GameSpot ’99 Superchat (Pg 1)

Article written by GameSpot
Published on 03-13-2017; updated on 03-13-2017
Tags: , ,

+SCGekko> Welcome the the Gamestock ’99 SuperChat —
Tonight’s topic in this room will be Age of Empires II — The Age
of Kings. Our guests this evening are Bruce Shelley (Bruce@ES),
Mark Terrano (MTerrano@ES) & Matt “maimin_matty” Scadding
(GrandEmperor @Age)…

+SCGekko> we are still looking for Mark i think…

GrandEmperor @Age> you just one lucky guy bruce 🙂

GrandEmperor @Age> hey mark T from ES is here

Bruce@ES> I’d rather be lucky than good

GrandEmperor @Age> hehe well what about being both bruce

+SCGekko> welcome mark!

+SCGekko> here we go 🙂

+SCGekko> …first some short “bios” for those of you not
familiar with our guests… Bruce Shelley is one of the “founding
fathers” of Ensemble Studios, the team that developed Age and Age
2. Bruce has been in the gaming business since the Bronze

MTerrano@ES> Thanks,glad to be here – its been a great
event so far.

Bruce@ES> To tell you the truth we work very hard at ES to
be in a position to get lucky

+SCGekko> …seriously, he started developing board games
in 1980 and then computer games in 1987, working on some of the
biggest titles ever, including Civilization, Railroad Tycoon, and
the first PC game I ever bought, F-19 Stealth Fighter…

+SCGekko> Welcome Bruce!

+SCGekko> Mark Terrano has also been involved in the gaming
industry since the early 80’s… He started at Ensemble Studios
in 1995, writing the multi-player code for AoE. For Age 2 he has
moved from the technical to the design side — as Lead Designer
for AoK…

+SCGekko> Welcome again Mark!

Bruce@ES> Thanks. Its great to here, though I am amazed
its raining outside in Seattle.

+SCGekko> Raining in Seattle? no way!!!

+SCGekko> Matt “maimin_matty” Scadding is the recently
crowned Grand Emperor of Age in the Zone’s “Rumble for Rome”
tournament, earning a reputation as one of the best AoE players
in the world. Matt is here to give the “player’s perspective” on
Age 2…

GrandEmperor@Age> i miss the snowy streets of my
quiet ontarion town\

+SCGekko> welcome Matt!

Bruce@ES> I’m serious. I think they’re up to 39 straight

GrandEmperor @Age> thanks gekko

+SCGekko> …all that being said — let’s get on with the
Chat! — Please move into the “Waiting” line by clicking on
“Chat” then “Ask a Question”. Due to the number of people here,
please pre-type your questions so we can get to as many of you as

MTerrano@ES> (wonders how to pre-type his answers 🙂

magus_aoe2_net> The “know it’s going to be asked
question”… It’s killing me to know, when (Realitively) will the
AOK public beta test be released? – Magus, GA

GrandEmperor @Age> we all knew that would be the first
question i think

MTerrano@ES> Sebastien says to get back to us (him!) in
the Spring :/

magus_aoe2_net> is that the answer?

MTerrano@ES> The product is going to be on the shelves
this fall so he was being evasive there I think.

magus_aoe2_net> well there goes my second question 😉

GrandEmperor @Age> it’s gonna be worth the wait magus

magus_aoe2_net> ok thats all 🙂

+SCGekko> thanks magus…

GrandEmperor @Age> thanks magus 🙂

LORDS_ROCK> What are some examples of the different
civilization paths, and how they effect the statistics and
strength of the civilizations in Age of Kings: Age of Empires II.

Bruce@ES> We feel the same way know that we did six months
before finishing Age I. Age II is going to be great.

+SCGekko> Mark… car to take that one?

Bruce@ES> Chris Di Cesare please go away. Far Away!

MTerrano@ES> We’ve gone a little farther with some of the
Civilization changes – the Chinese for instance have reduced cost
technologies and start with more villagers. The bonuses are along
the lines of what you saw with Age of Empires, generally.

Bruce@ES> Mark T’s keyboard died.

+SCGekko> Follow up LORDS ROCK?

LORDS_ROCK> no thats about it

Bruce@ES> Each civilization has a unique unit, a unique
wonder, and their units speak the local language. German units
speak German, for example.

MTerrano@ES> Whew. Back again (those hardware guys are
speedy). Having a unique unit with each civilization changes
things a bit as well.

AOEH_sting_> First of all, I wanted to say hello to
everyone and what a glorius day this is. 🙂 here is the

AOEH_sting_> so I keep hearing rumours that the release
date of AoK is being continually pushed back, is this due to
major revisions or something else? And here is question 2,
relating to question 1, is MS responsible for anything having to
due with the release date?

MTerrano@ES> Thanks Bruce – he got it!

Bruce@ES> We elected to take the time to make Age II
extraordinary. It was our decision. Just guessing here, but I bet
MS would have liked to have had it last year. A mediocre game is
a disaster. We want it to be special.

MTerrano@ES> The extra time was definitely worth it…so
many new things, so much improved over Age1.

AOEH_sting_> I agree, and if the wait is for a better game
then it is worth it

AOEH_sting_> do I get one more quick question? 🙂

GrandEmperor @Age> the wait is for a for more then just a
better game… amazing game

+holzmeister> ga sting.

Bruce@ES> Besides, we took a little time to do Rise of
Rome, and that was win for everyone.

+SCGekko> sure Sting…fast…

AOEH_sting_> Are you working on some way to decrease the
amount of lag in games?

AOEH_sting_> ok im done now, thanks guys

+SCGekko> thanks sting…

Irish_Knight> What will be the most noticeable changes in
the new scenario editor? Roads? Hero Editor? and what does MS do
in Aok/AoE?

MTerrano@ES> Some general improvements in performance will
help the game overall. The communications core has had some
improvements as well….folks with a ‘spotty’ ISP or
international phone connection will be pleased to know that we DO
have multiplayer save and restart.

MTerrano@ES> Scenario Editor – beautiful new terrains,
buildings that can only be seen in Scenarios.

Irish_Knight> what new terrains?

MTerrano@ES> I can just give you a little bit on this –
but the new expert-system driven AI will be exposed to scenario
writers – it is just fantastic.

Bruce@ES> New maps for the scenario editor too, like the
Black Forest- everyone separated by trees.

