December 2001 Archives

December 29, 2001 Posted @ 12:30 AM | Angel Draco
AOW2 Coverstory In Computer Games Magazine
Forumer Moebius spotted Age of Wonders II: The Wizard's Throne on the cover of the new February issue of Computer Games magazine. Several other upcoming turn-based strategy games are featured as well, such as Heroes of Might & Magic IV, Warlords IV, Warcraft III and Warlords Battlecry II in the magazine's theme this month: who is the new "Master of Magic?"

If you haven't had a chance to pick up the issue, Moebius has reprinted several interesting bits from the article! You can read it all in this thread of our AOW2 General Discussions forum.

December 26, 2001 Posted @ 9:50 PM | Angel Draco
LeagueAOW: New Home For MP Gaming
Online multiplayer gaming for Age of Wonders will soon have a new home at the recently launched LeagueAOW. All of the content sections are not up yet, but the site is looking good! Check it out at LeagueAOW uses a point system where you can track your progress against other gamers in a variety of MP and hot seat online gaming competitions. It will eventually support AOW2 when it is released.

LeagueAOW is the brainchild of AOW vet Der_Waggs as a replacement for the defunct Starlance combat league that recently closed. Backing up Der_Waggs at LeagueAOW are a number of experienced gamers: Argammon, Bethgael Amberhair, Elquein Jaradcel and SkullKing will all be administers of the new LeagueAOW.

You can ask questions and discuss matters relating to the new gaming league in our designated LeagueAOW - Online Multiplayer Games forum. Be sure to add your name to AOWH's ICQ/People List (using your registered forum name) to quickly check when your fellow gamers are online and ready to rumble! See you on the battlefield!

December 24, 2001 Posted @ 2:00 AM | Angel Draco
New Official AOW2 Site Opens
A very Merry Christmas indeed! Triumph Studios gave us all an early Christmas gift by launching the newly redesigned Official Age of Wonders II website! Check it out at:

There is a ton of stuff at the new site, like the pre-release beta demo sign-up, music downloads, game features and even more new screen shots! Be sure you check out the two music MP3 downloads, composed by Mason B. Fisher; beautiful! Visit the new official AOW2 site now and then discuss it in our AOW2 Forums!

December 24, 2001 Posted @ 1:41 AM | Angel Draco
Josh on AOW2 Game Engine
Lead programmer Josh Farley laid down some info on the 3D game engine used for Age of Wonders II and its capabilities in our forums. Here's a snippet:
The movement of objects, as well as all of the particle effects, are in 3D-space. So arrows arc properly, units walk up and down slopes, particles can move with gravity and depth, etc. AoW1 had a very simple particle system. AoW2 has a much more complex and powerful particle-effect engine, capable of some really spectacular real-time effects. The screenshots only give you a hint of what 1000's of particles animating at 100FPS looks like.
You can read his entire post by clicking here.

December 18, 2001 Posted @ 6:13 AM | Angel Draco
Two New AOW2 Previews!
The long thirst for more news about AOW2 has finally been quenched with two new online previews at Gamespot and IGN!

Here is a sample from the Gamespot preview (with 41 screenshots!):
AOW2 features a revamped graphics engine that blends two-dimensional sprites with full three-dimensional backgrounds, but also boasts a random map generator, a streamlined interface, and a series of other improvements that you'd typically find in a sequel. The development team at Triumph Studios has also made an effort to place more focus on the role-playing and empire-building elements in Age of Wonders II--though, fans will find that most of the gameplay from the original game remains intact.
After you've cleaned off all the drool from your keyboard, hit the IGN preview!
As fun as the tactical portion of the game is, the version of empire building presented in the game is "much more detailed" than it used to be according to Josh. In the various towns there are "Forges for building items, libraries for researching faster, halls of enchantment to give extra skills and abilities to the units coming out of the town. You also have the ability to upgrade the town structures themselves, things like barracks, which give you access to better units."
I'm overwhelmed by the number of new units (Dracolich!). Gamespot is listing a March 2002 release date; a few short months away! Discuss all of this new information and post your questions to the developers in the AoW 2 General Discussions forum!

