Modding, Project Y4, Warcraft III

Blog 409: Swansong Y4

Since I now own Starcraft II and seem set to move to it as a modding platform, I want to give Warcraft III the true send-off it deserves for its seven years of hard service.

I want to do something that I’ve been trying unsuccessfully to do for pretty much the length of that time. Something that I re-attempted quite recently, and then… surreptitiously dropped.

I am going to bring RDZ Industries to Warcraft III. And this time, I will not fail.

Concrete Hands is the name of an OMD song. The gyroscope... Well, does anyone remember the Black Hole Generator from somewhere inside Quake II?

It was a toss-up between Arena Y4 and Brownscape: Torment. While Brownscape was getting a reasonable amount of interest “in the community” (i.e. the Hive chatroom), its storyline refused to develop beyond the first quest (though the desert itself became increasingly populous). I know I can squeeze pretty hard, but sometimes you just have to accept that you’re constipated.

Project Y4 re-appeared with oldster Metal_Sonic (when I say oldster, I mean RDZ Industries the very first time) reminding me of the past glory of RDZ Industries. After the initial work on its Arena version, this project was turned into a singleplayer RPG, and soon after that work ceased entirely. In fact, I seem to remember blogging about the change in direction, but apparently I didn’t.

Either way; this project is now back.

Full Circle

I don’t know how many of you are old enough to remember the original Operation: Twilight. The Twilight mech was a taller robot with large blade arms instead of guns. The campaign revolved around this new experimental machine, with an AI pilot instead of the original cockpit. The facility gets struck by a meteor, shit gets real, and then the project dies.

There were plans for the Twilight to pick up better blades and additional guns, but it somehow never managed any of these (it took until the fifth version of the model before it managed to even get guns). There were plans for a bad-ass level on a speeding train. There were… all kinds of stupid plans. Why was I so stupid back then? Oh yeah, I was only sixteen.

Fast forward more than half a decade and comes the AP-AM. It has blades, guns, blast shields… It has everything the Twilight never quite got, right back in a human-piloted package.

It's all flashy glows and ribbon emitters.

Small Scale

The map is geographically larger than This Wreckage, spreading out to 192×192, but the plot will be far less involved. It is by this mechanism that I hope to be able to produce a complete product; short, small, but perfectly formed.

The premise is that a remote research and development facility has been subverted by persons unknown. RDZ Industries have the area surrounded, but are unable to penetrate — so they send in the brand now AP-AM to find out what’s going on… and deal with it.

Thus ensues you wading through hordes of subverted drone units as you take back the facility. There are also hold-the-position and escort objectives. The minutiae of the main sequence are still a bit up in the air, and there are no side quests — though I hope to have at least one side quest per annex in the final.

Pipes, cranes, electricity, crystals and biosludge -- you can't have a sci-fi without them.


The AP-AM of Project Y4 does not have magical abilities, but it does have lots of customisation options.

  • Blades: the two massive razor blades define how much damage you do, and may have other effects.
  • Shields: the blast shields that protect the vulnerable turret reduce attack damage by flat amounts, to the point where some shields render you impervious to weaker enemies. Fancier shields, such as those painted in dazzle camouflage, confuse targeting systems and give you a chance to evade attacks.

So far so This Wreckage, right?

  • Shell mods: the AP-AM is equipped with two artillery cannons. By default, the Artillery ability drops a high-explosive shell on the target; but shell mods can change the behaviour of the shells. Things like napalm to keep the ground on fire, EMP to stun, et cetera. I think I will do an Invisible War-style Spiderbomb too.
  • Shoulder cannons: additional weaponry will function a bit like wands in This Wreckage; stackable, consumable, but you can of course only carry one pair of shoulder cannons at a time. Don’t even mention having different cannons on each shoulder, this would make it incredibly less convenient to produce artwork for. Trust me.
  • Undercarriage: the cargo hook in the pelvis allows one large pod to be slung underneath the mech. This slot is sometimes used for plot items, such as a bomb used to enter the facility at the beginning, but after that you can load up with an Extended Magazine that lets you carry more artillery shells. Other miscellaneous abilities will fit into this slot.

There aren’t any more slots on the model. Besides, you need one free inventory space for… Other items. I don’t know. It’s still all up in the air, plenty of room to manoeuvre. I’m also missing up to three further active abilities, so… Suggestions?

Dazzle camouflaged shields confuse your size and shape, making targetting difficult... Oh all right they give you evasion. Yes, the RDZ Industries universe has been massively shaped by Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark

So Basically…

… I’m following precisely the same formula I’ve been using for years now, and the only real differences are the artwork and the fluff text.


12 thoughts on “Blog 409: Swansong Y4”

  1. Why don’t you just use xfire, it’s free and designed for games. CamStudio is for desktop recording and occasionally for games.

    I’m still amazed by those tilesets and that robot model o.o


  2. So this will be the ultimate of RDZ Corp before moving to SC2? Wow. Then this will be the ultimate of downloading-worth.

    I’m quite sad i’m not strong enough to play SC2. RDZCorp shall be missed in my life.


    1. Don’t worry, RDZ Industries can’t move to SC2 due to a number of technical limitations (on my end). I will work on completely unrelated projects in SC2.


  3. Good evening sir. Another sycophant here.
    This game is gonna be awesome.
    Let’s hope it doesn’t turn too awesome, people will start to nag you for more W3 mods.
    Just kidding. It’s easier to hold onto SCII now, so no one will have any problems with that. At least most people who are lucky enough to know of some Industries.

    Please don’t kill me too painfully for the following, personal question (im a total noob):
    Do you use any knowledge from college in your projects?


    1. Nah. As a 3D modeller, I’m completely self-taught. As a programmer, WC3 is all cheap scripts completely unrelated to object orientated programming we got taught at university. So everything I know is from years of modding WC3 rather than anything else.


  4. Some suggestions then.
    Electrified Blades: putting electricity on your blades increases damage of each strike.

    Overheat: ignore the capability of the cooling system and put everything on full power. Increased movement and attack speed, but at the same time it drains your health as long as it’s active.

    Battlestance: increased attack power at the cost of movement speed.

    Call in the bees: small suicidal fying machines bombard the targeted area. They are either launched from within AP-AM or fly in as backup forces.

    Distress Signal: call in back-up forces. A summoning ability.

    Static Discharge: shoot electricity to nearby nearby enemies, damaging them and messing up their systems. (war stomp)

    Static Field: basicly immolation.


    1. Metal_Sonic beat you to Overheat; I’ve just added Overdrive which does exactly what you described.

      I think Static Discharge/Field would work better as undercarriage items like the extended magazine, so I’ll sit on those for now. 8)


    1. This is all assuming I am able to grasp the data editor to enough of a degree to actually succeed in making anything. I am also hoping for a few editor patches, because right now it’s buggy as hell.


  5. At the very worst steal some abilities from melee Wc3.

    Looks cool. When do we get a gameplay trailer along with inappropriate soundtrack? 😀


    1. EMP Bolt is already Throw Rock/Storm Bolt, so I’m well into that… But at least it makes some kind of sense.

      The last time I tried to make a gameplay trailer, CamStudio refused to record at more than about 15fps… When outside of anything 3D it can go up to 100-odd. I’ll find the most metalllllllll track just for you, though.


And you tell me...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.