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    posted a message on Why is happiness so important?

    This thread seems excessively scientific, where I think it should be more philosophical and poetic. Everything in the universe can be explained with the science behind the mechanics, but I don't even think that's very relevant to answer the questions of: Why is love important? Why is happiness important? Why does life matter?

    People say that an individual is insignificant. They will cynically tell you you're one of billions on this planet right now, and thousands of generations of people just like you have come, lived, and died. The universe is incomprehensibly large, there may even be infinite parallel universes, or universes that came before this one. The geological time scale is immense compared to your worthless life. Right?


    Each person has an entire universe of existence inside their own minds. Consciousness, thought, feelings, ambition, desire, memories. These things form together to create an amazing existence inside of you.

    Life matters because each life is a universe in itself. The physical universe we live in is enormous, but it has no ability to perceive or wonder. It can't be appreciated (or hated) without the aid of each of our own personal universes of existence.

    Once you've established that life does in fact matter, it becomes easier to answer why happiness and love are so important. Among many reasons, love and happiness profoundly improve the quality of your own universe.

    Posted in: Off-Topic
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    posted a message on So I just played Tower Defense Tycoon

    Last night I was playing LoL, within the first ten minutes I was 6-0 as the carry. Our mid laner was 0-2, then went to base and said "bore of play, gl guys" and sat there AFK until we surrendered. Talk about rage in your heart, holy SHIT I was so mad.

    As for speed mode, it's already done. You can play solo and choose "expert mode" and it cuts down time between all levels to 5 seconds and removes all the delays from the story. The same deal happens if you choose to play a separate upload of the game "TD Tycoon [Experts Only]". I can't really speed up the speed of the game and keep the story because the dialog is timed in a way that doesn't scale with game speed. :(

    I've gotten lots of good suggestions to improve the map, and you're totally right that it's way too long! I put the game together in pieces, and the game was nearly 2 hours the first time I did a full start-to-finish play through. I want to do more to make it better, but I've gone through several waves of crunch time trying to make my own deadlines. It sucks up hours of every night and weekends.

    I bet Dogmai is totally feeling that with Tofu. :)

    Besides, it's now the holidays. I'm on mapping break until the new year. Time to get drunk and play video games for an entire month!!

    Posted in: General Chat
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    posted a message on What song do you hate but everyone loves

    @Taintedwisp: Go

    I saw this thread title, and came in here ready to post about Gagnam Style. Looks like we're on the same page here, and that pleases me.

    Posted in: Off-Topic
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    posted a message on So I just played Tower Defense Tycoon
    Quote from progammer: Go

    About the UI thing, I think it's just specific to RTS modders. It make sense with the original game that a building must be built by some sort of builder. So giving player control of the builder is intuitive.

    I think this point nails it right on the head. In StarCraft 2, using a builder to make structures is how players interact with the game, either in a custom map or the regular game. If you go play any stand-alone or flash based tower defense game, you have the towers listed on the sides or bottom and you can instantly place them around the map. Look at the flash version of Element TD as an example of this, and of course PvZ is another good example.

    Now is that point-and-click UI better? That's hard to say. Is that type of UI suitable for StarCraft II? I personally think the builder is more intuitive in StarCraft II, but I'm willing to take back that statement as soon as someone can come up with a good UI.

    Here's something that I think most map designers know on a gut level, but let me just say it explicitly: StarCraft II custom games are unique in that you have to teach players the things they need to know in a matter of seconds. When you teach a player something new they have to understand it intuitively because it's a fast-paced multiplayer game where people have minimal patience for learning. Every choice I made in TDT was to help the player understand the game intuitively so they could carry on with the business of trying to figure out the strategy and have fun.

    I think you've asked some interesting questions about the genre itself. How do we evolve a TD game? If you tweak the core mechanics enough, at what point is it no longer a TD game? In my opinion, the fun of a tower defense game is being able to formulate a your own special strategy, and just try to dominate the game with your awesome strategy. Then, of course, there is a ton of satisfaction with seeing your strategy to be successful and watching waves of enemies get slaughtered. OOoooh yeah baby.

    I loved Orcs Must Die 2. My wife and I played it in coop and would plan out exactly what weapons/traps/spells we'd get and put them all together to be maximally effective. We stopped playing forever after we invented our perfect strategy and carried it out in an endless level for almost an hour and a half before we died.

