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  • Posts

    • And because that (that happened to me not so long ago) when I progress on 3-4 maps or I do a really really overcomplicated script (hard to replicate withouth tons of try and error) I do the zip with the map or all the maps and sending to myself to my email. For variety; if all the maps had a direct path will be boring, and on this map you are being assaulted from behind, so I give that much wallkaround so the AI spread his units a bit more. And this map it's already hard enough, you don't want me to do a "only infantry path" to help the AI to merge units better (they don't send as many anyway; it's a heavy vehicles strengh the ones that do the damage. I keep trying. Random drops, enemy harvesters that go into your mining spice areas (un purpose) so if you don't hunt them down you will have tons of trouble, Ais that focus another AIs naturally, even ignoring the player, etc... or just the puzzle maps from the Glory trio campaigns, some barely can be considered "dune 2000" at all. Literally a point and click adventure XD. (but as Sierra games, you can die). well, when the time comes I will ask you which more of them you change it and you will tell me "alright, on mission 1 play version 2, on mission 2 play version 1" and so on. Not now, I will ask when you are finished with your current thing (and I finish mine campaign as well). Making the players starting with no units or VCMs it's easy; forcing then to start with whatever tech/money and use the script to give to them the amount you want at =1 ticks it's also not complex to do; the more trouble you may get it is if playing coop they use the handicaps or not, and if I recall correctly, Ais always make use of the handicap advantage for those type of maps, so you need to also workaround the enemies that are going to overharvest and produce an insane amount of units thanks to your 40 unit build rate or whatever quick number you have. Another problem it's if you place an Imperial side with a few combat tanks, even if later on the lobby you said "that AI should be Ordos" (index Ordos) even if the player add an AI to be Ordos and green, he still will use The Harkonnen combat tank (or at least I remember that happening back in time), affecting your proportions. So yeah; can be done, but it will require lots of thinking. Since executing C&Cnet update my config file that makes my game looks blurry or with two black bands at top and bottom... I totally out from skirmish games (I think there is a way to try skirmish maps withouth going for the forced update, but I don't want to risk my game anymore). Ps: this another reason I wanted to include your skirmish map on the main index, because myself I am not going to click on C&Cnet ever again, so if I ever want to try manually that map, I won't ever know where to find it anymore.
    • It was that way for me before my last HDD broke became a very expensive paperweight. Oh yeah, testing mechanics and testing gameplay... both make it difficult to gauge tuning. I try not to test mechanics, but sometimes new stuff comes around and I gotta. Then it's gotta be like... I dunno, a week? At minimum before testing the map is fair lol Yeah. I distinctly recall that particular map. But, why would you want to deliberately block the path? Wouldn't it make more sense to design it around vehicle versus infantry movement, so infantry can go straight through and vehicles will need to roll around here or there? I guess the reason could be that it would split the vehicles in two, partially at the top and partially at the bottom, but in that case there ought to be an infantry-only in the middle. Ya know? I don't recall if that was the case, it probably was and I'm not remembering that detail lol Doing something that spans an entire map is very... risky. It causes the perspective of the map to be skewed a lot. That's why the original S06V2 was so... disproportionate. I wanted a reeeally big cliff wall covering an island on the north end of the map, but then everything else kinda looked funny by comparison. And despite that, the map paradoxically felt smaller than it should have. Ooh, I haven't checked out the Glory Awaits Ordos campaign yet so I was totally unaware of that. And yeah, I mean... there are always variations that can be done, but boiling things down to base elements, it'd be difficult to come up with a totally new basic idea. You know what I mean? Not necessarily impossible, but it would take a lot of effort and creativity. I was aware of the Deviator thing, and I think it was creative and interesting to use it in a mission like that. Right. 😅 Well, I'm doing my best to get rid of ALL the bugs I can, so hopefully I won't need to change anything more lol The final drafts of every map are all significantly improved in terms of gameplay, presentation, aesthetics, and tuning. So, really any of the early levels are fair game. I'd say the most dramatic difference is between S06V1 and S06V2, and that's because S06V2 was straight-up redrawn to be on a Heighliner rather than Arrakis. Even with that considered, S06V1 has its own improvements worth giving a peek. Speaking of changing stuff up though, I've been asked to convert the entire campaign into a coop campaign and so I've been doing a bit of research into how that might work out. Custom text files can't be referenced, only ONE text file can be shared across the entire campaign, tech level / starting cash will be the same for every faction and you can't force certain allocation indexes to be in-game, but it IS possible to play with a mod, you can force the tech level and starting cash to be a certain way through in-game events, player starts can be made to not spawn starting units or MCVs, the briefing can be referenced before the map, enemy AIs can vary... there are workarounds. So it would be possible, theoretically, to make a really detailed coop campaign too. If I get around to working up a prototype coop map, would you be interested in analyzing or playing it? I will absolutely pass it along.
