Ok, I got board with writing triggers, and decided to take a break! I made this, featuring one of my many ideas. It is in scenario format, and you can do whatever you want with it. (Just give me credit somewhere) This features a blind person, defending the king. (Your Unit has 0 los)Then, you get some nine-bands that change player (Like the Christmas lights by Yogurt) and you can kind of get the idea. This is also not a scenario you can win. Its like those arcade games that you keep playing till you fall asleap, or die type things. Sadly, I don't have time now to figure out how to set it up for every kill you get a gold or something to keep track of your kills. Anyway, please send in your high score, and coments on the blind feature, and if you really want to, review it. (This isn't really made for High score reviews, just displaying an idea) And submit your scores to compare them. There might be a few problems, or you might have some sugestions, just post them up here and I might get around to doing something about it. How I did this, well, there's this thing called the GIE editor, I just gave somebody 0 los! with the GIE thing you can get those beta units, like beserk, and heavy advanced crosbowthingy. Good luck! (Note: You must already have advanced imobile AI on your computer. If you don't, just download my other scenario "The Defence" and it has it.)
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This scenario is somewhere between a utility and an old style arcade game. It has been submitted as a scenario, so the review looks at it as a playable scenario. For the review I have to ignore the 'blind' feature as it is not built into the download, but I will update the review if the same happens with the file.
The main issue with this scenario is that the author did not know that the .dat file edited with the GeniEd2 program needs to be shipped with the scenario. I believe you can also submit as a save game file as well. This means that Kharl (Hero Nobunaga) will have the normal 4 LOS when playing, instead of the 0 LOS as the author intended. When I played this scenario I edited my dat file to give him the intended LOS so that he was in fact 'blind', then played. Playing normally will not be quite the same experience, and will also make it a little easier.
Okay, so the scenario itself is very much like an old arcade style game where you must stop incoming infantry with your hero, and protect both yourself and the king. There is no objective, but the idea is to get a 'high score'. There is also a green TK with invincibility but a low attack, who can be used as a shield of sorts, but ultimately won't save you for ever.
You are 'blind', meaning you have no line of sight. You are granted LOS by the torches on each side of the long corridor you play in, and you cannot attack while in the fog. The area you can see alternates between the left and right hand side and there is a strip of permanent black fog down the middle.
There isn't that much strategy involved, but you can make use of elevations, your natural healing, and the presence of the invincible TK to do better. I would have liked to see a little more strategy involved, like allowing for some timing to come into play. Perhaps you could have to defend from both sides and be rewarded for kills with a HP increase.
I did quite poorly at first, getting around 13-14 kills, then on my 3rd or 4th go I managed 50 (on moderate), which I felt was enough. I didn’t see a lot of replay value in it. The fact you can’t win and are always getting closer to death takes a lot of the fun out of it. Rewarding the player for increments of kills with a display of their progress, and a message and/or sound would be nice, and give them an idea of how well they are doing, and encouragement to carry on. Perhaps as I said some sort of bonus to extend your life like a little health recovery, or a brief period of supercharged attack would make it better.
The scenario is fairly hard. Ultimately you are going to lose, but I don’t believe this should mean the balance scores a 1. The goal is to get a high score, and you can do that even if you lose, so the objective is achievable. However it is fairly hard and not a lot of strategy/tactics are involved, though you can die with very few kills if you play badly. As I’ve said insertion of a bit more variety and things that require timing, thinking etc would make it more of a challenge as well as more fun. Perhaps you could allow the player not to be defeated, but rather to record their highest score(s) and then allow them to restart the scenario if they like without defeating them or awarding victory. This would require a lot more trigger work, but I think it can be done. This way they could record progress as a save game and it would give it better replay value. An idea of what is a ‘good’ score would also help, so the player has some yardstick to gauge their achievements by.
The idea itself and the way it is implemented in the scenario is very creative, but I can't give any creativity points for the 'blindness' as it doesn't come with the download. All the same the creativity is definitely above average, with a unique gameplay and use of invincible unit.
Map Design: 3
A small corridor lined with walls and mainly made of the pavement terrain. It has some building debris and ruins along the way, which is nice, but the low visibility makes the visual appeal a little less, e.g. the fire at the end looks nice when one set of torches lights up, but when they go out it turns into the farm terrain - you should leave a permanent torch by the farm to stop this from happening. I’m not sure how to design a short linear tunnel to get a five in map design, I don’t even know if it could be done, but I suppose using some other terrains as well would be a good start, and perhaps making the outside look a little more natural rather than just an empty space would also help.
The scenario actually has a story, which is surprising given its nature. You are Kharl, a character from the ‘The Defence’ series, when he is very old and has lost his eyesight. The instructions and hints are good too, but some in-game indications of how you are doing as I’ve said above would help this area. The main problem is that you haven’t included any indication of how to obtain the zero LOS effect. This is a tricky thing, since you either need to use a save game file, which isn’t the ideal format for submissions; add an edited .dat file, which most players are unlikely to install, or give instructions on installing it.
My recommendation to the player is to edit their own .dat file with GeniEd2 which they can download here at the Blacksmith, by doing the following:
>Open up GeniEd2 and choose the AoC files to edit
>Choose the ‘Britons’ under civ, and find the unit ‘Nobunaga’
>Change the LOS number from 4 to 0
>Restore the original number when you have finished playing, or make a backup first and then overwrite the edited file.
Although there is no unit in AoK with zero LOS that I know of, I'm familiar with the idea from the mercenary and BLP units from AoE. These are quite useful in a scenario - they can be like 'Gaia' units that need a spotter unit to provide them with LOS, so a 'mercenary' unit that will disappear if you don't keep an eye on it is a good application. They can of course also be a unit that is temporarily or permanently blind like in this scenario, or other possible used like the 'hold off unit' to prevent the player from being defeated.
Well, this has been a difficult file to write a review for, and it has value both as a utility and a scenario. I’d never used GeniEd2 before this besides unhiding units, so it was interesting to see the effects of editing a unit’s stats and maybe I’ll play around with it a bit more. I’m not really sure what the best way to include the blindness feature in the download is as a designer – I suspect few downloaders would be willing to do the GeniEd2 thing for themselves, so perhaps a save game file.
[Edited on 11/24/05 @ 11:53 PM]