Monday, February 27, 2006

What If Alexander the Great had gone West and not East?

I stumbled across this archive of and interesting BBC Channel 4 radio show originally broadcast in 2003.

History - Radio 4: "Imagine if, one hundred and fifty years before Hannibal, Alexander moves his army around the North African coast of the Mediterranean, conquers Carthage, and crossing at Gibraltar takes Spain, crosses the Alps, and easily subdues what in the 3rd century BC was the relatively ineffectual army of the Republic of Rome, then still a mere city-state.

What kind of world would that have given rise to, a Europe with a Greek rather than a Roman legacy? What would its legacy have been?"

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Wildfire Games continues to make progress on "0 A.D."

I see the interesting independent game developers' collaboration on a freeware strategy game entitled "0 A.D." continues at Wildfire Games. These passionate developers are also interested in historical articles to enhance their website. If I can find time, I hope to lend them a hand and encourage other ancient history enthusiasts to do the same!
  • Unique Civilisations - In 0 A.D. each civilisation will be unique. They will have unique appearance, units, structures, and technology trees. You are not simply playing carbon copies with a few alterations when you play. Unique civilisations with unique characteristics.
  • Powerful Editor - The Atlas Editor is a feature-complete tool used to design the 0 A.D. World. Atlas gives the end-user unprecedented power, the power to design, edit, and articulate every aspect of the game. Atlas allows you harness the full power of the game engine in every way imaginable.
  • Accurate History - All our content is validated by our History Department to ensure that it is true to source wherever possible (unless it negatively affects gameplay).
  • Citizen Soldiers - There will be no standard villager unit. Instead, regular infantry and cavalry have not only military capabilities, but also economic, making them substantially more versatile than in typical RTS games.
  • Unit Auto Upgrading - Citizen Soldiers will gain experience and automatically gain promotions. With each rank, they become stronger, and don a unique appearance.
  • Units on Structures - Some garrisoned units will be visible on the battlements of structures or the decks of ships, and capable of firing on opponents at range.
  • Realistic Ships - Ship gameplay will include a variety of new features, from a much larger scale, to ship capture, to sea rams, to a modular design that allows catapults to be stationed on the decks, and units to fire from the bows.
  • Excellent Moddability - Our aim is to make the game as data-driven as possible, and allow end-users to override that data, using custom independent mod packs, to have as much control over adding assets and editing existing content as our own scriptors. Savvy modders could potentially have all the necessary tools to program an entirely different game using our engine.
  • More Multiplayer modes - The host will have a wide variety of game types and features to tweak when creating a game session, permitting the kind of gameplay that he and his opponents most enjoy.
  • Seasons - Over time, the environment will cycle through Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter. Combined with the scenario's climate, rain and snow will fall with varying severity. Trees blaze into Autumn red or the fresh greenness of Spring, flowers bloom, and denuded husks of trees smother in the snow of Winter.
  • Provinces and Territories - In some game types, the map is subdivided into Provinces that must be captured and annexed into a player's territory in order to reap their valuable resources and construct forward bases in these areas. If the host wishes, a player's starting Province can also be surrounded by attrition borders to reduce early rushes.
  • Real World Map Realism - Random Maps based upon geographical regions where the civilisations of the ancient world lived and 'died'. These will be generated with biome specific-to-location features that replicate (as best we have researched) the look and feel of the world as it existed 2,000 years ago. This provides for further player immersion into the game.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

5W!TS! of Boston Opens Tomb Adventure

It looks like I'm going to have to look for a conference next year in Boston! A new entertainment venue featuring a replica Egyptian Tomb environment has opened and it sounds really immersive! A physically interactive environment that offers real atmospherics, physical props and a teamwork challenge that should be exciting and educational!

"5W!TS premier show, TOMB, now at 5W!TS-Boston, is a 40-minute interactive adventure experience set in an incredibly realistic pharaoh?s tomb in an archaeological dig site in ancient Egypt.

Explore TOMB with your team, working together to overcome each of pharaoh?s challenges as you make your way through the intricate rooms toward the burial chamber.

Your journey is loaded with stunning special effects, from lasers and fog, to water and air, to dazzling computer-controlled lighting and booming stereo sound. It?s like being in the movies!

Success is by no means guaranteed. If your team fails you?ll learn how pharaoh deals with inferior performance. Be on the lookout, because there?s never a shortage of surprises in the TOMB!"

What fun!

Rise & Fall: Civilizations at War to be released despite closure of developer

Rise & Fall: Civilizations at War: "Though the original developer Stainless Steel Studios has been shut down, the game they were working on, Rise & Fall: Civilizations at War, will still be released by publisher Midway.

Rise & Fall: Civilizations at War is a detailed real-time strategy game that lets you completely command one of the four mightiest empires of the ancient world: Greece, Rome, Egypt, and Persia.

Rise & Fall allows you to fight alongside your troops as one of history's eight greatest heroes, and bring victory to their nation on the battlefield."

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

JoWood offers sequel to award winning "The Guild"

"Europe, 1400 A.D. - The last crusade, which started 6 years before, ended in a horrible defeat when the crusaders failed to conquer Nikopolis before being reached by the armies of osmans and serbs. The dream of conquering Jerusalem is forgotten, and European authorities are well aware that over the coming centuries, they will be submerged into defending themselves against the osman forces, which have several outposts in eastern Europe. The roman-catholic church is in a state of devestating dispute and intrigue, and uprisings are clearly just around the corner.

Meanwhile, the old barriers between citizens and noblemen are crumbling. With dignity, good luck and wealth, even merchants and craftsmen are able to join the realms of power. A time has come where kings and leaders depend on the gold of businessmen, and they are willing to pay the price...

This is the setting you will be faced with as you enter the medieval world in your struggle to build your very own dynasty!"