News Archives: April 2003

Wednesday, April 30, 2003

Apolyton Reviews Rise of Nations Beta2

Solver of Apolyton has wriiten a three page review of Rise of Nations, specifically the beta2 version. DanQ of Apolyton also contributes ten screenshots to the piece.

Kyle Stadler of Apolyton also has updated their Rise of Nations Info Page, includes descriptions on all 18 civs, wonders, and ages. Check out the latest version of their info page here.

Rise of Nations Alliance Updates Videos and More

Rise of Nations Alliance (French) has posted a new Rise of Nations video featuring flamethrowers in action; a 1.3 MB download. This is their third downloadable video; all require DivX codecs, which you can download through the same page.

While you're there, check out the Alliance's 12 Rise of Nations screenshots.

Tuesday, April 29, 2003

Modded Units Fan Art

I've put together a gallery of my own with some not ready for release skin mods, featuring Manchurian Riflemen and British Troops wearing a Boar War style uniform. With each unit mod, I've also put together a battle scene to show off each unit. One scene recreate a battle during the Opium War, the second recreates the Battle of Isandlwana. Here's a link to my personal gaming website.

Official MS Rise of Nations Site Update

The official Microsoft Rise of Nations site has updated its Rare
and Press pages.

Impressions from Rise of Nations Insider

Six members of the official Microsoft Rise of Nations Insider team offer their first impressions of Rise of Nations.

Sunday, April 27, 2003

Rise of Nations Mod Gallery

Rise of Nations Heaven is pleased to announce the opening of a brand new section in our screenshots gallery. This new section features modified versions of the skins for the units in the game and even has these skins available for download in your own version of Rise of Nations. The Mod Gallery is open for submissions, so be sure to send us samples of your own special versions of Units for consideration as new additions to the gallery. Resident history buff One_Dead_Angel, has made the gallery's first submisions with 3 new skins for the German Tiger Tank.

Original :

Modified :

To use these files, all you need to do is download them into your Rise of Nations/Art directory. Make a copy of the original skin (kingtiger.png) and rename the downloaded file with the original name (kingtiger.png).

You can check out the Mod Gallery here. Be sure to click on the thumbnails to get views of the units from each angle.

Saturday, April 26, 2003

Gameplay UK "Reviews" Rise of Nations

Smailio of Gameplay UK (an online retailer) posts a “review” (not “preview”) of Rise of Nations and awards it 9/10: “Its almost like Microsoft has literally created a Frankenstein (and I wouldn’t put it past them) made purely from parts of other games. Only this is no monster, it is truly a superb example of how to make an excellent strategy game that has tremendous scope, but never becomes vague or uninspiring.” Here is the article.

TheBlackKnight Interview

TheBlackKnight of the Gaming Network has been one of the more active and successful online Rise of Nations Preview Beta players. Rise of Nations Empire has an exclusive interview with TBK where he shares some of his strategies and techniques.

Friday, April 25, 2003

EuroGamer previews Rise of Nations

Rob Fahey of EuroGamer previews Rise of Nations, here's and excerpt:
Rise Of Nations is shaping up to be the most interesting strategy game we've seen in a very long time - which is really saying something, given the glut of quality RTS titles on the PC in the past year.
Article includes 38 screenshots old and new.

Win a new PC from Alienware!

Microsoft and Alienware in conjunction with present the Rise of Nations Alienware Area-51 Hybrid Sweepstakes. To enter, just go here
The lucky winner of this contest will receive a brand new Alienware Area-51 PC. System Specs :

Intel® Pentium® 4 Processor 2.53GHz 533MHz FSB w/ 512KB Cache
Intel® 845GE-Chipset Pentium 4 Motherboard w/1AGP/1PCI DDR
120GB Seagate Barracuda ATA V 7200RPM 8MB Cache
PROMOTION - FREE PlexWriter 48/24/48A CD-RW - IDE - Black
1.44 MB Floppy Drive - Black
NVIDIA GeForce™ FX 5600 256MB Dual Monitor
Sound Blaster® Audigy 1394 - 5.1
Microsoft Internet Keyboard - Space Black
Microsoft IntelliMouse Explorer 3.0 - USB - Standard Color
Microsoft® Windows® XP Home Edition

This is one cool little PC. You can find out more about it and even see a few photos at the Official Alienware website. Good luck everyone.

