News Archives: December 2002

Tuesday, December 31, 2002

Happy New Years

Happy News Years! 2003 and that much closer to the release of Rise of Nations!

Thursday, December 26, 2002

Rise of Nations Planet Updates Ages Page

DevlshOne of Rise of Nations Planet has updated their Ages Summary page. Its nicely presented with crisp graphics and an informative writeup. Interviews Brian Reynolds

J.Loyd of The Wargamer has published an interview with Brian Reynolds, about what else? Rise of Nations!

Here's an excerpt:
Rise of Nations is the long-anticipated title from developer Big Huge Games that promises to integrate real-time strategy with turn-based wargaming. To ensure a sense of expansive, in-depth management along with the thrill of epic conquest, the game relies on the creative ingenuity of renowned game designer Brian Reynolds, the brain behind Civilization II and Alpha Centauri. Touting such features as quick game play, exceptional zoom capabilities, streamlined multiplayer use, and multiple victory conditions, Rise of Nations is due to hit the shelves in Spring, 2003

Rise of Nations Empire at Fanstock

Bonnie of Rise of Nations Empire has published an article recalling her experience at Fanstock at Big Huge Games Headquarters. Check it out here!

Rise of Nations Empire Beta Preview

Bonnie of Rise of Nations Empire has published her impressions of the RoN marketing beta. Check it out here!

Tuesday, December 24, 2002

Happy Holidays!

Yes, it's that time of of year again. When everyone is hoping for snow and all that other cliched stuff. So, in the spirit of the holidays we at RoNH wish everyone a very happy holiday season!

Apolyton RoN Factsheet Update

Kyle "Ixnay" Stadler has completed another round of game information updates for the Apolyton RoN Fact Sheet, which now numbers six nicely illustrated pages.

Thanks to DanQ from Apolyton, and Rohag for the news!

Games First Previews RoN

Todd Allen of Games First offers us a very enthusiastic preview of RoN, telling everyone "to get their affairs in order before next spring because once you get this game, and get it you probably should,your life will officially be put on hold."

Thanks to zam zap of RoN Pantheon, and Rohag for the news!

Monday, December 23, 2002

Nation of the Week: Rome

This week, at long last we have a Nation of the week. It maybe appropriate that this week's feature nation is Rome.
Rome perhaps is the civilization that can boast as having the greatest influence on the Europe, if not the World. Its conquests stretched as far North as Scotland, Land around the entire Mediterranean Basin, and the Middle East, as far east as ancient Parthia. Even the German's whom they did not conquer, eventually adopted Roman heritage and titles to legitimize their own positions in Europe. The legacy of these conquests reverberate to this very day in any European based nation, who if not seeking to emulate the Roman Empire outright, strive to understand it and model their nation on what made Rome great. One of the primary reason for the Roman success in the ancient world was the highly trained and disciplined Legions. These soldiers replaces the Heavy Infantry line, which they get two free units of for every barrack they build and forms what is one of the unique unit lines for the Romans in Rise of Nations. They start in the Classical Age and continue to the Praetorian Guard in the Gunpowder age. In the Industrial Age and on, they get a hypothetical Tank Destroyer Unique unit, which will prove a great danger to most enemies. They also possess stronger fortresses and towers in the game, to reflect the expert and liberal use of these structures that the Romans had done historically.

Be sure to check out the full article and take a look at previous Nations of the Week on our Nations Page.

Sunday, December 22, 2002

Terra Cotta Warrior for Brian Reynolds

Brian Reynolds receives a 500-pound, six-foot tall Chinese Terra Cotta Warrior replica from his parents traveling in the Middle Kingdom. Awesome!

Thanks to Rohag for this little tidbit!

Saturday, December 21, 2002

Screenshot Requests at RoN Oracle

Graham from Big Huge Games has posted a rquest to the fans for what they would like to see in the next weekly screenshot over in the Rise of Nations Oracle Forums.
There likely won't be a weekly screenshot next week due to the holidays, but after that is all said and done RON Oracle will be hosting the next one, shortly before the new year. Any requests for what you'd like to see in it? Units/buildings from a specific age? A naval battle? A specific nation?

Head on over to this thread and put in your request.

Wednesday, December 18, 2002

Fanstock Photo's at RoN Oracle

Mithras from RoN Oracle has posted 19 photos from his trip to Fanstock at Big Huge Games, in Baltimore.

Thanks again to Rohag for the heads up.

Dave Inscore Interview at RoN Planet

RoN Planet interviews Dave Inscore, one of BHG's founders and VP Graphics. Dave Inscore talks about what it takes to produce nearly "450 artistically distinct units" for RoN's designers: The Interview

Thanks to Rohag for the heads up.

