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AoW2/SM Competitions, Tournaments & Wizard's Ladder
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Topic Subject: 3:rd place, Retribution by Sin911 - Judges comments
posted 02-01-06 01:04 PM EDT (US)   
The judges had some problems guessing who made this map. Not a surprise really since this is Sin911's first map.

Swolte had no idea, but guessed Chat Noir.
The Stranger guessed Psykitty.
Timelord guessed Queen Elquein.

Magog : The story in this map is pretty good, and the messages from the other wizards are nice. The sickness is a very clever idea, and the map layout in general is very good. Also good use of the pre-designed area. What I don't like and what ruins it for me, is that the map could have been made prettier with more details and landmarks, and the fact that the map is way too hard.

Swolte : The story concept is ok, but it seems too simple in the current form and should be elaborated on better. A lot of characters aren't introduced and it really needs some polishing in this area! I could reach lvl4's very quickly and this makes a lot of other units less valuable pretty quickly when you play to win. The landscape looks good but becomes a bit predictable and monotone. Very little really 'sticks out'.

Doesn't seem like a map you want to play, eh?

This is one of the most original maps in the competition. The first time I actually enjoyed playing in the shadowworld... the idea is brilliant and you will see it when you do! The gameplay holds lots of surprises, is tough and it will definately be a mapplaying-experience you will never forget!

I don't want to say too much, but please play it blind!!

Tips/bugs for mapmaker:
- No message when Tsinosra was met. Who is she?
- There is a description about a Dwarvenrealm with portals but I have no idea where that refers to.

The Stranger : This a very fun map to play. I found the story line compelling enough, though the spawning demon idea seems a bit overused to me. I especially liked the idea that the player’s race was suffering in a land of sickness. I would have liked more of an explanation for this: how they got there, who they were, and why. But that is a characteristic of the beginnings of a good story: it causes the reader to want more.

The story writing for this scenario was flawless, as was the writing for the events. Referring to events, they were well coordinated and managed. In particular, spawning units never cluttered up the map and actually seemed to do their job: that, is to harass and press the player. There were plenty of quests and challenges provided for the player, and a bit of history was consistently shed on the world in which the scenario took place—the Dragon, the temple (the three signs event was really nice). In fact, I would have liked to read even more. Well done 

Putting the player in the shadow world was an interesting touch. It increased the challenge of the map, and put an interesting twist on the possibilities for the shadow world. I think many of us limit ourselves when creating shadow world terrain, but this map shows that the shadow world doesn’t have to be dark and gloomy or dull or overly swift in terms of unit movement.

When first opening the map in the editor, I thought based on the mini map that the terrain would be dull and unvaried, but it was actually reasonably lifelike. There was a lot of uninterrupted forest, but I never felt bored the landscape. It actually seemed to fit the world in which the action was unfolding.

In summary, I was quite impressed with how well this map played, considering the amount of story and events that were used and the limited time to create it. If the author wouldn’t mind, perhaps he/she could create a sequel detailing the history of the people prior to their settling in the land of sickness. What fate drove them there, who were their leaders….? I, for one, would be excited to play another of the author’s excellent maps.

Timelord : The best use of the predesigned area (although at a mirrored level). Also, the best in terms of single-player experience - with a sufficiently challenging start (w.r.t spawns of independents/Nameless One. The other AI was a pushover). Nice use of events to flesh out the story (Elves joining in to help, and the angels later on plus comments and taunts from the Nameless One). The terrain could have used a little more work (was repetitive in a few areas with a lack of structures) and some of the events should have been made better (eg: when angels join you, they inform you about two portals being used by the Nameless One, but immediately after they join, this information is lost. Should have been atleast a message or better, a quest). The main reason for reducing points though, is the lack of use of terrain changing events on the surface (so that units can move out from the healing house) or the availability of a vault with the fire halo spell, to make units move through.

posted 02-01-06 01:32 PM EDT (US)     1 / 3  
I can honestly say that I didn't expect my map to do very well at all. I spent the first few days of the competition just reading through the forums and guides on this site to learn how to make a map.
Taking the judges comments to heart for the future, I will begin working on a new map (happily with more time to complete). Any additional comments from the judges would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks to all,

posted 02-02-06 01:00 AM EDT (US)     2 / 3  
Sin, an excellent map in terms of ideas, storytelling and gameplay (a little polishing needed here, though!).

I have already noted in my comments the areas that can be improved - certain events that point to the portals of spawning, change terrain events, and multiple dragon spawns (didn't check if it was there already!)

The spy/thief event was the best!

2009 1v1-Mapmaking Champion, Former PBEM Singles Champion, Proud contributor to the UPatch 1.4 and 1.5 effort
War of the Twins- 1 vs 1 PBEM map, Too Much Water - 1 vs 1 PBEM map, winner of 2009 1vs1 Mapmaking Challenge
My Dragon Age development blog
posted 02-05-06 01:40 AM EDT (US)     3 / 3  
Thanks Timelord, I have a list of changes I need to make including everything you have suggested. I'm working on a new map right now, but once it is done, I plan on making repairs to Retribution.


Age of Wonders 2 Heaven » Forums » AoW2/SM Competitions, Tournaments & Wizard's Ladder » 3:rd place, Retribution by Sin911 - Judges comments
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