MTerrano@ES> New map types – and for terrain graphics –
you’ve seen the screen shots probably on the Gamestock part of
the zone.

+SCGekko> thanks Irish Knight…. Omnivac… go

AOEH_Omnivac> Hi guys. thanks for your time and this cool
chat event. It has been hinted that possibly, agers will be able
to use “pre-fab towns” in multiplayer games (Starting with a
small town already built). How will this work exactly?

GrandEmperor @Age> anyone think they can make an AI that
can take down maimin_matty?

+SCGekko> sounds like a challenge

MTerrano@ES> One of the new map types starts with a
pre-built town, stable, barracks, etc. For players who want to
skip some of the early build up – you have a pre-built area with
walls, gates, and towers – just add units & mayhem.

AOEH_Omnivac> About the gates, how will you ensure that
players use them and not use the AoE/RoR method (delete a section
of wall, get units out, rebuild wall). If this can be done, then
it defeats the purpose of gates… (?)

AOEH_Omnivac> Cool

MTerrano@ES> You select it just like any of the other
random map types.

MTerrano@ES> If people want to delete and build walls over
and over again rather than popping in a gate – then they can.
Once you chop an enemy catapult in half with your gate – you’ll
be hooked.

crissi0> when does age of the empires 2 come out?

+SCGekko> thanks Omnivac… Crissi0 go ahead….

Bruce@ES> Scheduled for this fall. We are confident it
will make. Its a lot of fun already.

crissi0> thanks

+SCGekko> hmmmm…i think “this fall” is all we are gonna
get for now folks…

+SCGekko> thanks crissi…. shodowlord… go ahead

ShadowLord_110> What is the best Unit in AOE 2 The
strongest most powerful and fast?:) And how when the Beta comes
how can i get it?

MTerrano@ES> Wow, that’s hard to say. The most powerful
siege unit is the Trebuchet – but it has a liability that you
have to pack it to move it.

+SCGekko> Matt… maybe you can enlighten us on your
opinion of the best AOE2 unit?

MTerrano@ES> The Samurai is a fast foot unit that attacks
like mad. Each has its strength and weakness though.

GrandEmperor @Age> ummmm how about my favourite unit

GrandEmperor @Age> as usual i LOVE seige weapons

ShadowLord_110> ok

Bruce@ES> We deliberately design so there is no best unit.
All have strengths and weaknesses. Rocks breaks scissors, cuts

MTerrano@ES> My favorite is probably the Scorpion

GrandEmperor @Age> they have this amazing trebuchet which
is kind of like the catapult

+SCGekko> Thanks for the question Shadowlord… Reeces…
go ahead…

FS_Reeces> I heard from some sites that roads will be in
AOE2. Will they appear over time after people have constantly
walked over the path, or does it cost stone??? And do the roads,
if they are in the game, look like the ones in AOE1? P.S. Down
with MA clan!

MTerrano@ES> Of course seeing those battering rams moving
toward your town is enough to make the best player shudder.

Bruce@ES> I like the Turkish Janissary hand

+SCGekko> i see weveryone has a favorite… just like AoE

MTerrano@ES> Roads can be created in the scenario editor
to dress up your maps, but they are not automatically created in

FS_Reeces> ok, thanks

GrandEmperor @Age> i like the men and women villagers

FS_Reeces> I think that’s all for me???

+SCGekko> thanks Reeces… Zanzard Lothar… go

Zanzard_Lothar> Is there going to be a learning campaign in
AOK, just as there was in AOE? GA

MTerrano@ES> Yes – but the learning campaign will be more
exciting than in Age1.

Zanzard_Lothar> can i ask another question?

+SCGekko> sure a quick ione

Zanzard_Lothar> What colors can players choose in AOK?

MTerrano@ES> We’ve done a lot to improve the
approachability of the game for new users also – using the
‘Grandma Test’ – when grandma can come up and start having fun
without cracking the manual, we’re there.

Bruce@ES> We are considering William Wallace (Braveheart)
for the learning campaign.

Zanzard_Lothar> Thats my last question. Thank you.

MTerrano@ES> New colors are Purple and very Dark Green.
(replace the hard-to- see brown)

+SCGekko> thanks Znazard…

+SCGekko> Mokupuni….ga

Aloha_Mokupuni> Im lucky 13th in line OK to everyone and
anyone at ensemble: By visiting the web sites we can pretty much
find out all the up to date details on AoK so I am not gonna ask
you great dudes a question that I can just lookup

Aloha_Mokupuni> Actually I dont know what to ask, I never
really look at games until they are released. OK enough blabbing
away, I guess Ill ask…. “if” you ever get a lunchbreak between
programming, whats your favorite thing to have for lunch? …

Aloha_Mokupuni> (also now that Im on the lunch theme: were
there any cool features you thought of while you were eating,
then immediatly had to stop lunch and just write down those cool
ideas that could make the next “best game of the year” even

+SCGekko> sheesh… you been waiting a while huh?

Aloha_Mokupuni> and dont kick me yet gekko 😛

MTerrano@ES> In our new office we have a great little cafe
– and plenty of time to discuss features while we wait for
microwave treats (though our local go-out food has got to be
either BBQ or Mexican)

GrandEmperor @Age> ummmmm nothing i don’t eatlunch i would
skip lunch and play AoE hoping i could hold off the hunger til

Aloha_Mokupuni> And on a side note: Hello everyone I know
in this chat, I am angel_zeus from aoe heaven also known as
aloha_zeus. Visit these links: and

Aloha_Mokupuni> And real quick, about the buildings you can
only see in the scenarios, I think I saw these in a pic, there
were white tents on the battlefield.. I thought they were kinda
new. *can I type fast or what? THE END*

MTerrano@ES> The kind of features that usually come up in
lunch discussions are how to make the units easier to

Bruce@ES> We eat of lot pizza, barbecue, and Tex-Mex.
Dinner was delivered everynight during crunch time- two weeks, 7
days a week, 10 AM to midnight.

Aloha_Mokupuni> D O N E

+SCGekko> so…matty’s secret revealed…


Aloha_Mokupuni> 🙂

MTerrano@ES> The tents are just one. I’m going to let the
other scenario specific buildings be a little surprise 🙂

+SCGekko> thanks Mokupuni….

