Started work on SotX Chapter 7

A couple of months ago I finished the script for the final chapter of my StarCraft 2 campaign Shadow of the Xel'Naga. I had to tend to some real-life stuff soon after but some days ago I started with the production of this map.

Chapter 7 is divided into two parts. The first part is about defending a position for a fixed amount of time. After that the objective is to "destroy everything". It's pretty straightforward and pretty simple compared to the previous chapters but I think it's good for several reasons: SC2 and HOTS have way too many missions with time pressure so I enjoyed missions like Maw of the Void more than usual. All other chapters in my campaign don't really have any base building, except for Chapter 4 but that's only tower defense with limited resource management and you can only place your towers at specific locations. I think a "destroy everything" mission is always a good way to finish a campaign, giving the player the opportunity to chose his own approach. Although, additional playtesting  may reveal that changes may be required to make it more fun.

Unlike previous maps in the campaign I don't have to deal with the time-consuming data editor. Instead this map relies heavily on the SCMR mod which turns the Starcraft 2 tech tree into the Starcraft: Broodwar tech tree, while also adding models and sound effects based on that game. With the technical barriers being this simple this time around, the map has already reached alpha stage. It is playable from start to finish and already has the four difficulty levels implemented. I aim for apppriximately 50 minutes of playtime (depending on player speed and difficulty level). I still have to work on scripted events for more action and surprises, terrain, transmissions, cinematics, balancing, bugfixing. I also haven't figured out how to deal with the players losing their bases yet. All previous maps can't be lost; but have some sort of custom checkpoint.

I will be on vacation from August 20th to 25th but I think I can do a lot of stuff until then (and after). I don't have any obligations until end -September so I'm sure this mission will be finished before then. Afterwards I'll have to update all the previous chapters (should take about 3-7 days per map) and then I can publish the entire campaign on Battle.net.


2 comments:

  1. That's great news, man! Can't wait to play it... :D
    On a side note, do you plan to publish the campaign on the Arcade only? As far as I know, there isn't any possibility to save your game... (Maybe I'm wrong^^)

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  2. Yes, so farr it's planned for it to be arcade only. I was hoping that blizzard would implemented better campaign support for the arcade, but I'm not sure it's happening. In any case, each map has a system which makes it impossible to fail the map. Sometimes it's with checkpoints, other time it's with instantly reviveable/invunerable heroes so you'll never have to start a map completely from the beginning.

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