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Old 19th August 2012, 07:05 PM   #5 (permalink)
Retired Captain
Drac
Squad Officer
Left 4 Dead
Lethal - Post: 7440
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I haven't actually played SC2 for years but still really enjoy spectating pro games. Just this weekend I spent a few $$$ for the HD stream of the Intel Extreme Masters tournament on ESL.

I wouldn't say you can always see everything coming in the game like Starcraft 2, there's plenty of fast paced action happening, and one of the problems as players get more advanced is that you basically have a single view of the map but pro players are multitasking like mad and engaging in multiple places at once which can make it difficult to keep track of things, but for the most part it's a fairly tight game visually. If you compare SC1 to SC2 you'll see the subtle changes blizzard made knowing that SC2 was going to be a spectator sport as well as a game, for example here's some of the simply overlay graphics commentators can pull up during the game to provide more context beyond the state of the game that's currently visible on screen:

Income Rate Comparison for each player:


Army/Worker Supply Compariason:


Units/Worker Kills


Players in game can't view this info, only people in the game as spectators can access them. You'll also notice a smaller info display to the left showing again more spectator only info that the caster will switch around during a match. It's things like this (and all of the longevity issues I mentioned above) that really help a game go beyond being a game and move towards something that's compelling enough to watch.

Also keep in mind traditional sports are generally much more interesting/easier to watch live because you can see the whole field/game at once, but that's not really practical on a TV. You have to box in on the interesting bits and then use casters to help sell the story of the battle/contest and using graphics aids can help with that experience too. Games are no different. Shooters however don't seem to fit as well into that model. Perhaps it'll just take longer for people to find/discover new ways to present FPS games in a way that makes them compelling and interesting to watch.
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