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[Campaign] The Dark Below

Discussion in 'Map Development' started by Zenonoth, Aug 10, 2018.

?

What needs to be improved in this campaign?

  1. The Story

    16 vote(s)
    48.5%
  2. The Terrain

    3 vote(s)
    9.1%
  3. The Spells

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  4. The Items

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  5. The Gameplay

    8 vote(s)
    24.2%
  6. Something else..

    4 vote(s)
    12.1%
  7. This campaign is bad, call it off!

    2 vote(s)
    6.1%
  1. Zenonoth

    Zenonoth

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    Zenonoth, Quinten, Unregret Presents..

    The Dark Below

    [​IMG]
    "With the destruction of the Well of Eternity and the events that followed such as the great sundering, Queen Azshara has struck a bargain with the old god, N'Zoth to save her people from plunging into the depths of the sea at the cost of her people becoming the terrifying Naga, Azshara and her minions strive to find a place amidst the world now that they've forged new allies!"

    Story

    [​IMG]
    The Story of the campaign is centered around the empress of Nazjatar, Azshara and her plot to restore glory to her beloved subjects after failing the legion during the War of the Ancients, Azshara has forged new alliances with N'Zoth and the Old God's Minions and now they seek to bring forth destruction upon Azeroth.

    Features

    [​IMG]
    - Voice Acting
    - Many planned missions
    - 7 New Races (Forsaken, Goblin, Draenei, Burning Legion, Lost One Draenei, Corrupted Ancients, Blood Elves)
    - 2 Modified Races (Fel Orc, Naga)
    - Achievements
    - Professions
    - Legendary Items
    - Unlockable Cheats
    - Bonus Levels (Unlockables)


    Videos

    [​IMG]
    Prologue




    Testing Videos





    Screenshots

    [​IMG]
    View

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    Techtree

    [​IMG]
    Naga Techtree

    [​IMG]


    Changelog

    [​IMG]
    View

    Coming soon..


    Updates

    [​IMG]
    View

    Coming soon..


    Credits

    [​IMG]
    View

    Coming soon..


    Playable Characters (So Far)

    [​IMG]
    View

    Coming soon..


    Progress

    [​IMG]
    - PROLOGUE: THE PACT (70%)

    Complaints / To-Do List

    [​IMG]
    View

    Coming soon..


    Recruitment

    [​IMG]
    - Need nitpicking BETA Testers
    - Any other contributors are welcome.


     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Sep 7, 2018
  2. Zenonoth

    Zenonoth

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    Last edited: Aug 30, 2018
  3. cleavinghammer

    cleavinghammer

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    Is the story based on one of the books?
     
  4. Zenonoth

    Zenonoth

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    The story is still under heavy development, we're currently debating on whether it should be warcraft-lore or custom lore based to draw more players, what of your opinions @cleavinghammer ?
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2018
  5. xISLx

    xISLx

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    The first thing I'd like to point out is the voice acting. It got me really impressed from the very beginning! and I'm also flattered by the thought that I make the same voice as your N'zoth ;D

    Another very important thing is the music. The choice of it and how it changes during the prologue really contributes to the first impressions. :)

    However, there's something that screwed the whole sound part of the cinematic for me, which are the combat sounds. After the scene where dark elves fight the demons, all of those units should be either paused or removed, so the sounds of them smacking each other wouldn't continue till the end of the cinematic.

    Judging by how much attention I payed to the sound effects, you can tell that the visual part didn't impress me that much. The landscape and scenery were decent, and they shouldn't necessarily be outstanding; The models and skins were all shiny and quite fancy; The night elf warriors were just spellbreakers with a different model, meaning that they shot their weird shurikens from their melee weapons.

    The scene where nagas where coming out of the sea - a really minor detail, but they should really be spawned already facing their destination instead of the default 270 degrees. Also during that scene, you can see the white emptiness outside the map.

    That's all for the prologue cinematic, for now.
    I'd be really happy to write something about the first mission, but you didn't seem to complete it before you've started this thread, which is sad.

