campaigns!

campaigns!

A dynamic game undergoing constant development and refinement, that attempts to balance playability with fresh and innovative features.

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KaiserJ
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campaigns!

Post by KaiserJ » 30 Nov 2010, 20:29

i shopped a campaign idea the other day, had mixed responses... so... any suggestions or ideas or plans can go here plox

(i've read the plan, but didn't really feel there was anything concrete enough in there for me to actually make a map for a campaign or mission yet)
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Pxtl
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Re: campaigns!

Post by Pxtl » 30 Nov 2010, 20:35

You mean this:

http://trac.caspring.org/wiki/1FactionStory

I still think Zero-K lends itself nicely to a Megaman-style "YOU GOT Plane Factory" mission structure.
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Saktoth
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Re: campaigns!

Post by Saktoth » 01 Dec 2010, 08:14

Also these:
https://code.google.com/p/zero-k/wiki/Z ... gnMissions
http://trac.caspring.org/wiki/Campaign
http://trac.caspring.org/wiki/Story
Some info is out of date obviously (no nova/logos), but if you want a full background on some of the discussions, you can read it.

Unlocks is exactly what we are going for yes. There are different factions, each with its own commander, idealogy, and factory. As you ally with them or fight them, you unlock their units one or a few at a time.

Its a branching style campaign, where you hop from planet to planet, and each planet represents a mission.

I have a few goals id like to see:
1. As much content is playable as possible: No playing through the campaign twice to get to play all the missions.
2. No being lead around by some talking heads who tell you what to do: Who you fight and where you go is totally up to you: you're the leader of your army.
3. Meaningful player decisions come from the storyline, who to ally with and what ideology to follow, and almost any faction can be allied with or fought against.

You can see that 1 and 3 are really in conflict with eachother though. We might have to limit the players choices so that we arent making 100 different missions all for 20 or so missions worth of playing time. One way to do this is to have two different factions in conflict, and you can pick a side, but the missions are mostly the same with labels swapped (though this can be lame). Another way is to make you fight an enemy up until a point, and only ally them afterwards (once you've gained a bit of respect through superior firepower).

Another thing we might consider is whether we want cooperative multilayer as a part of the campaign at any point.

These are just my ideas though, whoever puts in the effort and makes the missions gets to make the decisions, thats how CA has always been done.

As to the actual question though, its a little bit difficult with Spring not being able to simply rough out a maps shape and make it to order the way you can in SC2. If you want a specific path in a run-and-gun style mission, say, you have to have it all laid out beforehand: Where the enemies are, where you run into things. That will always change with play testing so it will take a lot of consideration. Tell me what you think of the outline for the second mission, and what you think the map for that should look like - I dont have one at the moment.
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Kron
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Re: campaigns!

Post by Kron » 01 Dec 2010, 13:26

I think priority should go to finalizing the gameplay / mechanics first, but that said I suppose the game is in a constant state of improvement so you might as well start working on the campaign now.

Just... make sure that plot never gets into the way of gameplay. I'd hate to see anything get introduced or disappear simply because it would tie to the plot better.

Will this make a bad plot? Maybe! But it's a sacrifice I'd prefer for a more robust multiplayer.
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Jazcash
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Re: campaigns!

Post by Jazcash » 01 Dec 2010, 13:38

What would be worse is if a mission is made now and then in a few months time it's rendered useless because half the models and functions it tries to access don't exist any more...

Best to wait till things have settled down first before you start pumping out really uber missions.
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Kron
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Re: campaigns!

Post by Kron » 01 Dec 2010, 14:01

Jazcash wrote:What would be worse is if a mission is made now and then in a few months time it's rendered useless because half the models and functions it tries to access don't exist any more...

Best to wait till things have settled down first before you start pumping out really uber missions.
Well, we can still plot out campaign structure without getting into the nitty gritty of map topology and unit deployments.
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SinbadEV
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Re: campaigns!

Post by SinbadEV » 01 Dec 2010, 14:23

My suggestion for your campaign based on my complete lack of knowledge of your games current state... it needs to be a series of tutorial missions... I like the idea of defeating an enemy commander to unlock a new branch of development too.