    Going back to TDT, the game is meant to look like the standard lane TD. I wanted it to look totally standard and familiar, so that when the game gets turned upside down players can instantly recognize how insane it is. :)

    Quote from DogmaiSEA: Go

    Replayability? I do not believe it is as great as other TDs, but it is definately one of the more boundry pushing TDs, in relation to the ideas behind it. It has a really good sense of humor which is a nice change, but overall it is just another TD.

    Yeah, I know the game doesn't have replayability beyond just a few plays. I just wanted to make the game I wanted to make, and not really concerned with having to create an experience that players would be compelled to replay constantly. My favorite games of all time lack replayability. (Half-Life 2, Mass Effect, you get the idea.)

    I seriously think that replayability is something that players should be less concerned with in the Arcade. I want a game that is totally awesome. I want more fantastic adventures that I can play once or twice and be done. I want an RPG that has content and a story, not an on-going farm festival.

    I made TDT partly because I wanted to show how much creativity could be poured into a TD game. These TD maps were getting stale and uncreative, with just wave after boring wave. I still think there is so much more that could be done in the genre. I've imagined stand-alone tower defense games where you're building towers along train tracks and switching rails to change the paths of the enemies to go past different towers. I have had many day dreams about a Tower Defense Tycoon that is its own game outside of StarCraft, where it's much more of the "Tycoon" part compared to the map you see on the arcade. This would involve players being able tweak the admission rates at will, to build and design their own tracks, customize the towers they invent/unlock, and even hire the enemies they want on the track and make their own "show" (where a player could hire more difficult enemies if they're doing better).

    The TD maps we have now just scratch the surface on what could be done in the genre. We just need a few brilliant minds to get insanely creative with some fun new ideas.

    Posted in: General Chat
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    posted a message on Data vs. Triggers in Optimization

    @Juxtapozition: Go

    What I can tell you is that my map is mostly triggers. I haven't noticed any kind of slow down with the game's lag when using lots of triggers for kills/damage/unit enters region.

    The biggest issue is that there is a limit to the number of triggers that can run at one time (maybe 256 of them?). Triggers get invoked at the Action, even if the condition isn't met. If you have 10 players, and each player gets spawned 10 units at the exact same time, and you have 10 different "Unit Enters Playable Map Area" triggers, you'll have 1000 triggers running in the same instant and your game will break.

    Also, I will continue to use the trigger editor over data. Manipulating data is the worst, and the interface to do it is so clunky. Can't copy and paste, if you change the middle value of a data event then the third value gets reset, you can't reorder your data events. To top it off, the data editor doesn't have any built-in documentation. It may be powerful, but I absolutely hate using it.

    Triggers are way more fun, and you should have fun while making a map.

    Posted in: Miscellaneous Development
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    posted a message on Global Publishing

    On the topic of translating a game to other languages, I had a phone conversation with a Blizzard community manager one afternoon and he was going over some long-term things that Blizzard wanted to do for the map community. One item he discussed was to try to help developers get custom maps translated into other languages.

    He said that they would like to some day be able to get the developers connected with community groups in other regions who could take your exported game strings and translate it. Alternatively, Blizzard *may* some day use some of their own resources to help translate certain maps (but I imagine this is unlikely). It will be interesting to see if anything comes of this, but I'm not holding my breath until it's real. Some games, like mine, are loaded with text and conversation. It would take a really major effort to translate it, but I'd still think it'd be neat to see the entire game in another language.

    Posted in: General Chat
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    posted a message on [Tutorial] Global publishing to all locales

    @Ahli634: Go

    Thanks for the feedback! The info you posted here just goes to show how much there is to know about the localization process. I knew there had to be tricks and shortcuts, but I had trouble finding a single repository of information on how to do it.

    I'm not surprised there's a better way to get a map working in all locales. When I was trying to figure it out, I posted my first map version to EU and tested it with no problems, but my first half dozen reviews were all 1 star ratings about a param/value/ error which happens when the localized strings aren't available for your locale. I ended up doing it the way I described above as a fool-proof method to ensure that there would be no param/value/ errors. At the time I was more concerned with getting a working version up asap rather than finding the quickest method.

    Posted in: Tutorials
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    posted a message on Global Publishing

    As some of you may or may not know, Blizzard has been contacting "top developers" and upgrading their accounts to have account access to all SC2 regions. This allows the same developer to publish in all regions on their own, so you don't have to rely on a stranger to do it for you. Some people (like myself) are very sensitive about source code and don't want to hand it off to other parties.