+SCGekko> Sorry folks, but due to the large number of
people wanting to ask questions, we will not have any further
follow-ups, if you have another question, please return to the
“Waiting” line and hopefully we will get back to you…

Bruce@ES> Tents (pavilions) are scenario editor units

TDA_Masta> Hi, First off, I would like to say Hello to my
good Sysop pals out there, almost all of them in the moderator
category, and I would love to know what the best area to get to
know in AoE or RoR that would make us the best AoK player?.

+SCGekko> Masta, my friend… fire away…

TDA_Masta> Hi my Bud Gekko

TDA_Masta> Second, what is going to be the best
civilazation for Death Match games, and Regular games, and I
heard that the trees grow back, is there any truth to that?

Bruce@ES> Build up phase. The strongest economic player
usually wins.

TDA_Masta> And my final Quesiton, what is going to be the
best addition to the game (like villagers, maps, and
civilizations) that was not included in AoE or RoR, and what is
the cost going to run around?

TDA_Masta> I type real fast!

Bruce@ES> Trees are not growing back.

TDA_Masta> (or I have them on macros!)

+SCGekko> thanks for the questions TDA Masta…

TDA_Masta> I would like to say goodbye to all the Sysops
watching, and moderating, and would also like to thank the people
at ES that developed a new game that lots of people are waiting
for. Thank you for taking the time to answer my Quesions.

Hole6> Is there going to be any chance of monks or priests
having an anti-conversion upgrade to protect other units from
conversion? Is anything going to be done with conversion
ability-weaker or stronger than AoE? ES, visit Mist’s Town more.
We have new ideas!

GrandEmperor@Age> thanks masta

Bruce@ES> We want the game to end sometime. Best civ is
yet to be discovered. We hope no civ is ever thought to be

MTerrano@ES> For Deathmatch – I’d have to be Turks with
their gunpowder unit bonus.

MTerrano@ES> ‘Faith’ makes your troops very hard to
convert with enemy monks.

Hole6> Thanks for answering my question and real quick,
will you be able to take over enemy gates?

+SCGekko> i think they are deciding on the gates as we

+SCGekko> oh well ShadowLord ugo… go ahead…

ShadowLord_Ugo> How far Age of Empire will go,? , and in
AOE2, we goona see gun Shot? if so, the unit will die on the

Winter@ES> =)

Bruce@ES> Sorry for the delay. Gates can be converted at
this time. Might change.

+SCGekko> and that’s NOT Bill Gates, BTW…

MTerrano@ES> Haha.

Bruce@ES> We have a few primitive gunpowder weapons.
Bombard cannons and hand cannoneers. They don’t necessarily kill
with one shot.

ShadowLord_Ugo> But do u think aoe will go far?

MTerrano@ES> Like the other units, they have their
strengths and weaknesses.

+SCGekko> Thanks Ugo….Welcome to Desperado, Royster and
Winter from ES 🙂

Bruce@ES> I think AOE II is going around the world in five

+SCGekko> FS Maverik…you are up…

Bruce@ES> DEsperado is the lead programmer on AOE II

desperado@ES> hola 🙂

FS_Maverik> I was wondering if there will be an option for
raiders to be like animals that are controled by no player. Maybe
every once and a while there would be some raiders that come onto
the map and attack your town. —-Down with the MA clan!

Bruce@ES> We don’t think random events, like the raiders
you describe, are good design. Increases player frustration for
no gain.

+SCGekko> thanks Maverik… go ahead Co Pilot….

CoPilot_1> Hello Bruce, What are your plans for cheats in
AOE 2?

+SCGekko> good question CoPilot…

+SCGekko> any more camaros in our future?

Bruce@ES> We not thinking too hard about cheats until we
get closer to being really done. my best suggestion right now is
Vikes on Bikes. A hard-hatted Viking on a big chopper.

+holzmeister> ROFL

+SCGekko> COOLNESS! you could call them Heaven’s Angels…
oh wait… nevermind…LOL

+SCGekko> Maddog… go ahead

MK_Maddog2020> ok

MK_Maddog2020> will there be a civ you can get only by a

MK_Maddog2020> like a cheat

Bruce@ES> That would be an incredible amount of work for
one cheat code.

MTerrano@ES> I’m going to side with Bruce on this – we
really do wait until we’ve done all the important stuff before we
think about Cheats…though everyone has their favorite

+SCGekko> thanks Maddog… Marcoon… go ahead….

Marcoon> “Are Castles going to be pretty much like Town
Centers in AoE? If so, in what ways?”-“And can you build more
than one Castle?” “And, is there a demo in the future?” GA

MTerrano@ES> For AoE I suggested ‘Age of Umpires’ that
would turn the clubmen into baseball players with bats…

MTerrano@ES> Castles are a building separate from the town
center – you train your unique unit there along with other

+SCGekko> Sorry folks, but due to the large number of
people wanting to ask questions, we will not have any further
follow-ups, if you have another question, please return to the
“Waiting” line and hopefully we will get back to you…

+SCGekko> and about that demo?

BadMoon@ES> 😉

__HyPeR_> I thought being one of the raiding civs, Vikings,
would be a blast, but will they be able to compete with the
others? Will the boats be able to ‘ram’ other boats? Will there
be more buttons when you select a boat? Sorry bout multiple

Bruce@ES> There will a demo but way in the future.
Probably after the game is released.

MTerrano@ES> Boat combat has some improvements (I’m not
going to comment specificially on any one Civ right now)…

MTerrano@ES> We have boats that explode (boom!) I love
catching units on the shallows with my demolition ship.

MTerrano@ES> A few other improvements in naval combat also
to make it a little more exciting and varied than in AoE…we’re
having some good boat games now.

+holzmeister> ga AoE2

AoE2_Net> Hello, How many scenarios are there (roughly) for
each civ? and secondly What are some of the features the music in
AoK will have? ie. different music for each civ? – Thanks for the
time, PsyThrax, AoE2.Net

Bruce@ES> Badmoon is ES financial controller. Checking up
on my expense report pal?

+HelpU2> Evening Powerovrya

powerovrya> hi,whats up with the outlaws? id love to see a
rogue staring at my villager from under a tree…..or whistling
at my females…assaulting caravans, stealing my livestock, not
to cause crippling damamge, but losing a vill. every once in a

MTerrano@ES> Each civilization has its own voice cues – if
you play the Teutons, you hear German. – There isn’t civ specific
music – but we do have some sound cues that are played special
for your Civ.

powerovrya> also, tell us about eye cndy in aok

powerovrya> candy

BadMoon@ES> I’m watching after you bruce!