So Mission 1: You are an infrastructure engineer, you are allied to a general fighting a battle and you are tasked to build energy/metal (or equivalent infrastructure) to provide power for a stalled factory (the scene is set where there is existing detritus of a ruined base for you to reclaim etc.) When you finish getting up to speed you are told that you need to build some units in the factory because a wave of peewees is about to raid you... when you succeed to are rewarded for your bravery/service with a command of your own.
-- All Units locked except basic infrastructure and a small subset of tier 1 bots to be built in the factory that the player starts with

The rest of the missions would be excuses to provide you with more options/tech while teaching you game-play basics
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Saktoth
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Re: campaigns!

Post by Saktoth » 02 Dec 2010, 13:27

The game and units will be introduced a few at a time, and you might start with a run-and-gun and then go into a game where you have mex, wind, llt and a factory with 3 units, etc, but like the starcraft 2 campaign, tutorial missions will be separate. We're not going to make the player sit through a camera tutorial if they dont want to.

Regarding the game changing: Mission editor does very well with updating to new versions. One thing that will certainly happen eventually is that we'll replace all the internal unit names (since they are all esoteric OTA style things) which may cause problems.

But this can all be fixed relatively trivially, we can absolutely start making missions now, as i have been (though they are coop multiplayer ATM and sorta semi broken).
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Licho
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Re: campaigns!

Post by Licho » 02 Dec 2010, 15:10

I dont think we will "certainly rename" units.
In fact I believe we will never do so.
Costs of changing are huge .. and benefits? Near zero - less chaos for new developers.
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quantum
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Re: campaigns!

Post by quantum » 02 Dec 2010, 19:15

Jazcash wrote:What would be worse is if a mission is made now and then in a few months time it's rendered useless because half the models and functions it tries to access don't exist any more...

Best to wait till things have settled down first before you start pumping out really uber missions.
That's not a problem. Other than in the jump to one faction, CA units are pretty stable.

The only thing that messes with missions is deleting or internally renaming units. But that is very rare and fixable in a minute. Unless we change all the internal unit names*. Even in that case, we'll certainly automate the conversion.


* why??????
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KaiserJ
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Re: campaigns!

Post by KaiserJ » 02 Dec 2010, 22:30

any clue as to what sort of timeframe CA/ZK is looking at in terms of attaining a workable unit balance / function finality? edit: yeah i realize its one of those "not a fking clue" things

maybe when the time is right i'll make my own campaign, an unofficial one, that follows less of what saktoth and the document describe...

not that theres anything wrong with it at all but i imagine something quite different... not to mention that the existing plan doesn't require anything new in terms of maps (somehow i read this twice but it really didn't stick in my mind) and i like the idea of making some cool campaign specific maps with omgfortresses and secret ravines!

ofc anything i made would be used in evo as well, its just you dudes seem a lot closer to campaign making than we are, and i've been in a map making mood as of late. it would be very instructional and beneficial for me to see a mission programmed onto a map that i had made... i would learn the editor and techniques, and on the other side, the mission making dude would get some cool maps to make things on.

i'm guessing "campaign only" units would be okay, like giant bosses or "escort the eccentric robo baron to his oily castle"? where would those get included, in the mission file?

also i have thought a lot about (but realize again that i was making assumptions) a scoring system and table. any plans that something like this will exist for campaigns?

nouncin mah nocturnal emissions
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Jazcash
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Re: campaigns!

Post by Jazcash » 02 Dec 2010, 22:54

KaiserJ wrote:any clue as to what sort of timeframe CA/ZK is looking at in terms of attaining a workable unit balance / function finality? edit: yeah i realize its one of those "not a fking clue" things

maybe when the time is right i'll make my own campaign, an unofficial one, that follows less of what saktoth and the document describe...

not that theres anything wrong with it at all but i imagine something quite different... not to mention that the existing plan doesn't require anything new in terms of maps (somehow i read this twice but it really didn't stick in my mind) and i like the idea of making some cool campaign specific maps with omgfortresses and secret ravines!

ofc anything i made would be used in evo as well, its just you dudes seem a lot closer to campaign making than we are, and i've been in a map making mood as of late. it would be very instructional and beneficial for me to see a mission programmed onto a map that i had made... i would learn the editor and techniques, and on the other side, the mission making dude would get some cool maps to make things on.

