I basically grew up on Blizzard Entertainment’s original Starcraft and Brood Wars expansion. It more or less defined RTS as a competitive sport and grew ridiculously big both locally and internationally. You know it’s a hit when there are dedicated gaming channels solely for Starcraft.
Starcraft has been called the defining example of its genre of military science fiction RPG games. It has been hugely influential in the gaming community and has spawned many copycat games. One thing that it has also spawned that is unusual in this day and age is an entire line of merchandise, including a whole series of novels based upon the game story.
The Game in a Nutshell
In brief, you join a team that is struggling to preserve the Confederation, a human entity, against the Terrans, Protoss and Zerg alien species. All of the species have their own goals and you have to make sure that none of them are successful in achieving any of them. One thing that complicates the storyline is that the Terrans were once human. In fact, they are future humans come back in time to conquer the universe as they have depleted all of their resources. These leads to some unusual twist in the game plot as human commanders get seduced by the power promised them by the Terrans.
There are more action figures available for this game than almost any other with a predominately adult following. Part of this is thought to have stemmed from the Nintendo 64 version release. From the action figures have also come a whole line of models that represent different Starcrafts, the Zerg Overmind base and other elements of the Starcraft story. Of course, for the more cynical adult player – there are also t-shirts, posters and custom laptop items available. One thing that makes all of this merchandise possible is Starcraft is one of the few multi-player games that has spawned an entire generation of novelists to keep deepening players understanding of the world.
There are numerous books that take up parts of the main story of the game and spin out additional plot lines. There are even ones that promote that they are telling the back story of the alien species. The original game story came from an idea developed by Blizzard Entertainment that has spawned several authorized books by different authors. Some of which are leading to future expansions for the games.
The Board Games and More
There is an authorized board game version available from Fantasy Flight Games and Wizards of the Coast is set to adapt Starcraft Adventures into an RPG game called Alternity. As the Starcraft world grows, more and more fan fiction is appearing as well and you can find whole sites devoted to scenarios, episodes and art work supporting the game that is fan generated. The extent to which Starcraft has reached beyond its existence as a digital game speaks highly of the quality of its craftsmanship. While many people were unsure about the choice to use episodic storytelling as a linear progression to drive a game, it appears as if it has been very successful. The other advantage to all of these offshoots is that it will keep new ideas for expansion modules flowing.