News Archive 2008


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas to all
Posted by Nacht Jaeger

(Yes, I am aware that Christmas is tomorrow. I thought I would do this today because many will be gone tomorrow.) On behalf of all the staff here at AoEH, I would like to wish everyone out there a Merry Christmas! I’m sure many of you will be busy ripping wrapping paper off their loot (Some of you in different timezones might have done so already), shovelling snow, or just relaxing by a warm fire. Best wishes go out to all of you. It’s been an eventful year in Heaven, and we hope to see everybody in the next one. Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night! 

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Improved EE in the Works!
Posted by Nacht Jaeger

Down in our Scenario Design Forums, forum regular zapdotep has been hard at work making a nice little tool for us. Ever since Trisolo released his Enhanced Editor, the quest for the beta units was ended, and the quest to release terrain restrictions was begun. Now it appears that that quest is reaching its end. Using Trisolo’s edited .dat file, zapdotep has used the AoEd/RoRd program to unlock buildings from the grid, allow units to be placed near the edge of the map, and much more. Be sure to head down there and check it out! 

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Nacht Jaeger Greened
Posted by The Dark Archer

Active forum member and leader of the Weekend Warriors community project Nacht Jaeger has just been promoted to Cherub. His main duty will be bring you more news from forum happenings to features posts but he will also be helping me in the Granary (when permissions are set up properly) and will be Moderating. Feel free to congratulate Nacht in this thread.

Congratulations Nacht. 

Sunday, November 23, 2008

GameRanger for Age of Empires Reviewed
Posted by The Dark Archer

After recently receiving an e-mail from Scott Kevill of GameRanger Technologies about his online match making service GameRanger now supporting Age of Empires and Rise of Rome as well at their trials I decided I would test this new service and write a review of how I found it. 

So I set off downloading and installing the client and found it to be very easy to set up and go with a good looking and instinctive interface. After writing a thread on the forums and sending out a message I was able to try a game first hand. Rasteve answered my call and meet me on GameRanger. First I tried to host a game and ran into some router problems which slightly annoyed me so I instead got the Rasteve to try hosting and I would try to join. I was confronted with the same kind of message about my router but this time had the option of continuing anyway. So I took my chances and hoped that I wouldn’t have a repeat of my attempts to use IGZ where I was left hanging at the set up screen. So the game was launched and for a brief moment I got through before it suddenly disappeared again. Fortunately some had gone funny on Rasteve’s end so we tried again and got through. We set the game up and away we went with no further technical problems. Of course I had a terrible start taking a minute to find berries and ended up losing the game but that is besides the point. So after this game and a second game with Mapppp who I have tried and failed to play over IGZ more than once I have come up with my ratings.

Ease of Install: 5.0

GameRanger scored a perfect 5.0 for ease of install. All that is required is to download the installer and run it. No extra patches or programs are required to host or join although you should check that everyone has the same patch before starting the game but that is a Age of Empires and person problem not a GameRanger problem so no marks can be taken off for that.

Interface: 4.8

The interface for GameRanger is good looking and easy to use. After first downloading and installing GameRanger I easily was able to navigate the interface and found out how to do what I needed without reading anything. The only addition I would like to see is a minimize to taskbar option but other than that it is a fantastic and easy to use interface.

Joining and Hosting: 4.0

Marks were lost here due to the problems for me to host without forward porting but still has a strong showing due to ability to still join games. So far GameRanger has succeeded in allowing forum members to play online where IGZ and IP haven’t.

Documentation and Support: 4.5

Fortunately I haven’t had to seek support at all yet but there is a functioning forum where users can ask any questions that they need to. Documentation is available online and the box that tells me I can’t host has a link to a page to try and help solve the problem. Slightly more links online to some of their documentation would have been nice but no major problems stood out.

Service: 4.5

The service it self is very good with no ads as far as I have seen. GameRanger works on three different account types Bronze which is free, Silver which costs $19.95 USD per year and Gold which costs $39.95 USD per year. Bronze provides the basic service and allows for you to have 50 friends in your list. Silver adds some more small features here and there such as Ladders and voice communication and ups the max friends you can have to 100. However if this is still not enough the gold account allows 500 friends as well as Auto-reply away messages and some other extra features.

Additional Comments: 

I was hopeful GameRanger work as I could not get IGZ to work even after downloading a number of files and patches from IGZ and I have not be let down. Even if I can not host my own games the ability to join and play games online again now that the Zone has closed means I can have the fun of playing with some actual people again. By checking someone’s profile you can even find out their local time which is very useful for finding if someone is likely to be able to play or not. Windows XP or higher is unfortunately needed to be able to use this service but for anyone with that can use this service I highly recommend it for playing Age of Empires online.

Update:

Scott just informed me that they have changed the hosting ability to allow you to ignore the router in the same way joining does. Score has been updated accordingly.

