Staredit Network > Forums > SC1 Map Showcase > Topic: You Must Survive
You Must Survive
Nov 14 2016, 12:03 pm
By: DarkenedFantasies  

Nov 14 2016, 12:03 pm DarkenedFantasies Post #1



It's titled as such because I don't really know what else to name it. Since the vast majority of the missions have a "### must survive" objective, I went for that. :P
This is a rather basic campaign that I made mostly just for my own enjoyment, and I wanted a difficult campaign ASAP. So I built the campaign upon Blizzard melee maps, with mild modifications to the terrain as needed. The only exceptions are the installation map, which I've clearly had to create myself, and Mission 4 which I've modified beyond recognition. The design is elementary on purpose, to be reminiscent of the Blizzard campaigns.

The plot is pretty much an alternate StarCraft universe, based on my autistic stories from years back when I was a kid. It's secondary to gameplay, so don't expect a great storyline (not that I'm an experienced writer anyways). This should be played for the missions themselves, and the challenge they deliver. I hope it won't be TOO difficult, even though I've toned down the difficulty for this public release... :unsure: I still suggest saving your game frequently.

I don't consider it entirely finished; I still have some fine-tuning to do, particularly with the AI scripts, and the last mission doesn't really have much of an ending. I'm also not too happy with Mission 6, but I don't really have a much better idea for it in a way that would fit with the next mission.
However I've tested it thoroughly enough that I don't expect any major bugs, and I'd like to begin working on a more dedicated (and slightly less difficult) campaign in the near future. I consider this practice, and will fix any problems you encounter, so bug reports/criticism are still welcome.


Focused on Terran vs Terran, and micromanagement.

Game mode: Single Player (recommended)
Number of missions: 10
Difficulty: Harder than killing fleas with a harpoon
Modded: No
Mission length: 20-50 Minutes

(Edit 24/12/16: A few quick fixes.)

Attachments:
You Must Survive.zip
Hits: 0 Size: 1076.48kb

Post has been edited 1 time(s), last time on Dec 24 2016, 7:21 pm by DarkenedFantasies.



GO PICK ON SUM1 UR OWN FAT SIZE!

Nov 17 2016, 6:30 am Pr0nogo Post #2

D.A.D

I've downloaded this, and will be playing through some of it over this weekend. I'll leave some comments about my experience. Any specific topics you want me to cover to make the feedback more useful for your next project?




Nov 17 2016, 8:14 am DarkenedFantasies Post #3



Thank you for looking to play it. ^^ I think feedback on my briefings will be most useful to me; I feel I have trouble making dialogue sound more natural and/or less forced. If you think you can help me with that, you're welcome to give me advice on that. I'm still interested to hear anything else you have to say about this campaign, though.



GO PICK ON SUM1 UR OWN FAT SIZE!

Nov 21 2016, 8:01 am Pr0nogo Post #4

D.A.D

I've recorded a full playthrough of map 1 and a partial playthrough of map 2, which I will add to this post or as a new reply when it's finished rendering and uploading to my youtube channel. Let me know if you'd rather I keep my video private.

A summary of my feedback is below.

MAP ONE

Liked:
-Marines 'escorting' your character in the beginning (looked cool)
-Simple but effective gameplay twists (from infantry to goliaths to goliaths w/ medic and etc.)
-Contextual clues (vultures lay spider mines as you approach, helpful dialogue before challenging sections)
-Good interplay between characters through dialogue

Needs Attention:
-I thought my blue marine was expendable at first, because my mission objectives were tucked away in their menu option. Displaying them prominently on-screen before giving the player control of their heroes would help mitigate this issue.
-I have a very difficult time understanding the Scottish/Irish/whatever-he-is guy. Reading his text is next to impossible when you're also trying to focus on gameplay. With voice acting, this likely wouldn't be an issue, but perhaps toning the textual accent down would serve as a band-aid fix.
-I encountered a bug when the infantry exit the goliaths. They all teleported back to the spot where they originally entered the goliaths, and I had to backtrack all the way back while Mint was chased by marines. I imagine this is an issue with your location placement or updating the initial locations.

I actually liked this map a lot more than I thought I would. I've typically not been much of a fan of commando maps or installation maps as I feel like that kind of gameplay doesn't run smoothly in SC:BW, and while there are plenty of moments in this map where I'm battling the engine of the game more than I am the enemies in the map, you managed to blend enough twists into the gameplay experience that I was never stuck doing the same monotonous thing for too long. Even Blizzard's installation maps had this problem, where you'd be forced to backtrack through areas or play chicken with potential infested terran spots or some nonsense of that sort, whereas in this map there's always a feeling of movement as you progress through the layout of the installation and ultimately escape from your captors.

I discuss this topic at length in my video, but your mission briefing is pretty much just a title card. I even spaced out on the objectives (and thus had confusion as to whether or not my blue marine was expendable later on in the map) because I was so focused on explaining the importance of briefings. This is less pertinent to this project and more important to remember when working on your next campaign, since you said before that you're looking to make a more story-driven experience, but I thought I'd point it out so you can keep an ear out for my discussion on this early on in the video.

A big issue with this map, however, is that if you don't know what's coming next, you're basically forced to use trial-and-error rather than skill or understanding of BW's mechanics (unless you play super safe and hold position every other step, which isn't realistic nor is it intended). I understand that it's pretty difficult to create challenging gameplay in this kind of space without keeping the player hopelessly in the dark, and I don't think there's a good solution to this issue - it's really just intrinsic to the engine that you're working with. This kind of map would definitely work better in SC2, and I suppose that's one of the reasons I was frustrated by its execution in BW. I could see your vision for the gameplay and what you were going for, but ultimately the failure to deliver on every intended premise isn't really yours, but the engine's itself.
MAP TWO

Liked:
-Interesting opening, where you move through and gather allies. The units at the player's disposal combine well with the threats that block the player's path to create dynamic gameplay throughout the first portion of the map.
-More dialogue that references the Natiunion (how on earth do you pronounce that) and the clan that the characters are a part of for worldbuilding purposes.

