Birthright - The Adventure v1.2
Posted on 11/20/04 @ 07:19 AM (updated 11/22/04
* Winner of the 'Most Challenging Scenario Award 2004!'
||AoM: The Titans
* Runner-Up Best Single Player Map of 2004!
* Runner-Up Best Scenario Designer 2004!
THE MUSIC FILE IS NOT INCLUDED IN THE DOWNLOAD. TO download the music, follow instructions found in the readme and enjoy! (highly reccomended to download the music)
PRINT OUT THE README, OR ATLEAST READ THROUGH IT. OTHERWISE YOU WILL HAVE TROUBLE PLAYING THROUGH THE SCENARIO.
Birthright-The Adventure is finally complete along with all its bugs fixed with the help of Kavik from Liquid Fire Studios.
Birthright is a Fantasy Role Playing Scenario/Game (RPG) that takes you in an epic adventure accross the land of Vvarvandfel fighting beasts, thieves, and gladiators while completing the more than 150 quests available accross the world.
The RPG boasts extraordinary replayability value since it gives you the ability to customize your own character by:
- Selecting Race (Human, Dwarf or Creature)
- Selecting Name
- Selecting Gender (Male and Female)
- Selecting Weapon (Long Range or Melee)
The RPG also boasts these features-
- 512 X 512 map covered with tons of eye candy similiar to that seen in the KoTM series- a massive world with 5 major cities each with dozens and dozens of quests.
- Realistic enviornment- ambitient sounds, day/night cycle and weather effects.
- Over 100 quests, an engaging, interesting story line and epic RPG play.
- Rob houses if thievery is your dream.
- Purchase AND customize your own pet.
- Stamina and Hunger meters to add to the suspense and the challenge.
- Tons of special areas to visit- try your luck in the gladitorial Arena, visit the local zoo or travel towards the lost island of mystery.
- Gain Experience to defeat your foes.
- Collect money, weaponry or magic spells from the bodies of your fallen foes.
- Upgrade your characters using an easy upgrade system (with the money you earn through quests).
- Join several guilds, including the notorious assassin's guild.
- Teleport to any location you would like- at a certain price, ofcourse.
- A seperate Music track which can be downloaded here (http://www.mammoth-games.com/Music.zip)
http://www.mammoth-games.com/screen55.jpg Cyclops in Skaal
http://www.mammoth-games.com/screen53.jpg Caius Cosades
http://www.mammoth-games.com/screen66.jpg Entrance to Mournhold
http://www.mammoth-games.com/screen63.jpg Skaal Tavern
http://www.mammoth-games.com/screen88.jpg Archaeopterix (Night)
http://www.mammoth-games.com/map.jpg Full (Photoshopped) Map (Map will be included in readme so you can find your way around)
Update v1.2 includes the following bug fixes and additions:
1) Upgrade function bug fixed. Creatures can now be upgraded and will receive +2 attack for each upgrade.
2) Added Difficulty Rating. Please see read-me for information.
Fixed enemies HP so that all difficulty ratings are playable, with Titans being the hardest.
3) Creature starting power slightly decreased to make them less powerful at the beginning.
4) Some enemies now re-spawn to add some interest as you walk through the realm.
5) Human/Male/Melee unit changed.
6) Teleport now costs 30 gold.
7) Food and stamina are now consumed much faster- making the food/stamina system for challenging.
8) Named un-named characters.
9) Fixed dears walking around on zoo.
10) Fixed Caius Cosades/ Solstheim Cinematic.
11) Fixed map related bugs.
12) Added extra zoo mission.
13) Added secret items (relics) to be found in secret areas across the map.
Update 1.1 includes the following bug fixes:
1) Upgrade function costs more gold.
2) Arena bugs and other mission bugs fixed.
3) Fixed bug in ending cinematic where your unit did not teleport.
4) Added more enemies and reduced starting strength of units.
5) Made creatures stronger.
6) Made enemies stronger.
7) Re-did a few camera tracks.
8) Updated Readme to include instructions on relic-related missions + other fixes.
