News archive: 2002

Prospector contest now available for download
December 12, 2002 2:50 PM EST

I know you have all been waiting with baited breath to try out GraniteQ’s contest map Prospector. Its now available from here. Enjoy


Pharaoh Competition: Prospector
December 10, 2002 12:38 PM EST

Yes, it’s true.

After a very long time without hosting friendly competitions we finally offer you one, by that peerless scenario designer: Granite Q

Prospector is a speed mission with the follwoing story line

Pharaoh has heard there is area near Timna which, although apparently barren, may contain valuable raw materials. He is therefore in great need of a first class prospector.

Fortunately he has you on his staff, one whose reputation for discovering even the most hidden away treasures are renowned throughout the land.

Pharaoh wants you to go to Timna, establish a substantial settlement and achieve full production as soon as you can.

The contest starts this Thursday and will pop up in the Competition Corner when it’s ready to go.

Angel Jayhawk

I-ChallengeU Ikhet Contest Results
December 3, 2002 4:35 PM EST

The winners of the ICU Ikhet Pharaoh contest have been announced.

In the Hard category Martinu, whose map thumbnail is shown, was 1st, with Elf 2nd and Taelia 3rd. In the Easy category the winner was TNT, followed by Dufistus 2nd and Great Cornholio 3rd.

Congratulations to the winners and all who entered, looks like there were some remarkable results.

The full results, and downloads of the winning cities, can be obtained at


Ikhet: Glorious Light
November 11, 2002 3:19 PM EST

ICU hosts a new Pharaoh Contest, and a special one at that, as it’s the last scenario created by Alyana/Norahs2000. It is called Ikhet

Three…?!!” A hushed exclamation resounds through the cool air in the Grand Hall.
The Overseer of Monuments lowers his eyes and looks at his sandals as the Nomarch stares at him from the corner of his eyes, hushing him.
“Forgive me, My Lord…but the Son of Heaven is asking for a miracle. Three in 20 years?? It is a monumental task, if not impossible.”

“We all work for Greater Egypt, lord architect. You will receive much help in many forms. Pharaoh has much faith in you.”

The overseer raises his eyes for a fleeting glance before looking away, “I fear I do not feel the same myself….”

For more information, please visit ICU

Angel Jayhawk

Is that giggle I hear before me?
November 7, 2002 2:12 PM EST

It’s been a while, but the City Builder sites have decided to increase their staff count once more.

We’d like you to welcome someone most of you will know from his designing of fiendishly clever and difficult scenarios. As such he will join us as, how shall we put it, Contest Cherub. With his help we’d like to go back to the days when we could offer you the odd City Builder Contest.

Please welcome Granite Q as the latest addition to an excellent team.

Angel Jayhawk

On the move
September 27, 2002 2:24 AM EDT

Well, we finally managed to complete one part of our cunning plan for City Building Heaven.

As of today the forums for Pharaoh are part of the City Building Forums. From here you can easily visit the other City Building Foums for Caesar 3, Zeus and, of course, Emperor.

There may be a few loose links around, which we hope to fix in the days to come. Of course, many of the original cross-post links have stopped working.

Note you may also experience some problems with Glyphy.

Angel Jayhawk

Forums Down
August 13, 2002 10:26 AM EDT

The forums will be down until at least 6PM EST for maintenance.

We apologise for the inconvenience.

Angel Jayhawk

Transition Time
July 30, 2002 3:09 AM EDT

You will (or should) have seen yesterday’s message about the Downloads Section being temporarily off line. I promised to tell you when it got better.

Well, the news is, it may get worse.

We are busy moving servers, and have run in some problems of varying severity. The Downloads Sections may be working intermittently. Uploading files is almost certain to fail, so it’s best to wait with uploading until we get everything working perfectly once more.

Worse, even the sites themselves may be down intermittently. We are aware of this and doing out utmost to get everything working as soon and as smoothly as possible.

We apologize to everyone for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience.

Angel Jayhawk

Game-Over Previews Emperor
July 28, 2002 4:46 PM EDT

Game Over Online has posted a new preview of Emperor: Rise of the Middle Kingdom. It’s based on a early build of the game and has 20 new screen shots for your viewing pleasure. Here’s a snippet:

Control of the military is often the Achilles heel of the Impressions city-builders. Emperor lets you wield a good amount of troops, provided you have the economic base and the revenue in city profits to support it. That’s an important issue because in Emperor, you’ll be exposed to more cities than before. You can trade, demand goods, give goods, attack and spy on neighboring cities. If your city is stronger or more powerful in military terms, you can extract tribute, thereby bolstering your economy without really developing it. During the course of the campaign, you’ll play a part in forging imperial dynasties. So it follows that rivals or leaders, like the emperor himself, will make wanton demands. This feature was so necessary in the Caesar games that it’s astonishing to see it implemented to its fullest extent here. In truth, that’s what killed a lot of the Roman governors; unreasonable random demands from Rome. Suffice to say, the empire map is something you will definitely make use of in Emperor. It expands the overall scope of the game irrevocably.

