Posted on 07/02/02 @ 12:00 AM (updated 07/04/02
Troll Bridge v1.3
Troll Bridge is a comedy cutscene based on Cohen the Barbarian, a hero from the Discworld books, by Terry Pratchett.
In Troll Bridge, you can witness the telling of how Cohen trys to complete his life long goal.. and how thing\'s don\'t quite turn out as he had planned.
Meeting a particuarly eccentric family of Troll\'s this scenario is designed to make you laugh, since the lack of comedy work\'s in the Blacksmith is something that in my eyes needs addressing.
- Ingo Van Thiel, for help converting the bitmap of Troll Bridge into the colour\'s it now is in.
- Adam Wilcox, for helping provide the background music from the various Discworld games, and several of my other Discworld production\'s in the making, you\'ve been a great help!
- Guderian, for the various sounds collections he has posted on Age of Kings Heaven, which are still used by a lot of designers today.
- Terry Pratchett for writing the short story Troll Bridge, and for his books in the Discworld series!
- Tanneur99, for looking at my previous Discworld work in progress and writing constructive criticism to help me improve my map design skills.
PLAYTESTERS: - AnastasiaKafka, CheeZy_monkey0, Philip Dunscombe, LoRd_YuRi_NiNjA, Dark_Warrior_1_, Luke Gevearts, Feanor_Wyr and Ingo Van Thiel.
To all those mentioned in the above Credits, you are also in the Scouts section and the Scenario/Instructions sections credit\'s. Thank you for your efforts in helping me improve my work!
Whats new in v1.3?
After Tanneur99\'s review I decided to update those niggly little spelling mistakes in the description and Story/Instructions\'s screen.
Additional Credit: -
Zanzard Lothar for Immobile Units AI Gold which was used in order to keep all units from moving in game.
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“Troll’s Bridge v1.3” was a masterpiece cut-scene scenario that kept you entertained throughout the entire scenario.
Playability- This was great! It was an experience. You’ll laugh, you‘ll grin you‘ll play this cut-scene more than once I‘m sure! With a click-to-talk theme you do not get frustrated about timing and having to read fast. While there is not fighting and it is mostly talking and reading it is very entertaining!! I give it a 4! (I agree with Taunner99 that it could be a little shorter or else more scenery changes.)
Balance- It is a cut-scene and when reviewing a cut-scene I add up all the other categories and divide by 4, round to the nearest number and I get the balance rating. Some reviewers may do it differently but this is how I do it.
So 4+5+5+5/4=4.75 which is a 5!
I give it a 5!
Creativity- This is a completely new idea of scenarios. The blacksmith was lacking more short easy and creative fun scenarios like this one. It’s really refreshing to play a scenario and not have to do anything yet it still keeps you deeply interested. I give it a 5! (Of course if more trigger tricks, like funny actions and not so much reading was used this would be even better.)
Map Design- With a very detailed map, excellent eye-candy and a fresh winter setting this is a very good map. Even though you don’t see much of it what you see is already very detailed and interesting. I give it a 5! (Seeing more of the map and more cool eye-candy would help, but this is already a perfect map.)
Story/Instructions- Click-to-read system is great for this type of scenario. Everyone can read it at their own speed and take their time. The story is one of the best of the blacksmith and since there are no interruptions for fighting and side-quests it is like watching a very entertaining movie. I give it a 5! (Some times it was confusing to know what was happening because for some reason it would use timing, but right after that it would go back to click-to-read system.)
+ Very fun and creative!
+ Hilariously entertaining and I can‘t wait for more.
+ Very detailed map and story.
- A bit too long, and at some points the scenario seems to get a bit old.
Overall: Download now or you’ll miss a classic. This is right up there with the new fresh feeling of Christmas Morning.
Troll Bridge is about Cohen the Barbarian, a young warrior who is obsessed with confronting a troll that protects a bridge on a road once busy but now deserted. This scenario acts as a prologue to a series from the author, so the prologue itself is merely a cutscene to establish character and story.
Playability: But because the author designed it so you had to click on the characters for them to speak, it received the score which it did. Many cutscenes risk having the player grow bored reading the dialogue, and I'm glad the author chose the "click on object" trigger to enhance interaction.
Balance: The balance factor does play a vital role in the cutscene scenario. I guess in the cutscene situation the balance would "balance" the other review scores out so it gives the appropriate overall rating. Which is why I give it a 5.
Creativity: I believe this is a vital element in the scenario creation process. There were a minimum number of trigger tricks and suprises in it, nothing original but it was still enjoyable. I am guessing the author has a few surprises up his sleeve for the following instalments. This is another creative tactic which a scenario designer should develop ... the art of mystery.
Map Design: There was geographical layouts in the story which made you believe you were in Europe, possibly Britain in the Dark to Middle Ages, back when Trolls supposedly existed. The elevation was well done along with the different grass, leaves and dirt placements. Little tracks which broke off to the troll house (spoiler) was cleverly done.
