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Old 06-25-2007, 02:52 PM   #1
Rao Dao Zao
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Approved Map: When the Freedom Slips Away

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---
This Wreckage -- An Adventure
---
The sequel I promised I'd never make.
---

Forebears
(1) When the Freedom Slips Away [a.k.a. RDZ's All-In-One Micro Map X] (controversial)
(8) RDZArena (feature creep)
(1) The Islands in the Sky Series (no longer available)
(1) The RDZ Micro RPG XK (unfinished, unreleased, unloved)

Introduction
The RDZArena was a tech demo for this project (though it didn't know it at the time).

I once assured fans that there would never be a sequel to When the Freedom Slips Away.

However, due to the astounding shortage of singleplayer maps of even reasonable quality, I took it upon myself to create another RPG in the same style as WtFSA -- carrying on and expanding on its systems. Upon finally stripping down the RDZArena and assembling the new map's most basic features, I found my love for Henrik and his friends too great; and so His Majesty the Emperor's Expedition Force sets forth once again to battle evil in tropical lands thousands of miles from home.

Half comic, half serious, just the way we like it.

Basics
Players: 1
Genre: role-playing game
Tileset: Sunken Ruins (groan)
Size: 160x160 (152x152)
Team:
  • Rao Dao Zao -- EVERYTHING
  • Various selected (lucky?) punters -- additional testing

Plot Synopsis
As His Majesty the Emperor's Expedition Force sets down on the shores of a mysterious continent, dark forces are already massing against them...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Guard Captain Henrik
Three weeks of hard sailing have passed since our last land-fall.

A powerful storm gripped us for the last day -- and then disappeared, swept off into the open ocean by its own tumultous winds.

And at long last, we sighted land. Not just a grassy knoll, but a mighty coast lining the horizon. A continent.

We led the ship carefully into a sheltered bay opposite an ancient temple, and struck camp.

Features
Items
The very same weapon system about which I wrote a tutorial all those years ago continues to exist. Most of the items seen in the RDZArena and When the Freedom Slips Away have been carried forward; and are joined by many new ones (complete with new weapon attachment and ground item models).

Item stacking was initially developed for WtFSA, and also takes its rightful place in the sequel. A few more items, such as throwable rocks, join the main potions and scrolls in being stackable.

Skill Selection System
I wanted to bring some of the very old Islands in the Sky class stuff back to life (since I somehow could not get a new IitS map started) -- and this is the result. You begin with only 'Attribute Bonus' -- at key points in the game (yes, including the end of the intro cinematic), you will be allowed to choose a new hero ability from a small selection, including old favourites, some new ones, and hopefully some resurrected IitS kit. The system is confirmed to be working, though, so production of the actual abilities is not a priority right now. One possibility is that abilities be used to increase/decrease 'difficulty' -- so-called easy abilities being simple direct damage/heals and the like, while 'hard' abilities might have lesser or harder to master effects.

Backpack System
Nothing new here, except that you get two packs, as I have implemented some 'junk' items that you can sell (or give to certain people for a better price), la Baldur's Gate (mmm, billions of gemstones worth 2gp each). Twelve spare slots should do the job. Some quests also involve collecting non-stacking items, so the double pack will always be necessary.

(Improved) Music System
Carried forward again from WtFSA; with some reasonably notable improvments. The battle music will time-out if you run away from a fight (or are not struck for a reasonable length of time, consistent with cowardice), but, more importantly, the ambient theme will restart from where it left off when the battle/cinematic music ends; rather than going back to zero.

Camera System
This is potentially the most controversial system addition. RDZ's All-In-One Micro Map X (WtFSA's working title -- ie, the map in its earliest stages) had all its RPG-esque sections in the camera-lock form, la Warchasers. This was eventually scrapped, due to the base-building and tower defence sections not making use of Henrik -- the lock simply did not work well with the constant game-type switching.

