April 2001 Archives

April 30, 2001 Posted @ 1:53 AM | Angel Draco
Two New Cherubs In Heaven!
I am pleased to announce our two newest staff members at AoW Heaven: Cherub Cay and Cherub Blackmane. You will find each of them moderating several of our forums. Click here to give them a quick "Congratulations!"

April 26, 2001 Posted @ 10:59 AM | Angel Draco
More On Mod Packs & AoW2 Map Editor
Triumph Studios Programmer, Josh Farley, recently responded to some questions about mod packs and total conversion utilities for AoW1. He also hinted at a more powerful map editor for AoW2 and also plans for AoW2 expansion pack material (something AoW1 never got).

Q: I was wondering if Triumph will release utilities allowing AOW1 to be fully modded. If they would, either publicly or in a more controlled, licensed format, I would be very interested in putting a team together to form a true total conversion, modifying the rule set and other basic aspects of AOW. . . .what I'm hoping for is something akin to Valve's Worldcraft Editor, allowing for changes in the basic structure of the game, rather than just the constituent components.

A: I don't make the decisions on these kinds of issues, but I can say that the problem with "total conversions" support are many...

  1. Time - it takes a great deal of it to make our internal development tools usable by outside parties. Sure, we could dump them on people w/no instructions and no "user-friendliness", but we don't want to do that, as any product we put out there reflects on us. We would also have to add an ENORMOUS amount of code to support every possible setting players could enter, and make every aspect of the game "open" instead of "locked in" (hard-coded)...
  2. Compatibility - tracking down user problems is hard enough, w/o having to worry about which of an infinite number of user modifications they're running on their system. There are ways to solve this, but they add to #1...
  3. Expansions - we would like to be able to produce additional AoW2 products after the initial game, w/o having to compete w/numerous free products on the net. The AoW2 engine is possibly the most advanced engine of any game in our genre, and we'd hate to have to abandon it prematurely because our own "open" system makes it unprofitable to continue development on it...

You may or may not agree with this reasoning, but these, and a few other lesser reasons, are what we're thinking. Of the 3 issues I mentioned, the biggy is #1... TIME. We will already be spending a great deal of it on the AoW2 Editor, which will hopefully incorporate everything that 95% of our players would ever want. Spending the additional time on "opening up" the system, would force us to spend less time on other aspects of AoW2, which would hurt the game much more than help it...

Making a game is a balancing act. It would be great to be able to put every option for everyone, but the developers who try to do that usually end up serving you french fries with your drive-thru order...

Q: There's a lot of potential for AOW2 to allow for the modding scene that existed with Half-Life, thereby extending the lifespan of the game immensely. As I understand it, AOW2 and AOW1 are similar in structure, therefore experience with modding AOW1 would allow a team to be well prepared for modding AOW2. Make sense?

A: The Half-Life model isn't really applicable here, as FPS games sell in much larger numbers than games in our genre, allowing them the financial leeway to experiment... We intend to allow a much greater level of control and storytelling in the AoW2 editor, all controlled with an extremely user-friendly interface, which should appeal to a greater number of people than tools that only accomplished programmers can use/understand...

Q: What about the editor? Assuming you'll be doing something similar to AoW2, would it be too difficult to allow map makers to "set custom map" for specific cities, dungeons and the like?

A: That would require editing of the TC Maps, which is not likely to be supported. TC Maps are largely generated dynamically, and the ones with preset layouts also have dynamic elements and specific setup requirements. They would also require another set of Multi-Player compatibility checks, and so on... We have plans to increase the power mapmakers have over the game in many areas, but this is unlikely to be one of them...

Q: While you say that it wouldn't be likely or possible that we'd have an open system, could we perhaps be allowed to tweak stats and skills for custom maps? Inherent flying? Inherent Spell Casting V, and all that?

A: You can customize heroes & leaders already in AoW1... as for other tweaks, settings, and "RPG" aspects, we'll be trying very hard to incorporate as many of these kinds of features as we can. Many will make it for certain, since we'll need them for our own Campaign.

April 25, 2001 Posted @ 12:30 AM | Angel Draco
Win a FREE copy of Cossacks
The Angels at Cossacks Heaven send word there is only a week left to get yourself entered for a chance to win a free copy of the English version of the game! It's simply the luck of the draw, so break out your lucky bunny foot and head to their contest page. Deadline to enter is April 30 and the winners will be announced on May 1.

There are five copies of the game to be awarded, so your odds are winning should be pretty good. Best of luck!

