Tag Archives: Forge of Empires

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Guild Expeditions – Welcome to the Jungle

It is a particularly hot day in this humid, smelly jungle. Your party has been on their feet for 2 whole days now but you just know that you are getting closer. You can feel the excitement rushing to your head as you find another relic. It is overgrown with moss and half buried in the dense mass of leaves and rotting twigs that cover the ground of this tropical forest. It is old, very old and you have no doubt that it is a piece of the ancient civilization you are looking for. As you start removing the moss from the relic, your expedition leader becomes tense. He raises his hand and signals the whole party to be quiet and take cover. They are coming.

Within a moment, bullets are whizzing past your head and you are fighting for your life. You knew they were here, you knew they were after the same ancient knowledge you are looking for and you also knew that they would stop at nothing to get what they came for. You fight to save your own skin and to preserve this knowledge, to share it with the world and to save it from the greedy, unscrupulous hands of these vultures.

You are outnumbered but they did not account for your expedition leader’s experience and instincts. After a fierce battle the attackers retreat, to regroup and prepare their next attack, no question. For now you are victorious. The relic is yours. As you start examining your prize, the leaves rustle again and out of the underbrush appears a group of strange animals – no, not animals. People resembling animals, blending in to their surroundings. As strange as they seem to you, they are friendly, smiling, greeting you with raised hands. They are willing to share their ancient knowledge with you and you know – knowledge is power!

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The native tribes of the jungle hold precious knowledge and power

 

Welcome to the Jungle – Welcome to Guild Expeditions!

Everybody is talking about Forge of Empires’ latest feature that’s currently available on Beta and we’ve sat down with Kai, game designer at InnoGames and the brains behind the Expeditions, to talk about the new feature and get some insight into the development process.

But first, what are Guild Expeditions? Guild Expeditions is a cross-platform cooperative feature where you and your guild-mates fight your way through a number of battlefields to get ahold of rewards and guild power. It’s set in a new jungle setting and it allows you to fight an NPC controlled group of invaders for the prize of the ancient knowledge of a lost civilization. Every week, you and your guild-mates will get the chance to embark on a new and exciting Expedition, during which you cannot only earn rewards for yourself but you can also gather power for your guild. Will you be able to fight off the intruders, befriend the native tribes and unlock the ancient secrets that are hidden in the jungle?

When you start talking to Kai about the Guild Expeditions, you first notice that he is excited to talk about it. This is one of his biggest projects yet since he joined the Forge of Empires team and he has put his whole heart into it. He explains to us that the team was looking for a new feature for Forge of Empires that would allow players to work together cooperatively in their guilds to reach a common goal, that’s cross-platform and that allows every member of a guild to contribute to the overall success. The existing Guild versus Guild system already allowed for a similar gameplay to some extent but it did not truly fit the bill and unfortunately, it is not available to players that enjoy Forge of Empires on their mobile devices. When Guild versus Guild was first developed, it was designed to be played in a browser window. Back then, there was no app-version of Forge of Empires and the gameplay was specifically created to deliver the best experience when played on a large screen, with a keyboard and a mouse. While it would theoretically be possible to bring Guild versus Guild to mobile devices, it would have to be limited to devices with large screens and even then, the experience would not be as good as in a browser. These restrictions were not acceptable and so the team decided to develop a new feature, that allows guild-mates to work together and that’s optimized for all platforms from the beginning.

Journey on the path of discovery and gather power

Now, to come up with ideas for this new feature, Kai went digging like Indiana Jones on one of his adventures and went back to the initial concept that was the first draft of Forge of Empires and there he found something that sparked an idea: Expeditions!

It was quickly decided that the new feature would be Guild Expeditions and the whole team was excited by the concept and went to work. Now they had to make sure that the Expeditions would become a feature that excites players as much as it does themselves. Early ideas included having an Expedition for every era, which would have meant that players that are more advanced in the game would have been able to play an Iron Age Expedition for example, but would have been limited to Iron Age units. Basically this meant limiting a guild to the era of their member with the least progress in the game, if they were interested in playing cooperatively. This idea was quickly abandoned since the team didn’t want to hold players back but rather allow them to fight in their own era.

Every member of the guild should be able to make a contribution.

The whole guild should play together.

Independent from your current age or progress.

Low complexity but lots of depth.

Easy to learn but hard to master.

“These were some of the requirements we set out to meet when we first started developing the Expeditions and I think we did a good job meeting them.” says Kai.

