My name is Michael Gills and I wanted to introduce myself to you as I am taking over as the Community Manager from Solicest who has moved on to different role here at Microsoft. I'm excited to join the team and to help support the great work being done by Kittychix, Garmonbozia81, Ryz0n, Circi0, BarbarossaBlade, B1ueAng3L, Tecknix and MSIamPREZSTEVE. This team works hard to provide customer service, technical support, and community engagement for Age of Empires 2 HD, Age of Empires Online, Age of Empires III, Microsoft Flight, Microsoft Flight Simulator X, and Galactic Reign which keeps them all very busy!
Like most of you, I am a lifelong gamer and can even tell stories about playing Dungeons & Dragons before there were polyhedral dice (picture chits everywhere). Before coming to Microsoft though, I spent the last 15 years supporting a lot of strategy games like the Pokemon TCG, Avalon Hill board games, Magic: The Gathering and Magic Online, and the original Guild Wars in a variety of roles. Regardless of my title though, my focus has always been on building and expanding the intersection between games and gamers.
I look forward to working with "Team Scrappy" (our unofficial name) to continue to support and grow the communities on these great games. And watch for upcoming questionnaires and polls to help us learn what types of community events and programs you'd like to see in the future. We are, after all, here to support our mutual love of these games.
With my introduction out of the way I wanted to share an update from the development team for Age of Empires II HD, which just launched this week.
They've been very busy with supporting the launch of the game and in working on addressing the issues that some of you may have been experiencing. After being a part of many different game launches over the years, I can tell you that this team is working harder and faster on these issues than I have ever seen. Here is what Ryz0n, the producer for Age of Empires 2 HD, was able to put together to share around all of his meetings and phone calls:
"In the last few days we have seen an incredible outpouring of interest in AOE: II HD Edition and we are thrilled to see gamers re-living some amazing experiences from the past decade. We do, however, recognize that some players are experiencing issues and we want to talk about what we're doing to get some of these resolved.Thank you all for your time and for your love for My Little Pony: Age of Empires II...er...I mean Age of Empires 2 HD. :)
If there was any question of "are we going to put out a patch", the answer is 100% yes. Since pre-purchase access, we've been working to identify some of the issues players are having - with trying to sift through all of the posts on the forum similar to drinking from a fire hose. We did immediately get to work on resolving some of the compatibility issues around Windows XP and our implementation of some Steam technologies. The first build update to resolve those issues (and a few other launcher crashes people had reported) was released on Monday night.
Right now the biggest questions we're seeing is around game performance for some players such as frame rates (specifically on high end machines) and multiplayer connectivity. These issues are specifically where Hidden Path is focusing and they are working to reproduce and resolve them. One of the many challenges with old code is that some of the processes are actually dependent on the fact that older computers take a much longer amount of time to calculate information, creating potential snags all throughout the rendering pipeline. We may from time to time ask users to post or send us their system configurations / dxdiag, etc to help identify what hardware types we'll need to reproduce and alleviate issues on.
Priority #1 is to improve the performance for players reporting sluggish gameplay. At the same time we'll also be making some adjustments to multiplayer to improve the experience there further and help identify what may be causing gameplay delays. Please be aware that this is a peer-to-peer game which means your multiplayer experience will depend on the quality of everyone's connection. If 5 people in a game have 40ms pings and someone half way around the world joins with a 400ms connection, it will result in a suboptimal experience for everyone.
Resolutions we make for frame rate and connectivity issues will be moved to the public as quickly as possible while we continue working on other identified problems like quick match crashes, localization bugs, and trebuchets. We will also be working on some of the game features that you have asked to be improved such as quick match game speed, mouse bounding options, regional lobby lists, and more. This is no means an exhaustive list, but we are working as fast as we can and are very much listening to what you are saying."
Community & Online Support
Customer Service & Support (CSS)
Don't forget! Tomorrow we will be hosting a reddit AMA with Ryzon and several Hidden Path devs - check this space/our social media channels tomorrow for the link and join in on the conversation!
Greetings! My name is Jesse Bright and I was the programmer selected to perform the multiplayer update of Age of Empires II HD. We began work on this portion of the code with two main classes of goals:Primary Goals
- Remove the older and deprecated DirectPlay layer and replace it with a current network communication framework (p2p session management and message authentication, robust NAT traversal, etc.)
