What's behind the COTN thing?

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Jodet
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What's behind the COTN thing?

Postby Jodet » Sat May 31, 2008 3:44 pm

The COTN announcement is pretty unusual. What's the difference between 'a new version' and 'another patch'? I would say it's the depth and breadth of the changes.

And why update an old game? My thoughts are that TM is going Steam - direct distribution of games via download. This is just a guess on my part. But it makes sense. No more switching publishers. No more fighting for shelf space at Walmart, etc.

And will there be another, dloadable, new 'immortal cities' game coming after they've used COTN-2008 to test the new service?

We shall see....

PS: I am REALLY interested to see the new COTN - I wonder how long we'll have to wait?

Anguille
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Postby Anguille » Sun Jun 01, 2008 11:01 am

It sounds great!

I just hope they use the engine to produce another Immortal City game...

Cheers

Gordon Farrell
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Postby Gordon Farrell » Mon Jun 02, 2008 2:59 pm

Here's my thought... back when the TM team all worked under the Impressions label, they developed a very effective business model. They refined the game engine for their first historical city builder, Caesar, through three iterations. Then they took that same engine, made small incremental improvements, added new art, and voila they could produce entirely new games with a dramatically lower investment than it requires to build a game from scratch. Thus, Pharaoh followed Caesar 3, then came Zeus, and then Emperor.

I thought at the time that this approach just makes soooo much sense. So much of the investment in new games comes from building whole new IPs from the ground up. Game developers seldom leverage their existing assets in this way, and I was really impressed to see Impressions doing it.

Okay, fast forward to 2008. Now that TM has recovered control of the COTN IP, they can make incremental improvements and then use it as a starting place for future games. Why not? It worked for Impressions!

Anyway that's my guess.

I think COTN 2008 is the first step in refining their game engine, and also giving their core fan base a shot in the arm. Perhaps also they'll be able to draw some new players to their fan base as well. All of this could be a preface to a Tilted Mill Golden Age that will see the kind of steady new game development we enjoyed during the Impressions Golden Age.

(Fingers crossed!)

JuliaSet
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Postby JuliaSet » Mon Jun 02, 2008 8:06 pm

Hear Hear! We want more... MORE. Image
Last edited by JuliaSet on Mon Jun 02, 2008 8:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

King Faticus
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Postby King Faticus » Tue Jun 03, 2008 9:39 am

Gordan I agree with your comment about the fan base

but I also think it is worth pointing out that CoTN uses an Empire Earth engine
while TM developed their own afterward which was first used in C4 and later SCS.. I assume this is going to be the one they want to refine

Edit: addinq Quote

Chris Beatrice wrote:As you know we licensed from Stainless Steel Studios the same 3d engine that they used to create Empire Earth.


I don't know how TM can refine their engine with CoTN o_0 (since CoTN doesn't use it)
unless.. they do something drastic like.. add it.. but that seems insane

of course I am probably overlooking something painfully obvious

Gordon Farrell
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Postby Gordon Farrell » Tue Jun 03, 2008 4:47 pm

That's a good point, King Faticus. But whatever licensing agreement TM worked out with the now-bankrupt SSSI, it must have included the right to modify the engine, because there are numerous functions in COTN that were not in the original Titan engine that EE used. (I know this in part because I was on the team that created EE and am very familiar with the Titan engine.) So I doubt if there is any obstacle to TM continuing to refine the engine for future iterations of COTN.

(Also, I wonder how SSSI disposed of the rights of the Titan engine when they went bankrupt two years ago? Hmmm... That might be part of what TM has been working to resolve in order to return COTN to their active development slate...)

Well, speculating is always a fun game for fans, eh?

King Faticus
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Postby King Faticus » Tue Jun 03, 2008 5:52 pm

I usually don't like to speculate ('outloud') but this is more interesting that other things I read recently

so... TM basically (potentially) has the rights to use and modify two different engines for their games in the future.. o_0

hehe well it is potentially a fact o_0

which is potentially good news o_0

Gordon Farrell
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Postby Gordon Farrell » Tue Jun 03, 2008 6:01 pm

See, I thought they'd BOUGHT the Titan engine from SSSI when they started work on Caesar 4. Yeah, so (potentially) they'd have (potentially) both the original version they used for COTN and (potentially) the rebuilt version from C4!! ;)

But only potentially!

King Faticus
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Postby King Faticus » Tue Jun 03, 2008 6:19 pm

here is a related quote I fished up on the 'new' engine for C4 and SCS

Tilted Mill wrote:Wednesday, August 18th 2005

Tilted Mill has developed its own proprietary game engine to provide the perfect visual experience for the next generation of city-building and RTS games. The "Linden" engine has been built from the ground up utilizing the latest in shader technology, and can provide detailed views from as far as falcon's eye to as close as the cracks in the cobblestones of a city street. But Linden is not just for the power user -- it efficiently tailors features to maximize a user's performance and provide as rich a visual experience as possible whether on an old "clunker" or the most cutting edge machine available. The Linden engine will first be used for Tilted Mill's upcoming title, Caesar IV.

let me see if I can find more info on the older 'Titan' engine

Tilted Mill wrote:Thursday, February 20th 2003

Tilted Mill licenses Empire Earth™ Engine
Tilted Mill Entertainment has signed a license agreement with Stainless Steel Studios to use the Empire Earth™ engine. The Tilted Mill team has been working on its first project based on this technology for almost a year now.