Besides the gameplay aspects of the new feature, a lot of thought went into developing the new setting in which the Expeditions take place. The team was looking for an exciting background story that would fit all ages. That’s how they came up with an expedition into the jungle. They were playing around with other ideas as well but this was the one they felt would appeal to most people and it also offers a lot of possibilities to expand on. You enter the jungle with your guild-mates as an Expedition team and there you encounter a rival force that is planning to exploit the native tribes, rob them of their ancient knowledge and if necessary take it by force. “First we thought about having the players fight the natives but we quickly realized that this was not the way to go.” says Kai. It would have been difficult to balance the new units to make them a viable threat to players of all eras and without a good visual distinction, it could have been confusing that a unit suddenly became stronger because it was fighting player units from a newer era. So it was decided to introduce a rival force into the mix, the intruders. While you are on a mission of peaceful exploration, this other party relies heavily on violence and is threatening the natives. During your journey you will encounter these troops and you will have to face and defeat them to ensure the safety of the tribes and gain their gratitude. Only then, they will offer you their ancient knowledge, which you can use to lead your guild to more power.

This approach of a more peaceful backstory also led to another decision: it was important to include a way to solve the encounters without fighting. This should be done in a more challenging way than the purchase of new territories in the Continent Map and so the team came up with a brand new mini-game that will offer all the traders and pacifists in Forge of Empires a new challenge and a way to be part of the success of their guild in a more active way than donating goods to the treasury. The mini-game is not yet implemented in the version you can check out on Beta but will soon be added to the Guild Expeditions.

Everyone here in the Forge of Empires team is excited about the new feature but no one has as good a reason as Kai. At the end of our talk, he tells us a little secret: He’s had an Indiana Jones outfit in his closet for years now and finally, he can wear it without people giving him weird looks. You don’t know what he’s talking about? Check out this clip from InnoGames TV:

We hope you enjoyed our feature article about the new upcoming Guild Expeditions. We plan on having similar articles published on the Blog in regular intervals and would welcome your feedback.

PS: One last message from Kai: “If you’re usually a player that has the game sound turned off, turn it on for the Expeditions. Our sound guys have done amazing work and the new sounds harmonize perfectly with the theme and setting of the Guild Expeditions.”

Player Portraits in Forge of Empires

Whenever it comes to international games, character portraits tend to top the list of player’s additional desires; after gameplay must-haves of course. So with the large amount of portraits in the game, what influences them? While the game is quite diverse there is a simple explanation to the game’s look: settings and team representation.

Continue reading Player Portraits in Forge of Empires

Live Streaming and Forge of Empires: All you Need to Know

Do you miss the good old days of submitting your opinions through comment sections or forums? The days were you wondered whether anyone apart from your fellow commentators read them. We also wondered, which is why we have started using periscope and Twitch as a way to get your feedback.

Peer in the last periscope announcement
Peer in the last periscope announcement

Although we will still read the forums and comments on our blogs, social media or videos, we want to offer players a way to interact more directly with us and our games. In the next couple of months we will try to implement live streaming into our communication strategy. If you have any suggestions or ideas for what you’d like to see, please leave them below. We will take everything into consideration as we proceed. Continue reading Live Streaming and Forge of Empires: All you Need to Know

Forge of Empires: Team Structure

Ever wonder who makes your game? Or better yet, how they are organized? If that’s the case, you are in luck because this week we will give you a brief rundown on how the Forge of Empires office is organized.  In order make it a little bit easier to understand, we will break it down into three parts: general information, an overview of the structure and the development team.

1512332_746632792031225_1024982324_n Continue reading Forge of Empires: Team Structure

Forge of Empires – Welcome to the Modern Era!

Forge of EmpiresThe year 2014 has hardly begun, and our strategy hit Forge of Empires already received a great new update: From now on the Modern Era is available! After the release of the Progressive Era which brought tons of new features and changes to the game, the Modern Era will even surpass this. Here you can see a little overview of the features which will come with the update:

  • 96 new story quests
  • This is by far the longest story quest line for any age until now
  • Fly to the Far East and land in a continent that spans over 11 new provinces
  • Meet the mighty Hisao Hito that leads his empire through a successful war
  • Plenty of choices need to be made that not only impact the outcome of the story, but also the rewards given
  • Different story outcomes depending on your choice

Dawn of a new age

But that’s not all – the way rare goods work in Forge of Empires is experiencing a complete upheaval. Master the all-new, refined goods system and use old good deposits and old goods to produce the new ones in special production buildings! This great new feature connects the ages of Forge of Empires even more, and the whole economy and the trading aspect of the game become more complex and tricky.

