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Posts tagged ‘Duncan Stanley’


Robot to reduce the number of points to reach General rank in Halo Wars


Robot Entertainment Community Manager Duncan “Aloysius” Stanley has confirmed that Robot intends to reduce the number of points to reach the General rank in Halo Wars. The number of points to reach the rank currently stands at 2,400,000 exp. The number of points has been criticised by some players as taking an unreasonable amount of play time to achieve. In wake of the recent launch of Halo Waypoint on Xbox Live which tracks players achievements across all 360 Halo games (Halo3, Wars and ODST) this should make the top achievement more balanced with other games achievements. Currently the scoring system stands as follows:

Rank Score Needed
Recruit Play 1 Game
Lieutenant 25,000
Captain 60,000
Major 140,000
Commander 310,000
Colonel 700,000
Brigadier 1,500,000
General 2,400,000

Stand by for announcements for an adjusted scoring / ranking system!


Halo Wars Title Update 4 balance feedback sought


Robot Entertainment balance staff Tim “Timotron” Deen and Community Manager Duncan “Aloysius” Stanley have informed the Halo Wars community that the fourth title update for Halo Wars is now in consideration and the balance team at Robot Entertainment are now looking for feedback on the following proposals. So far the first draft of the proposed balance changes is as follows:

1. Buffing the Scarab from a fully upgraded tech level 3 Covenant unit to a “super” tech unit on par with Grizzly’s, Hawks and ODST.

2. Buffing the Hunters Assault Beam upgrade so that Hunters can track fast moving vehicles like warthogs.

3. Fixing the Grunt squads needler upgrade so that they keep their damage bonus against Air craft.

4. Nerfing the Arbiter during Rage so that he takes more damage from attacks.

5.  Nerfing the Gremlin by adjusting the vehicle and its upgrades up one tech level, making Gremlins a tech level 2 vehicles with the first upgrade available at tech 3 and the final upgrade at tech 4.

6. *New* Buffing Brute choppers auto-cannon damage to do more damage to air units at the same rate as other scout units.

There are also a number of bug fixes being looked at including:

1. Cryo Glitch
2. TrueSkill display glitch
3. Y-Ability cooldown glitch
4. DLC Leaderboards Display Glitch.
5. Multiplayer Lobby lock up glitch.

 Check out the discussion on the official Halo Wars community website to see how players are responding and feel free to leave any comments you think about the proposed changes there. The link to the thread is:


Halo Wars achievement statistics


Robot Entertainment Community Manager Duncan “Aloysius” Stanley has today revealed some interesting statistics regarding Halo Wars achievements:

-More than 75% of all Halo Wars players completed the first mission of the campaign on any difficulty.
-Roughly 35% of players completed the single player game on any difficulty.
-About 7% of players collected all of the skulls in the single player campaign.
-2% of players completed the single player campaign on Legendary difficulty.
-Less than half a of percent of players have the General rank on Xbox Live.

The statistics come after Jason Pace, creative director of Halo Waypoint, the new hub for all Halo content on Xbox Live spoke to g4Tv about how only less than 1% of players has achieved all the achievements across Halo 3, Halo Wars and Halo 3 ODST. There has been some concern on various gaming websites that the general achievement may prove to be a sticking point as the achievement can take a very long time to achieve. This is echoed by the statistics provided by Robot Entertainment, where less than half a percent of players have obtained the general achievement which requires players to gain 2,400,000 worth of expierence points. G4tv made a follow up post based on the statistics provided by Robot Entertainment.

Will the achievement cause a stir amongst Halo players concerning its difficulty? Share your thoughts on the Halo Wars official forums.


Justin Rouse & Duncan Stanley complete the last of the Halo Wars skirmish map information pages – Frozen Valley


Justin Rouse and Duncan Stanley talk us through the last of the Halo Wars maps to be detailed on the skirmish map page. Frozen Valley the 3v3 map which was one of the first maps to be designed can now be found on with top tips from designer Justin Rouse and Community Manager Duncan “Aloysius” Stanley.


