AOE3Files Interviews pftq!

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Published by Riot 13 years ago , last updated 2 years ago
AOE3File's latest edition is exclusive interviews with many map and mod developers. We are aiming to bring you as many as we can possible do each month. Having said that, we have our first one ready to read! Check it out, theres some neat stuff mentioned in the interview with pftq! AOE3Files Interviews pftq. Interviewer: Riot_ Interview Date: Sunday 5th November 2006 Quickie Facts: Nickname: pftq Job/Rank: Map Developer Location: CA, USA Website: www.pftq.com Member of ESO since: October 21 2005 Favourite Game: Age Of Empires III:The Warchiefs Clan: None at the moment. Gaming hours a week: 10 Favourite Fansite for AOE3: AOE3Heaven Favourite Forum for AOE3: AOE3Heaven Favourite Food: Squid. Favourite Drink: Root beer float. Favourite band: Don't really have a favorite band. I just listen to all sorts. Huge Dislikes: Don't really have any. Personality: I'm pretty easy going. I don't take too many things seriously. Chocolate or Vanilla?: Chocolate Favorite Sport: Tennis IE or Firefox?: FireFox Coke or Pepsi?: Coke Current Emotian: Happy Fort Wars AOE3Files - Welcome. I'd like to take this brief moment to thank you for allowing AOE3Files.com to interview you. It's a pleasure. AOE3Files - Tell us a bit about yourself. pftq - I've been a member of AOE3 community for a lil' over a year (same time the game came out) and am one of the authors of Fort Wars. Before AOE3 I was a scenario designer for AOM, most known for Mythic Cops. AOE3Files - Ah, so you were eager to get your hands on the game then. Tell me, what does your nickname pftq actually stand for as we are all dying to know? pftq - A lot of people have asked me that. :) It is actually not that complicated. The "p" stands for "p". The "f" stands for "f". The "t" stands for "t". The "q" stands for "q". I hope that clears a lot of things up. :) AOE3Files - It's that simple hey? :) Now you are known throughout the community to have made the random map, Fort wars. Could you tell us basically what the map is all about? and where did you get the idea to start Fort Wars in AOE3? pftq - The map is based off a popular blood map in Age of Mythology called "Norse Wars". Basically you have a single, vital building which must stay alive (the fort) and free spawning units which you can select from an island away from all the fighting. Fighting gives you coin per XP gained and every kill made. With coin, you can keep it to get better spawn or spend it on upgrades and special units. pftq - You lose when your fort dies AOE3Files - The Fort Wars development started in December 19 2005. What was your initial thoughts of what this map might achieve? pftq - To be honest, I didn't think we'd get far at all. It began with me and Elpea considering the idea of a blood map. There was word that Matei was going to do a Norse Wars remake (hence no point making a blood map that won't live long), but we decided just to try making one for fun. AOE3Files - Now, it's been noticed that you updated the version of the map each time a new patch came out. Did you find this annoying or easy to work with? pftq - It could have been a lot harder, but due to the way we scripted the map, it didn't take long to fix things. However it was indeed repetitive and very annoying.:p AOE3FIles - Now it seems that the test version [2.0 TestA] had the most changes. How long did it take you too make this changes and why did you make them? pftq - The test version took about a week to make. The current version then (1.3) was quite solid and it seemed like a good time to take Fort Wars to the next level - that is to take things such as civilization bonuses and put them to the extreme. AOE3Files -Overall, which was the most complicated version that you developed that caused you alot of grief and time? pftq - Fort Wars 2.0 is the most complicated version (obviously ). It took a total of over four months to complete, from April 12 2006 to August 18 2006. The entire script was revamped - alot of it had to be redone and/or changed to make the version possible. AOE3Files - How many hours approxiametly did you spend on developing fort wars each week? pftq - There was a lot going on at the same time, so I can't say for sure. For example, I broke my wrist just three days after 2.0 Test A was released that definitely set things back. On average, I suppose I spent about 5-8 hours a week on scripting it. AOE3Files - Ouch, that must of hurt! How did you break it? pftq - I was just playing basketball at school as usual. I had the misfortune of one of my friends running across in front of me the same time I was running the other direction. By trying not to hit him, I ended up tripping. It wasn't all that big a fall, but I was going forward a bit to fast when I put my hand out, palm down. My hand bent down and folded back, and I landed on it after that. AOE3Files - And yet you continued to script for Fort Wars, what a saint you are to the aoe3 community :) In the latest version, 2.2 it's noted that have removed George Crushingtons and Learicorns. Why is this? pftq - There was a lot of negative feedback from the community on their inclusion. Many people did not seem to like it, opposite of the response I originally had from the testers. AOE3Files - So your saying your testers feedback not always matched up with the publics? pftq - Apparently not. AOE3Files - Who else helped you develop Fort Wars throughout each stage? pftq - There were good suggestions and feedback by various members at www.norsewars.com. One of the best ideas I think was that of Jacky_O, who suggested merging the costs of Attack, HP, and Speed upgrades into one, adding more strategic value to the map. AOE3Files - What would you say is the best overall strat for Fort Wars? pftq - I don't really use any specific strat, so I can't really say. However, you always want to surprise your opponent(s) and try to take them out