News archive: June 2000

Cleopatra Goes Gold!
June 30, 2000 2:46 PM EDT

Some heartening news from Impressions on the state of the upcoming Pharaoh x-pack Cleopatra:

Cleopatra Goes Gold!
Get ready to fight tomb robbers, endure plagues and build the wonders of the world! Impressions Games, in conjunction with BreakAway Games, is pleased to announce that Cleopatra has gone gold and should be hitting store shelves in a few weeks. While you wait, why not check out Pharaoh’s “lost tracks“? These never-before-released songs are sure to get you in a monument-building mood!

There are some new pieces of music up as well.

In case you’re not sure what “going gold” means, this just signifies that the game is to all intents and purposes done, and has been sent off for mass duplication. This can take anything up to 3 weeks, so that’s probably the timeframe we’re looking at before it hits shelves near you.

Angel Reckless Rodent

Pharaolympics Week 2 Events Are Up!
June 30, 2000 6:30 AM EDT

Angel Gustavia just ICQd me to say that the events for week 2 of the Pharaolympics are now up and ready for download.

Tunel (medium, expert level) and Hammanat (medium, open) are due on July 14th, and Palatial Estates (short, open) is due in by July 7th.

Angel Reckless Rodent

Pharaolympics reminder
June 29, 2000 4:26 PM EDT

Here’s a little remider for all you kids and not so kids competing in the Pharaolympics.

Tonight, round about midnight the scenarios for week 2 will be ready for download. So watch this page.

Also please remember that tomorrow, midnight in your time zone, is when you have to submit the first short event, Drunkard’s Dillema. If you are unsure about when it’s midnight, here‘s a post by the lovely Angel Gustavia explaining all

Submit your entry Friday. If you insist, send it in that night before you go to sleep. Try not to stay up too late not til daylight, ok?

Now, having said all of that, when we start the rush to evaluate all the entries, a entry that shows up sent on the player’s Saturday afternoon and arriving on Sunday will be too late.

Be sure to have checked all criteria before you submit.

Angel Jayhawk

Pharaolympics Prizes Announced!
June 28, 2000 11:35 AM EDT

Hi everyone,

A quick update on the Pharaolympics, more specifically what prizes will be on offer:

1st place in both categories – A copy of Zeus, a copy of Cleopatra, & a Pharaoh t-shirt
2nd place ” ” ” ” ” ” ” ” – A copy of Zeus
3rd place ” ” ” ” ” ” ” ” – A copy of Cleopatra

There you go, I told you they were good ;). Many thanks to the great guys at Impressions for supplying us with the above goodies. Much appreciated, guys!

Angel Reckless Rodent

Cleo Interview
June 27, 2000 11:50 AM EDT

The guys at GA-Strategy have put together an interview with Impressions’s Marketing Weasel talking about the upcoming release of Cleopatra. Here’s a snippet that caught my eye:

How far into development are you? Have you set a firm release date?

We are currently moving towards a beta version of the product. A lot of the features are now either working or have final art, so we’re progressing nicely. We expect to see the product in stores in July.

Well, that’ll come as news to all the beta testers, who were informed over 3 weeks ago that the beta was over ;).

Angel Reckless Rodent

Downloads update
June 27, 2000 7:45 AM EDT

Angel Draco has announced something of a breakthrough in the downloads section:

In MISC. Files
James Blond has come through with a programing breakthrough! He has come up with a stand alone version of the Glyph Generator (NOT the online of offline version hosted by Pharaoh Heaven). You’ll be able to save and your housingblocks for later editing, preview option and calculations. It has a full legend of the buildings and HTML generating for the forum too! Be sure to read these install instructions before you install this program!

Angel Reckless Rodent

Plaraolympics going full steam ahead
June 25, 2000 11:58 AM EDT

Looking at the Competition forum there’s a lot happening around these games.

If you are playing, please check this forum regularly as additional information can become available here. There are also several threads with scenario specific information.

For those of you that aren’t playing and would like a taste of something else, SethsRaven is offering a news scenario

This senario puts you in the Dakhla Oasis. your only source of food is the gazelles, all though you can import chickpeas and pomegranetes from Dunqul. Your goal is to build a bent pyramid, get 100 KR, 15 CR, and 50 prosperity.

Have fun!

Angel Jayhawk

2 new Cleo screens
June 23, 2000 5:26 PM EDT

Impressions just put up another 2 Cleopatra screenshots on their site for your viewing enjoyment.

