Props on the game - it is one of my all time favourites.
Cool thing was it played nicely on my Pentium-II with a Matrox G550 video card which is famous for being great at 2D an very bad at 3D graphics.
I played a considerable amount of 3D games on the cards listed prior to the Geforce256's release.
Hardware Transform and Lighting was nice but it wasn't as if the industry didn't exist prior to it's release.
Modern 3D with modern graphics cards already existed in 1998 with games like Unreal and Half-Life, imho, on the Riva TNT (not the Voodoo with its 16-bit color ;)).
Of course indeed there still was a larger variety of types of graphics cards and drivers then so indeed more work.
What do you mean? It was pretty standard for a game to work on select few(3dfx, nvidia and maybe ATI if you were lucky) graphic chips and glitch/crash on the rest. You often waited 6-12 months for fixed drivers. Original Unreal just crashed on stock Nvidia TNT2 drivers https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eFqqsYoT4hk
Pre-3D graphics cards I really don't remember having issues like modern games seem to.
Once 3D graphics cards first became a things, maybe I just got lucky with my choices (Voodoo, then Voodoo 2,IIRC).
I'm not saying I had no issues, and downloading large patches over dialup wasn't exactly fun, but I recall bugs being far less frequent.
How times have changed. When I hear about an experienced engineer at Google, Facebook, or Microsoft pulling down $500k today, I barely bat an eye.
Years later I revisited the game and discovered it had music! Our old sound card had not been compatible.
The author did an actual diary and interviewed people back while the game was being produced and immediately after it shipped. He wrote most of his book back in 2006 but didn't publish it until this year.
The QA manager came out of his office one day with a critical announcement. He was angry that we started taking a more quantitative approach to QA, producing lateral results and accomplishing little to nothing. Remember guys you’re number one task is to have fun. This was quite the eye opener for me. So wait I’m supposed to work at Blizzard and have fun? That just didn’t seem right so I just focused on the graphics.
People would come into QA with an ambition to join another budding internal team like cinematic’s and sound and did their best in QA to showcase their work ethic and ambition.
Team members were often treated to company goodies and publicly acknowledged for hard work.
In short we felt important.
I've always been quietly impressed how well war3's JASS and map editor works as an introduction to programming and how games work. The sc2 editor is too complex for teenage fun IMO.
Basically a lot of the maps were using a buffer overflow in the scripting to read and write all kinds of internal data structures in the game engine. If you're rewriting a game from scratch, how can you possibly make the new engine bug-compatible with the original to this extent? A single data structure's layout or a single variable's location changing will break everything.
I wonder whether there are any similar landmines in Warcraft 3?
Well you have the original source so you can derive the memory map and then just create an artificial "buffer overflow area" where the maps can write to that you then copy into the actual game data.
> Unfortunately, we did not have private or public symbols for StarCraft 1.16.1.
And then there are all kinds of complications that make the naive approach insufficient. Ok, you have a static memory map. But that's not really enough when the buffer overflows are being used to poke at dynamically allocated data structures (e.g. linked lists and GUI elements).
So you need to basically emulate the full original game and constantly sync the state (in both directions) between the emulation and the real game.
If you find a recording, I'd love to see it too.
On the one hand, one of the greatest games of all time gets remade. And I feel humbled that we're able to make giants over decades — Star Trek, Cobol, Warcraft have my respect.
But on the other hand, it also speaks of a dire lack of creativity as we speak, or boldness, maybe both. The general trend of remakes is also about fixing problems we too often created for ourselves in the first place..
— cough DRM — cough solo/LAN requiring online servers cough —
Ahh, why can't it simply be WC4, all new and shiny and yet with better mechanics and player/customer freedom than any previous installment? I'm a simple man, I just ask for evolution.
Still confused whether I should be thrilled or disheartened or just 'meh'.
Most remakes and remasters I'm usually just "meh". But every once in a while a truly special one comes along that thrills me.
I'm not sure if WC3 is one of the special ones; but I am fairly certain that the new Zelda: Link's Awakening for Switch is! Another special one that thrilled me was AM2R (Metroid 2 remake).
Starcraft 2 is still quite good, though, IMO, and they still pay a lot of attention to keeping it as balanced as possible. I still find the high-level tournaments very entertaining to watch.
Once in a half decade we get a AAA game with a novel concept or a new IP (Overwatch, Fortnite maybe?), but even sequels are starting to just feel like polishing phases or DLCs on a tested IP and gameplay formula.
The indies used to look to the AAA for inspiration and something to aspire to, but the tables have turned in a way exemplifying the capitalism and diluting the art of the medium.
I started with the Quake TF and now still pay TF2 sometimes. Basically been playing the same game for ~20 years.
Perhaps they're testing the waters for a Warcraft 4? It's been since 2004 when Warcraft stopped being an RTS, yet Classic WoW made a lot of people return.
I'm slightly hopeful.
I started working on a new custom map, which now has support for Lua and all kinds of new natives like UI natives that allow you to completely customize the UI.
