Staredit Network > Forums > SC1 Map Showcase > Topic: [Campaign] Underdogs
[Campaign] Underdogs
Aug 8 2022, 6:17 pm
By: Omen  

Aug 8 2022, 6:17 pm Omen Post #1



Hello again folks!
After a long break I finally found some time to come back to my SC maps, so let me introduce you my latest campaign:



THE STORY
This campaign takes place in the same timeline of the Brood War Terran campaign, more precisely between Mission 2 ("The Dylarian Shipyards") and Mission 8 ("To Chain the Beast"). Kerrigan returns to Char from Shakuras and, after finding out that the Renegade Zerg are about to wipe out her forces, she decides to leave and to temporarily settle on the abandoned world of Tarsonis, totally unaware of the fact that the UED has already set a base of operations there...

FEATURES
- Brood War expansion set is required to play (all the campaign maps are in the *.scx format);
- The campaign is Zerg-based and is made of six missions of variable difficulty; if you play well, a bonus mission (taking place between Missions 4 and 5) can be unlocked, revealing a further piece of the story...
- Special AI scripts (also from the original campaign missions) are used to give the Computer players a more specific behavior.

DESIGNER'S NOTES
This campaign is meant as a completion of the Brood War "side story" which I imagined in my two previous campaign works (i.e., the Protoss-based "Vanguard of Aiur" and the Terran-based "Unlikely Allies"; see links below), in order to provide a full plot with the opportunity to play all three races, in which this campaign is temporarily placed between the two foregoing mentioned ones. However, "Underdogs" can also be played as an independent campaign.

Below there are some screenshots taken from the campaign missions:



You can download the campaign here: https://www.mediafire.com/file/i07l5tlk7oadl9x/Underdogs_v0.2.zip/file. Enjoy!

PS If you missed "Vanguard of Aiur", you can find it here: https://www.mediafire.com/file/i07l5tlk7oadl9x/Underdogs_v0.2.zip/file
While here is "Unlikely Allies": http://www.staredit.net/topic/18273/

Post has been edited 7 time(s), last time on Jan 29 2023, 6:36 pm by Omen.



None.

Aug 9 2022, 12:53 am Rawflesh0615 Post #2



Yes, I knew that the day would finally come!



None.

Aug 13 2022, 2:49 am razorback9423 Post #3

C.I.S. Conversion Mod creator

Finally some plot holes made in BW are being filled. We'll get to know what happened to Daggoth!



I'm retiring from SC modding to focus on making games using the Unity engine.
YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/razorback9999able

Aug 13 2022, 6:57 am Oh_Man Post #4

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

"No one will dare oppose to the Overmind again" is weird English.

I would phrase it "No one will dare oppose the Overmind again."




Aug 13 2022, 8:07 am C(a)HeK Post #5



Mission 3

When I start I see cutscene with Kerrigan, Raynor and Fenix, after that I win. Is it normal?



Hello everyone, friends. You can call me Alexander. :)
Additional Story Series creator
Maps & Info - https://disk.yandex.ru/d/8yj1Y_ddxE9FIA
Videos - https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLvj8rhscGCvTrcYKVyvvMP7uTxlkSjMzz

Aug 13 2022, 2:00 pm C(a)HeK Post #6



Mission 5

lol run





Hello everyone, friends. You can call me Alexander. :)
Additional Story Series creator
Maps & Info - https://disk.yandex.ru/d/8yj1Y_ddxE9FIA
Videos - https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLvj8rhscGCvTrcYKVyvvMP7uTxlkSjMzz

Aug 13 2022, 3:23 pm Rawflesh0615 Post #7



Quote from C(a)HeK
Mission 5

lol run


Omen should add Missile Turrets and Valkyries to prevent that happened.



None.

Aug 13 2022, 4:39 pm Omen Post #8



Quote from C(a)HeK
Mission 3

When I start I see cutscene with Kerrigan, Raynor and Fenix, after that I win. Is it normal?

No, it isn't. It is due to a control trigger that I used to check if the final scene worked well.
I'm going to upload the fixed version soon.



None.

Aug 13 2022, 5:41 pm Zergy Post #9



Quote from Rawflesh0615
Quote from C(a)HeK
Mission 5

lol run


Omen should add Missile Turrets and Valkyries to prevent that happened.
Restricting the location around the beacon to ground units only can also work.



French map maker, not really active these days.

Aug 13 2022, 5:58 pm C(a)HeK Post #10



Quote from Zergy
Restricting the location around the beacon to ground units only can also work.

Then I can upgrade Ventral Sacs and Pneumatized Carapace for Overlords.



