|Al_Kharn the Great
Posted on 07/30/14 @ 06:02 PM (updated 10/21/15
City of Peace
||Age of Kings HD: The Forgotten
A murder mystery set in 8th century Baghdad
Requires HD: The Forgotten DLC
City of Peace
A young woman has been murdered in Madinat al-Salaam (City of Peace). As Harun ar-Rashid's vizier, Jafar ibn Yahya, find her murderer in an immersive journey to the Islamic Golden Age on the verge of turmoil.
"City of Peace" is a detective story in which you play Jaf'ar, the Sultan's vizier in Bagdad during the Islamic Golden Age, and your objective is to solve the murder of a local girl with close ties to the palace. It's a unique scenario that forces you to really use your brain to win! -Lord Basse, judge AoK Heaven Minigame 2014 Contest
"fascinating gameplay, with alluring sidequests, interesting mechanics and thought â�� provoking interogations... all in all, a splendid entry." -Arnas, judge AoK Heaven Minigame 2014 Contest
"A very creative idea for a scenario; murder mysteries are rare in AoK, and even then the Middle-Eastern settings adds a unique twist to it. The mystery is well-plotted and reaches the same level as many of the good murder mysteries in literature and television" -Lord Basse, judge AoK Heaven Minigame 2014 Contest, designer of Gwyndlegard
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City of Peace is Al_Kharn the Great's 2nd place entry to the 2014 Minigame Competition. It is a murder mystery style scenario set in 8th century Baghdad. The scenario uses taunt based gameplay
The scenario is a puzzle murder mystery scenario and therefore doesn't have much action or fighting in it. The idea of the scenario is to move around the city and interview all of the people you meet to find out information about the murder and the victim, ultimately coming to a conclusion as to who the murder really is. The gameplay is taunt based, so you can chose to take the story in many different directions. Your actions in conversation can lead to you receiving different bits of information. Overall the scenario is very fun but as it is mainly walking and talking it can become very tedious and boring. A little bit of action and maybe some fighting could of improved this and engaged the player a bit more. Especially if they're like me and prefer more action based gameplay.
As this scenario doesn't have any action or fighting then its quite hard to judge the balance. Overall the balance of the scenario was good. The main challenge being the task of uncovering the real murderer out a large list of possible suspects. The balance was good; some things you discover gave you a direct idea as to who the murderer was, whilst other things gave you possible options and meant you had to think a bit more. It was the same with some of the misc quests; some were easy whist some required more thinking and intelligence. Overall the balance was superb and a great game for a player of any experience to play.
As said before the scenario hasn't got any action or fighting and therefore doesn't have many great trigger tricks in it. The most impressive and create things done with triggers is probably the taunt based conversations that this scenario relies on. I also liked the caravans thats walked through the city every now and then. Most of the creativity of this scenario lies in its story and what all of the people tell you in interrogations. Some of the information you get is quite clever and really makes you think about whether people are lying or if they are actually telling the truth. Overall I enjoyed the creativity in the plot of the murder and has to why it happened and the motives behind it, etc.
Map Design: 4
The map design is rather good. I depicts a small part of the city of 8th century Baghdad. In the top corner is the royal Palace and then you have an array of bazaars, houses and monasteries/mosques. The city is designed well with nicely placed buildings, some which are overlapped to create some interesting designs. I like the layout of buildings and the terrain mixing in the roads. However, the map was entirely flat, and there was no elevation. I know that its supposed to be a city but even an old slope of 1 elevation or something really helps spice up the map design. I also thought that here was a bit too much road. a few bits of dirt mixed in or grass could also made the map a bit more realistic and nicer. Overall, though the map design is very good and a good attempt at a city
The story is very good. I like the whole concept of an AOK murder mystery. I tried to make one myself once but I never got around to finishing it. The story was great and I really liked the motives behind why the murder occurred and who did it. The dialogue between your character and the citizens is brilliant and the different ways you could talk the conversation through taunts was brilliant. ne thing to note though is that much of the back story was written in the Scouts section. Maybe a small cutscene at the beginning could have been include to show the player the background just incase they don't look at the scouts. The only thing that I think slightly effects the score is the fact that the instructions aren't all that clear. Most of the time they are great and remind you of everything that has been said by the people you talk to. However, at points you don't know where to go next, or who to talk to so you have to guess. A bit more clarity in the objectives would be nice. Also there were no hints. Maybe some hints as to who the best people to talk to are and where to start would be good.
Overall City of Peace is a great short scenario that is great fun to play if you've got half an hour to kill.Its got a great story and you'll really get into it, trying to find out who did it. Just be prepared to play a game with no action in it.
Well Done and Congratulations on being runner up.
This was my personal favourite of all the entries to the MGC14. The scenario is about a murder mystery in Baghdad, the City of Peace, set during the Islamic Golden Age. It's a pretty unique scenario with unique crime-solving gameplay, combined with a taunt-based dialogue system for the investigations. A couple things prevent it from earning a top score, however: first off, there is a lot of walking in this scenario, and sometimes it could easily have been avoided. For example, instead of having the main character, Jaf'ar, going back and forth between the Shi'ite leader and the city guard to deliver lines, Jaf'ar could've thought up the lines himself, getting the same effect with less needless walking. The lack of a pregame section, where the backstory and setting is presented, makes the start of the scenario a bit confusing, also bringing down the enjoyment a bit. All in all, though, it's still a strong 4.
It's hard to judge balance in a scenario where no fighting takes place at all. In this scenario, the balance is determined by how easy it is to guess who's the murderer. On this scale, the scenario is pretty much perfectly balanced: you need to search the entire city for clues and keep them all in your head as you go into each new investigation. There are no dead give-aways that tell you "Person A is the murderer", but the clues you're presented with are just the right ones, allowing you to use intuiotion and piece together the last pieces of the puzzle on your own.
The murder mystery puzzle is a very rare kind of scenario, which alone brings the score up. Apart from the gameplay, the scenario also features a taunts-based interrogation system, atmospheric music that really sets the mood of the scenario, and various map and trigger tricks like re-appearing caravans travelling from one side of the map to the other.
MAP DESIGN: 4
The map is well-designed, a nice and pretty realistic snapshot of a Middle-Eastern city. Some areas, like the marketplace, look particularly good with their plentiful use of eye candy. Other areas, like the garden outside the mosque, look a little bleak. The map also has little to no elevation; while that is understandable as cities are generally built on rather flat land, a little elevation here and there would've spruced up the map.
STORY & INSTRUCTIONS: 4+
The lack of pregame text makes the story a bit confusing at first. There is some backstory in the Objectives screen, but it would make more sense presentation-wise to have it before the game starts, rather as an optional read after you've been thrown into the game. That said, the instructions are helpful while not giving away much about the mystery, and the fact that all clues are saved as text strips in the Objectives section is very helpful. The story, as I've mentioned before, is pretty unique, and all in all it's enjoyable and engaging.