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Age of Mythology Heaven » Forums » Strategy and General Discussion » Digging for old information, storyboards, left over text etc
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Topic Subject:Digging for old information, storyboards, left over text etc
WinterGod
Mortal
posted 01 July 2019 05:59 PM EDT (US)         
I had a bit of a free time in my and I checked the old ensemble studios website using the internet wayback machine.

Storyboards:

I managed to download some of the storyboards, but most of them are gone. One Youtuber put the intro storyboards alongside the intro cinematic, but that video is also missing one or two pages. I wonder if anyone is still keeping those storyboards somewhere.

God Portraits:

- During the making of AOM video they showed a very different God portrait of Athena. I checked site but that particular image is long gone. [No idea if anyone still has that file somewhere, I like collecting alpha and beta stuff]

Winter

[Maybe there are other fansites with some of these files?]

-Video showed a part of the original website but again images are long gone.

https://web.archive.org/web/20020802011846/http://www.ensemblestudios.com/aom/screenshot.shtml

God Powers:

I have seen some info on these so I know that some people actually know about these:

Heimdall grants Rainbow Passage. Now allies can use your Rainbow Bridge. Sounds like someone just wasted their resources.

Bast blesses your Villagers with Fertility, increasing their training rate.

Beta Gods:

Frigg is mentioned, but the God portrait is replaced with Skadi.

Objectives:

Here's a funny one:

Gain control of the Osiris part and... ahhh, fergit it! Just get David Leary to play this scenario for you! He's the Mastah! ; )

Shaba Ka

OBJECTIVE 4: Carry the relic sword to the sleeping Guardian before Shaba Ka's main army returns.
OBJECTIVE 5: Use the Guardian to destroy the 3 pyramids in Shaba Ka's fortress.

Mimir:

OBJECTIVE 1: Build up a base around the entrance to the Well of Mimir in snowy Midguard. Build military units and send them through the Well to re-inforce Arkantos.
VE 1: Build up a powerful army and destroy the gate to the Well of Mimir.
OBJECTIVE 2: Defeat all of the myth units defending the Well!
OBJECTIVE 1: Build up a base around the entrance to the Well of Mimir in snowy Midguard. Build military units and send them through the Well to re-inforce Arkantos.

Transformations:

11469"Your Champion Hoplites have been upgraded to Myrmidons!"
11470"Myrmidon"
11471"Your Champion Hirdmen have been upgraded to mighty Hersir!"
11472"Hersir"
11473"Your Champion Chariots have been improved to elite Scythe Chariots!"
11474"Scythe Chariot"
11475"Champion Archers improved to mighty Egyptian Medjay!"
11477"Champion Hippikon improved to legendary Cataphracts!"
11478"Cataphract"
11479"Champion Archers improved to highly-trained Bogsveigir!"
11480"Bogsveigir"

[This message has been edited by WinterGod (edited 07-01-2019 @ 09:04 PM).]

AuthorReplies:
scragins
Heretic of December
posted 02 July 2019 05:26 AM EDT (US)     1 / 25       
I got the collectors edition for Christmas back in the day. I think that had a DVD about the making of AoM. I probably still have that.
WinterGod
Mortal
posted 02 July 2019 10:51 AM EDT (US)     2 / 25       
Could you possibly check the CD for various image and text files. Maybe there is more info that is forgotten.

I discovered this one just the other day. It seems older than any other version I have seen.

XLightningStormL
Mortal
(id: TheBronyKing11)
posted 03 July 2019 00:01 AM EDT (US)     3 / 25       
A lot of this information has been known for years. Much else is not known, such as the Gigantes, Hirdman, Spear-throwing chariots, beta techs, 3 ages, etc

Fertility wasn't a godpower, it was just one of Bast's unique technologies (improvement e fertility icon in the MP Alpha) I presume it was cut because it would've made people too dependable on her (considering Vilies need to be continuously trained) and Eclipse had already been decided by that point.

