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News Archive - Oct 2002

Thurs., Oct 31, 2002

Mason B. Fisher Interview

First off, a very Happy Halloween! to everyone!

I know many of you have been waiting a long time for this, but your patience is about to pay off! In the Music portion of our MEDIA section, you can read our exclusive five-part interview with AoW2 composer, Mason B. Fisher. Here's a snip!
HeavenGames: In the music industry, is there anyone you've looked up to or tried to emulate?

Mason B. Fisher: In the early days of playing guitar, I really tried to emulate Randy Rhoads, Jimmy Page, and Eddie Van Halen in my rock compositions. With my scoring, I would have to say that John Barry is my favorite composer. There are a whole group of composers who are a close second.

HeavenGames: Why music for games? How and when did you become involved with this industry?

Mason B. Fisher: Music for games allows a composer the opportunity to really explore creative musical themes that may not work in other areas of the music industry. Especially with games, anything is possible regarding the type of environment that you have to work with. As far as becoming involved, several years ago, I began to send out demo tapes of my music. The first job I landed was Eye of the Beholder 3 by S.S.I.
If you are musically inclined, be sure to stop by the Misc. Downloads section to grab a PDF file that contains the sheet music for the title song in AoW2, "The Age of Wonders."

After you read the interview, you can ask Mason your own questions in our AoW2 General Discussion Forum, where he posts under the username, "The WireHaired."
Wed., Oct 30, 2002

No Tricks, just Treats

For those who have been waiting patiently, our good (though overworked) Seraph and Lawgiver Angel Draco has announced
I have the mammoth 5 part interview... IN HAND!

I have the PDF file... IN HAND!

However, it's 2:11 AM right now and I'm about to pass out at the keyboard. I have a County Board meeting tomorrow night that will probably go late so look for an extra special Halloween Treat.

Mason sent me the score on 13 legal size sheets, so I reduced them in size using a photocopier, and then scanned them at a high resolution. Zen converted it to a single PDF doc and I think it turned out as good as it possibly could.
For those who haven't been waiting, or don't know what he's talking about, it's the music score by composer Mason B. Fisher, aka "The WireHaired" for Age of Wonders 2. You can read all about it here in the Website Comments and Anouncements Forum.

Meanwhile, don't forget that all day Thursday, Halloween, Farman the Barman of The Prancing Pony Inn in The Hall of Wonders Role Playing Forum has planned his own special treat for you. That's right, despite Farman's inexplicable absence the past few days (the statue in the garden swears it has nothing to do with it) the party is still on. That's free ale, plus spookie cookies, BTOOIC doughnuts and other weird things for anyone showing up in costume as their favorite hero/villian, adventurer, or comic character. Just remember, this is not so much a "come as you are" party, as a "come as you'd like to be" party. So come as you aren't, and share the fun.
Sat., Oct 26, 2002

Mapmakers : Save Your Work Often!

Scenario designers and mapmakers, please remember to save your work often. Just hit the save button every ten to fifteen minutes or so. If you can't remember, write the above title of this news post on a piece of paper and stick on the side of your computer monitor to remind yourself.

It is very hard on the creative spirit to lose hours of work due to map corruption or unforeseen events like power outages. So, just save your work as often as you can.

For more on this and other important things to take note of when working on a map, please read this article.

Another New Pic In the AOW2 Mapmakers Gallery

A new pic by Talon-Thorn has been added to the gallery. It's in Room 2 of the Gallery, entitled "Badlands".

Five pics per 'room', and we're into filling out our second room with the latest addition. So if you got something to show, please send it in to us via e-mail, ensure that the pic sizes are 350 by 350 pixel or expect them to be reduced to fit to the page. And lastly, remember to pack the pics in jpeg format in a zip file. Guidelines can be found in the gallery rooms itself.
Fri., Oct 25, 2002

Open House in the Hall of Wonders

Hear ye! Hear ye!

Following in the footsteps of "Talk Like a Pirate Day" the Sheriff in the The Hall of Wonders, the AoW and AoW2 Heaven Role-playing forum, has been asked by good innkeeper Farman of The Prancing Pony Inn to announce an Open House to celebrate the return of that fine establishment after it's recent mysterious disapearance.
I think Farman had to take a break after seeing the Prancing Pony levelled then finally resurrected again. Bad on the heart, you know.

