Archived News From January 2002

Due to the old age of most of these news items, all hyperlinks have been disabled. It is also not possible to comment on any of news. They are presented in their current form purely for your reading pleasure - it's the closest thing to a time machine we can offer you!

Blacksmith Feature - 0ad...
Posted by Thunder on January 31st, 2002 @ 10:56 p.m.
Every Thursday here at AOKH, we will be featuring some of the great scenarios, campaigns, and modpacks that are in, or are destined for, our Blacksmith. There are a ton of fantastic fan created works in there, and we hope to point you to some of the ones which will provide you with great fun. Yes, this will also include reviews of completed works and previews of works in progress!

Before we get into our very first feature though, we must mention and give thanks to BrandNewCar. He has been volunteering his time in the Blacksmith to review scenarios and campaigns for quite some time, and has just recently been added to the official review team. Thanks very much for your dedication!

For our first feature, we're visiting the crew at Wildfire Studios once again. They have already put together some stunning work, such as their famous Rome at War mod which was just updated for the new year. Today though, we are previewing one of their works in progress. It is a very ambitious modpack, going by the name of 0ad.

The idea behind 0ad is to give players the chance to enter the turbulent time between 500bc and 500ad. As the project page sums up this time period, "...the Roman Empire waxes and wanes. Barbarians invade the civilized world. Egypt lost its previous world prominence. Alexander the Great went on his war campaign. Hannibal, Julius, Scipio, Cleopatra, Jesus, Marcus Antonius, Attila and the list goes on and on. An age of heros that was, has never been seen since."

Comparing 0ad to another famous project underway by the same group, their Lord of the Rings mod, WFS founder Dire_Wolf said "...the LOTR mod has a huge following but it is not nearly as big or as near completed as the 0 ad mod." And with nearly 6 months of time invested into 0ad, the team has already implemented new unit and building art inspired from this time period. The project is a total conversion, meaning that essentially all of the building and unit art is going to be replaced and Egyptian, Roman, Celt, Carthage, and many other prominent civilizations from this time will replace the standard AOK civs.

You'll find some screenshots and a summary of the project at the WFS 0ad page, and WFS also has a 0ad discussion forum at their site. There is no word on exactly when this project will be completed, but you can be sure that this very ambitious modpack will make a big splash when it debuts on the mod scene.
ES Spotlight On Shay!
Posted by Thunder on January 31st, 2002 @ 7:42 p.m.
I suppose management types can get away with not having a nickname, but Shay has a good ring to it no? Shay Girard steps forth into the spotlight today, and apparently she's one of those people playing The Sims:
"Full Name: Shay Girard
Joined Ensemble Studios: 1999
Job Title: Office Manager
Home Town: Dallas

Favorite Computer Games:
Sims Hot Date"


Source - ES News
The Sims and the many expansions for it have been selling so well, I knew there were plenty of people who played the game, but here is the first person I know of who's admitted to playing the game. Kind of fitting that she's a manager. Stop by and read up on the full write-up. ...Sims are out selling just about every other PC game out there... ; )
Friend Or Foe?
Posted by Thunder on January 31st, 2002 @ 9:47 a.m.
You really have to wonder sometimes who's team your allies are really on. Or if they bought AOK by mistake, instead of the latest SimCity title for their gaming library. Forumer splastic is looking for a few good tales of really really bad allies to make him feel a little better after his last game. It seems one of his team members was having trouble building farms. Makes you wince just reading that doesn't it? Read his full horror story in this post and share one or two of your own while you're at it.

Group therapy, it can work wonders. ...erm...no...I'm not speaking from personal experience... ; )
Patch Debate...
Posted by Thunder on January 30th, 2002 @ 8:18 p.m.
The mere mention that Ensemble Studios was considering making another patch for The Conquerors has sparked a lot of interest and debate over what it would and should tweak. Fixing the cost of Goth infantry so that they cost 25% less is a no-brainer, but beyond that there are a wide variety of suggestons. Drop in on this post to add your two-bits to the discussion. ...if they do patch, we may be waiting until after AOM is released... : \
ES Spotlight On D_Dawg!
Posted by Thunder on January 30th, 2002 @ 7:43 p.m.
Owner of one of the most hilarious job title descriptions ever, Jake "D_Dawg" Dotson is the latest Ensemble Studios team member to be hit by the spotlight:
"Full Name: Jake Dotson
Internet Handle: D_Dawg
Joined Ensemble Studios: January 31, 2000
Job Title: I’m the incompetent IT Support Tech that every company has at least one of. I’ve got a great system that they have yet to catch onto…I come into the office at night and break a few of the computers. So when I come in the next morning, (Jake I need help), I fix it (Somehow your IDE cable to your drive came unplugged), I’m the hero plus I retain my job. After that I drink coffee for the rest of the day while I play AOM. It’s a hard life!
Home Town: My home was the Marine Corps and where ever they sent my family, but I spent a few hours at the Hospital in Conroe, TX.

Favorite Computer Games:
Oh dude! The Age of Empires series of course. Counter-strike, Return to Castle Wolfenstein, NFL Fever 2002 (Xbox), Halo (Xbox), 1943 (Mame)"


Source - ES News
Well Jake is proof that it takes more than artists, designers, and programmers to make good games. It also takes a guy who drinks coffee, and fixes things he's broken. Good show! Check out Jake's full write-up which includes an interesting bio. ...hmm, lots of ex-armed forces blokes there... ; )
WCG Vote...
Posted by Thunder on January 30th, 2002 @ 7:09 a.m.
Our thanks to the champ, Gary__Payton, who has pointed formers to an interesting bit of voting going on at the official World Cyber Games site. The WCG gang are looking for game recommendations for their next competition, and we are free to vote! The Conquerors expansion pack is among the games on the list for PC games, and you can also recommend Xbox and PS2 titles that you feel should be apart of their competition. Make sure your voice is heard!

Link: www.worldcybergames.org
ES Spotlight On DaveTGit!
Posted by Thunder on January 29th, 2002 @ 8:09 p.m.
Jumping into ES spotlight today is none other than David "DaveTGit" Lewis. He's been with the Ensemble Studios team for a geat long while, and is currently working on everybody's fav upcoming game, AOM:
"Full Name: David Alan Lewis
Internet Handle: DaveTGit
Joined Ensemble Studios: March 1997
Job Title: Software Test Engineer
Home Town: Houston Texas

Anything Else You Desire To Ramble On About:
Well I could talk about my spaceship I have in my backyard, and how I am really an alien from the crab nebula but that would take to long."


