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    posted a message on Hybrid Campaign New Team

    For those of you who've been around long enough to remember this...

     

    https://www.sc2mapster.com/projects/amap01campaign

     

    ...the project is pretty old now. Still, I think a lot of people would love to see this thing completed. Nearly all of the original team has since moved on. If somebody else would like to take a crack at it and see if they can finish it, I have the assets and everything needed to get you started. We have tons of designs behind the scenes for content we intended to release and lots of plans for story and missions. The difficulty now is finding anybody who hasn't moved on to other things. Even from the beginning, most of the team didn't communicate or invest much time into the project. As ambitious as our original plans were, we recently talked about dumbing it down and making our original plans a whole lot smaller, but, like stated, we've moved on.

     

    Anyway, for those interested, let me know. I'm totally willing to work with you to try and finish this project.

    Posted in: Team Recruitment
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    posted a message on [Guide] Building a classic Installation Mission

    In reply to EDHRIANO:

     The team is actually still working on the project, though only little bits and pieces at a time. Trying to get something done when everybody has their own side projects makes things pretty slow. For example, mission 2 is 99% done and we'll bring it to you guys asap, but we need that last 1 percent, haha.
    Posted in: Tutorials
  • 0.96056338028169

    posted a message on [Guide] Building a classic Installation Mission

    5/15/17: Added a section on Dead-Ends and a section on Play-Styles.

    Introduction..

    I've been wanting to do this for awhile, but I haven't ever really got around to it. Here, I'll be writing a guide on how to build a classic style installation mission like you see in brood war within the starcraft 2 editor. I'm not talking about importing maps from brood war, I'm talking about adapting how you build starcraft 2 maps to mirror the same style of gameplay as you see in classic installation maps.

     

    Where this started..

    So before I go into the guide, I'd like to briefly explain how I got here. About 2 years ago, I decided to push towards researching what made installation missions in brood war so great. Even today, I still believe the mission "Patriot's Blood" from brood war is still the best installation mission ever made. In my opinion, it's the best campaign mission from starcraft 1 as a whole that was ever made. That's my opinion, of course, but that's where my drive came from. For about 2 weeks, I conducted intense research on brood war installation missions. I played the maps, watched videos of others playing the maps, and I built my own missions in both brood war and starcraft 2 to try and find what made installation missions click. Over time, I've put what I've learned to use. You can see some of my work here: Hybrid Campaign 01: Awakening. If you're okay with experimental work that never got polished up, I've also got this: Legacy of Liberty Campaign. I've also got some more installation missions in the works, but they are not released as of yet.

     

    The Main Idea..

    The overall goal of installation mission design is to build an "Event-driven, Tactical Mission." This means that you want various events throughout a mission to drive the player forward and keeps things fresh with every room you enter. The tactical part just means you need to make sure that players aren't just mindlessly a-moving through your map. It's okay to have an a-move game where your player is busy macro-ing in their base most of the game as it makes things just a little bit easier when you don't have to also worry about micro. However, this is a micro mission, most fights should require some amount of decision making. For the remainder of this guide, I will be using a demo map I built beforehand to help show what I mean.

     

    Events? uh..

    Yes, events. When you enter a room and you get ambushed from behind, that's an event. Whenever the player uses a terminal which reveals an area of the map, that's an event. Events keep the player engaged at all times with constant feedback and allows for small decisions to be made. This works out to be a fast-paced level with many twists and turns along the way. This is what I found so appealing about "Patriot's Blood". Here's a quick video to help demonstrate a good event-driven sequence.

     

    Speaking of "Drive"..

    There's also something else that I wanted to note about "drive". This is something not immediately obvious in the demo map, but is present. In any good installation map, it's important to think about the pace that your mission will be played. In the demo, it's about an average pace, nothing drives the player forward such as a timer based objective, but there's also nothing holding the player back for very long. If we were playing zerg and they regenerated at normal speed, that would significantly slow the pace of the mission as players might feel forced to sit and wait for the life of their units to slowly recuperate. As a result, I often increase the default healing rate of zerg or recharge rate of protoss when the player takes control of one of those factions during an installation mission. Another way to handle it is to remove regeneration completely. This can sometimes make missions really brutal as taking too much damage in one fight could lead to a loss later in the level and I recommend being careful if you decide to go that route (you could also have checkpoints where your units are healed to full, some sc2 campaign missions do that). Another aspect of "Drive" is having something to rush players forward. You could go simple and just have a timer for how long you have to complete the mission. Alternatively, you could implement something more dynamic, such as a boss chasing you down like in the WOL secret mission. I went for the fastest map I could build which meant that I didn't add any additional drive, I just made sure the player had medics for healing.