GPs were limited to Heroes that would essentially have unique buttons that'd spend favor, they wave their flag around, and rain meteors, mostly these GPs were shared (Earthquake, Meteor, Inferno, and Lightning)

The collector's edition doesn't have much beyond the making of aom vid, the soundtrack, manuals, techtrees and discs IIRC.

Fun fact in the 'Making of AoE2' video, during the art section they show concept art and models of early alpha AoM stuff, most importantly the original Norse Heavy Cavalry (before it was replaced by a more unique anti-myth Jarl)

The image you posted is from June 2001, from the GCW #203 (https://www.cgwmuseum.org/galleries/issues/cgw_203.pdf) I wouldn't trust the units panel part, however made it dun goofed up.

The Multiplayer Alpha is the only decent source for surviving alpha/beta content sadly, and even then there's not a lot.

Lead Designer and Producer of Age of Mythology's biggest mod compilation: http://aom.heavengames.com/downloads/showfile.php?fileid=11038
WinterGod
Mortal
posted 03 July 2019 01:15 AM EDT (US)     4 / 25       

Thanks, for the magazine. Yes, some of these information had been known for years. But the actual information itself wasn't shared. There was no real source on the bifrost bridge anywhere.

I wonder if we can discover more of those beta god portraits. I checked the David Cherry art site, and the larger Ares image look amazing. But only a few images are listed. -Wouldn't mind paying actual money for some of them. lol

The funny thing is, after the original game, every expansion back was a rehash of the deleted ideas.

Is it possible to check the Multiplayer alpha text files or textures? I am not sure who has them.
XLightningStormL
Mortal
(id: TheBronyKing11)
posted 03 July 2019 03:03 AM EDT (US)     5 / 25       
I've already extracted a lot of things from the MP Alpha (the language.dll can just be reaped through with resource hacker, and BAR files can be extracted with BarExplorer, and decompiled with AoMED/AoE3ED), and made two mods based on cut content:

http://aom.heavengames.com/downloads/showfile.php?fileid=11050
http://aom.heavengames.com/downloads/showfile.php?fileid=10853

They give an idea, but aren't specifically what is wanted, a lot of the beta techs are just using assumptions, and tidbits that I could find when I made them. And most of BttB's buildings are using the _low models that ES didn't cut.

I wouldn't say that every expansion was based on cut ideas, most of The Titans is mostly fresh (though the Atlantis idea was one that ES considered before making AoM) and ToTD just rehashes a lot of old models and assets.

You may want to have a look at this: http://aom.heavengames.com/cgi-bin/forums/display.cgi?action=ct&f=1,29634,,all

Lead Designer and Producer of Age of Mythology's biggest mod compilation: http://aom.heavengames.com/downloads/showfile.php?fileid=11038
scragins
Heretic of December
posted 03 July 2019 04:58 AM EDT (US)     6 / 25       
the collectors edition also came with a Minotaur figure and a copy of Bulfinches Mythology.
WinterGod
Mortal
posted 03 July 2019 01:30 PM EDT (US)     7 / 25       

Thanks for sharing those links. I had never seen the original comments before.

I learned the existence of the Egyptian Sand giant only a couple of days ago. It's also nice too see the concept for the female headed Scylla monster. I discovered the texture for that only a couple of days ago too.

I am thinking about getting all these concept art, and organizing them.
Legendary Raider
Mortal
(id: avaget)
posted 04 July 2019 07:24 AM EDT (US)     8 / 25       
the existence of the Egyptian Sand giant
tell me more!
WinterGod
Mortal
posted 04 July 2019 12:08 PM EDT (US)     9 / 25       
https://photobucket.com/gallery/user/TheFireReborn/media/cGF0aDovUXVvdGVzX0dvZFBvd2VyczIucG5n/?ref=

The above link is the confirmation, by the developers. And I discovered that this concept art was named the Sand Giant on the old microsoft website:



There is also an anim file.


It looks like a strange combination of Golem and the Fire Giant, I wonder if it can be re-created using new textures.

[This message has been edited by WinterGod (edited 07-04-2019 @ 05:55 PM).]