    • it's more "the order into the chaos"; I have so many zips and folders that my "mission" main folder it's a mess. 1 night it's not enough for the long term. On the RPG Maker I made 1 part of the game more harder (and a bit unfair) due this reason. Let's say that the game progress from the 1/10 difficulty, increasing 1 by 1 through the story (probably not, but for simplicity let's say that I manage to get a perfect balanced); then, where a 5/10 should be, suddenly it's a 9/10; after this scene, games drop to 5/10 again and continue for there. And this happens for a single reason: too many tests. Test you map and see if happens; then test if you step here and there, and the other there, and on there... The scenario has 50 swirls <-- (well, more) so I tested a good amount of them (steping into them and you get a game over); So I was forced to play the same scenario 20-30 times to at least try a good amount to be sure. What happens is, my mechanics on this scenario were so trained that the scene looks too easy, so I make the enemies go faster and faster... 3 month laters; I no longer can be the scene on the first try because you need to be almost perfect (moving non-stop) to not be caught, and all was because of that: tons of testing. May happens the same here on dune (or any game that you play the same thing over and over); In fact you tell me at some point that you are "rusty" and you loose a map that you beated before with no problem, same point. But of course, I talk about lots of repetitions; if you test 2-3 times and wait 1 day after another try that's aceptable. May depend on the map, from time to time I keep doing a slighy modification on the proportions, with 3 for foot units, 3 for light vehicles, 1 for the siege and 2 for the others. Another way it's too generate an initial spaw with 4 siege tanks (and 1 missile, 2 quads, etc...) so you know the AI won't produce the siege until he don't have at least 6 of the other tanks first. Or simply placing them on the map. Yeah; I place the rock areas of the main bases and then I do the details, but sometimes when I try to try a different layout I try to do some details first just to measure how will look together. For example, on this last campaign I are creating there is a rift that goes from the bottom of the map around an enemy base, cross the middle-left part of the map and reach the player's base. So there is 70% of the vertical map covered with a very large rift. Westwood have something like that if I remember well; I just wanted to try something similar, at least it's slighy different; also I tend to let the main path (AI and player) clear, even if I add a small rift or other details here and there; it's hard to me to deliberately block the path (from time to time I do; like a big rift that forces both player and AI to do walkaround; if you remember that hard map of mine with the sietchs behind you, the enemy base to the right and a big mountain in the middle, things like that. I don't think so, there is always room for something new or unique. The Ordos glory campaign implemented the "mower", a totally new and unique "weapon" in a very clever way; in just 1 map he though on something that I didn't ever imagine to achieve. <-- and I don't remember if any other RTS has something like this; maybe similar or maybe more subtle, but not exactly like this, I think. Also this map, with the lauout of the buildings present of the map (the map itself it's an skirmish map, if you know which it is, the one that it's 80% rock where players can conect each other using concretes); all those buildings separated in a big rock area reminds me of the Age of Empires type of games, you know, games that taking a building (withouth siege vehicles) takes an eternity and the map it's filled with 200 buildings or something like that (simulating that you are in a big city). Also, I didn't knew that the deviators had a bug that can make deviated enemies stay forever in an specific situation; with that he achieve something I wanted to do long time ago, a "colecting" enemy vehicles by deviate them, on the map you need to colect like different 10 vehicle units or so; I couldn't beat the map because I didn't understood the part where he explaine it; but it totally works, you can have units deviater forever in a specific situation. And with that, a new door for new ideas opened. The reason I want to play from time to time even the most classic campaign. Alright; I guess I will play the whole stuff again once again xD, when it is done, and since your maps usually takes me a while to beat, you will have plenty of days to redo whatever you found on map 15 or 18 or whatever xD. When the time comes I will ask you which maps changes the most; I mean, if the mission 2 version 1 it's the same as before (or just a slighy change) but the version 2 now use that shock master vehicles then I will prefer to play the version 2 this time just for variety (the new campaign I will play all the levels).
