1500 Archers on a 28.8: Network Programming in Age of Empires and Beyond4 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.
Postmortem: Ion Storm's Deus Ex   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.
Design, Postmortem, Production
Postmortem: Sierra Studios' Gabriel Knight 31 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.