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Fragrant Port

Author File Description
McThrok
File Details
Difficulty: Mortal
Number of episodes: 7+2
Minimap:
Trade in Greece almost disappeared and cities turned away from each other. It must be changed. Old alliances have to be renewed and Greek goods have to flood Mediterranean markets again.

Things worth mentioning:
- Poseidon Adventure but you play as Greeks
- It is not a "conquer all" type of campaign
- It is a trade/economy focused campaign
- Prices are changed
- 7 parent episodes and 2 colonies
- It works on 800x600 and 1024x768 resolution
- I finished it on Mortal, higher difficulties might be possible
- I think it's not really difficult, but I might be biased after playing so many times testing it
- It took me over a year to complete and test so I'm really happy to finally release it
- Please, try apreciate my compelling history :)
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AuthorComments & Reviews   ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )
Mazeppa This map is fantastic!! It's amazing to see great maps like this every once in a while. :)
McThrok
File Author
Thank you. I'm waiting for longer review after you finish ;) But for now, where you started on map? south-west island, south island or which part on a main island? I tried not to make the single best location.
Mazeppa I just started so far, and I'm currently approaching the middle part of the adventure (episode 5) and so far, I'm really enjoying this adventure, and I love it! Top marks for creativity in Sais, btw.. it's fantastic, in map design and concept.

And no worries, I'll be sure to review this adventure once I'm finished :) (this one is amazing so far).

And to answer your question, I started out right here, https://i.imgur.com/yJf7CqM.png .. and building my way towards the meadow in the centre of the map. :) I wanted to conserve the larger southern parts for elite housing, so I left them for later.
McThrok
File Author
Thank you. I really appreciate it.

Thank you. I am waiting :)

Thank you. I am glad to read that you have a different strategy.
zeusposeidon133
Rating
4.4
Breakdown
Playability5.0
Balance4.0
Creativity5.0
Map Design4.0
Story/Instructions4.0
playability 5
I would say moderate difficulty, an beginner could find the limited space as a 'nuissance'. Veteran players could find it 'challenging'. I was not detered from accomplishing my goals, thought it was tough to make things work on the go lol.

Balance 4
the reason being i had a slightly frustrating time remembering who sold what and where what came from where and who was gone or available in terms of trade. While veterans would find this challenging i found it just a little annoying rather. Game progression was nice.

Creativity 5
Cant complain, had pretty much all basic goals along the way. Sanctuaries and monster and quests and city takeovers.

Map Design 4
Parent map was nice and challenging, slightly frustrating with the ports changing when they are active and not, bit of rerouting to do in that aspect. Colony maps were pretty nice as well, natural looking except Sais. I was a little frustrated as to the navigational aspects required on that map, challenging for sure and im sure veteran players would enjoy such a challenge. While i did indeed complete the campaign that one part was a little annoying.

Story 4
Not much to say here, story was pretty linear, didnt really grab my attention though. I also am working on the flow of a good story in Zeus and so this number may not be quite accurate.

Additonal comments:
Great job creating an adventure that took me quite some time to complete, i did indeed enjoy playing it and only found in Sais that i could not use my olive presses or armor until after i had shipped some olives and bronze in.... Not sure if its to limit funds but that was the only thing i saw missing in any scenario.

Well done my friend hope to see some more.
McThrok
File Author
Thank you so much for the review.

And as for Sais, my main idea for parent city is to buy raw resources like olives and bronze and sell olive and armor later, but I wanted to limit it in colony episodes and force to focus on local resources.
Mazeppa
Rating
4.6
Breakdown
Playability4.0
Balance5.0
Creativity5.0
Map Design5.0
Story/Instructions4.0
Playability: 4
At first playthrough, I loved the parent map, and I lost track of how many times I've had to think and plan ahead in every episode.. what should I place? Where should I place? Is this the right time to place this? How should I place that? I loved the strategies I've had to employ and the fact that I had to think for hours looking at the screen on what to do.

I also loved the fact that at Olympian mode, you're given a measly sum of drachmas that you have to use wisely at the start of the game, and when you reach the negatives, only one ally would help, but not giving too much drachma, so you've still had to make every drachma count to survive.

At second playthrough however, I was a little disappointed at the realization that you could build decent (way decent) housing blocks at some areas in this map, which reduced the challenge a lot, by a mile, and was a bit of a letdown... I was able to breeze through most of the parent city episodes this time round, even pretending I didn't know what was coming, which was also a letdown.