+HelpU2> Eat no donuts

Bruce@ES> Outlaws are gone for now. We couldn’t make them
work in an acceptable manner for the work involved.

Eat_No_Donuts> Hi Everybody

Eat_No_Donuts> Evening

Eat_No_Donuts> Will there be actual voice communication in
Aok Muti? And secondly, can you guys give examples of some of the
Technologies and what they do that we haven’t seen? Lastly, will
the unitspecifications come with a unit animation in the lower
left box as well?

Bruce@ES> Bad Moon: I sleep better at night knowing your
on the job!

MTerrano@ES> (If you ask 3 I get to pick one to answer,
right?) – One of the technologies that I really like is the Town

BadMoon@ES> Thanks Bruce! You’re my idol!

MTerrano@ES> When you are being attacked, you can ring the
town bell and your villagers run inside your buildings – after
you dispatch the invasion, you ring the bell again and they go
back to work.

James_Bond006> Hi guys, I was just wondering how many
people could join a multiplayer game? And can you build bridges?

Bruce@ES> 8 player multiplayer. you can save and restore
Multi games.

Bruce@ES> No bridges. Maybe next time. Sound simple but
actually a complex problem. Thats what Tim Deen told me

+holzmeister> ga Potejon. 🙂

Potejon> 1. For us that don’t live outside the US and
Canada is it true that European release will be 6 months after
the US release or when like a day after or before (hoping)? and
2. How will raider civs be in multiplayer, are there any
diffrences? GA

Potejon> I will also say thanks that you did not make this
game demanding a huge comp with 3d card

Bruce@ES> Europe should be less than one month after

+holzmeister> Ok, ga Braveheart!

Braveheart_High> What’s up with the new strategies in AOE2?
I’ve heard differen’t things, but are the strategies differen’t
from the origonal AOE (does each civilization have different
strategies?)like shield walls? -Highpriest

+holzmeister> and wb Torgo. 🙂

Torgo@ES> Thx!

Bruce@ES> Nothing like that now. The game will play very
much like AOE 1. We are making subtle changes, for sure. Think
about how ROR changed AoE !. then think about taking almost two
years to reconsider and move to a new time and place

_hoplite_> hey ensomble studios guys keep makin kick ass
games cause i luv to play em 🙂 every game like aoe and ror that
i have spent bout my whole life playin and im very happy to get
aok thanks ensomble studios 🙂 🙂 you guys rule cant wait for aoe
3 😉 😉 😉

+SCGekko> thanks BraveHeart… Hoplite… go ahead….

Bruce@ES> Thanks Mom..

Scavenger_Kid> Good evening!! First of all, thank you for
the time!! Secondly, I have just *one* question for ES about the
“Regicide”. Will there be an individual unit for the King/Queen
in that mode ? btw. the farms look awesome!!The sheeps look
delicious!! Muhahahah !

Scavenger_Kid> *drool*

MTerrano@ES> In regicide – if you kill the king that
player is out. There is a specific unit to kill.

+SCGekko> thanks Scavenger… good question…

+SCGekko> go ahead Ares 32…

Ares_32> First of all I would like to say my school LOVES
your game. We come in early to play it on our LAN. Any way is
there any way I can become a beta tester without moving to Dallas
or winning a contest ? And what about voice cmmunication?

GrandEmperor@Age> looks like we are almost at the end
folks…..think we only have time for 2 more questions

+SCGekko> yeahwas about to call the end there…sorry

+holzmeister> —— Hoping Rico has a good one. 🙂

MTerrano@ES> We don’t have any specific
voice-over-internet things to talk about – but there are some 3rd
party tools that people are allegedly using to do VOI with Age.
It should work with Age2 as well as far as I know.

Torgo@ES> For the internal testing, yes, you have to be in
the Dallas area.

+SCGekko> Rico… go ahead…

Rico_weasle> hi

Rico_weasle> whats the dif between dallas trials and beta

+holzmeister> We got time for one more?

Torgo@ES> Good question. We’re looking more into some
usability issues. MS has a much larger trial planned for looking
into some other issues.

+SCGekko> WP 2Fast… go ahead… unfortunately… we will
have to let the ES guys go after this question if they have

MTerrano@ES> I’m not the authority on this – but the
Dallas trials will just involve some people coming up to our
office and playing in the evening. It is a separate deal from the
Beta program entirely (i.e. we pick up the pizza bill for the
Dallas trials 🙂

Winter@ES> mmm pizza

WP_2FaSt> why isnt there going to be a public beta ?

+SCGekko> AOE2 AND Free Pizza… gamer heaven….

+holzmeister> *sigh* 🙂

Bruce@ES> We got to go to another press event. Thanks for
having us. Enjoyed chatting. We appreciate all the great AoE fans
on the ZONE.

+holzmeister> Thanks Bruce!

Royster@ES> Bye Guys!

+SCGekko> thanks Bruce and Mark and Matt…and the rest of
the gang…

Torgo@ES> Don’t worry. MS has some great plans in store
for a public beta. I’m not privy to all the details yet.

GrandEmperor @Age> thanks guys you had some great

+MrSnappy> Thanks to all of our SPECIAL guests and to all
the players for such great questions

+SCGekko> ohhh…. a big hint right at the end….

+SCGekko> you allhad some great questions and really showed
up to support AOE2 we really appreciate it… thanks 🙂

+holzmeister> Thanks everyone!

GrandEmperor @Age> remember everyone

GrandEmperor @Age> matty loves ya

+SCGekko> thanks Matty…see you on the Zone!

+MrSnappy> thanks Matty 🙂

+holzmeister> Thanks Matty.

GrandEmperor @Age> and start saving up for AoK

GrandEmperor @Age> in fact

GrandEmperor @Age> start saving up for all the MS games
getting released

GrandEmperor @Age> CHECK OUT THE GAMESTOCK site

GrandEmperor @Age> and start salivating for the demos

GrandEmperor @Age> bye all

Winter@ES> Thanks for coming everyone. You guys rule =)

+SCGekko> yes everyone there is a link on the main Zone
page to the Gamestock sites…

+MrSnappy> thank you and good night everyone

+SCGekko> Good night all! Hope to see you all again

+jmk5> Good night all….thanks!

+holzmeister> Good night everyone!

