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Age of Kings Heaven » Forums » General and Strategy Discussion » Ask Sandy 7
Topic Subject:Ask Sandy 7
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(id: ES_Sandyman)
posted 06-06-01 02:26 PM CT (US)         
ask Sandy anything you like (he's a designer at Ensemble Studios). He does NOT answer all questions. In particular, he doesn't answer questions about Age of Mythology.
(id: ES_Sandyman)
posted 06-06-01 02:27 PM CT (US)     1 / 226       
Here are the final replies from Ask Sandy 6.

Q) How often do designers at ES get into major arguments about games in progress? Who gets the final say in what happens?
A) “Major” arguments? Never. The project lead designer gets the final say, technically, but none of us are dictators.

Q) do think that AOK being a game with a HUGE community, incl scientific-like reports and scientific-like discussions would have been so succesful if it was more of a singleplayer game?
A) Certainly. If we retained just exactly the same amount of multiplayer emphasis, and added MORE singleplayer, why wouldn’t it be more successful?

Q) Do you agree that Old Tyme Jamaican Ginger Beer is the best brand out there?
A) I have only ever tried four brands of Jamaican Ginger Beer, so do not consider myself an expert.

Q) Castle Huskarls and Barracks Huskrals are treated as different units.
A) It made it far easier to insert this bonus into the database. Would it be worth delaying the game for a week or more and possibly adding a new bug or two to the game just so that these two units get selected when clicked together.

Q) Units will walk into mangonel fire.
A) So do mine.

Q) When VDMLs lay foundations, they say the build word for their civ, not the weird American thing.
A) So you can understand it.

Q) When your treb is attack a unit then it is converted, it still dies when the treb ball hits.
A) The treb ball didn’t get the word in time.

Q) Deer turn into gazelles when attacking
A) How often do deer attack?

Q) When monuments die, they relocate with 1 hp left.
A) ??

Q) When a hero monk picks up a relic, it turns into a normal monk. In the Scn Editor, buildings will sometimes catch on fire if age is changed. If a treb dies while it is firing, the ball stays in the air.
A) Yep to all three. We don’t claim the game is free of bugs,. And I apologize for these in particular.

Q) Trebs can not hit tree stumps.
A) Tree stumps are harder to destroy than erect trees.

Q) Seige weapons can attack wild animals without triggering their attack.

Q) If two markets are seperated by water, they will always read 100, even if they are accessable.
A) Exploit it.

Q) When playing Mayans, only female villagers get the bonus when farming.
A) Yep. Sorry.

Q) When hunting, all food is lost if the villagers go to a different food source.
A) This is intentional, and is because some kinds of food have different carrying capacities.

Q) are the other wonders also based on real monuments, or at least some of them are invented?
A) All are based on something real except the Hun one. Some are based on a composite of different real ones, though.

Q) Will Ensemble Studios ever make another Random Map Script for AoK or TC ?
A) Probably.

Q) I just watched the new Pearl Harbor movie and it piqued my curiosity. What were the relations like between Japan and America before Pearl Harbor?
A) Cautious. We’d been peeved at Japan since their invasion of China (particularly since the Nanking massacre), and things had been slowly deteriorating. On the other hand, we were trading with them continuously, and Japan figured prominently (and usually favorably) in films and radio. We knew they were highly militaristic, and many commentators thought that a war for control of the Pacific might be coming.

Q) What was the motivation behind Japan's pre-Pearl Harbor aggression in Asia and what was its motivation for Pearl Harbor?
A) Japan’s aggression in Asia – the Japanese army believed that a conflict for dominance of East Asia was inevitable. They felt that their likely opponent would be Russia, and they built and trained their armed forces for such a conflict. They recognized that to win a war with Russia, they would need an abundant supply of natural resources. To get this, they occupied Manchuria and then invaded China. But then the Chinese war kept going on. So, to maintain their war in China, they imported lots of fuel & iron from the USA.

When the USA, upset by Japan’s actions in China, threatened trade sanctions, the Japanese army decided that the best way to maintain their supplies (to win the war in China) was to occupy Southeast Asia (particularly Indonesia, but Burma, Philippines, too). But they also realized that to occupy these regions, they would have to go to war with the USA, UK, and Holland (the only one they feared was the US, for obvious reasons).

