Project Time: Personal Hobby
Game: Heroes of Might and Magic 3
Heroes of Might and Magic 3 is a fantasy game released in 1999 by New world computing and it is the third in the series.
The games base mechanics is resource and artifact collecting, turn-based exploration, city building, hero progression and turn-based combat.
The game offers 8 different factions each with a set of 7 unique monsters, 16 unique heroes and biometry ranging from orcs in sandy crags and valleys to wizards and gargoyles dwelling in tall spires. The game offers several types of end-game goals and a multitude of sub-goals.
Pre-production and planning
Heroes of Might and Magic 3 has a plethora of exciting and enjoyable mechanics and objects to interact with so at first, it may look confusing and a daunting task to create something from scratch. Even after playing the game for years, I had to change my mindset from seeing the game as “goals” to a single experience.
A well-built Homm3 map gives the player a branching tree of options and challenges but still keeps them to a certain theme.
When my interest of creating my own maps started I began by creating a document where I wrote down simple rules, tips and themes. The most basic objects for each starting area, types of sub-goals, setting the pace by map size and distance between things and other tricks to keep the player engaged, quickly understand the theme but also feel independent.
Benthic and Brine, 2vs2 or FFA
Benthic and Brine was my first proper attempt at a map with several tweaks being done along the way.
The map has four symmetrically placed islands, one for each player, which offer a fair amount of start, mid-game and higher-level challenges for the players to interact with before and while they set sail to explore the sea and middle.
After some playtesting, another capturable castle was added to each player’s island to speed up the time it takes to reinforce the middle and explore, these extra expansions are set to be the same as the players starting castles.
The ocean covers about 25-30% of the map with several resource mines, artifacts, enemies and movement impending islands for interesting sea combat and tactics.
In the middle of the map there are two large continents both sporting 3 “zones” with plenty of objects and enemies to capture and fight.
Dustabar Key, 5 FFA
Dustbar key is a round map with 4 bases/castles centered in the middle, valuable attack and knowledge increasing buildings in the middle section, two powerful but well-guarded artifacts on the sides and two challenging Dragonutopias on the bottom and top, high-risk high reward ruins where the player faces a dozen dragons for a handful of artifacts.
As the middle only contains 4 castles with objects focused on two and two, the placement of some buildings has been adjusted to make it a bit more fair in terms of access.
Each player starts on a small outskirt of dirt with equal resources available to them and two exits. The starting areas are dirt for simpåle 100% movement speed but the outer circle of the center is sand which takes 150% movement points to traverse.
A fast-paced PvP map with close distance to the enemy.
Gaelmia, 3 vs 3 or 2 vs 2 vs 2
Gaelmia is a middle-sized map with the players situated on each side with equal start resources. The middle has 3 areas with different resources, challenges and biomes for the players to explore and conquer.
In the center, there are two random castles separated by a lake and two capturable guard gates to defend the area more easily. The most valuable interactable objects are also situated in the middle with high-tier creatures guarding artifacts and valuable stat increasing buildings.
The map works as a 2 vs 2 vs 2 but is mainly focused as a heavy 3 vs 3 map with all paths leading towards the enemy, forcing conflict.
Winebridge, 2 vs 2
A middle-sized map with two players on each side, one expansion on the right and left side of the map and two Fortress faction expansions in each swamp half. The map is mainly dirt surrounding a central swamp cut in two by rougher terrain, lowering all player’s movement speed.
Entrances and exits are somewhat symmetrically placed with small exceptions to balance both sides. Placement of objects in each player’s “starting area” and interactable objects on the map however have their own placement.
Peripheral Invision, 1 vs 1 vs 1
Peripheral Invision is a small two level map connected by two passageways, one on the bottom right of the map and one on the top left.
Each player have one option to reach their respective opponents. Red and Blue have direct paths to Tan and a middle portal connecting the two aforementioned.
It’s design is centered around movement reducing terrain, close-quarter pvp and quick gameplay with several resource buildings and two extra expansions.
Chalice of Candour, 1 vs 1
Medium-sized 1 vs 1 map with several expansion regions surrounding a central winter zone with valuable hero stat increasing interactable’s.
Both players also have one two-way and one single-way portal to increase the number of paths available.