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Monday, 13 June 2016

Map development log: Homm III HoTA - Desert Dawn Raiders

Just a very quick early information about a map that I've in development, along with "Angel Chasers" (aka "Volcanic Destruction"). The map's project-name is "Desert Dawn Raiders" (or Raiders of The Desert Dawn) of size "G" (the biggest allowed for HoTA; Horn of the Abyss unofficial expansion). I'm aiming to make it a tough map for 2vs1 teams, where the lone team has significant advantage over the two weak players. Human player takes the side of either of the two weak teams.

The map takes it's place in fictional Reyja desert, where raiders have roamed freely for long, pillaging the close by settlements with ease. You're leader of another of those raider clans. Now, a wealthy nobleman, has claimed three settlements to be his own; offering them protection with skilled crusaders and cavaliers - with rights to tax the people, of course. Your days of raiding are over due this, or are they?

I will have to heavily test out different balance options, so that the map won't be easy, but not impossible, either. My initial thought is, that both of the raider players start out with a Town, no fort, no resources, three week penalty to Gold income, and with a weak army of neutral creatures fitting the raider theme the best. The town has limited grounds, and you cannot build creatures of higher levels, at all. You'll find adventure map dwellings and such to gather the early creatures, but you must push onward if you wish to get productive with your army growth. At the same time, you have to consider your options, because your troops and resources are very limited, especially in the beginning. The enemy, on the other hand is strong, and will have very hard main hero static on it's main castle for the end climax battle. You cannot waste too much time, because you're heavy underdog in the beginning, and will get overran by more heavily armed enemy, if you do so.

Here are some very early initial pictures, as I'm trying to make the basic layout for the map. It'll be a desert map, now that we've the "Dunes" (aka real desert objects) along with HoTA tile-set.


Note: So, I had to change the Underground-outlined roads and swap the texture into Rough terrain; obviously when you're running into an enemy in the middle of desert road, it doesn't look very good when the battle screen takes place underground. What a shame; the lighter gray Ug-texture looked better on top of the desert than what rough-texture does.


Most of the things are still open and undecided for the map; we'll see how it turns out. I really hope to be able to finish this at some point. :) Don't expect them to come out very soon. I'll see which I get more hooked into and finish that one first, for good. It often takes me half year, even a year to finish a large map. However, I'll post here new development pictures whenever I have made considerable progress.

Meanwhile, be sure to check Homm III Map Downloads section on this website to try out some of the finished maps of mine.


More screenshots:
Just some color over the white desert; a fun event to gain something handy. Yes, that's a portal to "Celeste", and no, unfortunately you cannot visit there. :-)

Just fooling around with my road set-up, trying to find out how'd it look along the HoTA desert. Not bad, I think. This is the only area (very small portion of the map), where I've added a little bit of actual detail so far, since I'm figuring out the general settings and looks of the map by trying out things on a small area first. The first real thing to do is to fill out the main hill-patterns for the whole map, which closes up the different sections of the map (yes, I split the map in clear sections), and after that create the main road, then decorate it (as seen on the picture). After this, I'll have to lay out all the hunders, if not thousands, of desert tiles (aka "dunes") to the map on the map, being very bottom layer of the map. The reason for this is, that if the desert (aka "dunes") tiles are placed the last, it doesn't automatically go as the most bottom layer, and thus can interfere with the other objects (such as small sand dunes and other decorative small objects), placing itself on top of those, hiding them under itself. One annoyance are the Peasant Huts in the picture, where regular forest trees (pine or such) are included to the object itself by default; thus they don't really fit to the desert theme, but since I want to use them anyway, I'll have to try and "mask" them into the theme by adding palms and other more fitting objects next to the huts. I'vent seen map looking such as this before, which is definitely a plus. 

This project's gonna take forever. Ps. can you find an unfortunate wanderer in the picture, that was hanged by some thugs on the desert?



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