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Planning a Scenario

Discussion in 'Civ2 - Scenario Creation' started by thedirk, Jun 25, 2001.

  1. thedirk

    thedirk Master of Stealth

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    When you guys are designing a new scenario do you just create it as you go with the editor? Or do you sit down with pen and paper and acctually plan out everything ahead of time and chart everything out, and decide what unit you will have and etc. first?
     
  2. Morten Blaabjerg

    Morten Blaabjerg Settler

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    With my first scen "Hammer of the North" -it was plain "error and trial" -and lots lots of playtesting around, because I wanted to find out what was possible and what worked out. -I picked some cool units and got the ideas along the way. The basic premise & theme was laid out (savage viking attacks), but it developed very much along the way, but oh boy, with loads of paperwork, when I got around to the tech tree, because they did NOT work just by meddling around with the numbers!

    This time, after learning the lesson the hard way, I'm planning much more. But still, I like mostly to meddle around with the map and the graphics. The techs and schemes need a lot more paperwork. But it has to be tested along the way, I think. Some things might sound good on paper, but work out ridiculously when it comes around to the actual game. So some ideas might have to be scrapped.
     
  3. Exile

    Exile Chieftain

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    The sound schemes, if they are going to be representative, should be worked out in advance. Placing the units in the correct slot so that the right sounds are connected to the right units is not difficult, but is hell if you haven't planned for it from the start.

    Masis is correct about the techs. Draw some connections on paper first. Then see how they work in actual play. Revision is inevitable. Some planning in regards to the unique effect of certain techs is warranted. You can rename Railroad to stoneworking if you want to, but if a civ has it, its settler units will still build railroads. I will never forget a bad experience with an otherwise-good looking scenario set in the Age of Imperialism. The map, units, tech; all were pretty well done and I was looking forward to playing the scenario. A Russian city was taken by Germans and boom! out pops a bunch of ZULU units! The scenario's author had placed the Zulu units in the Partisan slot, and Zulu hordes in the Ukraine was the result.

    I never played that one again. <IMG SRC="http://forums.civfanatics.com/ubb/hmph.gif" border=0>

    One principle to keep in mind is the idea of limited means. There are only so many different terrain types, so planning which types will exist ahead of time is good. There are only so many unit-slots, so "special" unit types that you might well cherish, sometimes must be abandoned. There are only so many tech slots, and some should be used very carefully, so tech tree planning, while not absolutely essential, is certainly advisable.

    Scenario design generally, and depending on your innate proclivities, is both an ordered and a chaotic process. Written-out planning is good, but it is only the first step; be ready to improvise like a son-of-a-***** when necessary. <IMG SRC="http://forums.civfanatics.com/ubb/wink.gif" border=0>

    Hope this helps,
    Exile

    [This message has been edited by Exile (edited June 26, 2001).]
     
  4. Morten Blaabjerg

    Morten Blaabjerg Settler

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    Who? Me?!! Where did you get that?!!!!!
     
  5. Henrik

    Henrik Emperor

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    Exile, Morten is not Masis

    I have tried to make lots of scenarios, I've only completed one. And I am working on a second much bigger one.
    The planning it all out on paper can be extremly helpfull, especially whit the tech tree, and the units (I make a list of units I want to be in the game, then I check the number of units allowed and merge some whit eachother and delete some, untill I have the correct amount, same works whit techs, but thats trickier since you need to link them together as well).
    Improvements and terrain is better done in the game itself (they still require a lot of care though).
    Another thing I do on paper is the civs I want to be in, first I write down every nation I can think of during the era in which the scenario takes place, and then I reduce/merge them untill I have 7 (and use barbarians for the rest).
     
  6. kobayashi

    kobayashi Deity

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  7. Exile

    Exile Chieftain

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    Sorry about that, Morten, for some odd reason, I thought you were Masis.

    Exile
     
  8. Andrew Livings

    Andrew Livings Warlord

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    I think this is most people's favourite part of scenario design .

    I've moved on from pen and paper though: use notepad so you can keep it tidy, and cut and paste stuff around.

    Basically just brainstorm: get a wish list of units you'd like, some technologies, city improvements, wonders, terrains - even if you're only planning on standard stuff.

    Pre-TOT the units are trickest. If you've ever opened up the units.gif file you'll see all the units lined up. Exile is spot on to talk about sound associations because the sounds the unit uses are linked to the particular slot the unit is in - absolutely nothing to do with the unit itself. Then you need to consider any hardcoded restrictions to work around (there are a lot). Ditto for technologies. For the tech tree I actually found it easier to plan in Excel. Eventually you've planned for 90%+ of everything you're going to do.

    Still, having said that, my first attempts were just like Morten's: finding out what was possible as I went along. The comes the long, hard work of building the scenario, ever so slowly in whatever spare time you have...

    ------------------
    Ideological conviction quickly degenerates into insistence based on ignorance.
     
  9. thedirk

    thedirk Master of Stealth

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    Thanks for the tips. Some helpful info there. If I manage to scrape something reasonable together, I just might share it with everyone.
     

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