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Downloads Home » Single Player Scenarios » The Arabian Nights

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The Arabian Nights

Author File Description
File Details
Version: The Conquerors 1.0c
Style: Mix
Any feedback would be most welcome as this is the first scenerio ive made for AOE 2 in years and the first one where ive fully exploited the trigger system
AuthorComments & Reviews   ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )
Official Reviewer
As the file contains only one scenario at the moment, it has been moved to the Single Player Scenarios category.

One advice I have to give you is to make the objectives as clear as possible. That will prevent the player from getting frustrated. For instance, one of the instructions in the beginning is to "cross the river", but no indication whatsoever is given as to where that river is. It would be okay to force the player to roam, but if you want him to explore then you should make the map more interesting.
File Author
For that objective the river is only a few seconds to the right and as below is forest then the player should find it quite quickly - i didnt want to make things too easy or boring for the player.

Im already working on the second scenerio but I wanted to wait for feedback so that I could make the second scenerio better :)
Mathyis the map is very boring
you should try to add more stuff just to make it more interesting to look at(do not add too much stuff though as this will ruin it)
Official Reviewer
You have a lot of work needed to make this scenario adventure games of yours to be better. It is severely lacking polish and I'm thinking that you did not playtest the map as well. Here's my playthrough:

-You should task the first enemy ambush towards the hero. This would attempt to remove any stragglers that decide to wander off so you won't have to search for them in order to continue the game. It also adds some tension seeing a bunch of enemies suddenly charge at you.
-Are you using a custom AI? Or at least an immobile one? It appears that the CPU are doing their own thing building, gathering, and creating units. This is probably not what you want as it would interfere with your set out game. Two of the CPUs also resigned from the game during my playthrough.
-Your setting, is it the desert? Because you need to try to make the environment realistic. Use trees and terrains that match your area, try not to mix in unrealistic things.
-You need to add some varying terrains, all I see is dirt1. And try not to make paths that are straight lines 5 tiles wide all with the same road paint.
-Think about the area that units can walk in when you design your playing field. You want enough room to not annoy your players. An example would be near the entrance to the ghost city. This area is composed of 1 or 2 tile paths stretching a long route. Walking through this with multiple units is a mess, worse when a lot of them are horse-size units.
-When you're walking to the chief hut, you suddenly get a bunch of units under your control because of gaia-LOS-capture, this occurs before you even speak to the lady.
-The health on the gates are far too high. It takes a nice chunk of time for my knights to bring it down. I sat there waiting, watching, bored out of my mind.
-In the ghost city, the CPU had so much more units than me, and far stronger, there is no way that anyone can win that battle. If the player just ignores that area and head straight to the boss, there's another gate to destroy, though it has lower health, it's still too high.
-The game crashes after I kill the boss person.

Overall, you need to improve the flow of the game. There are lots of empty walking and the few cut/speech scenes you have, they need to flow smoother. The story also needs fixing. It makes no sense that these random people living in the cliffs give their units control to you. And the climbing the difficult cliff plot, it doesn't really work because it wasn't difficult. The horseman himself climbed it and he killed all the wolves. Why the hell would he need a little civilian to come along?
File Author
I did test and re-test believe me, but this is the first proper scenerio i've made using so many triggers and for public playing.

How do you make your own AI?

The setting was trying to more accurately reflect the middle eastern landscape as it is not all desert, so I wanted vast barren wastelands, cliffs and patches of wood. But I'll do some more research and see if I can vary the terrain :)

Can't you use battering rams for the gates or trebuchets?

I'll lower the ghost units - I wanted to make it challanging i guess i made it too hard :S

I did have problems with boss one because it should create a change of ownership so what i did was have the change of ownership in 3 effects and it seemed to work when i tested it - any advice how to change ownership of such a large area without causing crashes?

I'll need to think about that last one lol

Official Reviewer
Check the forums for information about custom AI. Your game would suffice using just the immobile AI.

Where are you suppose to get rams and trebs? All I had were knights, camels, and maa.

For the ownership problem, just split the area smaller. Use as many effects as you need. Make sure the effect is set properly. Over 300 objects with 1 effect is the crash bug.
File Author
Thanks for the tips! I did try to use "no AI" but they kept resigning :(

Surely you can advance to the Imperial age? And build castles etc then? I'll check it out now but im sure I left that option open.
Map Design2.0
Playability: 1

Well I played until I got to Yusef's house then I couldn't figure out what to do from there. I used marco polo and still couldn't determine where to go. So playability is a one because I can't even finish it. (can't even progress that far in the story even.) You have to fix that. Put a map reveler at the relic. At the very beginning put a map reveler at the river or make it closer to the village or add more eye candy in between the two.

