News Archives - July 2005

Week In Review
Posted on 7/31/2005 at 8:53 PM by Adder
There were quite a few interesting posts in the forums last week. From discussion about previews to thoughts about strategy in Rise & Fall and the inevitable comparisons of Rise & Fall to Age of Empires III. All that and more can be found in our forums!

Oh yeah, in case you were wondering the previews I mentioned are one by C&VG and Gamespot. Both good previews that you should check out. The C&VG one is pretty general, while the GameSpot one details the Egyptian civilization.

What's coming next week? No clue, well I might have a clue, but if I didn't I wouldn't tell you. I'll be gone for a couple days, but I'm sure that you'll be kept up to speed by everyone! Have a good week!
Egyptians Featured By GameSpot
Posted on 7/28/2005 at 11:48 PM by Adder
SSSI Employee, Ranger, just pointed out to us that GameSpot has posted a new preview. It contains quite a bit of information, that mostly pertains the the Egyptians, which if you hadn't guessed already are featured in the article.
Ramses the Great (1314 BC to 1224 BC): Ramses II unleashes the battle axe of Ra, a melee weapon of tremendous power that cleaves enemies in half with a single blow. Ramses II is capable of hitting for more damage than any other hero, making him a one-man wrecking ball against infantry formations.

During the heat of battle, Ramses II can invoke "Imhotep's blessing." This supremely potent power restores all nearby soldiers to full strength. With each higher level he attains, Ramses II's blessing becomes even more powerful, increasing the number of soldiers he can heal.

Weakness: Because of the weight of the battle axe of Ra, Ramses II moves slower than other heroes. Also, he is less proficient with his bow and arrow.
I'm not the only one hoping for more civilization features from GameSpot, am I?

Ranger also notes that we shouldn't "put much stock in the release dates listed on sites like Gamespot or even EB. In that same article it says 'You'll be able to lead the Egyptians to victory when Rise & Fall: Civilizations at War ships later this year.' The only info regarding release dates that you can know is valid would come straight from Midway or SSSI."
Strategy Discussion
Posted on 7/28/2005 at 11:35 PM by Adder
Chonaman has started a really interesting topic on strategy. It's certainly worth reading and replying to if you're big on the strategy elements of RTS games (which I certainly hope you are). Ace has added to Chonaman's question with one of his own:
I have a question to ask everyone too. What do you guys think about battlefield tactics' importance? Do you think a correct flanking maneuver at the correct moment is going to turn the tide of a battle from probably defeat to certain victory? Or will tactics be more of something from like Rise of Nations were it was a bonus, but a good move at the right time wouldn't necessarily make or break a battle?
Reply and read the thread here, in the General Forum.
New Preview at CVG
Posted on 7/27/2005 at 4:59 PM by Adder
CVG has put up a new preview of Rise & Fall. The new preview does contain some new information, so it's certainly worth checking out. Here's an excerpt:
"The first thing you have to decide is whether you want to devote your attention and resources to RTS mode or to your super-weapon - your heroic character. If you're more of a traditional RTS fan, you'll be able to spend your glory on unlocking better advisors and upgrades. If you enjoy the more visceral action, you can spend your excess glory on propelling your hero to higher levels, choosing not to unlock some of the RTS elements that come with it. That gives you more time in hero command mode and more special abilities for your hero."
You can view the full preview here!
Poll Results Are In!
Posted on 7/25/2005 at 10:51 PM by Adder
The poll results are in and it looks like the general consensus is that Hero mode will be unbelievably cool. The full results better explain that statement:
48.2% Unbelievably cool. I can't wait to get my hands on it!
24.1% Very cool, it looks like a lot of fun.
13.8% Pretty cool, but I want to see it to believe it.
5.5% Not cool at all.
7.4% What's hero mode?
This next week the poll's asking what you what aspect of the game you're most looking forward to. It's an extremely difficult choice, for me, but I think I'll go with skirmish games, by the slightest hair. Vote on your lower right (below the ad)!

Thanks to Shrink for the poll suggestion!
Week In Review
Posted on 7/24/2005 at 10:11 PM by Adder
We had a fairly busy week, last week. Not a whole lot of new game information was released though. However, five new screenshots were released, they can be found at GameSpot. In the content realm, we added some new content and updated some old. The FAQ was redone, and we added about 10 new questions that were seeming popular among the forum visitors. And of course we put up Intrepid's article on the Persians.

The forums got a bunch of interesting posts, but due to the fact that they're currently being updated I can't link to any of them; once they're back up Monday you should look around yourself.

