Playability: There were several factors that helped the playability, such as the abundant resources, generous starting goods and buildings, and no time limit. But ultimately, after 20 game years I chose to give up rather than hunt down the last surviving wolf that didn't take the bait (see also Balance).
Balance: There were a lot of goals, and while they were very high even at Normal, they were almost all achievable. The 'eradicate all wolves' one was certainly a challenge - I've never seen so many wolves on a map - 150 at least! What was unique was having them fenced off from the castle, and without access to the keep. It kind of made it seem like shooting ducks in a barrel. I'd caution anyone playing this map to think about your wolf-eradicating strategy very carefully before implementing it! I had to restart the game after I made one bad choice which resulted in the wolves overrunning the keep. I think fewer wolves would have made a more balanced map. The second time through I spent a lot of time going back and directing the archers to shoot the wolves, before ultimately hitting upon a strategy to draw the wolves to one spot. Also, on balance - some of the goals were set very high, such as 500 iron, 100 ale, etc., and that was on Normal. A story to accompany the goals would give them a reason for being, and make them seem less arbitrary. There was a good balance of good and bad events scripted throughout, although they didn't start for some time.
Creativity: The layout of the castle was very interesting. I liked how it was in sections on two hills, and I enjoyed watching the people go up and down the stairs and around the hills, etc. The whole 'fencing off the wild animals' was different, and I had fun solving the problem of how to get at the wolves.
Map Design: Overall I liked the map, and the layout of the buildings and land. The resources could have been spread out a bit more to make them seem more natural. There were also resources that weren't needed for achieving any of the goals, but that's perfectly ok - nature is like that too! You might try using smaller brushes on some of the terrain, such as the river.
Story/Instructions: It could have used more than one sentence in the game instructions. Not that instructions were really necessary for the game play, but a scenario could have been constructed to explain the need for the huge amounts of iron and gold that are to be amassed. Also, a minimap would raise the score!
Thanks for a fun map! A few changes in the goals and perhaps a few less wild animals would make it even better!
Posted on 04/02/09 @ 09:31 AM
Everything is just big here. The requests (e.g., more than 400 poeple on normal), the size of the castle (20 inns is extreme for SH1).
And the packs of wolves.
"Strange" appeared to me that they were caved in like in a zoo. If you use the right measure (look at your castle) it will be an easy walk to eradicate them.
The seemingly endless rows of workers look colourful and funny.