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Mod Ideas/StarCraft

Mod ideas for UT 2003 – StarCraft


I'm sure a lot of people have played and enjoyed StarCraft, and for the other 3 of you out there, SC is an RTS made by Blizzard Entertainment. There are 3 races, the Terran (human), the Protoss (big tough aliens), and the Zerg (small horde aliens). I want to take this and make a shooter from it.

  • Things I have decided:
    1. As of August 14, 2002, at 13:35 EST, this mod has been cancelled by me, Death Angyl. I have not actually begun any work on it, and don't intend to, unless Blizzard contacts me and explicitly states that I can start. Expect to see this page go to a different location on the site.
    2. However, I may make a mod using some of the ideas expressed here (e.g. futuristic space shooter), without using SC IP™. It's impossible not to use some general concepts from SC (heck, Bungie basically copied everything with Halo, and they got away with it), but maybe a more generic space-age shooter is the way to go. Currently, the rest of this stuff applies to the original SC shooter idea I had. Expect a new page if I do make a SC-esque mod.
    3. I will use 3ds max to make the character models. I will try to get started on them right away, but you never know. If anyone really objects to Max, or wants to help and suggests I use something else like Milkshape, I am open to suggestions, but currently it seems Max is simply more powerful, and it does have good tutorials for modeling/animating (I am new to modding/modeling/level design, but I do have a decent programming background and pick stuff up quickly.)
    4. Obviously, I will use UnrealEd to make the levels, whichever version ships with the game.
  • Things I need to decide:
    1. Whether/how to make the mod multiplayer (i'm thinking right now about including a single player campaign, as well as DM, and Co-op multiplayer)
    2. How to incorporate Zerg and Protoss as playable races (DM is no problem, but its hard/boring to make a campaign for Zerg where you are a Zergling the whole time, and changing characters between missions really isn't a great idea. Same with Protoss. Terran, the idea is that you start as a Marine, but you can get in vehicles, pick up SOME (NOT lots of) different weapons, even change classes (just climb in a Firebat suit, etc.) I guess this is quite a bit like C&C: Renegade.
    3. Do I get sued by Blizzard? I don't have a lot of legal experience, but I have two main thoughts: 1) If I'm not getting revenue from this, they aren't losing anything; 2) if I give them credit for the concepts, etc. taken from StarCraft, I'm not plagarizing. If anyone has legal experience/just knows more about it than i do, feel free to post your thoughts.
    4. Do I use the UT2k3 stuff, or wait until UT2? The main issues are:

–Which will release the source code, and when; although i'm not sure, maybe i can use UnrealScript and don't need to actually mess with the engine;

–Which will reach more people;

–Which will be easier to use/edit;

–Which will be more powerful technologically

  • Issues:
    1. Already, I am seeing problems with skeletal animation on robotic models. For example, you don't want the Goliath moving like a human; you need the animation to bend in very specific ways, so it looks robotic. I don't actually have any models to demonstrate with, but if anyone familiar with 3ds max knows of a way to do frame-by-frame animation, or to make the skeletal animation NOT stretch and bend the model, please tell me. I've discovered how to do vertex animation in Max (Thank God), so I can use skeletal animation for stuff that it suits, and robotic vertex animation for the stuff that needs that.

If anyone has suggestions, either post them here or email me @ warcraft_3_addict@hotmail.com.

Please leave a handle and a way to contact you. I'm not sure how often i will check this page, but I will make an effort.


Mr.Mitchell: To stay more in the format with the other pages I added some extra headers. I got a few things on some of the topics mentioned.

Remarks on point 3

  1. I don't think that the sourcecode will be released for either one of the versions. But you won't need it, you will be able to create such a mod with only UScript.
  2. You won't be able to release a stand-alone mod. This requires you to distribute UT content and you can't do that.
  3. I don't think there will be much difference between editing for UT2003 and U2.

Remarks on point 4:

  • There was a mod that was called StartcraftUT, Blizzard made them change the name to UnrealCraft and a few months(weeks??) later they were summoned to stop the mod. Google with unrealcraft and read the story on ModSquad to read a bit more about UnrealCraft. So by basing the mod on the Starcraft universe I think you have a chance of getting problems with Blizzard.

