Rocky History of Age Empire IV and Real-Time Strategy Games

Real-time strategy There is a moment

Age of Empire II: Defined Edition Steam regularly cracks 20,000 players at once, putting it in a league like the legendary RPG. The Elder Scroll V: Skyrim And Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. Unexpected remaster of the original 2020 Command and victory Steam watched more than 42,000 players simultaneously during the launch. And gaming companies including Microsoft and Tencent Banking Studio behind the new RTS entry Age of Empire IV, Which is scheduled for release on October 28.

This revival is good news for fans of real-time strategy games, but the genre must adapt to the tastes of modern gamers. Fortunately, the developers behind tomorrow’s blockbuster real-time strategy game are aware of Gener’s past mistakes.

Golden age

The seeds of the real-time strategy genre were sown when Chris Crawford published a book on the future of real-time gaming, entitled “The Future of Computer Warming”, in the early winter of 1981. Computer gaming world. He argued that “real-time drama is both more realistic and more challenging than turn-play. It may seem obvious today, but in the early 190’s, it was a direct challenge to the status quo that made computer strategy games smaller physically, turn-based.” Seen as a replica of the war.

Crawford implemented his ideas with 1982 Legionnaires, An early real-time strategy game that builds squads of Roman soldiers against AI-controlled barbarians. Legionnaire Was innovative, but a little ahead of its time. The game proved that real-time play was technically possible, but it was a challenge, as contemporary computers could only handle small, static maps, which contained dozens of visible units.

Still, the idea began to catch on. Like games The ancient art of war, Published by Brøderbund Software for MS-DOS and Apple II in 1984, and Duke two, Released in 1989 for Sega Genesis, extends the boundaries of real-time play. These ideas came together in the 1989s Populus, A “god god game” by Peter Molyneux’s Bullfrog production. Populus was not a real-time strategy game, but it had an interesting, intuitive interface that would be recognized by fans of the genre.

If these games provide a blueprint, it was Tilla II Which laid the foundation. 1 Released by Westwood Studios in West2, it was the first game to combine base-building, unit command, and resource collection with real-time gameplay and a mouse-driven graphical user interface. It confuses the adrenaline rush of an arcade game with the complex strategic decision of a turn-based empire builder. The game was just a general hit, selling about 250,000 copies in its first few years, but it convinced the game’s producer, Westwood Studios co-founder Brett Sperry, that a follow-up was needed.

Still Tilla II Didn’t get a direct sequel. Sperry, frustrated with restrictions and costs like licensing an established franchise Hill, Has pushed Westwood to gamble on a new, original IP that is modern warfare and technology driven by it. Louis Castle, talking to Computer and video games In an interview with 200 Magazine, the magazine said Westwood “wanted players to imagine that their home computer was a real battlefield terminal that communicates directly with your units on the field.” Westwood’s team drew inspiration from Gulf War media coverage but added its own sci-fi spin.

Gambled paid. Command and victory Hits the store in 1995 and sold more than a million copies in its first year, establishing Westwood as the leader of a new, breakout genre. With the release, the studio doubled its success Red alert In 1996, it sold faster than its predecessor and included an online chat program, Westwood Chat, which players could use to host online games. The rapid release of Westwood’s two blockbuster titles puts real-time strategy on the cover of PC Gaming Magazine, not just in the United States, but around the world.

The hungry market for RTS games would have been able to support such roundups in the computer gaming world with more launches each year.

Photo: CGW Museum

David Kim, chief game designer and former designer at the newly formed Uncapped Games Starcraft II, Was introduced Red alert Time to grow up in South Korea. “Red alert Everyone was playing the main game of multiplayer, ”Kim said. “I really got into it, and we’ll play after school.” Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Japan and Australia were also major markets for real-time strategy games, with new RTS games often topping the charts in these countries.

But its success Red alert Was the tip of the iceberg. Blizzard Entertainment, which gained a reputation for quality with its own hit real-time strategy franchise, Warcraft, Jumped on the scene with 1998 Star craft. Kim and her friends, like many PC gamers, climbed into the new game and never looked back. Blizzard’s sci-fi has risen to the RTS chart, selling 1.5 million copies by the end of the year to become the best-selling PC game of 1998. It will sell at least 11 million copies, which is a figure before the 2017 release Starcraft: Reconstruction. Activision-Blizzard did not release sales figures for the remainder.

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