rearranges some of the Hero skills,while replacing some of the Heroes with new ones.

You can download this here: Keys of Sealing

The new features include:

- Spirit of Destruction and Keyseeker can no longer win the game
- Knight of the Black Rose replaced with the Alchemist
- Tortured Soul replaced with the Tinker
- Wind Rider replaced with the Firelord
- Crypt Lord now has the following skills: Soul Burn, Souls of Vengeance, Fortified Armor, Locust Swarm
- Debilitator now has Rain of Blades instead of Drunken Haze
-The Secret Shop was replaced with the Wandering Merchant. If youremember the Wandering Merchant in the old map, this should be similar.However, at this time there is no means to pinpoint its exact locationevery time it moves, so this is based on luck. If I get enoughcomplaints about it, I may add a locating device OR put the Secret Shopback.

This map is a public BETA which can only be played on the Westfall server. 
View Original

From Camapign Creations

Campaigncreations:
I need an army of good men by Warbringer87 at 6:46 PM – Saturday, August 28, 2004

We here at Campaign Creations have an urgent need of testers for a lot of Maps we have. These maps need to be tested online, because we need to check which ones work and which oens don’t.

If this was a small amount, we would do it on our own, but the vast amount of maps calls for some reinforcements. We need a lot of people to be testing these maps with us. There is nearly every type fo map imaginable.

We need people who play Warcraft III on battle.net. The Frozen Throne is NOT required, but it might be needed for some maps. We need people with some time on their hands, and we need a group of people with some map-making experience, to fix and update any maps which are not working properly. If you want to help, please contact us at:

campaign.creations@gmail.com

In the email please tell us on which server you usually play at, and if you have The Frozen Throne Expansion. Also tell us if you are proficient with triggering/terraining/cinematics and if you would be willing to lend your skills.

—CC Team

Starcraft Ghost: Nova - Surge Magazine: Super Nova

Surge Magazine visited Blizzard Entertainment at Irvine to interview Game Producer John Lagrave and Director of Game Design Rob Pardo.  The article gets a rundown of the history behind Starcraft: Ghost.  Blizzard did never plan to abandon the Console market, but their success in the PC market sorta slowed them down.  Nihilistic then came to Blizzard with a plan to create a FPS game.  Blizzard saw Nihilistic as the opportunity to return to Consoles while they focus their efforts on World of Warcraft.  Currently all Blizzard teams are busy.  Blizzard North is working on an unannounced project.  A second project of Blizzard North was canceled back in August due to the resignation of 30 Blizzard Employees.  The remaining staff of the cancelled project was merged with the second team to keep working on one game.

The other Blizzard Team was working on Warcraft III and Frozen Throne, and the third team is focused on World of Warcraft.  Nihilistic was sorta like a blessing for Blizzard who wished to return to the console market, but had no personnel to spare into a massive project like a console game.  When Nihilistic visited Blizzard and proposed a Console game as a third-party team for Blizzard, they didn’t blink.  They gave the go ahead and immediately John Lagrave and Rob Pardo offered support to keep the game as highly Blizzard quality as possible with a daily supervision on the work done by Nihilistic.

While Nihilistic works on 3D modeling, interface, weapons, and other areas … Blizzard supervises and offers collaborative effort with Rob Pardo and John Lagrave, creates the in-house Cinematics and most of the narrative sequences and voice actors.

Everything Nihilistic creates in the game has to be approved by Blizzard in a daily basis.  Nihilistic currently consists of 20 employees, located in San Francisco.  Blizzard also assist with artists developing models and environments to give it that feeling and look of a Starcraft Universe.  Details like the burned soil of Mar Sara are testament to this.  Mar Sara was one of the planets that the Protoss burned down from orbit to purify it of Zerg infection; which are details needed in the game to give a feeling of continuity and realism with the environments set in the Starcraft RTS universe.

Blizzard reveals that Starcraft: Ghost offers players navigation of 5 planets full of missions throwing you into desert, jungle, asteroid and molten environments.  Lagrave warns that fighting against Protoss Purifiers isn’t piece of cake.  Few seconds under the psionic raygun energy field and you are toast!  This unit resembles what Firebats do with a flamethrower, although they shoot pure psionic energy blasts instead.