Tuesday, December 17, 2002

Weekly Screenshots at

Big Huge Games has released its latest screenshot of the game to the German fan site
The Industrial Age sets the scene for us in the latest weekly screenshot. The image features a couple of new pieces of building art, one of the new age specific mines and a new African metropolis.

If you look closely, you can also see the revised artwork for the Missle Silo in the top left. Check out the image here.

For those of you who may have missed previous weekly screenshots, I've recently added them to our Official Screenshots section.

Sunday, December 15, 2002

Gamespy: Rise of Nations: New Strategy Breed?

The folks over at Gamespy have just released a new Rise of Nations Preview. They focus mainly on the innovations in Rise of Nations, and how it is similar and different from games like Age of Kings and Empire Earth.
Rise of Nations' innovation isn't so much an innovation as an extreme bit of genre crossbreeding. As evident from screenshots, this is a real-time strategy game in the same vein as Age of Empires and Empire Earth.

Check out the article here.

Saturday, December 14, 2002

IGN Unit Showcase #5

IGN looks at the support units this week. The General, Scholar, Spies, Merchants and Citizens of Rise of Nations.

Here's an excerpt:
This time, we are going to take a look at some of the more unusual units. Although these are not all combat units, each of these units can play a crucial part in your march toward victory and each has its own important function in the game

Friday, December 13, 2002

GameScope closes its doors

I've just gotten word that idea forums over at Gamescope for Rise of Nations have officially been shut down.
Everything is gone, even my emails to the webmaster are not getting received. If you have noticed, there is something else at As of right now, I do not think it will be returning anytime soon. I will be chatting with people in an effort to set up something similar, but it will be a fresh start on the ideas. Again sorry, but thanks to all those who visited - VerbalAssassin

Our sincere condolences to VerbalAssassin on the loss of the server and best of luck to him in his future endeavors. Stop by this thread to offer your own condolences and to wish him well.

Fragapalooza Audio Interview with Paul Stephanouk

The organizers of Fragapalooza 2002 have released an audio interview they did with Big Huge Games associate prodcuer Paul Stephanouk. This 11 minute interview features a number of interesting items about the game including information about the 3D models and the extensive modability of the game via XML. It's a great interview so go check it out here.

Thursday, December 12, 2002

Weekly Screenshots at Apolyton

Big Huge Games has released its latest set of weekly screenshots from Rise of Nations to the folks over at Apolyton. These two high quality shots display an Aztec player's city defending itself from invaders. You can check out these shots here and here.

Many apologies to the crew over there for taking so long to get this news item out. I've been sick for the past few days.

Tuesday, December 10, 2002

One Dead Angel Goes to Fragapalooza

Fragapalooza the premier gaming event in Canada occured on the weekend of December 29, 2002. Paul Stephanouk from Big Huge Games was there to show off Rise of Nations, and your's truly was there to soak up the atmosphere, check out the game, and to do a little gaming! Here finally is an article describing my experience at Fragapalooza!

Monday, December 9, 2002

GameSpy Nation Profile: Romans and Mongols

GameSpy has released its sixth article in the series of monthly Nation Profiles. This month they showcase the Romans and the Mongols.
The Power of Caesar is both at the same time offensive and defensive. Roman forts and towers are stronger, which is a plus on defense. But for the player who wants to push his borders, and perhaps aim for a territorial victory, the fact that Roman forts expand borders further than opposing forts is very helpful. Roman forts are also substantially more effective than everybody else's forts. In addition, to reflect the dominance of infantry in the Roman Empire, the Roman player receives two free heavy infantry units each time he builds a new barracks.

Mongols have the Power of The Horde. This means that they generate stable units faster and at less cost than anybody else. They also suffer less attrition than other nations, which means that Mongol raiders are more to be feared than those of their rivals. Mongol horse archers are deadly against citizens. And finally, the Mongol player receives three ranged cavalry units (whichever is appropriate for the Age) each time a stable is built.

You can check out the full article here.

Saturday, December 7, 2002

Rise of Nations Fanstock!!!

I have just gotten back from what is sure to be one of the highlights of my tenure here at Rise of Nations Heaven. Myself and a number of other webmasters were given the honor of attending Rise of Nations Fanstock. This two day long event gave us all an opportunity to not only play the latest build of the game, but also talk with its designers and developers. We even got to take on Brian Reynolds in a 4 Vs. 2 Barbarians at the Gates game.

