Two weeks later

Age of Empires: Online has been out for two weeks now, but it doesn't feel like we have released at all. We are still working like we are still in production. We are working on the next civilization, the next booster, as well as working on improving features and bug fixes. The pace of work hasn't changed a bit.

AoE:O has been a huge success so far. The number of people playing the game is staggering. We had an office pool going for how many people would play in the first 24 hours after launch. Microsoft gave us their estimate and most guesses in the office were within that range. Nobody was even close.

The launch went very smoothly. There haven't been any huge game breaking bugs. There are, of course, some minor issues, but we are tackling those as quickly as possible. I wish I could share more detail about what is coming.

This project is quite different than Supreme Commander 2. Sure, we worked on it after launch, but not to this level. We are planning things and working on things you guys wont see for months. Even though the game has launched it still seems like we are in the production phase. Will take some getting used to.

Also, tomorrow is my two year anniversary at Gas Powered Games!


serge fjetland said... / August 30, 2011 at 11:38 PM  

good to hear a post from you! i am still curious what is going to happen to Kings and Castles.

i played AoE:O, and while i enjoyed the gameplay and questing, i just felt a) there was too much pressure to get the premium civilization, and B) the boosters/civilizations were just too expensive

Keep up the great work


EdWood said... / September 1, 2011 at 12:24 AM  

Hi Sorian,

am happy for you and GPG, you all deserve real success...but unfortunately for me, I suffer at the same time. I really prefer those awesome Supreme Commander games, actually, AoEO is the first game I don't like where GPG is involved with. Anyway, I hope you guys have fun, making lots of money and give some love back for a super awesome K&C or a few years.
AoEO is just not the game I like, from the mechanics and all...

Nice greetings to all at GPG, you guys rock anyway. :)

Steviepunk said... / September 1, 2011 at 7:58 AM  

Good to see another blog entry here :)
Probably time to change your blog title, at 2 years in the biz you aren't really a Newbie anymore ;)

Would like to know if there is likely to be any further DLC for SC2 in the future, or if that isn't going to happen.
In the mean time will need to have a look AoEO, hadn't realised it had launched already!

Christien said... / September 1, 2011 at 9:02 PM  

First let me say I've been a fan of your work modding SC1 and your work on SC2. Secondly i'm a seasoned RTS vet. Playing games like Total Annihilation and StarCraft all the way through my favs SC2. 3rd, as far as free RTS games go you guys definitely knocked it out of the park with AOE:Online. It's fun as I've already put in at least 40 hours of play since it was released.

However there are some major major issues with the AI. For example enemy units just continue on their patrol path never engaging anything. Enemy workers just get hung up with loads of res and never return to their dump point. If you manage to last the first 5 to 8 minutes of a round you have the entire mission beat basically. The rest is just going through the motions. There's absolutely no scaling during a mission at all. It never gets harder; in fact if anything it continually gets easier the longer it runs.

I don't know if you have a hand in the AI development at all but it certainly doesn't seem like your work. Now granted I understand that they needed to dumb AOE:Online down so it was compatible for the masses. Namely young teens that didn't want to spend the time to really learn how to be successful at a in depth RTS game. But I just don't see the game having the staying power. I'd give anything for SC2 to have the cult/modding community that SC1 and TA had. It's a shame a game that had so much potential was wrapped around such horrible licensing issues. It's also a shame it wasn't marketed properly and just left in the dust. As SC2 is leaps and bounds above AOE:Online. With that said I'll continue to watch your endeavors with interest and hope that AOE:Online has the strength in management and play testing to get some of the core issues fixed. If they don't AOE:Online won't make it very far. Not allowing players to create custom co-op games against the AI was a massive mistake as well. It really alienates all of those hardcore RTS'ers out there that love that style of play. I made it to level 30 in AOE Online but don't see myself playing it much past that. Back to SC2... Cheers!

Fingolfin said... / September 8, 2011 at 6:33 AM  

Congrats, Sorian! I hope AoEO is a great success as you and your team deserve it given the quality and quantity of work you've been pumping out over these last few years.

Also, I have my own selfish reasons too! I think taking on this project was a great high-level decision by Mr Taylor because financial and creative success for GPG now will mean greater opportunities for future RTS projects :)

Good luck in post-post-production!

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