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Stalkz

Tiberian Dawn - Unstable Sands (GDI)

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(Totally going to steal a submission format for this)

 

Unstable Sands

62X62, Desert theater

GDI mission.

 

Mission Description

-------------------

Destruction of a Brotherhood mining base in this sector would severely hinder their unit production capabilities. You are being sent in with a small force to destroy their power and tiberium mining assets. There is a heavy SAM-Site presence that would allow for air support if it was taken out of the picture. The area is split between a large river so you have been given two teams to secure each side. It is recommended that the power plants be destroyed first before an assault on the mining base in order to take their obelisks offline.

 

This being my first map I am aware there are a thousand and one flaws with the map's creation and flavours that people might not like the taste of. Critical feedback for this map is fully appreciated as I would like to move this as close to perfect as I can. Experienced mappers' advice will also be taken on board. I am also aware the difficulty might not be up to scratch as (being not one of the greatest C&C players in the world) what I find hard might be a cakewalk for others.

 

And of course: Pictures.

 

TEecqcG.png

Poor Civilians...

 

xm72UaW.png

Take that  K a n e.

 

WVFkmhw.png

Nod Navy, what is this?

 

Enjoy and feel free to rip it and my heart apart if you can give some advice on what could be improved. Thanks.

Sz-UnstableSands.zip

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Gave it a quick go and died... gonna try it again a little later.  I guess I'd underestimated the challenge.  This map has a LOT of potential, though!  First of all, I'd like to commend you for making a beautiful map with a coherent landscape.  I probably sound like a broken record, but I can't stress enough how important that is.  If someone didn't take the time to make their cliffs/shores/whatever look right, I usually lose interest in playing the map so good job!  However, I had  a look at the .ini and saw some errors.

 

first of all, triggers should be no more than 4 characters long.  A minor issue here; I think they should still work because the trigger names are so different, but I'd still change it to avoid any unforeseen issues.

 

the lose trigger is: lose=all destr.,cap=win/des=lose,0,goodguy,None,0

it should be: lose=all destr.,lose,0,goodguy,None,0

 

cap=win/des=lose is used in nod mission 12 (and 2 among others I think)  where a critical structure must be captured carefully.  plain old 'lose' is all you need.

 

another trigger is : mtkr=destroyed,reinforce.,0,none,mtks,1

unfortunately there is no teamtype 'mtks'  so nothing happens when this trigger is activated

 

also: rein=destroyed,reinforce.,0,none,top,1

again, there is no teamtype 'top'

 

also: start=time,reinforce.,0,none,start,0  (I think this doesn't work because the owner should be 'badguy')  Also, make a row of ridges just outside the border of the map with a little gap in it, otherwise the reinforcements will spawn at random places on the south edge of the map.  I'm not sure, either if you can have teams of mixed units reinforced at the same time, but I'd have to test that.

 

I don't know if it's intentional or not, but in teamtype:

topattack=badguy,0,0,0,0,0,7,0,0,0,1,ltnk:1,0,0,0  the tank is given no instructions, i.e. move, attack units, etc. so it's just gonna sit there.

 

also in teamtype:

start=badguy,0,0,0,0,0,7,0,0,0,2,ltnk:1,e1:3,3,move:1,move:2,attack units:3,0,0  in the attack units instruction, the '3' signifies how many time units the team will attack, not the waypoint at which it will attack.

 

another problem with 'attack units' is they will try to attack the northernmost enemies, unfortunately the ones they can't reach on the other side of the river.  (an unfortunate fact of life in Tiberian Dawn)

 

I'd probably go with  move:1,move:2,move:3,move:2,loop:0 so they would just patrol through those waypoints and attack you when they come in range (depending on the u1#)

 

I'd put a lot of those infantry already on the map on 'area guard' instead of 'guard'.  Units set to 'area guard' are more aggressive and wont get recruited into teams either.

 

I know that's an earful and a lot of things are broken atm, but I still enjoyed it even though I died.  Now I'm determined to finish it...

