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Re: New StarCraft campaign: Voices of the Swarm

Posted: Thu Mar 19, 2020 12:12 pm
by Eredalis
Don't change too much! Only the expansions need a slightly better allocation. It should be valueable for the player to conquer that two spots. (left the yellow exe with all the spore colonies; right the exe with these white supply depots)

Re: New StarCraft campaign: Voices of the Swarm

Posted: Thu Mar 19, 2020 2:56 pm
by Andrea Rosa
Ok, the revised version is available. Both expansions now contain 5 mineral units. Please let me know if, in your opinion, the difficulty is more manageable, and thanks again for supporting my projects.

Cheers!

Re: New StarCraft campaign: Voices of the Swarm

Posted: Fri Mar 20, 2020 1:42 am
by Eredalis
The thing is, and I've totally forgotten to write this, if a average player and a good player report you the same problem from two different points of view, then you as designer should choose the golden mean in most cases. But I do not want to lecture you, since you are not (like I already said) a beginner, your amazing portfolio speaks for itself. Also, and I already told you that before, too, your intuition for the Starcraft storyline and instinct for creating your perception into a own Starcraft map (campaign) is pretty unique.

In other words, to create an outstanding good campaign only StarEdit is needed. :plz:

So, supporting your excellent Starcraft projects is a pleasure. <3
Please continue your amazing work by creating now your recently announced Protoss campaign.

Re: New StarCraft campaign: Voices of the Swarm

Posted: Fri Mar 20, 2020 8:39 am
by Andrea Rosa
Eredalis wrote:
Fri Mar 20, 2020 1:42 am
The thing is, and I've totally forgotten to write this, if a average player and a good player report you the same problem from two different points of view, then you as designer should choose the golden mean in most cases.

Well said. I've always taken into great consideration users' feedback and suggestions, not only concerning StarCraft: one of my oldest projects, a map pack for Quake II, has been revised several times over a time frame of 10 years (2007-2017) thanks to kind people who played it and gave me useful hints for improving it, and some of them have also become good friends of mine on social media.

Eredalis wrote:
Fri Mar 20, 2020 1:42 am
In other words, to create an outstanding good campaign only StarEdit is needed. :plz:

I couldn't agree more, mate. Some people have repeatedly criticized me for not using ScmDraft 2, to the point of totally boycotting my campaigns for the simple fact of not being made with it, but I don't care. Similarly, I don't care if Blizzard has discontinued StarEdit: as long as the maps work in the game, I'm fine. This does not mean that I will never use ScmDraft 2 for some kind of prejudice, it will depend on what I want to achieve. For the time being, I prefer to work with an editor that I'm accustomed with.

Re: New StarCraft campaign: Voices of the Swarm

Posted: Sat Mar 21, 2020 9:14 am
by chris
Andrea Rosa wrote:
Fri Mar 20, 2020 8:39 am
Some people have repeatedly criticized me for not using ScmDraft 2, to the point of totally boycotting my campaigns for the simple fact of not being made with it.
I'm pretty sure Pr0nogo is only 1 person. He has a habit of commenting on things in a campaign that are irrelevant when he gives a review. In the case of your work he's unable to appreciate that you are designing your campaigns around the limitations of staredit rather than seeing them as a obstacle that must be overcome with mods. He's also literally unable to be positive about anything ever and pans campaigns no matter how much effort the creator puts into their work. His negative attitude in his "info" section of his archive as well as comments from people on reddit about the desire for a QA'd list of custom campaigns is what motivated me to begin making my spreadsheet in the first place.

