@antrad You are not alone! Those levels are very hard indeed.
I would add the one where you are in outer space and have to take the station while mining asteroids.
Also, cometimes the key to success is to get creative: I accomplished Behing the Enemy Lines by going through the bottleneck with an aerial APC twice; instead of destroying the enemy, I rescued the commander by flying in first person mode and dodging some fireworks. And on the surface of Midian, I used a Judas Warlord to infect enemy construction units to capture their infrastructure, while distracting military units by converting units close to them, also in first person mode.
@antrad I searched his name and I think I found him. I'll try to contact him whenever I can. His name is Josh Taylor.
The orignial concepts look quite unique indeed; those designs are truly original.
In his blog he did two paintings years after the game's release, so he would probably be happy to help us!
THIS SECTION IS CURRENTLY UNDER DEVELOPMENT
Official websites of the game:
Interview with the game producer:
Website of an animator of the game; it contains animated gifs and videos (scroll down a bit to see them):
Blog of one of the artists that made concept art for the game:
Official review with a different backstory (interestingly, the timeline changed only for human history, but not for the events directly related with the Machine War; however it is relevant for the period of time in which the machines awaited mankind's arrival, since in the final version it was 400 years):
Screenshots found on the box and more:
The storyline changed throughout development prior to the final release of the game: humanity's fate seems to be unknown in the final version of the storyline, whereas in the game's box it is stated that mankind is extinct by the year 2545. However, a booklet that came with the game states that in the year 2109 humanity began the manufacture of the machines, and that contact with Earth was severed, after which four races of machines were developed. Yet, an official review from the publisher differs. This other version sets the beginning of humanity's colonisation programme in the year 2545, with the launch of "probes" (later described as seeding ships carrying seeding pods in the final version); later, in the year 3297, the last World War destroys man, which leaves machines without regular direction and, hence, makes them switch to default software instructions (to continue their work and self-replicate), eventually causing the Machine War due to the Darwinian principles of their algorithm after encountering each other following the expansion of their domains (since the colonisation aimed at many worlds).
Yet again, however, an interview with the game's producer (who replaced another one) reveals another version, which sets the launch of "machine probes" in the year 2171 and our demise in 2173 because of a World War. Also, it is mentioned that machines become self-aware after years of autonomous evolution.
Another version released with the game's earliest demos tells an even more divergent story. The document states that there were different races since the beginning, that the Eden 4 controller "suffered severe damage due to electrical storms", that most of its memory was damaged and that it continued to function until depleting its world's resources, which led to an expansionary quest and its encounter with another race's colony, commencing "a fierce battle for the planet’s resources".
In the end, the instruction manual and the game's official website state that by the year 3297 the Machine War started almost five hundred years ago, and that the machines were instructed to await mankind's arrival "for a further one hundred years" after the "the projected first landing". Prior to all of this, the colonisation programme started in the year 2136, but not the launch of the ships (though that occurred "soon" after that). Also, the uninterrupted spread of the Eden 4 controller's empire lasted for five hundred and sixty years after the first successful landing on its homeworld.
It must be noted that the final version wrote the verb "colonize" with a Z, while the booklet included in the box presents the word "colonise", with an S. This might suggest that the different versions were written by different people, but that is mere speculation.
Btw, I don't want to rush anything, I was just curios, because these few posts are all public info I know about and it came out of nowhere. I don't use discord, because I don't like the closed nature of it, I am more old-school and hang around public forums like this.
I believe that it would be cool to release stuff publicly, but since @martin was the one who proposed the use of Discord, then some of us moved over there, not replacing this forum, but accompanying him since he showed us promising results. I like to think of Discord as a development site, and this forum as a publication platform. For instance, I am developing lore stuff there, and as soon as I finish, that could be published with the game in the same package, and shared with all the information about the game, and its community.
We tried to do that with Trello a few years ago with @bilal.
So far, we are looking for bugs, doing the lore, and also, someone (I don't remember the username right now) published original images of the old demos.
I published here in the forum the lore development done so far.
It is quite interesting the fact that the storyline changed at least 4 times!
@antrad Nice idea!
In my case, not being English my native language, and having many difficulties compared with my peers, I had a hard time understanding what I was supposed to do, or how to play properly. The box was translated, but not the game. This meant that I only played skirmish missions, especially the ones were mining, researching or building are not reqired.
I moved several times, and the game stopped working on newer operative systems; since I was not tech-savvy to know that that could be solved, I discarded it, with sorrow, partly because I was never able to really enjoy it.
Several years later, after becoming the best student of my English class, I was able to navigate the Internet without my long-lasting language barrier. I could learn faster about things that are unavailable in Spanish even today. Hence, out of curiosity, I looked for it, and found the old forum. I downloaded the demo, and finished it, but was unable to make the full game work. Time passed by, and the forum died and resurged from the ashes. This time, however, things turned out differently... not only I managed to download it and make it work with the help of this forum, I finished it.
It was a delightful, yet challenging experience. Nostalgia was replaced by fulfillment. But now, longing seems to strike back. Will MACHINES 2 come to life? I think that it can occur sometime in the future, but first, we have to learn a certain set of skills.
I believe that this game was not only a pioneering product, too advanced for its time, but also an excellent example of how good design can convey a backstory beyond the explicit one. There are some clues throughout the game that could explain why the machines' designs or architecture look like that, how were they programmed, and why there is not a single trace of humanity.
Also, the game presents some elements that, to me, are references to previous science fiction works, making the game more interesting.
@DavidCorben Hi! That mission was hard for me too! I barely made it with very few units.
To win the mission I did the following:
First, I advanced slowly, using flanking tactics to maximize firepower (which minimized damage taken by my units, since the faster I killed the enemy, the less their assault would last).
Second, I attacked one unit at a time, preventing the enemy to get too close and in numbers larger than what I could handle.
Third, I destroyed turrets using reapers in first person mode, positioning
myself out of their range.
Fourth, I explored the area using a fast unit, while keeping my squad behind in the formation aforementioned. Then I returned that unit to my squad, maintaining my unit density as high as possible.
Fifth, I never retreated as a squad; I always retreated while scouting. Instead, I moved my squad inching my way through the areas previously explored.
8 & 9
save0014.sav save0013.sav save0012.sav save0011.sav save0010.sav save0009.sav save0008.sav save0007.sav save0006.sav save0005.sav save0004.sav save0003.sav save0002.sav save0001.sav save0000.sav playinfo.bin
Midian (surface & interior)
I was not organized, but at least you should be able to access any level from the campaign.
I did these some time ago.
Is... is that an original map?
I was planning to make a screenshot library so that the game could be rebuilt in case it could not be salvaged if the game can no longer be updated:
I'm interested in either modding, remaking or rebooting MACHINES. I really enjoy worldbuilding. Count me in!
The way I did it was by using Judas Warlord type Commanders, a lot of patience, and saving the game each time I made a small progress. Inching my way through the corridors y managed to convert enough enemy machines to increase my numbers, and by generating havoc in the enemy lines I avoided the destruction of my most valuable units. It is vital to use Scavengers as well.
The Fog of War was on, I simply explored the entire map, slowly, very slowly, by securing the entrances to the vaults I cleared.
This level requires your best strategies rather than your best tactics: the way you administer resources is more important than how you fight.
Also, by retaining control of the entrances to your strongholds, you will force Midian units to move in rows, going one by one towards your "guards", preventing them to spread and increase their firepower (basically you'll increase your surface area, maximizing your number of units while reducing theirs):
Furthermore, an easy way to stop the Midian Controller from generating units fast is by puting your own units on the factories' platforms. That way they cannot spawn despite being ready.
I hope this helps!