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 »

Yes, I haven't installed 1.9. I probably won't until it is the stable release.

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

Post by gleedads »

A quick note for playtesters.

You do not lose if Ylardwyn or Awee die. But many dialogues will not go well without them (especially without Awee). Eventually I need to put in some conditionals so those dialogues work without Ylardwyn and/or Awee. For Ylardwyn that's easy. I can just define a role, assign her to it if the player has her, and assign it to someone else otherwise. But Awee says a lot of things that wouldn't make sense for an elf to be saying. So the conversations will need to go very differently without him.

So, for now if you lose them you should either accept that some conversations won't make sense any more, or back up and try not to let them die, or recreate them using debug functions.

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

Post by gleedads »

Thanks for all the helpful comments, Neuromancer!
Neuromancer wrote: 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.
Yes, graphics take me a long time to do even simple things and so those are the most incomplete part of the campaign at this point. I'm hoping to mostly finish the scenarios to a somewhat playable state and then work on the graphics in earnest. Ildriel's portrait is a placeholder from me fooling around and learning to use GIMP. Actually, I'd like all the portraits to look like sections out of a big mosaic (like those graphics during the opening story). I'd like one big picture near the beginning that looks like a big collage done in mosaic, and all of the portraits would be subsections of it. It's as if the portraits are all on the floor of a temple somewhere. Ildriel should advance to a Shyde but I'll have specific graphics for her at some point. I only did traveling dots on the map for a couple of scenarios to prove to myself that I know how to do it, and I haven't gotten back to doing it for other scenarios yet. I'll put the branching description into the campaign description that appears in the campaign menu. I have done almost none of the runner graphics. If you level one up you'll see that they still look like a runner.
Neuromancer wrote: 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?
Sorry to hear you didn't like the map. The long distance from the castle to action was intentional, but if people don't like it I'll change it. I'm inclined to think the map is too big anyway. The orcs are attacking from the east because they've come out of the major mountains that are northeast from this area. But they are part of a pincer. If you haven't won by some turn another orcish force arrives from the north. However, you have a good point and it might make sense to rotate the whole map by 90 degrees.
Neuromancer wrote: 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?
300g! Yikes! You must have slaughtered them in scenario 1. I guess easy is too easy. Yes, if you defeat the enemy leader in Second Wave (which is *supposed* to be hard, even on EASY) then you should go on to On the Dwimm Moors. I'm not sure the text between the scenarios will have made a lot of sense because the intended likely path is either to retreat or to have Ildriel enter the tunnels. If you retreat you end up in Running. If you go into the tunnels you end up in An Underground Struggle. I'll check on the story text.
Neuromancer wrote: 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.
Yup, I'll add more explanation. Partly it's just that you defeated the previous two scenarios so handily that running doesn't make sense. I'll replace one of those scouts with a runner (or just remove them since it sounds like the difficulty needs to be seriously increased). You only get those scouts if you are playing on EASY anyway.
Neuromancer wrote: 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.
As I mention in another post (see the flowcharts) Running is a placeholder if you have come via On the Dwimm Moors. It will eventually be replaced by a scenario that for now I'm calling Out of the Frying Pan... which will be much harder. The intended route to Running is retreat from either of Thrust of a Spearhead or A Second Wave, in which case I'd expect the player to arrive in Running with a fairly weak force.
Neuromancer wrote: Relief of Caedenwyth - strange map... why not to use impassable mountains instead of void?
the bandits there were kinda strong for easy difficulty
At the time I made that map I didn't know about impassable mountains. I actually just discovered them while working on the map for scenario 11 (The Valan Pass) that I'm building right now. I'll be revisiting the map for Relief of Caedenwyth. Given the strong force you had amassed I'm surprised the bandits were all that strong.
Neuromancer wrote: To Dwimmere: who is the wose leader? I didnt notice no one with leader crown.
At the time I wrote that scenario I'm not sure I knew the "right" way to make a faction that is unable to recruit. So I might have made it with no leader. I'll check on that. The Ancient Wose is the leader (I think the rest are Elder Woses or just plain Woses).
Neuromancer wrote: An one question, for what age group is this campaign intended?
Hmm...tough question. It's certainly at the "serious" end of the spectrum for a campaign, so maybe it's for the older crowd. But on the other hand I'd like it to be enjoyable to my, rather serious and geeky, 11 year son, though he might not be the main target audience. What age group do you perceive it as aimed at, or are you asking because you think it is mis-targeted? It's certainly not as serious as, say, Descent into Darkness. I probably need to give some thought to providing a bit of comic relief on every path through the story. Right now the main comic relief characters are Awee, who you meet at the end of To Dwimmermere, and Thoradin who you meet in Underground Struggle.