Psi powers are useful when you are discovered and need to make a safe retreat to make a kill before the guards alert others of our presence.  Nova uses 4 types of Psi-powers:

  • Speed Power:  Slows down enemies to a quarter of their speed, while Nova moves at a normal pace.  Allowing her to run past the enemy’s fire reach and safely make a blow kill.
  • Cloak power:  Cloaking renders Nova invisible, which comes handy when you need to walk past a bunch of guards or units.  Of course, trying to kill all of the bunch might be too risky as few may run away out of your reach and trigger the alarm.  Cloaking allows you to go past them without raising any alarms.
  • Sight power:  It is a Predator-visor-like effect low-light vision enhancer that lets Nova perceive footprints, interactive control panels, enemies behind walls and weak points in enemy armor. Once her psi charge runs out Nova should hide into the shadows away from being discovered.

    Blizzard revealed that there are 3 types of mines which are insect-like drones(robots):  the Mantis Mine is a reconnaisance mine that crawls around undetected bypassing guards on the ground level.  The Firefly Mine focuses on distracting your enemies.  You can use Fireflies to lead the enemy to a ambush or to lead them away from your destination. The Spider Mine is a walking explosive device that can sneak up on the enemy and can burrow to remain undetected.  Once the enemy is on top it kills the target.

    Blizzard reveals that players have to navigate 23 levels through the game which may offer a minimum of 15 hours of gameplay.  Check out Surge Magazine issue# 2(May Edition).

  • Katricia Q&A: Outland & Quel’Thalas

    Q&A 03/10/04 | 3/11/2004 12:07:44 AM EST

    Will we be able to visit the old deep sea oil rigs and foundries that existed in WarCraft II?

  • Even though it’s been well over 20 years since the time of WarCraft II, a vast array of historical sites can still be discovered. After so many years of war many of these places have become ruins. Some of the landmarks you might sight are ancient guard towers, abandoned oil refineries, ogre mounds etc.

    Can players visit the Outland?

  • Players can visit the Outland once it becomes available. The Outland will become available through players summoning the Dark Portal. This will be a server-wide, world altering event. Once the portal is opened .. it will remain opened for good, allowing all players’ access to the Outland.

    Can we go to Quel’Thalas?

  • Quel’Thalas will not initially be available however there are lands in place that border Quel’Thalas.

    What famous places can we expect to see?

  • Some of the famous places that you can expect to see are Blackrock Spire where Lord Lothar was defeated, Mount Hyjal where the Burning Legion invaded the world and the Ruins of Lordaeron’s capital city where Prince Arthas murdered his father.

    Do High Elves still exist or are they all Blood Elves now?

  • There are definitely still High Elves left in the world, although not many. Most of these are scattered along the borders of Quel’Thalas.

    It’s important to know that the transformation from High Elf to Blood Elf is not physica in nature but is instead an ideological change. While the majority High Elves made the cross over to become Blood Elves, there is a small handful of High Elves that hold true to their original identities.

    Including jewelry, will all equipped items be visible on our characters?

  • Most equipped items will be visible. At this time however, jewelry can not be seen without viewing a player’s paper doll.

    Will the ammunition for ranged weapons have to be replaced?

  • Yes, the ammunition used for ranged weapons will be consumed as you use it. Ammo is inexpensive and sold in stacks of 100.

    Will there be throwing weapons in the game and will these weapons be lost after they are thrown?

  • Both throwing daggers and axes are currently available. Like ammunition, throwing weapons are consumed as they are used. Likewise, they are inexpensive and purchased in stacks of 100.

    Will there be more than one type of ammo for each ranged weapon?

  • Yes. Ranged damage is calculated by both the damage done with the weapon and damage done with the ammunition. Our plan is to have a variety of ammo types available for each weapon. For example, Engineers have the ability to craft various qualities of bullets and many vendors sell ammo of varying grades as well.


    Do you need Alchemy and Herbalism to create poisons as a Rogue?

  • The Rogue’s poison ability is learned directly from their trainers. Like a tradeskill, poisoning does use recipes to create its deadly poisons; however, it is not a tradeskill and is instead a rogue only ability.

    Alchemy will have no bearing on poisoning. A rogue might wish to explore Herbalism as some, but not all, of their recipes will require herbs. It’s also important to note that poison recipes will require a variety of ingredients which are bought from vendors, found on creature corpses and cultivated via the Herbalism skill.

    What is the difference between the Warlock spell “Find Herbs” and the “Herbalism” skill?

  • Warlocks do not have a spell called “Find Herbs.” “Find Herbs” is a skill that comes as part of your apprenticeship in the field of Herbalism—it’s used to … well … help you find herbs.

    I understand that Voidwalker pets lose life over time and Infernal pets are only brief summons. How long do they last? How often do they need to be resummoned?

  • Neither the Voidwalker nor the Infernal lose health over time. Both will remain with the Warlock until killed, unsummoned or the Warlock dies/logs out of the game.