WinterGod
Mortal
posted 09 July 2019 01:38 PM EDT (US)     10 / 25       

Sorry to double post but there is this interesting info on the Greek fortress on the cutting room floor wiki:

"This is actually a prototype version of Greek Fortress in Age of Mythology, hence the model name "AOM". It is unknown how the model came to be in the Generals: Zero Hour files."




The Greek fortress is found in the files of Command and Conquer Generals: Zero Hour Files. very odd.
XLightningStormL
Mortal
(id: TheBronyKing11)
posted 09 July 2019 11:49 PM EDT (US)     11 / 25       
It's not actually the pre-release mid-alpha's (2001 versions) fortress, rather a remake of it, still interesting none the less.

I can prove this:
https://ageofempires.fandom.com/wiki/File:GreekfortressAlpha.jpg?fbclid=IwAR1ALwPzhyEaH9wT5MTWyX1hGazoufc4vMzHX4PJOoxbeMOkPFBl-FItum0

they never changed the textures (still intact, and mostly unused in the MP Alpha files)

Lead Designer and Producer of Age of Mythology's biggest mod compilation: http://aom.heavengames.com/downloads/showfile.php?fileid=11038

[This message has been edited by XLightningStormL (edited 07-09-2019 @ 11:52 PM).]

WinterGod
Mortal
posted 10 July 2019 00:57 AM EDT (US)     12 / 25       
I don't know, both models look identical to me. The one I posted seems to have missing textures. But then again I am not that familiar with the multiplayer alpha
Radbeard
Mortal
posted 12 July 2019 00:03 AM EDT (US)     13 / 25       
Iíve got to jump in here. Please check out the beta content collection folder I linked in an earlier thread, it has almost everything youíve found here and more.
Link: https://aom.heavengames.com/cgi-bin/forums/display.cgi?action=ct&f=1,29931,,all

Storyboards: I believe I have a nearly intact collection of the storyboard images, although itís been so long since I collected them through the payback machine that I might just have as many as you do. In my folder I have a total of 75, is this less or more than you have? Let me know and I can reupload them for you if necessary.

Athena God Portrait: I have Athenaís portrait saved from Ensembleís website, considering it came from the official source itís probably the best weíre going to get, but I bet you could implement it back into the game with this resolution, there's also an even older portrait of her from even further back. There were also beta portraits for Hel, Osiris, Sekhmet, as well as a radically different Njord.



God Powers: There are so many more god powers beyond Rainbow Passage, if Iím not missing anything the cut god powers were called volcano, snowstorm, rebellion, enrage, inferno, shepherd, omniscience, Sight, bramble, protection, and a few alternate names for existing powers such as firestorm in place of ďforest fireĒ. Many of these were brought back in the Tale of the Dragon expansion and possibly in the The Titans as well.

Beta Gods: Iíve never heard of Frigg being cut from the game, any further details about her?

Objectives: Shaba Ka was the original name for Kemsyt, an icon of him still survives in the gameís files. The Well of Mimir, however, is something new to me, is it the original name for the Well of Urd? Thereís actually lots of details to piece together about what the original campaign looked like. For example, the Living Poseidon Statue was actually supposed to be Poseidon himself, the final texture is actually just a grayscaled version of the original, thereís a render of the original in my archive.



Transformations: It seemed like this was some kind of feature test, because from my research into the alpha and beta, some of these units appeared in the game alongside each other so perhaps ES attempted to combine them as upgrades for the other before doing away with them fully.

Cut myth units: From what I see, there were definitely a number of myth units that didnít make it into the game, and not just the famous stone giant. There was an early iteration of the Heka Gigantes, the sand giant, alternate scylla, harpy and griffon (but reused in other parts of the game), ammit (mentioned in an interview, probably didnít get beyond concept art), the apep, some naval mummy unit (seen only as concept art, possibly a scout unit for the Egyptians), ice giant (predecessor to the frost giant, only blew frost as an attack and had a radically different design), Beowulf (mentioned to be a Norse hero unit, maybe for the campaign), Trollkarien (the infamous Deerman who later evolved into the troll), norse bird, siren (concept only), and satyr (one of the first myth units ever created for the game).

