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Age of Empires / Rise of Rome / Definitive Edition
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Age of Empires Heaven » Forums » Age of Empires / Rise of Rome / Definitive Edition » Info about the beta
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Topic Subject:Info about the beta
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DarkRain654
Clubman
posted 07-16-09 05:25 PM ET (US)         
I am a new user on the forums making this thread to share information about the beta, and so other people can do the same.

The very first time I visited AoE Heaven was around the time AoK was coming out. I read about AoK's beta units and downloaded the Hidden Units scenario. That got me thinking about hidden beta stuff in AoE, as well. I downloaded the Horse and Trade Workshop templates, and thought, maybe there was even more stuff in the beta. I searched old interviews, gaming sites, archives, and forums and found out some stuff about the beta.

I found that the final AoE was supposed to have 7 ages:
* Stone Age
* Tool Age
* Bronze Age
* Iron Age
* Republic Age (Language.dll ID 7066, also some SLP graphics)
* Imperial Age
* ???

I also remember reading about a road that would make units go faster when walking on it (probably the Build-Road, ID 5022 in language.dll). There's also another Beta Ruins, the Traitor, and the Space_Ship cheat (all in the Composite Editor, which is awesome, by the way), and the infamous Volcano. Hero_12 is just a placeholder. RoR heroes have internal names like Hero_09, which can be sometimes found in the Help box.

A really weird thing is that the very first time I installed AoE (around 1998), I could place a Black Rider in the editor. At the time, I did not know that you weren't supposed to, but I remembered it because it becomes a catapult when it dies, and because it disappeared from the list when I installed RoR. I don't know if it was the CD or what (maybe a corrupted empires.dat), because that never happened again after that.

Another thing was that Phatfish's beta that I read about mentions "Esteem" (post 46):
http://aoe.heavengames.com/cgi-bin/aoecgi/display.cgi?action=st&fn=4&tn=5607&f=4,5607,0,90&st=25

Search "Age of Empires" Esteem download, and see what the first result is.

Here are some really old Age sites:
http://artho.com/age/
http://www.angelfire.com/fl/AgeOfEmpiresPage/

I also like the AoEBeta site:
http://phatfish.nl/aoebeta/

A year or two ago, I downloaded an AoK 0.9.7.222 Alpha Version, and was surprised by it mixing AoE, AoK, and strange beta stuff that looked different from both AoE and final AoK. The cartoon Berry Bush on the AoEBeta site is probably used as a placeholder, like AoE stuff in the AoK beta.

I was searching for "7 ages" AoE, because I remember the thing about the 7 ages and found this:
http://www.fragland.net/news/Empire-Earth-Interview/1243/
I felt it was truly important that whatever was done, that the game must go beyond the frontier forged on AoE. Moreover, I was absolutely committed to the high level premise that such a game be more ambitious and encompass an even greater scope then its predecessor. But, how, I wondered, could this be done in a truly meaningful way? Then, a thought occurred to me... I remembered back to 1995. The original design of Age of Empires had been designed to cover not 4 but 7 Ages. Beyond the Iron Age, players could achieve 3 more Ages including the "Imperial" and "Republic" Age. These additional Ages were actually implemented and working in the game in April of 1996.
That last sentence made me think, maybe somewhere out there, there's a beta with 6 or even all 7 working ages.
AuthorReplies:
Litude
Clubman
posted 07-17-09 06:43 AM ET (US)     1 / 53       
I did manage to find an earlier beta of the game from February 1997. Unfortunately the concept of 7 or 5 ages (never heard of a concept with 6 ages?) has already been scrapped but there were some interesting graphics I found.

It didn't mention anything about an Imperial Age, but there were graphics for researching the ages as follows: Stone Age -> Tool Age -> Bronze Age -> Iron Age -> Dynastic Age -> Empire Age -> Republic Age. I'm not sure whether this might be a newer or an older revision of the age scheme than the one that includes the imperial age (or perhaps the developer got it mixed up with the empire age?).

There were a couple of other interesting things, like you can actually still build the trade workshop (requires a technology to be researched from the market) and one of the included help files actually explains the purpose of the trade workshop. Remember that you actually have to trade resources to get gold in the game? Well it seems that there were plans that these resources were to be given to the player you traded with and that for each trade workshop he had built, trading would get more expensive. I can see why it got removed as I think it quite efficiently discouraged trading .

Some other quite interesting mechanics I noticed in the beta is infinite farms, but when you build them their food level is at 0 and then every two seconds or so (depending on how many farming upgrades you have) one food is added to the farm.
DarkRain654
Clubman
posted 07-17-09 03:22 PM ET (US)     2 / 53       
So you made the version list and the AoE Beta Spot? That's really cool that you know so much about the beta and development of AoE.
http://phatfish.nl/aoebeta/vGuide_AoE.txt
http://aoebeta.110mb.com/data/aoe/index.html

Your list of ages is really interesting. I just based my ages list off of that quote from the Empire Earth developer. I'm not sure if he was accurate, but I didn't know about any beta ages besides the Republic Age.

This site mentions the 5-age beta version:
http://espanol.geocities.com/tcartaoe/en/betas.htm

The extra ages must have been removed between April 1996 and February 1997, but I don't understand why they would remove "implemented and working" ages.

About the Trade Workshop, if I understand correctly, if you traded food for gold, the player you traded with would receive food and lose gold, and the Trade Workshop reduces the gold you would get by trading?

So I suppose the infinite farms were like those in AoM.

Now, I was looking at the "Dawn of Man" or "Pre-Alpha" screenshots. I believe these screenshots were not part of a real game, but were just mock-ups created by ES using real graphics to test different interfaces.
http://aoebeta.110mb.com/data/aoe/ascreens_dom.html
http://phatfish.nl/aoebeta/modules.php?name=Content&pa=showpage&pid=7
* All have the same Egyptian buildings and most seem to be showing a Beta Spearman selected.
* One.jpg, four.jpg, and five.jpg show an identical portion of the map with all units and buildings in the exact same position.
* The minimap is identical for all 4 and looks fake.
* The same selection of 5 or 9 buildings is in all screenshots.
* Five.jpg has different resource icons than the others.
* The resources are all either 1000 or 10000.
* The interfaces changed wildly, but the buildings and game area itself remained identical.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v654/phatfish/dom_proto_1_png.png
http://aoebeta.110mb.com/data/aoe/data/screenshots/tribes/two.jpg
These two screenshots, on the other hand, look like they are from real games.
* There are menus at the top of the screen.
* Units are actually selected.
* The resources are not a rounded number.
* The minimap works.

I also believe that the dom_proto_1 screenshot shows the original Delphi/Floppy AoE.
* The A: drive is open in the screenshot.
* It is actually called "Dawn of Man."

http://aoebeta.110mb.com/data/aoe/ascreens_tribes.html
That this is a screenshot of Tribes also fits in with my theory.

