News Archives: May 2003
Friday, May 30, 2003
Official Online Strategy Guide
Patch 1.01 Available for Dowload
Thanks to Cherub David for the headsup.
Thursday, May 29, 2003
Special Deals on Rise of Nations
History Channel Weekly quiz
So all you people who've been trying to scrounge up enough cash to buy the game head on over to the History Channel Weekly Quiz to get your shot at a free copy. Good luck everyone.
Disabling Nukes and Wonders
It's not supported as a game setting, obviously, but you could "mod" your game to do this-- in unitrules.xml find the two nuclear weapons, and in buildingrules.xml find the wonders. Change the "PREQ0" field for each to "disable" and you won't see any nukes or wonders in the game.
Further proof that this game supports the ability to change it to just about any way you like to play and that the developers are willing to help you get it that way. Thanks for the info Brian!
Wednesday, May 28, 2003
Tom's Hardware reviews Rise of Nations
"It's been a long time since I was this impressed with an RTS game, and it's a nice change. I will warn you that it can be quite addictive if you're a fan of RTS games, but I'm still not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing. If you've got some extra money, and are tired of playing the same games over and over, go out and pick this one up; you won't be disappointed.
Rise Of Nations is a "best in class" RTS title with exceptional graphics, sound, and game play. I highly recommend this title and award it a "THG Editors Choice" award. My hat is off to Brian Reynolds and the developers at Big Huge Games for delivering an excellent title. It will be very interesting to see what the team at Big Huge Games has up their sleeve for the future."
You can read the full article here. Many thanks to Draco for reminding me to post about this review.
ES_Swinger Vs. Brian Reynolds
Rise of Nations Scenario Editor Documents
In the file you will find the following documents.
- Rise of Nations Script Manual.doc
Covers essential and advanced topics used in the Big Huge Scripting language.
- Scenario Editor Walk.doc
Does a complete walk through for creating your first scenario in the Rise of Nations Scenario editor.
- Script Editor Commands.doc
Additional information about the buttons found in the Script Editor's menus.
- Script Functions Listing_2.doc
Provides a complete listng of all the functions available in the scripting language including syntax and example code.
Proper names for technologies and units, as they need to be written in scripts.
A simple Script Example.
A simple scenario based on the rally.bhs script.
If you mean "Anonymous Matchmaking" where you just say "put me in a game" and it finds you some opponents, that's high on our list of want-to-do's for an upcoming patch. At the time we were finalizing our net code Gamespy didn't support that yet, but now they do so we do hope to add it.
Let's hope they manage to put it into the game as well. For more information, check out this thread.
Of Silver and Gold
Monday, May 26, 2003
Rise of Nations Oracle returns
Saturday, May 24, 2003
GameSpy Reviews Rise of Nations
Rise of Nations has everything it takes to be a huge success: a historical setting, a big name publisher, an easy-and-effective multiplayer setup, and a highly tweaked version of a classic design model. Classic real-time gaming simply doesn't get much better than this.
Head on over to GameSpy to read the Full Article and if you're new to the game be sure to check out the extensive Nation Profiles that are linked at the end of the Review.
Performance by Paul
When you run Rise for the first time it profiles your system and stores grades for several key performance areas in the rise2.ini file. These grades are rated from A (best) to F (worst). E isn't used. The settings I'm talking about are SYS_grade_override, MEM_grade_override, CPU_grade_override, and GPU_grade_override. SYS is an overall average of the other 3. GPU is your video card. In addition to storing a grade these settings accept AUTO as a value. When set to AUTO, the system will determine the profile each time the game is run.
When you set a user profile for the first time, RON takes the grades I just mentioned and sets the graphics settings in the options screen to the values that are appropriate for your grades for use as the initial setting. From this point you can change these options to whatever you wish. You can also edit your rise2.ini file to change the grades.
To find out more go here.
The current agenda for patch 2 is:
* MP Lag fix.
* CtW crash fix.
* Fix to not being able to host behind NATs.
* Fix to ranking system.
* Fixes that allow us to robustly test patches before release.
* A separate "Check for Updates" button.
* Some small, misc fixes and tweaks to be announced.
The testing for patch 2 will probably take us through this Thursday (5-29-03). With luck, we'll have it up soon after.
You can check out his full post in this thread.
Friday, May 23, 2003
Avault reviews Rise of Nations
Rise of Nations is a towering aggregation of everything that's good about strategy gaming. Framed upon an excellent tactical engine, a swathe of factions, technologies and historical ages, it all congeals into a solid block of fun. Moreover, the Civilization-esque complexities and novel turn-based strategy map add a depth that elevates Rise of Nations from the crowd. It's certainly as addictive as they come.
There are a few warnings: Though a lot of critics are calling Rise of Nations revolutionary, it's not. It's an expansion, a progression, that brings life back to an old model - you could call it "traditional RTS" - that might be nearing the end of its shelf-life. The turn-based map might feel gimmickry to some, the onscreen information can crowd out the main viewing areas, and the visuals are arguably old-fashioned.