You can read the full preview here, then discuss the new screen shots in our Emperor Forums.

Angel Draco

GameSpy Previews Emperor
July 17, 2002 11:43 AM EDT

A new in-depth preview of Emperor: Rise of the Middle Kingdom has been posted at Gamespy, along with 14 new screenshots. Here’s a snippet:

For the first time, BreakAway brings multiplayer to their city-building series. Up to eight players can choose to play either cooperative or competitive in Emperor. Cooperative multiplayer has each player complete an assigned goal, such as completing a section of the Great Wall. Sharing resources is necessary and trade is emphasized. In competitive multiplayer, players race to complete their goal, which are often military in nature. Emissaries can be used to give gifts, form alliances, and open trade. They also carry private messages between players and allow players to see a snapshot of each other’s cities.

You can read the full review here, then discuss it with fellow gamers at Forbidden City, HeavenGames’s Emperor forum.

Angel Jayhawk

Emperor Previews & Screenshots!
July 11, 2002 1:14 PM EDT

Sierra’s next city-building game, Emperor: Rise of the Middle Kingdom, being developed by Breakaway Games (the same people who developed the Pharaoh expansion: Cleopatra), is due out this Fall 2003. There have been a few in-depth previews recently posted now that the gaming news media have gotten their hands on the press beta disks for Emperor.

PC.IGN posted their two-page Emperor preview back on June 15 with lots of screenshots. has just recently posted its in-depth preview and has an impressive number of 55 screenshots for you!

If you’re a member of Gamespot’s subscription service (“Gamespot Complete), the video preview is also worth a look see. At 85MB for the hi-res version and 69MB for the low-res, it will certainly be working your modems into overtime. I have a dial-up myself, but really found the video preview worth it because it shows several clips of actual gameplay. It’s as close as you’re going to get to really seeing the game in action until an actual demo is released.

Be sure to check out the 10 screenshots HeavenGames obtained while at the recent E3 convention and stop by the Forbidden City forum; HG’s temporary home for Emperor located on the Caesar 3 Heaven forums.

Angel Jayhawk

The (unofficial) Osiris’ ferryman competition
July 3, 2002 1:36 AM EDT

It seems it’s time for another competition. This one is set for September and will be hosted by civilis.

The contest is based on Baltic’s “Surfing between Skylla and Charybdis” from about a year ago.

You can read more about it in the Competition forum.

Angel Jayhawk

New CB site
June 14, 2002 4:08 PM EDT

In the “better late than never” file:

Ogre’s Network, a gaming network developed by PC gamers, for PC gamers, has announced the launch of their latest fan site, City Builders, dedicated to the City-Builder game series, developed by Impressions Games & Breakaway Games, and published by Sierra Entertainment, Inc.

City Builders will offer a community for fello city builders to interact and gain information in regards to the games in the City Building series. City Builders will offer coverage of all games since the 1998 release, Caesar III. We will even offer some coverage of the upcoming City Builder game, Emperor: Rise of the Middle Kingdom, which is slated to be released in Fall 2002.

“Emperor: Rise of the Middle Kingdom represents a huge leap for anyone who has ever played a city-building game,” said Alex Rodberg, brand manager for Impressions’ City-Building line of games. “In online play, gamers control neighboring cities and can form alliances, trade needed goods, send in spies and emissaries, invade each other, or work together on a massive project like the Grand Canal. There has never been a game like this.”
Emperor: Rise of the Middle Kingdom brings city builders inside the Great Wall of China. Leaving the Mediterranean behind, the city-building series makes its first foray into Asia and immerses the player in brand new surroundings. China has existed for over 4,000 years, but its 4,000 year history has been marked with new technologies and ideas replacing – or enhancing – the old. This is the world in which the player will take the reigns of leadership and take their cities through the twists and turns of Chinese history.

Emperor: Rise of the Middle Kingdom offers gamers their first opportunity to play a city building game with their friends, online via the Internet. A great variety of both collaborative and competitive multiplayer games will be offered. Players may need to collaborate in building one of China’s engineering marvels, or they may share a common goal to attain a certain level of affluence. In competitive multiplay, players take sides – or may be a side unto themselves – and fight for sole power over China. “We’re really excited to see what gamers will come up with in multiplayer mode, so we’re leaving options open for them to invent their own types of gameplay,” added Jon Payne, producer for the game at Impressions Games.

Ogre’s Network –
City Builders –

Angel Reckless Rodent

CBC June competition for ‘Newcomers’
June 3, 2002 1:20 PM EDT

Once again I had a message from GraniteQ informaing me of a new competition at the City Builders Channel.

This month’s CBC Pharaoh competition, called Initiation, is a new idea for CBC. It is restricted to players who have never played a CBC Pharaoh/Cleopatra competition before.

