NOTD Development News

Discussion in 'Announcements' started by Ability, Feb 8, 2012.

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  1. Ability
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    Ability NOTD Creator

    NA Server is down for maintenance. SEA server has latest patch. Will patch the other 2 servers by Friday latest.
  2. Ability
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    Ability NOTD Creator

    NA Server is down for maintenance again. SEA server has latest patch. Will patch the other 2 servers by Thursday evening latest.

    NOTD Universe is now live and we'll need a lot of support to make it work. The benefit to the community is ideally:
    - a more coherent story
    - characters that are more believable and fleshed out
    - exploring the overall NOTD universe for new ideas
  3. Ability
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    Ability NOTD Creator

  4. Ability
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    Ability NOTD Creator

    Focusing this weekend on making script optimization and also improving game performance slightly. A fair bit of legacy code from 2010 days are being updated/simplified.

    Trivia: EC Chapter 3's title 'Rising Tide' is inspired from a book on P&G of the same name. It's given to most P&G employees and details the history of the organization.
  5. Ability
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    Ability NOTD Creator

    My mom will be in town next Thursday to Tuesday so updates will be minimal then. Paddling hard this weekend on back-end optimization, bug fixes and balancing.
  6. Ability
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    Ability NOTD Creator

    I've reduced Lobby countdown time from 10 to 5 seconds. I think ArcanePariah also suggested it earlier. For benchmark, SOTIS also has a 5 second countdown time now (as of last weekend). This largely helps to reduce unnecessary wait time.

    Some additional back-end improvements are being made (minor ones) in latest patch to help NOTD multi-thread some regular trigger activities. This would have a minor gameplay performance improvement. I've received mostly encouraging feedback that games are running a bit smoother. Again, please let us know where you continue to face issues or encounter any new ones.

    Also, an important read: ... _2012#blog

    To recap some things coming up for SC2 soon:
    - New Map Arcade system
    - Possibility of Global Play (players across different servers playing together)
    - Improved Map Editing / Art Tools
  7. Ability
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    Ability NOTD Creator

    Will publish next patch by this weekend. Closing up most of the back-end updating by end of this week.
  8. Ability
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    Ability NOTD Creator

    I got 2 emails from Blizzard this morning on SC2 Map Arcade:

    Show Spoiler
    Welcome to the StarCraft II Arcade Beta - Highlights

    Arcade Feedback
    7:45 AM (35 minutes ago)

    to me
    Patch 1.5 – The StarCraft II Arcade Arrives

    Major changes are coming to StarCraft II with patch 1.5.0. The menu screen will be split into two distinct areas, and each will be focused on a distinct experience. The StarCraft II section will be where players go for head to head ladder competition, as well as custom games focused on traditional StarCraft II gameplay, such as melee maps and micro trainers. Meanwhile, the new Arcade section will the place where the community can find and play the vast array of custom games that explore the many possibilities of the StarCraft II editor. From tower defense to RPGs and beyond, the Arcade will bring your creations to players around the world.
    We want the Arcade to offer the best experience possible, so we’re making changes to improve everything from the interface to the editor itself. Your input can help us refine it even further. Here are some of the improvements we already have planned:
    Global Changes

    · Added StarCraft II & Arcade as game Types
    o Creators define which basic type best fits the game that they have created. Each game will only appear in either StarCraft II or the Arcade.

    · Game Genres
    o We’ve used community feedback and the existing game list to create a comprehensive menu of genres for creators to choose from. Now players will have tools to more easily find the games they are looking for, which in turn gives creators an easy way to find their audience.


    · Game Presentation
    o Browsing
    § Browsing for games is a totally new experience. Players can search for games based on genre, over all popularity, star rating, newness, and recent spikes in popularity.

    o Game Icons
    § The game icon contains a large game image (provided by the creator), the game’s name, and star rating. Hovering over the icon displays the game description.

    o Game Info page
    § Clicking on a game icon brings players into the Game Info page, a section devoted entirely to showing off what a game is all about, providing play instructions, and revealing other important information about the game.
    § All the content in Game Info is under control of the game creator, except for reviews.
    § Joining public matches and creating private games is done from the Game Info page. This will be the portal players return to again and again to play the game.
    § Game Info contains these sections:
    · Overview: This will contain the game description, as well as screenshots that show off the action.
    · How to Play: This is where players will find the Basic Instructions, How to Win, and Advanced Instructions sections. This is also useful space for additional images to help players understand how to enjoy your creation.
    · Patch Notes: You’re able to update patch notes as often as you like, so players can see how the game is growing and improving.
    · Reviews: After playing, players can give your game a star rating and enter a text review. Once enough ratings are provided, your game gets an Average Star Rating. Players can also mark each other’s reviews as “Helpful” which will ensure that the best reviews rise to the top.

