News archive: 2003

Backlog of Downloads
December 3, 2003 12:57 PM EST

With a humble and well meant apology, I’d like to announce that all files submitted in the past five weeks have been approved.

Some of you may know Angel Draco has stepped down from his position as Downloads Angel, and it seems I still need to get used to checking the new uploads myself.

However, the service should be restored to normal.

Angel Jayhawk


HeavenGames Demographics Survey
October 7, 2003 5:34 PM EDT

Can you spare a couple of minutes to help HeavenGames? We need people to answer our Demographics Survey. This will help us improve the quality of advertising which will, in turn, help raise money to enable HeavenGames to stay online for a long time.

The survey is completely anonymous and the data you submit won’t be connected to you in any way. Each person should only complete it once.

Thanking you in advance for your help.

GillB


Gamespy’s 25 most Underrated Games
September 30, 2003 11:59 AM EDT

And in at number 25 is Impressions’ City Building Series (although they seem to have forgotten Emperor). Nice write-up by people who have obviously played the games seriously. Maybe it will encourage people to give them a go. Gamespy editor Delsyn especially like Pharaoh:

“Delsyn: I reviewed Pharaoh for the late, lamented PC Accelerator magazine, and it marked the only time in a review I ever deliberately inserted a sentence in order to get quoted on a box. In the review I wrote that “Pharaoh is a quantum leap forward for the city-building genre. (Expect to see that soon on a box near you).” Sure enough, the next version of the box had that quote on it.

Why did I do that? Simple — I meant each and every word of it and I wanted to help get this game into the hands of as many gamers as possible. I still do. All these years later, Pharaoh is still a brilliant game. Don’t get me wrong, the Caesar’s and Zeus were also terrific, but very few games have consumed as much time in my life as Pharaoh.”

You can read more of the ongoing series at Gamespy.

Angel Jayhawk


New Virus out in the wild
September 19, 2003 3:55 AM EDT

There is a new virus that takes advantage of a recent problem discovered with certain version of Microsoft Windows. More information can be found here: http://securityresponse.symantec.com/avcenter/venc/data/w32.swen.a@mm.html . It dupes users into thinking they are installing a security update, when in fact it isn’t. See screenshot: http://securityresponse.symantec.com/avcenter/graphics/w32.swen.a@mm.3.gif. If you haven’t updated your system, please do so at http://www.windowsupdate.com.

If you opened the attachment, it attempts to disable various anti-virus programs (like Norton Anti-Virus) as well as various firewalls (like ZoneAlarm). It will try to intercept your email username, password, and mail server settings, thus using your ISP’s mail server to spread itself. It will attempt to send itself to everyone on your address book through email, as well as attempt to spread through KaZaA, shared directories, IRC, and newsgroups. It will modify your registry, add files to your computer. In short, your computer and possibly your ISP access will be thoroughly screwed by the time the worm is done installing itself on your computer, so it’ll be best if you avoid getting infected so you don’t have to deal with the resulting mess.

As always, don’t open email attachments from people you don’t know, even if it claims to be from Microsoft.

Angel Zen


Of worms, MSBlaster, and DirectX
August 20, 2003 9:46 AM EDT

If your computer is affected by the MSBlaster worm or its variants; or your computer hasn’t been patched against the worm, we urge you to patch your computer as soon as possible.
You can find out how target=”_blank”>on this page at Microsoft.

Also, it’s highly advised you patch against another security hole that’s asking for trouble: There’s a problem with DirectX that allows a virus, trojan, or any malicious programs to infect your computer by simply playing an infected MIDI file. This affects all DirectX versions from 5.2 all the way up to 9.0. Thus, you can be infected by simply viewing an email or webpage that has an auto-playing MIDI file. You can find out more and how to patch this on this page at Microsoft.
At least one other major media outlet has reported this.

If you haven’t installed all the critical updates in Windows Update, it’s probably a good idea to do so now.

Angel Jayhawk


Promotion
May 19, 2003 1:05 PM EDT

As some of you will undoubtably have noticed, our very own scenario designer, Granite Q has accepted bigger wings.

This should make it even easier for him to work with the contests, and he may even be branching out to Emperor.

Please join me in wishing him all the best for his new job.

:: hands Granite a gallon of MRed’s Wing Conditioner for Angels ::

Watch this space for more news 😉

Angel Jayhawk


Craft Centre – Pharaoh/Cleo contest
May 1, 2003 6:51 AM EDT

May’s competition in City Building Competition Corner is a Pharaoh game called Craft Centre; it can be played with either Pharaoh or Cleopatra. More information and the starting saves can be found on the Craft Centre Game Page or check out the Craft Centre thread in our Competition Corner forum.

“Econhotep, one of Pharaoh’s chief advisors, is advocating a new idea to build cities where there are no resources at all, but food and raw materials are available by import.

People skilled in making pottery, beer, linen, papyrus and jewellery are all needed in such a city. It will become known as a centre, or focal point, for all the great Egyptian crafts. To enable the economy to grow there will be an export opportunity for each manufactured good.

Your task is to build such a city and represent all that is best in traditional Egyptian values, its culture, respect for Pharaoh and a prosperous economy”.

