Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Industry Exploration: The Story of Warcraft

    While browsing this morning I stumbled across this video posted by the staff at Blizzard Entertainment in November to celebrate ten years of World of Warcraft. The video charts the history of the game and includes accounts of the developers who recount fond memories while desigining the game.

    What intrigued me about this video and what drew me is the insight it gave into the game's continual pipeline: The developers go through the history of World of Warcraft's development including the pipeline of the game such as early concepts, level design, boss and character design and the building of the lore. It was interesting to discover that the designs of characters such as Illidan Stormrage and Uther the Lightbringer started from unused character designs that came from other (often cancelled) projects. It goes to show that some truly iconic things can come out of the most unlikely doodles. The Pandaren for instance; While many forum threads over the internet accuse the design of intentional pandering to the Chinese market, one developer recounts how it all started off with a custom christmas present for his daughter of a drawing of him and her as panda-people. It was adorable, charming and yet amazing how that one loving doodle turned into one of Warcraft's more iconic races.

    I say "continual" when referringto the pipeline because the resources shown includes content from the most recent expansion. I can empathise with the comment of "120 models later" regarding the outcome of the desire to recycle model assets for Garrisons, as while I'm not sure if there really are 120 new models ingame for garrisons alone, this definitely reminds me of the thumbnailing and production art process that I am becoming accustomed to doing for my course projects.

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