My theory is that "dom_proto_1" and "two.jpg" are even older than the "Dawn of Man" or "Pre-Alpha" screenshots.
* The resources have no icons.
* The minimap is rectangular.
* There's a Trade Goods resource that was later removed.
* Dom_proto_1 ran in a window.
* Dom_proto_1 looks much older.
Two.jpg shows an enemy market, but that resembles an Egyptian market, meaning that the Egyptians may have been the only civ in that version as well, so it is possible for that version to be older than the "Pre-Alpha" screenshots.

Now I have some questions:
Do you know if the Trade Workshop and other beta unit info is still in the final game, like in the language.dll or possibly hidden inside the HLP file?

Did the beta editor let you place the Space_Ship, Volcano and other things now unlocked by the Composite Editor?

Do you know why ES lowered the number of ages from 7 to 5 to 4?

Did the animals and forests grow after time, like in some games?

Do you think my theory about these screenshots is correct?

P.S. Did you ever try playing an AoE Trial saved game in the RoR Trial?
Litude
Clubman
posted 07-17-09 05:25 PM ET (US)     3 / 53       
So you made the version list and the AoE Beta Spot? That's really cool that you know so much about the beta and development of AoE.
http://phatfish.nl/aoebeta/vGuide_AoE.txt
http://aoebeta.110mb.com/data/aoe/index.html
Yeah I made those both (though that version list is hugely outdated and there's no changelog at all, don't know why people found it interesting). But the real question here being, how in the world did you find the AoE Beta Spot? I never advertised it anywhere as it is hugely incomplete and the version currently on the net is 1 years old .
This site mentions the 5-age beta version:
http://espanol.geocities.com/tcartaoe/en/betas.htm

The extra ages must have been removed between April 1996 and February 1997, but I don't understand why they would remove "implemented and working" ages.
Fully implemented and working is quite subjective and already looking at the February beta I can tell they couldn't have had enough stuff to put into the different ages to make them interesting enough (ending up getting one new unit and one new tech per age doesn't benefit gameplay, so having less ages is better in the end)
About the Trade Workshop, if I understand correctly, if you traded food for gold, the player you traded with would receive food and lose gold, and the Trade Workshop reduces the gold you would get by trading?
Quoted from the helpfile:
"All civilizations produce unique "trade goods" that can be traded with other civilizations. Trade goods are automatically produced and stockpiled at docks. Trade ships can pick up (purchase) trade goods from foreign docks and bring them back to a friendly dock where they are "sold" (converted to gold on a one-for-one basis) and profits placed in inventory. The value of a civilization's trade goods goes up with the number of Trade Workshops built.

Trade vessels from all civilizations other than the owning player's can collect trade goods from the Dock. Building trade workshops allows you to profit from trade with foreign civilizations without having to build ships and conduct trade directly. Trade workshops increase the quality of your trade goods, making them more expensive for foreign civilizations. Normally, a trade ship that arrives at your dock with 50 trade goods can pick up the entire cargo. Each trade workshop, however, adds a 10 percent levy on all foreign ships that arrive to pick up cargo. For example, if you own two trade workshops, a 20 percent levy is assessed on all foreign trade ships. As a result, the trade ship would not pickup 50 trade goods, but instead would pickup 40 (20 percent less) and you would immediately receive 10 gold (the 20 percent levy). If you had 5 trade workshops, you would effectively receive 50 percent of the revenues that would otherwise go to the players trading at your dock."
So I suppose the infinite farms were like those in AoM.
Well not really, the way they were implemented at least in this beta was quite poor as each time the farm ran out of food, the villager would run to the nearest granary to drop off his load. So if you instantly started using the farm, your villager would constantly run back-and-forth between the farm and the nearest granary. In other words, you were supposed to leave a farm growing after you had built it before using it I guess.
Now, I was looking at the "Dawn of Man" or "Pre-Alpha" screenshots. I believe these screenshots were not part of a real game, but were just mock-ups created by ES using real graphics to test different interfaces.
http://aoebeta.110mb.com/data/aoe/ascreens_dom.html
http://phatfish.nl/aoebeta/modules.php?name=Content&pa=showpage&pid=7
Crossed my mind multiple times as well and I'm not really sure what to think about them. Even if they are indeed mock-ups, I still think they chronologically fall in-between the DoM and the two.jpg screenshots.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v654/phatfish/dom_proto_1_png.png
http://aoebeta.110mb.com/data/aoe/data/screenshots/tribes/two.jpg
These two screenshots, on the other hand, look like they are from real games.
They sure do look very functional unlike the previous shots, yeah.
I also believe that the dom_proto_1 screenshot shows the original Delphi/Floppy AoE.
* The A: drive is open in the screenshot.
* It is actually called "Dawn of Man."
Yeah, but PhatFish didn't agree with me on that one and as he runs AoeBeta.com, he has the final say.
Now I have some questions:
Do you know if the Trade Workshop and other beta unit info is still in the final game, like in the language.dll or possibly hidden inside the HLP file?
Well the whole Trade Workshop is still quite well working in the final game (as proven by the template) isn't it? No idea about any other units.
Did the beta editor let you place the Space_Ship, Volcano and other things now unlocked by the Composite Editor?
Don't think the Space_ship had been created yet as I haven't managed to find a single cheat in this beta (there are debug keys that I've found, however). The volcano can't be placed so it had probably been removed already. On the other hand, you can place all kinds of missiles, cannonballs and such stuff plus the trade workshop and the horses can be placed from the normal units list.
Do you know why ES lowered the number of ages from 7 to 5 to 4?
Pretty much already covered this, but it would have required much more work had they wanted each age to be unique and bring as much new stuff as they do now. Having them give only a few techs and units would be quite uninteresting.
Did the animals and forests grow after time, like in some games?
Never heard that this was planned for the original AoE, but I do remember there being plans for it for AoK. But then again I haven't read all info there is about AoE development.
Do you think my theory about these screenshots is correct?
I won't go saying that any theory is correct as they're all based on guesses. But what I think is that this screenshot is oldest one and the only screenshot we have of the Dawn of Man era of the game.
Then after ES decided to rewrite the game from scratch, these four possible mock-up screenshots fall in (and the name has probably changed to Tribes) as obviously the game can't be very functional on some time if they're rewriting it. I think this two.jpg is the newest of these old screenshots, simply because it looks very playable (and very AoE like).

About the resources having no icons, well I guess they had much more important matters to take care of and the rectangular minimap was something they toyed around with. More resources doesn't have to mean it's that much older as adding a new resource really isn't that much work. Besides trade goods still exist in both the beta I have (see the help quote) and in a way in the final version of the game (the stuff the docks stock).

