New Starcraft Campaign: Tales of Halcyon

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Re: New Starcraft Campaign: Tales of Halcyon

Postby Eredalis » Wed Oct 28, 2015 12:28 pm

- Regarding khaydarin crystals -

No, I'm pretty sure about this, Church. You know, I would remember on such a important detail. Either the games or extended lore (books, mangas, etc.) have ever spoken of the fact that khaydarin crystals have been on other planets, too.

Starcraft.wikia has one big problem: They often tend to interpret too much. Like in that case, they claim that the khaydarin crystals were on many different worlds, but without a reference, because, well, there isn't any reference. Also, it was never said that Khalis and Uraj are khaydarin crystals... Really? I'd like to know the source of that.

/edit
Oh my! I have seen their "reference" now: To make it even worse, they try to deduce this alleged fact from that inofficial crap add-on Retribution. xD Retribution doesn't belong to the official lore! It is a fan add-on, just like Insurrection and Stellar Forces. :x

/edit²
Maybe... just maybe...
It's so damn long ago that I had read them - there is a reference like that inside the Dark Templar trilogy by Christie Golden. But I'm not sure... What I know for sure is it was never said in a campaign by Blizzard.

Back to topic: To put the main question in another shell: why have brought the protoss a khaydarin crystal formation to a meaningless moon of a terran fringeworld?


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Re: New Starcraft Campaign: Tales of Halcyon

Postby Revolta » Wed Oct 28, 2015 2:20 pm

Yeah but if the lore is bad then just fix it youself in your own campaign.

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Re: New Starcraft Campaign: Tales of Halcyon

Postby Church » Thu Oct 29, 2015 3:24 pm

Eredalis wrote:No, I'm pretty sure about this, Church. You know, I would remember on such a important detail. Either the games or extended lore (books, mangas, etc.) have ever spoken of the fact that khaydarin crystals have been on other planets, too.

Well, do you have a source that says the crystals were only on Aiur? Your point that the wiki doesn't have an adequate source is fair, so I'd like to see your own source. :D

If Blizzard has never said one way or the other that the crystals were only on Aiur then I don't see any issue.

Eredalis wrote:To put the main question in another shell: why have brought the protoss a khaydarin crystal formation to a meaningless moon of a terran fringeworld?

I don't think the Protoss brought it there - I think it was just there. Dr. Krauser mentions that the Protoss showed up after the Khaydarin Crystal was detected. That said, it doesn't address my own concern of how convenient it was. You're right, it's a weird location, I just don't see how it's going against canon. I think the context it's presented and used in this campaign is a bigger issue than being pedantic about the lore. While I disagree with Revolta in this particular case (as Andrea is obviously trying to stick close to Blizzard canon for whatever reason), I think the handling of the campaign's own storyline matters more than how well it fits into StarCraft's lore detail-wise, and the Khaydarin Crystal is handled kind of clumsily in this context.
Last edited by Church on Thu Oct 29, 2015 4:59 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: New Starcraft Campaign: Tales of Halcyon

Postby Andrea Rosa » Thu Oct 29, 2015 3:53 pm

Wow, so much detailed feedback. Eredalis, Church, thank you both. If you don't mind I'll reply to both of you at once, it will be easier for me since you have pointed out similar issues.

Eredalis wrote:Pretty tricky. I couldn't remember anymore that the base script (even easy a.i.) could have been such a pain in the ass.

I was surprised as well. I did not expect Ultralisks could be trained with "Zerg Campaign Easy".

Eredalis wrote:In terms of difficulty (low tech terran vs. protoss), it's a very slightly tangible objective in this mission.
Even if the crystal was harvested, you're be able to steal your way out of this mission the easy way by dodging all protoss reinforcements on your way back home to the beacon. This aspect fit's pretty good in this mission, whether it is intended or not...

But why should be a big khaydarin crystal formation on the surface of the moon of Halcyon? Khaydarin crystals are only on Aiur and as far as I know Schezar has operated on Aiur to steal the khaydarin crystals.