Re: New StarCraft campaign: Voices of the Swarm

Posted: Sat Mar 21, 2020 4:28 pm
by Andrea Rosa
chris wrote:
Sat Mar 21, 2020 9:14 am
I'm pretty sure Pr0nogo is only 1 person. He has a habit of commenting on things in a campaign that are irrelevant when he gives a review. In the case of your work he's unable to appreciate that you are designing your campaigns around the limitations of staredit rather than seeing them as a obstacle that must be overcome with mods. He's also literally unable to be positive about anything ever and pans campaigns no matter how much effort the creator puts into their work. His negative attitude in his "info" section of his archive as well as comments from people on reddit about the desire for a QA'd list of custom campaigns is what motivated me to begin making my spreadsheet in the first place.

LOL what a bizarre guy. At first I thought he was trying to be helpful by giving constructive feedback, but then I gradually changed my mind. In his opinion, based on a series of comments on YouTube, The Call of Nargil, Dark Stalkers and Prodigal Son should have been merged into a single map (don't ask me how I was supposed to do it). Quoting his words, this "would have prevented the other missions from feeling kneecapped, as they ended just as starcraft's core gameplay began taking shape". I'm still wondering what he meant by that. Then, while talking about the unusual presence of an Infested Terran in Dark Stalkers, he said "if you need to make concessions in your gameplay because of your story, then your story isn't cut out for an interactive medium" (again, what does that mean? Given that the story is usually laid out before the design process begins, then it's quite natural that a scenario adapts itself to the story, and not the other way around). At that point I started to suspect that he was simply trolling me, so I decided to ignore his strange lucubrations.

Re: New StarCraft campaign: Voices of the Swarm

Posted: Sun Mar 22, 2020 12:40 am
by chris
He is actually trying to give constructive feedback, the problem is that he greatly overdoes it. The feedbacks he gives for campaigns is akin to someone making a custom super mario world campaign and then getting feedback saying how to make it a super mario 64 campaign instead. Like I said earlier, he is unable to grasp the concept of designing something around limitations rather than seeing them as a detriment that must be eliminated.

Edit: The infested terran was probably the most original thing in the campaign, especially as it lampshades various past campaigns that had hydralisks inexplicably able to use computer terminals. Your campaign would have gotten lower points on originality and gameplay design without it :P

Re: New StarCraft campaign: Voices of the Swarm

Posted: Sun Mar 22, 2020 4:45 am
by Andrea Rosa
chris wrote:
Sun Mar 22, 2020 12:40 am
The feedbacks he gives for campaigns is akin to someone making a custom super mario world campaign and then getting feedback saying how to make it a super mario 64 campaign instead.

Brilliant metaphor... as a seasoned retro gamer who still takes great joy in playing 80s and 90s classics, I greatly appreciate it.

chris wrote:
Sun Mar 22, 2020 12:40 am
The infested terran was probably the most original thing in the campaign, especially as it lampshades various past campaigns that had hydralisks inexplicably able to use computer terminals. Your campaign would have gotten lower points on originality and gameplay design without it :P

Now that I think about it, it all started from the infested guy. The sub-plot of Missions 2, 3 and 4 was the seminal idea from which the whole campaign originated. Trivia: the name "Gargaroth" is a tribute to The Amazing World of Gumball, one of my favorite animated series.

Re: New StarCraft campaign: Voices of the Swarm

Posted: Sun Mar 22, 2020 9:11 am
by Eredalis
Mission 5 done!
And what a ride it was... :lol:

At first, I was going to lose, because they decided to reschedule their three-way-dance into my house.
But then, after 30 minutes of the well-known hostile harassment, I've put everything on the line and crushed both Science Facilities. This maneuver was so friggin' close, but I did it... ;D

From that moment on, the pressure was throttled and I could finally start to strike back.
All minerals are just perfect now, it's not too much and not too few, the overall balance is ensured.