    · Tutorial support
    o Creators can now publish tutorials. This is a powerful way to introduce new players and give them a place to learn the ropes before they dive in.
    o A “Play Tutorial” button appears on the Game Info page if a tutorial exists. Clicking the Play Tutorial button launches players directly into the tutorial game.

    · Game exclusive chat channels
    o There is now a “Join Chat” button on the Game Info page that allows players to join a channel named after your game, which makes connecting with other players and creating a community around your game easier than ever before.

    StarCraft II Platform

    · StarCraft II is now a streaming game.
    o It will only be necessary to download a fraction of game data to get into the action. We expect to bring even more players into StarCraft II worldwide by making access to the game both easy and fast.

    · Editor
    o Added UI XML Editor for adding and modifying SC2Layout files
    o Editor updated to use Visual Styles in Editor
    o Added high resolution minimap support
    o Font Style editing added to Text Editor
    o Added Data Editor horizontal auto-layout to better utilize available screen space
    o User-defined data system, accessed through the new User type in the Data module as well as the corresponding functions in the trigger library.

    · Cinematic Editor
    o New editor module with powerful tools for creating in-game cinematic sequences.

    · AI Editor
    o New editor module for user friendly management of AI wave timing and composition.

    · Galaxy
    o Trigger Debug Window support for breakpoints, stepping through functions, and variable inspection
    o Galaxy script code memory limit increased; 4x -10x more memory can be utilized depending on how scripts are being used.
    o Added support for passing structure, array, and function references as function parameters
    o Improved Galaxy error message output

    · Actor
    o Camera Actor added for controlling camera through actor events
    o Scene Actor added for controlling global actor settings (Halo settings, Power visual hiding)
    o Light Actor added for creating lights in the world
    o Terrain Actor added for physics impact FX support
    o Creep Actor added for higher performance creep effects including creep engulfment
    o Ragdoll deaths and support for combat driven physics impulses
    o Added support for water ripples and physics collision based water splashes
    o Terrain squib support for tileset specific dust or snow clouds FX
    o Line and Arc targeting cursor support
    o Added ActorInfoDisplay cheat for live actor debugging

    · Game Engine
    o Max selection size increased from 255 to 500.
    o Added trigger event for Behavior apply/remove
    o New Stunned flag for Behaviors that allows queuing commands

    · Graphics Engine
    o Added support to define lighting regions in the game world
    o Lighting can now be set per player
    o Added unit specific Halo support for pre-targeting
    o Anti-aliasing support

    · User Interface
    o Custom unit status bar support added
    o Added new in-game pathing display that shows the path a unit will take on the minimap
    o Added self-cast hotkey support
    o Added Font Glow support
    o Added powerful control over frames, portraits, status bars, text, trigger dialogs and more. Full details, tips, and tutorials are being created to help creators take full advantage of these tools.

    · StarTools
    o We’re making our internal art tools available to the public.
    o StarTools is a set of plugins for Discreet®'s 3ds max®, these tools allow advanced users to create, modify, and quickly preview models and animations, including particle and ribbon effects, that can be used in StarCraft II custom maps.

    Updating Your Game for Patch 1.5

    All game types

    · Set up your Type and Genre
    o Games published prior to Patch 1.5 will still be available on the service when the patch goes live. All user created games will default to appearing in Arcade, under the “Other” genre.
    o Creators will need to re-save their game in the 1.5.0 client version and select the Type and Genre where they want to their game to appear.

    Arcade game types

    · Add a Game Icon Image
    o The icon image is the first thing players see. It’s a great opportunity to make a first impression on potential players - check out existing app-stores for inspiration.
    o Game Icon Images are added through the StarCraft II Editor.

    · Add Game Info
    o Game Info is where players learn about your game and see what cool experiences it has to offer. At a minimum, you’ll want to provide a complete Description, easy to understand How to Play Instructions, and some screenshots that make your game look awesome.
    o Going a step further and creating customized images (e.g. a diagram of game controls, or a simple guide map of the play area) for Game Info will really help you stand out. The old saying about “show not tell” should be your motto here!
    o Game Info is added through the StarCraft II Editor

    · Set up a default mode
    o From the Game Info page, there’s a big “PLAY” button that most players will use to get into your game. This creates or joins a public lobby, of the default mode you define for your game.
    o This means you likely want to set the default to what you consider your “core” game experience.
    o Alternatively, some games have players set up gameplay parameters after they load into the match. This is fine, but it’s recommended to make the setup process as streamlined and user friendly as possible so new players aren’t scared off right when they start the game.

