Archived News From February 2000

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!

Two 2 Millionth Visitors?
Posted by Washizu on February 29th, 2000 @ 9:09 p.m.
That’s right. I have legitimate screenshots from two different agers who managed to see the counter at 2,000,000! How is this possible you ask? Well, technically it could happen if you visited the site earlier. The counter only increments on your first visit on that particular day, then it logs your IP so it doesn’t count it more than once. I assure you if we had a cheapo counter that incremented each time someone visited here, we’d be far above 2 million. Anyway, the two lucky ducks were longtime Heaven vistors 00phil and Demo Ship Captain. Congrats guys, we’ll send each of you a t-shirt.

Oh, and thanks to RAGE_ScREaM_ for sending in a screen capture of the 2000001 that I posted in the news below. Nice try

Story Contest Participants
Posted by Washizu on February 29th, 2000 @ 6:16 a.m.
I had some computer problems with Outlook that I was unable to fix. The result is that I lost some of the e-mail addresses of the participants in the story contest. I stil have all of the stories, so don’t worry about that.

I need the e-mail addresses of the following people who entered under these names:

Arch Deacon
Jack Banh
Shane Eric Downing

New Developments
Posted by Washizu on February 28th, 2000 @ 9:07 p.m.
I may actually have someone who witnessed the counter hitting 2 Million! More details on this later…

Congrats to Art Childs
Posted by Washizu on February 28th, 2000 @ 8:52 p.m.
He snagged the closest screen capture out of the ones I recieved, 2000001!

Also, thanks to Chris Van Doren aka ES_dCypher for almost getting in the lowest one. He had 2000002 Aidan healy was pretty close as well, with 2000013.

Nearing 2 Million!!!
Posted by Washizu on February 28th, 2000 @ 6:25 p.m.
If you are lucky enough to be the 2 Millionth visitor, press ALT-Print Screen and paste the screen capture into a graphics editing program. Then, send it off to me.

Posted by Washizu on February 28th, 2000 @ 5:28 p.m.
Just popping in quickly to remind you guys on a few things (I have an exam in an hour and a half haha). Ensemble Studios is giving away some free stuff to the person who can come up with the best caption for this week’s pic. Get them in ASAP, cause after this afternoon, Archy will have a new pic.

Also, if you are an artist or programmer, you should really check out their booth at the Game Developers Conference. They’re also looking for designers, AI programmers, content creaters (I imagine scenario design is part of this), a quality assurance lead, and an assistant producer. Dallas is a great town, so if you’re job hunting, stop by their booth!

MTV’s Fanatic
Posted by Washizu on February 26th, 2000 @ 6:27 p.m.
If you watched MTV last night, you might have caught the latest episode of Fanatic, the show where they let someone meet their idol(s). Some guy at my school won, and Blink182 played here in a tiny little place on campus for him and his friends. The whole thing was shown live on MTV. Angel Sir Shackleton got into see them play, even though they only let about 75 people or so in. So if you want to see where I go to school, watch it one of the 200 times MTV will probably replay the show.

Big Tournament at Planet AOE
Posted by Washizu on February 26th, 2000 @ 6:21 p.m.
Xiphoid sent me news of Planet AOE’s new tournament:

Planet of Champions 1v1 and 2v2 Tournaments

Planet Age of Empires announces sign ups for two tournaments, the 1v1 and 2v2 Age of Kings Planet of Champions tournaments. Over sixty players have already signed up in either the 1v1 or 2v2 categories, or both. There’s guaranteed to be great competition for all, as there’s a good mix of average players and top players such as maimin_matty and a selection of the top clans’ members of Hawks, DaRq, JKA, FWH, CN, and many more notables. Everyone is welcome to sign up and there is no entry fee, just bring your game and be ready for some great matches.

The 2v2 tournament is the first major Age of Kings team tournament held to date and should yield some great team duels. Over $250 in cash and prizes will be given out to the winners. Visit Planet Age of Empires for the full run down on the rules and settings for each tournament and you’ll find out where and how to sign up.

mrfixitonline RM Tournament
Posted by Washizu on February 26th, 2000 @ 6:18 p.m.
Got this from the events maestro of AOK:

Sign your team up for the RM League/RM Tourney at today!

