Posted on 08/20/11 @ 02:14 PM (updated 10/02/11
Over Crowding-Where to Live __Updated
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A complex map in which you'll handle crowding of -10 and you'll not be able to decrease crowding negative!
You were the leader of an arabian village. From the beginning you didn't had very good relationship with your neighbors. They were also arabians but they said that you're strayed from your religion and you and your villagers drink every night and trade ale and hops. It was true however. That's why. They've became your enemies. Taking the fact that your village was too small, both in population and area, they even attacked on you several times. Anyway this is all history. Forget and get yourself drunken...
It was night. You were getting ready for the dinner. Suddenly some horrible sounds outside from keep began to rise. Women and children were shouting. Before you could go outside, a person with fear on his face rushed into the keep's hall. He was your senior minister. He said that forces of Nawab (Sultan, the enemy) have again managed to enter the village. They've torched all our good stuff, ale and inn's and killed many of our men! Our peasants are being killed and they are now rushing from the village. Before he could explain more, an enemy swordsman entered the keep and immediately killed the minister. You then took your sword and killed the enemy's man on spot without any encounter. You and your three men were left in the keep. Soon you received news that lady has also been killed in her chamber. But without taking care of the dead, you all four rushed to the top of the keep.
When you reached keep's top, fire, dead bodies and ruins could be seen around in this deadly night. In time enemy's men reached inside the keep! Fortunately there was no one at the back of the keep. You men took this spot as an advantage and jumped. Then you all rushed and hide in the rocks nearby. There were still some of your men fighting with enemy. Then you and your men walked out swiftly and left the village. Man can live without lady but not without food. So after sometime when dust settled and fire got extinguished, one of your men went back to the village and stole a lot of food and also brought some reports.
Enemy had taken control of the village and an armored man was guiding other soldiers. That was the condition, your man saw. Anyhow, now that you had some rations, a day passed and another passed and then another but none was concluded, how to retake the village???One day some men joined us who fled at time of revolt. That evening some more horsemen joined us. They were all your remaining soldiers! You then again sent of your men to bring some more reports. The soldier returned after sometime and reported that enemy has rebuilt some buildings and two huge pots of oil, I don't know why they build those pots of oil, your soldier said. "I know", you replied. Then you suggested a plan.
You said that one of us will again go to the village this night and break one of the huge pots of oil. Your all soldiers understood your trick "River of Fire" and admired you. So it was done as directed by you. Next morning when enemy opened the eyes, the whole village was filled with oily land. Now you suggested that we should now burn the other other oil pot which will help the fire to spread on the oily ground. This trick will give the enemy a serious set back. Then you saw a strange man running towards you. He said that the villagers have taken shelter in other nearby villages and will only return if you retake the village from enemy and increase its economy. You accepted the challenge.
To the Gameplay:
Scripting is complex as it is armed with 'binary memory' and logical operator 'lower than' technique. So I think it may take long to describe every point. Read on...
When you'll retake the village, people will start coming. You'll receive them in the form of slaves. You will disband them for gaining victory. BUT!!!! You can't wait for all to arrive and then disband them all at once! Instead there are minor objectives in the game which you must achieve (read objectives below). Cede events are used to have slaves. Not used archers.
The EASY version
Firstly, you won't find it difficult. But if you fail, the EASY version is for you. It has less bad events, less amount of goods to be gathered and less enemy troops when attacking but more villagers coming for you and more oasis space. But, I don't recommend playing it. Because if normal version have difficulty 100, the EASY version may have 25!!! i-e 1/4th. If you give review, don't review the EASY version. So be brave and play the normal game. But still check easy...
STARTING DATE: Jan 1200
OBJECTIVES: 100 PEOPLE (WIN)
LOSE: IF DIDN'T SUCCEED IN MINOR OBJECTIVES
Minor Objectives:(Must Achieve!)
The mission has many parts in terms of objectives.
Part: 1: You must have more than 30 people before Dec 1202.
Part: 2: You must have 60 people and 1200 gold (1000 in easy version) before 1207.
Part: 3: Then have 85 people and 100 bread (65 bread in easy version) before Mar 1210.
Part: 4: Then achieve 95 people before Mar 1212.
Part: 5: After that, you'll receive about 10 slaves (20 slaves in easy). It's upto you to disband them at any time as the game continues.
A win-timer will appear after you've reached the objectives. You'll face many bad events. You should neutralize all the negative effects and should keep the people above 100 for 12 months more.