Source - ES News
Alright then, back to work Dave! Read up on his full spotlight article, which reveals more about his hobbies, and the infamous monkey head. ...Dave provided much of the inspiration for the VDML cheap in AOK...or so the vague and distorted story goes... ; )
Bruce Shelley Chat Transcript!
Posted by Thunder on January 29th, 2002 @ 8:29 a.m.
A new patch for AOK? Yes folks, believe it or not, Age of Kings popped up in last night's chat with Ensemble Studios' own Bruce Shelley. The main topic was of course the new game that they are working on, Age of Mythology. But, not only did Gary__Payton stop by to mention that he had just defeated Myll_Barka to become the AOKH Ladder champion, the possibility of a new patch came up as well:
"KES_HAMERDAMAGE> Bruce...great games....love the series alot...september is a long time off my friend...patch of simple things would fire up the aok/tc community again(keeping the interest in the game=better aom sales/$) and is not that labor intensive to do/thank you..ga
+Bruce@ES> there is some interest at ES in a new patch. It is being discussed. Keep an ear out. ga"


Source - Bruce Shelley Chat Transcript
At least they are talking about! We'll keep our eyes and ears peeled for any patch news, you can be sure. In the meantime, wonder over to AOMH and check out the full chat transcript from the event. ...thanks for coming out Bruce!!! ; )
ES Spotlight On Learguy!
Posted by Thunder on January 28th, 2002 @ 11:00 p.m.
The ES spotlight falls on a very new member of the Ensemble Studios team today. David "Learguy" Leary has only been around the studios since October of last year, but he's already hard at work on creating content for Age of Mythology:
"Full Name: David Leary
Internet Handle: Learguy
Joined Ensemble Studios: October 2001
Job Title: Content Designer
Home Town: Farmington, New Hampshire

Most Embarrassing Moment:
First year of college, after a lengthy drinking bender, dragging a paper bag full of my own vomit up and down a dormitory hallway for about an hour. The bottom of the bag only lasted the first fifteen minutes. My hallmates were not pleased."


Source - ES News
Soiling the hallowed halls of learning. Impressive! The rest of David's write-up isn't quite as crazy, but well worth looking at. ...*whine* cut me right index finger...will be a lil' slower typing and clicking for a bit... : \
Virus Heads Up...
Posted by Thunder on January 28th, 2002 @ 10:44 p.m.
For those of you who like to keep on top of virus news, the gang at Avault, among others, have posted news of a new virus that's spreading. The good news is that it's not really destructive, but it does come in a nice disguise:
"The virus arrives as an email with the subject line 'New photos from my party!' It contains an innocuous looking file attachment called www.myparty.yahoo.com. A message in the body of the email reads: 'Hello! My party... It was absolutely amazing! I have attached my web page with new photos! If you can please make color prints of my photos. Thanks!'"

Source - New Email Worm Surfaces
AOKH Ladder Standings...
Posted by Thunder on January 28th, 2002 @ 8:23 a.m.
For the first time in months, we have a new AOKH Ladder champion! _Final_Boss held that title for the longest time, fending off challenges from several great players during his reign, and only losing one or two games since he joined the ladder. Well Myll_Barka, one of our instructors in the Training Camp, finally beat the Boss once, and then again in the customary re-match that followed. You can download the recordings of their games from our recorded games section. (big thanks to KUBLA_Khan for sending those in)

Congratulations to our new champion, and to _Final_Boss on his amazingly long reign! Here now are the current ladder standings:
  1. 158: Myll_Barka [remains champion until defeated]
  2. 181: IR_Evil
  3. 169: _Final_Boss_/169: Darq_LadyWoogy
  4. 150: _Chichiri_
  5. 149: Gary__Payton
  6. 144: Evil_Viking [aka SLAYER_SERVANT]
  7. 142: Doink
  8. 139: StorM_Country
  9. 137: cow_gone_mad/137: Myll_Slaghter
  10. 133: MoFo_Revolution

Source - AOKH Ladder


There you have it! As you can see by the points, it now takes quite some work to get into the top ten. If you're interested in joining our ladder, just drop in on the Ladder post and leave your zone name and desire to join in a post. It's just that easy. ...long may Barka reign! ; )
Bruce Shelley Talks AOM!
Posted by Thunder on January 27th, 2002 @ 10:20 p.m.
For those of you who are interested in Ensemble Studios' next game, Bruce Shelley will be chatting about Age of Mythology tomorrow with fans! The event takes place in the Zone Chat Theatre stating at 6pm PST. (9pm EST, 2am GMT) Head to AOM Heaven for the full press release announcing the chat, and a heads up from Mike "Archangel" McCart on the status of this week's AOM screenshot. ...or more correctly...screenshots...as we've been getting four every Monday for the past few weeks... ; )
Forum Party Tomorrow...
Posted by Thunder on January 26th, 2002 @ 3:00 a.m.
Yes folks, the green knight rides again, which means that our weekly forum party is tomorrow! If you're looking to get in a few fun games with us forumers tomorrow, make sure you stop in. You can find all of the details in the nifty Forum Party Post.

Those of you climbing the AOKH Ladder may want to stop in on the party too as it'll probably be a little easier to get a ladder game going than during the week. If you're looking for some competition, Tonto_Simfish is getting set to run his 2v2 tourney tomorrow, so grab a partner and get ready to rumble!

Last, but not least, congrats to our Ladder warriors of the week, as picked by Dark Side of Day. These players took on all comers, not shying away from high ranked opponents, and played their hearts out. Good show Tonto_Alyantis, DontWallMyTC, and meng_de. For the full list, stop in on this post. ...see you there...I'll be the guy whining about how rusty he is... ; )
WOMM - It Is...
Posted by Thunder on January 25th, 2002 @ 8:16 p.m.
Our "What's on Matt's Monitor" contest has now closed! We had quite an amazing number of guesses made, thank you all for taking the time to send in yours. Absolutely no one guess exactly what the object is, but we're still awarding the prize, not to worry.

So, what the heck is it?? In the words of Matt Pritchard, "It's a Fallout Tactics knapsack"

All of you who sent in an entry saying that it was some type of sack, or bag, had you names tossed in the hat for the prize draw. You all did a grand job figuring out what it was, and there were about twelve names up for the prize. Our winner is Claudia P.! Congratulations, and thanks once again to all those who entered.

Here are a few of the entries that came in, some make for some great reading:

To me, it looks like a green soft cushy football that has a shark's mouth on it, and a cup holder attached to it.

