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Caesar IV Heaven » Forums » Emperor: Game Help » "The Outcasts of Wu" - Gweilo's design blog and commentary
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Topic Subject:"The Outcasts of Wu" - Gweilo's design blog and commentary
Gweilo
Angel
posted 03-31-20 08:30 ET (US)         
Like most of you reading this, I am sitting here in self-imposed isolation at my home in Texas while the Coronavirus sweeps across the world. This gives me extra time to think and work on a new custom campaign. As you might imagine, my thoughts are filled with the history of pandemics.

Most modern historians believe the Black Death originated in 14th century China and then swept across the civilized world, not unlike what is happening now in the 21st century with Covid-19.

This has inspired me to revisit the 14th century as the setting for a new campaign. You will recall I previously released the "Servant of the White Lotus" campaign, which was also set in this period. My new campaign, tentatively titled "The Outcasts of Wu", will overlap with some historic events highlighted in that previous campaign, but from a different perspective.

As you might guess from the title, this new campaign will focus on people struggling to survive together after suffering from the plague - and being blamed for it. You will see a clear parallel to what has befallen the people in modern Wuhan, PRC.

I have just begun working on this campaign, so I cannot really predict a release date yet. I am still in the early design phase but I have completed the Empire map. I have created a playtest album, where you can see some images of my preliminary research and playtesting. More screenshots will be added to it as I progress. The playtest album is viewable in the Emperor Heaven Gallery, here:

http://emperor.heavengames.com/gallery/album27

Expand your fun by downloading free custom campaigns for Emperor: Rise of the Middle Kingdom.
Visit Zeus Heaven to expand your knowledge of Zeus and Poseidon.

[This message has been edited by Gweilo (edited 03-31-2020 @ 08:32 AM).]

AuthorReplies:
kach
Angel
posted 03-31-20 16:42 ET (US)     1 / 10       
Gweilo, that's a brilliant idea! A practical way to channel our Coronavirus obsession. I'll be following your progress.
Gweilo
Angel
posted 04-01-20 07:50 ET (US)     2 / 10       
Thanks Kach!

This campaign will have one map and 3 missions. The map will be "enormous" size and arid climate. This campaign will be rated at the "normal" difficulty level. That means where will not be any time limits on completing the missions.

Mission teasers (working titles):

M1 - The Great Lie - starts in 1336 CE.
M2 - The Outcasts of Wu - starts in 1351 CE.
M3 - The Justice of Karma - starts in 1366 CE.

I got a good start on building the map and it's about 50% completed. I'm starting to fuss over it, which means a) I'm fully engaged in this project, and b) progress will slow down a bit.

Expand your fun by downloading free custom campaigns for Emperor: Rise of the Middle Kingdom.
Visit Zeus Heaven to expand your knowledge of Zeus and Poseidon.

[This message has been edited by Gweilo (edited 04-07-2020 @ 11:43 AM).]

Gweilo
Angel
posted 04-01-20 15:16 ET (US)     3 / 10       
I finished the first draft of the map for the campaign. A mini-map image of it, as well as an image of the campaign introduction text, are now viewable in the playtest album here:

http://emperor.heavengames.com/gallery/album27

Expand your fun by downloading free custom campaigns for Emperor: Rise of the Middle Kingdom.
Visit Zeus Heaven to expand your knowledge of Zeus and Poseidon.

[This message has been edited by Gweilo (edited 04-01-2020 @ 03:18 PM).]

Gweilo
Angel
posted 04-02-20 17:20 ET (US)     4 / 10       
I just completed the first playtest of mission 1. Overall, it was a good first run, but I will tweak a few things. The map seems challenging if you want perfect Feng Shui, which is what I wanted.

I've completed writing the mission 1 intro and victory text. Missions 2 and 3 are stubbed out for now; I will write the text later.

