Could have this been one thread with 3 posts? Yes. Yes it could have :p
There is no follow up after this... the story ends here. You'll have to decide what happens by playing the map, and deciding for yourself how it all ends
"That wasn't so bad, now was it? Only had to murder a few of your friends too!"
"Seemed like they studied friendship from the same textbook as you."
"Well, Keith, we all can't lay down for a nice cuddle right now and talk about our feelings the way you might like. But if you make it back somehow maybe I'll let you make me a sandwich and rub my feet while you tell me all about how the big bad demons were mean to you."
"You're really gonna miss this banter when I'm gone, aren't you?"
"It certainly will be challenging for me to find an equally effeminate marine to talk with. You're right about that. So. How's the mission going? You hiding in a corner somewhere getting a prostate exam from Rory's grandpappy yet?"
"I'll have you know I found a nice, cozy little island to let these nano-doo-hickeys loose on. In fact. I might just go and start killing some stuff."
"Right. Well remember: even after you hit the bad guys with your purse, you'll still need someone to fill them up with bullets. Hopefully those titans aren't just getting a good laugh out of you running down the rabbit hole. Of course I would laugh along with them. But I would be kinda pissed, too. You know, with the inevitable doom and whatnot."
"Sure, inevitable doom always does put a damper on laughter. Hey, I got a question. How will you know when the mission is over? How will you know whether I did it, or not?"
"Well when you fail we will all die a horrible death at the hands of these endless bugs. If you happen to live somehow my best guess is we all die a horrible mess at the hands of these frackin computers. But at least they might give us a few years head start. Well. I hope they will anyway."
"So you'll know I am a ****ing legend because the sapien race gets exterminated by machines instead of insects? Hold on a sec I have to just charge headlong into glory here."
"Keith I tell you this. If somehow, someway, you manage to not screw this up. And give us a chance to not die from an insect apocalypse. Well. I'll like build a statue in your honor. Or maybe tell your story to someone. If I feel like it. And if I'm drunk enough. I might say it was me, actually. I could see that playing with the ladies. You wanna give me some details about what it looks like down there, to really sell it?"
"I imagine it's like the inside of your ass, sir."
"Keith. I know you're enjoying your vacation, but please Try to stay focused. This is the entire Sapien race's existence we are talking about here."
"Right right. Well. Speaking of my bonus mission. Looks like I have to get back to it now. All I can see is an endless swarm of pissed off marines and pissed off spawns of hell. So it should be a fun last day of vacation."
"Enjoy, kid. And good luck."
"See? Now isn't that easy? Just walk in the front door. Once you're inside 'Hell' all you need to do is navigate the trapped souls and hostile forces of oblivion until you reach a safe-ish space."
"I ****ing hate you."
"Listen, Keith... And I mean this. All of our existence as we know it is resting on your shoulders. If you're thinking 'how do they not have someone better prepared for this?' Well. We have some really well trained marines. But they haven't seen what you've seen and survived it."
"You mean the face of Hell?"
"Sure, kid. You've seen what's coming. You're a survivor. I read your file. Says you're something of a dipshit. A big roiling pile of miamimoose if ever there were such a thing. You might not be the warrior we deserve, but you're what we have."
"Wow... that's... inspirational? Like that time sarge pissed in my fruit loops and told me that meant I was special. I'll really cherish this talk when I'm being hunted by the demons of hell."
"Well, I guess we all have our own parts to play. Yours is just to assimilate your soul into a robot, walk through a portal into hell, battle through the forces of evil and souls of your dead friends, find a safe survivable area, unleash Titan nanobots, build an army, storm the fortress of Hell that runs the portal, somehow win, and then probably die there anyway."
"I ****ing hate you."
"But I have to give emotional, inspirational speeches. We all have our roles to play, see?"
"I hope I die in there, become possessed by these evil cockroaches, just so I can come back and bite your head off."
"That's the spirit Keith! Do Remember to have fun! Like a nice balmy vacation!"
".... I am going to kill you."
For SPC: Go To Hell Ep1
"A spray of acid showered across the line of mechas placed at the front of our formation. The mechas melted right before our eyes. The glow from within their metallic skull was replaced with a toxic cloud of destruction. The wyrms finished raining destruction upon our infantry, and experience told us what was next: their buried underlings tore up from the ground, as if emerging straight from the bowels of hell itself.... the world torn asunder, our tanks, marauders, speeders, our entire front line armor was ripped into with those terrifying creatures. Talons slashed apart our engineers... the assimilators tried their best to turn the creatures... to no avail. Our lines were broken... the sky went dark as the swarm approached... and we heard the thundering of the pinzers. I jumped into a marauder and drove here. The Sapien-Titan alliance can not win. The forces of hell itself will overwhelm us... there is.. no hope."
