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Monster Truck Rally 1.2

Author File Description
File Details
Game Version: AoE3+TWC+TAD
# of Players: 4
Screenies of the Monster Truck Rally:

This is the beta version of the Monster Truck Rally racing game. If you find any major glitches, please let me know in this thread before you post a review. I will be happy to take another look and fix any outstanding bugs.

Each player starts with a Monster Truck and a Pit Crew. You can win by being the last surviving truck OR by being the first to complete 12 laps around the track.

Buy speed, HP, and attack upgrades for your rig in the Shop, as well as special effects for pulling ahead or sabotaging your opponents' rigs (Nitro, Backdraft, and Pimp My Ride).

You can also upgrade to an Ice Cream Monster Truck which is tougher, and lets you create Ice Cream Villagers by gold mines on the map.

Open the Offroad Area and plow through the mud towards a sunken Treasure Ship, but avoid the gators and panthers. Finally, churn through a winding canyon to set off a mother lode of dynamite before crossing the finish line and collecting 200 Gold each time.

Installation: Unzip and install the .age3Yscn into Drive:\My Documents\My Games\Age of Empires 3\Scenario.

Hosting: Civs don't matter. Host in FFA, or leave teams blank (?). Player 5 should be a computer AI.

A special thanks to BurningSushi460, for the inspiration from his original screenshot here; and to MosheLevi and SirHans for trigger help.

Update 24 July:

--Fixed early truck start cheat.
--Added instructions on Ice Cream Villagers and Treasure Ship.
--Removed Flamethrower Hot Dog cart from wonder spawn area.
--Last Survivor victory seems to function better now.
--Smaller file, faster download.

Update 20 Aug:

--Surgeons now stay put.
--Faster healing rate and Pit Crew upgrade gives bigger heal rate boost.
--Balanced costs of Speed boost and Nitro.
--Improved pathing through the Canyon of Doom; improved pyrotechnics.
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AuthorComments & Reviews   ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )
BurningSushi460 Hey Saffah, a heads-up, I didn't get to test the scen yet but I've gotten some complaints about it from Kev and Sir_Hans. There are an errantly large amount of bugs in the scen. Some he mentioned specifically would be the very random deaths and the fact that you can go backwards on the track and still get a lap.
KevTheGreat also, you can move before the cinematic starts, and are your villies suppose to die when inside the middle, (same happened to my truck)? And for the going backwards, sir_hans could (p1) do that but not the other players. There was also a bug where one player was defeated and p1 was victorious.

[Edited on 07/24/09 @ 04:49 PM]

File Author
Going backwards lap: I initially had the QVIn set so that it added +1 but that didn't fire properly. So I just made it reset the QVIn to the n it was supposed to be at that checkpoint, and it worked. I'm reluctant to change it back because it was giving me problems, but I'll look into it and see if there's not a better way.

IMO it's fine to give a lap credit to someone going backwards, as long as you are still going all the way around. It should NOT let you go halfway around then reverse back to where you started and still get a lap. And since all the lap triggers are the same for all players, all players should be able to get a lap in the same ways.

Random Win: I didn't see it at all yesterday, but did once today. It's setting people defeated who shouldn't be defeated. Not sure what's going on there, will look at not-lap victory triggers. Very puzzling indeed. I used a Player Set Defeated Multiple condition from someone's pak but not sure if it works as advertised. This is probably not as easy to fix so my apologies if it is still a problem.

Random Deaths: I haven't actually seen this one before. This might be due to two things:
a) Someone activated the BACKDRAFT shop ability, dealing 10k damage to each enemy Rig, and it ko'd someone who was at marginal HP already. I've purposefully lamed BackDraft several times to keep people from completing a victory lap. >___>
b) Player stance is set to Enemy. It is that way by design. The ability to strategically ram and cripple your opponents' trucks at critical moments (at finish line for instance, or just before reaching a hazard zone) makes the game more interesting. It's also logical to assume that a monster truck will um, be difficult to control and will do damage to other things nearby. Perhaps someone was tailgating another truck and got KO'd this way and didn't realize it was supposed to be that way.

Villagers: Okay, this is the one I've gotten the most questions about. I was pretty sure people would go for the obvious gold piles in the left corner right away, or after the first fail. At least when people were testing it early on, it seemed they recognized this. I will make it clear in the intro that VILLAGERS GO ON THE GOLD PILES and not on the treasure ship or in the woods.

Ice Cream villagers are designed to die after 1 minute. This is why they are perfect for this map - they give you a quick 300 gold boost before dying. Nice, easily doubles your track income, but not abusable. So for 1500 initial investment, you get the equivalent of up to 2400 extra gold and a 15K hp boost (worth 400 gold at the HP shop item) for the whole game.

The treasure ship is so your Rig can pick up some fast gold, at the expense of a hit of damage. That's so people don't camp the gold and pimp their ride concurrently. I'll either rename the ship or put another frame in the intro.