No, it was not intended, but I liked it during playtesting so I left it that way. I don't remember having read that Khaydarin crystals are only on Aiur, but I'm not a super expert of the Starcraft universe, perhaps you're right about it. By the end of the campaign, Schezar will retain the Cerebrate but will lose control over it: he will need new crystals, so that part of the continuity is preserved.

Eredalis wrote:Phew, that was a unnecessary long-winded mission.
Why such a big map with literally so much empty space? In this idle room lack way more resources.

Church wrote:Like the previous mission, this map is just plain too big, like Eredalis said. It drags on way too long and there is a lot of unused space. It really feels like a waste and hinders gameplay.

I know, that map is really too big. I wanted it to be large because I envisioned a charge of Ultralisks, but not that large. I realized it when the map was half completed, thus I was too far into developing to discard it and start anew. Sorry. I could mitigate this problem by enabling Nydus Canal, adding some more Protoss outposts along the way and perhaps some sparse resources.

Eredalis wrote:You offer an optional objective by destroying the outposts of the Kel-Morian-Combine. But instead the player HAS TO defeat these bases, otherwise there is no way to complete this mission. So it's all in all no optional choice anymore and that big map size with no other expansions inhibts the flow of play...

Actually there is an expasion in the bottom-left corner of the map. And one may decide to attack only the lower Morian base (the one with the geyser), while infesting (or not) the Command Centers. You can win this mission without attacking the Morians, plus you have a virtually immortal Torrasque. For these reasons, I'll leave it as optional.

Eredalis wrote:The idea behind this mission is cool. Very cool. Kind of improved terran mission 3 of the original Starcraft.
But I have to admit, I couldn't beat the mission without using cheats.
The supply boundary of 90 wasn't the best decision in my opinion.
I had needed some more Marines or Goliaths to defend the absolutely hotspot in south-west corner of the base, but one can't build more units because of that limitation... :(
So I wonder if there's a legal way to complete the mission. (The infested terrans... :huwhaa: NO CHANCE IN HELL)

Of course, it can be won. The key is to constantly upgrade your infantry and vehicle weapons (ignore infantry armor) as the Zerg waves increase. 90 supplies is enough, believe me. I made it that way because you are not raising a big army, you are struggling to protect a city. The two small gates don't need to be heavily guarded. Use elevation at your advantage. Do not put the tank in siege mode, it may damage your Bunkers and it also has a slow rate of fire. Infested Terrans will be targeted first: they put some scare but are not very dangerous, and in this scenario they "only" deal 100 damage. Elite Firebats can be stimpacked multiple times and are the key to defeat Ultralisks (of course you need to be quick, slowing down the game speed may help a lot).

Church wrote:I never fully understood where the "construct a Factory" objective came from? I recognise you're escorting an engineering team, and whatnot, but the adjutant never specifically said anything about a factory.

In the third paragraph of the briefing the Advisor speaks about a "new manufacturing site", I used this expression instead of "Factory" in an attempt to provide some variety to the dialogue, but I will change it if it's too much confusing.

Church wrote:The scene where Schezar joins you starts out fine, with Schezar sufficiently introducing himself. However, after basically one line from each of the main characters, the scene is simply over, and it's just taken for granted that Schezar has joined up with you here. That was kind of weird. In fact, on that note, it's bizarre that Larsson is so trusting of Schezar.

Yep, I agree, some additional dialogue wouldn't hurt here.

Church wrote:He doesn't seem remotely suspicious until Schezar literally picks up the Cerebrate in a Dropship. Sorry, what? In a Dropship? How the hell did he fit that thing in there?

LOLOL! I was expecting something like that... Uh, what can I say, perhaps it's a medium-sized Cerebrate... Perhaps it's a big transport ship... Come on, work with me here, eheheh.

Church wrote:Also in the ending sequence, Schezar asks Larsson to direct a message to the Governer for him. Why doesn't he just speak to the Governer directly since he's right there? Seemed weird.