- Implement basic matchmaking functionality for quick matches, lobby browsing, and friend invitations
- Implement advanced matchmaking features such as skill based ranking
- Allow mod community support and make it easy for users to share mods
- Implement stats, leaderboards and achievements for the first time
- Introduce a current generation anti-cheat system, as suitable for a popular multiplayer game.
Releasing the game on Steam with Steamworks libraries helped make these features fit within our timeframe. Not only did Steamworks provide a base of functionality which matched our goals, but additionally the team here at Hidden Path has a lot of experience working with Valve and the Steam platform itself. This experience would prove to be very important, as the challenges we were to face during modernization would prove much more difficult than simply plugging in a new back end service.
When Age of Empires II was written 14 years ago, there were few alternatives that could match the functionality of DirectPlay and MSN Gaming Zone. With such an established architecture the developers at Ensemble had little cause to write Age of Empires II with the thought that all of its functionality would one day need to be replaced. As a result, when we received the source code to Age we discovered that the Direct Play and Zone architectures were intertwined with the game logic itself. This presented us with our first difficult problem - should we invest the time in extricating the logic which was dependent on those architectures or should we leave things in place and simply emulate the old behavior?
In the end, we decided to perform a clean break from the old code and I am very pleased that we did. The original core networking class in Age of Empires II was a massive 13,000 line piece of engineering. The fundamental architecture originally designed by Mark Terrano was brilliant, but over the course of development, many other programmers had hacked in their own bits and pieces of code. I was overwhelmed, so I did the only sensible thing that I could think of - I tracked down every piece of networking logic and injected logging, on screen messages, and forced stops. What began to emerge through this process was a real understanding of what exactly was going on at the lower levels of the multiplayer code.
Those first few weeks were harrowing and often confusing, but far more quickly than I had first thought, I was ready to draw a line in the sand. I had a map of where I was going to abstract out the functionality and interface it with the new back end services. A few short months after that we stepped back and looked at what we had - a fast, stable, fairly well understood replication of the original high level functionality, all running through Steam. On top of that, during the same period, our amazing internal test team (Lead by Mark Shoemaker and Jon Lee) deployed a set of automated testing tools that are the best I have seen. Regardless of whether I was home programming late at night, or in the office chasing down an obscure synchronization error, I had the ability to summon up automated opponents on remote machines. At that point, with our primary goals met and the security of knowing that we would be able to test out anything new with hundreds of hours' worth of automated multiplayer matches, we were able to set out at a sprint adding in new functionality and knocking out our stretch goals.
I think you are going to be extremely pleased with how things have turned out. The new matchmaking system delivers what you would expect from a modern game. You can filter by player skill, game type, map size, etc. There is a global ranking system and 190 new online and offline achievements. We have done our best to ensure that the Steam Workshop integration is smooth and that it will be of great value to the big name modders as well as the amateur map and scenario designers. For obvious reasons I cannot reveal details on the new anti-cheat system, but I will say that I had a fun time exploring existing cheats as well as planning for the future.
I am very proud to have my name on this release and I very much hope you enjoy Age of Empires II HD.
Note from Ryz0n:
Over the last few weeks we've been showing off some pre-development builds. We've been thrilled to give you a sneak peak at the gameplay, but of course according to Murphy's Law, (and as a common part of the development process) a few snags popped up on the stream. Fortunately the issues were due to the development builds, and those issues are resolved in the build you'll see tomorrow. I'd like to thank both Viper and Dreaivis for helping us run through a couple of tests over the last week to ensure the multiplayer experience matches your expectations.
Greetings Kings, Queens and Conquerors from Microsoft Studios!
We have a short interruption in our scheduled developer diary series today. At least, I have to call it an interruption since I'm not technically a developer.
I'm Ryan Chaply, (aka Ryz0n), and as the producer on Age of Empires II: HD Edition, I want to spent today chatting about a feature I'm really excited for - user generated content.
