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News Archive - Dec 2002

Tues., Dec 31, 2002

New Year, New Article And A Reminder On Giving Map Reviews

Happy New Year, folks! Hope you all have good new year's and a better year ahead.

Damon Rellik's submitted a new article, "Creating Dark Grass Effects". In his article, he shows us how to create a dark grassland terrain that can blend well with Wasteland terrains. Read it here and apply it to your maps. Excellent work!

Lastly, I would also like to take the opportunity to encourage those who are kind enough to take the time to rate/review our maps to give scenario designers more detailed and constructive comments. Our map designers would really like to know why you like or dislike their maps, so feel free to elaborate further when submitting your review forms. If you need to know how to go about giving a proper and helpful review, we have a guide that shows you how.

Remember, there's no need to be nasty in your reviews. The scenario designers are willing to accept your opinion on their maps without the unnecessary flaming.

Happy gaming!


New Years Treats

The Triumph Studios crew spent some time during their holiday R&R to discuss some of their favorite games of the year, and drop us some more hints about the forthcoming--but as yet unannounced--new product. Some speculate it will be AoW3, but most believe an expansion pack for AoW2 is on the way from Triumph.

Programmer Josh Farley offered up some insight about tricky gameplay aspects in this thread, and on a lighter side shared some of his favorite games from the past year in this thread:
On a personal note, the games I've enjoyed the most this year are:
  • Freedom Force
  • Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
  • NHL Hitz 2003

    Mafia was also excellent, but I could pop in any of those 3 games right now, and not get any work done for hours.... I haven't played a HoMM game since the original. I haven't played either Disciples game. My interests tend towards the deeper games in the TBS genre, like Xcom, Civ3, etc. I'm also a sucker for the Black Isle RPGs, and console sports games.
  • Tues., Dec 24, 2002

    Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

    I and the staff of AoW2 Heaven would like to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas! I hope many of you were able to enjoy the day off from work today unlike me or if you're on break from school you probably had plenty of spare time to play Age of Wonders or stop by the forums to wish your friends good cheer!

    Angel GillB has KORTified the classic 'Twas The Night Before Christmas poem, and if you have young children in the house tonight you can have an excuse to get on the Internet by tracking Santa's progress around the world as he delivers toys at the Federal government's NORAD Tracks Santa website (translated into six languages!).

    I also spotted a little Christmas Present for Triumph Studios today, as Age of Wonders 2: The Wizard's Throne captured a nomination for "Most Improved Sequel on PC" in Gamespot's Best of the Year awards. Congratulations and enjoy the holiday!
    Thurs., Dec 19, 2002

    Josh Speaks! On Auto Combat

    In one of his surprising phantom like appearences, Triumph develepor Josh AoW dropped by the forums to give us a bit better peek at what goes on in Fast Combat then we've had before.
    There are walls in AC. Ranged defenders in walled cities do recieve an attack bonus, and ranged attackers do recieve an attack penalty.

    There is positioning in AC. Units start in their original section of the "map", and must spend movepoints to move into another section.

    There are multiple doors in AC. The graphical representation is just a generalization, but the internal code does contain 4 doors, and units will attack the door nearest them. When any door is breached, all doors are considered down, and attackers can "move" into the center hex.

    Also, there is no "blocking" of movement in AC. Any target can be attacked any number of times.
    Thanks for the info Josh that as they say in that old commercial "It's in there!"
    Sat., Dec 14, 2002

    Speaking of polls, Gamespy now has its Strategy Game of the Year and Overall Game of the Year polls up. Age of Wonders 2 is listed in both, but is up against some tough competition. Among others, Age of Mythology, Stronghold: Crusader, and the City Builder Emperor: RotMK all of which are well represented by their own HeavenGames sites, as well as other popular titles such as Warcraft 3.

    Go take a look, cast your honest vote, then come back here to tell us how and why you did.
    Fri., Dec 13, 2002

    Favourite Game Type Poll

    Finally, we have a new poll up!

    I'm curious, what type of games do you prefer? Single player, Hot-seat, PBEM or Online? Pick your favourite, and we'll soon know which is the most popular among the AoW2 Heaven visitors!

    The previous poll: "What 3 features do you most want in a future AoW2 product?" resulted in this top 5 wish list:
    1. New units for current races (932 votes)
    2. Random map generator (912 votes)
    3. New Races (847 votes)
    4. New portraits/ability to import portraits (501 votes)
    5. More hero unit sprites (478 votes)

    You can access all the previous polls through the links below the current one.

    If you have ideas for future polls, please email your suggestion to Angel Draco or me (Nojd).
    Sun., Dec 8, 2002

    Beauty Takes Time

    Designer Josh Farley recently offered some insight about the absence of unit descriptions and hand drawn artwork in Age of Wonders II that the AoW1 community enjoyed so much:
    "The unit descriptions and hand drawn unit portraits in AoW1 had many years to get done, as AoW1 was in development for a LONG time. Since we do like to eat and have running water and such, we needed to complete AoW2 a bit more quickly.

    Those two items are BIG time sinks. If one person does them, they'll never get done on time. If multiple people do them, their costs skyrocket, and someone also has to make sure that they all have the same tone and style. Text has to be localized, drawings have to be processed. Leaving them in likely would have meant reducing the number of races, significantly.

    Also, the guys at PopTop were very helpful, and gave us great feedback and advice (compare the credits on the early HoMM titles and the PopTop releases, and you might see a familiar name or two). But they left the decisions to us - they had their own game to focus on. And the CG they provided saved us a great deal of money over what another 3rd party would have charged.

    So, love it, hate it, or feel indifferent, but AoW2 is every bit a Triumph Studios game. The fact is, that after spending so much time and energy on AoW1, none of us had any interest in cranking out the same game with a few tweaks and touches. AoW1 and AoW2 are not designed to compete with each other, but rather to complement each other.

    And here's fair warning: if and when a 3rd AoW game is announced, expect plenty more new stuff to be in the mix."
    Josh also explained in this thread the legal and continuity problems of taking fan submissions for unit descriptions and individual portraits. However, I think Josh summed up the most important thing to remember right here:
    "I fully understand and support those of you here that like to "beat the drum" of your favorite issues from time to time to keep them noticed. Just remember that if feature X doesn't appear in future product Y, it's not because we don't listen to you, or don't like feature X... It's quite likely that features A through W were just deemed more vital to the game, and took all our time to implement properly. Whether we listened to you or liked what you said is a totally different topic.
    You can read more in our AoW2 General Discussion Forum.
    Sun., Dec 1, 2002

    Look! Behind you! It's Josh!

    Mysterious as ever, Developer Josh AoW snuck into the forums to break the Dead Silence from Triumph with
    We are working very hard right now on something that has not been officially announced, so those who comment too specifically will be flogged. Hence, not a lot to say.

    Expect an official announcement sometime after the holiday season has died down, when it's easier to be heard. Plus, we'll all be seeing The Two Towers a few times that week, so no one would be around to update the website anyways...
    Okay there Josh. Glad to hear you're working on something nice. But we knew that, didn't we.

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