+holzmeister> So which of you at ES is the best player

KillMe@ES> right now on AoK, probably me 🙂

Royster@ES> Wow!

+SCGekko> ok TDA Masta.. you can go play some ROR now…LOL

Royster@ES> How modest.

+holzmeister> Cool. Is Bruce any good or is he just a
developer? hehehehe

KillMe@ES> Oh, and Roy’s 2nd best as of 11 am today

+holzmeister> 🙂

Royster@ES> That’s right! We are “Da Men”.

+holzmeister> We’ll see one of these days. hehehehe

+SCGekko> What’s the longest game so far at the

KillMe@ES> Umm. hard to say. They separate us out by
“skill of player”

KillMe@ES> The longest game was a blackforest that lasted
… like, 5 or 6 game hours.

+holzmeister> Sheesh.

+SCGekko> OUCH!

+holzmeister> Is that as opposed to real hours?

+holzmeister> lol

KillMe@ES> it was about 4 or 5 real hours

KillMe@ES> we play at 1.5 speed

+holzmeister> That is a healthy game.

+holzmeister> That is what I like. 2.0 is just out of
control for me. hehehe

+SCGekko> awwww man, and you get paid for that….was it
overtime? LOL

+holzmeister> I need a job like that.

+holzmeister> When I visited AAS at MS, it was like the
promised land to me. lol

KillMe@ES> what – is – “overtime”? It was about 2 am when
we finished

KillMe@ES> playtesting is actually really hard

+holzmeister> I’d volunteer for it and I bet there are a
few others here that would too. lol

Winter@ES> yah..

+SCGekko> i’ll bet… get any blisters on your mousing

Royster@ES> One day Winter might playtest.

KillMe@ES> you need to keep track of everything you and
your opponents are doing the entire time. and try and gauge how
the balance is, eg: 10 pikemen vs 4 palladins, etc

+holzmeister> Now what do each of you do in ES if I may

+holzmeister> I see. That would be hard. Not too much time
left to enjoy it. Do you ever get to just play or are you sick of
it by then?

Winter@ES> I playtest every day on my 7 machines =)

Winter@ES> I play myself =)

+holzmeister> That must be nice. 🙂

+holzmeister> Who wins? ROFL

KillMe@ES> I program … um …. “stuff”

Winter@ES> uhm.. usually I kick my ass

Winter@ES> 😉

+SCGekko> LOL Winter…

KillMe@ES> royster is our awesomely capable network

+holzmeister> KillMe, AI or art or???

Royster@ES> And I think I’m the base-line newbe for
playtesting sessions.

+holzmeister> lol

Winter@ES> KillMe is our master of all things Graphics

KillMe@ES> plasticbrain is the brains of the AoK AI

KillMe@ES> that’s 3D to you, bud

Winter@ES> yup =)

+holzmeister> I see. How many people are working on this
project give or take?

+holzmeister> I suppose I should have guessed what
plasticbrain was. lol

KillMe@ES> there’s about 8 programmers and about as many
artists. then a few designers, and everyone playtests. some of us
playtest almost every day

KillMe@ES> someone wants to know if they can still ask
questions for whatever time remains?

+holzmeister> Not really a very big team then. Are there
any of you that are new from AoE?

+holzmeister> I suppose that is up to you folks.

KillMe@ES> I just started 6 mnths ago. Portland, OR was too

+holzmeister> I’m kind of having fun here. *grin*

KillMe@ES> i got tired of the mold and mushrooms on

+holzmeister> lol

+holzmeister> I live in Seattle. This is a horrible winter

+SCGekko> you guys want to take a few more questions? it’s
up to you….

+SCGekko> i know you all have AOK games waiting on you

KillMe@ES> sure. we may be guarded in what we say 🙂

Winter@ES> hehe

+holzmeister> ok, here we gol.

+SCGekko> cool….

Watergun> Will unit and building build times be
changed?/Will trees still form defensive barriers? Can
gates/walls go over a river?

Watergun> I LOVE YOU!

+SCGekko> Watergun… go ahead…

Winter@ES> Trees still act as a defensive barrier in AOK

KillMe@ES> bld times depend on the unit/tech

KillMe@ES> next ?

+SCGekko> just a note to all the people in the room… the
official chat has ended… but some of the guys from ES have
agreed to stay and chat for a bit…

Winter@ES> heheh, dont worry there is quite alist of
waiting people =)

dieHARD_OWN> ohh yes im here:) ….do you have plans for an
xpack for aok? is there an age3 coming? and do you guys at
ensemble have any other games being created? thanks guys:)

KillMe@ES> we’ll think about that after we ship AoK

KillMe@ES> first things first!

+SCGekko> man…the pressure must be killing you guys…
already they want more!!!

ES_SS> when dose it come out???

+SCGekko> ES SS go ahead…

+SCGekko> ooops you did 🙂

Winter@ES> When it’s done! =)

ES_SS> man i was so close the one time but it butted me

+SCGekko> it happens… even i got dumped out of the chat
for about 5 mins at one point 🙂

ES_SS> and i have a problem with my comp

+SCGekko> tech chat is right down the hall….thanks for
coming out…

+SCGekko> Satamas…ga

KillMe@ES> am I back?

KillMe@ES> yes

KillMe@ES> next?

+SCGekko> Satamas… you have a question?

+SCGekko> oh well… next…

+SCGekko> Da Baron… ga

Winter@ES> hmm, next =)

KillMe@ES> batting 1000

+SCGekko> hello? is this thing on?

atlantis101> hehe. 🙂 I think I am the only one awake

+SCGekko> atlantis…

+SCGekko> you’re up…

KillMe@ES> what’s your question?

atlantis101> 2 questions. What is your favorite strategy to
use in winning Age of Kings, and what was your inspiration for
making this sequel?

KillMe@ES> Just like AoE/RoR, your strategy depends on
what civ you are. I try and play a different civ every day.

KillMe@ES> The inspiration is probably: a new Age, and
more Age (of Empires)

+SCGekko> thanks atlantis,…good questions…

+SCGekko> jihad joe… go ahead…

jihad_Joe> In a multiplayer game will you start out with
lets say a Town Center like building and some villagers or what?
Is the gender of the villagers random or do you pick male or
female, do they have any unique feature ? How hard is this AoK

Winter@ES> My inspiration in developing Age of Kings is to
capture the incredible fun of Age1, and to double it =)

KillMe@ES> You start out basically the same as AoE.
Villagers are randomly male/female.

