11 days ago - Age of Empires - Direct link

Transcript (by Youtube)

5s My name is Marius Beck and I am working for Forgotten Empires as a Producer.
9s So, my first experience with the Age of Empires franchise
11s happened when I was just eight years old.
13s So, I got the Age of Empires II game as a gift from my parents
17s and I played it on the family computer,
18s so that was super fun.
20s And I distinctly remember telling my parents
22s that this is the one game which doesn't get boring after a while.
26s Because there were other games, I also had lots of fun playing other games,
29s which eventually weren't as interesting anymore as the first time that I tried them.
33s For Age of Empires II, I felt like this was the only game where this was different.
36s I could play it again and again, and it would always still be fun.
40s Especially because it had an AI which was actually quite capable,
44s so you could have lots of fun in single player skirmishes,
46s but it also had random map generation, which is always different,
49s so it always felt like a new experience, again, playing Age of Empires II.
53s So yeah, I loved to do this, I also loved to play on a LAN, with my friends.
57s That was great fun as well!
59s But, yes, eventually I felt like "Hm, okay, so the AI is really fun
63s and it is smart, but it's not smart enough."
66s So I thought "Let me just take a look and see if I can just change some minor things."
71s And I had a look, and I discovered
74s how I was able to change the AI,
77s and the AI script to be specific.
79s But I didn't understand any of the code,
83s I was still just a little kid.
85s So I scrapped it at that time.
88s But eventually I returned to it, and I finally understood what I was looking at
92s or at least I was able to slowly understand.
95s And that is when I started working on the AI as a hobby.
98s And as you can imagine, the scope of the project quickly expanded,
102s of what I was doing with the AI, until I had a full-fledged AI which was
106s way smarter than what I ever played against before.
110s This is really my journey into Forgotten Empires
112s we started a big mod project that turned official and since then
116s I've been living a dream, playing Age of Empires
118s on my free time, while working on the game as well.
121s So, it's absolutely amazing.
123s It all began when my parents bought
125s me a game localized in Spanish.
127s In the hopes that I would learn some Spanish.
130s However, this was Age of Empires II
133s and I didn't learn a lot of Spanish.
135s I just got very addicted and invested in Medieval history.
139s I also showed this game to all my friends
141s and we played it every single day.
143s And one of my friends basically told me
145s "Yes I have this game as well."
146s So we went over to his place and wanted to play it.
149s Turned out it was Age of Empires 1...
151s Which was slightly different, but it was still lots of fun.
154s One day he got back and had bought Age of Mythology.
159s And he also then introduced me to the concept
163s of what a Game Developer was.
165s And that was basically the first moment where
167s we both basically thought we really want to become Game Developers.
173s And not just Game Developers,
175s specifically Game Developers of Age of Empires and Age of Mythology.
179s Now, clearly we were on to something back then,
182s because of all the remakes nowadays.
184s But back then, I just was very interested in how these games worked.
189s And I started looking through the files that they had, and modifying them.
193s I also discovered the online community
195s and started some projects there, helping out some people,
200s and starting my own expansion projects for Age of Mythology.
203s Then one day the Extended Edition popped up
207s and then Forgotten Empires came around.
211s And the community basically pushed me towards them.
214s Saying "You absolutely need this guy. He knows almost everything."
218s And luckily Forgotten Empires needed someone to work on the AI
223s and I knew something about the AI, so I could help out there.
227s And that's basically how I got my first job in the industry.
232s And the next project was Age of Empires 1 Definitive Edition,
235s where actually I was allowed to work as a programmer
238s and ever since I've been working as a programmer at Forgotten Empires
242s living the childhood dream.
244s Hi, I'm Alina Goetz and I work as a Quality Assurance Tester at Forgotten Empires.
249s My first time seeing Age of Empires was when I was six years old,
254s it was my first game I ever played.
256s I remember enjoying exploring the black map, and building navy,
261s and sending my villagers out to hunt, and making chariots.
265s And I also remember being confused why my chariots could not cross farms.
272s And a bit later, after that, I played Age of Empires II.
276s For a long while I forgot about the game but in 2017 I rediscovered it
281s and I watched Spirit of the Law's YouTube videos,
285s and I found out how many people still play the game today.
288s I promptly bought the HD Edition afterwards,
291s and watched more YouTube videos
293s like T90's famous Forest Nothing video.
297s After that I joined Twitch and I followed the professional scene,
302s like TheViper and MbL and became sort of involved in watching all the tournaments.
309s Also I attended gamescom 2017 and met many great members of the community there,
314s and that inspired me to be more active, take a more active role as well.
318s So I became a moderator in about a dozen channels in the Age of Empires II community
324s and I had lots of fun engaging with people in the chat.
327s And that made me also want to start my own channel
331s so in 2018 I streamed for the first time on Twitch.
337s And I built my first ever gaming PC specifically for Age of Empires II.
343s And that experience also inspired me to learn more about the industry itself
347s and I did some research on the live streaming industry
350s in China for my degree in Chinese studies.
353s And that also inspired me to write my final thesis about the gaming industry in China.
360s So, yeah, Age of Empires had a big impact in sort of my pivot from Chinese to games.
366s And I was really hooked on the topic of game development
369s and found my first role in the industry
372s as a Quality Assurance Tester with Forgotten Empires.
