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New StarCraft campaign: Champions of Khandia

Posted: Tue Nov 10, 2020 5:24 pm
by Andrea Rosa
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THE STORY

Very far from Antioch, west of the archaic sea of Kna-Tari, lies the province of Khandia. Homeland of the Furinax Tribe, Khandia is renowned for its industrious people, mainly builders, artisans and weaponsmiths who revel in their progressive crafts, their greatest feats being the power suits wielded by Zealots and the Dragoon exoskeleton. Scientific research, logic and skepticism characterize the lifestyle of the Furinax, and their sheer ingenuity has become proverbial. Suddenly, an ominous sound penetrates the placid waves of Kna-Tari: the Zerg, fierce creatures intent on conquering Aiur, attack in force. Led by Cerebrate Gorn, just revived after his temporary death in Scion, the Zerg proceed to lay waste to the whole province. Now Khandia is on the brink of total annihilation, and it's up to you to restore hope in your people. Acting as the local Executor, and fully aware of the fact that receiving any help from other provinces will be nearly impossible, you strive to rally the remaining warriors and plan a counter offensive against the evil that changed the winds and wronged the tides. You will need to be extremely careful, because not only the revenant Gorn is one of the highest ranking Cerebrates in the Swarm's ranks, but he also has yet to reveal his deadliest servant.


Download "Champions of Khandia":
http://www.mediafire.com/file/1aoqatqzj ... a.zip/file (22.6 MB)


IMPORTANT NOTE: This campaign was designed to be played with the original StarCraft patched to version 1.04 or later (it will not work with the retail version). While it is technically possible to play these maps in Brood War mode, this is not advised, because the extra units and technologies would severely alter the gameplay, making some of the missions too easy. Compatibility with StarCraft Remastered is not an issue, but some terrain blends will not look as good as they do in the original game.


I hope you'll enjoy these missions. As always, thanks in advance for any comment!

Re: New StarCraft campaign: Champions of Khandia

Posted: Wed Nov 11, 2020 5:03 pm
by Andrea Rosa
UPDATE - 12 Nov 2020

Mission 1: Fixed the name of the special Reaver, incorrectly displayed as Warbringer.

Mission 5: Removed a superfluous line of dialogue.

Re: New StarCraft campaign: Champions of Khandia

Posted: Thu Nov 12, 2020 4:06 pm
by Andrea Rosa
UPDATE - 13 Nov 2020 (Another one already? Yes, indeed)

Mission 6: Fixed a nasty bug (that I thought I had already fixed during early testing) related to the appearance of Nydus Worms. On some occasions, the "unit unplaceable" error message was displayed. I think the bug has been fixed for good now, and should no longer resurface.

Re: New StarCraft campaign: Champions of Khandia

Posted: Sun Nov 15, 2020 5:41 pm
by Andrea Rosa
UPDATE - 16 Nov 2020

- Mission 2: Fixed typo in the dialogues (thanks to StalwartGhostess @SEN for reporting it to me).

- Mission 5: Adjusted the text scrolling speed in mission briefing.

- Mission 6: The pathfinding of the rogue Reavers has been improved. They will also come in close formation most of the times, although they will still spread if they cross a group of Zerg units along their tortuous path.

Re: New StarCraft campaign: Champions of Khandia

Posted: Wed Nov 18, 2020 1:27 pm
by Andrea Rosa
UPDATE - 18 Nov 2020

Mission 1:
- Fixed visual anomaly (misplaced tile).
- Minimal changes to the map.

Mission 4:
- Informative messages ("health restored", "energy recharged", "teleporting", etc) no longer clear the screen when they overlap with a transmission.
- Added some new triggered attacks.
- Minimal changes to the map.
- Fixed typo in mission briefing.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Upon revising the triggers of Mission 6, I've discovered that the bug fixed with the update of November 13 could also lead to the impossibility to win the mission. Therefore, if you have downloaded the campaign before November 13, then you should really re-download it. My sincere apologies for the inconvenience.

Re: New StarCraft campaign: Champions of Khandia

Posted: Mon Nov 30, 2020 3:58 pm
by Andrea Rosa
UPDATE - 30 Nov 2020

All Missions:
- The duration of all transmissions has been adjusted (some of them stayed on screen really for too long).

