Oleg Charzyński

Some last a knife in the back


We all know and love supercorporation Microsoft and personal friend of Bill Gates. And in light of recent events, this love, is sure to reach unprecedented heights. I wonder what comrade Gates told his Moscow admirers? In order to malicious fabrications: probably, how to succeed in this world; as "adopt" the best ideas created this world; buying ideas together with their authors …

I do not know whether this course listened to Bruce Shelley (Bruce Shelley), the head of a young team of developers Ensemble Studios, before proceeding to the creation of Age of Empires, and reached his mind, but the result is obvious. The best features of WarCraft, a little bit of C&C, a thick slice of Civilization — nothing fundamentally new, everything is already in one form or another. But here’s the miracle — the assembled product, instead of becoming a sum of terms, it was suddenly self-creation. One can only congratulate Microsoft — it’s the best game of those that managed to publish Corporation, and is perhaps one of the most powerful strategies to present terribly fruitful autumn.

Our regular readers may remember a three-band tekstik about Age of Empires in a spring issue of .EXE. What was initially taken by our sworn friends pirates for the full version, turned out to be early "beta". Sin was not to make a mistake — for six months the interface and graphics of the game have not undergone almost no changes. They already were splendid. "Abnormality" beta was found a little later — a complete lack of AI, the enchanting world of Age of Empires Lobotomirovanny inhabited by peasants and knights morons peacefully munching grass in anticipation of his own death.

Hurry slowly

I’m sure half of today’s publishers would be quite satisfied with this result and, having thrown off the market. But not Microsoft. Six months of hard work on AI, fine-tune the balance of the game in single missions and multiplayer, four campaigns and the development of a heap of individual scenarios — all of it went to the benefit of the game.

Hurry slowly — perhaps this truth once again was confirmed. Despite the absence of any technological breakthroughs, Age of Empires the law takes its place on the cover of and adjacent to the fashionable Total Annihilation, and other three-dimensional dandy. Why is that? Because the main thing in the game, as the old man used to say Meyer (incidentally, a former colleague of Bruce Shelley for MicroProse), not the number of colors and three-dimensional graphics. All this is good, no doubt, but if the game turns out uninteresting — why all the effort? Shelley refuses title "Second Meyer". "I was the only one of twenty people who worked with Sid on Civilization, and know my place"- He says firmly. This is so, but the cooperation under the roof of MicroProse clearly was his wasted time. Strategy Age of Empires turned out interesting and exciting to be extremely well-balanced game.

About it

On this, perhaps, would be ended. The thing is clear, it is necessary to drop everything and run in search of game. For those who are still here, for whom the credibility of Bruce Shelley (along with Bill Gates) and my weighty word is not enough, I will now read a short lecture "Why you should play it".

I Control of the sea — it is half the battle.

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