Is the Age of Empires series dead?
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The Dude
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2013 10:04 pm    Post subject:

Age of Empires is no longer dead, because well there's gonna be another expansion for AoK...Click

Holy shitz it's got Slavs! (Which hopefully means Poland, not Russia...) It also has a Vlad Tepes campaign, which is also awesome!
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SAOL
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 17, 2013 7:51 am    Post subject:

Oh my. It's not often such old games gets new expansion packs lol

It'll be fun trying out. This fall is pretty soon. Mr. Green
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Tilanus Commodor
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 17, 2013 9:46 am    Post subject:

I'm sceptic to be honest. I really had an eye on this stream and the content doesn't convince me, but it's an interesting case of how mod and official game work together here. I've already asked a couple of questions about that on our facebook page, wondering how that could have a meaning to our modding.

Here the facebook post:
Quote:
Hey there NE people!

I hope you are doing well, I'm currently fighting back into the world of AoE and modding. As most of you are surely fan of the official AoE facebook site, you probably heard about the announcement that the AoE2 mod "Forgotten Empires" will be the content feature of the official AoE2:HD expansion. This excited me a lot, but also made me think. I wondered what do you think about this? Here 5 questions I just want to throw out to you to discuss:

(1) How should relations between game industry and the volunteer modding community *ideally* be?
(2) Is this a conflict of product philosophy or opposedly beneficial?
(3) Gamers often worry too many products will split up the community. Do you agree?
(4) Do you think it's right that game developers should financially profit from volunteer work?
(5) Assuming a good mod has been released: Would you pay money for a greater version of the mod *significantly boosted* by professionals?


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Harkimo
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 17, 2013 11:29 am    Post subject:

I'm kind of interested. I love when modders from the community combine with the developers, but since I don't have AoE 2 HD (Honestly, it doesn't seem worth the new textures) I don't expect to see more of this Razz
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SAOL
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 17, 2013 5:58 pm    Post subject:

Quote:
(1) How should relations between game industry and the volunteer modding community *ideally* be?
(2) Is this a conflict of product philosophy or opposedly beneficial?
Ideal for whom? It may be a case of the prisoner's dilemma. The question is if you can blame a manufacturer for trying to maximise their profits.

In this day and age especially there may be some competition between modders and developers because of the veritable explosion of DLC. That conflict isn't necessarily large, but it is worth acknowledging. It'd also, I think, depend on how many players use mods.

Quote:
(3) Gamers often worry too many products will split up the community. Do you agree?
Self-professed "gamers" are in general a bunch of whiney, childish, ranting, petty arseholes.

Will more options split the community? Most likely. Is that a bad thing if more people get the experience they want? I'm not sure. I suppose that would depend on how social you are.

Quote:
(4) Do you think it's right that game developers should financially profit from volunteer work?
Morally? I would say some, in proportion to their own contribution (promotion, distribution and so on).

I could see all sorts of problems before even reaching such a deal though. Who own the intellectual property? Who has the right to veto? So on and so forth.

Quote:
(5) Assuming a good mod has been released: Would you pay money for a greater version of the mod *significantly boosted* by professionals?
Yes, why not? I could pay an amateur modding team just as well though.
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Harkimo
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 17, 2013 9:49 pm    Post subject:

I wonder what the original employees at ES thinks about this. This is the work of RE, no?
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Tilanus Commodor
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 17, 2013 11:01 pm    Post subject:

RE is not involved at this at all. RE does/did? the AoE3 support. The new expansion is a cooperation made directly by Microsoft (Game Studios), the Forgotten Empires LLC (they had to found a company to sign the contract) and SkyBox Labs, an external Canadian developer.

I know that game developers enjoy and play mods too, but I think they're not really seeing the modders themselves necessarily as equal actors concerning their game's business. And that's a mistake as I think.

SAOL wrote:
Ideal for whom? It may be a case of the prisoner's dilemma. The question is if you can blame a manufacturer for trying to maximise their profits.

As ideal as possible for both (as weird that may sound). I wouldn't blame a company for trying to maximize their profits, but I would criticize the way MS is doing that with AoE2. Coming back to mods, these are not made with the primary goal to help the game company maximize their profits. Mods can have lots of beneficial side effects for the product cycle and thus also the income it gains. Now we have a case in which a mod is definitely used for that purpose. I have no idea in which extent the mod will profit from that, but it seems highly likely to me that most of the money will go to MS and SkyBox Labs. Surely, FE gains honour, fame and maybe some money. So it is surely beneficial for both sides, but with completely different outcome. But is that *generally* the ideal relation of modders and game developers?

We might discuss if there are any values that are related or bound to mods. As long as I remember mods have always been free. Some might have supported the developers with money for their high expenditure of time, but you never really paid for a mod so far. I've been saying that on facebook also: I could imagine paying for mods, even if they've been free for quite some time, in case the amount of money I pay can be set in a fair relation to what I get compared to the free version. I guess that's a very common procedure for considering the purchase of any expansion or DLC of a commercial game.