    · Build a Tutorial
    o Tutorials are a powerful way to introduce new players.
    o Ideally you’ll give players a smooth introduction to game mechanics in a fail-safe environment, teaching them everything they need to have fun before they start playing your main game mode.
    o Tutorials can also be built and used as a practice mode for players to experiment in a sandbox type environment.
    o To use the Tutorial feature, first publish the tutorial map to Then you can configure your main game to point to the tutorial.
  9. Ability
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    Ability NOTD Creator

    Boss Fights
    We've recently made some changes to Demeter and Cronus boss fight to make them more engaging to more members of the team. They were mainly nuked down the in the past without their intended mechanics firing and we're trying to make them less nukable. To do that, the general theme of changes are:
    - Bosses are more resilient (harder to nuke down)
    - Less ambient spawns/support mobs (keeps the fight focused on the boss and balances out the more resilient bosses)
    - Additional mechanics (especially on Demeter, to drive some team dynamic)

    Right now, Seth and Zeus/Leto are 'boss fights' that have their mechanic played out relatively well. We hope to emulate that across more of our bosses.
  10. Ability
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    • NOTD Creator

    Ability NOTD Creator

    I will be in Kuala Lumpur this weekend to spend time with the family due my dad's cancer diagnosis. My sister has flown down from London for 2 weeks as well. There won't be any map development/patching during this time. I may still be reachable periodically on forum.
  11. Ability
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    Ability NOTD Creator

    Latest patch uploaded to NA/SEA servers. EU server is temporarily down. Must be bringing in more hamsters to power the Diablo 3 servers.

  12. Ability
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    Ability NOTD Creator

    Finally published on EU.
  13. Ability
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    Ability NOTD Creator

  14. Ability
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    Ability NOTD Creator

    Am spending extra time with family now and response may be a bit slow. I'm working on the back-end to remove some legacy base SC2 links in the data editor and also implementing Kithrixx's worked changes over the coming weeks.
  15. Ability
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    Ability NOTD Creator

    We thank Niteshade for his contributions as a moderator over the past few months. He was originally tasked with helping out to consolidate key game suggestions and bugs with Gruvious for the 2nd half of 2011.
  16. Ability
    • Development Team
    • NOTD Creator

    Ability NOTD Creator

    Latest patch is uploaded on SEA server. I'll upload to NA/EU once NA server is back up from maintenance. Updates on Assault made: ... hp?tid=642

    To address a question. When you see me on the Forum anytime that is not between 9pm - 12 midnight Singapore time, I'm logged in from my iPad reading. It's hard to type/respond to anything because I'm constantly on the move (reading in the subway/while eating/in taxis). I don't have the time commitment to respond the queries/discussions usually and when I'm back home I will implement some updates. I'd love to chime in on many discussions but just can't. If you see any volunteers who would like to help me out in implementing map development (that is not working on a competing survival map), feel free to recommend them my way.

    If you have questions and suggestions and stuff, you're more than welcome to send them my way. Part of my job is to consider suggestions and concepts, and Ability is a pretty busy guy! If you're looking for fast feedback and/or need help, more than likely I will be able to help you just as much as Ability can, and if I can't, then I'll scoot you along to the bossman and we'll get everything sorted out. I'm not saying "never talk to Ability", just appreciate that he's a pretty busy guy and if you've got something to say or ask, run it by me first because I'll probably be able to help you.

    Unless it's like a love letter or something. In that case, I have no problems with you bypassing me and going straight to serenading Ability.
  17. Ability
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    Ability NOTD Creator

    Next patch may be uploaded by next weekend. Spending time making some updates to Forward Observer: ... hp?tid=334

    The updates will take some time to be complete - ideally by end-June. We will also be making static & sustained tanking obsolete in Nightmare games over the coming weeks. Most 'tanking' in NM should soon be deflection/kiting/positioning. As an example of that step, Queen will now apply an Intimidation debuff on target when attacked.

    Intimidation: -1 Life/Shield Armor for 4 seconds. Stacks up to 5 times.
  18. Ability
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    • NOTD Creator

    Ability NOTD Creator

    I will be away this weekend (Thu-Sun). I'll be travelling back to Kuala Lumpur to spend time with family. I may be able to read on forums, but no map work during this time. Have been making continued updates on FO and also balancing it.

    I will also be introducing ailments into most Minis once we get the data-based ailment mechanic tested and working (Open Wound ailment is active on MIs and Mini-Marines currently for testing).
  19. Ability
    • Development Team
    • NOTD Creator

    Ability NOTD Creator

    Next patch will be published tomorrow evening Singapore time. Will mainly be bug fixes and noticed updates to FO based on feedback. Will be away this weekend on a planned personal trip overseas.
  20. Ability
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    Ability NOTD Creator

    To further incentivize maintaining a good Rating, weapon switch time is now reduced with higher rating. This will help reward micro for better players vs. being an outright buff as well.

    Rating Switch Time Factor
    2400+: 50% (you switch weapons 2x faster)
    2200+: 60%
    2000+: 70%
    1800+: 80%
    1600+: 90%
    * Rating Switch Time bonus factor calculates last - after class/weapon/weapon mod checks
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