The report of a lone survivor. "Keith," marine A202-100. This marine had the brevity and cowardice to recognize an immediate need to escape a losing battle... and the ability, as well. His report to the leadership of the final alliance against the Khralean horde was the inevitable signal they had hoped to never receive.
Years earlier, the Titans had provided analysis to the Sapiens showing that Khraleans were not of this universe. And, according to Sapien mythology, were actually natives of what Sapiens referred to as "Hell."
Try as they might to defeat these creatures... their numbers may be endless... an alliance was needed.
And a plan.
That plan took years to develop. And now, with the crushing defeat signaled by this cowardly marine, it was clear that it was time.
It was time to invade Hell, and to break the portal between the two worlds.
The Titan's had determined that two things would be required for hostile entry into this new realm.
2. A soul.
The titans provided the tech. As for the soul...
"Wait. You want me to do what?"
Keith turned to walk out of the bunker. Two Guardians blocked the way.
"So... I am totally gonna die, huh?"
"You should already be dead, 202-100. Consider this a bonus mission!"
".. ahhhh To hell with it. We are all gonna die anyway. What's first?"
"First.... we cram your soul inside one of these tin cans..."
"Oh come on!"
1) Infantry capturing on all races.... honestly it is an interesting idea I hadn't considered. My best guess is that it wouldn't break the balance at the highest levels of play... BUT I think it might be a problem at other levels of play where players are already struggling with particular matchups.
I hope that makes sense. In truth, giving it fair consideration I am not opposed to it. But it would take work to mock up 3 new iterations of units (I'm having fun imaging a khral infested mecha haha :p I imagine that thing just self destructing when a player tries to teleport. Should even keep the button as teleport :p them BAM explosion hahah)
2) this has been suggested MANY times over the past few years lol. I think most players agree with it. I'm not sure if it's a coding nightmare or there are some balance concerns somewhere prohibiting this from happening. Either way it's been brought up a good deal over time
3) this is obviously more of a statement of opinion versus an idea. This continues to be an area of concern (ish) for the community at large. We aren't sure what the best way to truly fix this is. But there were sweeping changes to the way maps become ranked about six months ago.
I imagine that those changes (including: players can not vote on maps until they play them) reduced the total number of new maps getting into the map pool. This should improve the quality of maps making it. Not sure if either of those have happened though.
A long time ago I asked for the following stats to appear for maps:
P1 win %
P2 win %
Sap win %
Khr win %
Tit win %
Ideally additional breakouts too, most importantly player score ranges! (>2200 might be wildly different than <1700..... and maps should be made for BOTH of these player groups!!)
With the idea that this information would allow map makers AND players to more objectively look at a map and see where it's unbalanced.. what matchups... and for what players.
Personally I see too many maps being congested now. And it kinda bothers me haha. But it's up to the players to vote on the maps the right way too heh
No easy fixes here. BUT I will say this. You can get involved in the map making community too and voice your opinions in through map making chat in game. We love to see new voices and ideas there.
Thanks for your post. Nice to see a new voice here. I'm not a moderator or game dev just another player catch me in game if ya wanna chat more or want a friendly game.
6-8 months later. Just a quick update...
This project has come back up as something I want to work on again. I'm back to work writing for it and map making for it. If i make some progress I'll be sure to update here.
I believe the campaign to be about 20% complete. So when I make progress I'll let you know.
Right now I can not provide a completion estimate. I will say at least one month. At most never :p
Update: from Xavi's original post on the new units:
Terrain mutator units. (cancelled due to changing the fundamental game mechanics)
Goal: to transform terrain.
.. so apparently those were off the table a long time ago )
Anti aerial units. I haven't heard any hub bub on them at all in as long as I can remember. I think player discussion was "do we really need that?"
And AOE units I think was a similar discussion.... like how do they get balanced without making walker / battery / wyrm even more irrelevant
I am not a game developer, but I have heard (just rumor) that at this time the other new units are not in development.
Spookyhouse Games (SHG) - who took over ownership and development of the game AFTER Xavi had announced the 18 new units - has stated their focus is on cleaning up the UI, campaign, and ways to bring new players into the games. (Paraphrasing.)
