PTC08 - Footprints in the Snow
||The Conquerors 1.0c
Possibly the smallest of the entries for the contest, originally based on a 50x50 units big map, this managed to grab the fourth place in the contest, just 2 points behind 3rd place - Scud's The Mountain Township.
In this short scenario you take to role as Joel, trying to find a perfect spot for his "date-sort-of" with the love of his life, Charlotte. Walk around, early in the morning, through the town of Laxitania and its surroundings until you have the perfect spot.
Also, if you find the hidden easter egg, report back here ;)
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"Footprints in the Snow" was Lord Basse's entry for the latest Pretty Town contest. It didn't came out as a winner, but it's still a marvellous piece of work nonetheless. It portrays the story of Joel, a timid teenager who lives in Laxitania, a small town that was somehow deserted by its original population, and has been inhabited by a group of nomadic immigrants ever since. He has a crush on his good friend, Charlotte, and yearns to hopelessly confess his love. First thing first, he ought to find a spot within Laxitania which can provide a good setting for his date and of course, his love confession. This is where the player's role comes in.
While I feel that the map was leaning more to the flawless side, the playability suffered a tad. The map was too small to enjoy, the story was too abrupt, and there were too few things going on. When I was expecting and hoping for more, the scenario ended. However, this is tolerable because the map itself was proposed for a contest where players only need to observe the scenery among other things. The author could have featured something more, though it's not entirely necessary. Another thing worthy of note is that I often got lost in finding out which spot to visit next, especially when I had explored the whole map from the beginning. I reckon it'd be better implemented if the view changes every time a new place is shown, instead of just revealing that section.
The scenario was never intended to involve any single fighting, hence there is no explainable reason to deduct a score here, in compliance to the review guidelines.
In my judgment, this is the most significant part in which the scenario sparkles with greatness. There are many symbols of creativity to be found here. A great and unique theme; an unusual approach as how to depict a "pretty town" instead of just having the player walk between areas uneventfully; astonishing map design; realistic and lovable characters; atmospheric music track that blends spotlessly with the map; just name it.
MAP DESIGN: 5
The town is set on a winter terrain, which is obviously where snowy lands cover the most part. Precisely, snow tile alone is not sufficient, and the author managed to take it to a desirable level of visual, while still retaining the bleak, dreary feeling of winter. The size of the map was fairly small, which was quite dissapointing since I expected a bigger spectacle, but there's plenty of environment to choose from, ranging from a snowy town with Mayan architecture, outskirt woods, waterfall, to a dead farmland with a scarecrow. Everything was conceived perfectly, not too much nor too bland, although I feel the farmland could've looked better with more variance to the dead farm tiles -- it looked a bit lackluster and too linear for a snow-covered farmland.
It has been a palpable fact that the author harbors an exceptional skill in writing and telling a story, and this scenario is a good proof of it. The story, albeit rather in the fashion a cookie-cutter teenage drama flick, was outstandingly well-written. The author has clearly shown that a scenario is not all about inventive tricks and/or captivating gameplay. Story always play an imperative part, which is unfortunately, often neglected by most designer. I had a good time upon reading the background narrative, and could connect as the story progresses. The instructions was adequate for it's not crucially needed for such scenario, and the bitmap added a nice touch.
This map brought a fresh air among the other contest entries with its somewhat unique approach. It was a nice touch because I got tired of walking in a huge town in the absence of good reason. "Footprints in the Snow" is a good example of how the mixture of story and map design alone could increase a scenario's aesthetic level. I had an interesting pastime upon playing it, if only for a few minutes. However, it remained one of my most favorite entries for the Pretty Town Contest. Download this sweet little map, it's something you wouldn't want to miss.
Footprints in the Snow is Lord Basse's entry to the 2008 Pretty Town Contest. The contest that year at a set theme which players had to design to, which was to create a Winter scenario. This scenario faired well and came runner up, scoring 4th place.
The scenario is a beautifully crafted work of art. It is a fantastic showcase of AOK Design from the latter half of the game first decade. Whilst the scenario can look a bit bland and boring compared to today's standards of map design, it is important to note that many of the skills and tools that we take for granted today (such as UserPatch's off-grid placement and effects) were not available at this time. Therefore while still not perfect, this is a fantastic showcase of what can be achieve with the vanilla editor. The scenario is encompassed by a strongly written storyline that bolsters the atmosphere yet its enjoyability overall is hindered by its small scale. It could have done with just having a bit more in it.
Not Applicable as there is no fighting or cinematic elements in the scenario.
The map has some nice creative elements to it. I like the blend of a snowy backdrop contrasted with the Mesoamerican architecture. I like some of the building concepts which utilise the map copy tool well and I found the scarecrow in the farms to be a creative touch. The map is designed with the signature style that Basse has now developed a reputation for.
Map Design: 4
The map is very well designed and creates a very pretty albeit very small town. Winter scenarios are difficult to design due the limited number of terrains and snow covered objects, yet Basse has managed to design something spectacular. The town is very nicely designed and demonstrates some brilliant terrain mixing and good use of mixed elevation. Careful consideration has been put into the layout of the map with the placement of buildings and trees. While the map is appealing and very pretty I do find a couple of areas a little lacklustre, such as the waterfall and the farms, which would benefit from a bit more detail.
Basse has crafted a wonderfully written storyling to create a sense of atmosphere and setting for this scenario. While the older Pretty Town Contests like this focused solely on the map design and did't score the atmosphere or experience as a whole like we do today, the aded detail that Basse adds with this simple storyline is fantastic and really adds to the experience of viewing this map.
Overall Footprints in the Snow is a wonderfully created piece of map design that is definitely worth checking out, especially for inspiration for any winter themed designers out there. It's just a shame that the map itself is so small.