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    posted a message on Philosophy of Design - Educational Developer Series

    @Pr0nogo: Go I have not seen any of your content. I will watch it once it becomes more positive. Here are some ideas on how to make it so:

    1. Highlight what is fun. Ignore the bad parts. Mapper already knows about them. Perhaps mapper does not share your vision? Who is the owner of the vision? The maker of the game.
    2. Suppress all criticism. If you have nothing nice to say - stay silent. No stars, no down votes.
    3. Report obvious bugs Be detailed, to the point and unemotional. Attach screenshots. No screenshots -> skip filing the bug.
    4. Suppress all "cool ideas" and feature requests. Those will derail the mapper from the core vision. It might also make mapper feel inadequate. By highlighting the fun and beautiful, mapper will focus on that.

    Culture products are not some form of bacteria that needs to evolve by exposure to anger and passive aggressive slurs. Culture products comes from humans. Somehow the SC2 fans and gamers in general (me included) seem to have a hard time understanding how humans work. We give and care when we feel loved and needed. We stop caring and give up when we feel unappreciated.

    Obviously, Pr0no, you are not the only one who has fallen for pleasures of sinking other peoples work of passion. Here are two examples of my own:

    • I wrote a nasty and inaccurate review of Starbow a couple of years ago. The supporters of the mod were angry and asked me to remove it, which obviously did with plenty of shame. Somehow I felt entitled to sink their work. Why? It felt good, made me feel intelligent and important and I could take out some frustrations on something that I did not care about. Somehow I felt like I helped them. What I actually did was leech of their passion and used their produce as a mental toilet. Not very nice at all.
    • I have written multiple insulting pieces about Blizzard, their developers and their games. Perhaps not in caps-lock, but certainly passive aggressive rants. Since Blizzard is a publicly traded company with a reputation; they can't go after individual fans like you and me when opinions are crossing red lines. I guess it should be fans defending them when it happens (like in the case of Starbow). Instead we do the opposite and we join the bully ranks. If the Starcraft franchise ever really "dies", the main culprit would be us fans who hated it to death. Why invest money and passion in something people do not like?

    Most map makers (creative people in general) tend to work alone or in small teams. They expose their content to others for free or for some pretty small fee considering production costs. Mostly because it is fun to see someone enjoy your produce and get some attention. In return these people tend to get negative reviews, suggestions of improvements, feature requests, anger and frustrations over bugs. In the echo chamber of the lone mind they all implies: "Your work is not done, your are not working hard enough, why are you not doing more? Your work is full of flaws, not perfect, not acceptable, how dare you expose me to this: please stop doing that"

    Stop making games is what I have done and many with me. Usually people mention work, studies and life in general as reasons. It does not change one of the sad truths about game development. Fans are one of the worst parts of the job.

    Only say positive things about others work of passion

    Posted in: Map Review
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    posted a message on Data Wizards and how to distribute them

    @ArcaneDurandel: Go From UX point of view I think using URL as a wizard-source would be most elegant. That might cause security problems though, as transparency and client dependencies becomes complex.

    IMHO, Git is better. It has educational value as well.

    Posted in: General Chat
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    posted a message on Data Wizards and how to distribute them

    GitHub.

    I would prefer a git repository. I tried setting up one here, but failed. Since its just xml (textfiles) it should be the smoothest. Then mappers can point their wizard folders to this repository folder directly or maintain their own clone. When bigger updates happen you sync it, or publish it. It's also a great opportunity to introduce students to proper versioning which we saw was an issue in patch 3.0.

    The smoothest tools for this is GitHub with the easy to use GitHub client. It provides versioning, bug tracking, milestones, task management, wiki and other things. Using that systematically might be frowned upon by Curse.

    What tools does Curse provide?

    Posted in: General Chat
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    posted a message on Starcraft 2 Editor Solution for Mac Users

    @Yeowolf01: Go

    THANKS!

    Posted in: General Chat
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    posted a message on Co-Commanders in game variants

    @MaskedImposter: Go

    Interesting. Separation of campaign content into ai/hero/map/events could enable a fluid and agile production process, which would be better then the previous waterfall approach.

    I hope they unlock a debugging hero and map so that bugs can be ironed out before November 10th.

    I think it would be good since this new way of working also means all public test-alpha/beta/preproduction/prod builds are using same client folders and resources.