We've got an amazing development team at Hidden Path getting the game running on today's machines, and adding a bunch of new features into the mix. But over the past decade, the Age of Empires community and fans have kept the game fresh with innovative maps and creative campaigns. When we set out to create Age of Empires II: HD Edition, we wanted to make sure to incorporate all of the astonishing creativity from our community, both new and old. That meant there were a number of unique challenges we had to address through development.
When it came to the game engine, we'd basically taken a propeller and replaced it with a jet. After some careful exploration, Hidden Path managed to ensure the core data structure from the original games could still be read into the new engine, enabling scenario backwards compatibility. Due to player profile changes, this doesn't apply to saved games and replays, but this does mean the thousands of custom maps, scenarios, and campaigns can be easily replayed right in the new version. Even better, with the new multiplayer experience through Steam, inviting friends to play through your favorite RPG scenario is a snap. Just create a scenario game, shoot your friend an invite and off you go!
But this is more than just nostalgia. Over the last few weeks we've seen tons of questions about one of the coolest new features in Age of Empires II: HD Edition, the Steam Workshop. There are many sites out there that have done an amazing job of curating existing AOE II content and mods, but with Steam we saw an opportunity to make it even easier to grab, promote, and share your works of art.
Let's get the legal warning out of the way first. Please note, any custom content will change the way Age of Empires II: HD Edition runs, so please abide by the warnings before making use of the workshop. (You'll need to agree any time you enter the workshop from the game).
Adding Workshop Content to your Game
You've got several different routes to enter the workshop; either from within the game or the steam client itself. No matter how you enter, you'll see the same workshop page for the game, with new items at the top, as well as collections and discussions to peruse. Filter down the list to pick out the mods you want to add, and go ahead and choose one that looks interesting. Our community team will be highlighting the best ones on the launcher from time to time, so keep an eye out!
Once you see something you like, just click on its picture to head to the mod page. There you can vote, discuss the game mod in question, or report it if the content shouldn't be there. To add it to your game, simply hit the 'subscribe' button, exit the game, and Steam will download it directly for you. Next time you launch the game, you'll have the workshop item installed! (Note: You will have to exit the *game client* completely in order for the mod to be recognized).
Want to remove a mod?
- Exit the game, enter the workshop and hit unsubscribe on the correct mod.
- Right click AOE II: HD in your library, go to properties, local files, and verify the game cache and Steam will restore the content for you!
- Note: You can subscribe to multiple game mods at once, but if both mods make a change to the same file (ie, two mods which both change the look of farms) the mod downloaded most recently will overwrite the former.
Uploading Content to the Workshop
Those of you who watched the gameplay reveal the other week (Haven't seen it? Check it out on YouTube!) may remember I showed off "fish farms" to show easy it is to change some of the farm textures in game. To all of the corn haters out there, I didn't show how easy it was to upload the content into the workshop, so I'll describe it here.
Uploading content is designed to be easy!
- From within Age of Empires II: HD Edition, click on map editor, and then the "Steam Workshop" button. It will bring up a window with a couple of options to easily put a file bundle up on the workshop.
- Hit the appropriately named 'add files' button to open the steam install directory and add any files associated with your game mod. In my fish farm example, I'd clumsily gone into Photoshop and put a bunch of fish in the farm texture .png files.
- Once you pick any files associated with your workshop entrant, all that's left is to name the mod, add a bit of info (for filtering mod types), and choose a stunning photo of the mod for the world to see and entice users to subscribe to your file.
- Hit publish and you too could be sending villagers to farm fish!
So..what exactly can I modify here?
It's actually much easier to talk about what you can't change. You can tweak the vast majority of files in Age of Empires II: HD Edition, with a couple of exceptions. You won't be able to change the main game executable (which is locked through Steam), as well as some dll libraries for the launcher, steam connectivity, video, etc. By default we also protect the main game campaign files, so if you want to create modified campaigns you can, just create your own with different names.
When it comes to the rest of the game content however, the only limitations are creativity and a bit of ingenuity! You can modify the sound files, the ground textures, art, unit files, and more! Some of the data files are packaged like the original and may take a bit of digging, but other areas (some sprites like fire) are actually easier now to modify. Some existing mods will be trivial to bring to the HD Edition, however in other cases a direct port may not be possible.
We realize that one of the largest reasons the community is still so vibrant around Age of Empires II has to do with the flexibility people have had with the game over the last decade. This is a game for the fans, and we're excited to see what this new generation of creativity will usher in!
