Carlos Ferdinand - 1. A Kingdom's Dawn
Posted on 08/08/07 @ 04:02 AM (updated 01/28/08
Carlos Ferdinand is a Spaniard who has set out on a mission to recapture the Moorish lands in Spain for the Spanish. Carlos gathers an army in Tarragona his hometown, but it is the territory of Aragon.
Carlos Ferdinand is to leave Tarragona soon with Aragon's soldiers not far away. Carlos's aim is to capture the moorish controlled town of Castellon from the Moors. Will Carlos Ferdinand achieve his aim? Help him to do so.
The game style is a mix of many styles, and a style that you don't see often. Enjoy!
This is just the first scenario of Carlos Ferdinand. The rest will come later. There are some AI and PER files included - my own creation. You can copy them to the AI folder in your directory.
UPDATE: January 27, 2008 (Map design is much better, balance is much better, several minor problems fixed - thanks to Stephen Richards, BrandNewCar, Jas the Mace1)
UPDATE (28.01.08): Fixed some minor but important glitches. Please play again.
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This is quite an entertaining little scenario, little because it doesn’t take very long to play, although it took me a couple of attempts. The map size is a bit misleading because most of it is not used. I did not encounter any bugs but have a couple of small observations: first, when the purple archers tell you to follow them to their leader they walk through an enemy gate and it’s difficult to find them. It’s pretty obvious where you have to go but it might be better to instruct Carlos to go to the purple town and put a map revealer on the location; second, the hero unit is not renamed – I accept the author's explanation for not doing so but I still think it would be a nice little touch, and he could be given some extra HP and/or AP to make him a little more heroic. The ending is quite abrupt, I was expecting a bit more - perhaps the author’s clever ploy to hold our interest for the next instalment…
A game of two halves. The first part, capturing the town, is interesting and I lost quite a few times – sometimes because Carlos kept on getting killed – but it’s quite well worked out and you can’t just pile in and win without thinking. As the hints state you need a bit of strategy. Thereafter, the balance deteriorates as once you have captured the town the enemy threat diminishes considerably. What attacks came consisted mostly of one or two men-at-arms so I would suggest the author revisit that aspect of the game. He may already have tried but I did not see much difference in the updated version.
It’s not hugely creative, but I think thought has gone into this game, in particular the capturing–town objective, as mentioned above; also, the story, finding supporters in allied towns, and Aragon’s change of stance.
MAP DESIGN (4)
The map design is moderately pleasing. Overall it is reminiscent of a random map with some enhancements, and on balance I think the improvements are just enough to warrant an extra point. My original observations about the paths being straight, the trees being mostly in square clumps and the elevation being a bit blocky still hold true but to a lesser extent.
There is a story and the instructions, objectives and hints are all fine. The capturing-town/port objectives have been made clearer. All the in-game text and comments are fine, including spelling and grammar.
Review updated 20/2/08.
[Edited on 02/20/08 @ 03:13 PM]
“Carlos Ferdinand - 1. A Kingdom's Dawn” is a campaign based on the life of Carlos Ferdinand, making a modest living through farming and archery. Taking control as he hopes to free Castellon from the Moors.
Playability: - The playability of this map is reasonable, I found at the start of the game there was a spark. As the game progressed I found it slipped more into a standard random map script type of gameplay building up your resources and overwhelming the enemies. I found myself wandering around a lot looking for troops to join my cause. There was a lot of vast empty space that was not really put to good use to the West handside of the map.
Balance: - Initially nearer the start of the game you have to be more cautious as if you throw everyone at Castellon attacking you may lose a lot of soldiers. After getting past the gates at the entrance to the city it was a lot easier to clear out the remaining soldiers, recapture the town centre and build the watch towers in the designated areas.
Creativity: - There were some creative elements in the design such as recruiting troops by travelling around allies camps, assaulting a city and placing towers to further secure the city. This were adequate but could be further improved, perhaps having to complete optional missions to gain control of soldiers at ally camps to gain their trust.
Map Design: - The map looked like a slightly altered random map script. According to the review tutorials a random map scores 3, further differentiation is needed to score higher in this category. Ideas for improve include more elevation, more terrain mixing with trees, dirt and perhaps mixing road types 2 and 3 with the current road 1 tiles to give the impression of a more weathered road.
