Staredit Network > Forums > Modding Projects > Topic: My current project: When One Domino Falls
My current project: When One Domino Falls
May 23 2019, 12:01 pm
By: IlyaSnopchenko  

May 23 2019, 12:01 pm IlyaSnopchenko Post #1

The Curious

Hello all,

I thought I might describe the project I'm working on now (on and off), since July '18.

If I have to be concise, it's a faithful (as much as possible) adaptation of a great SC fanfic I found online, called (you guessed it) When One Domino Falls by Peter (Warchief). https://m.fanfiction.net/s/10854777/1/ The fic is ongoing. Long story short, it's an Alternate Universe rendition of the vanilla SC campaign (with the author aiming to eventually cover Brood War too, and probably the later stages of the SC story; as of May '19 the published story goes up to the time of the Shadow Hunters aka mission 9 of the Protoss campaign). Since it's all there for your viewing (reading) pleasure, I see no point in being cryptic, so the story goes like this: someone warned the Magistrate (aka the Player Character of the Rebel Yell campaign) about what was going to happen at New Gettysburg (mission 9 of Rebel Yell), however vaguely, so he makes a contingency plan and (just) manages to rescue Kerrigan from the Zerg. A lot of stuff starts going differently from here - hence the title - and it snowballs into some very interesting situations down the line, although much of the stuff will still be familiar (including - cleverly - some signature dialogue lines from the source, although they may be said at some very different points than in the vanilla. My input is only situational since I'm only adapting the story - I'm adding some dialogue where the gameplay requires it, but not much.

Where do I come in here?

Once I had read most of the fanfic as it was then (a few new chapters had appeared since) I knew it had the potential for some interesting gameplay. Originally I created just one map without any data editing and/or custom AI Scripting (since I chose a slice of the story that was pretty straightforward gameplay-wise). After a few months I bit the bullet and started crafting the custom datafiles and AI Scripts with the invaluable help of Neiv and Nekron (I have to admit that my skills had become rusty in the 13+ years of inactivity wrt modding). I aim to add some custom graphics eventually as well. I've also contacted the fanfic author early on and got his permission, blessing, encouragement and some ideas, though we're not in frequent contact now because of him being busy IRL.

What it's going to look like?

I aim to create about 24 maps, including 19 playable ones, which will replace the stock Terran (Arc 1) and Zerg (Arc 2) campaigns in Brood War - the mechanic is similar to what I did with my old projects. The missions in unused Protoss campaign will be used for cutscene maps placed in between the playable missions; I'm not exactly sure how many will be there, but obviously no more than 8. :) So far (and that number hasn't changed since February) 7 playable maps are completed, and 1 cutscene map as well. Of course these all are subject to further refinement if need be.

The campaign will be mostly a Terran one but you will get to play Protoss a lot as well, and even the Zerg will get some prime time later in the missions.

And now for some visuals...

I've created loads of screenshots, and the older a mission is, the more screenshots I have of it. Therefore it comes as no suprise that I have a boatload of screenies of a Zerg mission I created first (it's now actually mission 6 of Arc 2). I also like it the most because of all the ultra-violence that can be seen (and also received / dished out :)) in that mission which corresponds to mission 7 of the original Zerg campaign, "The Culling". :) Don't mistake it for the campaign being mostly about the Zerg, though.

Houston, we have a little problem here... (early version of the map 2-6)

The "Brood War" has started a little early this time...

A proper defense there. Or so I hope.

Whoever said that the Reavers look a bit like Zerg had a point. They're also very good at crowd control...
(At first I thought that the feral zerg player clustering dozens of troops around the invincible remnants of the loyalist zerg hives they'd just wiped out was annoying. Then it occurred to me that it's a great additional challenge because these hive stubs are actually YOUR mission objectives, so you get a strong additional challenge of having to wade through huge swaths of enemy zerg to safely fulfill each of the objectives.)

Fighting with numbers and guile, not skill or valor - this is how the Zerg do it anyway.

Beating back a mass drop. This map has yielded a number of sick tactics that allow to win without taking huge casualties (except broodlings that are still killed in the hundreds): say, luring packs of enemy mutalisks and scourge into defensive emplacements comprising walls of spore colonies with stimpacked marines adding support fire. :) Spawn Broodling is another big thing.

