Staredit Network > Forums > SC1 Map Showcase > Topic: The Gardener (2019) - RELEASE
The Gardener (2019) - RELEASE
Jun 20 2019, 9:04 pm
By: Unsweetened  

Jun 20 2019, 9:04 pm Unsweetened Post #1

A Pylon

Not sure how many people are still on these forums, but I'm releasing what is probably my first and only Starcraft: Brood War map. Only took me 18 years!

The Gardener (2019)

Anyway, I'm sure it still has a lot of bugs left to discover and I have a list of improvements and new features to do eventually, but it was at least beatable the last time I checked! A common complaint was that people didn't really know what to do at first when playing, but I think that's part of the fun.

I don't say this about many things that I make, but I think this one is at least worth checking out. So that would be cool if you have a chance. And feedback would be even cooler! Even though there's only like a 10% chance I'll take your advice if you suggest anything.

And thanks to everyone who put super useful info on these forums! In particular, I found a lot of Roy's posts helpful when making this. So thanks for that!

Post has been edited 1 time(s), last time on Jun 20 2019, 9:42 pm by Unsweetened.



Insta: ryan.f.dubois
Map: The Gardener (2019)

Jun 21 2019, 2:51 am Oh_Man Post #2

Find Me On Discord (Brood War UMS Community & Staredit Network)

Congrats dude.

Can you tell us a bit about what the map actually is though?




Jun 21 2019, 3:56 am Unsweetened Post #3

A Pylon

Thanks! Oh man, where to start? Haha. So I’ve heard it’s a little bit like Stardew Valley or Harvest Moon (although I’ve never played those). If I had to pick a common genre, I’d say “RPG”, although it’s very unconventional. The vibe reminds me (a little) of Super Mario RPG for SNES. But obviously it’s not as good as that game is.

Instead of battling enemies, you’ll get rewards by selling crops from your garden, searching different environments, laying traps, and trading in towns. Constructing buildings and hiring extra Gardeners also plays a big role. There is a plot, but it doesn’t take itself seriously.

A couple notes if anyone plays:
1. I restricted it for non-single player mode. Obviously you could remove the trigger if you really wanted, but some parts of the game (especially any cinematic sequences) will be compromised if you play offline. So I put it there to try to give you the best experience.
2. It starts off comparatively slow for a Broodwar game, based on the feedback I’ve gotten. It’s more “atmospheric”, you could say,
3. I tried to make it pretty intuitive, but the majority of people aren’t able to figure out how to play right away without watching other players. To combat this, I’ve put pretty much everything in the mission objectives when the game starts, so you almost have to read those. In spite of this, I don’t think it’s that complicated.
4. Basic tips when you start:
a. Learn how to use the inventory (Terran dropship)
b. Bring vegetables and raw materials to barns (Terran factory)
c. Go through notches in the walls to pass into new areas

I think that’s it! I don’t expect to become a forum regular, but on the off chance that anyone checks it out and has questions, feel free to ask here, Insta, or BattleNet.

I MAY eventually release a “Gold” version or something that includes everything I wanted to do, but haven’t done yet. But I dunno, we’ll see.




Jun 22 2019, 1:52 pm Cerorec Post #4



Oh wow, 18 years! That's some extreme dedication there. I'll try out your map sometime. :D



None.

Jun 22 2019, 2:31 pm Unsweetened Post #5

A Pylon

Haha, I’ve only worked on this for like a year off and on. I just meant that it took me like 18 years from the moment I started playing UMS maps to release something reasonably good.

It’s about 1100 triggers, which I thought was a lot, but I know that’s a small fraction compared to some of the stuff people on here have done.



Insta: ryan.f.dubois
Map: The Gardener (2019)

Jun 23 2019, 6:11 pm Excalibur Post #6

The sword and the faith

Played for about 1hr 15min. My feedback is as follows:
-Holy shit is this map slow/long. Like, I know, I'm one to talk. My early versions of Diplomacy: Empires were 3hr games. It took years but its been refined down to RoE's now much more reasonable hour-ish form. I think its way too slow to pick up in the beginning. I would recommend any of the following: -Start with 1-2 scvs. -Starting geyser has more gas. -Starting gem pile has more minerals. You could even make 'fast start' a select-able option/mode. Which brings me to...