    Is the Imp still a useful pet to the Warlock at higher levels?

  • The Imp will continue to be a strong pet through all of the Warlock’s life due to its keen buffing abilities. This is especially true in group play as the Imp will automatically buff all members of the party and continue to refresh these buffs when needed.

    Can we get an update/more information on racial benefits and abilities?

  • The racial trait system is currently being reworked. No updates at this time.

    Will I be able to drop stuff on the ground so that someone else can pick it up?

  • Items can not be dropped on the ground for others to pick up. Items can be destroyed, traded or placed in bags and banks.

    Are they still planning on eventually adding player housing?

  • Housing is still planned for after ship and is in early design which basically means that it’s currently a concept, a concept that continues to change and be modified. When we have a better idea on the scope of the project, we can better determine when housing will be released.

    Will your mount appearances be customizable or will they all look alike?

  • There will be many varieties of mounts to choose from. Shopping around isn’t a bad idea if you are trying to find one that looks a certain way.

    Do instanced dungeons automatically respawn after they are cleared out or does a new instance need to be entered to fight them again?

  • This really depends on the dungeon. As an example, Wailing Caverns in the Barrens does not automatically respawn while Shadowfang Keep in Silverpine Forest is set to continually respawn as it is cleared.

    ~Kat >^..^<

  • Katricia visits Wow.Warcry IRC Chat

    [16:16] hi kat
    [16:16] Hi Kat smile
    [16:16] is it really?
    [16:16] Yap yap smile

    [16:20] will leveling be a direct affect from combat or will there be other ways to level up?
    [16:20] so in just hitting a tree with a sword?
    [16:20] questing
    [16:20] x[nin]Tons of quests in WoW smile

    [16:20] Kat, Marry me! we can have a WoW marriage, your undead priest and my undead rogue raspberry its foolproof, we will be good together
    [16:20] GhouL .. sorry but my hubby is an Undead Rogue .. already married wink

    [16:21] Okay .. I have a question …  As you all know .. each race has a mount (some unannounced yet) .. and that Warlocks also get a special “Nightmare” … does anyone know what other class gets a special mount and what it’s called? smile  (Lots of wrong answers given here).  Get your pens ready to write this down … because it’s new information smile  The Paladin will have a high level quest to get his Charger .. which will be his/her mount smile  Yes, a special War Horse .. Paladin only smile  I haven’t seen one, so that’s the best description I can give at this point in time smile

    [16:25] but it seems unfair to horde player cause they dont have a special-class-mount
    [16:25] for shaman
    [16:26] Eggo, good point … while I don’t know if this will be offset with a Horde Class specific mount, I do know that they are intending to balance out the factions, I’ll be sure to bring it to someone’s attention just in case it’s been missed smile

    [16:26] Will the Warlock/Paladin special class mount be obtained the same way as racial mounts???
    [16:27] Kredit, Warlock/Paladin mounts will be quested for … normal mounts will be bought and skilled for

    [16:27] Kat, Can I ask why we can’t jump off a Air Taxi? and what will happen if you LD while on one?
    [16:28] Zion, jumping off would kill you .. as for LD, I don’t honestly have an answer although I suspect when you log back in you’ll still be in the air flying smile

    [16:29] Hmm..Well compared to DAoC I remember you would fall of the horse in the place you LD…So i was just thinking
    [16:30] Zion, I doubt they will do that in WoW as some of the places you will fly over will be way over your level .. or even over the ocean ect.

    [16:29] Kat, sup:) After you get level 60, will there be a whole bunch of super-duper hard equipment to gain that can still make your character much stronger? Lots of 60 requirment armor/swords that take super hard quests?
    [16:31] MJ, that’s the plan and much more although we are still working on high level content. The game has been created from the ground up .. meaning that they started working on lvl 1 stuff and progressed in that way … so lvl 60 content is still being developed.

