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Downloads Home » Cinematic Scenarios » ACSC06 - Memories of a Misty Past

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ACSC06 - Memories of a Misty Past

Author File Description
Julius999
File Details
Version: The Conquerors
For the ACSC...


Memories of a Misty Past


This is my entry to the A Cut-Scene Contest, 2006. It was originally intended as a prologue to a much longer story, which will never be finished, so instead it serves as an entry to this contest. Looking back on it now I see it is really a rather poor effort, so don't have too high expectations, I leave it here mainly for the sake of completeness.

(10th November 2007)


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Comments and reviews are welcome.

Pages: « First « 1 [2]
AuthorComments & Reviews   ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )
Julius999
Official Reviewer
File Author
Thanks Basse, good review. (Actually the guidelines say nothing should be deducted for length, but I don't mind).

Glad you liked it, you got my intentions spot on. If you want I'll e-mail you with some more of the story, to quench your curiosity.
Lord Basse
Official Reviewer
Thanks Julius, I'd love to see more of it! That would be just fun!
Mashek
Staff
Official Reviewer
Rating
4.4
Breakdown
Playability4.0
Pacing5.0
Creativity5.0
Map Design4.0
Story/Instructions4.0
As just a bit of back history this cut-scene as apart of the Age of Kings Cut-scene Competition of 2006 (ACSC) overall came in sixth place with 102 points, the cut-scenes to arrive at first and second places with 143 and 131 points. The cut-scenes were judged by a five-category system, unique in its own right from the Blacksmith’s very own review system and there were many rules each contestant had to abide by or risk disqualification. A cut-scene had to go for at least a minimum of three minutes, with no maximum running time. The theme could be whatever the contestant desired, and was the underlying interest of the competition as a whole because one was free to do as he or she liked. In the end there were nine cut-scenes to make the deadline out of a little over twenty contestants, the contest as a whole a triumph. Now, onto the review.

‘Memories of a Misty Past’ is a short fictional cut-scene, a prologue, and a tab over four minutes introducing the story that will unfold a series of unfortunate events. In this cut-scene, one leading into a story of corruption, conspiracy and intrigue, you will be brought to an old man’s life, his memories wishing never to be spoken about, memories of a misty past that had been forgotten by the world for more than a quarter of a century.

Playability: (4.0)

As a cut-scene, a prologue, a teaser to a story yet to be told in full detail, ‘Memories of a Misty Past’ is simply great, an intriguing story where good men die, evil succeeds and the world around is left to its doomed fate. Like Basse before me, I simply enjoyed this cut-scene, I was simply immersed in it and what it may not make up for in quality and length, it makes up for in story. Under all the rough edges that you will come to witness during play you will find that this cut-scene is simply full of tension and drama on an epic scale, if only it is a little too short. The cut-scene running for four minutes is an obscure prologue to something much bigger, giving you an idea of what to expect, a brief telling of the dark story to come. It works perfectly as a prologue and a prologue only, and you should not expect anything different. Through a wintry backdrop we learn through an old man’s telling, as he recites his story to a young traveler, the times lost in this part of the world, the memories that have been all but forsaken by many. The cold, dead of winter is repeatedly contrasted with memories of spring and the music provided giving us an epical sense of times long past, but still yet to be told to the stranger’s ears. However, the music was good, but was really fuzzy, low of quality. I would suggest to the author finding a better copy. The absence of an overall final polish of the cut-scene however really, at first, sets it back a little leaving some things to be desired. This lack of detail almost ruined the cut-scene for me if it had not have been for the intriguing story. Overall, an effort well made and a cut-scene certainly well done, but a final polish of the overall design would benefit the author greatly. Nevertheless, at four minutes, this cut-scene, acting more like a teaser readies you through an obscure, but great story for what is to come.

Balance: (5.0)

When rating this category, reviewers must take into account the author’s intentions and goals of the design. It is in the intention of the author that this scenario evolves plot and story, and to show a cut-scene whereby the player receives no units to control and no struggle to survive. As such there is no deduction from the overall score because there is no fighting for the player.

Creativity: (5.0)

Featuring a good bitmap, good use of sounds and a great story creativity in this area makes for a well-earned rating. I encountered creative use of terrain, the Westgrove Cemetery and mountainside, a suicide scene and ‘Legends of Chila’ inspired backdrops, such as a misty horizon over a bleak land and a spring sky splotched with clouds conveyed easily with water shallow and snow. Though admittedly a bit poor, the author’s intention are well understood. Nonetheless, it does not end there. You will find a hanged man, rocky outcrops overlooking the sky and a story that is developed throughout play not only creatively, but presented uniquely as well. Also, the end defeated messages were great.

