News Archives: January 2004

Saturday, January 31, 2004

Douglas Kaufman Dev Diary

Thirsty for some info on Thrones and Patriots? Well senior Designer Doug Kaufman has opened up his dairy to give us all some great info on the what we can expect in the upcoming expansion pack.
Clearly, more nations, more wonders, more scenarios...but we also needed a hook, a theme (otherwise it would have been a "more pack") that would expand the whole concept of the game. To find out what we felt was missing, we returned to our design docs from the latter part of the development of "Rise of Nations." What did we end up leaving out? What was missing from a game that covered all of human history? Taking a look back, we saw one large concept that we hadn't been able to use: governments. They were something that we had in mind for the game from the beginning, but the ideas never seemed to gel, and we had so much else on our plate that we decided to remove those systems and give our ideas more time to percolate. "Save it for the expansion" was the battle cry.

Doug goes on to discuss in detail the process they went through to pick the new nations and even talks about the "Patriots" that make up the games namesake.
There was still plenty of work to do determining the powers of the Patriots -- should they be general units as well, and would that negate the need to build generals? If so, was that a bad thing? Should the economic governments have economy-enhancing Patriots? Was it fun to have your "hero" unit behind the front lines, sitting around enhancing production or speeding up the building of buildings?

We finally settled on a more offensive/defensive breakdown of powers. For example, the President still has some enhancing abilities to help muster defensive armies quickly. We think the current mix of government and Patriot powers will leave players with interesting decisions to make in a variety of situations.

He even gives a nod to the user community for their help in determining areas where the existing game could be balanced a bit more. Check out the whole article here.

Friday, January 30, 2004

RoN:T&P Universe Recorded Game Contest

Cowboy of Rise of Nations:T&P Universe invites you to nominate your favourite recorded games and recorded games contributors. "Winners will receive a collectors Rise of Nations T-Shirt signed by Brian Reynolds himself!"

You can vote for your Recorded Game Nominations here, and your Contributor Nominations here. Deadline is March 6th.

Revived Oracle Forum Parties

Rise of Nations Oracle is taking another swing at regular forum parties. The tentative details are Time: 10-12am US CST (1600-1800 GMT) on Saturdays
Place: Gamespy, Room/Channel 9. Keep up with the party schedule here.

Twenty-Something New Units in T&P

Regardless of what previews may say, Rise of Nations's expansion, "Rise of Nations: Thrones and Patriots" is still in development, and the precise number of new units is subject to the ups and downs of testing. Thunder / Graham Somers of BHG says, "To sum up, there will be twenty-something new units in the expansion." Check out the discussion here.

Thursday, January 29, 2004

Celtic Warriors' Musical Chairs Challenge

Celtic Warriors' January Challenge (French) is drawing to its close with TAZ_Apophis and his Maya leading with 4566 points (15 minutes; Musical Chairs). Check out their Information, standings, and recorded games, here.

Birdparadise Leads with 70

Birdparadise is the current leader in Anarchy Unlimited's "Big Huge Army" competition with 70 Mongol units created in 15 minutes. Check out the current standings and here.

Smackdown this Saturday

MFO is hosting another Smackdown this coming Saturday and this time it's a nomad start with random resources! Full details here.

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

"Big Huge Army" Standings

AU_niDe is maintaining a list of the top ten current entries in the BHA Competition. Check out the standings, and see if you can beat it! Be sure to read the contest rules here.

More Props for RoN

* Rise of Nations an XGR 2003 GotY! *

Dre of X-treme Gaming Radio honored Rise of Nations among his list of the top five games released in 2003 (all platforms)! Check out Rise of Nations review here.

* GamesDomain's Recommended 2003 Holiday Pick *

GamesDomain included Rise of Nations among its "Online" recommended titles for the 2003 holiday season: "Its clever single-player campaign was definitely worthwhile, but it's the highly refined multiplayer that brings this game into a class on its own." Check it out here

Saturday, January 24, 2004

Yahoo! Rise of Nations on Demand

As earlier reported, Rise of Nations - streamed through broadband with no need for a CD - is available to subscribers of Yahoo's Games on Demand service. Check it out here!

Nox' T&P Preview in Print

Rise of Nations Revolution's Nox penned a preview of 'Rise of Nations: Throne & Patriots,' which appears in the current issue of PC4War (Issue #9; French). You can check out his announcement and discussion (in French) for his article here!

World War 1 Schlieffen Plan

GameStar, "Germany's biggest PC gaming magazine," is planning on including Berlin9487's World War 1 Schlieffen Plan Rise of Nations scenario in its March 2004 cover CD-ROM; that issue of the magazine will be largely dedicated to various gaming mods and levels. You can read and download it here.

Congratulations to Berlin9487!

Thursday, January 22, 2004

Spartelégion Tournament

The Spartelégion (French) is organizing a tourney for Sunday, February 1st. Find full details at Rise of Nations Revolution.

Eight Useful for All

El_Capitan posts his list of the roughly "8 strategies/tactics that can commonly be used with all the Nations." He also summarizes his tri-fold strategic classification of the nations he published at Out4Blood's Rise of Nations Strategy Blog. Check out the discussion at MFO.

Wargamer Readers' Choice Voting

The Wargamer has opened the polls for fans to choose their favorite 2003 game in ten categories. Voting is open to registered members of The Wargamers'Gamers' Net (free registration). Rise of Nations is a candidate for Best RTS and Best Game of 2003; BHG is a candidate for Best Developer and Microsoft for Best Publisher. Go and vote now!

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Got Script???

