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8 Button StarCraft

John Davison recently claimed that games are “Too Big and Too Hard”. I have addressed this issue by reducing StarCraft to 8 buttons. My system provides the user with a GUI containing 8 buttons and lets the AI take care of the rest of the complexity associated with normally playing StarCraft. In the fully realized system, EISBot, the AI decides which buttons need to be pressed. A higher quality video is available here and the system is available for download here.

About the author:  Ben Weber is a PhD student at UC Santa Cruz. Read more from this author

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  1. ifatree
    Posted May 26, 2010 at 4:18 PM | Permalink

    very nice. i’ve been wondering how amenable starcraft would be for an AI project. specifically, i’m looking to create a DSL that will translate voice controls into unit commands. it looks like you took the idea one step farther to complete minimalism. i likes.

  2. Bryan Blackford
    Posted May 26, 2010 at 6:35 PM | Permalink

    Hmm, 8 buttons still seems too hard, if only you could get it down to one..something like this.

    Nice work. You could map those 8 buttons onto a gamepad and perhaps have a way to get a better RTS experience on a console.

  3. Posted May 27, 2010 at 1:32 PM | Permalink

    I didn’t have that goal, but I think this approach would help RTS games on consoles. However, there are several limitations to this approach, such as the attack button that causes all forces to attack, rather than a user selected squad.

  4. Posted May 27, 2010 at 1:36 PM | Permalink

    Sounds like Tom Clancy’s EndWar, but more awesome!

    In developing this GUI, my focus was not on minimalism, rather it was on building new types of human-computer interaction not in current games.