Hello everyone, friends. You can call me Alexander. :)
Additional Story Series creator
Maps & Info - https://disk.yandex.ru/d/8yj1Y_ddxE9FIA
Videos - https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLvj8rhscGCvTrcYKVyvvMP7uTxlkSjMzz

Aug 14 2022, 6:06 am Zincoshine Post #11



Oh a new a campaign I'll add it to the archive. I'll eventually play it too but not for some time as I'm busy playing through super metroid rom hacks at the moment.



None.

Aug 14 2022, 12:25 pm DaMnUFo0 Post #12



Looks promising. Will add it to my list of showcasing SC campaigns and eventually play them after it gets more polished.




Aug 14 2022, 5:40 pm Omen Post #13



Quote from Zergy
Quote from Rawflesh0615
Quote from C(a)HeK
Mission 5

lol run


Omen should add Missile Turrets and Valkyries to prevent that happened.
Restricting the location around the beacon to ground units only can also work.

I fixed this both by adding some more Missile turrets and by restricting the beacon location to ground units, for there's no reason to disable the Ventral Sacs research for Overlords.

Post has been edited 1 time(s), last time on Aug 15 2022, 9:42 am by Omen.



None.

Nov 12 2022, 11:47 pm Andrea Rosa Post #14

Just a glitch in the Matrix

I've finally played the first mission. Wow, the difficulty is definitely there! This actually felt more like an advanced mission rather than an introductory one. I eventually won with Guardians and Mutalisks (at my second attempt), but I barely made it, and with a staggering number of casualties. Maybe you should increase a bit the resources around the starting base, that's the feeling I got. Speaking of resources, there are still some inaccessible mineral fields: you need to get rid of them, that's a newbie mistake and you surely aren't a newbie. Briefing and dialogues are reduced to the bare minimum, so for the moment I don't have enough elements to say whether Kerrigan's personality has been successfully replicated or not. Ash World isn't exactly the ideal tileset for showcasing a designer's prowess and aesthetic sense, but the layout itself is very good. I like the idea of making expansions difficult to defend via unbuildable terrain, a bit less the fact that one of the major targets lies on an island: it wasn't much of a problem for me, because of the strategy I adopted, but players who will heavily invest in ground units will probably be annoyed by that. As I already said, the difficulty is unusually high for an introductory mission: at some point, the red Ultralisks had level 4 carapace, which is a bit unfair in my opinion... yep, this mission definitely calls for a strong air force. Difficulty aside, I praise the choice of AI scripts, each Brood has its own distinct traits and signature, and they are very efficient at protecting their bases and other key locations.



Level Design Workshop

''Go to hell'' is basic. ''I hope your favorite StarCraft character gets voiced by Pr0nogo'' is smart. It's possible. It's terrifying.

Nov 21 2022, 7:38 pm Omen Post #15



Quote from Andrea Rosa
I've finally played the first mission. Wow, the difficulty is definitely there! This actually felt more like an advanced mission rather than an introductory one. I eventually won with Guardians and Mutalisks (at my second attempt), but I barely made it, and with a staggering number of casualties. Maybe you should increase a bit the resources around the starting base, that's the feeling I got. Speaking of resources, there are still some inaccessible mineral fields: you need to get rid of them, that's a newbie mistake and you surely aren't a newbie. Briefing and dialogues are reduced to the bare minimum, so for the moment I don't have enough elements to say whether Kerrigan's personality has been successfully replicated or not. Ash World isn't exactly the ideal tileset for showcasing a designer's prowess and aesthetic sense, but the layout itself is very good. I like the idea of making expansions difficult to defend via unbuildable terrain, a bit less the fact that one of the major targets lies on an island: it wasn't much of a problem for me, because of the strategy I adopted, but players who will heavily invest in ground units will probably be annoyed by that. As I already said, the difficulty is unusually high for an introductory mission: at some point, the red Ultralisks had level 4 carapace, which is a bit unfair in my opinion... yep, this mission definitely calls for a strong air force. Difficulty aside, I praise the choice of AI scripts, each Brood has its own distinct traits and signature, and they are very efficient at protecting their bases and other key locations.

Thanks for your hints Andrea, they're always welcome!
I came back to the map of the first mission (I haven't been using StarEdit for a while) and I found those unaccessible minerals you were talking of. Now they have been moved so that they can be gathered from the very start of the mission!
About the island in the NW corner, you have a good point when you say that it forces the player to use air units in order to get to the brown Hive. The fact is that the brown Zerg run an AI script (Brood War Protoss 8 - Town C) which was originally meant to be run on an island town (as it is used in "Countdown"), so I tried to reproduce a situation in which such script could run well.
Concerning the overall difficulty, maybe I could disable the Chetinous Plating research so that Ultralisks are easier to defeat.



