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Stronghold and Crusader: The Map Room
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Stronghold 2 » Forums » Stronghold and Crusader: The Map Room » The Echoing Morning Star
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Topic Subject:The Echoing Morning Star
Strife
Archer
posted 05-19-14 00:57 EST (US)         
The file has been uploaded:
http://stronghold.heavengames.com/downloads/showfile.php?fileid=7730

Hey there, everyone. Here's a Stronghold map I've been working on recently.
 photo TheEchoingMorningStar_zps86810027.png  photo TheEchoingMorningStar_zpsaa657b58.png  photo TheEchoingMorningSta_zpsa3a9345c.png


I mentioned this in Stronghold Nation some time ago, and updated it recently. But I haven't gotten around to create a thread here yet until now.
Here's a small screen-capture of the city of Illesque:
 photo 0c376297-fbff-435a-abfd-08ba7d4ebd03_zpsc35a2378.png

Update 28 May 2014:
 photo 857ae410-59f4-4913-a13e-3ddb25408af4_zpse87ba37d.jpg
Update 2 June 2014: Many of the dead trees have been removed or replaced with live ones. Other than that, the overall map remains the same.

Update 27 June 2014:
 photo 54e1f30b-d866-4d2b-b2eb-8b1847a105fe_zps44d93375.jpg

I have a story idea, but it's still in the imagination process.
EDIT 28 May 2014: A story is in the creation process. It may take some time to complete due to a lack of free time.
Within the map, you will have to survive several years of increasingly challenging assaults with only men-at-arms available to recruit (archers, crossbowmen, and spearmen) until the main army returns, limiting you from any stronger units until the end of the game. Purchasing leather armor will be unavailable, and no siege weapons except for shields can be created.
You will also be unable to purchase wood planks to prevent buying them, then quickly turning them into spears for profit. And certain buildings that provide positive popularity will not be available. Essentially, many economic pressures will be put to strain your militaristic threshold of your defenses.
EDIT 28 May 2014: You will be able to buy wood planks, but you will not be able to sell spears.
EDIT 2 June 2014: Playtesting has been done by myself, but I am currently requesting another playtester to help me find any holes in the scripts or invasions, and to test the difficulty of the map. The map may take between half an hour to an hour to complete, and is purely invasion-set.
EDIT 27 June 2014: Playtesting will not be required. I am adding the finishing touches to the story and will be ready to upload sometime after I get feedback on the small stream that I recently added.
EDIT 6 July 2014: http://stronghold.heavengames.com/downloads/showfile.php?fileid=7730

Chances are that if I don't finish this and upload it here and/or to Stronghold Nation before September, it will be put on hold indefinitely. Currently, I am missing the story.

[This message has been edited by Strife (edited 07-06-2014 @ 10:10 AM).]

AuthorReplies:
ericgolf
Earl
posted 06-05-14 03:33 EST (US)     1 / 21       
Hi Strife, This map looks beautiful. The terrain is the most detailed I have seen for a while. Stronghold 1 provides such a rich way of developing the landscape. You are excelling yourself in this one

