Ask Sandy XVII

Article written by Sandy Petersen
Published on 04-24-2000
Tags: , ,

Q) How many new campaigns will be included in
AoK: TC? Will each campaign center around a new civ?

A) Four. All but one.

Q) Does ES have any plans to develop either a
non-AoE related game or a non-RTS game in the near or distant

A) We do not plan to be an exclusively
RTS game company for the rest of our existence.

Q) How important is Easter from mormons?

A) We like it fine. We don’t
really have any official church holy days, but we celebrate
Christmas, Easter, and so forth in keeping with the traditions of
the countries in which we live. We don’t think the Easter
Bunny is a malignant sign of heathenism or anything like

Q) Where did you grow up? You mentioned

A) Utah.

Q) Which is a better pet, a cat or a dog?

A) There is overlap. Some cats are
better than some dogs, and vice versa. It also depends on the
owner’s temperament.

Q) You said that garrisoned rams will have a
flag like a transport ship or a house. So, are now houses

A) I said a “house”? Oops.
Sorry. Meant to say tower or castle or something. I was on
painkillers last week so my answers may have been kind of mixed
up. Houses are still not garrisonable.

Q) You said you was in the designing team of
DOOM. So, why did you choose those names to the monster (like
Cacodemon), and the name of the main Character (Sgt. Joe)?

A) I liked those monster names, and
thought they were evocative. I didn’t name Joe.

Q) Did ES consider having an African civ like
Ghana, Mali or Songhai?

A) Yes.

Q) Why are all of the politicians rich
people? Why are most of the rich people rich because they
inherited it from their parents? Doesn’t that make the government
not have many different view points?

A) First off, not all politicians are
rich, but most of them are at least upper-class. Plenty of rich
people didn’t inherit it from their parents. In the US,
it’s a surprisingly large percentage. A democratic
government composed of mostly upper-class well-educated people
may not have all the possible viewpoints represented amongst it,
but it’s still better than a monarchy or outright

Q) What Did you do in Civilization ?

A) Playtest.

Q) I have another book which tells me that it
was Viking raides up Frankish rivers in the late 9th. century
which first prompted the Franks to develope heavy cavalry. Can
you collaborate or refute this?

A) Well, since Charlemagne was before
this time and he had already instituted heavy cavalry in the
Kingdom of the Franks, I would say this must be refuted. I agree
that heavy cavalry developments were accelerated by Viking &
Magyar raids, though.

Q) What kind of books do you like

A) Mostly non-fiction. Science or
sometimes history. I do read some fiction though. I especially
like Tony Hillerman and Rex Stout.

Q) 2Which movie do you like best-THe First
knight or Excallibur

A) Well, the movie I like best is
Casablanca. But Excalibur is definitely superior to First

Q) what came first, the chicken or the

A) The amniote egg evolved many
millions of years before the first chicken.

Q) How did you actually get into game design
in the first place?

A) I backed into it by accident.

Q) What is your favorite player color?

A) Green

Q) will any of the new civs get full

A) None of the new civs get full

Q) what’s the meaning of life?

A) Man is that he might have joy.

Q) Will Longbowmen or other UUs get a faster
rate of production? Because as it is to mass produce them, you
need multiple castles, and since stone is very limited, you have
to put casltes in spread out strategic locations, making massing
UUs very hard. So unless they get a faster production rate, I’d
rather just have 6 Archery ranges and crank out arbs instead of

A) Good. That’s exactly how we
planned it. Incidentally, UUs do take somewhat less time to
produce than an equivalent unit of the same type from a normal
production point. For instance, a Longbowman takes 19 seconds to
produce, and an arbalest takes 27 seconds. (Not counting

Q) Will there be seige towers in The
Conquerors? Weren’t they a very important part of seige

A) Siege towers were pretty rare in
the middle ages.

Q) How come this time we can’t play TC with
the original AOK cd?

A) I don’t know. I find it very

Q) are any of the new civs economic

A) Yes.

Q) Has ES/MS considered making AoE

A) I seriously doubt it.

