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AoW2/SM Competitions, Tournaments & Wizard's Ladder
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Age of Wonders 2 Heaven » Forums » AoW2/SM Competitions, Tournaments & Wizard's Ladder » 4:th place, Zombie stories by Psykitty - Judges comments
Topic Subject:4:th place, Zombie stories by Psykitty - Judges comments
posted 02-01-06 01:13 PM EDT (US)         
The judges had some problems guessing the author of this one.

Swolte and The Stranger was certain that Queen Elquein made it. (Come on people, this is such an obvious Psykitty map!! )
Timelord got it right though.

Magog : This is the map with the best story. Storytelling messages are short and easy to read, no long elaborate texts with difficult names to remember... Hero descriptions are well made and fun to read. Even if the events and story are really good at the beginning of the map, eventually you (well, maybe just me) end up without knowing what to do. The map itself looks good and many new 1.4 graphics are used to create very interessting areas.

The map is well made, but could use some tweaking. For example, some of the messages show at the wrong time.

Swolte : A classic...

It's been a long while since I have been this immersed in a single player map. The character building was extraordinarily done and this makes it a map everybody MUST play. This is not just very good, it is simply brilliant.

Somebody claiming that AoW-sm mapmaking is 'just a game', is definately proven wrong here. It is an art and you are inside this interactive and captivating novel that is written by master storyteller (sitting by the fire and telling a story that chills you to the bone).

There is no real downside to this map, because it is almost perfect in its kind. The only issue I had was that it sometimes felt quite 'directed' and that there were still moments where more clarification would have been useful.

It's made with great care and empathy! A lot of feeling went into this map and it definately payed off! I realised this from day one as you start the lonely journey with Thorme.

It's dark, sinister and mysterious and it begs for a sequal...

- When you walk the Wizard south (you have almost nothing else to explore the area there with), an event springs that 'Thorme has reached his home', etc...
- A Warballoon appears near the temple, to save the guardians (even when the guardians are dead - yes, I should have stayed on the temple itself!).
- No Wizard Description.

The Stranger : This map has a lot of potential. The story line becomes very intimate as the player identifies with a hero. However, this identification is not immediately clear, as the player is not introduced to the main hero until several turns in and, even then, is not given any information on her until she dies (eventually) to the spawns of area guards. Actually, I was able to keep her and all the rest of the units on the island alive by going through a lot of repetitive manual combat (maybe the attack units could be varied a bit…), which seems to throw off the storyline.

The heroes are unique and well written. I really appreciate having a little history on my heroes, and the author connects them well to the world created by the scenario. The story perspective is passionate and offers more psychological depth than is common in a scenario. Clearly, the author’s ability to develop and identify with the heroes of his/her story is a strong suit. I thought also that the author made the best good use of the pre made area. I was curious, though, about the balloon arriving to take the heroes away. I was never actually able to hire it. It arrived and offered to join, then disappeared after a storm hit….

Events are generally handled well but there were a few event bugs with the scenario. For example, I lost the hero Thorme before he got back to Abagail. However, I did manage to get Sechmette back to my wizard. An event image popped up greeting Thorme. It seems also that if the heroes die or get trapped in this map then the map is more or less over. I had Sechmette get cut off on an island in the shadow land from which she couldn’t seem to escape. No event warned me of this or explained how she could be rescued. And so, I was stuck with just one city. I tried letting a few turns go by, but nothing happened. I suppose this is one of the dangers of making a hero/leader centred scenario, but a few more event images/messages might have clarified the situation or provided the player with some alternative game play options.

To conclude, with a bit more time, I think this map could have created a very compelling and detailed RPG style of map. The author has obvious gifts in interpreting and creating characters with some depth, and I think such a map would have great appeal for players looking for something other than the usual build and conquer types of maps.

Timelord : Firstly, this map has some very original and stunning use of tiles in various places. And it truly, is kinda eerie - very well-fitting to the story. Although the actual area of the map is very small, the design is one I found the best amongst all the four maps - nice use of elevation, the shadow void and the lava makes an interesting combination with the various desert and snow tiles placed there. The terrain work is very inspirational. Story development is good - especially the different chapters for the heroes. What was not good - refugees spawning in the predesigned area without any change terrain events, basically fodder for the AI's death storms. A look in the editor suggests the possbility of a balloon spawning, but its very random.

