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Thread: Legacy of the Xel'naga, a campaign series for SC2

  1. #11
    Sheliek's Avatar Member
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    Default Re: Legacy of the Xel'naga, a campaign series for SC2

    Am working on a detailed plot write-out, which is close to being finished -- am currently on campaign five of seven. I'm also working on hammering out dialogue styles for various characters (and races). Since I'm focusing on the zerg at the moment, here's a note I left myself on zerg dialogue, focusing specifically on Abathur.

    As I construct Kerrigan's interactions with the zerg characters in my head, I've come with a specific modus for their speech. Zerg are simple in speech. They are creatures of action. They DO. They don't think, not really. They are intelligent, mind you. Capable of very complex planning. But, with rare exception, they don't think for the sake of thinking. They don't ponder.

    Now, we have the command strains: queens and cerebrates. They have personalities. I want to meld this personality, varied with each zerg character, with the base zerg thought process. Simple, blunt things. They state facts, they answer any questions (though I imagine the concept of questions is foreign to most zerg strains, beyond those known to communicate out of the zerg -- that is: Kerrigan, cerebrates, queens and the Overmind), and then they act on it.

    With all that unnecessary chatter out of the way, here's some dialogue from the cerebrate and Evolution-Master of the Swarm, Abathur:

    'Experiment stable in bio-stasis. Current status: splicing genetics. Current genetic percentages? Sampling... [at this point, I visualize one of his scythe-like arms piercing the chrysalis and drawing a sample into its bizarre maw] 12.83% terran-genus genetic code... 65.57% percent zerg core-genus genetic code... 21.6% changeling-species genetic code. Estimated time until birth: fourteen hours. No complications. Experimenting with changeling-terran genetic mixing. Experimenting with terrazine: enhancing latent psionics. If terrazine infused, suspect subjects will survive rebirth... intact (more tests necessary).'

    How's that feel for a zerg like Abathur? Does my approach to zerg dialogue work? Should infested terrans that are intelligent maintain their speech-function (as Kerrigan did) universally, or is Kerrigan the exception (or perhaps vary it -- some ITs talk normal, others more zerg-like)?

  2. #12

    Default Re: Legacy of the Xel'naga, a campaign series for SC2

    Y'know it's kinda interesting. It's very mechanical, almost computer like. The Zerg are biomechanical in nature, so it sort of makes sense. But being the evolution master, I would think someone like Abathur would have a little more leeway when it comes to their thinking processes. That sort of role would demand creativity, wouldn't it? Or do you visualize Abathur as evolution incarnate, working in so many directions blindly without thought, merely to see what would happen; then selecting the most adequate specimens for further study and exploration?

    EDIT I was thinking. You want to think a lot about presentation. I don't know if you're thinking about giving voice to some of the lesser breeds, such as Overlords or Queens.

    I visualized a scene where Zerglings ran across a terran installation in a valley. An Overlord relayed what it saw to Kerrigan; a voice, little more than a hoarse whisper, voicing over grunts and snarls to lend it a telepathic feel. Impressions and generalized statements, little more than two or three words. "Steel... pain, blood... teeerrrransssszzz..."

    I also wonder about how you'll be treating their psychology. Wouldn't it be neat to have a Zergling character? But rather than an individual, it may be a collective; a common intelligence shared among a pack of 6 or 8 Hero Devouring Ones? Maybe they respawn after a given time so long as you have a Hive?
    Last edited by Visions of Khas; 08-13-2012 at 03:10 PM.
    Aaand sold.


    Be it through hallowed grounds or lands of sorrow
    The Forger's wake is bereft and fallow

    Is the residuum worth the cost of destruction and maiming;
    Or is the shaping a culling and exercise in taming?

    The road's goal is the Origin of Being
    But be wary through what thickets it winds.

  3. #13
    Sheliek's Avatar Member
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    Default Re: Legacy of the Xel'naga, a campaign series for SC2

    Quote Originally Posted by Visions of Khas View Post
    Y'know it's kinda interesting. It's very mechanical, almost computer like. The Zerg are biomechanical in nature, so it sort of makes sense. But being the evolution master, I would think someone like Abathur would have a little more leeway when it comes to their thinking processes. That sort of role would demand creativity, wouldn't it? Or do you visualize Abathur as evolution incarnate, working in so many directions blindly without thought, merely to see what would happen; then selecting the most adequate specimens for further study and exploration?

    EDIT I was thinking. You want to think a lot about presentation. I don't know if you're thinking about giving voice to some of the lesser breeds, such as Overlords or Queens.

