The Library of Kratemaqht [SP Campaign]

Discussion and development of scenarios and campaigns for the game.

Moderators: Forum Moderators, Developers

Post Reply
User avatar
tr0ll
Posts: 524
Joined: June 11th, 2006, 8:13 pm
Location: canada

Re: The Library of Kratemaqht [SP Campaign]

Post by tr0ll »

i love how this story weaves the different characters' lives together into a tale of daring and drama and epic battles and the politics behind them. i played on normal up to The_Pass_of_Batos and found most of it fairly well balanced. Shifty_Gets_A_Job was a bit annoying because it took me 47 out of 48 turns to achieve the objective. the dragon animations and sound are fearsome!
Spoiler:
Last edited by tr0ll on November 3rd, 2012, 5:31 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Captain_Wrathbow
Posts: 1664
Joined: June 30th, 2009, 2:03 pm
Location: Guardia

Re: The Library of Kratemaqht [SP Campaign]

Post by Captain_Wrathbow »

Currently downloading this campaign, after reading about these awesomely animated 400-frame dragons in this thread. (it is extremely huge but I hope it is worth it) I intend to play the campaign this weekend. Will be back then with some feedback. :)


EDIT: A couple days later...

I'm back. :mrgreen:

I have not yet completed the whole campaign; currently I am at the scenario where the city is on fire after the civil war starts.

First things first...
The dragon is amazing. :shock: Everyone should play this campaign, if for no other reason than to see the epic dragon! So, you say that you created it in a 3D modeling program, then exported each frame of the animations as a separate image? That's definitely not the traditional way of making pixelart, but the result is very very impressive nonetheless.


Now, as for the actual campaign...

The main thing I noticed would be that overall, it feels more like I am reading an interactive story than playing a campaign. There is a lot of talking, many dialogue-only scenarios, and when I am actually playing, there is not much strategy or depth to the gameplay; I am just walking units somewhere to trigger the next cutscene, occasionally mixed with a little bit of tiny-squad tactical battles.

Please note that I am not criticizing the campaign for that, I am just pointing it out and contrasting that aspect with traditional campaigns. In all honesty, I, personally, like it. I wouldn't advise changing anything; keep it this way. It makes it unique and sets it apart from other campaigns.

There are too many campaigns that suck at storytelling, but have good gameplay. There are a few of them with a decent balance of the two. This campaign has an excellent story, but is perhaps a little bit weak on the gameplay. I wish there were more campaigns in that category. It may not appeal to those impatient types of players who speedclick through dialog and just want to play, but I think most people will appreciate the great story you have crafted here. (I love all of the ways it ties in with TRoW :D )

It is rather unorthodox that the characters controlled by the player are constantly switching... in one scenario you are the "good guy" escaping from the bad guy, then a few scenarios later you are controlling the "bad guy" and fighting the dragon, then a little later you are controlling a different group of good guys fighting the bad guy.

But this is due to the "story vs gameplay" tradeoff, and I don't think it is a major issue. In most campaigns, gameplay is the chief concern, and then a story is wrapped around a few predesigned battles. In your campaign, the plot comes first, and the "battles" and scenarios are wrapped around the plot. That is, you are designing scenarios which can fit into the story you want to tell, rather than designing a story which fits around the battles/scenarios you want to have. It just means that you have emphasized the story more than gameplay. So... I wrote all of that just to end up saying that I don't think it is bad, and you shouldn't change anything, as I said before.

A couple other little notes...

I found it odd that the guy who gets necro'd back to life at the funeral was represented by a skeleton. This didn't seem to fit in with the story and the people's reaction. They wouldn't have been so pleased with a skeleton coming back to life; they acted as though he came back to life and looked just like himself. Or at least, he looked more like a normal human being. Also, why would he have had an axe with him in the casket? :lol2:
Anyways, the point is that I thought maybe a walking corpse or a soulless would be more fitting, given the story and the dialog surrounding the event.

