There are not more than five musical notes, yet the combinations of these five give rise to more melodies than can ever be heard. There are not more than five primary colors (blue, yellow, red, white, and black), yet in combination they produce more hues than can ever been seen. There are not more than five cardinal tastes (sour, acrid, salt, sweet, bitter), yet combinations of them yield more flavors than can ever be tasted.

In battle, there are not more than two methods of attack – the direct and the indirect; yet these two in combination give rise to an endless series of maneuvers. The direct and the indirect lead on to each other in turn. It is like moving in a circle – you never come to an end. Who can exhaust the possibilities of their combination?

Sun Tsu
Art of War

Course Description

This course will go in-depth in the theory of how war is conducted within the confines of the game Starcraft. There will be lecture on various aspects of the game, from the viewpoint of pure theory to the more computational aspects of how exactly battles are conducted. Calculus and Differential Equations are highly recommended for full understanding of the course.

Furthermore, the class will take the theoretical into the practical world by analyzing games and replays to reinforce decision-making skills and advanced Starcraft theory.

As a prerequisite, students should be familiar with all units and some basic StarCraft strategy.

Additional lectures will be added throughout the Spring of 2009 as they are made available

Course Website with Lectures

[via GW Forums]


7 thoughts on “UC Berkeley Class: Starcraft Theory & Strategy

  1. Did you say Calculus and DiffEq?! Wow, this class is awesome! I’m surprised they haven’t incorporated probability functions though. It would help a lot if they did, especially in games.

  2. You know competetive gaming has gone too far when people pay to watch nerds play computer games, and try to use calculus and diffEq to analyse the finer points of Starcraft ^_^b

    1. Well, it seems this course will explore the technical details of Starcraft. One of the most difficult and important issues in game design is balance. It is extremely difficult to make a complex, yet balanced game. Also this course might consider some artificial intelligence applications. If people learn the theory and strategy behind good games, they may produce high quality products in the future. It’s just like with everything else: if you want to draw well, study good artists; if you want to write well, study good writers; and if you want to be a good game developer, study good games.

  3. Ah yes that makes sense. I agree, Starcraft has probably the best balance that RTS gaming industry has ever seen. That is why warcraft can never be as good as starcraft. If more gamers can learn from this study then I have no problem with it.

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