I have uploaded 8 new screenshots from my playtesting into the gallery album, you can see them here:

http://emperor.heavengames.com/gallery/album27

Expand your fun by downloading free custom campaigns for Emperor: Rise of the Middle Kingdom.
Visit Zeus Heaven to expand your knowledge of Zeus and Poseidon.
Gweilo
Angel
posted 04-03-20 08:40 ET (US)     5 / 10       
I started scripting for mission 2 and realized I needed to tweak more things if I want to keep this campaign at the "normal" difficulty level. So I will introduce a new food type in the second mission and slow down some of the military activity I had planned. I also needed to adjust trade commodities to lower the difficulty, and whenever commodities are changed the campaign must be played over from the beginning in order for the new commodities to be active.

Still making good progress.

Expand your fun by downloading free custom campaigns for Emperor: Rise of the Middle Kingdom.
Visit Zeus Heaven to expand your knowledge of Zeus and Poseidon.
Gweilo
Angel
posted 04-04-20 06:30 ET (US)     6 / 10       
As i started testing mission 2, I realized some bugs/quirks with "distant cities" that I had forgotten cause issues with the mission goals. So I will tweak things again and replay from the beginning. At least I did get a good feel for the military scripting in mission 2, and it did need adjustment.

I uploaded two new screenshots into the playtest album:

http://emperor.heavengames.com/gallery/album27

Expand your fun by downloading free custom campaigns for Emperor: Rise of the Middle Kingdom.
Visit Zeus Heaven to expand your knowledge of Zeus and Poseidon.
Gweilo
Angel
posted 04-04-20 15:04 ET (US)     7 / 10       
I replayed missions 1 and 2 and everything played out much better. I definitely fixed the pace of mission 2 to make it less difficult. I still think it is challenging though. I added 3 more screenshots to the playtest album:

http://emperor.heavengames.com/gallery/album27

I still need to write the mission 2 victory text, and then all of the text for mission 3.

The scripting for mission 3 is probably the most difficult part left for me to do. Still, everything is on track for a release later this month.

Expand your fun by downloading free custom campaigns for Emperor: Rise of the Middle Kingdom.
Visit Zeus Heaven to expand your knowledge of Zeus and Poseidon.
Gweilo
Angel
posted 04-06-20 08:48 ET (US)     8 / 10       
Last night I finished the first run through of mission 3. The scripting worked, well mostly; I did need to tweak a few things. I also finished the mission 2 victory text.

I hope to do another run through of the entire campaign today. If it plays through cleanly, all I have to do then is finish the mission 3 storyline text and then put together the Readme file.

Everything is on track for a release before the end of this month.

Expand your fun by downloading free custom campaigns for Emperor: Rise of the Middle Kingdom.
Visit Zeus Heaven to expand your knowledge of Zeus and Poseidon.
Gweilo
Angel
posted 04-07-20 09:40 ET (US)     9 / 10       
I'm still playtesting mission 3, but I think I'm done. I tried every trick I know to get the "Military request - city attacks rival" scripted event to fire, but it just refuses to work. I'll leave it in the mission in case someone manages to trigger it during gameplay, but I'm giving up on getting it to work in my playtesting. This specific event has been buggy since the game's release (patch didn't help it either).

I am moving on to finish up the mission storyline texts and then write the Readme file. I uploaded a couple of new screenshots to the playtest album, if you want to see them.

Everything is still on track for a release this month, probably within a week.

Expand your fun by downloading free custom campaigns for Emperor: Rise of the Middle Kingdom.
Visit Zeus Heaven to expand your knowledge of Zeus and Poseidon.
Gweilo
Angel
posted 04-08-20 00:16 ET (US)     10 / 10       
I went on a marathon to finish this campaign, and it has now been released. You may find it for download at this link:

http://emperor.heavengames.com/downloads/showfile.php?fileid=590

Happy gaming!

Expand your fun by downloading free custom campaigns for Emperor: Rise of the Middle Kingdom.
Visit Zeus Heaven to expand your knowledge of Zeus and Poseidon.
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