These ones show a temple complex in front of what look to be cliffs, and another shot of the River of Blood (also to be seen in 1 of the shots here at PH).

Angel Reckless Rodent

Pharaolympics are go!
June 23, 2000 5:02 AM EDT

Take the phone off the hook, send the kids away to their grandparents, stock up on crisps and Cola, and get ready for a veritable Pharaoh-fest – the Pharaolympics have begun!

For more information, visit the official contest page and take a peek in Competition Corner.

Good luck to all!

Angel Reckless Rodent

Speculation’s running wild.
June 22, 2000 3:40 PM EDT

Only a few more hours till the registration for the Pharaolympics closes and the games begin in earnest. Players are already getting excited, especially since a few bright souls managed to locate the event list.

Bury a Hero
Drunkard’s Dilemma
Feast or Famine
Palatial Estates
Wadi Hassan

So what could this all be about? Pharaoh getting abducted by aliens? A game with out beer? or only beer as export? A book by Asimov?

Why not post your suggestions here?

Angel Jayhawk

Reminder for people playing custom scenarios
June 21, 2000 3:54 PM EDT

For no other reason than plain politeness, would you be so kind to jot down a few kind words in the Scenario forum when you played a custom scenario? Or even some well balanced unkind words?

The people that made these scenarios have often spend hours and hours and then some on creating an enjoyable mission. Admit it…you would like some feedback if it were your scenario, wouldn’t you?

Angel Jayhawk

Pharaolympics update
June 20, 2000 3:34 PM EDT

Well, you can start counting the hours, Thurday, June 22nd at midnight EST the registration will close and the next day you will find the first mission(s) available for download. Just in case you are still hesitant…or would like some more information, our lovely Angel Gustavia has posted a checklist in the Competition forum.
This thread contains a summary of all the relevant discussion that has taken place in the past few weeks.

One of the most important notes is to make absolutely sure you are running Pharaoh version 1.2.

Also, please note that the scoring has changed.

  • The highest ranked 15 players (in each event, each class) receive points in the following order: 25-20-15-12-11-10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1.
  • Each valid submittal receives one point.
  • If less than 15 valid entries are received for an event, the winner still receives the 25 points, and subsequent ranked entries according to above order, but points not awarded are “‘lost” (not divided among entries).

It’s still not to late to register

Angel Jayhawk

To mine gold or copper, that’s the question
June 18, 2000 5:41 PM EDT

Gold seems to be the obvious choice to mine when it is available…but is is the better choice? Listen to what Regina has to say.

First, it (gold) costs 250 deben (normal difficulty) to place a gold mine, and 900+ deben for the palace to store it in. The gold is then produced at 100 deben per load.

On the other hand, if you are able to sell copper, the mine costs 150 deben (normal difficulty), trade route prices of course vary, but can come in quite a bit cheaper than the palace, and for each unit of copper sold the seller receives 185 deben.

It seems the choice is not as clear cut as we would think. The thread has received quite a few comments, so why not have a look?

Angel Jayhawk

New Cleopatra Screenshots
June 17, 2000 7:03 AM EDT

Impressions have posted a load more screenshots from Cleopatra on their official Cleo site (there’s a surprise ;)).

I’ve only seen 2 so far – they seem to be pretty big and my poor 56kpbs connection is taking ages to load ’em, but so far, there’s been 1 shot of the Great Library and 1 of the Colossi of Abu Simbel.

Angel Reckless Rodent

Downloads update
June 16, 2000 4:34 PM EDT

Courtesy of our very own download master Angel Draco, here’s a small update of the downloads section.

In Custom Scenarios
A lot of new entries here! Two promising maps are Pounce the Unfortunate’s Hidden River Valley & Moquel’ Chariot Island. Also, there are updated versions of Octavian II’s Crete Harbor & Fort Khmun.

In Completed Cities
We’re finally seeing a lot of examples of maps from our Custom Scenarios section, such as: Kabouter’ Trade Wars; ; L.T. Rulz’s Looking Good and Max’s Empire (Max has acheived perfect ratings w/No culture parks, unfunctional buildings and no statues!). There’s also another contest entry, Nimlot’s Dwa Nov, and Cherub Brugle, has submitted his North Dashur

In MISC. Files
SethsRaven has provided us with a list of all of the Pharaohs in Egypt, and Darth Bane has compiled a Hieroglyphic Flash Library File for you creative types out there to play with.