9) Fixed zoo so animals don't walk out.
10) Added more gold to several missions so teleporting will be more affordable.
11) Fixed bug where you couldn't select the male dwarf melee combination.
12) Replaced the bella pet.
13) Fixed bug where one of the pets was unselectable.
14) Fixed bug where pet name Abu wasn't working.
15) Fixed the Scarab keep talking bug.
16) Added more robabble houses in Mournhold.
|Author||Reviews ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )|
I hardly ever got bored playing this scenario. When I had to find the scorpion man, I went into the scarab place, then found out there was a scorpion-man on the road. I thought: "Ello' Mr. Scorpion! Hey, wonder what a scorpion mans doin' in this scarab town?" It took me half-an-hour to find a scorpion-man again! So, it was all fun, though it got a bit boring in some parts.
There was one MAJOR BUG here: I had to cheat when it came to taking the ship to the snowy island, to meet Caius. The ship just disappeared, then Marius (my hero) went back to the scarab dock. That knocked off that 1 balance point.
I have seen not many things like this before, of course, King of the Mountain and Tailsman of Troy was similar, but they were also by you, so I dont think that counts. All your scenarios were very original ideas, well done.
Map Design: 4
Good. Overall very good, but I have noticed with all your scenarios, you use the same floor terrain for villages: Rock Granit Sprites, Rock Limestone Sprites, and Rock Sandstone Sprites. Not very original for the villages.
The instructions were very clear, and I liked the idea of the journal. There were about two-hundred objectives here. They were all very clear, and so was the story. Congradulations.
This was an extremely good scenario, and I can't wait for the sequel. Good luck, and keep designing! ;)
This scenario is both playable and fun, but as above reveiwers stated, there are some bugs. Here's a list off the top of my head:
- After learning scarab language, it still displays the 'prr buzz... go talk to the scropion' message.
- Penelope doesn't move around the labyrinth
- I had Human Male (Ajax), and during the second arena fight, Ajax sheild bashed the foe out of the arena, I had to cheat to use Shifting Sands to get him back in.
- At the end scene where you're in front of a bunch of people with the advisor, my character didn't teleport into position.
These bugs aren't enough to ruin the experience. It still was enjoyable.
OK, but the scenario is VERY easy, the only place I had trouble at was the thugs near the entrance to the city near the Sunken Isle. You can Uber-upgrade your character, and food is never a problem. Stamina also isn't a problem. It was pretty easy to beat the king and Penelope. Also, the missions upgrade your weapons and armor too well. In one run-through, I had 89% on both armors, and used the "upgrade" chat only once!
The story and map design is very creative. A few notable things:
- I've never seen a character chooser in an RPG before. It's a very good idea.
- Eyecandy usage was very unique. You used rock sprites as paths, and combined Norse buildings to make manors, it all looks very good.
- Arena is a unique and very good touch. I think the zoo was pretty good too.
- The way the islands are laid out, it just looks good.
Map Design: 5
There's eyecandy on at least 95% of the map. The map features things like...
- Flowing Rivers
- Taproot buildings
- Gravel Paths
- Big Mansions
- Exellent use of Taproot Tree
- Good Terran mixing
- Marsh looks exceptional!
Really, you must've spend quite some time on eyecandy to make it look this good. If you like maps rich in eyecandy, you should definately give this a try. You'll love it!
The story was unique. However, the story doesn't get built upon enough. By the time most of it is revealed, it's the end of the scenario. However, it is a very good story idea. Also, the Journal was a very good idea. It made things easier to find. You won't forget what you need to do, because all the tasks, from getting Shark Repellant to getting some firewood, are recorded in there, and can all be acessed at any point in the scenario. It's really an excellent job, and the character selection instructions being on the Spotlight menu makes the process much easier.
A few extra things I liked:
- Being able to rob houses was a cool touch.
- You named nearly every townsperson. It makes the scenario much more interesting when everyone is named.
- Gravel roads. Did I mention that already?
Also, a few things to improve on:
- A small amount of lag. For some reason it went away after ten or fifteen minutes.