But nonetheless, I still can't deny that I still had fun playing this adventure, and I liked the fact that I always had something to do, something to be pre-occupied on, something to be concerned about, which had me hooked into the screen.


Balance: 5
Opportunities and challenges were implemented very well, whilst not being too overwhelming or too convenient to ruin balance, which is a good thing.. invasions and disasters were also done well; not too excessive, too little, too overwhelming etc.. they were done just right, with respect to the episodes themselves.

And despite the letdown of sculpture being used to make money in some parts of this adventure, it was still only temporary enough such that I could still enjoy the ride to the end, and for an adventure rated "mortal", I believe it is done just right.


Creativity: 5
The strongest aspect of this adventure was the creativity. Sais was the best example of this! I had to think for an hour on how to plan and navigate the logistics of this map; how to place wheat farms, granaries, roads and bridges; when to place them; where to place them; how to place them etc.. I love strategic maps like this that force players to think hard in order to achieve the desired objectives. Sais was really fun.

Aside from Sais, I loved the fact that not every colony episode was identical and the colony episode were not just a matter of getting resources and going back to parent city, mission complete.. it was way more than that, and the challenges that filled these two colonies (Sais and Messina) weren't the same, and had their own unique ways of figuring out what to do. I really loved this!!

I also liked how the story had some twists and turns, which allowed a variety of gameplay in nearly every episode.. one time, you're building a sanctuary to Athena to rescue olive groves in Greece; another time, you're summoning heroes to defend the city against monsters; another time, you're trying to survive Poseidon's onslaught etc.


Map Design: 5
The map design in most of these maps are a perfect example of what can truly emerge when creators devote time, energy and love in their maps.

The parent map design was beautifully made; everything is perfect with this map!! The imperfect coastline ridges, the wise and varying use of scrub on different sections of the map, the subtle placement of forests and rocks (and not being too dense to blind the eyes)... this all blended together to create a realistically natural landscape that might've well existed in real life!!

Messina was also well-crafted. The wise placement of meadows and forests in mountains - while not being too dense to blind the eyes - blended together to create something that looked really nice.

In Sais, it is indeed, evident, that the creator might've used the nile delta of egypt as inspiration for this map, and - albeit not sharing the same beauty as the other two maps - it had a functional concept that was truly awesome... In simpler words, careful planning, wise use of bridges, and careful placement of food and granary buildings are necessary in order to complete the objectives in this map. The logistical challenge implemented here is something I really loved in this map.


Story/Instructions: 4
This adventure provided an interesting story, and the narrative started great, with some immersive qualities that made the adventure seem alive, but the story started to dilute a bit towards the final 3 episodes. There were also other issues I've had with the story:

-- at parent ep 4 (if you want peace, prepare for war), one of the objectives specified getting hermes' sandals, but no-where in the story did it indicate WHY we had to get such an item, for what purpose?? The same thing is seen in the last episode (revival) - getting Hades' invisibility helmet was one of the objectives, but why?? what purpose does it serve in the story? The gameplay and storyline didn't connect in these two cases.

-- at parent ep 3 (disaster), the story stated that "the curse was cast on olive groves and no single tree survived"... this was confusing.. We weren't introduced to any curse prior, nor was there any foreshadow of a curse; the city also doesn't produce olives, so I was like, "ehh?"... Only when I played the episode and read the episode-complete text, that I understood what was going on... the story was being poorly written here.

Introducing an episode with "the curse was killing every olive tree" - out of nowhere - is not only vague, but too sudden.. No reader knows of this curse prior, and this will be a confusing mess.. (Imagine a doctor telling you "the disease is killing your white blood cells", and you're there saying "what disease? What do I have?", yet the doctor doesn't say anything; it's quite confusing).


Additional Comments:
I can't include this in any category, since it doesn't fit.. but it ticks me off a bit, seeing that some of these city names are in fact, Turkish... Izmir for instance, is a turkish town whose name doesn't exist in the ancient setting... its original name was Smyrna, and had this name since ancient times, prior to WW1.

I really should advise against using Turkish city names... not only does it take away the immersion, but because of the game's setting, it's factually wrong to do so... Use names that existed in Asia Minor (Pre-Turkey); use google or the game's city names if you don't know any.

