We’ve been waiting a long time on posting an official statement regarding Forgotten Empires & Age of Empires II HD. But here it is. We’re getting our daily dose of mails, and these are some of the most returning questions:
Is Forgotten Empires compatible with AoE2HD?
No, it isn’t. AoFE only runs on your original copy of AoE2 + the Conquerors.
Will Forgotten Empires be ported to AoE2HD?
We would love to! However, there are a few things to consider: AoE2HD is still in development, at the time of writing, patch 2.1 for AoE2HD has been released and they’re already working on 2.2. Of course you can only mod a finished game, otherwise you’ll run into trouble soon Other than that, it will just take a lot of time: quite a few changes came with AoE2HD. All for the better of course, but modding wise, there’s a lot of new challenges. 32-bit terrains and SLP-specific palettes come to mind (all for better graphical goodness!)
So yes, we’re looking into things, but it will take some time. But we all have a bit of patience on a 14 year old game I guess?
What’s your opinion on AoE2HD?
It’s the best thing that happened to AoE2 since it’s release. Official support is what was lacking in the community for ages. And I’m sure they will resolve any issues that will come up with the game in the near future. AoE2 is a game with a huge legacy, I doubt they ever want to let go of that again.
In Age of Empires II: HD Edition, fans of the original game and new players alike will fall in love with the classic Age of Empires II experience. Explore all the original single player campaigns from both Age of Kings and The Conquerors expansion, choose from 18 civilizations spanning over a thousand years of history, and head online to challenge other Steam players in your quest for world domination throughout the ages. Originally developed by Ensemble Studios and reimagined in high definition by Hidden Path Entertainment, Microsoft Studios is proud to bring Age of Empires II: HD Edition to Steam!
The campaigns of the original Age of Kings and it’s expansion, The Conquerors, were probably the most enjoyed features of the game, no matter what expertise the player had. Thus when designing a new expansion, one cannot neglect this side of the game – and we sure as hell didn’t! So, let me take you into our magical world of new exciting stories to be played in Age of Forgotten Empires:
1. Alaric I
The trauma of the Hun invasion in the 4th century has shaped this fearsome warrior king of the Goths: fleeing his invaded homeland as a child, Alaric spent the rest of his life searching for a new place to settle. Whether he invaded the Roman Empire or fought hard battles for it, Alaric only asked for a home. Sadly, the Roman Empire was a place of intrigue, for the rule of the emperor was waning and all sorts of men played a dangerous game of treachery and conspiracy in search of power. Can the beloved king secure a new homeland for his people in this cruel empire? Enter a story of betrayal, despair and blood.
2. Francesco Sforza
I present to you the wondrous life of Francesco Sforza. After witnessing his father’s death, the young captain did not hesitate to take over command of the mercenary army. Always hungry for glory and wealth, Sforza wanders 15th century Italy, offering his services to the highest bidder. Plenty of opportunities present themselves on the way, for the Italians are continuously at war: power struggles in the southern kingdom of Naples, a clash between the northern city-states of Venice, Milan and Florence, and a weak papacy in the midst of all. Will you pick the right fights or make the wrong enemy? Take the fate of the young mercenary captain in your hands. Enter a story of opportunism, ambition and never-ending battles.
Hostis erat Venetus, nec Florentinus amicus.
Hostis et Alphonsus, Insuber hostis erat.
Nemo tuas Italus partis, Francisce, fovebat,
non Italis quisquis adiacet ullus agris.
Ipse tamen nudo statuens tentoria campo,
milite cum parvo solus eras metui.
Inde Briantinis Venetorum exercitus errans
collibus haud audet te proprius petere.
Insuber hinc trepidas acuit perterritus iras
ipse quidem frustra, cui deus hostis adest.
Francesco Filelfo (1398–1481), Renaissance scholar
The Venetian nor the Florentine was your friend.
Even Alfonso and the Milanese were enemies too.
No Italian, Francesco, took your part,
nor anyone in the lands nearby.
Still, though you camped in a bare field
with few soldiers, you caused great fear.