Overall Score: 4.6

GameRanger Forum Thread
GameRanger Website 

Friday, November 21, 2008

The AoE 11th Anniversary Screenshot Competition
Posted by The Dark Archer

In recent happenings forum regular Nacht Jaeger ran a screenshot competition to celebrate Age of Empires 11th anniversary. The competition had two categories that could be entered which were the Agetoon Comptetition and the Pretty Screenshot Competition.

Forumers worked hard for both sections and earlier the results were announced. Fruktfisk won the Agetoons section narrowly beating Nacht Jaeger with his entry. While in the Pretty Screenshot section I took out first place with my entry (which I assure you has nothing to do with me threating to ban the judges if they didn’t make me win :P) with the Microscopic Map Contest winner Ninetails/TailSpray coming in second. Prizes are yet to be determined but the all the entries are up for viewing so you can decide whose you like best.

Competition Thread
Results Thread
Agetoon Entries
Pretty Screenshot Entries 

Saturday, October 4, 2008

AoE.Realism and Weekend Warriors
Posted by The Dark Archer

In the past week two big new projects for Age of Empires have been announced. The first project being forum regular Nacht Jager’s unofficial sequel to Fall of the NewbsWeekend Warriors. The current name is just a working title right now but a thread is up and plans for the project are being made. It should make for awesome project when it is finished and I look forward to see the final result.
Download Fall of the Newbs here.
Discuss Weekend Warriors here.

After being busy with work Rasteve has returned with an announcement that he is starting a new project AoE.Realism. This is a new mod/patch that is designed to add more realism without changing levels of gameplay. Rasteve has always had big plans for things to do in Age of Empires and as with Weekend Warriors I look forward to the further developments on this project.
Discuss AoE.Realism here. 

Sunday, September 7, 2008

TailSpray wins Microscopic Map Contest
Posted by The Dark Archer

In recent forum happenings forum regular Jimmy2 has successfully run a Microscopic Map Contest with TailSpray taking first place, Alakazam taking a close second and the winner of the wooden spoon was MrCheeze. The rules where simple with the entrants only have a short amount of time to design a scenario or campaign using only the microscopic map from the granary. The contest had a fantastic turn out with eight people signing up and completing there entries which showed a range of different styles from single player campaigns to multiplayer scenarios. I’m currently working with Dr Lorenzo to get a section up in the granary so expect the entries to be up soon so you can experience these fantastic works. 

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Players Needed for Hill Country Coalitions Review
Posted by The Dark Archer

Forum regular and active reviewer Dean McCullough has opened a sign up thread for a multiplayer scenario Hill Country Coalitions. Dean needs 7 players to play a game with to get a review done on the scenario so if you are interested sign up in the thread in the Multiplayer Forum. More information is available in the thread but the game will be played at IGZ so you’ll need to be able to play there. So make sure to check the thread out and help Dean with the review.

Source: Hill Country Coalitions MP Match Sign-Up
Scenario Download Link: Hill Country Coalitions
 

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

It’s been a while…
Posted by The Dark Archer

… since the last news update. Due to the staff’s precious time being taken up with work (for Dr Lorenzo) and Uni (for me) nothing much has been posted on the news front. So I thought it was about time to do a new news post.

So lets begin with the bad news. We lost Battle of the Forums in the first round. But as a spin off forum regular RCM7525 has carried out round 1 of Battle of the Forumwhich saw Fruktfisk outlast eight other forumers to be crowned AoEH Champion. Be sure to watch out in the Veni, Vidi, Vici for future rounds.

Next on the list of things is AoEH’s 11th birthday. That is just around the conner and I’m wanting to do something for it but currently haven’t got any ideas. Be sure to watch the Forums for more developments.

Finally the last thing on the list of things to cover. The Scenario Design just received the new map design series The Map Design Series II. If you are into the scenario design you should definitely check it is a great place to pick up tips on different eye-candies and tricks. And feel free to ask questions of some of the older designers.

Well that is all for now. Have fun and visit us on the forums. 😉

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

The clash of forums is near!
Posted by The Dark Archer

Baske announces: “Battle of the Forums”!
It was a lonely day. Inside the Cherub Wagon, Zen; the divine lord and God of Heavengames turned on his computer. Everything was going fine until Zen realised something was missing. All the staff, as exemplary and *insert flattery here* as they were, were extremely predictable. This was also the case for the members. Zen then had a great idea to add variety to HG. He organised a giant party for a few members from each heaven, and sent in 3 of his most trusted staff with nice sharp kittens axes.

His plan was to assassinate the members, while he sat back and ate some popcorn. As the members realised this, they quickly gathered up their pointy sticks. The stage was set, and Zen ordered the killing to be conducted in a turn based civilised manner. What forum has the most cunning warriors? We’re about to find out…

To sign up for this battle visit the thread in the forums

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Poll at the Forums
Posted by Dr Lorenzo

We’ve got a quick poll up to help improve HG, everyone head over to the forums and take part!