Mission 2-5. A xenophile's workday: probes and SCVs mining into a Zerg Hive.

Finest insect exterminators for hire, using only certified artillery and armor.

A Starcraft 2 character appears slightly before due time.

On a distant shadowed world...

Well, you guessed it. It's "In Utter Darkness" in SC1 (mission 2-2).

ULTRA VIOLENCE!

And the end result is going to be the same.

The base is whittled down little by little until...

...there's only one Protoss remaining, and he won't have that distinction for much longer.

Mission 1-2. Dropping the hammer on the Zerg at New Gettysburg.

Mission 1-3. The Ion Cannon is familiar, the rest... not so much.

EXTRA: training a custom combat AI.

Post has been edited 5 time(s), last time on May 29 2019, 11:33 am by IlyaSnopchenko.



Who am I, and why should I care?

May 23 2019, 10:11 pm Nekron Post #2



Good luck with the project! Always nice to see some more custom stuff =)




May 29 2019, 11:24 am IlyaSnopchenko Post #3

The Curious

Thanks. I've slightly updated the description above.
Speaking of progress: I'm now bogged down with large amounts of work but I'm trying various sick ideas for the commando mission (1-7) that is next up.

A few more screenshots:



You find yourself on a map with no enemy presence and with an objective to harvest minerals. What could possibly go wrong?..

Missions done so far:
1-1 "NEW GETTYSBURG" (part 1 of New Gettysburg; it's now a Badlands mission in line with the new canon that states the battle took place on the surface of Tarsonis, not on an orbital platform).
1-2 "NEW GETTYSBURG II" (part 2 of New Gettysburg; here is where the stuff starts deviating from the original).
1-3 "THE HAMMER FALLS" (indeed an expy of The Hammer Falls; you have to destroy the Ion Cannon to escape as in the original, and even the scripts the enemy is using are very similar to the original Nuke Town and Phoenix Town, but there's a long commando phase before that).
1-6B "PORTENTS" (a cutscene)
1-9 "THE BLOOD BETWEEN THE LINES" (a quaint resource gathering mission that goes horribly awry at one point).

2-2 "ONE WITH THE VOID" (the In Utter Darkness expy shown above)
2-5 "RUSHING THE ENEMY" (shown above)
2-6 "COUNTERSTRIKE" (shown above; the mission that started it all. All in all the gameplay in that map's main phase was inspired by the TVTropes description of the Zerg Rush in real life: "Ant-termite wars are the epitome of this trope, as endless numbers of ants charge matching waves of termites. Every bit as epic as human battles, and casualties are predictably enormous.")

Slightly annoying is the fact that most of the second arc is happening on Char so I have to use the Ash tileset I hate so much. Besides, it's deathly boring from the visual standpoint. But I guess the Zerg campaign in the vanilla was suffering from the same flaw. In an odd parallel to that one, the last three missions are going to happen on Aiur. Most of the "Overmind" and "The Fall" campaigns, however, happen off-screen and a lot of the latter is the same as in the Canon (with a few unexpected twists - unexpected even for me as I was reading the new chapters, as I'm neither privy to the writing process nor engaged as a beta tester for the story itself).

Post has been edited 3 time(s), last time on May 29 2019, 11:59 am by IlyaSnopchenko.



Who am I, and why should I care?

Jun 6 2019, 2:36 pm Rawflesh0615 Post #4



New Custom Campaign?! Say when will this campaign will released?

Post has been edited 1 time(s), last time on Jun 7 2019, 3:17 pm by Rawflesh0615.



None.

Jun 10 2019, 3:21 pm IlyaSnopchenko Post #5

The Curious

Not earlier than when it's done. I hope to be done by year's end although I've learned not to set deadlines on anything "creative". :)

There's also an additional issue of source material, obviously I cannot speed up the author's progress. Right now the source fic is 1,5 missions short of the campaign end (it's done up to P9: Shadow Hunters).

Post has been edited 1 time(s), last time on Jun 11 2019, 9:52 am by IlyaSnopchenko.



Who am I, and why should I care?

