Switch to: Archives (August 2004 - September 2006) / October 2006 - Present
7/24/2004 - 1:50 PM PST - Krenzo
We are currently looking to expand the Empires team. Two positions are available: sound effects artist, and concept and/or texture artist. If you have experience in creating sound effects for weapons (guns, missiles, artillery), vehicle/aircraft engines, and general mechanical/technological ambience, please contact me with samples of your work. If you have talent in creating conceptual artwork that can then be readily turned over and made into a model or general 2D talent for texture creation, please also contact me with samples of your work. Our current plans are to continue to develop all nonprogramming related tasks until Half-Life 2 is available at which point we will begin actively developing for a release on the Half-Life 2 engine.
7/17/2004 - 3:20 PM PST - Krenzo
Well, it's been awhile hasn't it? Our plans to move to FarCry definitely fizzled when the developers basically began ignoring the mod community and failed to release the SDK after over a month past their announced release date. At the moment, we'll definitely try playing around with Doom 3 to see if it's capable of rendering open environments. Work still continues in the background on the atmosphere, storyline, models, and other things. Once we have a definite engine to move to, I'll upload a new site design that's already finished which will contain lots of new info.
4/10/2004 - 2:55 PM PST - Krenzo
Several mirrors are starting to go up for the client file. Here's the updated ChangeLog which comes with version 0.2. Watch the download link above for an increasing list of mirrors. Contact me by e-mail if you'd like to become a mirror.
4/10/2004 - 12:05 PM PST - Krenzo
Sorry about the delay. My initial plans for where to upload 0.2 ended abruptly when I realized that site didn't have enough web space. The client file is 240 megs. The server file is 12 megs. The server file is available at the moment and should be going out to mirrors. All mirrors will be located in the download link above. The client file is currently being uploaded to another site at the moment. I apologize for the delay. To help you wait a few hours for the client to become available, I've placed the history of Empires in the About section. It's a short but interesting read which helps to flesh out the conflict depicted in Empires, and I give thanks to FalconX for stepping up and helping to flesh out the Empires universe.
4/9/2004 - 1:52 PM PST - Krenzo
Version 0.2 will be released tomorrow. It will consist of two files. A rather large (200-300 MB) client file which includes everything for playing the mod with Battlefield 1942 1.6 and a small (12 MB) server file which includes only what is required to run a dedicated server. It will include two new maps, Glycen Pipeline and Baen Island, and an updated version of Desert Valley which came with 0.1. Version 0.1 will not be required.
4/4/2004 - 10:34 PM PST - Krenzo
Here's the status with 0.2. The dropship is the only major thing that needs to be fixed. It just has some minor problems here and there when picking up and dropping off vehicles. For those curious how the dropship works, any vehicle within range of the dropship can hold the pitch up button to turn into a cargo crate. The dropship pilot then can use secondary fire to acquire the crate. By using secondary fire again, a new vehicle will spawn behind the dropship. Besides the problems with the dropship, everything else seems to be acceptable now. Of course things aren't completely 100% stable, but I'm having to accept that I have no idea how to make them completely stable. If someone from Dice or EA is reading this, please e-mail me. Your secretary said you'd get back to me many months ago. I'd appreciate it if you would respond to my requests for help on finding the source of the crash issue. The debugger that came with 1.6 was a nice attempt but ultimately did not help simply because any crashes only show up in multiplayer.
After El Richardo finished the concept sketch and Megel finished modelling it, it was passed on to Duke for texturing. Here is the final result:
Textured Northern Faction Tank
For those of you who may be saying, "that looks like an old pathetic WW 1 tank. That could never stand a chance against the Empire's tanks." I'd like to mention that the Northern Faction are a rebel group, fighting with technology that is not completely up to date. The imperial forces appear to be fighting with technology that is very cutting edge, but it is also mass produced. With mass production also comes cost cutting which reduces the overall effectiveness of their technology. Thus, several generations old combat vehicles can still hold its own against the Empire's. Also, we are exploring ways to make gameplay unique for the Northern Faction with the disadvantages and advantages of their tanks. It appears that if you're an imperial tank, you're going to be able to move in close and stay under its firing arc. We think it will be enjoyable to counter this by giving the Northern Faction tanks the ability to crush any imperial tanks that get to close.
4/2/2004 - 11:26 AM PST - Krenzo
After much testing of the latest internal test builds, I can only come to the conclusion that the only way to play Empires stable multiplayer is by using a Linux server as the host. Every other form of hosting appears to be unstable. Therefore, it is crucial that we get several linux servers ready to host Empires version 2 before it is released to the public. If you have a linux server available and would like to host an Empires version 2 server, please contact me. At the very least, I will ensure that an official Empires Linux server is available upon version 2's upcoming release.