Thanks for all that feedback. I'll start by ramping up the difficulty in Thrust of a Spearhead and in Second Wave.

If someone else is playtesting can I ask them to send Ildriel down the tunnels in Second Wave so they get to Underground Struggle? I have concerns that I haven't made it obvious enough what to do in that scenario so I'm anxious to get some advice on it.

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

Post by Neuromancer »

gleedads wrote:Actually, I'd like all the portraits to look like sections out of a big mosaic (like those graphics during the opening story). I'd like one big picture near the beginning that looks like a big collage done in mosaic, and all of the portraits would be subsections of it. It's as if the portraits are all on the floor of a temple somewhere.
You mean something liek this, joined together? http://alloveralbany.com/images/St_Pete ... hrists.jpg Thats quite nice idea. If I were campaign designer, Id use the mosaic after each scenario in story cutscenes, adding pieces to it as you discover new characters and unfold the story.
gleedads wrote:
Neuromancer wrote: 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?
300g! Yikes! You must have slaughtered them in scenario 1. I guess easy is too easy. Yes, if you defeat the enemy leader in Second Wave (which is *supposed* to be hard, even on EASY) then you should go on to On the Dwimm Moors. I'm not sure the text between the scenarios will have made a lot of sense because the intended likely path is either to retreat or to have Ildriel enter the tunnels. If you retreat you end up in Running. If you go into the tunnels you end up in An Underground Struggle. I'll check on the story text.
I think you will get the best feedback for easy difficulty when you will let your son play the campaign. I used ZOCing, slowing, forest terrain, healing and day cycles to my advantage, perks associated with intermediate players. Anyway, one replay better then thousand words, I posted mine as attachment there.
gleedads wrote:
Neuromancer wrote: An one question, for what age group is this campaign intended?
Hmm...tough question. It's certainly at the "serious" end of the spectrum for a campaign, so maybe it's for the older crowd. But on the other hand I'd like it to be enjoyable to my, rather serious and geeky, 11 year son, though he might not be the main target audience. What age group do you perceive it as aimed at, or are you asking because you think it is mis-targeted? It's certainly not as serious as, say, Descent into Darkness. I probably need to give some thought to providing a bit of comic relief on every path through the story. Right now the main comic relief characters are Awee, who you meet at the end of To Dwimmermere, and Thoradin who you meet in Underground Struggle.
I asked mainly because I frown upon epic things generally, and was hoping for something like style that was used in Ooze Mini campaign and Elvish Dynasty. Anyway, this is, again, subjective opinion.
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gleedads
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Re: building a campaign - "A Second Front"

Post by gleedads »

On the mozaic idea, yes you've got the idea that people might see one piece of the overall picture at a time, and they only see the whole picture at or near the end of the campaign. The example you've given is stained glass. The one you show is more like just depictions of several characters in isolation. I'm thinking of a "picture that suggests a story". In stained glass an example might be:
stained_glass_story1.jpeg
stained_glass_story1.jpeg (16.71 KiB) Viewed 3101 times
or for one that isn't in stained glass but might give a better idea of what I'm picturing, something like:
Story Collage.jpg
Story Collage.jpg (24.56 KiB) Viewed 3101 times
or perhaps something like one of the classic Star Wars posters.