     

    Play-styles...

    Here I just wanted to go over a topic that I think some will find useful. Another word for play-style in the context that I'm using is "pace", though that might be less accurate than play-style. Each installation is likely going to fall into one of 3 categories (it's possible that I missed a category I have yet to discover). First is standard, which is the style that I've gone for in my demo mission and it is the most common way to build an installation mission, I think. In the standard style, the player commands a small squad of units that can recover between fights. I use the standard style as my "go-to" if I'm looking to do something more like the original starcraft 1 installation missions. Next is what I call the swarm style. This is where the player is given lots of expendable units and lots of expendable reinforcements, such as zerglings, and has to play around enemy units that crush them. In this zergling example, your player might face siege tanks, firebats, and medics which all give the player a target to try and rush as early as they can when the fight starts. This style lends itself to timers really well. The final style is steady style, which is literally the "slow and steady" style. In here, your goal is to try and slow down the player and force them to take the game much slower, make them think about fights before they start. Ways to do this is to either build it as a stealth mission or just remove all forms of recovery, which makes players have to cycle between healthy units in fights. When building your installation mission, I recommend figuring out what kind of style you want for the level, then focus on it using one of these categories.

     

    Dead Ends in level design...

    At first, I didn't really think much on dead ends, but it was brought up. It turned out, after thinking about it, that there's a lot more to dead ends than I originally thought and I'll elaborate on that. From what I've seen, there are two types of dead ends, there are obvious dead ends and there are hidden dead ends. First off, a dead end is considered a no-no in level design as it's mostly just wasteful, both wasting space on the map and wasting the player's time exploring the dead end. There are a few exceptions, such as rewarding the player for reaching the end or if it's for immersion/story reasons. A dead end for the sake of being a dead end is not fun or interesting. However, in an installation mission, we're obviously making a custom map with triggers, which gives us the freedom to put something valuable at the end to reward the player for exploring. Now, with obvious dead ends, the player will almost immediately spot that the path ahead does not progress the mission and will know they can turn back immediately, these tend to be the better kind of dead end. You can make a dead end obvious if you reveal that the path ahead is a dead end and perhaps even reveal if there are any rewards if the player goes that way. This works well if the dead end is too far to tell it's a dead end. The other type of dead end is a hidden dead end which is more difficult to use well. This type of dead end is too long to see if it's a dead end and it also doesn't reveal to the player that it is a dead end. Hidden dead ends are fine if your installation mission is slower and focuses on exploration and mystery, but it doesn't work well in an installation mission that's fast-paced as the player is focused on reaching the end rather than exploring. The last thing I wanted to note on dead ends is the walk back. When you have a dead end and the player has to turn back to be on the main path to progress, all of the enemies along the way will already be dead. This means you may have to spawn some kind of opposition in their path if the way back is especially far or you want to keep the game fast-paced. Otherwise, you can let the player have a chance to relax for a minute. One final thing I wanted to note on dead ends is sometimes they can be temporary. This means the dead end has nothing in it one time the player goes there, but it might do something later. For some examples, perhaps the dead end is just a locked door that you have to open later, perhaps enemies spawn from that location and move out of the dead end path to attack the player, or perhaps reinforcements or some other reward spawns for the player there later. One idea is perhaps the player does something on the map and they come back to find a reward, a devious secret.

     

    Other details..

    There are some other small things you can do that would help make your installation mission feel more like the classic ones from brood war. For terrain, you can keep the cliff levels at bottom and mid cliff heights and reserve the peak cliff height for unreachable terrain, much like in brood war. Here's some screenshots to help show what I mean.

