Coding Co-op Replay Parsing

Earlier this year, Spawning Tool added co-op replay parsing and build orders on the Spawning Tool website. As usual with programming, the approach was clear, but I ran into many minor issues, and in the end, it required an entire code rewrite.

So this post will dive into that process. Although the content is technical, it hopefully will make sense to non-programmers as well. For the programmers out there, you can see the actual code this pull request. Continue reading

v2 of the in-game overlay is out!

Although the haters may say that StarCraft is a dead game, we at Spawning Tool know differently. Over the past 1 ½ years, our analytics have remained remarkably consistent. The launch of our partnership with Overwolf and teamliquid in January was our attempt to contribute more to the community through better, more accessible strategy content in-game through our Build Advisor overlay. We have gotten fantastic feedback from the community on how to improve it, and we’re excited to announce the next version of the Build Advisor available today.

Favorite and vote on builds

Amongst the numerous build orders in the system, most players only use a handful specific to their race and playstyle. We’ve added a login feature via the overlay so you can mark your favorite builds and easily filter down to see them. Similarly, you can now vote on builds to give immediate feedback after a game where you hopefully crushed your opponent.

Pin builds to open with a hotkey

Most build orders are matchup specific, but oftentimes, you won’t know the matchup until you’re on the loading screen. Since it takes several clicks to get to a build, we added the ability to “pin” a build for a matchup. That way, when you see the matchup on the loading page, you can use a hotkey to instantly pull up the build order for that matchup.

Access your unpublished builds

Build orders are often a work-in-progress, and players aren’t always comfortable publishing their unfinished builds while testing them. Now, you can access your personal builds without publishing them first. Once you perfect it, though, publish that build so other players can learn from your play as well!

Customize your build order window

No one cares about screen size and usage more than gamers, and given the wide variety of setups, the build order window needs to adjust for your use case. It has to be big enough to be visible and useful but small enough to not cover up the game itself. We added a toggle to increase or decrease the font size to fit your resolution, and you can resize and position the window to fit perfectly to your preferences.

Show build order notes

Although the build order has plenty of detail, there are many other important steps you need to take in a game, such as when to put workers in gas or when to push out. We added a box onto the bottom of the build order that will show specific instructions provided by the build order creator on custom instructions so you don’t miss a step during the game.

Highlight teamliquid content

The Build Advisor is only as useful as the build order content itself, and our partnership with teamliquid and PiG has offered players the opportunity to follow along with the newest and best builds from pros. We made easier to find this content marked with the teamliquid logo and a new filter from the list page.

We are very excited about this new version and hope that it improves your gaming experience. We know as well as anyone else how difficult StarCraft is, but with just a little strategy help, we hope to make the game much more accessible for players of all skill levels. Let us know if you have any feedback, hang out with us on Discord, and we hope you enjoy the game. GLHF!

quick reflection on the Spawning Tool-Team Liquid Partnership

For the possibly non-existent audience of Spawning Tool blog readers who don’t follow /r/starcraft or Team Liquid, we’re very excited right now about our partnership with Team Liquid. We started talking to them at the end of last year and formally announced it at the beginning of the new year in this article, Spawning a New Partnership.

The article goes much more in-depth than I will here, but the partnership is based around what we see as a very symbiotic relationship between our app and TL’s content. Through the Overwolf platform, the Spawning Tool Build Advisor lets you see build orders in-game. Through their community, TL supports strategy content creation with TL Strategy and the PiG Daily. Together, StarCraft players have the best, current strategy whenever they start a game.

We appreciate all of the community feedback provided on the TL thread, Discord channel, Twitter, and wherever else you have found us. Hopefully you have already seen some minor improvements and bug fixes, but we have much more planned for both the website as well as the app.

We are very well aware of how demanding StarCraft is, both strategically and mechanically, but we also know how rewarding it can be. One repeated piece of feedback was how helpful the build order overlay would be to bringing back lapsed players or convincing friends to start playing StarCraft. That’s something that we have taken to heart, and we are excited to participate in growing the active StarCraft community!

Follow Build Orders with an in-game overlay!

