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The Awakening Preview

Author File Description
Spike Dragon
File Details
Style: Mix
# of Scenarios: 1 playable 3 cinematic
Version: AoM: The Titans
Kastor is trying to start a city on an island chain near Atlantis,but soon bad news will come.

Over 30 minutes of game play.

This is my first campaign,so don't be too harsh.
AuthorReviews   ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )
Map Design3.0
Well well well, what have we here. A new designer who starts off with a CAMPAIGN. Now, that's the way to go! Campaigns demand a lot of creativity from the authors, and must be made with a caring hand to ultimately achieve perfection. It's a hard theory to put into practice, but doable.

How can one achieve perfection with scenarios you ask? That answer is simple: Test your scenarios over and over and over and over again until the slightest error has been fixed.


Testing your scenarios a lot of times is the most important thing. No one wants to play a scenario full of bugs. The most important things to test are the following:

Test 1: Dialogs and cinematics. "Did I spell everything right in the dialogs?" "Do you have enough time to read the dialogs?" "Should I add portraits in the Play Dialog so that the player knows who is talking?" "Does the camera track play smoothly enough?" "Does the camera track play in sync with the dialogs?" etc.

Test 2: Trigger bugs. "Are any triggers bugged? If so, which triggers?" "Does the AI player do what I wanted him to do?" "Should I adjust the time at which armies deploy to balance the scenario?" "Do you properly advance to the next campaign scenario when you win?" etc.

Test 3: Map design. "Does the terrain look good?" "Should I add some more embellishments to improve the eyecandy?" "Are there any paths blocked because of the eyecandy?" "Do I have enough room to build my base and move my troops?" "Does the map layout look fair enough for both teams?" etc.

When you can answer "yes" to all of these kind of questions, you know your scenario will be good.

~~~Your Scenario~~`

---Dialogs and Cinematics---

All of your scenarios had cinematics along with dialogs. You chose not to use portraits in your dialogs, which isn't a necessity, but keep in mind that portraits have 2 uses:

1. The player will know who is currently talking;
2. Portraits can fill up the black emptiness. Yes! Eyecandy for the triggers!

Unfortunetaly, your dialogs contained a lot of spelling errors which can easily be avoided if you test your scenario enough times. I'm pretty sure you would notice them then. Pity :(
I also thought that the dialogs are played too fast. Mind you, not everyone is a fast reader. Play it on safe and give the players at least 8 seconds to read long dialogs. I would be thankful for the extra 3 seconds.

The camera track was good, you used animations, you used fitting animations, everything played in sync with each other... Well done.

---Trigger Bugs---

The prologue had a major trigger bug just at the end of the cinematic. Ouch! The screen faded to black, but I didn't advance to the next campaign scenario. That is one sloppy error you made. This could also have been easily avoided by playtesting your scenarios more than once. Checking for trigger bugs should be your first priority.

---Map Design---

Alright, not bad. You used several grass types to mix it up, that's good. You also used a variety of rocks, bushes, wildlife and trees. I'm happy you didn't make one thick forest, but scattered the trees. That's what I really liked. Only the tamarisk trees seemed a bit out of place. I wouldn't have added them if I were you. The big island's layout was good. The only thing I would change is the number of trees in your base. IMO, there was too few space for me to build up my base.

The smaller islands have a good size, but some of them are too overcrowded. I know you want them to be hard to capture, but adding tons of units is (in my opinion) not the way to go. Why didn't you add a few islands which aren't populated? There is nothing wrong about them. You could increase the number of sea attacks to make it hard to capture the islands and remove some land units. That would be a lot better. :)

~~~My opinion about the campaign in-game~~~


The Awakening Preview. *Click*. *Reading file description*. Sounds interesting, let's give it a try. *Downloads*. Ah nice, it has a readme. That's a plus! *Installs*. *Start AoM*. *Start Campaign*.

"...Long time no see, Kronos. We haven't seen since the great war. Take my advice, use the power you have left to resurrect Gargarensis and the others," whispers a mysterious voice from the burning depths. I'm immediately interested whose voice this is, but I have no idea. Sadly enough, my question is still unanswered after the short prologue. But I now do know the voice doesn't belong to someone or something good. Gargarensis apparently plays somekind of keyrole in his masterplan. But I don't know what exactly. Oh well... Loading the second scenario...

Kastor: "Building a city on this islands will be easy, but we should first take care of the pirates." Wow, that was one quick cinematic. What island am I on? Why am I on this island? Questions, questions... Well, let's build a little base first, send kastor and the other troops north to explore the area... After ~100 seconds I get attacked by spearmen. But were did they come from? Hmmm... perhaps from that little camp to the north. I get attacked again, from the south, and again from the south and I realise the armies spawn right in the back of my base. That doesn't make much sense. They don't even get transported by ships. I build a wall and some buildings on the spot where the armies deploy and I can easily kill them.
Eight minutes have passed and I realise I have no clue what the objective actually is. I read the objectives banner: "Destroy the Pirate bases." Well yes, I know that, but where are they? It's like when you are in a wide dessert and the objective says: "Go to the village." Only when I clicked on the "hints" I knew what to do: build up a large army, go to the far north and destroy the pirate bases. So the hints were actually the objective. I built 9 siege ships, send them north, destroy a lot of towers, spot a big island, see a migdol fortress, destroy it with my siege ships while the bandits' infantry troops helplessly stood there, and I win the game.

~~~The Ratings~~~

Playability: 2

Smooth camera tracks (+)
No lag (+)
Animations (+)
In sync (++)
Entertainment level (+/-)
Spelling errors (-)
Fast dialogs (-)
Objective confusion (-)

Balance: 3

Map layout (+)
Overcrowded islands (-)
Enemy army deployment locations (-)
Objective difficulty (-)

Creativity: 3

Story (+)
Map layout (+)
Starting units (+)
Sounds used (+)
Music (+)
Originality (+/-)
Triggers (in this case, the attacks) (-)
Objectives (-)

Map Design: 3

Big island design (+)
Smaller islands design (+), but overcrowded (-)
Terrain blending (+)
Use of rocks, wildlife, bushes... (+)
Enemy bases (+/-)
Objective location (-)
Not much room to build in main base (-)
Tamarisk trees (-)

Story/Instructions: 2

In short:
Interesting and creative story. A lot of spelling mistakes and poor instructions.

~~~Additional Comments~~~

Please use this review to improve your campaign. Perhaps I am a bit harsh at some points, but this way I'm fair against you so that you can improve the bad things in your campaign. As a new designer, you start off big with an entire campaign. I'm sure that you can turn your campaign into one epic journey with a bit of help. I'll be preparing myself for this campaign, and reward you with a high-rated review! :)


[Edited on 05/13/11 @ 11:28 AM]

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