The Birth of Real-Time Strategy
The first influential RTS video game was Dune II, developed by Brett Sperry in 1992. Many of the ideas that are found in RTS games today -- building bases, different weapons available to different players -- were pioneered in Dune II [source: Walker].
Warcraft III is a real-time strategy computer game that takes players to the world of Azeroth, which is reminiscent of the setting of The Lord of the Rings. You can select any of four races to play: humans, orcs, night elves and the undead. Each has special strengths and weaknesses. You set out to build structures and gather resources. Though victory conditions can vary, most missions require destroying the enemy base in order to win.
The mind-bending aspect of Warcraft III is the variety of strategies available. Each race requires a different approach to the game. In addition, the game includes a world editor, which lets you set up missions, game conditions and whole worlds to your liking.
Warcraft III can accommodate multiple players and has a light role-playing aspect, so that players can adopt the persona of a hero as they lead their race toward conquest.
Warcraft III, released in 2002, was an elaboration of the original Warcraft: Orcs and Humans, which dates back to 1994 [source: Gamespot]. There are many expansions and versions (as well as novels and board games) in the Warcraft line, but Warcraft III was labeled "one of the undisputed classics" by Game Spot [source: Kasavin].