Is it one of those annoying fish that sing when you go near them?

basically, its a skull of some kind of animal. The (from our point of view) left ear is missing. and it got some black tape/rope/*doesntknowword* around its "face". -- it looks so big and wierd, because its casting a shadow that looks like it belongs to the object itself.

its a web can [cam] that was boring so he decided to make it into something better to look at

a shark candy dispenser

Is it a shark face mask? Or is it a stuffed shark with a mask or something on it? Bondage, anyone?
ES Spotlight On Fish!
Posted by Thunder on January 25th, 2002 @ 7:56 p.m.
The very busy lead designer on Age of Mythology was caught standing still for just a moment today and was blinded with the good ol' ES spotlight. Ian "Fish" Fischer has written up a great spotlight, which includes many lists of his favs:
"Full Name: Ian M. Fischer
Nickname: Fish, 13
Joined Ensemble Studios: 1997
Job Title: Lead Game Designer
Home Town: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Favorite Movies:
Memento, Fight Club, Star Wars, Dr. Strangelove, The Thing, Aliens, Snatch, Amores Perros, Run Lola Run, The Matrix, Animal House, Reservoir Dogs, Trainspotting, Blade Runner, Seven Samurai, etc."


Source - ES News
Ahhhh, that be a fine list. After you've checked out the full write-up we have a little more on Mr.Fischer. Some of you may remember that we interviewed Ian not long ago, so if you're interested in more on this feller, dust off this interview at AOMH. ...which includes how he got his other nick, 13... ; )
WOMM Contest - HINT!
Posted by Thunder on January 24th, 2002 @ 9:25 p.m.
The deadline for entries in our "What's on Matt's Monitor?" contest is tomorrow at 12 noon EST! If you still haven't got a clue at what this object sitting on Matt "The Optimizer" Pritchard's Monitor is, here is a little hint: this object would be more appropriate on Matt than on his monitor

If you are way off the mark, hopefully that clue will help give you a better idea of what it is. If you have already sent in a guess or two, feel free to send in another! Send your guess to thunder@heavengames.com by 12 noon EST tomorrow. (that's 5pm GMT, and 9am PST) All you have to do is identify this object and you may win a HG t-shirt and a More Music From The Ages CD! ...hope that helps a little... ; )
ES Spotlight On Robert!
Posted by Thunder on January 24th, 2002 @ 8:46 p.m.
Another Ensemble Studios without a nickname? That should be against the law. Well, Robert Anderson, the latest ES spotlight victim, hasn't been with the company nearly as long as some of the other team members, so he'll likely pick up a nick as he goes along. In usual spotlight fashion, he gives us a bit of a look at himself:
"Full Name: Robert Anderson
Nick Name: No official ‘nick as of yet.
Joined Ensemble Studios: April 30, 2001
Job Title: Software Tester
Home Town: Dallas

Short Bio:
The short version. Born Chicago, IL. Moved to Dallas, Texas at age 5. In 1980 my family purchased an Atari Computer, and I become forever a computer game player. Then a bunch of stuff happens, as I get older. Fast forward to 1996 I get married, and my wife discovers the depth of my computer game hobby, and because she is so awesome she stays with me J. A few years later I leave my job managing an Electronic Boutique store to take a job at ION Storm. I was out of retail at last, hurray. Then in 2001 two awesome things happened in my life; I became a homeowner and I came on staff here an Ensemble. Today, testing stuff in AoM."


Source - ES News
Three cheers for Robert on fighting his way out of retail! Stop in and check out his spotlight write-up and take a look at his picture. He's got a pretty cool image on one of his two monitors, but it's too bad that window is covering up the good bit. ...a rather large building perhaps? ; )
EEH Scenario Design Contest!
Posted by Thunder on January 24th, 2002 @ 8:22 p.m.
Wow, they are a busy crew at Empire Earth Heaven! The day after they go live with their new design, they launch a massive scenario design contest, with a pretty amazing prize or two:
"EMPIRE EARTH HEAVEN ANNOUNCES "RETURN TO DESTINY" SCENARIO DESIGN CONTEST
January 24th, 2002

Empire Earth Heaven (http://ee.heavengames.com), a site published by HeavenGames, LLC, announced today the Return to Destiny Empire Earth Heaven Scenario Design Contest. This alternative-history themed contest promises to give amateur scenario designers from around the world a chance to win fabulous prizes, and the opportunity to have their scenario featured in an upcoming issue of PC Gamer (www.pcgamer.com), the world’s best-selling computer gaming magazine.

With the submission deadline set for March 15th, 2002, designers have nearly two months to create and submit their scenarios, which must present a "What-if?" question that could have altered the outcome of a historical event or series of events taking place within the time frame covered by the Renaissance to World War II epochs (approximately 1300 to 1950 A.D.).

A number of the community’s foremost authorities on Scenario Designing shall be judging the contest, including Stephen "Lobby" Ryan and Jason "The Rasher" Dillman, two of the Singleplayer Designers with SSSI whose work can be seen in the Russian and English Empire Earth campaigns respectively. Other judges include EEH staff members "Park", "Shadow Angel", "Akavish", "shadows166", and "Tartarus". All judges are some of the foremost authorities on scenario designing in the EE community, and their knowledge and attention to detail shall ensure that the contest is run in as fair and professional a manner as possible.

For more information, as well as the official Rules and Regulations, see the Return to Destiny official site at http://ee.heavengames.com/contests/return_to_destiny. Please direct all comments or questions to rasher@heavengames.com"


Source - EE Heaven
Well there's a very inspirational idea for a contest. There are a ton of events during that time period which shaped our world, and it will be interesting to see how designers deal with such events if their outcome were different. What if the Axis countries managed to win WWI? What if Napoleon was successful in defeating Russia? I better stop there. Good luck to everybody! ...having your winning entry in PC Gamer would look great on the resume of a content designer... ; )
Heavenly News...
Posted by Thunder on January 24th, 2002 @ 9:54 a.m.
A trio of HeavenGames sites are generating some extremely noteworthy news of late. First and foremost though is a major redesign of Empire Earth Heaven! The new look is quite a departure from the usual HG style, but more functional and snappy. Stop by for a look, and also a read as much of their content has been updated or is in the process of being updated.

Other HG sites making waves? Well you've no need to look any further than Cossacks Heaven, where not only have they just passed the 200,000 visitor milestone, but the developers of that game are eager for your input! If you're a fan of the game, don't miss out on this chance.