Jul 12 2019, 10:18 pm IlyaSnopchenko Post #6

The Curious

After a rather long hiatus (a couple of months at the very least) I've returned to the work. Today I wrote a bunch of new AI Scripts including two combat ones meant to replace the (rather listless) ones I borrowed from the Brood War Protoss campaign - frankly most scripts there have the attack power of wet toilet paper anyway. I'm yet to test how the scalability features work but the new scripts are able to work together decently and give an Insane opponent a run for its money (thank you Blizzard for the help_iftrouble and guard_all opcodes). :) If I thought mission 2-6 would be ultra-violent then I hadn't seen anything before today...



Who am I, and why should I care?

Aug 4 2019, 7:08 am IlyaSnopchenko Post #7

The Curious

During the second half of July i managed to create two more maps for Arc 1, the 4th playable one and the interlude cutscene map that directly precedes it. There is some testing and (in the case of the former) balancing to be done but I count both of these maps as completed.

However I've been pondering a question pertaining to the running order. So far I was counting on having two apparent mission arcs (replacing the Terran and Zerg campaigns respectively) with the cutscene maps being invoked between them while actually belonging to the Protoss campaign which would be disabled on the selection screen. On the other hand, I ended up envisioning so many maps (most of which are either "work in progress", not started at all, or even have no source material written by the author (this is true for the tail end of the campaign) that... I might just as well have all the missions and cutscenes run in a single unbroken sequence - divided into three arcs instead of two - without abusing the SET NEXT SCENARIO action too badly. :)

The only real issue with the second method would be that the briefing room race is hardcoded for each campaign (unless Neiv can do something about this, as he had done with the music issue i had run into in the beginning of the year :)). Of course having the Protoss briefing room in the first arc might make little sense as the first arc is mostly Terran (well, the entire campaign is shown from a Terran POV anyway) but I think it can be remedied using other methods. :)

So what I have now is - for example:

Missions 1-3 are straightforward replacements for terran01-03.scx
Then an interlude is slotted in to the protoss01.scx slot, and after it finishes the campaign continues in terran04.scx
The protoss campaign would be disabled on the selection screen anyway so the player would see only Terran and Zerg; thus the "hidden" interludes are accessible only through the proper flow of the campaign; the use of the OPHELIA cheat or the saved games.

What I think I might do would be to have the campaigns run their course from protoss01-08, to terran 01-08, to zerg01-10, and just slot the interludes between regular missions in the proper order, and make them always accessible.

Which do you think is best?

P. S. No, I'm not going to use standalone maps. Never have and likely never will.

Post has been edited 3 time(s), last time on Aug 4 2019, 8:15 am by IlyaSnopchenko.



Who am I, and why should I care?

Aug 4 2019, 12:36 pm UEDCommander Post #8



Quote from IlyaSnopchenko
The protoss campaign would be disabled on the selection screen anyway so the player would see only Terran and Zerg; thus the "hidden" interludes are accessible only through the proper flow of the campaign; the use of the OPHELIA cheat or the saved games.

The .bin file editor for Remastered isn't working yet, so im not sure how you're planning on doing that.



Humanity first. No matter the cost.

Aug 4 2019, 1:02 pm IlyaSnopchenko Post #9

The Curious

Quote from UEDCommander
Quote from IlyaSnopchenko
The protoss campaign would be disabled on the selection screen anyway so the player would see only Terran and Zerg; thus the "hidden" interludes are accessible only through the proper flow of the campaign; the use of the OPHELIA cheat or the saved games.

The .bin file editor for Remastered isn't working yet, so im not sure how you're planning on doing that.
I'm hoping to see it done (and the author of PyMS indicates that he's working on that, especially since Neiv made the changes to the format known) and since I'm not very fast with making my campaign I'm hoping that it'll be done before it becomes imperative for me. :)

If it absolutely fails, well... I'll try hex editing. :)




Aug 6 2019, 6:16 am IlyaSnopchenko Post #10

The Curious

Quote from UEDCommander
Quote from IlyaSnopchenko
The protoss campaign would be disabled on the selection screen anyway so the player would see only Terran and Zerg; thus the "hidden" interludes are accessible only through the proper flow of the campaign; the use of the OPHELIA cheat or the saved games.

The .bin file editor for Remastered isn't working yet, so im not sure how you're planning on doing that.
Actually we're in luck, it's just been released today (but watch out for the caveat I described in the PYMS thread).

Guess I'll be updating the campaign with new mission layout anyway... just looks less convoluted this way.



