Ensemble chat log

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This is the chat log from yesterday. Taken straight from aoe3heaven. [Admin]WolfBlade*ReZeNeR19-gs* Is ESO planning to add a gate feature over a trade route? ES_Sandyman we are not planning this. [Admin]WolfBlade*Hellblazer970-gs* Is 10/2 the offical release date for the WarChiefs? ES_Zeo We don't have an official date for release. But it will be out this fall. [Admin]WolfBlade*aeaster-gs* Hello ES! I used to play Age of Kings and loved it. Psychology and Diplmoacy (in any game) is the most fun for me. Age of Kings had just enough for us folks at AoK Heaven to invent our own little game-style: Shimo Style. I'm interested in hearing if a non-Allied Victory and Unlocked Teams are options in future AoE games. Are other diplomatic Multiplayer options going to turn up in future AoE games? ES_Sandyman we really haven't planned out details this low-level for our future games. We generally don't plan very far ahead for a game company. [Admin]WolfBlade*SAS-o0CliMa0o.Maj-gs* How did you come up with the looks of the characters? [Admin]WolfBladeThe room is currently being moderated - Your chat will not appear - to ask a question to our guests pls type /msg WolfBlade and state your question - Please do not page our guests as they will not be able to answer you ES_Sandyman first we do concept art based on images from books or films. Then these get translated into 3-d objects. Then these get skinned by texture artists. [Admin]WolfBlade*MarshMelloww-gs* How did you guys get into the industry? ES_The_Sheriff I started off as a gamer just like you guys. I placed in some major Age of Empires tournaments from the Zone and eventually got a job testing on Age of Empires II. ES_Sandyman I came into it from the paper-game universe. I had done paper and board and roleplaying games and moved into computer games from there. ES_Zeo Started testing games at Virgin Interactive in '97, moved to Novalogic doing Design and eventually production, then came here to Ensemble in 2002 [Admin]WolfBlade*f3gi-gs* Has it been considered to lower the cost of the incan huaminca? I think 20 food, 100 wood is too much for the thing? §¨ Private message sent to WolfBlade: "How many new minor natives are there in the WarChiefs? Wally wachi previously stated that there are 5 new minor native tribes. Sandy has since said that is wrong." ES_The_Sheriff Sure we question the costs of all the units pretty much all the time. In this case we think that the Huaminca is great for both killing cavalry as well as buildings and is worth the cost. [Admin]WolfBlade*[-LoL-]Cmd-Hunter-gs* So how long did it take you guys to desgin the hold seires of game ? ES_Sandyman We started on Age1 in early 1995 I believe, so we've been doing it for over 10 years. [Admin]WolfBlade*Fallen]FK[-gs* What will the minimum requirements be to play AOE3? ES_Zeo They'll be the same as they were for AGe3... ES_Zeo 1.4 Gz, XP, 256 RAM, 64 MB video card /w T&L [Admin]WolfBlade*2D-Hassan-gs* Can we ask about TWC? If so: do European civs gets any new units, upgrades? ES_Sandyman The European civs get new units, new mercs, new buildings, new techs, new home city cards. They get tons of stuff ... ES_Sandyman New units include the Horse Artillery. New mercs include the Elmeti (a sort of super-lancer), new buildings include the Saloon, ans so on. [Admin]WolfBlade*Moroar-gs* What will the new units be for the european, and indians races? ES_The_Sheriff The Sioux have some great units such as the Bow Rider which is a ranged cavalry used for colonial age raiding... ES_The_Sheriff They have the Tashunke Prowler in Fortress age that is the only cavalry with the stealth ability [Admin]WolfBlade*Xlliance-gs* will there be an age of empire 3 gold edition?and when? ES_Zeo Nothing has been announced about the Gold Edition yet - stay tuned [Admin]WolfBlade*[-LoL-]Cmd-Hunter-gs* how have graphics been improved WarChiefs to the AOE games? ES_Sandyman the underlying graphics engine has not been changed, but we have a lot of really cool-looking (to me) art. The new tribal council ... ES_Sandyman is pretty neat. THe native towns look very different from the european ones. [Admin]WolfBlade*Lafferteh2k6-gs* out of all