Q) Would ES consider in future games having
more patch-oriented releases and fewer expansions?

A) “Fewer” meaning
presumably “zero”, because we’ve only done one
(1) expansion per game so far.

Q) Why is it that paladins are a very
dominating unit in AOK? In the hundred years war they were
slaughtered by bowmen at crecy and agincourt (i think) and the
war of the roses they were little used in favor of archers,
billmen, and light cavalry?

A) As I’ve pointed out numerous
times, the victories of footmen at crecy & agincourt were
highly unusual, and were considered so at the time. They were not
normal battles, but amazing upsets. For every Crecy, there are a
dozen Bannockburns, in which knights absolutely slaughtered foot
archers. The war of the roses featured plenty of armored knights.
The number dwindled as the war went on because they were all
killed off in the various conflicts.

Q) What is your opinion of the Stanleys? Were
they being smart, treacherous, or both at Bosworth?

A) It’s hard to tell. At least
one of my sources says that their charge was actually aimed at
Richard’s enemies, but that they got mixed up en route, and
crashed into Richard’s forces instead, then claimed to have
planned it that way all along when Henry was victorious. In any
case I find it hard to claim that anyone could be
“treacherous” by refusing to assist the arch-traitor,
friend-murderer, and tyrant Richard III.

Q) Are any of the buildings being increased
in size or hitpoints or armor?

A) Nope.

Q) I know that the new units will either be
upgrade of other lines or different units all together but, will
any new units have their own line? Begining in fuedal or castle
with upgrades going up to imp or castle?

A) Yes, one non-unique unit is a new
line, but it’s not generally available.

Q) What age will the new units be

A) Castle.

Q) In ROR 3 of the 5 new units were counter
units. Are the x-pack units going to be mostly counter units as

A) No.

Q) Are any of the new units non-gold

A) Yes.

Q) Will the European English release (usually
Irish) of TCs work with the American release of AOK?

A) ?? Is there some reason it might
not? It never even occurred to me that there might be an

Q) Does ES have any job openings?

A) Look at our web site.

Q) Will the pikeman be somewhat improved
against war elephants?

A) Improved? 51 points of damage per
hit isn’t enough?

Q) Will the new civ that is an economic
powerhouse be a european civ?

A) No.

Q) Any chance that an option will be added
that allows the host to set a hard limit on the number of

A) We’ve already gone ahead with
our own solution to the TC problem and are very happy with it.
For what it’s worth, various aspects of our solution have
been discussed in depth on the forum and so, in effect, you guys
are responsible for the nature of our fix. Congrats.

Q) Any chance that an option will be added
that removes the ability of buildings to fire at other

A) No.

Q) Last time I asked which US State you would
least like to live in

A) Hawaii.

Q) Did you create more than just the five
civs that will be in the X-pac for playtesting, then weed them

A) We created the names of the civs
first, then worked and reworked them practically to death.

Q) You kicked around the idea of an elite

A) The Genitour. He was basically a
mounted skirmisher. But, like I said before, we decided that
archers didn’t need another counter-unit.

Q) If you and I were to play AoK: TC (Arabian
map) right now, and I picked the Franks, what civ would you

A) The Saracens.

Q) Will messages from specific players be in
that player color?

A) Yes.

Q) Is it possible that maybe the Saracens
will have stronger camels so they can take a Frank paladin?

A) You’re going to love the
Saracen UT.

Q) Do you personally think that now, that the
C.A has been ‘improved’ that people will use it more often in

A) Players far more skilled than I now
use C.A.s quite regularly in AoK. The CA’s period of power
seems to be in late Castle through mid-Imperial. In late
Imperial, the CA’s power starts to drop off some. I predict
that people who refuse to use C.A.s at all in AoK will suffer
much the same fate as people who refuse to use Champions. Or who
refuse to use Paladins. Etc.

Q) do u think the change wont really affect
the impact C.A will have, since we have arablests and h.canons
for attack.