As for it running in a window, that tells us absolutely nothing. Most games run in windowed mode during development as it makes it tons easier to test (the February beta also runs in windowed mode by default). And yeah the DoM proto looks much older and looking at the graphics I think it's obvious it's the earliest attempt at the game.
P.S. Did you ever try playing an AoE Trial saved game in the RoR Trial?
Nope, does it give anything interesting?
DarkRain654
Clubman
posted 07-17-09 08:21 PM ET (US)     4 / 53       
Yeah I made those both (though that version list is hugely outdated and there's no changelog at all, don't know why people found it interesting). But the real question here being, how in the world did you find the AoE Beta Spot? I never advertised it anywhere as it is hugely incomplete and the version currently on the net is 1 years old .
I found the Beta Spot doing a Google search. Just right now I found it again by searching for "Age of Empires" beta "Republic Age". It shows up on the second page of results.
Quoted from the helpfile:
...
So it lets the player with the dock profit from the trade. I was reading a theory that it was like the Market in the newer Age games where you can trade on land. That theory's wrong, then. It seems like trading without Trade Workshops is identical to trade in the final game. But I wonder, if someone placed a Trade Workshop in a Retail game scenario, would it have this levy effect? Probably not, but I don't think anyone has ever tried it.
Well not really, the way they were implemented at least in this beta was quite poor as each time the farm ran out of food, the villager would run to the nearest granary to drop off his load. So if you instantly started using the farm, your villager would constantly run back-and-forth between the farm and the nearest granary. In other words, you were supposed to leave a farm growing after you had built it before using it I guess.
So it slowly increases, like the fattening animals in AoM. Is your beta what Phatfish's AoEBeta site calls the Early Beta, the one with the vertical HP bar?
Don't think the Space_ship had been created yet as I haven't managed to find a single cheat in this beta (there are debug keys that I've found, however). The volcano can't be placed so it had probably been removed already. On the other hand, you can place all kinds of missiles, cannonballs and such stuff plus the trade workshop and the horses can be placed from the normal units list.
Try the "resign" cheat. That cheat is in the most Age games. When I got AoK before I could find the cheats online, I typed "resign" and it worked. It also works on the AoK Alpha and, according to AoEBeta.com, on the AoE Late Beta. If it works, then there are other cheats as well.
Nope, does it give anything interesting?
Yeah, there are a lot of interesting changes, and not just the graphics. For example some units become smoke (unselectable), Priests become trees and only move in one direction, fish become Villagers, Shore Fish become the beta Wood Fence, etc. Sometimes arrows or cannonballs would become a trail of units. There's a lot of other weird stuff too, like shallows becoming a bunch of Villagers with bone clubs.
irwinner
Clubman
posted 07-17-09 09:59 PM ET (US)     5 / 53       
Sorry i got a bit lost...is this 7-age beta available somewhere?

glad that they committed to 4 ages, hate to play this:
Stone Age -> Tool Age -> Bronze Age -> Iron Age -> Dynastic Age -> Empire Age -> Republic Age

If they would have used 5 ages would have been better to use something like copper than republic (as you go from technological ages to government age!!)
prppedro
Clubman
posted 07-18-09 02:25 AM ET (US)     6 / 53       
LoL! Lots of hidden and mysterious stuffs... I like the old games... The beta of Age of Empires are apparently some cuted before the final launch... =O

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Litude
Clubman
posted 07-18-09 05:39 AM ET (US)     7 / 53       
Is your beta what Phatfish's AoEBeta site calls the Early Beta, the one with the vertical HP bar?
It's the one called Early Beta 3 at AoEBeta.com
Try the "resign" cheat. That cheat is in the most Age games. When I got AoK before I could find the cheats online, I typed "resign" and it worked. It also works on the AoK Alpha and, according to AoEBeta.com, on the AoE Late Beta. If it works, then there are other cheats as well.
Didn't work.
Sorry i got a bit lost...is this 7-age beta available somewhere?
A beta with 7 ages has not been found. The beta I found recently had some unused technology graphics that were remnants of the time the game was still called Tribes which showed these 7 ages.
Fisk
Champion of AoEH
(id: Fruktfisk)
posted 07-18-09 10:48 AM ET (US)     8 / 53       
The version called Tribes is the Alpha version, which is very different from the final game, most of those screenshots seem to come from the alpha version.

//The warrior of Isola

"I lack quotes that demonstrate Humor Intelligence or anything about me."

Pineapplefish
Cleidopus gloriamaris
prppedro
Clubman
posted 07-18-09 01:09 PM ET (US)     9 / 53       
Whoa...

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[This message has been edited by prppedro (edited 07-18-2009 @ 02:17 PM).]

Nacht Jaeger
Clubman
(id: RCM7525)
posted 07-18-09 04:00 PM ET (US)     10 / 53       
Nice finds here. Looks like you found some separate alpha and beta versions. Just make sure you don't turn this into a discussion about illegally downloaded game versions, or I'll have to lock it.

Nacht Jaeger - Ex AoEH Angel
DarkRain654
Clubman
posted 07-18-09 04:06 PM ET (US)     11 / 53       
It's the one called Early Beta 3 at AoEBeta.com
Then Early Beta 1 or 2 might still have had 5 or 7 ages.
Didn't work.
Hmm... Maybe ES didn't have any cheats at the time, or there might not have been a resign cheat. It might be possible to search the EXE or something.
A beta with 7 ages has not been found. The beta I found recently had some unused technology graphics that were remnants of the time the game was still called Tribes which showed these 7 ages.
Are there any Advance to Dynastic/Empire Age technology graphics?
http://aoebeta.110mb.com/data/aoe/atech.html
I see there's a Republic Age graphic. I think that might still be in the final game somewhere.
The version called Tribes is the Alpha version, which is very different from the final game, most of those screenshots seem to come from the alpha version.
I think one.jpg, three.jpg, four.jpg, and five.jpg were mock-ups between Tribes and the AoE Pre-Beta, or maybe between DoM and Tribes, but that's just my theory. I'm pretty sure that two.jpg is the playable Tribes game.
irwinner
Clubman
posted 07-18-09 07:10 PM ET (US)     12 / 53       
Nacht Jaeger - is this in reference to my question? I would like to take a look at the beta, but if it is an illegal copy then no problem, im not that interest lol.
prppedro
Clubman
posted 07-18-09 08:43 PM ET (US)     13 / 53       
I have captured the 0.8.9.716 (Beta)...

It's nothing very different of the final version, except that haves the Hero 9, 10, 11, 12, etc... And other hidden units... But nothing special, I didn't tested the ages, in order to see if it have the Republic Age... I'll do that now...

EDIT: No, doesn't have... The beta hasn't exciting things...

Only the Alpha haves this things?

