A Walk In The Woods [Feedback and development]

Discussion and development of scenarios and campaigns for the game.

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Baryon
Posts: 14
Joined: March 12th, 2014, 1:10 pm

A Walk In The Woods [Feedback and development]

Post by Baryon » December 24th, 2014, 2:51 pm

A Walk in the Woods is a small campaign, 4 scenarios long. It's our first campaign, so we welcome all feedback. It features an elvish sorceress as the protagonist, who goes on a hunting excursion with her brother, an Elf Windlasher, but things quickly go wrong and you soon find yourself fighting your way through orcish territory. We deliberately kept the story minimalistic.
It needs further playtesting before it can be considered complete.

It's on the add-on server now! Replays and feedback would be very much appreciated.

Some questions we'd be interested in hearing your thoughts on...

1. Are the objectives clear?

2. How difficult did you find it? Which difficulty level should it be classed as?

3. Currently there are no difficulty settings. Should there be?

4. Which strategies did you adopt?

5. Would you be interested in a continuation? (There are several ways it could potentially continue.)

Thanks very much!
Baryon and madformadrigals.

UPDATE: Version 1.0 uploaded now which includes a fourth scenario, The Escape.
Last edited by Baryon on February 20th, 2015, 12:17 pm, edited 2 times in total.

gloccusv
Posts: 33
Joined: September 6th, 2013, 5:25 am

Re: A Walk In The Woods [Feedback and development]

Post by gloccusv » December 27th, 2014, 5:32 am

I have just finished the campaign (twice, so it held my attention enough for me to want to replay it) and I liked what I saw. I think it is very ambitious for a first campaign.

General comments: First impressions were good. The description is short and to the point and would make me want to download the campaign and give it a go. I liked the Raindancer line. At first, I thought a level 1 elf with magical attacks would be overpowered, but their high cost balances it out. I thought there were a good variety of objectives and tactical challenges and the maps looked pretty.

To answer your questions:

1. I found all the objectives to be clear and thought that they made sense in the context of the story.

2. I would class it as normal difficulty: if I play badly then I only win if I get very lucky, but if I play well then luck doesn't really enter into it. The first scenario is easier (it is almost impossible to lose), but that is sensible, particularly as the player probably won't have used a Windlasher before.

3. I don't think you necessarily need difficulty settings, but then, it's at about the right difficulty level for me to find challenging but not frustrating. Maybe when you get more feedback other people will be asking you to make it easier or harder and that may be the time to introduce new difficulty levels.

4. In the first scenario, it is a little bit strange because you want to take as long as possible to win, so as to maximize your carryover. That's not bad, just different. I explored, capturing villages and trying to give as much of the experience to Romethria as possible. The animals seemed to mob me a few turns in, but with high defences and good mobility I only tried to kill the scorpions and dread bat before continuing to explore, just letting the other creatures attack me for a couple of turns.

In the second scenario I first tried waiting for the orcs to come across the bridges, but that didn't work, so the next time I split my force into two, used cheap units to lure enemy units onto the bridges and then attacked across both simultaneously, before taking both leaders down when they ran out of their castles to attack. The way you have set up the ai for this scenario really leads to an interesting tactical challenge.

The first time I played the third scenario, I recruited a massive army and annihilated all the orcs on the map before rescuing Inanthros; 60 turns is plenty for this. The second time I played, I still recruited a massive army (there really is quite a lot of starting gold if you get the bonus for defeating both enemies in the previous scenario, isn't there?), but then sent them round the back, avoiding most of the purple troops entirely. Some combination of them all being guardians and the terrains you have told them to avoid means that they rarely attack unless you move right next to them. If there was one improvement I would make to the gameplay, it would be to have the central orc castle completely cover both entrances so the player has to fight through at least a few entrenched enemies to get to the prison.

5. If the continuation was as well written and interesting to play as this part then I would be interested in playing it.

I also had a look at the wml and had some comments. I will put them is spoiler tags because (1) some of them are spoilers and (2) most of them are very boring.

There are quite a few, but they are generally very minor and didn't detract from my enjoyment of the campaign.
Spoiler:
Congratulations on your first campaign! I wish you every success for this and any future projects.
Attachments
Shooting_Practice_replay.gz
First Scenario
(13.56 KiB) Downloaded 141 times
Infiltration_replay.gz
Second Scenario
(19.35 KiB) Downloaded 145 times
The_Rescue_replay.gz
Third Scenario
(22.84 KiB) Downloaded 142 times

Baryon
Posts: 14
Joined: March 12th, 2014, 1:10 pm

Re: A Walk In The Woods [Feedback and development]

Post by Baryon » December 28th, 2014, 4:31 pm

Thanks so much! That's exactly what we needed - extremely useful feedback and some encouragement!
So, we have started working on a fourth scenario. I hope you'll test it when it is done.

We didn't make those new elven units, incidentally. I'm not sure which Era they're from exactly but they're called the Sidhe and we came across them in Return from Captivity.

I've addressed most of the WML things you mention. Thanks for that!
gloccusv wrote: Was it a deliberate decision to not team colour the icon for the campaign? There isn't much magenta on the druid sprite, so it doesn't make a lot of difference, but I thought I should check.
Not sure what you mean by this...?
Spoiler:

gloccusv
Posts: 33
Joined: September 6th, 2013, 5:25 am

Re: A Walk In The Woods [Feedback and development]

Post by gloccusv » December 28th, 2014, 11:58 pm

I'm glad the feedback was helpful and I'm looking forward to continuing the adventure.