    [16:31] Katricia, do you know about the boat rides/flight times, how long they will actually take since its real-time?
    [16:32] Zeeg, the amount of time depends on the trip. I’ve taken flights that have lasted seconds and then some that have lasted a minute or two .. it all depends on your origin and destination smile

    [16:32]

    Can the warlock summon mount to his friend?
    [16:33] Pan, no … the mount will be soul linked with his master and wouldn’t lower itself to allow another on it’s back.  I was picking flowers all around Ironforge earlier today with her lil’ Gnome Warlock.  As an FYI: We’re just now in the process of working with our Battlefield PvP .. and are experimenting with Seige types of weapons smile

    [16:43] the quests in the PVP areas will have better rewards I remember reading.. that still true?
    [16:43] : Xora, much about the PvP system is uncertain as it’s still in development .. smile

    [16:44] Kat, recently posted on a fansite…WoW will use the RPS(rock/paper/scissor) model for PvP, can you confirm?
    [16:45] : Kredit it’s very hard for me to talk too much about PvP due to the fact that anything I would say would have a high likelyhood of changing .. as I said earlier, it’s still in development

    [16:46] Kat, as of now, how many hours of solid leveling does it take to get to level 20?
    [16:46] : I’m not sure MJ .. I don’t get very much time to play smile

    [16:50] @kat is gold useful ? or will the moneysystem collaps like as in many mmorpgs
    [16:51] looks into the future .. yes, money will be useful

    [16:51] from what blizz has said, money will be very important and useful
    [16:52] any ‘secret/unlocked’ tradeskills that wont be mentioned at release?
    [16:52] : There’s a new skinning tradeskill used for .. skinning animals for their hides (imagine that!)

    [16:53] will there be guns for any race?
    [16:53] I believe guns for any race .. but only for specific classes

    [16:54] 04Kat can you comment on Mage pets?
    [16:54] : No

    [16:55] Only kat may use colored text or emotes. raspberry
    [16:55] dances around at her power to be the only one with pretty text colors

    [17:03] as far as i know, i asked before about aura weapons, and they are apparently in… you can have a flaming sword, and it does extra damage, some unique weapons automatically get this as a trait, but some can be e
    nchanted
    [17:03] Exactly Ghoul

    [17:06] 12does anyone know what the troll moun
    t will be?
    [17:07]

    The gnomes are already so cute .. seeing them on sheep would be great smile  I’ve got to run folks .. sorry I couldn’t stay longer .. thanks Raal and all the good folks at blizzard guilds for inviting me .. have a great weekend y’all smile

    Starcraft: Ghost Interview: Julian Kwasneski

    Julian Kwasneski Sound Designer

    Julian Kwasneski started his career in game audio at LucasArts Entertainment Company, and is credited with sound design on several leading LucasArts titles. After leaving the company in 2000, he co-founded The Bay Area Sound Department with Clint Bajakian. Julian has worked on many award-winning game titles, including Starcraft: Ghost, James Bond: Everything or Nothing, Star Trek: Bridge Commander, Star Wars: Jedi Outcast, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, and SOCOM: Navy Seals. His consistent sound design has been critically acclaimed by ign.com, epigamer.com, gamezone.com, Computer Gaming World, gamepro.com and others. He also has many independent film credits, including sound design for Big Love (Sundance 2000), The Upgrade (Mill Valley Film Festival 2000), and The Last Birthday Card. He has worked extensively with wireless and Internet audio technologies.

    1. How much of an influence was the original StarCraft soundtrack on your work? Did Chris Metzen guide you along the production?

    A lot. We are all so familiar with the sounds of the RTS that it would be criminal not to base sounds on those. Still, this is a different type of game, so you can expect to hear a lot of cool new things.

    2. Will StarCraft: Ghost have specific soundtrack themes per race, and scenario-based themes?

    I am not doing the music, but the ambiences are totally immersive so the player will really feel like they are “in the Space” in each of the locations.

    3. Which game out of all of the games you’ve worked on, have you enjoyed creating the most or fills you with satisfaction the most?

    I liked Knights of the Old Republic for the diversity of the locations and I loved creating ambiences for the different worlds. Grim Fandango was also very satisfying ambient work (I worked on the ambient beds with my partner Clint Bajakian). Jedi Outcast was cool too and of course, Ghost was a nice new challenge for me.

    4. Do you reuse/recycle the old sounds from previous games where applicable, or do you start all sounds of a game from scratch?

    On the Star Wars titles I’ve worked on, I always build upon the awesome sounds created by Ben Burtt and I will use the classic sounds from the films as elements to create new sounds. In some cases though, I need to start from scratch if there isn’t sufficient source sound from the movies. For example, while a certain vehicle may only make a brief appearance in a film, it may be a featured vehicle in a game. In these cases I need to recreate the vehicle sounds from scratch. Another example is the Ebon Hawk in Knights of the Old Republic. It is similar to the Millennium Falcon, but it’s way bigger and beefier. I took the Falcon sounds, added new elements like V8 motors, dragsters and thunder and created a similar but different vehicle sound.

    5. How did you make those Zerg sounds, do you swallow something and yell; or are they animal sounds added and mixed with some other sounds?