+holzmeister> That is one tall goal but a worthy one

KillMe@ES> Winter can tell you how hard(?) it is

Winter@ES> uhm.. =) Lets just say I still got a bunch of
things to work on tonite =)

+SCGekko> ok… moving along… hehehehe

+holzmeister> 🙂

plasticbrain@ES> Getting battering rams to enemy town
while suporting them with hand-to-hand units is tactically a good
move 🙂

KillMe@ES> especially if you build right behind their town

Winter@ES> but dont build right behind their town in the
first few minutes of the game 😉

+SCGekko> sounds delightfully evil…Muhahahaha!!!

KillMe@ES> that doesn’t stop me 🙂

+SCGekko> Zanzard… GA

Zanzard_Lothar> There were many people complaining that
“AOE was too unbalanced”. Has anything been done to AOK about
this? And are foreign countries going to receive AOK in a short
or in a humongous amount of time? That’s all, thank you.

KillMe@ES> it’s 9 minutes into the game, and I think you
hear me knocking

+SCGekko> hey! are you guys playing right now?

BadMoon@ES> the goal is simultaneous world-wide

KillMe@ES> We’re certainly always looking to as many
people as possible to get balance input, and the public beta will
help as well. Bruce said earlier that the foreign shipments would
be ~1 month or less after US

oK_Perseus> Hi first of all AOE is my life. also i have
started a AOE web page called Reign Of Perseus.
( sorry 🙂 anyways i was
wondering do you ever look at fan sites? also…

+holzmeister> ga Perseus.

oK_Perseus> what suggestions could you give me

Winter@ES> I look at fansites all the time!

KillMe@ES> yes. I visit AOE heaven and Mists everyday

plasticbrain@ES> I do

oK_Perseus> to improve my site. What do you look for in a
great aoe site. also i would like to do some interviews for my
site with you guys. Is there any way i can contact you guys?
sorry for the amount

Winter@ES> hey nice looking site perseus =)

oK_Perseus> thanks

oK_Perseus> wow that really is good to heat

Royster@ES> Call 1-800-BAD-MOON for an interview.

oK_Perseus> hear

+holzmeister> lol

KillMe@ES> I like both sites since the chats are really

BadMoon@ES> gotta see the kids sometime – thanks for the
dedication and support from everyone!

BadMoon@ES> see ya!

Winter@ES> Night brian!

+holzmeister> Thanks BadMoon!

+SCGekko> thanks Badmoon…

KillMe@ES> you can always send mail to us, or to our

KillMe@ES> later brian, please sign my expense report!

+holzmeister> ga hole6

Hole6> What is happening with the whole Raider civ. game?
And is the unique unit for Vikings Berserker or Longboat? What
other unique civ units are there? Don’t forget we need more info
at Mist’s Town, thanks Killme!

BadMoon@ES> you guys rock! i’m on the biz side so I can
say this without bragging – we’ve got the best group of guys on
our team in the world: Very dedicated, talented and great all
around people!

BadMoon@ES> they are why Age is so good!

BadMoon@ES> thanks guys!

BadMoon@ES> see ya later!

KillMe@ES> Raider civs are still under construction, so
it’s hard to say

+SCGekko> keep in mind folks that this is now an unofficial
chat…and the guys from ES may not be able to fully answer all
your questions…

KillMe@ES> There’s tuetonic knights, I don’t know which
other ones we’ve talked about 🙂

KillMe@ES> next?

+SCGekko> we really appreciate the Ensemble guys for
sticking around too, BTW….

Hoomooerectus> ok

+SCGekko> Go ahead…

Winter@ES> plerbus

Hoomooerectus> will the map zoomable or turnable?

+SCGekko> zokanta

KillMe@ES> no. it’s still 2d

plasticbrain@ES> With elevation, though

+SCGekko> folow up?

Hoomooerectus> will there be any improvement on the

KillMe@ES> very very cool elevation

plasticbrain@ES> Matt spent a lot of time making those
hills pretty

Winter@ES> The new “terrain-mapping” stuff which you see
in the screenshots is an incredible feature coded by our own
Optimizer, Matt Pritchard

KillMe@ES> the maps look awesome

IronXCross> Do the Katmai instructions in Intel’s Pentium3
chip offer any benefits to a game such as AOE which uses a 2D
architecture? Are you guys programming special support for the
P3? Thanx! (the new screenshots look GREAT by the way!!!) GA.

plasticbrain@ES> It allows you to have passable farms on
the elevation.

+SCGekko> and so the P3 questions begin… LOL

KillMe@ES> not really. KNI and 3DNow! mainly help matrix
multiplies, which we don’t do a tremendous number of

KillMe@ES> if intel approached us, i doubt we’d say no

+SCGekko> i hear that KillMe… I hear that… next

CoR_Duke> Hey, guys, what skills and what degrees do I need
to have to get the job like you do, and second….Do you know
when approximately AoK comes out?

KillMe@ES> AoK ships this fall

Winter@ES> Really depends on the field you’re looking into

Winter@ES> =) Art, programming, design?

Winter@ES> Biz?

CoR_Duke> programming

KillMe@ES> I’ve got a BS in CS from MD, and a minor in

CoR_Duke> oh

CoR_Duke> hehehe

Winter@ES> A great portfolio, experience, or provable
talent really helps too =)

KillMe@ES> it’s not all school work, it’s what you show
you can do

CoR_Duke> what languages?

KillMe@ES> english

KillMe@ES> 🙂

+holzmeister> lol

+SCGekko> thanks Duke… start hitting the books…and the

Winter@ES> We develop primarily in C++, with ASM as

+holzmeister> I think he meant. . . . . . . . . .

KillMe@ES> we use C/C++/assembler

+SCGekko> DevilZ …GA

Winter@ES> Visual Studio =)

DevilZ_Angel_> Do ES have any plan for a ROR patch or
Xpack? Also may i ask u guys to check out the aoe msg board at was the old Shaitan msg board. Sandy,Truck and
others used to post on there.

KillMe@ES> I read, but I haven’t seen
anything I could contribute to since I haven’t played RoR in a

+SCGekko> thanks DevilZ…

Winter@ES> DevilZ: We are always looking to make our games
the best they can be.

