News Archives: 2010
Another year’s has zoomed by, days passing by, chasing each other to the and of the year. Is it really time passing that quickly, or is it the merely a side-effect of the rushed lives we lead? Lots of things happened in all the Heavens this year. Staff have come and gone, a few Heavens go up, and some server updates. Outside of Heaven, life seems to have been even more frantic. The world has shown us the usual batch of scandals, hunger and war, budget cuts and downsizing, with just enough of the occasional bit of brightness to not lose hope completely.
We hope the new year is going to bring you and us some interesting challenges. We hope there will be good things to chase away the bad ones. We hope there will be cheer to chase away the tears. And maybe, just maybe, we’ll see a little more peace and a little less hunger and poverty in the world, when we arrive at this very same spot a year from now.
So, from all of us, to all of you:
Stronghold 3 Update! Discounts everywhere!
Christmas is still days away, but FireFly has decided to give their fans a little present in advance. They have released an article regarding some techincal issues surrounding FF’s upcoming game. The article, which can be found at their Facebook profile, explains that SH3’s environment will no longer be tile-based, as the previous installments are. Instead, the upcoming title will have a free-form environment, which will hopefully make the game really good looking! The article also confirms the map editor! These two elements will hopefully make SH3 one really good looking game. In other news, the annual Christmas sale has started over at Steam, and the Stronghold Collection has a 33% discount! So, if you still don’t have all of the Stronghold titles, now is a good time to get them!
Stronghold Kingdoms Update!
Time for a SHK update! As reported by Cherub peter2008, Stronghold Kingdoms will be sold in retail stores across Germany, with January 21st being the apparent release date. The announcement (The site is in German) gives out some interesting details to what the retail version of the game will include: It will come bundled with Stronghold Crusader and Extreme, comes with all Premium functions enabled in SHK and will have a 10% discount on all in-game purchases. The price is set at 29.90 €, as reported by dtp Entertainment. In other news, Christmas is coming and the Stronghold Kingdoms universe is no exception. To celebrate Christmas, FireFly has launched an SHK Advent Calendar, a contest where every day FireFly will select a winner and award him something in-game. To participate all you have to do is send a Christmas themed image to Firefly’s Facebook page, twitter, or by email. December is still young so there are plenty of more gifts to come!
SHK Beta is live!
To arms, fellow lords! As announced in FireFly’s twitter, Stronghold Kingdoms is now Beta, and free to download and play for everyone! Want to join in on the fun? Simply go to SHK’s home page and click on that big “Play now” icon. Registering process is quick and simple so you can start going medieval on people as quick as possible. If you need help you can check out the games’ wiki, which is full with a lot of helpful information for newcomers. Remember though that the game is still in Beta stage, so if you wish to contribute with helpful feedback or report bugs, you can visit SHK’s official forums (You will automatically register to the forums once you have made an account for the game). So, what are you waiting for? Register now, your Kingdom awaits you! Don’t forget to keep visiting SHK’s official Facebook page and follow FireFly on twitter for you to keep up-to-date on everything FireFly related.
More SH3 info coming your way!
More news about SH3 has rolled in! This time, both PCGamer and videogamer.com have posted previews on FireFly’s upcoming game. Both of the sites had the chance to speak with Simon Bradbury, FF’s CEO, about the game. Bradbury has once again stated on how they are focusing on bringing the series back to its roots, keeping things nice and simple, while giving the game a nice graphics overhaul. He also has revealed a nice piece of info: Stronghold 3 will be using Steam as its multiplayer and matchmaking service! Don’t forget to keep visiting SH3’s website, the games’ official Facebook page and follow FireFly on twitter while you (im)patiently wait for more info to be released!
Robot Entertainment Community Contest!
An interesting contest involving HeavenGames is brewing over at Robot Entertainment’s website. What is this contest about, you ask? Well, it’s a Community Partnered Art Contest, as they call it. The contest will group 6 of the studios’ artists with 6 gaming communities, one of them being Age of Empires 3 Heaven! In the course of this week the competing artists will submit their work to the site, and once all of the pieces are submitted, a poll will be opened. The artist with the most votes wins. Our partner artist, N8, recetly submitted his entry to the site. You can view the rest of the competing artists and sites here. So remember to vote once the polls are open!