Also, be sure to check out some new articles at MFO including a detailed
“How Monks Really Work” which includes several thousand tests that prove
some very interesting results about Monks. And check out DaRq_DarkJihad’s
One the Road to Expert which is being enhanced for MFO and has the first two
chapters online now!

Come see these articles and sign your team up today at


Calling Entwaidamela!
Posted by Washizu on February 26th, 2000 @ 6:15 p.m.
Archangel from Ensemble Studios just posted a message to get a working e-mail address from you.

Captain got a bounce back on your email address. Have you been transferred, if so drop me a line with your new address.

Michael “Archangel” McCart
Webmaster/On Line Public Relations – Ensemble Studios

Shimo Style Playing
Posted by Washizu on February 26th, 2000 @ 6:13 p.m.
Sandy also wants to know a little more about typical Shimo-Style games in this thread, so if you are a hardcore Shimo Styler, let him know what you think.

Two questions. These are ONLY for people who actively play Shimo-style games. Other respondents not welcome. If you are here because you want to know what Shimo-style is, please don’t clutter up the replies with your questions. Go to Shimo’s website and look it up.

Pretend that ES released a game type for 3+ player games in which both allied victory and locked teams were impossible. In which you could switch allies at will, and only a single player could end up winning.

1) would it be Good or Bad to permit a player to win via wonder, as opposed to conquest-only? My own feeling is that putting up a wonder in such a game is like saying “Everyone else band together and come attack me right now.” So I think it ought to be permitted.

2) I note that many Shimo-type games seem to be regicide. Is this an essential feature of Shimo?

Sandy Sets the Record Straight…
Posted by Washizu on February 26th, 2000 @ 6:10 p.m.
on Woad Raiders! Here is what he had to say in the thread titled, “The Power of The Woad Raider!“:

Here are some facts on Woad Raiders:

Woad Raiders will defeat a:

Champion (barely)
Throwing Axeman
Any foot archer
Any hand cannoneer

He will lose to a:

Teutonic Knight

He is cheaper than any other infantry unit except for Champions, Berserks, and Throwing Axemen.

He trains faster than any other infantry unit except for Berserks, Samurai, and Huskarls. He trains exactly as fast as these.

Celtic infantry are faster than any other civ’s infantry even using Squires. Woad raiders are the fastest infantry in the game, and are faster than other Celtic infantry, with the exception of Celtic Pikemen (technically, Celt Pikemen are .03 tiles per second slower than Woad Raiders, but this is pretty trivial).

The real advantage of Woad Raiders, in my opinion, is that they work so well with the mighty Celt siege weapons.

Game Dive Recap
Posted by Washizu on February 24th, 2000 @ 4:13 a.m.
Well, due to some technical problems, the show was postponed to March 15th. ES Dudes still stopped by to chat in the GameDive’s unmoderated chat room, which was quite hectic, but I managed to get off a few questions to Herb Ellwood, Dave Pottinger, Mike “Archangel” McCart, and Greg Street.

AOKH_Washizu: Question: Do you plan on making your future games playable by more players at once ( greater than 8) or pretty much the same as now?
ESdudes: Future games will definitely have more than 8

Sounds pretty cool! They also noted that you’d need a quick net connection to play with more than 8 players, and future ES games will have built in checkers to make sure people with slow machines don’t turn on the highly detailed settings in multiplayer. Rock on!

The sad news was that the monitor screen I cropped out of the picture with Herb Marselas turned out to be just wallpaper on his desktop. 🙁

Today’s Big News
Posted by Washizu on February 23rd, 2000 @ 10:52 p.m.
1. The Game Dive show is tonight at 6:00PM PST (9:00PM EST), so make sure to check it out. Dave Pottinger, Herb Ellwood, and Greg Street will be answering questions, and hopefully they’ll throw a few tidbits about the supposed AOK expansion or AOE3. I know MS has been pushing the show tonight . To make sure you have the right software to view the event, mosey on here here.