Death_Angyl: Thanks for the format stuff, after I made the page I realized all the cool things you can do with the markup :)

  1. I realized after looking into modding (is 'modding' a legitimate verb?) more that I wont need them to open source it, so that really isn't an issue.
  2. Not being able to release a stand-alone isn't a problem either, but it makes it more important to choose the game which is better suited to this kind of thing. I think that, since U2 is going to be single-player, it might be easier to make a single player campaign from it, rather than convert a multiplayer gametype in UT2k3 to a single-player game. But hey, others have done it.
  3. I'm not sure how Blizzard can make someone stop the mod, short of a court injunction. Maybe I should look into it though, I dont have enough cash to get sued :)

Mychaeel: I guess they have any means to stop someone from making a mod that trespasses on their intellectual property, or what passes for it. As long as you stay away from things that directly connect the mod with StarCraft, you'll probably be safe. The generic real-time strategy game isn't a Blizzard trademark after all. In any case I think you can save yourself a lot of trouble by being a bit... politically sensitive to start with.

Death_Angyl: I went and read the thingy at [ModSquad], and if you go there and read it, be sure to notice the thing on Star Wars UT, right below the StarCraft one. It says the guy basically tells George Lucas that he's not harming any Star Wars Intellectual PropertyŠ, and not taking any revenue from Lucas, so Lucas can't do anything. I'm not sure whether Lucas couldn't do anything, or got too bored to do anything. If it is the latter, I'm sure Blizzard will not respond in the same way. I still don't think that they can order something stopped which doesn't actually hurt them in any way.

Mychaeel: It does hurt them if they want it to. It's a common misbelief that copyright is in any way related to commerce. If you have the copyright for something (like Blizzard has for StarCraft), it is yours to decide what can and cannot be done with your intellectual property. Whether or not money is involved is of no relevance.

capt. k. Except that which you want to use to pay your lawyers to actually *enforce* the copyright. :)

Mychaeel: I dare say that not creating a precedent might be worth Blizzard's money. Besides, I suppose they (or rather their publishers) employ a whole legal department.

Death Angyl: Yeah, I see your point. And while another company might let something like that slide, Blizzard has always taken the hard line against anyone wanting to do mod-like stuff with their products. Which sucks for us. I guess I need a new mod idea then; I'll just put this one on the 'future, if ever' list. There's no sense in using a bunch of time to make a cool mod just to be ordered to stop.

Wormbo: How about thinking of different names for the mod and everything that has names in it? You could just make a mod that has weapons similar to those in StarCraft.

Claw: I am developing a UT2k3 mod that might pass as "vaguely StarCraft-like" although only very remotely if I am honest. I posted it on BUF > UT2k3 > Xenocide and consider adding it to the mod ideas here.

And "developing" in that context means that the concept is worked out to great detail, and a team is more or less working on the mod.

Shanus: Why not use the "general" idea of future Earth Marines fighting off alien invaders. And expand from that. The alien invaders are 1) Insectlike and/or 2) High science humanoid. The Earth Marines have the ability to use specific vehicle types (scout, ground and air support) and can be of multiple "classes" (Shock Troop, Recon/Spy, Fire team). The insect-like aliens can have equivilant "classes" aswell, in their case they can spontaneuosly "evolve" into the different types. THe insect-aliens can have special creatures that they use for as "vehicles". The techno-aliens just have techno-alien versions of the "classes" and "vehicles". The gameplay CAN be multiplayer with each player being a spectator that can either take "possesion" of a bot that is spawned by the engine or direct the bot to a specific point on the map (use special type of Spectator class that can use Interactions on the bots). Could also add resource gathering to the system so that it takes X number of resources to spawn another X type of bot/vehicle.

Just an idea that I have had about one of these. I can be contacted at shanus72@hotmail.com if anyone wants to discuss the idea furthur.

RegularX: There's probably enough history with copyright battles and mods to deserve it's own page at this point, but I think Bid For Power proved that possibly the best path is to do something "like" the license, but never mentioning the license itself.

Vajuras: That's the best way to do it but the downside is that starcraft fans won't recognize the product as starcraft unless you start out like bid for power did- meaning be a starcraft mod at first, build up your fan base, and then just switch. The Half Life mod 'Existence' did exactly this. They built up a huge fan base really fast.

DJPaul: This page is more about one person's experiance with this mod idea, as opposed to a Mod Idea.. and creating a game based on someone else's IP is plain daft, not to mention illegal.

Tarquin: Delete page?

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