Wednesday, April 23, 2003

New Tech Tree at Rise of Nations Oracle

The team over at Rise of Nations Oracle have created a brand new interactive tech tree for Rise of Nations.

Rise of Nations Oracle has just recieved and published the technology tree that's been in the making for a few weeks. It's exclusive content to our website, and includes statistics and requirements on buildings, units and technologies in the Rise of Nations beta build three. It also allows viewers to see what Unique Units each civilization has access to and the graphic icons that represent each item.

It is some really nice work by those guys so head on over and check it out by clicking here.

Tuesday, April 22, 2003

MSN Zone Chat with Brian Reynolds

For all those people who missed it, we've added the full text from the MSN Zone chat with Brian Reynolds. You can check it out from our events page by clicking here.

Rise of Nations GOES GOLD!

This just in from Microsoft...
Microsoft Game Studios today announced that Rise of Nations has gone gold and is scheduled to ship to stores on May 20 in North America. Virtual field commanders will soon get the opportunity to "Conquer the World" in single player, or lead their troops into battle online with this revolutionary real-time strategy (RTS) game from Brian Reynolds. To celebrate this milestone, gamers will be able to chat live with Reynolds on today, April 22, at 5pm PDT. For more information on the chat, visit

That's right, it's official. The game should be hitting store shelves in the not too distant future so mark the date for your local area and get ready for some fun with a great game!

Brian Reynolds on rushing

Brian Reynolds, president of Big Huge Games, has stopped by our forums to make a few comments on the concerns a few people have voiced regarding rushing in Rise of Nations.

The lowest-common-denominator rush of "Take a Military, build a Barracks, start churning out military units" is really easy to do so it should be really easy to counter. But we intentionally tuned it to work if the opponent has done -nothing- to prepare, because we figure that's the lowest-common-demoninator boom strategy (completely ignore military and defense) which is also easy to do, and equally pernicious to the game if not easily counterable.
You can view the rest of his comments as well as voice a few of your own over in this thread. While I am at it, I would like to say "thank you" to all the BHG developers who drop by our forums to read the topics and provide some great feedback to the fans. We're glad to have you here.

Sunday, April 20, 2003

RoN ICQ Skin from The Ogre

The Ogre of the Oracle Network has created a distinctive Rise of Nations ICQ skin. Full instructions and the free download are available at RoN Oracle. Check at out here.

IGN's Big Games of 2003

Back in late March IGN published their predictions on “The Big Games of 2003” – RoN has now been added to the list! The article includes a short summary of RoN among others.

Saturday, April 19, 2003

Nation of the Week: Spain

At Long last, here's another Nation profile. After covering the Inca, it seems appropriate to understand something about the civilization that brought about its end, the Spanish. Not only did the Spanish conquer the America's but they could probably be considered the world's first global super power! So let's see what the Spanish are about! Ole!

Here's an excerpt:
The Reconquest of Spain in the 15th century A.D. by the Christian Kingdoms saw the unification and raise of Spain as a world power as it extended its power through the exploration and subjugation of the New World. In Rise of Nations, this gives inpsiration for the power of discovery.

Check out the article here, and if you missed the other Nations, you can check out the full list here!

Zone Chat with Brian Reynolds

The MSN Zone has scheduled a chat with Brian Reynolds Tuesday, 22 April, 5:00 pm Pacific Time (currently GMT-7 hours under Daylight Savings Time). Here's the event notice but go to the Zone Theater for the actual event.

RoN Zone on WMD

Ohlhelm of RoN Zone (German) has posted an article on RoN’s weapons of mass destruction and their use. Four screenshots illustrating a nuclear detonation and its aftermath accompany the article.