A) I think we’ll see a lot more
cav archers than in the past, but arbalests & hand cannons
will still show up. After all, only certain civs get worthwhile
cav archers.

Q) I also hear arabelists have bonus v.s C.A,
so basically C.A will appear to be useless

A) Who told you that?

Q) Do you think you have made a dramatic
‘improvement’ on C.A? if so, acan u say what it is?

A) Yes they are vastly improved. They
move faster, fire faster, and are created faster. They also get
the benefit of a new research item that boosts their armor. They
are not the super-game-ending-killer-unit of all time, but who
would want that? They are now a viable, even a strong unit well
worth that 70 gold.

Q) What hockey team do you want to see win
the cup?

A) Any team but Dallas.

Q) In AOK:TC is the scenario editor going to
change a lot or a bit?

A) A bit.

Q) In AOK:TC will the Random map generator
add gaia stuff?

A) Yes.

Q) Why doesn’t the Byzantins get any trade

A) 1. they were famous for their
religion & deceitful politics, not their mercantile efforts.
2. They didn’t need it.

Q) How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a
woodchuck could chuck wood?

A) He’d chuck as much wood as a
woodchuck could if a woodchuck could chuck wood.

Q) Why don’t you do what cavedog did and
release a new unit every month or so?

A) Our game is balanced very
differently from theirs.

Q) Why, Why, WHY Did you make it so the CPU
resigns as soon as you start the game?

A) It was a mistake, ok? Not
intentional. Get the current patch to fix the problem.

Q) Does the inclusion of the Franks in AoK
rule out the inclusion of the Normans in AoK:TC?

A) The Normans are ruled out because
they were a comparatively small nation that did not do that much
historically. Yes they conquered England, but that was a
backwards, unimportant island at the time. Even if we restrict
ourselves to European nations, the Lombards, Moors, Slavs,
Spanish, and Burgundians were all far more important and
interesting than the Normans.

Q) What do you think prompted the Maya to
abandon their cities?

A) Shub-Niggurath

Q) will there be any new buildings ?

A) As I’ve said before, no,
unless you count the new wonders.

Q) why does advancing with the chinese cost
the same, whil they have their cheaper technologies ?

A) Game balance.

Q) when enabling all techs, most bonuses
disappear, like frankish cheap castles, free mill upgrades and
other stuff. will this be fixed, or is it ment like that ?

A) It is working the way it is
intended to.

Q) which unit do you believe is the most
usefull unit in castle age ?

A) Besides villager? Probably the

TRANSLATED IN ANY WAY, can you see any reason that it will be
late in scandinavia ?

A) Nope. The folks to complain to are
the MS representatives in Scandinavia. Whoever they are.

Q) Will animals reproduce themselves? and how
about trees?

A) Nope. We like it fine the way it

Q) Any improvements to Cataphract?

A) The Byzantine UT grants a
significant boost to the Cataphract. So big that we had to tune
it down after seeing the Byzantines run rampant over everyone
else for a week or two. They still get the cool bonus, but
it’s not quite as terrifying.

Q) Why don’t you like Hawaii?

A) It’s really hard to visit
anywhere else (you need to take a long plane ride), and
I’ve heard that prices are high.

Q) What do you have against the Dallas Stars?
You live in Dallas…don’t you?

A) Yes I live in Dallas, but I think
it’s absolutely idiotic that Dallas has an ice hockey

Q) Is it not a good thing that “newer” teams
win the cup to increase the audience for hockey?

A) Why should I care if the audience
for hocky gets increased?

Q) If you worked at another company, what
would it be?

A) Before I worked here, I was at id
Software. If I couldn’t work there either … dunno.
Maybe I’d try to start my own.

Q) What civs, units, techs, and bounses
didn’t make it into Aok?

A) I’ll list one of each:
Burgundians, composite foot archers, a tech that gave monks the
ability to convert other units, and an infamous bonus that gave
one civ monks in the Feudal age.

Q) why was the ability to trade with of map
places taken out?

A) It was breath-takingly dull and

Q) how come archer armor gets the same
protection as infantry armor?

