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Ensemble Studios Chat 21Oct97

Duncan “Archangel” McKissick & Brad “The Crow” Crow

DMcKissick: We have another Ensemble guy coming in soon
DMcKissick: Could you think of any questions since last night?
Omnivac: Great! Are you ready for some questions?
DMcKissick: Let em rip
[quit joined channel AofE]
[Omnivac left channel AofE]
quit: Hello?
[Patrick joined channel AofE]
quit: quit
DMcKissick: hello there
[3 users in channel AofE:]
DMcKissick – quit – Patrick

Patrick: hi
quit: Geez
DMcKissick: how you guys doing?
Patrick: what
Patrick: alright
quit: How to change your nick?
Patrick: Leave and come back
DMcKissick: not sure about that,, back out and come back in
[quit left channel AofE]
[Omnivac joined channel AofE]
Omnivac: Ha! better. 🙂
Omnivac: Got disconnected
Patrick: ah
DMcKissick: Anyone have any questions?
Omnivac: So, are you planning any add-on for single-player campaigns?
Patrick: I heard another company was interested in making an addon
DMcKissick: I’m not sure about that, I’ve heard rumors that something
like that may be in the works
[crisco joined channel AofE]
[cwb joined channel AofE]
DMcKissick: Whats up fellas
crisco: hey
cwb: wssup yall
Omnivac: Do you plan on releasing an editor or something, so that we can
make units and buildings, or
releasing the codes?
DMcKissick: Im ready for all sorts of questions
DMcKissick: Codes are on a need to know basis :}
Patrick: You’d think an editor would be hard to make
DMcKissick: The editor is included in the final version
DMcKissick: Creating your own buildiungs or units will not be possible
Patrick: No, I mean a unit or building editor, like Omnivac suggested
Patrick: ok
Omnivac: In the future? AoE2?
DMcKissick: sorry, Not in this version anyways,, Its a good suggestion
DMcKissick: I’ll se what I can do..AoE2 is in the works, that would be a
cool feature
cwb: dmckissick, how long have you been playing the game?
crisco: Yeah, Dark Reign attracted alot of attention for being so
DMcKissick: almost 2 years now
Patrick: 2 years?
DMcKissick: wanna try me :}
Omnivac: For this versioon, in a patch. Could you make it possible to
edit the heroes’ names, and maybe
changing the type of unit and the stats?
cwb: can you guys at Ensemble beat the computer on the hardest setting
Patrick: probably
DMcKissick: Sometimes…
DMcKissick: Right now there isnt a way to change the heroes names..
anoher good suggestion
crisco: Hard is the hardest AI, while Hardest just extends that by
giving the computer extra resources,
Omnivac: It would be great for making campaigns.
DMcKissick: The patch coming out soon will be fixing bugs, etc. and
thats it
DMcKissick: correct about the hardest setting
crisco: Patch fix the lack of lumber on some random maps that some have
complained about?
cwb: was it (the hardest setting) made to be unbeatable
Patrick: lack of lumber? I seem to have a surplus of lumber on my random
Omnivac: I find lack of lumber, interesting sometimes in some games.
DMcKissick: The hardest setting wasnt made to be unbeatable… You just
need to be real good,,
cwb: i see
Omnivac: You have to manage your ressources more carefully.
Patrick: yeah
crisco: I’ve seen complaints about lumber nowhere near the start
position for some players while others
have lots
DMcKissick: We have had HUGE battles over lumber alone here at Ensemble
crisco: yeah, overall lack of lumber would make an interesting game
DMcKissick: Thats the problem with random map generators…. it random
who gets what. But thats also
part of the fun not knowing.
Patrick: true…
cwb: yes but some people always need to win not have fun
crisco: Thats one thing that makes AOE more interesting for me, the
complexity of the resources
cwb: not me
crisco: Yes, the random maps are excellent
Omnivac: One game, all ressources were gone, except one or two rocks and
some fish in the sea. Quite an
interesting game where everybody was watching the others and were very
careful not to lose too much
DMcKissick: The victory is more sweet if you have to work for it,,
believe me :}
[BCrow joined channel AofE]
BCrow: Hey D….
DMcKissick: Here is the other Artist at Ensemle
DMcKissick: Mr. Brad Crow
[6 users in channel AofE:]
BCrow – Omnivac – cwb – DMcKissick – crisco – Patrick

Patrick: *applause*
cwb: On single player games, usually later in the game it seems to slow
down alot. will the patch address
this problem?
Omnivac: For AoE2, do you plan to have terrains affect more the game?
Like building a farm in desert vs.
grass plain.
BCrow: thank you, thank you, thankyou ….. :^)
BCrow: The design is not complete yet however, more player interaction
with the environment could
make for better game play
crisco: It might be premature, but will AoE2 have more variety in locale
– a la War2’s tilesets?
crisco: Age of Eskimos anyone?
