ACSC06 - Day of the Red Moon
Posted on 07/28/06 @ 12:50 AM (updated 08/01/06
This is my entry to the AoKH CSC.
For thirty years there has been peace in the land. The kingdoms of Tzech and Ungari have enjoyed a peaceful harmony....until now.
Please view the readme file for installation instructions.
Generally all you should have to do is unzip all files to the root AoK folder.
Please make sure the following settings are in place for full enjoyment of the scenario.
Speed - Normal (Very Important)
Size - 1024 x 768
Volume Sound - 100%
Music - 0%
Difficulty - Any
I hope you enjoy the cut-scene as much as I did making it.
Feedback and comments welcome.
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“ACSC - Day of the Red Moon” is a cutscene scenario for the current AoKH Cutscene Scenario Competition. It tells the tale of two countries, Tzech and Ungari.
Playability: - This cutscene has definite replay value. The playability is definitely enhanced by the story as well as the music further. I watched this cutscene four times and it hasn’t grown tiresome at any point. Things start off slowly and gain momentum as it continues. The playability didn’t keep me glued to my seat but it definitely kept me entertained.
Balance: - The balance following the guidelines of the Review Tutorial scores highest.
Creativity: - There are quite a lot of creative things included in this cutscene. Use of the Invisibility Cloak, Porex villager, an Eagle flying over the landscape, explosions using petards, a horse pen, as well as the city preparing the defenses which, I particularly liked. It’s fair to say there are a lot of creative elements of this cutscene, and you’ll be doing well to see them all first time around.
Map Design: - The map design of this project excellent. From some of the good use of map copying with buildings to the landscaping I found it all at a consistently high level. My only mention was at Colarin’s home you could see palisade wall ends at the entrance, which looked out of place. Areas I particularly liked the design of include the valley which, the Eagle circles over and the Tzech Castle.
Story/Instructions: - The story is good throughout with the plot progressing gradually, from the border outposts, to the city and then to the battle. There are no major twists or turns, but the prophecy dialogue needed to be explained more, it would have added further depth to the plot. The story as I briefly mentioned earlier is greatly enhanced by the music used, some of which is part of the score for Batman Begins by Hans Zimmer & James Newton Howard, both excellent composers.
The instructions throughout were smart with use of multiple lines to continue dialogue after one line had been revealed. The only error I saw was at the end when the credits are rolling and squares are displayed at the bottom where the author has hit enter to go down a line.
Overall: - A great cutscene with some strong features in its favour, elements of creativity, good music and strong narrative are here aplenty. On a final note, the names seem remarkably similar to the Czech Republic & Hungary! : -)
Day of the Red Moon was an entry to the first ACSC, AoKH Cut-Scene Competition, hosted by Mashek in June to September of 2006. In the competition, it was given a total of 131 points out of 165 possible, and ended up in second place.
The ACSC, AoKH Cut-Scene Competition, had rules saying that the cut-scenes should be absolutely self-running, i.e. the player dont have to touch anything, just watch and read, all cut-scenes submitted to the competition has no playable elements, thus qualifying this one as a pure cut-scene.
I must say that there are few cut-scenes I have enjoyed more than Day of the Red Moon. The authour shows off his best sides during this cut-scene, putting the watcher in awe. From the very beginning to the end, this cut-scene delivers enjoyment in many ways, such as the very atmospheric and powerful music used for the scenes. The soundtracks from Zorro and Crimson Tide, as well as a movie I dont remember the name of, make the cut-scene very enjoyable and themed.
This cut-scene also has a high replay value. I think I've watched it ten times or more and I'm still not tired of it, although I do have pauses between the watchings ;)
I give this a full score here because I simply cant find anything to knock down scores for.
Balance is judged for how well the scenario is balanced in difficulty. If it's really easy or simply impossible to win, it's not balanced very well. Pure cut-scenes have no balance.
There's definately a lot of creative ideas and tricks used in this cut-scene. From the eagle slowly gaining height with the winds, to Colarin riding up the tight pass of a mountainside, to the selfopening gates, all workers and the activity in the city and the great use of soundeffects and music.
There's little to say more than "amazing", "wow" and so on. Therefor I reward it with a 5 here.
MAP DESIGN: 5
The design of the map is definately top-notch. There's a big variety in the scenes and all of them contain plenty of great terrain mixing and good use of elevations and eye-candy. The city looks realistic and the map-copied buildings are pleasent to look at. All parts have been beautifully designed and the overall level of quality is far above the one of a Random Map. I therefor give yet another 5
STORY & INSTRUCTIONS: 4+
The instructions are few but clear, covering all neccesary parts you need to know to watch a cut-scene, being very few. The bitmap gives extra spicing to it all, so that's a plus.
The story unfolds from the very beginning with details and intriguing plot. If this ever becomes a full campaign, which I and many others certainly hope, I believe the story can become very interesting, even more interesting than it is now.
This is also the reason to why I knock off a point here. Since the story is unfinished, it cannot get a full score, so a 4.
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: This is probably one of the best cut-scenes that exist in the Blacksmith. I use to say that quite a lot, but I'm serious.
Ever since I installed Media Player 10, one of the soundfiles crash my game. I haven't been able to watch the end without removing the sound with help from Campaign Manager. But I remember when I could watch it from begining to end, with my old computer, and my feelings for this haven't changed much since then ;)
RECOMMENDED DOWNLOAD: Yes
[Edited on 10/22/07 @ 06:28 PM]
This cutscene will certainly keep you entertained, with a good story, clever effects and a memorable atmosphere. The composition leaves almost nothing to be desired, but it is the use of music which really sets it apart.
The cut-scene looks balanced and runs as intended.
Creativity is used subtly and appropriately, with tricks used to hold the gate open when a horseman rides in and a well conceived opening sequence with a hawk. The scene of preparations for the coming battle in the city is one you won't forget in a hurry, and demonstrates even more little details, like soldiers moving into position on the city walls.
Map Design: 5
Very good quality, with no obvious errors or design mistakes. A large city is carried off as realistically as winter countryside and even the Alps were well realised. More than that though, it suits the story well and adds to the telling of the story. For the designer, it would be worth considering changing a few details, such as the somewhat odd palisade corners. But for the viewer, there is nothing to complain of.
The story is run of the mill, and one we've all heard before. There is a prophecy, a chosen one and a battle for survival. But the strength is in the telling, with the story conveyed well, with just enough mystery and drama. The dialogue and text has above average quality and helps the story in this respect also. Instructions are only briefly needed, but are perfectly sufficient for viewing the cutscene. The only reason for deducting in this category is that the story is not strong or complete enough in itself to stand alone, with some central questions unanswered, and so the viewer is not able to appreciate the story fully. That said, it makes a very strong opening sequence for a larger work.
My personal favourite of the 2006 ACSC entries, and something that I hope will be followed up.
[Edited on 06/05/08 @ 09:27 AM]