Mission 1:
- Fixed a bug that could cause the two rescuable Dragoons to end up stuck in the secret cave.

Mission 3:
- The player's initial amount of minerals has been increased from 300 to 400. Gas has been increased from 150 to 200.

Mission 5:
- Minimal changes to the map.

Mission 6:
- The player's initial amount of minerals has been increased from 750 to 1000.
- Minimal changes to the map.

Re: New StarCraft campaign: Champions of Khandia

Posted: Sat Dec 05, 2020 6:19 am
by Eredalis
Greetings and welcome back, Andrea! :)
I hope you're alright in our special times.

First and foremost, I just want to congratulate you to your third (!) fully fleshed-out Starcraft campaign in high quality standard.
I plan to play your campaign within the next days and weeks unless something untoward happens.

I have already played the first two missions, pretty cool ideas in both missions.
I also like your storyline very much, I am curious to discover the whole plot. I already have a story-based question: In which timeframe occurs the events of CoK?

I was a little bit afraid as I noticed your choice of the hero unit "Rastaban". I don't know if you aware of this, but if you choose a standard unit for a (alternative) hero, you can encounter some serious problems as soon as some hostile abilities comes on the table. Starcraft treat standard units in a different way than hero units. For example, the "Spawn Broodling" can instantly lead to kill your (standard unit) hero, because it is a standard unit at the end of the day and therefore a valid target for instant kill abilities like "Spawn Broodling". Hero units doesn't affect by that kind of target rotation set up by the game.

But fortunately you didn't use "Spawn Broodling" in the first two missions... ;)

Then I spotted some strange flawed tiles on the maps. Which editor do you have used?
I know your love for StarEdit and we both are brothers in spirit in that case, because I also like StarEdit very much and prefer that old lady everywhere I can. So I suspect you broke with your rule and have used some of the third party editors or lately StarCraft (i.e. StarCraft: Remastered) produces graphical bugs in tilesets. Have to check this out in some other maps.

/edit
Added some screenshots for a better comparison.
► Show Spoiler
MISSION 1
Well balanced mission, I was able to beat the mission without any obstacles. However, I had to load several times, but that was only because of my non existing talent for handle chaotic situations. Luckily, the whole mission layout is very fair designed. The amount of resources are just perfect, it is not too much and not too few. Maybe some other native english-speaking people can tell you some things about grammatical issues, but as far as spelling goes all I have read was accurate.

MISSION 2
Also very well balanced mission. Nothing much here to say. Just like in mission 1 everything is fair and in good amounts in terms of playability, especially the balance between AI and resources. My big new friend, the "campaign base script AI" can be very annoying at some points, since these insane waves of defending units are really a criterion that should be highly considered by a map designer. But as I said, both missions are very well balanced, so I am curious for the next missions. :)

/edit²
It is intended that the Assimilator at the first expansion will not be destroyed during the lava eruption? Just heavy damaged?! It feels so weird to see this Assimilator get its hit points reduced, but not destroyed. For my taste a destruction of the building is a little bit more logical, but what I know...
► Show Spoiler

Re: New StarCraft campaign: Champions of Khandia

Posted: Sat Dec 05, 2020 5:35 pm
by Andrea Rosa
Glad to meet you again, my friend. I'm fine, thanks, just going in and out of the bunker like everyone else, ehehe.

Eredalis wrote:
Sat Dec 05, 2020 6:19 am
In which timeframe occurs the events of CoK?

It takes place between the apparent death of Gorn and the return of Tassadar, so I'd say between missions 2 and 7. Needless to say, as always I count on your spirit of observation and knowledge of the StarCraft lore: if you find any inconsistency don't hesitate to discuss it here.

Eredalis wrote:
Sat Dec 05, 2020 6:19 am
I was a little bit afraid as I noticed your choice of the hero unit "Rastaban". I don't know if you aware of this, but if you choose a standard unit for a (alternative) hero, you can encounter some serious problems as soon as some hostile abilities comes on the table. Starcraft treat standard units in a different way than hero units. For example, the "Spawn Broodling" can instantly lead to kill your (standard unit) hero, because it is a standard unit at the end of the day and therefore a valid target for instant kill abilities like "Spawn Broodling". Hero units doesn't affect by that kind of target rotation set up by the game.

