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The Nativity Set

Author File Description
AnastasiaKafka
File Details
Version: The Conquerors
Style: Other
The Nativity Set

I always enjoyed setting up and playing with the nativity set at Christmas time when I was a child. Much of my enthusiasm for games and scenario design stems from those childhood events, and Christmas time memories.

I wanted to do something special with this unique tiny map that is a treasured gift, given to me by Ingo Van Thiel. Only as we neared the holiday I was experiencing computer problems. I was working on a fun and funny Christmas scenario using the 'Christmas Mod' found at the AOKH Blacksmith but all was lost in a computer crash (unrelated to using the fantastic Modpack). Wishing to do something special for my friends at Age Of Kings Heaven and the scenario design community, I was hard pressed for a good premise for a AoK gift. I hope all will enjoy the premise; The Nativity Set even though it was a rushed design.

The mystery about the birth of Jesus is one of faith, and is innocuous outside of that context. This infant, however, the first born of a Jewish artisan named Joseph and his wife Miriam (Mary), was to prove to be no ordinary child, for he was destined to play a unique part in history. He would be drawn to the dreams and visions of his people, and so clothe his life that he would give rise to a faith which identified him among many Jews as the Messiah, among many Gentiles as the Divine Savior of the world, and among many others as a remarkable man for his life and place in history. Within a century of his birth stories relating the circumstances of his nativity appropriate to the dignity in which he was held, began circulating among his following. These stories, simply and beautifully told, still have a strong emotional appeal. They bring us back again to that sacred place of childhood's imagination where there is no barrier to the commerce between heaven and earth.

The Nativity story of Jesus is a Christian belief, and I have created the scenario with the utmost respect for that fact. Still, I'm hoping that AoK enthusiasts of all faiths will enjoy it from a historical perspective. The paragraphed phrases in the scenario are from the Bible (Luke and Matthew), and other historical sources. Please accept my Christmas gift to AoK scenario design enthusiasts.

Anastasia
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General Instructions

.cpx to Campaign folder
.AI and .per to AI folder
.mp3 and .wav to Sound/Scenario folder

Turn game music volume to off before playing.

Play on the Normal speed setting.

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Peace on Earth - Merry Christmas!

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The Nativity Set by Anastasia - Tsunami Studios 2003 ©

Special Thanks to Ingo Van Thiel.

Microscopic Map by CenturionZ_1 and Ingo Van Thiel 2003 ©
- This map is a lot smaller than any other map. It only has 50x50 tiles. This is a template given by CenturionZ_1 (AoE), and recreated by Ingo Van Thiel for Age of Kings II - The Conquerors. The small map can only be used with 2 Player setting in the scenario editor, among other cautions for use.

Advanced Immobile Units AI by Zanzard Lothar - Tsunami Studios 2002 ©

Tanneur99 for his excellent Review and pointing out the Playability issue with the 800x600 resolution.

Staff and Visiting Members of HG AOKH and The Crew at Tsunami Studios.

Please feel free to write me with any questions or concerns regarding this scenario: anastasiatsunami@aol.com
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AuthorComments & Reviews   ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )
Tanneur99
Official Reviewer
Rating
5.0
Breakdown
Playability5.0
Balance5.0
Creativity5.0
Map Design5.0
Story/Instructions5.0
"The Nativity Set" is a single scenario campaign, an interactive cut-scene, the events take place around 7 B.C. in the town of Bethlehem, staging the birth of the Messiah.

PLAYABILITY: I enjoyed this short cut-scene, a Christmas gift to the HG community which gave me some reflective moments. A biblical scene we all know, which kept me interested to the end and beyond. 5

BALANCE: This category is related to the skill of the player and is somehow subjective, as the reviewer rates, if the scenario was too hard/easy to complete for him or if the scenario is well balanced. The scenarios goal was to do something special for friends at Age Of Kings Heaven, to show a cut-scene with a Christmas theme and it is in the intention of the author that there will be no fighting. From the review tutorial: “One important item to note about scoring the balance category for scenarios where no fighting takes place, such as cut-scene scenarios, some puzzle scenarios and some rpg style scenarios, is that just because the player cannot die in such scenarios, that doesn't mean the scenario isn't balanced. You also need to take the author's original intent into account, giving the author some benefit of the doubt. If the author never intended the player to face a struggle to survive, then there's no reason to knock down the balance score if there isn't any fighting. So keep in mind that you do need to take the intent and goals of the scenario into account when scoring the balance category, especially for those scenarios where fighting is not included.” 5

