News Archive: April 2004

Forum Party Tomorrow! May 1

Last week we had a pretty good turn out for the morning sessions, as always. However, the night sessions never seem to have much people. So this week will be the last night session unless people show up. So I encourage everyone to join us in our weekly Forum Party. It will be held in the Tournament Room at 11AM EST and 7PM EST. Players of all skills are welcomed.

As for me, I won't be there this week. I will be hard at work on the SATs while you guys are in gaming utopia. Hope to see you at the night session and see you daytime participants next week!

With that said, be sure to check the Forum Party Thread for the complete details.

Disabling Unit Command Sounds

Midgard Eagle has found out how to disable unit command sounds in Empires easily without having to actually extract the files from your Empires folder. Here's what he did:

"From Start, go to run and type "regedit". Now find the directory "Current_User\Software\SSS\Empires"

Choose "Export Registry File" to make a backup of the Empires entries, just in case.

Now, find the entry labeled "UnitCommandSounds" and change the variable to "0". You can also turn off the sounds that play when you select a unit this way, by changing "UnitSelectionSounds" to "0".

The following sounds will play with command sounds off:
- Movement sounds (engines, marching, etc.)
- Attack\work\death sounds"

Borodino 1812

I thought it would be good to take the time to show off one of EH's best multiplayer scenarios in its database: Borodino 1812 by Derfel Cadarn. It is about the famous battle fought outside the city of Moscow during the War of 1812. Fight as either the French led by Napoleon or the Russians led by Kutuzov; be sure to check it out!

- 2 vs 2
- Fight with either the Russian or the French army
- Open map allows for lots of strategies
- Heroes give a considerable attack bonus to nearby troops
- Fight for 45 minutes over control of the heavily fortified Redoubts
- Upwards of 4000 casualties in a single game
- According to all testers: great fun!

Poll Roundup

Not too surprisingly, most of those polled in Do you prefer EE or Empires? think that Empires is the better game. After all, it's the second game of SSSI and the developer certainly has learned quite a bit in developing EE; the second game should be the better one.

[22%] Empire Earth
[63%] Empires
[15%] Both are equal

Total: 236 votes
Despite the fact that it's just been announced today, people are surely developing their opinions about Empire Earth 2 by Mad Doc software. How do you like EE2 so far? Answer in our poll!

Vivendi Universal's Empire Earth 2 Announced

It's been several years since Empire Earth came out to stores, developed by Stainless Steel Studios and published by Sierra aka today's VU Games. A long turbulent history laid afterward that one shall never find in any of today's press releases, but EE2 is being made by Mad Dog Software, makers of the infamous EE Expansion pack. I should probably make clear that SSS has no involvement in this production, but I'm sure some people must be interested.

The press release says EE2 can be expected in the first half of 2005. EE2 should include all the great things of EE (spanning entire human history?) along with some of the goodies that fans often asked for, "like recorded games, improved tournament support, multiplayer co-operative scenarios, and advanced statistics reporting."

The project sounds quite ambitious quite like EE, promising to fix many of the problems that plague RTS games (what else is new?), but the "Hot Spots" multiplayer game type definitely peaked my interest. Interested fans can visit Worthplaying's Announcement Page for 3 exclusive screenshots. Thanks goes to my interent companion, GameTab, and Gordon for bringing it to my attention...a whole new EE game blending the best of the best, shame the best features will still lie behind after game patches, if any appear...

Empires Realm Opens

Thanks for the heads up about this from Gordon Farrell. A brand new fansite has joined the Empires community: Empires Realm. It appears to be a pretty good site, at least worth a look. Be sure to drop by and check it out!

Busy SD Article Day

An article by Derfel Cadarn has been uploaded to the Scenario Design Library. This article explains unit variables. Here's an excerpt:
Basically, a unit variable is a number added to a unit; this can be done through a change class attribute or unit attribute, and can also be added to a unit if you create him with triggers. There are 3 different unit variables: Unit Variable1, Unit Variable2 and Unit Variable3. They all have the same use, and there are 3 mainly so you have it easier to individualize units not yet placed on the map. You can use the Variable to trace down a specific unit.
Check the article out here!

The Scenario Design Library is always looking for new articles, if you have an article you would like to submit you can email it to me.

New SD Article

Another new article by Talon Karrde has been uploaded to the Scenario Design Library. This article tells how to group several objects such as barrels, close together, you cannot group more than two objects together using standard methods but if you use a simple workaround it is quite easy. Check the article out here!

The Scenario Design Library is always looking for new articles, if you have an article you would like to submit you can email it to me.

Forum Party Tomorrow! April 23

Another weekend, another Forum Party. We welcome everyone of any skill to join us this weekend in our weekly Forum Party. There was a good outcome last week at the morning session, hopefully this week would be the same. As always, great games are abundant. It will be held at 11AM EST and 7PM EST in the Tournament Room. Check the Forum Party Thread for complete details.

Flaw in the....Internet?