Also, I liked your doors which open and close. The layering was very well done, so that the arch of the doorway goes on top of the unit, but the door is behind it. I don't know how you did that or whether it is really as impressive as I think. Maybe it was easy and trivial. :P Anyways, it looked very nice.

So.... I think that is all I have to say for now. I may return again once I finish the entire campaign. Good job; the whole campaign is very polished and well done. I hope my minor critiques (and observations on gameplay vs. story) are not discouraging. You have done a great job, and I am looking forward to playing anything else you may make in the future. :)

cephalo
Posts: 137
Joined: December 20th, 2009, 4:37 pm

Re: The Library of Kratemaqht [SP Campaign]

Post by cephalo »

Thanks for the feedback everyone.

I'm very glad you guys like the dragon. It took quite a lot of experimentation for me to accomplish this. I actually tried at first to draw it as pixel art, and after drawing several frames with the dragon's horns wobbling around like rubber because I couldn't handle the foreshortening, I was hit with the reality that I am NOT an artist.

Then I tried to animate in 3D so that all the foreshortening etc. would be right automatically, and then I was to trace over the 3D images. After tracing about 10 frames at a rate of about 1 frame per day, I calculated that with a lot of dedication I would be finished in about 3 years... owww.

So then I turned to what I'm actually pretty decent at, which is programming. I wrote an app that converts the 3D output into sprites by punching up the colors a bit and darkening the edges, while converting the background to full transparency and the shadows into wesnoth shadow color. It does this en masse too so I can run it on the full line of animations at once. That turned what would have been three years of drudgery into an afternoon of surfing the web waiting for the image processing to finish. I'll take that trade!

Also there was a large portion of luck with these results. At no point did I have reason to believe that after all this work I would have a usable dragon. That it turned out so well was a huge relief after pounding my head against it for a good four months.

As to the gameplay concerns pointed out by Captain_Wrathbow, yeah this is still a concern I have. I think that a large factor in the gameplay taking a back seat to the story is just the exhaustion that sets in with a large project like this. I knew the story needed to be the priority, but after that I'm not sure I had enough energy left for creative gameplay ideas. I am definitely interested in people's ideas on how each scenario could be improved in that regard.
Spoiler:

User avatar
Captain_Wrathbow
Posts: 1664
Joined: June 30th, 2009, 2:03 pm
Location: Guardia

Re: The Library of Kratemaqht [SP Campaign]

Post by Captain_Wrathbow »

cephalo wrote:
Spoiler:
Ah, ok. So it was intentional that it was rather ridiculous how everyone was amazed by the skeleton. Makes sense then. :D

gooby
Posts: 154
Joined: August 8th, 2012, 6:47 am

Re: The Library of Kratemaqht [SP Campaign]

Post by gooby »

I really like this campaign; I just think it should have more gravity.

I laughed at the "blah blah blah" bit somewhat but this seems like a more "serious" campaign.

cephalo
Posts: 137
Joined: December 20th, 2009, 4:37 pm

Re: The Library of Kratemaqht [SP Campaign]

Post by cephalo »

gooby wrote:I really like this campaign; I just think it should have more gravity.

I laughed at the "blah blah blah" bit somewhat but this seems like a more "serious" campaign.
I found the idea of writing a whole speech rather daunting. :) Maybe I should.

User avatar
tr0ll
Posts: 524
Joined: June 11th, 2006, 8:13 pm
Location: canada

Re: The Library of Kratemaqht [SP Campaign]

Post by tr0ll »

you could also use one of the free lorem ipsum generators, but make sure it generates text in a language other than the one the player understands :P
here is a appropriately licensed wikisource for the text
http://la.wikisource.org/wiki/Lorem_ipsum

gooby
Posts: 154
Joined: August 8th, 2012, 6:47 am

Re: The Library of Kratemaqht [SP Campaign]

Post by gooby »

One other thing—sorry this is a pet peeve—the Grand Marshal guy who says "Whom do you think you are?" should be saying "who" because "who" is the subject complement and not an object as such, direct or indirect.

