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Scenario Design and Modding
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Age of Empires Heaven » Forums » Scenario Design and Modding » Playing original AoE/RoR campaigns in DE?
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Topic Subject:Playing original AoE/RoR campaigns in DE?
Richard Ames
Clubman
posted 08-31-20 01:29 AM ET (US)         
Hey all

Can't see an answer to this here - is it possible to play the original AoE/RoR campaigns in the new Definitive Edition of the game?

I'm guessing not, right?

And, if not, is there any legal way to buy the original version of the game these days? Again, I'm guessing not right?

Have played through the DE campaigns last year, but I feel like I should get back to playing some of the old campaigns here again too at some point.
AuthorReplies:
rakovsky
Clubman
posted 08-31-20 07:38 AM ET (US)     1 / 17       
I read that the DE version has a converter for AOE and ROR files but that it sometimes doesn't convert everything correctly.

[This message has been edited by rakovsky (edited 01-18-2021 @ 05:18 PM).]

Fisk
Champion of AoEH
(id: Fruktfisk)
posted 09-01-20 10:16 AM ET (US)     2 / 17       
Hi Richard.

I think it's theoretically possible to load the old campaign files into DE. Haven't tried to see how well it works though. I also believe we should have a file in the Granary which gets the scenarios that weren't included in the DE remakes of the campaigns.

//The warrior of Isola

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

Pineapplefish
Cleidopus gloriamaris
Andrea Rosa
Clubman
posted 01-08-21 02:24 PM ET (US)     3 / 17       
Hello everyone, long time no see. Glad to see there are still some familiar names around!
is it possible to play the original AoE/RoR campaigns in the new Definitive Edition of the game?
If you are referring to custom campaigns, then the answer is yes and no. I guess that the less complex scenarios can be played without many problems (I'm talking about maps without peculiar tricks and with straightforward objectives), but the various changes in the engine and tech tree rendered many classic scenarios impossible to complete. I don't have the Definitive Edition and I'm not interested in buying it, but I've been informed that some of my old campaigns don't work anymore. Specifically, the 4th mission of Underhand Dealings From The Hatti Archive can't be won because the Hittites can no longer train Centurions, while the first mission of Angkor Wat And The Khmer Legacy can't even be started because the glitch which allowed to escape from the prison has been fixed.

Unfortunately I don't have additional information regarding the other campaigns I made, but I'm pretty sure that there are many more issues like these, so I may consider about opening a thread to collect additional feedback on this subject. It's very unlikely that I will denaturalize my old campaigns, but I may decide about releasing alternate, simpler versions which could be played with this ill-conceived Definitive Edition. One thing is for sure: all of these remasterings, remakes, reboots and definitive editions are just lazy cashgrabs which often show a huge disregard for the custom content created by the fans over the years.
Kastanje57
Clubman
posted 01-08-21 04:38 PM ET (US)     4 / 17       
Hi,

some months ago, last august/sept. I believe, I've tried to play my own campaign on DE, after buying the thing on steam.
I just was curious.

The result is that the scenario's can be played, in some cases with some adjustments to the VC's and also to some of the tricks and puzzles, it can be done and I've managed to do so.

But.....
In general, the map design looks awful.
The blending forests, the jumping fish in waterfalls, the use shallow tiles in all sorts of ways, it all looks not nice and well taken care off anymore.
It looks messy with strange, very unnatural mixes of colors.
So, all the effort that I and many others have put into map design doesn't show in the DE anymore.
And that's a pity.

I stick to the original version, I love it.

