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scenario design - 2 different emphases

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  • scenario design - 2 different emphases

    Ive just played Temba's Charlemagne, and am now playing "Arabs" (sorry i forget the designers name)

    Both have strenghts and weaknesses - interestingly opposite strengths and weaknesses.

    Charlemagne has lots of nice "features" (some perhaps borrowed, i dont know the history of these things) eg whales for gold, scythian camps (kurgans) for gold, horses for units (like hartel), refugees for shields whenever spanish city falls to muslims, lots of interesting events on city taking(eg "burning" of pagan wonders) interesting events set to historical year (appearance of Roland), champions who are always replaced, etc.
    I mean just loads of goodies. BUT - the map is wrong - in several significant ways - which stopped me from wanting to replay this scen, one which i really wanted to like. In fairness to Temba he admits upfront that the map is not historical, but this was still something that got in the way of an otherwise great scen.

    Arabs is a fairly "flat" scen. Hardly any events, few different units.
    The tech tree takes an interesting approach - hard to research more than a few techs, (well until you conquer everything ) but techs you research DO matter. BUT - the map is a masterpiece - perfectly placed cities, from afganistan, to spain. Careful attention to historical extent of Byzantine, persian empires, Italian situation, etc. Right now it is the map more than anything else that keeps me playing.

    Now of course there are some great scenarios that excel in both areas (dare i plug Seeds of Greatness?) But scenario designers work hard for the public good, and i dont complain if i get one or the other. Sometimes a choice must me made where to put effort. But i wonder what the rest of you think is more important
    map or events (or tech tree or units for that matter)

    "A person cannot approach the divine by reaching beyond the human. To become human, is what this individual person, has been created for.” Martin Buber

  • #2
    The map (and by implication, the placement of cities).
    IMHO, maps are what makes or breaks a scenario. An unrealistic map looks really bad, and takes away a lot of a scenarios claim to historical accruacy.

    Of course, you can have the best map in the world but if the events, techs, and units suck then the scenario still isn't going to be good
    'Arguing with anonymous strangers on the internet is a sucker's game because they almost always turn out to be - or to be indistinguishable from - self-righteous sixteen year olds possessing infinite amounts of free time.'
    - Neal Stephenson, Cryptonomicon


    • #3
      I think thats a pretty weighted choice if you're selecting between a map/placement on one side and pretty much everything else on the other.
      The flashy bits and pieces - terrains/units/other graphics are what most people tend to look at initially I think but the way the events/techs are scripted to affect the course of gameplay only becomes apparent one you're really into playing through it, hence may not be appreciated for what they are until later.
      (C'mon people don't read the events.txt before starting a scenario do they? )

      OTOH if you're talking about civ3 then the former is totally irrelevant as placement can't be done and events are out of the window too - hence flashy graphics are all you have.

      [/civ3 whinge mode off - for now]


      • #4
        Strangely, I just played Temba's Charlamagne for the first time last week and to be honest, I wouldn't know better if the map was off and I daresay many people would be as ignorant as I am in these matters. Maybe Temba changed the map a bit to make his events work better or to balance the races. I don't know. As a scenario author myself I do know that the Civ2 engine is limited and you often have to sacrifice some things for playability's sake. As long as the essence of Charlamagne's conquests is embodied in the scenario, that's fine by me.

        On the other hand, I would never play the Arab scenario that is described.

        I don't read the events.txt but I do look at the file size which should be >15k

        But if you are one of those map guys, you should play the crusade scenario called Outremer. It was made by a real history buff and is accurate to the last detail.
        This is a link to...The Civilization II Scenario League and this is a link to...My Food Blog


        • #5
          I'm the guy responsible for Outremer; thanks Kobayashi, but to prevent disappointment I must disagree with what You say. Outremer wasn't hist. accurate. For instance, Acco is taken in the first turns, while it should be
          taken only two years later. In fact, there should be 2 Jerusalemian civs...
          And geography... f.e. Baghras isn't located properly.
          Of course, there were some reasons for doing it like that, but...
          Anyway, I thank You for your praise.
          And by the way. Though I'm out of civ creation for at least 1 year,
          now I have some time to correct a bit mistakes in my last scn, Komnenai.
          I have just a week for that, so plz, if You have any comments on what should be fixed...
          "I realise I hold the key to freedom,
          I cannot let my life be ruled by threads" The Web Frogs
          Middle East!


          • #6
            Hmm... maps are an important factor to a historical scenario, and I for sure wouldn't play a scenario where Constantinople would be placed in eastern Anatolia, but don't correct yourself to death. Make compromises. If two cities are too close to each other (i.e. one square apart or so), place them a bit more distinct, I'd say. So what if Babylon is two squares further two the south than it should be... I've seen scenarios where Hamburg lies at the Baltic sea, or Tehran is at the Caspian, and yet I'd judge them good, because they were simply fun to play.
            To me, other aspects must count as well. A decent athmosphere, a tech tree that fits the historical situation, balanced units and gameplay, realism, etc... A good map is nothing without a good scenario taking place on it.
            Follow the masses!
            30,000 lemmings can't be wrong!


            • #7
              Originally posted by Heresson
              And by the way. Though I'm out of civ creation for at least 1 year,
              now I have some time to correct a bit mistakes in my last scn, Komnenai.
              I have just a week for that, so plz, if You have any comments on what should be fixed...
              If you a referring to Komnenai, sorry I never came across it.

              But if you are referring to outremer, just read the review, link is above. But from what I recall, the most glaring problem was that the temples and churches didn't work because the prerequisite techs were changed.
              This is a link to...The Civilization II Scenario League and this is a link to...My Food Blog