We hope that new players will be encouraged to try a competition at the ‘easy’ level of difficulty which has been created at a similar level to Meidum in the Pharaoh/Cleopatra career.

You can find the contest page here.

Angel Jayhawk

Beta Test Emperor!
May 4, 2002 4:04 PM EDT

Thanks to homegrown for letting me know that BreakAway Games is accepting applications to beta test the upcoming Citybuilder set in China.

Click here to submit your application.

Angel Reckless Rodent

More competitions
May 2, 2002 1:15 PM EDT

Competions galore is seems.
GraniteQ sent me this little message about another CBC Cleopatra contest

The barren and rocky wasteland known as Kom el-Hisn Pass has returned to CBC during May. This is a military survival game, players have to defend the Pass against the Libyans for 8 years.
You can find the competition page here.


Angel Jayhawk

More green?
May 1, 2002 12:53 PM EDT

Well, they say a giggle sounds through Heaven when a cherub is born, so that must have been the tinkling sound I heard all day.

Please welcome VitruviusAIA (I’ll stick to calling him Vaia from now on) to the ranks of the City Builder cherubs.

Vaia will be doing more of what he’s been doing so far, which is keeping an eye out on the various forums, and create great tables, with lots of information.

For the time being this will be mostly on Pharaoh Heaven, but once Emperor Heaven takes shape you can expect him there as well.

Once more, welcome Vaia, may your wings never grow tired!

Angel Jayhawk

New Competition
April 30, 2002 9:13 AM EDT

I received an email from Enano Rojo the other day asking me if I could point you to a new competition.

Enano Rojo and Tryhard have decided to set up an unofficial competition from
HG. Every month there will be a new competition map.
You have one month, until 24th of May (Tryhard’s birthday), to download and play the file from Tryhard – Nekhen Fortress Comp (competition).

Nekhen Fortress is a competition designed scenario. You can play at 3 levels: Normal, Hard and Very hard.
You start in January 1335 with an empty fortress. You have twenty years. On January 1315, an Hyksos army, 300 big, will attack from the North-East.
Useless to say that you cannot defeat them. Let them run to one bridge then destroy the bridges. Under constant fire from the tower, they will eventually leave (so between April and July). When one sees the lasts of them on the escape, the game has to be stopped and your achievements are assessed.

All files should be sent to Enano Rojo

For more information click here.

Angel Jayhawk

‘Grain’ results and a new competition
April 3, 2002 12:56 PM EST

I just got a little email from GraniteQ over at CBC with the results of last month’s mission: Grain.

The winners of the CBC March Pharaoh competition called ‘Grain’ were:
Elf, at Hard difficulty,
PiasaGene, at Easy difficulty.

I’m sorry to say, this month’s CBC Cleopatra competition, Kom el-Hisn Pass, has been cancelled.

My congratulations to the winners.

Angel Jayhawk

March 11, 2002 2:17 PM EST

CBC is holding a contest designed by our very own Granite Q.

Set in Post-Cleopatraic Egypt, the story asks you to provide grain for the hated Roman usurpers.

Knowing Granite Q’s previous scenarios, this will not be an easy task. You can still enter as the contest runs until the end of the month.

For more details, click here.

Angel Jayhawk

Enter the Dragon…
February 12, 2002 2:04 PM EST

From my inbox into the news.

Impression’s Jon Payne, dropped a very short email in my mailbox.It said:

Naturally I followed the link and like Alice down the rabbit hole, I found some wonderful news about the new China based City Builder they are working on together with BreakAway Games, with whom they worked on Cleopatra, the Pharaoh expansion.

What I’ve seen sofar looks stunning and will provide endless hours of guesswork as to what does what and how. The most intriguing bit of news, however, is that it will support multiplayer games.

Here’s some more news about it, brought to my attention by Sir William of Pork.

Angel Jayhawk

A sad day in Heaven
February 6, 2002 2:32 PM EST

Some sad news was posted over on Caesar 3 Heaven. The first is a message from Ironrod/Kraken in which he tells us Impressions (Sierra), well known from producing Caesar 3, Pharaoh and Zeus, has decided to lay off part of their staff. Sadly he was one of the ones that had to go.
Bob Taylor followed up that post by informing us of some of the other known staff that were asked to leave as well, they include Reed, Eugrabades, Balthasar and Nixon. You can find his post here.

A sad day in the history of gaming.

We, the staff of Pharaoh Heaven, wish them all the best.

This link will tell you more.

Angel Jayhawk

The Flexi-Block
February 3, 2002 3:53 AM EST

The strategy section had been updated today, with the addition of a new housing block strategy devised and posted in the forum by Afterburner. So, if you’ve been unable to find the perfect Pharaoh housing block, then have a look here at the Flexi-block – it may be the answer to all your problems.

Angel Reckless Rodent

Happy New Year!
January 1, 2002 7:23 AM EST

Once more on behalf of the Pharaoh Heaven staff, I’d like to wish you a wonderful:


May you never run out of games to play or time to play them!

Angel Jayhawk