What's next week? No clue, I'm still hoping for more information on the game, but who knows? You'll have to keep your eyes trained to the forums and the news for updates, which we'll certainly provide. I'll see you around the site!
5 New Screenshots from Gamespot!
Posted on 7/22/2005 at 9:21 PM by Lysimachus
It's been a little over 2 months since any screenshots have been released for Rise & Fall. But alas, look no further, as Gamespot has released 5 new gorgeous screenshots! Head on over and check them out here!
Scenario Design: Gameplay Discussion
Posted on 7/21/2005 at 11:48 PM by Adder
Intrepid's started a quite interesting topic on gameplay in scenario design, that according to him will be the first in a series of discussions about various areas of scenario design. It's gotten some really interesting replies from members of the community, and SSSI level designer, Hank:
When developing a scenario, establish the theme. What kind of experience are you trying to give to the player? In my scenario Antietam for example, I wanted to create a more realistic civil war battle. That was it, and that's all I focused on. I could have added a bunch of things to it that would have detracted from the theme, and therefore the experience. In North vs. South the theme was capturing and holding victory points. It didn't have to be muskets and cannons that you fought over them with, it could have been robots, ants, bacteria, etc...none of that would have detracted from the primary theme. Had I added the need to govern and build cities, that would have detracted from the theme.
Check out the thread here, and add your thoughts!
FAQ Updated
Posted on 7/21/2005 at 11:41 PM by Adder
The FAQ has undergone a large update, adding some of the more frequently asked questions on the forums, and some new questions we think will be useful in the future. Enjoy!

We'll keep you updated on any major FAQ updates that occur, but like all the content on the site, chances are you won't get a news item for every minor update.
Rick Goodman Q/A Interview Video
Posted on 7/21/2005 at 4:44 PM by Lysimachus
Upon digging up Rise & Fall info on the web, I stumbled upon this video that I think very few have even seen or known about--especially seeing that it is difficult to find and not found on some of the more popular gaming sites. The video is a little over 5 minutes long and a size of 80.3 megs. It has some exclusive video footage not found on the Midway Gamers Day Presentation, or any of the official trailers.

Click here to choose your preferred server under the "Public Servers" section. First you will need to register and login with a free account. After you click "download" it will automatically attempt to start streaming it in Windows Media Player (but super slow). To bypass this, exit Windows Media Player, right click "Click here if the download doesn't start after 5 seconds", and choose "Save Target As..." to your desktop.

Enjoy!
Forums Will Be Down
Posted on 7/20/2005 at 12:19 PM by Adder
Just a note that the forums will be down most of July 23rd and July 24th for some database maintenance and updates.

Have a good weekend away from the forums. ;-)
Poll Results Are In!
Posted on 7/19/2005 at 9:19 PM by Adder
The poll results are in and it looks like the epic campaign that's most being looked forward to is Alexander's march against Persia. Of course a lot of people felt they both sounded great. Here's the full results:

37.6% Alexander’s march against the Persian Empire
12.8% Octavian’s invasion of Egypt
33.3% Both sound superb
16.3% What's an epic campaign?

This next week the poll's asking what you think about hero mode. I think it looks awesome, personally. Vote on your lower right (below the ad)!
History of Persia
Posted on 7/18/2005 at 3:18 PM by Adder
Intrepid has finished his third of four articles about the ancient civilizations featured in Rise & Fall. This one is a bit shorter than the last two, but it's a great article nonetheless. Here's an excerpt:
Though the history of Persia goes back well beyond the Neolithic period this, particular look at Persian history will start in 700 BCE, with the beginnings of the Persian Empire. The first section will look at the Medes, the Lydians and the rise of the Persian Empire, 800 BCE to 492 BCE. The second section will consider the Greco-Persian wars and the fall of the Persian Empire at the hands of Alexander the Great, 492 BCE to 323 BCE. The final section will scrutinize the Greek influence in Persia during the Hellenistic period and the beginning of Parthia’s great clashes with Rome, 323 BCE to 36 BCE.
Check out the full article here, in our history section.

Interested in history? Have something interesting to write about? If the article's generally about ancient history, or Rise & Fall's general time period (about 1000 BCE to 0 CE) we'd love to put it on the site. If you plan on writing an article you can send it to Adder.
Wargamer's E3 2005 Best of Show Awards
Posted on 7/18/2005 at 11:34 AM by Lysimachus
Rise & Fall: Civilizations at War was listed among Wargamer's E3 2005 Best of Show Winners.

