Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Yeti Arcade: Starcraft II Heart of the Swarm

A big game coming out later this year is an expansion of Starcraft II called Heart of the Swarm.

It will feature marauding snow beasts on an ice planet.


To me, they look less like yeti and more like part of the recent trend of large, four-legged monsters on ice planets... as seen in recent sci-fi flicks, Star Trek and Thor.

But the game designers themselves are calling the creatures "Yeti". "Space Yeti," to be exact.

Kotaku spoke with Blizzard senior artist Sam Didier in June 2011, and here's a quote from their interview:
"The Yetis of Kaldir were designed to contrast the insectoid and reptilian qualities of the Zerg, but were quite simply a warm-blooded mammal that could benefit the Zerg.

'We just wanted to have a cold environment creature that you can kill to assimilate their DNA and that seemed like the simplest right off the bat—a space Yeti,' Didier says. But the Yetis gameplay impact is also by design, as the generally neutral critters of StarCraft's worlds needed a bit more 'personality.'

'This is the first time we didn't want a critter to just be a victim," Didier says. The Yetis will attack you, they'll attack your enemies. "We wanted something that was very aggressive.'

Didier would not confirm whether Space Yetis were a fourth playable race in a future StarCraft product. He's just laughed the notion off."
Once the game comes out, they may change the name to something else, and drop the "Space Yeti" nickname.

As long as they don't start calling them "trolls".

You can see the little space yetis in this screenshot.

Final thoughts:

  • I wonder if there's a sort of insectifying trend these days in alien/monster design. They gave those yeti/trolls in Skyrim three eyes like a bug. Anybody got any other examples?

  • Also, I just now figured out I was blogging about someone's fan art of the Starcraft Space Yeti last September.
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