The Venetians, wandering in the Briantine hills,
scarcely dared to approach you close.
The fearful Milanese himself sharpened
his wrath in vain. For god, his enemy, was at hand.
Loosely translated, based on the literal one from: FILELFO, Francesco (transl. and ed. Diana Robin), Odes , Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 2009, 116-119.
By now you are without doubt overly excited, but there is even more to reveal! Looking beyond the December launch, we’re planning to bring out regular content patches to expand our ever magical world of AoFE. These updates will be themed about one civilization, but like this Italian themed release, we won’t limit the campaigns to one perspective. Thus the AoFE team will continue to satisfy your appetite for interesting stories and fun gameplay even after launch!
In this article I have introduced the exciting stories to be played in AoFE, but for a sneak peek about the stunning gameplay created by our most competent designers, I would like to invite you to our live show later this weekend (or watch the recap if you tuned in too late). If you want to us tell how excited you are, what you think about the new campaigns, or just want to say hi, you can always leave a comment.
“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” (Maya Angelou)
Sam “Caelir” Geens
Campaign Manager and Historian of the AoFE team
Things are slowly coming to closure. A lot of things still need to be polished but overall, we think we have created a well enjoyable game-experience for everyone to enjoy! Now, the game will be released in December, no exact date is set yet, but it’s most likely going to be towards the end of the month. The rest of that month we’ll fill with previews and online events to spotlight the many people that helped out on the project and to build up the hype a little more
What will be released?
Obviously, Age of Empires II: Forgotten Empires! However, the game won’t be 100% complete. We have plans for many more campaigns to be added, but in order not to delay the release any more, we will focus on only a few campaigns at launch. The theme for the launch campaigns will be The Italians. Featuring campaigns where you not only take side of some of the most influential Condottieri in history, but also fight them! Other than that, all the civs will be included & fully functional.
More campaigns will be added later and will be made available through downloadable patches.
When will it be released?
We have many events planned in the run-up to the release. The exact date will probably be known as we go, but at this point, it is still unknown. Expect late December though.
What & when will the first event be?
The first event will be this weekend already! Saturday the 1st of December will be our first AoFE weekend. The focus will be on the new graphics and the AI. Together with the graphical artists, we’ll talk about how they tackled the new units & architecture sets. On Sunday the 2nd, the AIs will be showcased, with an incredible AI match and a challenge for a top player to see how many AIs (level: hard) he will be able to handle.
In the last few weeks, we saw good progress on AoFE. A lot of play testing, balancing is going the right way and graphics and music are shaping up as well. Optimistically I would say we’re actually going to make our deadline!
Thanks to the enormous amount of suggestions in last Dev Blog, we finally rounded up the Unique Techs. Providing all civs with a useful technology that can hopefully crack open a new bottle of tactics. On top of that we are streaming a lot of our testing games, including expert matches on AoFE. Feel free to tune in at our official Forgotten Empires channel or ZeroEmpires’ channel. It may happen that our matches go out of sync though and that errors occur. Which immediately makes clear why we haven’t released the damn thing yet
Jan and Yan are working hard to get the Slavic graphics sorted out. It’s all matter of “hitting the right spot”, but sadly we’re not there yet. But we can clearly see them getting closer everyday. As you can see in this comparative screenshot which shows the evolution of the feudal age barracks:
They have also completed the graphics for the palisade gate (it’s pretty!), updated the Magyar Huszar and even created a full set of Slavic walls & gates.
That’s the amount of fans we hit this week on our FB page. Sadly I wasn’t able to capture this “hilarious” moment as I logged in when we had 11112 fans. So, next stop, 111111?
Slow but steady. These things take a lot of time to create, but they’re coming alive. For the release next month we hope to have at least 2 and hopefully 3 campaigns ready. The theme will be the Italians. Even though you won’t play every campaign from the point of view of the Italians! Additional campaigns will be released in the first late-January/early-February patch and more shall be added as we go.
Over the next week, the site will be moved to a new host. This might lead to error messages and generally the site being down. However do not fear, that means we’re working on it.