I'd like to present a map that I have been working on for quite a while now.
Here's the project Link: Chrono Agents
So what is this map? I usually just call it "Cooperative" but I realize that by now, it has a whole lot of RPG elements and might be called an RPG. Which I don't really approve of, for reasons I'll state later.
Basically There are 5 players working together and each player controls one Character (refered to as "Agent"). Each Agent has his own unique abilities and role in the team. There are currently 6 Agents available to choose from:
Asssasin - A very agile and stealthy agent. Excells at taking out key enemies and then getting out alive. Probably most fun and most challenging.
Warrior - A meele fighter Agent. Excells at holding the line and keeping enemies stunned. He's also fairly agile and can pack a punch.
Stider - A very though robotic Agent with strong shields. Excells at surviving a lot of enemy attacks. Keeping the shields up is vital to this one.
Specialist - A high ranged sniper. Excells at taking out single enemies from high range. Fairly adept at gathering information as well.
Elder - The main caster agent. Excells at healing, empowering and reviving his allies. His offensive abilities are actually stronger then they seem to be.
Foreseer - Supportive caster Agent. Excells at providing energy and information to the team. Also very vital to keep the enemies under control.
This map's objective is to Travel back in time to return to a time when not all hope was lost yet. You have a Time Machine but it needs more power to iniate a far tavel like that. Therefore, you need to collect 7 Chrono Crystals to power it. After that you need to protect the time machine untill it teleports you to the past. (I'd like to stress at this point that this only the first map of a series. I can't promise anything but I was planning to release about 4 maps. Each map will have it's own Objectives and I will try to keep them diverse). The problem is that your home planet "Cyan" has been invaded by the "Bioroid", a race of Bio-Mechanical Hybrid creatures (currently they look like Zerg but plans for custom skins are in motion). You will need to fight them to gather the crystals you need to complete your objective.
There are many unique kinds of Bioroid. Each of them has its unique abilities, strengths and weaknesses. In addition, all Bioroid have a Level from 1to 5. higher level Bioroid are stronger in any regard. Each of them must be confronted in its own fashion and sometimes it's hard to decide which enemies should be the primary target. Here is a short summary of each Bioroid enemy you might encounter:
Celloid - A simple meele Bioroid creature. These can actually deal a lot of damage in high numbers and at high levels.
Replicant - A short ranged Bioroid with a corrosive attack. Corrsion will only effect Mechanical targets. Upon death, Replicants will spawn 2 Celloids.
Seeker - A high Ranged Bioroid with a toxic attack. It's poison will only effect biological targets and can't be used in meele combat.
Acidoid - A suicidal Bioroid that will leap at you and burst. It can be avoided and even hurt it's own allies, so it can work heavily for or against you.
Breeder - a realy nasty Bioroid that spits tons of Celloids. These should really be top priority since they provide the Bioroid with a lot of reinforcements.
Composite - the largest Bioroid currently known. These can suddely rush forward and squash their foes. Engage with caution.
So from the sound of it, this is an RPG map isn't it? Well the reason why I state it's not is because of my design philosophy on this one:
The Main design goals/guidlines of this map are:
Success or failure shall depend on how well the players perform e.g. how fast they act, how well they work togther etc.
Faming is a way to silightly boost your chances, not the only way to victory. Farming alone shall NEVER win you a game.
A good team shall be able to beat the map without farming at all.
There shall be a variaty of ways to beat the map and it shall be up to the players creativity to find them.
This map shall try to prove that multiplayer maps CAN actually have a story.
So if that sounds like something you might enjoy, try the map.
I'd like to stress that even though the map is locked, I am willing to share any knowlegde/techniques as long as I am ASKED. You'll find that I will respond to any questions as to how I did this or that. (even though I don't think there is anything that unique in this map yet).
ANY feedback is appritiated. Tell me if you like/hate it. Suggest me how to improve it. Tell me whether you agree with my design philosophy. Tell me whether I sticked to it properly thus far. Tell me what feature you would like to see or which feature was a mistake and should be removed.
Basically I'd like to hear from you guys and hope you enjoy this map.
