• 0

    posted a message on Sins of the Father Campaign (Feedback)

    (Link to the project page: http://www.sc2mapster.com/maps/sins-father-campaign/)

    This thread will be used for updates and calls for feedback. At the moment, I'm requesting feedback on Mission 1: Turahnas Stand.

    You can post here or on the project page. Thanks!



    My name is John Webb. I've been playing strategy games since I was a child and have always been fascinated with map editors. My most successful career as a mapmaker were with the castle-sim games, Stronghold, and its sequel, Stronghold: Crusader. On Stronghold Heaven (community site for the Stronghold mapmaking community) I was consistently one of the highest rated creators, and still hold a few spots on the top 100 under the username Captain Diablo (a username that serves as an antique from my childhood spent playing--you guessed it--Diablo 2).

    As a mapmaker, I developed a personal style of scripting that emphasized high difficulty and narrative. My Stronghold maps are some of the most challenging maps ever made--but not to the point of frustration. I designed each scenario based on the assumption that the player would learn as she went, finding the solution at every step until the map was beaten. Once figured out, my maps are quite easy; it's the learning curve of the scenario that I focused on, which in my experience with strategy games is the hallmark of single-player gameplay.

    I also happen to be a published writer (disclaimer: in non-pro markets), and was always rated highly for narrative as a mapmaker.

    === STARCRAFT ===

    And now we arrive here, in the present, where I recently became semi-obsessed with the intricacies of the Starcraft II editor. Stronghold's editor is relatively inflexible; Starcraft II's Galaxy Editor is something I can really sink my teeth into.

    And here's what I spat out, my "Naked Lunch" so to speak. I had zero working knowledge of the editor when I began. By creating the first mission, I learned a lot, but it's far from perfect. I've made these files public domain because I think they can be improved upon by those willing and more able. For instance, by digging into the triggers, a more experienced mapmaker can probably condense multiple lines of scripting into one. There are also some things that I couldn't get to work (like making multiple probes build things, or having a warp prism drop multiple units), but for these issues I created a workaround, or abandoned entirely.

    ==== SINS OF THE FATHER ====

    [This section is reserved for future updates of the campaign]

    This campaign focuses on a small mining colony called Turahnas, where a marine sergeant (Rastlin Duvall) has returned home to attend the funeral of his late father. Rastlin takes over as the commanding officer (analogous to Raynor's sheriff status in the old Confederacy) and begins to oversee the colony. However, his late father's station in life isn't the only thing he's inherited...

    Prologue (In production): This will be a short cutscene of the funeral, and the subsequent taking-over of Rastlin; this cutscene will also introduce key characters in the narrative.

    Mission 1 - Turahnas Stand

    -An unidentified contingent of Protoss forces has swept over the planet, boxing the Terrans into a corner. They seem hellbent on destroying the colony, but why?

    This map is a timed defense mission, similar to a lot of Terran missions in Wings of Liberty. Initially, you're building bunkers and training marines. Completing bonus objectives will make the mission significantly easier; you'll gain access to Marauders in the tech tree and rescue a few tanks with siege mode. I dare say that these objectives aren't really a "bonus," but a necessity to beating the map. You have very little time in between waves, so everything you do counts. Losing three marines in the beginning might doom you later, for instance. Design-wise, it's very similar to my Stronghold maps: attacks are timed and sometimes announced; you as a player must learn the best way to deal with it.

    MUSIC CREDIT: Final Assault Extended - Mass Effect 1 Soundtrack

    Posted in: Map Feedback
  • 0

    posted a message on Is Starcraft 2 Too Much of a Science?

    (Originally posted on the team liquid forums)

    Disclaimer: I'm going to word this as carefully as possible, as I don't want this thread to come across as incendiary or caustic. For the record: I like Starcraft, Starcraft 2, and Blizzard in general. Oh, and I'm an avid watcher of Pro games (<3 casters Husky / Totalbiscuit)

    TL;DR: Starcraft 2 hasn't been an actual "game" since the Beta. It's my personal belief that strategy games should be about immediate feedback and intuition, rather than an excel spreadsheet with moving pictures. The ultimate RTS would be perfectly randomized in its units and terrain, but perfectly balanced due to the magic of mathematics.