Friday, April 18, 2003

RoN Eden Beta Contest

Nox of RoN Eden (French) announces a limited-time “Easter Egg” contest running from today till midnight Tuesday, April 22nd (current France DST, GMT+2). Easter Eggs have been hidden throughout the site -you’ll have to check all the pages, and each contains a letter revealed when you move your mouse over the egg. Compose all the letters and you’ll have the secret word necessary to submit. A random drawing will be held in case of multiple correct entries.

The prize – one RoN Beta!

This contest is open only to residents of France, Belgium, Switzerland and Canada.

Sign up for the Easter Egg Contest here!

MS Official RoN Site Updated

The Microsoft Game Studios’ RoN site has updated its Technologies & Ages and Nations pages; they’re now nicely interactive.

4Gamer Posts New Screenshots

Sixteen new high-res screenshots of the Japanese version of RoN are available at 4Gamer.

Wednesday, April 16, 2003

RoN Insider Interviews Tim Wallace

RoN Insider interviews Tim Wallace, a CG Supervisor at Blur Studio, the makers of RoN’s opening cinematic. Images and concept art accompany the interview.

Monday, April 14, 2003

RoN Zone Updates Screenshots Page

RoN Zone (German) has updated their Beta Screenshot Gallery with 40 new shots.

Computer & Video Games Previews RoN

Keith Pullin of Computer & Video Games previews RoN. Here is an excerpt:
After playing the beta version for a good few days now, we think we may have discovered a depth that only the Total War series of games can claim to equal.
Article includes 21 screenshots and images.

Behind the Scenes : Rise of Nations Units

Big Huge Games has just released a brand new behind the scenes look into the units in Rise of Nations. In the article they go over the processes they used to create the units and bring them to life in the game.
After the unit was modeled and textured it was animated. Each one would have several attack, death, move, and idle animations. The "idle" animations play when the unit is sitting around doing nothing, and were usually the most fun since this is where we could add some character to the units. For example, a modern infantryman might start smoking, or a merchant might have a tussle with his mule, or you might even find an out-of-work peasant lying down on the grass, laying down on the job! Try looking for some more--my favorite is the salute that the Mamelukes, an Egyptian mounted gun unit, performs.

My personal favorites are the German Barbarian's Sword Dance and the spitting Camels. Check out the full article to learn more about the units and even get a glimpse into the high tech motion capture techniques used by Big Huge Games.

More Unique Units Graphics Updated

Today I've continued to update the Unique Units graphics for the Maya, Mongols, Greeks and Romans in our Nations profile section. Features graphics from the latest beta build. Check them out here.

Sunday, April 13, 2003

Unique Units Graphics Updated

This week I've updated the Unique Units graphics for the Aztecs, Chinese, Egyptians and Germans in our Nations profile section. Features graphics from the latest beta build. Check them out here.

Saturday, April 12, 2003

Screenshots at Reigning Strategy

WebQuad Reigning Strategy has opened a RoN Beta Screenshot Gallery with 18 images. You can find them here.

IGN Developer's Diary: History of Nations

Professional historian and game designer Joe Balkoski, who along with B.C. Milligan serves as BHG’s Historical Committee, has published a designer diary at IGN, “The History of Nations.” Two-three screenshots.

Microsoft Games Insider launches

Microsoft Games Insider launches a new Flash-enabled site dedicated to RoN! It’s a full information and support site with an updated FAQ. Be sure to also check out the Screenshot Gallery and the wallpapers.

Finally, there is also an in-depth interview with BHG Senior Game Designer Doug Kaufman at the site.

Thanks to Insider-Angel!

Ron Official Site Nations Profiles

The Official Rise of Nations Site run by Microsoft has updated their nations profile page. Each civilization now gets its own page which includes specific information from their unique powers, unique units plus pictures and screenshots to illustrate each civilization.

Thursday, April 10, 2003

Rise of Nations X Fansite Starts Up

Ruski-Soldat has started a new Rise of Nations fan site at Strategy Planets! The new site is called Rise of Nations X, check it out over here and give them a warm welcome to the RoN community!

