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Downloads Home » Campaigns » The Ming Dynasty (complete)

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The Ming Dynasty (complete)

Author File Description
Niels Dutka
File Details
Age: Iron
# of Episodes: 22
# of Cities: 18
Difficulty: Easy
Custom Maps: Yes
The Ming Dynasty is a fictitious history of China based on the lives of 5 consecutive Ming emperors. One campaign is provided for each emperor. Each campaign contains 4-5 missions. The first 3 campaigns occur within the age of iron. The last 2 campaigns occur within the age of steel. All maps are original and designed so that they can be played with perfect Feng Shui. I have included a .pdf file with the download that contains additional information.
AuthorReviews   ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )
Gweilo2
Staff
Rating
4.2
Breakdown
Playability4.0
Balance4.0
Creativity4.0
Map Design4.0
Story/Instructions5.0
Playability: 4
My 'fun-factor' was registering above-average as I played through the 5 campaigns in this download.

Balance: 4
The designer rated this campaign 'easy' and I do agree with that, because most of the missions start with huge treasuries - which takes away much of the challenge. However, I gave a 4 in this category because I believe the designer did a good job of meeting his target setting of 'easy' while still providing a good level of entertainment. I played through all these campaigns using the 'Very Hard' difficulty setting, and that allowed me to have a pleasant surprise on some of the maps (most notably Guangzhou in the Ming4 campaign). At the 'Very Hard' difficulty, some additional challenges will materialize.

Creativity: 4
The 5 campaigns flowed together very nicely, tied together by an engaging storyline. Each of the campaigns highlighted a different aspect of gameplay in Emperor, which raised my rating in this category. The switch from iron to steel was also a nice touch. The maps (all originals) were interesting. I couldn't quite give top marks due to the fact that some of the maps seemed to be cloned versions of each other, which gave a slight feeling of repetitiveness. Also, each time I went to a city to build it, I had already seen it (and interacted with it) on the empire map. That lowered the feeling of discovery and pioneering. It would have been more creative to not show the city to the player on the empire map until they had actually been there, and built it. Also, the lack of scripted events lowered the creativity rating.

Map Design: 4
The maps are all originals and are interesting. Most are enormous are large size, which really adds a feeling of grand scope to the campaigns. My two favorite maps were the swamps of Guangzhou and "Buddha's Weeping Eye" (a cute theme-map). All the maps will support perfect Feng Shui - a huge plus. I could not quite give top marks in this category since a few of the maps had some tiles with graphic glitches, and some were obviously cloned copies of maps I'd already played on. Also, the layout of rocks, hills, trees, etc. could have been a little more 'natural' looking, for my personal preference. At the empire map level, most of the trade routes were simple straight lines between cities, which is the default setting for trade routes. Still, the maps are quite good. You should play the Ming4 campaign just to have a crack at the Guangzhou map!

Story/Instructions: 5
Although there were a few typos in the splash screens, I do feel this category deserves top marks. Here is why: this is the first time I've seen someone create 5 campaigns that are all tied together by a consistent storyline. Then, at the mission level, each splash screen gave a good explanation and was well-supported by mission goals. Very nice! The PDF file included in the download is also nice.

Additional Comments:
Although these campaigns are targeted towards the beginner to intermediate level players, I believe even advanced players can find good entertainment value - provided they crank up the difficulty level. I want to congratulate Niels on the grand scale of this project. I wish he had been with us here designing years ago. I look forward to his future releases.

[Edited on 01/05/12 @ 08:51 AM]

pheanox
Rating
4.2
Breakdown
Playability4.0
Balance4.0
Creativity4.0
Map Design4.0
Story/Instructions5.0
Playability: 4
This campaign was a lot of fun. For the challenge it was rated, it is right on target. The only reason this is not a five is because of my own personal bias against missions that require housing caps. Almost every mission had a housing cap much higher than you really need jobs for, and I found it slightly annoying.

Balance: 4
The balance is great. I only worked myself in to a corner on one level because my military wasn't as built up as it should have been. My own fault there. Reason why not perfect: Some maps had such a high housing requirement, and just nothing to spend jobs on. I ended up spamming farm houses all over the map and it just made the city look ugly.

Creativity: 4
There were a few creative maps and interesting challenges. I enjoyed the story and scenarios, how they tied together. Especially the first campaign where each level was creating the infrastructure for the empire. Reason why not perfect: One of the maps I didn't like, and the reliance on housing challenges for mission goals.

Map Design: 4
I really liked the marsh map, like Gweilo. Not a 5 because there were a few graphical glitches here and there, especially the first few maps. Also, I honestly didn't like the Buddha's Tear theme map. Theme maps like that don't appeal to me, they break immersion in the game too much. (I know, weird to have immersion as something I go for in a city building game, but maybe I'm just weird.)

Story/Instructions: 5
The story was well written and fun. The explanations for each level were woven deftly in to the story and plot of the campaigns. Really enjoyed the read.

Additional Comments:
This was my first custom campaign. As it was rated easy difficulty, I wanted to start here rather then jump in to the more challenging ones I see about. It was a great first impression of the ability of people here, and I look forward to playing more of your campaigns.

[Edited on 04/14/12 @ 12:10 PM]


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Rating
4.2
Breakdown
Playability4.0
Balance4.0
Creativity4.0
Map Design4.0
Story/Instructions5.0
Statistics
Downloads:3,333
Favorites: [Who?]0
Size:6.44 MB
Added:04/13/11
Updated:06/01/11