(Please forgive this rather simple logo. I'm not the best artist, so I created this placeholder graphic)
Greetings everyone, and welcome to the development thread for the singleplayer campaign "Herakles".
Herakles is a campaign in which you only control units - no base building involved whatsoever. The focus lies on managing your units and use them wisely to survive.
In other words, this campaign is all micro, but no macro.
Story-wise, the campaign is set in a different universe than StarCraft II. There are still terrans, zerg and protoss, but I'm re-introducing them here to the player. It is set at the early years of human colonization in space, which means that some of the technology of present-day SC2 does not exist yet, and that is reflected in both story and gameplay.
Think of it as StarCraft Origins, expect it's not trying to be a part of the real StarCraft lore, but rather it's my own take on the origins of the three races.
This campaign is a remake of sorts of Terran Tactics, a project which I started back in 2011. The core ideas from back then are still included, but otherwise I've started from scratch to ensure that this project will be as good as possible.
You can assemble your own groups. Prior to the beginning of each mission, you can define what unit type, and how many units in general, are being assigned to each group.
You have a budget (credits). Each unit you recruit into your group costs money, and if one of your units die during a mission, that money is gone forever. Thus, it is important to keep everyone alive as good as possible.
Each unit has a limited number of attacks available (ammunition, energy batteries ect.). If a unit runs out of energy, it can no longer attack. Therefore, it is important to plan ahead and find alternative ways to conserve ammo.
There are resupply pickups which can refill both the health and ammo of units, but those are rare (1 or 2 per map), so plan accordingly.
The terrain plays a big role in the campaign. There are environmental objects such as explosive barrels and destructible rocks to kill or otherwise stop the enemy. The height difference is also important, as it allows you to observe the enemy without being spotted.
You can define the speed of the dialogue to adjust to your reading speed. No more message that pass by too fast, or take forever to finish!
Note to moderators: If possible, please DO NOT feature this video on the front page. It's very long and kinda messy. A proper teaser/trailer will follow another day.
Note to video watchers: Activate annotations! I explain quite a lot of stuff during the video.
Here's the direct link in case the embed function doesn't work for you:
February 11th, 2015: All of chapter 1 has been completed.
January 18th, 2015: Half of chapter 1 has been completed.
There are way too many models and music tracks to list them all separately. Once the campaign is close to completion and the assets list is final, I'll post a document with some detailed credits.
Until then, I'd like to thank the following people:
Wargirl, for helping me with the terrain on past map projects, and giving me the courage to create at least some basic maps for this demonstration.
The first map was done by me from scratch, the second map is one of Victiln's template maps, edited by me. Victiln actually helped me with the maps for Terran Tactics all these years back.
alleyviper85 for Christopher's model (Marine Marauder V2). The original Marine Marauder model didn't work perfectly, and he took the time to fix it quickly.
JayBorino, as well as all the custom campaign creators out there (Gradius12, EivindL etc) for restoring my faith. Up until a year ago, I totally thought that most of the community only cared for multiplayer maps - and then BAM, so much campaign goodness I discovered all at once last Fall, it was incredible!
@Cacho56: I don't know if I'll bother with lib movement to be honest.
I won't do the advanced method as it's too much trouble to integrate it. Even if I did, most of the characters don't have long-enough lines, so the lib movement would repeat itself during one sentence. The magic will be gone after a while.
Besides, I don't even have voices to create the illusion of somebody talking.
I'm happy to announce that chapter 1 has been completed!
Instead of showing you another walkthrough, I figured that a quick demonstration of the new features would be better and shorter.
Since YouTube's annotations editor don't work with HTML5 player (I uninstalled Flash recently), I'll post my notes in this post instead.
In this video, an enemy soldier triggers an alarm (asks for reinforcements via radio). This is indicated by the enemy flashing.
The soldier blinks red on high shaders, and blinks white on low shaders (for some reason, I recorded with low shaders. Oh well).
On the minimap, you can see how pretty much all of the soldiers come rushing to your location. This is a prime example on how you can get cornered by the enemy troops if you trigger the alarm at a bad spot.
Also note that some soldiers don't move away from their posts (the two soldiers at the resupply pickup in the north-western corner). Some enemies won't budge from their position, so that in case the player has "lured" the enemy onto one point and sneaks past the incoming troops, there will still be some resistance.
Squad Selection System
In this video, you can see the squad selection menu in action. You can create your own group of units, with up to 4 groups possible at the end of the campaign, which each of them containing 15 units.
On the left is the squad selection as well as the credits counts.
One mercenary-type soldier is worth 50 credits, and I lost only one soldier in the prior map. As I started with a group of 8 soldiers + the three soldiers that I met in Map 2, the maximum of credits here is 550 (50*11). Minus one makes 500 credits.
I select some units, switch unit types, reset the group once, and go on to create two groups. Each group has another support ability enabled for the support soldier type (blue soldier). Group 1 has grenades, Group 2 has mines.
The formation is carried-over as well. In this case, the formation is rotated 90° clockwise.
One More Thing
In the two videos, you can see the new wireframe and unit button images for each unit. I wanted to give this campaign as much a custom feeling as possible, and so I've created new ones for each of them. While I don't have white outlines, I think the contrast is still good enough to notice the green, yellow and red colors.
Very well. If there is at least one person showing interest, I'll oblige.
You can find the demo here: Dropbox
(I'll wait if there are any errors being reported by players, and upload version 1.1 on SC2mapster later)
Just extract the content into the main StarCraft II folder and load "Map 000 - Start" via the editor.
The demo let's you play through the first chapter which consists of three gameplay maps and some cutscenes between them.
The demo starts from the beginning after you've reached the end, and all credits and upgrades are carried over. This allows you to become stronger and stronger, until the enemies become not much of a threat even on Hard difficulty.
I had to pack up my PC and I'm just rocking the budget laptop for the next month. I will PM the other custom campaigners and tell them to test your map!! I'd be happy to rock it when I am settled down again.
Good news everyone: I've resumed work on the campaign!
I had quite some time to think about the overall concept of this campaign and rethink some decisions, and I have indeed one mayor change to announce. But first things first.
Originally, I had planned to let the player control normal units (marines, ghosts etc.) led by a hero, and engage in micro missions exclusively (no base building).
With features such as limited ammunition, and losing some money if one of your units die during a mission, I wanted to achieve a certain amount of realism with the combat. Play poorly and your army will be weaker in the long run, play good and you will have more strategic options later on.
But at one point I've realized that the gaming experience is becoming similar to the Installation-type missions from Starcraft I. Every unit lost is a big problem for the player, and doubly-so in this campaign. Worse yet, this has almost X-COM Ironman Mode levels of "make one mistake and it's gg".
I could try to do it that way, but it wouldn't be any fun to most people (and they would use cheats as a result). Or they would simply save and reload once every five minutes to optimize their gameplay. So I'll scrap all that, and instead go a different route instead.
As a result, I'll replace the normal units with heroes.
I'll still retain the concept of having up to 4 groups, each of them being led by a mayor story character. But now, you can add up to four hero-type characters, each with their own unique abilities.
This still allows for a good deal of strategy, and since everyone is now equally-strong and doesn't die too fast, it becomes a lot less frustrating.
However, I will still keep some of the realistic difficulty, and make it so that if one of the subheroes dies in combat, he's merely injured and not available for the remainder of chapter (but recovers over time, and is then available in the next chapter).
It shouldn't be too hard to adjust the numbers to the new system, and I still have all of my old work. I'll begin work once Legacy of the Void comes out and all the editor issues are resolved. So expect some new footage soon!