Pearl Harbor was their solution. It enabled them to KO the US fleet and keep us basically unable to respond to the Japanese effectively for 6 months or more. Meanwhile, they took over all SE Asia, set up a defensive perimeter, and settled in to hold on to what they had. At least that was the original plan. They blew it by getting too cocky and taking too much to hold easily. Also they underestimated just how angry the US would be over Pearl. You see, the Japanese had historically opened ALL of their wars with a surprise attack – this was how they started in 1895 (Sino-Japanese war), 1905 (Russo-Japanese war), WW1 (when they attacked the Germans), 1931 (Manchuria), and 1937 (second Sino-Japanese war). For the Japanese, this was just how they normally started wars. For the Americans, it seemed like the basest treachery.

Q) Also, was Japan controlled by their military - i.e., were the general Japanese public aware and approving of the actions of the military?
A) Japan was not a democracy, if that’s what you mean. The general Japanese public agreed with the actions of the military. Why wouldn’t they? All forms of media were controlled by the government organs, and they were taught since grammar school of the superiority of Japanese culture to the rest of the world. They even had Thought Police to arrest and remove from circulation those who disagreed. It’s hard to see how many Japanese citizens would realistically be able to dissent, or even be aware there was something to dissent about.

Q) What do say to the players which say that the Turks are weak
A) say, “I’ll play vs. you in a team game. My turks will destroy you.”

Q) did you know that the Brits warned the American Goverment 3 days before Pearl Harbor happened?
A) Yes, but the warning just said that the Japanese might try something. Not what it was. The Americans already knew that, from breaking the Japanese codes. We expected a sabotage attempt at Pearl, but not an air strike.

Q) they knew about it before the Brits told them anything, yet they did nothing. I think the government just wanted an excuse to go to war
A) The US Government DID want to go to war, but not against the Japanese – Roosevelt was trying to get us to declare war on GERMANY. A war with the Japanese was the last thing he wanted. In addition, he wouldn’t have wanted all those ships to get sunk – if all he wanted was an excuse to go to war with Japan, an unsuccessful strike at Pearl would have sufficed. Luckily for FDR, Hitler declared war on the US a few days after Pearl, so he was out of the soup.

Q) Have you ever played the SPI series "Terrible Swift Sword" before?
A) I own two versions of it. SPI and TSR. (And yes, I’ve played it too.)

Q) Most people (despite what they do for a living) seem to feel that their is at least one way in which their job is not as fulfilling as they would like. Given that you have what appears to be a pretty cool job, is there anything about it that doesn't satisfy you?
A) I don’t get to pick the games I work on.

Q) Did the Aztecs have any contact with the Mayans or the cultures of South America?
A) Lots of contact with the Mayans. No direct contact (that we know of) with South Americans, though probably there was trade from Peru to Colombia to the Mayans to the Aztecs via middlemen.

Q) Do you think that people use "LOL" too much on these forums?
A) Yes. They should only use it if, in fact, they DID laugh out loud when reading something.

Q) Why don't american game developers ever do world tours?
A) We sent Bruce to Australia when AoK came out, so there.

Q) Ofcourse the American goverment knew this (of Pearl). The fact is that the British Goverment told them of where, when, how, what force and so forth.
A) This is just simply untrue. The best proof of it is as follows:

1) the Americans had much better access to Japanese codes than the British.
2) the Americans would NOT have wanted to lose all their fleet at Pearl. An attack WITHOUT losing the fleet would have been sufficient for an excuse for war. All our battle plans for the outbreak of war with Japan relied heavily upon our possessing a large battleship force, and had to be scrapped.
3) we had tons of fuel at Pearl which the Japanese only failed to destroy by the grace of God. We would certainly have tried to protect the fuel dumps if we’d known the Japanese had attacked – USN leaders said afterward that if the fuel had been hit, we would have been helpless vs. Japan for at least a year.
4) Admiral King would never have agreed to letting his fleet be sunk just for an excuse against Japan, and given his position in the JCS it’s hard to believe he would not have been privy to it.

Yes, the US should have been prepared for a strike on Pearl. Instead, we suspected a strike vs San Francisco and suspected potential sabotage at Pearl. It’s dumb conspiracy crap to think that the US knew the attack was coming, when you look at the facts.

