In the ancient land of atlantis you are the King of the mountain fortress, La Tresse. The Wolf is your number 1 nemesis, always trying to knock down your walls and dig up your moat. Your lesser lords are starting to complain about being at war all the time. This time, kill ALL his men to stop this raging war.
“La Tresse, Mountain Fortress” begins with a sort of dream castle you might build quickly and with unlimited resources and it is challenged by a nightmare invasion.
JRDirtbike114 has created a castle with five concentric rings around a stone keep and cathedral. The outer ring is thick and protected by a moat. The castle comes already guarded by a large number of archers, knights, etc. Also many arms and food production units are already in place (10 fletchers, 20 brewers, etc) Six armories are well stocked with weapons. You also begin with some 50,000 gold in case you need to purchase additional supplies.
Starting the game, your 100 inhabitants begin an interesting procession from the keep, up steps, along walls, through gates, etc to reach their assignments. However housing is provided for only 12 people so your very first task is to make hovels for the remaining 88 people.
The opposition is simple and probably overwhelming – an invasion of 330 units of various types and repeated every month for 50 months. Unfortunately because the map has STEPS or CLIFFS in the terrain, the only way to the inner rings is via the Gates in the walls. Once the gates are distroyed the enemy troops will be unable to advance. So it is probably nearly impossible to be defeated in this scenario. (Note: I did not play this to the end.) I guestimated a balance score of 2.
The terrain consists of completely flat levels rising up to the highest at the center. No shaping, rocks, plants, animals or natural features have been added except that one of the rings within the castle is forested.
I suspect that JRDirtbike114 has been playing Stronghold and decided to experiment with the map editor. This is a good starting point and a good chance to learn about creating new worlds and new challenges in Stronghold. I encourage him to continue to experiment with the editor and also to take a close look at some of the submissions by other map designers at Stronghold Heaven to learn from them.
1. Seek to round and shape the ground in a way that looks natural.
2. Use rocks, plants, and other features that the map editor provides to add detail
3. Consider making the castle smaller with respect to the rest of the map so to give space around the walls for the invaders to mount their attack.
4. Don’t provide as many resources and production facilities already in place. Force the player to have to work out how to keep his economy going and how to most effectively position his military units. Limit the initial money and/or limit what can be traded at the market so the player cannot simply buy himself out of problems.
5. Be a bit more creative with the details of the invasion. Choose different assortments of troops to attack at different times. Some with siege equipment, some without. (Note: I personally feel that this is one of the hardest parts of setting up an invasion – getting the attacks right so they are FUN and also suitably CHALLENGING.
6. Note also the variety of stories that other designers have used to introduce their maps and the scores that they have received. This will give you an idea of what is expected.
7. My last bit of advice is that you should expect this all to take quite a bit of TIME. Many designers may take 10, 20, 30 hours or more into research, design, testing before they submit a map. And you can always ask someone to Play Test your game first before you upload it to SHH.