Map Design: (4.0)

The map was a design of an early winter scheme with many spring elements in between. In more than some parts it was just plain great to look at, a realistic approach to winter, and then spring, with plentiful greenery, lush and fertility conveyed very well and with a great sense of the thriving nature, shown with the deer grazing the field. The design for winter was applied very well in some areas with rocks and stone, Roman Ruins and Gaia trees used to convey that dead feel encountered at that time of the year. Elevation was exemplary, always interesting to look at, neither too conformed nor too overdone, and the terrain mixing was great. However this category falls short a full rating because the quality of the terrain fluctuated too much in some areas. The cemetery for example, though creatively conveyed, looks too messy and too unrealistic. This may have been the nature, the intention, but I felt more effort could have been implemented. Ruins of buildings seem randomly placed as well as rocks and the leaf path was quite poor, better to have snow dirt and dirt 1 clods in between. As well as this the flowers were unrealistic since it is winter, the flowers would have long died and the snow covered up most greenery. While this aspect can sometimes be avoided by a better placement, the author fails in doing this. I felt the village surrounding the hanging looked a tab poor too and could probably do with more detail, and the old man’s home unnecessary with two yurts, looking a little strange, better to have just one map copied behind the house so we see only the roof. However, the mountainside was exemplary with many rocks, stone and dead trees, the height of the cliffs really giving a sense of dominance. In conclusion needing more effort in some areas, but a job very well done nonetheless.

Story/ Instructions: (4.0) +

Like Basse, I too thought that the story was by far too short, too unevolved to be awarded a full rating here. Other than that, from what we had, the story was certainly great and well told, a story of dark times, when good things end, the glory days passing as if like the turning of day as night approaches. It is a story certainly worth a strong rating, although it does fall hazard under some confusing sentences, better justified with some rewording. As well as this I encountered spelling mistakes and an overall rough effort, the cut-scene’s written aspects, like the playability aspects, seemingly missing the final polishes. Nevertheless, under a great story we had the well-written and plentiful dialogue and ‘History’, ‘Instructions’ and ‘Hints’ were well provided.

Suggestions:

Regarding my comments in Playability and Story/ Instructions about the lack of quality, be sure to go through your work one last time when finished to further ensure you can get it as presentable and polished up as possible. This not only looks nice, but looks professional as well. This may mean cleaning up text and dialogue, and making it more formal. While History and Hints seemed okay I did in fact encounter grammatical errors in Instructions, namely the occasional spelling mistake and need to reword a sentence or two. “traveller” should be traveler, without the second ‘L’, “round a corner and the summit was visible” to “ancient twisted oak” is confusing in my opinion, and does not make sense. It could be better reworded. A tab after this, when the traveler describes the old man, I felt that it could have been extended just a little bit more, because as it was it definitely felt like something was missing. A sentence or even just a few words more would suffice. For future reference, the middle resolution is 1024 x 768.

Additional Comments:

A job well done, an achievement well made. I do hope, Julius that you someday continue on this great composition, it would be time well spent.


In a word – Intriguing.

In closing – A recommended download.

[Edited on 07/02/08 @ 10:42 PM]

Julius999
Official Reviewer
File Author
Firstly, thanks for the review Mashek.

There were one or two minor points that I disagree with you on however.

1. There is actually music, or at least, there should be.
2. The cemetery was based off Highgrove Cemetery, which I visited in late October last year. Frankly, it's a rather messy place with plenty of random graves and broken pieces of masonry, as well as quite a lot of plants, that I couldn't add in any other way.
3. The buldings around the house are meant to be outbuildings, rather like a garden shed.
4. Traveller is spelt like that in the UK, nothing I can do there.
5. The victory to all players thing wasn't something I knew about at the time, nothing wrong with your point, but that's the reason.

Apart from those everything in your review I can definitely agree with. The story in particular would only stand up with the rest included. But this will not be completed (if ever) for a very long time. I'm glad you managed to get the point of the cut-scene entirely by the way.

If you didn't get the music, is it possible you missed the latest update? I changed one or two other small aspects then too, although nothing else that would require a change to your review.

[Edited on 12/09/06 @ 10:25 AM]

Mashek
Staff
Official Reviewer
I did not see the updated version. I am downloading now, but I doubt I will edit my review in anyway, except maybe the 'traveler' spelling bit. Actually that's what microsoft word says, and I only have the Yank dictionary on it, don't know how to get the Australian. Ah, well. Thanks for the reply too. ;-)

Neveretheless, regarding the cememtery, I still thought more detail/ effort could have been done. ;-)

[Edited on 12/10/06 @ 12:52 AM]

Mashek
Staff
Official Reviewer
Hey Julius,

I have edited the review quite greatly. Most categories have new edits so you may want to read over it all again. However, I did not edit the traveler bit out since that would mean restructering an entire sentence. :-p It does not effect your rating anyway.
Julius999
Official Reviewer
File Author
Thanks Mashek. A note about the music, I do actually have a lovely copy that plays smoothly, but as it is 40+ mb it wasn't really an option.

Looking up traveller in an American dictionary I see it does have 'chiefly British' next to it. Why do spellings have to vary like this?

Thanks to your review I'm tempted to do an update.

[Edited on 12/11/06 @ 11:06 AM]

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Rating
4.5
Breakdown
Playability4.5
Pacing5.0
Creativity5.0
Map Design4.0
Story/Instructions4.0
Statistics
Downloads:614
Favorites: [Who?]0
Size:2.78 MB
Added:07/27/06
Updated:08/05/06