||My name is Marius Beck and I am working
for Forgotten Empires as a Producer.
||So, my first experience with
the Age of Empires franchise
||happened when I was
just eight years old.
||So, I got the Age of Empires II
game as a gift from my parents
||and I played it on the
||so that was super fun.
||And I distinctly remember
telling my parents
||that this is the one game which
doesn't get boring after a while.
||Because there were other games,
I also had lots of fun playing other games,
||which eventually weren't as interesting
anymore as the first time that I tried them.
||For Age of Empires II, I felt like this
was the only game where this was different.
||I could play it again and again,
and it would always still be fun.
||Especially because it had an AI
which was actually quite capable,
||so you could have lots of fun
in single player skirmishes,
||but it also had random map
generation, which is always different,
||so it always felt like a new experience,
again, playing Age of Empires II.
||So yeah, I loved to do this, I also
loved to play on a LAN, with my friends.
||That was great fun as well!
||But, yes, eventually I felt like
"Hm, okay, so the AI is really fun
||and it is smart, but it's
not smart enough."
||So I thought "Let me just take a look and
see if I can just change some minor things."
||And I had a look,
and I discovered
||how I was able to
change the AI,
||and the AI script to be specific.
||But I didn't understand
any of the code,
||I was still just a little kid.
||So I scrapped it at
||But eventually I returned to it, and I
finally understood what I was looking at
||or at least I was able to
||And that is when I started
working on the AI as a hobby.
||And as you can imagine, the scope of
the project quickly expanded,
||of what I was doing with the AI,
until I had a full-fledged AI which was
||way smarter than what I
ever played against before.
||This is really my journey
into Forgotten Empires
||we started a big mod project
that turned official and since then
||I've been living a dream,
playing Age of Empires
||on my free time, while working
on the game as well.
||So, it's absolutely amazing.
||It all began when
my parents bought
||me a game localized
||In the hopes that
I would learn some Spanish.
||However, this was
Age of Empires II
||and I didn't learn
a lot of Spanish.
||I just got very addicted
and invested in Medieval history.
||I also showed this
game to all my friends
||and we played it
every single day.
||And one of my friends
basically told me
||"Yes I have this
game as well."
||So we went over to his
place and wanted to play it.
||Turned out it was
Age of Empires 1...
||Which was slightly different,
but it was still lots of fun.
||One day he got back and
had bought Age of Mythology.
||And he also then introduced
me to the concept
||of what a Game
||And that was basically the
first moment where
||we both basically thought we really
want to become Game Developers.
||And not just Game Developers,
||specifically Game Developers of
Age of Empires and Age of Mythology.
||Now, clearly we were
on to something back then,
||because of all the
||But back then, I just was very
interested in how these games worked.
||And I started looking through the files
that they had, and modifying them.
||I also discovered the
||and started some projects there,
helping out some people,
||and starting my own expansion
projects for Age of Mythology.
||Then one day the
Extended Edition popped up
||and then Forgotten Empires
||And the community basically
pushed me towards them.
||Saying "You absolutely need
this guy. He knows almost everything."
||And luckily Forgotten Empires
needed someone to work on the AI
||and I knew something about
the AI, so I could help out there.
||And that's basically how I got
my first job in the industry.
||And the next project was
Age of Empires 1 Definitive Edition,
||where actually I was allowed
to work as a programmer
||and ever since I've been working
as a programmer at Forgotten Empires
||living the childhood dream.
||Hi, I'm Alina Goetz and I work as a Quality
Assurance Tester at Forgotten Empires.
||My first time seeing Age of Empires
was when I was six years old,
||it was my first game I ever played.
||I remember enjoying exploring the
black map, and building navy,
||and sending my villagers out to hunt,
and making chariots.
||And I also remember being confused
why my chariots could not cross farms.
||And a bit later, after that,
I played Age of Empires II.
||For a long while I forgot about the
game but in 2017 I rediscovered it
||and I watched Spirit of the Law's
||and I found out how many people
still play the game today.
||I promptly bought the
HD Edition afterwards,
||and watched more YouTube videos
||like T90's famous
Forest Nothing video.
||After that I joined Twitch and I
followed the professional scene,
||like TheViper and MbL and became sort of
involved in watching all the tournaments.
||Also I attended gamescom 2017 and met
many great members of the community there,
||and that inspired me to be more active,
take a more active role as well.
||So I became a moderator in about a dozen
channels in the Age of Empires II community
||and I had lots of fun engaging
with people in the chat.
||And that made me also want
to start my own channel
||so in 2018 I streamed for
the first time on Twitch.
||And I built my first ever gaming PC
specifically for Age of Empires II.
||And that experience also inspired me
to learn more about the industry itself
||and I did some research on
the live streaming industry
||in China for my degree in Chinese studies.
||And that also inspired me to write my final
thesis about the gaming industry in China.
||So, yeah, Age of Empires had a big impact
in sort of my pivot from Chinese to games.
||And I was really hooked on the
topic of game development
||and found my first role in the industry
||as a Quality Assurance Tester
with Forgotten Empires.