But I'm not thinking of stained glass. I'm thinking of mozaic more like what is found in various Byzantine churches such as:
mozaic_nativity.jpeg
mozaic_nativity.jpeg (12.45 KiB) Viewed 3101 times
or (image style, but this certainly isn't a picture telling a story)
mozaic.jpeg
mozaic.jpeg (14.1 KiB) Viewed 3101 times
If you look at the two mozaics in the intro story section of the campaign they'll give an idea of the style I'm thinking of, though I'm not much of an artist so they are pretty crude attempts at it.

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

Post by gleedads »

...and, yeah, I'm going for a feel for the whole campaign that is fairly epic. I think Under the Burning Suns is similar in tone to what I'm going for, although I'd like a few more humorous interludes than it has.

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

Post by MRDNRA »

What I initially saw the layout of the various branches as described in the first post, I thought it might be a bit of a circular campaign which could get frustrating. However, now I've seen the diagrams, I quite like the idea, however, many campaigns, where they split off into various branches, have the same number of scenarios in each branch prior to remerging unless it leads to different endings. I'm not saying that varying the number of scenarios between branch merges is necessarily a bad thing, but I can see some issues, primarily, that the branch with more scenarios leads to more opportunities to level up units which can lead to balancing issues for scenarios you arrive at when the branch remerges with a shorter branch.

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

Post by gleedads »

Thanks MRDRNA.

Yes, that's actually intentional. One reason in this campaign that a player might choose to retreat (and lose a scenario) is that it might give them more opportunities to level things up and be better prepared for a later scenario.

One reason I've thought it might be nice to have multiple paths is that it might make the campaign hold up to repeated playings better. I'm not sure whether it's realistic to think that many players might play it multiple times, but that's part of the idea. Once it's all balanced I'm hoping that with some judicious retreats it might be a fairly easy campaign. But if the player aims to never retreat it will be much harder, in part because of not retreating from hard scenarios but also in part from having units at lower levels on some later scenarios. I realize that this is a pretty ambitious design goal, especially since this is my first attempt at a campaign. But that's what I'm aiming for.

By the way, on the topic of having fewer level ups, I've *almost* decided to merge "Thrust of a Spearhead" and "Second Wave" into one scenario to slightly shorten the campaign. If I do this the only real problem I see is that I'll need to make "An Underground Struggle" and perhaps "On the Dwimm Moors" somewhat easier, because the player would get to them with very few experienced units. I've decided this would be a good idea because these two scenarios (which happen on the same map) feel a little redundant. Any comments from playtesters on this idea?

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

Post by gleedads »

Has anyone played "An Underground Struggle" yet? It is one of the scenarios I'm most worried about and I'd like comments on it. The issue is that it may not be at all obvious to a player how to win it. Even if you defeat both of the enemy leaders that is still not a victory since the goal is to make the tunnels unusable to the orcs.

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

Post by luxury »

I play this campaign on hardest level
wesnoth version 1.8.5

There is a bug and game crash in the scenario 'The Relief of Caedenwyth'

it appears in first round -> elvish ally is creating new units:
unknown unit type: Elvish Novice while scoring units
condition 'enemy_info' failed at src/ai/default/ai.cpp:1348 in function 'get_combat_score_vs'

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

Post by gleedads »

Hmm...I know why it would have that error. I had originally named the "Elf" unit "Elvish Novice". But another person posting to this thread suggested that I just change it to "Elf" and I liked the suggestion. But it sounds like in the version you've got I must have missed one instance of Elvish Novice. I checked Relief of Caedenwyth in the current version and didn't find Elvish Novice anywhere in it. So I'm guessing I've fixed that since I last posted. But I won't be surprised to hear that "Elvish Novice" is still erroneously in the campaign somewhere. Guess it's time to post an update. There are some significant changes anyway so I was due.

