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Hostage

Author File Description
Kastanje57
File Details
Number of Scenarios: 2
Difficulty: Hard
Version: Rise of Rome
I've done my best to make this game a bit adventurous with some puzzle aspects too.

Hope you like it :)

Last version; dd. 21 april 2020

Made with RoR HD (upatch 1.1 r4)

AuthorComments & Reviews   ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )
Fruktfisk
Staff
Rating
4.5
Breakdown
Playability4.5
Balance4.7
Creativity5.0
Map Design4.7
Story/Instructions3.8
Playability: 4.5
Everything seems to work as intended and the gameplay is quite original. The way this scenario combines classic gameplay with puzzles is very neat, as they aren't separated but instead you're expected to keep figthing a naval battle while you figure out your next move down on the continent. If I have any complaints it would be that this is not a scenario for the impatient player, and there are a lot of situations where you'll just sit idly and wait for something like a priest to recharge. Also there were few times where I felt like the next step of the way was far from clear, as key units and buildings are placed in well hidden locations with no hint where to look (mostly the priest near the start). As with any puzzle scenario replay value is quite limited, but that shouldn't be considered a large detriment to a scenario like this.

Balance: 4.7
How do you grade what is mostly a puzzle scenario on this feature? I mean, there is also some RM gameplay here and I suppose there are quite a few moments where you might fail momentarily, but during no point did I actually feel there was any way of me being overpowered by the computer players. The logic of the scenario wasn't too hard to figure out once you realized which buildings were disabled and why. Even though there was a lack of immediate threat the scenario doesn't cease to be interesting because you feel it is too easy, which I suppose is all you can ask.

Creativity: 5
Coming up with original puzzle gameplay these days is quite a feat, but this scenario does it. I'm fairly sure I haven't seen this done before and if it was I expect it wasn't done this well. There are no radical new map design tricks but the gameplay more than makes up for it.

Map Design: 4.7
When I first downloaded this map I was like "the map design is excellent in spots, but very bland most of the time". As of mid-November when I'm writing this review, this has been massively improved. It's not brilliant, but at this point it is clear to tell that effort has been put into the terrain of every part of the map. There are still a few things I'm not too fond of like the overreliance on grass paths over patches, the way shallow tiles are often neatly ordered and the other ways objects are often stacked together in a bit of an unnatural way, but in all the terrain is looking really good. Is this all done with the original editor? If so that is quite a feat!

Story/Instructions: 3.8
"This scenario is not based on history but it could have anyway", the history section reads. That it pretty hilarious. The story of this scenario is slightly unclear, has a few writing errors and doesn't go deeper into the situation than it has to, but it gets the job done. The instructions are at least clear enough to understand what needs to be done, figuring out how is left to the player. What I would've liked was a bit more information on which buildings are disabled so that I don't end up deleting my TC assuming that I'll be able to rebuild it. :P

The wrap:
You know me, I only write reviews to highlight the good stuff which I believe goes unnoticed in our DL section, and this is one of those scenarios. It's not the most exciting, but a rather peaceful ordeal which requires a fair amount of critical thought from the player. If you like that kind of stuff this is strongly recommended.
Kastanje57
File Author
Hi and thanks for the review of this scenario / campaign.
I'm glad with the score I got on this game.

This scenario is fully made with the original editor that comes along with AoE \ RoR.
And yes, on occasion, it really was an effort to do so, due to the thousands of mouse-clicks that were needed to make this one.

In the meantime, I've made some more adjustments.

I put a new text under the history tab.
English is not my native language (I'm from the Netherlands) so I hope this text is better, more clear than the previous one.

I also put back the 2 watchtowers along the starting dock. Yesterday, when I was replaying the game, I found out that the Phoenicians were not developing themselves. From previous try-outs, I know that this happens when a civilization has limited space on the map and nothing to attack in the beginning so no enemy is known to them. By putting back the towers, I provide a trigger for the Phoenicians to attack so they will develop themselves into the Iron age.

Finally, I've changed the ending part of the game in order to maintain the intended sequence in the actions that need to take place.

I hope the history description is better this way and if not, help on this is very welcome.

I do agree that the grass patches aren't very nice while playing the game, I noticed that too. On the other hand, it is too much work to remove them all so I will leave it this way.

Especially the place where Corliss is held prisoner looks quite unnatural. I've done this on purpose to express the savage like attitude of the bandits that captured Corliss.
Maybe I've overdone this, please let me know about this?

I made the shallows just for fun and again, when I've put too much, please let me know.
Along the coasts, I've tried to place the shallows in such a way that it looks nice and convincing, I found it quite difficult to give this a natural viewing.

At last, I made this campaign with pleasure, hoping that you have the same experience while playing it.
Thanks. :)


Update 18-11-2019: I found another bug while playing the game again so that's fixed too.
Also, the 3 towers in the centre of the map cannot (or hardly) be attacked from land anymore.
You'll now need a fleet to tear them down.

