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Topic Subject:More Site Activity?
CptIronMike
Member
posted 02-01-09 03:38 PM EDT (US)         
Does anyone have any ideas that we can use to get more people interested in Empires Heaven? It feels kind of empty in here *echo*.
AuthorReplies:
Blatant
DoFH Seraph & Director of Seraphs
(id: blatant7)
posted 02-01-09 04:16 PM EDT (US)     1 / 16       
We could increase the number of dance parties.

Yes, I began my journey alone, and I ended it alone.
But that does not mean that I walked alone. ~ Brandon Sanderson
Rotaretilbo
Member
(id: Brandon Rebuga)
posted 02-01-09 04:49 PM EDT (US)     2 / 16       
I don't know. I find that getting the community thread active is the first step, hence the movement of my Mafia HQ and Risk III here. Meanwhile, we can always advertise on multiplayer to see if anyone is interested.

"Also, I'm no clearer on what WIFOM is really, although I gather it's something to do with Thymole being gay..." -Sassenach
"I don't lie in my claims and I don't intend to." -WeeMicky
"OH MY GOD A DINOSAUR" -Peter Fallon
GoSailing
EEH Seraph
posted 02-02-09 10:12 AM EDT (US)     3 / 16       
Basically what Rotaretilbo said is the current plan. Its not the best, but so far step one is doing ok. And if anybody does have any suggestions to make the plan better, I'm of course always listening.

"It seems to me the humour of Sails is so dry you could strike a match on it and it would be the humour that caught fire." - Friend of Old
CptIronMike
Member
posted 02-02-09 05:43 PM EDT (US)     4 / 16       
@Rotaretilbo: I'm not sure what u mean by advertising on multiplayer. Of course, i never play multiplayer b/c I've never found any1 to play against, so that might be why :-)

Just out of curiosity, does any1 actively recommend this game to friends? I do sometimes, and I've gotten a few people to try it out and told them about the community - maybe that would be helpful.

One of the things I was thinking about was that we might need to spark new interest into Empires. I know that it's a game from '03, but to be honest, I've yet to find a more engaging RTS with such a powerful editor. What can we do to get more people excited about a game that's been on the market for this long?

Also, when does any1 here play online? I'd like to get a match set up.
GoSailing
EEH Seraph
posted 02-02-09 06:17 PM EDT (US)     5 / 16       
I don't really play at a certain time generally but if you want to set up a time for a game I'll go, provided I can make it. I should be able to make almost any time.

"It seems to me the humour of Sails is so dry you could strike a match on it and it would be the humour that caught fire." - Friend of Old
CptIronMike
Member
posted 02-03-09 03:58 PM EDT (US)     6 / 16       
I'll be online this Saturday around 4 - 5 pm EST. Any1 else in?
Hank
Stainless Steel Studios
posted 02-04-09 09:33 PM EDT (US)     7 / 16       
I pretty much stick to design related stuff, 'bout it.

I don't follow those threads like Risk III but would there be a way to incorporate multiplayer games into it? Or design a scenario specifically for a "thread game"?

What if, for the Risk III thread, a somewhat basic multiplayer map could be created. Set up some triggers so each player can generate an appropriate army based on what they're attacking/defending with. Or use a points-based system where you have x amount of points to purchase units with, then go at it. Throw in some random elements, or possibility for reinforcements pulled from adjacent territories in the scenario.

Anyway, just throwing some ideas out there.
Rotaretilbo
Member
(id: Brandon Rebuga)
posted 02-04-09 09:58 PM EDT (US)     8 / 16       
The only problem is that we normally see more than eight players in forum games. However, as I recall, oXo was working on a Stratego multiplayer scenario right around the time that he got fed up with trigger rot and quit.

"Also, I'm no clearer on what WIFOM is really, although I gather it's something to do with Thymole being gay..." -Sassenach
"I don't lie in my claims and I don't intend to." -WeeMicky
"OH MY GOD A DINOSAUR" -Peter Fallon
GoSailing
EEH Seraph
posted 02-05-09 01:42 PM EDT (US)     9 / 16       
The only problem is that we normally see more than eight players in forum games.
This is true, but if we only take people who have Empires then I think the number would be more like 5 or 6. That should be feasible.

"It seems to me the humour of Sails is so dry you could strike a match on it and it would be the humour that caught fire." - Friend of Old
CptIronMike
Member
posted 02-05-09 05:04 PM EDT (US)     10 / 16       
I'm with GoSailing...

...and if oXo doesn't come back, I'll make a stratego map. I just need help setting up the Multiplayer aspects.

PS - Hank, did you really work with SSS on the game?

[This message has been edited by CptIronMike (edited 02-05-2009 @ 05:06 PM).]

Rotaretilbo
Member
(id: Brandon Rebuga)
posted 02-05-09 09:10 PM EDT (US)     11 / 16       
Judging from the file I've got from an early build of the scn, making one is easier said than done. The biggest problem one runs into is that each player doesn't know what the other player's units are, but knows what squares have units. The way oXo did this (I think) is by momentarily revealing every square, replacing the unit with a wall, returning fog of war, and then replacing all the walls with the units they just replaced, all so fast that the player was not aware that this was happening to his own units. Needless to say, oXo is pure genius. I'll see if I can't replicate the map and all the triggers in one go (trigger rot seems to come from saving a file multiple times). Normally, trigger rot is no biggy, but this particular instance of it was that Player 2's ready thing wouldn't activate, and thus, the game wouldn't start.

