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Old 06-21-2006, 06:34 PM   #37
Procrastination Incarnate

Development Director
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 8,190

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2008 Spell olympics - Fire - SilverApproved Map: Old School Alliance TacticsHero Contest #2 - 3rd PlaceSpell making session 2 winner


I finaly got around to testing this map; I haven't played earlier versions of the maps, but I liked what I saw now. We played survival and although the beginning was a bit slow, the game picked up the pace soon enough and once we assembled the beacon, the real fun began as we had to franticaly reload weapons, switch them as ammo ran out, and send runners out to find more.

All in all it was good fun, and I would approve the map, but I wish to play defense and infiltration first and if they meet the standard of survival, approve them alltogether.

This being said, I do have some thoughts and suggestions about the further development of the map; it's fun, but it's not perfect.

- The different colours for different item types get the job done functionaly, but not aestheticaly. Considering that a custom item model that uses in-game textures takes really really little space, you could easily import a few of them, no need for each gun to have it's own, it could be just a generic gun and ammo model... just to avoid the chests of gold that really have no business in this map.

- The beacon model and the dropship model could be better as well, custom models this big would probably take more filesize, but heck, the survival map is smaller than the other two, so no problem. If you don't want to get custom models for them, surely you can find better fitting ones in war3. I mean, goblin workshop for the beacon?

- The game would benefit from continious hints being displayed on the screen, like listing the status of the current objective or something like that. After you play the map once, you kind of get it, and even then it would help if the game kept you in touch with what the other players have accomplished so far; but when you're playing for the first time, this sort of help would be very valuable, especialy on the other maps with more complicated objectives. I know it sounds lame, implementing features that are only useful for every player once, but look at it this way, if players don't have fun playing your map the first time, they won't play it the second time; so making a map friendly towards first-time players is a big priority.

- Continiuing with visual issues, the enemies don't fit so well together, since they use all sorts of models. I would prefer a more homogenous bunch, with same models used with different scale and tinting to get different aliens. The bloodfiends especialy don't fit well, I feel, something like faceless ones would make a better melee alien.

- Gameplay could get spiced up some more, for example if super strong and super slow aliens were added, players would have to retreat while fireing at them because it would take so long to bring one down, thus encouraging players to scout while defending and setup outer peremiters so they have room to retreat. Just an idea, the gameplay isn't boring as it is due to the weapon and ammo mechanics that already take some of the player's time, but things like this would surely improve it even more.

- It's good that switching to an already loaded weapon doesn't take as long as loading it, it's just a bit bothersome that the cooldown is still as long, giving false information. I know it's not a big deal and that fixing it would require two versions of each weapon, one with a shorter cooldown, and dynamicaly changing them in the unit's inventory whenever switching from or to a non-empty weapon; but as a perfectionist, I have to bring it up. Besides, this would also allow for distingushing between loaded and empty weapons which are on the ground, so implementing this could actually be very useful.
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