In other news, El Richardo, our concept artist, has been working diligently to develop the look of the Northern Faction side. Thanks to him, expect both the Northern Faction and Imperial forces to be completely fleshed out upon our transition to FarCry:
Concept Art of Northern Faction Tank
Modeled Northern Faction Tank [Front] / [Back]
3/21/2004 - 1:09 AM PST - Krenzo
The web site is back. The domain just happened to expire at the worst possible time while I was gone. Anyway, we're still working on releasing the most bug free version possible of 0.2 for regular Battlefield 1942. Yes, that's right, Battlefield 1942. There's absolutely no reason for us to move to Battlefield: Vietnam except for maybe the helicopter winch and heat seeking missile. However, I've already developed a new workable vehicle pickup feature for the dropship, and we got over the excitement of a heat seeking missile long ago when we developed one for Empires that just didn't work out perfectly. Yet, 0.2 will be the last major release of Empires for Battlefield 1942 except for possible patches. As of now, I'm solely working on fixing all stability problems with 0.2, and all new features have been finished for some time now. After 0.2, we will be moving to FarCry as long as no unforseen problems occur. We've been in constant communication with Ubisoft, and they are adament about supporting the mod community which is leaps and bounds beyond what EA and Dice have done for the Battlefield modding community. We've been supplied with the FarCry beta and level editor so far, and our mappers just can't seem to get over their excitement with the level editor. If you haven't seen it, it's truly remarkable and versatile, allowing you to go from editing your level to playing without even having to switch from the editor to the game. With the move to FarCry, we will be actively seeking new team members, especially coders. If you have any previous coding experience, please contact me about joining the Empires mod team. This is an exciting time since we will be free of many of the limitations we ran into with the Battlefield 1942 engine and will finally be able to develop Empires beyond the normal scope of just another mod.
Here are some new pictures showing off our new player model and our new 0.2 levels that have already been converted over to the FarCry engine:
Or the lush forests of Koln's Pass. [FarCry Engine]
But don't get too caught up in the beautiful scenery as you make your career as an imperial soldier. The imperial military has great opportunities for advancement in rank, and no one notices a new lieutenant quicker than a northern faction sniper. Visit your local recruitment office today!
3/1/2004 - 1:00 PM PST - Krenzo
Here's a status update on version 0.2. It will not be released today. I'm preparing to release 0.18 to our alpha testers though, and then 0.19 will just be bug fixes if any are needed. We want to ensure that this release is a much higher quality release than 0.1 was. Hopefully, everyone will understand and be patient enough to wait another week or so. We're gonna start kicking up the PR engine again here real soon so expect a lot of new screenshots coming your way of our new levels and features.
2/20/2004 - 11:09 PM PST - Krenzo
Here's a sneak peak at the upcoming new dropship. As you can see, it has clamps and a container that it can drop off. I haven't decided yet how to attempt to accomplish this, but I will attempt to make the container droppable so that the dropship can fly near an enemy base and drop off its cargo without slowing down and becoming a sitting duck. It also needs a little reduction in the number of triangles, but Duke is all over that as usual. We have a few more people added to the team. Duff joins us as a coder to help deal with the minor things such as gameplay fixes and balance issues, leaving me more time to focus on adding in new features. We also have a new skinner, Headhunta, who is currently skinning the weapons for the Northern Faction side. One of our testers, FalconX, is working on fleshing out the backstory behind Empires which had already been established to a small degree privately. This will greatly improve the feel of the universe we're trying to establish. One of our new testers, Absurd, has also helped me isolate a huge bug that was plaguing dedicated servers. Hopefully, dedicated servers will run much better than before. I'm also planning on releasing a much smaller version of 0.2 for those who wish to run a dedicated server that will be stripped of all graphics and other unnecessary items.
Also, the server that our irc channel is located on has been renamed to "irc.us.gamesurge.net", and we're located in the #empiresmod channel.
2/14/2004 - 5:05 AM PST - Krenzo
I'm back on land now and striving ahead towards version 0.2 of Empires. I'm disappointed to see that the 1.6 patch broke 0.11. This is of course going to be rectified with 0.2 along with many other problems. Version 0.2 is slated for a release around March 1st. I'm happy to say that Duke, Megel, and Steve have all been very busy while I was away. Duke has created many new static models and outdone himself with some new maps. He's also busy working on new player models for each side and the new aircraft models. I often wonder if he actually sleeps. Megel and our new skinner have been working on getting new weapons ready for the northern faction side. Let me just say that their pistol is going to put a few smiles on our fans' faces. I was not able to accomplish a whole lot while out to sea, but I did manage to redo the commander's camera so that it acts completely independent from the command tank (ie the minimap is always centered on your location and movement is always forward/backward based on the way you're facing). Here is a sample of the change log for our upcoming internal tester release for a list of our changes so far.