"Also, I'm no clearer on what WIFOM is really, although I gather it's something to do with Thymole being gay..." -Sassenach
"I don't lie in my claims and I don't intend to." -WeeMicky
"OH MY GOD A DINOSAUR" -Peter Fallon
Hank
Stainless Steel Studios
posted 02-06-09 10:57 PM EDT (US)     12 / 16       
Hey Iron Mike, yes I did. I was hired by them to work on Empires and also Rise and Fall: Civilizations at War.

Yes, oXo was pretty damn good at squeezing every last bit out of the editor. Unfortunately the editor at SSSI was not a big priority. I'd sometimes go to the programmers about issues raised in the community, such as oXo's frustration with trigger rot, but in the gaming industry time=money. And if you're not spending time on something that will make you money, it's considered a waste.

We never experienced trigger rot in the scenarios we built for Empires and R&F, therefore even if it did exist it would have never been fixed. To his credit we did have a goto programmer, Chad, that did what he could to fix things here and there or add a little something here and there to make our lives easier.

Good luck with the Stratego scenario, that would be quite an accomplishment to complete a design like that. It's too bad oXo experienced the problems he had. If you need an extra set of eyes to help with any trigger issues on the Stratego scenario, I'd be more than happy to take a look. I even have some um...unique ways...of assessing trigger problems.

[This message has been edited by Hank (edited 02-06-2009 @ 11:03 PM).]

CptIronMike
Member
posted 02-07-09 03:11 PM EDT (US)     13 / 16       
Thanks Hank.

The editor for Empires is probably the single most amazing piece of software I've seen in a game, and you all did an excellent job with Empires in all aspects.

Along those lines, could you maybe describe some of methods that where used in planning a campaign by SSS? I know you're busy, but I'd really appreciate it, as I have trouble planning out the actual stories and maps that make up the scenarios for a campaign.

Thanks a TON!

PS: I personally have never experienced trigger rot, so at this point would say it might have something to do with the users' computers as opposed to Empires itself (maybe...).

[This message has been edited by CptIronMike (edited 02-07-2009 @ 03:13 PM).]

Hank
Stainless Steel Studios
posted 02-07-09 04:34 PM EDT (US)     14 / 16       
For the stories, typically Rick and a couple others were involved in deciding what to do for the campaigns. They would make sure that the structure of it fit well for RTS scenarios so there was plenty of combat and base building.

Us designers would be assigned specific scenarios to work on based on the plot of the story. I personally think the overall design of the scenarios bogged down far too much in details and paperwork before the scenario was even worked on. We had to actually draw rough maps of the scenario in the proper dimensions, explain the starting forces and enemy positions (and AI) and of course the ultimate objective and then verbally "walk through" the scenario as if you were playing it.

Some things were good about it, others not so much. In the game industry though there is quite an aversion to risk, understandably, so this was an attempt to lay solid groundwork before work was done. They feared that after a month or two of work, we'd all realize the scenario sucks or is unworkable and would need to start over. Something we just didn't have the time for.

In my opinion this hurt the dynamic aspect of designing a scenario. As most of scn designers know by now, you can plan all you want on paper but things change as you experience the actual gameplay. Most designers do a bit of "pregame" stuff, but mostly have it in their heads. Not exactly reassuring stuff in a multi-million dollar company.

After you work on the scenario for awhile, and test it yourself umpteen million times it finally goes to peer testing and then finally QA testing. Peer testing is done to determine if it's even fun or not, and to ensure the main concept is delivered in the scenario and flows with the plot.

So overall it was just a more structured process. Did it ensure that each scenario was fun? No, but it ensured that we'd have relatively bug-free scenarios ready to ship with the game. We also couldn't do too many crazy things with the editor like we do on our own. In fact, many features that were added in the editor ended up being more useful for the community than the pro designers. Maybe it was a subconscious effort on our part...
CptIronMike
Member
posted 02-07-09 06:37 PM EDT (US)     15 / 16       
WOW thanks a lot Hank! You wouldn't believe how helpful that was to me. I know that your probably real busy but might I suggest that we should set up a Q&A session with Hank on the Scenario Design Forum's main page. I know that it has 2 be worked out between Hank and Heaven leadership but I think that his insight you be extremely helpful for the design community as a whole.

@ Anyone who wanted to play me online: Unfortunately I've been having hit or miss internet connection and I think I've got firewall problems - will try to fix this by sometimes next week. Sorry 'bout not being online when i said.
Rotaretilbo
Member
(id: Brandon Rebuga)
posted 02-07-09 08:31 PM EDT (US)     16 / 16       
As I start to grow bored of my new games (which tend to disappoint), I normally become refascinated with my old games. I should be growing much more active as far as playing Empires goes in the near future.

"Also, I'm no clearer on what WIFOM is really, although I gather it's something to do with Thymole being gay..." -Sassenach
"I don't lie in my claims and I don't intend to." -WeeMicky
"OH MY GOD A DINOSAUR" -Peter Fallon
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