- Make the sidequests more challenging. For example, one sidequest had me click the guy to get the quest, click another person about 20 feet away, kill him, and return. It should be a little more challenging.
Anyways, I loved the scenario. Keep up the great work Gaurdian!
Although many of the scenarios found today in this downloads section should be extremely happy with a 3 for playability, in your case it is clearly the lesser category. Why?
- Message. Often I just didn't know what I had to do because some message was overwritten too soon, and I couldn't press "page up" to re-read it. In most cases the objectives window solved this, but that can't be the intention. Use spoofed chat next time.
- Clicking. When I clicked on some unit or building, you instantly assume that it was on purpose, and that I realized what would happen if I clicked. However, very often this wasn't the case, and before I knew I ordered 500 food for 25 gold or changed some unit into my enemy while I wasn't prepared.
- Chat-based interface. You've got to find some other way to choose, name or upgrade your character than chat-based. It really spoils the fun.
- Bugs. Get yourself some proper playtesters, guardian, I can't say it often enough. I explored the area a bit, looking for optionals, bonusses, eastern eggs, and what I found was some cinematic scene that I shouldn't have walked into in the first place. Also, some guy didn't become an enemy to me whereas it should. Although most v1.0 bugs have been fixed, there are still enough to lower your mark.
Besides these points, it was still a great scenario to play and that's why it's a higher mark than most other scenarios deserve.
The balance was fine, but not perfect. You really improved on balance compared to version 1.0, but it still isn't top-notch. After walking around and doing some optional objectives for a while, your hero's stats are uber. Combine that with all those godpowers (healing, cease, bolt) and with the nice pet you get later on, you're simply too strong the rest of the game. Tons of optional objectives, however, were challenging enough, so that's why over-all the balance is a 4 out of 5! Good job :)
If I'm not msitaken, a map like this was never seen before in this downloads section. An original story, renewing gameplay, non-linear map, creative use of some in game objects and overlapping, cool trigger-tricks: awesome!
Map Design: 4
Although our eyecandy styles differ a bit, I'll judge your map design neutrally. The world you created in Birthright was bathing in a fantastic atmosphere. The villages were cosey, nature areas looked natural and the big city was awesome. You showed some nice and creative building-overlap there as well. I could lower this grade because of the map bugs, because of the weird walkable underwater terrains you used around the big city (it looked to me like you didn't know they were walkable), and - to give another example - because the "mountains" above the first village (where the old man gets a heart attack), are simply to laugh at, but I won't.
Although in the beginning I felt kind of lost, it didn't take long before I felt at home in the big big world, before I got used to the village names and before I was pulled into the story. Although in the beginning the story was very slow, and in the end suddenly all the clues came up at me at a high speed (an unbalanced story, if you get what I mean), the story was great, creative, original.
Why a 4 instead of a 5? Your cinematics - they don't fit in any category so I place them here. Some camera tracks really looked like they were rushed. Even the cinematic where a major plot element was revealed (where you meat the king of the cold city) was wrong - the camera went underground! Also, some times cinematic mode was turned off and the camera just remained zoomed in, or it took a while before it was restored. These ugly cinematics spoiled the atmosphere a bit.
I personally think that you could have gotten more out of this great concept. Especially from an experienced designer like you I expected A bug-less, spoofed-chat-using, choice-dialog-using scenario, so in that it lacked a bit. However - as my high ratings already show - this scenario is a must-download for anyone out there. It provides inspiration to any designer, and is educative because of the renewing trigger techniques.
KoTM is nothing compared to this fantastic scenario.
[Edited on 06/20/05 @ 04:41 PM]
I played through the most recently released version of this scenario, and I was more than a little diappointed. I found it became very tedious, very quickly. I found that there was way too much click-and-walk to the scenario, and many parts of the scenario felt a tad too... monotonous. By this, I meaen that I was wondering through an area where every part of it felt exactly the same. There was no innovation in the way you could tackle different country-side areas... or so it felt.
