This is the Thread to Vote for
Capture the Flag, a map submitted under the Historical 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.
Part of the judges discussion is below... the full text will be made available before the judging ends.
Enginerd: OK.. Capture The Flag by Arctic Wolf, made for the historical theme map competition. 3 races, with victory conditions. To evaluate this map we played an online game, it was a lot of fun, our game just ended so we’re here now to start the discussion about this map.
Pawel: I didn't see the surface Disenchanted: sorry Pawel: I can see it in the editor Enginerd: Well.... you can imagine.... when you arrive with one stack... you're screwed..... when you arrive in force like Disenchanted... you waltz right through the AI.
Disenchanted: the drow had a ton of troops at my 3 hex actually
Disenchanted: I came with 4 stacks, think I lost like half of it Enginerd: I think the key (or at least one of them) for Disenchanted was his ability to get and use lots of elephants, this helped him early on and with all those FC battles the elephants are great. Enginerd: He did well expanding and thumping on me early on too Pawel: yes
Disenchanted: that might have helped...I got 1 azrac city and I migrated all evil cities to azracs Enginerd: Anyways... for the historical theme of this map, your thoughts?
Disenchanted: I actually didn't enjoy his take on the theme so much. The story wasn't very interesting to me, and I am highly interested in computer games, it seems like a bit of a stretch to call it "historical" Pawel: it's about a 'historical' outdoor game Enginerd: Have either of you played the outdoor game? (I have, many times) Disenchanted: when I was a kid Pawel: me not, it's not popular in Poland Disenchanted: more recently I played laser tag in an arena where the goal is to shoot the enemy base, it's somewhat similar Enginerd: yeah, CTF kind of evolved with laser tag and paintball (ouch, that hurt… or maybe laser tag and paintball evolved from ctf ) Enginerd: Anything else on the historical aspect to the map? Pawel: there are some paintball fans here, but I'm not one of them Disenchanted: most of the "history" here is about the computer game Disenchanted: the first paragraph just explains the rules of the game, the next talks about past computer games, and I still say that isn't very interesting (again, speaking as someone who does enjoy trivia and computer games) and not a very good fit for the theme Pawel: some parts of the text are suspiciously similar to the wikipedia entry on CTF Disenchanted: lol Pawel: example: Pawel: The first computerized game of Capture the Flag that I know of was released by Richard Carr in 1992. It was an MS DOS based game which required players to move one of their characters onto the same square as their opponent's flag, as opposed to bringing it back to friendly territory. - from the description Pawel: In 1992, Richard Carr released an MS-DOS based game called Capture the Flag. It is a turn-based strategy game with real time network / modem play (or play-by-mail) based around the traditional outdoor game. The game required players to merely move one of their characters onto the same square as their opponent's flag, as opposed to bringing it back to friendly territory - wikipedia Disenchanted: that last sentence is almost identical Enginerd: Looks like we know where AW did some of his research. Disenchanted: maybe it's not so important to me since I wasn't going to give it a high score for the story/theme, but I might have to take off a bit more if the story is not original Enginerd: Good enough, shall we move on to playability....
Disenchanted: yes, playability
Pawel: I think it should be fun, if you're not opposing such a good player as Disenchanted Disenchanted: haha thanks Enginerd: (in case you're wondering, Disenchanted won) Disenchanted: I agree it's fun, although all games are more fun against humans (as opposed to how we playtested the other maps Pawel: yes, although the Enginerd's map was quite fun against the AI Disenchanted: yes, it's also hard to compare SP maps to MP... Enginerd: Yeah, two different animals there. Pawel: you fight the AI players here, so it's partially similar to an SP map Enginerd: We also took a long time to get to the AI on the surface.... because we spent so much time beating up on each other in the maze level. Pawel: yes Disenchanted: yes, I almost felt like if you don't control the caverns you'll never win. If that’s always true, whoever wins underground will win the game Enginerd: I wonder if you just rushed your first stack through the maze if you could establish yourself before the AI got too strong.... I'm sure you could. Buying a few towns along the way in the maze, pick up an elephant.