    Anyway, continue what you do because what you do is well done :D
    Wish you good luck :)
     
  6. cleavinghammer

    cleavinghammer

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    My knowledge of Warcraft lore is limited to the manual and the lore-following campaigns on Hive, so I figure you can broadly follow the lore while adding your own details (minor characters, sidequests, events...).
     
  7. MasterBlaster

    MasterBlaster

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    With all due respect... You have a couple of unfinished projects and yet you continue to start/announce more.

    Wouldn't it be better if you just focused your efforts on one of the already existing projects and, you know, actually finish it?
     
  8. Mechanical Man

    Mechanical Man

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    If you are using existing warcraft characters, then it should be warcraft-lore (including wow), if it's new characters then it can be more custom.

    Which is the main playable race?
     
  9. Zenonoth

    Zenonoth

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    Sure.

    Most of my campaigns were made before patch 1.29 with it's coming, most of them have beenruined and are beyond fixing so I thought of this is to be my ultimate one.

    The Naga are the main playable race, what of your opinions on the story?
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2018
  10. don_svetlio

    don_svetlio

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    So I watched the Prologue and.... yeah, I'm not impressed. Here's why.

    Firstly, the story is picked up from nowhere and is told through the perspective of someone who has intimate knowledge of the books and games. Anyone who hasn't bothered to research prior to starting it will be utterly lost. A campaign should NEVER require the player to spend time on the wiki for them to understand anything. I think Destiny taught us that valuable lesson long ago.

    Secondly, the audio is broken or bugged - take your pick. Once you fade away from the battle, the attack sounds just keep playing. I'm not sure if that's cause you've not removed the units or because you used sound triggers(???) for it. In any case, it breaks immersion and becomes annoying.

    Thirdly, once you have the Naga transformation scene, it's extremely clunky and looks terrible - no effect, no fade-out, just remove and create unit triggers - it's lazy and looks terrible for anyone who has played any game made after 2001.

    Fourth, the scene of the Naga coming out of the ocean is just bad - for one, you can see the end of the map and the sky box just cuts in from nowhere. NEVER do that or you will be laughed at by anyone who has basic game design know-how. Also, the units should be coming in from off-screen, not spawning in front of the player/viewer - that's breaking immersion (again)

    Fifth, the art design is just all over the place - WoW rips and models from 2002? Choose an aesthetic or style and follow it. Mixing and matching makes everything look poor and amateurish. This is game/mod design 101 here. I haven't gotten to any advanced stuff yet....

    The presence of VO is cool and all but telling the story to a player while looking at poorly scripted artistically-inconsistent set-pieces or a black screen is hardly deserving of more than a 2/10 in my book. Either go back and put effort into your work or can this and finish one of your other (I lost track how many) unfinished projects. 1.29 did not break anything beyond salvage - it just takes work and effort to fix the problems.
     
  11. Mechanical Man

    Mechanical Man

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    It is assumed that a lot of people here know warcraft lore, so it wouldn't be a problem for them. Or just write a bit more about the background

    That can be done just by pausing or removing the units after the fade.

    Actually there is an effect and sound, but still can't figure out are they underwater and if so, how they survive as ordinary elves. And transformation was definitely not instantaneous. There are underwater effects in resource section I believe.

    Move the camera more to the left. Myrmidons should be spawned as submerged, use the inversed submerged ability to rise from the waters and then move to the land. Now there is a fraction of second seeing them as land unit instead of swimming.

    Which wow rips? For some cinematic only characters can be fine, although pay attention to body proportions so they are not too different.


    My take on voice overs is that heroes that speak in cinematic should have the same voice actor making a sound set for that hero unit, so it doesn't feel it's another character.
     
  12. don_svetlio

    don_svetlio

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    Yes, the fix is easy - but the fact that it was released without any of them is telling. It means the work is lazy
     
  13. MasterBlaster

    MasterBlaster

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    Oh, so this means that all your other projects, bar maybe Battle for Azeroth, are cancelled?

    At any rate, I've actually watched the prologue.

    1) Terrain is fine, but I've seen much better in some of your other maps.

    2) You should really spend some time polishing the written lines before you publish something. Things like ".." are really annoying - either use "..." or a regular dot. Also, there's quite a lot of instances where you forget to use capital letters, for instance "N'zoth the corruptor".