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oh yeah I also just noticed there's no production trigger, either.  The cpu won't build any new units (or rebuild destroyed structures) unless there is a production trigger activated.  I'd probably go with:

 

[Trigger]

Prod=time,production,0,BadGuy,none,0

at 0 time units (right at the start) badguy will start production.  You can adjust the time to suit your tastes.

 

I assume that was not on purpose and I remember the production trigger being the first roadblock I had to overcome to making missions all those years ago.. lol

These criticisms are meant to be as constructive as possible; I wouldn't be as proficient at map making as I am now had I not asked the same questions.  Again I'm determined to beat the mission in its current state, but I can't wait to see it reach it's full potential!  I would say, however, that making a map with the '2 independent forces on each side of the river' theme is a pretty advanced concept for a first map.  A good idea would be to extract 'green acres' or something to make as basic a map as possible to get the computer to do what you want it to.

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Thanks for your comments.

 

What you say about aesthetics means a lot, the appearance of the map is very important to me. I try to make something at least the same quality as the original campaigns although I am also aware of potentially going overboard with terrain doodads and what not (which I have done on occasion). I am also the type of person that will be prevented from enjoying a map if it uses the same ridge tile over and over again with no variation so thank you.

 

Yeah my triggerwork definitely needs some improvement. I have very little idea about how things work and i'm really just picking up what I can from looking at the default campaign missions (and most of it doesn't make sense to me even if it does work - or doesn't).

 

On the Des=Lose\Cap=win trigger i'm really not sure why that is in there. I did understand what it's function was and genuinely meant to just use the 'lose' trigger so that was a mistake on my part.

 

The mtks teamtype was meant to be reinforcements that you receive on the top half of the map after you have taken out the bottom base - this was because initially the bottom base had a large tiberium field with harvesters mining and your units at the top of the map would get messed up by some pretty mad NOD dudes after you blew up their harvester. There used to be a NOD rocket launcher (The V2 like one - I forget the name) that would come out and one shot your commando whilst you weren't looking. I was actually unable to get the reinforcements to work correctly as it would only send 1 mammoth tank and nothing else so I just placed the units there instead and removed the tiberium field in favour of more power plants - something NOD doesn't seem to care as much about. I forgot to remove the reinforcements trigger afterwards so that is on me.

 

The 'Top' reinforcements was actually the same thing but I created the mtks teamtype after so that I could have the mammoth tanks arrive and then the Commando, same story being I couldn't get it to work right so I opted for a simpler solution.

 

I think the 3rd reinforcements for NOD that you mention was my first tangling with reinforcements and I tried to see if I could have a NOD Light Tank enter the map and hunt your starting units at the beginning as a matter of 'testing stuff out'. Again I forgot to remove all of this because i'm sloppy.  :P I'm aware of the ridges on the outside of the map to control where reinforcements arrive and I can see it working but I can't seem to get reinforcements to be consistently what I need - i've also tried hovercraft reinforcements in a different mission which was unsuccessful.

 

The topattack trigger was meant to have a tank engage your units when they stepped within the trigger zone but again, didn't seem to work. What you say about the '3' being how many times they will attack rather than being issued an order to attack the third waypoint makes sense of my other attempts at this kind of thing too.

 

A patrol sounds like a cool thing to test actually, i'll try that. I'll also opt for Area Guard on any units I can.

 

With regards to enemy unit production I wasn't sure whether I should implement this because pitting NOD against your limited forces could up the difficulty considerably - and i'm guessing the 'intensity' of the AI is not too variable. Might require some modification of units placed around the map. I think I made most of the buildings 'not replaceable' as I figured if they casually cranked up another turret after you'd already taken out the previous 4 might just spell ridiculously hard (for myself anyway).

 

I appreciate your criticisms and tbh it was exactly what i'm looking for, and if it helps me take this map from a pretty but dysfunctional mess to an all round 'perfect' map then that will be mission accomplished.

 

Thanks again.

 

 

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Okay, I finally beat it by being very meticulous.  even being 'dysfunctional' as you say, I found it interesting and challenging.  Now after digesting it a little more fully, I don't think this mission needs a production trigger.  (unless you want certain structures rebuilt)  I would create the teams from existing units on the map** and just have them patrolling in loops to avoid the attack units or attack base command just because the river separating all the forces will just lead to enemy units dumbly standing along the riverbank trying to reach your guys on the other side.  Damn you tiberian dawn for always making the cpu attack the northernmost units!!  Same goes for 'all to hunt' triggers with maybe the exception of when the south base is destroyed, cuz then it IS appropriate for all hell to be unleashed on your northern forces.  (might make it a tad too difficult, however.)