That aside, congratulations!
I liked the adventure very much.

[Edited on 03/08/20 @ 02:55 PM]

McThrok
File Author
Thank you for the review.

I know there is quite a lot of space or just shape make it easier. I was afraid of making it too difficult. It is my first map and idk if people who still play this game like challenging planning or prefer having a place for their favourite blocks.
You're right about the story, especially about the quests. I don't remember why I did't even try to explain them in the story. Maybe I wanted to add just another goal and left adding story for later but forgot.

I'm little confused that curse was a big surprise. Maybe I had a more detailed story in my head and everything was so obvious that I shortened it unconsciously during writing.

And the last thing I don't remember :) Naming cities was one of the first thing I have done and I was sure I took some random names from historical maps. But you right and it should be changed to something quite pre-WW1 :D

Thank you again for your review. It's really helpful, especially I have plans for my next campaign.
McThrok
File Author
Izmir mystery solved :D
It's difficult to translate literally (wiki): "The beginnings of settlement in the Izmir area date back to 3000 BC." So for me I sounded great but the key word is "area". So this misled me. So I will change it to Smyrna.
Mazeppa No worries! :) Nonetheless, I enjoyed the adventure. :D And with the curse thing, the story was great, but the issue I had with it was that it was so sudden; I think introducing it steadily would've been better, to maintain flow in the story.. something like:


"As you return to your city, you receive distressing news: strange things have been happening all around Greece, and there have been sightings of olive trees rotting and decaying everywhere, producing no fruit at all. These reports seem too widespread to be caused by improper care by farmers, and have made the leaders of Eretria and Abdera wary, no longer wishing to trade with us, in order to save their supplies for their own people.

A priestess in your city, however, knows the cause of all this, and has come forward to reveal the truth of what she has heard from our patron god in the sanctuary of Hermes. "Poseidon", the priestess said. "Poseidon has inflicted a curse on olive trees all throughout Greece. His displeasure to us is clear, for we have incurred the jealousy of the Atlanteans, who wish to bring us down. Poseidon loves these people, and has offered to help them recover their dominance by bringing us to ruin."

Knowing this, we cannot hope to counter such a divine threat like this and there's nothing we can do... but there is only one solution: Athena. More than anything in the world, Athena loves olive trees, and considers them very precious. Unfortunately, Athena has been busy lately, helping the people of Izmir recover from their recent famine, and doesn't even have time to listen to prayers from the Greek mainland.

But if we could build a sanctuary to her, in this city, she will definitely come and hear us out, even for a moment. If we could tell her what Poseidon has done to her precious olive trees, she will no doubt, rescue them all and even support us in our struggle. Though Athena doesn't match the power that Poseidon has, she can still be a boon to us and help us a lot."


Just a rough example, but it introduces the situation steadily, whilst the story maintains flow, allowing you to grasp the situation. I also tried to include Izmir too, since iirc, they withered away 2 episodes later, but there was no explanation, and so I thought it'd be great to foreshadow what would happen to them later on, by relating them to Athena, somehow. :)

And this foreboding would be emphasised in the episode - complete txt, to make sense of their troubled future ahead.. something like:


"Athena is rejoicing with her new sanctuary, and has agreed to rescue all her olive trees as soon as possible. She has also pledged to support our cause against the Atlanteans, knowing they were the reason her olive trees died out. With her support, our chances of combating the Atlantean threat becomes greater.

Yet despite the good news, worries still remain. First was that of Izmir. The people of Izmir have relied heavily on Athena's help to support them during their famine all these years; with Athena no longer helping them in favour of us, there's no telling what will happen to them in the future. Second was that of Knossos, our most powerful ally, who has succumbed to ruin from the Atlantean attack. With them gone, we have no choice but to face the Atlantean threat on our own."


Something like this. :) Even tho' it's just a rough example, hope you get the idea. :) And with Izmir, I knew a bit of that place, since I had ancestors that lived there way back (when it was Smyrna), so I found it surprising it was featured here. :D

[Edited on 03/09/20 @ 05:53 PM]

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Rating
4.7
Breakdown
Playability4.8
Balance4.5
Creativity5.0
Map Design4.8
Story/Instructions4.3
Statistics
Downloads:605
Favorites: [Who?]1
Size:828.63 KB
Added:02/23/20
Updated:03/09/20