Who am I, and why should I care?

Aug 6 2019, 11:36 am UEDCommander Post #11



Quote from IlyaSnopchenko
(but watch out for the caveat I described in the PYMS thread).

Use Neiv's PyMS version for AI editing (it's best to keep the both versions, one for AI editing, another for the rest).



Humanity first. No matter the cost.

Aug 6 2019, 12:24 pm IlyaSnopchenko Post #12

The Curious

Quote from UEDCommander
Quote from IlyaSnopchenko
(but watch out for the caveat I described in the PYMS thread).

Use Neiv's PyMS version for AI editing (it's best to keep the both versions, one for AI editing, another for the rest).
Actually I've spliced the two somehow. Works fine for me.
I'll probably start editing the campaign sequence later today. Maybe start another map too, I have fresh ideas forming in my brain. :)



Who am I, and why should I care?

Apr 13 2020, 7:46 am IlyaSnopchenko Post #13

The Curious

I guess a little progress report is (over)due...
I'm still working on the project and about half of the maps are complete. Technical stuff is progressing too. The string bug has hit me though and I'm a bit unsure how to proceed - should I revert to an earlier version of SCMDRAFT and attempt to salvage the affected maps, or rather stick to my guns and keep doing the maps with extended strings, hoping for a fix and - in a sense - helping to find one.

Incidentally the author of the story released a new chapter recently after a full year (and then some) of silence. I have a boatload of technical questions for him accumulated over that year but I am not holding my breath in anticipation of having them answered quickly. Technically the new part of the story he published corresponds to the mission 9 of the Protoss campaign "The Fall", but the pace of the story has slowed way down in comparison to the flow of the missions in the canon campaign.
The chapter in question is here:
https://m.fanfiction.net/s/10854777/45/
I think it'll make for a fun micro section in a macro mission...

A new map has been completed recently (mission 3 of arc 3) - it's been in the works for far too long, but I fear it doesn't match the epic expectations I've had for it. In addition, it suffers from the string bug so it may need to be salvaged; the allied AI Script is not doing everything it's been tasked to do for some reason, and the enemy AI Scripts are not yet written. In other words, there's still a bit of "peripheral" work to be done on it.

Other missions in the works include 1-5, 2-1 and 2-2. 2-1 is also suffering from inexplicable glitches and may need to be redone, or at least refurbished.
2-2 is bound to be peculiar as in it you'll be revisiting one of the past battlegrounds from the original Rebel Yell campaign, but in a vastly different guise. Those who have read the original story will know what I'm talking about. :)



Who am I, and why should I care?

May 14 2020, 2:00 pm IlyaSnopchenko Post #14

The Curious

Three more maps are done and are now in the testing stage: maps 1-5, 2-2 and 3-4. Yeah it's rather all over the place but I hope to fill in the gaps eventually.

Mission 3-4 "The Iconoclasm" is the expy of the original map "Homeland" from "The Fall" campaign. In addition to being much, much larger than the original (256*192) it also includes a feature I "borrowed" from the SC2 campaign called "Annihilation", the translation of which I was editing in April. It's the morale system for your Templar troops, as they are reluctant to kill their Protoss brethren. Another source of inspiration was the old nagging thought that somehow the fact that all Aiur Protoss were "connected" emotionally through the Khala did not prevent them from cheerfully wiping each other out in those two darnable missions in the Protoss vanilla campaign. Well... even though it may really be a gimmick, I implemented that feature - though it's not as complete or as fluid as in Annihilation (remember, it's SC2) where the player's units in mission 23 were suffering percentage penalties to HP, SP, mana and whatnot. Obviously I can't change unit max HP, SP and mana in SC1 but I did take a stab at the other visible stats, like move/attack speed, mana/SP regeneration etc.

So I'm really progressing. :)

A lil more screens from other recently completed missions. 3-4 was the result of a mapmaking/scripting binge from May 10th until today, so I was bit too busy to test along the way (and procure screenshots; maybe laterz):






Post has been edited 2 time(s), last time on May 14 2020, 2:11 pm by IlyaSnopchenko.



Who am I, and why should I care?

