Staredit Network > Forums > SC1 Map Production > Topic: Custom campaign: "song of sara"
Custom campaign: "song of sara"
Jan 5 2018, 9:14 pm
By: Mithras Gnosis  

Jan 5 2018, 9:14 pm Mithras Gnosis Post #1




Song of Sara, Mission 1: Bloomings
I am a new amateur mapmaker trying to make a custom campaign. I have a complete draft of the story script but I am open to changes based on feedback.

This is the first map in my custom campaign for Zerg "The Song of Sara," which takes place on Mar Sara in Fall of 2499. It is modified from the BW map "UpTheCreek."

Credits to DarkenedFantasies and Pr0nogo for generously providing feedback and advice on the design and writing.


SPECIFICATIONS
  • Players
    Singleplayer
  • Map Tileset
    Badlands
  • Map Size
    96x64


STORYLINE/INTRODUCTION
The plot of this campaign picks up a plot point from the original manual that was strangely forgotten during the plot of Episode 2 and beyond. The Zerg invaded Koprulu because they were looking for a weapon against the Protoss, who were too powerful for them to fight and conquer at the time. It turns out that human psychic potential is exactly what the Zerg are looking for. When their space probes are discovered by the Protoss and tracked back to the Koprulu sector, this kicks off the Great War.

Contrary to the plot of Episode 2, one psychic is not enough: the Zerg need to abduct countless psychics and experiment on them to create new psychic strains. The player character of this campaign is a junior cerebrate of the Garm brood, who has been stationed on Mar Sara to subtly infest the surface and hunt down psychics. Unfortunately, things take a turn for the worse when a Protoss fleet appears and glasses Chau Sara.


FEATURES
  • Simplistic, nostalgic Starcraft gameplay without any fancy tricks
  • No mods, compatible with Starcraft Remastered
  • Five maps in total, all small as possible
  • Objectives vary between build, destroy, capture and rescue




DETAILS
  • Zerg Characters
    • Player Character: an unnamed junior cerebrate of the Garm brood, overseeing harvesting operations on Mar Sara.
    • Overmind: the collective consciousness of the Zerg race. Created the player character to infest Mar Sara and serves as a conscience of sorts.
    • Zasz: master of the Garm brood, the primary assault force. Gathers intelligence for other broods.
    • Overlord: an overlord, or perhaps a group, serving the PC. Oversees gathering of intelligence and deployment of warriors in the field.
    • Queen: a queen, or perhaps a group, serving the PC. Oversees the logistics of managing hive clusters.


  • Terran Characters
    • Nova Squadron: a squadron of the Confederate armed forces tasked with black ops. Cerberus Unit is part of this squadron.
    • 417th Confederate Marine Platoon: a platoon sent to Oasis Station to recover lost assets in the wake of Confederate counterattack against the Zerg.
    • Andre Madrid: a marine stationed at Fire Base Chimera. Cameo from Revelations short story.
    • Merdith Jernic: an engineer and psychic living in Oasis Station. Cameo from Speed of Darkness novel.

  • Protoss Characters
    • Andinunn: An executor serving under the Koprulu Expeditionary Force. He had been watching Terran space for some time before the Great War. Cameo from StarCraft Beta website.
    • Thuras: A zealot serving beside Andinunn. Cameo from Revelations short story.


SCREENSHOTS/DEMO

First map available @ https://drive.google.com/file/d/1vp1csclX_LXxjrm122k-VDabRNzlMmkm/view?usp=sharing (formerly http://www.staredit.net/sc1db/file/3930/)


PROGRESS
  • IDEAS (90%)
  • TERRAIN (20%)
  • UNIT PLACEMENT (20%)
  • TRIGGERS (20%)

UPDATES
  • 01/23/2018
    First map updated based on feedback.
  • 01/05/2018
    First map released as an open alpha. Still open to change based on feedback.



Made with the Map Production template.

Post has been edited 5 time(s), last time on Jan 29 2018, 3:10 pm by Mithras Gnosis.



None.

