Increasing the Watchability

by mindgames87

A couple days ago one of the last SC2 tournaments in 2013 was held – the IEM New York. For some people it was the last opportunity to increase their odds of making it to the WCS Global Finals by collecting some precious WCS-Points. This and the fact that a non-korean in the name of Naniwa did so well made it a thrilling show quite worth watching. I myself enjoyed pretty much every minute of it but there was one thing i noticed that bothered me a lot. The watchability of the game itself.

Special Effect Madness

When you watch a PvZ, ZvT or TvP you will never find yourself confused because of the presentation of the game. Everything that happens will be Protoss, Zerg or Terran oriented. So every skill that will be used throughout a game looks very different from the ones the other races will use. That’s perfect for the viewer because he will notice what happens on the field instantly just by it’s visual appearance.

Things are different though if you watch a mirror match. Let’s take a look at PvP for example: Skills that you’ll probably see here a lot will be Guardian Shields, Force Fields and most importantly Time Warps.


All of them are amazing skills and look great but at the same time they all share the same issue. They actually have the same color no matter which player throws them on the field. This can become confusing for not only the viewers and casters of a game – but for the players as well.

My spontanous conclusion was to change the colors of the skills based on the color a player has in the game. For instance right now Time Warps are always green, why not make the blue player’s Time Warp blue and the red one’s red then? Catch a brief glimpse of how it might look during a game afterwards:

PvP - Before

PvP - After

What I basically did was to change the Time Warp’s and Force Field’s color to the one the player has chosen for the game. But I also changed the Guardian Shield’s color to grey because right now it is always blue. I thought about changing it to the team color as well but in the end found myself diagnosting that it pretty much would look like the Time Warps then (just a little bigger).

Not only Protoss

When taking a look at the other mirror matchups you’ll notice the same problem with Zerg as well. A huge Infestor centered war escalates in a green cloud pretty fast. The Blinding Clouds Vipers added with SC2:HotS made it even worse.

ZvZ - Before

ZvZ - After

My ideas for Zerg were similar to the ones for Protoss. I changed the Fungal Growth’s anymation color to the player’s color who casted them. The same should be done for the Viper’s Blinding Cloud but also for the Infestor’s Infested Terrans because at this moment you can’t really tell which eggs are Player A’s and Player B’s.

For TvTs we actually don’t need to change much but a possible thing worth mentioning would probably be to change a Scan’s color to the player color as well.


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