    Flashback to the SCII Beta: you downloaded the game (or not, if you were unlucky enough to not get an invite), fired it up, and clicked go. The match starts. Were you thinking about build orders yet? Of course not, because it would be ridiculous to think about build orders in a beta!

    What you did is this: you read the tooltips, you thought about the possible uses for units like the Reaper or the Baneling or the Viking or the Void Ray. You then said, "hey, I can sneak around my opponents backside with the Reaper and snipe a few workers!" Remember when you first warped in units at a proxy pylon? Wasn't that fun? Tada! Strategy via intuition.

    I'm reminded of this after talking to my best friend; my best friend talks a lot of smackabout everything. Including Starcraft 2, a game he has never picked up. I want to destroy him (and I will). He says he just has a "sense" for RTS games. I reply that "you don't win in Starcraft with intuition, it's a science."

    Does anyone else see the problem? Starcraft stops being a game as soon as you start thinking of the most efficient way to play it. It becomes a rote memorization of what to do and when to do it. Obviously the professionals will want to (and must) play the game the most efficient way, but why the hell does everyone else want to (it's how our brains are made: we need to melt everything into a science, which is not bad)? Some people make livings off of this game, and they are brilliant. Others just play a game.

    Playing the SC2BW mod againand Brood War itselfmade me realize how many options a new player has: Reavers! Arbiters! Goliaths and Lurkers and Valkyries oh my! (Let me be clear about one thing: this isn't nostalgia talking, as I barely have experience in either game; not to mention the original came out when I was, like, 3) Watch two new players play the original and tell me they don't have more fun discovering strategies instead of memorizing them. I get demolished in Brood War! I get demolished in SC2! Who cares! My Zealot bomb took out your vulture gang!

    To sum up (and I think I've covered my ass enough to say this): Starcraft is not a game if you want to win online.


    At the highest levels of play, SC is a lifestyle. You are no longer the starry-eyed gamer performing a Reaver drop for the first time and thinking how awesome it is to blow up 5 SCVs at once. You are a spartan warrior bean-counting your minerals. And that's fine! But I've always enjoyed watching the pro player's tactics and maneuvers moreso than their builds. Case in point: Idra vs Kiwikaki, game 5 of the IPL tournament. For the final 10 minutes or so, Idra just out manuevers his opponent with drops in his main, backstabs, feints, and has Kiwikaki running around in circles. That's the mark of a good strategy gamer (or it should be). That's what gamers should be emulating: the actual raw battlefield sense.

    The math shouldn't even be involved in games. Period. Because it's not actual war. The name of the game is in the namesake (which is "game" if you've been keeping score at home). Intuition should be at the forefront and common sense.

    Simply put: the gamer should see and react to what's given to him.


    (The rest of this post is about my view of a perfect RTS, and if you don't care, I wouldn't blame you if you didn't read it.)

    As of today I am 27-27, my best record in any online strategy game (second best would be 25-25 in WCIII) ever. I suck at this game, to be frank (and to beat any elitist jerks to the punch).

    So what would be the perfect RTSrather, what would my perfect RTS be? Well, it couldn't be boiled down to a science, most importantly. Which means that everything would have to be randomized. Randomized units, randomized terrain, abilities, maybe even mechanics.

    It would have to follow a simple rock-papers-scissors formula (uh, maybe mech>infantry>naval>air) but with enough deviation on both sides to make it interesting, like the difference between 2 zerglings and a marine.

    Obviously the math would have to balance out for the game to balance out.

    And just like the Beta, the two (or more) players would read the tooltips, look at their units, and decide intuitively what to do. There would be imbalances (on both sides, I'd imagine); or maybe, if the math was perfect, there wouldn'tbut I think those two players would have a blast, wouldn't you? No one would make money out of it, but it'd be one hell of a [i]game[/i].


    The reason I posted this here is to ask the mod community: would my vision of an RTS be achievable within the SC2 editor? It'd be a tough endeavor to say the least. Maybe it's just a pipe dream? I don't know. But that's why I'm here! :)

    Posted in: General Chat
  • To post a comment, please or register a new account.