Unfortunately, the debugging tools are abysmal. There is currently a player desync happening in multiplayer in my map (somehow different players disagree with their local emulation), but I am given absolutely zero information about it. No stack traces, there's no way to add breakpoints or logs, prints slow things down to a crawl and so aren't really reasonable to try to debug with either. I've done manual tests slowly by removing parts of code, but due to the random nature of the desync, it's really challenging to solve anything this way. Even if I remove some modules and can't get a desync anymore, doesn't mean it's fixed - it's possible I just never hit the specific circumstance that causes it.
Whenever errors occur during load, I just get an error dialog with an empty box. Whenever errors occur during runtime, it just stifles the error and continues without logging or warning or anything. Lua has `debug.traceback()` but it seems Blizzard has prevented calling it. It's like trying to code without a compiler, without stack traces and without a debugger. Very challenging.
I'm extremely excited for reforged, but I really hope there are better debugging tools added for Lua (perhaps for JASS as well, although I'm not as familiar with the need there). If anyone from Blizzard is reading this, I'd say that's my number one concern right now.
As for desyncs there is https://www.hiveworkshop.com/threads/desync-checker-for-jass...
The archive contains text files which are very helpful in understanding which functions are responsible for desyncs.
As for the desync checker, I've been down that rabbit hole - I removed every async method from the codebase and still had desync issues. I am starting to suspect its an issue with some new native that I am not thinking of, but it's a very slow process to track it down, since I need to get ~5 random players in my game every time to test it, and even if no desync happens it doesn't really mean its solved.
Because of that I made a function for trigger creation which wraps the provided action in a pcall.
Warcraft was the first RTS I ever played and the first game I remember going to a computer store to buy. I remember seeing the box and that was the game I wanted. I read through the manual, eagerly awaited the never released Warcraft adventures and played Warcraft over and over. When the second one came out it blew my mind. It made everything about the first one better and expanded the story pretty well. It introduced other races, increased unit speed drastically, added aerial and naval combat, got rid of the ridiculous road system and just felt like such an awesome improvement. It was the first game I played over lan. I remember playing with my cousins and my brother when we got a newer computer and had the old one hooked up still. It was amazing to me.
I never felt the same way about Warcraft 3. The 3d graphics were cool, though I didn't really like how cartoonish it all became, I enjoyed the additional races, but it didn't really feel the same. It felt like they took those really annoying maps from the first Warcraft where you had a hero and had to go through those dungeon cave things and made an entire game around it. I played through it all and the expansions, but I don't remember it as fondly. It may have just been that point in my life where I was becoming more disenchanted with video games overall, but the series is still one of those special ones to me. Even if I probably spent far more time with StarCraft and diablo 2. I was addicted to diablo 2 for a while, I can't play games like that any more.
The addition of heroes made early game harassment, specifically the sub-2 minute fastbuild archmage rush, possible and exciting, much more interesting than zergling-rushes.
It was a new game, WC2 was great but it was chess, all sides exactly equal in all cases (except I think 1-2 ogre-mage vs paladin spells). SC was an incredible feat because each race was distinct yet balanced. WC3 was just as much a feat because they maintained that balance (with notable exceptions, like the year or so when sorc-rushes just dominated all levels of competitive play) with the introduction of super-units.
Also WC3 is definitely RTS more than RPG, I mean one of the first basics one learns is peasant pathing with farms to optimize gold-flow... or fog-of-war manipulation to distract the enemy by popping a single unit in and out of their sightlines while you're busy elsewhere... If you watch pros playing in first-person camera-mode you'll see that 50% of the action during battle is base-management. Battle could conceivably be considered more distraction than main-thrust.
For whatever reason, while I love watching others play 3D MMORPG, I personally prefer to play 2D or 2.5D (Diablo 2, Dungeon Keeper, old school FF Tactics).
I love the UI, mechanics of Polytopia on iOS. I'm eagerly awaiting a Final Fantasy Tactics with a similar touch-centric UI.
A sorely missed feature that makes a game really feel like it's yours after purchase rather than just on lease until the servers shut down.
I'd be happily corrected about this though.
This summer with a group of friends we wanted to play Battlefied 2 (2005), official support for that game ended years ago, and even with the unofficial patches, we couldn't play in a fully offline LAN, the game needs to ping a specific server to enable, even local, multiplayer.
Not that this is really new, but thanks to MTX it's been pretty much-raining money for them, massively rewarding them for these anti-consumer methods.
By now stuff that used to be reserved to F2P skinnerware, has slowly been creeping its way into full-priced games as "extra" monetization.
Add Google Stadia, with every big name in gaming following the trail, and people won't even be owning the hardware the game is running on anymore. It's all quite dystopian..
If you go to the official BF2 website (I was surprised it still exists and is hosted) and click on "Buy", they redirect you to the 2016 "Battlefield 1" game.
...no EA, that's not how it works, then don't have any money from me at all.
My friends and I often play BF2 remotely on a vLAN through a VPN, so we are quite used to BF2 networks tricks, and I thought we could trick the game, no luck.
