building a campaign - "A Second Front"

Discussion and development of scenarios and campaigns for the game.

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gleedads
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Re: building a campaign - "A Second Front"

Post by gleedads »

Neuromancer, the Runner and the other units in that recruitment branch are more for flavour than anything else, though I think they might be an interesting set of units in their own right. I want the impression that the elves were cobbling together a defence and often had to do without things that you'd normally expect to have. I certainly agree that giving the player a few scouts at the beginning would give them all the scouting ability they need. But instead I want the player to have insufficient scouting ability. If they want a scouting unit they will have to use this unit which is an inferior scout and which can only be obtained by leveling up a 0 lvl unit (later in the campaign I'll probably make it possible to recruit Runners directly, but I haven't done so yet). The "bonus" down the line is that they should be pretty good against undead and actually their leveled up versions should be pretty good overall, especially the ones with skirmisher ability. I've now made the leveled up versions, but I suspect I've made them too weak (haven't playtested them at all yet). My main concern, though, is that they may be too hard to get and sufficiently useless that players will just never bother to level any of their 0 lvl units up to them, choosing to just have Fighters and Archers and simply do without Scouts.

I also agree that Woses fit the bill for a unit that is good against undead. But they are also painfully slow, especially in hilly terrain. This unit is weaker but quite mobile (I've now adjusted it's move costs so it moves better in hills than is typical of elves). Many of the maps I'm making in this campaign have a lot of hill or forested hill on them.

If the unit turns out to be useless so no player would ever use it I'll just put the Scouts back in.
Last edited by gleedads on April 29th, 2011, 3:22 am, edited 1 time in total.

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gleedads
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Re: building a campaign - "A Second Front"

Post by gleedads »

Scaeb, I share your concern. But here are some reasons I think that is unlikely to happen:

1. Ildriel has no keep (in fact, no side has a keep in this scenario). She has only her surviving units from the previous scenario.
2. She should be terribly outnumbered. Eventually the player is nearly guaranteed to get desperate enough that they'll have Ildriel attack.
3. Ildriel is almost certainly leveled up to a Shyde by now. So all of her attacks are "magical", not necessarily in the Wesnoth attack trait sense, but in the "flavour" sense.
4. Ildriel and her forces are likely to have taken refuge in the middle of the map where I've put an obviously defensible forested hill. But it is small. So they'll be completely surrounded in a fairly tight bunch. So once things are underway Ildriel will always be within a one turn move of at least one enemy unit.

What happens if Ildriel's forces aren't terribly outnumbered and the player manages to fight their way out without Ildriel herself ever attacking? Well, I'll admit I haven't done anything about that for now except have the scenario end with Ildriel saying something lame along the lines of, "Hey! That was *supposed* to be a really hard scenario. What happened?" While I *think* I've arranged so that the player is almost certain to be horribly outnumbered, I'm sure I haven't guaranteed it. So either I need to provide a way for the opposing forces to scale to the player's forces (and always be much bigger) or I need to think of an alternate branch for the story if the player manages to fight their way out of this one. I don't think I'll do an alternate branch. Scenario 7 is one of few that *must* be visited as part of the story line. The intent is that the only way out of this scenario is for Ildriel to "accidentally" open a gate. If the player waits a long time to do this (presumably hoping for the cavalry to arrive since the way out of the scenario is a surprise) then they will have very weak forces through scenarios 7 and 8, which should make things very interesting.

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gleedads
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Re: building a campaign - "A Second Front"

Post by gleedads »

I think I'm going to post a zipped file of it quite soon. I've made enough recent changes that I'd like to have a quick play through it to make sure there are no glaring bugs before I do that. I also want to put some finishing touches on scenario 10, and have a first shot at scenario 11 (well, the scenario 11 that occurs down one branch of the story line). The other thing I'd better do is put in notifications of some kind on all the dead end branches of the story (scenarios not yet made) so play testers won't take those paths.

Scaeb
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Re: building a campaign - "A Second Front"

Post by Scaeb »

Look, as a backup, you could just have the gate open by itself after a reasonably high number of turns. Thus warranting in 99% of the times that it will be opened by your heroine's use of magic (thus giving a nicer cause-effect feeling for the player), but having a fallback for the unlikely event that not.

