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Posts tagged ‘Gamesauce’


Ian Fischer’s Gamesauce presentation + blog on AOE-O play testing


Readers may remember that a little while back Ian Fischer did a talk at Gamesauce which is a place for people in the games industry to take some time out and talk to other like minded people in the industry about game development, strategies and analysis of the gaming industry. Robot Entertainment’s Design Director, Ian Fischer attended the conference and gave a presentation titled: “The role of emergence in gaming and the part it plays in the future of the medium.” Certainly an interesting title! A video of the talk has been made available as below. Ian compares many aspects of the early video gaming days to the early days of film and suggests that in the future we should expect games and graphics to become far more advanced and realistic as we move away from linear games. Its an excellent and insightful talk and should be of interest to those in or looking to get into the video games industry.

Ian Fischer at Gamesauce

Over at the Robot Entertainment website Ian has been putting on his blogging hat under the slightly strange alias “Mother”. Ian “Mother” Fischer talks about the play testing involved with the recently announced Age of Empires Online. As we have always known the Ensemble Studios attitude about game development has always been play testing, play testing and more play testing so it is no surprise these values have been taken across to Robot Entertainment.

Age of Empires games have always been built by play testing.  At Ensemble before and at Robot now, our basic development philosophy remains unchanged – get a playable version of the game up and running as soon as possible, then play the living hell out of it.

This approach has massive advantages.  Everyone on the team knows and contributes to their game.    If something is broken, all of the most capable eyes are looking.  If an idea isn’t going to work the way you saw in your head, the reaction in play test makes that obvious.  And nothing is better for guiding fast, impactful changes – a few weeks back, there were people literally making realtime fixes to Age of Empires Online based on problems players in the alpha were chatting to us while they played.     

The blog continues into a very interesting discussion talking about what key values make an Age game and how they fit in with what people want. The blog also looks at where AOE-O fits into the series taking parts of the Age of Kings with parts of more recent titles like Age of Empires 3. Fans will be pleased to read that alot of iconic Age game features will be present in AOE-O including the classic villagers carrying resources and as rumored from the blog the classic “wololo” sound! Ian summarises the development as ““Age of Kings style game play in an Age of Empires setting”. 

Read more on the Robot Entertainment website courtesy of “Mother”.