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Fey last won the day on June 27

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  1. Damn. XD I'll need to draw some up then. Well hey, I managed to get some more testing done on the multiplayer map. Now that I know a bit more about... how they work and stuff, I was able to polish it up so there aren't any weird bugs. It's capped at 4 players, each player starts with two MCVs (so the Mass Deposit / Supply Depot system works better) along with a couple of scouts and some infantry. There is a no-rush timer for whoever cares about that, the AI will respect it, and there are a few quick tips regarding the hybrid resources system that appear as the map begins. Player 1 is ALWAYS in the top left. Player 2 is ALWAYS in the bottom right. 3, always bottom left, and 4, always top right. I also worked up a single-player version of the map for those who wanted to have a look. It uses the exact same AI as in the multiplayer version, so it'd be just like you loaded it up on C&Cnet, minus the random factions. There's one Atreides, one Ordos, and one Harkonnen, and the player is Atreides. As the "host" of the game, the player is always in the top left corner. Here is a download link to both versions of the map. As with all previous downloads, simply unpack the zip and merge the data folder within with the one in your D2k directory. It won't overwrite anything except stuff we commonly distribute with campaigns to make sure they work properly, like TILEDATA.bin. Heighliner multiplayer prototype.zip To launch the single player version, open up the Mission Launcher, click All Missions, and select Atreides. This map will appear as "Battle Station - by Fey." To launch the multiplayer version, host a game on C&Cnet and either wait for other players to come around or add AI opponents. Or, inform other players that you're hosting a game, maybe they'll see it faster. You can bring up the map either by searching for it, or by copying and pasting this into the chat box of the pre-game lobby: /map c4c92fc54b30d0db7fa2c894519219afaf19b4a9 Anyway, I also did a quick humans vs. bots match with LEGOLAS. I only got like four hours of sleep, so my macro is crap, but I do explain everything thoroughly through captions. So, hopefully it helps or at least is a fun watch. Here's a link to that: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oekHzy7psgc That's all for now. Thanks for reading.
  2. 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.
  3. 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!
  4. 1. Change things. 2. Repeat step 1 until the game breaks. 3. Re-install. 4. Repeat all steps ad infinitum. Oh yeah. XD Balancing things just right is really freakin' hard. Getting it right or almost right on the first try comes with a tremendous amount of practice. Which... you have! The reinforcements being used to get around or mess with enemy unit ratios is good. There's also the more passive method of placing units on the map on guard mode, which stay on guard mode until killed or freed somehow and then the enemy will go ahead and use them later. S18 is a good example, the Tleilaxu and Guild have Sardaukar Gholas, Fremen Gholas, and Sonic Tanks spread around so they build less to meet their quota in the initial attacks, and more later when they really need more of 'em. Of course you know this, but I mention that little technicality for others following the thread. About the actual topic of this thread, I do have a minor update too. I've been able to get a bit of work done on S16V1 / V2 and have one and a half template maps drawn up. Here are some screenshots of the WIP maps: https://prnt.sc/oghj1g https://prnt.sc/oghjas https://prnt.sc/oghjr3 https://prnt.sc/oghl0k S16V1 is coming along with some winding cliffs and stuff. These are finally new levels with Storm Lashers, which I'm excited to start using again, and of course I'm measuring their attack radii for fair placement. As with S15 and S18, I'll do what I can to mark the attack radii in-game somehow and build the enemy bases around their Storm Lashers. The Heighliner multiplayer test map had a few designs I really enjoyed, so I plan to replicate those designs for some portions of S16V2. Obviously, there will be some new designs as well, particularly around the enemy base. As with Industrial Accident, the player will need to secure Combat Tanks to use against Moriaen, and the enemy base will need to be similarly impenetrable without them. The maps ain't done yet, but the physical layouts of them are coming together. Also, I packed up all 26 final drafts so far into a single zip. There is nothing new in the following zip, but if whoever is following my smugglers campaign threads want to pick up ALL the maps at once, here ya go: Smugglers Campaign - 26 of 30.zip I'll come back with a serious update once S16V1 & V2 are done.
  5. Oh, that's cool. Discord is an instant messenger. There are a bunch of folks who like D2k there, and some other stuff too!
