New StarCraft campaign: Voices of the Swarm

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New StarCraft campaign: Voices of the Swarm

Post by Andrea Rosa » Thu Oct 03, 2019 1:26 pm

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My second StarCraft campaign, "Voices of the Swarm", is finished and available for download:

http://www.mediafire.com/file/iilmhvcte ... m.zip/file (5.7 MB)

"Voices of the Swarm" is set during the original Zerg campaign and takes place between "The Dark Templar" and "Full Circle". Only moments have passed since the death of Zasz at the hands of Zeratul. The Garm Brood has been driven insane, the Overmind has gone silent and the Cerebrates are in a state of deep concern. Acting as the Cerebrate of the Grendel Brood, you are contacted by Daggoth, who is filling in for the Overmind's absence, and who explains that you are the only one who can fulfill an important assignment on the Terran world of Tarsonis, because a part of your Brood is still stationed there. From then on, a chain of events unfolds that will bring the Grendel Brood from his marginal role to eventually become one of the most relevant Broods in the Swarm's ranks.

This campaign was designed to be played with the original StarCraft. While it is technically possible to play these maps with Brood War, this is considered cheating, since the extra units and technologies would severely alter the gameplay, making all of the missions entirely too easy. If you have Brood War, please play "Voices of the Swarm" in StarCraft mode. Thanks in advance for any comment, I hope you'll have fun with these missions!
Last edited by Andrea Rosa on Mon May 11, 2020 1:41 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: New StarCraft campaign: Voices of the Swarm

Post by Andrea Rosa » Wed Oct 09, 2019 3:47 pm

UPDATE:

Fixed a minor bug in Mission 3 that could display the message "This door is closed" even after opening that door.
Also in Mission 3, fixed an inconsistency in the Mission Objectives displayed by pressing F10.
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Re: New StarCraft campaign: Voices of the Swarm

Post by Andrea Rosa » Sat Oct 19, 2019 5:19 pm

UPDATE

MISSION 3

- Decreased the energy cost of the Hero Defiler's special abilities.
- Added new rooms.
- Added new sound effects.
- Some enemy units have been repositioned.
- Improved triggered attacks.
- Fixed an issue with the Healing Station that allowed to heal more than one unit at a time.
- Messages such as "this door is closed" are now displayed multiple times.


MISSION 4

- Decreased the energy cost of the Hero Defiler's special abilities.
- Increased AI difficulty.
- Increased the amount of minerals available on the map.
- Fixed a bug that allowed Carriers to attack the Cerebrate.

MISSION 5

- Minimal changes to the map.
- Decreased the frequency of Infested Terrans attacks.
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Re: New StarCraft campaign: Voices of the Swarm

Post by chris » Sun Nov 17, 2019 12:27 pm

I have just finished playing your campaign as it was in my list of campaigns to play. It is quite difficult but the plot was well designed the map design greatly encouraged colonialization throughout the map and overall led to some epic battles. The only exception is mission 2 which was just too hard and I had to skip. Your campaign is one of the few without a mod that I can recommend for others but It is a very difficult campaign so those who want to play this should be veterans prepared for a challenge.

I am in the process of playing every campaign that pr0nogo and Church archived that shows some potential and reviewing all those I do play. My list is nowhere near completion at the time of this comment but here is a link to it so you can see my brief review of my playthrough of your campaign:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/ ... sp=sharing
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Re: New StarCraft campaign: Voices of the Swarm

Post by Andrea Rosa » Wed Nov 20, 2019 5:37 pm

chris wrote:I have just finished playing your campaign as it was in my list of campaigns to play. It is quite difficult but the plot was well designed the map design greatly encouraged colonialization throughout the map and overall led to some epic battles. The only exception is mission 2 which was just too hard and I had to skip. Your campaign is one of the few without a mod that I can recommend for others but It is a very difficult campaign so those who want to play this should be veterans prepared for a challenge.
Thank you very much for playing, and thanks for your feedback. I'm surprised that you found mission 2 so hard. The key is to have many Mutalisks to counter the Siege Tanks. To do so, you will likely need to claim the resources in the lower left corner of the map. Moreover, building a base in that spot will distract the Terrans, who will split their forces on two different fronts.

Cheers!
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Re: New StarCraft campaign: Voices of the Swarm

Post by Eredalis » Sat Mar 07, 2020 2:25 am

Congratulations and respect! Another absolutely first-class campaign from you.

VotS is a lot harder than ToH. But once again you showed a lot of fine sensitivity for the Starcraft storyline. This is one aspect of your campaigns that I immediately noticed in ToH already and that stood out from other people's campaigns.