Jan 6 2018, 12:05 am DarkenedFantasies Post #2

Roy's Secret Service

Not sure if it's your first map or not, but so far it seems promising for a "new amateur". At least it's competently triggered for what the map was meant to be.
However I strongly advise against making "tutorial" type missions (i.e. build # units and/or such such buildings), especially when all the enemies are passive. I understand it's for replicating the Blizzard campaign experience, but it's safe to assume people who play custom campaigns are already familiar with the basics of the game, and don't need to be subjected to such an uneventful mission.

For example, the mission could be made more engaging by disposing of the build # units objectives, and having the enemy use an active AI script to attack the player. Give the enemy some light bases around the map so the player has to fight for them to meet the objective of expanding.
If anything, since we can build queens, and the theme is to infest the planet/Terrans, you could give them an objective to infest some Command Centers as well. Alternatively, instead of giving the player a Queen's Nest, you could give us Naktul and use her to infest the Command Centers.

I also suggest you disable the units/buildings/upgrades from the tech tree that are off-limits to the player. You've only disabled morphing to lair, but lair and hive tech still remain available in the command card. Perhaps trivial, but looks better and won't mislead the player as to what's at their disposal.


Well that's my feedback for now. I shall look forward to future updates/new maps!




Jan 6 2018, 1:56 am Dem0n Post #3

ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ

Quote
Standard, nostalgic Starcraft gameplay
Be careful with this. I generally like to keep things pretty traditional when making campaigns, but if you keep it too traditional, it'll be super boring. No one finds 10 "destroy the enemy base" or "bring the crystal to the beacon" missions fun. Try to come up with creative objectives. Don't just rely on 'Protoss Campaign Hard Difficulty' as your only resistance to the player; come up with ways to spice up the gameplay, maybe by adding ambushes, mini-objectives, etc. It requires more work, but it pays off by creating a much more immersive and engaging style of gameplay.



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.

Jan 7 2018, 1:39 am Mithras Gnosis Post #4



Words cannot describe how happy I am with your response.

Thank you for informing me of technical errors and gameplay shortcomings in the alpha. I will improve future versions of the map by making the specified fixes to the tech tree UI and giving Nova Squadron/Cerberus Recon(?) offensive gameplay. I am leery of having too many generic build and destroy missions; that is why I made expansion the only objective, with fighting being incidental to that (i.e. the Terran base being literally in the way).

Speaking of infestation, the very next mission was scheduled to be one! I added the queen's nest because it was the only way to attack enemy units located on mesas without ramp access (via spawn broodling), which in hindsight is actually pointless. This shall be removed and/or replaced in the next update.

I am leery of making objectives too complicated due to the limitations of the user interface and engine in general. I have already discovered that displaying more than one leaderboard is impossible and requires a workaround that switches between leaderboards every X seconds.

If you have any criticisms of the dialogue or story, please share. I added my own personal flairs to the Zerg's "telepathy translated into pseudo-Shakespeare/King Jame's Bible English" dialect(?) to make it sound more like Shakespeare and King Jame's Bible (e.g. using Early Modern English pronouns like "ye" and "thou") with some distinctly alien idioms thrown in, but I am not sure if I succeeded.



None.

Jan 8 2018, 1:00 am DaMnUFo0 Post #5



I will play your campaign and upload it to my channel once it is polished.
In the meantime, good luck with your endeavor.




Jan 16 2018, 12:27 am Rawflesh0615 Post #6



I already play your campaign game, and it's on my channel.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6CPKlNnNuWw&t=667s



None.

Jan 16 2018, 12:33 am Rawflesh0615 Post #7



How many missions your going to make this campaign?



None.

Jan 16 2018, 2:05 pm Mithras Gnosis Post #8



Quote from Rawflesh0615
I already play your campaign game, and it's on my channel.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6CPKlNnNuWw&t=667s
Thank you very much, but that feels a bit premature. I will be updating the first map some time next weekend.
Quote from Rawflesh0615
How many missions your going to make this campaign?
I have five missions planned in total.



None.

Jan 24 2018, 2:01 am Mithras Gnosis Post #9



So I updated the first map to have more involved combat and fixed UI icons. Uploading to staredit.net failed consistently, so I am hosting the updated map on google drive until staredit.net starts working again.

Please share any feedback.



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Jan 24 2018, 4:26 pm Rawflesh0615 Post #10



Hey man, Rawflesh here. Guess what, I heard those Terran characters from the book. I just read the Speed of Darkness two years ago.