+SCGekko> almost there Archaic…almost there… heheeh

+SCGekko> Cardinal… GA…

Th_Cardinal> Can yall tell us the Unique Unit of the
Byzantines. If not can you maybe tell all the animals that will
be able to be domesticated or is it only sheep. Thanks alot guys:
) (Killme thanks for posting at AoK Heaven)

+SCGekko> thanks Cardinal… good questions…

KillMe@ES> sheep is the only thing you can domesticate –
at this very moment 😉

+SCGekko> Baaaaaaa

+SCGekko> would you like some mint jelly with that?

KillMe@ES> There’s still other animals you can hunt.

Winter@ES> mmm mutton

+SCGekko> Jerec… GA

KillMe@ES> i’d rather have lamb than mutton, but no one in
TX apparently knows how to cook either 🙂

+SCGekko> oh yeah…the Byz unit…any hints?

plasticbrain@ES> It has legs 🙂

KillMe@ES> it kills things real good

+SCGekko> if they did, KillMe… they would probably
Mesquite it to death…

+SCGekko> mmmm Legs….

+SCGekko> that’s a good hint… heheeh… so we know it
isn’t a manatee…

KillMe@ES> does it matter, when you hear: “Hey! I’m in
your town!”

KillMe@ES> next?

AoEH_Archaic> Woo hoo! Thanks to KillMe, Plastic, Royster,
and Winter for staying after to answer some more questions! I, as
well as the rest of the AoE community, greatly appreciate it.
Now, as for my question: How will the multiplayer game saving
feature work?

AoEH_Archaic> And, what are some other neat options that go
along with the multiplayer saving?… thanks again!

KillMe@ES> it works really well (thanks Winter!). Then you
just restore the game

+SCGekko> thanks Archaic…and keep up the good work at AOE

AoEH_Archaic> ty 🙂

+SCGekko> follow up Arch?

KillMe@ES> he;s gone

+SCGekko> guess not… Servant you are up..

Servantlife> 1. Does the king and queen fight? 2. Can units
climb the mountains, go through forests? 3. Will you ever come
out with a patch which lets you save multi games in AOE or ROR?
Thanks! GA

KillMe@ES> 1. only if he stays out to late. 2. only if
there’s a place to walk 3. it’s too difficult to retro-fit

+SCGekko> good questions Servantlife… HOplite… you are
up again…

_hoplite_> heres a dumb question but whats your favorite
game age of empires, rise of rome or orrrrr age of kings and why
did it get the name age of kings aoe 2 would been better in my
book 🙂 just wondering!!!!

+SCGekko> Charcoal… fire away…

Riot_CHARCOAL> how can u guys put up with all of these
questions? arn’t your fingures about to fall off or something? i
know your keyboards have got to be covered in fingure sweat….
eww… anyways…….

Riot_CHARCOAL> In AoK will there be any form of “Wonder”?,
because when i search through web sites and look at prieviews it
shows Castles. Do Castles = Wonders in AoK and if they do, how
long does the Castle have to stay up before you win the match?
thanks for your tim

Riot_CHARCOAL> also…

KillMe@ES> we use MS natural keybds

plasticbrain@ES> I type for a living 🙂

KillMe@ES> You can see wonders on the new screenshots. I
think that’s a euro wonder

plasticbrain@ES> Wonders are still in.

+SCGekko> sorry Char… i bumped you a bit too early…

Riot_CHARCOAL> does the new building sizes in aok make it
harder to play a fast dm game?

+SCGekko> your follow up?

Riot_CHARCOAL> and its ok gekko..

KillMe@ES> not really, the maps are much larger. look at
the portion of the minimap the screen shots take up on the posted

plasticbrain@ES> Also there is more passable space around
buildings = units can get closer.

+SCGekko> yeah, i caught that… how long does it take a
villager to get from one side of the map to another on the
largest map size?

KillMe@ES> days 🙂

KillMe@ES> actually, it’s probably 5 mins

+SCGekko> does he need to pack some mutton for the

plasticbrain@ES> That’s what the sheep are for

KillMe@ES> no, he’ll probably get eaten on the way

+SCGekko> cool…

+SCGekko> Kaotic Peon… go ahead…

Kaotic_Peon> How is lag going to be handled (don’t know if
this has been asked yet havn’t been hear long)?Please visit this is my tribute to all
the wonderful sysops…

+SCGekko> something everyone wants to know… Lag….

KillMe@ES> Winter?

KillMe@ES> I’d browse that URL right now, but I’m afraid
NT will freak out again, *sigh*

+holzmeister> lol

KillMe@ES> Well, mail winter and ask him about lag, he
seems to be out right now

Winter@ES> Im sorry, Im back now

KillMe@ES> lagging?

+SCGekko> WInter… Lag and how to kill it… your

Winter@ES> Hehe.. lag can be an insurmountable problem on
the internet for some users… however Age2 has many features to
help users deal with it..

+SCGekko> free aDSL for everyone would fix it maybe?

Winter@ES> For example, a new Ping collumn in the
multiplayer setup screen, to help warn of problems with a user’s
connection early on =)

+SCGekko> way cool winter… that will help tons I

Sir_Pike> Just out of curiosity… How many new techs are
there? That Town Bell sounds awesome! Keep up the good work! A
suggestion for the next game in line…Age of Explorers. 🙂

+SCGekko> Sir Pike… fire when ready

KillMe@ES> pike?

Winter@ES> and of course the multiplayer save and restore
lets you get out of sticky internet situations =)

KillMe@ES> looks like we’ll run about another 15 mins on

+SCGekko> that save and restore is gonna be a

KillMe@ES> unless you’re already losing

+SCGekko> yeah… didn’t think about that…LOL

+SCGekko> then again…i don’t lose much 🙂

KillMe@ES> wait! let me restore the game and finish
getting my butt kicked 🙂 lol

Winter@ES> The auto-save is a really interesting thing..
imagine being able to go back in time 5 minutes and make
different decisions 😉

+holzmeister> That will be very cool.

plasticbrain@ES> Paul is being modest. He actually
re-worked quiet a few comm algorithms to improve recovery.

KillMe@ES> it’s magical what Winter has done

plasticbrain@ES> As result dropping is less likely.

KillMe@ES> next?

+SCGekko> all hail Winter!!!!

+holzmeister> Well done guys. 🙂

Winter@ES> awwww =) thanks =)

Ares_32> I got an idea! Make this chat session a weekly
event. Perhaps even (please) distribute the beta to the people
who are here and we can report the bugs during the weekly chat
session. Also i worship u guys from ES along with the guys who
are the moderators.

