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Downloads Home » Single Player Scenarios » MGC11 - The Roadside Daydream

MGC11 - The Roadside Daydream

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Author File Description
Operator
File Details
Version: The Conquerors
Style: Mix
Screenshot:
Entry for the 2011 Minigame Contest.

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Follow the story of Germain as he journeys through the frontier zones of two kingdoms, only to come across what can only be described as an idyll.

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Installation Instructions:

Place "The Roadside Daydream.cpx" in your Age of Empires II\Campaign directory. This is C:\Program Files\Microsoft Games\Age of Empires II\Campaign\ if you've installed in the default location (or Program Files (x86) if you're using a 64-bit version of Windows).

Place all mp3 files in your Age of Empires II\Sound\scenario folder. See instructions above for further details.

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Credits (in no particular order):
Kevin McMullan, Joel Zimmerman, Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo, Stephen Rippy, Thomas Bangalter - Music
Sebasthian T - AI
Jon - Testing
AuthorReviews   ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )
Cataphract887
Official Reviewer
Rating
3.8
Breakdown
Playability4.0
Balance4.0
Creativity4.0
Map Design5.0
Story/Instructions2.0
"The Roadside Daydream" is a lovely gem of a scenario thats been left by the wayside little noticed. A few imperfections and flaws do mar the experience, but its certainly a game well worth playing.

Playability 4

The gameplay was quite lively and entertaining, with the player fending off raids while also needing to push out to obtain access to traders around the map. There is a good balance of intensity on the lower difficulty levels so that the player is encouraged to play carefully, yet the penalty for losing troops carelessly is not so severe that a few losses will end your game. The map itself contributed to the enjoyment, with an aesthetically pleasing green environment that makes a an enjoyable background to the gameplay. A sidequest added some replayability value, with the player needing to choose between prolonging the fight to obtain a reward or just pushing for the win off the bat. The story didn't contribute much to the enjoyment however, and is a missed opportunity to add more depth and meaning to the gameplay. The boss battle at the end was a bit lame, as you can simply rush down the statue and escape off the edge of the map, with the result being all your actions being for naught.

Balance 4

The challenge presented was interesting;escort your trade cart to the various traders on the map while your farmers gather food in the village, balancing units between attack and defence. The enemy difficulty was balanced with a dynamic difficulty system, although the main effect seems to simply be the number of enemies faced. This point would be my main contention with this aspect of the scenario;you are faced with too many enemies, who have a tendency to simply clump up where spawned in as if the author had expected the player to encounter and kill them off in a certain order, and hadn't crafted the gameplay carefully to meet any differences in player choices, which is a primary feature on offer with a sidequest. The massive clumps of berserks that can form seem impossible to beat without luring them off with spearmen to the side.

Creativity 4

I found the game to be rather clever in design and map usage, managing to include an optional sidequest with an interesting main gameplay of farming food to deliver it to traders for gold. There is even a boss battle of sorts, though I found this section to be a bit lame in gameplay. The basic enemies in the game did feel a bit lacklustre;they tend to pile up in a spot in a huge bunch and become impossible to engage without lure tactics. The music and sound effects included were nice, but their usage was quite low key and sporadic leaving most of the game quiet. I felt like the story lacked impact without much lore having been built and for being so cliched in delivery.

Map Design 5

Aesthetically pleasing map design with good detailing and clever usage of space combined to create a very good impression here. An oak and pine forest with carefully placed trees forms the basis of a good green map. Usage of bushes was nice as well, though one of the two next to each below the bottom left house could be removed to avoid symmetry. A great deal of rocks and stone piles were used, which worked well to add rough terrain to contrast with the green. The basic terrain mixing was well done combined with nice usage of elevation which creates a nice effect in the village with the roadway and housed area rising above the farmland. The roadway was nice, being dirt1 with the dead farmlands uses for rocks which works well here;no crater objects were utilized, which is a bit surprising. The shoreless shallows for swamp terrain even made an appearance which is always nice to see, though nowadays in the userpatch this terrain is easily accessible. One weak point in the map layout was the two houses forming a chokepoint in the village;that sometimes led to annoying bottlenecks as many units tried to go through at once.

Story\Objectives 2

I cant say I was particularly impressed by the story. If I told you the main characters were Mr Bond and Germain perhaps you would get an idea of the tone set by the scenario. In terms of content, what we get is a reasonably sized opener with ingame dialogue that drives the gameplay forward, finished off with a bit of an oddball ending sequence. Ordinarily I would give a 4\5 for this story, despite all objectives, hints, scouts report and pregame history sections being lacklustre to say the least. The lack of any content in the scouts report or history section was a bit of a letdown with the author clearly capable of creating enjoyable writing. Its a lack of lore that erodes interest in the map, the world activities take place within, and doesn't give the player much to feel invested into. I didn't feel like my actions had any meaning by the end. There is also no explanation regarding the enemies and their motivations.

The delivery of the story was marred with imperfections, with the first letter of some characters names and some dialogue getting clipped off at the start. Fortunately sentence grammar was good with no typos that stood out to me.

Another problem was the exceptionally lacklustre instructions. The game is not explained in hints\scouts\objectives and much of events in the scenario are left to the imagination of the player. It took me until a second playthrough to realize the player was actually intended to farm food, as I thought some triggers were broken with the trading system. This may seem blatantly obvious on the face of it, but such gameplay mechanics are often tokenized and automated in such scenarios and the scenarios instructions were to simply load food from the mill. The same is true of the reinforcements system;there isn't a single reference to it, but for some reason the player receives spearmen over time to replenish his men. How, why, and does it have limits is not explained.

Final Thoughts:A great little scenario thats well worth the play.

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Rating
3.8
Breakdown
Playability4.0
Balance4.0
Creativity4.0
Map Design5.0
Story/Instructions2.0
Statistics
Downloads:327
Favorites: [Who?]0
Size:2.91 MB
Added:04/04/11