Over 20 years after it's first release, I'm still in love with this AoE-RoR masterpiece
Andrea Rosa
Clubman
posted 01-09-21 08:08 AM ET (US)     5 / 17       
The blending forests, the jumping fish in waterfalls, the use shallow tiles in all sorts of ways, it all looks not nice and well taken care off anymore.
It looks messy with strange, very unnatural mixes of colors.
So, all the effort that I and many others have put into map design doesn't show in the DE anymore.
And that's a pity.
That's exactly what I meant. Everything looks so dull and uninspired. Rocks have become microscopic, those nice yellow and orange trees (Beech-Ash) that gave so much variety to the forests have become generic green trees, and the shallow tiles have been removed altogether, de facto eliminating one of the staples of map design in AoE and RoR, the swamps. And, worst of all, retconning the tech tree and civilizations attributes more than 20 years after the release of the original game: what were they thinking!? Under this aspect, StarCraft Remastered was handled much better: although being a lazy cashgrab and a totally unnecessary product, at least it only updates the graphics without altering them too much, while the game core has not been touched, so it's totally possible to play a custom campaign from 1999 on SC:R and it will behave just like in the original game.
Fisk
Champion of AoEH
(id: Fruktfisk)
posted 01-09-21 09:17 AM ET (US)     6 / 17       
Look, it's him!

Hi Andrea, it's cool to see you dropping by after all these years. And yeah, I can understand your frustration. What you would've preferred is probably something more akin to AoE2HD for AoE1. Still I think it's impossible to please everyone with a remake. I mean, if a designer exploits what is arguably a bug in the engine for a design trick what are you gonna do, leave it unfixed or break some custom campaigns? Whatever you do I'm sure you're going to leave a lot of people dissatisfied.

The reasoning behind changes to the tech tree was most likely to improve the multiplayer balance. In fact, most of the changes were taken directly from the UPatch mod which strived to do exactly that for the original game. If pathing hadn't been the mess that it is it probably would've been a good improvement on the MP experience.

I suppose you could just simplify your old works to allow them to be played in DE but well, it does sound like it would end up a subpar experience to playing it the way it was made to be. It's a shame really that there doesn't really seem to be any better options for acquiring the original game than getting a used copy off of Amazon.

//The warrior of Isola

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

Pineapplefish
Cleidopus gloriamaris
PhatFish
Mr. Beta
posted 01-09-21 09:30 AM ET (US)     7 / 17       
One thing is for sure: all of these remasterings, remakes, reboots and definitive editions are just lazy cashgrabs which often show a huge disregard for the custom content created by the fans over the years.
I second that.

Welcome back Andrea.
Kastanje57
Clubman
posted 01-09-21 12:21 PM ET (US)     8 / 17       
Here, in the Netherlands, It's still possible to buy a brand new version of the original game (Gold edition) without the use of (second handed) Amazon. It costs around 10 euro's or so.
I can put a link to the shop if you want me to do.

The impression that the DE version gave me is:
Making money in this case was much more important than making a good game.
And that's a pity too.

I sometimes felt very ridiculous when I was working on a scenario for a game that's over 20 years old. Why should I put all that effort in it?
On the other hand, I'm an old man, retired and I needed something to do to fill my days. Creating these scenario's was something I liked to do a lot. I also could give my point of view on some aspects of society by means of the storyline.

Apart from all this, it's a true pity that all these wonderful campaigns and scenario's that are made bij some over the years look like shit in DE.
It's a real disgrace.

Over 20 years after it's first release, I'm still in love with this AoE-RoR masterpiece

[This message has been edited by Kastanje57 (edited 01-09-2021 @ 01:05 PM).]

Andrea Rosa
Clubman
posted 01-10-21 09:29 AM ET (US)     9 / 17       
Still I think it's impossible to please everyone with a remake. I mean, if a designer exploits what is arguably a bug in the engine for a design trick what are you gonna do, leave it unfixed or break some custom campaigns? Whatever you do I'm sure you're going to leave a lot of people dissatisfied.
Well, I guess you're right. Happy to meet you again after so long man!

