I had a lot of fun playing this map! Played against...hmm, can't remember, but I did play an 8 player match vs. the AIs. I took the central, elevated position, and had a lot of fun killing farmers and such. I also had to aggressively stake out farmland, which added to the challenge. Very playable, very fun!
Balance was all right, although the oasis land was a little more for the bottom half, and the top-right player had a small grove of trees to himself. Stone and iron were fairly well spread out, but this category could be improved.
Well done! The idea of a central, elevated
player against other players below and surrounding him is a fairly common one, but you did well in this map, adding woods and more hills around the central player.
Map Design: 2.5
This was a category that could be improved a fair bit; there was no water in the oasis grass, and there were no water sources around the entire map, save for one or two small ponds. The oasis spots are also scattered around, with no apparent cause. There should be grass growing around water, and some trees and shrubs growing around as well, but here there was just grass. The iron and stone weren't too bad, but again, there is that scattered appearance. Try to think in terms of if it all looks natural or not; there would not be apatch of iron, and then sand or earth around it. Instead, the iron would be found in a hilly, rocky area, with stone around it. Try to blend things together, and you'll get a really good, clean, natural, and realistic look. In terms of resource placement, try to stay away from the "resources-in-the-corners-behind-the-players" placement. However, you didn't do too badly there, only placing iron in small quantities in the corners. Also, the central rugged terrain was good, and you didn't just use high plain and the biggest brush. Good job! Map design is a category that is more aesthetics than functionality, and the goal is to make the map look natural, attractive, and realistic. However, I'm sure that with time you'll do better. A tip: take a look at expert mapmakers, like Sulis, Talos_911, the Warlord_Designs team, etc., and see how they do their terraining. It can be really helpful. Keep working at it - I'm sure you will do better!
Sadly, there were few instructions and no story. Now, I understand that it is a commonly held belief that skirmishes should not have stories, but it is in fact good to have a story. It gives the map more depth, and is usually an easy category to get points in. It also immerses the player in the map, something that every mapmaker should try to do. Instructions weren't bad; in fact they were quite useful =); they just needed more depth. However, the thing that pulled you down here was the lack of a story. It isn't too much of an effort, especially for skirmishes, to think up of a plotline and put it in. For skirmishes, their isn't really a requirement for a 10 page narrative, but just a short paragraph or two. For invasions, well, that's another matter. =P
My only other comments are to just spend more time with the editor, and get to know the tools really well. Always try to make your map look as realistic as possible, and always pay attention to the details. Remember to have water if you have oasis grass and farmland. However, I liked your creativity in this map - this was the first king-of-the-hill map I've played that was good in a long time, as you added more land, and rugged terrain. Overall, I'd say this is a solid map; just work on map design, terraining, and the ever-important story. Keep up the good work - I'm looking forward to seeing more maps from you.