in one go. AOE3Files - Are you working on any upcoming versions for Fort Wars? pftq - Yes, I am currently working on version 3.0 for the expansion "The Warchiefs". AOE3Files - Is there a reason behind making it for just The Warchiefs? Or do you plan on releasing another version for AOE3 after? pftq - Well obviously, there is alot of new content from the expansion, but also because the current version does not work on TWC. ES changed alot of stats and tech ids, and if you load Fort Wars 2.2 in the expansion, almost all units die and a huge clutter of units start appearing at your fort randomly (I actually had to force AOE3 to exit from the task manager as it was lagging so badly). Unless ES releases more patches for AOE3, I don't think there will be any more versions for AOE3. Version 2.2 is a very stable version, and there really isn't much to improve. AOE3Files - What sort of things do you plan on adding, changing or removing? pftq - The three new native civilizations will receive unique bonuses, hopefully drastically different from the Europeans. The new units will also be added if possible, either as spawn units of buyable. One notable unit is the Petard (a suicide bomber basically) who kills himself to blow buildings. It probably won't be as huge a version as 2.0 was to the 1.x series. AOE3Files - Are there going to be any new awards? pftq - I haven't really thought about that, but with all the new content, I might extend the awards a bit. AOE3Files - How do you think this is going to be viewed by the community? pftq - I think it will be successful just like its previous versions, but those that hate it for whatever reason, will probably continue to hate it. AOE3Files - Who helped/helps you test Fort Wars before releasing each version? pftq - Various people, mainly from www.norsewars.com, help test. I basically invite anyone I know and is on ESO at the time. AOE3Files - Whats the most cherished comment a Fort Wars player has said to you about Fort Wars? pftq - I've received a lot of positive comments - and I thank those who said it, but I don't think there is one best, most cherished comment out of all them. They're all good. :) AOE3Files - Approximately, how many times has Fort Wars been downloaded altogether? pftq - Fort Wars has now reached over 9000 downloads on AOE3Heaven alone, 900 downloads off my site, over 600 downloads on AOE3Files. This is not counting ESO, in which Fort Wars probably spread most. AOE3Files - How long do you play to continue developing Fort Wars untill you retire from it? pftq - I think this is my last major change to Fort Wars. I'll probably update if patches are released, but not much else. If there were another expansion, I'll probably look into it, but I seriously doubt that's going to happen (no Age game has had more than one expansion). Other Projects AOE3Files - Now, Fort Wars is not the only project your working on. Could you tell us a bit about the current development of Castle Blood?*Where did you get this idea from? pftq - Castle Blood was requested by a number of people from the AOE3 community. The map is supposed to be a remake of that from Age of Kings (AOE2). However, I've never played AOK, so I can't say how accurate it'll be. I'm basing it off what people tell me. So far, it's been going pretty good.I now have a basic working script and it just needs tweaking here and there. AOE3Files - In a thread on your forums, it seemed you was kinda worried about what people think of creating Castle Blood. Could you elaborate on this? pftq - Well scripting isn't all that fun, and it seriously time-consuming. There were a good number of people who seriously opposed the creation of Castle Blood, and I didn't want to put time into a map no one would play. AOE3Files - Talking from experience, Castle blood from AOC and AOK were mostly played by, lets say 'the less skilled' players and often got 'bashed' by other skilled players for playing it. Do you think this effect will have its turn for Castle Blood in AOE3? pftq - To be honest, Castle Blood is bound to be pretty unbalanced. I think there will indeed be people who refuse to play it, as there were those who opposed it being created. I'm not sure about players being accused for playing it though. AOE3Files - It has been noticed that the basic script has been finished for Castle blood. What do you and others think of it so far? pftq - There are some that do not like the fact that barracks and stables are used in addition to forts, but natives do not have units buildable at forts. Castle Blood is imbalanced (in a similar way No Rush is), but I think we want to try and limit it if possible. Otherwise I've gotten quite some positive feedback from it. AOE3Files - Are you going to add any changes and make any improvements? pftq - Currently the player bases are quite small - I will increase that and add more buildings for creating units. I'm also considering a win condition of holding the middle for a certain number of minutes. There are many other changes suggested, but none of major. AOE3Files - Now, it seems you have another project in line for development which is 'AOE3 Racer. Could you care to tell us what this is all about? pftq - As you may or may not know, units tend to slow down when they're attacked in AOE3. I thought it would be interesting to see this used as a tactic in a race. As a racing map itself, AOE3 Racer is not that complex. It consists of a straight path with various units along the way. Killing will gain you XP to change to better units and each kill will improve your speed.Or you can just try and run the whole way. It's your choice. The map is actually finished now. It's more of a spinoff like Cannon Fodder was and won't be major. I plan to release it tonight if possible. AOE3Files - Why have you chosen to make this only available for the Warchiefs? pftq - There is actually nothing really Warchiefs specific in AOE3 Racer, except the music used. I might release one for each game. Age Of Empires