    I didn’t actually, these were done by Derek Duke and the Blizzard sound gang and they did an awesome job.

    6. Who are the composer(s) of all the songs in Starcraft: Ghost and their career background(if available)?

    Kevin Manthei

    7. I assume you are involved in both voice sound editing, and sound effects of Starcraft: Ghost from what I have heard. Are you backed up by more people? Or is this a solo job?

    I am doing the majority of the sound design though Derek Duke and the sound team at Blizzard have done an awesome job on all the creature sounds and many other sound effects.

    8. I was wondering this one when I looked upon that Goliath model. How on Earth did you go about getting sounds for something that huge? It is hard to “recreate” I guess.

    We’re still working on it, but I drew upon large machinery and hydraulics recordings and thunderous metallic foot impacts. It’s really fun to drive!

    1.Hardware, what do you use? I am dying to know. We got many Sound Editing fans from a Modding Guild at WC3Campaigns, BlizzSCUMS and SAVAGE(Star Alliance) who may want to learn more from your expertise.

    I am all Mac-based using a Digidesign Pro Tools TDM system with loads of plugins including everything from Waves as well and Kantos, Pitch’n Time, Bias Peak, etc. In my opinion, Digi is the only way to go. Expensive, yes. But you step into any major studio on the planet and you’ll see Pro Tools. It’s rock solid and sounds incredible.

    2. Voice acting, do you normally get a batch of wave files from Blizzard studio and they want you to work with those?

    Yes. I will get large batches of edited voice files and will process them to sound the way they should. I have different processes for each group of characters…the Marines sound one way, radio briefings sound another and Nova has a sound all her own.

    3. What hardware do you use for voice editing?

    I use Pro Tools to get the regions (files) in the ball park. Sometimes this means adding a little EQ or compression or simply a global gain change to get them to healthy levels. Then I use Bias Peak to trim them nice and tight and for the final mastering.

    4. What hardware do you use for recording sounds? Do you actually go out into the wild outdoors and record stuff?

    I use a Tascam DA-P1 DAT deck to do mobile recording with a variety of mics depending on what I’m doing. I absolutely get outdoors and record things. The only way to get a game to sound unique is to use unique sounds. We’ve all heard most of those library sounds a few times now and though they have their place, I like to roll my own.

    5. In Starcraft: Ghost, How much of sound effects are computer generated? And how much are real recordings? Elaborate.

    Some of the Protoss sounds are synth generated or some kind of other processing like granular synthesis, etc. The vast majority of what I’ve done to-date have been real-world sounds.

    1. What do you use for sound editing, voice editing and music editing? (Software wise)

    Digidesign Pro Tools and Bias Peak are my main tools. I use them for everything.

    1. Are you in any sort of sound editors organization? Let the Starcraft Modding Sound Editors(fans) know more about it in detail.

    I am a member of GANG, the Game Audio Network Guild (www.audiogang.org); but other than that, I am honestly just too busy to get involved in a lot of different organizations (though I’d love to).

    1. I think we would all die to know the exact specs of some of the Starcraft: Ghost voice effects. (This is probably restricted?)

    Not much to tell. Blizzard hired some real pros, they just do what they do and have great creative direction.

    2. How do you go about just cleaning up and preparing for recording a simple humanoid voice? Mention examples(units–Marines, Templar, Zealot, etc.):

    I didn’t record the voice, Blizzard handled that.

    3. How do you get realistic effects? I doubt you bang pots and pans together.

    I record things that make the types of sounds I want and combine them. It takes a lot of trial and error and often you have to leave something and come back to it if it’s just not working. It’s kind of like music….like a guitar solo. When you’re ripping a lead, your mind is slightly ahead of where you are playing. You know where you want to go and how you want that note to sound….when it happens, you go, “Ahhhh, that’s it”. Sound is the same. I see an animation and I instantly know how it should sound. The tough part is matching what’s in my head. That’s where experience comes in handy. Like a chef who knows what two things make a nice spicy sauce, I have my bag of tricks. Still, there’s often nothing better than a fresh take on something. I often run my sounds by friends and colleagues.

    1. Any internet sites with forums you can recommend that contain all your sound guys, from where we can learn and interact, even talk to for advice?

    Check out GANG, the Game Audio Network Guild. If it’s not there, you will find out where to look for it.

    Advice on how to make it into the industry

    2. I hear that you did not have a specific College education for this line of work. How exactly did you get in then? How can a young guy, like any of the fans, make it into LucasArt, BioWare and Blizzard? –This is to show fans that they don’t need to spend thousands on a College degree to be a professional in the industry. You are the role model with a great career and testimony. All you need is the talent and the guts.

