From an outsider’s perspective, a build order is just a build order. It’s an ordered list of units being built. However, there are many ways to both represent and read build orders, and Spawning Tool has added a bevy of options to present build orders differently.
Filter Build Orders by Unit Type
Traditionally, build orders don’t show workers: you just assume that workers are being built constantly unless the supply counts don’t match up. If you want a really precise build order, we put that data back in, so on the side of build orders, you should see this box:
Check or uncheck the different options to see only specific sets of units in the build. Maybe all of the Zerglings are cluttering Scarlett’s build order, and you just want building timings. No problem. Or maybe you just want to quickly scan upgrade timings across builds. Or maybe you want to see every little detail. All of those are possible.
Play the build order in real time
Careful readers (or even not that careful readers) may have noticed the “View Playable Build Order” button above. Typically, build orders are written out as a long list of steps. That’s useful for a holistic view of a build, but it can be hard to follow in the middle of the game: looking back and forth makes it easy to lose your place, especially with the multi-tasking StarCraft alone requires. “Playable” build orders (name in progress: we’re open to suggestions) allow you to run the build order in real time so you can use it step-by-step.
Just hit start, and the game time will tick (at “Fastest” in HotS and real time in LotV) with the “Next Step” updating at every point along the way. If you have a second screen, you can keep the Spawning Tool browser window while you are playing on your main screen. You may, however, prefer to use it on your tablet or phone, which leads into our next update.
Better Mobile Experience
Spawning Tool is built on the Bootstrap framework. If Spawning Tool looks like a lot of websites you have seen, it’s because they also are using Bootstrap. Bootstrap provides the HTML, layout, button styles, and interactive widgets that you see in the browser: it’s kind of like a WordPress theme. It’s really helpful for people like me with terrible web design skills can still make web applications look passable. Since creation, Spawning Tool has been on Bootstrap 2.3.2, but we just updated to Bootstrap 3.3.5.
Most of the improvements are technical and shouldn’t affect your experience much. The big improvement you may notice, however, is that Spawning Tool looks much better on your phone or tablet.
Bootstrap 3 was designed to be “mobile-first”: it uses responsive web design to rearrange the content depending on the size of the browser window, so it should look good on your (relatively) small phone, your tablet, or your full-size screen.
Hopefully these improvements make Spawning Tool more valuable as you have more, different way to view build orders.