Monday, May 24, 2010

Starcraft 2 Map Editor will use Galaxy (Blizzard's nerfed version of C)



I recently stumbled upon this video showing the power of Starcraft 2's new map editor. Blizzard intends to have a "map store" much like the Apple iTunes app store for people to buy and download maps to play. Based on a little bit of research, it turns out SC2's map editor will be using Blizzard's version of C called Galaxy. This is actually pretty awesome compared to their older games.

Warcraft III Map Editor JASS is terribad


Warcraft III's map editor uses JASS which terribly fails in all angles. Firstly, its context free, allowing developers to run rampant with their spaghetti code. Secondly, it's infested with memory leaks. Thirdly, it has the shittiest, dumb down syntax that you'll ever see.

Let's check this out:
function Trig_JASS_test_Actions takes player p returns nothing
 local integer i=0
 loop
   exitwhen i==90
   call DisplayTextToPlayer(p, 0,0, "Hello, world! "+I2S(i))
   set i=i+1
 endloop
endfunction

"takes player p returns nothing". Terribad. Go away.

Wishlist for Starcraft 2 Map Editor


Easy to use API for Data Stores

Even if Blizzard just sell hosting for a database on Battle.net, this would allow map editors to essentially create persistent stats for players. For example, in the 3rd person shooter, what if the map editor expanded towards providing rankings for each player? I ran into this problem while building a World of Warcraft addon. All the persistent data would be saved to a SavedVariables.lua file, which is absolute shit because clients that use the addon won't be able to synchronize their data unless they redownload the file from some shady website.

Verbose usage statistics for Maps (much like Omniture, but for maps)

As many of you know, starting out with a Map may be fun but to really achieve success you have to keep constantly measuring its performance. If you find that certain players like one aspect of your map, perhaps you could invest more time into that particular feature so that you can keep your customers happy. If you're a sole developer trying to make money off the Battle.net Map Store, you would definitely agree with for this reporting software.

Not so shitty debugging tools

The xcode tools provided for iphone app development allows developers to constantly monitor their application's performance in real time. Subsequently, you can easily fuzz out memory leaks with these kinds of tools.

Each update to the Map should not charge the user

If a user on Battle.net decides to purchase your map for $5 USD, they shouldn't have to repurchase it when you roll out hotfixes.

Fast approval process for deploying new maps

We all know about Apple's retarded approval process for applications. As a developer, we need to be able to deploy hotfixes or major patches without having to wait 6 months for some asshole to approve it.

Open source MIT Maps if they are freely downloadable

All maps that are free should have their source released to the public. I believe this won't happen because of their digital download business model; could you imagine if Apple iTunes Apps had their source released? :) It's all good though--that's what de-compilers are for.

Can't wait for the SC2 Map Editor.

Cheers,
Jaime
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