900 AD 6:00 pm...
A metor streaks through the sky, temporeraly lighting the night sky ablaze. Three young settlers see it land in the open desert. You dash off to see what happened.
900 AD Arabian Desert, about breakfast time...
"Sir!" a beaming scribe exclaims,
"Master Lix told me to tell you," he pants "that the test samples are back." more pants.
"He dosen't know what to make of it, anything can be grown there!"
"By thunder, what do the astrologers say?" you quirie.
"They have locked themselves up and will not come out Sire. I found a noose last night." he added, a little more quietly.
"Also, King Agger needs a economical outpost, his orders are for somewhere in the immediate vicinity, sir"
"Fetch Lord Rigoth!" you boom, "and three of the best fighters you can find, and meet me at the craters edge!"
900 AD Arabian Desert (yadayadaya) 1:00pm
"In!" you shout to the first man you see. Screams and shouts come from the crater, then flest being ripped apart. The decapitated head of the man you ordered to death rolled down the hill towards you...
The Beasts in the crater are lions, just added for the story really. The crater can support life, yes really, so any farms can be placed there. I was fooling around with a map when I placed Oasis grass over Sea, creating a lower terrain. Whilst playtesting that map I notest that anything can be grown on there, a type of invisi-oasis. That fits in with the story, in which you must build a castle. Stone can be bought (no low walls though) through the market. Engineers arn't allowed (king's orders).
There wasnt much in this map that allowed me to enjoy. I dont know why but maybe it is the terrain I miss in this map. The thing that made me enjoy was the crater, it looked well made. The edges were smooth.Try to add more terrain. You need to work longer on your maps. Remeber quality is better than quantity. For example, would you like to receive 15 1.0 and 2.0 scores or get a perfect score?
Since this was a freebuild the ways for balancing are limited except for reducing resources and if you want you could change the map into an invasion and add invasions. Note that the invasions wont work if you change it back to a freebuild. The map will still work like a freebuild but the only change is that you can add invasions and the map shows up in the custom maps area now. To change map type and map size you should press "alt"+",". The farms were limited and there were lions in the crater whoch makes things better.
The only creative thing I saw in this map was the crater. A crater itself adds points to creativtiy but when you added your tricks and the lions to it, it became really great. The story was laso very creative. I liked it a lot. if you do more terraining it would be great. You can look for inspiration from others. For terraining in crusader, you can look at surajsubha's maps or even mine;). I recommend dark water cathe as I think that is his best one.
Map design 2.5
This ws the part of the map that I didnt like. The best part of the map was the crater. Everything outside it was blank and the iron looked very unnatural. When you add iron and stoone make a hill or a rocky area or something like that and mix stone iron and rocks t make it look natural. The only problem I saw with the crater was that it had trees at the borders. When something like this happens all trees near it will get blown away. If the blank area outside was an idea to show this, then you havent done it well. Put trees away from the crater and you could create a river for better looks. The crater looked good. The sides were very smooth or atleast it seemed like that to me. That was a good thing. If you work more on your maps it would be great. Using playtesters will also help you make sure that your maps are good before release. I will volunteer of you like. My email id is in my profile.
The story was very very interesting to me. It was short but it had enough elements for a basic map. It could have been longer though. You could write the story from the time when the meteor landed. I liked it and it had only a few mistakes.
I am sure that you will improve over time and become a good map maker. Keep making them!