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Grief.exe
Don't stop believin'~~~ hold on to the feeling
(03-01-2013, 01:04 AM)
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Update:

Subs of the original one have been added:

AOE II HD 4 pack: http://steamdb.info/sub/19339/
AOE II HD: http://steamdb.info/sub/26117/

Original:


More Steam registry leaks, this time another rumor from Microsoft Game Studios.

Some people over at steamdb.info parsed some data from a Microsoft Game studios test app (ValveTestApp221380).

The data showed some interesting things. The app had been updated a few times, and has been played by around 10 people over the past couple months.

Source: http://www.reddit.com/r/Games/commen...ming_to_steam/

Steam Achievements:

The test app was also updated with some achievements on February 28th.

Here are a few of them:

  • ACHIEVEMENT_DEFEATED_BRITONS_LOW
  • ACHIEVEMENT_DEFEATED_GOTHS_LOW
  • ACHIEVEMENT_DEFEATED_PERSIANS_LOW
  • ACHIEVEMENT_DEFEATED_FRANKS_LOW
  • ACHIEVEMENT_VICTORY_BYZANTINES_LOW
  • ACHIEVEMENT_WONDERS_BUILT_LOW

These achievements seem to correspond with races and buildings that would appear in the game.

EDIT: Looks like they updated the test app and took down the achievements, check here for the full list: http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showpost...&postcount=472


Statements by Ensemble Studios employee Matt Pritchard:

First off, PC hardware changed. Video cards were the biggest change.

The "Graphics Engine" for AoE and AoK was written in 1996 and 1997, with updates in 1998 and 1999. At that time Video cards had 1 Megabyte of VRAM, or even less memory, and were 2D only. They didn't always have 24 or 32-bit color modes, and they had hardware support for 256-color indexed palettes. Direct Draw was at version 1, and Direct X was going from version 3 to version 6.

Since then video card have evolved. Today, video cards no longer have dedicated 2D chips, nor do they have 8-bit indexed color support in hardware. They have gobs of memory , and DirectX is at version 11, and DirectDraw has been depreciated.

PC Video Monitors have changed. When AoE and AoK were released, all non-laptop monitors were CRT based with 4:3 aspect ratios, and resolutions of 640x480, 800x600, 1024x768 and 1280x1024 were standard. Widescreen was unheard of.

Today, you can no find a CRT monitor for purchase, and 4:3 aspect ratio monitors are a tiny, dying segment of the market. Resolutions like 1366x768 now are commonplace.

Operating Systems have changed. AoE was developed on Windows 95. AoK on Windows 98 and Windows 2000. Today, Windows XP is nearing the end of its useful life, and Windows 8 is on the horizon.

Networking has changed. AoE was one of the first games to use the Microsoft Gaming Zone. Today the Zone no longer exists in a form usable by these games.

And yet, you can still play Age of Empires and Age of Kings. Although some help is needed. The video card drivers have to "emulate" 256-color palletized/indexed color modes. And the games do some things, like huge numbers of *tiny* async 2D Blits (so that it would work on video cards with only 1MB of VRAM with 2D chips that couldn't do overlapping copies correctly) which worked back then on 2D cards, but today cause conniptions for 3D cards.

The games don't work on all modern ATI video cards, and would crash if it wasn't for the ATI drivers looking for the games by filename, detecting when they are running, and doing special things behinds the scenes to make them run. (ATI users can rename the AoK .exe file and watch it crash to just test). Probably a similar story for NVidia.

And though they may work with driver help, they don't always look the way they were supposed to. On windows Vista and Windows 7, there are problems with the new driver model and shell, and you get corruption of the emulated colors. It's not limited to AoE and AoK. Discussion can be found around the net at links like this one: http://go.hopx.net/2010/05/256-color...tdraw-and.html
And even when the colors are right, the resolution isn't. To fit the new display resolutions, the game screens are stretched, bilinear filtered and otherwise distorted and loose some of their original beauty.

So I had this idea:

Make a Windows 7 Compatibility patch for Age of Kings.

It would include replacing DirectDraw with Direct3D9, dynamically supporting widescreen resolutions, removing the Zone Related Code, and making the game comply with other Windows 7 requirements.

Simple as that.

He then describes how he continually contacted MGS to try to acquire the source code, so he could apply the compatibility patch, and they could see it from their DD system. Work he was willing to do for free. He got some good feedback from people, but no one was able to approve the process and get the work started so he eventually gave up.

Source: http://aok.heavengames.com/cgi-bin/a...st=594#post595

UPDATE. GAF Detective Work:

Originally Posted by Grief.exe

GAF we need to do a little detective work here.

If you look at the post from a year ago discussing the issues with hardware configurations, software compatibility and wide screen resolutions.

