Staredit Network > Forums > General StarCraft > Topic: What kind of campaign do you want to play?
What kind of campaign do you want to play?
Jan 3 2017, 10:43 pm
By: Pr0nogo  

Apr 16 2017, 11:35 pm Dem0n Post #21

ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ

Just more planning, really. I had a loose idea of what the storyline should be, but after I finished that first mission, I wasn't sure what to do next. I didn't know if I should make a prologue map that introduces the characters that had been featured in the first mission, or if I should just move onto the second mission. If I had fleshed out a proper timeline, I probably would've made more progress on it.



Memes gather, and now my watch begins. It shall not end until my death. I shall take no wife, hold no lands, father no children. I shall wear no crowns and win no glory. I shall live and die at my post. I am the sword in the darkness. I am the memer on the walls. I am the shield that guards the realms of memes. I pledge my life and honor to the Meme's Watch, for this meme and all the memes to come.

Apr 17 2017, 1:14 am Pr0nogo Post #22



Would you be more likely to get back into working on that campaign, or start a new project entirely?




Apr 17 2017, 2:37 am Dem0n Post #23

ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ

I'd probably continue with this project. I really like how the first mission was shaping up, so I'd like to go on with it, but again, I need an actual plot first, which I'm too lazy to think of right now.



Memes gather, and now my watch begins. It shall not end until my death. I shall take no wife, hold no lands, father no children. I shall wear no crowns and win no glory. I shall live and die at my post. I am the sword in the darkness. I am the memer on the walls. I am the shield that guards the realms of memes. I pledge my life and honor to the Meme's Watch, for this meme and all the memes to come.

May 12 2017, 4:15 am Pr0nogo Post #24



I recently played The Critter Campaign by BounceHimUp and, though it's not complete, it showcases an impressive amount of modwork to create a very unique and atmospheric approach to level design. I don't agree with most of the decisions based on the way they were executed, but the effort is certainly palpable. The reason I bring this up in this thread is because I'd like to talk about level design, specifically when it comes to what makes a typical micro mission in BW intolerable for me to play. I don't think that my viewpoint on this subject is the most common, and might not even be all that fair due to my own bias towards build and destroy, so I'd like to hear what you guys think.

The second playable mission in The Critter Campaign is an hour+ long micro mission where you use hackers (civilians with lockdown), Dr. Marko (hero ghost with a modified attack and defensive matrix), and a few standard marines with stim pack to complete most of the challenges. The first and most obvious new mechanic the campaign makes use of is a permanent layer of fog of war that only effects the installation tileset. It doesn't matter if you've explored an area - if you don't have active vision of it, you don't have any vision of it. This immediately strikes me as a polarizing mechanic, because some people might feel very on-edge (in a good way) and immersed in the feeling of exploring a facility and not knowing the path you took to get to where you are, while some people will fucking despise the fact that you have to guess where to click when you inevitably have to backtrack upwards of 15 times in the mission's runtime. Guess which side of the fence I was on?

Some tileset editing has also been used to improve doodad variety and add a small set of lights near doors and other interactable objects. I suspect that the set of lights is actually a unit that plays the 'on' animation (toggles from red to green) when its doodad state is enabled or disabled, but regardless of the particulars, it works and doesn't require much explanation past the first time you encounter it. I still would have appreciated some intuitive form of explaining that to the player, as there are so many custom assets in this campaign that I found it hard to even notice the light set at first, and then had to condition myself into looking out for it in the future. Nonetheless, the campaign still makes use of colored beacons to denote where you need to bring hackers or your hero for story events and other such progression, so it still feels like a classic BW installation map, despite being significantly cooler. I would have liked to see some other way of showing the player where they're supposed to go, but my expectations are definitely lower in a fan-made campaign than a triple-A title.

However, one thing I find inexcusable is 'gotcha' moments, and most micro maps I've played make use of these, either at critical moments or just in general throughout the entire map. This mission was no different, and in fact made extensive use of 'gotcha' moments, much to my distaste. There is a moment where, as you approach the final boss, you enter into a room with 3 turrets and a few enemy spawners. By this point, you know how to handle this - but after you clear out the turrets, 4 more spawn on top of your units, and another wave of them spawn after those are dealt with. This was the only point I was forced to use cheat codes, though I suspect that if I had the foresight to know exactly what was going on and I had saved all 3 of my hackers so as to keep energy for lockdown, I may have been able to pass this point without so much trouble. Even so, there should be enough information effectively communicated to the player so they know that the possibility of a threat can exist, at the very least. Spawning turrets with 400 HP on my units just doesn't get the job done.

