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Monday, June 15, 2009

SC2 Q&A Batch 52

For all up and coming STARCRAFT mapmakers, here's some stuff for all of you.

StarCraft II Q&A Batch 52 : Map Maker Series

1. Does it still use the JASS language, or perhaps an upgraded version of JASS?
StarCraft II uses an entirely new scripting language, which we’ve called Galaxy. This language is very similar to C, and anyone familiar with programming in C will have no trouble picking it up.

2. Is the language event-driven or object-oriented?
The language itself is not object-oriented, although most of the native functionality is based around operating on game objects.

3. In comparison to the Warcraft III Editor, how much more, if any, can the GUI of the game be edited (it was extremely limited in Warcraft III)?
The in-game UI layout is externalized in data files to a large extent, however there is no editor support for working with these files. So it will be possible to customize the game UI, it just won't be a user-friendly process.

4. Are there new noteworthy functionalities in the Starcraft II Editor, or will the new editor just have general improvements?
I can’t think of a single editor feature from WarCraft III, large or small, which has not been improved in at least some way for StarCraft II.

5. Will the ability to communicate among triggers, for instance via actions or conditions, be improved in the new language?
One significant new feature of the Trigger Editor is support for custom function definitions, including actions and conditions. This means you can create your own actions that are built up from other actions (or custom script code), then use those in triggers just as you would any other action.

6. How does "Hero" support differ from the Warcraft III Editor? Or is it practically identical?
We’ve been working hard to create a hero system that is even more flexible than WarCraft III’s. For example, map makers will have the ability to define any number of custom attributes that modify a hero based on its level.

7. Will there be a public API for the programming language?
As with WarCraft III, there is a large set of “native” functions representing game functionality that can be accessed through scripts. If this is what you mean by “public API”, then yes.

8. Will there be improvements on the "Garbage Collector" for the new language? For example, in JASS all local variables need to be set to null at the end of their use, and certain data-types need to be removed from the game (such as Locations) at the end of their use to avoid memory leaks.
Galaxy features a robust garbage collection system for all native types, which is a huge improvement over WarCraft III (which technically did not have a garbage collection system at all). The script memory leak issues from WarCraft III will be a thing of the past.

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SC2 Q&A Batch 51

51 is here.
Can't wait now for the new STARCRAFT2 release.

---StarCraft II Q&A Batch 51 ---

1. Add an option in the menu to disable the windows key, and same thing goes for ALT-TAB?

And add an EASY way to squelch your opponent. When their name “IllIIlIIlIIlI​IlllI” (L & i), it's a little difficult. While we are not considering disabling the windows key and Alt+Tab, we are looking into the naming policy to prevent problems like the one you described .

2. StarCraft 2's terrain properties such as Xel'Naga towers, destroyable barriers and Brush have a significant effect on gameplay and appear to create specific points of interest/advantage on the map. Are there plans to introduce additional terrain buffs/effect to the battlefield?

The current terrain features are not finalized. We still have these three map features in the game and we plan to keep them during the beta, but it is always possible to add more features if we find something that’s balanced and encourages exciting game play.

3. Since there are/were plans to integrate voice communications into multiplayer, will StarCraft 2 replays be able to include Audio, as well as chat?

Replay files do not include audio. However you will be able to see all text chats while you are watching replay.

4. You have talked a bit about replay functions lately and since patches will come up definitely former replays won’t work if the system sticks with SC1 or W3. Do you plan on making changes here so that players can view older replays ever after patches occur?

Yes, even as the game gets patched, you will be able to watch replays of matches played on older versions.

5. The interface we see in Battle Reports – is this interface available for Observers during a live game (in real time), or only while viewing replays, or both?

The interface you’ve seen in Battle Reports will be available in observer mode as well as in replays during beta.

6. StarCraft II is a package consisting of single player/campaign, multiplayer (+replay viewer), map editor and All four are complex and without a doubt require testing and patching. Has it been decided which of the above components are planned to be included in public beta testing?

You can have multiplayer game access through during the beta and you can watch the replays as well. There will also be access to the Map Editor during the beta process but not necessarily from the start. Single player campaign will not be included in the beta.

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