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Islands

Author File Description
Lord Sudbury
File Details
Map Size: 400x400 (Large)
Number of Players: 4
Balance: Balanced
Difficulty: Normal
Made with version: 1.2
Minimap:
1291: Acre has fallen to the Mamluks, and the Templars and Hospitallers have taken ship to Cyprus, Rhodes, Crete, or any island offering a safe haven. Outremer has fallen, but the Saracens are hot on your heels. Can you hold them off?
AuthorComments & Reviews   ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )
svenjo Urrrgh the landscape is ugly ;D and there are toooooooo manny ressources! but for your first one its okay. But a nice gameplay even if its too easy. nice idea with the different connections between the islands.
Heroesflorian You should try to let the landscape look more realistic by working on the edges from one terrain to another: Try to achieve smooth, soft changes instead of abrupt ones. If you have an area of oasis, try putting thick and then less thick grass around the edges, maybe even some "earth and rocks" terrain, then some dry soil. Moreover, try to avoid "perfect" oval shapes. Instead, try some more complex edge-shapes, a bit more curvy, with some small offshoots.

Moreover, avoid using only completely-vertical cliffs. Try some kind of transition between max and min height.
(Of course, you don't have to create a huge "zone of transition" here, you can create a steep, rocky transition; but just perfectly vertical looks boring and unnatural in most cases.)

Furthermore, think about placing some single trees or groups of trees in the huge grasslands. Or at least some groups of bushes and, maybe, a few rocks in between.
On the northwestern island, there is an area with thick forest, then - from one tile to the next - there is no single tree anymore. Try creating a smooth change from forest to grassland, with less many trees at the edges, then bushes, less bushes, and finally grassland.

The placement of resources is always a challenge, as they should be accessible and usable, not too much, not too less. But they should also blend into the landscape. Try again to get a natural-looking transition here: Small offshoots of iron, surrounded by some single plants, some small rocks/stones; no flat ground below stone but a hilly ground, rocks in between, maybe some desert plants or bushes.
And please remember that you just need 4 tiles of iron to place an iron mine. So you don't need a huge round lump of iron at the ground. Small, elegant lines or smaller spots with a few rocks around are fully functional.
And to place a quarry, you don't need a solid block of 6x6 tiles stone, about 8 (for example 2x4) tiles are enough here. And a quarry can be placed on relatively steep terrain, as well as ox tethers can be. So you don't need a completely flat ground here.

Another point is the beach. It looks too straight and uniformly. Try different widths, more wavy, more individual, include little bays/coves, some small (or bigger) rocks, place them in groups and along the edges, maybe create some hills/dunes on the beach, a few plants, some puddles of sea, ford or river.
If you want palms growing on your beach, try using either the beach terrain or hilly ground and then place oasis terrain there. You won't see any green but you can (if the area is large enough) place farms and (more important) palm trees will grow and spread here, instead of dying out.

For further hints and/or inspiration, take a look at the "mapmaking 101" section of StrongholdHeaven.
Here you can find a variety of techniques for improving your designing, and especially the "Spotlight on Design" articles present several screens of great maps (all downloadably here) on different topics, as well as explanation on how the special look was achieved.
http://stronghold.heavengames.com/maps/index_html

This was quite much of hints for designing, I know. But if you mind the hints, your further maps (or an updated version of this one) will look way better, making it more fun to play it and people will say "wow, great map!".
And I know, you will get better in matters of designing, none of us starts perfectly.
The story, creativity and playability if the map are already good, so don't give up. Just keep on improving and you can make some brilliant maps!
I'm looking forward to more maps of you.

Cheers,
Heroesflorian
Lord Sudbury
File Author
Thanks Heroesflorian,
This was my first submitted map and I'm still messing around with the map editor. I'll check out Mapmaking 101.
I tend to have ALOT of resources, and I think too many makes it too "busy".
Thanks for the pointers!
Heroesflorian Well, generally there's nothing against many resources.
Just make sure you place them "logical" - for example place a huge deposit of iron within a mountainous surrounding with some rocks and not inside a completely flat area of oasis - and in a nice-looking way.

Glad that I could help! Good luck with further mapmaking!

Cheers,
Heroesflorian
Maaz Can anyone please let me know where I can download Stronghold crusader?
ericgolf
Staff


@ Maaz, Check out these News archive pages:- http://stronghold.heavengames.com/archives/arc10-2009.shtml

http://stronghold.heavengames.com/archives/arc3-2009.shtml

Also the best place for questions not related to a map is here:-
http://stronghold.heavengames.com/cgi-bin/forum/index.cgi

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Added:05/01/10