SC2 Coders Challenge – Geeks Only Need ApplyStephen Chin | December 2, 2010
I announced the Starcraft 2 Coders Challenge at Devoxx in Belgium. This is a little off topic for my coding blog, but an interesting aside for anyone who enjoys Real Time Strategy (RTS) gaming.
As a genre, I find RTS games interesting for the following reasons:
- Matches are online, testing your skills and wit against other human opponents
- The matches are relatively short (~15 minutes on average), but extremely intense
- After you get the mechanics down, winning is all about strategy
- The options for build order, troop composition, and tactics make it a great discussion topic
The original Starcraft came out back in 2000 and was a huge hit. In the past decade it has become one of the most popular online games in the world, selling over 9.5 million copies. Just under half of those were sold to South Korea where Starcraft and Pro-gaming has become close to a national sport. One of the features of the game is a 3 race system with hundreds of patches and tweaks that have gone into game balance to improve the playability of matches.
I mostly swore off games many years ago to increase my development productivity (as a developer there is a limited amount of focused time you can spend in front of the computer). However, with the release of Starcraft 2 I started picking up matches between coding sessions as a mental break. At this point I am probably one of the few people who has bought the game and never tried the single player campaign. However, I am quite skilled at multiplayer matches with a diamond gaming rank.
The first person to take me down will get their match featured on my blog (I promise not to broadcast losing matches).
As a teaser, here is a short webcast of a recent random match-up I played online (complete with some announcer voiceovers explaining what is happening):
View in High Definition
At some point I will probably post some information on how to capture, convert, and post high quality videos. This was non-trivial for various reasons, but will come in handy with some other coding related videos I plan to post soon (Visage on Android anyone?).
Let the battle begin!