Heavens Community Pages
Bio Rich Parker
My daughter had been into computer games for some time, titles
such as the Kings Quest series and similar games. They were
OK as far they went, but I was always disappointed that they were
basically single-track games. Play the game once and you didnt
need to play again it would be the same every time you played
it. I wanted more for games that Id like to play.
Then I saw Age of Empires one day in the local computer gaming
store. RTS, the game reacts to what you do, make your own decisions,
build your own armies, a different game every time cool!
I took it home (I did pay for it first!) and loved it from the start.
I did not pay much attention to the design aspect at first
I was having too much fun grumbling over the computer stomping my
troops into guava jelly time after time. But as I got better at
the game, I also started to pay more attention to the design track.
It seemed interesting, creating scenarios or campaigns of my own.
Somewhere along the way I found out about AoEH and downloaded some
scenarios & campaigns. The Relay was the first custom scenario
I played, and still is one of the best I ever played for Age of
Empires. The mapmaking alone was amazing. I was inspired to create
something of my own and came up with a pseudo-historical scenario
called Mezoamerica. It was fun to create, taught me a lot about
ai & per files, and I had some fun with the storyline. I passed
it on to AoEH & hoped someone would enjoy it. When it was
the reviewer had some nice things to say about it, and really only
criticized the fact that I had not included any desert on the map
a valid criticism.
I thought Id try my hand at a campaign and the timing was
not bad for a campaign contest AoEH was running to promote the Rise
of Rome expansion pack. I wrote a campaign about Julius Caesars
Britain expeditions, which I did not have as much time to develop
as I would have preferred, but decided to submit anyway just to
see how it did. I think it got a 3.9, which was respectable for
that competition. I recall that Gordon Farrell was amused by my
narratives, which were unusual for the time in that I laced in some
humor to keep them from being too dry.
Next was a story that I figured was good for a three-part campaign
The Lord Of The Rings. It pushed my creativity but I was
satisfied with the final result. I dont suppose I was the
VERY first to do it, but I did come with the idea, in one scenario,
of deleting pieces of swamp to give the illusion of walking on water.
I like to think I was the first, anyway ;-) Scenario three, The
Return Of The King, was basically three scenarios in one, the map
being separated into three distinct parts. I liked that also and
had a great time creating the maze that comprises the castle from
which Frodo & Sam must escape. The Gates of Mordor section of
that scenario taught me a lot about game balance.
There was a brief interlude where I created a crappy scenario,
experimenting with replayability. I was able to make the player
start locations vary each time you started the scenario, but after
that it was basically B&D and was not very interesting. Good
poem in the narrative, though hee hee.
I got an email from imhotep one day. He was impressed by some of
the things I had done in Julius & LOTR, I was impressed by some
of the things he had done in David and Scipio, and ultimately we
decided to combine efforts and create a campaign together. He wanted
to do something about China, so we researched for a few weeks &
finally decided that Emperor Wu-Ti was fertile ground. He would
do scenarios 1 & 3, I would do 2 & 4, and we would somehow
combine for scenario 5. He had pretty much finished scenario 1 when
he decided to drop out of designing altogether, so I finished the
rest of it on my own, keeping his scenario 1 since I knew I could
not improve on it. It was very warmly received and clearly was my
best effort to date.
My last campaign was about an Indian emperor, Chandragupta, and
was done with RoR. By this time Ingo & I were swapping ideas
& playtesting each others stuff, and he was instrumental
in improving the campaign.
I started an AoK scenario, but due to a variety of factors I
less & less involved with designing over time. Ingo keeps trying
to get me to finish the darn thing, which perhaps I will one day,
but my interests have turned more to other things over the past
couple of years: my guitar, golf (my newest passion), & other
mundane pursuits. BTW, Ingo is quite a musician, IMHO. Now my
plays AoE online with her boyfriend. The cycle continues . . .