the age games you've made, which one is your favourite? ES_Sandyman My personal favorite is The WarChiefs. Since I was lead on The Conquerors & Rise of Rome, that's saying something. [Admin]WolfBladeThe room is currently being moderated - Your chat will not appear - to ask a question to our guests pls type /msg WolfBlade and state your question - Please do not page our guests as they will not be able to answer you [Admin]WolfBlade*Solid_Snake(Smurf)-gs* Are Age of Empires IV and V actually planned as shown on the artbook which comes with Age of Empires III colectors edition? ES_Sandyman not really. That was just kind of a tease. I mean, we plan to do more Age of games sometime in the future, but their subject is undecided. [Admin]WolfBlade*Durial321-gs* How did you come up with the idea for Age of Empires? ES_Sandyman Tony Goodman & Bruce Shelly and some other guys were trying to think of a cool way to introduce an RTS, and they hit upon the concept ... §¨ Private message sent to WolfBlade: "Will we keep our HC levels, PR, cards selected and other stuff with the warchiefs? Or do we have to start over again" ES_Sandyman of doing a historically based one. That had never been done before, and it set us off along our course. [Admin]WolfBlade*.noeL{reV}-gs* Concerning 1.08, exactly how are the unit training times going to be affected? ES_The_Sheriff The unit train times are based off of the unit costs now. All of the infantry units were changed relative to a musketeer train time, and all of the cavalry units were changed relative to the hussar cost. [Admin]WolfBlade*.:BOT:.Viper-v4.6-gs* what kind of background music are you using? ES_Zeo All of the Age series music is produced in-house. On the WarChiefs, as expected, it has a very native sound [Admin]WolfBlade*ReZeNeR19-gs* What type of historic battles will be in the Warchiefs Campaign? ES_Sandyman The first act of the campaign covers the Revolutionary War, including Bunker Hill & Valley Forge for instance. The second act ... ES_Sandyman takes place during Red Cloud's War and the great Sioux Uprising of 1876 and climaxes in the Little Big Horn. [Admin]WolfBlade*{WAR}AznPhan[UM-NAU]-gs* How many Civils where there be in the game? ES_Zeo Three new natives civs for a total of 11 when counting the original 8 European ones [Admin]WolfBlade*[FsE]UnHoLy_SouL-gs* is there any news about the release of the long awaited patch 1.08? ES_The_Sheriff We have been working hard to get it out asap, and although I can't say an exact time, it will be SOON. [Admin]WolfBlade*2D-Hassan-gs* What non-merc units do Germans recieve in the xpac? Can you name some of the new generic upgrades? ES_The_Sheriff The Germans have a special Nitro Petard unit that they can send from the home city. These guys can blow up almost any building in 1 shot. [Admin]WolfBlade*SocraticWaCkO-gs* Does ES have any plans of a tournament for the expansion? ES_The_Sheriff Yeah we will do some tournies. We will probably have to ban you thought Wacko [Admin]WolfBlade*Surprisetbdk-gs* Is the AoE Trilogy game set going to be released on other platforms? Ie, PS2, X-Box... ES_Zeo Some of the trilogy has been released on other platforms already and we're always looking at other platforms... ES_Zeo but haven't and aren't announcing anything new today [Admin]WolfBlade*BadboyzSpy-gs* How many other Age Of Empire Games do you think you will make? ES_Sandyman as long as people keep playing RTS games, if ES stays in business, we will keep producing this series. [Admin]WolfBlade*vK_SenniN-gs* What is the "secret dutch strategy" that we haven't discovered yet? ES_The_Sheriff It wouldn't be much of a secret if we told you ES_Sandyman forward build banks [Admin]WolfBlade*Hellblazer970-gs* What are the plans when AoE3 meets DirectX 10 / Windows Vista? Is AoE3 fully compatible with Vista? ES_Zeo Plan? We don't need no stinkin' plan... ES_Zeo Seriously, we've been testing this for some time and have found minimal problems thus far ES_Zeo (knock on wood)... [Admin]WolfBladeThe room is currently being moderated - Your chat will not appear - to ask a question to our guests pls type /msg WolfBlade and state your question - Please do not page our guests as they will not be able to answer you [Admin]WolfBlade*BadboyzSpy-gs* How many people are currently working on Age Of Empire 3 at Ensemble Studio? ES_Zeo Our development team is around 30 people give or take a couple... ES_Sandyman We have added some interesting new naval shipments (like a fishing boat shipment), and there are now new water strategies to use ... ES_Sandyman oops ES_Zeo But we also have a few people in Redmond doing testing and shared release resources [Admin]WolfBladev/notice #gsp!livewire *.:BOT:.Viper-v4.6-gs* what kind of upgrades have been made to water-craft , boats etc. ES_Sandyman We have added some interesting new naval shipments (like a fishing boat shipment), and there are now new water strategies to use ... §¨ Private message sent to WolfBlade: "do the cheyenne get dog soldiers? if not, why? THey were cheyenne, not lakota." ES_Sandyman with the natives. Plus we have special shipments like Team Monitors, so there is new water material of interest. [Admin]WolfBlade*Hellblazer970-gs* Can you tell what a typical day for you would be at Ensemble Studios? §¨ Private message sent to WolfBlade: "will the natives have any military naval units other than canoes?" ES_The_Sheriff Well my day usually starts with checking and answering emails and fixing a few bugs in the data. I'll probably get into a playtest game of Warchiefs before lunch... ES_The_Sheriff Later if I'm not in any meetings I'll try to make a few changes to the civ bonuses or techs based on the rest of the team's feedback ES_The_Sheriff then its time to test the changes out and see if they worked [Admin]WolfBlade*{WAR}AznPhan[UM-NAU]-gs* did you Have to Study the "history" before making a new map Like "battle of Niagara" Map? ES_Sandyman we do study the history, but game fun must take precedence over accuracy. We try to get the "feel" of historical events, not ... ES_Sandyman try to painstakingly reproduce the minutia. [Admin]WolfBlade*say1988-gs* Will we keep our HC levels, PR, cards selected and other stuff with the warchiefs? Or do we have to start over again? §¨ Private message sent to WolfBlade: "if one of you wrote the map descriptions for AoK, could you ebnlighten us on the battle between the Koreans and Maya that is mentioned?" ES_The_Sheriff If you play on Warchiefs you will get to keep all of your existing home city levels, but you will have a clean slate for power rating annd ladders. [Admin]WolfBlade*Surprisetbdk-gs* How long did it take to make the core essentials of A0E3 (Graphics, sound, etc.)? [Admin]WolfBladeThe room is currently being moderated - Your chat will not appear - to ask a question to our guests pls type /msg WolfBlade and state your question - Please do not page our guests as they will not be able to answer you ES_Zeo It took a good part of the 3 year development cycle... ES_Zeo We're lucky that we've learned to work in parallel so we were still able to get content in at the same time [Admin]WolfBlade*vK_SenniN-gs* Is the 10% increase to hussar's HP really going to make much of a difference? ES_The_Sheriff Sometimes we've found that the smallest change makes a huge difference. This one adds about 30 hitpoints which is pretty signifigant. We definately do not want to make the hussar overpowered. [Admin]WolfBlade*.:BOT:.Viper-v4.6-gs* do you plan on adding anti-cheat system in the future? ES_Sandyman we are always keen to stop cheating. We keep creating new systems to stay ahead of the cheaters. We make decisions all the time about ... ES_Sandyman game systems to try to nip cheating in the bud. ES_Zeo We've found that the most effective anti-cheat system is ES monitoring and getting feedback from our community... ES_Zeo we definitely want to continue using that process and improving it as we go §¨ Private message sent to WolfBlade: "with the Dutch new gold mining boost. Is this like an upgrade or an increase to the base rate (ie. do upgradescompound upon it)?" [Admin]WolfBlade*nate0723-gs* Can you name one of the new units in the expansion pack for the Dutch? ES_Sandyman The Europeans are not getting any unique new units - the Dutch will not be receiving any units that are unavailable to any other civ. ... ES_Sandyman though they will be receiving units that only certain other civs get. One new thing that the Dutch get is