Att.
Pedro

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[This message has been edited by prppedro (edited 07-18-2009 @ 08:56 PM).]

Litude
Clubman
posted 07-19-09 02:34 PM ET (US)     14 / 53       
Then Early Beta 1 or 2 might still have had 5 or 7 ages.
The concept of 7 ages had to get canned before going into beta, but there being 5 ages in beta 1 is a slight possibility (seeing as how there are town center and technology graphics).
Hmm... Maybe ES didn't have any cheats at the time, or there might not have been a resign cheat. It might be possible to search the EXE or something.
I did a quick search through the EXE and found nothing. But there are enable cheats buttons in multiplayer and even in the scenario editor (?!), so I think some cheats have to exist.
Are there any Advance to Dynastic/Empire Age technology graphics?
http://aoebeta.110mb.com/data/aoe/atech.html
I see there's a Republic Age graphic. I think that might still be in the final game somewhere.
Yeah that Republic Age graphic can still be found if you look through graphics.drs from the final game with SLPStudio. Unfortunately it doesn't function with the earlier beta (the DRS format is different) so I can only access loose SLP files that were in the game folder. Luckily the old (from Tribes) age advancement graphics were among those loose files.

But as I already said, the beta I have does not actually use these graphics and they are only remnants from the Tribes stage of the game.
I would like to take a look at the beta, but if it is an illegal copy then no problem, im not that interest lol.
Well I don't think having any beta software is exactly legal unless you were an actual beta tester.
It's nothing very different of the final version, except that haves the Hero 9, 10, 11, 12, etc... And other hidden units... But nothing special, I didn't tested the ages, in order to see if it have the Republic Age... I'll do that now...

EDIT: No, doesn't have... The beta hasn't exciting things...

Only the Alpha haves this things?
Yeah, the concept of 7 ages was removed before the game was renamed to Age of Empires. Whether the 5 age concept existed at this point, I guess no one knows.
Fisk
Champion of AoEH
(id: Fruktfisk)
posted 07-19-09 03:36 PM ET (US)     15 / 53       
Yeah that Republic Age graphic can still be found if you look through graphics.drs from the final game with SLPStudio. Unfortunately it doesn't function with the earlier beta (the DRS format is different) so I can only access loose SLP files that were in the game folder. Luckily the old (from Tribes) age advancement graphics were among those loose files.

But as I already said, the beta I have does not actually use these graphics and they are only remnants from the Tribes stage of the game.
Those look terrible, it is just cracks on a coloured background and a text, even worse the text is sometimes in capital letters and sometimes not!


I believe I've read that the republic age was in the beta, and didn't do much that isn't in the released versions Iron age. This is what I think it would acxtually do:

-Change a few (possibly only 1) graphics. The only one we know of is the TC, with the real Iron Age graphic still in the .drs, however I believe that most buildings would keep their Bronze graphic for Iron, and use the current Iron age grapics for the Republic age. (However there is no proof for that.)

-Enable the research of the current Iron ages "Super units."

-Possibly be the age enabling the Wonder.

-Have a research Icon looking similar to the iron age one but with a red roof.


If you ask me ES were right to scrap the republic age, since it gave us a richer age variation at the cost of a dull Icon and an age name that doesn't really fit in with the others.

//The warrior of Isola

"I lack quotes that demonstrate Humor Intelligence or anything about me."

Pineapplefish
Cleidopus gloriamaris

[This message has been edited by Fruktfisk (edited 07-19-2009 @ 03:36 PM).]

DarkRain654
Clubman
posted 07-19-09 10:42 PM ET (US)     16 / 53       
I have captured the 0.8.9.716 (Beta)...

It's nothing very different of the final version, except that haves the Hero 9, 10, 11, 12, etc... And other hidden units... But nothing special, I didn't tested the ages, in order to see if it have the Republic Age... I'll do that now...
That's pretty cool that you found it. The cheats are different, too. Look at them here:
http://phatfish.nl/aoebeta/modules.php?name=Content&pa=showpage&pid=22
The PLAYER# sounds pretty cool. Kind of like GAIA, only with more options, but I guess that wouldn't work so well for Multiplayer .
I did a quick search through the EXE and found nothing. But there are enable cheats buttons in multiplayer and even in the scenario editor (?!), so I think some cheats have to exist.
Looking at that cheats list, that TIMSAYSCHEAT code made me think that there might be an "activation code" that you need to enter first, or maybe a Ctrl/Alt+<something> key combination. I've seen other games that need something like this. Another possiblity, the cheats might not use the Chat box at all, but maybe just the keyboard. It's kind of un-Age-like, but ES might not have thought of that idea yet.
http://www.thecomputershow.com/computershow/cheats/ageofempirescheats.htm
There's a bunch of Ctrl+<letter> cheats that are in AoE. Maybe some of these work. If the game says there's cheats, there has to be cheats. A key code would also explain why you couldn't find anything in the EXE. Another possibility is that a special Cheat box besides the Chat box needs to be used, or that the EXE's cheat codes might be encrypted.
Yeah that Republic Age graphic can still be found if you look through graphics.drs from the final game with SLPStudio. Unfortunately it doesn't function with the earlier beta (the DRS format is different) so I can only access loose SLP files that were in the game folder. Luckily the old (from Tribes) age advancement graphics were among those loose files.

But as I already said, the beta I have does not actually use these graphics and they are only remnants from the Tribes stage of the game.
These look very Tribes-ish (and ugly), but at least they prove there were once 7 ages and show what they were called. The icons are the same proportions as those in two.jpg, rather than square like in AoE. Maybe the Tribes version in two.jpg had 7 ages! I was expecting to see graphics more like the final AoE graphics, with the arch. Since , the beta Republic Age graphic, exists, then there must be a beta with the Republic Age somewhere (otherwise they wouldn't have remade the icon for AoE).
I believe I've read that the republic age was in the beta, and didn't do much that isn't in the released versions Iron age. This is what I think it would acxtually do:

-Change a few (possibly only 1) graphics. The only one we know of is the TC, with the real Iron Age graphic still in the .drs, however I believe that most buildings would keep their Bronze graphic for Iron, and use the current Iron age grapics for the Republic age. (However there is no proof for that.)

-Enable the research of the current Iron ages "Super units."

-Possibly be the age enabling the Wonder.

-Have a research Icon looking similar to the iron age one but with a red roof.
That's too bad, but if there's only one or two new units and a few graphics changes like you say, it might be better without it. It would still have been nice to have kept the Republic Age like AoM's Titan Age (it could give you a Hero instead of a Titan), or maybe give each civ a unique unit or something.