“Frozen Valley was the first 3v3 map designed during the development of Halo Wars. After Chasms, this was probably our most played map through internal playtesting. The layout went through one major tweak throughout development and that was the opening down between the teams that runs along the bottom edge on picture shown here. The first iteration had the hole as well as the mount near that bottom edge of the map extend all the way to the edge. Leaving a pocket only access through the middle by land units. It allowed the two bottom player on each team to build up safely. “

Take a look!


Microsoft resolve Age of Empires Bad CD Key error by handing CD keys over to Robot Entertainment


Players who have recently purchased copies of Age of Empires 3 have found themselves unable to play Age of Empires 3 on ESO after Microsoft failed to inform Robot Entertainment, now managing the support for Age 3 the CD Keys leaving players unable to create or upgrade accounts. Needless to say the inability to play online bemused many players and some commenting on the official community website.

However today Robot Entertainment has received the keys and Duncan Stanley, Community Manager for Robot Entertainment has updated the community as follows:

We just uploaded 10s of thousands of keys that we received from Microsoft late in the day.

 If you were getting the 100 bad cd-key error while trying to create an account, or upgrade an account, please try again.

If you receive the same error as before, please email with the subject Bad CD-key Error 100 with your cd-key.


Paul Jaquays completes his Halo Wars skirmish map blogs with Terminal Moraine, Repository, and Crevice


Paul Jaquays now working at CCP North America as a Senior Level Designer has been blogging with Robot Entertainment Community Manager, Duncan Stanley to reveal some early developer screenshots and ideas which make up some of the Halo Wars portfolio of skirmish maps. Having already blogged about Pirth Outskirts attention has turned to his other map designs – Terminal Moraine, Repository and Crevice.

Terminal Moraine


I started map development by literally copying and pasting a large chunk the Alpha Base ruins into one corner of the map. This established a particularly unique landmark in that corner. These large landmarks in skirmish maps help players immediately know where they are and and let them navigate from point to point by in-game visual references. Ideally, each “corner” of any skirmish map is visually unique, and this was my design goal with Terminal Moraine

Read more 



Early 2007 saw the first completed version of Repository (then called “the Halo map”). Primarily developed by Ensemble artist Patrick Thomas, this was a land of subtle terrain blending, muted colors, narrow paths, rough terrain, and the unrestricted placement of bases and other buildings. Players captured Forerunner power stations to earn resources. Very little of what can be seen in this map survived into the final game. The effects guys put a lot of effort into river that runs through the map, including the appearance of moving water, waterfalls, and spray. But the game was about to undergo an extensive refit, resulting in play much closer to the final version and the need to totally rework this map from the ground up. The river, sadly, became an early victim to those changes.

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During development, Crevice shifted from the inside of the Shield World to the outside. To achieve this, I painted over a screen capture of the current version of the map, sketching out ideas for details on notebook paper. The design rework of the map had turned the central platform into a big hole. I suggested changing this into a playable area, a partially buried circular Forerunner platform. One feature I wanted to play up was the “bouncy-ness” of the warthogs, so where possible, I sculpted in small steps and shelves into the terrain.


Check out more map blogs from other Ensemble artists on the map page!

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Microsoft publish Age of Empires 3 copies without informing Robot Entertainment of CD-Keys


Microsoft has, bewilderingly released new copies of Age of Empires 3 and its set of expansions including the newly released Age of Empires 3 Collectors edition. One would imagine that Microsoft would be contacting Robot Entertainment so that they can prepare the Ensemble Studios Online (ESO) server to accept the new CD-keys enabling purchasers to play the game online. However it seems that Microsoft have been less forthcoming with Robot Entertainment about these re-releases by not informing Robot Entertainment about these new CD keys leaving purchasers bemused that copies of the game are invalid.

Perhaps someone at Microsoft is emailing the wrong person and has forgotten that the email address has been shut down.

One must worry from this news about the quality of communication from Microsoft to Robot Entertainment following the closing of internal studio Ensemble. It is sad that poor performance from Microsoft is potentially adversely affecting the reputation of Robot Entertainment who end users believe is offering the support for ESO. Community Manager for Robot Entertainment, Duncan Stanley says:

Microsoft, the publisher of all of the Age of Empires III games and expansions, recently released new copies of the game, and the expansions.

