If you have been enjoying NewToy’s kingdom building game “We Rule” on the iOS platform then you will be pleased to hear the budding developer is about to release a whole new feature for We Rule - Quests!
According to the press release these quests will bring:
-New Reasons to Explore
-New Quests Every Week Read more
Todays Robot Entertainment art blog comes from Remember ES’s partnered artist Chris Moffitt who has produced an absolutely awesome piece based from inspiration from films like District 9 – a walking, half alien looking Robot. Take a look at this amazing 3D artist talent:
Robot Entertainment concept artist Andrew Olsen has blogged with his entry into the community art blog partnering with the bitbag a video game news and review website. The latest art entry is as follows:
(click to enlarge) Read more
Robot Entertainment concept artist Nate Stefan has published his art entry in the community art blog. Sticking with an army theme similar to the previous entry by Gene Kohler, Nate has produced a military spider drone looking like something out of War of the Worlds.
I looked at a lot of photography for this one as well as images created by other artists. For some reason my TV has been tuned to the Military Channel lately and that’s basically where I found my inspiration. There is always some high testosterone show with the latest in military tech. After one such show that featured a predator drone I decided I would try to create a desert spider type unmanned drone. Read more
Robot Entertainment has lauched its next topic of art blogs with the latest theme being.. robots! Unlike previous art blogs this time Robot has offered community websites to partner with an artist and a poll will be opened so that members on the Robot Entertainment website can vote for their favourite art piece. The community site partnered with the artist that wins will have a whole bunch of Robot goodies such as games, shirts and robot buttons to give away however they please. Read more
Bonfire Studios have updated their website with a teasing image showing what they might be working on. The image shows four different types of games being Solitaire plus board, card and logic games. It looks like these games could be bundled in one game titled “Game Chest”. Take a look at the image below!
(Click to enlarge) Read more
Yes I did just use that cheesy “A new age of” phrase! But yes, today is the day that this blog finally gets a new look after using the plain-jane wordpress theme for the past coming up to two years now. I hope that this new look helps improve the website ashetically and also helps users find content more easily. I have placed Ensemble history and studio information on the top black bar, sorted by studio. On the blue bar are all the blog posts categorized by studio. On the previous design there were way too many categories, by filtering these down it should be much easier and quicker to find information about the studio your need.
At the top of the page we have a “featured articles” slider. This slider will show all the top news from the studios formed out of Ensemble. So be sure to check back often to see what’s happening from your favourite Ensemblites and new studios!
Hot on the heels of Ian Fischer’s blog about AOE-O design and Dave Kubalak’s blog about the vision behind the new Age of Empires game, long time Age of programmer come lead programmer at Robot Entertainment, Rob Fermier talks us through the history of the Bang engine which has powered each Age game since 3D graphics started with Age of Mythology. Before the bang engine came along Ensemble Studios were using another in house 2D engine called “Genie”. By around 1999 and before Ensemble acquisition by Microsoft, Ensemble were playing around with a new 3D engine which later became known as Bang. This engine was first used with Age of Mythology taking the Age series into 3D for the first time:
The first iteration of the Bang engine produced these graphics in Age of Mythology
The same Bang engine was used again for the expansion pack Age of Mythology - The Titans. When Age of Empires 3 came along the engine underwent significant improvements:
For Age of Empires 3 (2005) it received some major upgrades – a modern shader-based rendering system, physics integration, new particle effects, and numerous unit sim improvements. Several expansion packs also were built to enhance those games, leveraging the extensibility and flexibility of the Bang engine.
After the extensive work put into the engine Age of Empires 3 turned out graphics looking more like this:
But its not all about graphics, a game engine comprises of many different parts which make up the whole thing. For example you have graphics, sound, music, UI, AI, scenarios, triggers, databases and more. There is alot going on behind the scenes of an Age game. In fact the engine is over 1.2 million lines of code. Although not all these lines are serious pieces of code, as Rob points out there is Ensemble humour buried in the code. -
(Click to enlarge)
I am certain this Ensemble style humour will continue into Robot Entertainment’s edits of the engine!
The blog finishes up with a few words about the future of the engine with Age of Empires Online and the new features it brings:
As you play Age of Empires Online (sign up for the Beta here), the technology powering your game experience is a mix of brand new online tech, new gameplay systems, and battle-tested core RTS mechanics that we have been constantly improving for over a decade. It is always amusing to come across a comment from yourself in 1999. Game technologies are often abandoned after a few years, so it has been very rewarding to work with this particularly robust game engine for so long.
As always, this is just a summary of the full blog post and I recommend everyone check out the full posting on the Robot Entertainment for more information and “fun facts”!