EDIT: I remember now what the problem was, running a co-op local game. They'd allow you to do a LAN game, but not with bots. A friend of mine played it locally in single-player, and I'd use my online account to connect with IP, a button which was only unlocked if you used an online account. You may be able to work around it by specifying the IP address to connect to in the windows shortcut for launching the game.
EDIT2: I may or may have not been using a crack at the time, not sure if that has anything to do with requiring an online connection...
I'm not sure how they reworked the entire thing, so I'm guessing you might find the source-code/reverse-engineered stuff somewhere.
"Project Reality: Battlefield 2 is a free-to-download single and multiplayer game modification for the Battlefield 2 (BF2) retail Microsoft Windows PC game. Project Reality installs alongside your existing Battlefield 2 game installation, allowing both the original game and Project Reality to be played separately without conflict."
At my last LAN party, we were six people in a room without internet connection . I brought a bunch of open-source games and ZIP archives of classic games with No-CD patches and put them on a plain HTTP server for distribution. We mostly played WC3 (with the original Dota map) and Widelands (a Settlers 2 clone), but everyone's favorite was Empty Epsilon (the OSS clone of Star Trek Bridge Simulator).
 #Neuland :)
Proto-MOBAs and tower defense games were basically singlehandedly popularized by WC3, of course. Some of the WC3 TDs, like Wintermaul Wars, were way more complex than the mobile games you see today, though -- they involved strategies like building truly gigantic mazes to expose enemies to more tower fire and precisely angled walls that took advantage of quirks in the pathing AI to confuse enemies and keep them in the kill zone juuust long enough. Some of them were really unique, too. Battle Ships combined MOBA mechanics with the auto-firing of a tower defense game. Skibi's Castle TD had a ton of unique Mario-Party-style minigames that you'd play against the other players between waves.
There was also a whole genre of reverse tower defense games, where you would buy and upgrade tons of units that would automatically march into the middle to battle enemy units, until one pushed far enough to take out the enemy's bases. Or until there were so many units on the map that the game crashed. But what a spectacle it was.
There were games that were sort of a mashup of RTSes and Betrayl/Secret Hitler, in that every player built villages but one was secretly a "werewolf" whose goal was to convert all the other players.
There was a game called Darwin's Island and other similar ones in an "evolution" genre, which were basically prototypes of Spore.
There were games similar to Civ/Risk played on a map of the world.
RPGs based on popular books and movies were super common, and some were as as good as or better than missions in the WC3 standard RPG campaign. Some the multiplayer ones incorporated a system where you could serialize your stats as a code that you could copy and paste into the next game you played to start were you left off.
There was a CTF-style game called Tree Tag where one player was an infernal who had to tag the other players (treants), who could build defenses and countermeasures as they hid. Then if they got tagged, they'd be sent to jail, where other players could rescue them.
Board games like chess and checkers were common too.
There were platformers like Run Kitty Run.
Even micro-MMOs like Life in the City where you basically just hung out, got a "job", and played some resource gathering minigame. Some of them were crazy complicated, several-megabyte maps with some players playing as institutions and others as citizens. Of course there were fantasy and sci fi themed ones as well.
The best part was that there was zero quality control, because anyone could edit anyone's map, so you constantly encountered variations and remixes of popular maps. Apart from a handful of very popular main maps, you often had no idea what you were going to get.
Absolutely the best part. It was so easy to modify maps and just try stuff. You could play a brand new game every night. So much creative flourishing, constantly inventing multiple genres. You might even give it credit for AutoChess since the Dota mod was inspired by a similar Pokemon WC3 map.
It looks like the most comprehensive map archive site went down and never came back up -- all those maps will be lost in time.
epicwar.com's first map was uploaded in Feb 2005. And now there's wc3maps.com, which automatically archives ~all hosted maps.
One that you didn't mention and I used to play a lot was Hero Line maps. Those were super fun as well. Thanks for the throw-back!
Unfortunately, a lot of people started "protecting" their maps, which made it a lot more difficult to truly edit other maps (still easy to insert cheats and somewhat easy to fix bugs).
It's a bit like Tetris, in that the game proceeds in levels. Each level, a wave of enemies would run from their spawn point to the centre of the map. All you can do is build defense towers to kill them off as they run through your build area.
Most waves are ground units, and you can arrange your towers in such a way that those units must spend more time walking through your area, which means each of your towers can fire more times. Every so often there would be an air unit round, and this maze approach doesn't work. Some towers have special attributes, like slowing an enemy unit with cold damage.
I’m very excited for this - so much creativity flowed out of that map maker - it created (or rather, popularized) multi billion dollar genres in MOBAs and tower defense. Hope wintermaul wars gets popular - that was one of my favorites.
"Restoring History: Creating WoW Classic Panel Recap"
Previously they said they weren't interested in any remasters because they didn't think anyone would play it.
It's a nice simple RTS game. We wouldn't be where we're at now in the genre without it!
I would like to be able to play games on LAN and not be required to connect to the web all the time.
You are the product for the shareholders & CEOs.
"Please don't complain that a submission is inappropriate. If a story is spam or off-topic, flag it. "