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Posts tagged ‘Age of Mythology’

30
Jun

Ex Ensembler’s thoughts on AOE 2 HD and AOM:EE

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 moreRead more

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26
Nov

Age Community 8 years awards – nominate now, win prizes!

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 moreRead more

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10
Sep

Rob Fermier blogs about Age of Empires programming history

 

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”!

 http://www.robotentertainment.com/blog/detail/Brief-History-Time-and-Age-Engine

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12
Mar

Robot Entertainment confirm working on two projects

One of the recent blogs on the Robot Entertainment website by community manager Duncan Stanley talks about Robot Entertainment one year on from its conception. You may remember it was this time last year Robot Entertainment said “Hello world“. Although there has been no announcements exactly what projects Robot has been working on, we have known that there is at least one project based on new IP going by the initial company press release:

Robot Entertainment is working with Microsoft Game Studios to develop additional content for Halo Wars and support online gaming and community for both Age of Empires and Halo Wars. Additionally, Robot is developing its own original IP.

While there has been much speculation on various forums that Robot may have been working on more than one project it is only now we have a qoute from Robot confirming the existence of two projects.

After a year, I can say that it definitely is a great place to work.  We’ve worked hard on our two unannounced projects, had some really awesome parties, and only a couple of late nights.  Those late nights were offset by the completely out-of-character-for-Dallas snow days.  We’ve got another awesome year set in front of us and we can’t wait to show everyone what we’ve been working on.

We know one project is based on new IP, but what about the second? Could this be based of already existing IP such as Age of Empires or Age of Mythology or is it also another game based on new IP again?

With Robot Entertainment no longer supporting the operations of Halo Wars and 343 Industries confirming that no new installments of Halo Wars are currently planned for the near future, it would seem if any existing IP were to be worked on the Age series would make the most sense. With Microsoft as the publisher for at least one of Robot’s projects this could be a perfect fit.

But when will we know for sure? Hopefully not too long. The recent job openings for additional community managers and web development staff indicate a plan to launch a brand new community website for at least one project.

For now, its food for thought but you may want to check out the full blog from Duncan which talks about the first day at Robot Entertainment.

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13
Aug

Watch out Medusa’s about!

Medusa04

Wait dont leave! I know thats a scary looking image but its nothing to worry about! Medusa hasnt escaped from Age of Mythology either. This is infact and outstanding art piece from Robot Entertainment’s Chris Moffitt as part of the Clash of the Robots theme “Clash of the Titans”. Its amazing how the above came to light from starting out like this:

cmofMedusa01th[1]

It goes to show just how talented the ex Ensemble artists are at Robot Entertainment and we look forward to seeing more excellent pieces from the Art Bot team! Be sure to check out the blog over here! :

http://www.robotentertainment.com/Blogs/Detail/ClashOfTheRobotsPT3

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9
May

Play Age of Empires 2 and Age of Mythology via Gametap

age2

A new agreement online games download company “Gametap” has signed a new deal with Microsoft Game Studios to offer classics such as Ensemble Studios’ Age of Empires 2 and Age of Mythology. The GameTap model allows users to pay $10 a month to access a library of classic games. You can find out more details on the website.

If you havnt played Age2 or Mythology then what are you waiting for? Head on over to GameTap!

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