Last, but certainly not least, good ol' Caesar 3 Heaven has passed the 700,000 visitor milestone! Conrats to the C3 team on filling that site with such great content that it still draws quite the number of visitors. ...might end up catching up to AOEH... ; )
Pocket Sized RTS?
Posted by Thunder on January 24th, 2002 @ 1:24 a.m.
Some of you may have already heard about John Romero's new company, Monkeystone Games, where you'll also find former Ensemble Studios team member Brian Moon. (not to be confused with Brian Sullivan who has gone off to Iron Lore...thanks to Ben "formerly Angel Washizu" Garvey for setting me straight) Well, the Monkeystone news page reveals that they are going to be helping bring an RTS game called Argentum to a pocket PC near you! Take a look at some of the screenshots for the game, they're pretty damn cool for a pint sized RTS.

With portable devices becoming more and more advanced, it looks like electronic entertainment companies are getting serious about cracking this new market. ...the Monkeystone crew has been very busy of late, check out the rest of their news.... ; )
Tournament & B-Day News...
Posted by Thunder on January 24th, 2002 @ 1:02 a.m.
There's $100 bucks up for grabs, if you don't mind getting your feet wet. This 2on2 team islands tournament is going to be getting underway on Feb 23rd, so you've got a little time to practice up. For more information, drop in on this page on the No Rules Clan site. (thanks RTS Central)

While doing the usual poke around at RTS Central's AOK page, I stumbled on birthday news — or rather it jumped out at me. None other than Mr.Fixit himself is turning another year older today, so here's a big HAPPY BIRTHDAY from over here in Heaven! ...no word on his actualy age...and I won't hazard a guess... ; )
WOMM Prize...
Posted by Thunder on January 23rd, 2002 @ 9:06 p.m.
For those of you still scratching your heads over our "What's on Matt's Monitor?" contest, we now have a prize to award the winner! For the lucky lad or lass who manages to figure out what the strange object is that's sitting on Matt Pritchard's monitor, they will be taking home a lovely HeavenGames t-shirt and a More Music From The Ages CD! (you can't find those in stores ya know)

In the unlikely event that more than one person is able to figure out what the object is, we will do a random draw amongst those with the correct answer. For more contest information, see the WOMM Contest post below! ..."A flat football with headphones!"...ummm, no... ; )
WOMM Contest!
Posted by Thunder on January 23rd, 2002 @ 3:04 a.m.
That would be short for, "What's on Matt's Monitor?". The recent spotlight aritcle on Matt "The Optimizer" Pritchard included an image of his office, and a rather strange something or other sitting on his monitor. I'm pretty sure no one is going to be able to guess what it is, but if you're up for the challenge, e-mail your guess to thunder@heavengames.com. (be as specific as you can)

Deadline: 12 noon EST, Friday, Jan 25th. (watch for a hint on the 24th if no one has guessed correctly)

Prize: Unknown...I'm trying to scare up something, but it may just be the title of "Master of the Universe".

Everyone who isn't a member of Ensemble Studios, or HeavenGames is welcome to enter! For those of you without the aid of a slick image editing program, click on the image below to see a picture of the object in question enlarged. ...many thanks to The Optimizer for providing the answer and the inspiration... ; )

Update: We have our hands on a nifty prize for the winner! It will be revealed tomorrow afternoon. Keep those entries coming!
ES Spotlight On Bruck!
Posted by Thunder on January 22nd, 2002 @ 10:27 p.m.
No one can escape the Ensemble Studios spotlight, not even their Senior Designer, Bruce "Bruck" Shelley! If you haven't heard of him, he's worked on just a few really successful games, most of which he has listed in his short bio. Bruce even does a little rambling in his spotlight write-up:
"Full Name: Bruce Campbell Shelley
Internet Handle: Bruck
Joined Ensemble Studios: February, 1995
Job Title: Game Designer
Home Town: Chicago

Anything Else You Desire To Ramble On About:
Ensemble Studios is the fifth game company that I have worked for/helped start, and by far the most successful and the most fun. That is a tribute first to our studio head, Tony Goodman, who had the vision for the company and who assembled the early team, and, second, to the talents and drive of our entire staff. Microsoft has been a fantastic partner and life since our acquisition has been all good. When I turned 50 years old a few years ago I began thinking that the next ten years of my life would be the best; so far, that is true."


Source - ES News
Make sure you stop in and check out Bruce's spotlight article, and his quote, which is more like great advice. ...may have a small contest coming up...Matt Pritchard's idea... ; )
ES Spotlight On The Optimizer!
Posted by Thunder on January 21st, 2002 @ 10:27 p.m.
Long, long, long time member of Ensemble Studios, Matt "The Optimizer" Pritchard, has finally taken the leap into the blinding spotlight. He is hard at work mucking about with both of ES's current projects, Age of Mythology and that other top secret one, but managed to take a some time and share a little about himself with us. His spotlight article even includes mentions of some pretty unique hobbies:
"Full Name: Matt Pritchard
Nickname: The Optimizer
Joined Ensemble Studios: Early 1996, one of the original Age programmers
Job Title: Graphics Engine and Optimization Specialist (but that’s not all I do)
Home Town: Grew up in Algonac, Michigan, but I call the Dallas area home.
Family Status: Happily Married to a beautiful redhead, with one Daughter and one Dog.

Interests / Hobbies: Music (My wife and I own over 1,500 Music CDs), High Performance Automobiles, Games of all kinds, Writing (I’ve been published numerous times in multiple languages and been mentioned in such places as the Economist and New York Times), anything MP3, sports (Go Cowboys!), reading, travel, boating, collecting antique computers and game systems."


Source - ES News
As always, this spotlight article is an interesting read, giving us a little bit of insight into the folks that make some of the best RTS games out there. Those of you interested in hearing more from Matt may want to check out an old interview with him done by Angel Washizu, shortly before the Conquerors expansion pack was released. You can dust it off and give it a read here. ...what the heck does Matt have sitting on his monitor? ; )
Upcoming 2v2 Tourney...
Posted by Thunder on January 21st, 2002 @ 8:28 p.m.
Grab a partner and get set to beat the heck out of the competition in the 4th 2v2 Ladder Tournament! Tonto_Simfish is organizing this event which will get underway this Saturday, the 26th. The map will be the always unpredictable ES@Capricious_v2. For more information and a look at the complete rules, check out this post in the forum. ...love that map...makes for wide open crazy games... ; )
AOKH Ladder Standings...
Posted by Thunder on January 21st, 2002 @ 8:11 p.m.
Look who's still on top of the AOKH Ladder, _Final_Boss. His record reign as the ladder champion continues as he has fended off another challenge by Gary__Payton. A few members of the Myll clan are on the move though, one is even a former ladder champion, so we'll have to see if they can dethrone the Boss. Here, as always, is the top ten:
  1. 168: _Final_Boss
  2. 158: Darq_LadyWoogy
  3. 150: IR_Evil
  4. 149: Gary__Payton
  5. 144: Evil_Viking [aka SLAYER_SERVANT]
  6. 139: Doink/139: StorM_Country
  7. 137: cow_gone_mad/137: Myll_Slaghter
  8. 134: Myll_Barka
  9. 133: MoFo_Revolution
  10. 126: Annoyomous [aka pOiSoN_PaLaDiN]