I laughed when I saw that you used some elements in VotS that are also present in my own Anniversary campaign. (Fenris Brood, Nargil, Dr. Martens, Epsilon-Squadron) Funny coincidence! :lol:

About the campaign itself:
As I said at the beginning, VotS is much more difficult than ToH. You also made some beginner mistakes. I try to summarize that.

Mission 1
It took a few tries before it became clear that there is a strict time limit here and that absolutely no mistakes are allowed.
Nevertheless, pretty original map design. A good but difficult start.

Mission 2
As other people have already said, the mission is really tough. For my taste, you hardly thought in the entire campaign that the player often plays against the basic scripts. And they defend themselves like crazy ....

This means you have to ensure an increased supply of minerals and gas. A few missions later, this fact is the killer par excellence.

Mission 3
This mission also strongly reminds me of my Anniversary campaign. ^^
I love this mission. This is what a good installation map should look like. Perfect division of the map size. Good balance of enemy units. Fun to play, thrilling to explore.

Mission 4
ARRGGHH! It's getting really difficult here! And here you make the first serious mistake: Never, but NEVER set an exe with only 3 mineral blocks! Only beginners make such kind of mistakes. And you are definitively NOT a rookie!

For a mission in which you use basic scripts, you have to set a reasonable expansion point. Please try to avoid these 3 block collection points! Only 3 blocks are deadly poison to the frequency of the income. I have never seen a map from (old-school) Blizzard with just 3 blocks...

I did this mission regularly, but only after many attempts, because the minerals were always too low.

Mission 5
Interesting experiment with the campaign scripts from the Starcraft campaign. But to be honest, it doesn't really fit in this form, because these scripts were created for an environment that is not part of VotS 'fifth mission. As for the Zerg enemies: You don't play as protoss. You don't have as many conquerable resources as in the ninth Protoss Mission. The whole map layout is different: everything is much narrower in Mission 5 of VotS and you are exposed to much more devastating attacks.

And the worst: 3 block collection points again! No, please NO! o_o
I have definitely tried it 10 times now, this mission cannot be completed by me, because there are simply way too few minerals available in both expansion points. (left and right from the start location)

Also, both enemies (yellow zerg for the exe to the left and white terran for the exe to the right) defends these expansions like mad... :nosebleed:

Mission 6
I did not make it to the sixth mission because the fifth mission cannot be completed due to the problems mentioned.

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Re: New StarCraft campaign: Voices of the Swarm

Post by Andrea Rosa » Sun Mar 08, 2020 6:37 pm

Hi Eredalis, thank you very much for your feedback. I'm glad to hear that overall you liked the campaign. Yes, VotS is undoubtedly harder than ToH. Probably I should have labeled it as Veteran Level, but then again, there are many campaigns which are a lot harder than VotS, so all in all it should still fall in the Intermediate Level category.

Eredalis wrote:
Sat Mar 07, 2020 2:25 am
I laughed when I saw that you used some elements in VotS that are also present in my own Anniversary campaign. (Fenris Brood, Nargil, Dr. Martens, Epsilon-Squadron) Funny coincidence! :lol:
Interesting, funny concidence indeed, now I'm curious to check your campaign. I thought that it would have been interesting to use Epsilon Squadron, since they are very rarely seen in the StarCraft universe, and I learned about Dr. Martens in the StarCraft wiki. Something similar happened with the creator of Enslavers Redux for SC2: both him and I, independently, ended up choosing Halcyon as the setting of an Enslavers-related campaign (MIND = BLOWN).

Eredalis wrote:
Sat Mar 07, 2020 2:25 am
Never, but NEVER set an exe with only 3 mineral blocks! Only beginners make such kind of mistakes. And you are definitively NOT a rookie!
That's an understandable criticism, however those mineral patches are just "red herrings". They can help a bit your economy, but your real goal is to conquer the large mineral fields guarded by the Protoss. As a side note, in my view, resource scarcity is better than resource overabundance, because it forces the player to actively dominate the map, instead of turtling indefinitely.

Eredalis wrote:
Sat Mar 07, 2020 2:25 am
Interesting experiment with the campaign scripts from the Starcraft campaign. But to be honest, it doesn't really fit in this form, because these scripts were created for an environment that is not part of VotS 'fifth mission.
Uh, I don't know, they seem to work quite well in my opinion, at least they work well for what I had in mind (especially with the help of some triggered attacks that facilitated the adaptation to a new environment) and they are a variation on the traditional, overused default campaign scripts. Mission 6 also uses imported AI scripts, I hope you will try it, sooner or later.