A) Game balance.

Q) Will you be making improvements to the
recorded games?

A) Yes, you will be able to see the
chats made during a recorded game, plus you’ll be able to
set “chapter” markers in a recorded game, so you can
skip ahead to a cool place in the replay.

Q) why are you waiting till E3 to release
info on TC?

A) Ask MS’s marketing
department. It is not a decision I necessarily agree with nor was
involved in making, but I will abide by it.

Q) I think a set of user made RM’s would be

A) There is a new scripting method
allowing users to invent their own RMs. Plus we’ve added a
number of cool new RMs of our own.

Q) Will the Samuri be improved in the

A) Yes. They are faster-moving and
their bonus vs. UUs has been increased.

Q) Why are youse being evil commies wanting
to be in the taking over of the USA of America?

A) Relax. Sit back. Give in to the
dark side my son. Soon the teachings of Marx, Engels, and Lenin
will make sense to you and you’ll become One Of Us.

Q) didn’t the English win the battle of Crecy
because the Longbows, that were developed in the wars in Wales,
were completely superior to any other archer of the day as far as
range, accuracy, and rate of fire?

A) No. The English shot up the
Genoese, because the English were standing still and the Genoese
had to march up towards them while under fire, then load and
fire. Most of them didn’t get even a single shot off.
Before they could get organized, the French rode them down. The
English would have won at Crecy even if they’d had somewhat
less brilliant bows.

Q) How many languages do you speak?

A) Only one and a half, but my wife
speaks four.

Q) Do u think pokemon sucks?

A) I have nothing against pokemon.

Q) Do you agree that an African civ that is
not in the maghreb will be extremely difficult to do.

A) Yes.

Q) How come Mike Kidd is missing from the ES
web site?

A) He is? (Quick check.) I’ll be
darned. He is. I have no idea why. He’s pretty new, but
still ought to be there. I’ll fire off a quick e-mail to

Q) A while back you stated that 2 1/2
civilizatiosn in the X-pac were from Europe

A) Actually I said 1 ½ were
from Europe.

Q) Why, exactly, do you have the Byzantines
speaking Latin in AOK?

A) It was their official state
language, a majority of their population did not speak Greek, it
helped maintain the feel for a continuation of the Roman Empire,
and I like Latin better than Greek.

Q) have you ever read the Dune series, but
Frank Herbert? excluding the mediocre House Atreides, I believe
it to be the greatest science fiction series of all time

A) I have read much of the Dune series
(basically the first three books), but I consider the Foundation
books the greatest SF series of all time.

Q) Since the TC has been toned down, can it
still be used as a somewhat effective offensive weapon?

A) It sucks bad as an offensive
weapon, now.

Q) has the ex-pac added any new unique

A) Yes. And I predict many more will
arise after its release.

Q) How many of the ex-pac civs have we
guessed right in this forum?

A) All of them.

Q) Can you give us a hint what the Frank UT

A) It is called “Bearded
Axe” and it increases the range of throwing axemen. Their
UT was somewhat less powerful than that of some civs because the
Franks don’t need pumping up.

Q) If the Russians had not pushed the Mongols
out of the Asian steppe, do you believe that the Mongols would
have entered Western Europe and conquered it?

A) No. They had already gone into
Europe and beaten everybody. By the time the Russians pushed out
the Golden & the White Hordes the Mongols were no longer a
serious threat to Europe.

Q) you believe that the massive hitpoints of
the buildings in AOK have made it little more then a ancient sim

A) This is a leading question. No I
don’t. Do you?

Q) If Hitler had knocked out the radar system
of the British before the United States had entered the war, do
you believe that the Germans would have been able to force the
English to give up?