We at Spawning Tool have been thrilled by the engagement and enthusiasm from the community in using our site. So far, we have had tens of thousands of replays uploaded and over 200 build orders shared. However, the biggest limitation and most common request we have is that you can only access the data from the browser. To address that, we’re excited to announce the Spawning Tool Build Advisor, the best way to learn a build order.


Through Overwolf, the Build Advisor allows you to follow a build order live with an in-game overlay during your game. Browse through the builds listed on our site, then select your winning strategy to use during any ladder or custom game. As soon as the game starts, the overlay will sync with the in-game timer and walk through each step of the build so you don’t miss a thing. And that’s it.

To get started, download and setup Overwolf, then install the Spawning Tool Build Advisor app. It will automatically launch when you start StarCraft.

We hope you find the app as useful as we have. As always, if you have any feedback, please reach out to us on twitter @spawningtool or via email . We would love to know how we can improve your StarCraft.



Announcing the Spawning Tool Invitational!

(See the original post on Team Liquid)


SpawningTool holds the largest collection of StarCraft 2 pro-level replays, build orders, and replay statistics. The site uses machine learning and the information stored in the replays to generate these statistics, label build orders, and organize games by series/event.

With the success the site has seen over the last 6 months, we have no one to thank except the community. In order to give back, we are going to host a $200+ invitational and release a new plugin coming soonTM. This plugin is going to allow you to have any build from the site shown live, in-game, without disrupting your perfect micro of course!

Matcherino is a extremely powerful website that gives any tournament or showmatch host the ability to crowdfund their tournament. They recently launched their new Tournaments Feature, which has automatic payouts, crowdfunding capabilities, stretch goals, and more! We at SpawningTool are very excited to have Matcherino as a sponsor plan on inviting them to any other events we host in the future. We are going to be using this Tournament Feature in this Invitational

This tournament is also sponsored by OSC, providing OSC points to all participants!

The point distribution is as follows:

1st: 50% of prize pool, 80 OSC points
2nd: 30% of prize pool, 50 OSC points
3rd: 15% of prize pool, 30 OSC points
4th: 5% of prize pool, 15 OSC points
5th-8th: 5 OSC points


Tournament Date: 5/30/16 6pm EST
Prize Pool: 200$+ (50%,30%,15%,5%)
Matcherino Tournament Link:
Add $1 to the prize pool for free by using the coupon code “STi1
Format: Ro8 and Ro4 (Bo3), Finals (Bo5)
Casters: DrennoC and Hartless


A Farewell to HotS: a graph of how game lengths didn’t change over 2 years

(See the reddit thread for the same content )


I usually try to post interesting things from Spawning Tool data, but here’s a very boring result from some analysis I did. Using the ~15,000 professional HotS replays in Spawning Tool, I bucketed them by month and then calculated the average game length. I was thinking that maybe game lengths would have increased as players got better and didn’t lose as much early. As you can see that didn’t happen as game lengths remained roughly the same (about 16 minutes)

I didn’t dig too much further because I didn’t really see any trends. You can see the data I used to generate the graph at

Anyways, enough of that. We’re looking towards the future here, so check out our LotV site for new stats and build orders going forward!

LotV Featured Replay of the Week: Snute’s ZvP 3 base Ravager all-in

This week’s featured replay comes from Team Gravity’s Fight Night.

You might be wondering: what type of all-in starts with economic cheese? The type that wants to have a sustained attack as soon as possible, that’s what.

In this game, Snute cuts corners and goes for almost pure Drones for the first 4 minutes of the game. This allows him to get up to 6 Extractors and spread Drones across 3 mineral lines before he lines up his attack. From there, he streams Roaches and Ravagers across the map to bust down walls and forcefields to force his way into the Protoss base.

On the flipside, State played it safe opening Gateway first, then getting his Nexus afterwards. WIth a quick +1 attack, he also gets his 3rd base quickly after scouting Snute’s greedy build, and then into Blink.

When the Ravagers attack, State already has his simcity in place with Gateways clogging up the entry into his 3rd base, so despite being down at times 70 to 15 army supply, Snute has difficulty finding space to push in. State continues to build pylons to power his Gateways and for the Overcharge.

With Blink up, though, State makes a great hold: his 3 base economy (with more Probes than Snute has Drones) allows him to slowly get back into the game while Snute’s slow Roaches walk across the map. The battle continues on for minutes, but State keeps his 3rd base alive and evens the supply count. When the pressure begins to lighten, State is able to push for a 4th base as his minerals begin to run out his in main. When the supplys even up, he traps Snute’s army and pushes across for the win.