Rise & Fall – "In Hollywood movies, the great epics always have a leading man to take the spotlight. Russell Crowe in Gladiator, Tom Hanks in Saving Private Ryan, and…errr…Brad Pitt in Troy. Yet real-time strategy games are simply wars between faceless and lifeless armies. Sure, it’s nice to put a zillion units on the game screen and watch them run into each other, but too often these games blend together because they lack personality. Stainless Steel Studios seems to have solved that problem in Rise & Fall, their new historical strategy game which allows players to not only control massive armies at war, but also jump into the shoes of the heroes themselves. Now players can put Brad Pitt to shame, putting the great Achilles into harm’s way and fighting alongside hundreds of his fellow soldiers. This new feature will be challenging to pull off, but we can’t help but feel hopeful the developers have found something strikingly innovative in this tired genre."

Thankfully, this is good news for Rise & Fall, as it helps the game receive recognition. You can view its listing here.
Weekly Recapitulation
Posted on 7/17/2005 at 10:32 PM by Adder
Because review is ordinary, and I'm too braindead to think of something catchy. Rise & Fall Heaven had a great first week, new content, a new preview posted on the web and good activity on the shining new forums.

Intrepid both started and ended the week with a long history article on the Greeks and Romans. In between those bookends content all over the site was updated, leading to some nice new information on various pages. Aside from that and the interesting new topics in the forums, that's just about all that's worth mentioning for this week.

What's coming next week? I haven't a clue, hopefully some more previews and game information... another history article and maybe a big FAQ update. I'll keep you updated, until then I'll see you around the ancient world!
Roman History Article
Posted on 7/17/2005 at 12:37 PM by Adder
Intrepid has written another extremely detailed history article; this one's on the Romans. It's a great read, and provides quite a bit of information for those interested in learning more about the Romans. Here's an excerpt:
Under Augustus the classical founding date of Rome was established to be 753 BCE under Romulus. Archaeologists and historians have largely accepted this date if not the story that supports the date. It has only been through the work of modern historians and archaeologists that this date has been revised. 1200 – 1000 BCE now tends to be a more acceptable date for the founding of Rome. This shift in dates has largely come from the advent of carbon dating and recent evidence that reveals decay from a period early then the tale of Romulus and Remus.
Check out the full article here, in our history section.

Interested in history? Have something interesting to write about? If the article's generally about ancient history, or Rise & Fall's general time period (about 1000 BCE to 0 CE) we'd love to put it on the site. If you plan on writing an article you can send it to Adder.
Civilization Anticipation
Posted on 7/16/2005 at 10:15 PM by Adder
Ace started a topic on what civilization people were looking forward to playing. Generally it looks like the Greeks are going to be an early favorite to play, to quote Ace:
I'm hoping to play the Greeks most. They look really cool in this game. The Companion Cavalry actually hold their spears overhanded as they likely did in real life, the hoplites and phalangites look pretty cool, it looks like they have fairly good swordsmen unlike in real life. Plus their heroes are pretty awesome.
Of course I'm sure people are going to choose their favorite civilizations based on game strengths as opposed to how they look, but it's interested to gauge interest this early. As soon as we find out some more information about the various civilizations this'll make a great poll topic.

Check out the thread and add some of your own input here!
Rise & Fall Impressions from GameDaily
Posted on 7/15/2005 at 2:17 PM by Lysimachus
A new preview on Rise & Fall from GameDaily is up, and although there is little new info, it's still worth a read:

"My personal favorite feature I was privy to was the sheer scale. Literally, everything is to actual scale. The units are dwarfed by the sizes of the towers and siege weapons, which are dwarfed by the size of the castles and ships. I cannot describe just how amazing it is to run up the ramp and across an ancient Egyptian walkway as a leader of the largest army to walk the earth.

Another thing Stainless Steel has managed to do is make naval battles fun, which is a first in years for the genre. The ships are also to scale, so all hundred or more soldiers actually scurry about on deck working the spears, the ropes, and the rudder. Each man has a task, and helps in some way to keep the ship afloat. More importantly, in combat they are each still considered an individual unit. A unit which can attack other ships, control their ship, or even board and capture enemy ships. Some ships, considered elite specialty weapons, can even ram others to destroy them with ease."


Check the rest out here!
Content Comes Back
Posted on 7/13/2005 at 11:11 PM by Adder
Yeup, you may have noticed that the side bar is yet again filled with the beauty of the Game Information section. We're not foreseeing any more problems (but then again problems can't be foreseen, eh?) so you can expect the content to stay up.

