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SMAC: Multiplayer Map Design

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  • SMAC: Multiplayer Map Design

    Ten golden rules to create multiplayer maps

    1. Give every player the same chance to reach resources. If you give one player less resources you should give him more units from the start, but not to strong ones.
    2. If you want a quick fight, put the players close together. If you want a harder fight, with better units and more time to build up a base, then put the enemy far away from each other.
    3. Always take care for the landscape and geographic features. Don't just place them anywere on the map, but use them wise. Experienced player will use the landscape and suddenly the map may not any more played the way you thought.
    4. Be careful to give all players the same knowledge. If you don't you should give the other players another advantage. It can be fun to have one player to play with many cheap but weak units and the other one with expensive but strong units. But be careful, such a map is hard to balance the strength of the different players.
    5. It can be an interesting map to leave the players without any base at all. The strategy used in that case differs widely from the strategy used if you have a base.
    6. Not only for scenarios a story is important. Also on multiplayer maps it can be important to play along a story line. This feature will make the map much more interesting.
    7. Esspeacially on self-made maps you should consider the possibility to add new units. SMAC will have the feature to edit the old units to new one. Use that feature and you map will be fun to play. The same thing works for one strong new unit on the map. The other player wants to kill that unit and the owner wants to protect it.
    8. If you want to have an exciting map you should think about to start the game with a fight. Put some units of all the players, that have the same strength, together and the game will start with fight. You can't pay the view on the faces of the player, who didn't expect that. Whow.
    9. Another feature you should consider is to create the the map with pre-set alliances. Then you should design the map in a way, that all the player can only win if they talk about the plans to defeat the enemy. You can do that by giving all the players heavy fortifications. Or you give one ally only air units, the other only surface units. Both can only defeat the fortification if they play together. But if you do that, you should tell it in the mission briefing.
    10. The most important point in creating a map is to use your fantasy. To make a map that already exists, but let you imagination spread.


    Five golden DONT'S (what you shouldn't do)

    1. In general it is not good to give the players to much space to expand. If don't want to see a game with super powers, you should try to limited the building and expansive space.
    2. Players often like it to develop their nation. It is not to much fun if you always start off with a super power because it limits your strategy.
    3. Don't forget to play the map once to test whether everything, at least a bit, like wanted it.
    4. Don't give one player more power than the other. It will quickly head the way, that this map won't be played any more.
    5. Don't use to many effects and rules on one map. It is better to have several maps with different aspects. Often games need the concentration of the player and they can't find all the aspects of the game. Then you have wasted time.


    Originally posted on AC Zone. Posted here under permission of Marian Hartel
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