Hmm. I wonder, should we throw a costumed adventurer's party on All Hallow's Eve? (Also called Halloween.) Everyone could come in a costume depicting their favorite hero/villain, adventurer or comic character. Maybe we could get Farman to spring for free ale, cider and spookie cookies for anyone in costume and the Sheriff could forgive a bit of OT posts (as long as they are still related to the costumes or characters depicted) for one day?
So, anyone wanting to just drop by to say hello is welcome to do so. Of course, if you'd like to stick around a while, read through some of the story threads, and maybe even join one you're welcome to do that as well. There are several now recruiting new party members. Or if you'd prefer, come start your own. But do please read Guidelines of the Hall if you plan to play there. Old hands and old newbiess alike are welcome, and there aren't many rules, but you'll find that some things may be different from what you've met elsewhere.

And of course as Farman says, free Ale and Munchies for all who show up in costume. Or if you're sufficiently spooky, just show up as yourself.
Sat., Oct 19, 2002

Five New Images In Our Mapmakers' Gallery

Damon Rellik has just submitted 4 pics taken from his upcoming scenario "Valleys of the Lost 2". Check it out in "Room 2" of our growing Gallery.

I've also added another pic by Talon-Thorn. It's in Room 1 of the Gallery, titled "Golden Mountains".

Fri., Oct 18, 2002

RayB: Thoughts on the Fall

Master story crafter RayB has again graced the forums with a bit more insight into the AoW back story, specifically on Meandor's role in the fall of Inioch's court. You can read his comments here in the AoW2 General Discussions forum. It's all interesting of course, but the grabber comes at the end
Anyhow those are a few more thoughts on the subject. All in all there's a lot of material here, at one point Lennart and I talked about the possibility of doing a novel, which is why it is so detailed, just as a setting. Unfortunately that never happened, but I've long thought the story would make a good novel if told in the right way... (would be hard to choose a good viewpoint character... for example...)

Best regards, --Ray
And wouldn't we all like to see that!
Wed., Oct 16, 2002

Forums Back Online

Thanks to Angel Zen's technical skillz, the forums are back online!
Tues., Oct 15, 2002

Forums Temporarily Disabled

We're currently experiencing serious data corruption problems with the forums, and have decided to shut them down to prevent any more files from being corrupted. Rest assured Angel Zen is on the case! He's working on locating the bugs as I type this.

We apologize for the inconvenience; these problems were very unexpected and we hope to have the forums back up ASAP.
Mon., Oct 14, 2002

New Poll - Future AoW2 Features?

Okay well it's not all that new (it's been up for a few days) but I switched jobs this week so I didn't get a chance to post the old results. Already we have 876 votes in the new poll!

A big thanks to the 675 Agers who voted in our last poll! We asked, Which AoW2 Campaign Did You Like Best? The Death Sphere campaign was the winna with 131 votes. Fire came in second with 116 votes, and Air was a close third with 108 votes. The final vote tally was:
1) Death: 131
2) Fire: 116
3) Air: 108
4) Life: 105
5) Cosmos: 93
6) Water: 72
7) Earth: 50
Our new poll seeks your input on What 3 features do you most want in a future Age of Wonders II product? Triumph Studios wants to know, so this your chance to stand up or rather, left click and make your voice heard!
Fri., Oct 11, 2002

Scenario Design Hall - Conditions Guide Completed!

Cherub Talon-Thorn finishes his series of guides for the events editor by completing the Conditions Guide. Just like the previous Events Guide and Triggers guide, he has compiled and written detailed notes for all the conditions available for setting in the events editor. Excellent job, TT! Check it out.

I'm also happy to announce that we currently have 20 scripts in our Event Scripts Database. Well done, guys!

Remember to check out our AOW2 Mapmakers' Gallery. Magog and Talon-Thorn's pics show the kind of wonderful terrain you can create by exploiting the strangeness when cavern walls are placed on the top terrain.