Don't worry, I'm aware of that. Spawn Broodlings has been disabled in all missions where a standard unit has been used as a hero (it is active only in Missions 3 and 5).

Eredalis wrote:
Sat Dec 05, 2020 6:19 am
Which editor do you have used?

All maps were created with StarEdit, then I used SCMDraft2 to add variety to the terrain (check my notes in the readme for more details). All maps were completely functional in their StarEdit form, and in fact for future project I will keep using the classic editor to do most of the work (layout, basic doodads, triggers and briefings) because in SCMDraft2 some things have been made unnecessarily complicated, to the point that even placing resources is a tedious process. I will likely use it again, but only during post-production.

Eredalis wrote:
Sat Dec 05, 2020 6:19 am
Then I spotted some strange flawed tiles on the maps.

I was afraid this could happen. Unfortunately, I couldn't test the campaign with StarCraft Remastered. My base game is still 1.16.1, and those blends look fairly good in the original version - there's some slight blockiness there too, but it's tolerable. I'm sorry that they look so bad in Remastered. Here are some screenshots for comparison:

Image

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Eredalis wrote:
Sat Dec 05, 2020 6:19 am
It is intended that the Assimilator at the first expansion will not be destroyed during the lava eruption? Just heavy damaged?! It feels so weird to see this Assimilator get its hit points reduced, but not destroyed. For my taste a destruction of the building is a little bit more logical, but what I know...

Maybe you are right. During most of the developing process, that Assimilator was triggered to be destroyed, then I changed the action to damage. Perhaps the best solution would be damage and then, after a short delay, destroy.


I look forward to your feedback! Just one thing, make sure to have the most recent version (30 November) before proceeding too far into the campaign, as I have fixed some bugs especially in the latter levels.

Re: New StarCraft campaign: Champions of Khandia

Posted: Sun Dec 06, 2020 1:19 am
by Eredalis
Don't worry, so far I have played the latest version of your campaign. (November 30)
(Since my little misstep in spring at Enslavers, I always check your thread FIRST, before I continue with the next mission.)
...because in SCMDraft2 some things have been made unnecessarily complicated, to the point that even placing resources is a tedious process. I will likely use it again, but only during post-production.
Exactly my feelings and my workflow. Although the great Suicidal Insanity did a wonderful job with SCM Draft, I for one couldn't become comfortable with in all these years.
I'm sorry that they look so bad in Remastered.
I would recommend you to remove these tiles. They are just not part of Starcraft and look really ugly in Remastered. I suppose many people could use Remastered for playing your campaign. They will all stumble over that wrongful looking tiles, I don't know if you'd be happy about that...

Re: New StarCraft campaign: Champions of Khandia

Posted: Sun Dec 06, 2020 6:37 am
by Andrea Rosa
Eredalis wrote:
Sun Dec 06, 2020 1:19 am
I would recommend you to remove these tiles. They are just not part of Starcraft and look really ugly in Remastered. I suppose many people could use Remastered for playing your campaign. They will all stumble over that wrongful looking tiles, I don't know if you'd be happy about that...

Man, they are literally EVERYWHERE. I guess I could get rid of the more glaring ones, like those on high dirt, bridges and ramps, but it would still be a shame because I love the varied aspects of those ramps.

How ironic... I've been bugged for years because I didn't use SCMDraft and its vaunted extended terrain (SEN vibes), and when I finally do it, it turns out that terrain blending looks like shit in Remastered. *opens a giant bottle of wine out of desperation*

Re: New StarCraft campaign: Champions of Khandia

Posted: Sun Dec 06, 2020 7:11 am
by Eredalis
No need for desperation, Andrea, the solution is pretty simple.
Just save a map of your choice for testing purposes with good old StarEdit. StarEdit removes these irritations caused by SCM Draft with burning Yamato gunfire. (I am pretty sure this should work.)