Frankly, none of that's enough to matter. Rise of Nations is one of the best things since Westwood sliced the loaf with Dune II, and you'd be nuts to miss it.
It's a great article that really takes the time to delve into the depth this game has to offer. Check it out here.
Game over Gives Rise of Nations 92 %
While Rise of Nations has no long lineage of titles to draw from, and certainly not the same amount of fans, it is, as I stated before, the rise of another real-time strategy franchise for Microsoft. No current strategy title can give you the clash between horseback cavalry and industrial age tanks and howitzers as compelling as what Rise of Nations brings to the table.
Check out the Full Article to learn more.
Rise of Nations Insider interviews Danan Davis
Insider: What's it like working with the folks at Big Huge?
Danan: BHG is a fantastic developer to work with. They are very prototype-oriented which means we really got to play with the game early and get a feel for what it was all about. As time progressed it was awesome to be able to engage in conversations about actual gameplay and how it played out. One of their greatest strengths is a lack of ego surrounding their designs. If they see players struggling with something that they thought was cooler than sliced bread, they had no problem going back to the drawing board. They really concentrate on making games fun, and [they] put that first.
You can check out the rest of the article here.
Thursday, May 22, 2003
IFlim Interviews Graham "Thunder" Somers
9.3 at Gamespot!
In many ways, Rise of Nations is better than the strategy games that have come before it. It's smarter. It's more challenging. It gives you more to do. It also has a highly customizable multiplayer component, as well as good tutorials that will help new players get started quickly. The game even has fairly detailed graphics, especially for the different civilizations' architecture, as well as good sound effects and a dynamic music score that changes to reflect what's happening on the battlefield. But what really sets Rise of Nations apart are all the new concepts it introduces--cities, attrition damage, commerce caps, caravans, rare resources, a broader and more distinct technology element, national borders, and more make the game deeper and in many ways more enjoyable than any other real-time strategy game to date. - Elliott Chin
Head on over to Gamespot to check out the Full article.
Wednesday, May 21, 2003
Yin26 On Rise of Nation's AI
Here are several reasons that could cause the patch to fail for you:
(1) You have a foreign version (including a British version). We've discovered as I said above that the manufacturing process introduced some unexpected EXE differences (all versions in theory run the same EXE). We had tested the game and the patcher of course, but had not been able to test them -alongside- a full manufacturing run. Again, our apologies, and we hope to have the problem fixed within the next day or so. Our understanding was that we weren't shipping in Europe until the 23rd, so this particular issue caught us a little by surprise.
(2) You have "modded" some of the game files (for example rules.xml). If your patch is stopping somewhere OTHER than 37% complete this is to be strongly suspected. The solution is to fully reinstall the game (including recopying files) and then patch. We'll work on something to make the patching process more friendly to modders.
(3) You have a warez version.
(4) We haven't identified any definite cases of US versions with differing EXE's, so we suspect most US cases are (2) above.
If you HAVE the patch, your version number will be 01.14.05.0902.
Again, our apologies (except to the #3 people ) and we hope to have all of these problems resolved very soon.
Pay particular attention to #2. Since the game is so easy to modify there are probably a great number of people out there who have gone in and tinkered with the XML files not thinking it would cause problems with the patch. Forummer Death_Warri0r_ is one of the first to confirm that this was the case for him.
Ilya Kreymer answers questions on the Scenario Editor
-triggers are indeed a special and very powerful construct for the scripting language. more information on how to use them will be provided in the upcoming doc.
-it will be possible to create script routines in seperate files and call them from main scripts, so creating reusable script libraries for download should not be a problem.
All in all, there are about 600 script-accessible functions allowing for extensive scripting and almost unlimited custom events in scenarios. Looking forward to seeing some amazing scenarios and scripts!
You can check out his full response over in this thread in our Scenario Design forum.
Tuesday, May 20, 2003
Rise of Nations out in Stores!
Gamers can emerge from their trenches and prepare for battle, as Microsoft Game Studios today announced that Rise of Nations is appearing on store shelves throughout North America. Gamers can now get their hands on one of the most innovative and detailed real-time strategy (RTS) games for an estimated retail price of $49.95 (U.S.).
Although we've been seeing reports of people picking up copies of the game at their local retailer, this announcement makes it official. So if you haven't already, run out to the store and grab yourself a copy!
Rise of Nations Revolution Opens
It looks like a really sharp looking website, so give them a visit and welcome a new member to Rise of Nations Fansite community!
Light Cavalry Insights at Rise of Nations Alliance
All Game Guide Reviews Rise of Nations
Brian Reynolds, lead designer of Sid Meier's Civilization II and Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri...applies his nearly peerless empire-building strategy expertise to this Age of Empires-style RTS.
Quboid Offers 2xPopCap Mod
Opening Hotkey Sequences
Monday, May 19, 2003
Rise of Nations Patch
Just run RON then connect to Gamespy from within RON. The game will auto-update. I think a direct-download version is also in the works. We'll update you when/where to get it. The patch makes improvements to the online experience.
A few people had reported problems with the patch earlier today and developer Jason Coleman had this to say
Sorry for the problems. With stores releasing the game a few days early, we weren't quite ready for prime-time on the patching system.
