First of I would like to state that I played this on Hard difficulty.
This map has some potential in it, it just seems like it wasn't fully utilised. The starting was a bit weird with the bolt and all, and the fact that the players ally did nothing the whole game - not even try to re-build. I'm not trying to sound negative but what was the point of the underwater villager? If it was there to show LOS of the pond with fish in it try using a "Revealer to Player" object :) The map was nicely laid out like a Random Map with hunt, wood and gold found throughout the map. The enemy was very easy and the game was over with my first attack (which was rather big since the AI didn't attack me).
The enemy was too easy, far too easy. Not only could I beat the game on the first run through - I also beat it on my first attack...
The only thing that kept you from getting a 1 here was the fact that I had a huge army when I attacked and I used all my god powers. However even with that I would have just set up a closer FB and steam-rolled for the win. Perhaps give the enemy some starting villagers to kick start their economy.
There were glimpses of creativity in the map, mainly at the start - the destroyed city, the track through the forest. But there were also some towards the end - like the blocked road with boulders. However that was it. The rest of the map was left mainly blank. Some eyecandy would have done wonders to both this category and Map Design. Download some eyecandy maps to see what the very best is - it may even give you some ideas :)
Map Design: 3
The map was more or less a Random Map. Random maps are good, they are just not excellent. Terrain mixing is a must to get anything above a 3 as even most Random Maps have some terrain mixing. To understand what I mean by terrain mixing check out this URL:
It has some nice examples and shows you how to spice up you predominately Grass A map :) Just a point of information here, when ever you place settlements or gold make sure you firstly "Align" them by hitting the "Align Selected" button. Then make a trigger with the "Unit Heading" effect, set the heading to 90 and select the settlements and gold mines. By doing that the AI's will claim the settlements and mine the gold. The real looking tree clumps where very nice to see, however there were some random gaps between tree clumps where I think it would have been better to fill them - they are mainly found around the ally/starting area. They make the map seem less realistic in a way. Nevertheless a nice effort done by your part in this category :)
There were glimpses of story and instructions but they where very generalised and vague. The objectives banner could have been utilised to really define the story and objectives. The objectives banner was not used at all and the overlay text used to pass on the information isn't something that you can look back on by looking at the speech box/by pressing page up. Which means if you missed what it said or read it wrongly then there was no way that you could really go back and find out what was said. You can get around that by using the "send chat" effect instead of the overlay text. The "message" effect can be used in conjunction with the objectives banner, a message saying "New Objective" and setting the Objectives to 1,1 is always nice :)
A nice map - a lot of easily fixed mistakes were made, but keep designing and I'm sure you will be a great designer in no time :) ~ Khan