Despite all the frustration that I experienced during this mission, it was certainly memorable, and some moments in particular stick out to me as exceptionally cool, such as the modding of the Disruption Web graphic to create a water-like effect that the creator mixes with a blood effect to visually craft the stuff of horrors. I can't say much more about the cooler moments of this map without spoiling what little intelligible story there is, but suffice it to say that there are a number of moments to this map that deserve praise, even if the vast majority of my experience was negative.

What are your opinions on how a commando mission should be crafted? Do you think it's possible to get away from 'gotcha' moments and other instances of fake difficulty while still adhering to the limits of BW's engine? This question will probably appeal to some of the RPG enthusiasts as those maps typically involve commando-style gameplay, even though the medium is far different than that of a campaign. What are your thoughts?




May 12 2017, 12:12 pm TF- Post #25



That campaign looks interesting, it reminds me "Critters Atteckers" was one of the first mods I played back in 2000, it just made every critter able to attack in melee and nothing else.

My ways of getting around gotchas are:
- try and have a slow burn of increasing difficulty
- have a "weak version" of a very difficult situation or setup that's coming up, to "vaccinate" the player, kinda related to the previous point
- have a good amount of enemies that can be killed without losing anything if you're careful (for instance, damaged enemies like turrets that have just 1 HP left)
- if I explicitly want the player to be mobbed by enemy units or enemy attacks for dramatic effect, these units either do no/reduced damage initially (mostly applies to sc2) or they are temporarily invulnerable along with the player so that the two forces can size each other up
- as a last resort, tell the player that something nasty is coming up, this is only saved for moments when defeat is almost guaranteed if you don't know what you're doing / don't have extreme attention to detail, it's more for stuff like getting destroyed by some environmental effect




Nov 22 2017, 1:22 am Mithras Gnosis Post #26



Hi there. I share the same concerns about maps which fail to account for the limitations of the UI. Maps that always use the maximum size, have lots of text, really complicated instructions, overlong cut scenes, etc really annoy me. That stuff belongs in SC2, because that engine is much better at it. SC/BW maps should be as small and objectives as simple as possible.

I bought remastered and wanted to make my own campaigns set in koprulu, but I am concerned about how they would be received because I do not respect certain parts of canon. Namely, I would ignore queen of blades, ued and duran, since I feel they are incongruous and distracting. I thought the zerg wanted to assimilate humans to build an army against the protoss, but somehow just one queen of blades wins all the wars? The back story took huge pains to make it clear koprulu was forever severed from earth, then it abruptly says lolno the ued was spying for three hundred years? The overmind and tassadar speeches makes a huge deal about how the zerg want to assimilate the protoss, then duran appears with hybrids and zeratul acts as if this is some impossible new magic? None of it made sense to me, like the writers changed their minds halfway through.

If my disregard for canon does not scare anyone away I would be happy to discuss my ideas for specific campaigns in more detail. I even have a timeline of koprulu wars and power blocs so that I can make sure all my campaigns have the illusion of sharing the same universe.




Nov 22 2017, 2:48 am Pr0nogo Post #27



You're not alone in feeling that BW basically went its own way with the story, and tbh I'd rather have seen Kerrigan die in Rebel Yell than be reincarnated in the first place. That being said, even if I didn't agree about BW's story, seeing a campaign that takes a radically different direction than the established lore can certainly be fun and should be encouraged imo.




Nov 22 2017, 8:58 am tiferet Post #28



Agreed, exploring alternate potential timelines is very fun. Lots of campaigns have done this and nobody seems to mind it, so you should feel free to go nuts with your ideas!

I would love to see the wars and power blocs timeline you've built Mithras, it might be useful in my own endeavors. I love StarCraft's lore but trying to keep it straight can be a headache... I knew a guy who would spend hours on the wiki lol, I wish I had that kind of patience.



None.

Nov 22 2017, 12:43 pm Mithras Gnosis Post #29



In the AU, the wars and power blocs are still broadly the same. The great war and brood war still happen, just without queen blade or ued. The zerg spawn new monsters from terran psychic genes (giving them psychic soldiers, signals, storms, etc), but these are difficult to represent in SC engine and might require using OpenBW (assuming it develops a lawyer friendly way to import SC assets and mods). The umojans and kelmorians become clients of the dominion, and continue fighting the zerg who fight the terrans and protoss simultaneously. During the brood war the cerebrates fight to become the next overmind, while the terrans and protoss start enslaving broods to supplement their limited forces. It's all very long and detailed.

I incidentally discovered someone else had come with the same idea long before I did. He'd already written a 14 page timeline and a 150 page anthropology paper (!) which really saved my bacon. I'll try to find the link if you're still interested.