This engine has been the cornerstone of Empire Earth™, one of the most successful games of all times, having sold roughly 1.5 million copies worldwide. "The technology is very solid, and incredibly versatile. We will be enhancing it further, and plan on using it to create a variety of different titles in the coming years. This technology will not only save us several years of research and development time, allowing us to jump start development and build momentum for our projects quickly, but also removes a huge amount of risk and uncertainty from the process. We're confident this engine will allow us to make the best games ever, and Tilted Mill is indebted to Rick Goodman and all the team at Stainless Steel Studios for their efforts and cooperation in making this possible." says Chris Beatrice, president and director of development at Tilted Mill.

Tilted Mill is actively using the engine for one project right now, but has begun laying the foundations for two others to be based on this technology. The studio is already working with a major publisher on its first project, due to be announced this year.

Empire Earth™ is a trademark of Sierra Entertainment, Inc. The projects contemplated herein are not affiliated with or sponsored, endorsed, or approved by Sierra Entertainment, Inc.


Edit: Tilted Mill is actively using the engine for one project right now, but has begun laying the foundations for two others to be based on this technology. The studio is already working with a major publisher on its first project, due to be announced this year.

this looks particularly interesting to me
I assume they were referring to C4 with this.. but they also said the groundwork was being laid for another.. SCS? already? or something else?
Last edited by King Faticus on Tue Jun 03, 2008 6:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Gordon Farrell
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Postby Gordon Farrell » Tue Jun 03, 2008 7:19 pm

Great research, KF!!

Of course you know 2003 was basically in the Cretaceous Period as far as game development cycles go. Anything and everything could have changed within 18 mos of that press release, so it's not going to be too useful to prognosticate with it.

But in any event, COTN runs on the Titan engine and so (presumably) will COTN 2008. So TM clearly still has the use of it. I'm also guessing it shares code with the Linden and new stuff (like the apron art) from the Linden may be able to be incorporated into the Titan.

Hoplite
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Postby Hoplite » Tue Jun 03, 2008 10:21 pm

Stainless Steel Studios is long gone now, right?

King Faticus
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Postby King Faticus » Tue Jun 03, 2008 11:59 pm

"Gordon Farrell" wrote:Of course you know 2003 was basically in the Cretaceous Period as far as game development cycles go. Anything and everything could have changed within 18 mos of that press release, so it's not going to be too useful to prognosticate with it.

yes I know how fast things change.. but as you said it is still fun o_0
"Hoplite" wrote:Stainless Steel Studios is long gone now, right?

They went under a while ago.. I'm still not happy about HOW it happened..
Last edited by King Faticus on Wed Jun 04, 2008 12:02 am, edited 1 time in total.

Hoplite
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Postby Hoplite » Wed Jun 04, 2008 1:40 am

"King Faticus" wrote:They went under a while ago.. I'm still not happy about HOW it happened..
(Slaps Head) I almost forgot. They were midway (no pun intended) through making Rise and Fall. BTW, Is that game worth buying

Nighteyes
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Postby Nighteyes » Wed Jun 04, 2008 8:33 am

Yeah Hoplite. Rise and Fall is a pretty good game, some say it is a little bit unpolished but I find it works for me. I'm just waiting for a sequel, but it isn't looking good :( I think that it has come down in price a little bit now but I can't be sure. there should be a demo on the net somewhere still, i believe you can get it from http://www.riseandfallgame.com

King Faticus
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Postby King Faticus » Thu Jun 05, 2008 4:47 am

Im sure it is a great game but considering the circumstances I would say don't buy it.

Anguille
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Postby Anguille » Thu Jun 05, 2008 7:28 am

I just reinstalled the game yesterday....

It was a sad story with Stainless Steel...

I think Rick Goodman is preparing some sort of comeback....keep your eyes open ;)

Thea
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Postby Thea » Mon Jun 09, 2008 6:23 pm

I am hoping that it means that I can play CoTN on my other computer.

I have a lovely screen, nice graphics card and can't get the blooming thing to load!

So I am reduced to playing it on my laptop at the lowest level. Which takes half the fun out of it.

Anguille
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Postby Anguille » Tue Jun 10, 2008 12:24 pm

I hope they make some kind of poll to see which culture would be favorites:

My favs are (In order):

- India
- Aztecs
- Japan
- Ancient (Babylon, Persia etc...)

Cheers

King Faticus
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Postby King Faticus » Tue Jun 10, 2008 12:36 pm

I wouldn't play a game about the Aztecs
and there have been many polls and suggestion threads o-0

Anguille
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Postby Anguille » Tue Jun 10, 2008 12:51 pm

"King Faticus" wrote:I wouldn't play a game about the Aztecs
and there have been many polls and suggestion threads o-0


I mean an official poll with the nations/cultures that TM considers...

And why wouldn't you play a game about the Aztecs? Tenochtitlan would surely be awesome to look at.


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