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The third Creative Development Q&A has been posted, featuring Wings of Liberty questions.

Question: When it was created, the Overmind was not given free will. It was instead given a direct order: to consume the protoss. But then the Overmind created Kerrigan as a hope of salvation. So, what kind of control did the Dark Voice have over the Overmind?

Answer: Great question. I know there's been some debate on the forums about the nature of free will and the Overmind. I've seen a lot of discussion on the topic, framed in terms of free will as it applies to humans and the human condition. But it's important to remember that this is science fiction, and we will sometimes need to use terms on a grander scale than in contemporary definitions.

Specific to the Overmind: One either has free will, or one does not. But if one does not, there are degrees of non-free will. The Dark Voice put the Overmind in charge of the Swarm, which meant the Overmind needed broad latitude in its thinking: discretion, the ability to make choices, and long- and short-term planning. Flexibility. It could not be an automaton. So, did the Overmind have free will? No, because the Dark Voice put parameters on its thinking. It could not flat out consider rebellion, for instance. If it tried, iron-clad controls would clamp down. There were compulsions it had to follow in certain situations. The Overmind, determined to do what it could for the Swarm, found the cracks, the barely permissible choices that it could make—the moves that would not activate the controls but which it hoped could eventually free the zerg from the Dark Voice's control. In turn, this would let the zerg evade the fate the Overmind had seen in its vision.

And to clarify something that I've seen widely misinterpreted, the Overmind did not create the Queen of Blades to save the galaxy, the Koprulu sector, or anything besides the zerg. The Overmind saw a vision in which the zerg were used to kill the protoss, and only the fact that the zerg were slaves bothered it. The end of that vision showed all the zerg being sucked dry by hybrid. It represented the destruction of the zerg, and that was what the Overmind wanted to prevent. It wished to move the Swarm out from the Dark Voice's control to save the zerg—and only the zerg. The Overmind would have been happy to see the zerg consume every other species in existence.


To see the full Q&A, click here.

Battle.net - StarCraft II Creative Development Q&A: Part 3

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