In today’s journal Michiel van den Bos discusses the soundtrack for the upcoming expansion, and we a small update of little bits and pieces we’ve been working on. First, the Maestro in his own words:
When starting work on this expansion, I had to keep three things in mind: Necromancer, Frostling and Tigran. Each race evokes a different mood.
Necromancer – Dark, brooding, evil.
Frostling – Cold, desolate.
Tigran – Wilderness, Egyptian undertones
Each of these are polar opposites when it comes to their overall tone. I tried very hard not to fall into the trap of focusing on one specific mood. Composing a song based on Necromancers alone would sound foreboding, perhaps even scary, which usually doesn’t make for a compelling melody. A Tigran-centric song would contain none of those traits, but would contain more ethnic drums and instruments. Instead I chose to incorporate pretty much every element in each map song. I also experimented heavily with instruments, blending darker atmospheric instruments with ethnic ones. The result is rather psychedelic and they have a mood that compliments all three classes without ignoring their focus.
I’ve made a small collection of clips from each of the songs in this expansion. Two of them are more uptempo, heroic songs which are the main theme and combat song. See if you can spot which of the maptunes has its focus on each of the classes. Of course small portions of songs don’t paint an accurate picture, but I think you can hear where I’m going with them.
Hope you enjoy the music.
Michiel van den Bos
Check out the tune & more news from the front (including a Tigran Leader image) here!
After the previous weeks saw some journals heavy on content, this week’s journals is about indepth underlying mechanics.
“This is a deep experience backed by intricate mechanics and a concerted polish that makes gameplay immediately intuitive and rewarding. Age of Wonders 3 will keep you up until the wee hours of the morning, constantly muttering that you'll crawl into bed after just one more turn.”
9/10 – Joystiq
“A war worth sinking your teeth into”
83/100 – PC Gamer
Get the game and also the Dragon’s Throne Stand-Alone Scenario and the two hour Official Soundtrack.
Dragon’s Throne Scenario
An extra large Stand-Alone Scenario. Legend tells of dragons who ruled the fabled Sea of Flames at the dawn of time. However nobody has seen a True Dragon in living memory. The isles are still loaded with treasure and have become popular with adventures, merchants, scoundrels and sightseers. Now eight rival lords have found a mysterious dragon’s egg, and each sees it as proof of their claim to the Dragon’s Throne. The sages warn they risk unleashing the wrath of the Dragons, but the Lords pay no heed as they prepare for war. You can play the Dragon’s Throne versus AI opponents or in multiplayer with up to 8 players.
Age of Wonders III: Original Soundtrack
The two hour Age of Wonders III Original Soundtrack is composed by maestro Michiel van den Bos, of Unreal, Deux Ex, Overlord and Age of Wonders 1 fame. The OST features thirty one crisp, high quality 320kbs MP3 & FLAC tracks from Age of Wonders III and five exclusive bonus tracks. To top it off the OST includes liner notes by the composer - english only - and jewel case CD inlay jpg files. Be enchanted!
Songs and OST materials will be placed in your AoW3 folder in the Steam Directory: "...Steam\steamapps\common\AoW3\OST"
You can get there using your favorite file manager or by following these step:
1) Right click 'Age of Wonders III' in your Steam Library.
2) Select 'Properties'.
3) In the 'Age of Wonders III - Properties' tab, go to the 'Local Files' tab.
4) Select 'Browse Local Files...' to open the folder that contains the game.
5) Here you can find the 'OST' folder that contains your music.
Age of Wonders, the Age of Wonders logo, Triumph Studios and the Triumph Studios logo are trademarks of Triumph Studios B.V.. Copyright (c) 1999-2014 Triumph Studios. All Rights Reserved. All other trademarks and trade names are properties of their respective owners.
|| 8 ||
|Graphics||8||Nice graphics and detail on the strategic map and even better graphics for units, terrain and magical effects in combat. UI is nice, detailed and easy to use|
|Audio||6||Music gets a little repetitive - maybe a little more variety needed, sound effects are good but nothing special.|
|Gameplay||8||Age of Wonders III is a turn based, 4X strategy game based in a fantasy setting. The tactical combat view (when your army's battle) is excellent, you really feel like you are head to head with the AI (which seems to do a good job most of the time) in a battle of wits. Casting a well timed spell or outmanoeuvring your enemy can sometimes turn the tide of a battle, unfortunately usually the outcome of a battle is a forgone conclusion due to the relative strength of the units involved, but even when this is the case its still fun to crush your enemy and minimise your losses. The strength of the Units in your army really plays such a large part of the battles that you can actually choose to skip the tactical battle entirely and have the computer automatically calculate the results. Some of the units have somewhat of a balance issue with the higher level units often being able to take down whole armies by themselves with little damage or risk. This inevitably results in a race to upgrade your city buildings to create these higher level creatures. AI at the strategic level is a little predictable but there is still fun to be had placing your cities and grabbing as many resources as possible to fund your economy. One thing I noticed at the strategic level is there doesn't seem to be any downside to city spamming (covering the map in loads of your cities) as you gain resources (mana, gold, research) for each city. Ruins, shrines and artefacts are scattered throughout the maps and these will often require you to fight a monster to claim the reward for your Hero. Hero's are your army leaders you get a main one and then can hire more for gold. Hero's have a selection of spells they can use to aid you in battle, summon monsters or benefit your cities. Items you collect / make can be given to your hero's to increase their stats and they also get skills as they earn xp through battles.|
|Story||7||The game contains a number of well written scenario's which are fairly fun to play through. Overall I think I preferred playing the random maps though.|
|Replayability||7||If you enjoy the game you will probably want to play it again, random maps and steam workshop adds more community made content.|
|8||A fan of this genre will probably get a lot of enjoyment out of this game. While not as complex or detailed as others of the same type what it does it does well. Hotseat mode (a mode I loved from Civilisation) is a great addition to this game and playing with friends is a lot of fun.|
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