a mercenary shipment of Carib Indians. ES_Sandyman no one else gets that. [Admin]WolfBlade*.:BOT:.Viper-v4.6-gs* have you thought of add in natural disaters to the game? ES_Zeo Yes, we have considered this and even implemented it in a few internal builds... ES_Zeo it always sounds good in theory until its your town that's flattened, sunk or scattered all over the map... ES_Zeo then all we hear is "that sux!!!" "it's so unfair" "tornado never hits their town"... ES_Zeo you get the idea [Admin]WolfBlade*say1988-gs* with the Dutch new gold mining boost. Is this like an upgrade or an increase to the base rate (ie. do upgradescompound upon it)? ES_The_Sheriff It will effect them as if it were an upgrade from a tech. [Admin]WolfBlade*Surprisetbdk-gs* Who had the ideas for cheat codes? Eg: AoE Cheese Steak Jimmy's? ES_Zeo From all over really. It's often internal jokes that are started by a few devs on the team ES_Zeo that quickly spreads through the team... §¨ Private message sent to WolfBlade: "does anyone other than the Sioux have repeating rifles in the Warchiefs?" ES_Zeo and by the end of the project, very few remember how it started... §¨ Private message sent to WolfBlade: "Are gattling guns being included?" ES_Zeo for Jimmy's, that's an actual real place that has really greasy steak cheese sandwiches... ES_Zeo and it's what ES nicknamed the place [Admin]WolfBlade*vK_SenniN-gs* why was the uhlan attack on villagers reduced? ES_The_Sheriff We felt that even with just 2 Uhlans it was trivial to get a few villager kills in. This allowed Germans to effectively raid no matter what they shipped from the homecity. They only do slightly less damage now. [Admin]WolfBlade*Hellblazer970-gs* You've named that the spanish get Maya indians, Dutch get Carib indians, can you (possibly) tell us what the other civs get regarding native american mercanaries? ES_Sandyman we don't want to give everything away, but in general civs get native allies who lived in areas that the civ historically colonized. ... ES_Sandyman The British get Cherokee for instance, while the Russians get Nootka. [Admin]WolfBlade*TFF_PwNz012-gs* What has driven yall to continue to improve upon this game and its many expansions? ES_Sandyman we all love and play this game, even after it's release. In my 18 years as a video game developer I have only seen this happen on 2 other ... ES_Sandyman products - Civilization and Doom. ES_The_Sheriff I am still huge Age of Empires fan myself, so the better the game is the more fun I can have once it is released! ES_Zeo We're gamers. We love RTS's. We love Age of Empires. But mostly, it's because all of you continue to be excited about the series and that makes us continue to dig deep [Admin]WolfBlade*Moroar-gs* What other video games do you guys play outside of work? ES_Sandyman Currently I'm playing Final Fantasy IV for my DS, Harvest Moon for my GameCube, Oblivion for my X-Box 360, and Master of Magic on DOXBox. ES_Sandyman oops i mean DOSbox ES_The_Sheriff Most recently I've been trying out Battle for MIddle Earth on Xbox360 or World of Warcraft on PC ES_Zeo WoW, Halo2, Oblivion for X360, & Guild Wars [Admin]WolfBlade*Lafferteh2k6-gs* for each age game you guys make, the age the games are set in , move further along the timeline, will you get to a point with future games when your in WW1 and WW2, or will you not go that far? ES_Zeo At the start of every project, we consider lots of ideas and time periods... ES_Zeo we don't necessarily lock ourselves down to anything because we want to find concepts that the team is passionate about... ES_Zeo so far, it has worked out that we've moved along the timeline chronologically... ES_Zeo but we'll have to wait and see when the next project kicks off, to figure out what they're passionate about [Admin]WolfBlade*[MoHx]eric[LCpl]-gs* What inspired the name "Ensemble Studios"? ES_Sandyman The idea (as I understand it) is that this company was to work like a musical group, where everyone is essential and everyone ... ES_Sandyman contributes. As opposed to the way some other companies work, where there is a central "star" that is supported by a crowd of ... ES_Sandyman "little people" or whatever.
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