Wednesday, April 9, 2003

Twelve new screenshots at LoadedInc

Just to finish you off on today's news and get your saliva flowing here's twelve new screenshots at LoadedInc.

GameSpy Nation Profile: Britain and Bantu

B.C. Milligan completes the final, ninth installment of the GameSpy RoN Nation Profile series – the British and Bantu! Article includes nine screens and building/unit images.

RoN Empire Concerts Ads to Wallpapers

Bonnie of RoN Empire has taken the recent Nubian and Mayan ad circulated by Steve Cherrier and converted them into downloadable wallpapers, available in 800x600 or 1024x768 sizes.

Firing Squad Interviews Brian Reynolds

Andrew Bub of Firing Squad interviews Brian Reynolds! This six-page article has no screenshots but does give us substantive insights into the history and development of Rise of Nations.

Tuesday, April 8, 2003

RoN Alliance Presents RoN Sea Battle Video

RoN Alliance (Alliance Francophone) presents a video of an Enlightenment Age Sea Battle in RoN, featuring all ships of the period. This is the third of a series of videos RoN Alliance is presenting. Video is 2 minutes, 16 MB, avi and in divx format.

Monday, April 7, 2003

RoN Rated at

Rise of Nations is currently rated #5 among “Most wanted games by user rating” (rated 6,63 of 10,00 based on 84 votes) at ToTheGame. (as of this mailing). ToTheGame RoN Page. ToTheGame lists an EU release date of May 23rd alongside the US May 20th date.

Sunday, April 6, 2003

RoN Alliance Profiles Mongols

Cobra and Warrior_t_Nick of RoN Alliance (French) has updated their nations profile. This installment features the Mongols. Other's they have covered in past installments include: Russians, Inca, Egypt, Rome, Japan, Germans, French, Chinese, Aztecs.

RoN Ads

Steve Cherrier, RoN advertising campaigner, sends out two new image spreads for the game. The first features the Mayan, “Where were you the day the Mayans dropped the bomb?” Check out the picture here. The plumed MOP suits are just too funny! The second one features Nubians in “Where were you the day the Nubians set foot on the moon?” Check out the picture here.

Friday, April 4, 2003

Central Gaming Network (CGN) Previews RoN

Central Gaming Network (CGN) published its preview of Rise of Nations. The article is only one page but has 6 screenshots. It goes on to give a numeric rating for the game (one assumes they are rating the beta release), which garnered an 8/10, with a 9 in pricing, and single player gameplay. Here's an excerpt:
Overall, Rise of Nations looks to be a very well thought out and complex game. It's the perfect blend between historical accuracy and real time strategy...For those of you gamers who are fans of Cossacks, Command And Conquer, or Age Of Empires, this would definitely be a title you will want to watch. And for those of you who have not yet become fans of RTS games, this just might be the game that will make you a believer. Rise Of Nations looks to be one of the most versatile and fun RTS games to hit the market since Cossacks.

MS Official RoN Site Updated

The official Microsoft Game Studios’ RoN site has added a dedicated Conquer the World feature page (with six CtW-related screenshots), and they’ve totally revamped the units pages with pictures and descriptions of each of the unit lines.

RoN Universe Bottles Thunder

Cowboy of RoN Universe interviews BHG’s Community Relations Manager Graham Sommers (Thunder,Graham@BHG). Fans may especially appreciate his gameplay tips.

Thursday, April 3, 2003

RoN Alliance Profiles Russian

Cobra and Warrior_t_Nick of RoN Alliance (French) has updated their nations profile. This installment features the Russians. Other's they have covered in past installments include: Inca, Egypt, Rome, Japan, Germans, French, Chinese, Aztecs.

Wednesday, April 2, 2003

RoN Zone Updates Nations Page

RoN Zone (German) has updated their civilizations’ information and completed all but four of RoN’s 18 nations.

RoN Alliance Profiles Inca

Cobra and Warrior_t_Nick of RoN Alliance (French) has updated their nations profile. This installment features the Inca. Other's they have covered in past installments include: Egypt, Rome, Japan, Germans, French, Chinese, Aztecs.