What mods can I use with multiplayer games?
This isn't one that isn't easy to answer, and in fact the real answer is "it depends." If you're making changes to the game that don't affect any gameplay, you shouldn't have any issue using them in multiplayer matches. Of course, anything that does change the gameplay, you will likely risk experiencing sync issues when attempting to play with other players. Having said that, if you were to come up with an awesome gameplay mod that a ton of people liked and downloaded, anyone with that mod probably would sync just fine together. Fortunately by working through the Steam environment here, you're able to restore the default game at pretty much any time very quickly should you ever wander off into the mod trail and get lost.
Before signing off here, I want to bring up some netiquette. Please respect the original author / owner of any user generated content. Even content released years ago still deserves credit to the original creator. If you didn't make a mod, get permission before uploading it to the workshop, or better yet, suggest the author uploads it themselves. I've seen hundreds, even thousands of hours of work people have put into their creations, and it's crucial to give them the recognition they deserve.
Hopefully this clears up a bit about the workshop. I can't wait to see what everyone comes up with starting April 5th!
Hi, I'm Michel Lowrance, Technical Artist at Hidden Path Entertainment.
The Hidden Path team was presented with some interesting problems when updating Age of Empires II. Part of it came down to: What could we do with the assets we had access to? What could we do without affecting the fundamental game play? (Unit recognition, obscuring terrain, etc.) What could we update in the engine during the time we had to work on the project?
We focused first on the UI. This was something we could plan on up front and start work on while the programmers dug into the guts of the engine to determine what was feasible from our list of things we wanted to upgrade. We took elements from the original UI images (single texture per resolution size of the original game) and broke each of the selected images (per civilization) up into individual sections. This allowed us to create sections that could be set or tiled and allow for variable screen sizes on the fly.
One of the engine upgrades included updating the terrain pipeline to a 32bit texture system. This would allow us to update terrain textures without being restricted by the palettes of the original system. The first terrain element we focused on was water. The programmers gave us animating normals, reflections, and even logic switches to modify texture properties based on the depth of the water tile. As you can see (or will see soon enough) that the changes to the water were a big win.
Anything that can be placed on the terrain in the editor is considered to be on the unit layer which remained 8-bit, but could be partially upgraded in the time we had. Another issue on the unit layer is that we no longer had access to many of the original 3d assets used to generate the original 8-bit texture content.
As more terrain features came in ( light maps, building occlusion, water, etc.), we decided to focus on the impact on terrain elements from the unit layer. We were able to come up with a custom palette system so that we were no longer restricted to the original palette set. This gave us the necessary flexibility for a wider range of colors that we could use per feature. Trees, cliffs faces, fire effects, to name a few, were all updated as a result of these upgraded custom palette features that were added to the engine.
Get ready for more Multiplayer action on Age of Empires II: HD Edition!
Tomorrow (March 28, 2013), the Age of Empire Twitch channel will host two of the best players the Age of Empires II community has to offer! Pro players _DauT_ and TheViper will guest stream on the Age of Empires Twitch channel at 11am PST (18 GMT), for a "Best of 7" matchup. You can also watch the stream, live from the Age of Empires website! (It will appear in the featured video spot at the top of this page!)
Viper and DauT have decided the lineup of games and maps will be as follows:
- Map pool for the Best of 7:
- Arabia - Huns war
- Viewer's Choice
- Regicide Fortress - Mayans war
- Viewer's Choice
- Islands - Vikings war
- Nomad - Persians war
- Arabia - Mongols war
Hi! I'm Peter Freese, one of the programmers involved in developing the HD update to Age of Kings. Because my background is primarily in 3D graphics, I was given the responsibility of updating the game's rendering engine. We had decided that one of the major goals of the update was to improve the look of the renderer by taking advantage of modern hardware. The renderer, which looked great when the game was originally released, was showing its age. This presented some interesting and unique challenges.
