Age of Empires 4 Interview - Going Behind the Scenes on the Return o...
We sat down with the teams at Relic and World’s Edge days before the launch of Age of Empires IV to chat about its development, the campaign, siege gameplay, and what’s in store for the future.
Making Changes While Staying True
There’s playing it safe, and then there’s staying true to a look and feel. Age of Empires IV is in many ways an extension of Age of Empires II, and with the move to a fully-3D presentation it allows for more expansive siege warfare and other elements to highlight faction and civilisation identity.
“There's another balancing act,” Quinn Duffy explains. “You could bury the player in nuanced and sophisticated systems, things that can detract from the overall experience. Even though you have the ability to do it in-engine, it doesn't always pay off the way you think. We had tonnes of really sophisticated line-of-sight stuff with terrain and everything. And it just ended up being a bit too hard to read with the unit numbers you're dealing with. You have to be careful, but there's also really cool presentation stuff that comes with improved graphics, lighting, and 4K.”
Also, maintaining that Age feel has a lot to do with the series’ accessibility. For many, Age of Empires was their gateway to computer games back in the 1990s -- and the concept of an RTS. This can be felt in Age of Empires IV, across everything from resource management and technig up, through to the speed at which a round or mission plays out.