BonusXP’s upcoming strategy game “Servo” has been in the news over at Gamespot with Kevin VanOrd talking to BonusXP’s Bruce Shelley and Dave Pottinger at last months GDC. The interesting interview gives us some insights on what BonusXP are heading towards with the game. Some interesting tidbits include the play time, with Servo matches taking around 10 minutes a game compared to a longer more drawn out RTS matches such as found in say, Age of Empires. We have seen a smaller game time target with Ensemble’s Halo Wars which typically had matches around 20 minutes. It’s interesting to see that BonusXP are looking at quite a short average game-time with Servo. Dave Pottinger commented: Read more
Following on from our first part of Robot’s PAX Panel review we now move on from looking at the studios history to present day to looking at some of the interesting prototypes they have been working on in-between OMD2 and OMDU. For the first time we get a glimpse at some of he games that could have been from the creative minds at Robot. Read more
Some of the bots from Robot Entertainment have been hanging out at PAX Prime this weekend, hosting their very own PAX panel titled “An afternoon of fun with Robot Entertainment”. In our first part of our two part series we cover the first part of the panel which looks at Robot history including their time at Ensemble Studios and the games that lead up to Orcs Must Die! Unchained. For anyone who was in attendance there were plenty of free things being given out including a bag, poster, buttons, t-shirt, band and “Founders PAX” access to the Closed Beta. Read more
If you’re a Steam user you have have seen for a while prominent features of Age of Empires 2 HD and Age of Mythology Extended Edition available to play on Steam. Its great to see these classic Ensemble titles back in the game for purchase. Joining Age of Empires 3 which is also available for purchase on Steam there are now three major games in Ensemble’s legacy in the modern day Steam store and audiences both old and new can enjoy these great games. Read more
An excellent interview has been posted over at vgmonline.net featuring Stephen Rippy – “Music through the ages.” The interview covers all aspects of Stephen’s career from his time at Ensemble Studios working on Age and Halo Wars to post Ensemble work with Zynga working on Castleville. We also learn about Stephen’s new recently released album “Mainland Static”. Read more
Next month Age Community will be closing after 8 years. It’s been a great 8 years and Age Community has progressed a lot since its inception. Unfortunately Microsoft has decided that change is a-foot and we’ll no longer be able to use the Age Community forum by mid next month.
Now is the time to celebrate all of the great years we’ve had on Age Community. Thus here we present the Age Community 8 years awards! Having teamed up with Robot Entertainment we’ve got some great prizes to award to members of the community to give Age Community the send off it deserves. Read more
Age Community was the excellent online community started 8 years ago by Ensemble Studios back in 2005. The site was set up as the official community website for Age of Empires so that fans could enjoy all Age content in one single place. News, forums, statistics, ladders, account tools and patches were all available on one single website aptly named Age Community. So how did it all go wrong? Read more
Fantastic news for all Ensemble fans. Our expert audio interviewer Kenny Newell has managed to bag an absolutely superb interview with Tony Goodman, founder of Ensemble Studios. Tony was kind enough to invite Kenny into his house to talk about Ensemble and his newest venture, PeopleFun over dinner. The hour long interview takes fans right through Tony’s video gaming career starting right at the beginning when Tony first formed Ensemble Studios with close friends and colleagues from Ensemble Corp. This interview is an absolute must listen for all Ensemble fans where for perhaps indeed the first time you can listen to Tony first hand explain how the Ensemble journey began and his motivations. There is great insight into life at Ensemble and how the Age games came together. The Ensemble Studios acquisition by Microsoft is also discussed at length. Read more
Ok, so its been a while since the last update! Apologies for that! So what’s been happening lately? First off, the beta testing for Age of Empires Online has come to end. Microsoft and Gas Powered are now wrapping up the game with final touches before launching this August 16th. It wont be long now until eager Age fans get to play the next great game in the Age series which has sold over 20 million copies under Ensemble Studios. Luckily the bulk of the work on Age of Empires Online has come from prestigious ex Ensemblers at Robot Entertainment. Read more
Bruce Shelley talks about the evolution of social gaming. Plus more AOE-O animations and Robot swag!
Recently the legendary Bruce Shelley has been in talks with Gamasutra along with Brian Reynolds another industry veteran about their roles at Zynga in the social gaming space. Brian Reynolds before joining Zynga worked at Big Huge Games which collaborated with Ensemble Studios on the Age of Empires 3 Asian Dynasties expansion. Bruce and Brian had also worked closely with each other in the past on Sid Meier’s civilisation games. Now they are both re-united again at Zynga where is has become clear that the company is hiring industry veterans to push their gaming business forward.
When talking to Gamasutra Bruce detailed how he was recommended to join after the company was looking for designers from the “Sid Meier School of Design” era. Read more