Welcome to the seaside city of Rotello. A place where many come to buy and sell. Move through the different levels of society as you explore towards the centre of the city.
A little cut for time not everything I wanted was implemented.
Rotello is a bit confusing because the map plays much differently when loaded in the scenario editor as opposed to the skirmish mode;I find the fully explored map works against rotello because it looks a bit washed out with the color pallete of terrains used;lots of grey without much color. I only realized later its important to click the reset button before selecting it as a scenario or HD Edition changes some settings of the scenario to match what you had selected as a random map...this left a misleading first impression upon me.
The author seems to understand good mapping but the technical execution needs to be tightened up;for example the way the water terrain is mixed is correct from a satelite view but for a normal ingame view it should be shrunk down and compressed more;I mean the water bands are too wide and lack sufficient complexity. While exploring naturally it is very difficult to perceive the water mixing and at times it looks completely monotone.
Following the theme above, the city and structures are all layed out in a logical and good way but it feels a bit lifeless and flat;perhaps the lack of dialogue is too much here. On one hand its comprehensive in its portrayal of the harbor and various elements of the city, but on the other hand with most units sitting idle its not too convincing of a living, breathing city.
The portrayal of the different segments of the town with richer, more opulent buildings contrasted with the rougher, run down areas is a good try and a positive point in the maps favour. However, the lack of dialogue and characterization is deeply felt here...we dont get a feel for how the people are behaving and reactiing to their environment and class situation.
I felt like more trees and bushes would make a difference, and if the author wants to keep it feeling a bit dry and barren maybe a heavy usage of rocks and pile o rocks combined with dragon trees and the drier bushes would be good.
Ultimately Rotello has the structure of a good map but as is the lack of atmosphere and overall barren feeling doesnt leave much of an impression upon me, neither negative nor positive. It feels like its halfway there to completion or a rough draft or something. I believe the score could skyrocket if the author worked more to refine the map, adding dialogue for more characterization, and maybe some sound effects and stuff.
Posted on 12/20/19 @ 04:55 PM
Upon disembarking in Rotello, the player is greeted with a bustling and grimy shipyard. While not particularly pleasing to the eye with its odd juxtaposition of terrains, it nevertheless does the part of embodying the mundane and jarring nature of a medieval wharf. As one progresses nearer to the heart of the city, the scenery improves--highlights including a seaside stable and a university surrounded by shrubbery. The map design shows considerable promise in some regards, but overall seems quite rushed, perhaps most notably the bland inner palatial complex. There is not much to comment on here - the highlights were probably the depiction of the harbor and the impoverished seaside district, which looks its dilapidated part. The remainder of the town is rather nondescript in this regard--the simplicity not necessarily a bad thing, but some more creative scenery to give the town some variety would have been welcome. The author attempted to include a guided tour, but the trigger system seems to be faulty as despite multiple tries it did not progress past the harbor. This is the strongest point of the entry for sure. The author’s design choices permit the player to experience an intuitive progression from filthy and impoverished harbors and slums to the more refined districts. It is an organic transition and, additionally, the town is designed in a manner that is simple for the viewer to navigate and is not whatsoever inconvenient to explore. This aspect could use some improvement. While the entry is largely competent in this regard, there were some aspects that stood out: the jarring contrast between the rock terrain and the surrounding terrain; some objects (barricades and a couple of hand cannoneers) that inexplicably converted to player control; a trade workshop and stable combination reminiscent of a M.C. Escher sketch; and the bland palace complex. While by no means catastrophic, in the absence of finer showcases of detail these stood out from an otherwise simple and functional town.
An entry that shows promise but clearly suffered from time shortages, there nevertheless remain several positives. I'm excited to see what the author comes up with next!