Cheats at start: Sir Hans thank you for pointing this out. I was aware some people would goose the starting line, but didn't realize you could go all the way to the first kitty pool & buy stuff before lights out. I'll change the trigger priority; what seems best is to put in some path blocks, so people won't tool around the track while others are deleting their powderwagons.
Thanks guys, and I hope to have fixes for these up before I leave for the weekend.

[Edited on 07/24/09 @ 06:05 PM]

KevTheGreat Would also recommend a looped camera cut so people cant move their screens, and disable it when activating the cinematic
Map Design3.0
Playability: 3
A very straightforward map in simplistic terms. You race around for 12 laps and try not to die. It is fun in context but gets repetitive rather quickly. I had hosted a game for it and within four minutes two guys already left. I could quickly realize that the pace of the game became mundane very fast and I'm afraid that for this Monster Truck Rally suffers.

Balance: 4
In this scenario, everyone has an equal chance of winning but often times only one guy can squeeze through the killzone before the hazards start aiming for the guys jammed up behind him. It was rather balanced but some factors could automatically lose you your chance of winning. Some examples would be: Trying to get past the war wagons, jaguar pathfinding, and using a pit crew. The pit crew was especially costly for me as I had lost two laps to the fourth player just to recover 10000 health which would be subsequently lost to a horde of War wagons.

Creativity: 4
Well, its a monster truck rally, you don't see those too often. To tell you the truth though Saffah, when I was playing the map, I felt as if I was playing a less colorful Mario Kart race. There should have been a lot more factors that would've made the 12 laps more engaging than they were. The shop was rather boring and didn't offer much depth as everybody planted their flag boy right on the speed increaser. If you included some offensive type items that were expensive but put negative effects on your opposition, that would be good. However, as it is, Monster Truck Rally is pretty decent.

Map Design: 3
Only 3-4 obstacle courses at most that were often painful and not that awe-and-shock kind of thing one would expect. It would've helped to black out the default terrain outside and add a lot more detail to the track. The layout was inconsistent in transition and not that inspiring.

Story/Instructions: 5
This category is always so irritating for reviewers depending on the scenario. When you have maps like this, there is not much specification. Either you explained it, you explained it vaguely, or you didn't explain it. You got the first one and that made sure I wasn't confused.

Additional Comments:
All in all this map has much potential to build upon and improve, but requires some polishing and maybe a faster way of healing your truck than the surgeons.
File Author
Hey BurningSushi, thanks for the review. I'd like to reply to some of your concerns, and hopefully show that these are truly being considered.

I wanted to keep the game time to about 30-40 minutes. I wanted few if any games to become stalemates due to spamming banks and buying infinite lives and infinite HP/Atk. So if you really wanted to, you could force a victory just by driving in circles. I still want a balance between racing and survival mode.

I agree that speed kills the game, in that people will lame the speed and go for the direct win. I originally had the speed at 100 gold and the win at 10 laps, and that proved really boring. So I increased the cost of speed upgrade and number of laps. Do you think the laps should be increased, or the cost of speed upgrade increased further?

Agree this could be faster, but I was trying different ways of making it faster/more practical and all seemed to have some shortcoming. Basically, reducing the HP for monster trucks makes them far faster to heal, but then it's more likely you will die to a random fender bender with a neighboring truck, rather than by going through rough terrain. I tried enabling the Transcendence wonder but this only heals a tiny bit, not all the way. Alas, there's no way to modify trucks so they do less damage to each other. So I was stuck with the high HP both to prevent tailgating-deaths and to let people make a few laps before having to repair.

An option would be to have everyone play Aztec and simply enable the Healing dance and give them a pit and a handful war priests so they can heal by percentage, not by total HP, and this would be much quicker. the shop might also give them a way to buy extra WP so they can use attack dance to clear excess kittys or wagons.

*****Game play and Shop:*****
I've never played or seen Mario Kart before. So I have no idea if I'm "borrowing" something that belongs to another game. Perhaps if I had seen it before, Monster Truck Rally would be a better and more engaging game.

As for offensive measures, I wanted them to be important, but not mandatory for victory - so some people would try to race the 12 laps, and others would try using sabotage tactics and extra attack to plow through and disable opponents.

I gave players the option of upgrading to a better truck; buying attack and HP upgrades; using a tactical nuke to damage other people's rigs; and giving them a one-of speed boost that damaged their rig if they used it. Predictably, few players bought any of the atk, HP, Nitro, or backblast and instead focused solely on racing. So most things in the shop seem superfluous or useless because as you say, people dump all their gold on Speed and race to 12. Maybe I should read about Mario Kart and other racing games before trying to fix this one. Or as above, change the costs to make the other options seem viable and speed not so important. And remove those that are strictly worse than others, i.e. Tower of Power is strictly worse than Pimp My Ride.

*****Map Design:*****
Not much to say here. It was a late idea, and I didn't have time to research what a monster truck arena should feel like. I tried to keep it simple so it wouldn't lag. I put in some simple bleachers and whatnot - even those caused trouble for some, so I made them simpler. I envisioned several settings for the track, in a wilderness area, in an urban area, etc. but didn't want to make the map too "busy".