Messages were overwritten. I personally use the message trigger for things relating directly to the gameplay in a scenario. "Bolt granted" or such like, but all dialogue and other elements are done through Send Spoofed Chat. Not only does it look much better, but it solves your problem of messages being overwritten before players have time to read them! This is very frustrating. I don't like playing a scenario which having to Chat. Typing in commands for the game to respond to is not my cup of tea - it takes away from the experience somewhat. I won't go on about things I found that I shouldn't have (bugs), because other people seem to have covered them. Just mentioning they were taken into consideration.
At the beginning, I think the balance was quite fine, things seemed tough enough. However, if you chose to fight all possible enemies, the scenario was impossible. You could have put in innovative gameplay features to combat this. Hidden high-ground, caves with bonuses in, stationary weapons etc etc which could help players out. Near the end of the scenario, it was impossible for me to lose, though I felt this was balanced enough for a four.
A fairly creative map. You've got your standardised RPG-esque storyline right there (though parts of it are hard to make sense of it you choose certain race/gender paths...) with lots of missions and quests. of course, we've seen such things before, but many parts of this were ingeniously creative - many of the missions, such as learning a new language. Unless of course I just havn't played the scenario with this in. Though I originally thought this to be vastly unleanear - which would have been an awesome accomplishment in itself - I realised this wasn't actually the case.. well, wasn't very much the case :p This map shows some highly creative uses of triggers and editor objects.
Map Design: 4
Very pretty map design. Very pretty indeed. I mark this down one point because it felt way too clustered. In most parts of the map, you've followed the philosophy of ramming in every object you possibly can, creating a very busy, and highly unrealistic atmosphere (I understand you wanted to create a fantasy, and not real, atmosphere.) As much as I try, I cannot like the various techniques you use, though clever, such as bordering rodes with thousands of knee-high rocks.
The cinematics, I felt, were pretty darn crap. They didn't seem to tell me enough of what I felt I wanted to know, though I'm not sure how you cure this. Intructions were sometimes impossible to read because of message-overwriting, and at a few points I was even confused by what I was actually meant to do in the objectives screen! Admittedly, a hard thing to prevent from happening. I didn't particularly like the story, seemed a bit generic to me. Oh, and heavy reliance on using a readme to actually play through parts of the game seemed a bit clumsy and unnatural.
You did not address the possibility of messages overwriting one another. There are a number of simple solutions to this, one including Quest Vars, one simply using spoofed chat, and this causes the scenario to majorly fail - I can't let such a gaping hole pass.
I think you tried to hard to create something to re-create the really brilliant RPG's on consoles and PCs. This just does not work in Age of Mythology. Though you created a good scenario, I don't think you should have tried to make it as much like Morrowind (or some other RPG) as you did. I think you should have gone for something simpler which would have create much more enjoyement from the player. Too much of the time I was bored with what I had to do. A very commendable attempt though.
Choice Dialogie and Send Spoofed Chat would have made this much better. Asking a number of two choice questions leading down different trees to spawn a suitable name would have been much more fun than holding a readme in one hand and typing console commands with the other ;)
[Edited on 06/20/05 @ 04:22 PM]
I found that this game always kept you on the go, always something to do, and somewhere to go. I was truly amazed as to how many quests that you could actually do! In the beginning I was doing a side quest to find an old man and bring him home, when he refused I had the option of insisting that he comes back home, or I could go to his wife and talk to her instead. After I insisted to the old man he suddenly died from a heart attack! Needless to say I was shocked. On another note, on certain occasions I found myself rushing through the map alot, even running through enemy units and not attacking them because I was on the verge of dieing or losing experience.
I thought that there was a very nice balance throughout the game. For the most part I could take on all the enemy units in a group, though sometimes I had to lead them back to a village so that they would support me in battle. From what I understand it's a good thing to destroy enemy units, to gain whatever they might have etc.. Unfortunately a problem I had was that while I was fighting, my stamina and hunger system were going down alot, and if anything I was pushing myself to the brink just to survive from my own self.