SHG has made some interesting updates to the game of course, including the daily mission and new campaign.
Sadly at this time no plans I'm hearing about to add in the Mass Destruction Units, the Terrain Modifier Units, or the other class I'm forgetting
But.... I hold out hope that one day we will see new units or new races
That was going to be my feature request using this map as the example. Please can we have an option to turn off the RNG? That would make testing this and bigger maps much much more reliable.
Pashaka actually said this exact thing in map making chat. Initially I was like "no because some puzzles will hinge on it" then realized those aren't fun puzzles so I now agree with the idea.
p.s. I hope your dad got good news. See I read it.
Hah you're cray thanks man. He's doing well. Treatment starts next week. He got the best news possible (stage 3, doc says he's "curable"). Dad says he will take any prayers he can get
^journaling entry at midnight. Hah. If you read that you deserve a fkin medal of some sort :p
Long post here. Not all Uniwar related. This is the story about how Puzzle1 Fixed was created. How it was changed on purpose, how it changed by accident, and how this all intersects with the rest of reality as its creator knows it.
The story of Puzzle1 Fixed
Ennuigoblin hooked me to Uniwar with his YouTube content in 2015. He published a feature video of a 1v1 match "Earth versus Talone", the two top players in the world. The match was awe inspiring - illustrating the depth of gameplay in Uniwar, with Ennui's truly fantastic play by play. He broke down the game in a way that was immediately understandable. For Better or worse Uniwar would be the soundtrack for much of the next years of my life.
A lot happened between November 2015 and November 2018. For me, personally, I went from being a married guy with a job to a father with two children. I went from not fully understanding my role in life to having these amazing children who make me look forward to waking up in the morning unlike anything else ever had. Having the best dad in the world growing up, who has always been my hero.. the only thing I was ever sure of in life was that I wanted children. That isn't hyperbole. And I wanted to be like my dad. He's honestly the best person I know. An amazing teacher, funny, and a good person. And now I've got these children and I feel like I am the person I'm meant to be, for them.
Between 1998 and 2018 I went from physically hiding myself from simple conversation (literally) to presenting customer service fundamentals to more than 500 people. And so much of my personal growth happened in these past 3 years. I am proud. And thankful. I feel lucky.
I became enamored with the UW community. UW is a great game, and I was impressed to see the creator in the chat room back in 2015. Seemingly daily. He started to push out new features. He made the game free to download and unleashed some IAPs, including the controversial "unlimited undo." This option seemed like a safeguard versus "fat fingering" a bad move. But for high level players provided a time intensive means with which to manipulate the random attack formula in the game. Players had been manipulating the attack formula for years through a more convoluted method - but now it seemed to be a supported game concept. It was controversial, at least.
Then, in 2017 (after about "two weeks" Tm) Xavi did something that the players had requested: he expanded the map editor and added in "objectives" for victory conditions. I was ecstatic at first, and immediately set out to build objective based maps. Who doesn't love a good CTF right? Well, the first time we playtested CTF we realized that it was buggy. You didn't win only if you captured the flag, you won if you captured any base. The other game modes were buggy too. Xavi did his best to patch these game modes. But they weren't a priority. They didn't touch most players since objective maps purposefully can't enter the "Ranked Pool" of maps.
Sometime later I was inspired to create a map called Infector Quest. It was a CTF map where a team of 4 human players need to progress across a massive map with only one Infector. It was based upon RPG style maps I had played in Age of empires 2 and Starcraft. Unfortunately, UW doesn't have the same triggers available as those games did... so instead of being a measure of player skill, the map was more a measure of my ability as a map maker to create an environment where the player always has "just enough" to progress. Once the player has "too much" the map is boring. If they have "too little" then they lose.
I've made more than 8 versions of Infector quest over the course of years, and it still isn't balanced. It's close, with the last version. But it's still not perfect. What I realized while making Infector quest was that I was effectively making a GIANT PUZZLE. And that giant puzzles are REALLY REALLY challenging to balance correctly.
So one day, in mid 2018 I decided to make a small puzzle. That was the entire premise behind Puzzle1. Was that I could give players "just enough" to complete a mission. I felt that players might enjoy that, and that it would be easy for me to balance. At the same time, Pashaka was getting to work updating UW....
