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Learn how to copy, and know when to steal

There's nothing wrong with copying the work of other games, or other genres, the important thing is to know why you're copying, and do something interesting with your own product. "Look at the game you are thinking of copying, the one that got all those YouTube views, and look at why it worked, the decisions and choices, the objectives," Volume and Thomas Was Alone developer Mike Bithell wrote in a recent blog post. "How the surface of the game achieved the outcome, and then come up with something different that may duplicate some of that success." He describes a meeting where his then boss asked how to make a Minecraft game, and instead Bithell sat down and made a list of what Minecraft did well. He was focused on why it was a success, instead of simply looking to rip off the topical...


Heroes of the Storm's newest character plucked from World of Warcraft's comic

The latest hero to join Blizzard's upcoming "hero brawler" Heroes of the Storm is Rehgar Earthfury, an Orc shaman heralding from World of Warcraft's comic book series. Blizzard shared a new video today showing comic character (and action figure) Rehgar in action. He will be primarily useful as a support character, with high survivability and utility and with his damage dealing and complexity in the middle range for Heroes' fighters. His main abilities are Bloodlust — a move that will temporarily boost his and his allies' attack and movement speeds — and Ancestral Healing — an ability that can heal one or multiple allies at once. Rehgar's unique hero trait is Ghost Wolf, which allows him to turn into a fast-moving wolf ghost to chase down opponents or quickly flee a battle. He will...


Heroes of the Storm is getting a new battleground

Blizzard is planning to introduce a new battleground to the alpha of its multiplayer online battle arena game Heroes of the Storm, the company confirmed in its latest blog post. Garden of Terror is a new three-lane battleground that features a day and night cycle, says the studio. "When night falls, the night horrors will come out in the garden area of the Battleground and all normal mercenary camps will disappear. "Garden of Terror provides us with the opportunity to feature our dynamic lighting. During the night, we turn down the brightness of your hero's vision, so the map becomes much darker. We recommend players to stay alert and keep your allies close, night is the perfect time for enemies to strike and take advantage of your reduced visibility." The nature of these map...


Blizzard working to make its characters more inclusive, says CEO

Blizzard is working to make the characters that populate its games and their stories more inclusive, according to a letter from CEO Mike Morhaime republished on the blog of one concerned fan. "Starcunning" initially wrote to Morhaime to express dissatisfaction over when he feels is Blizzard's lack of attention to its storytelling and character creation. He cited a talk at the MIT Media Lab given by former chief creative office Rob Pardo, in which Pardo expressed that diversifying the company's games or creating different portrayals of women and non-male characters wasn't a Blizzard value. Starcunning also cited an interview with Heroes of the Storm game director Dustin Browder, who responded to a question about some of the costuming for the game's female characters by saying Blizzard...


How Blizzard created and recreated Heroes of the Storm's talent system

The original system for customizing characters in Heroes of the Storm, developer Blizzard Entertainment's multiplayer online battle arena, was so generic that it forced the developer to nerf items so they "wouldn't break some heroes," according to director Dustin Browder. Instead of an in-game store where players bought universal items that worked for all characters, Blizzard settled on creating customization options unique to each warrior. It was more difficult to develop but also more interesting to play. Must Read Blizzard set out to make a StarCraft mod, and instead reinvented gaming's most popular genre "In the end, we decided that a 'one-size-fits-all' customization system was not the right approach for our game," Browder wrote. "We could do so much more by...


Blizzard tweaking Heroes of the Storm's bonus XP with Underdog Bonus

Heroes of the Storm developer Blizzard Entertainment is experimenting with the way bonus experience works in the game: The studio is shelving "trickle XP" in favor of an "Underdog Bonus" in the next patch, it announced today. According to Heroes of the Storm community manager Spyrian, Blizzard has received "a lot of positive feedback" about trickle XP, as well as "quite a few comments" from players who aren't thrilled with its current implementation. So the studio is trying a different tack by replacing trickle XP with the Underdog Bonus. Standard trickle XP isn't going away completely; both teams will still earn a small amount of XP at the same rate over the course of a match. But as of the upcoming patch, the rate won't increase for teams who are behind by three or more levels. T...


Heroes of the Storm's alpha going global with upcoming update

Heroes of the Storm will welcome players outside of North America to the technical alpha thanks to an impending update, developer Blizzard Entertainment announced on the game's blog today. Thanks to the update, players from Europe, Latin America, Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand will be able to enter the Technical Alpha. Global players will be able to make in-game purchases, though the English client will be deployed in all regions until Blizzard releases localized clients "in the coming months." Testing in China, Korea and Taiwan will follow the regions above. Those interested in playing the Mac and Windows PC game can opt in using the Beta Profile page in their account. For more on Blizzard's MOBA, be sure to read our recent impressions. You can...


Heroes of the Storm could be getting a founder's pack

Blizzard's hero brawler Heroes of the Storm could receive a Founder's Pack, according to statements on the game's launcher spotted by Heroes Nexus. The Founder's Pack is said to offer users access to the game's upcoming beta, as well as unlock an in-game wolf mount made of "solid gold". While a screenshot of the apparent pack is available online, the Founder's Pack so far links to a 404 page on the European store. Polygon has reached out to Blizzard for further comment and will update as it comes. You can check out our Friends List discussion on the game below.


Erasing your audience isn't 'fun': The false choice between diversity and enjoyment

Rob Pardo of Blizzard Entertainment gave a recent talk at the MIT Media Lab emphasizing that Blizzard seeks to offer "epic entertainment experiences" and that rather than focusing on narrative, they center on fun and gameplay. He asserts that Blizzard sees the reputation of their brand as extremely important, and views the respect the brand has accrued as a currency. Nintendo had released its first, highly troubling statement about same-sex relationships in Tomodachi Life earlier that same day. As Pardo delivered his talk and continually hammered home Blizzard's emphasis on "gameplay," he specifically mentioned Blizzard in opposition to "narrative-focused" developers such as Bioware and Naughty Dog. Yet Bioware is one of the few triple-A developers that is even attempting (if...


Blizzard explains why Heroes of the Storm isn't Dota for babies

The problem is that the game has already earned something of a reputation for being a "dumbed down" version of the MOBA genre among genre snobs, and there is some worry that the game won't reward long term, high-level play. It’s an accusation that Blizzard is ready to address head on. This is an old problem for Blizzard "Honestly, Hearthstone and World of Warcraft went through exactly this same thing. When Hearthstone came out people said it's baby's first card game, it doesn't have the depth of a card game like Magic or whatever," Dustin Browder, the game director on Heroes of the Storm, told Polygon. "But I think we're seeing a different tone. Certainly people who have enjoyed [Hearthstone] are finding a lot of depth." People also argued that, because you didn’t lose a level when...

Heroes of the Storm Releases
North America
  • Windows
    • Publisher Blizzard Entertainment
    • Developer Blizzard Entertainment
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