I'll be doing a full article on the event complete with pictures shortly, but for those of you who simply can't wait here are a few quick thoughts on things. First off, the game looks AWESOME! I must really congratulate Dave Inscore and the rest of his art team for their amazing work on the units and buildings. This game is simply a delight to look at and watch. The next big thing about the game is the amazing amount of customizations you can make to so that it matches your playing style. Smart villagers can be set to do everything from stand idle to build incomplete buildings and gather resources. You can even set the time they wait before taking on any of these tasks. Customizable hotkeys, default unit stances, and a whole mess of other options that I am going to save for the full article.

We were also shown the world premiere's of the intro movie and a game mode that everyone is eagerly anticipating. Conquer the World. I can't tell you much about either one of them, but I think it is safe for everyone to assume that they are both amazing and that Conquer the World is definately worth the wait.

That's about all for now. I'd like to thank all the people at Big Huge Games for having this event and giving me the opportunity to attend. Now to start working on that full length article. =)

Friday, December 6, 2002

French Game Site looks at RoN

For you Francophones out there, French Game site looks at RoN. If you dont understand French check out the summary on RoN Pantheon.

Wednesday, December 4, 2002

Microsoft launches Official Rise of Nations Web Site

This just in from Microsoft :
Microsoft Game Studios today announced that the official Rise of Nations site is now live at Visitors to the newly launched site will be able to learn about the game's features and view screenshots of this ground-breaking real-time strategy (RTS) game. The official site also features information about the nations, units, technology and ages that will be available in Rise of Nations. Budding webmasters can download the Rise of Nations Fan Site Kit, which has everything they'll need to create a top-notch Rise of Nations site.

Rise of Nations combines the epic scope of traditional turn-based strategy games with the fast-paced action of RTS games. The game allows players to create new cities, improve their city infrastructure and expand national borders. Players have the option to win through military might using everything from slingshots to cannons to stealth bombers, corner the market on key commodities, and wheel and deal with a wide variety of Nations. Unlike other historical RTS games, Rise of Nations allows gamers to quickly play through eight historical epochs of time from the Ancient Age to the Information age, covering 6,000 years of history. This latest title from Big Huge Games Inc. founder Brian Reynolds (designer of Civilization 2 and Alpha Centauri*) is scheduled for U.S. release in spring 2003.

Another 6 Screenshots at Gamersclick!

Turner "Bulldog" Hopkinson from Gamersclick has posted another 6 exclusive screenshots from Rise of Nations beta. Including a spectacular nuke explosion! Go check them out folx! Thanks to Rohag for the heads up.

Fragapalooza on TV

Discovery Channel Canada, did a segment on video game culture and showed some highlights, including a brief glimpse of Rise of Nations from Fragapalooza 2002. Check out the segment on their Daily Planet show or online at Thanks to Intrepid and Rohag for the heads up.

Weekly Screenshot at Rise of Nations Pantheon

Continuing their weekly series of screenshots, Big Huge Games has released an exclusive screenshot to the folks over at Rise of Nations Pantheon. The picture shows a group of Asian troops fending off some invading Europeans.

The screenshot comes in two sizes, normal and Big Huge.

Monday, December 2, 2002

VGM Fusion interviews Paul Stephanouk

VGM Fusion has conducted a video interview with Big Huge Games Associate Producer Paul Stephanouk. In the interview Paul takes some time to describe a number of things about the upcoming title including :

  • The key players working on the game.

  • Info on Big Huge Games.

  • What itís like to work with Microsoft.

  • The new technologies and ideas specifically created for Rise of Nations.

  • Major NEW info on the story, characters, gameplay, and game modes, (including our inclusive info regarding the single player grand campaign mode).

Check out the full 10 minute interview here. (Requires Apple Quicktime 6.0)

Beta Unit Guide Added

We've added a brand new section here at Rise of Nations heaven. The Beta Unit guide shows off the units that are available to each nation in each age. You can see the regional artwork that is used for each nation, and can also view their stats. Keep in mind that the images and attributes for each unit are from the marketing beta, and that many of them have changed and been updated since that build was released. For now though, I think it should give everyone a pretty good glimpse at the diversity that exists between the Nations in Rise of Nations. Hope you all enjoy it.

Many thanks to Tassadar for helping me proof read the pages and making sure any spelling errors were removed.

Gamescope RoN Idea Voting Site Down

The Gamescope site to vote for RoN ideas and suggestion appears to be down. Hopefully they will have it back up soon.

RoN Planet Updates Wonders and Resources Page

Rise of Nations Planet has updated its Resources and
Wonders pages with excellent graphics from the Press
Beta, with descriptions of the rare resources. Thanks to Rohag for the heads up.

Sunday, December 1, 2002

RoN Classical Age Units

Obsidian has composed and posted examples of units from the classical age, to highlight the diversity in graphical representation of each of the six nations featured in the RoN press beta. Check out the screenshot here!