Shortly after the destruction of the Science Labs, the orange Zerg wiped the poor white Terran.
The orange brood still stays dangerous, though. They tried to fuck me by bringing 7 Ultralisks to my main base. Fortunately, all my Guardians had their hourly meeting right over the Hive at that moment. :raspberry:

Re: New StarCraft campaign: Voices of the Swarm

Posted: Fri Mar 27, 2020 6:13 pm
by Andrea Rosa
Well done! While it is possible to win by waging a three-way war, destroying the Science Facilities as quickly as possible is the best way to handle this mission. Indeed, one should get rid of them as soon as Guardians are available, not just for eliminating the Terrans, but also for distracting the Zerg for a while. I would have liked to make the player's units converge toward the warp point at the end, similarly to what happens in the final mission of the Protoss campaign of Brood War, but then I realized that some players may have survived the final confrontation with the Battlecruisers with just a handful of Mutalisks and Scourges, and seeing five or six flyers trying to represent the warp of the Swarm toward Aiur would have been silly, so I scrapped the idea.

Re: New StarCraft campaign: Voices of the Swarm

Posted: Tue Apr 28, 2020 5:35 am
by Eredalis
Thank you! :)
A three-way-dance is something I like to see in ECW (back in the day), but for Starcraft I'm too close at the battlefield. ^^'

So, since the last two days I played mission 6 of VotS.
Currently, I am on the second run, but my first try was a desaster. The purple and the red Protoss whipped my ass like mad. I wasn't aware that you have be careful in exploring the map. I think, I shouldn't have alarmed both players as my Queen entered their territory while she was scouting.

Yesterday I started my second try and from the first minute I attacked like a maniac and neutralized the teal Protoss within the first 15 minutes. I avoid exploring the map to the east, because it was Protoss country over there. After soaking all available minerals and gas geysers, I gathered two big attack groups of 12 Warlords and 12 Ultralisk and 12 Hydralisks. They were all full upgraded. My Zerg wiped the purple Protoss from the map in one go. (Although the red fuckers decided to intervene)

Now it's only the red Protoss left and I will now crush them with the full power of the Swarm. I will then post some final thoughts and advices regarding some fine adjustments.

/edit
The Defiler Dance! ;D https://youtu.be/Ml7DscbqkFA

Re: New StarCraft campaign: Voices of the Swarm

Posted: Tue Apr 28, 2020 7:14 am
by Andrea Rosa
Eredalis wrote:
Tue Apr 28, 2020 5:35 am
Yesterday I started my second try and from the first minute I attacked like a maniac and neutralized the teal Protoss within the first 15 minutes. I avoid exploring the map to the east, because it was Protoss country over there.

You adopted the right strategy, because the Purple Protoss become active if any of the following conditions are met:
- You venture into their territory (this also applies to the Red Protoss).
- Both Teal Stargates are destroyed.
- 45 minutes have elapsed.
...and their attacks can be quite devastating, especially the Dragoons/Carrier combo.

As for the Red Protoss, they don't have a timed activation, but their AI will start as soon as you inflict enough damage to the Purple base.

Eredalis wrote:
Tue Apr 28, 2020 5:35 am
Now it's only the red Protoss left and I will now crush them with the full power of the Swarm. I will then post some final thoughts and advices regarding some fine adjustments.

Good luck, and make good use of your air units, because their base is difficult to penetrate due to their high ground advantage. I'm curious to hear your thoughts and advices (an update was due anyway because I discovered a potential bug in Mission 4)

Re: New StarCraft campaign: Voices of the Swarm

Posted: Tue Apr 28, 2020 9:45 am
by Eredalis
Oh gawd, that red AI was really a tough nut to crack. @@
WTF! I mean, is that the AI from the last Zerg mission in original Starcraft? If so, then Jesus Christ! Thank God I was always capable to destroy the red Protoss in the last Zerg mission in Starcraft - BEFORE they became active! :o

Such a hardcore AI: they attacked me with MASS of Dragoons and Carriers. Also annoying as hell all these High Templars & Arbiters casting their shit over my head like there is no tomorrow. :fear:

I was forced to claim the last expansion (which is rich of resources) and operate from that spot on. Yeah! So now I was the annoying asshole throwing Plague and Spawn Broodling next to my neighbors (wish I could do that in real life ^^), which were purely accidental a red Protoss base.
Then I decided to gather much more units for one final strike. The Warlords are awesome in this mission. And there are absolutely necessary, I guess without them you are in a lot of trouble. Their firepower is so cool, they annihilating everything in their path.