-Not sure if I'm doing something wrong but the first non-stationary combat unit I was able to get was a Werebear and that was at almost an hour in. I know this isn't a combat focused map, but it is exhausting trying to keep the lings/broods/ect away from my scvs especially when night falls. I think there needs to be a permanent form of torch. A light tower of some kind. If there is one already I didn't find it. Make it expensive if you want. 3-500 gas or something. But I can't be going around trying to throw down torches everywhere I'm mining from.

-If not for the villager in the beginning telling me to just run to the first town I'd have never gotten there. I'm not sure how much of the map you want to hinge on that but I spoke with a couple other folks who tried it who started their farm, left into the prickly forest, and promptly got devoured by wolves. Also wtf is with the soldiers doing absolutely nothing to help you as your face gets mauled?

-Even if the map doesn't take itself too seriously, its no excuse to name things gooch/balls/ect. You can have silly names, but you seem to have put so much work into this I don't get why you'd cheapen it. Keep it fun but maybe a little less obvious/a little higher brow of humor?

Overall this is a very different kind of map and I think its uniqueness is its ultimate strength. I'd def play it with some friends but we'd probably need to set a few hours aside for it. @____@


Edit: Subsequently, on a second play thru I crashed in the swamp probably due to some combination of observers and torches.

Post has been edited 1 time(s), last time on Jun 23 2019, 7:23 pm by Excalibur.




SEN Global Moderator and Resident Zealot
-------------------------
The sword and the faith.

:ex:
Sector 12
My stream, live PC building and tech discussion.

Jun 23 2019, 7:49 pm Unsweetened Post #7

A Pylon

Awesome! Thanks for playing, Excalibur! I really appreciate you taking the time to check it out and sharing your feedback. For now, I’ll just say that there is indeed a permanent torch-ish item hidden in one of the areas, but that is a common complaint in the beginning and something I may update in the future.

Some of your other suggestions (like having soldiers actually kill stuff) were on my TODO list as well, so I think those could be expected in the future.

If anyone’s curious, my estimate for a first playthough of this game in it’s current state is about 4-6 hours.

I’ve also had some people helping me find bugs and have done a few patch fixes since my latest upload, so I’ll probably be regularly updating the map here as I find issues and/or add features.

Couple changes coming:
- The Special Gardener randomly de-selecting at night FIXED
- Added a second life, mostly to be more newbie-friendly. But it will cost all your refined materials and gems (upgrades, workers, traps, etc. remain)
- Issue with P2 and P4 exiting the second garden

Post has been edited 1 time(s), last time on Jun 23 2019, 8:10 pm by Unsweetened.




Jun 23 2019, 8:03 pm Heinermann Post #8

SDE, BWAPI owner, hacker.

Some issues:

- Moving units to the transition area is difficult because of bad unit pathing, so units can get stuck. Might be better to have a beacon for that so that units actually path better to it, and make them always visible even at night.
- Seed Dispensery and scrap materials don't have costs.
- Got CCMU while playing, doesn't seem like the map should hit that.
- Would be useful to have a way to make a permanent lightpost/lanterns.
- Death is too punishing for a casual game. Would be better to just lose a percentage of assets rather than everything/booted. Like maybe lose 50% of SCVs and certain amount of ore (add a negative number to give the player debt to be repaid), have a respawn timer and then respawn farmer at 1% hp would be enough to punish the player for death.
- It's not clear what witches hut does in sticcy swamp.
- It's not clear what a lot of other things do either, paths to new areas are not obvious (i.e. through frozen lake).

EDIT:
- It's too easy for one player to monopolize the resources(like buying the town hut place), leaving other players left out.




Jun 23 2019, 8:25 pm Unsweetened Post #9

A Pylon

Thank-you, Heinermann! Wow, I didn’t really expect anyone to check this out, haha. All great feedback.

1. By transition area, do you mean the “gateways” between each level?

2. The mayor of each town gives the costs (except for the Goochy Fortress, where there are soldiers next to the buildings). I agree it’s not obvious, though, especially given that the mayor gives a story-centered dialogue first. I will probably update this somehow.

3. Didn’t know about this at all! I’ve been playing with extended units on. Super good to know about, and thanks for mentioning it. Especially given that I’d love to do an “EUD edition” with more bells and whistles at some point.

4. Almost everyone who gets far enough brings this one up at some point (including Excalibur above), There is a semi-hidden item which does this, but perhaps I could give it earlier on. On the other hand, struggling with the torches for a while makes it super nice when you finally have the item, so I’ll need to think more deeply on this.

5. Agreed. I recently updated my local copy to do just that (but only one extra life). I’m thinking on plans for being able to purchase extra lives.