Hints and Tips:
1. Use slave to burn the smelter which will help the fire to spread on the oily land.
2. Smelter should be burned in time when black archers come near it. (after that well worker will extinguish the fire on smelter.
3. When captured, first focus on food.
4. Use oasis for wheat and use money for hops.
5. If you feel gold shortage, start producing weapons.
6. Make sure your peasants start drinking from the beginning.
7. Use religion advantage in the beginning.
8. Aren't these enough? More in the .zip file.
Behind the screen :
Let me tell you about scripting. When you receive slaves by cede-event, why should you disband them? Ans: An invasion will occur after sometime when you receive slaves. If you've achieved objectives, a bandit event will occur, killing the whole invasion. If you don't reach objectives, bandits will not come and invasion will attack you. Scripting is designed in such a way that if you attacked that invasion, you'll lose! Understood, the reality of this mission? More info about this type of scripting is <<<here>>>
Author's Views :
When I started making this mission first, I had only the idea about a mission in which player have to handle -10 crowding. I then made it 'without lower than and binary memory techniques' and sent it to play test. Thanks to play-tester, Palat who spotted a great issue. "Player can easily gather all the slaves and disband them at once!" Then I think on this issue deeply and then concluded that why not add advanced scripting techniques? I then made partitions of the objectives so that the player can't now disband all at once.
Moreover I had only the idea about mission gameplay. I had no story, so sorry for this fake story with lots of errors, I think. But I hope you would much like the game play and the minor-objectives specially. Take this map as the last gift from me before my schools opens and vacations end. So then I may rarely make such detailed maps. See you in my other economic maps.
Don't review the EASY version. Instead use all the aspects of normal mission for reviewing, if you want to give
Special Thanks to:
1. Palat (playtester)
2. Peter2008 (suggestions)
3. Lord_of_Hell (appreciation)
0.1. Map is now unlocked.
0.2. Again inserted the EASY version.
0.3. Made oasis near water bodies.
0.4. Made retaking village more difficult.
0.5. Some changes in readme file.
|Author||Reviews ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )|
This map has been designed to be a top challenge and it is, both military and economical. Not everyone has the skill to win it and so it shows up the single major negative aspect of the map, which keeps it from getting a full 5 but even so it can't be removed without drastically changing the gameplay style. What I'm talking about is that sometimes the gameplay reaches frustrating moments. Small mistakes and the win is no longer certain for the player. Lots of saves are needed.
Over the time lots and lots of events occur, including positive which is good but then it's not good when it happens for two or more negative events to occur at the same time. That's because some events are scripted with a repeat option of every X months. No matter what it happens, events will get to occur together sooner or later.
The gameplay is highly active and dynamic. That means the player cannot take his eyes off the screen or he risks loosing . On another hand everything is so unstable, one event of 'All Food Stolen' and within the next seconds the popularity will drop to 50 or less, ruining everything.
The style which this map was made with makes it really special but the same style which makes it a challenge has to have effects on the re-playability category. The single moment when the map is fully enjoyable is at the end, when the Victory screen shows up. To win the hard version it has to be played a dozen times or more without including the saves. Low replayability but great gameplay.
Unfortunately there are only few things that can be changed to make it more enjoyable in more moments, but that's one aspect that makes this map special and would be a pity to modify it. Although I don't recommend, you can try locating the moments when the events collide and modify a bit from the scripting to fix them. 2 - You can try increasing the population the player can't lose (10) which will save some critical moments.
Anyway, a great gameplay.
Some balance points were barely mentioned before, but here they go in detail. And this time there's only good words about it.
Even since the map is started, the player's skill and patience is tested to the limit. A small well-defended village has to be taken with only a bunch of archers, two-three troops there and the king here. A good strategical player would think: Giving the AI's big advantage, there HAS to be a hidden fight-back weapon for the player too. And so it is. The slave and fire thrower the player is given gives a crucial clue - fire. Without burning half of the village with the enemy troops in it, the mission would be impossible. After the village has been hardly taken and with the king involved in the skirmish, few or no troops remain. Problems will show up soon and the player never realizes he will need troops to fight the lions in the future.
To avoid cheating and the map being too easy, small economical tasks have been set but the ending task is still 100 population. Giving the fact that no more hovels can be built, population is gathered using custom reinforcements with the help of a couple repeated cede-castle events. Brilliant idea and well-done made, not to mention the steps the player has to do while playing.