    SC1 Area SC2 Area

    Another key to success, I think, is doors. Doors, doors, and more doors. Not sure what it is, but it feels fun to run around in an interior station and open doors throughout the level, whether it's automatic or if you have to use a terminal. Normally, I'd say to stay away from unnecessary pauses during the game, but the immersion of opening doors is just too appealing to pass up. I've likely missed something, but there are bound to be other small things that you may be able to get out of the demo if you try it out yourself.

     

    Conclusion..

    I hope this has been an insightful guide on how to build installation missions in sc2. Let me know what you think and please point out any criticisms you may have, I'd be interested in reading it regardless. Here's a link to the demo: Installation Demo. Enjoy it and I hope you learn something.

    Posted in: Tutorials
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    posted a message on Hybrid 4th Race Multiplayer Mod Assets
    Quote from DrSuperEvil: Go

    Anyone up for reviving the community project?

    If you're talking about revenants, it's still active. What other community project is there?

    Posted in: Project Workplace
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    posted a message on Hybrid 4th Race Multiplayer Mod Assets

    As ambassador for Revenants aka the "Hybrid Collaboration Project", I'd like to initially say for our team that we're sorry you couldn't finish your project, but perhaps we can fully take up the mantle for you. We also aren't planning to use any of these assets, most of them don't fit into our plans and we've already got a lot built. This is only our initial impression and the full team hasn't made a decision yet, but this is our first thoughts. We might consider using some of the assets later down the road, so if you can keep available until we give a real answer, we'd really appreciate that.

    I personally am not too happy with how the hybrid worked in the starcraft 2 campaigns, but that's what our project aimed to resolve. When the idea was first conceived in the requests thread, I saw a huge opportunity for a way to make the hybrid way more interesting, a story that takes place after amon is dead and the dominion is out to eliminate every last one of them. You can see where we approach this idea with the awakening (our first mission) and we hope to continue to add to this idea for many missions to come.

    Anyhow, even if we don't use any of these models, maybe we could collaborate sometime, who knows. Good luck on your future projects and I hope to see you around.

    Posted in: Project Workplace
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    posted a message on Hybrid Collaboration Campaign

    Team's kept this project alive while I was away.

    If things go well, I'll have more to say.

    Posted in: Project Workplace
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    posted a message on [Community] Custom campaigns!

    Or Niadra.

    Posted in: Project Workplace
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    posted a message on Announcing several new projects

    I'll believe you tomorrow. :)

    Posted in: General Chat
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    posted a message on New ladder maps 2016 need tester

    Good to know, I don't check the TL forums anymore. I learned mapmaking over there for awhile but haven't gone back.

    Posted in: Map Feedback
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    posted a message on New ladder maps 2016 need tester

    I know I shouldn't advertise other websites, but the team liquid forum has a large melee mapmaking community and they have a lot of experts over there. I'm sure they could tell you all the facts and you could eventually perfect every map here. Still, I'll give it my best shot, no need to even test out the map until you think you've got it perfected. This is why I dumped melee mapmaking, it's so binary and I like to get creative.

    First off, Wild Valley and Destered Bay (I think you meant deserted) use the same image. I'll just refer to this map as Wild Valley.

    In Wild Valley, your main looks to be in the most vulnerable position I think I've ever seen. It's not even on an island or anything. There are 2 giant entrances that lead into your main base and there's a thin cliff right behind your mineral line. It can be easily dropped and I imagine this map would almost always be played very aggressively as I don't see a way for the player to survive the onslaught with defense. The bases in the back look like your natural, yet that almost feels like it'd be better as the main. If you kept it as the natural, I think it's a little too safe, at least, compared to the main base. The 3rd and 4th bases to the left and right of each player's main base look a little too far away, but are mostly okay otherwise. I do have a problem with the middle and the bottom left areas. In a 1v1 game, I feel it is unnecessary to give players free bases like that. In a 2v2 or larger match, I think it'd be okay, but in this case, it gives the player who takes them first way too much power. One other note, often cliffs look a lot better when they aren't "flat" which means you, for example, just have a straight series of cliffs facing the same angle. You have a lot of that in the center area with the 2 gold bases. I suggest staggering the cliffs and try to make them look more natural. I can't quite tell, but I think the map's bounds go all the way to the edge. If that's the case, there's a lot of air space on the map, so I'd suggest squishing the map down to be a lot smaller, more concise, and to add back in the map bounds at the default areas.