Source - AOKH Ladder
If you'd like to get involved in the Ladder, just drop by the AOKH Ladder post and reply with your zone name and desire to join. Best of luck to everyone is their quest to climb to the top! ...perhaps one week we should do a top 50 or 100... ; )
Forum Party Tomorrow...
Posted by Thunder on January 19th, 2002 @ 2:07 a.m.
Just like clockwork, tomorrow we will be gathering on the Zone for some games will fellow forumers. Everybody is invited to stop by for a game, or two or three! For more information on where and when you can take part, stop by the always handsome Forum Party Post.

For you involved in the AOKH Ladder, the party times are also a good time to get yourself some competitive games as well. If you're hunting for points, stop!

There was talk of a tournament, but it's been put off until next weekend. We'll keep you posted. ...see ya on the battlefield tomorrow! ; )
ES Spotlight On Swinger!
Posted by Thunder on January 17th, 2002 @ 8:48 p.m.
Somehow, someone at Ensemble Studios managed to get Chris "Swinger" Rupp to take off his dancing shoes for just a minute and sit still for the latest spotlight feature. He has the tough task of playtesting Age of Mythology, poor guy:
"Full Name: Chris Rupp
Internet Handle: Swinger
Joined Ensemble Studios: August 2002
[2001 eh?]
Job Title: Playtester for AoM
Home Town: Mankato, MN

Interests / Hobbies: Music, Video games, Dancing. That pretty much sums up my life."


Source - ES News
In Chris' picture that goes along with his spotlight article, there is a lovely shot of a dry-erase board complete with all sorts of crazy stuff on it. Everything from civilization bonuses to mentions of Nile Penguins and Flying Purple Hippos. Now that's good reading! ...Rupp...spelled, R U Pee Pee...man I wish I was in his pre-school class... ; )
AOKH Ladder: Fresh Post!
Posted by Thunder on January 17th, 2002 @ 10:12 a.m.
With over two-thousand posts in the original AOKH Ladder thread in the forums, things started to get bogged down just a little. Ladder players were experiencing less than normal load times when attempting to post their results or challenges, but not to worry! There is a brand new AOKH Ladder Post up and running, complete with all of the points and games in tact that have been played over the past months, and bearing a history of all of the ladder games played thus far.

If you're interested in testing your skills against some pretty good players, and possibly moving up a few rungs, you'll find all the information you need in the slim and trim AOKH Ladder Post.

For those interested in dethroning the long time ladder champion, _Final_Boss, he's back from his trip and ready to defend his title! Good luck Bossman! ...plenty of head hunters after him now... ; )
ES Spotlight On The Sheriff!
Posted by Thunder on January 17th, 2002 @ 1:30 a.m.
Stepping out of the dark shadows of the Quality Assurance department at Ensemble Studios and into the spotlight is Kevin "The Sheriff" Holme. You may have heard of his exploits from waaaay back in the days of AOE and ROR. In his write-up he shares how he managed to end up as a member of the ES team working on Age of Mythology, and other nifty bits:
"Full Name: Kevin Holme
Internet Handle: The Sheriff
Joined Ensemble Studios: 09-2000
Job Title: Quality Assurance
Home Town: Shoreview, Minnesota

Currently Working On: I am currently doing a combo of functionality and playbalance testing for Age of Mythology. I spend a lot of time running unit combat or civilization comparison tests. I am also responsible for testing areas such as multiplayer, random maps, and computer player AI."


Source - ES News
There are worse jobs out there in the world, you can be sure of that. Stop in for a look and a read on Mr.Holme, in his own words. ...I tell ya, that whole QA business sounds mighty exciting... ; )
Old ICQ Versions Vulnerable...
Posted by Thunder on January 16th, 2002 @ 0:31 a.m.
There's a great many long time ICQ users around here, and quite a few, incuding myself, who prefer the older versions of the software. Well, as was reported in this story on Avault today, it may be time to upgrade:
"A bug has been found in the voice, video, and games features in versions earlier than version 2001b of ICQ, which was released in October.

The problem results when the application is flooded with more code than it can handle, triggering a so-called “buffer overflow�? error and allowing extraneous code to be executed. That could allow someone to download malicious code onto a targeted computer."


Source - ICQ Users Urged to Upgrade for Security
If you've been sticking with an old version because you don't need the bells and whistles in the newest version, it looks like it's finally time to make the download. Not to worry though, keeping your contact list in tact is pretty simple to do. ...stayed with v99a for a looooooong time... ; )
ES Spotlight On Ice_Kube!
Posted by Thunder on January 16th, 2002 @ 0:16 a.m.
Another artist? Yes, they have more than just a handful at Ensemble Studios, and Dave "Ice_Kube" Kubalak is the latest to wonder in the spotlight. You'll likely notice that he is also at work on the top secret project, and so can't really give us any details on that without terrible things happening to him:
"Full Name: David Kubalak
Internet Handle: Ice_Kube
Joined Ensemble Studios: Jan 1999
Job Title: Artist
Home Town: Pittsburgh

Favorite Computer Games: Age 2, Quake 3, and Half Life."


Source - ES News
By the looks of several artist bios, it seems most of them go right from school and into the games industry, unlike many of the programmers. At anyrate, check out his full write-up here on the ES site. ...hmmm, seems to be a fairly large team on this top secret project... ; )
ES Spotlight On Killa B!
Posted by Thunder on January 15th, 2002 @ 10:37 a.m.
The latest brave member of the Ensemble Studios team to step out into the spotlight is another of their talented artists. Bart "Killa B" Tiongson is a relatively new addition to the studios, working on that yet to be announced top secret project of theirs, and he's being tight lipped about it as you would expect:
"Full Name: Bartolome Arguelles Tiongson
Internet Handle: Killa B
Joined Ensemble Studios: July 2000
Job Title: Artist
Home Town: T-Dot, Ontario, Canada

Currently Working On: It's a secret"


Source - ES News
Yes, it's not a terribly revealing feature. You won't find any pretzel jokes, but we'll have to make due. You'll find Bart's full write-up right here. ..."These pretzels are making me thirsty." - Kramer... ; )
New AOM Info & Interview...
Posted by Thunder on January 15th, 2002 @ 1:10 a.m.
For those of you who haven't been paying close attention to Ensemble Studios' next RTS game, today has been stellar. Two batches of new screenshots have been released, a German article on the game which has yielded a surprising amount of information on recent design changes, and an upcoming interview with Greg "DeathShrimp" Street and David "RIPMAN" Rippy that takes place tonight and you can listen in!