The initial Puzzle1 didn't have any harbors in it. When I tested Puzzle1 in the map editor it worked as intended, with the AI acting how it does here in December 2018. I designed the map to seem as if an early EMP would be good, only for the player to realize they didn't have time for that. You had to move back towards the walker. In this playtest, I was exceptionally lucky. The walker moved forward - which is normal bot behavior. The next turn I captured the mecha and attacked the walker with the battery dealing *8* damage. The mecha2 took a 5 shot from the speeder. Then next turn, the walker healed to 3, the mecha2 walked over and bopped the walker for 3, battery shot speeder and moved forward.... it was a simple, easy solution.
This was the intended solution that I knew for Puzzle1. I published the map and posted it to English chat. That was about the end of it until someone showed me a replay where the walker didn't move. The speeder and mecha didn't move. Confused, I began to experiment with the bot behavior. I put out a pretty comprehensive guide, but one of the important things I realized is that, at the time, the map editor bot behavior was different than the server bot behavior. I needed to get the bots to just act normal. Why that wasn't happening, I didn't know. I believe it was due to the updated AI Pashaka had designed and released. This AI was a significant upgrade to the player experience, and was absolutely necessary. But man did it fork up some scenarios haha.
Through lengthy testing I was able to discover that for whatever reason, harbors drive bots in scenarios crazy. Owned harbors and neutral harbors actually have a different impact. And I hadn't yet spent the time to identify that one caused a "frenzy" and the other caused "normal behavior." Since in this scenario frenzy and normal would be the same thing, I added in both owned and neutral harbors. Puzzle1 was already published, so i named the Fixed Version Puzzle1 Fixed. Usually, I go and edit the names. I don't know why I didn't with Puzzle1, but I believe it's because I was fist deep into Puzzle2/3/4 at that point. Puzzle1 was essentially a distant memory. That's the story of why Puzzle1 is Puzzle1 Fixed, where it's name came from .
In late 2018, Pashaka unleashed some more awesome changes to Uniwar. Namely, the daily mission. Pashaka messaged me saying he was going to give me access to update the mission file, which seemed like a great honor.
In December the update came to iOS that let me actually put my created SPCs into the daily mission catalogue. I immediately chose some of my favorites, tested them out, and loaded them in. I think I took up about 6 spots right away. I started making new scenarios too, and adapting old concepts for new SPCs.
I came across one of my favorite concepts, Puzzle4, and began adapting it for a lengthier SPC.... it needed more work, so in the meantime I took a spot on the calendar for a different untouched work, Puzzle1 Fixed.
I had tested Puzzle4 extensively, and it worked as expected. I didn't test Puzzle1 Fixed however. Figuring it was Fixed, and not really remembering the specifics of how it had worked. I assumed it was fine anyway. So I scheduled it out and got back to work on a new Puzzle series, and continued work on my Puzzle4 project.
December 10 I turned 34. That day, early in the morning while I was at work I got a phone call from my dad. His doctor had called him about his chest X-ray from last week. It was abnormal and he needed a CT to evaluate further. His doctor wasn't available to write the prescription currently but would be in by Wednesday. My sister took that as a personal challenge and began the task of contacting all of my dad's doctors until one of them wrote and faxed us a script. Meanwhile, i went and checked in with the radiology director. He scheduled the CT for that afternoon.
Tuesday morning i read the results. I was the first member of my family to see them, and even working in the medical field I felt lost. I called my sister and read off the paper... 6cm neoplasm in the lower right lobe.. 3cm enlarged hilar lymph node.. while infectious disease can not be ruled out, primary evaluation must be for metastatic versus primary neoplasm. This fucking piece of paper is saying my dad has cancer, isn't it?
On Wednesday December 12 I went with my dad to his oncology appointment. We carried some vague hope that he had some sort of fungal or bacterial infection. I kept saying 'well there are some truly awful fungal things. That could be worse than cancer.' Well, the doctor was pretty quick and direct in saying that it seems like primary lung cancer, at least stage 3.
Honestly, there is cause for optimism. I'm not a wreck, distraught, anything like that. Realistically though, for his prognosis, we need to know two things. 1) is the malignancy anywhere else? 2) what type of malignancy.
His biopsy was this past Monday, and today my dad had his PET scan (a whole body CT which evaluates for any other areas of cancer.) tomorrow, 12/20 we go back to the oncologist and get the results. In the midst of this i find myself struggling with work. Feeling capable and competent, and uncertain and worried and frozen in fear. And trying to keep this perspective of what things in life actually matter, actually mean something important. Anyway, if the results of the PET/biopsy are good, then the sky's the limit. And if not... well. Then we deal with that.