Phatfish just updated http://phatfish.nl/aoebeta/! Litude, how did you or Phatfish know these version numbers!? Does this mean you actually have all 5 of these "Late Alphas" (with the weird "X"-button)?
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v654/phatfish/aoe_alpha_len_9.png
I always wondered where "IndiVictory" and "MultiVictory" came from in the screenshots on the box and manual. Now I know.
When playing In-game, you can use the following keys:
...
CTRL+W - Adds 1000 Wood to your stockpile
CTRL+F - Adds 1000 Food to your stockpile
CTRL+G - Adds 1000 Gold to your stockpile
CTRL+S - Adds 1000 Stone to your stockpile
I actually thought about the possiblity of the Ctrl+? cheats before I went to AoEBeta.com and read the update (they were on a cheats list that I have ). But this means that those Ctrl-key cheats were carried over from the Late Alpha/Early Beta 3. Hopefully, there's actual Chat box cheats, but if you "disable cheats" in the Scenario Editor, and these stopped working, then that's probably what ES meant (unless both these cheats and the Chat box cheats are disabled by these buttons).

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v654/phatfish/aoe_alpha_len_11.png
Reminds me of AoM's Scenario Editor where you can move/attack in the editor. Maybe it's still hidden in the EXE somewhere. Some video games have a "debug menu" that needs a Gameshark or other similar device to unlock it (but sometimes just a weird key combination). That menu also reminds me of that. Another thing that I noticed is that the AoE 1.0 EXE was larger than the patched versions. This might have been hidden in 1.0 and then removed in the patched version.

I also downloaded a HLP decompiler to convert the Retail and Trial HLP files into Word Documents. Unfortunately, I could find nothing about a Trade Workshop (just in case ES left stuff in the HLP file and only removed the links, like they did with the hidden units).

I have some more questions:

Did you try AoEd on the DAT file? If SLP Studio doesn't work, then AoEd probably doesn't either, but it's worth a try.

Is the Lion - tame used in any ES campaigns?

When you press F5 (in a Retail game), what is the purpose of the numbers that show up in place of the resource icons?

P.S. I'm going to try that Trade Workshop levy experiment if I can get computer Merchant Ships to trade with me.
P.P.S. Did you try the Trial savegame thing yet?
prppedro
Clubman
posted 07-20-09 01:25 AM ET (US)     17 / 53       
Ctrl cheats? Really interesting stuff...

But my beta is too close to the Release! It doesn't have the other ages... The Phatfish has get other versions to test... Well, I'm testing the Ctrl... Let's me see...

Extra note: Really fun is the EMPIRES.EXE, all resources are into it... It makes him to have 99% of the Beta size =p

Some screenshots here:

http://prppedro.x10hosting.com/

My site is under construction, so I just uploaded the Images on root... And put a Index.HTML

The CTRL cheats haven't worked...

Note: Not pretending to be a experinced game (I'm newbie in AoE), but the Lion Tame is somewhat as Trained Wolfe in AoK, AoC... But the Trained Wolfe acts a normal mil unit, Tame Lion is a unit that the enemy ignores (until he has getting attacked by one). Good for spy... But I really don't have seen this animal in any ES missions that I played... I didn't played all...



Att. Pedro

Signature -->
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Caesar III - Lutetia
Pharoh - Iunet <Dendera>
http://prppedro.x10hosting.com/home/images/transpa.png
British Longbowman sucks (If he's in the enemy army)

[This message has been edited by prppedro (edited 07-20-2009 @ 01:30 AM).]

Litude
Clubman
posted 07-20-09 05:53 AM ET (US)     18 / 53       
-Change a few (possibly only 1) graphics. The only one we know of is the TC, with the real Iron Age graphic still in the .drs, however I believe that most buildings would keep their Bronze graphic for Iron, and use the current Iron age grapics for the Republic age. (However there is no proof for that.)
I think it was only the town center that changed just like the imperial age in AoK. Besides the bronze age and iron age is a huge leap whilst the republic age only enables a few super units and perhaps some techs.
Looking at that cheats list, that TIMSAYSCHEAT code made me think that there might be an "activation code" that you need to enter first, or maybe a Ctrl/Alt+<something> key combination. I've seen other games that need something like this. Another possiblity, the cheats might not use the Chat box at all, but maybe just the keyboard. It's kind of un-Age-like, but ES might not have thought of that idea yet.
http://www.thecomputershow.com/computershow/cheats/ageofempirescheats.htm
There's a bunch of Ctrl+<letter> cheats that are in AoE. Maybe some of these work. If the game says there's cheats, there has to be cheats. A key code would also explain why you couldn't find anything in the EXE. Another possibility is that a special Cheat box besides the Chat box needs to be used, or that the EXE's cheat codes might be encrypted.
I had never actually heard of those CTRL+x cheats, but luckily PhatFish had and he already went out testing them so the mystery is solved. And yeah I'm kind of starting to believe the chatbox cheats are inexistant at this point in development.
Tribes version in two.jpg had 7 ages! I was expecting to see graphics more like the final AoE graphics, with the arch. Since the beta Republic Age graphic, exists, then there must be a beta with the Republic Age somewhere (otherwise they wouldn't have remade the icon for AoE).
Yeah one has to exist, but unfortunately it is in the unreachable for us.
Phatfish just updated http://phatfish.nl/aoebeta/!Litude, how did you or Phatfish know these version numbers!? Does this mean you actually have all 5 of these "Late Alphas" (with the weird "X"-button)?
There are actually six different EXEs in this (PhatFish seems to have missed one), though only five of those actually start (the oldest one complains about a missing profile.dll...?). But do remember that not nearly all of the game information resides in the EXE, there are also the external graphic files (which of there is only one) and the .DAT file (which are quite many versions of).
I actually thought about the possiblity of the Ctrl+? cheats before I went to AoEBeta.com and read the update (they were on a cheats list that I have ). But this means that those Ctrl-key cheats were carried over from the Late Alpha/Early Beta 3. Hopefully, there's actual Chat box cheats, but if you "disable cheats" in the Scenario Editor, and these stopped working, then that's probably what ES meant (unless both these cheats and the Chat box cheats are disabled by these buttons).
I just tested it and indeed the most obvious cheats (food, wood, gold, stone and quicken) did indeed stop working after I disabled cheats. Still doesn't rule out the fact that there could be chatbox cheats, but I'm doubtful.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v654/phatfish/aoe_alpha_len_11.png
Reminds me of AoM's Scenario Editor where you can move/attack in the editor. Maybe it's still hidden in the EXE somewhere. Some video games have a "debug menu" that needs a Gameshark or other similar device to unlock it (but sometimes just a weird key combination). That menu also reminds me of that. Another thing that I noticed is that the AoE 1.0 EXE was larger than the patched versions. This might have been hidden in 1.0 and then removed in the patched version.
Didn't that one site you linked to earlier explain how to enable it in the unpatched version 1.0 of AoE? My CD installs the game as 1.0a so I'm unable to check it out myself.
Did you try AoEd on the DAT file? If SLP Studio doesn't work, then AoEd probably doesn't either, but it's worth a try.
Nope didn't try yet, though I have a feeling it could work (don't think they change their formats too often, different DRS was just bad luck I guess)
Is the Lion - tame used in any ES campaigns?
From the maps I've played (there are only two campaigns here, babylon and egypt) I haven't seen the tame lion being used anywhere.
When you press F5 (in a Retail game), what is the purpose of the numbers that show up in place of the resource icons?
No idea, just some random debugging stuff I take it.
P.P.S. Did you try the Trial savegame thing yet?
Nope, I really need to start hunting down those trials...
But my beta is too close to the Release! It doesn't have the other ages...
Just to make it clear, no one has found a beta that has more than 4 ages.
DarkRain654
Clubman
posted 07-20-09 03:12 PM ET (US)     19 / 53       
I had never actually heard of those CTRL+x cheats, but luckily PhatFish had and he already went out testing them so the mystery is solved. And yeah I'm kind of starting to believe the chatbox cheats are inexistant at this point in development.
I found them on that cheat list, but I never tried them because I usually play RoR.
Yeah one has to exist, but unfortunately it is in the unreachable for us.
Who knows? If you found a Late Alpha, maybe there are even earlier versions out there. Tribes (two.jpg)'s probably an ES-only version, but I know it exists somewhere, even if only in Microsoft's warehouse. Any version after that might be online somewhere.