    Oh boy…well…there is nothing that prepares you for life like a college education. But you are correct, I did not study sound design or anything related to it. In Junior High and High School I played with synths and ganged tape decks together to make my own poor man’s multi-track recorder. In college I was in a band (and still am to this day) with my cousin and we did all kinds of sequencing. I also saw many films and would notice the details of the sound. When I graduated I worked for several Real Estate developers and was miserable. I was a stock broker with Merrill Lynch for a year, got my series 7 license and I was miserable. I even went to law school briefly and was also miserable. I ended up getting a waiting/bartending job and pursued my passion at the time which was recording, mixing and playing music.

    I worked in several studios (for free) to get exposure. I bought a bunch of gear and recorded bands on my own. I wanted a job at Lucasarts and eventually found my way in as a temp in product support. I quickly advanced and got hired into the Voice department and from there, the Sound department where I absorbed everything I could. I’m sure I am being too modest so I should add that I obviously had some talent and a good ear. I kept working on numerous titles before leaving to form my own company with Clint Bajakian who was a real pioneer in game audio and a mentor of mine while at Lucasarts. I really enjoyed working there, but I wanted more variety…and I got it. You know what they say, be careful what you ask for….

    2. If you could go back, how would you have changed your approach to getting into the industry?

    Hmmmm…..I don’t look back. I am happy with everything I got to experience, the good and the bad.

    3. Will recent technologies influence how to get noticed? Is internet a good way? Or maybe game developers hardly need new fresh sound engineers anymore, because they have all they need with Veteran engineers?

    Just be persistent and get good with whatever tools you can get your hands on. I scored all the cinematics for Outlaws with a 4 channel Deck system on a Mac Quadra 650. You need to really push sometimes, and you may not always get paid….but if you stick to it, and you’re good, you’ll make it.

    4. Do game designers find you, or do you find game designers in this phase of your career? Who contacts who?

    Both really. I am fortunate to be friends with a lot of my clients. Sound is really a collaborative art to me and I enjoy the back and forth that often results in a great soundtrack. I am not one of those sound guys who knows everything and who take complete ownership. I’ll stand my ground when I need to, but you never know when that next brilliant idea will get suggested.

    5. Have you ever considered writing some tutorials on getting started in sound creation? The web is strangely silent on the topic.

    Yes, but it’s a lot of work and I tend to work 60+ hour weeks and I like to see my wife and son from time to time.

    1. Do you even have time for fun things with all this work. I hear you are working on 6 games at the moment!

    It’s all fun and I am lucky to be doing what I love to do. I am also lucky in that I work in my own studio, free from water coolers and senseless meetings. If I work a 10 hour day, it’s 9.5 hours of pure sound work. It also doesn’t hurt to be in a company with other people to share the heavy lifting. Still, I am pretty particular about what I am after and often can only get the sound I want by doing it myself.

    2. Do you have a lot of competition in the business?

    Absolutely and it keeps getting more intense. But I should add that a lot of the competition are my friends. I don’t play dirty pool…you win some, you lose some. It’s a business at the end of the day.

    3. Why haven’t movie directors contacted you more often?

    Movie directors don’t often play games. They also don’t move in the same circles game audio people are in (GDC, E3, etc)…though this is changing. I have done sound for quite a few short or independent films, but game audio is interesting in one respect. The skills we game audio folk rely on to score games are directly applicable to doing film work but it is not the same in reverse. While there are a lot of people who do both game and movie sound, most of the film people I have worked with had a tough time with the technical limitations of games. Short loops, 28 sample boundaries, memory budgets, sample rate conversion and the lack of a consistent linear playback can be overwhelming, even for those of us who do this every day. I should add that I like doing game sound. I like the challenges and I like the payoffs. If I wanted to do film sound, I would do film sound.

    4. Have you ever done a voice acting yourself or played a role as an actor? :)

    Only in small roles, like a single line for a computer or something. My recorded voice sucks!

    5. Have you ever checked out the modding of games, and what do you think of their sound level?

    To be honest, I haven’t…but I would love to if I had the time.

    6. What are your favorite games?

    This is like asking what my favorite song is, it’s just not a question I can answer. There’s too many.

    Well thanks for sharing many tips and info to the fans. Many Modding Sound Editors out there are grateful to sharing questions with you and get some feedback that can teach them more about your career and that may direct them through the right tracks into the Game industry. We appreciate your time and dedication during the interview, and will keep tabs on your future projects and your sound editing organization.

