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-   -   (10) NOTD Aftermath [Pre-1.24] (http://www.wc3c.net/showthread.php?t=79827)

Azazel_ 01-29-2006 12:26 PM

(10) NOTD Aftermath [Pre-1.24]
3 Attachment(s)
NOTD Aftermath
A Survival Map by Starlite

Genre : Survival
Supported Players : 10
File Size : 3.5mb
Official Website : www.notd-aftermath.com
NOTD Aftermath Info : Read More
Inside NOTD Aftermath : Read More

Download NOTD Aftermath
Download NOTD Aftermath CN (Chinese Language Version)

NOTD Aftermath is a survival game. It has a steep learning curve and a save system to store Marine Experience. Objectives are relayed throughout the game and the Marines must do their best to complete them while surviving the constant onslaught of horrors.

Game Features
- Scenario based survival.
- Playable on slower computers and connections. Game engine has been optimized and memory requirements kept to a minimum.
- Relatively accessible to new players and laggier networks.
- Simulates a Marine platoon, incorporating tactics and procedures of the USMC.

Game Background
27th September 2037 - A mysterious viral outbreak in Boston 4 days ago led the city to shut down and the entire state of Massachusetts to be placed under quarantine. Many early Marine Corps elements sent to facilitate the evacuation of the city have been wiped out, detailed by the events of Night of the Dead 2. In the past 36 hours, the US Military finally gained an upperhand and the outbreak was steadily brought under control. With state borders secured, Marine Expeditionary Units have begun patrolling the outlying towns for signs of contamination. Echo Company was one of these fateful units which found itself in the middle of the heaviest concentrations of unknown entities.

Aftermath 1.5a Change Log
Release Date: June 30, 2007
General Themes of Change
- Quality improvements

Complete Change Log

Azazel_ 01-29-2006 12:46 PM

Collapse JASS:
set post = null

GaDDeN 01-29-2006 05:29 PM

I tried it with 3 players, and it looked very nice. I started inside a tunnel, and the camera view in there was horrible. I really think you should stick to normal camera =)

But it looks nice, ill go host a full house game now for further testing.

edit: Played a few games, and i think it's a nice game! I guess i'll get bored pretty quick, since it doesnt have much replayability.

Blade.dk 01-29-2006 08:06 PM

I was going to play this with Tim., Jacek and a couple of others, but when I should select my unit, I didn't get any, even though I did exactly the same as the rest of the people.

I saved a replay but unfortunately it doesn't show anything very well.

Anyways, I don't know if anybody else has had that bug, but you should try to fix it.

I will try to play this map again when I get the time, and post my opinion about the map next time if it works then.

Jacek 01-29-2006 09:11 PM

Playing as undead is strange. I see what other people say, where they are (shared vision) etc. And it is hard to understand what is going on.

Azazel_ 01-30-2006 02:05 AM

Concerns noted. Any further actionable criticisms are welcome.

Tim. 01-30-2006 05:12 PM

Although I noticed that a lot of effort had been put into the map, I felt the game play lacked greatly. There was a wide variety of nice textures, icons, UI modifications, voices, etc. However, when it got to playing, it was rather dull. You die off easily, and there is no helpful information in the Quest menu really. I do not approve this at its current state.

Anitarf 01-30-2006 05:25 PM

Agreed with Tim., tried a couple of games of this and the gameplay didn't seem to carry much purpose. You get missions occasionaly, but in between them it just seems like all you have to do is find an easily defendable position and hold it; it's not like you're required to do anything, just have enough firepower in one place and things will take care of themselves... Unless you happen to run into something wierd that completely immobilizes you, in that case, game over.

Azazel_ 01-30-2006 05:59 PM

Most other survival maps are just about killing zombies until the time runs out. The NOTD group of maps are considered the best survival maps and are generally the toughest out there as well. It has the largest member base amongst all survival maps, as evidenced from it's forum membership and activity at www.kingsforum.com/notd, relative to other survival maps. If you compare this map relative to other survival maps, I believe it offers more guidance and instruction than the other maps. Maps to compare and contrast includes DotD, Swat Aftermath, Rural Zombie Onslaught. I believe that Aftermath also offers greater dynamics once players get the hang of the game. The gameplay replay offers a glimpse of how it may be interesting for players.

Once you get the basic gist of the game and seen everything, what keeps people playing is teaching others, building their communities and generally learning XP and medals, not unlike many rpgs. You can say it's relatively linear, but most survival maps are based on this principle. Stand here, shoot creeps, move there, shoot creeps. Aftermath does have established missions that, upon completion or undertaking, contributes to your survival.