2. The forums now have a search feature!!! No longer will you have to read page after page of forum threads to find the one you’re looking for!!!

News from ES Web!
Posted by Washizu on February 22nd, 2000 @ 0:02 a.m.
Here’s a list of events you’ll find going on over at Ensemble Studios.

1. February 23rd at 6:00PM PST, a few ES dudes will be interviewed on the Game Dive. Those of us that listened to the last show remember how fun it was. Programmer Dave Pottinger, scenario designer Greg Street, and artist Herb Ellwood will be on hand to answer questions and offer their thoughts on AOK. They’re also holding an age2oon contest, so send in your submissions here.

2. Sybex, a publisher of great strategy game guides, is releasing their Scenario Designers Toolkit. You have to check out the pics they have of entire scenario maps.

3. This week when Archangel used a pic of 3D Programmer Herb Marselas for his quote contest, there was something interesting going on with his monitor. Could this cliff landscape be Age 3 perhaps? If so, it looks pretty good from here

Very Special Contest
Posted by Sir Shackleton on February 21st, 2000 @ 11:48 p.m.
Here’s a really really cool contest from the guys down at AOK Battlefield. They’ve been doing a lot of hard work, and are very close to receiving their 100,000th hit! The 100,000th visitor to the site (who proves it by providing a legitimate, non-fabricated screenshot to Thunder) will get to pick from some very cool prizes. But don’t just go there for that (and don’t just refresh your browser to get to 100,000 hits…that’s not cool). I always find great news content at the Battlefield, among various other goodies, and consider it a valuable gaming resource. Hit the site to find out more, and while you’re there..stay a while.

You should have seen his face
Posted by Sir Shackleton on February 20th, 2000 @ 8:23 p.m.
I was there with Wash, you should have seen his face when Beck ended the song early. He looked as though someone had stolen his puppy…..

Blacksmith Search Feature
Posted by Washizu on February 20th, 2000 @ 10:03 a.m.
Thanks to Angel Spineman, you can now search for hard to find scenarios and campaigns for AOK in our ever growing Blacksmith. Happy searching!

Spineman also would like to annouce some new maps of Dereth are available at Asheron’s Call Heaven, our youngest heaven site which seems to be finally sprouting a nice forum crowd.

In a completely unrelated story, I got to see one of my favorite artists, Beck, perform tonight at the Patriot Center at George Mason University. The concert was great, but I was very annoyed that Beck skipped the entire third verse of “Pay No Mind”, a song from his album Mellow Gold.

Cavedog Becomes Extinct
Posted by Washizu on February 18th, 2000 @ 7:15 p.m.
Sorry to any TA fans out there, but the popular development team Cavedog just went to the pound

So this week’s big news is, of course, the tragic descent
of Cavedog. Much to our dismay, the GT Interactive annual
report included a passing comment which pretty much wrote
off their Cavedog division in any future capacity. A few
frantic phone calls into the heart of the company provided
corroboration — employees on completed or cancelled
titles have been moved into GT’s kids’ software division,
Humongous, rather than onto any new strategy projects.

But what about Total Annihilation 2? How could GT write
off such a popular (and, one would assume, profitable)
franchise? The answer seems to be that they won’t. One
former Cavedog employee indicated that TA2 development has
been transferred to another GT division called Singletrac,
best known for console titles such as Twisted Metal and
Jet Moto.

No word yet on the fate of Good and Evil or Boneyards, but
we’ll let you know as more information comes in. Until
then, please join me in lifting a virtual pint to the
memory of the dearly departed, a damn fine dog indeed.

Don’t worry, all dogs go to Heaven! (sorry, no more dog jokes)

Sicilian Revealed
Posted by Washizu on February 18th, 2000 @ 1:08 a.m.
A few days ago I made a reference to the Sicilian man from The Princess Bride, and leave it to good old Andy_HRE to bring clarity to this page.

Wallace (aka Wally) Shawn is known especially for Mr Dinner with Andre, and
in addition to his movies, write plays. Shawn is also the son of former
New Yorker editor William Shawn (he edited the New Yorker from the
early1950s until the 1980s)

Here’s at least on website on him:
Info on Wallace Shawn

And he does NOT know the meaning of the word “inconceivable.”


