Tuesday, October 17, 2006

New AW Map - #17 Pac-Man

Here is the second of nine new maps I recently created for Advance Wars. I'm sure you'll recognize this character pretty easily: Pac-Man.

Pac-Man is a two-player map, in which each player starts on small islands - the dots - and then battles it out on Pac-Man Island. You begin with 3 bases, 1 seaport, 1 lander, 2 APC's, and 1 Recon truck. As is often the case, I prefer to give you the tools to start playing immediately, instead of slowly building up your forces. It's a tricky balance to pull off, and this map is a textbook example of the importance of playtesting.

I cannot emphasize this enough. Playtest, playtest, playtest! A map design the looks clever on the Map Editor is one thing, but it's only when the action starts that you notice the flaws. Use of terrain, the forests, mountains, and roads, determines the game's tempo, and the proper starting units (or no starting units) will enable a proper pace.

This is a very fun map, a very thrilling map, one that allows many options for offense and defense. Both players have a fair chance for victory.

Notice, also, that in order to win, you must invade your opponent's home island. Controlling Pac-Man Island is crucial, but cannot guarantee victory by itself. Be careful not to leave your home island completely vulnerable, lest your friend sneak over with a couple landers loaded with heavy armor.

Oh, finally, note the signature on the top left corner, my own little "easter egg." My first criteria for a good map is that is has to look good. Everything else is build upon that. Don't be afraid to add little flourishes like this to your own maps. You'll thank me if you want to become a game designer someday.

Again, I'm not able to offer downloads for Map Pack #6 just yet, but I'll update as soon as I can.

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