It was all posted by a guy named ES_MATTP

That obviously stands for Ensemble Studios, first name: Matt, last name initial: P

If you go and watch the Age of Empires 2 credits, you see a guy on there named Matt Pritchard.

We need to pick up the trail and see what this guy is up to now.

Gamasutra's post mortem on AoE II with Matt: http://www.gamasutra.com/view/featur...ge_.php?page=4


Originally Posted by Nazgul11

Oh jeez, I think I might've blown this one wide open...

Apparently he works at a little company known as...Valve Corporation.


Originally Posted by Grief.exe

I went ahead and created a LinkedIn account, Matt Pritchard confirmed working for both Valve and Ensemble.

http://www.linkedin.com/pub/matt-pritchard/1/42/282

Last edited by Grief.exe; 03-07-2013 at 01:38 AM.
BigTnaples
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(03-01-2013, 01:05 AM)
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Awesome. So many hours sunk into this.
Heart Attack
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(03-01-2013, 01:05 AM)
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One of the best games of all time.
‹bermatik
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(03-01-2013, 01:07 AM)
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Holy shit I loved this game. Will buy, day one.
AlphaStriker
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(03-01-2013, 01:07 AM)
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The return of the king!
Mrbob
how can the baaasheep
enjoy the shootbang?
(03-01-2013, 01:07 AM)
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Wow, awesome. I hope this means Age of Mythology isn't far behind.
Biggzy
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(03-01-2013, 01:07 AM)
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A game that deserves the word classic.
gketter
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(03-01-2013, 01:07 AM)
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Oh he'll yea!

So is MS releasing all their games on steam or something? Between this and some other steam rumors
Shard
XBLAnnoyance
(03-01-2013, 01:08 AM)
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SO how are they going to handle the mutilplayer issue?
Kerub
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(03-01-2013, 01:08 AM)
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Originally Posted by gketter

Oh he'll yea!

So is MS releasing all their games on steam or something? Between this and some other steam rumors

The Halo rumors? Maybe we'll see Gears 2/3 on Steam too?
Ponn01
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(03-01-2013, 01:08 AM)
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Really wish someone would put up Age of Mythology.
Cosmo Clock 21
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(03-01-2013, 01:09 AM)
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Never dug RTS games but I loved AOE2.
JdFoX187
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(03-01-2013, 01:09 AM)
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Purchased Age of Empires III way back when it was on sale. Still a fun game, but nowhere as addicting as AoE II. Take my money Steam/Microsoft.
Perfect Cha0s
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(03-01-2013, 01:09 AM)
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I wonder if there will be any tweaks done to facilitate a smoother online experience?
UnluckyKate
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(03-01-2013, 01:09 AM)
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with expensions ? omg
Nabs
(03-01-2013, 01:09 AM)
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Another one from the leak.

Originally Posted by UnluckyKate

with expensions ? omg

Judging by the icon? Most likely.
grimshawish
Banned
(03-01-2013, 01:10 AM)
WHAT IF IT HAS MODERN ONLINE
/faints
Aesius
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(03-01-2013, 01:10 AM)
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Fucking YES.
Collete
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(03-01-2013, 01:11 AM)
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Well this made my day a lot better, awesome!
I can't wait!
Grief.exe
Don't stop believin'~~~ hold on to the feeling
(03-01-2013, 01:11 AM)
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I'm still updating the OP, so bear with me.

Interesting link.

http://aok.heavengames.com/cgi-bin/a...st=594#post595

Originally Posted by Kerub

The Halo rumors? Maybe we'll see Gears 2/3 on Steam too?

Yes.

The past 3 Microsoft Game Studios published games on PC have been Steamworks.

I doubt we will be seeing Gears since that hasn't shown up in the registry yet, but the Halo series looks like a true possibility now, especially 1 and 2, if AoE is coming out Steamworks.

Halo 3 would be my dream, but I will take AoE and Halo 1/2 with Steamworks and quality ports.
Kouriozan
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(03-01-2013, 01:11 AM)
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The best AoE on steam?
Would be amazing, tons of hours spent on this game!
Alex
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(03-01-2013, 01:12 AM)
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Do AoM next, damnit.
injurai
Banned
(03-01-2013, 01:12 AM)
YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEWSSSSS

Originally Posted by Alex

Do AoM next, damnit.

and this!!!

please please please please please this!!!
Yobalt
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(03-01-2013, 01:14 AM)
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Wow! This is like the greatest thing ever!
Kade
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(03-01-2013, 01:14 AM)
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AoE2 with improved MP would destroy Heart of The Swarm.
XANDER CAGE
WELCOME TO THE XANDER ZONE
(03-01-2013, 01:14 AM)
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YESSSSSSS

Hopefully they get the multiplayer to be less finicky.
Venturin
Banned
(03-01-2013, 01:15 AM)
This game was my solitaire.. I used to get a woodland map, close off all access to my hometown with walls and gates, pick off all comers with archers and build up until I could leisurely go around the map and wipe all of my enemies out.