December 17, 2001 Posted @ 11:49 PM | Angel Draco
AoW2 Presented by... Microsoft? is reporting that Microsoft may be eyeing Take-Two Interactive as a possible acquisition. Take-Two recently acquired GOD Games (which published AOW1) and publishes some of the top-selling games today, like Max Payne, Grand Theft Auto 3 and Stronghold:
Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. may be a take-over target for Microsoft Corp., which wants to become a major player in the video-game software market, Business Week said in its Inside Wall Street column.

Take-Two, which publishes ``Grand Theft Auto 3'' and other titles, is an attractive acquisition because it's undervalued compared to competitors such as Electronic Arts Inc. and Activision Inc., the magazine said, citing an unidentified strategist with an investment bank.
Take-Two President Paul Eibeler didn't want to say whether Microsoft is interested in buying the company, Business Week reported. Microsoft, which earlier this year started shipping its Xbox video-game console, couldn't be reached to comment, the magazine said.
Microsoft burst into the game publishing business just a few years ago with the award-winning Age of Empires series developed by Ensemble Studios (who just unveiled a revamped website with new Age of Mythology screen shots. Check 'em out!)

December 12, 2001 Posted @ 5:43 PM | Angel Draco
Refocusing Gameplay In AOW2
Ray Bringham, Triumph Studios writer, stopped by the forums to comment on the story of AOW2's single-player campaign, and on one of the primary changes in gameplay between AOW1 and AOW2; less focus on race vs. race and more focus on player vs. player:
In AoW2 the races aren't as predominant in terms of the tendency of the enemies as are the wizards themselves... There are still varying races, but they take a backseat to rival Wizards and the [quest for the] Wizard's Throne.

...I think that's a fundamental change from AOW (AoW was very set upon races, humans were forced neutral, etc), and one that I think will work well, as this way you could have rebel factions from any race, it's the leaders that make them your enemy or not, with the races being less constrained to hate your guts.
Click here to read the full thread in the AoW 2 General Discussions & Suggestions forum.

December 11, 2001 Posted @ 1:03 AM | Angel Draco
Nightmare Before Christmas
In an effort to bring peace on earth and good will towards all, there will be a December fun map instead of a December Challenge: Silverleaf's Christmas Nightmare.

It is a busy time of year for many of us, what with parties, greeting cards and shopping to be done. There are also countless toys to be made for Santa to deliver to all the children of the world.

Unfortunately, the world doesn't know that Santa's famed Magic Toy Shop is really a sweat shop, where the poor worker elves slave way 16 hours a day to produce toys while being constantly watched by the evil dark elf overseers in Santa's employ. If the elves don't work hard enough, the dark elves feed the slackers to the monstrous Bumbles who inhabit the ice caverns.

The situation is grim, but one elf, Binky, has had enough of Santa's cruel ways and is ready to toss off his shackles and lead the worker elves to freedom! You must help Binky lead the worker elves' revolt and take back the Toy Shop!

Silverleaf's Christmas Nightmare has a hilarious storyline and cast of characters. Christmas Nightmare is a short, medium sized map for a single player that everyone should be able to complete in one sitting during this busy holiday season. Enjoy!

December 3, 2001 Posted @ 2:03 PM | Angel Draco
Devs Around The Forums
A few Developer sightings in case you missed them! Hit the links to read the full threads.

Lennart Sas on mounted archers:
There will be a Tigran Catmaster, which shoots arrows from the back of a sabretooth and the Archon Charioteer.
Wazzz on spell casting and wizard towers:
If your wizard is in the tower, sure, he can cast spells in a wide area, but NOT the whole map. This makes for interesting choices, if an important battle is outside your 'domain' you can risk getting your wizard out of safety and bring him closer. But his range will decrease significantly, so it will take several turns to get to the site of the battle. And yes, building a tower is quite expensive.
Josh Farley on 3D zooming:
Tentatively (still experimenting a bit), the mousewheel is used to zoom in/out, and the middle button is used to reset the zoom level to the default. This seems useful, w/o tying anything vital to a button that some people simply don't have.

Between the screen-edges, the arrow-keys, the events list, the next party/structure buttons, and the scanner, there seem to be plenty of ways to move the camera to where you want it.
Visit the AoW 2 General Discussions & Suggestions forum to post your questions to the developers!