Friday, December 01, 2006

My Final Advance Wars Maps?

A while ago, I created a whole pile of new custom maps for Advance Wars 2, which could be run on any emulator or just pieced together for any of the AW games. I was pretty stoked about it, especially after discovering the many comments on my older maps on AdvanceWarsNet. So I scuttled together nine new maps, fine-tuned and completed the first three, and posted the screenshots here and at AWN.

That was a bad idea. The wonderful little brats at AWN immediately yawned and chucked it aside, without even as much as a passing glance. Needless to say, I was pretty angered by the whole thing, and the whole reality of trying to impress or amuse 14-year-olds stared me in the face. The rest of the maps stayed in their folder, and I haven't bothered to complete any of them or put them on save files.

The whole point of creating these maps - duh - is for people to actually play them. If that's not going to happen, then I'm pretty obviously wasting my time. And it's frustrating because I think my maps are excellent. There's a lot of game theory and design that goes into creating a good map that flows quickly and stays balanced. You have to figure out what units should be available at start, where they should go, and where any essential things like bases and cities should go. It all involves a lot of playtesting, and many years of playing classic multiplayer games on all those old computers and consoles.

And then some damn kids shoot 'em down. Uh, this sucks. Huh-huh-huh-huh. Whatever.

You know, someday, I'd like to create some art that's actually popular. I'd like to be recognized for all my hard work before they put me in the ground. Is that too much to ask for?

So, anyway, I decided to post the screenshots of the other six maps. These were created on a map editor. Afterword, what I do is recreate them on AW2, and then add all the units and playtest until everything's perfectly balanced. I may go back and finish them sometime, one of these days. After that, it's probably the end of the Advance Wars maps. 24 is more than enough.

Enjoy the maps! Try them out sometime if you're in the mood....

Kentucky Rain - 2p - Named after an Elvis song from his greatest album, From Elvis in Memphis. This is one that went through endless variations before coming to the final form. The geography came first, and then everything fell into place eventually.

The Cycle of Birth and Death - 2p - Named largely for the ying-yang design of the board. I also wanted some way of asking the player to question the whole nature of war. It's just one of those ways that I force my spirtual beliefs down your throats each and every day.

Harvest Moon - 2p - Named, of course, for Natsume's endless series of farming games. I was also thinking of Neil Young's album of the same name. This is another example of solid visual design dictating the flow of the map.

Fuck - 4p - I couldn't decide whether to call it this or "The Bush Crime Family." Either way, it's the same sentiment. Yeah, I know, it's childish and silly, but I still think it's funny. Maybe the dumb kids at AWN would actually like this. And, hey, 4 player fun!

My Brain Hurts - 3p - I wanted to come up with some air-based maps, and I think this works very nicely. It just started out as a cheap doodle and evolved from there. It's not easy to create a good air map, but I think this stands out nicely.

No War 4 Empire - 4p - Shameless plug for my first book. Cough, cough. Hey, I need all the cheap publicity I can get. This is the other air map, and that focus really frees up the map design. Again, I wanted something that just looks different, but also compelling and fun. This one probably still needs work.

And that's the last of 'em! You better enjoy all of this! Dagnabbit.

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