He who hesitates is.... er....
~~~~~~~~~~~~
Saviour of Lugm Campaign Contribute a Review
Strife
Archer
posted 06-06-14 18:51 EST (US)     2 / 21       
Thanks, ericgolf. I debated whether or not I should have added snow into the map, but I decided to wait until I'm done with the story and fully testing it before I add additional scenery objects. I ended up using the 1,000 stones throughout the map anyway, so all I would have to do is add the water.
I'm rather skeptical about the bottom level of the castle. It seemed bland.
ericgolf
Earl
posted 06-07-14 04:24 EST (US)     3 / 21       
You could maybe do something fancy with the farms. You might want to search "farms" in the Scenario Design and Modding Forum maybe?

[This message has been edited by ericgolf (edited 06-11-2014 @ 05:30 PM).]

Strife
Archer
posted 06-07-14 20:00 EST (US)     4 / 21       
I looked, and I found that fence-less cow farms topic. I had never known that existed. I'll see what I can do with something like that.
Lord Ako
Archer
posted 06-10-14 08:59 EST (US)     5 / 21       
Incredible landscaping and I like all those custom walls and towers a lot too! Have you considered adding some water like a river or lake perhaps? It might give the map a more 'open' overall feel.
Strife
Archer
posted 06-11-14 15:32 EST (US)     6 / 21       
Thank you for your compliment, Lord Ako. I had thought about adding a water feature, but from past experiences and experiments, I have never been able to make a decent-looking river. Primarily, the water flow always seemed unnatural.
ericgolf
Earl
posted 06-11-14 17:30 EST (US)     7 / 21       
You are right that streams take a lot of work.

I always found that taking care to make sure that I had laid a river bed that started higher and reduced in elevation to lower like a river/stream would. The drop in elevation does not need to be great. Just don't ever let it flow uphill. So your stream will need to actually follow a water course on your map and if that means it needs to stop somewhere else it flows up hill then stop and make a marsh or pond.

If the stream banks are kept slightly higher than the stream then that can hide some of the flaws to an extent.

Also narrower is easier than a wide stream I would say. Have a go on a blank map first and see how you go.

[This message has been edited by ericgolf (edited 06-11-2014 @ 05:33 PM).]

Strife
Archer
posted 06-12-14 17:25 EST (US)     8 / 21       
All right. Thanks for the information. I'll see what I can do about it, but I will most likely omit adding a stream into the map.
Heroesflorian
Archer
posted 06-25-14 09:41 EST (US)     9 / 21       
Looks great!

I agree with Lord Ako that some water might make it look even better, but just do what you think is best for this map.
Keep up the good work!

PS: Looking forward to more picture alt-texts

Ever expect the unexpected!
Life is a row of mistakes, but avoiding them will not make life shorter!
Every kind of biological life is egoistical, but the human race is the only known one that successfully manages to destroy the living room of its own descendants.

Some of my better creations: The Ancient Knight, Ain Ebel Warfare, United AIV, Dark Skies over Al'Shareed
Captain Diablo
Archer
posted 06-26-14 19:19 EST (US)     10 / 21       
Looks awesome! I particularly like how the castle is constructed: it looks like it's layered and really gives a sense of escalation the farther you go. Great work!

"It was a fine cry, but it had no bottom and it had no top, just circles and circles of sorrow."
Strife
Archer
posted 06-26-14 23:05 EST (US)     11 / 21       
Thanks, Captain Diablo. Frankly, I think if I removed the "min-height" part of the castle, I could add some scenery details around it and it would look better that way, but I have already gone through testing and everything else.

As for the river or stream, I agree that it would make the map look better and more realistic. I even have a path idea, but when it came down to it, I have a big issue with making it seem to flow naturally. I tried to make it wind and twist, but it always looked strange, so I don't know what to do about it.
ericgolf
Earl
posted 06-27-14 12:02 EST (US)     12 / 21       
Can you maybe use moat with wheat farms to look like irrigation maybe? On that min. height bit I mean.
Captain Diablo
Archer
posted 06-27-14 20:56 EST (US)     13 / 21       
Honestly, I'm having a hard time conceptualizing a good looking river for this map. The way it's set up, you might be better off without it. If you're looking to just spice up the landscape, some ruins would do the trick, and the moat / wheat farms is a great idea. I employed Duke of Yorks' pebbles-around-wheat-farms method, and it always made the surroundings look more interesting.

Another interesting thing you could try are outlying trenches for troop movement; sunken wooden palisades in the medium-height areas would do the trick, and add a new dynamic to the invasion. I think Sullis did this in Secrets of Sylvandel Chapter 5? But I can't be sure.

Anyway, whatever you decide to do, I can't wait to play it!

"It was a fine cry, but it had no bottom and it had no top, just circles and circles of sorrow."
Strife
Archer
posted 06-27-14 21:45 EST (US)     14 / 21       
Here we go. I just started working on the stream today, and this was the result.
 photo 54e1f30b-d866-4d2b-b2eb-8b1847a105fe_zps44d93375.jpg
Click on the above image to open a new link and view the full size.
 photo TheEchoingMorningSta_zpsa3a9345c.png

I think that it looks rather mediocre. What I did was use those shallows to create a path first, then flatten the river and replace the shallows with flowing water. I saved this as a separate map file, so I can gather your opinions first before I decide which one to continue working on. I kind of don't want to expend the extra effort on creating alternative paths for the water to flow through, so if this one isn't up to par, I'll go with the original in the topic post.

The bottom level of the castle will most likely stay as-is, so that players will be given some building space. Primary buildings would include weapon-making structures. The economic buildings are good enough to last a very long time if left standing. Alternatively, it provides space for large amounts of units to sally out of as well.

The story is almost complete. I've actually had quite some time within the last few days to write most of it. It's not particularly long, but it's something different compared to the other single-map stories I wrote, since it's not just a description of the castle. At any rate, sorry for the month-long delay. Most of that time was because I had not written the story yet. But since it's almost done, I will upload it fairly soon!

[This message has been edited by Strife (edited 06-29-2014 @ 10:39 AM).]

Lord Ako
Archer
posted 07-02-14 14:22 EST (US)     15 / 21       
I think you're being a little hard on yourself. The river looks good to me and it's in the right place. The map looks more welcoming now which I like as well. Succes with the rest of the process.
ericgolf
Earl
posted 07-05-14 05:30 EST (US)     16 / 21       
I concur with Lord Ako. Great job on the river!

P.S. The forums part of the board only properly accepts BB code (rather than html).

[This message has been edited by ericgolf (edited 07-05-2014 @ 05:36 AM).]

Strife
Archer
posted 07-05-14 18:29 EST (US)     17 / 21       
All right. Thanks for the help everyone! I've submitted the file and am currently waiting for approval.
ericgolf
Earl
posted 07-06-14 10:03 EST (US)     18 / 21       
Approved. In Downloads here.
Heroesflorian
Archer
posted 07-09-14 19:26 EST (US)     19 / 21       
Naah... I don't like that river at all!

Just joking, of course! I'd say it fits well, looks good and adds some color to the map, as well as some more detail to the plains.

So, right decision, imho!

Ever expect the unexpected!
Life is a row of mistakes, but avoiding them will not make life shorter!
Every kind of biological life is egoistical, but the human race is the only known one that successfully manages to destroy the living room of its own descendants.

Some of my better creations: The Ancient Knight, Ain Ebel Warfare, United AIV, Dark Skies over Al'Shareed
The Dragonheart
Archer
posted 07-24-14 08:17 EST (US)     20 / 21       
The landscape is amazing. And that river was a good choice.
Strife
Archer
posted 08-07-14 17:20 EST (US)     21 / 21       
Thanks, Dragonheart!
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