  6. I haven't called it the final draft until the most recent drafts 😮 But I've promised not to touch 'em again after they're done unless I find a gamebreaking bug, so yep! Except SBON2. That was just because I had a different idea I wanted to put in. >.> Plus, I can't optimize the AIs any more. So, there's nowhere to go but down. XD As slow as my progress is, I've found I can make a new map up to par with the rest on its first draft just through experience. Do you feel the same way? Like, no more big empty sandy area like on the original S07, no more super duper unbalanced crap... I mean, sure, weird concepts may involve some tinkering but you feel like you know exactly what to change, where and how, right? I'd have to see to be sure, but I'm inclined to suggest higher initial units and lower starting funds / Harvesters / Carryalls. The initial units being there will allow the AI to attack strong from the start, but the lower starting funds and stuff will make sure they settle into their economy and production over a longer period of time. I think of it as the equivalent to giving the enemy some starting reinforcements set to hunt like in the original D2k campaigns.
  7. I'm very excited. It WAS in its final draft state, but I really needed to change it again because the new one is much more distinct and feels more like a bonus mission. XD Aside from the changelogs under the spoilers, there are also additional comments about my design decisions. What did I think really sucked about the previous version, what did I do to fix it, what potential gameplay ramifications does this change have, or that. You know, that kinda thing. You will almost certainly finish yours first on account of me still being painfully busy. I will be trying to work on the new maps, but it's no longer "just expand this" or "fix this bug." They're new maps, drawn up from scratch. x_x I do, however, know exactly what I want to do with them. So, I guess I have a place to start. For anyone following this thread, I'll post the ideas down here just because S18 is already out. So, uhh... yep.
  8. Hey Matt! Welcome back, I've been wondering how you've been doing. Say, do you plan to join the D2k Discord?
  9. henlo frens I did another heckn final drafts, so here ya go: S14-S18.zip As usual, installation is an easy copy+paste. Simply merge the 'data' folder in the zip with the one in your main D2k directory. To restore the game to normal, merge the 'data' folder under the 'backup' folder in the above zip with the data folder in your main D2k directory. This zip is a landmark. EVERY MAP in the campaign thus far is in its final draft state! Yay. Now all I need to do is finish S16V1 / V2 and S17V1 / V2, and the whole 30-map campaign is complete. Also, I changed up SBON2 again. I had a better idea. More detail under ADDITIONAL COMMENTS. Here are the changelogs: SBON2: The Ghola Gambit - Revisit the ruins of the Golden Lion Throne to discover a plot by the Tleilaxu. S14V1: Baklawa Brawl - Fight the Tleilaxu in a massive tank battle over the open terrain of the Baklawa Flats. S14V2: Cliffhanger - Lead a convoy into Galbana Depression, where you must confront the Ordos. S15V1: Arsenal Immune - Assault a Guild spaceport to prepare a counterattack on the Heighliner itself! S18V1: Summers' Solstice - Secure passage for the Ixian Godslayer through what remains of the Guild / Tleilaxu cabal. That's all for now. I hope I get enough time to finish up the other four maps. I already know what I want to do with them, but drawing them up and tuning them is another story. And there's only so much time in the day...
  10. I'm seeing what I can do about the tileset. Whatever the case, it'll be VERY rocky due to D2k's limitations. Kipp requested we remove the dunes since multiplayer folks don't like 'em, so I guess I could fit more sandy cliffs in there. What I'd really like is ramps up to the platforms. Do they have those already? I wasn't made aware of those sorts of tiles.
  11. Apparently, only six human players can join a game. Therefore, it would be possible to add AI enemies and not have to worry about a human being able to control them. However, those CHOAMs are only decor. It's a Heighliner, I wanted to make it feel like one, so there are trade routes and the platform has several paths leading off the map entirely to give the impression that this place is the center of a lot of docking, supply routes, whatever. The infantry-only is sufficiently spread out, although in the matches I played I wound up getting attacked via the blue bridge at the natural quite often. The white bridge is highly defensible, but can be circumvented. I have a separate installation of Gruntmods, very bare-bones without any movies or anything just for C&CNet. You can install it fresh even if you already have it installed just for whatever modding you need to do. Speaking of tilesets and modding, Kipp requested we create a new tileset using images like these... OpenRA may have changed the game up, but they also created some awesome new tileset data that hasn't been ported into the original game yet! Sand cliff on rock, rock cliff on rock, and some new structure data too. I believe it would be a simple copy+paste, and I could take care of it easily; the graphics are already drawn. All we need do is arrange them. I thought you might like to know. I'll see what I can do to get it worked up.
