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Age of Empires Heaven » Forums » News Discussions » Dawn of Man has dawned!
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Topic Subject:Dawn of Man has dawned!
PhatFish
Mr. Beta
posted 04-04-18 03:24 PM ET (US)         
The earliest known prototype of AoE - Dawn of Man:



What could have been lost forever, never to be seen by the world, has surfaced. This, dear Age fans, is the earliest iteration of what eventually became Age of Empires. It has been unearthed amongst other amazing treasury at the Strong Museum of Play, by curators Andrew Borman and Lauren, who just announced the amazing discovery on Twitter.

I contacted Andrew and asked him for further information. Here's his reply:

"The Bruce C. Shelley Papers were donated to the Strong in September 2016. The date on the .exe is 9/23/1995. It is fairly barebones, but does allow for editing which is nice. Only two test scenarios are available. The large majority of the data is the graphics, which look to just be BMP files."

This is as primitive as it's going to get. A fully working, extremely early Dawn of Man build, with some basic functionality - still a long way off from completion. The raw ingredients are there however. This is quite the reminder to what happened when Tony Goodman sent some very nice things to one our HG staff members, TAG - right around the same time. You can view those here.

Also, there is going to be a livestream featuring this very same DoM build next friday, so you can see what it is like:

"I will be doing a stream of the game, likely next Friday, April 13th at 4PM EST on our Twitch channel. Itís not 100% set in stone yet, but that is likely to be what happens. Ill also be bringing in some of the other documents related to Age of Empires during the stream, so it will be about as comprehensive as I can do in the span of an hour on a stream."

Which is very exciting news, and will give us an awesome look into both the past and the development that went into AoE

Thanks to Atrican for notifying us!

[This message has been edited by PhatFish (edited 04-08-2018 @ 09:47 AM).]

AuthorReplies:
King_Kakaroto
Clubman
posted 04-04-18 08:13 PM ET (US)     1 / 18       
Wow, that's amazing, nostalgia intensifies. Age of Empires it's a world treasure
Cataphract887
Clubman
posted 04-05-18 09:25 AM ET (US)     2 / 18       
Interesting and good for historical documentation, though I rather play and look at the most complete versions

"Excellent could be any map that has the quality of a ES random map or ES scenario. AoK is an excellent, award winning game. That's where I'd start." -AnastasiaKafka

"Hard work is evil. Bitmaps are stupid. Working on a scenario for more than one afternoon is stupid. Triggers are stupid. Testing your own scenario is stupid. The world is stupid. You are the Greatest." -Ingo Van Thiel
Fisk
Champion of AoEH
(id: Fruktfisk)
posted 04-06-18 05:35 AM ET (US)     3 / 18       
This isn't a belated April fool's thing is it Phatty?

Seriously, the fact that these things resurface after 20 + years is just amazing. I'm really fascinated by the early DoM builds as well since they show what is really just a completely different game than what we'd end up with. I'm in love with the whole complexity that was planned for this game in the early stages as well. I mean, just look at all those resources. Ore, Animal Hides, and all luxury resources from A to J!?

Hoping I'll be able to join the stream.

//The warrior of Isola

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

Pineapplefish
Cleidopus gloriamaris
Mazeppa
Clubman
posted 04-06-18 02:16 PM ET (US)     4 / 18       
Lifespan, Disease, Crime, Birth rate.. even the luxury resources... kinda feels like a city-builder game, and the graphics looks something like a 3d version of Caesar I.

[This message has been edited by Mazeppa (edited 04-06-2018 @ 02:18 PM).]

TAG
That AoM Guy
(id: aom expert)
posted 04-06-18 02:30 PM ET (US)     5 / 18       
Congratulations PF!

Seems you've finally found what you were looking for.

Could you elaborate on how you got involved with this? If there's AoM-related stuff in there that could be shared, I'd definitely wanna know.

Great stuff.

btw, it was actually Tony Goodman that sent me the materials. Nice guy.

Check out my YouTube
For live help with me, enter this chatroom. If I'm not on you can leave a message.

[This message has been edited by TAG (edited 04-06-2018 @ 02:35 PM).]