    Helpful links for Modders and Sound Editors:

    Digidesign Pro Tools TDM system

    Below are links with information, and details about this tool. You will find links to download it too.

    List of Hardware and Software you may find in a Studio:

    World of Warcraft Fan Site Chat Transcript

    Blizzplanet assisted to the Fan Sites Program Chat with Blizzard Public Relations Department to talk about World of Warcraft. The Blizzard employees attending to the chat were

    Donna Anthony (Katricia), World of Warcraft Community Manager.
    World of Warcraft Development Team: Mark Kern, Rob Pardo, Shane Dabiri, and Jeffrey Kaplan

    Public Relations: Lisa Bucek (Public Relations Director), Gil Shif (Public Relations Assistant Manager), George Wang (Public Relations Fan Sites Coordinator)

    Web Team: Geoff Fraizer, Blaine Whittle, and Mike Hein.

    Special Guest: Mike Morhaime, President.

    Blizzplanet was represented by MEDIEVALDRAGON, Dark Nemesis, Stephen and Yitten. We arrived 2 hours before the chat to find many Fan Sites waiting there for hours as in preparing for a big event. I chatted with OneMadOgre from WorldofWar.net, found MikiTitan from Wowlands, WowCentral, WOW-Ra, Demolishman, WarcraftGaming.com, Ogresnet.com, Wow.Stratics, Wow.Warcry, JudgeHype and many others. Something we could notice was that the channel limit was still 40 chatters. As you may guess, many fan sites were in transit hitting that button many times trying to get into the channel in Battle.net US East.

    Some time later, everyone were in silence as Lisa Bucek entered the channel. The Channel limit was increased once Robert the SysOp set up the limit. Suddenly a wave of Fan Site Program members came in like an avalanche. From 40 members, the room increased to 150 members. And introduction of the Public Relations staff initiated. That said, the Questions and Answers were led by Lisa Bucek and Katricia, with some intervention by George Wang and Gil Shif—who were behind reading some of the submitted questions in the background and shared few answers.

    The World of Warcraft chat revealed many questions that covered the following topics:

  • Quests
  • Tradeskills
  • PvE Combat
  • Warcraft Lore
  • The World
  • Dungeons
  • Instancing
  • Cities
  • User Interface
  • Transportation (player mounts, gryphon taxis, boats/zeppelins)

    FAN SITE CHAT TRANSCRIPT:

    [LisaB.PR] Hey everyone, good to see you – we’ll start the chat now – fire away

    [Katricia] Hiyas all … Good to see you all here this afternoon smile

    Q: If a group of people enter an instaced dungeon, how does a new player join that group or enter their dungeon?

    Katricia: Basically the group can invite that player into their party and when the player enters the instance they will automatically be in the same instance as that party.

    Q: What sort of information the map going to display?

    Katricia: The minimap will show various points of interest such as towns and major cities. You will also be able to see members of your group and if they are out of range, you’ll get directional arrows so you can easily find them. For the world map, you can see the entire world at once, half the world, or zoom into paticular zones which will show areas that you’ve already discovered. You’ll also be able to place a rally point on the map which group members will see.  This will be used for navagational purposes.

    Q: Will I be able to place flags down on the minimap to mark locations if I wish to return to that place later?

    Katricia: You can ping the minimap to make group members aware of a particular area. You will be able to make notes on the world map including key locations later.

    Q: How does pathing work? In other MMORPGs problems have resulted from players being able to affect NPCs without retaliation and viceversa.  What are the solutions to these problems in WoW? Summoning, warping , line of sight, etc...

    Katricia: We have special creature AI so they can’t be exploited. Creatures know when they are being exploited and go into “evade” mode and return to their spawn point.

    Q: Will players be able to customize their interface?

    Katricia: Yes, you can drag and resize chat windows and later on we hope to enable dragging for other windows in the game as well.  For those more technical types you can completely customize and change the interface using XML and Lua scripting.  We expect users to create custom interfaces for PvP, trade skilling, guild skins, specific classes etc.

    Q: How many trade skills can a player master on an individual character?

    Katricia: A player will have to pick and chose as they will not have the skill points to take everything. Skills can be “untrained” though, so there’s no worry about picking the wrong one and being stuck with it.

    Q: How will the trading interface work?

    Katricia: You must be side-by-side. The interface is designed to be as secure as possible. A similar interface is used to provide a secure system for enchanting and unlocking boxes etc. This is cool because in other games you actually have to hand over your items to the enchanter, who may not be honest. In WoW, the enchanter never has physical possesion of your item.