CREATIVITY: Completely original, nothing comparable has ever been done with the AoK editor. The idea, to stage the nativity play for Christmas is near at hand, never done before as yet. I liked the choice of music suiting the scenario perfectly, including the replay features at the players will; the creative design on a tiny map; the unit choice for the three magi, wise men, the Angel of God, beta units and the realistic approach to the mystery. 5

MAP DESIGN: The tiny map has a good design of the town of Bethlehem, map copy, the manger was well done, sparse use if not a total absence of what we call eye-candy, perfect for the arrival of the Messiah. 5

STORY/INSTRUCTIONS: Realistic historical approach connecting the events to the prophecies of Balaam, the mention of the early Greek sources referring to the magoi, magi, wise men instead of three kings. The magi, at the height of their power in the sixth century B.C., were organised in a sacred caste providing priests in Persia with strong religious influence over the following centuries which probably lasted until the time of Christ in the Parthian Empire. Exemplary author's description, read me, sensible bmp, d/l instructions, clear hints and the in game text was well chosen for the event. 5

Overall: A masterpiece.

IN CLOSING: Download now and show the scenario to your family.
Dark_Warrior_1_
Official Reviewer
This is an amazing design that will certainly put you in the Christmas spirit. Anastasia has done a great job with including some new features that are commonly seen with her innovative design style.
Jeremiah You have realised one of the oldest stories in a very well crafted cut-scene, which is also a beautiful sight for the eye. I have a great respect for that. Congratulations.

-Jeremiah Dragon Gaming Design Network
apolos Contrary to the official review,i found nothing special about this cutscene scenario.It totally lacked any action,the map design was very simplistic and all in all it was all about a few-mostly standing-units,a short story and a couple of songs.
Without any intention to insult the designer,i can't understand why this scenario was put among the best of the blacksmith besides Ulio,Sabato,The Kings Best Men and all the others.In compare to the best of this kind-Cristmas Morning-i'd hardly rate it more than 4.
apolos Sorry for the second in a row post; i'd like to explain a bit better my point a view.

The Navity Set is IMO a good work, that is a must download for designers,since it contains a few unique tricks that as far as i know made their debut in this scenario.
The map design had also a very strong point-the manger and the buildings around it-which was ideal and shows that detailed work which was done for it.

However since this scenario is supposed to be a cutscene with interaction involvement,it needed more things.Either more action,from more interaction to more cutscenes to more unit action,or/and more sound effects and especially a narrator in order to create a stirring atmosfere.

The surroundings of the town also felt empty.There was no need for heavy eye-candy use,because it was supposed to be a desert like map, yet with a few more trees, some more shepherds, a stable and a pond for sheep and things like that it would look much better, especially since the viewer was left to toy with it.

A good all in all work, featuring some unique stuff, but not one of the best out there.Minor but essential improvements could give a big boost though.
ax_man1 Don't diss a map (or cutscene) just because it has little or no action in it. IIRC, there was very little or no fighting going on around Bethlehem at the time of the birth of Christ, so altering the story by adding a fight scene would have ruined it, for me anyway. This is the telling of a story that people have retold for a couple thousand years, and altering it with more 'action scenes' would not have added to it in any way. Download Yogurt's Christmas Morning if you want another really cool cutscene/scenario christmas map.

Anastasia, you did a great job. I showed this to my parents and they thought it was great as well.
apolos By action i do not necessarily mean battle action.Joseph walking and saying something to God in example is action.The missionary saying something and moving towards the manger when clicked on is action too.Even audio narration is action, since it's something dynamic.My impression is that the map was kind of static.
Sorry my friend but i guess it's a matter of taste.
YOSOYELARMY this is a great scn showing the birth of christ.
thanks ana
muerte It was well designed but I didn't enjoy it much.
louie4life I did not quite enjoy this one
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Rating
5.0
Breakdown
Playability5.0
Balance5.0
Creativity5.0
Map Design5.0
Story/Instructions5.0
Statistics
Downloads:14,991
Favorites: [Who?]1
Size:2.01 MB
Added:12/25/03
Updated:12/31/03