    New and returning customers may have lower patience with regression then dedicates ones. Also I have a feeling the coop mode will make/break success of sc2. You only get one chance to make first impression :)

    Edit: phone grammar

    Posted in: General Chat
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    posted a message on Funky's ArcadeUI Suggestions

    @FunkyUserName: Go

    1. I like the list of open games with the most played badge.
    2. Would be nice to have hotkeys for navigating back/forth sets of arcade games (b=back, n=next perhaps?).
    3. I think the search box is too far away, considering it is a filtering tool, just like the dropdown.
    4. Scrolling sound is nice, perhaps a little too "wet".
    5. Scrolling sound is triggered even though I have reached the bottom.
    6. Font size is very small and dependent on graphics card. An accessibility review would hardly consider it AAA. Off not possible to do something about it as engine is fixed.

    Other then that I like it :)

    Posted in: General Chat
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    posted a message on And the new Arcade UI is revealed!

    @egodbout: Go

    What is a barrens chat?

    Posted in: General Chat
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    posted a message on And the new Arcade UI is revealed!

    Ooh shiny!

    Does the chat carry over into the games as well? It looks great.

    Posted in: General Chat
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    posted a message on 11 mistakes people make when designing scenario maps

    Use maps as containers for content

    If you have a big project it is always a good idea to separate content into mods. It makes file and update organization a little harder. It pays of by being scalable in long term

    Write too much story first and then start designing

    Finishing one aspect of campaign making 100% and then moving on to the next (write story 100% -> paint maps 100% -> play-test 100% etc) will guarantee failure. Some people have the mental stamina to pull through an entire multi level project so this does not apply to everyone.

    So: Start with the smallest map size, present dialog using debugger, add units and basic gameplay. Every time you leave the campaign to rest/get bored/have real life events it will be 100% completed. The quality of it might not be so good though :) Then improve where you feel like improving.

    Think of Blizzard as a person

    Assuming that you can put together a multi level campaign with the Blizzard campaigns as a quality baseline is nuts. Focus, descope, prioritize. You are not 50 people. You are 1.

    No comments

    Always comment your code and scripts. If you use the scripting tools, put comments in the comment boxes (each trigger, function has one).

    No Definition of Done

    When is your campaign completed? When people in forums raise you to the skies? When you get a Blizzard job? When people pay money to you for your efforts? When you have at minimum 10 levels of Blizzard quality campaigns?

    Not having a clear end-point will drain your resources.

    Continue even though you know you are done

    You think its quite perfect... but you can always make it more perfect!!! Leave things which are done behind.

    Plan for huge item catalogs

    Does your game harbor characters, items, potions and upgrades? Each such item will have: images, strings, attributes, custom scripts and data properties, game balancing issues, regression issues. Creating large catalogs of repetitive content is really hard, as in hard and gruesome repetitive work. Keep it simple.

    Use Blizzards style of difficulty as baseline

    The traditional blizzard way of doing difficulty is to have 5-7 fixed difficulty levels. This makes it tedious to adjust difficulty later on. If you want to raise difficulty across the board in all your levels, do you really want to open all those map files and change the parameters to those functions? Better to keep it in a mod.

    Posted in: Tutorials
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    posted a message on Finaly a update from Blizzard about Marketplace!

    I think both marketplace and server side bankfiles are a bit overrated.

    • A marketplace would not be able to pull in enough money to (US taxes, EU taxes, fees from blizzard side for curating/validating maps, transfer costs etc.)
    • Server side bankfiles would not make it less cheatable. It might make it harder, but not impossible. People still cheat on the official ladder.

    Lets say the full battle.net experience contains a) Melee mod, b) Campaign mod, c) Melee maps, d) Campaign maps, e) arcade maps, f) ladder, g) coop missions, h) custom tournaments.

    I think it would be good if there was sub-battle.nets where only some of these features were supported, with custom metrics/properties and UX. Blizzard would commit to supporting a couple of features in each sub-net and also provide a method to upload constrained content. Examples:

    • Custom campaign sub-net. Blizzard commits to providing campaign progress tracking (e.g. which maps have been played in this series). Players commit to providing campaign maps (at least two levels of certain quality).
    • WoL sub-net. Blizzard commits to keeping the first campaign playable as engine evolves. Players commit to playing and paying (paywall)
    • HotS sub-net. Blizzard commits to keeping the second campaign playable as engine evolves. Players commit to playing and paying (paywall).
    • LotV sub-net. Blizzard commits to keeping the third campaign playable as engine evolves. Players commit to playing and paying (paywall).
    • Starcraft coop missions. Blizzard commits to keeping a pool of heroes updated and some missions. Players commit to playing and to upload coop missions, but accept that the maps does not generate experience points. (paywall)
    • Starbow sub-net. Blizzard commits to providing custom tournaments (no ladder due to the risk of anemia). Users commit to playing, uploading melee maps and also maintaining the melee mod using a "mod-superuser".
    • Official season melee (competitive). Blizzard commits once per calendar year to maintain the core melee mod as well as a map pool. Also ladder tournaments, etc.
    • Warcraft themed coop campaign sub-net. Blizzard commits to providing Warcraft style content, heroes and selection of missions. Users commit to playing and uploading own missions (which would not generate experience points). (paywall)
    • Overwatch themed coop campaign sub-net. Blizzard commits to providing Warcraft style content, heroes and selection of missions. Users commit to playing and uploading own missions (which would not generate experience points). (paywall)
    • Arcade sub-net. Non themed classic arcade games. Blizzard commits to keeping track of high-score for each map. Users commit to playing and uploading maps, where each map/arcade game would have its own score.
    • Rock the cabinet sub-net. Blizzard commits to prize pool, theme, scoring. Users commit to playing the games and also to create maps.
    • TeamLiquid melee map sub-net. Blizzard commits to providing custom tournaments and core melee mod. Players commit to playing and to provide melee maps.

    If a sub-net becomes too low in activity it should be possible to close down. Each sub-net could have some custom UX to fit the content. E.g. an arcade would have emphasis on lists/leaderboards while custom campaign would have storyline, lore and the map-series.

    The benefit, as I see it, is that it will be more clear what can be expected from any efforts. Overcommitment and fatigue makes humans bitter :)

    Posted in: General Chat
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    posted a message on New LotV development update - HERC is OUT! New Terran unit brainstorming & suggestions

    The HERC will be missed :*( I hope it will make it into the campaign somehow.

    @Stompppp: Go

    I like those ideas. Here are some more

    • Movable 1 slot bunker/container that can either be used as a melee unit temporary shield or a container for a marine or medic.SCVs should be able to buiild and move it. Perhaps repair might make it overpowered. It would mix in economy to the front lines which might be interesting. Also SCVs moving things might be fun to watch. Opens up for player creativity. Breaks deathballs as it encourages sneak-around attacks and slows down movement of Terran. Once you put the unit inside it... you can't get it out.
    • Cloaking chemicals that lasts for 10 seconds for Terran bio units. Steals life like the Stimpack. Makes it possible to move cloaked units into enemy territory and cause havoc. Could encourage terran players to be more brave.
    • Deployable micro transmittors with battery (timed). Small trip-mines that dont explode. Only die when a enemy unit steps on them. The player won't see what is coming, just that the trip mine disappears from the minimap/map.
    • Alien style proximity sensors. Similar to above but for sensor towers. Just emitts sounds on proximity. Just for the sake of inducing fear.
    • In general, by being able to add expensive buffs to individual marines/marauders they might be used more as offensive squads rather then members of deathballs.
    • Unit launcher: instead of shooting up nukes, the launcher building could send up shuttles with units. A bit like the nydus worm, but with more limitations to amount. (one building = one shuttle (8 slot like medivac) = one nuke). Player would have to make choise. Also shooting up a ghost in one missile and building a nuke in another could make a fun mechanic. Also, if this would fail, a unit catapult would be fun too. Stuff your marine into the cannon and poof! Of he goes!
    • Chemical warfare: Any enemy bio unit (cross races) within range will get the disease. Upgrades will enable it for either Zerg or for Terran. Units that survive get a small boost in life/damage etc.Might help in breaking up deathballs as you dont want your enemies close to another. When disease spreads it does so with weaker form in each "jump". Terrans already have cannons, rifles, shotguns, granade launchers, missiles, drones and mines. Chemicals are missing. The HERC tentacle was a bit odd. Perhaps chemical weapon somehow could fill out this void and replace the HERC dynamic. It would also make their arsenal complete. Since the disease could be transmitted to the creators... it follows the very human habit of deploying dumb weapons to wars.
    • Combat guardian: A unit specific drone that follows it around. Helps in healing, increases vision and perhaps defence. Floats above the unit. Has a timer.
    • Disable/enable sensor towers: Sensor towers are good, but they should only show up on radar when they have too. Disable them makes them useless but also invisible. (toggle button)
    • Smell Spell_: For zerg, a spell that reveals what type of units have been walking in a spell area in the recent 20s or so (place some flat sprites on ground or some glowing aura thing). Would require a deep change to mechanics as a full matrix of the entire map would have to log which cells have been visited by what player. (of course, visualized with some cool particles/smoke). The tech could also be used to make heatmaps for the e-sports views.
    • Modular units - built from scap metals from old ones. I have no clue how to implement this. Perhaps the previously broken thor mechanic could be translated to this? By picking up old thor parts and combine them to new thors the players would not have to consume so much resources. Of course, it would be possible to salvage other players thors as welll...
    • Mega-cannon-Towncenters. We saw some huge cannons in the campaign preview. Perhaps making it possible to build one of those on top of the command center. Huge range...for a huge cost...of course.
    Posted in: General Chat
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    posted a message on how do you allocate towns?