Patrick: Eskimos?
BCrow: Don’t quote me but I believe performance issues will be addressed
in the patch
Omnivac: BCrow, you rule man! Top-notch quality graphics.
cwb: someone told me it was the comp. AI that slowed game down, and it
would be addressed but i
thought id ask
BCrow: Thanks but all the artist did an awsome job!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
DMcKissick: I taught Brad everything he knows…
cwb: i agree graphics are good
Patrick: Best I’ve seen
DMcKissick: Glad you like them,, thanks
DMcKissick: Anyone have a favorite Unit? and why?
Omnivac: Is AoE2 will be the same period? I hope so cause I love the
Patrick: I like centurions because their high attack and armor
cwb: i just played a deathmatch game on the zone and the catapults won
it for me so i like them “:)
crisco: The hoplites were my favorite from the Demo, haven’t found one
from the full yet
BCrow: We are planning to have more variety in the tile sets next
game… not sure what they will be at
the moment
Omnivac: Archers and War galleys. Strike fast and hard. 🙂
cwb: its nice to see like 15 cats move in on a city.
DMcKissick: My favorite are the Heliopolis,,,, they are bad to the BONE!
DMcKissick: Take those cats right out. :}
crisco: are those the ones with the big candy striped arrows?
crisco: those are bad!
BCrow: centurioans and elephant archers
Patrick: Yeah
cwb: my favs are the villigers they can take out heliopolis with one
swing of the pickaxe :)!!!!!
DMcKissick: (snicker) yep they are.
Omnivac: I like chariots also, because, well… they’re sooooo
Patrick: But usually you have people guarding your heleopolises
DMcKissick: Vilagers wil jihad and siegecraft are killer.
cwb: i was kidding about the villigers
BCrow: besides fighting, killing elephants is pretty cool!
crisco: I’m going to have to perfect hte jihad tactic
crisco: that might make for a wonder killer
DMcKissick: Im not man,,, next time, try researching Jihad and
Siegecraft,,, Villagers can tear stuff up.
Omnivac: Actually, the best units of the game are villagers. Because
without them you can’t do anything.
DMcKissick: And if they get close to Helio’s, the Helios cant defend
cwb: honestly the greek phalnx or however you spell it are my favorites
so far, but ive only played 5 or 6
cwb: yes ive heard jihad and siegecrafted villagers can tear it up
DMcKissick: Reaserch aristocracy and both shields to make legions (or
phalanx) even better!
cwb: makes em faster, correct?
BCrow: the players here at Ensemble seem to shift their favorite units
as they learn new tactics with each
unit, first it was the long bowman, then the heavy horseman etc.
DMcKissick: Faster and hit harder
DMcKissick: Has anyone been able to reach the super units yet?
Patrick: super units?
crisco: Haven’t had enough time with the full version yet
DMcKissick: yea,,, like cataphracts
BCrow: super what??????? :^)
DMcKissick: or Massave Catapults
Patrick: oh, yeah I have
cwb: yes vs. computer
[Oddesy joined channel AofE]
Oddesy greets all.
DMcKissick: Thats where you can do the most damage
cwb: yammoto catphracts are cool
crisco: Hi Oddesy
DMcKissick: hello oddesy
Omnivac: There’s nothing you can really do against archers if a human
control them in battle, particularly
when they’re on horses.
BCrow: Hi Oddesy
Patrick: Whats this about Camaros I read in yesteday’s chat?
DMcKissick: you’ll see,, cant tell you right now :}
crisco: How did the Flying Dutchman get in there, and can you research
BCrow: If you can get hoplites in close enough horse archers don’t stand
a chance
cwb: how many villagers do you Ensemble boys usually end up with during
a game?
Patrick: Don’t think you can research it
DMcKissick: We will be releasing more cheats and easter eggs soon.
Omnivac: You don’t let hoplites near. retreat and fire.
BCrow: WE usally build alot say 25, then we kill them off when we go
into battle
DMcKissick: I can get up to around 40 if I want to move up in the ages
Patrick: When I go to battle, Instead of killing them I use them to
BCrow: Retreat and fire is a good tactic
Omnivac: That is, if other players let you build your empire. 🙂
Patrick: True….
DMcKissick: Thats what walls are for. :}
Patrick: and towers
Omnivac: 🙂
[Oddesy left channel AofE]
DMcKissick: Ballista Towers are always nice for protecting your Wonder
BCrow: especially if your Choson
DMcKissick: They have extra range
BCrow: but look out for massive cats
DMcKissick: What is everyones favorite Civ and why?
cwb: will the patch alow only the game creator to change game speed?