This is by no doubt one of the most original SHC maps around. No one has ever done a SHC map with custom reinforcements of this importance and you also did it in great way. Beyond that, everything is highly original as well: The desert and the well done story, whose scores speak by themselves about creativity. An outstanding creativity including the massive scripting.
Map Design: 5
Poor surrounding with several oases, this is how the design could be described as, but things go further than that. Noticeable and good for me to see at the map is that the grass is so good designed there are almost no visible square formations out of them - which is a rather ignored issue but counts. Everything is incredible realistic: The bigger oases look wild, the smaller ones look poor, the rocks and resources look natural. Brilliantly done.
Other than the fact that the story is self-made and very original it is also a very good one and reads well. Not much to say here, just another great work.
Keep the great work.
"Overcrowding" by Fayez2010 is an exceptional and fascinating map. It puts into focus an economical feature hitherto avoided, and it uses uncommon scripting mechanics. The combination of both causes a rather tentative way of gameplay.
Both aspects, military and economical, require acquaintance with the game and patience & concentration while playing.
The first chapter is a cede to retake a little village. The player's troops are quite outnumbered, only human ability of leading units in nuances and of countering situations can lead to victory.
Fayez suggests to set a smelter and hidden pitch traps on fire. It's possible to do so without losing any building because a water beare is around.
Additionally, one best uses the tactics of the so-called Parthian shot: your ranged units fire when the addressed opposite unit is about to do so, and quickly hide away before the arrows hit.
Three patrolling groups make this strategy very dangerous, however. The Lord acts as a super weapon to sweep them out of the way, like later the fire ballistae. I lost 1 horse archer.
From now on, it's save the map, try an eco strategy and find out what happens. With a fix numbers of peasants, every different choice within the setup will have uncorrectable consequences. And the gains of every step will be needed to help dealing with the following objectives. Even the number of survivers from the cede is crucial because lions will appear on the scene.
One Achilles' heel of caring for popularity plus making money is the food chain, and this one gets hit over and over again. I've never seen that many Thefts from granary or Wheat deseases.
Along with many other events which strike upon the settlement, the player is kept on his/her toes, constantly in fear wether the chosen measures will suffice to keep popularity up or rising again, and to reach a given eco request.
Only then, bandits will arrive at the signpost at the same time as hostile invasions so that both parties neutralize each other.
Good events come to an aid and must be exploited well.
Overcrowding: You certainly cannot build new hovels. Slaves and single armed units come in repeatedly and get almost instantly ceded to the player. A brilliant trick for reinforcing. The slaves are meant to be disbanded for getting new peasants. Their number keeps very limited, there's only a tiny scope of how many of them can be lost and replaced. If, e.g., 3 workers run into a fire twice, you have to retreat to an earlier save.
Replayability here means that one has to find out how to bend down best to straining frames and not to break and perish. This is the same as for, say, "Fathers' Sins, Chapter 1: Beyond Good and Evil" by AZ ViTrAzhAs.
Still, one can trust in the eco power of Crusader. A reasonable organization of buildings will bring in revenues of goods and taxes to sail the way through all ups and downs of the consecutive steps as well as to endure a dramatic ending right á la Fayez.
Overall, a "flow" of events and game features has been achieved that is extremely dense and still works well. Well done!
It is very hard to win this map, in either version, due to several dangers for your closely limited numbers of peasants. Lions can eat them, these have to be caught with few units. Fires may burn them, so I stew away half of the population as water bearers: these were quite safe and could rescue the others. Nastingly, bakers sometimes die while there is still flower at the stockpile. 8 bakeries should be enough.
A constant pressure lays above the eco job. An increasing effect of overcrowding is burdening popularity, -10 already at the first stage! So one has to find an optimal way to balance the damage and still respond flexibly to the many events.
Thankfully, no war is going on, the creation of value needed for that expensive fun must be used up otherwise here.
A special bottleneck occurs in March 1210 when there's just few seconds left to disband the new slaves and reach the requested number of peasants. Phew.
Given the many uncommon features, a high number of events happening, and narrow scope for reactions, the job will still be too hard for the frustration tolerance of a number of players. But astonishingly, it's possible to be done.
Reviewing only the "normal" version? No Sir, as the "easy" version is a valuable opportunity for those fans who don't have the time or patience to keep at the main one.
The helps almost only comprise lower minor objectives and not-so-worse event, anyways. And +9 slaves, only in the end. To have it really "easy" and more attractive for custom players, the number of slaves might be raised by +2 in each "friendly invasion".