A) Given the enormous amout of damage
the Germans were able to take from strategic bombing without
giving up, I don’t think that mere bombing of England could
have made Churchill give up. Destruction of the British radar
sites would have meant Luftwaffe could have devasted much more of
England’s industry, but fundamentally the Germans
didn’t had effective long-range bombers. To make England
surrender, Germany needed to invade them, not just bomb them. Of
course, if they _could_ have invaded, England would have been
occupied almost immediately. They had no serious defenses except
the English Channel. But even the occupation of Great Britain
might not have meant a surrender – Churchill planned to go
on fighting from Canada, Australia, etc. But clearly that would
have been only minor fringe resistance. Germany would, in effect,
have won WW2 in the West. Would bombing the radar sites have
given Germany the air superiority it needed to invade Great
Britain? I don’t know.

Q) Why was the use of fire left out. Archers
used flaming arrows to quickly destroy buildings

A) Research chemistry.

Q) If a duck walks head first into a cannon
is it really murder?

A) Only if the person who fires the
cannon is also a duck.

Q) The English channel played a big part in
helping to keep England safe from outside invaders. However,
isolation is sometimes a bad thing. Ex: China. So, if this is
true why were the British able to conquer most the world with a
island the size of New Jersey.

A) The fact of their island existence
meant they built a powerful navy, and that’s what they used
to colonize elsewhere. The Dutch navy was as powerful and
diverse, but the Dutch were always distracted by the threat of
continental wars, so they couldn’t use it as freely. The
French were mainly a continental power, who never really got
their navy together and effective. The Spanish and Portuguese
alone worked on their navy and exploration as effectively as the
British, and so the Spanish and Portuguese alone had foreign
colonies to rival the British.

Q) How true is it that sappers were mainly
infantry soldiers and not villagers or serfs

A) Almost always true.

Q) Finally, if you were a hot babe and I was
a hot dude would you slap me?

A) Keep your hands to yourself, big

Q) for the x-pack, has ES removed (or made
automatic, from age to age) the upgrades that have been found to
be superfluous in post-release gameplay? Stuff like hoardings,
heated shot, etc.

A) No. Just because an upgrade
isn’t used every game doesn’t mean it’s not
sometimes handy.

Q) How much does experience on the Zone, in
tournaments, on strat websites like mrfixit etc. influence ES’
direction with AOK?

A) Enormously.

Q) Besides the obvious financial benefits,
are you making your games for the gamers or strictly for

A) For ourselves. We want to be proud
of what we do. Gamers who love the games validate that pride, and
so they are important too, but fundamentally we do games because
we love the games, not because we love the gamers.

Q) Why did the artists put pants on the Woad
Raiders instead of kilts?

A) They didn’t wear kilts. But
we call them “trews” not “pants”.

Q) Why didn’t any of the early discoverers of
the Americas stay?

A) The plumbing sucked.

Q) Does the USA vs. Microsoft case have ES

A) Not in the slightest. Even if the
US decided that MS needed to be carved into small edible bits and
fed to chimpanzees, ES would still be in business. We might have
to find another publisher, though.

Q) are the civs that were dropped before the
release of AoK the same civs basically that are in the x-pack

A) No.

Q) Will any additional farm upgrades be

A) No. The farm queues plus crop
rotation seem to give us all the farming fun we could ask

Q) Will there be any improvements in the town
bell? If you have multiple TCs, currently ringing the town bell
results in far greater numbers of peasants garrisoning into the
nearest TC than you had intended

A) We figured players would rather
have too many garrison than too few.

Q) Is it your opinion that the widespread
availability of pikemen has made War Elephants essentially

A) Of course not.

Q) Are you Mormon? If so, how many wives do
you have?

A) Mormons with more than one wife are
automatically excommunicated from the church for good.

Q) hope changes to the cavalry arecher line
will be implemented in such a way that the civs that used them
should benefit from them.

A) They are. Goths, Britons, and so
forth do not get the new cav archer research items that make them
(cav archers, that is) worth purchasing.

Q) Can ES program a clone “Sandy” so that you
don’t have to be bothered by our questions anymore?

A) I keep begging and pleading for
them to do this, but no dice yet.

Q) Hey Sandy does will the x-pac let you
choose a easy computer and a hard computer in the same match?

A) No.