Apparently so. Researchers have found a pretty big flaw in internet technology that could allow hackers to disrupt routers and in general create havoc for the internet. Although it doesn't exactly apply entirely to Empires, it's still pretty big news for all of us who use the internet. Here's an excerpt from the article:

"Researchers found a serious security flaw that left core Internet technology vulnerable to hackers, prompting a secretive effort by international governments and industry experts in recent weeks to prevent global disruptions of Web surfing, e-mails and instant messages.

Experts said the flaw, disclosed Tuesday by the British government, affects the underlying technology for nearly all Internet traffic. Left unaddressed, they said, it could allow hackers to knock computers offline and broadly disrupt vital traffic-directing devices, called routers, that coordinate the flow of data among distant groups of computers."

Lower Prices for Everything?

Wow, _o0XxX0o_ is just chock full of ideas recently. Just the other day he figured out how to create lower prices on anything in the game. Here's what he did:

"By adding effect mass production medal to objects on map, not just units, just about everything can be made cheaper....

Even buildings. A wonder that costs 1000 of every resource, can be 750 instead!"

Poll Roundup

I guess a large amount of people love the music in their games, according to the poll question Do you usually turn off the music in your games? Quite a few games seem to have quality soundtracks, so it kills part of the game's effect to shut off the music. Here are the results:

[18%] Yes, its distracting
[12%] Most of the time
[24%] Rarely
[45%] Never, love the music

Total: 201 votes
Although Empires is somewhat based off of its predecessor of Empire Earth, it still is a fairly different game and it seems as though people do prefer one over the other. Do you prefer EE or Empires? Answer in our poll!

Gate Tricks and Bestsellers

As reported by Empires Aeon, Empires: Dawn of the Modern World is number six on the Australian PC Games sales charts. It is a new entry and the sales are projected to be rising. Currently, it is beating out the heavyweights The Sims and Splinter Cell. On the New Zealand charts, Empires is doing even better! As of April 11th, Empires holds the fifth place. This is a major accomplishment for Stainless Steel Studios, congratulations!

On another note, resident Editor guru _o0XxX0o_ has discovered a trick to create the "rising gate", as in Age of Kings. It's pretty complex, but he has submitted a scenario with the complete details on how to replicate it. Until it is placed for download, you can check out his thread for more information. Make sure you download the sample from our Downloads Section.

Another SD Library Update

A new article by Talon Karrde has been uploaded to the Scenario Design Library. This article tells how to create good looking cliffs. Check it out here!

The Scenario Design Library is always looking for new articles, if you have an article you would like to submit you can email it to me.

Forum Party Tomorrow! April 16

Welcome to another installment of our weekly Forum Party. This week we'll be hosting a few games in the Tournament Room at 11AM EST and 7PM EST. There should be come great games as always. Everyone is invited to come, regardless of skill. See the Forum Party Thread. Be sure not to attack Park, as he is the "non-aggressive farm" ;). See you there!

New SD Article

I've just uploaded an article by myself to the Scenario Design Library. The article is a guide to the Objects Tab. Here's a little excerpt:
Let's start with the way you choose which unit the object will apply for, you have two choices, Select On Map which will allow you to manually select which units apply or Object Specification which will let you specify object attributes to choose your object...
Check it out here!

The Scenario Design Library is always looking for new articles, if you have an article you would like to submit you can email it to me.

Rethinking Game Editors?

Gordon Farrell has made a rather fascinating proposition involving scenario editors in future games; he believes that a simplified editor would be very beneficial to the design community, as it will allow for even those that have no design experience to make some quality scenarios. That's a pretty interesting idea, I think it might have some truth to it. Here's a bit of what he had to say:

"I want to propose that a simpler version of the editor routinely be released with the retail version of any new game. The options available in this simplified editor would be pretty much those offered in the AoK editor, with the addition of some unique new features.

Then, after a few months, an advanced editor would be released either online or in the x pack. It would contain everything that was used to build the scenarios that came with the game."

Tipped Buildings and Handstanding Villagers?

_o0XxX0o_ has discovered a way to alter the angle at which various objects in Empires are in relation to the ground; with the manipulation of the game it's possible to create buildings that are on their side or units that are completely flipped 180 degrees. Pretty cool stuff, here's how he did it:

"When a replaced, partially constructed building, is revived with battlefield surgery, half the time it revives face up on it's back. Given more than 100% hitpoints, it floats in the air. Zepplin Rocket

If a floating face up unit is replaced with a 1 tile building, then given unit attribute constuction complete 100%, u get a lying down building, half underground.

If a face up floating unit is given the animation effect; death or a specially timed, dead effect, a unit can appear to be upside down.

If an effect of reducing hitpoints to a floating unit(face up or regular), and timed animation...a unit can appear to rise or fall while dying. I made an effect where a soldier was on a wall, then appearing to fall backwards, while dying till it hit the ground dead...it's a really cool effect!"

