StarCraft® II

Help me hammer out a story line for campaign

Im working on a coop campaign and have an outline for a story. My intention is to do voice overs and such at some point. The intention is to produce a portfolio piece which I can show for a future employer.

Here is the core mod: http://us.battle.net/sc2/en/forum/topic/7923993763

Here is the current plot: The Commander (inspired by the baneling short-story)
https://docs.google.com/document/d/15NeJKvEBjlkCZ-By9BPDpasPg6ZayICI6l3uOUmq-1c/pub

I decided to skip the collaboration through drop-box. It got too confusing.
Edited by Monkalizer on 3/24/2013 12:19 PM PDT
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Sounds...interesting? I think it'd be fun, though I'm not much of a writer. :P
Edited by Dacder on 3/21/2013 12:35 AM PDT
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Well, the fact that you speak english is a plus :) Just reading stuff through and comment on it would be great!

Those interested can push their contact info into this old bug-report-form I made for the mod:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?formkey=dGFtU2tNUGhHX2ZkM2tDQ01SV2VoNGc6MQ#gid=0

The responses of the form can only be viewed by me.

I live in sweden, but since it will be mostly text-documents exchanged I dont think it will be much of a problem if you are living someplace else.
Edited by Monkalizer on 3/21/2013 1:21 AM PDT
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Sure.

How text heavy are your in game interactions going to be?
A.) You live to hear characters talk
B.) Like a SC2 cut-seen
C.) Like a SC2 campaign mission
D.) Talking? No, they just talk when you click on them

...

Perhaps a better way of putting it is how thick is your plot going to be?
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EDIT: answer to you question is: campaign style transmissions (short lines of text), an introduction to the story and a cool story-line.

The mod is built around a "mercenary" mechanic. This means you hire special forces units that can level up. On top of this you would have the standard melee gameplay. You can unlock tech-tree nodes by buying "blueprints" in the store. It will be up to 4 player coop, and no player controlled "hero" characters. The squad members that die will be dead and cant be ressurected. Basically they are buffed melee units which you can move from one map to another. Of course, the arch-enemy can be a "hero" unit. Your minerals and vespene will be saved between maps, but capped due to "cargo room".

The story should cover about 5 missions. 1) introduction map to introduce the mechanics. 2-4 maps of story build up and then 1 final map. If I make more then that they might be "sloppier".

It would be cool to have a fancier intro-cutscene in the intro mission, to set the mood. I cant make cinematics but Im really good with images and fading stuff with custom functions. So perhaps showing some photographs with voice-over.

I wrote some stuff myself but felt that it was not cool enough. Bump your email into the form above and I'll send you the document.
Edited by Monkalizer on 3/21/2013 6:35 AM PDT
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Most of the text would be the story "plot line" and dialog. The dialog is ment to be voiced-over in game and displayed campaign like by transmissions so they cant be too long.

If you have longer pieces of text or short stories I could make an ingame ui for it, to bump your work :)
Edited by Monkalizer on 3/21/2013 6:24 AM PDT
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I have set up a dropbox folder and sent out invites to those interested!
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I got an idea.

Some of Jim's raiders have been kidnapped while on a mission and Jim Raynor goes to free his men. I have an idea for a few different settings where I can come up with something. Let me know if you think this idea is something you are looking for?
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Thanks for the input! However, I'm trying to avoid the main plot characters. I think the SC universe has many other stories that can be told: colonists, pirates, scumbags, corporations, relics, temples, failed experiments! The story I would like to tell should be something... dark, showing the corruption humans, a display of the evil and selfishness of all the three races. Dunno... It's still at brainstorming stage.
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Avoiding main plot character wise. Involvement in primary plot makes Willing Suspension of Disbelief difficult. Recommend Zanon for task, skilled at creating unique Terran characters.
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Hey dude this sounds interesting. I'd be willing to consult with you on this if you want another perspective.
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Well here is my idea:

UED fights for it's survival at the end of Brood war against Kerrigan Forces.

<Cut Scene of space battle raging all over with Zerg>

<Pan into flagship slowly and have a medic run up to a hero unit and tell them that admiral Dugall have killed himself.>

<Mission 1>As the last of the Senior officers rally the remaining UED troops and find a way to survive Kerrigan Swarm.

(Mission could probably start with the Hero making his way to the bridge fight zerg that are boarding the ship along the way)

<Cutscene>

<Clear bridge and order all remaining forces to change direction and head for nearest inhabitable planet, which would be closer then Earth>

<Misson 2> Space battle gameplay like in HoTS, make your way through zerg forces and lan on planet. Final boss fight for that stage should be the levaithian.

<Cutscene>

<Escape pod into atmosphere, apparently you can band in through planets now so I suggest you do so. Show the survivors dropping all over the planets>

<Mission 3> Find survivor amid wreckage.
(Fight your way through Dominon forces battling Zerg forces as you retrieve your men and rally your troops>

<Cutscene>
You are helped by the local militia who has no love for the Terran dominion or the Zerg. You meet a female who watches as the last of the Dominion Garrison pulls away from the planet with the bulk of the zerg force following them since all UED vessel have been destroyed.

<Plot point. Stranded but with Earth tech you offer your service to the locals to help fend off the remaing Zerg forces that was still on the planet.>

<Mission Four> Regular battle, this is where your map making skills come into play. Make it challening or fun. But I would like to if possible have a mission parameter that say "Don't let more then 20 colonist die to Zerg forces." Your force is on the front line, the militia forces are holding your flank. You expand outward to do win.