Needs Attention:
-Some of the dialogue definitely feels more like a tooltip, e.g. the first line of dialogue that includes something to the effect of 'avoid these guys until you feel strong enough to fight them'. Simply stating that a vast enemy force is in 'area X' is enough to dissuade any attempts of heroism, since the player will know not to attack the big enemy base when they have next to no units.
-Lack of gameplay clarity. I'm left wondering whether or not a trigger misfired because I have no minerals, and no indication that I have to find minerals through exploration. A simple dialogue event ("shit, we need to find minerals!" could help the player identify their next objective.
-In the same vein as the above point, perhaps one of the allies you add to your clan could mention the derelict colonial outpost that you can take command of? That will give the player a clear idea on where to go in the early game.
-Lack of characterisation. What is this clan all about? Why do people want to join them? What is their reputation? Knowing the answers to these questions, even partially, could help the player's suspension of disbelief when a bunch of random units sign up for the clan without any discernible reason.

As I mentioned, I only did a partial playthrough of this map, because I failed shortly after finding the minerals and had forgotten to save. I'll come back to this map off-camera and I'll give you more feedback on the end of the mission at a later date.

Gameplay clarity could definitely use some work here. I often don't really know what I'm meant to do or how I'm meant to do it. Some specific points are above, but I definitely think you should use dialogue as a tool to explain more about what is expected of the player (as well as displaying mission objectives onscreen when new objectives are encountered or old objectives are completed). More contextual clues are almost always a good thing, especially when the player is kept in the dark about what's around the next corner.

The later stages of the gameplay (with base building and resource management) seem like they'll be exceptionally challenging due to the low resource count, but almost zero margin for error is not necessarily a good thing when the player is getting their bearings. I'll write in more detail on this when I've played the later stages of the game, but for now, suffice it to say that 720 minerals plus the 240 you get from the group of recruits is almost nothing to field an army with. Maybe it's not as challenging as it looks and you don't even need that many minerals, but it definitely feels less like a classic StarCraft mission and more like a tactical strategy game in this context. I'll decide whether this is a good or bad thing when I've beaten the map.

This map seems like it does its job of acting as a teaser for the more involved macro missions that presumably follow it, though, which makes me anticipate the challenges of future maps even more. When I'm not even done with a map and I'm looking forward to the next one, that's definitely a plus in my book.

Overall, I'm excited to see what else you can come up with, and I'm looking forward to playing the rest of the maps in this campaign, despite its focus on challenging gameplay and my predilection for story-driven experiences. Hopefully, this feedback is useful to you, and you can take something positive away from it to put towards your next project. Let me know if you have any follow-up to my feedback and I'll do my best to respond in a timely manner.

edit: I think you should also add screenshots or other promotional materials to the OP to draw in more downloads. If people want to play custom campaigns, even a cursory glance will whet their appetite. Shots of maps 1-3 generally work in this instance, so long as they don't spoil anything too important.




Nov 21 2016, 2:21 pm DarkenedFantasies Post #5



I don't think I mind whether the video is public or private, although the bug you've encountered on the first mission sounds quite embarrassing. :unsure: I hate those errors that happen only when somebody else plays the map, in spite of my painstaking testing! Maybe I'll understand what went wrong after seeing the video.

Your feedback so far is very useful to me, I'm taking note of the things that need attention and pretty much agree with all your points. I blame most of the issues concerning things like worldbuilding and gameplay clarity on the fact that I originally didn't intend to release this publicly, as I had started making this before I joined SEN. Also because I planned the missions first, and shaped the story (or some semblance of one) around them later on, rather than the other way around as I believe it usually is. But to address a few of them:

- I would have preferred to have voice acting to forgo the need of textual accent, although I admit I didn't think it would be that difficult to understand, my bad. (Scottish, by the way.)

- The reason the first mission is missing any briefing is because I was thinking since all of the protagonists are currently on their own, plus the entire mission being simply "go from here to here alive", I didn't think there would be much to be done with a mission briefing. I thought of having the initial hero character addressing the Commander (player), but I didn't have any idea for it. But believe me, the importance of mission briefings isn't something I'm unaware of!

- You can absolutely win Mission 2 using only the Siege Tank and rescued units (and even less if you know exactly what you're doing). The base is mostly just for backup, and a source of gas mainly for repairs. The campaign becomes more macro-oriented by the 5th mission, but remaining thrifty with your forces and resources will be the overall theme of the campaign and I believe that is what I wanted to communicate to the player with this mission.

- I thought of adding screenshots as well, but since this is not a mod at all (everybody knows what StarCraft looks like), I didn't think it was really necessary. I didn't have much time to take screenshots beyond shots of the beginning of missions either (and didn't want to do the latter since I think that would have looked lazy; it's already bad enough I used the game's melee maps, heh).

- I pronounce it Nati as in Nation, and then Union. I don't know what it stands for, just some name I made up when I was like 16 and thought sounded cool. :P


Your positive opinion of this campaign means something to me and gives me confidence that my more serious projects will be well received. I'm eager to hear what you have to say about the other missions! Thank you again for playing. ^^



GO PICK ON SUM1 UR OWN FAT SIZE!

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