It's ok Jason. It's not your fault that people have been beating down the doors of their local retailers to get their hands on one of the greatest strategy games ever made. Oh wait...
Evil Avatar reviews Rise of Nations
Each of the eighteen different countries have their strengths and weaknesses – aka Civilization and Total War. Big Huge worked very hard to make each country different and they did an excellent job. These strengths and weakness cover different areas – industrial, civic, and militarily. While each country will have their own unique military units, they come about at the appropriate age so are not always available. With the eighteen countries, this adds to the replayability of the game. I have already found out that some strategies for one country do not work for another. Nor have I found any huge imbalances with the countries.
He's got a numebr of good, and I must say fairly balanced things to say about the game. You can check out the full article over at Evil Avatar.com
Strategy Forum opens
Sunday, May 18, 2003
Obviously, we need to add real support for modding, particularly for multiplayer gaming.
As we develop a plan of attack, I'd love to hear your thoughts on what features within the game itself are essential for supporting an effective mod community.
This is some really great news to hear since it shows how much the developers are willing to support this game even after it has been released. Head on over to our Game Modifications forum and add your thoughts on this here.
Brian Reynolds on Skill Handicaps
Brian Reynolds : Well... it affects a couple other things too.
Handicaps provide the beneficiaries with:
* A resource collection bonus (you gather them faster)
* A unit production speed bonus
* A research speed bonus
* A border-push bonus in competitive border situations.
One system you can use between two opponents who play often is that whenever you win 2 (or 3) games in a row, you go up a level of handicap for the next game. So if we start at even and I win 2 games in a row, I go to +1... then I win 2 more and I go to +2. Then if you win the next 2 I go back to +1.
As I said in my original post, this is a feature that will really give this game longevity since new players will be able to get into the game while old players still get to play their best and have fun. You can check out the fulkl thread as well as post a few of your own thoughts here.
Saturday, May 17, 2003
Rise of Nations Indews Forum Up and Running
Rise of Nations Empire Forum Returns
Rise of Nations Strategy Guide Shipping
Maxim Reviews Rise of Nations
Thunderbolt Reviews Rise of Nations
Mod Gallery Updated with New TGA Format
Friday, May 16, 2003
Rise of Nations out in stores?
Yin26 on Rise of Nations
E3 Video at GameSpot
Thanks to Bad Boy for the news!
Setup Screens at Rise of Nations Alliance
Thursday, May 15, 2003
Shots from E3
RoN 1 01 : Refreshing the Genre
Wednesday, May 14, 2003
Tuesday, May 13, 2003
Rise of Nations Demo
Rise of Nations Alliance Goes to the Library
Rise of Nations Oracles Updated
E3 Screenshots from GameSpy
Eden Network Under Renovations
GameZone Reviews Rise of Nations
Rise of Nation Trial Version
Monday, May 12, 2003
Rise of Nations Oracle Updates TechTree
Rise of Nations Indews Updated
Apolyton Invites Reviews
Saturday, May 10, 2003
Terranova on Modding Buildings
Stephanouk on Player Matchmaking
CanadianGamer.com Previews Rise of Nations
Rise of Nations Demo
While this is currently a Fileplanet exclusive, the demo should be available to non subscribers in about a week.
Beat BHG's Developers at Their Own Game
Tournament and autograph sessions will take place at the Microsoft booth (#1246) at the following times (all PDT):
Wednesday and Thursday, May 14 and 15
10am - 11pm : Rise of Nations Challenge
11am - 12pm : Brian Reynolds Autograph Session
4pm - 5pm : Rise of Nations Challenge
Friday, May 16
10am - 11pm : Rise of Nations Challenge
11am - 12pm : Brian Reynolds Autograph Session
Friday, May 9, 2003
Gamer’s Depot Reviews Rise of Nations
Rise of Nations Universe Screenshots
Rise of Nations Universe has also opened its Weblinks section. This is intended as a more comprehensive collection of links of gaming interest and Rise of Nations occupies one of the Strategy Links subsections.
Rise of Nations Eden Contest
IGN Adds New Videos
Rise of Nations Insider Taunts
Thursday, May 8, 2003
Rise of Nations Planet Reopens Gallery
Updates and 2 new forums
Also today we are opening up two new forums. The Game Modifications forum will be a place to discuss modifying the game including how to change the Graphics that are used in the game. The Scenario Design forum will be the place to go to discuss your latest and greatest ideas for creating scenarios in Rise of Nations and to learn more about the powerful scripting language used in the game.
Tuesday, May 6, 2003
Rise-of-Natioons.de Updates Resources Page
Rise of Nations Insider Wonders Page
Rise of Nations Eden Multiplayer Screenshots
Rise of Nations Planets Updates Structures and Units Page
Monday, May 5, 2003
Games.com Release Interactive Screenshots
Rise of Nations Planet Updates Wonders Page
Saturday, May 3, 2003
Welcome Indews Rise of Nations
Thursday, May 1, 2003
Rise of Nations Universe Back Online
Rise of Nation Alliance Strategy Article
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