StarCraft II has been in development for most of this decade, and Blizzard promises to finally release the long-awaited real-time strategy sequel next month.
Despite that uncommonly long production cycle, lead writer Brian Kindregan has only been on the project since last July, giving him a fresher perspective. Kindregan inherited creative responsibility for a cast of characters beloved to strategy game fans for over a decade -- and which have not appeared in any new video game in just as long.
With a professional history that encompasses writing on BioWare's Jade Empire and Mass Effect 2, as well as a previous career as a storyboard artist on films like The Iron Giant, Kindregan brings to his Blizzard role a wide range of experience. He spoke to Gamasutra about what it's like writing for strategy games, how Blizzard's system of development checks and balances extends to the writing process, and why it's harder than you might think to name a map.