None.

Nov 23 2022, 10:36 pm GGmano Post #16

Mr.Pete-Tong

are you using realistic humanized micro skills on the ai computer units?



A Legendary Map Maker, Player. Apparently im more than intresting to observe Irl

Ill try do my best in making all youre watchers happy

The maps I made are tweaked into perfection and maximum strategy added

Dec 3 2022, 12:16 am Andrea Rosa Post #17

Just a glitch in the Matrix

Quote from Omen
About the island in the NW corner, you have a good point when you say that it forces the player to use air units in order to get to the brown Hive. The fact is that the brown Zerg run an AI script (Brood War Protoss 8 - Town C) which was originally meant to be run on an island town (as it is used in "Countdown"), so I tried to reproduce a situation in which such script could run well.

Well, one of my maps has a similar problem: in the 5th mission of VotS, the player discovers only at the very end that he needs air-to-air units to defeat a small fleet of Battlecruisers. Just to make it clear, in my opinion there's nothing wrong in having islands in non-island-themed maps, but I think those islands would be better suited for housing resources, minor enemy bases or optional objectives. You can still have a pimary objective on an island, but you should make the player aware of this somehow: in the case of your map, a Terran player would not have any problem thanks to ComSat Scan, but playing as Zerg is not as comfortable. You could eliminate this problem by hinting at the fact that one of the Hives is located on an island, either in the briefing or in the in-game dialogues.


Quote from Omen
Concerning the overall difficulty, maybe I could disable the Chetinous Plating research so that Ultralisks are easier to defeat.

I learned the hard way that disabling certain units and/or technologies can potentially kneecap an AI script: in certain cases the script will skip some upgrades but it will keep making new units (best-case scenario), in other cases the script will stop working altogether (worst-case scenario). Over time, I've identified some tech that can be safely disabled on certain scripts (for example, Plague and Spawn Broodling when running Zerg Campaign Difficult), but I don't know what will happen if you disable Chetinous Plating on this particular script, it depends on its priority I guess. You could try asking Nekron, he's one of the most qualified people here in this field. You could also bypass the problem by increasing the research time for Chetinous Plating to a very high value, maybe 2 hours: the script will keep working, but the upgrade will be researched very late - or not at all.


Mission 2

The second mission played smoothly from beginning to end (gameplay time: 1h 35m). Mindful of the difficulty of the previous map, I played carefully and didn't go on the offensive until I was truly ready, wiping out Brown first. Medics blinding my Overlords/Guardians were a pain to deal with, as were Spider Mines - luckily I always had non-blinded Overlords escorting my attack groups. By the time I went to attack White, I had a massive attack force, but they still proved to be tougher to crack than I expected. The layout is excellent, and the decoration is gorgeous: this is just about the best you can get with the standard editing techniques. Everything is well balanced in this map, from terrain distribution, to available resources, to the frequency of enemy attacks: well done!



Level Design Workshop

''Go to hell'' is basic. ''I hope your favorite StarCraft character gets voiced by Pr0nogo'' is smart. It's possible. It's terrifying.

Dec 8 2022, 5:05 pm Omen Post #18



Quote
Well, one of my maps has a similar problem: in the 5th mission of VotS, the player discovers only at the very end that he needs air-to-air units to defeat a small fleet of Battlecruisers. Just to make it clear, in my opinion there's nothing wrong in having islands in non-island-themed maps, but I think those islands would be better suited for housing resources, minor enemy bases or optional objectives. You can still have a pimary objective on an island, but you should make the player aware of this somehow: in the case of your map, a Terran player would not have any problem thanks to ComSat Scan, but playing as Zerg is not as comfortable. You could eliminate this problem by hinting at the fact that one of the Hives is located on an island, either in the briefing or in the in-game dialogues.

Zerg have Queens which can use Parasite. You just have to use a brown flying unit as a target...

Quote
I learned the hard way that disabling certain units and/or technologies can potentially kneecap an AI script: in certain cases the script will skip some upgrades but it will keep making new units (best-case scenario), in other cases the script will stop working altogether (worst-case scenario). Over time, I've identified some tech that can be safely disabled on certain scripts (for example, Plague and Spawn Broodling when running Zerg Campaign Difficult), but I don't know what will happen if you disable Chetinous Plating on this particular script, it depends on its priority I guess. You could try asking Nekron, he's one of the most qualified people here in this field. You could also bypass the problem by increasing the research time for Chetinous Plating to a very high value, maybe 2 hours: the script will keep working, but the upgrade will be researched very late - or not at all.

