PTC19 - Lights of Kurishima
Posted on 11/27/19 @ 07:21 PM
This is an entry to the 2019 Pretty Town Contest. As such it features no fighting or difficult gameplay.
|The Conquerors 1.0c
Lights of Kurishima tells the story of Officer Igowa, a prisoner of war returning home after ten years in an imperial cell. Travel with him as he comes back to his homeland, Kurishima, for the first time in a decade.
Normal Speed Settings
Music volume: Off
Sound Volume: Maximum
UPDATE: This entry was one of three joint winners of the 2019 Pretty Town Contest, all of which collected a perfect score for the first time in PTC history.
|Comments & Reviews ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )
An incredible map, in my opinion the best PTC ever. I think this time you have exceeded all expectations and even your old entries for this contest. After 20 years of age of empires you were able to invent new visual effects and new combinations of buildings never seen before. I have no words, aside: The best
Posted on 12/03/19 @ 01:51 AM
Calling "Lights of Kurishima" a return to form for Mr Wednesday might be fighting words, but do reflect my first impression upon playing the map through. The authors much older work "Smile No More" combined a meloncholy story with great detailing and overall mapping to create a memorable and inspiring work of art that would have been hard for anyone to match up against. This work retains the incredible detail work found in "Spires" but brings back a more impactfull storyline along with a greener, lusher environment which I find highly appealing.
Posted on 12/13/19 @ 11:34 AM
This map is filled to bursting with highlight points;and to touch on every one of them would be to describe the entire map inch by inch. This also makes describing and analyzing the map quite tricky, since a great deal of effort that went into the map has obviously been focused onto these key points which have to be seen and not described for their value to be understood. Still, I will mention a few notables or my favourites;
Seeing the bridges used as stairs in a finished scenario was cool;while the trick has been around for a long time now it hasnt shown up in a top notch, finished work until now. I found this usage quite convincing. The rowboats used for bridges are a great way to add some curve to the mix and produced a surprisingly convincing effect. In the governor's mansion, the doorway framed by a pair of greenhouses or windowed areas looks very neat. The fishing nets formed from those weird bigdocks in the fishing village, that entire scene I find highly appealing. Lighting the beacons was both a very cool and convincing design trick, and a nice way to add some interaction and direction to the scenario. The terrain surrounding the house at the end was both appealing but starkly desolate with the short bamboo in the snowy fields...looks quite similar to the fields where I live, actually. Gravestone usage was frequent and I quite liked the ornate, symmetrical usage here which created convincing depth effects. Lastly and attempting to keep this short and reasonable, the opening-shot ship is quite impressive for being a believable fusion of so many distinct pieces.
The altered vision is an interesting effect using UP functionality; the graininess of it reminds me of rolling the tape on some old footage. This adds an little bit of freshness to spice up the map a little and differentiate it from the competition. The before and after can be seen with a quick marco polo, and I think this effect definitely adds a nice bit of zest.
Examining the scenario as a functioning city\village, I would say its quite solid though perhaps not a strength of the map. This certainly wouldnt be as noticable if not for the presence of strong rival maps brought into immediate contrast by the nature of a competition. There seems to be a little too much palace and imposing structure with not quite enough housing, farmland, and markets with not quite enough solid roads to connect them, and its slightly quieter with a little less hustle and bustle than certain other entries. Thats not to say the map isnt highly believable with a good sense of authenticity to it;certainly this is a immersive city which is pleasant to behold and imagine living within.
Each of the top three maps had a little something I didnt like, and on this map its the ravine path through the two green mountains. That texture on the edge of the mountains just looks odd and its very prominent on this path. However this is hardly significant enough to have any kind of effect on the score and is only worth mentioning in light of the lack of any other weakness to mention. A very specific oddity is near the very good bridge on the beta cliffs;on the left side some water is behind the beta cliffs and it doesnt look particularly intentional, like a rock should have been there to cover the sharp angle. While on the topic of things I dont like, its not like I dislike the waterfalls of fish;its a solid effect here, but neither do I find it particularly mindblowing either. I imagine there are again a few spots on this map that others will gush over while I did not realize or appreciate that they were such positive points until I have had a chance to read their commentary.
In summary "Lights of Kurishima" is a very good map with many positive points and no particularly significant weaknesses combining good mapping and an impactfull story;an easy 5.0 to settle upon.
This is an unmissable file for anyone who has ever enjoyed messing around in the scenario editor. You will see things that you will wonder how the creator has made them in AoK; sometimes the answer is that he has exploited the potential of tools that have become available in recent years, but most of the time it’s a combination of painstaking effort and sheer ingenuity. But this scenario has more than novelty value, although it has that in spades, it’s also an interactive short story with a moody, bittersweet atmosphere.