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gleedads
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Re: building a campaign - "A Second Front"

Post by gleedads »

Yes, that's certainly a good idea, though by any reasonably large number of turns the player will probably be dead in this scenario.

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gleedads
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Re: building a campaign - "A Second Front"

Post by gleedads »

OK, did the play through. I haven't built scenario 11, but I'm going to post it without it. I'm just going the fix some things that I noticed during the playthrough and then I'll see how small it zips up.

One barrier to zipping it up nice and small is that at the moment I've got a bunch of unit images and so on in the campaign directory because (back in Wesnoth 1.6) I was having trouble getting my campaign to see them in the era files that I got them from. I'll fix that eventually.

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gleedads
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Re: building a campaign - "A Second Front"

Post by gleedads »

OK, here it is. The 2.0 MB limit made this a bit difficult. The images directory had to be broken into pieces. First unzip this into your add-ons directory:
Second_Front_For_Upload.zip
(212.09 KiB) Downloaded 114 times
and rename this directory Second_Front.

Then, inside that Second_Front directory unzip this
images.zip
(1.85 MiB) Downloaded 110 times
Now put this
landscape-battlefield_nohumans_mozaic.jpg
and this
mountains_lake_mozaic.png
into the ~/images/story directory

Finally, grab the detail map of Wesmere Forest from my post a few weeks ago and put it into the ~/images/maps directory.

I *think* that'll give you a working directory structure.

I'll post again in a minute with a summary of some known problems and other things to avoid while playtesting.

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gleedads
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Re: building a campaign - "A Second Front"

Post by gleedads »

OK, so it goes up to scenario 10 (of 14-16 still). Depending on the choices you make it might take more than 10 scenarios to get to scenario 10.

There are lots of branches that are completely unbuilt. I've tried to indicate this in the objectives screens and elsewhere. But just in case here's a listing:

In "Deeper into the Forest" if you are running out of time you will be offered the option of retreating to the west. If you do this then it will end the campaign since the resulting scenario isn't built.

In "The Relief of Caedenwyth", if time runs out you are supposed to retreat and be able to fight another day. This is not implemented, so the campaign will end if you run out of time.

If you win "The Seige of Dwimmermere" by defeating the enemies then in the next scenario you'll find yourself fleeing across the moors as if you had been defeated.

If you run out of time on "Across the Moors" the campaign will end. Yes I know I said I would fix this. I forgot, and I'm not going to do it right now.

You are offered a choice during the dialogue at the end of "Where Are We?". One choice leads to a branch that is not implemented. It should be clearly indicated in the dialogue.

"A Stoney Valley" is currently the last scenario. There are to be two branches of the story after it, but neither is built.

Some other notes:

I've only tested it on EASY. I'm sure the balance probably sucks.

You get to "Running" by retreating from either of "Thrust of a Spearhead" or "The Second Wave". But currently victory on "On the Dwimm Moors" also takes you to "Running" via a short story interlude. Eventually "Running" will be removed from this path and replaced with another (harder) scenario.

There are some places where there is lame filler text because I haven't gotten around to writing some real dialogue for those parts. It's mostly pretty silly.

In my play through I found that from "Among the Ka'lian" onward I had way too much gold. I've done a few things to try to fix this but I haven't done a replay to see whether it is still a problem. I'll bet it is still a problem.

Enjoy!

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Neuromancer
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Re: building a campaign - "A Second Front"

Post by Neuromancer »

I managed to run the campaign in 1.8, but there were some unknown conditional errors and it seems one unit wasnt created at the beginning on the scenario, so I stopped playing. For which wesnoth version is the campaign intended?

For any other playtesters, here is link to the campaign files: http://www.multiupload.com/4L8P9H67C6 Just unpack the rar in addons folder.

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gleedads
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Re: building a campaign - "A Second Front"

Post by gleedads »

Aargh! That's a bad start! I've been running it in 1.8 without a hitch.

I downloaded the .rar that you posted and ran from it. It ran fine but, showed me that I had forgotten to change one line in the _main.cfg that had been set for testing. So you didn't start in scenario 1, you started in scenario 7. Grr...