I'd really want to play those scenarios on the box and in the manuals (they're one of the things that got me interested in the AoE beta, the others were the AoK Beta Units template and finding the Black Rider in the editor). Are they included in these scenarios? I downloaded them, but didn't get a chance to play them yet.
There are actually six different EXEs in this (PhatFish seems to have missed one), though only five of those actually start (the oldest one complains about a missing profile.dll...?). But do remember that not nearly all of the game information resides in the EXE, there are also the external graphic files (which of there is only one) and the .DAT file (which are quite many versions of).
How are the files organized? Are there 6 copies of everything, or just 6 EXEs and DATs? It seems like you have the oldest AoE Alpha after Tribes (or 5-age Alpha) since the first doesn't run, the second doesn't let you play a game, etc.
I just tested it and indeed the most obvious cheats (food, wood, gold, stone and quicken) did indeed stop working after I disabled cheats. Still doesn't rule out the fact that there could be chatbox cheats, but I'm doubtful.
I kind of expected that it would disable them. I still hope there are Chat box cheats (though there probably aren't). Isn't it strange that these Ctrl cheats work alongside the Chat box cheats in 1.0, but prppedro's beta doesn't have them?
Didn't that one site you linked to earlier explain how to enable it in the unpatched version 1.0 of AoE? My CD installs the game as 1.0a so I'm unable to check it out myself.
Yes, it says "CRTL-T -Give a menu under wood, food, gold and stone." I bet that refers to the In-Game Editor. I'll try this using the 1.0 EXE. I thought all AoE CDs were 1.0, unless it's a Gold CD.

I checked the file sizes and noticed that only 1.0c was smaller. The Ctrl codes must have been disabled in 1.0a/b, but completely removed from the EXE in 1.0c.
Game versions, build versions, and EXE file sizes:
1.0 (00.08.68.0917) 1,605,632 bytes
1.0a (00.09.12.1215) 1,622,016 bytes
1.0b (00.09.13.0409) 1,622,016 bytes
1.0c (00.09.13.1115) 1,470,464 bytes

That's weird how 1.0 has 08 (like the Late Beta) instead of 09. I wonder if there are 00, 01, 02, and 03 AoE Alphas before your 04 and 05, or if those versions were used for Pre-AoE games like dom_proto_1 and two.jpg Tribes. If they are actually AoE, then one of those probably had 5 ages. There are also 06 and 07 betas somewhere.
Nope didn't try yet, though I have a feeling it could work (don't think they change their formats too often, different DRS was just bad luck I guess)
I hope it works. There might even be a Republic Age and related stuff (and a Space_Ship or Volcano) in there.

Now that ES split up, I wonder who got the Alpha/Beta stuff. Maybe someone will release it to the public. I think ES/MS keeps all of their builds and versions, including the really old stuff.

If ES never used the Tame Lion anywhere, they must have been planning to at some point in time.
No idea, just some random debugging stuff I take it.
I've just been wondering about that for a long time and couldn't find anything about it online.
Some screenshots here:

http://prppedro.x10hosting.com/

My site is under construction, so I just uploaded the Images on root... And put a Index.HTML
Those screenshots are pretty cool, but they do look close to the release (except for the "X"-button). Maybe I should make a version list and have different columns like "HP bar" and "X-button" for each beta. I could add it to the first post.

From AoEBeta.com:
Lengthen Combat Mode (Triple HP mode) in the Options menu
I remembered this after I posted yesterday. Your Alpha explains where that triple HP option came from.
Is this thread a reason for the update to AoEBeta.com?
Litude
Clubman
posted 07-20-09 06:26 PM ET (US)     20 / 53       
Who knows? If you found a Late Alpha, maybe there are even earlier versions out there. Tribes (two.jpg)'s probably an ES-only version, but I know it exists somewhere, even if only in Microsoft's warehouse. Any version after that might be online somewhere.
I'm guessing most of the ES stuff is now locked deep inside some basement in an archive with tons of documents so getting inside there is pretty much hopeless. But chances are there are other versions hidden around the internet so we just have to hope for that.
I'd really want to play those scenarios on the box and in the manuals (they're one of the things that got me interested in the AoE beta, the others were the AoK Beta Units template and finding the Black Rider in the editor). Are they included in these scenarios? I downloaded them, but didn't get a chance to play them yet.
Nope, unfortunately neither beta has any of these maps. Chances are they were just some maps designed by someone at ES in a few minutes, they took some screenshots, and then just threw them away. By the way DarkRain654, mind e-mailing me (see my profile for my mail)? I have something I need to discuss.
How are the files organized? Are there 6 copies of everything, or just 6 EXEs and DATs? It seems like you have the oldest AoE Alpha after Tribes (or 5-age Alpha) since the first doesn't run, the second doesn't let you play a game, etc.
Nope, there are just several EXEs and DATS, for the rest of the files it's one copy only. By the way some of the info PhatFish posted on his website is not entirely true. E.g. there being no graphics finished yet for that one early EXE, it is actually looking for graphics from a file that doesn't exist (has been removed already). And I've managed to play a game in all of the EXEs except for the first one (00.04.03.0113), the that doesn't even run (profile.dll missing) and PhatFish didn't cover at all.