Posted on 12/20/19 @ 03:50 PM
To get into detail would be to spoil the impact of playing this file for the first time. But some particular highlights for me were a fishing village, an oriental temple, steps leading to the upper reaches of the town, and some imposing palatial complexes.
For those interested in making their own maps, this file can be a daunting comparison to their own efforts, but it is also one that repays repeated viewing. While some of the creator’s techniques are probably too tricky to get much wider usage, there are plenty of smaller more subtle things he does that will offer ideas for any map designer.
This was an entry into a contest focused on map design. It fully deserved the flawless scores that it received from the judges, and many people will no doubt feel that it should have won outright.
Posted on 12/20/19 @ 04:47 PM
From the start of the entry, the viewer is inundated with splendour and awe. The author has impressively managed to best his efforts in the prior PTCs and dazzle viewers with stunning scenery, imposing and captivating structures, and a plethora of design tricks that firmly enhance the experience rather than detract from it. The integration of these set pieces and creative works into their surroundings is most impressive and gives the world a feeling of consistency. The creativity of the entry is by far the aspect in which it excels the most, which is all the more impressive considering that the entry has merited perfect scores in all other categories. There are so many design tricks that one begins to wonder whether they’re truly playing AoK anymore. Highlights included a series of bridges, a magnificent mansion, the author’s trademark of gravestones, as well as copious UP-effect usage. The attention to detail, as usual, was borderline obsessive, and the overall layout tied things together seamlessly; it is frankly remarkable that the author has managed to push the boundaries of the game in so many ways while keeping his entry cohesive. Also of note is the map’s atmosphere, from the aesthetic, to the dialogue of the townspeople and the soundtrack, to the enhancements based on UP-effects and an extremely entertaining set of backstories--one of which continues to play out in this very contest. It is immersive, gripping, and entertaining to view and play.
In sum, it is an exceptional--some might say flawless--effort, and well worth a top score.
I'm lost for words -- simply amazing. Best PTC entry to have ever graced the blacksmith. Every nook and cranny is just bustling with ingenious design tricks.
Posted on 01/04/20 @ 09:43 PM
This is the reason why AoK:TC editor is still appealing to me -- there are just so many possibilities to explore, so many creative ideas to be discovered.
Thank you for making this.
Lights of Kurishima is Matty’s entry to the 2019 Pretty Town Contest. The entry ended up tying for 1st place.
Posted on 01/12/20 @ 01:02 PM
Lights of Kurishima tells the story of Igowa a war hero who is returning home after ten years as a prisoner of war. Kurishima is celebrating its independence with the festival of lights and you can use Igowa to travel through the town to light all of the beacons whilst also exploring the beauty of the town.
This showcase scenario is the epitome of what an acclaimed designer can accomplish with the scenario editor. This is probably one of the most beautiful and innovative designs I have ever seen and I think Matty should be very proud of what he has accomplished. Matty has utilised a number of nifty trigger tricks to male his scenario come to life, from simple uses of the patrol trigger to the magical new effects that come with the use of UserPatch. The design itself is entirely innovative and Matty has once again proved himself to be the master of off-grid placement. Using this ability, a bunch of new buildings and features have been added to this map, many of which are completely unique and has never been seen before. Examples of this include using bridges to create walkable staircases and rowing boats to create arched bridges. The use of graves to also create pillars and walls is also incredible and I cannot fathom how long this would have taken Matty to accomplish.
Music and dialogue has been used to great effect to create and immersive atmosphere. The town is bustling with life as villagers a busy running around and joining with the festivities.There is also a lovely heartwarming storyline which has a lovely ending.
Overal this is a fantastic piece of design and I highly recommend that every map design checks this out to see all of the amazing this that can be done with our simple editor.
There is little that I can add that has not been said already by other reviewers. But let me repeat this: "Light of Kurishima" is Matt's crowning achievement to date; a combination of the designing genius from "Spires of Heaven", with a simple, beautiful story that runs through the scenario, tying everything together.
Posted on 01/15/20 @ 06:09 PM
One of the best PTC entries of all time, and certainly the most technically impressive: from the grand set pieces, like the castle on the coast, to the incredible walkable staircases and, my personal favourite, the arching bridges consisting of the OMTBO beta unit. Calling a work like this a "tour de force" is a giant cliché, but it is a very apt description in this case.
Matt has outdone himself, and if I were to pick a single winner from the trio that shared the top spot in the 2019 PTC, "Lights of Kurishima" would be my choice.