On the note of content, while the section was down quite a bit of updates were done to the units section by Lysimachus, so if you have any interest in the units of the game you should certainly check them out!
Media Page
Posted on 7/12/2005 at 7:45 PM by Adder
At the request of a couple of forumers (and a couple of staff members too) we've put up a media page that links to the various locations at which exclusive media from the game is hosted, there's some gameplay movies, some interviews and some general footage.

If you haven't seen any of the media for Rise & Fall I would certainly check it out the movies as just by viewing them some questions about the game can be answered. Here's the page!

You may have noticed that the Game Information section is still unavailable, we are still trying to resolve the problem and apologize for any inconvenience.
Content Issues
Posted on 7/11/2005 at 2:43 PM by Adder
We've discovered some problems with the site and are forced to temporarily remove some links and pages (the game information and media sections of the site). Hopefully the problems will be fixed soon.

We apologize for any inconvenience and will keep you updated. The site may also soon be temporarily passworded, but until that time some areas of the site have been removed.
Greek History Article
Posted on 7/11/2005 at 10:41 AM by Adder
Intrepid has written an extremely detailed article on general Greek history. It's a great read, and provides quite a bit of information for those interested in learning more about the Greeks. Here's an excerpt:
Much of what the Ancient Greeks believed to be “Greek History” remains veiled in myth and fiction. This becomes evident in the works of such scholars as Herodotus, Thucydides and every other prominent Greek author. Herodotus, often referred to as the father of history, wrote what can be considered the first true history, the story of the defense of Greece against the invading Persians in 492 BCE. Thucydides chronicled the great war in which Sparta faced off against Athens, the Peloponnesian War. Both of these authors, and almost every other author for that matter, used the Iliad and the Odyssey as a template to construct their histories. In both Herodotus and Thucydides elements can be found that trace back to these two great works. Battles and characters are often skewed so that they more closely resemble the epic battles and heroes from Homer’s tales. It is important when examining primary sources in Greek history that, that Greek historians were not looking to tell the story word for word. They wanted to embellish the story, to give in character and moral significance so that those who read their works would see their argument for the heroic ideal and more importantly, enjoy their works.
Check out the full article here, in our history section.

Interested in history? Have something interesting to write about? If the article's generally about ancient history, or Rise & Fall's general time period (about 1000 BCE to 0 CE) we'd love to put it on the site. If you plan on writing an article you can send it to Adder.
Welcome to Rise & Fall Heaven!
Posted on 7/11/2005 at 5:03 AM by Adder
As you can see this is HeavenGames' newest site. It looks great thus far and we've put in quite a bit of work getting it ready for you guys. I hope to have a lot of fun both here and playing Rise & Fall when it comes out. Here's the official press release:
July 11, 2005 - HeavenGames LLC announced today that it has launched Rise & Fall Heaven ( http://raf.heavengames.com ), the latest in its series of special-interest sites for Real Time Strategy & Citybuilding games.

Set to be released during Q4 of 2005, Rise & Fall: Civilizations at War (TM) is a Real Time Strategy (RTS) game developed by Stainless Steel Studios and published by Midway. Stainless Steel Studios' third game, Rise & Fall encompasses a time period from about 1000 BCE to 0 CE, following four of the most well known and historically prominent civilizations of that time, the Egyptians, the Greeks, the Persians, and the Romans. Rise & Fall features innovative new gameplay that includes Hero Command; the ability to assume a virtual FPS perspective with your faction leader and lead your armies to victory, a naval battle system that sets a new standard in the RTS genre, and graphics that are unrivaled by a game of its type.

Rise & Fall Heaven will be dedicated to featuring extensive coverage of Rise & Fall: Civilizations at War as the game is being developed. It will bring you quality coverage on the latest news for the game, chats with developers on the forums, exclusive game information and an unparalleled database of information about the game.

Rise & Fall Heaven will be operated by two veteran HeavenGames staff members and four newcomers to the HeavenGames team who have proven themselves to be tremendous assets. They are Adder, Elpea, Chonaman, Intrepid, Lysimachus and RTEHistDesignll.

ABOUT HEAVENGAMES, LLC
HeavenGames LLC, based in Lombard, Illinois, is a privately-owned web-content publisher geared toward the creation of special-interest sites for Real-Time Strategy and City-Builder games. Its sites, contents, vast amounts of resources, as well as a dedicated staff & management team make HeavenGames' sites the premier destination for gamers worldwide.
I hope to see you all around the forums and site! Enjoy!