    I visualized a scene where Zerglings ran across a terran installation in a valley. An Overlord relayed what it saw to Kerrigan; a voice, little more than a hoarse whisper, voicing over grunts and snarls to lend it a telepathic feel. Impressions and generalized statements, little more than two or three words. "Steel... pain, blood... teeerrrransssszzz..."

    I also wonder about how you'll be treating their psychology. Wouldn't it be neat to have a Zergling character? But rather than an individual, it may be a collective; a common intelligence shared among a pack of 6 or 8 Hero Devouring Ones? Maybe they respawn after a given time so long as you have a Hive?
    I am going to be giving a lot of thought to making the zerg feel intelligent-yet-distinct from the protoss and terrans. It's a challenge. Thanks for the advice.

    Queens will be given personality. I'm not sure I will with overlords, but it's a neat idea. If more people approve, I'd give it a shot. As for zerglings and other breeds, giving them each distinct personalities, as a whole, is another good idea. If I go for the overlords, I'll give the other zerg more personality and even some lines, if I can get it organic. Otherwise, I'll stick to infested terrans, overlords, queens, and cerebrates.

    That mechanical dialogue would work well with Iszha, now that I think about it. I was originally going to make her talk more human.
    Last edited by Sheliek; 08-13-2012 at 08:02 PM.

  4. #14

    Default Re: Legacy of the Xel'naga, a campaign series for SC2

    The only issue I have is Abathur's use of the word "changeling". That name never felt zerg-y to me, and was more or less instituted by terrans who saw it with dialogue around the lines of "Oh sh*t, a zerg that changes! It's a changeling". Hydralisks and Mutalisks always felt more appropriate. Maybe the zerg address their units differently than humans. I would imagine that it's the same for protoss (for example, the Dark Templar are known as Nerazim. I would imagine "Zealots" would be Khalani Warriors in rank, or something similar, Dragoons have more of a designation and model name than "Dragoon", etc). That's why Terrans have, say, the Arclite and Crucio model tanks, but protoss just have Carriers.

  5. #15
    Sheliek's Avatar Member
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    Default Re: Legacy of the Xel'naga, a campaign series for SC2

    Quote Originally Posted by topsecret221 View Post
    The only issue I have is Abathur's use of the word "changeling". That name never felt zerg-y to me, and was more or less instituted by terrans who saw it with dialogue around the lines of "Oh sh*t, a zerg that changes! It's a changeling". Hydralisks and Mutalisks always felt more appropriate. Maybe the zerg address their units differently than humans. I would imagine that it's the same for protoss (for example, the Dark Templar are known as Nerazim. I would imagine "Zealots" would be Khalani Warriors in rank, or something similar, Dragoons have more of a designation and model name than "Dragoon", etc). That's why Terrans have, say, the Arclite and Crucio model tanks, but protoss just have Carriers.
    Understandable. I'm thinking, then, that perhaps having the zerg refer to creatures based more on function and their role in the swarm would be more appropriate (EG, just off the top of my head 'shifting one' for changelings).

    Am taking a break from plot for the time being to hammer out the gameplay mechanics for the campaigns. This includes those oh-so-awesome, tremendously OP upgrades from WoL's singleplayer, but you know... twelve factions worth. This will take a while. Will be taking a break from that once I finish the Dominion, Umojan, and Kel-Morian ones to hammer out, once and for all, what each unit does. I know the roles, but the specifics, not so much. Once I do that, I will post a factions unit lists every couple of days, along with an embedded tech tree, to show you all what to expect/get criticisms, ideas for new units, anything anyone wants to contribute.

    Suffice it to say, this project is become something rather massive.
    Last edited by Sheliek; 08-17-2012 at 12:54 PM.

  6. #16
    Sheliek's Avatar Member
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    Default Re: Legacy of the Xel'naga, a campaign series for SC2

    Alright, am done the upgrades for each faction. Took a couple days, and would like some people to go over them to see if anything sucks. Alternatively, since that ruins the surprise of the gameplay aspect, I can post a unit list for the factions I am dissatisfied with and y'all can have it with upgrade ideas.

    I'm also working on giving the protoss more factions. As it stands, the Fist of Ulrezaj, Tal'Darim and Daelaam just use either the Khalai or Nerazim tech tree. That's two factions for one race. Meanwhile terran gets six, and zerg gets four. If you have an idea for a protoss unit that fits either the Khalai, dark templar or both, post away. Will be sure to credit any ideas that get in.

