Making a good scenario

Part 2

3) Parent and colony map creation is the last step you need to take when setting up your adventure. Once the world map is in place and all of your goals and plans are on paper start creating your maps. Remember to insert all of the required resources for each of these maps and have fun.

4) Add the story through text is my last step and personally my hardest step. I am not a great storyteller and it does take me some time to put together the tale I want to tell.

Okay so far I have tried to layout the foundation for a good adventure. Now lets see if I can pick apart a few things to help you develop more than a working adventure… Lets make it a great one.

Once everything is done and set up you will go to your editor and select the create adventure button. If anything was wrong with your adventure, you will see it here and you will not have created the final adventure. One of the most common errors here is food type. Often times a player will create an adventure with three food types in his parent city and then go on to a colony and have two food types etc. Then when the create adventure button is selected the player gets the message “too many food types colony1…..” The editor allows four food types and you are wondering why you get the error. In Zeus you are allowed four food types total throughout the world. That means, colonies, rivals, vassals and trade all added together can only equal four.

Now that the adventure is working lets once again look at the difference between great and okay. In your worldview it is essential that you spend the time to alter your trade routes to suit the landscape or seascape depending on the route. Also make sure that Islands trade by sea and land traders do not cross-oceans. This all adds to the polish of your product.

While still in the worldview lets take a look at each of your cities properties. All of these cities have a tribute paid and received slot. Try to edit the tributes to match the cities resources. It is pretty boring to have all of the cities you conquer pay you 100 Drachma. And even more boring to have your colonies pay you in Drachma when, in fact you founded that colony for a specific resource.

Next while still in worldview take a look at your city names and leader names. It is pretty embarrassing to publish and adventure that has ten Athens on the map with one leader ruling them all.

Now lets take a small look at the events of each episode of your adventure. Zeus has a very powerful editor to use, but you can destroy a great map and adventure if you do not work out your events properly. I am not going to go into great detail with this, as I feel this would be a whole different article (maybe how to use the editor) In your events, planning is once again the key. A tidal wave that is set to recurring on the 4 month of yr 0 will recur every year in the exact same place, at the exact same time. Yes this is nice, but lets try to make it more interesting. Zeus does not really have a random function, but you can create one yourself. Add more than one tidal wave zone. Make sure they do not touch each other or they will become one. I like to have three. Now in your events set one tidal wave to recur like I said above. But also toss in a tidal wave on the 7-month of yr one. Have it from a different zone. Now add another on the 6-month of yr 0 from the first zone. Now in the third year have one from the third zone. I like to have the third zone set up as a larger wave and it happens late in the episode. The others build up to it and the player has a tougher time planning around the waves. This sort of set up can also be used for military. Use lava and earthquakes wisely as well. If you plan a large-scale earthquake, try to be fair and have the event occur early. Later disasters can destroy great cities and a lot of work by a player, who may not return to your creations later. Always place earthquakes on sea level land. There is a tiling problem on higher land and you can get odd texture results because of it. Lava is another thing that you want to make sure looks good. Try not to paint huge sections of terrain red with the lava tool. It really does look awful when the event takes place. Use a tiny or small brush for lava and paint small streams of the red goo for better effect. Never place lava on rocks or edges of land changes. You get bad tiling here as well.