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Jan 24 2018, 7:18 pm DarkenedFantasies Post #11

Roy's Secret Service

I think it's a pretty good improvement over the previous version; it felt less lackluster with the purple Terran's activity and map control. However there are still some issues that I will be addressing:


1) Not sure if that was intended, but purple remained hostile towards blue after the encounter trigger. If they remain unallied to blue, it's likely that they will be sending some attack waves to the other computer player instead of the human player. In one instance, there was a lone purple Firebat chewing down one of blue's bunkers.

2) Based on my playthrough, I'd lower the resource objective down to 4000 minerals and 3000 gas (or both 3000). Despite mining from all 6 possible locations (including the starting base), I still had about 4 minutes of sitting around waiting for my resource quota to be met (accumulated just under 8000 minerals before I reached 5000 gas).

3) You should run the AI Script at a location over the computer player's command center (e.g. "Hatchery 5"). Currently, you are running the AI Script at "Anywhere", which makes purple send their SCVs across the map to gather minerals from blue's western base. The same should be done for blue as well (Run AI Script at Hatchery 3 and 4). On the other hand, you are also running a script for Teal (Player 3) who has no need for a script since they are not maintaining any base or workers.

4) Again not sure if it was intended to be that way, but I peeked at the triggers and I saw there is nothing to check in the event the player loses their hatcheries at the expand locations. In other words, if the player builds a hatchery and gains 1 out of 4 leaderboard score, but later on loses the base from an enemy attack, the leaderboard will still say they have expanded 1 out of 4. (If you're not certain how to track for this, I can help.)

5) Kind of a minor thing, but I would widen the 'Nova squadron encounter' locations at least 2 tiles towards the left, so that the Zerg units aren't already within teal and purple's weapon range before those can successfully violate the Geneva Conventions.


With only a single map to judge from, I don't really have constructive criticism on the story yet. But in my opinion, your use of archaic English with the Overmind and Cerebrates is too extravagant. I get where you're coming from with that attempt, but it doesn't really work out that well for me.

Canonically, only the Overmind speaks with a biblical dialect as he's meant to be a God-like figure for the Zerg. And even so, the dialect mostly pertains to the syntax and idioms, rather than just replacing modern pronouns and such with archaic ones.




Jan 24 2018, 11:18 pm Pr0nogo Post #12



Yeah, I have to agree with DF's assessment of the speech. Generally I find the dialogue pretty irritating or pointless even once you look past the flowery nonsense surrounding them. I'll do a quick dissection of the first part of the briefing.

u

Hope this helps you write in the future. I don't mean to be discouraging by any of what I say, and wish you the best of luck on completing this campaign.

Post has been edited 2 time(s), last time on Jan 24 2018, 11:50 pm by Pr0nogo.




Jan 25 2018, 4:29 pm Mithras Gnosis Post #13



Thank you for your criticisms. I will improve future versions of the map.

1) Not sure if that was intended, but purple remained hostile towards blue after the encounter trigger. If they remain unallied to blue, it's likely that they will be sending some attack waves to the other computer player instead of the human player. In one instance, there was a lone purple Firebat chewing down one of blue's bunkers.
The idea is that Nova Squadron is trying to kill the witnesses. I suppose the current implementation is a bit clunky and I should probably just remove the blue bases. What would you suggest?

2) Based on my playthrough, I'd lower the resource objective down to 4000 minerals and 3000 gas (or both 3000). Despite mining from all 6 possible locations (including the starting base), I still had about 4 minutes of sitting around waiting for my resource quota to be met (accumulated just under 8000 minerals before I reached 5000 gas).
Thank you for letting me know. I shall set it to 3000 in the next version.

3) You should run the AI Script at a location over the computer player's command center (e.g. "Hatchery 5"). Currently, you are running the AI Script at "Anywhere", which makes purple send their SCVs across the map to gather minerals from blue's western base. The same should be done for blue as well (Run AI Script at Hatchery 3 and 4). On the other hand, you are also running a script for Teal (Player 3) who has no need for a script since they are not maintaining any base or workers.
I am not versed in the workings of the scripts, so this comes as a surprise to me. In fact I have no idea how to do cut scenes correctly: I did not want purple to break the cut scene by sending the units in a wave before the cut scene triggered, hence the addition of teal.