Eredalis wrote:
Sat Mar 07, 2020 2:25 am
I have definitely tried it 10 times now, this mission cannot be completed by me, because there are simply way too few minerals available in both expansion points. (left and right from the start location)
Don't give up. I have just one word for you: Guardians. Breed them as soon as possible and use them along with Mutalisks to dispose of the weak Yellow Zerg or to destroy the two Terran Science Facilities. After that, you can conquer valuable resources and the mission becomes much easier. Also, explore the map, you may find mineral fields in unexpected locations. Oh, and make sure to spare some Mutalisks (and some gas for Scourges) because General Duke has a nasty surprise for you at the end.


If you need further help you can check this excellent playthrough recorded by DK:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sAv2rV9 ... Lvh4TUUoQW
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Re: New StarCraft campaign: Voices of the Swarm

Post by Eredalis » Mon Mar 09, 2020 11:47 am

That's an understandable criticism, however those mineral patches are just "red herrings".
You call a possible expansion "red herrings"??? Man, if you mean that serious, than we're going to talk at cross purposes. :frown:
I don't know, for me, normally I instantly quit a campaign, if I see such kind of rookie sh*peeeeep*.... Sorry!
They can help a bit your economy, but your real goal is to conquer the large mineral fields guarded by the Protoss.
Yeah, sure. But mainly I was referring in my entire posting to mission 5, not mission 2. And here lies the apple in the pan - it don't work that way in mission 5. Too bad you didn't go into it.
Don't give up. I have just one word for you: Guardians. Breed them as soon as possible and use them along with Mutalisks to dispose of the weak Yellow Zerg or to destroy the two Terran Science Facilities. After that, you can conquer valuable resources and the mission becomes much easier. Also, explore the map, you may find mineral fields in unexpected locations. Oh, and make sure to spare some Mutalisks (and some gas for Scourges) because General Duke has a nasty surprise for you at the end.
ROFL
Until you are ready to breed guardians, you get your ass whipped from the white terran and especially the orange zerg. Did you have beat that by yourself at all? I don't think so.

And as far as this "so called how-to" video goes - I seriously doubt that this has been achieved with legal means. :raspberry:
(And even if it does, the campaign seems to be made only for freaks who like to pound the keyboard and scroll all around like a maniac. No thanks!)

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Re: New StarCraft campaign: Voices of the Swarm

Post by chris » Tue Mar 10, 2020 12:09 am

Eredalis is right about the guardians and other late-game stuff, one trademark about your campaigns is the really early assaults your base takes from the enemy. Building a good defence as fast as humanly possible is what needs to be done... But not overdoing it because you need to use the remaining resources to defeat the enemy. I never ran out of resources before defeating the enemy but I've come within the last 1000 minerals of doing so in a number of missions.

By the way, Andrea, you most likely can't play any of eredalis's campaigns because they're not English. See my spreadsheet.

Oh, eredalis, I know the three mineral expansion area you're talking about, it was a lifesaver. There's no way that should be removed.

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Re: New StarCraft campaign: Voices of the Swarm

Post by Andrea Rosa » Tue Mar 10, 2020 9:45 am

Eredalis wrote:
Mon Mar 09, 2020 11:47 am
Did you have beat that by yourself at all? I don't think so.
Well, of course, many and many times. All maps for any game I work on are thoroughly tested, I would never release a map or level that I can't beat. Of course I can make mistakes like everyone else and I may miss some bugs, but the amount of time I dedicate to testing is almost the same that I spend on designing.

Eredalis wrote:
Mon Mar 09, 2020 11:47 am
And as far as this "so called how-to" video goes - I seriously doubt that this has been achieved with legal means. :raspberry:
(And even if it does, the campaign seems to be made only for freaks who like to pound the keyboard and scroll all around like a maniac. No thanks!)
Yeah, I'm familiar with DK's fast style of play, he always tries to complete every map in the shortest amount of time as possible. Perhaps he drinks too much coffee LOL. But he doesn't cheat for sure, he's just a skilled player. My style of play is way more relaxed.

chris wrote:
Tue Mar 10, 2020 12:09 am
By the way, Andrea, you most likely can't play any of eredalis's campaigns because they're not English. See my spreadsheet.
That's too bad. Thanks for the info, Chris.
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Re: New StarCraft campaign: Voices of the Swarm

Post by chris » Tue Mar 10, 2020 10:28 am

In regards to the 3 mineral expansion point it looks like I was thinking of a different map. I have checked out mission 5 now and eredalis does have a point about the one in mission 5. You should add 2 more mineral clusters to make it 5 instead of 3.
Andrea Rosa wrote:
Tue Mar 10, 2020 9:45 am
That's too bad. Thanks for the info, Chris.
Too bad indeed, planetary episodes and outworld saga would be S-tier campaigns if they were in english and anniversary would be A-tier.

