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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
… 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.