Thanks Andy!

Mrfixitonline EWO Tourney Finals
Posted by Washizu on February 18th, 2000 @ 1:04 a.m.
Got this from our friend Mr.Fixit:

EWO Finals (atsq vs matty) game 2 is posted – but it has a sync error! Good
news: it was restored and finished. However, the results will be posted
tomorrow to allow YOU to watch the game and vote on who wins! Come quick to

MFO has also announced a team RM AOK league! Read the rules online now and
prepare for signing up for this mega event.


Shimo-Style Tourney
Posted by Washizu on February 18th, 2000 @ 1:02 a.m.
The much celebrated Shimo-Style Age of Kings, filled with diplomacy, backstabbing, and conquest, has a tournament going on run by forumers. You can check out more information here.

Thanks to Elansu for letting me know about it

Mark your calenders
Posted by Sir Shackleton on February 16th, 2000 @ 11:35 p.m.
Wednesday, February 23rd marks an online event starring AOK at The Game Dive. It’ll be a veritable cornucopia of strat gaming goodness, with contests, interviews, gaming tips…probably more stuff than you can handle! You’ll need to log in early and download some special software to participate, but it’ll probably be more than worth it. The Ensemble Studios News Page has all the details, plus a link to the special form you’ll need to get the proper software. I think each person who accesses the form gets a special individual number attached to the URL, so I didn’t link it here

New Cherubs
Posted by Washizu on February 15th, 2000 @ 7:24 a.m.
Congratulations to our two newest staff members, Cherubs Ilya and THS! Ilya will be helping out in the sorely needed department of scenario reviews, and THS (aka Two Handed Swordsmen) will be moderating the Knights of The Round Table forum.

Great to have you guys on!

Sandy’s Out of Order
Posted by Washizu on February 14th, 2000 @ 8:58 p.m.
I have bad news and (speculative) good news. First the bad news. Our favorite forumer ES_Sandyman, has decided to stop posting in the AOKH Forum for a while. What reasons could bring an end to his daily assaults on the forum’s submit button? Read on:

Sandyman will not be posting in the forum for a while. He talks about himself in the third person only when he wants to ensure that nobody takes offense at what he has to say. Sandyman is ceasing his posts because:
1) he has suddenly become even more busy than usual. This is a Good Thing, of course.

2) he finds it very frustrating that he is not allowed to post about Ensemble’s upcoming products. Particularly those related to Age of Empires. I’m sure you guys are frustrated in this regard, too.

Anyway, Sandyman’s solution to ease his nerves is to cease posting until MS has officially released something on an upcoming ES product. At that point, he will return with a vengeance and be happy to answer the many unanswered questions that MS’s release will no doubt engender.

See ya at the lumber camp,


Now, I promised possible good news didn’t I? Well, Sandy’s decision to wait until an official MS announcement of future Age related Ensemble Stuidios products could mean an announcement is not far away. My good friend BravenIrish of the AOK Battlefield reminded me that ROR was announced in the month of March as well. Alas, even though it seems “all signs point to yes”, there is also the notion that if it actually were close to the time of the annoucement, Sandy would just hang out until it came. Hmm… so many logic games going on here, I feel like the Sicilian man from The Princess Bride, who also played a teacher in Clueless, trying to outsmart Wesley in a game of wits.

Can you tell I haven’t slept in 30 hours? Oh, and Happy Valentine’s Day!

Think the Vikings got him?
Posted by Sir Shackleton on February 14th, 2000 @ 6:11 a.m.
Here’s an interesting article about a recovered Roman vessel where some human remains were found. Scientists were able to recreate some of the physical features of a sailor aboard and a picture of what the sailor might have looked like can be found accompanying the article, along with some of the other finds at the site and a lot of good historical information.