But this is a nice campaign with interesting challenges.

cephalo
Posts: 137
Joined: December 20th, 2009, 4:37 pm

Re: The Library of Kratemaqht [SP Campaign]

Post by cephalo »

gooby wrote:One other thing—sorry this is a pet peeve—the Grand Marshal guy who says "Whom do you think you are?" should be saying "who" because "who" is the subject complement and not an object as such, direct or indirect.
Thanks for the tip. I'm not sure why that sounded right to me. I think I chose that wording to make him sound haughty, as if he not only uses correct grammer, but hyper-correct grammer that nobody really uses. He's the kind of guy who's so keen to perceptions of status, that he can instantly morph from haughtiness to servility. Do you think I should change it?

gooby
Posts: 154
Joined: August 8th, 2012, 6:47 am

Re: The Library of Kratemaqht [SP Campaign]

Post by gooby »

If you want him to be hypercorrect, no.

If you want him to be correct, yes.

What sort of background does he came from? Educated or not?

There's a few "its" / "it's" kerfuffles here and there, too.

Still a lot better than the writing in some campaigns...

cephalo
Posts: 137
Joined: December 20th, 2009, 4:37 pm

Re: The Library of Kratemaqht [SP Campaign]

Post by cephalo »

Ugh. its and it's is always a huge struggle for me. Its is an acceptable contraction for 'It is' and it's is the possessive, right? Or is it the opposite? :doh:

User avatar
Captain_Wrathbow
Posts: 1664
Joined: June 30th, 2009, 2:03 pm
Location: Guardia

Re: The Library of Kratemaqht [SP Campaign]

Post by Captain_Wrathbow »

The opposite. :wink:

it's = it is
its = possessive

The way I remember it is that whenever I see "it's", I substitute "it is" and see if that makes sense in the context. If not, use the other one. (its)

cephalo
Posts: 137
Joined: December 20th, 2009, 4:37 pm

Re: The Library of Kratemaqht [SP Campaign]

Post by cephalo »

Whew! I did a text search for its and then it's. I probably had about 75% wrong. :oops: Thanks for pointing that out. I also changed the Whom to Who, but the line seems to lose some of its paternal tone. That's fine. I don't really want grammatical errors in there.

Its It's all changed for next publish, I still need to fix a couple of bugs first.

Ok, version 1.0.1 is up. It contains the grammatical corrections and also changes the prisoner block in Cahal's castle to use gates instead of cages to prevent people from spawning in the walls.

gooby
Posts: 154
Joined: August 8th, 2012, 6:47 am

Re: The Library of Kratemaqht [SP Campaign]

Post by gooby »

I forget the scenario names now but the one with the rebels and the Orcs and the pikemen and bowmen on your side was unusually brutal for me: incurred huge losses while only having a few turns left.

In the following scenario I had relatively cash compared to my opponents, and gave up there.

Is there a secret to winning these two?

cephalo
Posts: 137
Joined: December 20th, 2009, 4:37 pm

Re: The Library of Kratemaqht [SP Campaign]

Post by cephalo »

gooby wrote:I forget the scenario names now but the one with the rebels and the Orcs and the pikemen and bowmen on your side was unusually brutal for me: incurred huge losses while only having a few turns left.

In the following scenario I had relatively cash compared to my opponents, and gave up there.

Is there a secret to winning these two?
If you give up some ground so that the rebels and Orcs make contact, they will fight each other. They start with a lot of gold so you want them to expend that big initial push on each other. Play defense until they start running out of gas, but try to pick some off for experience. I guess the trick is to not let the AI rob you of too much experience, because you want about 2 or 3 max level for the next scenario.

If you have a fairly strong hit force in the next one, hopefully you can send an assassination squad around the bottom of the map to eliminate the two leaders before your ally collapses.

Also, what difficulty are you playing on? There's a good possibility that 'hard' is just too hard. Hard is usually too hard for me so I didn't test it. I'm not such a good player.

Post Reply