Well, technically the Governor is not there, he is in his office doing boring stuff, perhaps receiving periodical reports from Larsson. Although the player impersonates the Governor during the whole campaign, the Governor himself is almost never the "protagonist" of the missions. He is present on the battlefield in missions 2 and 3 (but you are playing as Schezar, and the Governor is a passive witness) then again in mission 4 (where he intervenes directly) and mission 6 (but you are playing as Delta Squadron and the Governor is merely an advisor). He is absent from the battlefield in missions 1 and 5.

Church wrote:As I was saying, this map is too damn big. There is a lot of wasted space. Also, despite having a long path to the Khaydarin Crystal formation, there's really not a lot of Protoss guards barring the way.

In my opinion it isn't too much big. It's 128x128, after all. Of course, it does have empty space, but that was intentional. At this point of the story (in Starcraft, not only in this campaign) the Protoss are still a mistery for the Terrans. In my intention, this "spooky" map should have conveyed some sense of uncertainity as you face a relatively unknown enemy in uncomfortable conditions, since most of the terrain is not suitable for building stationary defenses on the way to the crystal. At this point, I fear that you will be disappointed by map size also in the final two missions.

Church wrote:I liked the nod to the Sara system in the briefing. It seemed kind of weird to have Wraith tech and not Siege Tanks. That's about all I have to say about this mission.

If the player had access to Siege Tanks he would be able to wipe out the Protoss base, and this is not intended to happen.

Church wrote:Also, was "vile aggression" a subtle reference to Laconius' campaign?

Nope, it's a coincidence. The only campaign from this site that I've played so far is "War of the Tribes" by Gabriel Sorrel. Very good camapign, though it's too difficult for my tastes.

Church wrote:Also, can you explain exactly what Schezar is talking about in the following line?
I reread it probably ten times and I still have no idea what the hell he's talking about.

You, as the Governor, do not approve Schezar's criminal methods, and you do nothing to hide it. Schezar argues that he doesn't need you anymore. He lets you go because you are not a threat to him, and he says that he will use Halcyon to breed his Zerg. If you don't infest the Command Centers, Schezar will get rid of you at the end of the mission, using a slightly different dialogue.

At this purpose, I shall gladly accept any advice on how to improve the story. I'm not a good story teller, plus English is not my native language, so putting together meaningful dialogues was the hardest part for me (I'd say that having been able to limit errors and typos is a major achievement by itself)

Eredalis wrote:To put the main question in another shell: why have brought the protoss a khaydarin crystal formation to a meaningless moon of a terran fringeworld?

The Protoss did not bring the crystal formation, it was already there. Those Protoss are part of Tassadar's Expeditionary Force, they landed on the moon of Halcyon not for the crystal per se, but because they were suspicious of Schezar's intentions.


Thanks again for your useful comments, I hope you will enjoy the rest of the campaign.
Cheers!

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Re: New Starcraft Campaign: Tales of Halcyon

Postby Church » Thu Oct 29, 2015 4:49 pm

Andrea Rosa wrote:
Church wrote:He doesn't seem remotely suspicious until Schezar literally picks up the Cerebrate in a Dropship. Sorry, what? In a Dropship? How the hell did he fit that thing in there?

LOLOL! I was expecting something like that... Uh, what can I say, perhaps it's a medium-sized Cerebrate... Perhaps it's a big transport ship... Come on, work with me here, eheheh.

Sorry... not gonna let this one go ;)

Andrea Rosa wrote:Well, technically the Governor is not there, he is in his office doing boring stuff, perhaps receiving periodical reports from Larsson. Although the player impersonates the Governor during the whole campaign, the Governor himself is almost never the "protagonist" of the missions. He is present on the battlefield in missions 2 and 3 (but you are playing as Schezar, and the Governor is a passive witness) then again in mission 4 (where he intervenes directly) and mission 6 (but you are playing as Delta Squadron and the Governor is merely an advisor). He is absent from the battlefield in missions 1 and 5.

Fair enough, although it seems odd that the silent player character would be absent in some maps.

Andrea Rosa wrote:
Church wrote:Also, can you explain exactly what Schezar is talking about in the following line?
I reread it probably ten times and I still have no idea what the hell he's talking about.