Fayez seems to be the first who ever made a plan out of the feature of Overcrowding. Disabling of hovels can be found in few maps. Here, the nasty element of having way too many peasants forms the core conception.
The way this idea was implemented, is of exceptional character. Most seldom scripting mechanics make a stunning frame. The eco parts aren't giveaways at all, but require attention and leadership - especially from their creator.
The surface of the landscape is a wonder in itself. The overall layout fits perfectly to the dense concept.
As results, the player stays mindful towards the precious peasants, and the map plays with a constant high level of tension and excitement.
Also, the beginning cede fighting part is original and calls for creative response.
Map Design: 5
When I first saw the minimap, I had the immediate feeling that something special was going on there. The map looked so vivid that for my subjective impression, a constant wind was blowing over the dry lands. A hand strong and full of energy has designed here.
The overall structure unfolds clearly. Each part of the map gets used.
Looking close, one can enjoy the view of a surface shaped in most different kinds of details. May many others take this as a model.
The two big oases look impressive and highly original. The level of the water lays deeper than its surroundings. Huge forests of date palms reveal how frutile the resources are. In unusual manner, there is only little greenery around the waters. Fayez told me that in his parts, the soil is mixed up with a share of salt and thus often looks that empty.
One questionable thing is, why the green spots out in the desert are where they are. Sometimes, rocks give some shelter. At other places, there is no natural reason for the grass to appear. (Yet it's often not big enough for farms.)
The stone quarries could look more elaborated.
As for the starting units on the map, both many enemy troops and own ones are of the same colour. This had, at the same time, an irritating and fascinating effect on me. Probable reason may be that these Arabians are all neighbours, according to the story, and wear local clothing. A fatricidal war, then.
"The scripting is divine," I let out from the first playing experience. This statement is confirmed by studying the now unlocked map.
Above all, two extraordinary mechanics.
- Custom reinforcements by repeated cede events: invading units turn into own troops.
- Memory check if certain minor objectives have been reached: Only then, bandits arrive at the same time as hostile invasions, who eliminate each other. The Stronghold editor has no condition "lower than", so any failure in reaching objectives has to be tested by such a combination of events. The first technique makes possible the eco concept of Overcrowding to be created.
The latter one has been used very seldom only (see below). This checking out is necessary to ensure that the player does set up a continuously growing economy.
Combining these two techniques is ingenious.
Common events are very numerous. The timed ones have the player struggle with the rigours of nature, help to recover from the damages or to make gold. The conditioned events are scripted carefully: "any" of different conditions. They serve for two purposes. For restricting the power of the food chains (Thefts from granary and Wheat desease) and for a concluding big bang.
One event "% blessed" remains redundant.
The loose conditions recur with every hostile invasion which may help to keep overview but is not necessary.
The mninor critics carry no weight considering the immense effort and perfectly working design.
The author tells us that the concept came first, a (requested) story afterwards. Two versions are given which both cover the time before and untill the opening situation. The story on the SHH site includes some background information about the relationship to uncontent neighbours. In the readme file, two scenes provide vivid impressions of the troubles when losing the village.
"The coward peasants had already left." Well, if the Lord could not protect them against the overwhelming enemy. My point is, nothing is said referring to the course which the map takes after its beginning, about its very "heroes" who return and the uncommon troubles of keeping them happy.
There are certain types of grammatical mistakes, mainly concerning some verbal forms and the usage of the definite article. Proofreading would help to make the text read more fluently.
Instructions are given in abundance. They explain the process of making this map as well as its special character. The list of the minor objectives and their checking dates proves very helpful. It also appears as ingame text!
The mechanic of binary memory scripting was described by ultima_spock in his Course. Credits should be given to him (see below).
Hints are offered for every stage of the map. Just, they should not come along with the entertaining texts but in a seperate file. Players may stick to them in their minds instead of finding out the possibilities for themselves.
I am sorry for the late review. Had kicked it down the road until the end of the year.
Everyone who loves Stronghold should try "Overcrowding". Leastwise try it and get a taste of the dimension.
Here are three hints, if only for people who don't have Crusader 1.2 with which this map was made.
- ultima_spock's Course on programming scripts:
There are (at least) two maps using the concept of memory check.
- Stronghold 1: ultima_spock's "The Mad King":
- Crusader 1.1: AZ ViTrAzhAs' "Fathers' Sins, Chapter 1: Beyond Good and Evil":