How are you going to implement the story? Sadly most people are just looking for fast action and especially in a cooperative game you might get left behind, if you're the only one actually watching videos/dialogs/whatever.
I'm just curious, because I too, will have a story...
Well I have been wondering about it myself. In the end what it comes down to, is that you need voice acting. I think it's as simple as that, people are not willing to read but if they hear it they will not miss it and might actually follow the story.
There is no voice acting right now and frankly, only the very basic aspects of the story are told yet. And the few people who played it yet, of course they didn't read any of that. In fact, they didn't even read the tramissions that were there to guide them, as a short tutorial. That was always the major flaw of the "public". The cummon mindset is "Ah it's just a funmap. I'll just go right ahead to the action." and then they die a minute later and don't know what happened because the overread all the 10 Warning signs that you gave them. It sometimes makes you believe people just can't read at all. It's really frustrating.
Be that as it may, I am planning to add voice acting. Actually I am in a theatre group and there are a few people with according skills who might help me out on it. What it comes down to is just how large the story is. I don't think that you can tell a hugh story with lots of different plot twists in a multiplayer map. However I think that if the story is "small" enough and you find a good rythmn of conveying it. You might actually succedd to tell it in a fashion that will not make people say "Just cut to the chase allready". What I mean by a "good rythmn" is that you shouldn't tell all the story at once, but cut it in small pieces. People will be bored with a 2 minute cinematic, but make it 10 cinematics of 30 seconds each, and people will most likel not be bored cause they got to play inbetween.
And yes: I realize that I have somewhat failed in doing exactly that with the current map. But story was my last concern of course, I first wanted the mechanics running. So nothing is set in stone yet. This is work in progress.
I once saw a youtube video of a guy who played my map, Catalyst, for the first time. He recorded his first ever venture, and as such had no clue about the game. I'd set up campaign like tips to guide new players.
So what did this fresh player do? He clicked the tips. Oh, great I thought. But then he immediately closed the tips, and I realised he only clicked them to get rid of them. He then proceeded to fumble around aimlessly without a clue what to do for the next few minutes. My jaw dropped.
Moral of the story is that people will never read anything, no matter how pretty, neat or short it is. I agree with the above, voice acting. It's definitely the direction I'll be headed.
Yes. As sad as that is, all experience proves it. I have my Tips anyway because I want to believe some people might read them, but what I usually whitness is that people will only read Ability descriptions at most.
Kinda depressing, but I guess that's just how the average person on bnet is.
I think voice acting is a good approach, but also a risky one: First of all it's a shitload of work. Secondly to make it convincing it really HAS to be convincing if you know what I mean. If the voices are just sliiiigthly weird/funny/uncommon - your ruined. The atmosphere is destroyed and people will make fun of it. Lastly you might be limited due to map size limitations.
Despite all of this I would love to see voice acting in a professional way in a custom map. Keep us updated..! :-)
Rollback Post to RevisionRollBack
Looking for testers in EU: Thread on SC2Mapster,
I just finished the voice acting and introduced it in the newest version. It is now accessible from here(see first post) or b.net EU.
Let me hear what you guys think of the voice acting. I spent quite some time on it but i think i made a decend job in the end.
First off, this map is amazing! Definitely in the top 3 of custom maps. Every agent has something cool about him(favorite being the Strider) and has its own use. The story is great(I actually did read the text), the map is interesting and the abilities well thought out. (However, I don't agree with the Strider's vortex-like ability. It just doesn't work). Definitely keep up the good work!
However, for some reason, the battle.net configuration is an absolute fail. Mostly when I try to play online, I'm the only one in the lobby and the game starts already! I have never been in a game with more than 3 players. This is very frustrating and I'm not sure if you can do anything about it. I'd love to enjoy this map to it's fullest extent but never have been able to.
Top 3? are you serious? Well that's quite the compliment. Thank you. That will certainly keep me going :)
The Implosive shot ability has been introduced later than all others and is therefore probably subject to change. I'd like to keep it but i know it looks kinda strange. Mabe I'll find a different technique for it.