-----

OK, here's an up to date version (still nowhere near complete).

https://rapidshare.com/files/95734591/Second_Front.zip

-----

Here's a summary of changes in the newest version compared to the previous one:

1. I have made the scenario "Retaking the Valan Pass" that is one of the possible routes after "Scorched Earth" (formerly "A Stoney Valley"). This involved creating a new terrain type, which I'll put in a separate post.

2. I have consolidated "A Thrust of a Spearhead" and "A Second Wave" into a single scenario. It's a bit of a complicated scenario now, with lots going on.

3. The map in "Thrust of a Spearhead" is completely remade. It is rotated 90 degrees compared to the old one and is considerably smaller so that the battle ought to be a little faster paced.

4. I fixed some issues with story text connecting "Thrust of a Spearhead" with "On the Dwimm Moors".

5. There is a minor change to the story during "Talking with the Ka'lian" which might have a significant effect on how scenarios after that play because it changes what units are available.

6. I slightly shrunk the map in "An Underground Struggle" and fiddled with terrain to try to reduce the amount of time that it takes for units to get to where they need to be. I have found that "Underground Struggle" drags a bit, especially since the way I play it one unit tends to have to slog through water and he moves really slowly through it. Hopefully that problem is now reduced.

And I've cleaned up a few mistakes that I found as I played through various parts of it.

Enjoy!

------

For the new "A Thrust of a Spearhead" I needed a terrain for a burnt elvish village. I looked through the forums and didn't find one (I did find a burnt human village, which I'm also using).

Here's my first shot at the burnt elvish village. It is based on the elven.png in the core images directory. I realize that there are 3 other versions of the elvish village, but I haven't made burnt versions of them yet. Here's my image:
elvish_village_burned_tile.png
elvish_village_burned_tile.png (10.15 KiB) Viewed 3024 times
As usual, comments are much appreciated.
Last edited by Pentarctagon on May 22nd, 2011, 7:11 am, edited 2 times in total.
Reason: Use the edit button next time, there is no need to make 4 consecutive posts.

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

Post by Neuromancer »

I started to play your updated version. Map is quite good, normal difficulty seems adequate to me (however, I would gross up the starting gold to 75). But I dont understand why you give the player only 3 or so turns to escape via tunnels. I tried to do move Ildriel to them and then, on new turn, suddenly I dont have the option to do that. Thats frustrating and eventually led me to stop my playthrough.

Put your campaign on addons server, in that way you will get more feedback.

PS: A little advertising and request. If you have time, you might consider playing campaign Im currently developing. Its on 1.9. server, called Mercenaries. Id be very happy to see your opinions (:

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Re: building a campaign - "A Second Front"

Post by gleedads »

Oops! Sorry about that. The option of moving Ildriel to the tunnel entrance was still available but I had forgotten to include it in the objectives list that pops up at that point. Now that you mention it, though, I see that the time restrictions are probably quite tight on NORMAL and very, very tight on HARD. I'll need to fiddle with that.

Thanks again for the great feedback, Neuromancer. I'm not running 1.9 yet so I'll have to wait to try out your campaign. I'm running Ubuntu and the download pages don't seem to indicate that any release of 1.9 is available for Ubuntu yet. Anyway, I'm busy enough finding my own bugs that I don't really want to mess with the development release yet. Do you know when 1.9 is likely to be the stable release?

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

Post by Neuromancer »

gleedads wrote:Thanks again for the great feedback, Neuromancer. I'm not running 1.9 yet so I'll have to wait to try out your campaign. I'm running Ubuntu and the download pages don't seem to indicate that any release of 1.9 is available for Ubuntu yet. Anyway, I'm busy enough finding my own bugs that I don't really want to mess with the development release yet. Do you know when 1.9 is likely to be the stable release?
I think it is better to develop in 1.9, you can make more beautiful maps and usually, at the time the work is complete, development version becomes stable, so you dont have to port your work. I dont know about Ubuntu, but on my windows XP development version crashed only once, when I was uploading big file to addons server.

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Re: building a campaign - "A Second Front"

Post by fabi »

The file is no longer available on rapidshare.

Anyone around still having a copy?

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