You, as the Governor, do not approve Schezar's criminal methods, and you do nothing to hide it. Schezar argues that he doesn't need you anymore. He lets you go because you are not a threat to him, and he says that he will use Halcyon to breed his Zerg. If you don't infest the Command Centers, Schezar will get rid of you at the end of the mission, using a slightly different dialogue.

At this purpose, I shall gladly accept any advice on how to improve the story. I'm not a good story teller, plus English is not my native language, so putting together meaningful dialogues was the hardest part for me (I'd say that having been able to limit errors and typos is a major achievement by itself)

Yes, sorry if that sounded like an insult/attack more than constructive criticism, I did not intend it that way but I was being a little crass. I don't understand what brought that line on, Schezar just comes out of nowhere with it once you destroy/infest a command centre (or perhaps it only happens when you infest, haven't tested destroying). Also, there's very little to indicate before this that the Governer has any problem with Schezar... being the player character, he has no dialogue, and seems to just follow along before now.

Do you have skype? If you'd like, shoot me a messsage with your username. I'd love to talk more in-depth about story design with you.
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Re: New Starcraft Campaign: Tales of Halcyon

Postby Andrea Rosa » Thu Oct 29, 2015 7:36 pm

Church wrote:Yes, sorry if that sounded like an insult/attack more than constructive criticism, I did not intend it that way but I was being a little crass.

Uh, no mate, don't worry, I did not take that as an attack, and I was sincere when I said that I will accept suggestions.

Church wrote:I don't understand what brought that line on, Schezar just comes out of nowhere with it once you destroy/infest a command centre (or perhaps it only happens when you infest, haven't tested destroying). Also, there's very little to indicate before this that the Governer has any problem with Schezar... being the player character, he has no dialogue, and seems to just follow along before now.

Of course, the dialogue can be improved, I will work on that. Schezar could say something like "All of a sudden it looks like you don't approve my methods". If you don't infest the Command Center, Schezar will dismiss you anyway at the end of the mission, but the dialogue will be slightly different.

Church wrote:Do you have skype? If you'd like, shoot me a messsage with your username. I'd love to talk more in-depth about story design with you.

Nope, I don't have it. In any case it would be a mess: I'm fairly good at writing, but not the same when I have to speak, because I rarely use English in my life. Sorry man, it wouldn't work. However we can keep using this board, I shall gladly discuss the topic with you. And you can contact me on Facebook, if you have it.

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Re: New Starcraft Campaign: Tales of Halcyon

Postby Church » Thu Oct 29, 2015 9:02 pm

Oh, I just meant text chatting on Skype. I don't have a mic or webcam or anything. I find it easier to instant message when discussing this kind of thing is all.

I'll be getting back to the last few maps soon, by the way.
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Re: New Starcraft Campaign: Tales of Halcyon

Postby Eredalis » Fri Oct 30, 2015 8:04 am

Church wrote:Well, do you have a source that says the crystals were only on Aiur? Your point that the wiki doesn't have an adequate source is fair, so I'd like to see your own source. :D

My brain is my source. ;D
BeIieve it or not, I have acquired in seventeen years of StarCraft a pretty decent knowledge of the lore, much more than most people think.

Church wrote:If Blizzard has never said one way or the other that the crystals were only on Aiur then I don't see any issue.
[.....]

Yeah, of course, that's absolutely true. Whatsoever, it's a fan campaign... It was never my intention to sound or being pedantic. It's ok.

Played Mission 5 two days ago.
And I have thought mission 3 was long... :{
It took over two hours to beat the mission. Again, these base scripts of Starcraft are so annoying. There are kind of stubborn. (Now I remember again why I have written complete new AI scripts for all my campaign projects.) :plz:

When you attack these base scripts after a while, it begin to defend themselves madly. So much Hydralisks came from the brown player, and I was totally out of gas, that I had to retreat myself more than once.
Definitively you have done a much better job design-wise in putting enough expansions on the map. That was absolutely the right dose.