    In Water Station, the natural seems to have a little too big of an area. Also, ramps are almost always diagonal, not horizontal or vertical. There are a multitude of reasons why, but I'll just be brief and say that diagonal ramps are better for walling off with buildings and they also look nicer, give it more of a 3d feel. Look into the ramps on all of your maps. Once again, a lot of "flat" cliffs on this map as well, especially in the middle and bottom. I think the 3rd base (in the center of the map), the opposing 3rd base is a little too close. I would suggest placing the mineral lines against the cliffs of your natural and main. That way, I think players who take the watch tower can still see if you have an expansion there, if that's what you want. Seems strange that you would have a feature like that with the 3rd base, seems more fitting for a gold base or something. I think the small "square" bases towards the left and right sides are unnecessary and can be removed from the map completely. Though I also think the gold bases in the top left and top right are also completely unnecessary too. Keep one of the two bases, remove the other, and if you kept the gold bases make them blue bases instead. The bottom area and the bridge is at least an interesting feature and is worth testing.

    Ice Fortress looks massive, absolutely massive. The 3rd is really far away, especially considering the rocks in the way. Then I'd fix the ramps and I'd call it good, again, ask team liquid forums for more advice to perfect it. I think the main problem with this map is just that it's too large, otherwise, I like it.

    For Aboretum, I think the base near the main (up on the high ground) is a little safe. I imagine this map being fairly aggressive. Once you take that 3rd base, you have 3 safe bases and the rest of the map is so cut off that you'd never take any of the other bases. I'd push the high ground 3rd base up a little towards the front and make it a little hard to hold if you take it. Another reason for this is a I think your opponent can drop you on the high ground a little too safely and hit your main mineral line. I think the island bases to the left and right should both be accessible via ramps and should be smaller, it looks like the size of a main base. I'd also make the bottom and top gold bases much more accessible as well and I'd turn them into standard bases, a little overkill making them gold. Again, lots of air space on this map.

    In Deadly Airport, there looks to be a lot of dead space all over, here's a map of all the dead space that could easily be cut from the map...

    http://i.imgur.com/tV8MXyG.jpg

    There's also a lot of air space around the edges of the map. Overall, the map could be squished down to become a whole lot smaller. I think the main should be swapped with the natural. The main is a little too vulnerable where it is while the natural is a little on the safer side. Otherwise, map looks okay.

    Hope this helps, again, check out team liquid for more feedback. Once you've done all that you can, ask here again for testing. Good luck, melee mapmaking is hard stuff. :)

    Posted in: Map Feedback
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    posted a message on Nova Covert Ops: March 29th

    Like I said, it doesn't have its own dependency. It's entirely dependent on the lotv dependencies, so that's all you need.

    Edit: The nova assets come with the lotv dependencies.

    Posted in: General Chat
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    posted a message on Nova Covert Ops: March 29th

    I have the nova campaign, so I don't know if you need to buy it to use the assets or not, but I don't think so. It all looks like it's all integrated into the normal dependencies.

    Edit: One small note, I can't see that you can access the maps.

    Posted in: General Chat
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    posted a message on Nova Covert Ops: March 29th

    Yeah, it's already set up on the defiler MP unit.

    Edit: Just checked, so is the regular defiler unit, though it doesn't have any abilities, still.

    Posted in: General Chat
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    posted a message on Nova Covert Ops: March 29th

    Nova assets are all in the lotv dependencies.

    None of the assets have dedicated units by default, so you'll have to search for them. Defenders of man are nicknamed DOM(name) and nova units are nicknamed (name)blackops in the model section of the editor. Nova is one of the few with an actual unit, though she doesn't use a model without editing.

    Most if not all the new doodads are all nicked Nova - (name).

    Hope this helps yall. :)

    Posted in: General Chat
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    posted a message on Jayborino's YouTube Feedback/Schedule Thread

    Seems pretty obvious to me. They expect maintenance to end tomorrow at around 11:00 PDT.

    Posted in: Map Review
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