The Successor - Preview (updated)
Posted on 02/21/10 @ 07:46 AM (updated 03/02/10
Ravenia is a land with no king. A land plagued by civil war and threatened by invaders. There is a dire need for someone to step up and raise it to its former gloryÃ¢ï¿½Â¦The need for a successor.
This is a non-playable cutscene that is a prologue to my new project. I hope you enjoy it. Feedback/suggestions are welcome.
the .cpx file goes in the campaign menu of your AOK root game folder.
the .mp3 files go in the sound/scenario folder.
Credits are in the cutscene.
Thanks for downloading.
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'The Successor - Preview' is a cut-scene scenario, and plays for a little more than twelve minutes. The story is fictional, an old-fashioned tale of war and its conquerors and a land left desolate without its king.
PLAYABILITY: 'The Successor - Preview' is really quite an enjoyable cinematic, and in viewing one can expect a complimentary blend of music and story-telling, as well as plenty of well-directed scenes to interest and draw the viewer. The tale of conflict and a country torn in half from civil war is told from the unlikely lips of a young shepherd, who, strangely enough, is too young to have seen any of the events take shape. As such, I enjoyed the unique flow of the narration, the sense of the 'adventurous child' behind the main character, and one cannot help but wonder how he will become tied into the looming clash to regain the kingdom's throne. I am left longing to know more. In saying that, this is an enjoyable viewing with a well-told and engaging introductory story, and despite it being only a prologue this should not be passed over. 4.0
BALANCE: This category rates the technicality of a cinematic, and for the most part this cut-scene runs smoothly and without defect. Everything seems as the author intended, with suitable use of triggers and music to support what happens on screen. 5.0
CREATIVITY: The strength of this cinematic is with its well-told story. The narration is effectively-paced and refreshing, and the music stirred for me the sense of an epic tale lost somewhere in the annals of history. Sound effects were used to good effect, but apart from this there were only a few other creative instances that really helped drive the cut-scene along, and to which I will leave the viewer to discover. 4.0
MAP DESIGN: The map design is on par with being average, but it's still quite good and suits the file rather well. Being a cinematic, what is seen is unavoidably limited, but the author of the file has obviously put a reasonable amount of effort and thought into the design, with beautiful countryside settings, villages and a city. However, there were a few quibbles, and in particular the city tends to lack realism in more than one place. To take one example, the king's palace looks clumped and ugly, with buildings placed without much care or thought. More effort is needed here and overall further polishing of the design at hand. 4.0
STORY/INSTRUCTIONS: The true strength of the cinematic, the story is engaging and the layout works well for the prologue, truly leaving the viewer wanting more. The instructions are shown in-game and are adequate, however I would have appreciated more effort in the overall presentation here. I encountered a few obvious spelling mistakes in the dialogue and lack of punctuation in places such as using lower-case letters instead of capitals at the start of the sentence - however all of this is really just me being a picky editor. Still, a bitmap would greatly increase the scenario's presentation here and a little something to fill an empty hints and scouts screen. 4.0
CONCLUSION: The cinematic shows plenty of potential and the good story can expect to please many. If you feel this is your thing, then give 'er a shot as it's unlikely to disappoint.
In a sentence - An engaging cinematic which promises a lot through its deep story and characters.
In closing - A highly-recommended download.
[Edited on 08/14/15 @ 08:23 AM]
"The Successor Preview" is a well-made, quarter of an hour long cinematic scenario which tells the tale of Ravenia, a country torn apart by foreign invasions and civil war after the late king's death. It was a pleasure to watch; the music fitted the story well and the timing with what happened on screen was often very good, the story was told in first-person by a shepherd which gave it a more personal feel, and many scenes were well done.
There were a couple of letdowns though. The cut-scene did feel quite slow at times, particularily during the fighting scenes. The music was well suited for the description and storytelling, but it didn't fit the battles too well. The switching views were also a bit slow during the war scenes, and having camels and elephants patrol side by side did look a little awkward.
Overall quite good, with good atmosphere and soothing music, but not perfect. A four.
PACE & FLOW (BALANCE): 4
Like I mentioned earlier, some of the scenes were quite slow; the fighting scenes were you watched a couple of guys slaughter each other, then stand around for a couple of seconds before the camera moved, the slow credits and a couple more odd bits. But overall the flow was good and it fit the atmosphere and style very well. In total, a four.