For road hazards, I envisioned some racing areas, and some survival/funny car areas. Rows of old junk vehicles to drive over and crush. Ramps, rocks, mountains of oil drums, sand pits, etc. Tried to make it so players had areas of both - a time to pull ahead, and a time to drive carefully and try to trap your opponents in a mass of enemies.

I also had planned high ramps and hills, more mud puddles, and more canyons, but these proved laggy enough that I took them out. There were also problems with seeing where you were on some of the taller ramps - after you go over a ramp in AOE3land, you don't fly in midair, you cling to the ground and drop behind the ramp so it's hard to see your car.

As for the track itself, I agree this is also an area I'd like to improve. It might balance out the default preference for racing to 12 if each lap were longer. I could conceivably make the track bigger and this would give me room for more and different types of challenge areas.

The canyon with dynamite is representative of some of the other tricks I wanted - something that would slow you down, set off a spectacular visual effect, damage your rig a bit, make you pay attention and compete with other trucks for space. It turns out that the one canyon I did leave in was right next to the pit. That means you can go through the pit and avoid the canyon, and miss all the fireworks and still get your lap. The pathing through the canyon is also imperfect - half of the time, rigs will turn around and go through the pit if there's even just one pile of dynamite in the way.

I might change the canyon some so that the fireworks and the lap end coincide. Then more people will choose the canyon because going through the pit means they will not get credit for a lap. (Of course I will need to make it so going to the pit is actually worthwhile.) I'll open it up so pathing isn't a problem, but driving through still sets off the dynamite stockpiles.

I can make some changes to the current map to make it more exciting. Any bigger changes, like adding a fire pit system, enlarging the track, opening up home cities, that sort of thing will probably mean there will be a Monster Truck Rally II in the works.

[Edited on 08/03/09 @ 03:45 PM]

Mister SCP
use my heal trigger but just one per trigger is allowed or your scen will break means you need 4 of them. Also it would be nice to have better animation of the surgeons (all 5 heals) or even better u place there vilis which (cannot move) and use a build animation :) so it looks as they work on the truck.

Also I recommend using "R Show QV on Board (Res)" to show the amount of laps (also just one per trigger is allowed due to the fact of variable names which I used-but i try to fix that soon)

also the hot dog wagons could move throught the audience/public...

[Edited on 08/03/09 @ 05:18 PM]

File Author
I removed the hot dog wagons because in fact they were BURNING DOWN some people's Wonders - and the Explorers and Heroes in the audience were FIRING ON units. Apparently setting Gaia Diplomacy to neutral or ally is NOT carried over in online play. :S I'll look to make sure all the offending hot dog carts are immobilized or removed.

If I have one of your healing trigger per player, is that going to work? With the current number of iterations of HCXPMasterSurgeons, each player needs at least 2 minutes to heal his rig completely, more if he's got an Ice Cream Truck or bought upgrades. That's almost as much as a full lap takes at default speed!
I want it to take about 20-30 sec to heal your rig completely, so you can heal and not get lapped. It shouldn't be instantaneous, though. Players need to have to make choices in order for the game to be fair and interesting.

I originally wanted the surgeons to stay only in the pit, but I could find no harm in letting players move a surgeon out of the pit and station him along the track somewhere. Perhaps I could put them inside a limited area of terrain blockers so they can't move. For animations, I suppose I could have them all "work" move, or just keep the one surgeon, it doesn't matter.

KevTheGreat use trigger "create treaty" between p0 and p1 to stop them from attacking
Mister SCP
If I have one of your healing trigger per player, is that going to work? With the current number of iterations of HCXPMasterSurgeons, each player needs at least 2 minutes to heal his rig completely, more if he's got an Ice Cream Truck or bought upgrades. That's almost as much as a full lap takes at default speed!
I want it to take about 20-30 sec to heal your rig completely, so you can heal and not get lapped. It shouldn't be instantaneous, though. Players need to have to make choices in order for the game to be fair and interesting.

Yes it will work. I updated today my Trigpack to V3.1 . The typeloader allows you to use the heal trigger now as often as you want in a trigger. Also all other Effects with Variables can be stacked :). I think you should use better "Heal Unit2" since this is the faster one.

I originally wanted the surgeons to stay only in the pit, but I could find no harm in letting players move a surgeon out of the pit and station him along the track somewhere. Perhaps I could put them inside a limited area of terrain blockers so they can't move. For animations, I suppose I could have them all "work" move, or just keep the one surgeon, it doesn't matter.
but it looks much nicer. There are XS-Triggers which check the thing your surgeons do. If one would heal this trigger could tell them to use also s heal ANIMATION (also in combination with "Heal Unit2" this would be kind of better). If you can't do that alone I could help you.
Anyway repairing villis would look better :P

btw. the condition "3 Player Defeated" (in your victory conditions) or however it's called isn't working correctly and create surprising winners (e.g. Player 1 won, but You get the message that Player 3 did).

[Edited on 08/04/09 @ 09:40 AM]

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