Online Arena Launched!
Posted by Washizu on February 14th, 2000 @ 0:31 a.m.
Wow, this was certainly a pleasant surprise to see. Thanks for longtime friend of Heaven Gordon Farell for letting us know about this:

by Gordon Farrell

It looks like underground scenario designing just got a huge shot in the arm from PC Gamer. Already one of the world’s most important gaming magazines, PCG has just launched a stunning, glossy new sister mag called ONLINE ARENA. From cover to cover, this baby is loaded with great artwork, screenshots, and terrific writing. To the best of my knowledge, ONLINE ARENA is the personal brainchild and visionquest of Editor in Chief, Dan Egger — and Dan has definitely delivered the goods.

But more importantly for the HGS community, our own AoE/RoR scenario designers took home a trade boat full of awards.

To be precise, we won ten Online Arena Awards for Best Level Designs of 1999. A hundred campaigns and scenarios overall were cited, culled from eight additional games, including faves like Total Annihilation and Myth II. But the most enthusiastic editorial praise was reserved for Age of Empires and its x-pack.

“Some of the most detailed and professional user-made levels that I’ve had the pleasure of playing are the ones for Age of Empires and its add-on, Rise of Rome,” writes Egger. But the praise doesn’t stop there. “Several phenomenal creators really stand out in the AoE design community,” he adds, “so don’t be surprised to see some of these names attached to professional products within the next year…”

Egger also plugs AoE Heaven as the Best Campaign Website for AoE, an endorsement that cannot fail to increase the hits this already successful locale scores every day. My bet is that Granary downloading is going to see some serious additional use.

So who are the big winners?

Best AoE Campaign of 1999: The Martial Emperor, by Rich Parker
Runner Up: The Tai Gun, by Ingo van Thiel
Runner Up: Scipio and the Second Punic War, by Imhotep
Additional Awards to:
Budonian Tales, by Ingo van Thiel
Prophecy of the First King, by Ty Freeborn
Mago, by Ingo van Thiel
The David Sagas #1 and 2, by Imhotep
Alexander’s Conquest of Egypt, by Gordon Farrell and Alexander Michael
The Persian Wars #6, by Gordon Farrell and Jerry Caldwell

(About those last two awards — d’ya think that has something to do with my enthusiasm here? Naaaaw — )

There can be no doubt that ONLINE ARENA will sharply increase overall interest in underground scen designing across the board. As Egger says in his editorial comments, the revolution has come full circle. Once again, it has become possible for game enthusiasts to win glory working at their humble pc’s in the basement. Now that’s democracy.

FYI, the mag costs 10 bucks, 12 in Canada, and it includes a cd with over 100 campaigns and mod packs.

It’s just awesome to see great designers getting the recognition they deserve. Here’s hoping Online Arena gets a terrific start!

Official Scenario Toolkit
Posted by Washizu on February 12th, 2000 @ 1:09 a.m.
I was surprised to see this on the Zone today.

February 16, Wednesday: Chat with Paul Schuytema, Author of Age of Kings Official Scenario Design Toolkit

On February 10, Sybex Publishing is releasing the Age of Empires II: Age of Kings Official Scenario Design Toolkit with CD-ROM. Written by Paul Schuytema, Duncan McPherson and Scott McCabe, this book will clue you in on creating great scenarios for play. Buy the book to find out the tricks and secrets of scenario design, and come to the chat to hear it from the authors themselves!

Wow, this was a big surprise. I am curious, however, to who these authors are. I’ve never heard of them, so if you guys are reading this, let yourselves be known so we can sample your work!

From the www….
Posted by Sir Shackleton on February 10th, 2000 @ 8:57 p.m.
As a community service (no, it was not mandated by a court of law….)I thought I would provide an interesting article from todays Washington Post. The first one is by Leslie Walker, Washington Post staff writer, on some cool new Internet tools hitting the market this year, as well as up-and-coming services and advancements. You can find that article here.

Chalk up another one..
Posted by Sir Shackleton on February 10th, 2000 @ 8:46 p.m.
Looks like the folks down at ES are going to have to build a bigger trophy case……..Games Domain has awarded AOK GDR Strategy Game of the Year! Check out all of the other awards at the link provided (note: this link will only take you to the awards page, not the main one).