4) Again not sure if it was intended to be that way, but I peeked at the triggers and I saw there is nothing to check in the event the player loses their hatcheries at the expand locations. In other words, if the player builds a hatchery and gains 1 out of 4 leaderboard score, but later on loses the base from an enemy attack, the leaderboard will still say they have expanded 1 out of 4. (If you're not certain how to track for this, I can help.)
I would appreciate the help. I use a custom variable to track the number of hatcheries that were built, but I want to make sure that it tracks the hatcheries that were created and destroyed and only once per mineral site.

5) Kind of a minor thing, but I would widen the 'Nova squadron encounter' locations at least 2 tiles towards the left, so that the Zerg units aren't already within teal and purple's weapon range before those can successfully violate the Geneva Conventions.
Thank you for reminding me. In my test playthrough that stuck out and I should really fix it.


With only a single map to judge from, I don't really have constructive criticism on the story yet. But in my opinion, your use of archaic English with the Overmind and Cerebrates is too extravagant. I get where you're coming from with that attempt, but it doesn't really work out that well for me.

Canonically, only the Overmind speaks with a biblical dialect as he's meant to be a God-like figure for the Zerg. And even so, the dialect mostly pertains to the syntax and idioms, rather than just replacing modern pronouns and such with archaic ones.
Quote from Pr0nogo
Yeah, I have to agree with DF's assessment of the speech. Generally I find the dialogue pretty irritating or pointless even once you look past the flowery nonsense surrounding them. I'll do a quick dissection of the first part of the briefing.
Alrighty then. I shall remove the archaicisms in the next version.

Although I was under the impression the cerebrates generally have more sophisticated or excessively formal speech patterns than the Terran's casual dialogue. Was I wrong?

Quote from Pr0nogo
Everything else is completely unnecessary.
You are right. All of this is stuff the PC should already know.

Starcraft lore has undergone numerous retcons, and not everyone has read the numerous publications (manuals, novels, websites, wikis, etc) explaining it. The manual explains where the Zerg came from and what they want, but the game twists these plot points into unrecognizability. I wanted to bring the player up to speed and make it clear what lore I am using, but I suppose the execution is terribly clunky and immersion-breaking.

Quote from Pr0nogo
It's completely impossible to take this transmission seriously in its current state. This at least holds pertinent information, but is overshadowed by the clunky writing.
I had thought it fit the sophistication Zasz had shown in canon, but I guess not. What would you suggest instead?

Quote from Pr0nogo
This just ends up confusing the player.
I was trying to make the Zerg seem more obviously alien by introducing specific vocabulary based on their physiology. Since they communicate in psychic radio waves, I interpreted that as being analogous to human sight. Therefore, Zerg would "see" beacons analogous to how humans see light sources. I suppose you are right in that "psychic emanations" would not confuse players.


Quote from Pr0nogo
Hope this helps you write in the future. I don't mean to be discouraging by any of what I say, and wish you the best of luck on completing this campaign.
Would you like to edit my scripts? You certainly seem qualified.



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Jan 25 2018, 10:17 pm Pr0nogo Post #14



Quote from Mithras Gnosis
Would you like to edit my scripts? You certainly seem qualified.
No. I want you to learn and grow and do it yourself. There's no reason to short-circuit the learning curve of becoming a good storywriter. Finish the campaign, learn from it, make another one, and repeat.




Jan 26 2018, 5:20 pm DarkenedFantasies Post #15

Roy's Secret Service

Quote from Mithras Gnosis
The idea is that Nova Squadron is trying to kill the witnesses. I suppose the current implementation is a bit clunky and I should probably just remove the blue bases. What would you suggest?
Personally I would limit Nova Squadron's presence to that single event like in the previous version, and give blue the active AI script and map presence. Or alternatively, just make purple allied with blue after they've killed the scientists; since the blue bases are confined to the high ground, they can believably be ignored by purple. If you wish to maintain purple's hostility towards blue, I suggest you set blue to be enemies towards purple as well so they don't just let the latter tear down their bunkers without retaliation: While blue is allied, units outside of bunkers can react, but the ones inside bunkers can't.