When they did this, they did not give us, Robot Entertainment, the cd-keys first to upload to our server so that people who buy the game can authenticate and create accounts.  Because of this, users may get Error 100 [Bad CD-Key] when trying to create or upgrade an ESO account.

Microsoft and Robot Entertainment are aware of the problem, and we are working to resolve it as speedily as we can.

We will upload the cd-keys to the server as soon as we get them.

 We apologize for the frustration.

We will keep you posted on updates with this unfortunate situation


Paul Jaquays blogs about Halo Wars map “Pirth Outskirts”


Paul Jaquays former artist at Ensemble Studios has blogged on the Halo Wars website with some additional concept art from the map design of Pirth Outskirts, a 1v1 Halo Wars skirmish map.

I developed the area as a remote vacation destination with mysterious ancient ruins, modern hotels, and dramatically steep, mist-shrouded cliffs into which breathtaking waterfalls poured majestically. On top of this, I layered the planet’s recent, tragic history. Covenant bombs had cut the area off from the cities and turned the man-made structures into smoking rubble.

It is not unusual for map designs to go through various designs before the final choice. Here you can see one of the earlier concepts for the map. You can click the image below to find text commentary on the image.


The end result of Pirth Outskirts appears below, quite a difference in terms of colour, waterfalls and buildings!


Paul Jaquays since Ensemble has moved onto CCP North America as a Senior Level Designer. Clearly CCP recognised the talent of this excellent artist and CCP can now enjoy quality levels and maps just like the one above!

Check out the full blog on where Duncan Stanley, Community Manager offers some top tips for the map!


Last of the DLC maps “Blood River” is detailed along with more Clash of the Titans from Brad Crow

Robot Blogs

Justin Rouse and Duncan Stanley are back again on the website with top tips for players on maps from the DLC map pack “Historic Battles” available for just 800 points on Xbox Live. This time one of my favourite maps in the game, Blood River gets detailed.

With starting positions placed in opposite corners, up on a hills, and a river with only 2 crossings above it, even the inexperienced player can feel relatively safe at the onset of a Blood River match. Then there’s the look, we chose this map to be set inside of the Forerunner shield world simply because we didn’t have one in that location yet. We always intended to make sure players of all game sizes (1v1, 2v2, 3v3) have a chance/choice to play on all our worlds.

Says Justin Rouse, map designer at Robot Entertainment. Community Manager, Duncan Stanley continues with some professional gameplay advice:

If you can hold the middle and keep pressure on your opponent, you can spend some time building armor or flying units which can really turn the tide of a battle, especially against UNSC. If they build a flame thrower army to counter your infantry, some flying units can really tear them up.

Given how small the map is, it’s very risky to try to boom on this map, map control early on is much more important than going for late game heroics with super units.

So beware of the rushers in competitive play! Get the full scoop over on

In other news we have Brad Crow, an art bot from Robot Entertainments pods with his entry into the Clash of the Titans with Perseus confronting the Kraken:


Looking awesome as always from our favourite Art Bots. Be sure to leave a comment and check out the full blog post on the Robot website!


Halo Wars DLC 2v2 map “Memorial Basin” detailed


Justin Rouse and Duncan Stanley are here again to talk about the 2v2 Halo Wars DLC map Memorial Basin.

Memorial Basin, the map based on a design of “excess”. The goal, instant action. First, the close proximity of players starting locations is the number one driving force causing players to mix it up with each other early. Second, hooks! There is an abundance of them littered all over the map. There are Reactor hooks tucked safely behind each team’s starting location, while Supply Elevators and extra Building sockets line the sides of the map between enemies. Cover locations scattered throughout the middle are good for mixing things up defensively or offensively.

Says Justin Rouse skirmish map designer at Robot Entertainment. Community Manager, Duncan Stanley continues with:

Memorial Basin is a great DLC map, a real change up from other maps in terms of strategy. Both teams are directly across from each other, making it really easy to hit and run. The open bases are great to grab early and get it going. I usually try to make my second base my economic base and my first base my unit producing base. All of the extra hooks lying around the map are also great to grab giving you a good bonus, and denyng your opponents any advantage.

You can experience Memorial Basin and three other brand new maps in the Halo Wars DLC “Historic Battles” for just 800 points available today on Xbox Live!

For the full blog post head over to :