Suppiluliuma
AoEH Seraph
posted 04-08-18 08:43 AM ET (US)     6 / 18       
This is great! Thanks for sharing it! It is interesting how the game concept changed along time!
PhatFish
Mr. Beta
posted 04-08-18 09:51 AM ET (US)     7 / 18       
I'm not involved in any way, just contacted Andrew is all. I asked for a few more screenshots, but haven't gotten a reply back yet, the guy is probably pretty busy.
If there's AoM-related stuff in there that could be shared
According to the archive, there is an amazing amount of material and builds they received from Bruce, from all of the Age series except AoE3 (so yes that includes AoM). They can't distribute anything though, because they don't own the rights to Age of Empires - I asked.
Borman
Clubman
posted 04-09-18 09:13 AM ET (US)     8 / 18       
Howdy folks,
No April Fools joke, I promise. The stream will be this Friday at 4PM EST, you should get to see a bunch of early Age of Empires documents as well. The build is extremely early, but it is pretty exciting. twitch.tv/museumofplay is the channel.
Borman
Clubman
posted 04-13-18 02:14 PM ET (US)     9 / 18       
Streaming in about 40 minutes!
https://www.twitch.tv/museumofplay
PhatFish
Mr. Beta
posted 04-13-18 02:36 PM ET (US)     10 / 18       
I'm excited for this! Will be watching
Borman
Clubman
posted 04-13-18 04:13 PM ET (US)     11 / 18       
A repeat of the stream can be found here:
https://www.twitch.tv/videos/250008765

Thanks for coming out
Fisk
Champion of AoEH
(id: Fruktfisk)
posted 04-13-18 04:35 PM ET (US)     12 / 18       
And thank you for a very interesting stream.

I find it kind of tragic that we didn't get to see this game. It seems like the early DoM (or isit Dawn of Civ? ) concepts were to be a great intermediate between RTS, Citybuilding and 4x games. To imagine AoE at one point pretty much defined the genre of historical RTS games, I just find it really interesting how the original plans were so different from the finished product, and how it might have created another paradigm for these types of games.

//The warrior of Isola

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

Pineapplefish
Cleidopus gloriamaris

[This message has been edited by Fisk (edited 04-13-2018 @ 04:36 PM).]

PhatFish
Mr. Beta
posted 04-13-18 04:48 PM ET (US)     13 / 18       
Thanks for the stream! Wonderful to have seen this amazing early DoM build alive and kicking. Interesting to see how many elements seen still are present in the final game, a lot bunch of graphics are too (hidden within the DRS). The villager waving animation was funny! Loved that. Many things that were scrapped or changed. And it did remind me of Civ a lot. I'm glad they chose for a more fast paced game in the end however. The later alpha looks very familiar to the February alpha build

I took some snapshots, will be uploading them here to AoEH shortly with the exception of the documents as you clearly stated Andrew. Again, thank you for taking the time to show the world these discoveries
Borman
Clubman
posted 04-13-18 05:27 PM ET (US)     14 / 18       
The important thing is to just cite where it came from. I think the preferred version is this:
Bruce C. Shelley papers, Brian Sutton-Smith Library and
Archives of Play at The Strong
DoomFrost
Clubman
(id: Cyrix)
posted 04-13-18 10:44 PM ET (US)     15 / 18       
Would be nice if these early proto builds were made available. Maybe as a Age of Empires digital museum that covers Age of Empires history, design documents, and playable prototype builds with dev commentary. Release it on the Windows Store and I'm sure you'd get people flocking towards it just out of curiosity.
Litude
Clubman
posted 04-28-18 05:49 AM ET (US)     16 / 18       
Wow, that stream was absolutely awesome! I had pretty much given up hope that any further info on the very early stages of Age of Empires would be uncovered. The Civilization connection is so much more apparent here, though I'm quite glad they chose to streamline the game in the end.
Neils
Clubman
posted 05-04-18 09:04 AM ET (US)     17 / 18       
Will a release be possible in the future to be downloaded? It would be great if we could all enjoy this
Borman
Clubman
posted 05-04-18 11:08 AM ET (US)     18 / 18       
Unfortunately the museum doesn't have the IP rights to Age of Empire or any of its assets, so it cannot be uploaded. But if you happen to be in Rochester, NY, we are pretty accommodating to research requests.
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