AoK was released at a time when many users did not have 32-bit color graphics hardware. Except for a few earlier adopters with 3D graphics cards, most consumers' display cards were limited to 16-bit "high color" mode or 8-bit palette mode. Age of Kings used 8-bit palette mode - each pixel was one of only 256 colors -- which meant that it ran on a broad range of consumer machines. In order to do things which are rather simple with modern hardware, such as changing the shade of an object on screen to make it look shadowed or fogged, developers at the time had to resort to special tricks involving look up tables, special palettes, and hand optimized assembly routines. Furthermore, because hardware could only use one palette at a time, special colors had to be reserved for drawing Windows' GUI elements.
Early terrain rendering prototype showing 3D mesh wireframe.
Switching to 32-bit graphics was complicated by the fact that the original art assets to the game had been lost to time. We decided that the best way to update the render was to replace parts of it, but leave other parts using the original shipping art assets (which still looked great). The end result was a hybrid system with new terrain, water, and lighting, while still using the original system for rendering units, buildings, and trees.
Another goal with the update was to improve the compatibility with modern operating systems and hardware. AoK utilized technology called DirectDraw to perform 2D graphics on Windows. DirectDraw has been deprecated since 2000, and as a result there is little to no support on recent OS versions. The game has been updated to use DirectX 9 (which is broadly supported), and runs seamlessly in windowed and fullscreen mode on virtually any display resolution.
These screenshots illustrate the soft filtering and noise for terrain lighting.
Working on AoK was great fun, and it's tremendous to see so much support for the game from the community and Microsoft. I'm proud of the work we did, and hope you enjoy the update!
Heading to PAX East in Boston this week? Interested in getting some hands-on time with Age of Empires II: HD Edition?
You are in luck! Head to the device bar at the Xbox booth to find a playable version. AOEII:HD Producer Ryan "Ryz0n" Chaply will be on hand to answer questions. Take your chance to play the game before it's released!
PAX E (Penny Arcade Expo - East) runs March 22 - 24 in Boston MA.
- If you cannot get to PAXE, there are plenty of opportunities for more information about the game coming up!
- Upcoming Developer Diaries! Mark has a couple more entires in the pipe, as well as diaries from some of the other fantastic members of the Hidden Path Entertainment team. Coming soon!
- Want to see more multiplayer action? AOEII pros Viper and Daut take to the air on March 28, 2013 @ 11am PST!
- Have more questions? We will be hosting a Reddit AMA with Ryan "Ryz0n" Chaply (Game Producer) and some of the Hidden Path Entertainment devs on April 5, 2013 (Time TBD)!
Hey, I'm Mark Terrano - Chief Creative Officer at Hidden Path Entertainment, and this is the first in a series of Developer Diaries for Age of Empires II: HD Edition.which feels a little weird for me because the last time I wrote one of these for Age of Kings it was 1999 (as Lead Designer at Ensemble Studios in Dallas).
Age of Empires II: HD happened because a lot of people wanted to keep that dream alive. The technology has moved forward - operating systems change, old software libraries die, even 'The Zone' faded away in 2006 taking matchmaking with it. For the last 14 years I've heard the dramatic re-enactment of people's favorite stories from the game "No kidding, there I was - just me and the wonder against 4 other guys." often sadly followed by "I miss that game, I wish I could still play it". Not game stories after all, but human stories- about friends and family, victory and defeat - and learning about ancient cultures as a nice side benefit.
It deserved a second chance.
Because a few people were still keeping the dream alive, we ended up talking to the right person at Microsoft who also really wanted to make that happen. We first considered a minimum possible port.just get it running on modern hardware and operating systems - easy right? If it was a 3 or even a 5 year old game - recompile with new libraries boom, ship it. But 15 years in the Internet era is a *really long time*. In 1999 people had just upgraded from their 56K dial-up modem and traded in their 486 PC for a Pentium class machine with a 14" CRT monitor. Google was still in Beta, YouTube and Netflix hadn't been invented yet.
The fundamental libraries that the game was built on no longer existed, we weren't even sure if all of the game assets were around anymore. So we got all the digital assets that could be found collected together and made our plans. Engineering was going to have to re-build the rendering engine substantially just to get the game to compile. Multi-player would have to be completely re-built, and some of the tricks we did in the code had strange side-effects with modern compiler settings. It would take significant work just to get us to the 1999 version of the game playing on today's computers.