As for this 5 age theory, well there is a EMPIRES.DAT from 26th November, 1996 and the republic age has already been disabled. Means we'd have to find something earlier than that to get to the fifth age.
I kind of expected that it would disable them. I still hope there are Chat box cheats (though there probably aren't). Isn't it strange that these Ctrl cheats work alongside the Chat box cheats in 1.0, but prppedro's beta doesn't have them?
Actually prppedro's beta does have them (though they are slightly different), but they just need to be activated by launching the game with the DEVELOPER parameter. And I just rechecked and my Age of Empires was indeed 1.0 but I didn't get the debug keys to work?
I checked the file sizes and noticed that only 1.0c was smaller. The Ctrl codes must have been disabled in 1.0a/b, but completely removed from the EXE in 1.0c.
Game versions, build versions, and EXE file sizes:
1.0 (00.08.68.0917) 1,605,632 bytes
1.0a (00.09.12.1215) 1,622,016 bytes
1.0b (00.09.13.0409) 1,622,016 bytes
1.0c (00.09.13.1115) 1,470,464 bytes
Well you have to remember that the patches also made other changes that could alter the size of the EXE, plus optimizing the code is quite normal during patching which is likely to reduce the EXE size.
That's weird how 1.0 has 08 (like the Late Beta) instead of 09. I wonder if there are 00, 01, 02, and 03 AoE Alphas before your 04 and 05, or if those versions were used for Pre-AoE games like dom_proto_1 and two.jpg Tribes. If they are actually AoE, then one of those probably had 5 ages. There are also 06 and 07 betas somewhere.
Guess pretty much every build exists as I think they compiled probably about 5 builds per day or something which does require quite an expansive numbering scheme to keep up with this for three years.
I hope it works. There might even be a Republic Age and related stuff (and a Space_Ship or Volcano) in there.
I tested it and the decompression did work, even though exporting to text didn't. Decompression gives all interesting information anyway so it wasn't such a big loss. Didn't find any mention of either the space_ship (I think it was created later, don't think the later beta had the space_ship either?) or the volcano. But as I already mentioned, even in the oldest DAT file from November 1996 the republic age had already been disabled.
Now that ES split up, I wonder who got the Alpha/Beta stuff. Maybe someone will release it to the public. I think ES/MS keeps all of their builds and versions, including the really old stuff.
Yeah I read from the Halowars blog that they archived each build of it so I don't think AoE could be much different (well times have changed so perhaps not every build, but at least every milestone). Don't count on any developer releasing the stuff though as Microsoft owns the rights to them. And seeing Microsoft release beta versions of game for curiosity's sake has never happened yet, but who knows when they'll change their minds. :P
I remembered this after I posted yesterday. Your Alpha explains where that triple HP option came from.
Yeah. Interestingly though the button is already a dummy (doesn't do anything) in all of alpha versions.
Is this thread a reason for the update to AoEBeta.com?
Nope, you just happened to create it one day after I found the alpha(s).


Oh and I tested that trial save glitch and it sure was weird. Did show me a bunch of unused graphics like trees and those weird blue road kind of terrain blocks. Interestingly the game didn't crash.
prppedro
Clubman
posted 07-20-09 06:32 PM ET (US)     21 / 53       
A good place to look is the Microsoft FTP =p

ftp://ftp.microsoft.com

I already found good things heres, but AoE beta I don't know... =p

Signature -->
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Pharoh - Iunet <Dendera>
http://prppedro.x10hosting.com/home/images/transpa.png
British Longbowman sucks (If he's in the enemy army)
DarkRain654
Clubman
posted 07-20-09 10:10 PM ET (US)     22 / 53       
I'm guessing most of the ES stuff is now locked deep inside some basement in an archive with tons of documents so getting inside there is pretty much hopeless. But chances are there are other versions hidden around the internet so we just have to hope for that.
Probably, but I hope there is more on the internet. If non-public alphas and betas are available, then who knows what else people will find?
Nope, unfortunately neither beta has any of these maps. Chances are they were just some maps designed by someone at ES in a few minutes, they took some screenshots, and then just threw them away. By the way DarkRain654, mind e-mailing me (see my profile for my mail)? I have something I need to discuss.
Those were pretty good maps (at least the screenshots we could see were). I hope ES did save them. They may be included with the beta versions that they were created with. There are a lot of screenshots made with unknown beta versions, including those. I will e-mail you today.
Nope, there are just several EXEs and DATS, for the rest of the files it's one copy only. By the way some of the info PhatFish posted on his website is not entirely true. E.g. there being no graphics finished yet for that one early EXE, it is actually looking for graphics from a file that doesn't exist (has been removed already). And I've managed to play a game in all of the EXEs except for the first one (00.04.03.0113), the that doesn't even run (profile.dll missing) and PhatFish didn't cover at all.
That means that they aren't the first AoE Alphas, just that they changed some graphics. It would also mean that the 5-age one is version 00.03 or lower.
As for this 5 age theory, well there is a EMPIRES.DAT from 26th November, 1996 and the republic age has already been disabled. Means we'd have to find something earlier than that to get to the fifth age.
7-age Tribes (according to the Empire Earth developer) was from April 1996, putting the 5-age beta time frame between April and November. Is there a "Republic Age" in the DAT at all?
Actually prppedro's beta does have them (though they are slightly different), but they just need to be activated by launching the game with the DEVELOPER parameter. And I just rechecked and my Age of Empires was indeed 1.0 but I didn't get the debug keys to work?
I couldn't get them to work either (I couldn't understand where to do the Ctrl+N thing). I found another cheat list that says that you can't use Ctrl cheats once a game has already started, and they work only in Campaigns. Maybe 1.0 also needs some sort of command-line parameter. Do you know what the cheat list means about "Press Ctrl+N to start a new game?" That didn't work for me.

I also tried the Trade Workshop levy experiment in 1.0 (set me and Red to allies, gave me and the computer trade boats and 99999 of everything except gold, gave me and the computer various numbers of Trade Workshops). They started trading, but I got no levy gold at any time, and the gold given at their Dock stayed the same no matter how many Trade Workshops they had. That means it's function was removed already.
I tested it and the decompression did work, even though exporting to text didn't. Decompression gives all interesting information anyway so it wasn't such a big loss.
Are there any interesting hidden units?
Yeah I read from the Halowars blog that they archived each build of it so I don't think AoE could be much different (well times have changed so perhaps not every build, but at least every milestone).
I really hope they saved dom_proto_1 and two.jpg Tribes. At least the games are around so there is a (very slight) possibility that MS will release them, or they might show up on the FTP server. Maybe someone interested in the beta will get a job at MS as an AoE4 developer .
Yeah. Interestingly though the button is already a dummy (doesn't do anything) in all of alpha versions.
Maybe it's a 00.03 feature. That might have been working in the 5-age version, or maybe its a newer feature that they didn't enable yet. Builds 00.06 and 00.07 are still missing, as far as I know. Still, we now know that the triple HP option is not a glitch, but something they intended to have in the game.
Nope, you just happened to create it one day after I found the alpha(s).
Now that's a coincidence.
Oh and I tested that trial save glitch and it sure was weird. Did show me a bunch of unused graphics like trees and those weird blue road kind of terrain blocks. Interestingly the game didn't crash.
Yeah, my favorite thing is when the Axemen "Fishing Boats" attack the Villager "Fish." The only problem is that you can't reveal the whole map.
A good place to look is the Microsoft FTP =p