Story/Instructions: This story was set around a Conan-esque character, but there was no broken-English and hardly illegible dialogue, as is the case with Big Arnie. The character comes across as a highly intelligent and reasonable warrior.
Overall: This is a must downloadable scenario. If you are to see the following instalments it is important that you download this to get the gist of the story.
It was unfortunate that the sound in my computer doesn't work. Or else I would have fully enjoyed the mp3's which came in the .zip file for the game, which added a comic element. However, this did not effect the overall rating of the game.
Troll Bridge is an interactive cut-scene, a theatre play, a comedy, it is about how things were and how they should be. The scenario plays Terry Pratchett’s short story Troll Bridge, it is about an old man feeling that his end is near, wanting to accomplish one last task in his life, not only for himself but also for his father and he confronts a man who also lives with a tradition.
PLAYABILITY: Troll Bridge is funny; you will laugh, smirk and grin. You will think about the philosophical excursions and have a pleasant experience playing this cut scene. Because of the atmosphere, map and great story the replay value is undoubted. On the downside the cut-scene is a bit too long. At the end on the bridge you get a bit bored, it has not a great pace clicking units, following the dialogues, feeling that it gets repetitive. This is due to the multiple relatives, which distract and confuse. The player feels like Cohen after a while which Terry Pratchett anticipated, quote, “Cohen felt dizzy. 'Who's Clay?'” 4
BALANCE: This category relates 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 is to show a cut-scene, where you do not have control of a unit 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: The cut-scene shows a high creativity, it is a new genre for AoK, best described with ‘animated short story’. It is a good adaptation of Terry Pratchett’s ‘Troll Bridge’. Apart from this you got quality sounds, good map design, unit choice and a creative new type of bitmap. 5
MAP DESIGN: The map is small, partially used and we only rate what we see. It is a beautiful winter landscape, a path through wood and a bridge over a river. Every time a bit reveals, the surprise is positive, good detailed work and the delightful sights help to follow the dialogues. It is realistic apart from a big fish by the bridge but hey what about the troll under the bridge? 5
STORY/INSTRUCTIONS: Expect one of the best stories at the blacksmith a new type of bitmap, beginning of the story in the history section, well-written clear instructions and hints. 5
OVERALL: Troll Bridge shows a new, great, unique possibility AoK has to offer.
SUGGESTION: You took the liberty to shorten, leave out the short story beginning, placed it in the history section but after "I know. Why do you think I've come here?" the cut-scene repeats every single word exception to the other children. The boring frustration parts are the long excursions about the relatives, farms, spruce and an unknown king where you could cut out parts, a good story does not need pace, a cut-scene does. You are the author of the cut-scene not Terry Pratchett do your own version. ;)
OBSERVATION: I edited the review text in August 2005.
IN CLOSING: Read history first, it is from where the scenario continues and have fun!
[Edited on 08/21/05 @ 11:05 AM]
I will confess that most of what I know about philosophy I learnt from Monty Python, and apart from being able to prove that Socrates is indeed one, philosophical discourse with a horse is not something I am fluent in.
This is an entertaining comedy that displays some of the loose-limbed funniness of BrandNewCar. It has a very successful appeal to me.
The plot, such as it is, concerns the efforts of Cohen to hold on to his vanishing youngness, well his father not quite in his same form gives him some interesting advice.
Taking place over an encounter of a troll, on a bridge, the cut scene, while not exactly providing any new comic look’’’’s at things, delivers enjoyable characters, with a low-key and appealing turn by the troll. What transpires during the course of this sweet comedy is, thankfully not of the toilet variety but silly nonetheless including many sarcastic comments which I particularly liked.
Rating balance is extremely hard as in a cut scene I can’’’’t loose and if the author want’’’’s I can win. So in that aspect the balance is perfect. Taking the average you get to the final result of 4.5 since you can't use (.)it gives me a hard choice to round up or down. I would like to use the odd and even system here of rounding but since most may not be aware of it that leads us to the 5.0.
In the creativity aspect Troll Bridge could be looked upon as a mostly entertaining, sometimes funny, and at best sweet and sentimental cut scene story about the tensions created within the realm by Trolls and Heros. The Hero Must always kill the Troll, this is politics and is very interesting and creative way to approach although it was not a total success in that area. This is due to the fact that some chat jumps sporadically onto subjects and themes that just seem out of place and add little entertainment value.
Map design The candy is very good a lot more then generally acceptable.
Although the story is occasionally long and static to the point of resembling a long boring stage play, the cut scene still delivers a solid mixture of sweetness and laughs. As the cut scene is a stand alone scenario there may be a tendency to disregard aspects of it but as it worked fine this was not the case. The conversations are scripted fairly well with no major grammar errors. Most chat is focused on other things then the task at hand which makes it hard to follow.
Troll Bridge is a surprisingly entertaining cut scene. Overall I had a lot of fun with it. As a cut scene is story driven, and movie like with the plot starting gently before progressively increasing in complexity, it is not suitable for those who like action.