Nov 27 2017, 1:25 pm Mithras Gnosis Post #30



Hey again! Thanksgiving was great, btw.

So the timeline I mentioned is at this link, and the full document (which explains tech trees and cultures in detail) is at this link. Also the author originally posted it at the Blizzard forums at this link.

So aside from the changes to the Terran and Zerg I mentioned before, the AU makes more use of the fact that the Protoss were supposed to be a galactic empire. In the manual IIRC they claim like an eighth or so of the galaxy, mostly in the fringe. So in the AU this means that the Zerg spawn mindbogglingly huge armies to assault the hundreds or maybe thousands of Protoss worlds, dark templar safe houses (they're nomadic, remember?), and other holdings.

Yeah, the AU is freaking huge in scale. There is a broad overview of the major conflicts, but there is a huge amount of leeway in the potential campaigns one can tell. The guy who wrote the timeline, alias AcidicCook and ToxicDefiler, spent a huge amount of time on making sure it was easy to set any number of custom campaigns in his timeline because he intended for other mapmakers to make use of it to give the illusion of taking place in the same universe.

Anyway, I am currently working on my ideas for individual campaigns on google drive. I have a few different ideas sketched out, but I spend the most effort on a script for a brief campaign taking place on Mar Sara exploring the Zerg perspective during the invasion and purification of the Sara system. If anyone is interested in proof-reading or giving advice on the campaign structure (the script is very short and I have not begun work on the maps since I am waiting on the new version of StarEdit, so I am open to complete rewrites), just send me a PM.



None.

Nov 28 2017, 7:11 pm Pr0nogo Post #31



Quote from Mithras Gnosis
the Protoss were supposed to be a galactic empire. In the manual IIRC they claim like an eighth or so of the galaxy, mostly in the fringe. So in the AU this means that the Zerg spawn mindbogglingly huge armies to assault the hundreds or maybe thousands of Protoss worlds, dark templar safe houses (they're nomadic, remember?), and other holdings.
This makes it seem a lot more like 40k given the sheer scale of things, but I love the idea of expanding the universe. I've always made time for massive, sprawling epics, potential for which I've always seen in the SC universe. This seems to facilitate it a bit easier for writers who are less immersed in the lore, which is always nice.

Quote from Mithras Gnosis
Yeah, the AU is freaking huge in scale. There is a broad overview of the major conflicts, but there is a huge amount of leeway in the potential campaigns one can tell. ... he intended for other mapmakers to make use of it to give the illusion of taking place in the same universe.
Sounds like a good plan for a team project or something. Also shouldn't be hard to link other projects into it, since it's unlikely a brand new story set after BW would contradict anything in the AU.

Quote from Mithras Gnosis
I spend the most effort on a script for a brief campaign taking place on Mar Sara exploring the Zerg perspective during the invasion and purification of the Sara system.
Having recently produced a zerg campaign set during the invasion of Aiur, I'm very interested in seeing what comes of this project. It's unlikely you'll see a new version of StarEdit anytime soon, so I'd recommend checking the tutorials playlist on my channel if you're having difficulty adapting to SCMDraft or learning modding techniques. I'll be posting additional tutorials for quite a while on a fairly regular basis.