    • I admire how organized you are. 😅 It's important to keep in mind the original goal / intent of a map. That's why even after all this time and all these updates for the same old maps, the original objectives and gameplay are by and large intact. The idea is usually fine, but the execution must be perfected. I think that by looking at it that way, it's very hard to lose the point. Do you agree? Yeah, waiting before testing a map is good. One good night's sleep is enough time if you don't even touch it beyond the editor the night before, or at least it is for me. Still, there are things you can estimate, things you get better at estimating as you design more maps. Like enemy unit build and attack rates, for instance. That's a good one. Usually I just make the AIs build a dis-proportionally small amount of Siege Tanks compared to others. Not that Siege Tanks are bad anymore, but like Grenadiers they seem to perform best in smaller numbers until you need some serious demolition done. Thanks. Yeah, it's hard figuring out the layouts for sure... you've got the base layouts, the terrain, aesthetics, pathing, and lots more. I like to design maps little bit by little bit, and eventually the whole thing comes together. If I try to lay out on the map from the start "okay, the enemy bases should be here and here," things will end up looking funny. That's how I wound up with stuff like the original S07 with the massive and incredibly dull stretch of sand between two enemy bases. With S16V1, I actually started by building the player's rock island in the top right corner, but then I decided the Sardaukar and Fremen should be opposite from each-other, so I put the player in-between them. But wait, there's a lot of empty space behind the Sardaukar and Fremen bases... and I don't want to use reinforcements because I need all the events I can use, so I'm gonna draw up rock big enough to put some enemy bases there, and I'll make it a map where the player is good and surrounded. Will need to balance the Fremen and Sardaukar so the player can fairly deal with the situation I've decided to put him in. There's a big stretch of sand between the Sardaukar and the Fremen though... so how about I put a bunch of winding cliffs and infantry-only passages there? Needs more work. Add a few rock islands... two of them are in good spots to be enemy bases, I'll just expand them a bit... but wait, the enemy infantry will take too long to reach the player's base, so I need more infantry-only paths here and then I need to place the enemy factories far back compared to their Barracks. It's little bit by little bit. That, I think, is how I've done my best aesthetic work, so I need to keep doing it that way. And I think doing it the old way has resulted in a LOT of maps where the player isn't attacked from enough angles. I think the pathing in general is very good; the player has a lot of different paths to navigate, the AI's forces will be arranged in a certain way, expansion options are plentiful, but at the end of the day you've got one contestant in one corner and another in the other. There are exceptions, like if the player expands on most maps, new angles of attack will be opened up, like on S18... or on maps like S03V1 or S04, where the player has a choice in allies, the battle will change significantly enough. S03V2 in-game hard mode, S05's AI tends to change its preferred attacking location sometimes, S06V1 at midfield, S06V2 as the battle evolves, S08 after the mercs show up, S09V2 as the player's allies arrive, S11, S12, I guess SBON3 is an exception, S18 has Saboteurs and an evolving battle... and the maps that are yet incomplete may have tougher starting locations for the player too. S16V1 and V2 are already shaping up to have the player attacked from multiple angles, but my current ideas for S17V1 / V2 are less conducive to that setup. I guess I mostly achieve variation through objectives, player choice and consequence, and general non-linearity, but the player's initial locations are usually quite defensible. Is that good design, or bad design? I haven't really thought about this until now. It could be called good because all players benefit from a steadfast starting position, especially less skilled players, which makes the campaigns more fair. Expanding rewards more resources and space to build, and more map control, but expansion usually comes with different angles of attack, which is risky. But, I guess it could also be called bad because it makes enemy attacks predictable on certain maps. Ah, perfection is always just a step away, and even if it is achieved, it is debatable. Funny, isn't it? Pardon my rambling; I'm tired as you know, Cm, but this is an interesting conversation and I simply must engage in a bit more of it before I turn in. Otherwise I might forget the ideas! Even if they are just... policy ideas, they do contribute something to design philosophy. I would rather not forget. Anyway, I guess there's no such thing as originality anymore; everything's been done once already, so the idea now is to take what we've got and use it well. If the design philosophy is good, the game will continue to be enjoyable. Actually, yes! They do indeed appear in the first half of the campaign. RPG Quads are