    I found the global publishing process to be kind of confusing, so I wrote a tutorial on how to do it: http://www.sc2mapster.com/forums/resources/tutorials/45674-tutorial-global-publishing-to-all-locales/

    I'm wondering if this whole process will become obsolete once Blizzard patches the game to have true global play. I certainly hope this is true, because I think every developer should be able to share their work with the rest of the world. Also, have any of you logged in to Australia, or even Taiwan? They have nothing compared to the amount of maps available to the NA and EU regions. Even EU has way more maps available than the NA region!

    Has anyone else been given access to global regions? If so, what has your experience been?

    I've been surprised by the number of people who play maps in other languages. I have some map reviews written entirely in Chinese characters. I can't copy the text from the Arcade to translate it so I will never ever know what they're saying. :(

    Posted in: General Chat
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    posted a message on [Tutorial] Global publishing to all locales


    Below is my guide on how to publish your SC2 custom map into all locales and regions. I ran through this process myself and it wasn’t as intuitive as I expected it would be, so I’ve wrote this up to help explain how it’s done.

    Blizzard has recently been upgrading player accounts for some developers to give them global access to publish maps in all regions of the world. This may become obsolete once SC2 is patched for global access (coming soon).

    This tutorial assumes you’re using local enUS, but it can be adapted to any locale. Anyways, here’s how it’s done.

    1) First, get an authenticator for your account. This is completely unrelated to publishing; it’s just a good idea.

    2) Localize your map. This is done by making duplicate folders for each locale. To do this, start by opening your map in the editor, and save it a new location as “StarCraft II Component Folders” (there is an option from the pull down list to save it as this instead of the standard “StarCraft II Map Files”).

    Once you save your map, you can browse to its folder location and you’ll see folders like Base.SC2Data, Images, and your local folder enUS.SC2Data.

    You now must copy your enUS.SC2Data folder for each locale, and rename each folder to match each local. This will copy your game strings and text into the other languages.

    Here’s a list of each locale and an image of what your folders will look when you’re done.


    Next find the file ComponentList, right click and open it using notepad (NOT the Sc2 editor). You need to make a duplicate entry of GameText for each locale. Here’s what your XML will look like:


    Save your changes to this file, and now open the ComponentList file using the Sc2 editor. Once it’s open, save the map as a regular map file. Now you’re ready to publish!

    3) You need to download the client for each region. Go to battle.net and look at your games, you should see a client for each region (if Blizzard has activated this on your account).

    Here’s what you would see on your list of game downloads.


    Download the clients you need, and save them in a NEW folder. Download the clients for North America (NA), Europe (EU), Taiwan (TW), and Southeast Asia & ANZ (SEA).

    Do not download Latin America (LA) because it’s the same global region as North America. Do not download Russia (RU) because it’s the same global region as Europe.

    You’ll need to let each client download in full before you publish. I hope you have enough hard drive space. :)

    4) Log in and publish! When you want to log into the SC2 client for another region, you’ll need to update your game’s language settings. If you don’t, you’ll get an error on logging in that you’re missing a language pack. To do this, go to your windows documents folder:

    C:\Users\<User Name>\Documents\StarCraft II

    Open file variables.txt, find these properties:



    Change these properties to match your global region, save the file, and now start the corresponding client.

    For publishing, you should open your map file using the SC2 editor corresponding with the region you’re uploading to.

    When you publish it will ask you what locale you want to publish to. I’m honestly not sure how much this local choice matters for publishing, and it’s confusing because some of your language locale settings don’t exist on the list of locales for publishing. Here’s a list of what I set for my variables.txt for each region, and what locale I published to for each region.

    North America: variables.txt- enUS, Publish- enUS

    Europe: variables.txt- enGB, Publish- enGB

    Southeast Asia: variables.txt- enSG, Publish- enUS

    Taiwan: variables.txt- zhTW, Publish- enUS

    China: variables.txt- zhCN, Publish- zhCN

    A note about China. China has its own region, so your account can’t be granted access to it. To log into China you’ll need Blizzard to send you new account information just for China, log in to your new account and download the Chinese client.

    Now you’re done. Sit back and enjoy players writing reviews in languages you can’t read!

    Posted in: Tutorials
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    posted a message on Ship It Early Or Ship It Perfect?

    I have a strong opinion to wait until everything is done before you release. You only have one shot at a first impression. My goal was to leave nothing left in the game that I wasn't 100% happy with, and give the player no reasons to not like the game. Here's why:

    1) Those reviews and scores will be around forever, even after the bugs get fixed.