@XLightningStormL Please get in touch with me, I have some questions about beta research that you might be able to answer.

[This message has been edited by Radbeard (edited 07-12-2019 @ 00:11 AM).]

WinterGod
Mortal
posted 12 July 2019 03:11 AM EDT (US)     14 / 25       

Thank you so much for sharing your findings Radbeard. I am planning to organize all of the beta information I could find someday. Your archive is far more comprehensive than mine.

Special thanks for the Athena God portrait. I noticed the the Aphrodite God Portrait is quite different too. She is more naked in the original image.

I didn't list some of the better known beta stuff on purpose. Wikipedia page already lists many of those. I wanted to go for the more obscure stuff. Such as Frigg.
Earlier Trojan Wall's look very brown. They resemble the beta lighthouse object that was eventually released.

Seeing the real Poseidon in place of the Statue is very interesting, too.

According to my research, Skadi replaced Frigg. The WinterHarvest, is FriggResearch, and the God portrait shows the name Frigg instead of Skadi.

-Well of Mimir is mentioned many times in the language pass and the objectives text file.

There is another lesser known info: Guardian, and The Living Poseidon statue, have a very slow training rate. I added them to the shrine as a trainable unit, without changing anything else in the code. And both units take a long time to train. [It takes equal amounts of time to train both units] -Perhaps they were meant to be trainable?

-There is actually mini Screenshot of the beta Tartarian spawn included in the Game. In the Spotlight section, one of the levels in the Xpack has the screenshot of the lava feet tartarian spawn.

Is there a concept art book? I syclla, cerberus, and the stone myth unit looked like they were scanned from a book. I would have loved to read the text near the art.
Radbeard
Mortal
posted 12 July 2019 04:01 AM EDT (US)     15 / 25       
Always happy to help, AoM has had one of the most interesting development journeys of any game imo. You should definitely try to organize it and perhaps see if you can map out how everything evolved over time, I made an outline for a potential mod to recreate the game to feature as many cut features and items as possible to create a playable game that shows everything off as best as possible. That was a long time ago and interest in this community has dropped off so I doubt that'll ever happen.

Yes, I the Aphrodite portrait is worth mentioning as well, and there was also a radically different Hades drawing, but it's only shown in a minimal form in the background of a building render, it's somewhere in my archive.

Regarding the Trojan wall and the lighthouse, I have a theory that the lighthouse was originally part of the Trojan campaign too, perhaps the player was meant to destroy it so the Trojans wouldn't be able to call in reinforcements. You might be interested to know that originally, Gargarhensis was just a reskinned regular Cyclops model with armor, sort of like Polyphemus, and I only found that out recently. Basically, it seems like there's always more to discover!

Now that you mention Mimir, I think he was meant to physically appear in the campaign, there is concept art of a tree of a wicked-looking tree with a face, originally I thought this was just the artist envisioning what the Walking Woods GP would look like, but this may actually be Mimir.

The concept art scans are from the strategy guides which I've scanned myself, the texts you see are either just a walkthrough of the campaign or unit descriptions. My archive contains all of the art you'd find in there, at this point, to my knowledge, all its missing is scans of the concept art on the packaging of the collector's edition items and some Titans concepts that you can see on the AoE wiki.

Thanks for the tip about the spawn, I'll remember that, any chance you could post that image?

Edit: Also, if you know that you have anything that isn't in my archive, feel free to send it so I can update it and we can try to build a comprehensive library of the stuff, because I know I've certainly missed stuff, I've even added on to my collection since I originally posted that thread.

[This message has been edited by Radbeard (edited 07-12-2019 @ 04:08 AM).]

WinterGod
Mortal
posted 12 July 2019 11:20 AM EDT (US)     16 / 25       
This is the only place the beta tartarian spawn appears in the game:



It's a small image, but it's better than nothing I guess. Older version resembled a dog a bit more.



This is the first time I am seeing the beta Scylla in it's full glory. I discovered the texture file only a week ago I think.



Beta Healing Spring.



Trojan Walls



Beta Relics.



