Outpost Universe Forums

Projects & Development => Outpost 2 Add On Missions => Topic started by: Crow! on April 15, 2019, 12:53:06 PM

Title: Ohana (progress: test release done!)
Post by: Crow! on April 15, 2019, 12:53:06 PM
While thinking about what sorts of maps I needed for my ideas for the Phase Shift mod to play out the way I had in mind, I realized that no current maps really fit the bill.  Because I am forcing the player to expand to new mines throughout the entire game, there has to be available to each player a roughly symmetric supply of many reasonably defendable mining positions.  Most OP2 maps, however, are anything but symmetric, and very few have well defined base positions beyond the player's start position.

Some other RTSes do have exactly this problem, so I turned to one I played a lot in the past, Starcraft 2, for ideas.  The following map is based loosely on Ohana, a 2 player map from that game.  The first image is a 128x128 mockup of about what I wanted to put into the map, and the next image is what I've achieved so far.  In the mockup, brown squares are common metal mines and orange ones are rare; the size of the square is the number of bars of the mine.

One thing that bothers me is actually the empty areas - although I certainly plan to put in mud cracks and sand rocks and stuff, the actually empty space is kind of obvious that it's the same 4x4 block repeated many times.  I'm sure other mappers have dealt with this, so I'll ask - what's a good way to handle empty spaces?

I'm also a bit worried about how the rotationally symmetric lower half of the map will work out, because the OP2 tileset doesn't seem well suited to supporting that kind of thing.  In particular, I'm worried about any asymmetry in how microwave and railgun line of fire interacts with 1 tile of cliff versus 2 tiles of cliff.  Does anyone know more about how that works?  I was always confused in the campaign by where I was and was not able to fire at a high ground guard post.
Title: Re: Ohana (progress: about 20% done)
Post by: Vagabond on April 15, 2019, 07:57:37 PM
You may experience substandard pathfinding with such a small opening to a protected area like that. Outpost 2 doesn't have a robust pathfinder built in.

As for the pattern in the dirt, try placing the 3x3 or 4x4 squares more randomly. By overlapping them a fair amount as you go, the pattern will appear a lot more natural. There are more than one choice for dirt patterns. Try adding a couple of the second pattern on top of the first pattern which should add some more variety.

The problem with very symmetrical maps is that they do not look like realistic alien landscapes. (Well as much as 1000 sprite tiles allow). I don't have any issue with them looking artificial, but the wells (tilesets) were definitely designed to look organic over providing nice, balanced multiplayer maps.

In addition to the rocks, and cracks, you can add some of the vegetation tiles and maybe a couple of small mesas with the cliff tiles in the middle. There are also some decent sized debris tiles that can take up some space.

Hope the ramblings help.
Title: Re: Ohana (progress: about 40% done)
Post by: Crow! on April 15, 2019, 10:43:44 PM
I've experienced bad pathing with the Plymouth Starship II map, which has similar base design.  But unfortunately, I don't think there's a lot I can do about it while keeping the concept of a tiered base.  I may include a Robo as part of the map's default buildings to lessen the problem, but I know from experience that will tend to get units past one major obstacle but not two.

Here's an update on map progress.  The map itself is basically 50% made now, then I'll have to place beacons and buildings and such.  I did some of the more random patching of the mud and sand bases, and I put in some doodads to make some of the areas less empty.
Title: Re: Ohana (progress: about 40% done)
Post by: Crow! on April 16, 2019, 03:28:40 PM
I have added units for both bases, and am starting to connect the terrain from the SE to the rest seen in the previous post.

Buildings, Vehicles, and Tech at start will be as in the following lists.  Notice the RCC (I've tested it, and units are smart enough to get out of the bases in a sensible way when it is active, but not when it is not.)

Notice also the jump start to military technology for both sides when High resources are selected.  This is the result of my thinking over my conversation with SirBomber over the weekend regarding Phase Shift's early game - I concluded that the quantity of resources and population each player has at the start of a High resources game is just not appropriate for a colony that is not ready to even produce vehicles yet.  If you want to have more control over the colony's early game development, play the game with lower starting resources so the colony is actually IN an earlier stage of development.

Low Resources:

Medium Resources Additions:

High Resources Additions:
Title: Re: Ohana (progress: about 70% done)
Post by: Crow! on April 17, 2019, 10:57:46 PM
Here's an image of the most current progress.  I appear to have accidentally built the SE base outward about 4 tiles too far, and it's been causing a few problems getting the map elements to line up.  I'll probably have to just move the whole thing back, which will also require moving the units as well.
Title: Re: Ohana (progress: about 70% done)
Post by: Hooman on April 17, 2019, 11:49:14 PM
That looks like it's shaping up nicely. :)
Title: Re: Ohana (progress: test release done!)
Post by: Crow! on April 18, 2019, 07:38:49 PM
Attached to this post is my first release of the Ohana map.  I won't be available to play it this weekend, since I'm travelling to visit family for Easter.

In the ZIP are two versions of the mission for the map: mf2_oha.dll is the one for Phase Shift, while mf2_ohv.dll is for the vanilla release of Outpost 2.  It is my hope that I'll find a way to let the .dll itself identify whether the mod is active or not, so that it doesn't need to have two versions.  I should probably reduce the number of mining beacons for the vanilla game, too, but I can worry about that later.

I'm putting this down as a "test release" and labeling the ZIP as v0.1 for a reason - let me know any glitches you find, or any design problems you think could be improved.  I'm particularly interested to hear any problems caused by the slight asymmetry of the map (most of which are directly or indirectly caused by north side cliffs being thinner than south side ones.)
Title: Re: Ohana (progress: test release done!)
Post by: Sirbomber on April 18, 2019, 08:40:33 PM
It is my hope that I'll find a way to let the .dll itself identify whether the mod is active or not, so that it doesn't need to have two versions.
You removed a few techs, right?  Add them back as free technologies with no description or prerequisites.  If the players already have those techs at tick 0, it's Phase Shift (or someone really went out of their way to mess with this one specific map); otherwise assume vanilla OP2.
Title: Re: Ohana (progress: test release done!)
Post by: Crow! on April 18, 2019, 10:48:25 PM
I tried testing for that during mission initialization, but it didn't work.  I could just schedule a check a check at the earliest triggerable tick, but it soulds like there's going to be some dev work to check for this directly, so I may as well just plan to use that at this point.