OT : Psykitty I need your home address! Please E-mail it to me.

[This message has been edited by Magog (edited 02-01-2006 @ 01:16 PM).]

posted 02-01-06 02:59 PM EDT (US)     1 / 9       
Home address? I've only got one e-mail address, that's I've been forgetting to check again)

Most of the problems mentioned sound like they'd be fairly easy to fix. I remember, in testing, I had some trouble with the balloon event(and generally everything else surrounding Sechmette's bit), though it should be possible to get her onto the surface... will definately dig this one off my old computer.

I would love to say more, but the bell has rang and now I must be off to Social Studies!

posted 02-01-06 03:06 PM EDT (US)     2 / 9       


Home address? I've only got one e-mail address, that's I've been forgetting to check again)

I'm going to try to sweet talk Lennart into sending you a little something as well, that's why I need your snail mail address.
posted 02-02-06 00:32 AM EDT (US)     3 / 9       
This was my runner up and at times the winner!

I didn't know that Psykitty was even competing but I can see his hand in there. I must say that I am more then impressed by your storytelling and atmosphere creation of this map! It makes my Key of Kharzul map look like a cartoon! .

I hope you are making a follow up to this map. I have some ideas already!
Darn, I could have sworn it was born from the depths of Elqueins psyche, but I guess I was mistaken (you're not the same person, are you, are you??! )

*hats off*

Get the unofficial Patch v1.4. here!
My best AoW-Sm map: Drums of Death (This is the multiplayer version; for single player, or AI use different version)
Other proud AoW-sm maps: The Key of Kharzul, The Fight for Light, Waikiti Island, Goldrush Mountains
My proud AoW2 maps:The River Arne
Coordinator of the v1.4 and v1.5 patchteams, Seraph of AoWHeaven, PBEM Singles Champion 2008

[This message has been edited by swolte (edited 02-02-2006 @ 00:34 AM).]

HG Cherub
posted 02-02-06 00:39 AM EDT (US)     4 / 9       
I must say that this was a close competitor for the first place from my side too! Excellent map Psy!
After playing Needlessly..., the first look I had at the map made me guess it was Psy's - similar original use of tiles (that was the identifier for me!).

I never did play this map to the finish though. I also noticed that the events were yet to be completed? (There was a new section with God Virus that was empty...).
A little more work to iron out the events and this would be a classic.

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 02-02-06 03:49 AM EDT (US)     5 / 9       


Darn, I could have sworn it was born from the depths of Elqueins psyche, but I guess I was mistaken (you're not the same person, are you, are you??!

That's probably the highest praise one can recieve here. At least, that's what I'll tell myself to cope with only making 4th place. jk, I think I agree with the outcomes myself, even though I haven't seen Alex or the Groll's maps yet..

@Timelord: Yay! Someone played NCL!
Also, I've got some more work to do on events. But I didn't so much rush this map, as start to lose interest near the end, and figure I'd better just send it or I'd forget/abandon it entirely. Going to do some more tweaking before I upload it to the site.

The Groll
posted 02-02-06 11:11 AM EDT (US)     6 / 9       
Hi psykitty!

I´m very curious about all the four maps. I just have downloaded place 3 - Retribution and looked at it in the editor.
You say you have to do some more tweaking before you upload your map to the site. That is very good! I think we can wait for the final version and I must say, that you have to wait for my final version too, because I´m now in playtesting phase. It´s better to have a final map than a map like my was as I send it to the competition. Of course all terrain was ready, all events where done but in fact, the judges was my playtesters, because of the less time for the competition. For that I´m sad. For example, there where a "spawn units event" at the dwarfen kingdom that was to mighty and many other things where not perfect.
Now it goes on. If my girl have time for me to play the map on in hotseat, I will come to the end. But even then, there are errors inside, because we play it onlywith two races.