Quote:
In this day and age especially there may be some competition between modders and developers because of the veritable explosion of DLC. That conflict isn't necessarily large, but it is worth acknowledging. It'd also, I think, depend on how many players use mods.

Yeah, I agree. Makes me especially think about the Elite units for ETW. People basically can continue the production of games and change stuff that would probably never be changed by the original developers. Personally I like this idea a lot and I'd want the developers and publishers recognize the potential of this.

Quote:
Self-professed "gamers" are in general a bunch of whiney, childish, ranting, petty arseholes.

Devil How nice of you! hahaha
Quote:
Will more options split the community? Most likely. Is that a bad thing if more people get the experience they want? I'm not sure. I suppose that would depend on how social you are.

It's impossible to satisfy everyone, no matter how modders there would be. There are simply not enough resources for that. I guess it's good to have alternatives, but there should be a main movement that keeps this whole game going and alive. I mean, a great community has the power to attract more people. If the communities are all smaller, it's unlikely to happen that this game will keep on being a success. Then again, that's surely not necessary, the world would keep spinning around. But it would be nice for the length of enjoyment that a certain part of mankind can experience with a particular game. (awww!)

Quote:
Morally? I would say some, in proportion to their own contribution (promotion, distribution and so on).

I could see all sorts of problems before even reaching such a deal though. Who own the intellectual property? Who has the right to veto? So on and so forth.

Well, whatever the modders produce that the developers didn't is the modder's intellectual property. If I do an icon for a tech I made up, both the icon and the tech concept is my intellectual property. So, they have no right to use my work without my permisson. Just like the inventor of the digital printer doesn't own all prints that will be made with it. To come back to the question, I'd say yes, there can be the possibility if both sides find a fair agreement and I really think modders should be paid in that case, because modding is the upmost league of user-generated content. It's the largest dimension that takes most time and lots of efforts to get it right. A mod is a product that is very similar to a game and just because money isn't necessarily involved in the process of making, that doesn't mean it is not worth any money, right?

Quote:
Yes, why not? I could pay an amateur modding team just as well though.

I really have thought about that before the FE cooperation started, because I think that mods are awesome and can mean so much more to a game. It's a pity that so few mods actually get done because of the lack of time, that is caused by the need for money. I think that's an interesting sector that is yet to be discovered in the games market and I'm really excited about that.
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The Dude
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 18, 2013 1:18 am    Post subject:

Quote:
(1) How should relations between game industry and the volunteer modding community *ideally* be?
(2) Is this a conflict of product philosophy or opposedly beneficial?

Something beneficial for both parties. Devs should support the modding community, develop tools, and occasionally promote some of their favorite mods, and mod makers can extend the life of older games greatly, fix PC specific problems that the developers never happened to fix, and in some cases increase sales.


Having a large modding community also discourages devs from making small pieces of DLC, and instead make more larger expansion packs. (like the good old' days!)

Bethesda games on PC are a great example, I bought Skyrim again, this time for the PC, just for the mods. Modding is what really keeps their game going for so long, there's about a five year interval between each TES games, that's a long time.

Quote:
(3) Gamers often worry too many products will split up the community. Do you agree?

Not really, aside from things like map packs for most FPS now-a-days. Splitting a multiplayer community up in my opinion is never a good idea. It's harder to find a match if you don't have all the map packs, and is generally annoying.

Quote:
(5) Assuming a good mod has been released: Would you pay money for a greater version of the mod *significantly boosted* by professionals?

Defiantly, however, the quality difference must justify the price.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 18, 2013 11:00 am    Post subject:

Tilanus wrote:
I know that game developers enjoy and play mods too, but I think they're not really seeing the modders themselves necessarily as equal actors concerning their game's business. And that's a mistake as I think.
As a former sudent of game design; how many of your peers had a background in modding such as yourself? You would think it shouldn't be too uncommon, but perhaps it is?

You know what? You should perhaps write down all of these thoughts you have now and store them somewhere safe. Take them out in a decade and read it - forgetting is so easy. ^^

Quote:
As ideal as possible for both (as weird that may sound).
That would perhaps mean less than ideal from their individual perspectives. Aren't you really saying the collaboration should be such that it is ideal for the consumer/customer? New content + "official backing" + cosy community feeling all for a cheap penny.

Don't take this as if I mean customer satisfaction is a bad ting.

Quote:
We might discuss if there are any values that are related or bound to mods. As long as I remember mods have always been free. Some might have supported the developers with money for their high expenditure of time, but you never really paid for a mod so far
If you were to start charging for a mod though, you would enter a hornet's nest of potential issues with licensing, liabilities and so on. To be honest it's not very surprising amateurs and enthusiasts aren't very interested in bogging down in all that, especially for a gain which could be very small. There is also a risk of community backlash, and of course piracy. Donate/pay whatever you want is a much smarter strategy in that sense, though I expect it isn't without hassle either.