Have a good weekend and happy gaming!
Thurs., Oct 10, 2002

Doctor, It hurts when I do this...

It seems that some mapmakers lately have been trying to exploit a "feature" of the AoW2 Editor that allows them to overwrite the standard border tiles with usable terrain. This is, as Triumph developer Josh AoW points out in the No Movement Path thread, probably not a very good idea as it interferes with the move path algorithm and can cause the game to lock up.
Any map with absolutely no borders is going to have serious problems. A patch would be unlikely to correct existing maps. For now, I can only suggest to mapmakers to make sure there is always at least a 1-hex border on maps, and if you want to be safe, leave the default 4-hex borders.
When questioned further he goes on to say:
The movepath code is quite exhaustive in checking as many possible paths to the destination as it can in order to seek out the fastest path. The borders are required to keep the movepath code from wandering right off the map, which you can probably guess is a very bad thing...
He also discounts the likelyhood that such existing maps can be "repaired" easily.
Sun., Oct 6, 2002

Wanted: Role Players

With a spate of RL crisis, and many members pressed for time, things have been a little slow in the AoWH Hall of Wonders Role Playing Forum, but several new story lines are now open and looking for players. You'll find stories geared to Evil Characters out to stop those dratted Good Guys from overthrowing their dominion, and stories set in worlds of mecha-dragons and flying cities.

Everybody who wishes to come and join, or simply read and enjoy is welcome, and Farman the Barman at The Prancing Pony stands ready to fill your ale and doughnut orders. New players, and new GM's in particular, are however advised to read over the Guidelines of the Hall sticky thread.
Sat., Oct 5, 2002

What's New In the Scenario Design Hall

This weekend, we've got two new articles.

1) Triggers Guide
Talon Thorn, with Josborne's help, has put together a detailed guide on the different triggers that you can use to set off the events on your map. Like the previous Events Guide, it goes through each and every setting with accompanying notes and observations.

2) Magog's Tip On Making Small Islands
Take a look at his method of making realistic looking islands rising up from the sea. A great way to use the Raise Terrain Tool.

Also check out our AOW2 Mapmaker's Gallery, we have two new pics for your view pleasure. Happy browsing and happy mapmaking!
Thurs., Oct 3, 2002

AoW2H... Now In Print!

Ager Tylertoo made a good catch when he spotted some praise for AoW2 Heaven in the recent issue of Computer Games Magazine! In the Mods and Ends" section of the magazine devoted to user-created content, look for the article titled, "You Look Wonderful Tonight."
Age of Wonders II is developing quite a cult following. The best efforts of that community can be found at Age of Wonders II Heaven, a fan site that serves as the game's unofficial home on the web. More than two dozen user-crafted scenarios are available there. Many shift lands from other fantasy settings into the Triumph game, so you can play in Tolkien's Gondor and Mordor as envisioned by Uruloki, Balance's take on ancient Europe, and Camelrider's update of Xeen from Might and Magic IV and V. While you're at Age of Wonders II Heaven, be sure to pick up the official Death Swamp and The Marching Desert scenarios, which were originally available as a perk for those who preordered the game.
Congratulations all around to our wonderful staff who work so tirelessly on this site, and to our community members who make AoW2 Heaven a great place to gather and enjoy our favorite game!

Extra props to Agers Camelrider, Balance and Uruloki for getting their scenarios highlighted.
Tues., Oct 1, 2002

Emperor Heaven Launches!

Continuing HeavenGames' long and proud commitment to city-building games, the newest cloud in Heaven is devoted to the new city-builder from Impressions Games, Emperor: Rise of the Middle Kingdom, which is set in ancient China. Sporting improved gameplay features, graphics and higher resolution, Emperor is the first city-builder to feature online multiplayer! You can participate in co-op play or go head-to-head and trade with or conquer your neighbors!

Check out all of the fantastic game info, strategies, map editor tips and campaign walkthroughs that Seraph Jayhawk & Co. have created for you at:

Please note that Emperor Heaven and all the city-building forums are on a separate database, so in order to post there you will have to register a second account. Sorry for the inconvenience; we hope to merge the databases soon!

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