This Wreckage is going to be almost entirely RPG-orientated; and if not that, then with AoS- or defence-style sections -- Henrik will always be your focus, aside from a few occasional controllable reinforcements, summons, or people to escort. To cater for this, the camera will switch to the selected unit (always choosing Henrik if he is selected alongside others) -- but to combat the issue of being unable to see much in the locked view, the left and right arrow keys can increase/decrease the distance to target (so you can zoom out and see everything, or zoom in and admire the world up close). Up and down arrow keys used to control Z offset, since the RDZ Micro RPG XK made use of some funky terrain (read: massive raise tool abuse) that made this property necessary -- however, This Wreckage is mostly pleasantly flat and making use only of standard cliffs. Suggestions for another useful camera option may be accepted, if you can think of anything (not rotation or angle of attack, the game can already do them enough by default).

Skippable Cinematics
When you've just died and loaded your last save, you don't want to watch the same dialogue over and over again -- one of the major factors, I suspect, of people dropping longer singleplayer maps instead of seeing them through to the end. While making cinematics fully skippable requires a little effort, the over-all benefits are worth the toil. Since cinematics in This Wreckage are, as in When the Freedom Slips Away, almost entirely dialogue-based, skipping cinematics will allow the player to avoid tiresome waits while the characters finish pouring out their lines in an appropriate length of silence for the third time running. Of course, skipping cinematics without having watched them at all will mean you miss out on the plot, and even the odd hint for completing the following quest.

Fuckloads of Custom Stuff
Every weapon or shield has a custom model to fit it snugly in our hero's hands (or, for that matter, the hands of his friends and enemies alike), and most of them have custom icons to boot. A lot of spell effects have been lightly twiddled ('when white turns to red,' and the Pure Energy/Electricity/Antenergy colour scheme) to add to the immersion, and there are a few new doodads scattered around. Then there's custom unit models -- creeps, bosses, the humanoid races from the RDZArena (the Angel has been severely updated, but does not play a role in the plot -- yet)... All lovingly edited to maintain quality and style while adding requisite new features.

Story
I'd rather reveal as little as possible about the story right now -- suffice to say, there's a new bad-guy, a new land to explore, and new lore additions and consolidations (most of these, sadly, remain in my head and are not aluded to -- their presence is felt, however); however, there are occasional nods to the previous events (and specific lore) of WtFSA, and all your favourite Expedition charaters make a return. The story assumes that you completed WtFSA entirely -- including the successful resolution of all side quests. While you could play This Wreckage without having suffered WtFSA, I would not recommend it. Oh, I'm angling for multiple endings too, though that is still up in the air.

Geography
This Wreckage is set in a beautiful tropical landscape, centred around an ancient temple.

There are five regions to the map; the temple itself, the western annex (the beach), the southern annex (the swamp), the eastern annex (the jungle), and the northern annex (the mountain).

The temple is crumbling, its annexes long destroyed by choking vines and rampant foliage; and there are frequent holes in its walls. However, only the western portal (leading to the beach) has been sundered by the ravages of time -- the other three gates remain locked and sealed, impervious to damage.

Western Annex -- The Beach
Zoom (requires log in)
Zoom (requires log in)

The Temple
Zoom (requires log in)
Zoom (requires log in)

Southern Annex -- The Swamp
Zoom (requires log in)
Zoom (requires log in)

Western Annex -- The Jungle
Zoom (requires log in)
Zoom (requires log in)

Play begins on the beach, where the Expedition have set up camp. As Henrik unravels the secrets of this land, access to the other regions is granted. This will not, however, make previously 'completed' regions redundant -- new 'events' and side quests, also revealed as Henrik progresses, will keep these areas worth passing through and ease the monotony of back-tracking.

Progress
The main plot-line quests are about half done; however, there is still a lot of space for side quests and general goings-on in the world, so the map is about... A third to half done, would be a conservative estimate. The incomplete map is being regularly tested by a small team (uh, cycling through most of my Warcraft contacts), and so far, the response has been favourable.

Credits (So Far)
All custom elements created/adapted from Blizzard originals by me, except the following.