Mystery Man
Posted by Washizu on February 9th, 2000 @ 5:54 p.m.
First the good news: AOK Heaven was mentioned in the March issue of Yahoo Internet Life magazine! They quoted Angel Omnivac last summer on some AOK strategy.

Now the bad news: The picture they posted of Omni was definitely NOT him! If anyone from yahoo is reading this, clue me in! hehe

Contest at ES Web
Posted by Washizu on February 9th, 2000 @ 5:44 p.m.
The winner of the Sandyman bubble quote contest was Shdodncr. His quote was, “but I’m also a member”, referring to Sandy’s possible top spot among a certain club for men.

If you missed this contest at the ES Website, don’t despair, there is another today! This time the subject of your creative scrutiny is AI programmer, Mario Grimani. Check out the picture here.
Posted by Washizu on February 8th, 2000 @ 8:32 p.m.
Our friend mrfixit has a whole boatload of stuff going on over at his site.

A whirwind of activity at including:

  • EWO Tourney Finals this weekend: atsq to battle maimin_matty for
    the crown. Will the comeback king take another major tourney? Will atsq
    fend off matty and keep his #1 ranking? Our users have voted and the
    results will be posted as they come in this weekend.
  • DM Tourney Round 1 completed. What a round with over 40 recorded
    games posted! Come see this largest AoK tourney ever as it enters round 2.
  • Take a close look at The_Sheriff’s SMUSH – as he hits your town
    with rams and MONKS in 14 minutes – yikes!
  • See Out4Blood’s Evil Tips, Tricks, Tactics, and Techniques for
    really cruel things you can do to your opponents
  • Finally, be sure to read Out4Blood’s State of the Game which
    covers the current state of the art in AOK strategy

You won’t be disappointed:


More Contests
Posted by Sir Shackleton on February 8th, 2000 @ 5:22 a.m.
Ogre is sponsoring a contest which will award a free copy of AOK to anyone who can design the best scenario map. This is a contest even I could confidently enter and best of all, if you already have AOK (which you will actually need anyway for this contest) and win, you could hand it off to an amigo/amiga and get them to see what they’ve been missing. Also, be sure and check out Ogre’s updated ICQ list so you can keep tabs on everyone.
Later this week…
Ogre, when not taking short breaks to breathe and sleep, is also updating his strategy guide, and expects to have it fully operational towards the end of the week sometime so be sure to check that out as well, after you enter his contest and sign up for the ICQ list (hint hint!!)

Want to Buy the Trebuchet Special?
Posted by Washizu on February 7th, 2000 @ 11:54 p.m.
Got a message from Mike saying you can find more info and purchase the NOVA Trebuchet special here. People seemed to really like it, although I have yet to see one of these modern trebuchets in action.

I hope you guys are giving a warm welcome to Angel Sir Shackleton, he seems to be doing a fine job.

Posted by Sir Shackleton on February 7th, 2000 @ 8:55 p.m.
Last night, over a tasty ensemble of bagels, french fries, old pizza, and ginger ale Washizu and I were discussing the site and how news should be approached. Since I’m new to the site, I want to get some ideas about what you guys would like to see covered (games, events, cattle futures, etc). I’d like to keep the news fairly streamlined, but I don’t want to leave out things everyone might be interested in hearing about. Give me a holler about any and all topics you would like to see, and I’ll make an effort to include them. Cheers!
and now…Monday
Sandyman responded in a BB post to inquiries regarding some of the bugs/quirks found in AOK. Sandy wrote that many of the concerns voiced will be addressed should an expansion pack be produced. Sandy also discussed some changes Agers who posted would like to see; weakening Teuton TCs, improving horse archers by adding new research items, and possibly overhauling TCs in general to make them less useful offensively (encouraging Agers to use more castles and towers). For the most part, Sandy said the Agers suggestions were right on target with the ES in-house crew. Be sure to check out the posts, it might not be too late to get your thoughts in.