This is by far one of the most creative scenarios that I have ever seen. With so many side quests around the GAME, it certainly takes a ton of creativity to figure out what quests that you want them to be a part of, why they would do it, etc.. Alot of creativity is involved by picking what person you would actually be! Right off the bat! So not only does the maker put creativity in the game, so does the audience! Very creative placement of objects and design aswell.
Map Design: 5
This map was gorgeus, the cinimatics well made, and were no "obnoxious" designs in the map as far as I could see. The design alone makes you want to come back for more! As said above, you were very creative about designing the map. I saw farms that acted as a road or a path almost, fields of weeds to walk through, and paths branching in every direction leading to who knows where!
The story is excelent, you give clear, presise instructions concerning what to do, where to go, and how you do things. The story line is hardcore and very solid. I got a little confused at first play with some of the things around the map, though the Readme file helped alot with that. I noticed aswell that the Readme fle is very very important, and very demanding aswell if you want to do well and be able to play this scenario.
Excelent scenario, as being a scenario designer myself I can understand and appreciate how much work went into this. The creativity involved is just astounding to me, well done, and I hope that we can see even more scenarios from you!
Er... WOW!! I completly loved it, I spent five hours sitting in front of the computer playing this scenario, it was just impossible to walk away. Although some of your camera tracks could have been a bit more better, and turning fog of war off would have been nice but I suppose it was for lag issues.
Quite a well balanced scenario although there are some issues still to adress. The different races choosing your dificulty was a nice addition. However it was a touch on the easy side.
Nice and creative, I saw quite a few relations to king of the mountain but in some way these ideas despite being over a year old, somehow seemed new, fresh and exciting. The stamina system, the transit system, the gender syatem and the name system were all brilliant new idea's.
Map Design: 5
Do I really need to say anything? It is one of the most aphetically pleasing maps of all time there is not a dull patch on that map. I also never met any of the lag some of you are complaining about and when I played this, my computer was less than top of the range.
A great and well thought out story line, which was easy to follow, thanks to clear instructions provided in "the log" I never found myself thinking "What am I supposed to be doing again?"
A scenario that should be regarded as one of " The Greats ". Out of the "hell hole" and into the hall of fame, I should get myself banned and see if I can come up with something a s good as this ;)
[Edited on 12/31/04 @ 03:06 PM]
Very playable, next to nothing detracted from the gameplay. The RPG style was flawless, plenty of variety in quests. I couldn't stop playing. :p I didn't find any glitches while playing, though it sounds like there could be some.
Overall I found the scenario very hard (playing as a human female archer). I died several times, and in the end it detracted from the gameplay a fair bit. The food and stamina though, seemed fairly spot on.
Easily one of the most creative scenarios I've played. It harkens back to the AoK days of old in this respect. Gaurdian, you are doing things with the AoM engine it was never intended to do, which of course is a very good thing.
Map Design: 5
A beautiful fantasy atmosphere complimented the gameplay very well. Nice use of buildings put together, and size. Some parts (eg the bridge into Mournhold) took my breath away.
An intriguing story, and fairly clear instructions. Occasionally some of the information would get cut off (too much writing in an info box) but this happened rarely.
Sorry it took me so long to review this.
I also loved the use of music.
Good job Gaurdian!
Playability was pretty good. I liked the cinematics, they were very well done. But, I chose to be the Lampades, and that was kind of cheap because of her special attack of turning people into gaia. This affected the playability in the arena because when you fight the first person, she turns him into gaia and the match is over. Then when you fight the second guy, he is already almost dead when you get there from fighting the first guy who is gaia now, and so on for the third guy.
On most of the scenario you had a good and mildly difficult balance. But, I had to use a cheat to kill the son of osiris with my puny little lampades. And again, the balance is probably different whether you choose the lampades with her special attack or if you choose anyone else.
Everything about Birthright is creative. I liked the idea of robbing houses and getting a pet. The story of your father and mother in the game is very impressive and creative. The teleporting idea was very original and made the game a lot more fun. I also liked how you could choose who you played as and his or her name, and the same with the dog. I chose the monkey (: but I got the monkey and the metal boar, why was this? The quests, espiacially the scarab quest, were creative as well. Oh, and I liked the final battle arena.