I sometimes felt very ridiculous when I was working on a scenario for a game that's over 20 years old. Why should I put all that effort in it?
On the other hand, I'm an old man, retired and I needed something to do to fill my days.
For goodness sake, don't even say it as a joke. One is never too old to do things that he likes, and the same goes for the medium he chooses to express his art and skills. Just think to those involved in the retrocomputing scene: they are all mature people aged from their 40s to 50s and beyond, who put a lot of effort and enthusiasm in creating new content for obsolete machines like the Atari 2600, Commodore 64, Spectrum ZX and so on, and this is wonderful in my opinion. I recently ran into a narrow-minded asshole in the StarCraft community who attacked me saying that people over 30 should stay away from the level design scene because they don't have the ability to adapt to new technologies, and that nostalgia isn't a good reason for doing what we do: I can only feel sorry for people like him, and I can olny feel happy for people like you. Warmest greetings!

By the way, I have informed Richard via Facebook about this Dutch shop you talked about, since he may have missed your reply.
Fisk
Champion of AoEH
(id: Fruktfisk)
posted 01-10-21 02:39 PM ET (US)     10 / 17       
Thanks, you too! (This is where I have a typical HG moment and realize you only remember the kinda embarassing teenage me. )

So you're a SC mapster now huh? Weird how I didn't notice, seeing how I was actually downloading some custom campaigns this last summer. Guess we have similar taste in games we like to return to. And you have a functional website? So cool! You know if you have those old AoE design articles and can't find space for them we'd be happy to host them here.

//The warrior of Isola

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

Pineapplefish
Cleidopus gloriamaris
Filthydelphia
Clubman
(id: Al_Kharn the Great)
posted 01-10-21 04:00 PM ET (US)     11 / 17       
Several members of this community were involved in the development of AoE: DE, as well as some of the original Ensemble Studios development team who were so excited to bring the game into the modern era after 20 years that they joined the project.

As one of the campaign designers and someone who has been a member of this website since 1998, AoE: DE was certainly for me and for the rest of the development team entirely a labor of love.

I understand your frustrations, but this language hurts those like me who wanted to restore a 20 year old game that was such an important part of our lives and bring new players into the broader AoE community. You may not like the decisions made but, as a long-time player of this game and this franchise, I cannot fathom the game's development having been in better hands with anyone else but Forgotten Empires.

On the brighter and bigger side, AoE: DE has re-kindled interest in the game among veteran players as well as been introduced to many new players who otherwise would never have played this incredible game. The community is now larger than it has ever been by an order of magnitude. Even the newest custom campaigns for AoE: DE on ageofempires.com have been played by enough players that they would now easily make the top #1 Rise of Rome campaigns by downloads -- of all time! -- on this website, a testament to the size of the community AoE: DE has brought to this game.

The game certainly motivated me to design custom campaigns following release. And I've been thrilled to see playthroughs of my creations on YouTube by TWest, Alkhalim, and others -- just imagine that happening in the late 90s/early 00s! The AoE1 community is bigger and more engaged than its been in two decades and I think that's something we can all celebrate.


And welcome back, Andrea. I enjoyed your campaigns.

[This message has been edited by Filthydelphia (edited 01-10-2021 @ 04:03 PM).]

Kastanje57
Clubman
posted 01-10-21 04:21 PM ET (US)     12 / 17       
@Andrea, thanks for your kind words, it makes me feel good about what I'm doing and have done with the original game and editor.

@Philthydelphia, I do understand your frustration too. I didn't mean to offend you and\or the ones that were involved in making DE. I can imagine that my opinion, my blunt remark about making DE is a bit harsh.
I guess it's also matter of taste, I just love the visibility of the original game and was very dissapointed when I noticed that most of the nicest parts, like the shallows, the fish, the color of the trees etc. were left out in DE.

I consider this a missed chance.

Over 20 years after it's first release, I'm still in love with this AoE-RoR masterpiece
Andrea Rosa
Clubman
posted 01-10-21 05:17 PM ET (US)     13 / 17       
this language hurts those like me who wanted to restore a 20 year old game that was such an important part of our lives and bring new players into the broader AoE community.
I'm really sorry mate, please accept my most sincere apologies. Yes, the term "ill-conceived" was probably excessive. The fact is, at some point I started to receive e-mails from users who were asking me why I did release faulty scenarios, and I was like "WTF is going on?" LOL

Perhaps the best solution would have been to make the old custom content completely incompatible with the Definitive Edition, so to avoid any problem in this sense, but I can easily fix this by putting a disclaimer on my old campaigns. On the bright side, I have watched some playthroughs on YouTube, and I must say that the new default campaigns are much better than those which came with the original game (for example, "The Great Hunt" in Voices Of Babylon), it is very evident that long-time fans like you were involved.