A big howdy
Posted by Sir Shackleton on February 7th, 2000 @ 3:26 a.m.
Hi folks, I’m the new guy everyone has been hearing about…Angel Sir Shackleton (you can refer to me as A** . Just to let everyone know about me, I’m from Virginia and have been Washizus roommate for the past two years (I could confirm or deny any nasty rumors about ol’ Wash….but I won’t . This is a great opportunity to attempt to put all my journalism skills to the test, so I thank Wash and everyone else for the chance. Please feel free to email me any news tips, ideas, criticisms, beer (who knows where technology will be in the next few years), or anything else you’d like to see.
On to the news……
If you haven’t checked out Archangel’s contest, head there now post haste! One of the prizes is the CD “Music From the Ages” which gets a lot of play on Wash’s CD changer. Grand prize gets the CD and a T-shirt. This contest looks like a lot of fun, so get on it.
Also, head to Daily Radar and help AOK get an “Awardasaurus” (much more creative than “Oscar” or “Grammy” if you ask me) for 1999.

Celtic Information Site
Posted by Washizu on February 6th, 2000 @ 5:41 p.m.
Celticdruid sent me his site’s URL address yesterday, and I have to say, it’s an interesting site. It has lots of information about the Celts in general, and more specifically as represented in Age of Kings. I highly suggest you see it for yourself. It even has a few Guiness .gifs around, which I happened to be drinking the other night . Here’s a sample of the great facts found on the site:

“The Celts wear bronze helmets with figures picked out on them, even horns, which made them look even taller than they already are…while others cover themselves with breast-armour made out of chains. But most content themselves with the weapons nature gave them: they go naked into battle…Weird, discordant horns were sounded, they shouted in chorus with their deep and harsh voices, they beat their swords rhythmically against their shields.”

Check it out here.

NOVA Trebuchet Special
Posted by Washizu on February 4th, 2000 @ 6:23 p.m.
I got word from Scott Wolf (probably not the guy from Party of 5) who works for PBS. He said the show may air at different times depending on your area, so keep an eye out for it. Cranky e-mailed me and said she contacted her local PBS affiliate and was told it wouldn’t be shown again, but it could be purchased.

Games Domain Vote
Posted by Washizu on February 4th, 2000 @ 0:37 a.m.
Our good friend Vidguy gives word of Games Domain’s choices for the best of 1999. Here are some of the nominees, including Age of Kings!

It’s time to cast your vote for several Microsoft titles that up for Games Domain’s Readers’ Awards this year:

Traveller’s Inn: Asheron’s Call
Simmers Penance: Flight Simulator 2000
Sports Watch: Inside Drive 2000
Strategy Camp: Age of Empires 2
Racing Room: Midtown Madness


Now, you don’t have to vote for all microsoft games, but it would make Vid happy

NOVA Special on Trebuchets
Posted by Washizu on February 3rd, 2000 @ 5:16 p.m.
Thanks to the tons of people who watched this the other night and told me about it. If anyone knows when it will come on again, let me know. You can check out a few pictures and learn more about trebuchets at the PBS website.

Interesting Poll at ES
Posted by Washizu on February 1st, 2000 @ 10:36 p.m.
Checking out some news here and there, I ran across the latest poll at Ensemble Studios. It asks:

As technology improves, future RTS titles in general will benefit the most from

1. Real-time voice communication – talk over the internet

2. Better input peripherals – game pads, smarter mice

3. Downloadable content – new units, maps, etc.

4. 3D graphics

5. User cusomization – you can change stats or otherwise modify the way the whole game is played

6. Massively multiplayer – more than 8 players

7. Persistent worlds the game never ends you just join and leave as you want

8. I don’t think technology is the answer. Game design will just keep getting better.

Personally, I think #5 is the way to go. No matter how good a game is, nothing keeps the replayability going strong than extensive customization abilities. People are still playing Quake2 because of all the mods out for it, and I think RTS games could strongly benefit from mods that change things more than just graphics.

Merlin of Interviewed
Posted by Washizu on February 1st, 2000 @ 10:25 p.m.
The Age of Kings Isle continues their interviews with “Influential Agers” this week by asking Merlin of a few questions.

The Lost Isle of AoE | AoK ( has
just completed an interview with Merlin, of AoE2.Com. It’s part of an site feature in-titled “Influential Agers.”