Quote:
Yeah, I agree. Makes me especially think about the Elite units for ETW. People basically can continue the production of games and change stuff that would probably never be changed by the original developers. Personally I like this idea a lot and I'd want the developers and publishers recognize the potential of this.
You mean launching mods as 'officially available' DLC?

Quote:
I guess it's good to have alternatives, but there should be a main movement that keeps this whole game going and alive.
Yes, but are an awful lot of sub-movements likely to arise from a game with abysmal sales and uptake? In order for such diversification to happen, surely the game must already be a success in some sense.

Also, I don't know the data (perhaps you do), but how many people do actually mod their games? Surely it must on average for any big seller be less than half (varying a bit with genres and franchises). It seems natural that any company should seek to cater to that vanilla audience first, and not have to rely on third parties to ensure the success of their games.

Besides, how would you stop the community from splitting up like that? Prevent people form making mods somehow? What good would that do?

Quote:
Well, whatever the modders produce that the developers didn't is the modder's intellectual property. If I do an icon for a tech I made up, both the icon and the tech concept is my intellectual property.
Obviously. What I meant is that many mods are made by teams of several contributors, and I'm sure it isn't too uncommon that these groups haven't thought about things like what happens to the individual's intellectual property when they submit their work to the mod. Each individual may have a different idea of the licensing terms. How do you distribute the income from the mod between the contributors?

Quote:
A mod is a product that is very similar to a game and just because money isn't necessarily involved in the process of making, that doesn't mean it is not worth any money, right?

Of course. Arguably money is involved in the making of a mod in the form of time, electricity bills and so on. Technically the cost of the tools that everyone pirates should be in there as well.

Quote:
It's a pity that so few mods actually get done because of the lack of time, that is caused by the need for money.
How often is the lack of time really associated with the lack of money though? How many modders would quit their day job or shelf their studies to finish a mod? To me, that seems like a bit of a risky thing to do. Money could however be an incentive to spend more free time on completing the work.
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GamerLuna
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2014 7:20 am    Post subject:

AoE will never DIE NEVER!
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2014 10:25 pm    Post subject:

Games don't have a metabolism in the first place Devil
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2014 9:34 pm    Post subject:

SAOL wrote:
Games don't have a metabolism in the first place Devil


Havent you learned anything from usa? Logic shall not pass
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2014 7:10 pm    Post subject:

You're Estonian though... Wink
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 14, 2015 8:36 am    Post subject:

Its been dead for quite some time, its in the fans hands to handle it now
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 14, 2015 9:58 pm    Post subject:

Just my opinion: if you're tired/bored with AoE, go play Rise of Nations (but not the Rise of Legends thingy which is crappy as a Mac Classic!). Big Huge Games didn't do enough marketing for it, but most people who've played it tell it's the best RTS available and that's my opinion too. I thought it would be hard to beat AoE standards (Starcraft and Empire Earth fail to do so), but RoN does it. And it has native modding support with executable scripting, making it almost infinitely flexible. There are some nice things in AoE which RoN lacks (nation-dependent tech trees, homecities, graphics) but the game play compensates it.

And no, there won't be AoE 4 for political reasons. You'd need to play as Nazis or Soviets - in Poland we couldn't allow such game to even show up on shelves because of our constitution forbidding any forms (direct or indirect, active or passive) of promoting fascism, Nazism, communism and totalitarianism.

Having said that, I don't consider AoE Online nor Castle Siege real AoE games. They are parasitic spin-offs made only for money and have noting to do with true RTS gaming.

On Humble Bundle store I bought not only AoE3, but laso AoE2 HD, AoM:EE and RoN:EE. I'm aware of the fact those zombie-remakes are made mostly to squeeze money out of people, but they reanimated the gaming communities. As someone mentioned, AoE2 got the Forgotten, but I have doubts whether it was a good idea. The graphics are poor, the Slavs are very inaccurate and some design decisions for the Incas are incredibly weird. I hope their African expansion will be better. AoM is also getting a Chinese civ expansion soon, I suppose it's a conversion of a huge Xin dynasty mod which has already been made. All in all, this modxpansion phenomenon worries me as it may get these franchises out of their moods.
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2015 12:45 am    Post subject:

Quote:
And no, there won't be AoE 4 for political reasons. You'd need to play as Nazis or Soviets


I honestly don't think that would happen; wouldn't it still be Germany and Russia? (the names of the civs/countries) Unless you mean the leaders that represent the country...
Then again, if they would do an AoE 4, I think they could bypass that problem by having more than one political leader at that time (like how the AI in AoE2 are represented differently each game)
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