But here on the 19th, Puzzle1 Fixed was released to UW. And when I checked in early this morning I had a message from The_Impaler asking how the map is beaten. CRUD. If he can't beat it, decent chance it's broken....
So I load the game up. I move back towards the walker.. battery shoots for 7... mecha swings for 3.... I lose. Restart. Same thing. Restart... same thing. Again and again. I start trying some different moves. None of it works. I've scheduled up a broken map.
I mean. It isn't the end of the world. That sorta thing happens. Heck this is a new feature anyway.
So I head over to map society to see what's what, and there rRaptorR has found a solution..! I watch the replay twice. WOW that is an elegant solution! Raptor moves towards the walker and coaxes the walker out of the swamps, being sure to keep from hitting it all the while so it keeps moving instead of repairing! I hadn't thought of that. It's beautiful, and absolutely saves the map.
Even more, that solution actually MAKES the map good.
I designed a simple map with a boring solution. Pashaka Fixed the AI, and then about 25% of the players of this game found a beautiful solution to a map that maybe shouldn't even have one. Even more, you took your time to say thank you to me, and to talk about the map I made in such a positive way. I take pride in the things I create, and to have been able to spend some time today, on the eve of such an important day for my family, just admiring my work in the hands of some
Committed gamers... it really was special to me.
A few other players figured out you could actually EMP the assimilator too. Which just made me basically giddy ;p. I never realized that, or found that solution.
So here I am on December 19th and I really just wanted to tell this silly story about how and why Puzzle1 Fixed was made, and to say thank you. Thank you UW for being a group of good people and friends. For being a great community. Thank you Pashaka and SH games for keeping this project alive and for growing it.
I appreciate what you do, and while entertainment and games can be such a stupid, meaningless thing... they can also provide comfort and even hope against anxiety and fear.
Thank you thank you. Goodnight
Sorry man. I didn't finish it. So much work it's on my todo list but will be a long term project ... I'll post here as soon as it's done
I mean. Underling is where it's at.
Need to kill a marine? Underling.
Need to kill a speeder? Two underlings.
Need to kill a plasma tank? Buried underlings.
Need to kill a helicopter? Something something behind underlings.
They're the perfect unit. Useful in every situation
I think over time the outliers (e.g. timeouts) would be drowned out by the normal games completed. Those numbers represent 776 games completed which is about when many disliked maps get voted into oblivion (looking through your map list
I'm lucky if I get 200 games played!). In the artificial example here if you had 100+ up and 50+ down, then those stats would indicate to me that most of those down are coming from the KvT match-up.
I think this highlights the fact that even if you are really diligent with your map testing (as I know you are) and play 50 test games before you release it, then you will only have tried each match-up 3 times (assuming you're careful and don't test one race more than others). Something like this would then give you a clue as to something you've missed and where that something might be.
MAN YESSS!! Honestly I think we NEED that.
I would add the ability to sort by player level.
Because I tell ya one thing. Balanced at 2500 might well be imbalanced at 1600. If we could look at a map by skill range, and by race... I think we could really start to say "yeah. Across the board Khral is winning on this map" or "seems pretty balanced at higher level play. Is there something we can do to help out the lower level games where titans win 80% of the time, without impacting the upper level games?"
Anyway. I've been wanting those stats forever hope we get them.
Back to the discussion at hand... map balance. Yeah. It's incredibly complex. But as Impy said, if there's concern that khral are too strong, then open plains are a pretty simple way to give the khral a nerf. Open spaces used to be present in every map. Now it's almost uncommon... which is why I said what I said.
We all try our best with what we know to make a fun, unique, and balanced maps. While I do think there is a lack of open maps, I think this is something that will evolve over time to the right place...
I don't think that balancing the races towards how maps are made is the correct approach, anyway. Khral should be good at some things. And it's what makes them interesting to play, that they approach maps in a different way than saps or titans.
If we take that away, by giving saps and titans more tools to do the same thing, we make the game more boring.
I think one of the big losses to this game being fun was when titans lost their identity as the turtle race. (When blasters arrived..) but ah well.
I do think the bugs are very strong right now.
Specifically their end game is brutal.
But honestly, I kinda gotta Blame the map makers :p so many maps are congested messes, and that plays right into the khral wheelhouse.
I'm still winning my fair share of mirrored (revenge) KVT against 2300 level players... so I don't think tvk is impossible. But it certainly feels harder than the kvt game hah