Version 0.16 Change Log
1/11/2004 - 9:49 AM PST - Krenzo
Until further notice, please direct all your e-mails to Niteowl and send a copy to me. For those of you who may be feeling so generous as to want to support the Empires dev team with a donation, let me thank you in advance and direct you to please send payments through paypal to "email@example.com".
I've been notified that a new mirror is available in the UK: download.boomtown.net
1/11/2004 - 12:00 AM PST - Krenzo
I've seen some issues get mentioned on our forums that should've been answered in the readme attached. If your menu icons are flickering, go into your video settings and raise your effects detail to max. Second, if you're the commander in the #2 position and you get your camera lost, go to the #3 position (the call for artillery position), and your map should then center on where you are. You can then switch back to the #2 position and be able to find your way back onto the map. Also, if you want to give voice orders to your teammates, you'll notice that the map coordinates (E-2 or B-6) will show up as the location of your command tank, not where your camera is. Switch to the #3 position first and then use the voice command. The map coordinates should then appear as those of where your camera is. I hope you've been able to enjoy the mod even though there are still many issues to resolve.
This release was mainly to show that all of us who are still apart of the Empires mod team are committed to the mod. This is especially important since I must go out to sea again for what is said to be a duration of one month. For those of you who don't know, I'm in the US Navy stationed onboard the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier, and the only reason this is important is because the last time I had to go out, everyone thought Empires had died because I wasn't around as often to keep everything on track. However, I can guarantee that all of us are still excited and committed to working on Empires and we will not rest until it is complete.
I'd like to thank all of our testers and members of the team, Duke, Megel, and Steve, for their hard work and dedication and especially all of our fans out there who have been following Empires for so long. Oh yeah, thank you Niteowl! You're the best PR guy a mod could ever have!
1/10/2004 - 1:11 PM PST - Niteowl
Empires PUBLIC OPEN BETA TEST has been released!! Check this site for more mirrors to come.
NOTE: there have been reports that the current build of Empires is running not crashing on NON-DEDICATED servers with LESS than 10-12 people.
We recommend that those wishing to host games do so as non-dedicated, and try to keep the player count low until we can find and fix this issue.
We apologise for any inconvience to those server ops out there wishing to host Empires Beta, and will work to resolve this issue as soon as possible.
1/10/2004 - 11:19 AM PST - Niteowl
Release will be upcoming in the evening PST of today. Check this page for a list of mirrors.
1/10/2004 - 10:13 AM PST - Niteowl
While much work has been done to make Empires as functional as it is (without an SDK), we need to remind the users who download it on the 10th that it is being released as an OPEN BETA TEST. If you are impatient with on going work, then you might want to wait for Empires to go through a few more iterations. By downloading version 0.1 you are becoming a Beta Tester with all the pain and joy that comes with that.
There are many issues to be dealt with, among them:
- lag in commander interface
- skins and sounds
- more maps
- instability that are difficult to resolve as they seem to be BF1942 engine related
- non dedicated servers being more stable than dedicated
- player models
- balance issues
- various bugs
Please keep an open mind on playing Empires v 0.1, and realize we're starting a very long, and hopefully, exciting road to making a great game. We are also hopeful that BF 1942 1.6 will help us debug and find the source for the instability and lag issues.
But we guarantee that at the very least you can play by yourself on a nondedicated server to get a glimpse of the game without crashing.
1/9/2004 - 12:33 PM PST - Niteowl
Some new screenshots have been uploaded, knock yourself out.
1/8/2004 - 10:54 PM PST - Krenzo
I've gone ahead and uploaded our help guide to playing Empires which was made by our talented team member Steve. It's located on the About page or by clicking here.
1/4/2004 - 10:15 PM CST - Krenzo
Here are some new screens from our testers. Apparently some people like building huge bases and showing off more than they like destroying the other team:
Ooh, three round scout rifle and medic smg
Panorama of base
Huge base 1
Huge base 2
Huge base 3
Huge base 4
Huge base 5
Huge base 6
Huge base 7
1/3/2004 - 07:11 PM CST - Krenzo
A new version has just gone out to our alpha testers. It's getting awfully close to January 10, and things are still set. We just knocked out a huge chunk of bugs with this alpha release which means the first public beta release (version 0.1) will be as stable as some of our testers had hoped. We've been working on Empires for so long, it feels like this should be version 1.0. However, I wouldn't feel comfortable putting out the absolute first public version and trying to pass it off as finished because we've only just begun. Now that we have a great code base, we're going to begin adding even more exciting features to keep Empires fresh as we also fix bugs and balance gameplay. In other news, Niteowl has volunteered to join the Empires team as our PR guy, and he's busy collecting screenshots to show off as our release date nears. A few days before release, I'll put up our guide to playing Empires so those of you devoted fans out there will be able to jump right in and already know what's going on.