Q) Do you answer these in your spare time or is part of your job?
A) It is not part of my job description.

Q) How come you guys picked such a stupid idea(sounds like it to me) for Age of Mythology.
A) Spare me. We hashed it out at length here for months of discussion. We were ready for something new, and hoped at least some of our fans would be, too.

Q) Was boar luring meant to be used, or did it just work out by chance?
A) It was intentional, seeing as elephant hunting was intentional too. (In AoE.)

Q) Why does only one civilization get both the Paladin and Arbalest?
A) Happenstance.

Q. What units would you like to see more often in multiplayer games?
A) Wonders

Q. Are you proud to be part-designer of one of the greatest games to date?
A) Absolutely. Are you referring to Call of Cthulhu, Doom, Quake, or Age of Kings?

Q. Did you personally want to have any units implemented?
A) Yes

Q. Do you think the new TC monk techs are worth their money? Personally I feel they have little effect for their high price.
A) Well … I think that the Heresy one is worth it.

Q. If there had been one more building set in TC, what would it have been?
A) Mediterranean.

Q) How much would you pay for some mint condition lawn darts?
A) I have no use for lawn darts.

Q)What color is most prevelant on the underside of you car/truck/suv/mopad?
A) rust.

Q) Did you actually get on the ground to find out?
A) No.

Q) Have you ever read Clavell's Shogun? If so, what did you think of it?
A) Partway. It was kind of fun. I wish he’d used the real names (i.e., Nobunaga instead of Toranaga).

Q) Do male villagers build faster than female villagers?
A) Not to my knowledge.

posted 06-06-01 02:49 PM CT (US)     2 / 226       
No reaction to the Farm-bug? Hm, that's either a very sad sign or a good one, could mean you guys have some hot discussions about it and you can't make a final statement yet (yeah, I'm in a speculative mood) ...
posted 06-06-01 03:06 PM CT (US)     3 / 226       
Do you have a favorite RMS? (what is it)

What is your favorite AOK related site? (apart from ES)

Do you listen to rap?

Do you get cofused with all of these WWW abrviations such as RMS AOK RTS RPG AOM TC X-pack AOE OT LOL LMAO & ES beacause it gives me a headache?

Did you miss out these questions from ask sandy 6 on purpous or accident?
Please also remember that the world does not exist therefore any stupid comments or spelling mistakes that I make are purely a figment of your own over-reactive imagination.
posted 06-06-01 03:23 PM CT (US)     4 / 226       
What is your favorite color?
ah hell all the good questions have been taken
posted 06-06-01 03:56 PM CT (US)     5 / 226       
Farm-Bug: Your opinion and what is going to be done with this.
posted 06-06-01 04:02 PM CT (US)     6 / 226       
Q: If an ES employee is working on Nemesis, can they still play whatever build of AOM that is available at the time (just for fun) when they're not working?

Q: What game company do you believe is second best to work for (assuming that you feel ES is the best)?

posted 06-06-01 04:04 PM CT (US)     7 / 226       
Hi, Sandy.
Thought I'd take another stab at a question regarding the languages spoken on AOK. You don't seem to know of or have interest in the linguistic work in the game. Is there someone at ES I could e-mail to in order to find out more about the words the units speak?
I always thought that this was an impressive feat for the game. Where did they find linguists that could speak middle German? How did they figure out what Mayans should sound like? To me (and a lot of others in this forum) this would be a fascinating story.


HG Alumnus
posted 06-06-01 04:28 PM CT (US)     8 / 226       
1) I happened to notice that you did NOT reply to my post...about what you think of Design teams? Why?

2) What DO you think of Design Teams?

Knights Templar
posted 06-06-01 05:03 PM CT (US)     9 / 226       
Q) Why dont you have a sig?

"Onward Chrisitan soldiers, marching as to war,
With the Cross of Jesus going on before.
Christ the royal Master leads against the foe;
Forward into battle see his banners go!"
S. Baring-Goul
Robert Edward Lee
posted 06-06-01 05:27 PM CT (US)     10 / 226       

In one of your replies you said that you would have liked to have seen a Mediterrannean Build set. I was wondering if you have checked out the 'Rome at War' modpack? It is available at the Blacksmith (7MB Download) and has some very good features. The set of course has a Byzantiney feel to it and some of the animation is a 'distorted' (the snow doesn't fit properly and one of the new units has blotchy colours).
If you havethe time a would recommend you download it, try playing 'red' and lining up a few ranks of Legionnaires, looks very nice (You get to play as Greece as well).