Story/Instructions: - The introduction screen has brief instructions, with a little background on Carlos Ferdinand. Instructions in game were very brief and one objectives triggering could be improved, saying to capture the Castellon dock needs to have better use of 'Objects in Area' effect. I also suggest the Castellon docks objective to be defined better mentioning the need to have five or more troops nearby to capture them. More descriptive dialogue and story to draw the player in would help the author achieve a higher score.
Overall: - A fair design, could do with more custom elements to differentiate itself from a random map. The opening menu screen didn’t include a bitmap, which could have helped further the map.I would say the author has laid some solid foundations down with this design and that continued development in the scenario editor will reap more benefits. Learning some of the more complicated elements such as more advanced and varied ai scripting and triggering are worthy of the time investment to learn them.
[Edited on 10/23/07 @ 10:25 AM]
I really enjoyed playing this game. I found no trigger bugs, or victory condition bugs. I came across zero lag also. However, I was unsure about my objectives sometimes. At the beginning, I did not realize that I needed to search through the Purple land to find an army. I thought I needed to find a way to get to all the flags, and that by doing so I would get the villagers to make the towers in the flagged area. I flunked the first game, re-started, and thought that maybe I had to take out Blue first. I failed there also. I re-started, and this time read the instructions super carefully, scanned the map, and found the Town Center and figured that was what I needed to capture. It went well after that until I couldn't find the port I needed to capture. I finally realized I had to capture the Red Dock. I thought I needed to capture a Green dock which did not exist. Btw, what's the point of Blue? They don't do anything. So at any rate, this is why I marked this a four.
You excelled in ballence. This is one of the few times I liked playing a little bit of B&D. I really liked the fact that I could only seem to go to the Castle age. I don't like games where you can advance to the Imperial age, and whipe a city out with a bunch of Trebuchets. Castle Age is my favorite age because I get Knights. It was really challenging trying to get the Town Center. I was roaming around with all the Cavalry Archers, and stumbled onto the Town Center area. Suddenly the Building was mine and it started to get attacked. I started making villagers and barricading them in the Town Center while my Cavalry Archers held back the assult as long as possible. I was doing well until suddenly a Ballista Bolt hit an already wounded Carlos which brought him to five health. I pulled him out as fast as possible. The rest of my cavalry archers tried to retreat, but only one made it out of the crossfire. It was a long battle for the Town Center, but finally my army of Crossbowmen, Man-At-Arms, and Spearmen arrived, and turned the tide, though both the enemy and I suffered large casulties. I then destroyed their Barracks, and Siege Workshop after taking out a tower that kept attacking my Town Center. I then made a small Keep (A Castle surrounded by walls) in front of their main entry. I then made some mounted riflemen, and started scouting around. Didn't find much, except for a Monk, who captured one of my men. Shot the Rifleman, and then the Monk. So during the siege of the Green base everything was well ballenced. I never lost, but most of the time it was because the enemy missed while shooting at Carlos. So I award this a very strong 5.
Probably your lowest area out of the whole game, there was not much creativity with this game. The story/plot was original. I see it all the time. Not many trigger tricks. I've seen the idea with building stuff inside of a flagged area before also. Also, it's not even really a "trick". It's easy to make, and doesn't take too long.
~Map Design~ 4-
You're map design was just slightly above a Random map. I would have rated this a three had it not been that I liked the Green city, and I REALLY liked the ocean. I give you a weak four.
I must congratulate you on writing a rather good story.You had good Scenario Instructions. Your Hints were not long, but they were detailed, and not confusing. You had good history also. Scouts is always an option, and I see you left it blank. No problem. However, you had no Victory and Defeat messages. I don't mind if there is no loss message, but I ALWAYS expect to see victory conditions. If you write a good little paragrah in the Victory area, I'll make this a 5. I'm not asking for you to fill out the entire victory page, but just a little paragraph. So I give you a solid 4.
You should color in your sentences. It helps the player to know who or what is talking. Your choice though.
Good game, and I recomend to all to download this game. Good work. :)
[Edited on 12/06/08 @ 11:20 AM]