+SCGekko> Ares 32…GA

Ares_32> U guys rock!

KillMe@ES> um, *blush*. Thanks. We’re just trying to do
our jobs and make a product that you’ll like

Winter@ES> no YOU guys rock!

+SCGekko> thanks Ares… but it’s the players out there
that made the game and the zone what it is…

+holzmeister> 🙂

KillMe@ES> if you didn’t give us your input, and support
us, we wouldn’t be here today

+SCGekko> Spectre… go ahead…

Riot_Spectre> will there be different seasons or weather?
and will there be a unit that only one civ can get? and finally
will gates have hitpoints and how will they be converted or will
they? sorry for the amount of Q’s and thanks!

+holzmeister> Well, if you guys hadn’t made the best real
time strategy game of all time, we wouldn’t have supported you.

+SCGekko> (sorry I am speeding through here… trying to
get everyone in…)

KillMe@ES> No seasons, do to the tremendous art

Riot_Spectre> dang

KillMe@ES> each civ will have a unique unit

Riot_Spectre> cool

KillMe@ES> gates can be torn down

joe_memo> 2 questions. Will there be bridges/what resources
will we have to collect.. will there be plenty of non-gold

KillMe@ES> hmmmm … battering rams

+SCGekko> thanks Spectre… good questions…

KillMe@ES> no bridges, they’re very complicated. units are
a combo of what you see at the top of the screenshots

joe_memo> thanks

+SCGekko> i’m gonna accelerate this to the “lightning

KillMe@ES> go!

ShazamPower> 1) Will there be pirates wandering the seas
(with a head and crossbones black flag) or some sort of other
pirates? 2) Is there a population limit?

Winter@ES> Well Im going out to meet some guys from some
other game companies now for a drink =)

KillMe@ES> 1. no. 2. it’s configurable

+SCGekko> diehard

dieHARD_OWN> Hey again guys, got a few more for you pick
one or all 🙂 How did you guys get to this field and on this
project? and have you guys tried pez in your diet its good for
late nights I’ll hook ya up:) and with the bigger maps will the
stratigys to build up

dieHARD_OWN> and not attack so tool rushing or whatever the
early age is called be impossable? ~~also visit but u dont have to the graphics arnt
done yet:( we the longest clan in this game:)

KillMe@ES> let’s cut it off at Jerec and get everyone

KillMe@ES> pez is chalky white goodness for all

+SCGekko> mmmmm mutton flavored Pez…. think about

Winter@ES> goodnight everyone!

Winter@ES> thank you all for coming!

Winter@ES> See ya soon =)

+SCGekko> later winter… thanks for hanging…

+holzmeister> Thanks so much guys.

KillMe@ES> if you’re going to apply to a game company,
it’s best to show a demo of something or art work, etc

+SCGekko> A8… GA

Winter@ES> my pleasure guys =) Byebye

Winter@ES> and girls =)

KillMe@ES> there’ll always be a rush, just sometimes it’s

plasticbrain@ES> Garisoning help against rush

KillMe@ES> unless I get there first

+SCGekko> please have you questions typed out ahead of time
for speed…

A8_11_85> Hi, I have three questions…. Anynew resources?
What are some of the cheats or ideas? Last, I heard that thje
animals are going to reproduuce what is the word on that?
-A8_11_85 AoE Kingdom

KillMe@ES> i don’t think so. cheats won’t be really worked
on unil the end. animals, don’t, um, reproduce 🙂

+SCGekko> DOTO… GA

+holzmeister> lol, I’d hate to see the art work for that.

DFA_DoToMoS> Are there going to be any new multiplayer
victory conditions, something like the wonders and artifacts for
AoE. Also, will there more cinematics in the campaigns?

+SCGekko> hehehe

KillMe@ES> you’d be suprised what artists find the spare
time to do

+holzmeister> That is a nice teaser. 🙂

+SCGekko> don’t go there KillMe… ewwwww

+SCGekko> or should that be ewe?

KillMe@ES> yes, there’ll be new things like regicide for
mp. I’m not sure how many cinematics there will me

+SCGekko> (sheep humor)

KillMe@ES> ick 🙂

oK_Perseus> do you guys have any online jobs for me at ES.
even though i live in canada? also what requirements do i need to
work at ES? do i have to be good at pencil drawing? ( i suck at
that) also would you be willing to help me with my strategy

+SCGekko> Persueus… GA

oK_Perseus> at ??

+SCGekko> man you guys are fast

KillMe@ES> everyone at ES is very close. everyone (with a
couple of exceptions) lives here in Dallas.

Royster@ES> Archangel would be the one to contact
regarding help with your site.

KillMe@ES> you can check the jobs section for requirements
on our web site. most artists are trained by the Dallas Art

palanao> Most people at mists town know me as LoneGuano
just to get that out of the way but here’s my question: All of us
at mists town really REALLY want to see some Monty Python cheats
in the game, is there any possability of that happening?

KillMe@ES> … or the Kirby comic book school thing

palanao> and what will some of the animals be?

KillMe@ES> thanks for the input, it’ll be a while before
we work on cheats, though

+holzmeister> Monty Python would be very cool. You could
have a killer bunny rabbit. 🙂

+SCGekko> Hey all…the guys need to go and they stayed an
extra hour or so… we will be cutting off questions after

KillMe@ES> animals include sheep, fish, deer, etc

+holzmeister> With big teeth. 🙂

Hoomooerectus> is it hard to write object-oriented in AOK?
And what program do you use to create 3d buildings? 🙂

plasticbrain@ES> Having Monty Python cheats, hmm sounds
like copyright problem

+SCGekko> it’s only a flesh wound…

KillMe@ES> writing good code is purely based on thinking,
then coding

+SCGekko> GW…GA

_AA_GWmaster> hey guys wussup, i have two questions… One
is what are the boats gonna be like. And the other is, can you
put guys in towers and walls now… Thanx alot. :0)

KillMe@ES> we use Kinetix 3D Studio MAX

KillMe@ES> boats will be the convex hull things that float
in water and kill things

plasticbrain@ES> More boat types that RoR

+holzmeister> lol

KillMe@ES> you can put guys in towers and other stuff

plasticbrain@ES> Towers yes, walls no

Go to Page 2…