Duty is the sublimest word in our language
Do your duty in all things
You cannot do more
You should never wish to do less

Winner of Serge L's 'High Precision Question' for Total Quiz V

posted 06-06-01 07:08 PM CT (US)     11 / 226       
Well, since you answered my question on map-and-couter games before, here's another one:

Q) Do you feel that turned based wargames lose something in translation from older media? Perhaps it is just that you can't see the whole map, perhaps it is just having other players across the table from you, but I have never been able to get into turn-based PC wargames. This is despite 25 years of playing map-and-counter. Sure, it was great not to have to spend 75% of your game time consulting charts and cross-indexing (again, TSS springs to mind) but still, I never got the same enjoyment out of PC wargames until the AOK series.

posted 06-06-01 08:15 PM CT (US)     12 / 226       
why did you ever decide to make fish trap so slow ?
posted 06-06-01 11:33 PM CT (US)     13 / 226       

What pets do you own?
Do you thik that McVeigh should be executed?
What is your favorite food?

"Einstein is a fool." - Schrodinger
"The way to chastity is not to struggle with incontinent thoughts but to avert the thoughts by some employment, or by reading, or by meditating on other things, or by conversation. " - Sir Isaac Newton
CC | AoPS | M-W | PF | SSP | OCW | IBS | KCLS | CB
"We must believe that we are gifted for something, and that this something, at whatever cost, must be attained" - Marie Curie
"I was taught that the way of progress is neither swift nor easy" - Marie Curie
(id: The Vampire Slayer)
posted 06-07-01 00:35 AM CT (US)     14 / 226       
I thought Clavell should have used the real names as well, but ohh well.

Anyway, Toranaga wasn't supposed to be Nobunaga, he was supposed to be Tokugawa Ieyusa. Oda Nobunaga was the one who ruled Kyoto and was kill by rebels in Kyoto in 1582, which was shortly before William Adams arrival (known as John Blackthorn in the novel) in 1600. Tokugawa Ieyusa is the one who became Shogun and in the novel, Toranaga becomes Shogun at the end. I'm surprized that you confused that since the story of Oda Nobunaga's death is in the scenario Kyoto, one of The Conquerors campaign scenarios.

If you'd like to hear more about the history of Lord Tokugawa and William Adams, read this short essay I wrote for my scenario based on the actual story. I posted it in the history forum... here

BTW, it sounds to me that you read several Novels. About how many have you read?

@)₪₪₪₪ ŤΣVŮS ₪₪₪₪(@
|| ´ŠOŢ .◊ ŤΡМ ◊. SLX˜ ||
|| ÄŘĿŦŔ .◊ ŦŚŤĮ ◊. ĶǾŤ ||

[This message has been edited by The Vampire Slayer (edited 06-07-2001 @ 00:44 AM).]

posted 06-07-01 04:07 AM CT (US)     15 / 226       
Farm Bug! Farm Bug! Farm Bug! We want Farm Bug!
How long have you guys known?
Why did it take so long to become front page news?
Did the first guy that found it use it secertly for awhile?
Do you think it is fair to use in a game?
Do you use it?
It is a really big bug, right?
(id: ES_Sandyman)
posted 06-07-01 09:51 AM CT (US)     16 / 226       
Q) No reaction to the Farm-bug?
A) Well, what’s your question? Is it “Do you at ES know about the farm bug?” If so, then yes we do. If you just wish to reproach us, then please go ahead. GUNS_N_ROSES asks what my “opinion” is about it. Well duh I think it’s bad.

Q) What is your favorite color?
A) Green

Q) If an ES employee is working on Nemesis, can they still play whatever build of AOM that is available at the time (just for fun) when they're not working?
A) When would they not be working?

Q) What game company do you believe is second best to work for?
A) I have no idea. Not MicroProse, id, or EA, though.

Q) Is there someone at ES I could e-mail to in order to find out more about the words the units speak?
A) the translations were done in Ireland.

Q) What DO you think of Design Teams?
A) If you mean groups of designers working together, then that’s how every game I’ve ever worked on has been done. If you mean something else, I’m not sure how to reply.

