Skirmish map extraordinaire Justin Rouse is here to spill the beans on tactics and map information for Historic Battles DLC map Glacial Ravine.
Originally, our DLC2 pack (Historic Battles) was intended to contain only 3 maps: Barrens, Blood River, and Memorial Basin. After seeing the outcry for more 3v3 maps we took a look at what it would take to get one into the Pack. We did some due diligence and realized we didn’t have the time to create a new 3v3 from scratch, get it through testing, and put it into the map pack. So we compromised by repurposing an existing map, which allowed us to reduce developer time enough to get Glacial Ravine out the door with the others.
Check out the full blog including large images of the map here:
Don’t forget its Halo Wars spartan figure giveaway day over at Mega Blocks website. Be one of the first 10,000 to sign up and they will send you the Spartan figure free minus postage! Head over there now to take advantage of this offer!
After the major screw up on behalf of the Xbox Live team all the Halo Wars leaderboards and stats have been permanently lost. Leaderboards for single and multiplayer along with TrueSkill will not be restored and the game is back in Launch day stats.
Needless to say this is a shocking revelation that the systems running Xbox Live could lose such massive amounts of data and not be able to restore it in any timely fashion. One must note that the loss of data was in no way related to Robot Entertainment and they had no control over the loss of data. However, they have kindly put together an FAQ on the Halo Wars website which details the specifics of whats gone wrong and whats going to happen.
Major Nelson of the Xbox Live team has updated his blog as follows:
I wanted to make you aware of an unfortunate incident that has resulted in the loss of all data on the Halo Wars Xbox LIVE Leaderboards. This includes all singleplayer, multiplayer and Trueskill leaderboards, as well as all matchmaking data, resulting in the Halo Wars leaderboards being reset to original launch day status.
This was human error related to Xbox LIVE servers. It is not a broader service issue and will not impact other titles or Xbox LIVE experiences. The Xbox LIVE team is investigating the cause to prevent this from occurring in the future.
Thank you to Robot Entertainment for working with us through this issue and thank you to our Halo Wars community for your patience as we’ve sorted this out. On behalf of everyone at Xbox LIVE, I’d like to apologize for the incident and any frustration Halo Wars players have experienced in having their statistics disappear from the Leaderboards. You can rest assured that we’re putting processes in place to prevent this from happening in the future.
Concerned players should check out the lengthy FAQ page.
The issue of leader board wipage is still continuing and there has been no official announcements on Robot’s plans yet, though expect news soon. However, amongst all the panic of leaderboards loss Robot’s Vijay Thakkar has been busy writing up the third part of the Halo Wars leader powers blog this time looking into things like heal, ODST, cyro and disruption bomb leader powers. Theres also some awesome early game screenshots like the one below in the latest blog post.
Here’s the summary of the post on the Halo Wars website:
The leader powers in Halo Wars had a variety of roles to fill: they needed to illustrate the identity of each of the leaders, to stand out as different gameplay than the traditional RTS, to break stalemates in games, etc. Most apparently to me, they really needed to make the player feel powerful and dominating on the battlefield. All this needed to, of course, fit inside of an RTS world and be balanced. Quite the challenge we had ahead of us.
Read all about it in the leader powers blog part 3.
But thats not all.. fancy getting your hands on one of these?? :
These Halo Wars spartan figures will soon be released by Mega Blocks but you can get your hands on these limited edition figures by visiting the Mega Blocks website tomorrow, July 31st. If your one of the first 10,000 to register Mega Blocks will send you the spartan figure for free! * Minus shipping costs of course!
A perfect item for all your Halo Wars collectors out there!
A major Xbox Live bug has affected millions of Halo Wars players as yesterday the leader boards for single player, all multiplayer playlists and player TrueSkill was somehow mistakenly reset. News of the “whoopsie” are now being reported on gaming websites. Needless to say I am sure Robot Entertainment are working diligently with Microsoft to rectify the problem and hopefully restore the lost data. Community Manager Aloysius has posted the following on the Halo Wars homepage:
An Xbox LIVE technical issue wiped all Halo Wars Xbox LIVE Leaderboards earlier today. This includes all singleplayer, multiplayer and Trueskill™ leaderboards, as well as all matchmaking data. At this time it’s unknown if the data can be restored, resulting in the Halo Wars Leaderboards being reset to original Launch Day status. The Xbox LIVE team is investigating the cause, and they will provide an update to the situation as soon as possible.