Sorry again, I didn't want to sound like a jerk, and congratulations for your successful career as a professional map maker!

So you're a SC mapster now huh? Weird how I didn't notice, seeing how I was actually downloading some custom campaigns this last summer. Guess we have similar taste in games we like to return to.
Don't expect anything exceptional, my StarCraft campaigns are not modded and they lack voice acting (mostly because I don't feel confident with my spoken English, and I would also need other people to help me with additional voices) but I would be happy if you tried them out. What about you? Did you release some SC custom content I can check?
You know if you have those old AoE design articles and can't find space for them we'd be happy to host them here.
Alas, it is highly unlikely that I still have them. I could still have something on an external hard drive, I'll look into it. At any rate those articles are outdated, as they described design techniques that can no longer be performed on the updated game, so it's not a big loss.
Fisk
Champion of AoEH
(id: Fruktfisk)
posted 01-10-21 05:32 PM ET (US)     14 / 17       
Haha cheesy low quality voice acting is part of the course for custom campaigns. I never got around to actually making anything too serious for SC. I was actually supposed to be part of this really ambitious project for SC2 back when there was a Heaven for that game but it sort of went out into the void. Coming to think of it it's kind of weird how I'm really active here but with StarCraft despite playing a lot of SP and MP custom maps I never once engaged with the community.

Also I'm surprised people got in touch with you via email. I think we were looking to see if you'd judge a contest at some point and we could never figure it out.

@Filthy, I think your works really show that a lot of passion can also be put in DE campaigns and that they can turn out great, but yeah, importing the state of the art campaigns made to look their best in the original game is not a big hit.

//The warrior of Isola

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

Pineapplefish
Cleidopus gloriamaris
PhatFish
Mr. Beta
posted 01-11-21 07:00 AM ET (US)     15 / 17       
You get no apologies from me.

It's pretty clear what happened to those that did their homework. M$ is the main culprit here, obviously. A lot of (inexpierenced) programmers, managers etc are to blame too. Many bad decisions throughout development and support repeatedly. Never really fixing major playability problems. The main issue is communication and blatantly ignoring the community, and this is very apparent on the ageofempires.com forums to this day. It's gotten to the point that we are literally silenced in-game. It reeks of major incompetence and a total lack of understanding.

There indeed was a genuine interest and love involved from everyone including developers and the community, that's a fact. I do believe for some small part this still holds true.

Like many others I held on for a while secretly hoping things would *finally* turn around for the better. I will say it's not all bad - I like most of the graphical renders and new music tracks, but that's about it. The definitive editions could have been absolutely fantastic if proper real care and thought was given to nearly every aspect, inside and out, not just some aspects.

It's too late now, the damage is irreparable. I no longer support DE or the teams involved because of this.

To me, in the end, all DE iterations are but a shadow to the greatness that are the original games.
Andrea Rosa
Clubman
posted 01-13-21 02:54 PM ET (US)     16 / 17       
I'm surprised people got in touch with you via email. I think we were looking to see if you'd judge a contest at some point and we could never figure it out.

Well, not so surprising, after all my e-mail is still the same. What do you mean by "we could never figure it out"? Did you actually e-mailed me at some point? In this case I'm sorry I didn't notice it, I would have surely replied. Not sure if I could have actually helped in the contest however, since from 2013 onwards I have been constantly working on some stuff.
Fisk
Champion of AoEH
(id: Fruktfisk)
posted 01-14-21 07:58 AM ET (US)     17 / 17       
I don't know to be honest, maybe the person responsible just thought there was no way your email address would work after all these years and they just didn't bother to try.

//The warrior of Isola

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

Pineapplefish
Cleidopus gloriamaris
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