Datamancer’s big Blizzard adventure!

Posted by 1st October 2010

I recently built a Reliquary keyboard for an employee of Blizzard (creators of Starcraft and Wow) and he was nice enough to offer me a tour of the facilities. I also brought my friend Rahbi along because I know he’s also a HUGE Blizzard fan (note the Starcraft 2 shirt in the pics). The whole experience was very amusing to me because it almost felt like I was on one of those Discovery Channel builder shows like American Chopper- “Since we’re assembling the Blizzard keyboard, we thought we’d go take a tour of Blizzard H.Q. and get some inspiration for the build….” It seems like a really cool place to work, and we had the unique opportunity to hear the insider perspective (he’s been in Blizzard over a decade) on a lot of company history and they seem like a surprisingly conscientious corporation who never lost the core values they established when they were a 4-man operation, practically working out of a garage (as Silicon and Synapse). That’s a rare and pleasant thing to see these days when so many other companies who grow to the size of Blizzard treat their employees and products as disposable and interchangeable. Blizzard has a history of “missing” release date projections on games because they absolutely refuse to compromise on the quality and artistic vision of the games, and judging from the INSANE AND ALMOST UNSETTLING impact that games like Diablo, Starcraft and WoW have had on gaming culture, it’s obviously working for them (Google South Korea’s relationship with Starcraft some time).
Now for some pics…
Here’s a shot of the 12 foot bronze Orc Wolfrider statue (built by WETA) in the center of the building complex.

Click “READ MORE” for a lot more pics…

Here’s a life-size statue of a Ghost character. The whole thing pulsed slowly with blue LED lighting. She’s hot, too!
I’d hit it….with a Zergrush.

Some Protoss concept art. I loved this particular image. There’s a whole museum there full of this stuff, but I didn’t want to take up too much of our guide’s time, so I just took a few select shots.

“Who’s a good boy? WHO’S A GOOD BOY!?” No matter how big, they all love the ear-scratchins

The keyboard with matching wood Mac-cessories. This guy’s office was rad. 3 of the 4 walls are completely lined with Blizzard paraphernalia. And yes, that’s Frostmourne in the background. We did something cool with the lid of the keyboard, but I’ll put that in a separate post.

And that’s about it. We had a great time, hung out with a cool guy who showed us some cool stuff in the cool building of a cool company. What’s not to love?



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