6. Nothing yet! But there are plans for it. As well as another building located in the HALLWAY of SORCERERS (I think that’s what I called it).

7. Fair enough, I’ll meditate on some of this.

8. I get this too, but given that the other players can just build their own huts and barns (including in towns), I’m not sure that it’s as big of an advantage as it may seem. I usually skip buying these all together on my playthroughs in favor of getting early Skilled Gardeners.

Post has been edited 1 time(s), last time on Jun 23 2019, 8:52 pm by Unsweetened.




Jun 23 2019, 8:48 pm Heinermann Post #10

SDE, BWAPI owner, hacker.

Quote from Unsweetened
Thank-you, Heinermann! Wow, I didn’t really expect anyone to check this out, haha. All great feedback.

1. By transition area, do you mean the “gateways” between each level?

2. The mayor of each town gives the costs (except for the Goochy Fortress, where there are soldiers next to the buildings). I agree it’s not obvious, though, especially that the mayor gives a story-centered dialogue first. I will probably update this somehow.

3. Didn’t know about this at all! I’ve been playing with extended units on. Super good to know about, and thanks for mentioning it. Especially given that I’d love to do an “EUD edition” with more bells and whistles at some point.

4. Almost everyone who gets far enough brings this one up at some point (including Excalibur above), There is a semi-hidden item which does this, but perhaps I could give it earlier on. On the other hand, struggling with the torches for a while makes it super nice when you finally have the item, so I’ll need to think more deeply on this.

5. Agreed. I recently updated my local copy to do just that (but only one extra life). I’m thinking on plans for being able to purchase extra lives.

6. Nothing yet! But there are plans for it. As well as another building located in the HALLWAY of SORCERERS (I think that’s what I called it).

7. Fair enough, I’ll meditate on some of this.

8. I get this too, but given that the other players can just build their own huts and barns (including in towns), I’m not sure that it’s as big of an advantage as it may seem. I usually skip buying these all together on my playthroughs in favor of getting early Skilled Gardeners.

1. By transition area I mean the 1-tile space that moves you to a different area.

3. Yeah I think we accidentally played without extended limits.




Jun 23 2019, 8:53 pm Unsweetened Post #11

A Pylon

Gracias! Notes have been taken.




Jun 23 2019, 9:11 pm Heinermann Post #12

SDE, BWAPI owner, hacker.

Also I don't think the idea of lives and game over is a great idea (for casual games). If you're playing with friends and one of them dies it's game over for everyone in that case.




Jun 23 2019, 9:19 pm Unsweetened Post #13

A Pylon

That’s an interesting way to look at it. Someone did tell me they were going to try an earlier version of this for a LAN party and I kept thinking that seemed like the perfect way to play a game like this (even though I can only imagine that must’ve been the worst LAN party ever, lol).

I’ll have to do some thinking since I want being careful with the Special Gardener to be a big part of the game. I like that there’s a bit of a HOLY SHIT moment for some players when they first encounter the bear, for instance, and it feels like the stakes are high.

But perhaps simply losing gems and refined materials is enough to invoke the same emotions.




Jun 25 2019, 9:48 pm Moose Post #14



I started playing with Ex/Dem0n/Heinermann and did actually play this to completion. They died and/or crashed and/or raged, so I was using saves by the end, so it was essentially solo play. My elapsed time was over 5 hours, though by the end most of it was not active playing and I ground out way more upgrades than I needed.

1. One word to describe this map: Tedious. All of the manual gathering is tedious. The unit pathing is awful pretty much everywhere and fighting with it is tedious. Moving even medium size groups of units through the areas is tedious. I couldn't recommend playing this map in anything less than double speed.

2. There should be some handling of a player's stuff when people crash or quit. (or at least just remove it) Currently, you have to kill their stuff manually to get it out of the way and fight against the auto-ally hypers, and sometimes build turrets to be able to see it to fight against the auto-ally hypers.

3. Never figured out what the Witch Hut in the Sticky Swamp did, if it even does anything.
3a. Same for the Fleet Beacon, but I couldn't click on it, so I can't tell you its name.

4. At least two of the spawn triggers for Sticky Swamp are bad because they eventually lead to an unplacable mess like this: https://i.imgur.com/gpLCiu0.png (Displayed text not chosen intentionally but appropriately captures my feelings as a player.)
4a. The whole Sticky Swamp area is a pathing nightmare that should be avoided in general. So I just dealt with getting two unplacable errors every morning and moved on with my life.