In my second run I had an idea how to protect my colony in a more efficient way.
I blocked all entrance ramps with a lot of spore and sunken colonies, therewith my units benefit from the higher ground bonus. Seems to be the right decision, since no enemy Protoss unit could do much damage to my main colony anymore.

My only advice is to increase the resources A LITTLE BIT. Just a little bit.
It's playable und doable, but you have to react quickly to conquer the resources in the left half of the map inside the teal Protoss base. If you fail to conquer them timely, then you are in deep shit, since the purple Protoss hits you hard.

Great campaign! Good storyline! Clean and smooth presentation that feels 1on1 with the original campaign. This fact is what I like at your campaigns the most: you try to catch that original spririt and feeling and avoid butchering Starcraft by using tons of third-party tools.

It's funny how similar our projects are, since the Zerg campaign of my Anniversary Campaign is so similar on some points. :plz:

Re: New StarCraft campaign: Voices of the Swarm

Posted: Wed Apr 29, 2020 7:02 am
by Andrea Rosa
Eredalis wrote:
Tue Apr 28, 2020 9:45 am
Oh gawd, that red AI was really a tough nut to crack. @@
WTF! I mean, is that the AI from the last Zerg mission in original Starcraft? If so, then Jesus Christ! Thank God I was always capable to destroy the red Protoss in the last Zerg mission in Starcraft - BEFORE they became active! :o

No, it's the basic Protoss Campaign Difficult (the Purple Protoss use two original campaign AI scripts, precisely "Zerg 9 - Left Orange Protoss" and "Zerg 9 - Right Orange Protoss"). The Red Protoss are so strong because they start with all upgrades and technologies researched, so they focus exclusively on the production of units, and also because they have many Gateways, Stargates and Robotics Facilities. Actually I had initially considered about using the AI you have mentioned, but I changed my mind because it didn't produce enough Scouts and Carriers, which are pivotal in the plot of this map.

Eredalis wrote:
Tue Apr 28, 2020 9:45 am
My only advice is to increase the resources A LITTLE BIT. Just a little bit.
It's playable und doable, but you have to react quickly to conquer the resources in the left half of the map inside the teal Protoss base. If you fail to conquer them timely, then you are in deep shit, since the purple Protoss hits you hard.

Conquering the resources of the Teal Protoss is not necessary, in fact I never do it, mainly because I'm a slow player, and by the time I get to their base (25-30 mins) there are no resources left. In any case I will follow your advice and I will increase the resources a little bit. I will do the same for Mission 4, because I still think that Prodigal Son is the hardest mission in the whole campaign: I replayed it yesterday night and got my ass kicked, it's amazing to think that the AI used is Protoss Campaign Medium, but in that map they literally go berserk with a seemingly endless flow of units (especially when you try to conquer the expansion in the lower right corner).

Re: New StarCraft campaign: Voices of the Swarm

Posted: Wed Apr 29, 2020 8:03 am
by Eredalis
...in fact I never do it...
Yeah, and that's exactly the problem, because YOU know your map (I already told you that). You know, where the resources are, where the enemy bases are, how many resources this map possess and so on... Don't trust YOUR feelings if you test your own map. A player that doesn't know your map isn't aware of all these key facts and therefore he/she will play your map totally different.
I will do the same for Mission 4, because I still think that Prodigal Son is the hardest mission in the whole campaign:
Oh hell yeah, that is without a doubt damn true.
I didn't count, but six or seven attempts... to beat this map. Those basis scripts can be so annoying. :nosebleed:
No, it's the basic Protoss Campaign Difficult ...
There, you see!