by Mark Terrano, Paul Bettner [03.22.01]
In Age of Empires the time to complete each simulation step varies greatly: the rendering time changes if the user is watching units, scrolling, or sitting over unexplored terrain, and large paths or strategic planning by the AI made the game turn fluctuate fairly wildly. A few quick calculations show that passing even a small set of data about the units, and attempting to update it in real time would severely limit the number of units and objects interacting with the player. Just passing X and Y coordinates, status, action, facing and damage would limit us to 250 moving units in the game at the most. We wanted to devastate a Greek city with catapults, archers, and warriors on one side while it was being besieged from the sea with triremes. Clearly, another approach was needed.
by james monroe, Michael Chang Gummelt, Brian Pelletier [02.07.01]
In the summer of 1998, Activision had acquired licensing rights to make games using a number of Star Trek franchises. Their goals from the beginning were to create a broad selection of games and show the gaming community that Activision could take the Star Trek brand and make high-quality games with it, better than other publishers had in the past. Creating an action game based on a TV show was just one of the challenges faced by Raven Software in developing Elite Force. Find out how they re-created the world of Star Trek: Voyager.
by Joe Azdima [01.24.01]
The role of artificial intelligence is to make the behaviors of high-level entities convincing and immersive. Here, Joe Adzima discusses the autonomous architecture used by high-level entities in Midtown Madness 2 for PC and Midnight Club.
by Scott Alden [12.20.00]
Ritual knew they would have to license a third-party engine to accomplish all of their lofty preproduction design goals, but couldn't find one that quite fit the bill. The team was already familiar with the Quake family of engines from earlier projects, and when they got their hands on an early version of Quake 3, their prayers were answered.
by Warren Spector [12.06.00]
Deus Ex shipped in June 2000. Sales were, and continue to be, strong, worldwide. Critical response (with one or two notable exceptions) has been positive, and the game has already won several "best of year" awards in the U.S., the U.K. and Germany. A lot of stuff went right on Deus Ex; and a lot of stuff went wrong. In this article, Warren Spector looks at the design philosophies that led to the creation of Deus Ex, technology licensing, scheduling methodologies and why they all failed, management structures and team building techniques, and the public relations triumphs and nightmares that often seemed as if they'd have as much impact on our success as the quality of our work.
by Erich Schaefer [10.25.00]
When the Blizzard team finished the first Diablo in late 1996, they were sure of one thing: they didn't want to make another Diablo. Find out how they learned to love Diablo again, and pumped out a sequel that sold a million copies in its first few weeks of release.
by Scott Bilas [10.11.00]
Redesigning a game engine midway through a project is never a task a team wants to undertake. But when the situation dictates it, you bite the bullet, just like the brave souls at Sierra Studios did. Learn how their development team overcame three years' worth of engineering tribulations and personnel trunover, and pumped out a massive three-disc adventure title.
by Rick Johnson, Eric Biessman [09.27.00]
When Activision handed Raven Software the Soldier of Fortune license, the team was pumped, the technology was coming up to speed, and everything fell into place quickly - except the story. Then real-life mercenary John Mullins stepped in to lend a hand.
by Jamie Fristrom [08.14.00]
Under funded and under scheduled, Jamie Fristrom discusses what went right and what went wrong during the Draconus development process. He also touches on the tools his team used to make the best of the under funded and under scheduled game.
by herb marselas [08.09.00]
This is the first of a two-part article that describes the tips, tricks, tools, and pitfalls that went into raising the performance profile of Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings. All of the techniques and tools used to measure and improve AoK are fully capable of improving the performance of other games.