You cannot win Aftermath by maintaining a static position throughout the game. Survival maps will always remain a niche market and is indeed not for everyone. I can state with confidence and based on player testimony that the game involves a lot of movement and a reasonable degree of team coordination. The map takes time and commitment to fully appreciate, and a team of complete Privates will most likely be lost and confused, even with the relatively explicit amount of instruction. My msn email is tinkerbell_bluebells@hotmail.com and I can arrange a game with Tim, Blade.dk and any others on US East with some veterans to demonstrate that it is more than meets the eye.

The learning curve is intentionally high, and dying off easily is part and parcel of learning. It takes around 1 week to really catch on the basics of survival. People familiar with survival maps can accomplish this in a few days, or sometimes hours. I believe that your criticism largely holds true for most survival maps, apart from those that are so easy you can literally win the game by staying in one spot for 2 hours. Unlike most Battle.Net games, Aftermath does not offer instant gratification or immediate results. However, I believe that it can be a rewarding long run experience. Often bonds are made between veterans and new players who they teach, and this bond grows into BNet friendships that continue throughout many games. This is more likely to happen in survival maps due to the necessary guidance by veteran players to provide a lot of new insight to privates. You will also leave the game with at least a small degree of what the USMC is.

The fancy icons, sounds, etc are not a product feature nor point of interest i tout to gamers. I believe what is important for the players is the gameplay experience, and I believe it offers one of the best survival experiences for players new and regular alike to the genre. I also believe that the map offers meaningful education and exposure to general players in terms of military concepts and some basic understanding. For instance, many Aftermath players did not know the term 'Corpsman' existed or its meaning, it's reason for being called such, as well as it's history.

If someone can provide example of a better developed survival map, I will work on incorporating its strengths on Aftermath. This is inherently subjective, but I have consulted many players I am familiar with. Without doubt, in submitting my map here, I will have to negotiate with the criticisms and concerns of the evaluation team. The amount of effort or lack thereof put in the map is not a negotiating factor or point of consideration, as what is important is meeting the map submission requirements (some degree of originality & quality) as well as what the general community on wc3c feels about it.

Jacek, blade.dk's and Gadden's criticisms are actionable. 'Dying off too easily' is not really actionable, as it has a direct relationship with a player's skill & experience in the simulation. A compromise would be to reference the gameplay replay and use the easiest difficulty setting. I feel the quest menu is not a good platform for telling new players what they should expect in the game, and this has been dealt with by providing as much supporting in-game and tooltip text. There is definately room for improvement and action is continouously taken. The next patch release is on 28th February 2006, and I will incorporate any actionable concerns or criticisms you require for map acceptance.


A complete list of possible missions that the squad may undertake during the game :

Chapter 1 : Operation Silent Hill
Wave 1 - Retrieve Supplies
Wave 4a - Flesh Composite / Wave 4b - Black Hawk Down
Wave 5 - Escort Convoy
Wave 6 - Set up Surveillance Network
Wave 7 - Search for survivors
Wave 8a - Moirae / Wave 8b - Hades
Wave 9 - Provide cover for Navy Transport

Chapter 2a : Revelation
Wave 11a - Lyganesh
Wave 13a - Search and Destroy Cocoons.

Chapter 2b : Delta Force
Wave 10b - Lyganesh
Wave 11b - Retrieve M242 Components

Chapter 3 : Magnificent Bastards
Wave 16 - Secure Landing Zones
Wave 17 - Utilize Close Air Support
Wave 18 - Defend perimeter and assist Combat Engineers

j45on 01-30-2006 07:17 PM

Hi, I'm part of the external non-map developement team. Partly has been playing the game for 2 months now. I swear if it wasn't the community and the seriousness of the details put into the game to mimic a real marine I wouldn't have been playing it since day one.

In fact the game is almost 90% real other than, it's just a game, I'd say it's a game for those who pursue to experience virtually as real as possible they can get to a real life Marine in the field through playing Warcraft III.

But then again it's not a game for those who only see it as a 'typical-custom-warcraft3-map' where you look like you god-mode all the way and is made for you to win and gain nothing out of it. After 2 months, I still have so many to learn from the game just by one character itself. Imagine all the trainings real marines went through during their training camps. If you take away all these, you took away the soul of the game.

At first play, I thought the game dosen't require me to do anything. I talked to Azazel_ in the forum about this as well as watching about real life movies. Just like Marines behind enemy's line, each of them has their own specific role and is up to us warcraft3 players to find out ourselves and thus educating the players about roles of each different units. The units mimics these marines so much you probably can 'google' about it's purpose. Marines are not told what to do and how to do their chores, they do what they are here to do.

If you do happen to watch any Military movies, you would know it existed as well in NotD: Aftermath.

Personally, If you are still a Private, we don't care who you are until you blow some head off!