Whew, catch your breath and find out more about all of this stuff at AOM Heaven. ...*wipes sweat from brow*... ; )
Ladder Standings...
Posted by Thunder on January 15th, 2002 @ 0:41 a.m.
It's that time of the week! We've got a few names on the move up the AOKH Ladder, and some names we're getting very familiar with as they seem to have been in the top ten forever. Here they are, the standings:
  1. 156:_Final_Boss [Ladder Champion, remains #1 until defeated]
  2. 159: Darq_LadyWoogy
  3. 153: IR_Evil
  4. 144: Evil_Viking [aka SLAYER_SERVANT]
  5. 140: Gary__Payton
  6. 139: Doink/139: StorM_Country
  7. 137: cow_gone_mad
  8. 133: MoFo_Revolution
  9. 124: Annoyomous [aka pOiSoN_PaLaDiN]
  10. 123: _Chichiri


Source - AOKH Ladder
Interesting to note that two of the instructors in our Training Camp are moving up pretty quick on the ladder. (Chichiri, and Myll_Barka) Good luck to everyone in their upcoming games!

If you're interested in taking part in the ladder, just stop in and check out the Ladder post for more information on how to join and the rules. ...I've lost count of how many weeks _Final_Boss has been the champ... ; )
Mr.Fixit's Latest...
Posted by Thunder on January 14th, 2002 @ 6:08 p.m.
Everyone's favourite repairman, Mr.Fixit, has sent over word on some of the latest happenings at RTS Central. They have launched an events calendar, and Mr ED tells the tale of their recent old timers tournament in good old war story format:
"MFO EVENTS CALENDAR
MFO opens our events calendar - making it easier to tell when events for all sorts of games are happening: http://www.mrfixitonline.com/readPosting.asp?PostingId=682955

THE OLDTIMER RESULTS ARE IN
After a night of old times and old friends the oldtimers declare a winner in this Age of Empires: Rise of Rome retro-tourney: http://www.rtscentral.com/readPosting.asp?PostingId=692858"
- Mr.Fixit
There's always lots to see at do at RTS Central, as they continue to cover the many other hot RTS titles on the market. If you're an old Rise of Rome player, check out Mr ED's write-up, it will really take you back. ...remember those long lines of villes running for their little lives? ...no where to hide! ; )
AOK On TV?
Posted by Thunder on January 14th, 2002 @ 4:03 a.m.
More details on the previously announced video game netowrk called G4 have apparently become available in the latest issue of PC Gamer. Forumer zam zap has posted that two games have been confirmed as part of their programming line-up, Age of Kings and Empire Earth!

Pick-up the magazine for more details, and stay tuned, to your TV as this gaming channel will soon be on a TV near you. Stop by the official G4 website for information straight from the horses mouth about this network. ...sharpen your skillz...you may get some $$$ and your mug on the tube! ; )
Forum Party Tomorrow...
Posted by Thunder on January 12th, 2002 @ 0:00 a.m.
It's been about a year of forum parties every Saturday, can you believe that? Whew, so many games, so many losses, but you can be sure there'll be a group of forumers on the Zone tomorrow ready for more! All are invited to stop by for some fun, and a few games to boot. A note to you ladder players, this is also usually a decent time to get in a few games for points as well. Where? When? All of the answers await you in the aging, Forum Party Post.

What about a tournament? No tournament from us this week (maybe next Saturday), but RTS Central has the goods on two upcoming events. One is for spanish players, the other, for you elderly Agers who still have your copies of the original AoE. Good luck one and all! ...been awhile since our last tournament...perhaps it's my turn to step up to the plate and organize one... ; )
ES Spotlight On Brian?
Posted by Thunder on January 11th, 2002 @ 11:36 p.m.
Odd nickname hmm? Actually, it appears the latest member of the Ensemble Studios crew to step out into the spotlight is either short a nickname, or it's not appropriate to share with the public. You'll find most of the things in Brian McIntosh's spotlight that we've come to expect, favourite games, bands, and a description of how he's contributing to Age of Mythology right now, which sounds absolutely thrilling:
"Full Name: Brian P. McIntosh
Job Title: SQA
Home Town: Dallas

Currently Working On: I’m reviewing the in-game Artwork in Age of Mythology. On some levels this is just to check for its aesthetic appeal but mostly right now just making sure all of it looks ‘right’. I make sure when you upgrade your archers your guy isn’t poking himself in the eye with his arrows. I’m verifying that all the world objects have textures and animations where appropriate."


Source - ES News
Although it doesn't sound like a whole lot of fun, if your archer did lose an eye to his own arrow, that would totally suck. Attention to detail, it's certainly one of the things that ES strives for. The full article can be had right here. ...and then deny all knowledge of having seen it if Brian happens to ask you... ; )
Boss vs Payton Records...
Posted by Thunder on January 11th, 2002 @ 2:29 a.m.
For those of you who are interested in taking a look at the recordings from the recent battle for the AOKH Ladder crown, look no further than the recorded games section.

None other than Gary__Payton takes on our reigning and long time ladder champion, _Final_Boss. Gary wins the first game, but loses the rematch to Boss on Arabia. Our thanks to both players for uploading both of their games! ...yes, you aren't seeing double, there's two copies of each game... ; )
New Training Camp Forum!
Posted by Thunder on January 9th, 2002 @ 10:58 p.m.
For those of you who are taking part in the AOKH Training Camp, or are thinking about joining, you'll be interested to know that a forum has been opened up just for you! This is the place to find out more information on the program, training events, and get advice from the instructors.

The AOKH Training Camp has been organized to help players take their skill level up a notch by enabling them to learn from very skilled players. Our thanks to Myll_Slaghter, Myll_Barka, and Chichiri for lending their time to help out their fellow Agers! Don't pass up on this oppurtunity to get some tips and advice from these fellas!