Here is the fixed _main.cfg. For clarity, whether you grabbed the files I posted or the much more convenient .rar that Neuromancer posted (I'll have to check out that file sharing site - it looks useful) you will need this
_main.cfg
(2.13 KiB) Downloaded 118 times
It only differs in which scenario it starts in. Sorry I realize that now you are needing to grab files from all over the place to get this to run. I'll try to post a link to the whole thing in one file the way Neuromancer did.

Scenario 7 does contain a lot of odd units. I thought I'd included them all in the campaign directories, but I guess I must have missed one. Neuromancer, did the error message say which unit wasn't created? I'm guessing the conditional errors are more worrisome. Maybe if you retry with the new _main.cfg so you start at the beginning? But since I didn't get any conditional errors when I ran straight from your .rar file I've got no particular ideas.

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gleedads
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Re: building a campaign - "A Second Front"

Post by gleedads »

EDIT: this is now an old, outdated version. I've linked to a newer one later in the thread.

OK, try this again. Here is a link to the whole thing in one .zip file. It has the fixed _main.cfg.

https://rapidshare.com/files/460499432/Second_Front.zip

I think this way of linking to it works, but I'm new to RapidShare, so bear with me.
Last edited by gleedads on May 22nd, 2011, 1:52 am, edited 1 time in total.

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gleedads
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Re: building a campaign - "A Second Front"

Post by gleedads »

Here is the current branching structure for the first (roughly) half of the campaign.
Flow_charts1.png
But, I'd like the first half to be more like this (yellow indicates scenarios I haven't created yet).
Flow_charts2.png
Here's the status of the second half. As you see I only a complete story for one branch and a rough idea for other branches.
Flow_charts3.png
I'm hoping if people like this campaign enough they'll suggest (or even write) additional branching.

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gleedads
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Re: building a campaign - "A Second Front"

Post by gleedads »

Here's a link to the .xcf (GIMP) file for the Map of Wesmere Forest that I posted some time ago

https://rapidshare.com/files/460502235/ ... il.xcf.zip

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Neuromancer
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Re: building a campaign - "A Second Front"

Post by Neuromancer »

I replaced the main.cfg and all went smoothly. I stopped the playthrought after completing To Dwimmermere. My subjective comments (I played on easy):

General observations: Make Ildriels portrait with transparent background
It is ok to allow Ildriel to advance to shyde? When I leveled her, her portrait was updated to default shyde portrait. Is that intended?
Explain the branching thing to the player right from the start of the campaign.
Not all scenarios are linked with travelling dots on the world map.
Runner has inappropriate attacking animations.

Thrust of a spearhead: I didnt like the map at all. In current state of things it takes like 5 turns to move unit from the castle to action. Unnecesary long for me, Id moved the elf castle more to the center of the map.
Why are the orcs attacking from the southwest when this outpost is located in the northern border of the elvish lands?

The Second Wave - I had 300g at the start, suppose thats not ok
On these first two scenarios I was able to train a few fighters, archers, runners and sorceress, so in the On the Dwinn Moors and Running i had quite a strong army.
When I defeated the enemy leader I continued with On the Dwinn Moors. Is that intended?

On the Dwinn Moors: Why Im running away when I defeated the orcs and who is that elvish captain who suddenly appears by me? I think this needs some ingame explanation.
When I first see the orcs some comment would be appropriate, wouldnt? Something like "They are kinda deep in these forests". Also the undead are not attacking orcs. I think some unit would want to point out that.
Make the necromancer passive leader.
At this point in the game I had 2 scouts which fulfilled my scouting needs. You mentioned earlier you want player to have limited scouting ability, so you probably wanna do something with this.

Running: Id use orcs instead of goblins, goblins were not a challenge to me, but thats probably because of my army size as I mentioned earlier.

Relief of Caedenwyth - strange map... why not to use impassable mountains instead of void?
the bandits there were kinda strong for easy difficulty

To Dwimmere: who is the wose leader? I didnt notice no one with leader crown.

An one question, for what age group is this campaign intended?

Scaeb
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Re: building a campaign - "A Second Front"

Post by Scaeb »

You said, this is for 1.8, not for 1.9?

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