Q) Do you feel that turned based wargames lose something in translation from older media?
A) Yes

Q) why did you ever decide to make fish trap so slow ?
A) To ensure they wouldn’t be a screw.

Q) What pets do you own?
A) mongrel terrier, 2 ferrets, 2 leopard geckos

Q) Do you think that McVeigh should be executed?
A) I think that capital punishment is correct in certain cases. I’d rather not name specific cases.

Q) What is your favorite food?
A) Lobster

Cian McGuire
posted 06-07-01 11:24 AM CT (US)     17 / 226       
Q) Sandy, have you ever found yourself interested in what various fan teams and studios create?

Q) What's your opinion of said teams, do you enjoy the fact that you're indirectly responsible for such a flood of creativity?

Q) Has anyone at ES picked up Wildfire Studios' Rome at War mod? It made it to the website news, so I was wondering

In vino veritas
posted 06-07-01 12:12 PM CT (US)     18 / 226       
Q: What is your favorite kind of cheese?
posted 06-07-01 02:39 PM CT (US)     19 / 226       
Q) What are some things you've punched holes through that aren't designed to have hole punched through them? (walls, doors etc.)

Q) Where ya been?

Q) Did you miss me?

"It would be very irresponsible of me to give you my thoughts as you are clearly incapable of handling the ones you already have."- Wulfhere, 04-21-05
"Calling someone's mom a literary device is just cold, man."- Pellaeon, 06-25-05.
"The departure of Gillb as mod, proves that ODers don't need a moderator...they need a mother." - Delirious Lab, 07-05-06
"It doesn't, which is why they've taken it upon themselves to try and die in Basra." - Fiindil, 05-16-07
posted 06-07-01 05:37 PM CT (US)     20 / 226       
Hi Mr.Sandyman
I have an serious question for you.
I have just finished my third song about AOK, its the last one in my AOK Battle Hymn trilogy. I have converted it to an MP3 file and its availebel on my web site.
The name on the song are "AOK Battle Hymn3 Final Battle"

My question is: In my song i use several taunts from the AOK games, i mix it with my music. Is that allowed ?

I have got very good response on that song, so you should take your time and listen to it (specialy since i have used your taunts
Here is the url.

Best regards Don Nasty

Knights Templar
posted 06-07-01 06:44 PM CT (US)     21 / 226       
Q) Why dont you have a sig?

Q) What's your opnion on the Crusades?

"Onward Chrisitan soldiers, marching as to war,
With the Cross of Jesus going on before.
Christ the royal Master leads against the foe;
Forward into battle see his banners go!"
S. Baring-Goul
posted 06-07-01 07:41 PM CT (US)     22 / 226       
If you could play a campaign on any historical figure, who would it be?

Have you seen the movie "Pearl Harbor"? If so, what do you think of it?

posted 06-07-01 09:22 PM CT (US)     23 / 226       
Where did you get the idea Korean should be a tower civ ?

Shouldn't Huns not get monk since they are atheist ?

Which one of these civ do you think is the best on arabia, Celts, Chinese, Franks, Persian or Mayan ?

What's your favorite computer game beside AOK ?

posted 06-07-01 09:41 PM CT (US)     24 / 226       
Please excuse my fellow forumers about the "Farm bug" topic. They are a bit anxious for an answer and so they don't exactly know how to ask the correct questions. So I will do it for them.

Q. Do the people who work at either ES or Microsoft plan on making a patch for the newly discovered "Farm bug" in Age of Empires II: The Conquerors?

Q. If so, when is this patch planned to be released?

-=Proud member of Clan1000=-
If women did not exist, all the money in the world would have no meaning. - Aristotle Onassis
Winner of Winstons ::I am smart enough to solve a Winston riddle:: award.
Want to join Clan 1000?
posted 06-07-01 09:43 PM CT (US)     25 / 226       
Q) Is "not posting anything on here when you come home completely drunk" one of the reasons why you abstain from alcohol? Not that I'm drunk at the moment, but here's a question that has been nagging at me even while I wasn't drunk:
Q) Do some of the forummers' names sometimes make you wonder? I mean, seriously, "NastyCut"? "BiggN"? "Spined Scythe"?? Not that "ferkelparade" is any better, but I'm German, so I have an excuse

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