Poll Roundup

It looks like a lot of people were happy with Empires meeting their expectations, according to last week's poll question: Did Empires meet your expectations? Only 23% weren't impressed with the game, which isn't too bad. Here are the results of the poll:

[37%] It was better than I expected
[40%] Definitely
[23%] Wasn't impressed

Total: 174 votes
Music can be an integral part of a gaming experience, and other times it can just be distracting. Do you usually turn off the music in your games? Answer in our poll!

Medieval - Imperial Building Section Complete

The update of China's and Korea's building section to the retail version of Empires finishes up the Medieval through Imperial building sections. You can expect the World War One through World War Two civilizations to begin their updates soon.

Once again, If you notice any mistakes or information not included give me an email.

Buildings Section Updated

The Franks and England building sections have been updated to the retail version of Empires. They include pictures and uses of the buildings. Head over to the Buildings section to check them out.

If you notice any mistakes or information not included give me an email.

Forum Party Tomorrow! April 10

Sorry for the late post, it seems that Spring Break has really messed up my sense of time. Nevertheless, I won't forgot this Saturdays forum party. So join me and the rest of the forumers for our weekly party in the Tournament room. There are always good games and everyone is welcomed. It will be held at 11AM EST and 7PM EST. For the complete details and all the rants, check out the Forum Party Thread. See you there and have fun!

Empires Alliance Tournament

As reported by RS_Vador, Empires Alliance has organized a 2v2 Tournament for the 16th. It will be held at 8:30 PM European time in the Tournament Room. If you are interested, see his thread in our forums or at Empire Alliance. If you have trouble understanding the thread at Empires Alliance, you may email your entry to RS_Vador himself.

Strategy Informer Reviews Empires

Strategy Informer has written up a review of Empires, giving it a solid 8.3. Here's an excerpt from the article:

"Multiplayer is fairly expansive, allowing you to choose your own paced game, the fast empire builder or a slower action game. The eight differing civs each offer a slightly different gaming experience that can be further enhanced by your choice of time periods. As so much thought has gone into this game, it won’t take you long to settle down to your favourite epoch (‘modern’ or WW2 is so much fun, but personally I prefer the more tactical elements that can be utilised in the earlier campaigns)"

Field Fortifications?

jimmy jim has started a thread in which he discusses the possibility of fortifications on the battlefield of Empires. It talks about the expansion of the existing spike traps and mines with trenches and firing positions. It's very interesting thread which has already got a great response. Check the thread out yourself and voice your opinion!

Poll Roundup

A solid 40% of last week's polled from Do you think SSSI will have anything at E3 this year? believe that SSSI will indeed have something at E3 this year, be it a release date announcement, some screenshots, or a full booth. Here's the results:

[40%] Yeah!
[36%] Maybe
[24%] Nope

Total: 121 votes
Every person has different expectations for games before they were released, Did Empires meet your expectations? Better? Worse? Answer in our poll!

Game Blitz Reviews Empires

Game Blitz posted their review of Empires a bit back, giving it a 70%. Here's an excerpt:

"Beyond its admirable longevity, Dawn of the Modern World is a well-put-together RTS game, with a dash of empire building that spans a thousand years, and plenty of special/hero units thrown in for good measure.

Though some real innovation would have been nice, giving the game more distinction amid a sea of generic strategy titles, Stainless Steel Studios has crafted an intricate, detailed and largely enjoyable real-time strategy game nonetheless."

2 vs 2 Tournament at StarComa

As reported by timbo_king in our forums, the experienced tournament-running StarComa has announced a 2 vs 2 tournament for Empires that will occur tomorrow, the 4th of April. If you're interested, be sure to get a partner and sign up! Here are the basic settings for the tournament:

2on2 Tournament
Double Elimination
Gamemode: Action
Starting Epoch Winnerbracket: WW1
Starting Epoch Loserbracket: Middle Ages
Ending Epoch: WW2
Game speed: Fast
Pop limit: 1000
Map: Random Tournament Maps
Map size: small
Good luck to all of the participants!

Forum Party Tomorrow! April 3

For many people, it is Spring Break right now and that means plenty of free time. So how about taking some time out of busy schedules and join us for a Forum Party? We have some great games every week and this week will be no different. It will be held in the Tournament Room at 11AM EST and 7PM EST. So head on over to the Forum Party Thread for the complete details. See you there!

Small things to improving your empires experience

AntiAmi gave two tips dealing with Empires multiplayer that might improve some player's gaming experience. They actually could prove to be pretty handy for people; here's one of them:

"2. Finding the recorded game you want to find.

I found this out while doing my rec. game database. Go into your saved game folder and double click on any recorded game. When prompted to choose what program to open it with, choose Notepad. From then on, you can just double click each game file and right at the top of the code is the names of the players in the game and the map type! Now you can easily find the game you are looking for!

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A Little
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Empires: Dawn of the Modern World is a game by Stainless Steel Studios and published by Activision.