We at Robot Entertainment apologize for the LIVE technical issue and any frustration players have experienced in having their statistics disappear from the Leaderboards.
I am sure that there are necessary backups in place and that these will be utilised to restore data. Community opinion is split however on the forums with many of the high ranking players being happy about the change allowing them to rank up higher than before and over take some of the non-active players in the leaderboards. Of course it is unknown how all the other players who dont visit the forums are feeling having their TrueSkill reset to 0. Dave Pottinger, Lead Designer had this to say:
Well, to be fair, we were talking about the best ways to nuke stale folks who were sitting on top of the boards but not active. But, the plan was never to wipe active folks. This mistake has complicated things a bit.
Correction: The failure was due to a problem with the XBOX Live servers not directly under Robot Entertainment’s control, but be assured its being looked at. Stand by for updates as the issue develops.
Robot Entertainment’s lead programmer Vijay Thakkar has today revealed that Robot Entertainment has signed an agreement with Trinigy to use the Vision Engine for the studios next original IP game. The licensing agreement with Trinigy grants Robot Entertainment the rights to develop a multi-platform game for its new IP using Trinigy’s Vision Engine. Robot’s Vijay Thakkar had this to say on the matter:
“The Vision Engine has clearly been designed with a focus on a powerful set of engine features that do not compromise full developer flexibility,” said Thakkar, in a statement. “Throughout our evaluation of the industry’s premium engines, the Vision engine consistently stood out in terms of performance and how quickly our developers could see their ideas running in game. The stellar level of support, integration of third-party technologies and robust architecture made choosing the Vision Engine an easy decision for our studio and has allowed us to quickly build momentum on our new project.”
One might wonder why Robot is choosing to go down an external engine route. In the past Ensemble Studios has written engines from scratch including The Age 1 & 2 Engine “Genie”, Age of Mythology and Age 3 engine “Bang” and the Halo Wars engine. With the closure of Ensemble Studios it is not known how much support Robot and other studios have been given with regards to the old Ensemble engines the team has created. As Microsoft own the rights to all engines and designs under Ensemble it is presumed that Robot would need to have reached an agreement with Microsoft to use these old tools. However using a 3rd party engine is certainly not a bad thing as it reduces the time Robot has to spend developing a new engine. Instead they can get stuck right in with existing tools and framework allowing them to get the game ready more quickly than from scratch. – And we’re all looking forward to that!
In case your wondering what types of games have been developed using this engine here’s a brief sample:
|Helldorado||Spellbound / dtp & Playten||PC|
|The Show||16Tons / Take 2||PC|
|Dungeon Hero||Firefly Studios||PC, Xbox360|
|ZedCity||Zed Group||PC (MMO)|
|Warlord||Neowiz Corp.||PC (MMO)|
|CrossRoads||Nassons Entertainment||PC, Xbox360|
|Wii Relax||Frame Studios||PC, Wii|
One might notice there is alot of PC titles in the list! Perhaps a hint? You can find more details about the engine on the companies official website. They are handily have an office located in Austin, Texas – perfect for Robot Entertainment based near by.
The whole press release can be found below and a link at the bottom to the GamesIndustry.biz article – well worth checking out for those interested!
Austin, TX – July 28th, 2009 – Trinigy, an industry leading 3D game engine provider with over 100 licensees and offices in Germany and Austin, TX, today announced a licensing agreement with Robot Entertainment, Inc., a world-class independent entertainment software company located in Plano, TX. Robot Entertainment will use the Vision Engine on a new, undisclosed IP currently in development.
Started by many of the original founders of Ensemble Studios, Robot Entertainment has a staff of 45 developers comprised entirely of former Ensemble employees. The new company’s team developed the hit franchise Age of Empires™, which sold over 20 million units worldwide, and the recently released hit Halo Wars for Xbox 360™. Robot Entertainment recently announced it will continue working with Microsoft Game Studios to create additional Halo Wars content and support online gaming and communities for both Age of Empires and Halo Wars. The company also announced ambitions to create its own original IP, though no specifics are available yet.
The licensing agreement with Trinigy grants Robot Entertainment the rights to develop a multi-platform game for its new IP using Trinigy’s Vision Engine. In doing so, Robot Entertainment joins a growing list of outstanding developers worldwide that have licensed the Vision Engine, including Ubisoft, Take 2, Firefly and the recently announced MunkyFun, Nitro and Spellbound.