    2) I like to blow people away with quality. The "wow" factor is greater when the map is closer to perfect when people first play.

    The quality of the average map is pretty low, so you always have the chance to wait and polish until your map is way above average. This is how you stand out.

    Posted in: General Chat
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    posted a message on Power Level Overwhelming Re-release
    Quote from Ultimaswc3: Go

    Thanks. I'm up for suggestions on w/e and music. I was hoping it would at least get people to look at the arcade page. People have short attention spans so most won't even read text in a video?

    I love the song, but you really missed an opportunity to sync the video with "ooh oh OH EXPLOOOOODE". :)

    I'll give this a shot some time over the holiday weekend.

    Posted in: Project Workplace
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    posted a message on Black Ops 2?
    Quote from Taintedwisp: Go

    @Yaksmanofage: Go I am sorry but Computer FPS are not better then console... They dont ever feel quite as good, The ONLY one that I ever played that felt close was Day of Defeat Source and Counter Strike Source.

    Wow, noob alert.

    Do you like slowly pointing a joy stick towards your target? Do you like moving your body instead of adjusting your aim because it's easier for very slight aiming adjustments? Do you like needing auto aim correction to help you?

    The only reason why some of the great FPS games are on console is because that is the dominant market for sales. If those games were built for PC (and not a trashy port) it would blow your socks off. The Half-Life series of games were some of the last to be built with PC design in mind, and that's why they're so great on PC. All games now have to be considered for both console and PC to make up for the high cost of development.

    Also, there's a reason why they don't let console gamers compete with PC gamers in FPS games. The console players would get stomped into the floor.

    Posted in: Off-Topic
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    posted a message on Creating A Tower That Slows Unit Movement Speed(solved)

    @SwarmNerd: Go

    I can't tell you exactly how to do this, but I can give you some useful advice. Whenever you're trying to figure out how to do something like this, try to think of a unit from the melee mode of StarCraft (or the campaign) that has something kind of like what you want to do.

    From your question, I thought that the Protoss Sentry unit has an aoe bubble called Guardian Shield. Take a look at the effects for that, you'll see three:

    • Sentry - Guardian Shield (Apply Behavior)
    • Sentry - Guardian Shield (Create Persistent)
    • Sentry - Guardian Shield (Search Area)

    So from these abilities, you can look at them and see how they reference one another. I can see that the Create Persistent effect runs 30 times every .5 seconds (so 15 seconds), and each time it runs it is invoking Search Area. Look at Search Area to see how it's looking for nearby units, and then runs Apply Behavior to give a behavior to allied units.

    The next step is to create a behavior that slows enemy units, so your search area will want to look for enemies rather than allies and you'll have to make a behavior that slows movement speed. You can look at the behavior Marauder - Slow, and copy that and change the values.

    The unfortunate truth is that it takes a lot of time to explain this type of stuff, and your best bet to get skilled with the editor is to figure out how to figure this stuff out on your own.


    Posted in: Data
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    posted a message on Disable/Enable a specific smart command

    @njordys: Go

    Have you experimented with the "Unit is selected" trigger event? You might be able to fake it with triggers.

    Posted in: Miscellaneous Development
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    posted a message on Need guidance on EU publishing

    Hello everyone!

    My map has been live in NA for a few months (enUS), and today I am trying to publish my map onto the EU realm. I'm getting reports from players that they're seeing the messed up "param/value/" text in the game, however I ran through some localization steps and I can't replicate the problem!

    Here's what I did. I followed the steps (here: http://www.sc2mapster.com/forums/development/data/25903-param-value/), so in the components folders I renamed enUS.SC2Data to enGB.SC2Data, and I opened the ComponentsList file as text and renamed the xml language reference from "enUS" to "enGB". I saved it as a real map, reopened it using the EU version of the editor, and published it under the enGB locale.

    To me, everything is working when I test the map as enGB. I can even change my variables.txt to esES or frFR, launch the EU client as those other languages and play the game. It still works for me! (but the game's audio has Spanish or French unit voices)

    I'm trying to figure out how some players could have the issue with "param/value/" text in the game. I can't replicate it myself, so it's really hard to troubleshoot. If anyone knows what's going on, please let me know! For now I'm leaving the map published, even though it's getting the occasional bad review from people who see the "param/value/" issue.

    Thanks! -Skrow

    Posted in: Miscellaneous Development
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