Age of Mythology delay details

We talk to Ensemble Studios' Bruce Shelley about the upcoming 3D real-time strategy game's progress.


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Earlier today, Microsoft announced that its upcoming strategy game Age of Mythology will be released in September 2002 instead of the second quarter of 2002, as was previously expected. The 3D real-time strategy game is in development at Ensemble Studios, the developer that created the popular Age of Empires games. We talked to Ensemble cofounder and senior game designer Bruce Shelley about the game's progress and the reason for its delay.

According to Shelley, the primary reason for the schedule change is that the game's single-player campaign is going to take longer than originally anticipated since several elements such as art and other game systems must be completed before the campaign can be completed. When asked if the game would really make the new release date, Shelley said he felt "really confident" that the game would be ready by September. Approximately 80 percent of the developers at Ensemble are currently working on the game, with the remaining 20 percent working on another unannounced project.

Shelley expects Age of Mythology to be feature-complete by the end of January or soon thereafter, and the remaining development time will be spent polishing and balancing the game. The developer doesn't have any specific plans yet for an open beta, but Shelley mentioned that the company has had some success in the past with using outside alpha and beta testers and that it was possible the company would do the same with Age of Mythology.

Age of Mythology is set in a world where gods and mythological creatures take part in the struggle between the three playable civilizations--the Norse, the ancient Greeks, and the Egyptians. It is built on an advanced 3D engine that supports special effects such as fluid ocean waves, waterspouts, lava, tornados, earthquakes, and smoke. The engine also supports battles between hundreds of units on the same screen. For more information, take a look at our previous coverage of the game.

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