I witnessed over the years all these bugging trolls with their nonsens they try to shit about you, but the fact is YOU had made three campaigns just with StarEdit and most of these trolls didn't have anything created that can lock horns with your delivered quality. So I agree with Lavarinth when I say "It's YOUR campaign, it's YOUR choice which editor you use, it's YOUR party alone."

A high quality campaign (in every aspect) doesn't require a editor like SCM Draft or X-tra. You proved it, Gemini proved it, Desler proved it, Auspex proved it.

The sooner these said trolls (@SEN) get it, the better for them.

Re: New StarCraft campaign: Champions of Khandia

Posted: Sun Dec 06, 2020 7:42 am
by Andrea Rosa
Eredalis wrote:
Sun Dec 06, 2020 7:11 am
No need for desperation, Andrea, the solution is pretty simple.
Just save a map of your choice for testing purposes with good old StarEdit. StarEdit removes these irritations caused by SCM Draft with burning Yamato gunfire. (I am pretty sure this should work.)

Unfortunately it's not that simple. If you open the maps with StarEdit, only sprites and illegally placed units/doodads will be removed, not terrain. Furthermore, these maps can no longer be processed and saved with StarEdit, otherwise they'll become corrupted: I tried it once, and I lost three days of work on Mission 5 because the map had become completely unreadable, both in StarEdit and SCMDraft. If I want to get rid of the badly looking tiles, I'll have to manually replace each one of them.

Could you please do me a favor? When you reach the last mission, can you post non-zoomed screenshots of all modified ramps (there should be 5 or 6), so I can visually evaluate them? Thanks in advance!

Eredalis wrote:
Sun Dec 06, 2020 7:11 am
A high quality campaign (in every aspect) doesn't require a editor like SCM Draft or X-tra. You proved it, Gemini proved it, Desler proved it, Auspex proved it.

Hey, don't forget your works: you proved it too!

Re: New StarCraft campaign: Champions of Khandia

Posted: Mon Dec 07, 2020 10:27 am
by Eredalis
Andrea Rosa wrote:
Sun Dec 06, 2020 7:42 am
Unfortunately it's not that simple...
Too bad. Then it is like it is. :frown:
Andrea Rosa wrote:
Sun Dec 06, 2020 7:42 am
Could you please do me a favor? When you reach the last mission, can you post non-zoomed screenshots of all modified ramps (there should be 5 or 6), so I can visually evaluate them? Thanks in advance!
Of course, I'd be glad to!
Andrea Rosa wrote:
Sun Dec 06, 2020 7:42 am
Hey, don't forget your works: you proved it too!
Thanks alot man, but I always try to cherish modesty.

MISSION 3
What a funny and challenging mission! I nearly couldn't found any problems gameplay-wise. Very balanced, just like mission 1 and 2. Because I am a noob in universal scope, I had to take my time to complete the mission (1:49^^), but every second was worth it. Had to smile about the "Priest Ready" soundfile of Age of Empires 1, I wonder how many people realize that kind of easter-egg. (Judging from the fact what you have created before these superb Starcraft campaigns, it IS a easter-egg!^^)
I like how the brown Zerg is working on the map. If you think you have killed these foul beasts by destroying their western hive cluster, then you're wrong. These Zerg were active to the last building they possess. I was with some surprise in seeing how fine this entire AI was acting. Cool stuff!
I told you that thousand times before, but your mapping abilities are absolute gold. Your maps look so good, if I would still produce Starcraft campaigns, I would immediately try to hire you.

One little thing: I recommend to pause the gameplay when the heroes do their talking. I couldn't read what Zollux was saying because in that specific moment a probe got a crystal and that message "Crystal Aquired" deletes Zollux dialog text instantly from the screen. He was responsing to Mandelius in the moment Mandelius begins his text line with "Be reasonable..."

Try to play mission 4 tomorrow. :plz:

Re: New StarCraft campaign: Champions of Khandia

Posted: Mon Dec 07, 2020 4:10 pm
by Andrea Rosa
Eredalis wrote:
Mon Dec 07, 2020 10:27 am
I wonder how many people realize that kind of easter-egg. (Judging from the fact what you have created before these superb Starcraft campaigns, it IS a easter-egg!^^)

Hey, my compliments for noticing it! There is another tribute to AoE, check Wonder.wav in Missions 2 and 6. What about the chant that precedes the Psionic Hurricane? I really love it. I was very lucky to find it, especially because I was searching for something entirely different.