Nov 29 2017, 2:17 pm Mithras Gnosis Post #32



Quote from Pr0nogo
Quote from Mithras Gnosis
the Protoss were supposed to be a galactic empire. In the manual IIRC they claim like an eighth or so of the galaxy, mostly in the fringe. So in the AU this means that the Zerg spawn mindbogglingly huge armies to assault the hundreds or maybe thousands of Protoss worlds, dark templar safe houses (they're nomadic, remember?), and other holdings.
This makes it seem a lot more like 40k given the sheer scale of things, but I love the idea of expanding the universe. I've always made time for massive, sprawling epics, potential for which I've always seen in the SC universe. This seems to facilitate it a bit easier for writers who are less immersed in the lore, which is always nice.
40k has planets lost to rounding errors, so I think hundreds or thousands of worlds is still tiny in comparison. I noticed a number of mapmakers play fast and loose anyway, if they aren’t ignoring canon entirely, whether by setting their campaigns outside koprulu or only paying lipservice to the lore.
Quote from Pr0nogo
Quote from Mithras Gnosis
Yeah, the AU is freaking huge in scale. There is a broad overview of the major conflicts, but there is a huge amount of leeway in the potential campaigns one can tell. ... he intended for other mapmakers to make use of it to give the illusion of taking place in the same universe.
Sounds like a good plan for a team project or something. Also shouldn't be hard to link other projects into it, since it's unlikely a brand new story set after BW would contradict anything in the AU.
It does not have to be a coordinated effort. Anyone could contribute a campaign with very little chance of contradicting other campaigns, since only a few named characters and factions are explicitly mentioned in the timeline (e.g. Kerry presumably dies on Tarsonis, Raynor rebels against the Dominion, Zasz is killed by Zeratul on Char, Tassadar survives presumably to teach the twilight Templar, etc).
The AU is, I assume, supposed foster stories exploring all the individual commanders taking part in the conflicts rather than privileging a specific viewpoint. A comparison would be to the licensed campaigns Insurrection and Retribution, which take place during episodes 1 and 2/3 respectively, depicting events happening elsewhere in koprulu. Another comparison would be the Proditor custom campaign for SC2, which depicts Praetor Morpheus doing heavy lifting in the background of episode 3 that ensures Protoss forces have a clear path to the Overmind.
I do not understand what you mean by “contradict”. Do you mean that a story set after canon Brood War (w/ QoB, UED, Duran) will not contradict the AU version (w/ assimilated terrans, umojan)? What qualifies as “brand new”?
Quote from Pr0nogo
Quote from Mithras Gnosis
I spend the most effort on a script for a brief campaign taking place on Mar Sara exploring the Zerg perspective during the invasion and purification of the Sara system.
Having recently produced a zerg campaign set during the invasion of Aiur, I'm very interested in seeing what comes of this project. It's unlikely you'll see a new version of StarEdit anytime soon, so I'd recommend checking the tutorials playlist on my channel if you're having difficulty adapting to SCMDraft or learning modding techniques. I'll be posting additional tutorials for quite a while on a fairly regular basis.
Good to know. Thanks.
I work with spreadsheets a lot, so I am not too concerned about triggers being a problem. My biggest concern right now is making sure the dialogue is at least passable. Working with Zerg is difficult, as there are only a few breeds engineered for their intelligence (overmind, cerebrate, overlord, queen). I refuse to fall into the trap of adding talking mutalisks and ultralisks; they aren’t bred for their intelligence!



None.

Dec 1 2017, 6:04 pm FlameViper Post #33



I'd love a campaign series that changes the status quo of the gameplay every few maps, but I think you'd need mods to do that properly.
For example you could have space-themed maps where marines cost just 3 minerals each and supply depots 16 minerals, but you cannot lift CCs or get them right on the island where the minerals are. So you'd need to send all your scvs/drones/probes to the mineral fields and have them protected by soldiers while they're mining. Perhaps we could take out the supply limit and just place a bunch of invincible supplies in a corner. What I don't like is how the Zerg works and the fact you cannot control the supply per unit or per overlord.
I'd also like a gameplay that put more emphasis on saving your units instead of blindly sending them into all-or-nothing death wars.



None.

Dec 3 2017, 10:04 pm Pr0nogo Post #34



Quote from FlameViper
I'd love a campaign series that changes the status quo of the gameplay every few maps, but I think you'd need mods to do that properly.
I do think that a lot of campaign developers typically keep their mechanics and core design philosophies fairly congruent because if you change it to different mechanics all the time, they cease to become mechanics and just appear as gimmicks, generally for the sake of keeping the gameplay unique. There's nothing stopping anyone from designing a campaign around the idea that your mechanics change, but there will generally always be a period of learning new information while simultaneously discarding old information, whereas if you have consistent mechanics across your whole campaign you'll mostly be learning new information without unlearning old information. I suppose it's a matter of preference as to which is more engaging.

Quote from FlameViper
I'd also like a gameplay that put more emphasis on saving your units instead of blindly sending them into all-or-nothing death wars.
This I can wholeheartedly agree with. You should check out You Must Survive by DarkenedFantasies, which has a decidedly micro-focused slant for the first several maps, and thus makes use of smaller scale encounters where you have to take things slower and execute strategies other than attack-moving. Maybe it'll be up your alley.




Dec 5 2017, 7:49 am tiferet Post #35



Off the top of my head, one classic campaign that changes up gameplay frequently would be Wicked Reality... boy, that one was a trip. Maybe it would be up your alley. I think Newrand Citadel does it too (and then stuff like flame knives which was inspired by it)...



None.

Dec 5 2017, 12:56 pm NudeRaider Post #36

We can't explain the universe, just describe it; and we don't know whether our theories are true, we just know they're not wrong. >Harald Lesch

Another is the Visions of the Future / Ranma 1/2 campaign. You get many different heroes and between mods that all belong to one long story arc you get different sets of units. Best mod (compilation) ever imo.




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