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Posts tagged ‘Jon Goff’


Dave Kubalak talks about AOEO art style. Plus news about PAX


Robot Entertainment’s art director Dave Kubalak has been blogging about the art style in Age of Empires Online. There is no denying that the art style is very different in AOEO compared to Age 3 and even Age 1 which was set in the same time zone. If you would like a trip down memory lane the below screenshots compares the Age 1 days with the new look AOEO. 


(Click to enlarge

The excellent blog describes in detail Robot’s vision plan for the game and how the changes make the experience much better for the user.  The vision plan is as follows: 

  1. Create a timeless, bright, and visually appealing game that can technically run on a wide range of PCs, and still look good for years to come.
  2. Create a bold and more graphic look with a lot of character. That means a lot of different things.
  3. Less obstructive user interface and a more ‘graphic look’ to our iconography
  • Make the terrain vivid, but less ‘noisy’ so the buildings and units ‘pop’, and are easily identifiable.
  • Explore exaggerated and unique silhouettes to create a large variety of units and buildings. This helps give even inanimate objects more character and appeal.
  • Use animations, in addition to the units’ unique proportions, to better differentiate and emphasize roles and classes
  • Give the world and its inhabitants character and ‘life’, creating a digital terrarium for the player to control

Looking at the various in game screenshots it is clear how these points have been addressed. Units are now much bigger and are intentionally not in proportion to the size of buildings.  Buildings are much more unique with a very distinguishable look making them much easier to identify at a glance. Animations of units are also very unique and the amount of screen view has vastly increased with the removal and transparency of the UI. 

You may be wondering how these changes impact the user, for that you should head over to the full blog on the Robot Entertainment website where Dave goes into alot of detail about the changes  – a must read for any Age fan! 

Read the full blog


In other news.. PAX 

Two of the Justin’s from Robot Entertainment, Justin Korthof and Justin Moe are on the way to PAX this weekend. Community Manager extraordinaire Justin Korthof will be hosting his own community manager panel titled “So I have this website”. The panel includes Justin Korthof from Robot Entertainment and a number of other Community Managers including Jon Goff from 343 Industries who looks after The blurb of the panel is as follows below as found on Justin’s blog at 

You’ve spent the time and money building your community site, and now you’re looking to take it to the next level. Maybe you want to get a job as a professional Community Manager, or maybe you’re just looking for tips on how to get publishers to pay more attention to your site. Whether you’re just starting out, or have been running a site for years, this panel is the best place to get your questions answered. Together, these community managers have represented some of the biggest franchises, developers, and publishers in the game industry, and most of them started out just like you – running a fan site. 

Panelists include: Justin Korthof [Community Manager, Robot Entertainment], Matthew Pruitt [FPS Community Manager, Electronic Arts], Jon Goff [Community Manager, 343 Industries], James Stevenson [Senior Community Manager, Insomniac Games] 

Place/Time/Date: Sunday, September 5th, 12:30pm in the Wolfman Theater 

I wish Justin the best of luck with his panel and look forward to reading more about it. There is no doubt about Justin’s passion with online communities and this is evidenced by the outstanding job he has been doing at Robot Entertainment so far in team work with Duncan Stanley and others. 

Age of Empires Online will be playable at PAX so anyone lucky enough to be going should check out booth number 670 for a chance to play with six stations in total.

 A note about AOEO beta invites

There have been concerns on Age Community and other sites about the way the process works. Currently the first wave has gone out and if you were in the first wave you should of had an email by now advising you of your download key. The waves are a random lottery irrespective of the answers you put in the questionnaire, providing that you are 18+ years of age everyone has an equal chance of getting in. The second wave is expected soon. MGS is stated that they plan to do waves over the coming months so I would expect there to be a wave every month so keep your eyes peeled.  If you did not get a key this time keep an eye out for another wave soon. I’ll keep this blog up to date with all the beta invitation information and wish you all the best of luck getting in!


343 Industries takes over Halo Wars Community support


As of March 1st 2010 343 Industries’ Halo Waypoint team will take over support of both Halo Wars and the Halo Wars Community at Community Manager Jon Goff from 343 has made his introductions in the general discussion.

Hey everyone,
As most of you know, Halo Wars and are transitioning more closely into the Halo Waypoint family.
As of this weekend, Halo Waypoint will oversee both Halo Wars’ matchmaking and stat tracking servers, as well as as we continue to bring the Halo universe together as never before.
Before I continue, the Waypoint team would like to thank the amazing group at Robot Entertainment, who have spent the past year working closely with the Halo Wars community, helping to build a vibrant, dedicated fan base, and we look forward to supporting the Halo Wars community as the Halo universe continues to expand and evolve.

Jon then continues to expand on some of the most frequently asked community questions – whether or not there will be a Halo Wars sequel of even any additional DLC. The response is as expected – no.

Will there be a Halo Wars 2?

There is currently no information to share about the possibly of future Halo Wars games. We understand the desire from the Halo Wars community for another installment of Halo Wars, but for now the focus in regard to Halo game titles is squarely on supporting Bungie as they prepare to launch Halo: Reach this Fall.

Will there be more Halo Wars DLC?

Likewise, there is currently no new information on additional Halo Wars DLC. 

The transition from Robot Entertainment to Halo Waypoint indicates Microsoft’s reduced commitment to the title for the near future as Halo Wars loses its developer. It is currently unclear whether some small bugs outstanding from the last title update will be resolved. Two of these include the issue that units can use the Y-Ability across the entire map and secondly there are missing cut scenes in the Halo Wars game menu. Robot Entertainment has advised that these issues are now the responsibility of Halo Waypoint.

Whats next for Robot Entertainment?

Losing Robot Entertainment in the Halo Wars community is a sad thing. No one is better placed to support the game and its community than the games developer and Robot had the majority of people from Ensemble Studios working on the titles support. However, this is not the end of Robot’s community presence on other games. Robot will continue to provide support for both Age of Empires and the Age of Empires Community. Also expect Robot to be hard at work on a brand new community for thier upcoming video game project. Robot are expanding thier community team to no doubt make the future community as, or even more vibrant and exciting than ever before. Stay tuned.