 

Now, let me elaborate on why I would not 'build' the units and just recruit them from the field**.  You have 1 hand of Nod on each side of the river.  say you have the cpu build a team of 5 minigunners or whatever.  3 will be built by 1 hand of nod.... and 2 (or 3) will be built by the other.  when they try to meet up, they will be unable to reach each other and again, just dumbly stand along the river bank.  That's part of the reason why I said this is kind of an advanced concept for a first map.  Now that logic is slightly different for weapons factories and even MORE different for airstrips, but I'll save that for another day!

 

Also.... Just for fun I made it so that reinforcement team (the light tank and the minigunners) worked and was dismayed when they just stopped at the first waypoint.  I realized this was because the gunboat was attacking the village.  Whenever a third party is attacked (either by you or the cpu) any team will just stop at their next waypoint and not continue unless their u1# is 20 or higher.  It doesn't seem like this is the case in the stock missions, but I've always intended to really investigate that.  But look at 'eviction notice.'  A lot of stuff is set to 30!  To solve this I would either ally both Nod AND Gdi with the neutral house (although I know you're probably committed to the flamers roasting that village. lol) OR set all teamtype u1 to 20 or higher (which I don't prefer if you make patrolling teams since they won't deviate their course and come after you. iirc, 15 is the best u1# for patrols which will pursue you if you attack them.)

 

So.. In closing I'd say about 1/2 the dysfunction comes from the dysfunction of the game itself.  (don't get me started on how idiotic gunboats behave)  Funny, but it's having to use my brain and overcome these obstacles which keeps me interested in making TD maps instead of moving on to games that are less illogical to script, like RA1.  Of course, I HATE RA1!!

 

** when using units on the map to make teams, keep in mind that the cpu recruits them in the order in which they are listed in the .ini file.  Meaning that if your 1st team created is a patrol of the North side but the first units listed are located in the south-- riverbank dwellers again.  Luckily this is one of the few things XCC doesn't re-order each time you save and stays by the order in which you place them on the map.

 

I hope  this all makes some sort of sense and doesn't just sound like the insane ramblings of a madman.  Although that may very well be 50% true.. lol 

holy crap I use parenthesis too much

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I'd probably go with  move:1,move:2,move:3,move:2,loop:0 so they would just patrol through those waypoints and attack you when they come in range (depending on the u1#)

Loop doesn't cause looping, it prevents it by cutting X actions off the front of the loop. "loop:0" has no effect.

 

If you look at how Westwood made patrols, they make them guard about 5-10 ticks between move commands.

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Loop doesn't cause looping, it prevents it by cutting X actions off the front of the loop. "loop:0" has no effect.

 

If you look at how Westwood made patrols, they make them guard about 5-10 ticks between move commands.

lol, I just KNEW you were gonna call me on that one... I may be ocd in my loop:0, but it doesn't hurt, right?  btw I have found the teams to be less responsive when guarding than when moving. (go figure)  Hell, set them to guard, too... whatever works!

 

hey Nyer, why don't you download the map and try it?

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I'm glad you enjoyed the mission, I realise I might have bitten off more than I can chew with the river separating one team kind of thing but I think it can be made fully functional without employing complex tactics.

 

I agree on the lack of requirement for a production trigger - if I was to add one then i'd need to reconsider unit placements around the map but I think that would take away from the gameplay style aspect of the map as I intended to top half to be very tip-toe like. I do like this patrol idea you mentioned and will have a go at it tonight, further revision of NOD unit placement might be necessary.

 

I'll give it some thought on whether I want NOD to lose their marbles at all on the top half of the map as I didn't like the idea of all the units scarpering from the base leaving an empty shell. They seem to come out gradually by themselves when their structures are attacked anyway.