If players do not recognise the above, good game for ya~

Anitarf 01-30-2006 08:00 PM

Perhaps I am just not a fan of the genre. My main problem with the map is that the gameplay seems chaotic. The camera is incredibly zoomed out, I understand it has to be, since the marines have such high range, but that doesn't excuse the fact that you can see very little on it. Players and enemies are very small and very fast, and enemies die extremely fast, making any kind of battlefield control impossible. All it comes down to is you must have as much vision and as much concentrated firepower possible.

I can appreciate the team element, players having to stick together, keeping each other in eye contact, sharing critical equipment like healing, moving as a group,... But there are maps out there that have a team element as well as interesting gameplay on a single player level. Here, you just hold your ground and the game plays itself, the only thing that seems challenging is avoiding some immobilization effect; however, I haven't been able to even indentify what caused it, due to the chaotic nature of the game, it just happened and I was eaten by a fel hound that I've easily killed dozens of before that.

The map may very well be the best of it's genre, but how does that help me as a player not familiar with that genre. The game just didn't give me the feedback that I needed to play it. I think the same for all the maze/escape maps I tried so far, so maybe genres like these are simply not for me; although I think I could enjoy playing such a map if the gameplay weren't so hectic.

Fulla 01-30-2006 11:41 PM

I gave it a try, seemed very impressive.
All the models/skins/icons/sounds and features made it look awesome.

However as said above its very difficulty to see whats going on, there are lots of trees and grass that blend in with each other and the enemies are often extremely difficult to spot.
Through out the game my marine kept opening fire, I could only tell which direction by the model animations.

We grouped up were easily holding out and suddenly half the team explode? Difficult to see what hit us. I survived a few minutes later a unit appears that was incredibly strong i.e. 5 seconds fire did about 5% of his HP in damage, well thats me gone.

I REALLY appreciate difficulty and extreme need of teamwork, but its most cases its hard to see whats going on.
Maybe increase the size of the models slightly? Make the enemies more visible I think it would improve it alot.

I like the ideas of the community and forming friends/teams/clans but most players on the bnet are incredibly retarded and often dont speak english. When you cant host a game again and again public for fun, the game ends up loosing it's appeal quickly.

Azazel_ 01-31-2006 01:24 AM

The chaos is a compliment and an intended feeling for new players. This may work both ways and generally a detrimental for many Bnet players whose average tolerance for immediate results or lack of immediate clarity is low. The people who stay are often willing to endure a little discipline and either learn from hard earned experience or other veterans. This is a general phenomena in all combat fields, where untested boots generally react without sufficient combat discipline and especially in Vietnam where replacements are made by individual soldiers rather than units,platoons or companies, become an increasing liability to the veterans.

Citing the examples in Black Hawk Down by Mark Bowden, fresh and untested Rangers often balked in their first engagement and some lost unit integrity and chose to follow the D-Boys for safety rather than listen to their unit commander, as Captain Steele notes. Faced with the same chaos, the D-Boys were able to maneuver and coordinate in the same battlefield without distress and filtered the tide of information and threats, acting with quick precision and efficiency.

As you gradually gain more experience, the same 'linear mission' begins to look different. What was once chaos will eventually be replaced with thoughtful and purposeful actions, every position, every side-step, every assist. Through muscle memory and experience, the same game plays out differently and as you notice this, you start to understand a little about how the transition from untested boot to season veteran takes place. This is just a simulation and will never replicate a real-life experience, but it gives players the general concept and a small appreciation for it.

Nevertheless, your points about making it more accessible to new players are still being worked on everyday.Aftermath is not a game in itself. I intend it to be an educational journey and to shed some insights about military life, especially the USMC. This aspect requires a lot of research and background work, which I undertake as a personal journey of learning. Balancing both perspectives are vital and this will get better each and everyday as I receive more critical and insightful responses. Some former military types had given me some feedback and encouragement, but I hope that general players would also benefit from this game.


Fulla, your concern is noted. One solution to having a public game would be to use -training mode. This is not documented as it was intended to be phased out. All marines gain around 2.5k HP and you can show the public players the ropes of the game with a lot of leeway. There will be no experience gain during this mode, except on final completion of Chapter 1.

The blending of terrain, Marines and Zulus are also an intentional combat experience, that over time you will begin to master. Some players function better with Night Vision Goggles, but may make it harder to distinguish friendlies. Units are all intentionally small to make specific unit targetting a direct effort. This definately has drawbacks and I am constantly getting feedback about this.

BBDino 01-31-2006 04:25 AM

Basically, what we are trying to tell you is that this map needs with some sort of modification to create appeal for casual players.

If i were you i would put the effort into creating a second "game-mode" that is more casual (arcadey if you must).

ITs basically the difference between Hardcore and Arcade racing games - hardly anyone likes both, if you can somehow add an option for more casual play i think the audience for this map will be increased, possibly by a large amount.

Azazel_ 01-31-2006 10:34 AM

I will incorporate the 'arcade' mode in Aftermath 1.2a. There is currently a '-training' command activated by Red that simulates this.

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