  7. #17

    Default Re: Legacy of the Xel'naga, a campaign series for SC2

    How are you treating the Protoss Factions? I never would have envisioned the Tal'Darim having access to Colossi or the more advanced vessels like Carriers or Void Rays -- certainly not VRs, since those were a combined Khalai-Nerazim effort. Maybe just a couple that they found abandoned. WoL doesn't restrict their access to technologies at all, which is surprising. If I had done them, I'd have changed the models for each unit by a bit -- eg Zealots' armor would be more a mishmash of salvaged parts, something asymmetric; Dragoons would be more numerous; maybe only a few stray Immortals.

    What other factions are there? Daelaam, Nerazim, Tal'Darim. Dissident tribal factions perhaps; maybe the Sargas make a bridge between Khalai and Dark Templar; perhaps a section of Ara take on the name Sons of Aldaris or something and blast off into the wide reaches of the unknown... "Mission: Discover the Fate of the Argasso, Carrier of the Fallen Judicator clans that explored the furthest reaches of space once owned by the Xel'Naga in attempts to find new technologies and disciplines to justify their continued existence and authority."
    Last edited by Visions of Khas; 09-06-2012 at 10:26 PM.
    Aaand sold.


    Be it through hallowed grounds or lands of sorrow
    The Forger's wake is bereft and fallow

    Is the residuum worth the cost of destruction and maiming;
    Or is the shaping a culling and exercise in taming?

    The road's goal is the Origin of Being
    But be wary through what thickets it winds.

  8. #18
    Sheliek's Avatar Member
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    Default Re: Legacy of the Xel'naga, a campaign series for SC2

    Quote Originally Posted by Visions of Khas View Post
    How are you treating the Protoss Factions? I never would have envisioned the Tal'Darim having access to Colossi or the more advanced vessels like Carriers or Void Rays -- certainly not VRs, since those were a combined Khalai-Nerazim effort. Maybe just a couple that they found abandoned. WoL doesn't restrict their access to technologies at all, which is surprising. If I had done them, I'd have changed the models for each unit by a bit -- eg Zealots' armor would be more a mishmash of salvaged parts, something asymmetric; Dragoons would be more numerous; maybe only a few stray Immortals.

    What other factions are there? Daelaam, Nerazim, Tal'Darim. Dissident tribal factions perhaps; maybe the Sargas make a bridge between Khalai and Dark Templar; perhaps a section of Ara take on the name Sons of Aldaris or something and blast off into the wide reaches of the unknown... "Mission: Discover the Fate of the Argasso, Carrier of the Fallen Judicator clans that explored the furthest reaches of space once owned by the Xel'Naga in attempts to find new technologies and disciplines to justify their continued existence and authority."
    I've just finished my first version of the Tal'Darim tech tree. Includes carriers, but only because I can't think of a better 'capital ship' idea; is only temporary. They are very infantry focused, however.

    The Ras'Ulrezaj will feel like a legitimate military, and as such won't be as neutered as the Tal'Darim.

    The only factions the protoss will be getting are the Nerazim, comprising the Boros, Lenassa, Zer'atai and Alysaar clans, the Khalai, comprised of the five Khalai tribes, the five remaining Templar tribes, and the two Judicator tribes, the Daelaam, the main military force of the Hierarchy, comprised of Nerazim and Khalai forces, the Ras'Ulrezaj (the Fist of Ulrezaj), and the Tal'Darim.

    By making the Tal'Darim and Ras'Ulrezaj their own factions with their own tech trees, it also allows me to field larger forces for you to face in combat, so that's a plus. A mission on Shakuras with three Ras'Ulrezaj forces, alongside zerg broods? Yes please!

    Also, after months of searching, I've finally found a style of music that satisfies me for the dark templar. World music, in particular African, Middle Eastern (in particular to this particular, Persian), and Mesoamerican music.
    Last edited by Sheliek; 09-19-2012 at 05:49 PM.

  9. #19
    Sheliek's Avatar Member
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    Default Re: Legacy of the Xel'naga, a campaign series for SC2

    Kay, so I've been writing non-stop for literally 34 hours. Kinda hit some writer's block. You blokes willing to give some fun ideas for missions in which you play as hybrids?

  10. #20

    Default Re: Legacy of the Xel'naga, a campaign series for SC2

    I guess that depends in part on the Hybrids' alignment in your story; who's the enemy vs ally.
    Aaand sold.


    Be it through hallowed grounds or lands of sorrow
    The Forger's wake is bereft and fallow

    Is the residuum worth the cost of destruction and maiming;
    Or is the shaping a culling and exercise in taming?

    The road's goal is the Origin of Being
    But be wary through what thickets it winds.

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