“The Vision Engine has clearly been designed with a focus on a powerful set of engine features that do not compromise full developer flexibility,” said Vijay Thakkar, lead programmer at Robot Entertainment. “Throughout our evaluation of the industry’s premium engines, the Vision engine consistently stood out in terms of performance and how quickly our developers could see their ideas running in game. The stellar level of support, integration of 3rd party technologies and robust architecture made choosing the Vision Engine an easy decision for our studio and has allowed us to quickly build momentum on our new project.”
“Robot Entertainment has the experience and talent to make groundbreaking games that set new standards in the industry,” said Daniel J. Conradie, president and CEO at Trinigy Inc. “Our success and momentum continue to be validated by distinguished AAA teams like the one at Robot Entertainment. We are excited to support this extremely talented team on their next eagerly awaited title.”
Based in Southern Germany, and with an office in Austin, TX, Trinigy is a privately owned company committed to selling groundbreaking game engine technology and first-class support to video game and serious game development studios across the globe. Engineered to provide more creative and technical freedom, the company’s Vision Engine is currently in use in more than 100 commercial game productions by well-known companies such as Ubisoft, Take 2, Dreamcatcher, NeoWiz, Spellbound, Nitro Games and more. The Vision Engine has proven its versatility in a multitude of game genres, including real-time strategy, racing, first-person shooters, role-playing games and massively multiplayer online (MMO) games. It is available and optimized for performance on PC (DX9, DX10), Xbox360™, PLAYSTATION®3, Nintendo Wii™, XBLA™, PSN™ and WiiWare™. For more information about Trinigy, its Vision Engine or its technology partners, please visit: www.trinigy.net.
About Robot Entertainment
Based in Plano, Texas, Robot Entertainment is a world-class independent game development studio owned and operated by many of the founders of Ensemble Studios. With a team that has proven experience and expertise in creating games that appeal to massive audiences, Robot Entertainment is focused on titles that set new standards for their respective genres as well as groundbreaking original IPs. Robot can be found on the web at www.robotentertainment.com.
Looking forward to hearing more about the games development!!
In the today’s Robot Entertainment blog update artist Bart Tiongson shows off some awesome artwork for Halo Wars and other projects. Just how awesome is it? Pretty awesome! Halo Wars fans will be able to identify the early Brute Chieftain below!
Check out some more on the official blog!
Kicking off today’s ex Ensemble Studios members updates is Dave Pottinger who has updated his blog over on the Robot Entertainment with the final installment of the Lego Robot Logo design. With a bunch of new pictures and text discussing how the board came to be mounted proudly on the wall of Robot Entertainment can be found on the website.
Carrying the Logo
In case you were wondering from the last blog what the mini lego adventures were on each letter of the logo I can reveal from the blog that the list is as follows:
• Star Wars for the ‘r’
• Indy for the first ‘o’
• Medieval for the ‘b’ (hey, we did do Age2 after all!)
• Pirates for the second ‘o’
• Batman for the ‘t’
And here’s what they look like:
But of course all this wouldnt of been possible with out Mr “Lead Designer” Dave Pottinger and his family!
Standing proud with the family… away from the Bad Guys!
But thats not all!
Its been a little while but it looks like NewToy one of the iPhone development companies that formed out of Ensemble has released thier new game titled “Words with Friends” the game follows in the “With friends” series with NewToy’s last game, “Chess with friends” proving to be a real hit on the Apple App Store. NewToy is lead by the Bettner Brothers of Ensemble Studios. You can download thier latest game right now from the App Store!
Be sure to read all about it on the New Toy website!
Great news! Halo Wars fans with the Historic Battles DLC will now have the new map available in matchmaking as of… now! Well.. at least thats what Robot Entertainment Community Manager Duncan “Aloysius” Stanley has to say. At the moment the number of players in 3v3 Glacial still stands at zero so there may still be a delay with the stats.
You may be one of the first to play Glacial online if you log on to Xbox Live right now!
The discussion can be found here:
Some last minute technical glitches have left some players who have bought the DLC disappointed that they are unable to play 3v3 Glacial Ravine online over Xbox Live. Rest assured a fix is on route and Robot is busy working on a fix, right now. I’m sure the issues surrounding this map will be fixed soon and will become playable in matchmaking.