  12. Henlo, frens. Nothing changed in the tileset, but I do have an update on mapping with it. A multiplayer map has been devised and tested with other players - and it works! I have received largely positive feedback on the design. Here is a full map image: It's built for a 2v2, 1v1, or 1v1v1v1. Each player begins with a fortified main base location, a natural expansion, there's a third closer to midfield, and midfield is wide and open for skirmishing. There are choke points, infantry-only pathways, the map is highly symmetrical, there's sufficient room to build, and employing the normal strategy (mass the hell out of Refineries) at the main base does actually work to an extent. Because of the hybrid resources system, it's more about map control. Once again, Mass Deposits are infinite Spice as long as they're occupied and the crates are expendable. Players will really want at least two or three Mass Deposits and control of midfield and of bridges around their territory, and they can use the crates stocked at the Supply Depots to expand faster. This system is much different from the original. However, it's also functional on its own! On 'Erg, by Kipp, there's Spice all over and things are even more wide open in general. Harvesters can roam around pretty much endlessly. With this resources system, they don't need to wander! Two or three docked at each Mass Deposit will bring in very steady income, and the Supply Depots provide sufficient income for long enough to fund expansion comfortably. If you would like to check the map out for yourself, here's a zip containing the map: <LINK REDACTED; GO HERE FOR FINAL WORKING PROTOTYPE> https://forum.dune2k.com/topic/27863-release-heighliner-tileset/?do=findComment&comment=397356 That's all for now. Thank you for reading, and I hope this map's design helps if you plan to draw a multiplayer map, yourself.
  13. oh hey Krypto I ran into that bug too but I think it was different tracks. Try deleting the extra tracks included in gruntmods? That might affect something, I dunno.
  14. Cool. I can't wait to hear how it goes! By the way, I'm on the Discord too. Ya know, if that's more convenient.
  15. Hmm. Well, in that case I suggest bumping the heck out of the BuildRate! And using a unit spawn event. Starting units can help bump their initial attacks up quite a lot. There's also the question of allocation indexes. Allocation indexes are the faction / color that the AI has. If you have three AIs set to allocation index 0, they will all appear as Atreides in-game. Then you can have THREE AIs controlling a single faction, each with their own build queues and unit combinations, while they appear to be the same faction in-game. If you want an AI or two to be really strong, here's a good suggestion with allocation indexes: Set the AIs to have complementary attacks and use complementary unit combinations. What do I mean by this? Well, for instance, say you have two AIs. You can do these attack times: 7500 / 12000 first attack building delay 9000 / 9000 time between building attacks This will make the AI attack at 5 minutes, then 8 minutes, for their first attacks. Then, because of the subsequent timers, they'll ALTERNATE attacks. The first AI goes at 5 minutes, then 11, then 17, and so on... and the second goes at 8, 14, 20, etc. And because they're two different AIs, the attacks may come every 3 minutes, but the AIs will build up for six whole minutes before attacking! But wait, there's more! You can also make the AIs use specific unit combinations to further increase their strength. Maybe one AI prefers more Missile Tanks, Quads, and Troopers, and the other prefers more Siege Tanks, Trikes, and Light Infantry. Then the player must deal with each combination accordingly! All you gotta do is tweak the UnitBuildRatios. It's very difficult to make a single AI challenging, but if you want an example, I suggest checking out S15. Only one enemy AI, and the player even has a friendly ally, but the enemy still has some pretty nasty attacks - not even counting the trouble the megaturrets in their base are when YOU need to attack. Hey, Cm and I collaborated on the manual. (edit: wait, there's an events manual? I thought we had Feda's tutorials for that, I thought you were talking about the AI manual XD my bad) Make sure you have MoraleAttackBuilding set to 100, or the AI may arbitrarily retreat and idle. Are those commas in the "weight" categories? I think that would cause an error... 1800 is a good CashStash. The AI will work properly even with one Refinery. You don't need any entries in the defense area section if they're not enabled. Also note that some players prefer not to use Carryalls at all since they can slow down your economy. If you find your AI would benefit from not using Carryalls (like if the map is very flat and the Harvesters have no problem getting around), I recommend setting CarryallsPerRefinery to 0.
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