As for the lobby problem: You are the second one who told me that and I am really not sure how this is caused. I expect it's something that changed with some patch and now I need to change something in the lobby settings. Which are quite a pain in the ars right now. Blizzard said they would improve it, maybe it's a side effect of that. At any rate, I'll look into it.
Is the voice acting in yet or not? I am confused now. It sure is when i try the map online.
tbh.. i cant understand a word from the voice actors. its so awfully distorted.
other things i dislike: you cant see what others picked at start. the inventory is really unhandy. the 3 leveling up ways are not having a great impact
Well the voice acting is quite an experimental thing. You can actually just turn on subtitles, but i will make the text still display in the next version if i can.
You actually can see what others picked. It is displayed when they pick. There is also the text command -teamlist that will show you all picks. But I will be adding a UI that shows each players status and Agent in the future.
As for the Skills:
A: they are not supposed to have a great impact, that would be against the design philosophy stated above.
B: Don't forget that they are saved. So the longer you played, the more impact they have.
If I play the warrior, I start with max level thoughness and level 2 stun, which is a BIG deal, believe me. And I atually played like ... 20 times maybe. Which is like 5 hours or so which is really not a lot by RPG standards.
i really dont get that item system.. items are disappearing sometimes. why is that? and the inventory is a mess itself.
and how many skillpoints are saved? i had 1-4-10 last game started a new one and got 1-0-4 so its 20% or what?
btw know how you spot major design flawes? when you are stuck on a loading screen. when you are stuck on a black screen. or when you are stuck because a assassin or specialist died at beginning. NOTHING you can do to rescue him. gj
They dissapear? First time I heard about that. When exactly do they dissapear? I can't really look into it if i have no point of reference as to when it happens.
Well the inventory had some limits, first of which is that i can't use right clicking for picking up and can't make a drag and drop system. Simply because the Editor doesn't support this sort of thing yet.
But I realize that it can be quite hard at times to keep the inventory clean. Especially with all the new items you recieve quite often.
That's something I am looking to improve in the future. One of the improvements will be custom items icons, unique for each item. So it will be quite a lot easier to discern different items. However I can't tell when I am going to introduce those.
Yes, only a portion of the skill points earned are saved. 10% to be exact.
1: You don't get stuck on the loading screen, it only appears to be the case due to b.net.
2: You don't get stuck on a black screen, you have to wait untill the other players are ready. It says that.
3: people who follow the tutorial properly, will not die in it.
4: I realize these flaws and i will improve them. This map just came out of beta state.
5: most importantly: I will not continue talking with you if you keep up this offensive attitude.
im merely pointing out things that need improvement. no offence. the map is quite fun.
a few other points:
-specialist has no indication of how many levels of oc sers is active
-the difficulty jump from picking up crystals to defending the time machine is to large
-people tend to go afk while loading and/or picking. resulting in leaving of other players. resulting in a new game. thats what i meant with getting stuck. you just get stuck when someone does not pick.
ps: i followed the tutorial. in fact it was the first time i did so.. and died. not of the instructions but cause my specialist decided to cliffjump into enemys while charging the beam. looked quite fun :)
That's more like the way of making suggestions. I found your tone in the last post offensive, I apologize if i misunderstood that.
OC S:E:R:S should actually show how many % it gives, but i realize that a stack number would be better. Sadly there is no way to show a behaviors stack count that i know of. I'll see what i can do.
Yes the difficulty is an issue. That's something that just needs a lot of testing. I am planning to make the survival more manageable.
As for someone not picking. I just wanted the players to start together. If I didn't do that, People would still have to wait for each other later. I think impatient people like that would also leave if they allready reached the time machine and everyone else hasn't even picked yet. I think starting together is part of playing as a team.
Maybe I will make players able to start earlier then the others and go on ahead, but I right now I don't find this to be the right approach. Maybe I will just add a countdown. So impatient people at least know that they don't need to wait longer than 30 seconds or so. In the end, leavers are just not avoidable.
I actually think it's REALY high time for Blizzard to realize that they should allow mappers to set their map up so that players can join after a game has allready started. I mean look at counterstrike, battlefield and these kinds of games. They wouldn't work as maps simply because we have this "only join at start" limitation.