Q) What’s the address for the Mormon’s family
history web site?

A) I don’t know. Try Yahoo.

Q) Why are the Helvetians not in the
Expansion Pack?

A) We already have plenty of Europeans

Q) in what age are the UT’s available for

A) All but one are in the Imperial

Q) Does the computer cheat on hardest?

A) Yes. He gets 500 extra of each
resource each time he goes up an age.

Q) Why where u on painkillers?

A) Foot surgery.

Q) Will the X-Pack add ANY new counter

A) It seems to me that everything that
needs a counter already has one.

Q) Why did you choose the name Sandyman?

A) I am called “Sandy” by
everyone who knows me. “Sandyman” seemed a logical

Q) Whyd you name catapuls as
mongonels/onagers and ballistas as scorpions?

A) Because catapult-like devices were
normally called “onagers” or “mangonels”
and no one called “ballistas” that after Roman times.
We gave them the later names to help distinguish them from the
AoE weapons. After all, the AoK mangonel is really quite
different in use and tactics from the AoE catapult, ditto the AoK
scorpion and the AoE ballista.

Q) When you say the TC will suck as an
offensive weapon in the X-pack, do you restrict you comment to a
pop of 75?

A) Most of our testing nowadays is
done at pop 150.

Q) Don’t you think Chinese should have a
healing UT of acupuncture?

A) Only if a healing UT is the best
way to boost the Chinese in a fun, balanced manner. (Personally,
I don’t think it is.)

Q) the civs bonus tha would give them monks
in fudal, was that civ a european civ?

A) I think so. But that was a loooong
time ago. It might have been the Byzantines.

Q) Obviously you are going to slightly tweak
the AI because of the new civs and reasearch’s. My question is is
at vastly improved over the standard AI in the current version of
AOK? Yes or no?

A) People here say it’s tougher
to beat than before. What else can I go by? It does advance up
through the ages much faster than before.

Q) Why dont you and M$ release the patch

A) It’s not done.

Q) How come the Portugal didn’t become part
of Spain like the rest of the Iberian Kingdoms did?

A) It did, for a century or two.
Portugal got exhausted in foreign wars and Spain took over for a
while. It was never formally annexed, though, and after Portugal
got its act together, they warred on Spain and regained their
independence. Spain, at that time, was feeling kind of weak
itself. I think one reason Spain never conquered Portugal is
because the Spanish had other fish to fry – after all, they
owned not just Spain but also Belgium, Austria, big hunks of
Italy, and almost the whole of the New World. Most of their wars
weren’t aimed at the Portuguese (who were basically
friendly trading partners), but at the Dutch and French, who were
real threats. Fundamentally, Spain’s national goal from
about 1500 to 1650 was to dominate all of Europe. Conquering
Portugal would not help them in that goal. It might even hurt
them, because they’d have this running sore in their
backside during their campaigns against England, the Dutch, the
French, and the Ottomans. Also, once the Protestant Reformation
came along, their interest in dominating Portugal became even
slimmer, because at least the Portuguese remained good

Q) Dont you think Portugal is a
contender/candidate to be in the X-Pack?

A) Look. My wife speaks Portuguese
(she lived there for a year and a half). My brother-in-law is
Portuguese. I have lots of ties to Portugal. But despite all of
Portugal’s importance, there are a number of other civs
that deserve to be in the X-Pack more than the Portuguese. Even
if all we count are European civs.

Q) the portuguese and brasilian dont have a
Civ that they can call their own.

A) The function of AoK is not to
provide every fan with a civ they can call their own. Good
heavens, none of the civs are the U.S. and you don’t hear
us complain.

Q) Would you pay $1000 per each extra hour of
time each day?

A) If I could afford it.

Q) Are you in Mensa?

A) I have not joined Mensa, despite
several offers.

Q) Will the X-Pack add new heroes to the
Scenario Editor/Maker and if so will they all be from the new

A) Yes, and I don’t think

Q) I bought AoK in Korea. would it work if I
bought The Conquerors in Canada?

A) It ought to .