DMcKissick: SHang is good for wonders,,, the have cheap villagers, to
get into the Iron and more
Villagers to work on the Wonder
BCrow: any is allowed to change game speed currently
crisco: Assyrians for their arrows ?? Haven’t had enough time…
cwb: so many civs so little time
DMcKissick: Minoans have extra range on thier LongBows
Omnivac: My concern for AoE, is battles of sea against land units. You
should not be able to attack very
far on land with ships. You should disembark for an invasion as it
really was. Hope in AoE2, you will
add ramming and boarding for naval battles.
DMcKissick: Very cool..
cwb: in deathmatches i like the sumerian catapults extra rate of fire.
BCrow: Summerians for thier massive cats or “Rath of god on wheels” as
some one at Microsoft once
said :^)
DMcKissick: Remember, Any other comments you have if we are not here to
take them, you can post
them on the wish list here at Heaven;s Web
cwb: you guys play games online now? against the inferior masses
Omnivac: I’ll make a list and post them. 🙂
DMcKissick: heheh,, I do when I can :}
DMcKissick: There are some x-Betas out there that are extremely good.
DMcKissick: But I havent lost yet :}
BCrow: The possibilty of having war ship that also carry trops is a
definet possiblity… (hint, hint)
Patrick: Alright
Omnivac: How the hell do you beat the Nineveh scenario?
DMcKissick: Have you looked in the hints section?
cwb: alright thanks guys, im out
DMcKissick: Take it easy!
BCrow: see ya
[cwb left channel AofE]
Omnivac: Yeah, but no luck. My dock get destroyed too fast, don’t have
enough ships and can’t find
villagers fast enough.
Patrick: practice practice practice
DMcKissick: Don’t give up!,, keep trying, you’ll get it!
DMcKissick: The more you play the better you get.
Omnivac: The city is beautiful BTW, as well as the ally city of I’ll be
back of the greek campaign.
DMcKissick: Cool thanks.
DMcKissick: We had an artist by the name of Thonny N. fix up all the
scenarios and make them look
nice. He did a great job!
DMcKissick: Does anyone here play over the net?
crisco: 1 game of full and about 4 demo games under my belt
DMcKissick: If so ,, which server do you use?
Patrick: I use ‘Rule the World’
crisco: I’m using Kali, had it for warcraft and am used to it
DMcKissick: Kali? Internet gamezone?
Patrick: at the Zone
Omnivac: A great addition I think, would be choosing the rate time
passes. I know it’s there, but I mean
slowing it down. Would help also for more complexity and more
Patrick: Haven’t tried Kali ye
Patrick: t
crisco: half the people on kali are just using it to set up TCP / IP
games, advertising IP #s
DMcKissick: There is a way to change the game speed, also be hiting f11
you can see how much time has
passed (in gaming time)
crisco: but I did an IPX game last night
DMcKissick: How many players?
DMcKissick: Did it run well?
crisco: I got dumped from another IPX game, got abunch of communication
errors (4 players this game)
crisco: the other game last night was a 1 on 1
DMcKissick: Do you guys play teams much or just free for alls?
crisco: had several 4 player games TCP / IP with the demo version that
ran fairly smooth
crisco: some lag
crisco: both
BCrow: cooperative play is very challenging..
Patrick: I like fee for all
crisco: one ffa we all teamed up on one guy cause he was doing pretty
DMcKissick: My favorite is Free for All too
crisco: I haven’t tried cooperative play
Omnivac: Team are better, and such a great addition. It change totally
the game, having one person
manage and 1 or 2 seeking the enemy(ies).
DMcKissick: Is everyone familiar on how to tell what the score is?
BCrow: you really have to plan your strategy with your teamate
Patrick: yeah
crisco: I think many that are getting pick up games are leery of
trusting their town to another player they
don’t know
DMcKissick: You can usually tell by the score to see who is ahead a bit
later in the game
Omnivac: Playing with the same person(s) is an advantage. You get better
and better.
crisco: I think you will see more cooperative play as leagues form and
people get to know each other
BCrow: normally you muat have one on the warfront and then one on the
home front until later in the
game were both players can start to fight
DMcKissick: Also by hitting , Menu , then Achevements, then Timeline,
during the game will tell you
crisco: Of course, some already do from War2, but most of my buds have
yet to make the switch
DMcKissick: Its your jon to get them addicted to AoE :}
crisco: 🙂 OK
crisco: Already made one convert here in the office, Ihave to bring the
CD every day for the secretary to
play at lunchtime
BCrow: Has anyone played allthe way throught the scenarios yet?