5. More on pathing: Say you buy an SCV in the first town and then want your Probe to leave back through the exit you came in, back to the forest. Better make sure you click around the beacons otherwise you're going to step on the other beacons.

6. More pathing/movement related: Moving any large group of units through the passages is a pain. You could do it one at a time but that will take forever, center view will drive you crazy, and stuff will probably attack you. (especially in later areas where bunkers will just die) You could do multiple units, but you might end up putting through too many and getting stuck because units that go through will already be in the exit. So you get an endless warping around until you manage to click some units out. This gets really bad if you have any Ultralisks.

7. Speaking of towns, why is one player able to buy more than one preplaced Factory or Nexus? Sure, you can build them, but space is at a premium in towns. I was the only one in the game by the end, so I accidentally ended up walking over more purchase beacons than would be useful.

8. Related, I'm hoping each player can buy their own second garden. I was the only one in the game by that point, so I never got to find out.
8a. It would be nice if you could fast travel to the second garden, too.

9. 12 HP is not a meaningful amount for the Probe, especially when two deaths means you lose. (is this supposed to be a casual game or what?) 12 HP means you never, ever use your Probe to explore there until you know you have enough armor that everything in the area does 0.5 damage.
9a. If you die (for the first time) during the boss fight, I don't see any real way to participate in the game again.

10. I didn't really explore too many of the late-game areas, so maybe there's more to the game, but I just farmed minerals (literally) every couple of minutes to get a ton of upgrades instead of actually playing.
10a. There wasn't really enough outside the towns to make me care about anything besides reaching the last town, getting all the garden level ups, and grinding upgrades until I could fight the boss.
10b. Before the boss, a character tells me to get 60+ upgrades, 10+ SCVs and Drones, and 10000+ gas. The map may as well just give it to me because really that just translated to "go mostly AFK and check in every morning to gather plants and repair bunkers near geysers", since there's not enough to keep exploring fun.

11. A cap on upgrades would be helpful when more is no longer useful. Even if the cap were 100 upgrades after they stopped doing anything, it would've saved me some minerals (equivalent to time, in this map).
11a. 255 zerg armor upgrades + 2 bonus armor for Ultralisk = 257 % 256 = 1 armor upgrade for Ultralisks. Oops.

12. Can the torch light more than a two tile radius? Especially when you have limited torches and can't really predict where it's going to place in relation to you. Maybe have an upgrade to get a light and torches with a larger vision range.

13. To rehash what Ex said, you say this map was worked on on-and-off for 15+ years, so I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume most of the text and story was from when you were a lot younger. I'll leave it to you if you want to have a bunch of "jokes" about a trans character in 2019 as well as all of the other silly shit, but can it at least be funny? Ass Dick Town and that kind of stuff wears thin after the first minute, and to emphasize the point of how tedious this map is, this map takes a lot of minutes.

14. As Heinermann said, the cost of a lot of things is not always obvious but the buying is not optional once you touch that beacon if you have enough.
14a. Raw materials exchange (minerals to gas) is an absolute trap since minerals will end up being the bottleneck once you secure some geysers. (ie, gas mines automatically, minerals are all manual.) Combine this with bad pathing for more frustration.

15. The boss fight was actually kind of cool. There, I said something nice.
15a. Actually, once I lost and reloaded, I knew how to set up for it in an optimal way, which was, you guessed it, very tedious.

Post has been edited 2 time(s), last time on Jun 26 2019, 2:33 am by Moose. Reason: Cleaned up a little




Jun 26 2019, 5:52 am Unsweetened Post #15

A Pylon

Thanks for all the good feedback, Moose! And congratulations on being the second person not including me (that I’m aware of) to fully complete it.

Yeah, I think the overarching revelation I’m getting is that I’m just gonna have to take all this into consideration and mainly do a lot of “quality of life” improvements.




Jul 11 2019, 5:11 pm Ultraviolet Post #16



Quote
13. To rehash what Ex said, you say this map was worked on on-and-off for 15+ years, so I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume most of the text and story was from when you were a lot younger. I'll leave it to you if you want to have a bunch of "jokes" about a trans character in 2019 as well as all of the other silly shit, but can it at least be funny? Ass Dick Town and that kind of stuff wears thin after the first minute, and to emphasize the point of how tedious this map is, this map takes a lot of minutes.

Got a pretty good laugh out of this :P




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