Modding, Project Y4, Warcraft III

Blog 428: RDZ’s All-In-One Micro Map… Y4?

A long long time ago, I can still remember… how I made a map I called RDZ’z All-In-One Micro Map. It was small, but encompassed many game-types: RPG, tower defence, AoS… It grew up into a beautiful When the Freedom Slips Away.

It seems that, despite already being the culmination of seven years of modding a dead game, Project Y4 is determined to retrace the same old steps.

At heart, the project is a perfectly generic hack and slash RPG. But sometimes…

Sonic Adventure

I’ve always maintained that Sonic Adventure was a collection of only vaguely related and poorly developed minigames rather than an actual game of itself. The casino had its pinball tables, there were the snowboarding levels, Twinkle Circuit, everything Chao-related… And of course we couldn’t go here without mentioning Big’s horrifying fishing mini-game. Oh yes.

Project Y4 has already gone down the same avenue, with its maze node hacking mini-game that is basically Assault Rigs. After that… Well, without the reliance on a deep story, I’ve got to shake up the format a bit to keep things moving. Don’t worry, there won’t be any fishing. Unless it’s… Fishing for crates in lava using a crane… Hmm… There’s an idea…

Sonic speaking to his franchise.

King of the Hill

Facility EY43 (yes, the number has changed at least three times) is, like This Wreckage, the descendant of an arena map (it seems that I have very little imagination these days), and so its layout includes many of the same features; most notably in the case of this paragraph, the central Hill. The Hill houses the Telegraph core processing unit, and due to a hilarious gameplay-induced design flaw this device must be raised out into the open air for work to progress. Well, RDZ Industries can’t get everything right or else they’d just be a Mary Sue.

With factory entrances scattered all across the facility for the normal hack ‘n’ slash sections, drones will be able to converge neatly on the Telegraph core from four angles, funnelling into two for the final push onto the roof of the central building.

The processing core's surroundings have changed a little since the last time you saw them.

Aeon of Strife

I’ve always liked the AoS genre more in concept than in practice; the idea of controlling a single hero is beautifully RPG, but it brings in a dramatic giant battle. Unfortunately, the singleplayer AoS is a genre that somehow never left the ground…

I wasn’t initially planning an AoS segment for Project Y4, what with its hub-and-spokes arena-style layout rather than a two-side split (and there aren’t really enough factions for a four-way… oh wait, actually there are/will be). However, some recent plot developments have made it a perfectly natural progression, and by placing one spawn in the north annex and one spawn in the south, the arena layout suddenly becomes a gloriously tangled three-lane nightmare. The east and west annexes can just go die for a while.

Throw in some AI programming and I might be able to have an equivalent hero opponent to even the scores, too.

Actually, it's not that tangled.

The Element of Choice

I’ve long known how to work dialogs in Warcraft III, but never really had the balls to use them; they’re too awkwardly shaped to set up any real conversation system, and there’s that nasty disjunction between the game world and the giant menu appearing to steal focus. I usually prefer to put options as dummy items in a shop, where they integrate better with… “real life”. Rather than click something or walk somewhere to bring up a menu.

But now I’m playing with the idea of giving you a bit of choice in how you resolve some side quests. Having a menu fits in here because you’re already in cinematic mode — the disjunction from this angle is far less because user input has already been disabled. The menu is stealing focus from nothing, rather than interrupting you as you interact with the world. The cinematic simply pauses when the menu comes up, allowing you to make the choice.

Since I intend to have this thing voice-acted, the choices aren’t necessarily going to be big nor clever, and they’re not going to drastically alter the game or the ending. But they will have some minor effects, hopefully balancing out in the long run so neither is the “correct” option.

Do you politely ask them to leave, or tear them new arse-cracks?

10 thoughts on “Blog 428: RDZ’s All-In-One Micro Map… Y4?”

  1. On single player AoS:
    An opposing AI hero in AoS is rather hard to implement convincingly. It quickly becomes more of a nuisiance rather than a respected opponent with character. I suggest having it follow different rules than the player. Perhaps have it switch it up ever time it dies: have a group of unique bots reserved for this AoS. Or every now and then you get a squad of weaker bots instead of the hero.


    1. Because of the low hit points, bosses and things go in a lot faster than in a traditional Warcraft-based game. When you run into the special hero, he will have mostly the same capabilities as you — so it’ll probably be a bit of an artillery dance rather than a drawn-out strategic player-versus-player battle. But I haven’t even got near to designing the AoS segment yet, so everything is still up in the air.


  2. Y’know, to be honest I doubt I’ll ever play this game. Since I got a new computer, I’d have to install wc3 just to play this one map. In fact I might, just probably not. Good luck anyway, I’m enjoying following your progress.


    1. The difference is that a) I don’t have a stupid voice and b) I can do a mean Sean Connery. None of the characters are pre-pubescent dragons either.


  3. ah, yus, the ol’ DRAW A GIANT POKEBALL ON THE MAP layout. very traditional

    also i hear that assault rigs’ spiritual successor big rigs is actually a much better game to bounce ideas off


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