I don't know what it is that Nova Squadron is trying to protect, but just the whole scope of it seems ridiculous to me, that Nova Squadron would go on to exterminate an entire colonial militia at the risk of undermining their own survival against the Zerg. I believe only murdering the scientists seems more reasonable, since the rest are just military personnel who likely have no idea of what they have witnessed, or probably did not even witness. But it's just the first map and I have no idea where the story will be going, so I don't really know the reasoning behind that decision. :teehee:


Quote from Mithras Gnosis
I am not versed in the workings of the scripts, so this comes as a surprise to me. In fact I have no idea how to do cut scenes correctly: I did not want purple to break the cut scene by sending the units in a wave before the cut scene triggered, hence the addition of teal.
Since the human player is required to walk through either encounter locations to reach purple's base, you could simply trigger purple's AI script to run immediately after the cut scene is done instead of at the beginning of the game. You may also make the cut scene trigger automatically after 5 minutes or so have passed, so a turtling player can't just sit back and build up a 200 supply army while purple stays sound asleep.


Quote from Mithras Gnosis
I would appreciate the help. I use a custom variable to track the number of hatcheries that were built, but I want to make sure that it tracks the hatcheries that were created and destroyed and only once per mineral site.
Trigger Example



Quote from Mithras Gnosis
Although I was under the impression the cerebrates generally have more sophisticated or excessively formal speech patterns than the Terran's casual dialogue. Was I wrong?
Well, the Cerebrates do have more formal speech, but they don't use a biblical dialect like the Overmind. They're mostly speaking with poise and authority, I suppose.

I can give you some edited excerpts of your script to use as a reference or push in the right direction, of what I believe to be more in-line with their character---without changing the meaning of your dialogue, and disregarding whether these lines should be changed or scrapped. You or Pr0nogo can tell me if I'm wrong with my own interpretation:
Overmind
Zasz
But I agree that you should try to write it yourself. Otherwise you'll likely continue asking for others to rewrite your text for your entire career in making campaigns, instead of developing the competency for yourself by making mistakes and looking back on your previous work.

Just for the record, the dialogue you have written for the Queen and Overlord is more valid to me since they are not canon characters, so there's a lot more room for creativity without breaking character or suspension of disbelief, in my opinion.




Jan 29 2018, 3:09 pm Mithras Gnosis Post #16



I don't know what it is that Nova Squadron is trying to protect, but just the whole scope of it seems ridiculous to me, that Nova Squadron would go on to exterminate an entire colonial militia at the risk of undermining their own survival against the Zerg. I believe only murdering the scientists seems more reasonable, since the rest are just military personnel who likely have no idea of what they have witnessed, or probably did not even witness. But it's just the first map and I have no idea where the story will be going, so I don't really know the reasoning behind that decision. :teehee:
Now that I think about it, I went about this all wrong. The Confederacy is trying to contain the Zerg by using psi-emitters to lure them and building up military forces to assist that. So it makes the most sense that Nova Squadron (purple) would be the enemy in this mission because they are trying to contain the Zerg and thus would be expected to watch their movements, not the Mara Sara Militia (blue) who could only be caught in the Zerg's path. So the next update is going to remove the blue bases and make purple the enemy.

And I will remember to make sure the AI scripts run at their base locations so they don't sent SCVs randomly around the map.


Since the human player is required to walk through either encounter locations to reach purple's base, you could simply trigger purple's AI script to run immediately after the cut scene is done instead of at the beginning of the game. You may also make the cut scene trigger automatically after 5 minutes or so have passed, so a turtling player can't just sit back and build up a 200 supply army while purple stays sound asleep.
Good suggestion, thank you. I will certainly be doing that.


I can give you some edited excerpts of your script to use as a reference or push in the right direction, of what I believe to be more in-line with their character---without changing the meaning of your dialogue, and disregarding whether these lines should be changed or scrapped. You or Pr0nogo can tell me if I'm wrong with my own interpretation:
Wow. I horribly misjudged how to write the characters. Your lines flow so much better. I will have to write in that syntax from now on.



None.

Jan 30 2018, 3:08 am Rawflesh0615 Post #17



This time I already played your campaign from my video. Here's the video that I made for you:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hhldoCW3Oyo&feature=youtu.be



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