With conventions out of the way, I've been able to crank up the heat on this project and really get some work done. I finished my paper map design and have begun to create the map in the editor. Lots of stuff to be done, but I'm having a blast doing it. Below is the current progress:
I've only done a little bit of set decoration (I'm kind of filling in as I get the terrain how I want it), but already I'm really happy with what I've been able to do so far. My "dead colony" that players will uncover upon arriving was so much fun to make. Check out the grisly results below, along with my beautiful waterfalls (that are definitely not the easiest thing to make):
Additionally I've already made one change to the objectives of the level. Rather than concluding with a defense against a Dominion convoy, I will now have players defend against the convoy while escorting each colony to a drop ship. The comm tower located at the middle of the map has been moved in favor of having that area be the drop ship landing area. I came up with this after fiddling around with the various units in the editor, and I think it will result in a much more challenging and satisfying finish with a lot more tension.