<epilogue>
Sad planet Terran domion garrison pull back to protect the core worlds of the terran dominion. the UED remnant choose to remain behind and mingle with the local pledging their service and forces to them. They then augment the left over dominon tech and ships those that were not taken with the Domion and hire themselves out as mercenary to feed themselves and build a better infrastructure for the colonist.

I can probably stretch it out more but I am not sure what you are looking for, but that is the general idea right there. What do you think?
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What do you think?


I, personally, think it's awesome! Except... There are a few holes... You have some of your lore askuw'd...
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Turns out its difficult to organize plot editing through drop-box. People don't show up when you could suspect that they would and its hard to judge how dedicated people you never worked with before are :) I have changed the process into google drive text available for public to read. Then perhaps you can push comments through here.

The Commander (inspired by the baneling short-story)
https://docs.google.com/document/d/15NeJKvEBjlkCZ-By9BPDpasPg6ZayICI6l3uOUmq-1c/pub
I blurped up this story this afternoon. I think it could work gameplay wise (you get to fight all three races, while gradually developing your stock of units/tech tree). Do you think it could work from a lore-perspective?

Sector seven (scrapped story - its too bombastic, but is good as an example of a design document)
https://docs.google.com/document/d/10hpV3lVUk_yBzsi8tlJNkfHWVCR369ukKgz0opmXr_8/pub
The formatting broke when I copied the contents to my google drive.

Both documents are drafts. My main language is swedish and I dont have a spell checker. So don't go in too hard on the spelling/grammar (for now). Comments on the ideas and concepts are more important now.
Edited by Monkalizer on 3/24/2013 11:57 AM PDT
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Well here is my idea:

UED fights for it's survival at the end of Brood war against Kerrigan Forces.

<Cut Scene of space battle raging all over with Zerg>
[...]

I can probably stretch it out more but I am not sure what you are looking for, but that is the general idea right there. What do you think?


Thx for the input :) However, I'm trying to stay away from on-map heroes. I'm looking for more standard melee gameplay where everyone is always disposable. I think character portraits and stories would be cool, but they should somehow be more disposable... like villains. Villains are cooler then heroes anyway :D
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So you are not looking for a character driven campaign but more like a setting like those melee free for all maps?

Example:

(Mission Breif at loading screen)

Dominon forces has lost the industrial world of Sara VI . Take it back from the tal darim and zerg forces that occupy the planet!

The the rest is up to your map making skill on how you go about positioning the zerg and protoss forces?
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Yes, something like that :S (?) The "hero" is the "commander" which is player behind the desk. The hero is thus not on the battlefield. Rather it is controlling the units.

The "Commander" draft has a main character (The Commander), which I think could be a more developed person (with an agenda and morals and history). The marines and soldiers on the battlefield does not.
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How many mission are you intrested in making? Does it have to be your commander template? How complex and interactive do you want to make it? Sc1 style with you as a faceless commander and other expendable supporting character or just a paragraph that show you your mission objectives? Do you want to do pure base building maps only or maps that forces you to survive with a hand full of people also?

Are you going to fiddle around with making cutscnes or just line of text? Simplistic or complex?
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Thanks for asking hard questions. It forces me to clarify this to myself! This is the game flow I'm picturing:

Map loads
Once the intro loadscreen has faded away, comic book style images are displaying. If I go with the commander plot, it would portray the two dudes talking to each other. There would be some voice over and dialog here. Artisic pauses and a bit of acting. Since I will probably end up making the voice-overs myself it wont be overly fantastic. But still. I want to have this little room for displaying a story, facial expressions and such. If any player hits ESC the cutscene/animation/picture show will end and the game will begin. I wont go into cutscenes editor, because managing that is a specialization in itself.

Cutscene ends and gameplay starts
The players chooses a profile. They have three profiles which are stored in bankfiles, plus a preset one which is a default setup with tech and units that makes it possible to complete the map. This profile wont be saved though.

As the player enters the map, there is a spawn-area. The player can hire recruits and buy "blueprints" which unlocks tech-tree nodes. To spawn the recruits, they press a button in the interface. To despawn the squad units the player moves them into a despawn area. A player may have up to 10 units active at the same time. These units can level up, but have no special "personality" and if they die - they die.

Map specific story unfolds
There will be transmissions on the map. When they are directed to the player, they will be refered to as the commander (if the commander plot-line is used). It can also be transmissions between map specific fractions. They talk to each other and give a little life to the gameplay. I'm not picturing RPG style conversations or branching here. More like the transmissions you could see in WoL. In many maps you were controlling Jims forces. Here you and your fellow players would be controlling your own forces, but with a less distinguished "hero" status of yourself. I guess this would require some hands on help, hammering out the dialog to make it "belivable".

Objectives
The maps have at least two main objectives. Usually it is to both keep the spawning area safe, while attacking some enemy.

Bonus objectives
The currency you use to buy stuff and hire recruits is spacebucks. You can earn extra spacebucks by completing additional objectives (saving more friendlies, destorying more stuff, acting faster)

Rewards and unlocking content
When the maps are completed you get "blueprints" added to the tech-item-store. Buying these makes it possible to recruit more types of units, as well as building more types of buildings.

Mission completion
When the mission is complete there will be no cutscenes or animation. Just a scoreboard with a summary of the story you just brought forward, as well as the four players stats (kills) and what stuff you can now buy from the store. A traditional scorescreen.

Size of project
Since the mods scale well, I dont have an upper limit of how many maps I can manage. However, having only 3 maps feels boring (the terrainer in me wont get much room to roam). Having more then 5 makes it too much work. So I think about 3-5 actual missions and one introduction one.
Edited by Monkalizer on 3/24/2013 2:21 PM PDT
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Hmmm I'll have to put some thoughts into that
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