commonplace tech and will potentially be seen belonging to any faction. The player gets to use them on S02V2, S03V1, S04V1, S11V1, SBON2, S13V1, S13V2, and SBON3, but they will be seen on enemy factions on even more levels than those. Notably, the ONLY time the player may build or order RPG Quads is on SBON2. Shock Raiders are Guild-exclusive tech and so they're much more rare. They're first seen on S06V2, where they can be stolen from Guild Freighters docked at certain Launch Pads and are regarded as something of a mystery by Summers and Durant. They can also be built by the player on S09V1 / V2 and SBON2 if the player captures a Harkonnen Heavy Factory, has upgraded his Heavy Factory, has built a Research Centre, and also has a Light Factory in his possession, but this is considerably unlikely. The player may build them from his own Light Factory at the end of S18. Shock Raiders appear as commonplace enemy units on S13V1 / V2 for the first time and continue to be commonplace enemy units on all maps where the Guild is involved until the very end of the campaign. Duelist Tanks are a new type of armor seen first on S05 as reinforcements for the player. They can be built by the player on S06V1 through S09V2, but they're retired on S10V1 and are mostly seen as enemy units from then on, although they can be built if the player captures an Ordos Heavy Factory. Still, they aren't common enemy units. They're seen on S07 for the first time as enemies, and then they appear on S10 and S18. And... that's about it. A Storm Lasher is also seen for the first time on S06V2. It's inoperable though, only there for foreshadowing. Summers remarks that the structure she discovers appears to be some sort of defense turret, but it's like nothing she's seen before and so she doesn't know what to make of it. Storm Lashers are introduced as an actual threat for the first time on S15... and S15 uniquely only has one AI explicitly for the purpose of acclimating the player to the new megaturret. It then continues to appear on every mission until the end of the campaign, with the exception of SBON3. The player may only build Storm Lashers at the very end of S18, following the capture of a Guild ConYard which will promptly come under attack from Tleilaxu forces who don't want you to have access to their cool megaturret. All the new stuff was first developed when S14V1 / V2 and S15 had their first drafts released, but these things had to retroactively be added to the final drafts of every map one by one. The Heighliner tileset was also new around the same time and replaced the comparatively bland old version of S06V2. After all, why stop an aerial blockade on Arrakis when you could go up to space instead? That also afforded me the opportunity to put Shock Raiders and a Storm Lasher very early on in the campaign, just to show the player there's new stuff I'm saving mostly for later. It's a tease. And, like I said, foreshadowing too since they're Guild Freighters! And where else would they be developing awesome new secret tech? Certainly not on Arrakis with the war going on, that's for sure! Anyway, I'm finally good to crash, so Imma do that. I hope that answers all your questions and stuff. See ya later!
    • This happens not too long ago, except for the step 4. but yes; I changed things; then I repeat until the game was in a weird state that the AI and the player gets becoming stronger to the point the map totally loose the point. Good thing I like to create a zip with the maps every few days, so I still have the options to recover a more stable state. This heavily depens on the difficulty you are trying to get on a campaign If you are targeting for an easy campaign even if the campaign it's too easy you can just continue (you can even wasted money or kill your own units to compensate) but finishing the map; even if the map wasn't as easy as expected it's not probable that you will make the map hard at all. If you are targeting for a hard map, well, if you don't survive the first 10 minutes you need to try again until you get what you want. Testing too many times a map it's also bad (repetitions will give you the wrong idea of the difficulty of a map, since  knowing what/where/who it is coming to your base are values that you don't have if you play it blindy (or replayed it after 1-2 months when you don't remember all that stuff that good). From time to time I like to drop an enemy reinforcement of troopers/siege tanks (other vehicles may work) in a spot that they need to do plenty of walkaround, during that time you have your precious AI produing combat tanks instead the siege tanks. I like that part of the first screen. There is a point that I feel I keep doing the same layout over and over; this is why I want other people to create new maps too. By the way; I know you added new stuff like that Tesla Coil, but also those other units (apart for the modified quad and etc; I mean the electric raider, whatever name you give to him xD); my question it's. Those units will be present on the previous smuggler campaign? Even if they are just to enemies to use, but I wonder if they will appear or you will try to maintain the new units as new stuff for the "expansion".
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