MGC11 - The House of Miras
Posted on 05/01/11 @ 05:47 PM (updated 01/04/12
This is my entry for the Minigame Competition 2011.
||Role Playing Only
It takes place in the old mansion of a man named "Miras". Guide your tree heroes (Rudolf, Albert and Sam) trough the level and hopefully, find the riches of Miras inside the house.
- I tried to improve the overall map design.
- The Petard part is now slightly more difficult.
- The escape scene has increased in difficulty as well
|Author||Reviews ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )|
I downloaded The House of Miras with in my head the idea to do a little, easy treasure quest. Something enjoyable, but nothing more. Huge mistake. The game is a sucession of surprises, and of great challenges that need a lot of micro-management skills. The first part consist to destroy waves of zombies, ghosts knights and undeads that are appearing suddenly. After, if all the heroes are still alive, there is another horde of creatures to send in hell, and the player should find a way to block their spawning point. Not easy with only a fragile petard statue to do it! All of this to finish betrayed by... But I will stop here, to don't sell the punch of the scenario.
All of this to say that it is far to be borring to play. A lot of interesting objectives, bad surprises that appear everywhere, a dark decor... all to create an horror-movie atmosphere and always keep the poor AoK fan on his toes.
Just perfect. Hard, challenging, but never impossible. You need many try before to pass across all the game, but it is not an army of monsters created by a crazy necromancer that will afraid a valiant hero! Yes? OK, if death is a scaring thing for you, just chose easy level...
I particularly liked the main idea of the haunted house to explore. Also, the last part of the adventure was really creative (it is rare that we have to flee in front of demoniac armors, for example). Because we don't only find the creativity of the author in the gameplay, but also in the story.
Map Design: 4+
Really good. The author found an excellent way to build a wonderfull (as if lugubrious is certainly a better word to describe the map) decor where characters progress. All the elements were here: eye candies, creepy environment, excellently chosen sounds and some spectacular trigger tricks for an additional part of magic. My only deception: some parts of the map seems a little bit too poorly designed at my taste. The famous house of Miras seems a bit empty, in spite of all the satanic creatures that are living there.
Absolutely excellent! Only few designers are able to put a deep story as background to a mini-game, an story evoluting during the game. The last time that I saw turnarounds of this importance in a scenario for a MGC, it was in The Tower of the Moon, by Lord Basse. Well-written introduction and conclusion, unpredictable ending, detailed instructions...
The author fully deserve a five, in my opinion.
A great entry, for sure, and an excellent first creation. If you submit other scenarios, I will enjoy to play it.
[Edited on 05/31/11 @ 05:01 PM]
For taking five, maybe ten minutes to finish, this is certainly an entertaining minigame. The story is well written, although it's a variation of a rather cliché horror story. The gameplay is entertaining, the setting is novel as far as AoK scenarios go, and the music and sound effects compliment the scenario very well. The last piece of music, playing while you're running away, was cut off way too early though, which made the last part of the running scene a little anticlimactic. I also thought that the petard scene was a little too easy. None of the enemies attack the petard, so you can just task it to the statues and let it walk. Perhaps adding another obstacle, like a palisade/damaged wall for your heroes to clear out beofre the petard can get through, woul've made that scene more interesting. Overall it's an enjoyable scenario and certainly worth downloading.
There are only two scenes with fighting in this scenario. Or three, if you do the last one wrong! I played on moderate, and I found that the first scene was perfectly balanced. You needed to micromanage your heroes very well to keep all of them alive, but it wasn't impossible. The second scene, as I said earlier, was a lot too easy, and you hardly had to do any fighting at all. If you don't get the petard up quickly you might have to do some more fighting, but it's still rather easy. Overall I give balance a four. Parts were perfect, others not much of a challenge.
There are several creative elements in this scenario. First off, the theme. There are very few horror-ish scenarios in the Blacksmith, I can only rememer two actually, and this one is different from both of them as it deals with a haunted house. The music and sound effects are well chosen, even though the last piece is too short. The authour also tries to do an indoors scenario and succeeds rather well. The only negatives are that the gameplay is rather standard. While it's still fun, it's nothing you haven't seen a couple of times before.
MAP DESIGN: 4
Making an indoors scene really well is practically impossible in vanilla AoK. Trying to make sofas and bookshelves out of palisades and statues is bound to fail. Still, the authour does what he can and succeeds rather well to create the inside of Miras' house, which covers most of the 25x25 map. Coupled with the music it comes across as rather spooky. The outdoors scenes are a bit plain though; they're essentially just made up of leaves terrain and dead trees. Adding in some dirt 2 and 3 and maybe an odd piece of eye candy here and there would've helped to make it look better.
STORY & INSTRUCTIONS: 5-
For a map this small and gametime this short, the story is quite satisfactory. It's well written and conveys the theme of the scenario very well. Adding more depth to the characters isn't really needed, and most horror stories don't anyway. I did feel the introduction bit was a little messy though. Instead of writing all dialogues on the same line, try to change lines every time a bit of dialogue ends. E.g:
'"Oh hi Mark." said Tommy. "Hello" said Mark. "By the way, how is your sex life?" said Tommy.'
'"Oh hi Mark" said Tommy.
"Hello" said Mark.
"By the way, how is your sex life?" said Tommy.'
Other than that, the instructions were adequate and the bitmap was nice and suitable for the scenario. Overall I give this a weak five, the structure of the introduction being the only letdown.