Link: Training Camp Forum
ES Spotlight On Dlanger!
Posted by Thunder on January 9th, 2002 @ 6:26 p.m.
Doing his very best to top the hilarous spotlight feature from yesterday, check out the Royster's spotlight write-up if you missed it, ES programmer Dusty "Dlanger" Monk has put together a great article. His most embarrassing moment is a must read, well, as is all of it:
"Full Name: Dusty Monk
Internet Handle: Dlangar
Joined Ensemble Studios: Yes. Err.. 1/11/99
Job Title: Programmer
Home Town: Houston, TX

Celebrity You Most Resemble: Hehheh.. well when my hair was longer, a lot of people used to tell me I looked like Ringo Starr. Ugh. I cut my hair, and I think he’s dead now anyway. These days I look, like, hell I dunno.. that guy from America’s Funniest Home Videos. The tall one.

Anything else you Desire To ramble on about: Why is Desire capitalized in that question? Think about it."


Source - ES News
Talk of Bob Saget, and desire with a captial "D", the insanity just never stops at Ensemble Studios. Make sure you stop in and check out the full spotlight on the Monk. ...still LOLing from that... ; )
Ready, Set, Post!
Posted by Thunder on January 9th, 2002 @ 9:46 a.m.
We just received a transmission from Xiphoid, the master of his domain...Planet AOE. He has informed us of the recent launch of some new and pretty spiffy forum software over at his place, which has been ushered into service by a posting frenzy:
"Planet Age of Empires is proud to announce the re-launching of its
popular forums. Now with dozens of new features like polls, calendars, private messaging system, member tracking, topped threads, and an extensive post-count ranking system, the new forums go light-years beyond the previous ones in terms of functionality and ease of use. Also, newly instituted is a forum law, which ensures the forums are kept in a clean and productive order and also is enforced by a moderating team that contains some of the most talented players and contributors in the Age community. Averaging 2,000+ posts a day in its first two days in operation, the v2.0 PlanetAOE Forums have been a great success thus far."
- Xiphoid
Pop on over and join in on the madness if you get the chance. The many features and pretty big crowd there make PAOE forums a great part of the Age community. ...those new forums are pretty swanky...make sure you dress appropriately when you visit... ; )
ES Spotlight On Royster!
Posted by Thunder on January 8th, 2002 @ 11:24 p.m.
We generally don't see much of Roy "Royster" Rabey, as he's the busy guy behind the scenes that makes sure the ES network and PCs are up to snuff. Now though, the Royster has stepped out into ES spotlight, which is a very fun read:
"Full Name: Roy Rabey
Internet Handle: Royster
Cat's Name: Romulus
Joined Ensemble Studios: October 1998
Job Title: IT Manager
Home Town: New Orleans

Interests / Hobbies: I am a licensed Amateur (Ham) Radio operator (KA5PNM) and enjoy playing with all the cool technologies and gadgets available in that arena. One of the coolest things I’ve done with this hobby is talk to spacemen. No really… I have talked to astronauts (who are also ham radio operators) on the MIR space station using amateur radio equipment at my home. I hope to repeat this soon and talk to the astronauts on the International Space Station. Cool, huh? I like tinkering with analog and digital electronic circuits of a general nature. I love to program computers, which I did professionally from 1980 until 1998, but don’t do much now (I need to change that). I have always had an affinity towards robots and have a small model collection of famous ones that include Robby from Forbidden Planet, the robot from Lost in Space, all the Star Wars droids and Bender from Futurama. My interest in electronics and computer programming has led me to start building working robots of my own. I hope to have one roaming the halls of Ensemble Studios before to long. I like to explore the outdoors on my motorcycle and go on group rides with my biker friends. Entertainment of all kinds is important in my life - whether it be playing computer or board games, going to movies, attending live events, or just hanging out at the coffee shop people watching. And for those few and far between times when I need a little stress relief I like to head down to the local shooting range with my small collection of firearms and blow stuff up. "


Source - ES News
If you thought that was pretty cool, check out the full spotlight article! Roy explains how he stumbled into Ensemble Studios, his current project there — which is pretty massive, the celebrity he most resembles, information on the Roy fan club, and plenty more. ..."Celebrity You Most Resemble: I have yet to find a celebrity I resemble. If there’s one out there, I feel sorry for them." - Roy Rabey... ; )
AOKH Ladder Standings...
Posted by Thunder on January 8th, 2002 @ 11:36 a.m.
We have had a few names jump several rungs on our AOKH Ladder since the last time we checked the top ten. Darq_LadyWoogy has now accumulated more points that our ladder champion, _Final_Boss, but she has to defeat him personally in a game to take his champion title away from him. Until then, the Boss still reigns supreme:
  1. 154:_Final_Boss
  2. 156: Darq_LadyWoogy [hasn't defeated _Final_Boss yet]
  3. 144: Evil_Viking
  4. 139: Doink/139: StorM_Country
  5. 137: cow_gone_mad
  6. 133: MoFo_Revolution
  7. 130: Flammifer
  8. 128: Canadian2002
  9. 124: Annoyomous [aka pOiSoN_PaLaDiN]
  10. 123: TITAN_Perun/123: TML_Dopeman
Source - AOKH Ladder

We very nearly had a new ladder champion tonight actually as _Final_Boss lost a game to the infamous Gary__Payton, who represented Brazil at the MS tournament. Getting right back on his horse though, _Final_Boss won a rematch and has retained his crown as the ladder champion! Nicely done Boss!

For more information on the ladder, how to participate, the standings, the rules, or where's waldo, just stop by the AOKH Ladder post in the forums. Good luck all! ...jeez, it's rough being the champ...refuse a challenge, lose your crown... ; )
NOmad Tourney Champs!
Posted by Thunder on January 7th, 2002 @ 11:31 a.m.
Over at the Ave Clan hall, they have reported the results from their recent NOmad tournament. The threesome of BLADE__DRAGON, BLADE_WiZaRd, and _RCF_Destruct_ walked away the champions after taking out a very strong German team.

Some of our local Nomads took part in this event and were good enough to upload their recorded games. magicmel and his pals were taken out in the third round by the team that went on to win the event. It was a very close game, and for awhile it looked as though they had the game won, when _RCF_Destruct_ broke out the Woad Raiders which turned the tide completely! Grab the recordings here. ...you might want to skip downloading the first round match...it wasn't even close...thanks for sharing mel! ; )
Forum Party Tomorrow...
Posted by Thunder on January 5th, 2002 @ 3:06 a.m.
Our first Forum Party gathering of 2002 is tomorrow, as is the first ever AOKH Training Camp event! Stop by and join us for some fun games on the Zone. You can find more information about the Training Camp event or the party start time in the one and only Forum Party Post. See you on the battlefield!

