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AoW1 Scenario & Campaign Design
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Topic Subject: Holiday Theme - Toy Wars by Skout77
posted 03-07-09 12:56 PM EDT (US)   
This is the Thread to Vote for Toy Wars, a map submitted under the Holiday Theme for the Winter 2008 Mapmaking Competition. Read the discussion below by our judges and then post your score for the map and leave comments in the thread below. Score once for each map, 1-10 points. Voting Closes at the end of March.

The full text of from the judges is below.

Enginerd: Welcome. You guys ready to discuss Toy Wars?
Pawel: I'm ready
Disenchanted: yes
Enginerd: OK... Toy Wars, the second map by Skout, this one submitted for the Holiday Theme.
Enginerd: Let's get started! Thoughts about the theme?
Pawel: it's about Santa and his Elves, so it fits the theme well
Disenchanted: I think he could have done a lot more with it, the story was cute though
Pawel: yes, it reminds me of the real world problems
Disenchanted: what real world problems?
Enginerd: Two factions of elves fighting over the right to be santa's elves.
Pawel: I mean things like protests against immigrants working instead of local people
Disenchanted: right, it kind of reminded me of the south park episode "goobacks"
"they took our jerrrrbs!"
Enginerd: Neat, what else.
Disenchanted: (in case you haven't seen it, people from the year 3045 start traveling back in time because they can't find jobs in the future...)
Pawel: interesting idea
Enginerd: thx, I missed that episode.
Enginerd: OK... so anything else on the theme... or shall we move on?
Disenchanted: I guess it was just because people keep shouting ("they took our jobs")

Disenchanted: well we usually wait until the end to say how it could be should I just say he could have done more?
Enginerd: Good enough. So playability, this is a 1v1 with elves vs dark elves and capture the location is set to capture the opposing capital.
Disenchanted: is it just me or is capture locations growing in popularity? (I think 4 of the last 5 maps used it)
Enginerd: Yeah, I guess it has lately.
Disenchanted: also it doesn't seem like, based on the theme, there's any particular reason you would have to capture the enemy town in this one, rather than just wiping them all out
Enginerd: Most MP are that way, wipe them out. CTF had an interesting twist on it but it fit for that type of map.
Pawel: yes, the story doesn't explain why capturing the enemy capital is important, but I think it makes the game quite interetesting, makes you think about defending your base
Disenchanted: I know it's meant for MP games, but I should just get this out of the way, since I played against the computer once...the AI does nothing, probably because the cities are so far apart, even if it's set to expander
Pawel: it's meant to be played against a human
Enginerd: Cities are far apart for humans too....
Disenchanted: I know. (I wonder how he avoided this in World of paradise though? I thought things were pretty spread out there too)
Pawel: the AI starts with more units there, and gets "spawns"
Pawel: (I mean the teleports leading to other players' lands)
Disenchanted: well, it's true, I still think the cities are too few and far between...
Pawel: I think it's good, I don't like maps with lots of cities
Enginerd: OK, but on this one there are a few battlegrounds... who can control the altar in the middle... who gets to the 4-hex and can make decent troops from it the quickest. Rescue the prisoners... and find some way to keep a quick fast strike force from rushing into your capital.
Pawel: the problem is that the big cities near every player are of opposite race and unupgraded
Pawel: if there were some upgraded cities that you don't have to migrate, capturing them would be more important
Disenchanted: well I thought the idea was to give each player a base near the enemy capital they could capture
Disenchanted: but in reality, the player closer to it is probably going to get it first and migrate it
Enginerd: Why go to the corners.... rush to the center, capture the neutral city, it is the key control point.
Disenchanted: if you can even take it with the terrible heroes you start with...
Pawel: there are other ways to get to the enemy, the underground one seems the fastest
Enginerd: no roads underground (but no big 3hex with an altar for a choke point either). It is nice that you have more than one route to get there.
Pawel: so you capture the center city with some losses, while the enemy goes underground straight for your capital
Enginerd: Could happen.
Disenchanted: or they go around and buy one of the friendly cities near your capital...
Pawel: anyway, the corner cities are not a good way to go, you have to migrate them (and keep some units away from action), and they can't be used to produce high-level units fast
Pawel: yes, buying them is an option, so you get some army to attack the capital
Enginerd: Could happen.
Disenchanted: anyway...maybe we agree there should be more upgraded cities (I would like to see more cities period so I would just add them, but you could also switch the race of the corner cities and make them lvl 2 or higher)
Enginerd: There are only three types of cities on this map... elf, dark elf... and frostling... what about that?
Pawel: yes, this is a map where you will meet your enemy fast, so you don't have time to upgrade your cities, so some of them should be upgraded from start, or you'll only produce lvl1 units
Disenchanted: you probably wouldn't have enough money to produce archers if you upgraded either. Well, I guess that fits the's about conflict between elves and drow
Pawel: yes, plus there are some "natives" (Frostlings)
Disenchanted: I guess all the others are frostlings because it's the north pole
Enginerd: I do like the palm tree in the underground though.... it really struck me when I saw it.
Disenchanted: there aren't really any natives at the north pole, but I guess if the map is about santa and his elves I can't criticize it for lack of realism...
Pawel: yes, the underground looks kinda cool
Enginerd: So what else on the playability? Or shall we move in the feel and look of the map?
Pawel: that's all from me on playability
Disenchanted: I really don't like maps where you can't build a decent hero or produce upgraded basically I found it kind of boring for all the reasons we just said
Enginerd: So on to the general feel or look of the map.
Disenchanted: well it's well designed like most skout maps...
Pawel: the terrain looks nice, although it's kinda "flat", all areas look similar
Pawel: maybe the dark elf area should look different than the elf one (more dead trees etc.)
Disenchanted: sounds a little bite like my criticism of the desert area in his last map, but I thought you disagreed
Pawel: I said that "it's normal for deserts"
Disenchanted: well maybe this is a "normal" tundra