||And now I'm just really happy
to work on the franchise,
||Age of Empires has brought
me many happy moments
||and it's changed my career path completely.
||And I'm really happy to be part
of this passionate team
||and bring many more players happy
moments with Age of Empires.
||I think most people will know me as
Interjection, but, hi, I'm Will.
||And like a lot of us, I got
into the Age series as a kid.
||My fondest memories
playing back then
||are of Arkantos, Ajax, and the
rest of the Age of Mythology saga.
||Back then it was single-player for me,
my parents didn't have internet yet,
||but sometimes we stayed with family
who did, and I took the game there.
||And the first time I just couldn't believe
I was online with other people.
||I would sneak down the stairs,
boot up the PC to play some more,
||and just pray that the old dial-up
sound wouldn't wake anyone up,
||because it was really loud.
||Then Microsoft announced Age of Empires IV
and the definitive editions.
||And I'd just finished with uni, I had
no commitments in life just yet,
||I was still pretty young and I thought
"Wow, when those come out,
||wouldn't it be fun to immerse myself
full time into making videos and streaming
||and being part of the community?"
And if that ends up being just a gap year,
||then, well, that would've
been time well spent.
||Turns out a fellow YouTube friend,
ZeroEmpires, or Zak,
||had a much bigger idea.
He asked me and some others
||to come and help him
build a streaming studio.
||All of us moved in together
to keep costs low,
||we rented a space and we built a
stage, a casting booth, and...
||It was nuts, really.
||We had funding for one year,
and that is sadly how long it lasted.
||But during that time I am immensely proud
of what we achieved for Age of Empires.
||Particularly Age of Empires III.
||Where we hosted the New World Championship
which was the 2nd ever LAN tournament
||in the game's history where we
flew eight of the best players
||to our studio as well as, we invited
all of the community and we had this
||four day event where everyone
got to meet all of the names
||that we'd known online
for so many years.
||And just that, I will cherish
those memories forever.
||And shortly after that, I was offered a
game design position at Forgotten Empires.
||And it has been a privilage to contribute
to what is now 25 years of Age of Empires.
||I have always
loved AoE 2.
||It was literally my
||And once I became aware of the
possibility of modding,
||I immediately felt attracted to it.
||I worked on a few
short-lived modding projects
||and soon moved to the
AoE 3 modding community
||where eventually I joined the mod
that's known nowadays as Wars of Liberty.
||Around that time I heard
about a new mod for AoE 2
||that was Forgotten Empires back then,
||which could literally add
new civilizations to the game,
||and that piqued my curiosity as
this wasn't really possible back then.
||Once I found the AoEZone thread
I immediately messaged Bert
||and asked him how he did that, and other
requests about a Portuguese civilization.
||Sadly all civs were already set in stone,
||and that eventually led me
to create my own mod,
||just to add the Portuguese civ, initially.
||As time passed and the mod grew,
I added new civs, new features,
||and eventually had to delve
into actual programming.
||I had to learn ASM and
basic reverse engineering
||to add some features and civ bonuses
I wanted to add into the game,
||and this eventually led me to develop
a few patches for AoE 2 and AoE 3 mods.
||Eventually I became a part
of Forgotten Empires.
||Initially I just worked on localization
for a few AoE 2 HD DLCs
||and then QA for
AoE 2 Definitive Edition,
||and later as an engineer for
AoE 3 Definitive Edition.
||I feel really honored to be
working on the game I love.
||I feel like I'm doing officially what
I used to do as a modder back then.
||And it still feels like a
dream coming true to me.
||Hello my name is Bert Beeckman,
I'm Studio Head at Forgotten Empires,
||and for the past ten years I've been
working on the Age of Empires franchise.
||But my history with Age of Empires
started much much longer ago.
||I think when I was around 10 years old,
I was visiting my uncle,
||who was playing Age of Empires 2
on his computer,
||he was playing the
William Wallace campaign.
||And I saw him playing and at some point
there was a castle that was on fire,
||and I was walking by and I was like
||"Hey your castle is on fire,
you need to do something about it."
||And he looked at me and said
"No no no that's not how the game works."
||And I was like
"Okay that's weird"
||and I kind of left it at that.
But I was still fascinated.
||It was interesting to see the trebuchets,
the castles, the whole atmosphere.
||And then later at my
birthday I got the actual CD
||for Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings.
||At that point the journey began,
the passion began.
||And many many many years later,
at this point 20 years later,
||I'm still very busy
with Age of Empires.
||During those 20 years has been
kind of an on and off relationship,
||like you play it, you forget about it,
you play it, you come back.
||And then after university I
finally came back, went online,
||found there was still an active
community playing the game,
||and also a modding community.
||People who were making scenarios,
||making graphics, trying to
add new things to the game.
||And with that group of people,
||we created a mod, modification,
for Age of Empires 2,
||that contained new civilizations,
and it was a great journey,
||or rather the start of a great journey,
||because it's those people, after all those
years, we founded Forgotten Empires,
||a studio that is now 80 people strong and
working on the Age of Empires franchise
||for 10 years now, and hopefully
for many more years to come.