376s And now I'm just really happy to work on the franchise,
379s Age of Empires has brought me many happy moments
383s and it's changed my career path completely.
386s And I'm really happy to be part of this passionate team
390s and bring many more players happy moments with Age of Empires.
395s I think most people will know me as Interjection, but, hi, I'm Will.
399s And like a lot of us, I got into the Age series as a kid.
403s My fondest memories playing back then
405s are of Arkantos, Ajax, and the rest of the Age of Mythology saga.
409s Back then it was single-player for me, my parents didn't have internet yet,
413s but sometimes we stayed with family who did, and I took the game there.
418s And the first time I just couldn't believe I was online with other people.
422s I would sneak down the stairs, boot up the PC to play some more,
426s and just pray that the old dial-up sound wouldn't wake anyone up,
430s because it was really loud.
432s Then Microsoft announced Age of Empires IV and the definitive editions.
437s And I'd just finished with uni, I had no commitments in life just yet,
441s I was still pretty young and I thought "Wow, when those come out,
445s wouldn't it be fun to immerse myself full time into making videos and streaming
451s and being part of the community?" And if that ends up being just a gap year,
455s then, well, that would've been time well spent.
458s Turns out a fellow YouTube friend, ZeroEmpires, or Zak,
463s had a much bigger idea. He asked me and some others
466s to come and help him build a streaming studio.
470s All of us moved in together to keep costs low,
472s we rented a space and we built a stage, a casting booth, and...
476s It was nuts, really.
480s We had funding for one year, and that is sadly how long it lasted.
484s But during that time I am immensely proud of what we achieved for Age of Empires.
489s Particularly Age of Empires III.
492s Where we hosted the New World Championship which was the 2nd ever LAN tournament
498s in the game's history where we flew eight of the best players
501s to our studio as well as, we invited all of the community and we had this
506s four day event where everyone got to meet all of the names
510s that we'd known online for so many years.
512s And just that, I will cherish those memories forever.
517s And shortly after that, I was offered a game design position at Forgotten Empires.
524s And it has been a privilage to contribute to what is now 25 years of Age of Empires.
531s It's fantastic.
534s I have always loved AoE 2.
536s It was literally my childhood game.
538s And once I became aware of the possibility of modding,
541s I immediately felt attracted to it.
544s I worked on a few short-lived modding projects
547s and soon moved to the AoE 3 modding community
551s where eventually I joined the mod that's known nowadays as Wars of Liberty.
558s Around that time I heard about a new mod for AoE 2
562s that was Forgotten Empires back then,
565s which could literally add new civilizations to the game,
568s and that piqued my curiosity as this wasn't really possible back then.
573s Once I found the AoEZone thread I immediately messaged Bert
578s and asked him how he did that, and other requests about a Portuguese civilization.
583s Sadly all civs were already set in stone,
586s and that eventually led me to create my own mod,
589s just to add the Portuguese civ, initially.
592s As time passed and the mod grew, I added new civs, new features,
598s and eventually had to delve into actual programming.
600s I had to learn ASM and basic reverse engineering
604s to add some features and civ bonuses I wanted to add into the game,
609s and this eventually led me to develop a few patches for AoE 2 and AoE 3 mods.
616s Eventually I became a part of Forgotten Empires.
620s Initially I just worked on localization for a few AoE 2 HD DLCs
626s and then QA for AoE 2 Definitive Edition,
629s and later as an engineer for AoE 3 Definitive Edition.
634s I feel really honored to be working on the game I love.
637s I feel like I'm doing officially what I used to do as a modder back then.
643s And it still feels like a dream coming true to me.
648s Hello my name is Bert Beeckman, I'm Studio Head at Forgotten Empires,
651s and for the past ten years I've been working on the Age of Empires franchise.
655s But my history with Age of Empires started much much longer ago.
659s I think when I was around 10 years old, I was visiting my uncle,
665s who was playing Age of Empires 2 on his computer,
668s he was playing the William Wallace campaign.
670s And I saw him playing and at some point there was a castle that was on fire,
673s and I was walking by and I was like
674s "Hey your castle is on fire, you need to do something about it."
677s And he looked at me and said "No no no that's not how the game works."
681s And I was like "Okay that's weird"
683s and I kind of left it at that. But I was still fascinated.
687s It was interesting to see the trebuchets, the castles, the whole atmosphere.
692s And then later at my birthday I got the actual CD
696s for Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings.
698s At that point the journey began, the passion began.
703s And many many many years later, at this point 20 years later,
708s I'm still very busy with Age of Empires.
710s During those 20 years has been kind of an on and off relationship,
715s like you play it, you forget about it, you play it, you come back.
719s And then after university I finally came back, went online,
725s found there was still an active community playing the game,
729s and also a modding community.
731s People who were making scenarios,
733s making graphics, trying to add new things to the game.
736s And with that group of people, like-minded people,
740s we created a mod, modification, for Age of Empires 2,
744s that contained new civilizations, and it was a great journey,
749s or rather the start of a great journey,
752s because it's those people, after all those years, we founded Forgotten Empires,
758s a studio that is now 80 people strong and working on the Age of Empires franchise
763s for 10 years now, and hopefully for many more years to come.