Designer Biography – Joey S


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Bio – Joey S. (Saikee)

I started making custom scenarios for real time strategy games way back in 1996. At that time, Warcraft 2 was still in full swing, and I used the in-game editor for creating custom scenarios. I really enjoyed making my own scenarios, and my friends loved playing them afterwards. The Internet wasn’t a big thing back then, so there wasn’t any real opportunity to distribute your work online.

Late 1997, I came across “Age of Empires” and I instantly fell in love with it. AOE was also a real time strategy game similar to Warcraft, where you build a base and army and raze your enemy’s base. But AOE had far better graphics, sound and music. More so, Age of Empires was REAL history. The settings of the game and the names of the races were historical in every aspect. This was another aspect of AOE that immediately got me hooked.

I played the campaigns included in the game, before finally moving on to actually designing my own scenarios, as I had done with Warcraft 2. During these times (around early 1998) I was reading a lot on Greece and on Rome, just as a pastime. There were many titles I came across (and loved); among them were Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey, as well as several books on Greek mythology. So when I finally decided to make my own campaign for AOE, I followed a storyline that I was most familiar with – the Trojan War. This was a whopping 15 scenario campaign, and it was my first ever campaign for AOE. After designing and playtesting my own campaign, I uploaded it on several sites on the Internet. After a few weeks, I started getting a lot of feedback via email from different people all over the world, most of which was good and positive, so I was pretty inspired to make another campaign.

Two months later, I released my second campaign, “The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire”. I believe it was the first ever kind of campaign that dealt with Rome (way before AOE’s expansion pack, “The Rise of Rome” was released). This campaign of 14 scenarios spanned the entire history of Rome; from the early Etruscans all the way till Byzantium and Christianity. The positive feedback I received from “The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire” was tremendous. People loved playing the campaign. I was satisfied with myself and my work.

Sometime late 1998, I finally released my last campaign for AOE – “A Clash of Kingdoms”. The storyline for this campaign is not entirely original. I had taken some aspects of the story from George RR Martin’s “A Game of Thrones” and translated it into a campaign for AOE. The entire campaign consisted of only 5 scenarios, a stark comparison to my two previous campaigns. I was supposed to make a continuation to “A Clash of Kingdoms” but I never got around to doing so.

Strangely enough, I didn’t enjoy Age of Kings as much as I enjoyed Age of Empires. I played through several of the campaigns, and even downloaded a couple of pretty good campaigns on the Internet. However, I never really took the time to study the game nor its scenario editor in-depth. Perhaps it was the strange gameplay of AOK that I didn’t like. Maybe it was the steep learning curve associated with AOK’s scenario editor. At any rate, I was able to produce nothing for AOK =)

It has been three years since my last title. Now, with the release of Empire Earth, I’ve decided to try my hand at designing RTS scenarios and campaigns one more time. As of late, I’ve been working on a campaign that I had always wanted to create from way back in 1999, but had never really come around to working on. Yet once I release this campaign, I may permanently resign from the RTS scenario designing community and move on to further things. Where to next? The possibilities are endless.

All my three abovementioned campaigns can be found at AOEH, here.