    It was a long time since I fiddled with this and I no longer have the game installed. From what I can recall I think all units has rebuild options, if they should be "existing" at game launch or built when capacity is ready. I also wrote a summary on some of the ai functions which can be found in a corner of the tutorials section of the "new" wiki.

    Posted in: AI Development
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    posted a message on LotV wishlist coming true?

    Some more stuff:

    My suggestions for plot-ideas:

    1. "A campaign about the struggle of a group of Protoss warriors who decide to leave the way of the Zealot and join the ranks of the Dark Templars. This brings up a lot of thoughts about identity and self."
    2. "The collective against the individual"
    3. "Even inside the Khala there must be conflicts. Perhaps not armed ones. But surely there must be conflicting priorities of some form."
    4. "To rebuild their forces they need a lot of Kahdarian (?) chrystals. Perhaps you could make some kind of story about them trying to harvest and protect these resources."
    • LotV: The dark voice corrupts the Kahla so that they have to cut their hair thingies and join the dark templars. This inner conflict causes them to question their identity and the relationship between the collective and the individual. Also, in order to build up power they need to gather the chrystal resources.
    • LotV:
    Posted in: General Chat
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    posted a message on LotV wishlist coming true?

    Well, It's not like I want female protoss to be battered. It's just an interesting storyline that is usually not covered in these type of games. Here are some more wishes of mine that seems to come true:

    • Wish: "Clouds, on top of the map is such a thing. I know it's complicated because they cover the screen and prevent gameplay, but if you place them out nicely you could add a new visual layer to the map, together with the more living background you would have: distant background, close-by background, ground(3 cliff-levels), air and atmosphere.!"
    • LotV: The homeworld of aiur has nice clouds!
    • LotV: "So eventually this will have a lot of wind, layerd effects as it being ripped apart"
    • LotV: Height and depth in the map
    • LotV: Clouds
    • My wish: "Story wise, I would like to see lot's of Protoss mysticism and movement between the grand and the small. I Liked the "awakening of old artefacts" story of the Colossus. Also, getting some CGI about Protoss everyday life and living environments would be cool. Humans we can imagine and Zerg is just some bio-blobs lurking in their creep. Protoss however, they have culture and normal life (of some form). I would like to catch a glimpse of this. Protoss are some form of space-elfs, so I guess all they do is walk around in some serene way and squeeze holy chrystals, but something substantial would be nice. Their home-world lies in wrecks, but have they built any new cities and temples on the dark-templar world?"
    • LotV: Clouds + Protoss every-day life
    • LotV:
    • LotV:
    • My wish: "Overall, starvation should be heavy, so that the players has to build bases and survive on low funds. In HoTs you had Kerrigan's abilities covering you, but here you should have tech-tree instead."
    • LotV: limited resources
    • My wish: (Magnetic links) "Spotify Their first web-integrated solution made it possible to create a link inside the program. This url could be embedded into normal html. When clicked, the user ends up on a spotify.se/com page with a new link. When the user clicks this the Spotify client starts and immediately jumps into playing the song. This functionality has grown. Now you can play songs directly in the browser, and navigate through playlists and such."
    • Hots: Magnetic links. Ok this was an old one, but it got implemented after a while.

    What I'm still missing is:

    Hat image

    • Better utilization of smoke effects: "For the developers of LotV (if they read this): I would really like to see more smoke-armor type of effects. I think that would be really cool: Zeratul has his smoke-jump effect. I have this daydream about physical armor that evaporates into smoke, to become a different type of armor/unit. A morph-effect in short. Smoke is an under-utilized effect form in sc2. " This suppose this will be satisified by the more intese environments with guns and such. But the morphing effects is still an open question. We'll see about the xel-naga...
    • In game graph rendering: if lines may be drawn in game, it will be possible to draw graphs and statistics, which can be a cool way of rendering stats in competitive games. The dialog system could not support this the last time I fiddled around in it. I had to resort to stretching sprites into areas.

    My point of this rant is that Blizzard seems to listen to the community. Or at least we have similar opinions and ideas as me :D

    Looking forward to LotV! And for those of you stuck in the infinite "polishing-rot": stay strong!

    Posted in: General Chat
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