Posted by Sixen May 13, 2012 at 20:27 UTC
Small Note: A Forum RPG is being started here on mapster, with TheAlmaity as one of the GMs, in case anyone is interested in participating.
Arcade 1.5 Alpha / Beta
As I'm sure most of you are already aware, the Arcade 1.5 Alpha began a few weeks ago, and the Beta has just begun, Relatively soon, we'll be hearing the official news from Blizzard, and as far as I'm aware, this will become "open beta" and just act as a glorified Public Test Region. Below you can find the custom maps/arcade-related patch notes as well as the native Galaxy API Changes.
We also have a nice quick video created by OneTwo of the new Battle.net interface.
Below is the current list of changes and improvements made in the 1.5 arcade preview. The article is organized into a few different categories, so you can get to the information you care about quickly. Keep in mind that all of this is still being worked on, and nothing is final. Additionally, this is not a complete list, as features are still being discovered.
Super Quick Summary
- Sc2 has been split into "melee" and "arcade", and maps must be in either the melee maps or custom maps list, NOT both
- Major improvements made to custom games system- games now have reviews, patch logs, tutorial support, ratings, and much more (read the full list below for details)
- Major improvements made to the editor, including a re-worked UI for the data editor, a cinematic editor, an AI editor, a 3DS max plugin, a far improved trigger debugger, a new physics engine, and more.
- Sc2 Battlenet menus improved
- Instead of "single player and multiplayer" we have "starcraft 2 and arcade"
- Custom maps must be either "starcraft" or "arcade". They cannot be both. This means that melee-oriented games (like 1v1 Obs, or straight-up melee maps) will be separate from non-melee custom games
- Players can search for games based on genre, overall popularity, star rating, newness, and recent spikes in popularity.
- Players create an icon for their games, which will be what players see in the arcade list (sort of like the apple app store)
- Clicking on a game icon brings players into the Game Info page, a section devoted entirely to showing off what a game is all about, providing play instructions, and revealing other important information about the game.
- All the content in Game Info is under control of the game creator, except for reviews of course.
- Joining public matches and creating private games is done from the Game Info page. This will be the portal players return to again and again to play the game.
- The game info page will contain the following sections, all of which you will set up
- Overview: This will contain the game description, as well as screenshots that show off the action.
- How to Play: This is where players will find the Basic Instructions, How to Win, and Advanced Instructions sections. You can also include images.
- Patch Notes: You’re able to update patch notes as often as you like, so players can see how the game is growing and improving.
- Reviews: After playing, players can give your game a star rating and enter a text review. Once enough ratings are provided, your game gets an average score to let players get a general idea of quality.
- Star Rating. Players can also mark each other’s reviews as “Helpful” which will ensure that the best reviews rise to the top.
- Tutorials are supported! Players can attach a separate map file that will be a tutorial for players. This will allow you to set up a tutorial mission specifically for new players.
- Games have their own chat-channels automatically, allowing your players to jump into a chat easily
The Sc2 Platform
- Sc2 is now a streaming game
- This means it will only be necessary to download a fraction of game data to get into the action
- Added UI XML Editor for adding and modifying SC2Layout files
- Editor updated to use Visual Styles in Editor
- Added high resolution minimap support
- Font Style editing added to Text Editor
- Added Data Editor horizontal auto-layout to better utilize available screen space
- User-defined data system, accessed through the new User type in the Data module as well as the corresponding functions in the trigger library.
- Cinematic Editor
- New editor module with powerful tools for creating in-game cinematic sequences (not many changes from what we saw of it during blizzcon)
- AI Editor
- New editor module for user friendly management of AI wave timing and composition
- Much easier to set up AI, instead of just using clunky trigger commands
- Error Debugger
- Trigger Debug Window support for breakpoints, stepping through functions, and variable inspection
- Galaxy script code memory limit increased; 4x -10x more memory can be utilized depending on how scripts are being used
- Added support for passing structure, array, and function references as function parameters
- Improved Galaxy error message output
- Camera Actor added for controlling camera through actor events
- Scene Actor added for controlling global actor settings (Halo settings, Power visual hiding)
- Light Actor added for creating lights in the world
- Terrain Actor added for physics impact FX support
- Creep Actor added for higher performance creep effects including creep engulfment
- Ragdoll deaths and support for combat driven physics impulses
- Added support for water ripples and physics collision based water splashes
- Terrain squib support for tileset specific dust or snow clouds FX
- Line and Arc targeting cursor support
- Added ActorInfoDisplay cheat for live actor debugging
Game Engine Improvements
- Game Engine
- Max unit selection size increased from 255 to 500
- New trigger event for Behavior apply/remove
- New Stunned flag for Behaviors that allows queuing commands
- Graphics Engine
- Added support to define lighting regions in the game world
- Lighting can now be set per player
- Added unit specific Halo support for pre-targeting
- Anti-aliasing support
- UI Improvements
- Custom unit status bar support added
- Added new in-game pathing display that shows the path a unit will take on the minimap
- Added self-cast hotkey support
- Added Font Glow support
- Added powerful control over frames, portraits, status bars, text, trigger dialogs and more. Full details, tips, and tutorials are being created to help creators take full advantage of these tools.
