PC Powerplay Gameguide

Article written by PC Powerplay
Originally published on 1st January, 2001 ; updated on 08-17-2014
Tags: Miscellaneous Archives

Age of Kings Heaven had the honor of being covered in the 2001 edition of PC Powerplay's popular Gameguide series. This article is from a while back, and because of that, everything should be viewed in the context of 2001, the year the Conquerors was released. The article gave AoKH a rating of 85% whilst Ensemble Studios received a rating of 75%. Here's what they had to say about our beloved Age of Kings Heaven:

"Sister site to Age of Empires Heaven, Age of Kings Heaven is a great resource for AoK gamers and the most popular AOK fansite on the net.

AoK Heaven is similar to AoE Heaven in many respects. It continues the traditions of using in-game building names to describe its separate sections, such as the University for tactical information. Although this feature is not as well integrated as in the AoE site; for example the sidebar has 'downloads' listed, but the title of downloads page is market when you access it, which can be a bit confusing.

Due to the huge amount of information available at this site, the site administrator has had to find an effective way to sort the information and has done so admirably. The site map is listed with adequate sub-headings and each section has some form of search capability, usually as searchable database with a number of protocols enabling you to define what it is you are looking for. To cater for those who are familiar with the site, most sections have some form of "in recent additions" listing as well.

The forums at this site are split into eleven sub-categories covering everything from general waffling to history, strategy and Mod Pack or scenario designing forums. They are well frequented and any posts you make are bound to receive at least a few responses within an hour or two. Take some care as to what you write here, including which forum to post at (don't post mod pack questions at the general forum for example). You will be rewarded with a number of answers to whatever question you may have, often posted by a long time agers and/or Ensemble employees (affectionately known as Angels) who are cruising these discussion groups.

Having spent some time searching this site, the most impressive features by far are the huge number of user created scenarios, campaigns, Mod Packs and so forth that are archived here. As the most popular non-official web site for AoK, this site is the first port of call for anyone interested in the more cerebral aspects of the game. All the resources here are fully searchable by name, category and so forth, making finding what you are after fairly simple.

An interesting feature of this approach to the RTS hobby is the Heaven Games AI Tourney. Here AI designers pitch their computer player creations against one another to see whose "bot" is the superior program. As a result of this odd fixation, Heaven Games is a particularly informative site for those interested in any aspect of AI design. AoK Heaven also receives my recommendation for people who are new to AoK online resources. It is clear, easy to navigate and has information that is easily digested by new comers to the game."

PC Powerplay Extras

A few agers from AoKH were lucky enough to receive mention as well. The articles below were included on the cover CD. We think that deserves a big HG well done!

SCN Punk

AoK Punk Map Design
For those of you who are interested in map design and don't know where to start, there is a sizable online community of Scenario Designers who are more than happy to help get you started. Firstly I suggest a short trip to AoK Punk Map Design, the address for which is listed above. Here you can quickly and easily discover the essential tricks you will need to know to create interesting custom scenarios.

The AoK Punk "Eye Candy" section is filled with interesting tips on how to make your maps look prettier, should you require help on how to create a convincing river, town or mountain.

For a comprehesive tutorial on how to create triggers in your scenarios, see Puzzle Man and Lord Robster's "Ultimate Trigger Tutorial" in the "trigger tricks" section of the AoK Punk Map Design. This document is rather long, as it covers almost every conceivable trigger combination in the game. Anything you can't learn from this tutorial you can improvise by making slight modifications to an existing set of triggers.

Modders

MPS Tutorial
If you are intersted in scenario creation and want your scenarios to stand out from the crowd, the best way to make them do so is to incorporate you own custom made modpacks into your game. This way you can dramatically alter the visual appeal of your game adding statues or features, changing the skins of important characters in the game any number of other things. To create your own Mod Packs you will need a copy of Mod Pack Studio installed on your computer. Secondly you will need a list of all the resource numbers of the .SLP files in the game. The web address above will take you to a page where you can download a nifty Tutorial that will teach you how to create a simple Mod Pack by replacing an existing .SLP file (a statue graphic) with a bitmap of a different image. Included with the tutorial is the Graphics DRS list. This list contains over 5,000 graphics from within the game and a short description of what the graphic is.

EE Mod Pack by Wildfire Studios
This Mod Pack gives a first look at SSSI's up and coming game Empire Earth. The building have been gathered from screenshots, among other sources from EE fansites.

Oh my, there's Cheese on the ground by The King Of Cheese
This popular Mod is a great example of how simple MODifications can completely change the look and feel of the game.

Rome at War by Wildfire Studios
The largest Mod for Age of Empires: Age of Kings featuring the replacement of the Mesoamerican civilizations of the Aztecs and the Myans with Romans and the Greeks.

Wizards and Warlocks by Agamemmnon
This Mod Pack changes the Janissary into a Wizard, and the Bombard Cannon into a Warlock.

Bloody Mess by Ronin
This Mod Pack increases the blood in AoK making battles look much more hard fought.

Ice World by JCA
This was the first Total Conversion Mod Pack for AoK. This Mod Pack converts the ground to snow and places snow/ ice on everything.

Campaign Coverage

Emperor Wendi, First of the Sui by Zanzard Lothar
It is the year of our lord 581. The Grand Duke of Sui, acting as Northern Zhou Chancellor, as long gained the true political power of his kingdom.

Glory of the Tang by Stan (aka The Conqistador)
The Tang dynasty was the apex of the Chinese Empire. During the time that it existed, the Chinese Empire reached its maximun in all aspects.

Utilities

Age of Empires and Age of Kings Campaign Manager by Lloyd Kinsella
Age of Empires and Age of Kings Campaign Manager allows you to easily edit any Campaign file from any Age of Empires and/or Age of Kings game.

DRS Builder by Stoyan
DRSBUILD is a command-line utility for building MS Age of Empires data resource (.DRS) files from wav sound (.WAV) files, shape graphics (.SLP,.SHP) files and various binary (.BIN) files.

MPS (Mod Pack Studio) v2.0 by JCA
This program is the be-all-and-end-all of resource editors.