Geundia is CarolKarine's entry to the 2015 Pretty Town Contest.
Authenticity: CarolKarine’s entry this year improved upon his previous 2013 entry, though many of the concepts seemed a little similar. While little information is given here about the context of the map, which hampers the score a bit, it is impossible to ignore the high echelon of skill put into the map. Nevertheless, the lack of sufficient atmosphere hurt the entry a bit. It is understood that the bugs and general instability of the current version of the HD Edition caused many issues that prevented a proper atmosphere from being achieved, so I won’t be as harsh on the atmosphere front as I might otherwise have been.
Creativity: The creativity manifested itself the most in the style of map design, where a show was truly put on display. CK is already well known as an innovative designer, but his creativity outdid his earlier works here. Especially cool were the mines, a creative representation of a cave, and the many uses of closely stacked buildings and gaia objects to achieve a proper effect.
Layout: The map design was altogether excellent, but not without its flaws. While the countryside was generally top-notch and the urban areas were quite nice as well, I feel that a little more attention could have been devoted to assuring that building combinations in towns and tree rotations in forests meshed well, respectively. While some parts, such as the stacking of yurts and Dark Age houses, were brilliantly executed, other portions could have seen some improvement. The entry also showed masterful implementation of objects in the Forgotten, allowing the author to create a better effect than he might have without.
Technical skill: It’s quite sad that the entry was prevented by issues in the HD Edition from achieving the level of work I know CK is normally capable of. Although the map design was spot on and in my opinion even better than any of his other works, some parts held it back a little. Particularly frustrating were the pathfinding issues created by the placement of thousands of off-grid gaia objects. On several occasions my unit got stuck in forests or was unable to execute a simple pathing maneuver due to the overuse of the off-grid feature. This also detracted from the layout score as well.
A recommended download, but beware of the aforementioned issues.