Another thing: I think no one have to be sad about the rang he/she have recieved here. All maps are good, if we look at the votes.
The only thing we can be sad about is the response of the competition. Only four maps have arrived finaly. And there are many people out there that still want to play the maps.
But if you got feedback it often is bad feedback. To tell a mapmaker nice things are difficult, to tell him what is bad in a map is easy, to make a good map for all players (Singel, Multi, Hotseat, All races playable) is of course impossible.
For me I wnat ot play all races in a map in singel player. For Timelord or Swolte they whant to play online.
Mybe they can describe me how to play online and pay a match aginst or with me and then I whant only to make online maps?
But maybe we have to look into the HG download section. So many downloads for a good map. And sometimes, so many downloads for a bad map with only a nice name, like for example "War of the Rings" or "Return of the wargods". That where only examples (if one map have this names and are good, sorry). If you make a map and it is bad to the bone and give it a good name you got your downloads. Therefore I want to have a look at your map. Nice name, nice map.

For the judges. I´m intersted in the details of the votes.
How high you vote for what (predesigned area, balance...). Maybe we can build up better maps then.
And maybe Magog can make a vote from the players, when all four maps are up in the download section in some weeks.
I think this is a nice idea?
And maybe Swolte or Magog can make a hint that the competition is over now in the other forum, because many people don´t look into this forum.

AoWSM Maps: 1. Marlenes Welt 2. Marlenes Schatten 3. Marlenes Gnade
Up.1.4 Maps: 4. Secrets of Marlenia (UPatch 1.4 Map - update) 5. Gates of Elocin - Part I (Mapmaking Competition - Winning Map) 6. David´s Winter Wonderland 7. Fairy Wedding
8. Marlene´s_Laughter 9. The Gods Arena Of Magic And Power 10. The_Wilderness 11. Kayland (AoW I Mod) 12. Mia-Mina_&_The_Seadrake
11. AoW I Sound Set for AoWSM 12. Gentleman Rules Set
Need Help? The Conqueror's Fieldguide to The Groll's Universe
Proud member of the Upatch 1.4 & 1.5 Team

[This message has been edited by The Groll (edited 02-02-2006 @ 11:24 AM).]

posted 02-02-06 06:06 PM EDT (US)     7 / 9       
Oh, I'm certainly not sad. I'm quite fine with the results--did better than I expected to, actually.


And maybe Magog can make a vote from the players, when all four maps are up in the download section in some weeks.
I think this is a nice idea?

This would be interesting, and I'm all for it.

Looking forward to playing the other maps.

@ Swolte: A sequel is certainly possible. I'd like to wait and see how it's recieved by the community, before I say anything definite. I'd be interested in hearing your ideas, though.

Edit: Map submitted. Ought to be out soon.

[This message has been edited by psykitty (edited 02-02-2006 @ 10:08 PM).]

posted 02-03-06 10:39 AM EDT (US)     8 / 9       
Zombie Stories is now up.

Also, this was in the version the judges played, too: Around day 14-16, a shadow void is supposed to wipe out Sechmette's temple, thus killing her. In the new one, I've closed off the area entirely, and added some more variety to the spawning enemies. I can't remember if I kept the war balloon or not...

posted 02-12-06 01:36 AM EDT (US)     9 / 9       
Well, gee, I guess I didn't have to hurry to upload this thing after all... now I feel silly.

A few things:
-I did begin work on an XL map, owing to Swolte's suggestions, and will likely continue to work on it. Although I haven't touched it in the past three or so days.
-School starts up again next week, so I won't be around here much.
-I'd like to try and get out another singleplayer map sometime soon, just to prove to myself that this one wasn't a fluke. (Every other sp map I've attempted, I've abandoned pretty early on. Very nearly abandoned this one, too.)
-Rilo Kiley is the greatest band ever.
-I'm so not ready for school. I'm tiiiired. And I haven't done any writing in weeks, and I haven't gone to Aikido in months and I don't know whyyyy...

But enough about me and my whinings. Please, feel free to allow this thread to return to its dust-collecting. Goodn-00----------------------------------ight, everybody!

Cat stepped on my keyboard. Yes, I'm keeping it.

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