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Re: New StarCraft campaign: Voices of the Swarm

Post by Eredalis » Tue Mar 10, 2020 11:54 am

chris wrote:
Tue Mar 10, 2020 12:09 am
Oh, eredalis, I know the three mineral expansion area you're talking about, it was a lifesaver. There's no way that should be removed.
No, no, no! That's not what I was trying to say. They shouldn't be removed, they should be extended. Only 3 blocks are too few for an expansion generally, more blocks increase the frequency of gathering. That was my point. (Awgh, these damn misunderstandings! ::) )

An example:
  • You have 3 blocks containing 4500 minerals overall inside a expansion base. (Only rookies bake such cookies)
  • Your income frequency will staggering horribly, no matter how much SCV's are crawling at the expansion, because as we all know only 1 SCV/drone/probe can gather resources from a mineral block in a time frame of 8 seconds. Now you can extrapolate the lost time and consequent delay.
  • Just split the amount of minerals in 8 blocks. (Not less than 5)
  • Now you reach a wider pool of players than just the coffee junkies and ectasy timmys. (...or just yourself, because YOU know your map!)
Another slightly step to increase the overall accessibility is to give more start resources. Now you have 500 minerals at the start of the scenario? Why so low minerals? 1000 minerals were much more appropriate, especially at a start from zero.
In the end, you control the whole zerg swarm at a time when the overmind is alive. It feels weird that you are sent to battle only with a handful of resources. I don't know, am I part of the Zerg swarm or am I part of some kind of renegade Zerg brood?!

(This entire post refers to mission 5!)

/e
Sorry, Chris! I've only seen it now: Your last posting above this post summarizes exactly what I mean.
chris wrote:I have checked out mission 5 now and eredalis does have a point about the one in mission 5. You should add 2 more mineral clusters to make it 5 instead of 3.
Thanks for that. :happy:

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Re: New StarCraft campaign: Voices of the Swarm

Post by Andrea Rosa » Mon Mar 16, 2020 2:57 pm

chris wrote:
Tue Mar 10, 2020 10:28 am
In regards to the 3 mineral expansion point it looks like I was thinking of a different map. I have checked out mission 5 now and eredalis does have a point about the one in mission 5. You should add 2 more mineral clusters to make it 5 instead of 3.
Eredalis wrote:
Tue Mar 10, 2020 11:54 am
No, no, no! That's not what I was trying to say. They shouldn't be removed, they should be extended. Only 3 blocks are too few for an expansion generally, more blocks increase the frequency of gathering. That was my point. (Awgh, these damn misunderstandings!
You guys had almost persuaded me, but you are ignoring the mineral field located on the island in the lower right corner, which becomes accessible as soon as the "3 blocks expansion" is conquered. It provides enough resources to afford an additional Hatchery.
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Re: New StarCraft campaign: Voices of the Swarm

Post by Eredalis » Tue Mar 17, 2020 8:14 am

As soon as I established a basement in lower right corner, the orange Zerg wiped me with sadistic pleasure from that spot. A noob like me reported you the problem with the halfbaken expansion (guarded 3 collection points left and right from the start) and even a BETTER player (chris) pointed out that there is a problem as well.

That should be enough feedback for you in the big picture. Please create reasonable expansions within the two expansions and reduce instead that unguarded spot in the lower right corner. The player has to fight against three merciless enemies and there should be no time and space for shenanigans.

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Re: New StarCraft campaign: Voices of the Swarm

Post by Andrea Rosa » Tue Mar 17, 2020 5:02 pm

Eredalis wrote:
Tue Mar 17, 2020 8:14 am
As soon as I established a basement in lower right corner, the orange Zerg wiped me with sadistic pleasure from that spot.

The ramp that leads to the elevated platform with the Vespene Geyser (the one where the Terran Science Vessel is usually parked) is there for that very reason. Since you are supposed to build an Hatchery to harvest the gas, it becomes a good spot for building defenses that will also protect the areas behind.

Eredalis wrote:
Tue Mar 17, 2020 8:14 am
That should be enough feedback for you in the big picture. Please create reasonable expansions within the two expansions


Alright, I'll consider about following your advice (peer pressure at its finest LOL). I'll see what I can do without altering too much the original design.
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