Every couple of weeks or so, we highlight a game in the StarCraft II Arcade. It’s a recommendation to anyone who plays StarCraft II, and often, we’re asked why we choose the games we do. That’s a good question that deserves a full answer. Here are the main factors taken into consideration.
The Fun Factor
This goes without saying, but we’re saying it anyways: players play Arcade games to have fun. You give high ratings to the most fun games and play them over and over. Word spreads that a game is fun, and we notice. Different kinds of games appeal to different sorts of players, so we pay attention to all of the categories in the Arcade. When you’re clearly having fun playing something, we’re going to consider featuring it.
The Breath of Life
Our goal is to keep the Arcade living, growing, and thriving with as many fun games for you to choose from as possible. We feature games in order to encourage players to check out something they may not have tried yet, as well as encourage game creators to participate by updating existing games and publishing new creations. Yes, we’re looking for hidden gems in the Arcade that clearly deserve a bigger audience, but we’re also considering the entire Arcade community. Many games spawn external discussions, websites, and even whole communities. Part of the fun that players find in many games is connecting with other players to talk about strategies, tactics, and anything else that comes up. There is a global audience for the games we highlight, we work with game creators to publish in every language, and we feature games in different genres in the hopes of showing something new to players around the world.
A Standing Ovation for Great Work
Great Arcade games don’t create themselves. They’re the work of talented creators pouring many hours of effort and creativity into their creations. We seek to highlight games that are highly accessible, polished, and engaging. In our Tips for Custom Game Creators, we outlined several steps that game creators can take to make a positive impact in the Arcade. Over at SC2Mapster, you can find an entire forum full of tutorials. The main polish points we’re looking for in a featured game are:
- Comprehensive game information
- Game setup and start screens
- A good-looking user interface
- Clean and quick end-of-game sequences
- Compelling score tracking
- Tutorials and/or player-friendly learning
- All critical bugs fixed so that the game plays smoothly
The creators of highlighted Arcade games deserve a round of applause for minding the details.
There are some incredibly difficult games in the StarCraft II Arcade. There are also many Arcade games that experienced players find trivially easy to play. It’s our goal to shine a spotlight on games that have a “medium-core” learning curve. We’re looking for a reasonable difficulty level that makes the game accessible to a wide range of players. Awesome games are the sort that anyone can jump into for the first time and pick up quickly. Perhaps you’re going to lose the first few rounds you play. With a little determination, though, you should get the feeling that you can win or succeed. A featured game is one where players learn a lot as they play, rather than one that requires players to learn a lot before they can play.
Sometimes You Reach Two Conclusions
We’d like players to know that when they click the Arcade button in StarCraft II, they’re about to do something fun. We highlight games that provide variety, freshness, quality, and excitement.
We’d like game creators to know that when they go the extra mile and give their games a great deal of attention with the first-time player in mind, it’s appreciated.