I did this endlessly. There was no real challenge, it was just mindless fun and for some reason I was addicted
SlipperyMoose
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(03-01-2013, 01:15 AM)
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One of my favorite games of all time. I may have to get this, shall we start up a Neogaf crew to play this game?
lmpaler
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(03-01-2013, 01:15 AM)
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I remember hating that MSN play crap, but I loved the game so much!!
Harl3
Junior Member
(03-01-2013, 01:16 AM)
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I'll beat you back to Age of Empires




YES!
Zeroth
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(03-01-2013, 01:16 AM)
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Originally Posted by Alex

Do AoM next, damnit.

Listen to this person
zoku88
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(03-01-2013, 01:16 AM)
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This game partially inspired me with this name (which has a pretty lame reason behind it.)

I can't believe I've kept it this long...
shinobi602
(03-01-2013, 01:17 AM)
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Holy shit, finally bringing the best RTS ever made to Steam!!??

Will this support online multiplayer again?? I remember having some of the most intense RTS matches ever on Gamerzone.
SteelAttack
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(03-01-2013, 01:19 AM)
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WOLOLO!

I'll buy it if it really comes.
ShaneDude
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(03-01-2013, 01:20 AM)
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Mmmmm GOAT game.
ntropy
Member
(03-01-2013, 01:21 AM)
START THE GAME ALREADY
Grief.exe
Don't stop believin'~~~ hold on to the feeling
(03-01-2013, 01:22 AM)
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Originally Posted by shinobi602

Holy shit, finally bringing the best RTS ever made to Steam!!??

Will this support online multiplayer again?? I remember having some of the most intense RTS matches ever on Gamerzone.

I'm hoping that they do! Would bring back good times playing with my friends who have moved all over the country.

If you look at the opensteamworks: http://games.opensteamworks.org/Chart/View/221380

It shows about 8-10 people playing at once yesterday and the same amount playing today.

That could mean the developers were all testing the game at once, or they were testing the multiplayer capabilities in an office match.

I can't think of many reasons why it would take 10 people to play test it at one time like that.
DTKT
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(03-01-2013, 01:22 AM)
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Wololo robe for the medic.

I would buy that game in a heartbeat.
Omikaru
Banned
(03-01-2013, 01:22 AM)
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I would totally re-buy this.
I'm an expert
Formerly worldrevolution. The only reason I am nice to anyone else is to avoid being banned.
(03-01-2013, 01:23 AM)
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This..was a very good fuckin game.
shinobi602
(03-01-2013, 01:24 AM)
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Originally Posted by Grief.exe

I'm hoping that they do! Would bring back good times playing with my friends who have moved all over the country.

If you look at the opensteamworks: http://games.opensteamworks.org/Chart/View/221380

It shows about 8-10 people playing at once yesterday and the same amount playing today.

That could mean the developers were all testing the game at once, or they were testing the multiplayer capabilities in an office match.

I can't think of many reasons why it would take 10 people to play test it at one time like that.

Oh shit oh shit oh shit...this could be incredible. If they get it working we need a GAF clan. I'm probably rusty as hell, it's been so long.
iavi
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(03-01-2013, 01:25 AM)
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Instabuy. So many hours were dumped into this game. So many times I got destroyed on gamerzone lol.

Can't wait.
Giolon
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(03-01-2013, 01:25 AM)
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What about Age of Empires 1? I liked it better. Yeah the gameplay was simpler, but I preferred the earlier time period.

And shit, where's Age of Mythology? That was a fantastic game.
Pallad1um
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(03-01-2013, 01:26 AM)
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Those are really great news. Coupled with the recent release of the unofficial expansion pack, these are good times to Age fans. Why did Microsoft let an amazing franchise die... (yes, I'm aware of AOE Online).
Raptomex
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(03-01-2013, 01:26 AM)
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This is exciting news.
Ultratech
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(03-01-2013, 01:27 AM)
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If so...MY GOD.

Originally Posted by grimshawish

WHAT IF IT HAS MODERN ONLINE
/faints

I couldn't throw enough money at this.
Iadien
Guarantee I'm going to screw up this post? Yeah.
(03-01-2013, 01:27 AM)
I haven't played in years, but I played the hell out of it back in the day, will buy.
MThanded
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(03-01-2013, 01:27 AM)
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Oh shit...
SappYoda
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(03-01-2013, 01:28 AM)
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Do it.
Medalion
Banned
(03-01-2013, 01:28 AM)
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Ah... it was this series that got me into RTS'... that and Dungeon Keeper

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