May 14 2020, 5:07 pm UndeadStar Post #15



Wow, usually tampering with, or in the worst case disabling, Adblock Plus and Noscript is enough to get any content having trouble to display to appear.
But your image host is the first thing I ever meet that make me disable the anti-tracking internal to Firefox itself.
Is your host a place where virus makers upload their creations to be able to access them from anywhere through Internet or something? :lol:



None.

May 14 2020, 5:36 pm IlyaSnopchenko Post #16

The Curious

Quote from UndeadStar
Wow, usually tampering with, or in the worst case disabling, Adblock Plus and Noscript is enough to get any content having trouble to display to appear.
But your image host is the first thing I ever meet that make me disable the anti-tracking internal to Firefox itself.
Is your host a place where virus makers upload their creations to be able to access them from anywhere through Internet or something? :lol:
It's a social media site's image repository. I upload screenies to social media and just hotlink. Not had any problems with these in ages.

Firefox... that may explain something. Or may not.



Who am I, and why should I care?

Jun 22 2020, 5:00 pm IlyaSnopchenko Post #17

The Curious

During the last month, two brand new maps have been created, most others updated. I hope I won't be caught up in endless rewritings of what is already there. Arc 1 (6 playable maps and 2 cutscenes) has been finished. Now I'm catching up on Arc 2 which was the most neglected one.

Many new technical issues have been raised/resolved, courtesy of Neiv and Nekron.
Buncha new screens from all over the place are here.














Who am I, and why should I care?

Jun 28 2020, 6:50 am Zincoshine Post #18



This is truly amazing stuff IlyaSnopchenko. How did you even manage to get those color effects in the game?



None.

Jun 28 2020, 11:03 am IlyaSnopchenko Post #19

The Curious

That is the lighting modification made possible by Neiv's MTL plugin, so all credits go to Neiv. However, both my testers and those who had seen the screenshots said that I went overboard with the effect, the blue one from mission 1-1 being especially hard on the eyes (especially for those with poor eyesight). It's kinda hilarious that I saw it as being strong, complained to myself that I'm losing track of my SCVs too often, but instead of correcting the lighting strength I went and created an overlay that highlights idle workers. I create problems for myself and then go about fixing them in odd ways, duh.

Conversely, I'm rather fond of the "rusty" tint in the last couple screenshots as it serves to remind of the New Folsom map in WOL (of which this one is an expy, except it's played by a Protoss player) but both the co-author and my "freelance helpers" said that it's too intense, so again, I'll be toning it down at least by half. Vox populi - vox dei.

Since we're at it, here's the progress report for the situation as of June 25th (when my computer broke and so the mapmaking process is disrupted, even though nothing seems lost).
ARC 1 ("REBELLION").
All missions done, but there may be rewrites/fixes. I'm waiting the co-author's opinion on mission 1-6 - he promised me one (I'm referring to Warchief, the author of the original story, who has, of late, jumped into the testing process and helped me with nailing down the content of some missions, too).
ARC 2 ("OMENS").
Mission 1 - WIP. Mostly done but the triggers are not at all tested, may miss chunks. Overall it's a very problematic map for unknown reasons.
Missions 2, 3, 5 - done.
Mission 4 - all terrain and triggers done but I was in the process of making it all work. There is a load of work to be done for balancing it, as in the first playable iteration the computers turned out vastly overpowered.
Missions 6 & 7 - not started.
Interludes (maps 4B and 7B) - not started.
ARC 3 ("SWORDSTORM").
Mission 1 - done since long ago but needs a rewrite of sorts. I already started by creating one of the custom AI Scripts but that process had been stalled by the mishap I suffered on the 25th. I don't want to properly set up all my stuff (including the Python interpreter required for PYMS) on the lousy temporary comp I'm using at the office. I'd rather wait for my own to be diagnosed, do a fix and resume work in the earnest, and in the interim do some stuff on the job, I'm way backlogged there.
Missions 2, 3, 4 - all done.
Mission 5 - not started.
Missions 6-9 - not started because the source story is not yet written past about mid-mission 6.
Interludes (3B and possibly more) - not started.

Tech - all done.
Portraits - no results yet.
Graphics - not started.
Sounds - I did those that could be ripped from SC2 but recording the new ones is on pause.

All in all, looks like decent progress, even though it could've been better (as always). But I learned long ago that schedules always creep, more so with the stuff one does for fun in the spare time.



Who am I, and why should I care?

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