DMcKissick: good,, tell them to buy thier own.. :}
crisco: but I tear her up too badly in multiplay so far so she doesn’t
do much of that
[mark joined channel AofE]
DMcKissick: Hi Mark
BCrow: Hi mark
Patrick: hi
mark: hey
Omnivac: Me, I made two conversions. And one don’t like RTS, but like
the antiquity. I’m quite amazed
at my feat.
DMcKissick: What kinda cool questions do you have for us Mark?
mark: i had some but i forgot
mark: let
mark: let
mark: let’s see….
DMcKissick: hehe, ok just go for it when you get one
DMcKissick: Do you have the final ver Mark?
DMcKissick: or just the demo?
mark: right now i’m borrowing the final from a friend, but i’ll probably
be buying it soon
crisco: did you guys work on the opening cutscene?
BCrow: What is the longest multiplay game anyone has played. Here at ES
we have pushed them past
three hours many times
DMcKissick: Do you have any questions, comments, critcisms for us? Any
good ideas on what you
would like to see for AoE2?
Patrick: I like the opening cutscene, very cool
DMcKissick: Yes,,Ensemble Studios did all the artwork,
mark: for AOE2 i’d like to see more civs, esp. the romans
Patrick: What exactly did Microsoft do?
DMcKissick: ahem.
BCrow: We all did our part in the opening cut, however Thonny N gets
most the credit, he did most of
the work by himself
DMcKissick: ;}
DMcKissick: Microsoft is our publisher
crisco: Well, I have a complaint about it 🙂 The camera angle once the
battle starts ends up panning flat
along the ground, seemed unnatural to me..
crisco: would have liked more angles of the hand to hand combat
BCrow: I will relay that to Thonny…
crisco: but you see, I’m nitpicking, it really is excellent
DMcKissick: Angles from above?
BCrow: thanks!
Omnivac: BCrow, for AoE2, do you plan to have units representing each
civilization. Instead of just the
colors changing, A Greek horseman wouuld look like a Greek horseman,
Persian horseman, etc… I know
it represent alot of works, but I think it woulb be great. Additionally,
they wouldn’t have the same stats
because units of the same category weren’t always equal. Game balancing
should be more to achieve also,
but this bring in mercenaries, like romans were using Gauls as
skirmishers, Baleareans slingers or
Wisigoths and Huns as cavalry.
crisco: Yeah, or moving from level to the units to above them
Omnivac: Should be more harder to achieve…
DMcKissick: Okay,, Brad has to gear up for this answer :}
crisco: That battle scene had to be something to model and animate
DMcKissick: Thonny worked on it for like 7 months. But we are all happy
with the final.
mark: i’m working on a scenario of my own with the editor and when i
place mercenaries and then test the
scenario, i can move them but they won’t reveal any of the map — what’s
BCrow: We will still have generic units that are available to for all
the cultures , however we plann to
have certain units that are only available to certain cultures much how
you exlpain.
Omnivac: Are they Gaia mercenaries?
mark: no, Greek
Patrick: is there a unit I dont know about?
DMcKissick: Make sure that they are “friendly units” if you try to move
enemies,, it wont reveal the
mark: k, thanks
Patrick: didnt know you could move enemies
DMcKissick: in the editor you can
Patrick: ok\
mark: what’s the flying dutchman?
[6 users in channel AofE:]
mark – BCrow – Omnivac – DMcKissick – crisco – Patrick

Patrick: A Jugg that can go on land as well as water
DMcKissick: Try it,,, you’ll like it.
BCrow: if we had a civ that we very nomadic for example then they may
not be allowed to build certain
units that took the support of a large stationary community
BCrow: that was the second have to another question that was asked along
time ago
BCrow: I type kinda slooooooowwwwwww!
mark: are there any plans for a patch that allows saving in multiplayer
DMcKissick: Well,,,It’s 7 oclock here kids,, any last questions?
Patrick: No more questions, here it’s 5 oclock
Omnivac: I would like the idea of mercenaries. A civilization lending
troops to another, or some kind of
conquest, not necessarily destroying the enemy, and then use his troops,
like romans did.
crisco: None from me, I’ll have more as I play more, thanks for the chat
and the info and most of all, for a
great game!
BCrow: Control S saves the mulitplay game, however you cannot reload
with all the players
mark: oh
Patrick: good talking to yall!
DMcKissick: Very cool,,, Thanks for taking the time to come out,,, We
will be here every night this wek
at 6 (dallas time) answering questions. See you guys tomorrow!
mark: well, it’s time i got going too, thanks for the chat
mark: c ya
Omnivac: ok. C ya!
Patrick: bye
[mark left channel AofE]
DMcKissick: LATER!
[Patrick left channel AofE]
BCrow: THanks alot guys for all of your support, and please enjoy and
take it easy on me when you see
“the Crow” out on the net
crisco: you got it, cya
[BCrow left channel AofE]

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