Hmmm, seems there’s enough to play with…

Angel Jayhawk

The Great Library
June 15, 2000 5:24 PM EDT

As you probably have seen from the screenshots, the Great Library of Alexandria is one of the new monuments you will be able to build once Cleopatra hits your hard disk.

Inspired by this Civis Romanus, one of our resident talespinners, started a story that has the demise of that wonderful institute as it’s central theme. It also sees the return of two long lost friends Incontinentia of Londinium and her Carthagenian elephant, Big Tusky. Some you may remember her from our early wanderings along the Nile and the unforgettable BWWOs (Boots With Wheels On).

Interested or just curious?

Why not have a peek?

Angel Jayhawk

Cleo beta program over!
June 13, 2000 8:57 PM EDT

Ever eager to please, Itchy has posted on the official Zeus discussion forum (don’t ask ;)) the following news about the progress of Cleopatra, the upcoming Pharaoh x-pack:

The beta program is over…

‘Nuff said really ;).

Angel Reckless Rodent

Competition madness
June 13, 2000 4:43 PM EDT

So far ‘only’ 220 people have registered for the Pharaolympics, so if you haven’t yet, go do so. The more the merrier.
Want to know more?
Here you go…

There’s a lively discussion going on about the differences between Normal and Expert level, so if you’re not sure which level you want to play, have a look here.

Also, in preparation to part of the contest, homegrown is asking for the secrets of Speed. If you’ve been wondering how to make things go faster, you might just want to take a peak

Angel Jayhawk

Congrats to Draco!
June 12, 2000 6:28 AM EDT

Good news was waiting in my mailbox this morning – Angel Draco, the King of Downloads, graduated from DePaul University Law School yesterday.

Congrats to him, and we wish him the best of luck in his upcoming bar exams :).

Angel Reckless Rodent

Zeus Heaven launched
June 10, 2000 5:46 AM EDT

Some of you might remember a while ago that I said we’d be launching Zeus Heaven as soon as we saw some Zeus screenshots from Impressions.

Well, true to my word, I am proud to announce that today marks the official birth of Zeus Heaven, Heavengames’s brand new little baby. You can find links to the Zeus screenshots over there, as well as a bit of new info which HGS gleaned from Impressions during E3 last month.

Are you still here ;)?

Angel Reckless Rodent

Pharaolympics Update
June 9, 2000 2:58 PM EDT

Just thought I’d take the opportunity offered by Angel Jayhawk’s absence tonight to give y’all a quick update on how the Pharaolympics are progressing.

Never heard of the Pharaolympics? Intrigued about how you might be able to participate? Angel Gustavia has all the information you need right here.

If you’ve already registered, then there are a few forum threads you might like to check out:

Gustavia has made a Pre-Competition Check List for everyone to take a peek at, just to make sure they are up-to-speed with info about the EP, family names and such like.
There’s also a list of the registrations that she has received hitherto. Due to the server problems which we’ve been having since the lightning strike this time last week, not all of you might have received your confirmation emails. If you haven’t then take a look in that thread to see if your name is mentioned.
Finally, Gustavia has posted asking whether people are planning on competing on novice or expert level.

1 final non-Olympics note – the PH download section is a bit temperamental right now. We’re working to see what the problem with the MySQL server is, and we’ll try to get it sorted out asap.

Angel Reckless Rodent

Chopping Tech Tree II
June 8, 2000 10:54 AM EDT

The Gamasutra guys have posted the second installment of their snappily-titled “Chopping down the Tech Tree: Perspectives of Technological Linearity in God Games” article.

No, don’t go to sleep just reading the title, this is a really interesting article which, although not centred around Impressions’s City-Building series, does mention it from time to time:

Religion is a predominant feature in all God Games. The effects that religion has on technology, however, are amazingly minimal. In Impressions Games’ Pharaoh and Caesar III (and most likely Impressions Games upcoming title Zeus), religious institutions (such as temples and shrines) affect the happiness of the people as well as maintaining the areas of the civilization that the particular deity has domain over (i.e. Ptah is the is the god of craftspeople and therefore influences industrial production). Likewise, in the Civilization series, building temples and religious institutions increases population happiness. What does happiness have to do with technological innovation? Well, in an indirect way, happiness does have an affect on technology (an unhappy civilization would have problems, such as rioting, that would make the uninhibited development of technological innovations difficult).