You can check out Snute’s build order at


Congrats to our Build Order Contest winners!

A few weeks ago, we announced our Build Order Contest for the most upvoted build order and a raffle for voting on LotV Build Orders. The contest concluded this past weekend, and we’re happy to announce our winners of preorder copies of LotV!

Most upvoted build order: MorDka

MorDka shared his 2base immortal adept all-in as a new way for Protoss players to remind Zerg players what WoL felt like. You can read up on how it works, follow the build order, run the real-time build order, read the analysis and watch replays about how it works. Here are a few thoughts from the creator:

1. How are you liking the LotV beta so far?

Legacy of the Void is a lot of fun and frustrations since it’s so different than HotS. The game allows for more comebacks with the new units and the stronger defenders advantage. The fast pace of the game makes it more stressfull especially for lower level players and that’s why archon mode is so good, I really enjoy it.

2. How well is the build working on the ladder?

Well… Actually after the newest patch the build doesn’t work so well. Slowing down the warp in time made the warp prism way more vulnerable to corrosive bile and the adept nerf made the build quite a bit weaker but i think that it’s still viable on master level.

3. What builds are your opponents using that are giving you the most trouble?

The game has a bigger defenders advantage right now so there aren’t any specific build orders that i have trouble with. It’s usually a specific new unit that causes the troubles. For example Liberators or Lurkers.

You can find MorDka on twitter @MorDDDka.

Build Order Vote Raffle winner: woqwoqwoq

woqwoqwoq, uh, voted a lot! Or maybe he didn’t. Either way, he was the lucky winner in this contest. Here are a few thoughts from him.

1. How are you liking the LotV beta so far?

LotV is the fastest and funnier until now

2. What build orders have you been using on the ladder?

I’m doing a lot of Nydus play in ZvT and Brood Lords in ZvP


You can find woqwoqwoq on twitter @woqlol and on twitch at

Thanks to everyone who participated in the contest whether you won or not. Keep adding build orders and we’ll see what we as a community to come up with! now points to

If you go to, you may notice that instead of sending you to, it now sends you to Welcome to the future, where Legacy of the Void is already released!

Of course, LotV isn’t coming out for another month, but we actually just saw our LotV beat HotS in our google analytics data, so it seems that the tide is turning, and we want to make sure that the most useful data is available easily. We will, for the foreseeable future, continue to keep our HotS site online, but especially with the replay format changes, those replays just aren’t so useful anymore.

One question we have had a few times is why we split the sites. The primary reason is because the data is very different, and we had to have separate logic for both of them. Specifically, the unit types and game speed actually require different backends in place. Because of that, we felt that the data was altogether incompatible, so keeping them together would just muddle up statistics.

As for why you don’t share you user account between the two? That’s mostly laziness. The 2 sites are on different databases, and I didn’t put forth the effort to sync up the authentication between them.

Anyways, I hope you enjoy the Legacy of the Void Spawning Tool site. Keep uploading replays and checking out build orders!

Graphs of LotV Upgrade Timings

(This was originally posted to reddit but reproduced here for posterity)

LotV Metabolic Boost Timing LotV Stimpack Timing LotV Combat Shields Timing LotV Warp Gate Timing

These histograms show the research time for various upgrades in Legacy of the Void. The data comes from ~2200 replays uploaded to of all levels of play from the beginning of beta. About 25% of games are from professional tournaments. The same includes about 1500 Zerg replays, 1200 Protoss replays, and 1000 Terran replays.

The graphs are bucketed by LotV (real-time) seconds. In some cases, extreme outliers to the right have been removed from the data for a better visualization. Note that the Warp Gate timings may not be exactly right while Blizzard tweaks with the exact impact of Chronoboost, but it should still be very close.

If you want to play around with the data yourself, you can see it at

Let us know if there’s anything else you want to see from our data. We will try to see what we can do, but in the mean time, play around with the research tool to see what you can find yourself!

Also, if you could help us make the data as accurate as possible by uploading your replays, that would be amazing!

Thanks to DrennoC for the inspiration here!