Saturday, August 7, 2010

Additional Pylons: More Starcraft 2

Took the time to get a little bit farther in Starcraft 2 between work on my screenwriting class and attempting to program. Finally came up to a REAL choice, displayed below.

Baby, you can construct additional pylons with ME any day, heh heh heh... .... what does that even mean?
Note: Right-click and use "View Image" to see the full-sized screenshot.

Up until now I've just been taking and leaving missions, and no, the choice I mentioned in my last post didn't matter--I ended up doing both missions. Most of the time the player has a choice between multiple missions, with each featuring a brief outline of the job to be done, a number of protoss or zerg research points, a cash reward, and a new unit the player earns by doing the mission.

In sheer gameplay terms that is a ton and a half of stuff for players to think about when they choose missions. All stuff earned heretofore carries over to subsequent missions, so it's important to build a formidable arsenal by taking jobs tha are profitable. At the same time, every completed mission unlocks more missions, and the storyline thus far has presented me with a few ongoing goals: fight the Terran Dominion and protect Terran colonists from the ever-growing Zerg onslaught. Forgetting any moral ramifications surrounding these goals, I feel obligated to pursue missions that directly pursue them simply because they have been presented to me rather subversively as the possible means of winning the game. To do that, I need help, which means doing side missions and getting the allegiance of other characters and parties, which means I'll be framing the missions I take in the context of who I need to please.

The choice presented above is one of the bigger ones. I've taken a mission to investigate a colony that's been blacked out. I've been helping these colonists for a while. It turns out they've been infected by the Zerg, which means they'll turn into a pack of mutants any day. The good doctor on the left is their advocate; I picked her up on my crew when I saved them. She's working on a cure for the infestation, which is incredibly unlikely. The protoss lady on the right just wants to fry the colonists, purging the infection before it begins. Either one is a reasonable solution to the problem within the context of Starcraft; I've seen infested colonists before and I know they're huge trouble and that Zerg in general need to be eradicated when possible; but I'm also a humanitarian who wants to believe they can be saved--especially since I've been spending several missions babysitting them and I don't want that investment to go to waste.

However, time's a-wasting and I can only side with one of these two. If I side with the doctor I have to protect the colonists from the Protoss attack while she works on the cure; the Protoss, long-time allies from the past game's continuity, will be angry wtih me for taking so many of their lives. If I side with the Protoss I have to clean the infestation out myself. The doctor will be pissed, and I'll still have to work with her in the future. Either way I get some research: whether the doctor's successful or not she'll unlock a bunch of Zerg research, and likewise the Protoss will happily provide me with some of their knowledge and tech for further upgrades if I side with them.

There's a lot at stake here and a lot of context built up to help frame this decision. I'll need to spend a bit more time picking it apart under my rubric, but first thing's first--I've got some work to do on this program.

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