- Blizzard is releasing their company art tools to the community
- StarTools is a set of plugins for Discreet®'s 3ds max®, these tools allow advanced users to create, modify, and quickly preview models and animations, including particle and ribbon effects, that can be used in StarCraft II custom maps.
- This means you can quickly and easily get models created and added to sc2
Updating your map for 1.5
- You do not need to do this for your maps yet, since this is only a closed beta
- All game types
- Set up your Type and Genre
- Games published prior to Patch 1.5 will still be available on the service when the patch goes live. All user created games will default to appearing in Arcade, under the “Other” genre.
- Creators will need to re-save their game in the 1.5.0 client version and select the Type and Genre where they want to their game to appear.
- Arcade game types
- Add a Game Icon Image
- The icon image is the first thing players see. It’s a great opportunity to make a first impression on potential players - check out existing app-stores for inspiration.
- Game Icon Images are added through the StarCraft II Editor.
- Add Game Info
- Game Info is where players learn about your game and see what cool experiences it has to offer. At a minimum, you’ll want to provide a complete Description, easy to understand How to Play Instructions, and some screenshots that make your game look awesome.
- Going a step further and creating customized images (e.g. a diagram of game controls, or a simple guide map of the play area) for Game Info will really help you stand out. The old saying about “show not tell” should be your motto here!
- Game Info is added through the StarCraft II Editor
- Set up a default mode
- From the Game Info page, there’s a big “PLAY” button that most players will use to get into your game. This creates or joins a public lobby, of the default mode you define for your game.
- Alternatively, some games have players set up gameplay parameters after they load into the match. This is fine, but it’s recommended to make the setup process as streamlined and user friendly as possible so new players aren’t scared off right when they start the game.
- This means you likely want to set the default to what you consider your “core” game experience.
- Build a Tutorial
- Tutorials can also be built and used as a practice mode for players to experiment in a sandbox type environment.
- To use the Tutorial feature, first publish the tutorial map to Battle.net. Then you can configure your main game to point to the tutorial.
Update For those who are interested, the Diablo 3 Release date has been officially announced. You'll be able to get your hands on the game on May 15th of 2012! Join the discussion here!
Many of you probably remember our coverage of Blizzcon 2011- it was a lot of fun, but the biggest announcement was the huge changes coming to the editor and, more importantly, the custom games system. You can read our article on the subject here if you missed it the first time around.
We previously believed that these changes would not appear until at or around the time of the Heart of the Swarm expansion pack- however, we now know will be coming soon(TM), in the next patch for Starcraft 2! Patch 1.5 will include the brand new arcade system, which supports improved custom game visibility, ratings, reviews, game instructions, screenshot support, and more. Not only that, but patch 1.5 will also introduce the art-tools and editor upgrades. A open-games system will also be added that shows active lobbies, although not all lobbies will be shown at once (the algorithm used to sort them is unknown at the moment). Blizzard has also made a statement about their stance on the custom games system.
Quote from Blizzard:
The challenge we face with the interface is how much to orient the space towards the player, versus how much we focus the interface on the needs of the mod maker. Mod makers want a very egalitarian society where no single map has any type of “advantage” in the interface. On the other hand, most players just want to see the best maps and they don’t want to have to sort through hundreds of maps to find the ones that are good. We think what we have now doesn’t do enough to surface new maps that are good. While we tried to make things better with “Fun or Not,” the system alone isn’t doing enough for many of our mod developers so we wanted to try something different.
If you are interested, you can read the full article here, or join the discussion here.
Posted by Sixen Jan 05, 2012 at 23:59 UTC
This map is a newly released tower defense, which brings new and exciting, never-seen-before game mechanics to Starcraft 2. Amira TD features WASD controls, unique structures, personal high scores, tutorials for newcomers, beautiful environment, gameplay similar to Plants vs Zombies, an advanced, yet user-friendly custom UI, and much much more. Check it out for yourself over Battle.net!