i'm guessing "campaign only" units would be okay, like giant bosses or "escort the eccentric robo baron to his oily castle"? where would those get included, in the mission file?

also i have thought a lot about (but realize again that i was making assumptions) a scoring system and table. any plans that something like this will exist for campaigns?

nouncin mah nocturnal emissions
I've actually had some decent ideas for some missions, although, they're more BA formed, regardless, they should be fine for CA. I might start making some big plans for missions, then maybe you could frame a map or two around some of them or just get inspiration from them and perhaps we could could come up with some decent missions together? I did start making a decent one for BA but got put off a bit after I found out that spawning wrecks is impossible as my primary tactic for that mission was to locate some dead bases and rez them.
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CarRepairer
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Re: campaigns!

Post by CarRepairer » 03 Dec 2010, 20:27

KaiserJ wrote:also i have thought a lot about (but realize again that i was making assumptions) a scoring system and table. any plans that something like this will exist for campaigns?
That's always been available from the start. Look in the missions tab and see people's scores, such as how far they threw the Krogoth in Kroglaunch. Way back when I made chicken tag I gave a score for how many taggers you killed before the 20 minute timer was up. That was over a year ago.
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Saktoth
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Re: campaigns!

Post by Saktoth » 12 Dec 2010, 21:44

Oh feel free to get stuck in Kaiser! As i said in the other thread, until we have actually made a campaign there is no 'unofficial' or official anything, if you start working on a campaign, especially with custom maps, we'll work around you not the other way around.

I've actually been thinking that behes asteroid maps arent perfectly suited to the kind of mission i want to create, a run-and-gun style introduction, which would be best with a clearly defined path (think first mission of SC2), rather than the broad open plains that characterize most Spring maps. So there is certainly demand there for custom maps.
any clue as to what sort of timeframe CA/ZK is looking at in terms of attaining a workable unit balance / function finality?
Workable unit balance? What do you need exactly here? The game is played competitively in multiplayer and there is no 'lolop spam only this' unit (not even to flashtank/stumpy levels). There are lots of robust counter mechanics, so you can create a lot of interesting scenarios. As for 'function finality'? Very little that should break any maps, depending what you have in mind. We have big plans, especially for commanders, but you'll only have one of those in a game anyway, presumably. Most unit stats are very stable and havent changed in thousands of revisions. We might add new units to flesh out the new ZK factory lineups, and tweak some of the new ZK units, but most of the changes will be additions, rather than revisions- and these can always be omitted if they dont fit, since presumably you'll be playing with a limited unit selection?


Wrecks are quite possible, just create the unit then damage it so it dies. Not sure whether this might require different amounts of damage to different units to ensure it meets their 'wreck' threshold though, that would suck. Perhaps quant can include a 'wreckify' button.
Unless we change all the internal unit names.
The internal names are very disorganised. It would be much easier edit (say, finding the unit you want to place it a mission) if they followed some kind of predictable pattern, rather than being relics of origin. Still, if we are that tied up into legacy stuff, i suppose we can leave it. Thats kinda depressing though.
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quantum
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Re: campaigns!

Post by quantum » 12 Dec 2010, 22:42

Saktoth wrote:The internal names are very disorganised. It would be much easier edit (say, finding the unit you want to place it a mission) if they followed some kind of predictable pattern, rather than being relics of origin.
Yeah that could be helpful. Although finding units can be also made easier with GUI and/or wiki improvements. The change would have no negative impact on missions, anyway, since I can make the mission editor automatically convert missions to the new scheme.
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luckywaldo7
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Re: campaigns!

Post by luckywaldo7 » 12 Dec 2010, 22:48

Out of curiosity, what is the biggest obstacle to an internal rename? I assume it is the meta-game stuff, like missions and planet wars and unit stats?
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quantum
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Re: campaigns!

Post by quantum » 12 Dec 2010, 23:18

There is no big obstacle. We need to decide new names, rename files, do the mass find/replace, make sure it works correctly, and write the update code in missions. I don't think mod stats will need work. PW is too unfinished to be affected.
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