Graham Somers stopped by again to deliver some much saught after information about the script editor. This just shows what BHG is willing to go through for it's community.

New Skins for old Comrades

Graham "Thunder" Somers dropped by confirming the suspicions on a new unit skin for the Xpac. A new Hind helicopter skin is also revealed, check it out here.

Monday, January 19, 2004

BHS Lite Recorded Games

Several of the games from the Big Huge Smackdown Lite, including the finals, are available for download. You can find them here.

Out4Blood also highlights the first game of the finals between TuF_Astator (Aztecs) and Nydar (Aztecs) as a notable example of generalship beating economic strength. Read it on his blog or at MFO.

Saturday, January 17, 2004

Tournies Abound

MFO's "Big Huge Smackdown Lite" is underway and the brackets are up. You can check them out here.

Over at Celtic Warriors' Tournoi "Caméléon" (French) has been running another tourney. See the brackets at over here.

Viruses over Gamespy?

Just noticed a post in the forums that brings some potentially startling news. According to forummer Expatriot he has received viruses while playing Rise of Nations with GameSpy Arcade. After a little research he discovered a note from Karen Cobb of GameSpy.
Thanks for alerting us to the possible presence of a virus in the GameSpy Arcade Installer. We verified that the GameSpy Arcade Installer did indeed contain the W32.Nimda.E@mm virus shortly after receiving your e-mail. The infected file was immediately replaced with a virus-free version of the installer.

I've done a little searching on my own to verify this and found the same messages from Karen at multiple sites. The only strange part is that they are all dated June 26th, 2002. One would hope that people would have cleaned their systems of this sort of problem by now, but you never can tell. Got some thoughts on what might be going on? Comment on it here.

Thursday, January 15, 2004

Rule Britannia!

The relative lack of British strategies discussion by Rise of Nations fans is now being redressed in a thread in our Strategy Forum.

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Smackdown Saturday at MFO

MFO is hosting a 1v1 East Indies tournament this coming Saturday, January 17th at 4:00 pm EST (US; 2100 GMT). First Prize is $50 and an MFO Silver Star (three months). You can find the full details here.

Tuesday, January 13, 2004 Gives RoN 4 Out of 5 Stars

The Institute for Media and the Family's original reviewer of Rise of Nations awarded it 4 out of 5 stars: "In the end, Rise of Nations is a good game; in fact from an entertainment level it is excellent. However, a little more effort could have given players not only an entertaining time, but also an educational one." Check out the article here.

Sunday, January 11, 2004

Rise of the Enlightened Contest Reminder

Just 7 more weeks before the contest deadline at the end of Feburary. Get busy! There's Prize money in it for ya! Go check out the contest rules and prizes here!

Saturday, January 10, 2004

2003 Skin Mod Contest Resolved

Finally we have picked our winners from last years Skin Mod Contest at RON Heaven. 1st Place goes to Ryan Merclean for his American Revolutions Mod, a truly astounding entry and popular download and 2nd place goes to Shekkie Shabash for his Roman Legions Skin mod, simple but historically accurate mod. Congratulations to the winners, and thank you to all the contestants for entering.

Best Nations for Funky Settings

Out4Blood has specific suggestions for the best nations to use in non-standard game setups (7 Jan 04 Blog entry). Check out his always informative Strategy and Gaming blog here.

BHG Talks to Nvidia

The "53.30 beta" Nvidia drivers some people have downloaded in hopes of solving their flickering problems in Rise of Nations are unofficial. Nvidia says the fix will arrive in their next official driver release. Check it out here.

Thursday, January 8, 2004

Ratings Decay?

Big Huge Games' Community Relations Manager Graham "Thunder" Somers has stopped by the forums to ask the community's thoughts on a system that would casue a user's rating to decay if they are inactive for a certain amount of time.
We are looking for player input on implementing a decay system for Rise of Nations' rating system. We are going to be implementing some other changes, in addition to decay, but we're looking to see what players think might be too heavy handed or perhaps not heavy handed enough.
The current plan is to penalize players who aren't playing much in this fashion:

-25 points if you haven't played a game in two weeks

-100 points (125 total) if you haven't played a game in a month

-100 points for every month afterwards that a player does not play a game

Decay would not take a player below the 1600 level.

Sounds like a good way to make sure people don't plateau and start up new accounts just so they don't lose their high ranking. Got your own opinion? Post it here.

Tuesday, January 6, 2004

ZenGamer Places RoN #6

ZenGamer names Rise of Nations the Sixth Best Game of 2003 (all platforms), calling it "the best real-time strategy game of 2003." Check out there count down here.

LtDonny's Air Power Mod

LtDonny offers a modification of the rules.xml file allowing 30 aircraft per airbase and 10 per aircraft carrier. Check it out here!

War in Europe 1914 Scenario & Mod

Welk of the French Rise of Nations Revolution forums has published a scenario and mod that puts the player in control of a powerful Great Britain with all Europe initially allied against her in 1914. Several new units appear, including British colonial troops, heavy 155, 210 and 380 mm artillery, and battle cruisers. This scenario/mod has not been tested with the UK/US localized versions of Rise of Nations. You can grab it here.

Friday, January 2, 2004

HalfLotus Answers When to Upgrade?

Rise of Nations Universe's HalfLotus, with input from TuF_raider, has published an essay on various technology upgrades available at buildings in Rise of Nations asking the key question, "when is it worth the cost to get them?" Check it out here.

LoadedInc's Top 2003 Choices

Rise of Nations earns a place among the "Top Titles" of LoadedInc's Reviewers. Stephen Macek) makes his picks and provides a full review of each game.