    Q: Can you give any comparisons, or lack of, between the drop system in WoW and D2?

    Katricia: Like D2, WoW supports a form of random item generation. Unique items can be created by the system such as “Sword of Life-stealing” or “Breast-Plate of Stamina”. We take the basic item like the sword, and the system randomly combines it with a modifier such as life-stealing.

    Q: We’ve seen from an older screenshot that the Dark Portal has been rebuilt (after being destroyed in War2 expansion pack). Can you give us any background on why it’s back or what role it’ll play in the game?

    Katricia: The foundation of the Dark Portal was never destroyed even though the connection between the worlds was severed; and while it is no longer open, there is a legend of a ritual contained within Medivh’s spellbook which might one day allow powerful Warlocks to open a portal.

    Q: What happens when a player fails to complete a quest? Will there be and option to try the quest again?

    Katricia: Yes, players can always go back to the quest giver and try again.

    Q: Can you tell us more details about group spells and/or rituals?

    Katricia: The warlock has the ritual of summoning. With three people in a group, the warlock will cast a portal that two others must touch which will summon a distant party member to that location.

    Q: Will it be possible to journey into Outland (or not if in the initial release planner later)?

    Katricia: Ahhh … We’ve got to keep some secrets smile

    Q: Will there be any class-related quests that take you to enemy towns and/or cities? (For example, can a rogue get to sneak in, steal stuff, and sneak out for a quest)?

    Katricia: Yes, there are some quests in the game that take you into enemy towns.

    Q: Will the quests progress the Warcraft storyline, and can we expect to see the storyline drastically affect the Warcraft game world as time progresses?

    Katricia: We have a story planned over the next few years which affects the world in dramatic ways.

    Q: For people who have friends that want to play together from the start, but play different races, is it going to be easy and/or quick to start playing with your friends as soon as possible?

    Katricia: For some races its easier than for others. For example the Humans and Dwarves have easy transit between their two cities while the Night Elves are in a distant land.

    Q: Will there be a variety of fish to catch while fishing? Will there be any special items, treasure chests, or SOS bottles that are able to be fished up?

    Katricia: Yes, we are even planning in having seasonal fish—and they can tie into quests and other tradeskills. You can also fish up things like lock boxes, unique armors, and other things.

    Q: How will players use mounts? Will they be available through a summonalbe skill, or merchant (ie. stables). How long will they last and are there different levels for mounts?

    Katricia: Mounts become availlable to each race at a high level. We also have other specialty mounts … Warlocks for example can summon a Nightmare. Mounts can be called when needed by the owner.

    Q: Will Hunters who train in bows and rifles always be better than say a Warrior who has trainned to the same level of same weapon?

    Katricia: They will very likely be very similar in skills, however; the Hunters will have additional abilities with those weapons that are unique to their class. This will ultimately make them more powerful with ranged weapons.

    Q: Will there be “named” or “unique” monsters in the World or Warcraft? If so, will they appear randomly or will they only spawn under certain circumstances?

    Katricia: Yes there are many unique monsters in Wow. Some will appear randomly, while others will only spawn when certain conditions have been met.

    Q: Will items be crafted in Wow be more useful to other players than the crafted items are in other RPGs?

    Katricia: Throughout your career as a crafter, there will always be items which you can create that will be the best items a player can use at that level. For example, at level 40 the best bracer might come from a blacksmith; while at level 45, the best brace might come from a quest. There are also a number of consumable items that can be created such as armor patches and sharpening stones. Tradeskillers can sell th
    ese consumable items to players who will use them to improve their existing armor and items.

    Q: Will players be able to recreate the same item over and over as long as they get the r
    ight materials?

    Katricia: Yes smile

    Q: Will there be a follow option to have your character automatically follow your group leaders?

    Katricia: Currently you can follow anyone not just the group leader.

    [GilS.PR] Hey everyone, that was the last question. However, we have a special announcement for you, so hold on a sec’, and I’ll turn it back over to Katricia.

    [Katricia] Just wanted to thank you all for coming today and wanted to let yas know that all of the sites in the Fansite Program have automatically been entered into our beta program …

    [Katricia] this includes international fan sites.

    [Katricia] Also, we will be handing out additional beta accounts to fan sites to use for contests … (more on this at a later time).

    [Katricia] Thanks again for joining us .. yas all have a great night smile

    [GilS.PR] Thanks everybody. Katricia has left the building wink See you next time.


    World of Warcraft Pre-Beta Images Here
    World of Warcraft Alpha Images Here
    Official Blizzard World of Warcraft site Here