 

I understand your concerns for having NOD producing units and I don't think it is necessary, perhaps if it was to be implemented I would have it triggered by the loss of obelisks which could only happen if the bottom base and the large power base on the top half of the map had been destroyed. It being different for war factories and airstrips is beyond me though, so much to learn.  :P

 

Unfortunately at the moment I really have no idea of how U#s work and their relation to the way units will interact to different things.

 

At the moment i'm testing the waters and getting used to the way stuff works, i'd like to reach the point where I am a proficient mapper and my end goal is rather ambitiously to make a mini campaign with a back story and whatever else - after which i'll move on to another game and start from the beginning again.

 

As for what you say about CPU recruiting units based on when they were placed, might have to re-place them all to make sure it works just how I want it.

 

Again thanks for your input, its hugely appreciated.

 

 

 

 

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Unfortunately at the moment I really have no idea of how U#s work and their relation to the way units will interact to different things.

What do you mean with "U#s"?

 

another problem with 'attack units' is they will try to attack the northernmost enemies, unfortunately the ones they can't reach on the other side of the river.  (an unfortunate fact of life in Tiberian Dawn)

I don't think that's right, actually. The "Hunt" command has this problem, but "Attack Units" should look for targets around the unit's current position. It is normally used in AI's scripted attacks going towards the enemy base, so it would make no sense for the units to ignore the fact they went to the enemy base and then just go hunting north. It should act more like Area Guard.

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Unfortunately at the moment I really have no idea of how U#s work and their relation to the way units will interact to different things.

What do you mean with "U#s"?

 

'F' as it's listed under teamtypes in the ccmanual.  the number that's usually 7 or 15 in the stock maps.  XCC editor refers to it as 'u1' when creating a team, so I just referred to it as that.  We'll have to coin a term, I suppose.  Maybe team AI IQ variable or something.

 

another problem with 'attack units' is they will try to attack the northernmost enemies, unfortunately the ones they can't reach on the other side of the river.  (an unfortunate fact of life in Tiberian Dawn)

I don't think that's right, actually. The "Hunt" command has this problem, but "Attack Units" should look for targets around the unit's current position. It is normally used in AI's scripted attacks going towards the enemy base, so it would make no sense for the units to ignore the fact they went to the enemy base and then just go hunting north. It should act more like Area Guard.

 

Unfortunately, it is the case.  I try to employ the scientific method as much as possible when testing this stuff.  I noticed the cpu really only responds when you attack them, so I made a test mission where I (gdi) was allied with the cpu (nod) so my units wouldn't attack them.  They, of course, are not allied with me so they go through their waypoints and just start heading away from units right next to them and proceed to the player units at the top of the map.  Oddly enough, while obeying the 'move' command, they WILL fire at nearby structures/units (at least with a u1 of 7 or 15) but once they hit that last waypoint (and 'attack units') they ignore everything and head to the stuff in the NW corner of the map.  We often don't notice this because we usually attack them and they engage us.  (they will stop to fight if you force fire, though.)  I tried 'attack base' as well and the result was the same.  I honestly can't tell a difference between those 2 commands, except for when applied to engineers.  I included my test .ini and .bin (sorry my WinRAR isn't working right now) to illustrate.

scg24ea.ini

scg24ea.bin

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yeah it really amazes me how much stuff seems half-assed and incomplete in this game, but somehow we never notice when playing.  Like would it really have been that hard for them to make 'attack units' like 'area guard' instead?  That would've made a lot more sense.  So when making a mission, I primarily just have the enemy go through a bunch of waypoints where your base is supposed to be and they'll blow it all to hell.  I found that a teamtype with 'guard' before 'attack units/base' will often stop in its tracks if you destroy even 1 unit in the team and just sit there.  I used to have them go into your base and 'guard' so they wouldn't start migrating north, but that causes problems.  'Move' seems to be the command with which they'll attack the most and pursue you when attacked. 

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@Stalkz,

If you come to update this mission later, care to tell me, pls.

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Will do Chimas. :)

 

I'm still finding my feet with mission creation but i'd certainly like to 'perfect' this when I am capable, MattAttack is offering advice wherever possible.

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oh good, I was worried I'd scared you off with my (complicated) explaination of how this stuff works... lol

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