BizarreCraft Prototype

Download BizarreCraft prototype

Towards the end of the BizarreCraft project's preproduction phase, the project was facing hardship. The basic design had changed several times over the course of preproduction, and the last radical change, while it significantly improved the game, was distressingly late in the project. Much of the work which had been done up to that point had to be thrown out, and morale had suffered as a result. The FIEA professors overseeing the project were seriously considering cancelling it and putting its team to work on the other game project which was going on in parallel.

It was into this situation that the BizarreCraft prototype was born. The prototype was a Warcraft III map heavily modified with extra scripting to simulate the gameplay of BizarreCraft. When the idea of a prototype in Warcraft III was first suggested, I stepped forward and volunteered to create it. I knew that my experience with other game creation applications and the scripting involved would greatly help me in crafting the prototype, even though I had never worked in the Warcraft III World Editor before. The project leaders approved the subproject, and I set to work.

The BizarreCraft prototype got off to a difficult start. Learning to use the Warcraft III World Editor was no simple task, and I had to spend a lot of time familiarizing myself with the Editor's workings and capabilities. I also had to build a large system of data handling and constant checks on game conditions to implement BizarreCraft's unique style of combat. Days stretched to weeks as I worked to produce a useful simulation of the BizarreCraft design, and my efforts had few visible results. The professors began to question whether the prototype was going to be worth the manpower that was being spent on it. In the face of this doubt, I maintained that the prototype would more than pay off the time and effort that were poured into it.

I was right. As the prototype finally reached a state of rough playability, the team began to use it for playtesting, and they discovered something wonderful. Even in an extremely unfinished state, with only a couple of units per side, no work done yet on achieving gameplay balance, and a few game-crippling bugs plaguing the matches, the game we had designed was fun. It was a lot of fun! Team members were enjoying just facing off against each other as they tested the prototype out.

Bolstered with this success, I continued to work on the prototype, adding units and attacks, fixing bugs, and implementing new gameplay ideas as they were brought up. Some turned out useful, others were dropped when testing in the prototype showed that they did not work out well. As the prototype took definite shape, so too did the game design, accomplishing in weeks what might've taken months to do had we done our experimentation in the actual BizarreCraft game. At the end of preproduction, we were able to present to our professors a clear demonstration of how much fun BizarreCraft could be. Convinced and pleased, they gave the green-light for the BizarreCraft project to continue into production, and the rest, as they say, is history.

The BizarreCraft prototype is in many ways very close to how BizarreCraft turned out in the end. In some ways, it's even better; it contains some units which were removed from the final design and can easily be played without a second, networked computer. If you have Warcraft 3 and the Warcraft 3: Frozen Throne expansion set, you can download the BizarreCraft prototype and play it yourself.

Download BizarreCraft prototype

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