Q) Are you writing the AI scripts for TC?
What improvements can we expect to see from the Computer

A) Yes I’m writing them. He is
faster at progressing through the ages and a lot of old bugs that
hindered his effectiveness have been fixed. He is now more
difficult to beat at “Hard” and “Hardest”
level, but he should be about the same at Moderate, Easy, &

Q) Sandy, do you like the way Asimov finished
up the series? I just reread it, and I’m still struck by how
profoundly the series turns after that little twenty-year break
between Second Foundation and Foundation’s Edge.

A) I think that what happened is that
Asimov changed his personal politics during the break, and so he
wrote the final volume to reflect that. To some extent I think he
betrayed his former self, if you get what I mean. But I liked the
final volume too.

Q) Call of Cthulhu was an awesome game, its
still sitting in sight of me as I write this! 😉 Now maybe if
you can convince ES to do a CoC game of somesort.

A) Maybe some day.

Q) Will there be a dramatic improvement on
the computer’s style of play?

A) When the computer is doing a
Castle-Age Rush now, he usually gets to Castle in 17-18 minutes.
How’s that for an improvement?

Q) Do you believe in aliens?

A) Certainly. But I have seen little
convincing evidence that they’ve visited Earth in
historical times. I also don’t think that real aliens would
be humanoid at all. Look at the vast multitude of different forms
of life on Earth – how many are humanoid? I see no reason
to believe that an alien would look any more like us than a
ctenophore or a palpigrade does.

Q) Are you guys at ES considering doing a
second expansion?

A) We have not ruled anything out. We
would only do a second expansion if we (1) could do it without
impacting our upcoming products and (2) could think of a really
cool (and salable) theme to tie it together.

Q) Has ES considered increasing the Line of
Sight of the Outpost in order to increase its usage

A) Yes.

Q) Feudal rushes with towering resources is a
pretty good and useful strat. Were feudal towers meant to be used
in this way?

A) We have nothing against using watch
towers in this way. Obviously we knew it would be a possibility
because it was done in AoE, and we did nothing to prevent it in

Q) I know how much of a setback it can be
when it is pain with the feet.You tend to take them for granted
until something comes along to bring you to reality.good luck and
good rehabilitating

A) Thanks. Your good wishes are really

Q) won’t there be a huge advantage for the
civs with crop rotation? I mean, farms with crop rotation last a
lot longer. When you multiply this by 15, the difference will be
seriously noticable! Won’t civs without crop rot be too much

A) No more than they are now. If
anything, civs without crop rotation are better off with farm
queues than they used to be, because they can more easily queue
up a line of farms in the mill than go wandering around their
home town re-clicking on all the expired farms. Sure a guy with
crop rotation doesn’t have to click on his mill as often,
but re-seeding farms is no longer that big of a deal.

Q) Is this a real possibility in the short,
medium, long term future of Sandyman Games? Will you take it

A) Not at all. The question was what
I’d do if I wasn’t at ES. I really love ES. Our other
employees are like brothers (or, in a few cases, sisters), and I
would need to be dragged away from here kicking and screaming. I
would certainly never leave of my own volition.

Q) Will the new user scripts replace existing
RM definitions or add to them?

A) You add them as new custom

Q) Who do you consider to be the best AoK
player in ES?

A) Probably Captain Kidd.

Q) Why does MS’s video get played befor ES’s
in the cinimatics before the game?

A) So you see ours last, in hopes
it’ll get stuck in your brains. (Actually, I don’t
know why ours is second. Maybe it’s contractual.)

Q) What does MS have to do with AoK?

A) They do some of the playtesting,
and all of the marketing and production. Also translations into
different languages. They even provided us with the various
languages for the villagers to speak.

Q) What College did you go to?

A) Brigham Young University, UC Davis
and UC Berkeley.

Q) Do you speak any languages besides

A) I have some extremely rusty Russian
lodged in my memory. I minored in Russian in College. Of course,
that was 20 years ago.

Q) If you were to travel back in time what
time period would you go to?