And of course the larger Aphrodite God portrait

There is still quite a bit of activity in the Steam workshop of the AOM Extended Edition. If you want you can upload some of the files there.
Radbeard
Mortal
posted 12 July 2019 01:20 PM EDT (US)     17 / 25       
Thank you, seems like the spawn model was originally based off the fenris wolf. While we're still talking about god portraits, I forgot that the print advertisements for AoM also showed a beta Artemis, but I have no idea how to find the original of this portrait so this may be the most we'll see of her.

XLightningStormL
Mortal
(id: TheBronyKing11)
posted 12 July 2019 09:26 PM EDT (US)     18 / 25       
The concept art for the faced trees was originally used for the "spooky tree" anims you can find within the /anim/ folder.

What do you wish to ask Radbeard? The thread I believe is contextual enough.

Lead Designer and Producer of Age of Mythology's biggest mod compilation: http://aom.heavengames.com/downloads/showfile.php?fileid=11038
WinterGod
Mortal
posted 13 July 2019 00:42 AM EDT (US)     19 / 25       
I discovered the Beta Artemis a couple of days back in the link above. But thanks for the larger image file. Hopefully, some day, we will discover all the beta god portraits.

It's strange how this is the first time I saw the beta Scylla. I would have expected more people to store these image files. Thanks again for saving them. Oldest Norse buildings are my favorites.

[This message has been edited by WinterGod (edited 07-13-2019 @ 01:17 AM).]

Radbeard
Mortal
posted 13 July 2019 02:14 AM EDT (US)     20 / 25       
@XLightningStormL I've got some questions related to a personal project of mine. I've messaged you on your skype account.

@WinterGod ES was so liberal with sharing game media back in the day that practically every fan site had something special, it was pretty common for a small site to receive exclusive screenshots and whatnot directly from the company, and you can see that I still have fragments of images whose source I just couldn't figure out. Obviously, putting all of this together just wasn't on people's priorities, and I did most of my digging years ago when the game was still more or less fresh.

Personally, I'm really fascinated with the alpha-stage Egyptian buildings, they only appeared in one or two screenshots before they were switched over to the sandstone style, but the images that do survive are an incredibly unique example of what could have been. All in all, I still think we got the best product in the end.
WinterGod
Mortal
posted 13 July 2019 12:18 PM EDT (US)     21 / 25       
I agree with the Egyptian Buildings. They look very colorful in the older screenshots.

I love re-using older textures. As most people knows, Musk Ox texture fits perfectly to the Ox caravan. I also created the ice-sheets using the water lilies.

I even remember creating the fertile ground farms.

FREYR

FREYR
Radbeard
Mortal
posted 13 July 2019 03:43 PM EDT (US)     22 / 25       
Wow, now that is truly excellent, I've always wanted to see more projects that successfully put this stuff back into the game. I'm realizing many of the broken/empty objects in the game editor can fixed by manually finding the assets hidden in the files. But it can get very interesting to see what ES didn't bother to remove from the objects list.

For example, I believe there's an entry called 'floating dead bodies' or something and I'm pretty sure it's these guys which have only been seen in the alpha and never resurfaced. No leftover assets for it as far as I know. Were they a cut feature that let units float in the water after they died? No idea.

XLightningStormL
Mortal
(id: TheBronyKing11)
posted 13 July 2019 08:20 PM EDT (US)     23 / 25       
@Radbeard
I don't use Skype, your better of sending it via email, or through Discord.

Or you could just add me on Steam and ask through that.

Lead Designer and Producer of Age of Mythology's biggest mod compilation: http://aom.heavengames.com/downloads/showfile.php?fileid=11038
Radbeard
Mortal
posted 14 July 2019 00:06 AM EDT (US)     24 / 25       
Alright, what's your Discord/email?
XLightningStormL
Mortal
(id: TheBronyKing11)
posted 14 July 2019 01:07 AM EDT (US)     25 / 25       
Same as AoMH user name, but the number is #7461

Lead Designer and Producer of Age of Mythology's biggest mod compilation: http://aom.heavengames.com/downloads/showfile.php?fileid=11038
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