Enginerd: lol
Pawel: as far as I know, there are no trees on tundra
Disenchanted: got me.
Disenchanted: "In physical geography, tundra is a biome where the tree growth is hindered by low temperatures and short growing seasons. "
Enginerd: you guys
Enginerd: OK... so anything else (new) about the feel/look of the map? We could discuss balance...
Pawel: it's rather symmetrical, so it only depends on the racial balance between Elves and Dark Elves (and maybe it's important who moves first)
Disenchanted: it is almost perfectly symmetrical from what I can see
Pawel: some details are different, like the river/lake, but they are not really important for the gameplay
Disenchanted: and yes I guess the elves might have an advantage since they move first (mostly if you're both racing to the middle I guess)
Disenchanted: maybe it's harder to make a balanced map that's not symmetrical for small 1 vs. 1 maps
Enginerd: But it doesn't have to be perfectly symmetrical.
Enginerd: So... shall we discuss things you would do to improve the map?
Disenchanted: I guess I have 1 more comment that didn't really fit into any of the categories, and I meant to mention this on his last map...
Disenchanted: he really likes to use a lot of area guards
Pawel: we already discussed that - Dis wanted to add more cities, and we both wanted them upgraded
Enginerd: Oh.. I"m sure Dis has more he could say
Disenchanted: on World of Paradise there are a lot of large cities where one stack is set to guard area, not sure why
Pawel: to surprise the unsuspecting player
Disenchanted: yes, but if it's so common it just forces you to bunch all your units together all the time and discourages exploration
Disenchanted: basically, if you ever send any units out on your own you lose them, but if you keep them together the indies never do any damage...
Pawel: yes, especially when all the area that you explored becomes black again due to Death Mastery
Pawel: but we were talking about another map...
Enginerd: (wait... that was Pawel's pet peeve last time I think)
Pawel: (yes)
Disenchanted: well there are even more stacks on guard (per square mile) here I think
Pawel: the area guards are not very strong, but they make scouting harder, I'm not sure if it's good or bad for this map
Enginerd: Would you change anything else?
Disenchanted: I would make the drow start out with death mastery since it's such a cool spell
Enginerd: Great... since they don't have a hero that can cast a spell it will be perfect!
Disenchanted: anyways, why would it be good to make scouting harder?
Pawel: I don't know, but I also don't know why it would be good to make it easier
Pawel: btw lack of heroes with Spell Casting is another thing that could be improved
Disenchanted: there's one in the dungeon
Disenchanted: not a lot of nodes though
Pawel: yeah
Pawel: and whet you get the hero from a dungeon, it may be too late for it to play a significant role
Disenchanted: the heroes in general are really weak, and there's no time to level them up
Disenchanted: (like the cities they need to start at higher level)
Pawel: yes, they are all "walking heroes" with really bad stats (especially HP)
Pawel: you can seduce a "savage warrior" though
Disenchanted: he's not all that savage though...archery and 3 att
Pawel: at least he has the whole 10 HP
Disenchanted: better than the player heroes though...I just remembered two of them actually don't have strike
Pawel: hmm, I can't find a place where you can get any items (except the 3 ones undergound)
Disenchanted: the castle ruins?
Pawel: where? now I see them and one monster hole underground
Disenchanted: the items weren't very useful though
Pawel: the melee items should give Strike, so all heroes can actually use them
Enginerd: anything else?
Disenchanted: well, I can't even remember what section we're on, maybe we should say how it could be improved (aside from the cities, I think we covered that)
Pawel: I wonder what a Nordic Glow on Guard does over the lake (maybe it's there to make people think it's an Area Guard)
Enginerd: Yeah, keep going on what can be improved.
Disenchanted: well, I thought the heroes and items could have reflected the toy theme a bit better
Disenchanted: although like we've been saying, the heroes aren't really storng enough for the items to matter, practically speaking
Pawel: some of them do that
Disenchanted: I know some of them do, but there are so many violent childrens toys and shows, you'd think he could come up with more
Pawel: the X-Box is am interesting item...
Disenchanted: also I was hoping I could recruit rudolph and hermey the elf (from the children's cartoon)
Pawel: what would Rudolph be?
Disenchanted: a unicorn (yes there would have to be something else for the dark elves)
Pawel: or a Centaur
Disenchanted: no
Enginerd: The creative juices are flowing now!
Disenchanted: that would be wrong
Disenchanted: or you could make them both a mounted hero with true seeing, night vision etc (because of the nose)
Pawel: I'm not that much into such kind of cartoons, I only know Rudolph has a red nose, but not what special abilities it gives
Disenchanted: well, it glows
Enginerd: OK... bringing it back on track.... anything else? Are we ready to give it a score?
Disenchanted: I think that's it, I'd just like to see some more creativity with the heroes and items, but I think the one example is enough
Pawel: that's all from me
Enginerd: Scores please.
Disenchanted: 6
Pawel: 6 sheep
Enginerd: (not the sheep thing again)
Enginerd: Great, well I think that concludes our discussion. Great job to Skout and thanks to our judges.
Disenchanted: can I change my score to 337 kumquats?
Enginerd: no... but I will include it in the transcript.
Pawel: what's the exchange ratio of kumquats to sheep?
Enginerd: you had to ask...
Disenchanted: 3 + 4i to pi
Enginerd: I knew we'd get something like that...
Pawel: complex numbers... I like that


