Warcraft 1

I just stubled upon a treat - a three part story about the development of the Warcraft 1 game. I recommend you go to the source and read parts one, two, and three. This story was written by Patrick Wyatt. He is the original developer on the project. Back then the company was called Silicon & Synapse. Later Davison and Associates acquired the company, and it was renamed Blizzard.

The game work started with just one develper in September 1993. Gameplay was inspired by Dune 2, a real time strategy game which pitted you against the computer. The goal was to produce a multiplayer game. The developer banged out a rough single player version in a few weeks.

Warcraft 1 was a DOS protected mode game. It was developed in DOS real mode. Initially they tried using EMS paged memory. Later they adofpted Watcom's DOS memory extender. Here is a funny bit of trivia. The company did not have a LAN intially, even though they were targeting a network game.

In 1994, they put together some of the first design docs. The goal was to release the game by Christmas 1994. The company only had 20 people total. Many eventually worked on this game. The game was unusual in that it had a bright color palette. The graphics were 320x200 resolution.

The company was self funded. They got an infusion of cash when they were acquired. Their AI program did some cheating. The game properties behaved different for the computer than for other players. The computer also had views that were obscured for players.

When the network code came around, they implemented passing of player commands to all computers in the network. They each computer could implement the commands for all players involved. Initially there were a lot of sync bugs in the code. These got fixed. And the rest is history.

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