Merepatra


Pharaoh/Cleo maps in Excel format
March 28, 2003 8:08 AM EST

Nero Would has recently managed to create Excel versions of all the Pharaoh and Cleo career mission maps. These are sure to be a must have for the meticulous city planner.

There is a spoiler and no spoiler version of each map available. Further details of what is included in each can be found in this thread in our forums. The maps are available for download from our Miscellaneous Downloads section.

Merepatra


ICU Pharaoh Contest
March 5, 2003 8:38 PM EST

I-Challenge U are running a Pharaoh contest, Merchant Oasis for March.

Our benevolent Pharaoh, Ramses II, beloved of Ra and Lord of the Two Lands, has an important mission for you, Nerferonpet, Scribe of the Treasury in the Estate of Amun-Re. He wants you to go to the West, into the desert, to a place where rich deposits of golden ore, gemstones and granite can be found.
Though rich in these highly-prized materials, this place, know as Farafra Oasis, lacks the necessary food and raw materials to support a large city. Only a few ostriches live there.
The Pharaoh, however, wants you to build a thriving city, to show the Bedouin tribes the prosperity of our rich country, as well as two mighty Obelisks, in honour of Ra! To accomplish this, you shall turn this small piece of desert into a merchant oasis, and trade with other cities in the country to get the goods you need and to sell those you can produce!
You may take no more than seven years to accomplish your task! A difficult task, for sure, but you’ll surely succeed!

They are also running a Caesar III contest, Loyalty this month. Full details of both contests can be found here

Merepatra


Fayuum Contest Results
March 5, 2003 8:32 PM EST

The winners from the Pharaoh Heaven Fayuum Contest have been announced. Congratulations to the winners, Martinu in the hard section and Shaun in the easy section. Also well done to all who managed to get a valid entry.

Merepatra


Downloads Server Blues
February 20, 2003 4:37 AM EST

Most of you will have noticed the server trouble we had yesterday, and sadly our troubles aren’t over yet. The Downloads Server (which was hit hardest yesterday) will be shut down sometime during today.

This will take at least an hour, so it’s prudent not to upload any files during the cause of today.

Angel Jayhawk


Fayuum is Here
February 1, 2003 6:25 AM EST

Pharaoh Heaven’s latest competition, Fayuum, which can be played with either Pharaoh or Cleopatra is now underway.

The Fayuum is a large fertile depression containing a great lake connected to the Nile by a small tributary. The area was inhabited from early times, and is believed to have been the most heavily populated area of Egypt during the period of The New Kingdom.

There were a number of settlements in the Fayuum area, three major ones close to the great lake itself, Dimai, Qasr Qarun and Batn Ihrit. A number of temples were constructed here; the large number of crocodiles in the area made it a centre of worship for the crocodile god, Sobek.

Your task is to recreate the high point of development in the Fayuum, the great temple to Sobek is to be represented by the construction of a Mausoleum from local sandstone, and the settlements by a large population in as many fancy residences (or better) as you can build.

You can find all the details of the competition and download the starting saves from the Fayuum Contest Page.

Merepatra


Fayuum – An Upcoming Attraction
January 27, 2003 1:48 PM EST

Our favourite scenario maker, Granite Q has been at it again and has devised another fiendish scenario, titled Fayuum.

The competition will open February 1st
If you want to know more, you’d better keep an eye on The Competition Corner.

Angel Jayhawk


In the mood for a Cleopatra Contest?
January 2, 2003 3:02 PM EST

For January I-ChallengeU is running a Cleopatra contest The Tomb of Osiris.

You Sennedjem, ‘Servant on the Place of Truth’ and ‘Royal Governor of the Village of the Workmen’, are asked to come to the royal presence of the great Pharaoh Seti I…
“Sennedjem, I, Seti I, ‘Son of Horus’, ‘King of the Two Lands’, have a very important task for you.” – the Pharaoh says – “For thousands of years, Abydos was known as ‘The Sacred City of Osiris’… Several temples dedicated to Osiris, God of the Underland, and to other gods, as well as magnificent tombs to house Pharaohs’ and Nobles’ sacred remains after their departure to the Field of Reeds were built there.
Many years have passed since those glorious days, though, and now Abydos is nothing more than a desert site, where no one lives and nothing grows. But this is going to change: Because it is Osiris’s will, and my own will too, you shall go to Abedju and bring glory back to the city!”

With a primary Winning criteria of highest population and some interesting Completion criteria this contest sounds like it should be a lot of fun and a good challenge. Enjoy.

Merepatra


Results of Prospector Contest
January 1, 2003 4:03 AM EST

The results of the Prospector Contest have been announced in The Competition Corner forum.

In the Hard section Elf was the winner closely followed by Joshofet 2nd and Nero Would 3rd. In the Easy section Koppi took 1st place with TNT 2nd and Kach 3rd.

The fast times of many of the contestants were fairly amazing and congratulations to all who managed to get in an entry. Thanks also to GraniteQ for an interesting and fun contest and to Henrium and Marc5 for their help in testing it.

Merepatra