III AOE3Files - What other games of the AOE series have you played? pftq - I haven't played any other AOE series game, but I started the Age series with Age of Mythology. I moved then to its expansion "The Titans" and finally made it here. AOE3Files - What were your initial thoughts about Age Of Empires III? pftq - Age of Empires III was pretty hyped up, so I was expecting something as fun as or better than Age of Mythology. It even had the same editor, so I was considering making even nicer cinematics. Unfortunately the editor was full of bugs and after seeing so myself, I did not even bother with it. This can be seen as a good or bad thing - it did push me into making RMS. AOE3Files - Whats your favourite map for AOE3? pftq - Great Plains. Plenty of food and easy to raid (unless it's me being raided ). AOE3Files - Haha, yea i get that alot. Whats your favourite Unit(s)? pftq - Ronin - they look cool and murder most other units. AOE3Files [/b]- Whats the your favourite civilisation? pftq - Ottoman AOE3Files - Whats the most common strategy you use? pftq - Rush. AOE3Files - What is your current Supremacy skill level? pftq - Hmm I haven't played in a long while. It's currently at 25. AOE3Files - Why havent you played an DeathMatch games? pftq - DM seems somewhat pointless to me as you start with so much resource. AOE3Files - What other random maps that have been made do you like? pftq - I tend to like maps that stray from regular game (as we already have that). There aren't that many others, and I haven't really tried any so I can't say. AOE3Files - Which other map developers do you admire? pftq - Matei created the original Norse Wars - he rocks. AOE3Files - What are your thoughts on ES's balancing and patching? pftq - ES does a decent job per patch, but it could be a lot better. Sometimes it's really good, but sometimes changes are just pointless. AOE3Files - If you was given a chance to change five things about AOE3, what would they be ordering from most wanted to least? pftq - 1) The editor should be fixed and everything working (including triggers). 2) Custom scenarios should be playable online. Reason this is second is that enabling them would be pointless if it was so hard to make a decent scenario. 3) Auto Formations/Grouping - units grouping together when created near each other - should be disabled or made a trigger effect. It ruins many maps that depend on units to stand still. 4) Games should load faster and gameplay less laggy. 5) Random HC should be enabled online. The Warchiefs AOE3Files - How many days after the Warchiefs release did you purchase it? pftq - I purchased it on October 21. AOE3 was kind of boring to me and it wasn't very high priority at the time. AOE3Files - What are your initial thoughts about The Warchiefs expansion? pftq - TWC is a huge improvement over AOE3. The new civs are pretty similar to aspects of AOM. Example is the arrow knight which does seige at range (Gastrophe in AOM) and the Tashunke Prowler, which gets stronger in numbers (Fenris Wolf in AOM). The firepit definitely adds alot to the gameplay. AOE3Files - Which out of the three new civs have you played the most with? pftq - Sioux vAOE3Files [/b]- Which is your favourite and why? pftq - Sioux. It's very easy to raid with and the warchief makes it even easier with the speed. Also you don't have to worry much about wood (slowest resource in the game) as you don't need houses. AOE3Files - What is your favourite map in the Warchiefs? pftq - Painted Desert. It looks very weird. AOE3Files - What are your favourite unit(s) in the warchiefs? pftq - Petard - very fun to blow up buildings. AOE3Files - What is your current Supremacy skill level in the Warchiefs? pftq - 17. I've lost quite a few games to Agent massing. Those should really be removed <_< AOE3Files - Which strategy are you starting to develop and use in the warchiefs? pftq - Currently I'm just mainly raiding early and getting to Fortress. From there I try to mass and finish off. AOE3Files - If you was given a chance to change five things about the Warchiefs, what would they be ordering from most wanted to least? pftq - 1) Remove agents. Mercs and explorers can be countered just fine. 2) Remove or un-improve the now "improved" AutoGroup, which causes units to group even more often and really annoying if you're trying to make maps. 3) Return the Native Combat tech to 15% (really needed that for Fort Wars) or have another 15% tech for Natives. 4) Fix OOS with Northwest Territory. Great map but OOS alot. 5) Enable games between regular AOE3 and TWC. Just switch the game to regular AOE3 files - annoying to restart AOE3. AOE3Files - Create any two questions and answer them on your behalf. pftq - 1.) Favorite Board/Card Game: Canasta 2.)Why pftq? The letters don't stand for anything but there's a reason. AOE3Files - Finally, what do you think about AOE3Files? pftq - I think AOE3Files is a good site with a great variety of downloads to offer. AOE3Files - Thankyou very much for taking your time to do this interview pftq, its much appreciated! We hope too see you around on AOE3Files in the upcoming months. Cheerio :) pftq - np thanks - i'll see you around.:) ------------------------------------------------------------------------ You can download pftq's Fort Wars here. Fort Wars 2.2 ------------------------------------------------------------------------- What did you think of the interview? Was it any use to you? Please Comment and rate the interview now! Want to ask pftq something yourself? Whether it be another question on Fort Wars or on one of his other projects? Then ask away now using the comment option as pftq will be here for a mimum of one week answering all your pondering questions! ------------------------------------------------------------------------- This interview was exclusively for AOE3Files reported by Riot_. ------------------------------------------------------------------------
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