There were a few creative bits and bobs in the cinematic but nothing too overwhelming. You had shoreless water, map-copied buildings making up some nifty palaces and castles, the first person storytelling, and the very suitable music. It gave a good impression, working well with the atmosphere of the scenario, but personally I didn't find it far above average. The style of the narration was rather unique, but apart from that there was little that came across as creative. That doesn't mean it's boring, on the contrary; it was an interesting story, but apart from the narration there wasn't much to warrant a high score in creativity.
MAP DESIGN: 4-
A bit above average; some parts of the map looked really good, like the beach (save for the flowers in the sea), the map-copied palace and castle, Vallar's village and a few more places. Other parts were a bit plain. The mountains of Sylvania looked like they had received too little love during the designing process, and the battle scenes were also rather plain. As a whole I think it holds up quite well, but there is a lot of room for improvement. More terrain mixing, less squarey elevation and less flowers would all be good improvements.
STORY & INSTRUCTIONS: 4
Instructions are few but adequate. It would've been nice if you had the requested settings in the hints or such, so that you could see them before starting the cut-scene, but that doesn't ruin the entire cinematic. The story is well told and told in a quite unique way. It gives you the history of Ravenia and sets up the premise for the campaign to come, and it gets you interested in the story. I think it touches upon the characters and enemy tribes a bit lightly, these could've been given more screen time and character; the enemies all seem like cliché bad guy invaders - pillaging nomads and ever-growing empires - and the Prince doesn't get much time at all, even though he gives us a couple of funny lines that at least had me thinking I was going to like him in the campaign later on.
FINAL COMMENTS: I did quite enjoy watching The Successor and I'm looking forward to the full campaign, and even though the cinematic had it's flaws it's still worth a watch. Best of luck with the campaign, Panel!
Playability is perhaps the weakest point of the scenario. In line with the previous review, I felt that the cinematic was moving in a rather sluggish pace. Although this was probably intended by the author to ensure the proper timing of the music, which is a good idea, this actually becomes the biggest flaw I could mention. The author could have added a few more scenes instead of pausing the view to a certain area where not much is going on, before the view shifts to another place.
From start to finish, apart from the drawback mentioned in the previous category, this cinematic runs smoothly, without any apparent bug that harms its pace and flow. Triggers were running as the author intended, and music never ends abruptly or being looped over and over, which is a good thing.
In the extent of this cinematic, creativity is mostly displayed through an exceptionally well-told story, through the words of a young shepherd who lives in a remote village, who is seemingly irrelevant to the tale of The Successor itself. This is a unique implementation that we seldom witness in most scenarios of this kind, which gives this category a plus. The use of Kitaro music is a nice addition, although at times I feel the relaxing atmosphere of the music does not complement the tension of the scenes portrayed -- a country in the verge of downfall, owing to civil wars that broke out after the demise of its king, and rampaging invasions from neighboring nations. However, this is merely a small drawback, considering it is historical tale told by someone, and the scenes were not actually happening in the timeline of the cinematic.
Map Design: 4+
The cinematic shows an exemplary map design, which shines best in the nicely designed beach, the valley where a bunch of units get slaughtered by archers, the good layout in the city of Kron, and the map-copied bunch of castles where the king got assassinated. However, in some places I reckon that the author needs to spend more time to polish the map. For some reason, flowers are quite abundant in the streets of a city, adding an unrealistic sense that for a grandiose capital, it's not properly cared for, which also calls for a few more road mixing. The farmland could've been made less bland looking by sprucing it up with jungle plants, less arranged plants, less squarey farm tiles and some flowers. Elevations were used ineffectively in some areas, most notably Vallar's village. Also, although terrain mixing has been applied in the map design, it still needs more polishing to warrant higher score in this category.
Story is very well-told in a unique way, although a History section could've been better as the cinematic itself does not give detailed background of the nations. Moreover, we did not get to know much about the main protagonist himself, Krall, apart from the fact that he's the supposed successor from the campaign title. Although this is merely a teaser to set up a premise of upcoming campaign, I'd like to know more about the character instead of a few lines that depict him. Instructions are available and adequate. My other issue is with the texts/dialogues. Personally, blue is not my color of choice when it comes to watching a cinematic and trying to read the text on screen, set against a colorful background. It managed to take away my enjoyment a little bit, although not too harmful no deduct the score by 1.
OVERALL: A pretty good and enjoyable cinematic that shows promise, flawed by a sluggish pace.
CONCLUSION: A very recommended download.