    3) Queen Azshara sounds as if she was depressed. Now, I'm not bashing the voice actress/actor - I'm just saying that in the lore she was always this self-confident, narcisstic queen with a little bit of a playful side to her (see her encounter with Farondis is WoW:Legion) and in your version she doesn't sound like that at all.

    4) As for the story...

    a) Zin-Azshari was a city - so how could the battle that took place there "rage across the whole continent"?!
    b) While I understood the story, I agree with @don_svetlio that you should have set up the War of the Ancients more to provide sufficient context.
    c) Meanwhile, while I know my lore, I have no idea what the scene with Mannoroth was supposed to mean?
    d) The general flow of the story in the prologue is all over the place. I get the impression you tried to put too many things in too little time. For instance, I think that both the Mannoroth's and Malfurion's scenes are completely unnecessary and that having more Azshara scenes instead would be more beneficial to the story.

    5) And as mentioned by @don_svetlio the cinematic itself lacks polish and feels amateur-ish. Things like being able to see the edge of the map or units spawning out of nowhere on screen are definetely something that should not happen.
     
  14. don_svetlio

    don_svetlio

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    @MasterBlaster actually reminds me of something I forgot to add

    Always assume the player knows nothing when telling a longer story than 1-2 missions. Story-boarding rule #1 - the player/viewer/reader only knows what you tell them - not what's in your head or what's written on the box. Make it logical. Make it consistent and make the flow gradual. Never do massive information dumps and showing is always better than telling. If you can show a flyover of a massive battle scene - do that. Don't tell the player about it while they are looking at a black screen with the same 3 sounds repeating in the background.

    As for character writing - that's a different story but I do agree with @MasterBlaster again - try to keep it consistent with established lore if you are following it or just make your own universe. Don't try to make "fan-made" re-imaginations of existing lore - that fails in 9/10 cases with rare exceptions.

    Honestly, Pr0nogo's theory is pretty evident with your works - feature bleed-in is quite obvious. That's why you need to have a solid plan and outline for what you are going otherwise you end up with an experience/product that's all over the spectrum on every front.

    EDIT: Take this advice from someone who has suffered the same problems and learned from his experience of cancelling projects due to the absurd amount of features that I've tried to cram in and failed. Keeping things realistic for your goals is important if you want to have a solid experience for the player.
     
  15. ShadowFox555

    ShadowFox555

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    I don't wanna be mean, but didn't you have a unfinished campaign? Are you going to work on it or?
     
  16. Mechanical Man

    Mechanical Man

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    Not exactly lazy, you may see those issues in other works too so you become used to and don't even pay attention or just being focused on some other things and you can easily miss certain things which for other people is more important. This is why I usually get more different tester so everyone can say a different things, as different eyes see different things. For example, I never thought that not pinging the objective would be an issue.
     
  17. don_svetlio

    don_svetlio

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    Normally I'd agree but this is not some obscure bug or glitch - this is a giant oversight staring you in the face and screaming at you - watching the prologue once is enough to spot those and correct them. It's not something that should be passed up since it's easy to fix and just serves to show that the author has not really done much in the way of testing and that ruins first impressions.
     
  18. Warzkins

    Warzkins

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    I agree in 100 %.
     
  19. Zenonoth

    Zenonoth

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    Thanks for the nitpicking feedback @don_svetlio I direly need it to improve.

    In next update I'll feature first mission.
    Also these fixes will be applied for the prologue.
    - Mannoroth's explosion now has a sound.
    - You will no longer hear fighting after the cinematic fades

    - Fixed N'Zoth's camera angle
    - The Highborne drowned in the seafloor will now appear dead
    - Fixed the Naga spawn camera angle.
    - They now appear submerging forward as @Mechanical Man suggested.


    Will add all who help me in the campaign's credit list.
     
  20. don_svetlio

    don_svetlio

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    That's good to hear - I hope you understand that a first impression is usually what makes or breaks a mod since people have limited time and hence they don't tend to play things that don't grab them so a strong opener is vital for any lengthy project.