It was Summer 2012 - Microsoft said 'let's go bigger - what would you do?' - we felt that we really needed to fully support larger resolutions and wide screen - both full screen and in-window play (which meant re-authoring all of the game interfaces; we also sweetened the colors and retouched them for modern monitors and graphics cards). We wanted to definitely keep things compatible with the fan levels and content that had been created over the years, and have easy multi-player matchmaking. We wanted to improve the graphics as much as possible while still preserving the crisp unit contrast and 'feel' of the game.
There was a much longer wish list but it was pared down by the realities of the schedule and the game assets that could still be found (we had to extract language files from shipping disks and rebuild it to get all of the localized text, and sadly the original 3D units that we made sprites from had also been lost to time).
I'm so proud of what we've created together with Microsoft - it *is* in every way Age of Kings and The Conquerors. It wasn't re-interpreted, it wasn't re-imagined differently - it is the gameplay that you remember and love, but with new features (like achievements, Steam Workshop and multi-monitor support) added to the experience.
We had a great team here at HPE working on the game - a really incredible effort, and fantastic support and encouragement from the group at Microsoft and our testing partners - but I most want to thank the die-hard fans, that bedrock of the Age of Empires community - my most heart-felt thanks to all of you for keeping the dream alive. Because of you we will all have the opportunities to make new stories and friends with AOE II: HD.
Don't forget to check out the reveal of multiplayer tomorrow, right here on this page (it will be up in the featured video's spot) or on the official Age of Empires Twitch.tv channel - stream goes live at 12pm PDT!
Anyone interested in seeing some Age of Empires II: HD multiplayer in action?
Of course you are! And next Tuesday March 19, 2013 at Noon (Pacific Time), you can get your fill livestreamed on twitch.tv/ageofempires OR you can watch RIGHT ON THIS PAGE!! (See that video box at the top of the page? Yeah, that's where the video will stream!)
We know you are all eagerly anticipating new information, and we want to give it to you!
But there is a caveat - the developers at Hidden Path are hard at work, cranking out improvements to things, so while we would love to reveal everything all at once - we can't because they're still working on them!
Patience grasshoppers, you will be rewarded.
I have the original Age of Empires 2 Can I play multiplayer matches with my friends who have the new HD version?
- Age of Empires 2: HD Edition uses a different multiplayer service than the original version, so cross-platform matchmaking is not possible. You will need to have the same version as your friend in order to play together.
Can I redeem my cd key from the original Age of Empires 2 to get the new HD version?
- Cd key activation is not available. You can only get Age of Empires 2: HD Edition via direct purchase from Steam.
Can I play the game over LAN?
- You can play single player while Steam is in offline mode, but you will still need internet access to connect to Steam for multiplayer capability.
Does Age of Empires 2: HD Edition support Steam cloud saves?
Will this game be available on Mac or Linux?
- There are no plans for a Mac OS or Linux version at this time.
Will the game be available in my region?
- Age of Empires II: HD Edition will be available in any region that Steam currently supports.
Can I play with gamers worldwide?
- You can play with Age of Empires II: HD Edition gamers around the world. Searching for games will present results based on the best ping available. Set up private or friend's only games, or invite players for easy access to your pals around the world.
What kind of Matchmaking is there?
- Up to 8 Players
- Quick-match Matchmaking
- Game Lobby Browser
- Invite your Steam friends to custom games
How will the Leaderboard rankings work? (Similar to AOE3, etc?)
- All leaderboards are handled through the Steam API. You do have a user rank / skill that is calculated like an ELO, but it's not in public facing tiers like Age of Empires III. All of the multiplayer is also handled through Steam, so our feature set falls within the realm of the API's capabilities; we'll provide additional detail between now and launch.
How do I use Steam Workshop?
- Steam Workshop can be accessed from the game launcher as well as from the in-game menu, and scenario editor. With Steam Workshop, you can share, download, and build user-created content for the game. We will have a special blog dedicated to these features in the coming weeks, so stay tuned.
Is there DRM?
- Age of Empires 2: HD Edition uses only the Steam service for license management. Games for Windows LIVE is not required.
Have there been any changes made to the gameplay?
- No, it's still the same classic Age of Empires II experience.
...So this is still the same Age of Empires that I know and love?