Typical buildings from the 1950’s allow you to recreate the Rock ‘n Roll vibe in your city. In addition to that, the new amusement park will improve the atmosphere in your city and movies from your Film Studio will guarantee the necessary variety for your inhabitants.

Forge of Empires amuseme t_park

It’s raining soldiers

Not only the cities will go through big changes, you will also notice huge improvements on the battlefields. Among many new skills and units, paratroopers will join the battlefield of Forge of Empires for the first time. With their skill rapid deplyoment they are able to jump deep behind the enemies’ lines – a great way to surprise your unsuspecting enemies… In addition to that, you will fight on complete new battlefields that look like tropical beaches, featuring palm trees and sand hills.

With the Modern Era Forge of Empires will receive a lot of new and interesting features and I’m really looking forward to immerse myself in the time of the good old Rock ’n Roll!

 

Forge of Empires prepares launch of next age: Modern Era now live on Beta

Forge of Empires

Lots of news from our strategy hit Forge of Empires at the moment: The winter event is still running and like most of you, I’m still trying to collect some stars and score one of the unique buildings. But there’s more: From today on, you can test our brand new age, the Modern Era, on the beta server.  Along with a complete set of new and stunning buildings, the era introduces a new skill on the battlefield, “rapid deployment”, and a new Great Building. Aside from that, the Modern Era introduces a new way to manufacture goods. You simply combine goods from earlier ages in order to produce Modern Era goods.  This great new feature connects the ages of Forge of Empires even more, and the whole economy and the trading aspect of the game become more complex and tricky.

Drive-inSo from now on you have the possibility to have a first look on the next age, before it will be released very soon. As with all recent big updates, we’re very interested in getting your help to test the new content, so we’re really looking forward to your feedback.

A journey through time – New Cinematic Trailer for Forge of Empires

Forge of Empires

Forge of Empires is everywhere – in the browser, soon on mobile phones and tablets and now again on television. Our new 3D trailer accompanies a king from his beginnings as a hunter to a powerful general. The video is highlighted with an epic soundtrack and great animations to make you want to play the game.

But enough words check out the trailer and don’t forget to give us feedback:

We’re really looking forward to that

Whoever said progress was a slow process – Welcome to the Progressive Era

Forge of EmpiresTwo weeks ago I already announced a new era for our strategy hit Forge of Empires, now you can finally play it yourself on all major markets! Whether it is airships, cars or other modern technologies, the turn of the century not only offers a lot to explore, but also a completely new campaign.
In order to give you an overview of the new age, I made some screenshots.
Let’s start with an excerpt from my town. As you can see, there is already an airship hovering over my city. Major industrial plants are connected by modern two-way streets and centrally located parks offer a welcome place for serene recovery.

City Screen
In the second screenshot you can see our new battleground, complete with barbed wire, trenches and modern units. What strikes you immediately on the battlefield is that completely new strategies are needed in order to win. How can you stop enemy tanks, how much protection is provided by your own trenches or how accurate is the enemy sniper? A lot of work for ambitious generals!

Battle Map

In the next three pictures you can some more of the brand new buildings available in the Progressive Era. Firstly, the modern town hall with glass dome and parking, which will continue to be the heart of your metropolis.

Electricity Plant

The second picture shows the new electricity plant, that supports your town with much needed power. In the future, you will not only need electricity for basic illumination, but also for shops’ neon signs and modern factories.

City Park

In the third picture you can see the previously mentioned park, with pond and paddle boat for your residents to provide recovery from the routine of everyday life.
Do you also want to check on your city and start the new campaign. Simply login, a new era awaits you!

Time for some changes: Forge of Empires announces Progressive Era

Forge of Empires

The wheel of time never stands still and in our strategy game Forge of Empires, Progress is not a slow process either. Not too long ago, the chimneys started smoking in the Industrial Age, now the strategy game is at the brink of entering the Progressive Era, Forge’s next age. The Update will be on the international servers next week, july 24th, the other versions follow a week later. I already looked our development team over the shoulder and what I saw and heard there, definitely makes me want to play it! Once again, there will be a completely new world map with countless quests, provinces and fun surprises. During the Industrial Age, the first factories started their work, but now the famous assembly line is being introduced.

 Garage
Droves of workers will stream to the factories and work in mass production. Growing cities need new means of transport, such as automobiles or even zeppelins – so you’ll have to build tarmac roads. One thing I can promise you that the look of your city will change radically! Militarily the turn of the century adds several strategical elements to the battlefields. New weapons systems, such as the fearsome tanks or snipers, demand completely new tactics of you. So you already see, a whole lot of great new features await! So stay tuned, the progressive era will soon be hitting the game!

Zeppelin