GCDC: Casual games and next AoE games

aoeIIIDuring the Games Convention Developers Conference, a panel spoke about the growing casual games market. The panel was made up of Ensemble Studios’ Bruce Shelley and Tony Goodman plus Iron Lore Entertainment’s Brian Sullivan (who co-founded Ensemble Studios).

Shelley said, "If you’re too focused on making a hardcore game, you run the risk of dropping off a lot of sales… It shouldn’t be too hard to play."

When asked about the future of the Age of Empires series, Goodman said, "We still have more ideas for Age of Empires. The reason we’re not working on Age of Empires at the same time as Halo Wars is because we don’t want to blend these ideas, and we only have so much creative bandwidth to work on."

Goodman was asked how a historic game like Age of Empires could be successful when fantasy and sci-fi games were taking off.

"All of us in the company, we’re big fans of bright colours. Games at the time were quite dystopian… I was just wondering why there were no games of places you’d want to be – they all seemed to [be] places you wanted to escape from." In addition to their line of Age of Empires historic games, Ensemble also released Age of Mythology in 2002, which was a critical success.

Sullivan explained that during the development of the first Age of Empires, Ensemble ended up cutting a lot of planned features, "We had put together a list of all the little features we wanted in Age of Empires one. It was five pages long, and I think we managed to put in half a page’s worth."

When asked about the future of the series, Shelley hinted at a few possible choices, "So, I think there’s a lot of room left for Age games yet. Like going into space. Humans are expected at some point to go into space, so there’s possibilities there."

Ensemble is working on the aforementioned Halo Wars, a RTS built in the Halo universe for the Xbox 360. They’re also partnering up with Big Huge Games for the second expansion pack for Age of Empires III, subtitled The Asian Dynasties.

[Via GameSpot]


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Author: GamerNode Staff View all posts by

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