A) Either the late Cretaceous or the

Q) I have heard you are a mormon. Did you
have to do two years of missionary service? My dad, a pastor,
said that that is what all mormon’s have to do.

A) The missionary work is voluntary.
You don’t have to do it, and many mormons don’t. You
also pay for your own keep during the mission; i.e., the church
doesn’t support you. Usually your family helps out
financially, though. As it happens, I did serve two years. One of
my brothers also went on a mission, but the other one
didn’t. I would say that more than half the active mormon
boys go on a mission, and way less than half of the girls.

Q) Did the name Cacodemon used in Doom some
from your time at Rune Quest? If so, is Cacodemon from some

A) The word “cacodemon” is
a perfectly good English word, and simply means an especially
noxious demon. Mostly I just like the sound of it.

Q) What does farm queuing actually do?

A) Lets you “stack up” a
bunch of farms at the mill, and then your farmers automatically
replant a farm when it expires, so you don’t have to do it

Q) Will Arbalests be improved to the point
that it is worth playing 2.5 times the cost of a champion
(especially as the vikings) to build them?

A) Arbalests cost 2.5 times as much as
a champion? They cost Champions cost 60 food, 20 gold. Arbalests
cost 40 wood, 45 gold.

Q) was ‘Out Of Sync’ on multiplayer designed
to catch people out who were using trainers?

A) Actually, yes it was. That’s
not the only reason it ever goes out of synch though.

Q) you reference evoution. Do you beleive in
either Darwinian evolution or post-creation evolution?

A) I am a big fan of Charles Darwin,
and think that the Origin of Species is one of the great
scientific books ever written. I think that believing in an ab
nihilo creation makes God a big prankster, hiding away all those
evidences of a billions-year-old Earth just to fool us modern
humans. And I don’t believe in that kind of God.

Q) Are monks going to have the ability to
auto-attack/convert enemies who come in rangE?

A) No, because when a monk attacks it
takes away something from that monk (i.e., he has to recharge),
and so the player should be in control at all times. Yes this
sometimes leads to problems, but we’d rather have the
problems be a player’s fault than the computer making the
wrong decision on his behalf.

Q) Saracens will be improved since they are a
very non used civ?

A) Saracens are not being improved
directly. Several units that they rely heavily on are improved,

Q) Will Goths be able to build walls?

A) No.

Q) How many times did you prefer the TC from

A) I’m afraid this question does
not make sense to me.

Q) are the byzantines gonna get a desent
economic atr?

A) By and large we’re not
changing old things about the game. We’re adding new ones.
We like the Byzantine economic bonus just fine.

Q) the byz gonna have a replacement for the
blast furance they are missing?

A) You’ll just have to struggle
along without it. That is sort of the purpose in having a tech
tree after all, so that not every civ gets every upgrade.

Q) are there gonna be more heavy cavalry base

A) We already have the Franks.

Q) does es considers changing from 2d to 3d
for the future rts games hopefully aoe3?(hope not)

A) Yes we are moving to 3-D for our
future games.

Q) do you intend to make the camel more
powerful againstother than cavalry?

A) If we made the camels more
powerful, then why would we need cavalry?

Q) Who’s your daddy!?

A) Dr. Robert J. Petersen, M.D.

Q) Since it is an expansion pack, Will it be
full priced (49) or be less?

A) I imagine it will be comparably
priced to RoR.

Q) Can you play a Aok:TC against a AoK

A) No. For instance, if you were to
run one of the new random maps or build a new unit, the two games
would be totally incompatible. But you still will have your old
executable, so once the X-Pack is installed you can choose which
of the two games you want to run. Thus you can still play old AoK
against your friends who haven’t bought the X-Pack.

Q) Finely, whats the function of AoK?

A) To provide stimulating intellectual
pleasure to people in a semi-historical reality.

Q) How different can the new units be, you
practically thought of everything.

A) We still had a few tricks up our
sleeves, but you’re right. It was much harder creating the
Conquerors units than it was designing the RoR ones.