Angel Reckless Rodent

Battle Music Skinny
June 7, 2000 7:22 PM EDT

Impressions’s Buddytep has posted an explanation of the “missing battle music” phenomenon which some people have noticed cropping up recently:

The battle music will not play if there are less than 15 enemy units invading.

Short but to the point ;). He went on to say that this has been in the game from the start, and wasn’t introduced by the Enhancement Pack.

Angel Reckless Rodent

Downloads are back!
June 7, 2000 3:12 PM EDT

Thanks to the wonderful work of Angel Zen, the PH downloads section is now back up and running :).

Hopefully, things will run smoothly from now on – once again, I apologise for all the inconvenience over the past few days.

Angel Reckless Rodent

A bit of forum news…
June 5, 2000 3:59 PM EDT

Well, it’s been a while and even though things are still busy I managed to find a small hole in my schedule for a little news update.

The Senet House sees a nice thread on the divine powers with in the game. Asking questions as “Why are there not kitten mummy sellers?” and “What would Seth say if you killed a crocodile?”
Want to know more?

There’s also a new story started, thi sone is about the Great Alexandrian Library and features the lives of Civis Romanus, MRed and a certain Angel. Only the gods know who else ifs going to show up, or where the story will lead…
You can find it here.

Last but not least, don’t forget to regiester if you want to play in the Pharaolympics.

Angel Jayhawk

Outage Explanation
June 3, 2000 6:16 AM EDT

Well, most things at HGS now seem to be working reasonably (with the exception of the PH download section, which is still down). IT turns out that the cause of the problem was Gamestats’s ISP being hit by lightning, which took out our servers.

Thanks for bearing with us. We’ll try to get the download section up again asap.

Angel Reckless Rodent

Pharaolympics are go!
June 2, 2000 5:19 PM EDT

Well, the informal pre-Olympics competitions are over, so it’s time to move on to the real thing.

Normally, I’d wax lyrical about all the exciting prizes we’ve got on offer (and we do…more information about those later, but I assure you you won’t be disappointed), but I’m still looking into the tech problems which have bedevilled us today.

So, I’ll let Angel Gustavia tell you all about them in this forum thread.

Angel Reckless Rodent

Tech Problems
June 2, 2000 11:16 AM EDT

Well, we seem to be back up now after a few hours offline. Sorry for the disturbance that may have been caused – seems like the server had a monumental hiccup early on this morning. The heavengames email server was down too, so if you sent me any email between about 10pm EDT yesterday and 11am EDT today, please re-send to make sure I receive it.

There do seem to be some lingering effects of the oopsie – some of our cgi and MySQL scripts don’t seem to be displaying as they should (including the entire download section, which seems to be non-functional right now). As I mentioned before, sorry for any inconvenience, and we’ll hopefully be able to resume normal service asap.

Angel Reckless Rodent

Realism in City Sims
June 1, 2000 7:25 PM EDT

Thanks go out to Balshazaar from Impressions for waving this interesting article under my nose. It’s a piece on Gamasutra (which also does some very good game post-mortems, looking back at the development process which a particular game went through and discussing what went right and what went wrong) about realism in city and empire building games. Although Pharaoh isn’t the main game dealt with, it does receive some good comments on the way:

It’s important to note that all God Games aren’t created based upon these flawed principles. The gameplay of some (a great example is Sierra’s City Builder Series) are based upon a real historical framework. In these cases, designers have a strong foundation replete with (relatively) understood processes of cultural evolution upon which to base their creation. This article is less targeted towards this type (though I would argue that they would definitely be able to learn a great deal from these discussions), but more towards the games that don’t operate within a historical framework, sometimes referred to simply as “free form,” and take a completely player- mandated view of cultural and technological evolution.

Read the rest here.

Angel Reckless Rodent

Downloads update
June 1, 2000 6:09 AM EDT

Hmm…I missed this one a couple of days ago. Still, better late than never, here’s news of the most recent downloads update by Angel Draco:

In Custom Scenarios
Updated version of Emre Yigit’s To Change History map. Also, SethsRaven offers two new maps: Sai the Beautiful & Serabit Khadim.

In Completed Cities
Many versions of the Dwa-Kemet contest map are in. Pi has just submitted his completed version of Summer Residence, a custom made map submitted several weeks ago by El Maestro.

In MISC. Files
SethsRaven strikes again with a new Pharaoh Theme Pack for your computer’s Desktop.

Angel Reckless Rodent