[This message has been edited by Enginerd (edited 03-23-2009 @ 07:01 PM).]

posted 03-15-09 12:17 PM EDT (US)     1 / 6  
Voting can now begin! Good Luck Skout!
posted 03-23-09 09:36 AM EDT (US)     2 / 6  
Disenchanted: He really likes to use a lot of area guards...on World of Paradise there are a lot of large cities where one stack is set to gaurd area, not sure why

Pawel: to surprise the unsuspecting player
Well I had a feeling he was TOYING with me all along!

Ahahahahahah I kill me.
posted 03-23-09 07:02 PM EDT (US)     3 / 6  
Header updated with the entire discussion on this map... including the score from the judges
posted 03-24-09 07:14 AM EDT (US)     4 / 6  
In the chat, I basically said that the number and creativity of the toy-themed heroes, locations and items wasn't too impressive (it wasn't horribly deficient either.) But I only gave one example of the sort of thing I had hoped to see.

To show that I'm not just idly complaining and that I can actually come up with more ideas along the lines of what I suggested, I'm going to think up some other ideas for items that are toys, right now, off the top of my head:

Fire Truck: Flame Throwing
(I know most "fire trucks" shoot water, but those are really anti-fire trucks.)

Transformer: Lightning Bolts
(A transformer is a piece of electrical equipment, which is "essential for high voltage power transmission" according to wikipedia)

RayStation: Holy Bolts

Hex Box: Doom Gaze
(Hex = curse. I chose doom gaze over black bolts because reminds me of the "evil eye" - the idea that you can put a hex on someone by looking at them.)

Ram Bow: Wall Crushing, Archery, Mark IV
(Rambo is a movie character and action figure)

Lump of Coal: Hurl Stones and/or Ignition
(This is what bad children are supposed to get, or so tradition says)

...again those are just a few ideas I thought up.

I also particularly wanted to be able to recruit Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer and Hermey from the children's cartoon. Rudolph could be a unicorn, or they could both be a hero with night vision and possibly vision II or true seeing. In case anyone doesn't get that, it's a reference to the song:

"The song (first recorded in 1949 by Gene Autry) tells the tale of Santa Claus's ninth and lead reindeer who possesses an unusually red-colored nose that gives off its own light, powerful enough to illuminate the team's path through inclement weather."

Hermey is an Elf who hates making toys and wants to become a dentist. (I don't know what special abilities he could have, but the party could include a drill ) In the cartoon, the main characters travel to the "island of misfit toys," so that could be a whole new area to explore, full of pointless items and a few useful ones. (I don't know...maybe there could be a toy with a battery pack that catches fire and explodes. Ignition + self-destruct?) The cartoon is full of characters that could be translated into the game...for example, one of the main antagonists is a Yeti.

Well, I hope that gives you some idea what I meant when I said skout could have done more with the theme.
posted 03-25-09 06:54 AM EDT (US)     5 / 6  
I agree, the map could have been made so much better.

It lacks some ideas that I had in mind but I didn't have the time to put them all on one large map. That's why the map is so tiny.

I just wanted to submit a map, any map, in the spirit of the winter holidays.

Your ideas sound awesome and should be put on a larger map.
posted 09-16-09 01:31 AM EDT (US)     6 / 6  
Not much on the toy theme i admit, but it's a pretty good stand alone map. 7/10
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