Balance: 3
In the one battle I did fight the balance was ok. As I looked at the entire map I noticed oodles and oodles of troops located in the cities. I don't know what their purpose is, but it took the balance down since I can only assume you have to fight them.

Creativity: 2
Again, not being able to complete the game was an issue. The name was pretty generic. Ali Alibaba? Then Yusef reminded me of Yusef Amier from GTA4. (We gettin' Arab Money!!)

Map Design: 2
The cities were decent as a whole but some parts made my eyes bleed.

*Imagine image of a row of trees that are identical*

Don't do this. Diversify the trees. Then there were massive dead spaces on the map. Terrain mix. Put some random oasis's. Make it fun to explore. Otherwise they're just going to "black death" it.

Story/Instructions: 3
Obviously weren't clear enough. Clarify and refine these. When the objective displayed "Go to the relic in the (some name) Pass ways" I had no idea where that was.

Additional Comments: Work on making it finishable then make it more astheticaly pleasing. Then rerelease.

[Edited on 05/17/12 @ 05:26 PM]

Official Reviewer
Map Design2.0
"The Arabian Nights" is a planned campaign by Jackrum, though at this time it only contains one scenario, which depicts the story of Ali Ali Baba, who is apparently Ali Baba's son (the one with the 40 bandits from the story).

Playability: 2
This plays like an RPG in the beginning, and at a certain point in the story you get troops and villagers, and are therefore allowed to build up. There are some factors that really bring down the enjoyment of the game. For one, the instructions are not always there to guide you, and dialogues run by too fast most of the time. Also, the big map will sometimes make the player confused as to what direction he should be following. This can easily be solved by placing a map revealer or a flag in the place of interest, and it will save a lot of frustration from the player. Also, some objectives get triggered by walking your villager in a certain area, which you cannot possibly know and this can provide another reason for somebody to abandon the game (see previous reviewer. I had the same problem as him but at a later point in the game, when you receive the army).

As stated before, the map is big and the player is forced to walk (villager speed in the RPG part) long distances without anything remotely interesting happening, and no interesting map design to make up for it.

After destroying the first enemy, the Sultan from the other city was seemingly going to attack me, but then the game crashed.

Balance: 2
The game is really easy for the most part. When you receive your base, you get huge quantities of potential resources under the form of sheep , gold and stone mines, and the enemies are turtled inside their fortress, making it fairly easy to destroy them, since the AI is not challenging. Maybe the author could use the "Pssive-aggressive AI" that can be found at the blacksmith to make the enemy more vicious when the time comes in the scenario.

Keep in mind that putting a really big amount of resources and units on the map is almost always going to result in a disaster as far as the game's balance is concerned. Try to avoid that, and try to make the game challenging and at the same time without getting the player frustrated.

Creativity: 3-
I enjoyed the dialogues (save for the fact that they were too fast), they really work towards creating a certain atmosphere, and some parts of the map (mainly the cities) had a few promising spots. Overall it's not a bad start, but can be improved a lot in this category also.

Map Design: 2
The map is obviously an attempt to create an "arabic" atmosphere, with a desertic climate. However, there is a lot of work needed here. You could add some palm trees here and there, maybe some oases, sand, cacti, cracks, craters... anything that makes the map look less bland. The cities have some more work put into them, but some parts look overly simmetrical which looks unnatural is really not accurate with arabic and oriental cities in general. The trees of the same type piled one in front of the other give the same feeling. You could keep them in a line but leave them more space to breathe. Also, you might want to avoid placing too many buildings of the same type next to each other or map copied over each other.

Story/Instructions: 3
The story is decent (at least as far as I went) and gets the job done, though it is a little awkward if you spend too much time thinking about it. The instructions could be a little more specific at times. As i said, the dialogue was good. So was the introductory paragraph from the history section. The bitmap used is just plain weird.

Additional Comments:
There are some promising aspects to this, but overall it is not a game I would recommend for the casual downloader. Still buggy, and lots of things are bound to make the player lose interest halfway.

[Edited on 08/04/12 @ 03:00 PM]

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