Eredalis wrote:
Mon Dec 07, 2020 10:27 am
I like how the brown Zerg is working on the map. If you think you have killed these foul beasts by destroying their western hive cluster, then you're wrong. These Zerg were active to the last building they possess. I was with some surprise in seeing how fine this entire AI was acting. Cool stuff!

Yup, their Zerglings/Ultralisks attacks are somewhat refreshing, and they are also very effective at defending their outposts with many Hydralisks. Use of Mutalisks by the brown Zerg is more sporadic: in some games they don't use them at all, other times I've been attacked by 16+ of them at once. The script used is "Protoss 9 - Ground Zerg", but it seems to work in a more aggressive way than it did in the original map - I suppose this is due to the presence of many Hatcheries, Lairs and Hives, but I have no knowledge of the AI inner working, so I may be wrong.

Eredalis wrote:
Mon Dec 07, 2020 10:27 am
One little thing: I recommend to pause the gameplay when the heroes do their talking. I couldn't read what Zollux was saying because in that specific moment a probe got a crystal and that message "Crystal Aquired" deletes Zollux dialog text instantly from the screen. He was responsing to Mandelius in the moment Mandelius begins his text line with "Be reasonable..."

Consider it done. This is the dialogue that you couldn't read:

MANDELIUS
Be reasonable, Executor. Abandon this unholy
scheme. We are putting our lives in the hands
of a deceased, deranged Templar and a young,
inept Khalai. Believe me, the Psionic Hurricane
will doom us all.

ZOLLUX
Don't let him manipulate you, Executor. I have
complete faith in Rastaban's beliefs. This is our
only possibility to save Khandia, we must not
give up now!


Thanks again for your compliments about map design, I really look forward to hearing your thoughts about Mission 4. It's the typical oddball scenario, the one that is entirely different from the others. It can either be the icing on the cake, or the fatal hole in the hull.

Re: New StarCraft campaign: Champions of Khandia

Posted: Tue Dec 08, 2020 10:46 am
by Eredalis
Bricks and Mortality, I totally forgot to comment the final sequence at the end of mission 3. :huwhaa:
What about the chant that precedes the Psionic Hurricane?
The chanting was really, really cool. One could argue how is this even possible for a Protoss without a mouth (lol), but it's clearly on a psionic level. I love the entire obliteration sequence at the end very much. A great reward for a strong battle. The gameplay mechanics in general of mission 3 is clever design, so yeah, mission 3 is not only halftime of the campaign, it is also some kind of preliminary culminating point. Great job!

And speaking of mechanics... ;D

MISSION 4
Space platforms are one of my favorite tilesets, so I smelled more cool mechanics.
At first I expected a build and destroy mission, but suddenly I felt like a little bit at the mission "Planetfall" of The Antioch Chronicles 2. Which I like alot! The ideas with medi kits and energy batteries, also the beacons in combination with these force fields - awesome, man!
Though I am totally okay with in terms of difficulty level, I have to say I expected the mission to be more difficult. I guess the hero unit Kerrigan doesn't use Lockdown, so how about some randomly appearing Ghost units? They will shoot Lockdown to your Protoss units, which can be very annoying in some situations. Also some use of Spider Mines could be taking into consideration. For example, a vulture can be spotted at laying down a Spider Mine. After 1 or 2 secondes the mine will instantly burrowing, so it is enough time to mark the position. The challenge could be now the elimination of that mine. Just some random ideas to refine the excellent map... :)

I think I've found the next easter-egg. ^^
Garibaldi... :happy:
I absolutely LOVE Babylon 5 and for my taste Jim Raynor was designed
after Michael Garibaldi, not only in respect of appearance. :plz:

I was waiting for the moment the storyline of CoK hits the bridge to the Alan Schezar plot, I had a big grin in my face as I finally could read about the connection to that angle. <3

I am looking forward to mission 5.

P.S. Of course I noticed the sound of the Wonder from AoE. :D