[Edited on 11/18/19 @ 03:05 PM]

Kastanje57
File Author
Update: 6-12-2019

I've added a second scenario to the campaign.
In the meantime I've cleaned up the Hostage scenario furthermore, the grasspath are mostly gone e.g.
Also the winning conditions have slightly changed in order to match it with the second scenario.

That scenario is called "Going home"
After Corliss has been freed, Jason needs to return home again.
This is also a puzzle scenario where the sequence of your actions must be sorted out.

[Edited on 12/20/19 @ 04:33 PM]

Kastanje57
File Author
Update: 18-12-2019

I've enhanced the environment of the "Going home" scenario a lot and also improved gameplay.
The endgame has slightly changed, there are 2 ways you can play the endgame, one with and one without fighting a large army.
Whatever you like.

Minor improvements have been made to the Hostage scenario too.

A last thing about the gameplay itself:
The 'Hostage' scenario takes at least 2 hours to reach to victory.
The amount of time it takes to win the 'Going home' scenario is hard to tell. It all depends on how fast you'll find your way through the city and other obstacles.
This part can be won in less than 40 minutes though.

I've tested both scenario's several times now and I think that this is it. I encounter no problems in playing the campaign anymore.

Hope you like it, have fun!

[Edited on 12/20/19 @ 04:42 PM]

Kastanje57
File Author
Update 28-12-2019

Everytime I post an update, I'm convinced that this is it.
Everytime was wrong.

This time though, I can truly say, this is it and no more will be added to the existing files.
I'm working on a third scenario but that is based on a very amibitieus plan, I hope to get it all to work.

In the last update, the environment of both scenario's is further improved, enhanced.
The "going home" scenario contains a new way to injure the wonder, without tearing it down completely.
No more changes in gameplay itself were made, it all works the way as intended.

Well, I've added a short readme file to the Hostage.zip file. (containing the usual info, btw.)

Hope you like playing this, that's what it is made for.

© Hans Koek aka kastanje57, dec 2019

(Reviews, suggestions or comments are very welcome, I really have done my best to make something nice out of it.)

[Edited on 12/28/19 @ 07:51 AM]

Kastanje57
File Author
Update 19-01-2020

My ideas about the third scenario appeared to be too ambitious, it won't work the way I intended.

In the meantime, I've enhanced the existing files furthermore, esp the "Going home" scenario.

The gameplay of both scenario's is made a bit more difficult, trickier mainly.

Update 26-1-2020

Fixed issue:
One of the war chests got stuck and could not be moved anymore in the going home scenario, the game couldn't be won, due to that.

Update 3-2-2020

It appeared that the priests in the canyon could easily get out.
I didn't realize this before, I thought the towers were sufficient without testing it thoroughly.
With the help of the priests, the gameplay of the "Going home" scenario becomes very easy and boring.
In order to secure gameplay as intended, I made it quite impossible to get the priests out.

Update 11-02-2020

Further changes to the environment have been made.
I guess it looks better this way.

Update 14-02-2020

In spite of all my previous efforts, it still was possible to get one priest out of the canyon in the "Going home" scenario.
It took me an awfull lot of testing but with this setup, the priests can't get out anymore.
The gameplay has become slightly more harder though, due to this latest change.

Update 19-2-2020

Due to these last changes concerning the priests, the victory conditions of the "Going home" scenario got mixed up. This is corrected in this version, tested again and proved ok.
In the meantime, I've enhanced some boring environmental parts in both scenario's.
I think it looks better this way.

Update 28-2-2020

A few 'leftover' environmental imperfections have been corrected.

[Edited on 02/28/20 @ 05:32 AM]

Kastanje57
File Author
It's a pity that we're all suffering from this Corona virus.

The advantage is that I could spent my spare time at home on the scenario's again.
Both scenario's have improvements and imho, this version is again much better than the previous ones.

Hostage:

- The region where Corliss is prisoned, has been remodeled.
- the same goes for the small town in the center of the map.
- Victory conditions have slightly changed.
- Some minor things concerning playability.
- scenario instructions and hints have changed a bit.

Going Home:

- The canyon with the priests has changed, the slingers are replaced bij a bowman.
- The surroundings of the wonder are remodeled.
- Victory conditions have changed a bit, none of the priests in the canyon can die without losing the game.
- Some minor changes to the environment in general.
- scenario instructions and hints have changed a bit.

I wish you all the best and hope for a quick recovery for the ones that got ill by this awfull virus.
I guess our global society will long remember this period in the history af mankind.

[Edited on 04/02/20 @ 02:09 PM]


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HGDL v0.8.0

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Rating
4.5
Breakdown
Playability4.5
Balance4.7
Creativity5.0
Map Design4.7
Story/Instructions3.8
Statistics
Downloads:201
Favorites: [Who?]0
Size:441.78 KB
Added:09/27/19
Updated:04/20/20