Ok, one mission to go. Then I will post a few final words for your pretty good campaign. :)
Last edited by Eredalis on Sat Oct 31, 2015 12:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: New Starcraft Campaign: Tales of Halcyon

Postby Church » Fri Oct 30, 2015 10:06 am

Sorry for my own pedantry then, Eredalis. It wasn't my intention to criticize your knowledge of StarCraft lore, but I hope you'll understand why your memory alone doesn't work as a source for me :P Good debate anyways.
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Re: New Starcraft Campaign: Tales of Halcyon

Postby Eredalis » Sun Nov 01, 2015 3:00 am

Mission 6 was also a pretty long highway. (2 hours and 49 Minutes...)
As to expect for a last mission, it has to be bigger and badder now. (Just kidding, this is just a cliche.) :P

The map layout reminds me on Terran mission 8, The Big Push.
Again, stupid base scripts was f... annoying³. o_o

I could write so much more now, but I'd like to bring it to the point.
Your campaign is pretty well designed in nearly every aspect, especially for the fact that it was made only with StarEdit.
You have tried to capture the feeling of a additional "Enslavers" campaign, and you've reached that goal more than glorious.

All your maps have a beautiful terrain layout, a very professional trigger work and a clean presentation.
It's absolutely no newb stuff and Tales of Halcyon gives a good amount of retro kick back to a time, where Starcraft was young. (i.e. 1998) :plz:


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Re: New Starcraft Campaign: Tales of Halcyon

Postby Andrea Rosa » Sat Mar 26, 2016 10:30 am

This took much more time than I had planned, however I've finally updated the campaign. Nothing exceptional, just a few additions and some fine-tuning. Most of the changes were made following users' feedback, and I want to thank everyone who gave me useful suggestions that helped me greatly in this process.

The download link is the same as before: http://www.mediafire.com/download/skpwi ... alcyon.zip (3.16 MB)


LIST OF CHANGES:


MISSION 1: "DEUS EX MACHINA"
- In-game dialogues have been expanded.
- Added a Vespene Geyser.


MISSION 2: "BAD MOON RISING"
- Minor changes to the terrain.


MISSION 3: "UNNATURAL SELECTION"
- In-game dialogues have been expanded.
- Added some sparse resources.
- Minor changes to the terrain.
- Players can now build Nydus Canals.
- Fixed typo.


MISSION 4: "THE STAND"
- Player's starting units and resources have been slightly increased.
- The number of Zerg spawned has been slightly reduced.
- Infested Terrans no longer attack from the eastern gate.
- Infested Terrans now deal 200 damage (previously 250).


MISSION 5: "TURNING THE TIDE"
- Added a Vespene Geyser.
- Minor changes to the terrain.


MISSION 6: "ORBITAL DELIRIUM"
- Added some sparse resources.
- Minor changes to the terrain.
- Enhanced scripted attacks.
- Stasis Cells now have 400 Hit Points (previously 500) and can no longer withstand a direct nuclear strike.
- The Hit Points and Shields of the Pylons surrounding Schezar's Command Center have been increased to 600.
- Added a trigger that automatically destroys all Missile Turrets located around a couple of isolated enemy buildings.

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Re: New Starcraft Campaign: Tales of Halcyon

Postby Church » Sat Mar 26, 2016 10:56 am

Hey Andrea, awesome to see you're still supporting this project! I never did finish playing this since I got a job and busy with other stuff... I guess now's as good as any as a time to continue! Expect mini-reviews for maps 4-6 in the near future (and addendums to dialogue notes for the first and third missions).

Any chance you'll be making new projects after this? I'd love to see you cook up another campaign.
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Re: New Starcraft Campaign: Tales of Halcyon

Postby Andrea Rosa » Tue Mar 29, 2016 10:09 am

Hi again Church, thanks in advance for spending some time on my game! I look forward for your feedback, you already gave me some useful ideas that helped me in improving the campaign, so I can't wait to read your comments.

Actually I have some ideas for a Protoss and a Zerg campaign. Similarly to "Tales of Halcyon", both would be set during the timeline of the correspondent StarCraft campaigns. However I'm currently engaged with another time-consuming project for Quake II, moreover Real Life is a bitch, so I don't know when I will start working on these elusive campaigns, it could be next month, next year or never.


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