Regarding the icon, each sprite in the game has certain areas which are magenta in colour. When a unit is on the screen, this is replaced by the colour representing the side the unit is on (usually red for side 1, blue for side 2, etc.) and if you want to do the same for the icon, you can use the ~RC command:

Code: Select all

Replace
	icon="units/elves-wood/druid.png"
with
	icon=units/elves-wood/druid.png~RC(magenta>red)
and the druid in the icon will be coloured red to match Romethria.

By the way, the Sidhe appear to be from the Imperial Era, produced by the Orbivm Project. It might be nice to give them a mention in the credits.

Good luck with the new scenario.

Baryon
Posts: 14
Joined: March 12th, 2014, 1:10 pm

Re: A Walk In The Woods [Feedback and development]

Post by Baryon » February 20th, 2015, 12:15 pm

Thanks very much again. We've addressed those things and also finished the new scenario 4. It's on the add-on server now!

benjam
Posts: 11
Joined: August 1st, 2015, 5:53 pm

Re: A Walk In The Woods [Feedback and development]

Post by benjam » September 12th, 2015, 9:27 pm

Hello Baryon and madformadrigals,

Thank you very much for creating this campaign. The story caught my attention while browsing the contents of the add-on server.

1. Are the objectives clear?
Yes, always

2. How difficult did you find it? Which difficulty level should it be classed as?
After finishing the campaign, I peeked at the replays provided above. I think now that I increased the difficulty by using
few windlashers and rather a conventional army :(

3. Currently there are no difficulty settings. Should there be?
In case you plan a follow up to this campaign, you could possibly skip this step here and just introduce it in the second
part imho

4. Which strategies did you adopt?
Scenario 1: Survive
Scenario 2: Simultaneous attack over both bridges
Scenario 3: Taking out both supporting leaders first, then enter fortress through the entrance that suited my forces better (north is guarded by
lvl2 archers, south is guarded by lvl2 grunts). I liked that part a lot.
Scenario 4: Advancing with main forces, keeping a minimal rearguard to keep orcs from reaching the former dwarvish checkpoint. After arriving
at the scene of the civil war, staying out of the battle and taking cheap shots looked like the only way to beat this scenario given the nature of my
army.

5. Would you be interested in a continuation? (There are several ways it could potentially continue.)
Yes

Further points:

- In scenario 4 I found it quite odd that an elf would use the expression "we are not out of the woods yet" synonym for still being in danger,
given that they love forests

- The the-end-screen after finishing the last scenario is a hard ending

Thank you for this nice campaign ^^
Attachments
WITW-The_Escape_replay.gz
(64.41 KiB) Downloaded 114 times
WITW-The_Rescue_replay.gz
(42.82 KiB) Downloaded 124 times
WITW-Infiltration_replay.gz
(27.21 KiB) Downloaded 121 times
WITW-Shooting_Practice_replay.gz
(13.2 KiB) Downloaded 120 times

gloccusv
Posts: 33
Joined: September 6th, 2013, 5:25 am

Re: A Walk In The Woods [Feedback and development]

Post by gloccusv » October 11th, 2015, 3:46 am

I'm sorry I haven't commented on the fourth scenario before now. I must have missed the announcement you made in February as I didn't notice until last week that you had released the update. Anyway, I have replayed the campaign from the beginning and I am afraid that I have noticed a few problems.
Spoiler:
I'm sorry if this seems like a post full of criticism rather than praise. I really do like the campaign and think it offers some interesting tactical challenges. I'm looking forward to playing it again and trying different strategies.
Attachments
WITW-The_Escape_replay.gz
An easy way to beat scenario 4
(31.47 KiB) Downloaded 128 times
Author of SP campaigns An Undead Incursion, A Beastly Tale and A Northern Village
and Asymmetric Widescreen theme for 1.12 & 1.14.

Baryon
Posts: 14
Joined: March 12th, 2014, 1:10 pm

Re: A Walk In The Woods [Feedback and development]

Post by Baryon » January 2nd, 2016, 4:57 pm

Hello,
sorry it's taken so long to reply. Thanks so much for the feedback! We haven't had much chance to work on it but I have just uploaded a new version which makes the following changes:
  • Explicit gold carryover and last-scenario info in the objectives
  • Should no longer be possible to skip the civil war in the last scenario
  • Dialogue changes and bugfixes as suggested
Thanks again.

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Sadaharu
Posts: 149
Joined: December 13th, 2017, 11:39 pm

Re: A Walk In The Woods [Feedback and development]

Post by Sadaharu » January 1st, 2018, 1:07 am

1. Are the objectives clear?
Yes.
2. How difficult did you find it? Which difficulty level should it be classed as?
Not very difficult. The Elf Raindancers and their upgrades are too powerful for this campaign. Perhaps they could be limited, or used only for the hero Inanthros?
3. Currently there are no difficulty settings. Should there be?
Maybe. As I say above, there should be a restriction on the Raindancers, and maybe also on the number of healers.
4. Which strategies did you adopt?
Always, wait for the enemy to come to you. There's always a place where they'll be weak. You can use the edge of a forest for cover, and the dwarves in the last scenario can easily be lured into the river (those that are not destroying each other, that is) and slaughtered at leisure.
5. Would you be interested in a continuation? (There are several ways it could potentially continue.)
Yes!

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