Pawel: yes, you need gold to produce and upkeep all the units that will fight against the AI Disenchanted: yes you could if I let you Pawel: theoretically you can go to the surface fast, but the other players will probably disturb you Enginerd: Not if you go "capture" your two locations quickly... it's a race in that regard, much like the outdoor game. Don't know how it would work out in the end, our game was played as a battle for the maze. Enginerd: What did you think of the maze anyways? Disenchanted: speaking of the maze, when I looked in the editor, I thought it looks like another uninteresting symmetrical map Enginerd: go on.... Disenchanted: but actually I had fun in the caverns Enginerd: So did I. Disenchanted: the mazelike aspect of it adds to the suspense in MP mode and also the theme Pawel: maybe it's fun, but I still think it's a bit boring Pawel: there is nothing interesting there, only cities Disenchanted: it's not fantastically interesting, but a lot more fun than I expected. Paradoxically, I think it might add to the replay value since there are so many paths you can take Pawel: yes, there are some interesting strategical situations that can occur Enginerd: And it fits with the capture the flag theme.... sneaking around corners... wondering who you're going to run into.... do I go this way or that way... Disenchanted: yeah it's like paying CTF indoors, or laser tag indoors (or in an arena) Enginerd: exactly Pawel: well, I thought it's an OUTDOOR game Disenchanted: it can be played in a large building or group of buildings, like on a college campus, I know people in college who played both games in the main quad. Enginerd: I liked to play in the woods, hide behind trees and stuff, play at night, no flashlights, lots of sneaking around (but we digress) Disenchanted: it's like a semi-outdoor sport Enginerd: OK.. back to the playability of the map. Disenchanted: seems like one problem is the strength of the AI defenses can be incredible...or not Disenchanted: it’s quite variable, the drow had like 6 stacks hanging around the city (3 in 3 out) Pawel: it depends when the players will get there Disenchanted: the goblins only had 4 units in sight (same turn) ... Enginerd: I found them to be incredible... but also incredibly stupid (typical for the AI). Enginerd: I had one stack and was overwhelmed with massive floods of armies (my bad for not having reinforcements). Also, with all battles in FC with the AI it made my life miserable. Disenchanted: yes the reason is the AI is dumb and also does not assign any particular importance to defending your objectives Enginerd: I sense a theme from last week when we discussed Andelin’s Quest coming on.... Don't stop now.... Pawel: yes, I think it's the same problem as on your map - the cities are independent at the beginning, so it's unpredictable how the AI will defend them Disenchanted: that was all I was going to say...he could of course garrison the cities manually with 1 stack on guard Enginerd: OK.. what else? Disenchanted: I think it would be more interesting if there were upgraded/upgradeable cities and also other structures Pawel: yes Enginerd: in the caverns and depths? Disenchanted: (I know there are a few on the surface, but if you can capture and migrate them then you could have won already) Disenchanted: yes Pawel: generally these levels should be more "diverse" Disenchanted: is there anything else or sould we wrap it up? Enginerd: How about balance? Disenchanted: it's symmetrically balanced, except that the orcs are set to expander I think, the other 2 are defender Pawel: yes, every team has identical units and cities at the start Disenchanted: the objectives are symmetrical as well, except for the AI races and settings (1 expander as I just said) Pawel: hmm, I wonder why is it so (2 defenders and 1 expander) Enginerd: My guess.... just a small detail that was missed. Disenchanted: well only enginerd saw the orcs, how did their behavior affect the challenge and gameplay? Enginerd: They kept coming at me in my city I stole from them.... if they were defending then I probably could have migrated and then expanded out. Disenchanted: with defender doubt you would have captured it in the first place, but who knows, they usually build absurd defenses, but they're pretty stupid Enginerd: true... I found it with only three or four armies in it, it likely would have had 3 stacks in it.... although the dark elf town only had 3 archers when I tried to storm it. Disenchanted: yeah they all seem to move troops around and leave cities temporarily undefended Pawel: it's typical behavior of the AI Enginerd: I did see them use the ships to cross the waters.... you don't see that every day. Pawel: I saw it on Skout's map Disenchanted: I guess maybe the shipyards are there for the humans to use, really Enginerd: I think so... grab one city, build a ship, jump over to the other isle, grab that city. Disenchanted: like if someone blocks you underground you can get to your island from the surface Pawel: looks like when they have nowhere to expand, they can build ships and use them
Enginerd: OK... Closing comments about the map? I think we've covered most of it. What would you do to improve it? Disenchanted: didn't we already cover that really, more diversity Pawel: the surface looks good, the normal AW quality Disenchanted: bigger cities, more structures Disenchanted: tweak the AI a bit Pawel: the underground should be more diverse, as said earlier, maybe the objectives should be already owned by the AI, or have strong defenses, so they won't capture them Pawel: hmm, I just noticed that one of them doesn't have a wall Enginerd: I'm sure it did when Disenchanted got there in our game.... Pawel: if they are owned by the AI from start, they should have strong stacks on guard Enginerd: In our game we never had the chance to explore the crypts or prisons... any thoughts on that aspect of the map? Disenchanted: the defense there is insane, I don't think I'd ever explore them (maybe they're for the AI? no idea) Pawel: they are there to make you have something to do after smashing the AI and waiting for a ship to be built Enginerd: And the custom items would be nice too, there aren't too many items to choose from so you're bound to get good ones. Pawel: a hero with spell casting from the beginning would be nice
Disenchanted: if we were playing with TC (like in a PBEM game) it would be more reasonable I guess. Actually that gives me an idea...there could be a different version with weaker AI for online games… or maybe not...no one really plays online games anymore, which is unfortunate
Enginerd: Maybe we'll start a revolution of online gaming after this! Pawel: what about starting an online tournament? Enginerd: I'll start a thread and we can discuss it with the group. Disenchanted: that was an idea I meant to bring up a long time ago, but since I never saw even one online game being played (though people made some noise about wanting to do it) I assumed it would never work Disenchanted: I think we should start a revolution though Enginerd: Before the revolution.... let's finish the map Enginerd: Are we ready for the scores.... any more comments? Disenchanted: the revolution will not be postponed!!!! Disenchanted: and not televised!!!! Enginerd: lol Disenchanted: um...so, scores? Pawel: what does "televised" mean? Disenchanted: broadcast on television. The revolution will not be televised" is a common phrase Enginerd: Yes... scores!
Pawel: 6 Disenchanted: I give this map 6 sheep and a snail (bah)(bah)(bah)(bah)(bah)(bah)(sn)… out of a possible 10 sheep (2 snails = 1 sheep) Disenchanted: so 6.5 Pawel: lol Enginerd: I have no idea what the sheep thing is... glad you explained it. Enginerd: Great.... An average of 6.25 for Arctic Wolf. I am most appreciative of the time and energies put into this map... and the fun of the online game
Part of the judges discussion is below... the full text will be made available before the judging ends.
[This message has been edited by Enginerd (edited 03-23-2009 @ 07:04 PM).]