April 24, 2001 Posted @ 1:46 AM | Angel Draco
Support Your Local Slice of Heaven
Here's a request from Up High.

We don't ask a lot of you, other than to behave nicely on the forums but we do have another request. You can help us keep HeavenGames up and running by taking a quick look at the following page: Heaven Games Merchant Partners.

If you ever need to buy something from one of our partners, like say a book through Amazon.com, please enter the merchant's site though the provided links, as they will help us to keep our little slice of Heaven from disappearing into oblivion.


April 21, 2001 Posted @ 12:59 PM | Angel Draco
2010 - An Age of Wonders Odyssey
We had a pretty good first official week here at AOW Heaven. Thanks to everyone who helped make AOWH a reality and to everyone has contributed to the begining success of AOWH!

April 18, 2001 Posted @ 11:20 AM | Angel Draco
New Patch For AOW1?
Will there be another patch for AOW to address stability in multiplayer IP games? Josh Farley had this to say:

"If I knew that the changes would fix the issues some people are having with multi-player, it would probably be worthwhile to spend the (rather large) amount of time to re-work and re-code some aspects of AoW to work around network limitations.

The problem is that I do not know if it would work, so we could end up taking valuable time away from AoW2's development, and end up with absolutely nothing to show for it. That's just a bad gamble by any reasoning.

The number of players in a game will definitely affect [multiplayer] stability. All it takes is one connection between any two players being bad, and the game will seem sluggish, or disconnect often. In a 4 player game, there are 6 separate connections... in an 8 player game, you have 28 separate connections.

If any 1 out of those 28 connections goes bad, it will mess up the game... if more than one of them is bad, you get some serious problems... and if 1 player in that 8-player game has a bad modem/ISP/software/etc, then you get 7 bad connections.

Note that we did completely re-code the DirectPlay system in one of the patches, to fix problems that affected many more systems than this problem seems to. Sadly, that was also caused by bugs/missing features in the MS DirectPlay architecture, which is one reason I'm suspicious about that as a possible cause in this case.

Josh on LAN Instability with IP games:
I don't recall hearing much about this.... We tested LAN quite a bit, including me on my personal 2-PC LAN. Of course, in addition to normal testing, I played some TC-only multiplayer (small map with just a clump of big armies to force a 3-4 player scrum) with my friends on the Internet, and that hasn't stopped some people from having problems with Internet play.

-Josh Farley
Programmer, Triumph Studios

April 17, 2001 Posted @ 3:47 AM | Angel Draco
AOW only $9.90!
That's right folks, CompuExpert.com has Age of Wonders for only $9.90! What a bargain! It just doesn't get any better than this!

Support AOW Heaven by using this link to visit CompuExpert.com when you buy!

April 17, 2001 Posted @ 3:41 AM | Angel Draco
New Forums Added & Site Updates
Several new forums were added today: Guilds, Story Board and Bugs/Tech Help. AOW Heaven wants to support the Starlance League and Guilds in anyway we can, so send in your suggestsions today or post them on our forums!

April 16, 2001 Posted @ 5:02 PM | Angel Draco
Welcome to the all new Age of Wonders Heaven!
This site is primarily intended to serve as a resource for AOW players to download new, custom-made maps for single or multiplayer games, and to serve as a gathering place for AoW fans. Our automated online submission form makes adding maps to our archive quick and easy! Just click on the "Submit a File" link on the navigation bar to the left and fill out the online submissio form! Your map will automaticall appear in our archive list within 24 hours!

Our forums use the latest Ultimate Bulletin Board software, are super-fast and incredibly stable. Please visit the forums and register your screen name today!

Age of Wonders is a turn-based fantasy game, similar to Heros of Might and Magic or Masters of Magic, only it combines the best elements of strategy, adventure and roleplaying. It features 12 unique fantasy races, over 50 different heroes with upgradable abilities, dozens of spells and scores of locations to explore. In this game of conquest, players employ strategic and tactical skills to command troops in capturing vital locations and defeating enemies in a captivating single player campaign or compete with friends in multi-player scenarios.

If haven't yet tried Age of Wonders, it's a great game! Try out the Demo today! As mentioned earlier, it's turn-based, but you can play in real-time against others in online multiplayer games, or play one turn at a time using the Play-By-Email (PBEM) style, which Angels Jayhawk and Jaytan and I really enjoy. It makes checking your email every day a lot fun!

Welcome to the new Heaven, try Age of Wonders today!