- Absolutely! All of the gameplay remains the same, we have merely updated the game to run on current operating systems, with HD graphics. The game now scales to fit your monitor, and offers multi-monitor support for even higher resolutions!
What version of the game is this?
- You can expect the mechanics and balance from 1.0c.
Will this work on my Surface Pro?
- Yup! Touch does work, though a mouse and keyboard make it much easier.
What are the minimum system requirements to play the game?
- Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8 (Not available on ARM architecture, i.e. Windows 8 RT)
- Steam Software Platform
- 900x600 minimum resolution display
- Direct X 9.0c Capable GPU
- 1.2GHz CPU
- 1GB RAM
- 2GB HDD
And to close, I think we'll just leave these here....
Developed by Ensemble Studios in 1998, and reimagined in high definition by Hidden Path Entertainment, Microsoft Studios is proud to announce Age of Empires II: HD Edition; available to gamers around the world exclusively via Steamworks on April 9, 2013*.
In Age of Empires II: HD Edition, fans of the original game and new players alike will fall in love with the classic Age of Empires experience. Explore all the original single player campaigns from both The Age of Kings and The Conquerors expansion, choose from 18 civilizations spanning over a thousand years of history, and head online to challenge other Steam players in your quest for world domination throughout the ages.
- Re-mastered for high resolution displays 1080p+
- Enhanced visual engine with improved terrain textures, water, fire and ambient lighting effects
- New Steamworks features: Achievements, Leaderboards, Matchmaking and Cloud support.
- Share user created content with Steam Workshop support
Minimum System Requirements:
- Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8 Pro
- 900x600 minimum display resolution
- Direct X 9.0c+ GPU
- 1.2GHz CPU
- 1GB RAM
- 2GB HDD
*Yes, you did read that right, the game isn't available until April 9th - but *YOU* can unlock it early. Pre-purchase your copy today and get the game on April 5, four days sooner!
Want to pre-purchase a bundle? That's totally possible - we've got three options for you: Want the game, no fuss no muss? Pre-purchase now!
- Pre-purchase AOEII: HD Edition for 10% off and get the game on April 5th.
Bundle 2 is for those looking to conquer the ages with friends!
- Pre-purchase AOEII: HD Edition 4 Pack - $59.99 (Buy 3, get the 4th free!)
Bundle 3 lets you experience the Age of Empires Legacy!
- 3) Pre-purchase Age of Empires Legacy Bundle - $27.99 (Receive Age of Empires III and both expansions at time of purchase and Age of Empires II: HD Edition will unlock automatically as soon as it becomes available!)
Want even more details? Cool! We've got them for you!
Relive the memories! Age of Empires II: HD Editions plays just like the classic, but with experiences you've come to expect from modern games.
For those of you who love to geek out over the details:
Returning existing beloved features:
- 9 Single Player Campaigns
- 18 Civilizations from the original Age of Empires II and the Age of Empires II: The Conquerors expansion
- Available Language Localizations:
- Game Audio & Text Localizations available for the following languages: French, Italian, German, Spanish, Simplified Chinese and Korean.
- (Text only localization available in Portuguese (Brazil), Dutch, Russian and Japanese)
New for Age of Empires II: HD Edition:
- Enhanced Graphics with Classic Feel
- 1080p+ high resolution support
- Updated lighting effects and improved fire & water effects
- 32bit terrain
- Multi-monitor support
- Windowed mode
- New Steam Features, including:
- SteamWorks Multiplayer
- Up to 8 Players
- Quick-match Matchmaking
- Game Lobby Browser
- Invite your Steam friends to custom games
- Steam Workshop Support (Edit and upload custom game types, scenarios & more!)
- SteamWorks Multiplayer
- Community Features
- In-game Launcher for news and community updates
- Community events, forums and support
Got more questions? Check our nifty FAQ here:
If you haven't seen the announcement trailer in shiny 1080p HD glory, click the featured video at the top of the page!
Sound good? Then what are you waiting for?? - GO PREPURCHASE THE GAME NOW!!
14 years after Age of Empires II redefined strategy games, we're excited to announce Age of Empires II HD Edition, coming in April 2013.
Read the exclusive reveal located at Gamespot: Read More Check back frequently for new updates!