Music:
Theme music -- Gary Numan
Game Music -- from Unreal and Deus Ex

Sounds sampled from songs:
HAI! sound -- Ultravox, Western Promise
Female critical hit sound -- Orchestral Manouevres in the Dark, Tesla Girls
Teleport sound -- Simple Minds, I Travel
Power-up/shield sound -- ZZ Top, Viva Las Vegas

Double-damage power-up code:
Captain Griffen

Additional testing:
NEHZ, Darkdraak, SeruK, Captain Griffen

Special thanks to:
Guesst for his Milkshape exporter.
Magos for his model editor.
Oinkerwinkle for his MDL tools.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Beach_1.jpg (117.6 KB, 1560 views)
File Type: jpg Beach_2.jpg (141.0 KB, 1450 views)
File Type: jpg Jungle_1.jpg (152.1 KB, 1272 views)
File Type: jpg Jungle_2.jpg (143.8 KB, 1216 views)
File Type: jpg Swamp_1.jpg (101.7 KB, 1330 views)
File Type: jpg Swamp_2.jpg (95.1 KB, 1236 views)
File Type: jpg Temple_1.jpg (150.0 KB, 1408 views)
File Type: jpg Temple_2.jpg (163.8 KB, 1333 views)
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Old 06-25-2007, 05:44 PM   #2
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Ooo yay! I always loved your WtFSA, and yay a sequal, sorta!

Any plans on an estimated release date?
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Old 06-25-2007, 05:47 PM   #3
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Hard to say.

I have got all summer absolutely free until mid-september, so hopefully the main plot elements will all be solid, bug free and done by then, and a good load of side quests and events too.

It'll be released when it's ready. =P
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Old 06-25-2007, 05:52 PM   #4
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It rocks.
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Old 06-26-2007, 09:36 PM   #6
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Approved Map: Warlords[Quicksilver #2] - 1st Place

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Now highlighted.

*stickies*
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[13:32] <Akolyt0r> hmm.. stil i want to have some unused women
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Old 06-27-2007, 10:20 PM   #7
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Hooray!

>jumps for joy<

Finally another decent single player map!
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Old 06-28-2007, 01:49 AM   #8
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Looks hawt, RDZ. Lemme know if you need any testing help, or what have you.
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Old 06-28-2007, 04:15 AM   #9
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This map looks sexy.

WtFSA was killer. This will be Killer X2.
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Old 06-28-2007, 04:52 PM   #10
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(Quantifiable) Progress: started terraining work on the mountain cave (finally).

2000 or so doodads to go for about two ninths of the map area -- think I can manage it?
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Old 06-28-2007, 05:22 PM   #11
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What do you mean IitS is unavailable?
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[21-10-00] WILLTHEALMIGHTY: Ok I have this weird sound upstairs... BRB gotta go check it out.
[21-10-09] Ash: WILLTHEALMIGHTY, WAIT
[21-10-16] Ash: WILLTHEALMIGHTY, IT IS NOT SAFE OUT THERE, TAKE THIS!
[21-10-16] Ash gives WILL a kitten.
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Old 06-28-2007, 05:55 PM   #12
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Removed from official circulation due to general lack of quality.

They were necessary rungs on the ladder, yes, but they no longer meet my standards.
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Old 06-28-2007, 07:30 PM   #13
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Cant wait untill you finished it RDZ! all your other maps are great, so i guess this one will be to
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Old 06-28-2007, 08:01 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rao Dao Zao
Removed from official circulation due to general lack of quality.

They were necessary rungs on the ladder, yes, but they no longer meet my standards.

Was expecting that. Its true RDZ Arena and WtFSA were much better. Oh well, so much for a piece of RDZ history. :P

They were crappy maps anyway. :D
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[21-10-00] WILLTHEALMIGHTY: Ok I have this weird sound upstairs... BRB gotta go check it out.
[21-10-09] Ash: WILLTHEALMIGHTY, WAIT
[21-10-16] Ash: WILLTHEALMIGHTY, IT IS NOT SAFE OUT THERE, TAKE THIS!
[21-10-16] Ash gives WILL a kitten.

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Old 06-28-2007, 08:06 PM   #15
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The history remains on my hard-disk, to be wheeled out at opportune moments.

In other news, I was poking around YouTube for a song video or somesuch... Only things I got, however, were dodgy and home-baked live videos.

Best quality would appear to be this one:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LOzCoiIO7Hk

The version of the song that I am using is, of course, the lovely, audience-less, clean and shiny, digitally-remastered album track.
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