If you missed out on the Training Camp announcement, you can find out more about it or even sign up in this post. ...thanks DSOD for organizing the whole deal... ; )
ES Spotlight On Bonehead!
Posted by Thunder on January 5th, 2002 @ 1:55 a.m.
A new ES spotlight feature has just been posted on the ES site. This time around programmer Mike "Bonehead" Coker is the featured staffer, a former employee of the monstrous game company Electronic Arts. It looks like he's quite at home at the studios now, or at the very least, busy:
"Full Name: Mike Coker
Internet Handle: Bonehead
Joined Ensemble Studios: September 2000
Job Title: Extreme Programmer
Home Town: Mobile, AL (no I am not a red neck... I don't think?)

Currently Working On: Age of Mythology. Triggers, Cinematics and UI.

Anything Else You Desire To Ramble On About: The Norse Civilization is a screw."


Source - ES News
Programmers seem to get their fingers into pretty much everything, and Mike is no exception. Stop by and check out the full spotlight write-up. ...Mike McCart, Mike Kidd, Mike Coker...*mind boggles* ; )
Links Update!
Posted by Thunder on January 4th, 2002 @ 9:46 p.m.
The crew at MFO are busy changing over to a new domain name, namely www.rtscentral.com. If you're looking for their AOK page, you'll now find it at http://aok.rtscentral.com.

This, along with a great many other links, have been updated or changed in our new and improved links section. ...thanks to Angel Zen for the update there... ; )
PS2 Japan Release Date...
Posted by Thunder on January 3rd, 2002 @ 9:59 p.m.
Age of Kings has been out for the PS2 in North America for quite some time, but the poor folks in Japan have been deprived of it. Well, not for much longer! The gang at SonyWeb.com have word on a release date:
"Earlier today, Konami of Japan announced that their upcoming strategy game, Age of Empires II: Age of Kings has finally received a PS2 release date. Age of Empires II: Age of Kings on PS2, like it's PC counterpart, puts players on a quest to build up an empire and then use that empire to conquer other empires. Also, like the PC game, the PS2 version will features online play via such USB modems as the OnlineStation, Aiwa, and Omuron. Age of Empires II: Age of Kings will support the PS2 HDD is scheduled to hit stores across Japan in February 2002 for 6,800 yen (around $50 USD)."

Source - SonyWeb News
There you have it! Come February, AOK invades Japan's PS2. Many thanks to Vidguy for the heads up on this one! ...and Player_Theta for describing her breakfast to me...reminding us all that we need to eat once in awhile...something that gamers tend to forget on occasion... ; )
ES Spotlight On Scapegoat!
Posted by Thunder on January 3rd, 2002 @ 9:32 p.m.
Today's Ensemble Studios spotlight blinds producer Chris "Scapegoat" Rippy, a long long long time member of the team. He is totally tight lipped about his current top secret project, but he has given us a look at his favourite games, and how he got on board with ES:
"Full Name: Chris Rippy
Internet Handle: Scapegoat
Joined Ensemble Studios: Before there was a thought of Age of Empires.
Job Title: Producer
Home Town: Spring, TX

Short Bio: Went to Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX to be a DJ or TV guy. Met my future wife, Tania. Graduated. Followed future wife to Dallas. Got a job "producing" a TV show. Lost job. Was happy. Got married. Was really happy. Got a job at Ensemble Corporation as a "do it all" guy. Tony Goodman started Ensemble Studios, and I immediately jumped on-board. More happiness. Started as Sound Director and did all sounds for Age 1 and Age 2. Someone realized that we needed someone to make scenarios during Age 1, so I was drafted. Did 75% of the Age 1 scenarios, some on "Rise of Rome". Continued doing sound on Age 2, but picked up the new title of Associate Producer. Became a Producer for the Conquerors. Still more happiness. Had a baby girl, Emily in 2000. Beyond happy. Currently working on a big-time secret project that will rock! You’ll be happy "


Source - ES News
There is lots of specualtion on just what this top secret project could be. AOE III? An RPG? A console game? Stop in and check out the latest spotlight article. It may not offer any clues, but it will help chew up some time before the project is revealed. ...I think we'll have a long wait... ; )
Breaking Into The Biz Pt 2...
Posted by Thunder on January 3rd, 2002 @ 9:09 p.m.
Continuing where he left off, Kenn Hoekstra, of Raven Software, offers up more advice and information to those who are looking to get their foot in the door in the games industry. A great many gamers are interested in working in the industry, and this article has outlined the jobs and duties that are essential at most companies:
"'So…what do you do for a living?' they ask.

You tell them you make videogames for a living.

This answer generally inspires looks of awe or bewilderment, followed by the inevitable, 'So, basically you get paid to sit around all day and play games?'

You tell them it doesn't quite work that way.

The next question is equally inevitable. 'So how do I get your job?'

That's a slightly more complicated question that requires a slightly more complex answer. After you decide you want to work in the game industry, the next step is to figure out where exactly you fit in. In essence, there are five main departments at your average game company: Art, Design, Programming, Sound, and Support."


Source - So You Want to be a Game Designer?
He has provided a description of the various departments and those that work in each of them, as well as advice on what kinds of things you'll need to know how to work with if you plan on entering the biz. The article also contains some links, for designers and artists and programmers, that you may find helpful in giving you the leg up on the competition. ...or leaving them in your dust... ; )
ES Spotlight On bubbles!
Posted by Thunder on January 2nd, 2002 @ 9:35 p.m.
The very first Ensemble Studios spotlight of 2002 falls on one of their talented artists. Bryan "bubbles" Hehmann, 3D artist, shares with us a few of his favourite games, bands, and a little about his current project:
"Full Name: Bryan Anthony Hehmann
Internet Handle: bubbles, kinkornkarn, bimbosoup
Joined Ensemble Studios: August 1998
Job Title: 3D artist
Home Town: Cross Roads, Texas never heard of it huh?

Currently working on: I'm working on the ground terrain, water and world objects for Age of Mythology."

Source - ES News
His spotlight photo is worth taking a look at. He's got a bit of his work up on the monitor for us to have a gander. ...happy new year to all... ; )
NOmad Tournament!
Posted by Thunder on January 1st, 2002 @ 1:40 a.m.
The MFO folks have their finger on the pulse of the tournament scene. They have word that members of the Ave Clan are putting together a nomad tournament for January 2nd. Not only that, it's going to be a massive 3on3 event! Grab some pals and get ready to rumble. You'll have the official settings here on their clan page. Best of luck all! ...ok Nomadz fellers, go get em... ; )

Update
A helpful link for those who're interested in entering this event: Sign-ups