I checked again the map settings and I found out that the Chetinous Plating upgrade was set as "researched" for both the red and brown Zerg; I simply reset the standard condition, so that both computer players don't begin the mission with such an advantage.

Quote
The second mission played smoothly from beginning to end (gameplay time: 1h 35m). Mindful of the difficulty of the previous map, I played carefully and didn't go on the offensive until I was truly ready, wiping out Brown first. Medics blinding my Overlords/Guardians were a pain to deal with, as were Spider Mines - luckily I always had non-blinded Overlords escorting my attack groups. By the time I went to attack White, I had a massive attack force, but they still proved to be tougher to crack than I expected. The layout is excellent, and the decoration is gorgeous: this is just about the best you can get with the standard editing techniques. Everything is well balanced in this map, from terrain distribution, to available resources, to the frequency of enemy attacks: well done!

I'm glad you liked Mission 2. I hope it will be the same with the next map!



None.

Feb 4 2023, 8:41 pm Andrea Rosa Post #19

Just a glitch in the Matrix

Mission 3 kept me busy and entertained for 35 minutes. It offered plenty of opportunities for dirty ZvZ tactics, like setting up offensive structures on the enemy's creep. This mission actually felt easier than the first two, but I played very efficiently, so my impression could be wrong. The story finally gains some momentum, and now I can say that the various characters' personalities have been recreated quite faithfully.


Mission 4 suffers a bit from an excessively cramped design, especially in some areas of the Terran bases, but aside from that it's another cool, well-balanced map. There is a minor but annoying bug at the beginning: after the first dialogue, the in-game sounds remain mute for 5 minutes or so, then another dialogue is displayed and the sounds go back to normal. This map took me more than I expected to complete it, and it's much harder than it looks, despite the fact that it only features one enemy AI. Again, good and detailed map design, with skillful use of doodads and elevation.


Mission 5 was quite fast to complete, not surprising given its size. I managed to win with 8 minutes remaining on the timer, but again, I played at my best during most of this campaign, so the difficulty should be suitable for the average player. In my opinion, this map would work better if the player had control over Duran, since he is supposed to infiltrate the facility anyway - this would also prevent the player from winning in a cheap way by rushing air units toward the beacon. I suggest you to slow down a bit your dialogues: some of them scroll too fast, and it's difficult to follow them in the heat of the battle (this happens during the whole campaign, not just in this particular map). Briefings are a bit too fast as well.


Mission 6 sports some interesting layout concepts, like the solar panels used to hinder the player's ability to build structures: that's a nice idea, but I think you should have given more room for the starting base. Good alternate use of plating and dark platform, as well as rusty pits used to simulate a derelict orbital platform. The briefing felt misleading: by Kerrigan's words, the player is led to believe that he, as a Cerebrate, will be in full charge of operations (like in Omega), but then the map starts and both Kerrigan and Duran show up, just like they decided to take part in the attack at the very last moment (Duran's presence brought up another question for me: shouldn't he be infested by this point of the story? It's been a long time since I last played the Zerg BW campaign, so I'm not entirely sure). Both the difficulty and the resources are adequate for a final mission, but I still think that the first map is slightly harder than this one. I opted to go for the Zerg objective and I won in roughly one hour on my first attempt with an assortment of Lurkers, Hydralisks and Guardians.


I could not get access to the "secret" mission, so I won't be reviewing it, sorry (I will probably play it in the future, in which case I'll update my feedback). I must say I'm not a big fan of secret/bonus missions when it comes to StarCraft, simply because its primitive campaign manager does nothing to actually hide them (with modding it could be possible, I suppose). However I've looked at the map in the editor and it seems a big ass, fully fledged RTS mission, something unusual for bonus maps which are usually micromanagement ones. What should I exactly do in order to legally activate this mission?


In conclusion, this is another worthy installment in your campaign series. In my opinion Vanguard of Aiur was slightly inferior to Unlikely Allies, but Underdogs is better than both of them in terms of gameplay and map design. Maybe Unlikely Allies has the best story, since the one featured in Underdogs feels somewhat simplistic, albeit decently written. Most importantly, the characters feel and behave like their original counterparts, and this is a critical goal to achieve. Finally, I think you deserve extra credit for having completed a trilogy of race-themed campaigns, something few designers can brag about.

Post has been edited 1 time(s), last time on Feb 4 2023, 8:58 pm by Andrea Rosa.



Level Design Workshop

''Go to hell'' is basic. ''I hope your favorite StarCraft character gets voiced by Pr0nogo'' is smart. It's possible. It's terrifying.

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