Map Design: 5
I don't think anyone who really played this can give you less than a five here. The whole map was beautiful. I really liked the town you started off in and the scarab town. The bridges connecting towns were really cool with all of the rocks and trees. The flowers and statues around the arena were very nice looking and I can tell that you put a ton of time and work into making all of your lovely eyecandy.
The story was brilliant and the instruvtions were good and detailed. I don't want to give much away, but you did a fantastic job. You have a brilliant mind.
Great job!!! This and Sorcery are my favorite scenarios. You are an inspiration for many designers. I heard you were making a sequel, is this true? I hope you continue designing for Age of Empires III.
Again, I thought this game was delightful and quite playable. I'm an adult (30+!!) and I play these kinds of games to relax! I don't need an hour of tense action worrying about what combination of meanies is about to destroy my town center and assasinate me. If that's what makes the games "fun" for you, then you might not like this kind of game, but I, for one, do!
Seems balanced enough to me? I only discovered this site a few weeks ago and this is one of my first downloads. It was a good balance for me. Quests you could take or leave, none too hard. I found most of them interesting, and with such a busy map, I enjoyed the walking. I like being the one who wins the battles, so for me, the balance was fine.
It certainly seemed creative to me. As I said, I'm new here, haven't downloaded much. I've heard others describe this scenario as similar to something called "Morrowind", but aren't most RPG's similar? I mean how different can you get with a square map, soldiers, monsters, and death? You can see a lot of creativity (what about that stamina system?) in all the different quests and the map itself.
It's one thing to design a great map, it's another to design an great story, and it's amazing to be able to do both!
Map Design: 4
Wow, what a map! Tons of "atmosphere" and detail, but perhaps a bit too much. Ever see the movie, "Legend," with all that "frou-frou" stuff in the forest and sh-crap flying through the air? It reminded me of that, but that's just my opinion. Eye-candy is nice, but shouldn't become the focus of the story, I don't think.
But it is a great map. Maybe I should give it a 5, but you have a talent that is a bit above the others I've seen so far, you need something to shoot for. Don't stop working on this kind of thing, even if it's for some other game. You are something special.
Still a 4. (I'm sorry, having played your scenario and seen your work, I just expect too much of you now, I suppose.) OK, that opening cinematic where you close in on Kastor's(?) face, and then it blurs? Oooh. Didn't like that much, sorry.
I figured out that doing "Lay of the Land" sets off a Solstheim trigger that prevented me from getting the boat when I was ready. Finally got to play the final scene, very nice and inspiring.
This is one "extra" scenario that I can let my 8-year-old play. I can't say that about some of the other ones I've tried here because of bad language. (Hey, I'm a parent, sue me.)
The journal wasn't always complete so it was hard to go back and make sure I hadn't missed anything, or re-read messages. Either commit more to the readme file (which I printed out and had at my side while playing), or fix the journal.
I'm putting this under additional comments, because it really wasn't aimed at you, it just bubbled up while I was writing your review, sorry. Your scenario has been one of the better ones concerning language/spelling/grammar.
One last point, and maybe this is because I'm a writer by trade (nonfiction), but grammar/spelling errors make me crazy! (lol) Please, if you don't know how to make complete and grammatically correct sentences, ask someone else to edit that part of your scen for you. I'll do it if you email me!!! (This is meant for all Scn/Mods --You kids design such professional looking work, and you ruin it all by stupid sentence structure and language.) Oy. Sorry, down from my soapbox now. (Oh, and I hereby claim immunity from all spelling/grammatical errors in this review as I'm not wearing my glasses. :-P)
All in all, I thought it was a fun way to while away an hour or two, which is exactly what I'm looking for. Call me a member of the armchair set. This game was good for me. You should keep doing what you're doing and improving your work. You do some very nice things in this scenario!
[Edited on 09/16/05 @ 11:16 AM]