ftp://ftp.microsoft.com

I already found good things heres, but AoE beta I don't know... =p
Yeah, I was looking and I found some AoE/AoK stuff (a few patches, agelinks.exe "Troubleshooting Shortcuts"). Phatfish's AoEBeta.com says that an RoR Beta showed up on the FTP server, but I'm sure its gone by now.
From that AoEBeta.com page:
Your absolutely right DG, that was posted on Game Stats. My primary question follows this line however: Only Microsoft insiders were allowed to beta ROR, this means that a Microsoft type leaked the game out on the groups.


Lana Luhring, 25 aug 1998
That could happen again.
prppedro
Clubman
posted 07-20-09 11:18 PM ET (US)     23 / 53       
Litude,

"H:\hdb3\agebetave\ageofempiresbeta\empires.exe" Developer

Didn't worked, the shortcut...

The game works great, but doesn't have any other age =p

I emailed you asking some things...


DarkRain,

The Microsoft FTP is reaaly hard to search, it's really disorganized at all...

Signature -->
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Caesar III - Lutetia
Pharoh - Iunet <Dendera>
http://prppedro.x10hosting.com/home/images/transpa.png
British Longbowman sucks (If he's in the enemy army)
Litude
Clubman
posted 07-21-09 07:11 AM ET (US)     24 / 53       
A good place to look is the Microsoft FTP =p

ftp://ftp.microsoft.com

I already found good things heres, but AoE beta I don't know... =p
They would never keep betas on a public FTP, but there are some nice screenshots and videos that can be found from there, though they have all already been archived.
Those were pretty good maps (at least the screenshots we could see were). I hope ES did save them. They may be included with the beta versions that they were created with.
Yeah that's probably it, finding that exact beta could be a bit troublesome.
7-age Tribes (according to the Empire Earth developer) was from April 1996, putting the 5-age beta time frame between April and November. Is there a "Republic Age" in the DAT at all?
Yeah there's a "Republic_Age_Not_in_use" string in the .DAT.
I couldn't get them to work either (I couldn't understand where to do the Ctrl+N thing). I found another cheat list that says that you can't use Ctrl cheats once a game has already started, and they work only in Campaigns. Maybe 1.0 also needs some sort of command-line parameter. Do you know what the cheat list means about "Press Ctrl+N to start a new game?" That didn't work for me.
Yeah I couldn't get the Ctrl+N thing either, for me it just selected my town center. I checked for commandline parameters and there wasn't anything that could have activated it. I guess it's just a matter of glitching the game in the right way to activate it.
I also tried the Trade Workshop levy experiment in 1.0 (set me and Red to allies, gave me and the computer trade boats and 99999 of everything except gold, gave me and the computer various numbers of Trade Workshops). They started trading, but I got no levy gold at any time, and the gold given at their Dock stayed the same no matter how many Trade Workshops they had. That means it's function was removed already.
It was expected, but honestly I haven't even tried this in the alpha. I'd expect it still to be in seeing as it is mentioned like that in the help files, but you never know.
Are there any interesting hidden units?
Well it is slightly hard to search the file being one big piece of data, but I did find some interesting stuff. There are mentions of catapults firing burning stones, of foragers foraging grain, nuts, roots and wheat. A building called "Mine Works", the already quite known "Goat" and the berry trees that can also be found as graphics from the final graphics.drs.
Yeah, my favorite thing is when the Axemen "Fishing Boats" attack the Villager "Fish." The only problem is that you can't reveal the whole map.
Heh, I have to try that one.
Yeah, I was looking and I found some AoE/AoK stuff (a few patches, agelinks.exe "Troubleshooting Shortcuts"). Phatfish's AoEBeta.com says that an RoR Beta showed up on the FTP server, but I'm sure its gone by now.
Well it was another private FTP server, not the one prppedro posted as this FTP was meant to be browseable by the general public.
Litude,

"H:\hdb3\agebetave\ageofempiresbeta\empires.exe" Developer

Didn't worked, the shortcut...

The game works great, but doesn't have any other age =p
Well the developer parameter was supposed to enable the debug cheats, not add another age.
I emailed you asking some things...
Okay, I'll check it.
DarkRain654
Clubman
posted 07-21-09 02:00 PM ET (US)     25 / 53       
DarkRain,

The Microsoft FTP is reaaly hard to search, it's really disorganized at all...
Yeah, but I found some stuff in the games folder.
ftp://ftp.microsoft.com/deskapps/games/public/Empires/
ftp://ftp.microsoft.com/deskapps/games/public/Age_Expansion_Pack/
ftp://ftp.microsoft.com/deskapps/games/public/age2/
ftp://ftp.microsoft.com/deskapps/games/public/Through_the_Ages/
There's some screenshots and videos, and the Trial Version, but no betas. There are some beta screenshots. There's some AoE music in the "Through the Ages" folder.
Yeah there's a "Republic_Age_Not_in_use" string in the .DAT.
At least this proves that there was a Republic Age in a game later than Tribes.
Yeah I couldn't get the Ctrl+N thing either, for me it just selected my town center. I checked for commandline parameters and there wasn't anything that could have activated it. I guess it's just a matter of glitching the game in the right way to activate it.
I tried Ctrl+N on the main menu, the Select Player menu, inside a Random Map, in the Scenario Editor, at the Campaign Instructions, in a Campaign, everywhere. It didn't work. In a game it selected my town center, too, but didn't enable any cheats.
It was expected, but honestly I haven't even tried this in the alpha. I'd expect it still to be in seeing as it is mentioned like that in the help files, but you never know.
I think it would work in the alpha, especially if your Villagers can actually build it in the game.
Well it is slightly hard to search the file being one big piece of data, but I did find some interesting stuff. There are mentions of catapults firing burning stones, of foragers foraging grain, nuts, roots and wheat. A building called "Mine Works", the already quite known "Goat" and the berry trees that can also be found as graphics from the final graphics.drs.
This means that there must have been more than one type of Forage Site (what the help file calls them) at one time. Are the burning stones different from the Alchemy stones? Do you think the "Mine Works" was like a Mining Camp in AoK? Maybe the Mine Works had the mining upgrades instead of the Market.
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