Good Old Games Dies.
Good Old Games, a digital distribution service that was amongst the first to host the 2-D Stronghold Games, is closing its doors. According to the notices, purchases will continue to be downloadable despite the site’s current state. The games came without digital rights management, which allowed customers to download titles multiple times on multiple machines along with additional items such as manuals, soundtracks, avatars and more. More can be read at their announcement page. RIP GOG.
Stronghold 3 update!
Time for an update on Stronghold 3! FireFly’s Simon Bradbury and Eric Ouellette (CEO and President of FF, respectively) took a little trip to Germany to give an exciting preview on SH3 and 2010’s edition of Gamescom. This article reporting on the preview also adds new screenshots of the game! In addition to the sneak preview given at Gamescom, Simon Bradbury had a chat with IGN about FireFly’s upcoming game, which can be found here. Don’t forget to keep visiting SH3’s website where you can download a zip file with all of the games’ released screenshots! Also remember to check out their Facebook page and follow FireFly on twitter to keep up to date on the upcoming game!
Alpha Registration Extended!
Firefly Studios has announced on their main site and Twitter that registration has been extended to the 15th of this month:
Due to unprecedented demand Firefly Studios are opening up the alpha 4 invites again until the 15th August. Anyone who has registered since the Alpha launched on 19th July will be included automatically (you don’t need to register again). This is the last chance to play Stronghold Kingdoms before the beta so get involved! If you haven’t already registered go to www.strongholdkingdoms.com now.
More details of Stronghold 3 emerge
PCGZine issue 44 features an article on Stronghold 3, stating it is due out in 2011. It has some very interesting details such as FireFly implementing “the strategic implications of fading light more accurately” and how the “fog of war will “…”only be penetrated by fire via a scout’s torch or a lit hay bale”. Read more by downloading issue 44 of PCGZine from Gamerzines, here.
Alpha 4 is Live!
Firefly Studios has just sent out emails to the 60,000 alpha testers of Stronghold Kingdoms! There have been several modifications to the game, most of which is limited to “premium users”. Superficially the errors with Windows Aero in Vista and 7 are lessened. All of the Alpha 3 logins were kept. Remember, the early bird catches the worm in this game!
Stronghold 3 Trailer Leaked!……………(Not!)
Peter2008 found a video claiming to be a leaked trailer for Stronghold 3:
However, this has been confirmed to actually be the opening video of Warrior Kings: Battles. There are probably other hoaxes on video sharing sites using videos taken from lesser known RTS games. Unlike more famous studios and major game titles, Firefly Studios has never been under enormous public pressure, and nothing of their creation has ever been leaked. You can be sure that they will release their own trailer in their own time, and the news will be on this website as well as major gaming news sites.
Balistic Stronghold 2 AIs!
Doomsword has released a pack of 37 improved AI files for Stronghold 2! He utilized the SH2 AI editor developed at SHK by HicRic and LordBritain, and he experimented by trial error with Ouly to produce more challenging AIs. Be sure to download them here and check out the original thread.
More Stronghold Kingdoms info!
FireFly Studios’ very own Darren has given out new info about Stronghold Kingdom’s Alpha 4! A thread he has posted in our forums sets the start of Alpha 4 on July the 19th. It has also been confirmed this will be the last alpha test. And, best of all, anyone can join! All you have to do is sign up here before the Alpha starts and you’re set to go! Also, don’t forget to join Stronghold Kingdoms’ Facebook page and follow FireFly on twitter for more up-to-date news about the upcoming games!
Today in History!
Nikephoros was bred from a line of generals, and joined the military at an early age. Eventually he received the reigns of his ancestral post as commander of the eastern frontier. His first battle resulted in a major defeat by the Abbasid Caliphate. Nevertheless, Nikephoros Phokas recovered and gained several victories two years later in the caliphate. Nikephoros would continue to impress the public with brilliant strategy and loyal troops by reconquering Crete, advancing into Asia Minor to seize the cities of Cilicia, and conquering the rich city of Aleppo in Syria. His triumphs brought him great fame, but the Emperor recognized him as threat to his reign and gave him belittled rewards.
When the Emperor Romanos II died young of an uncertain death, his sons were crowned co-emperors with the Empress Theophano named regent. Some attempts were made to reduce the power of Nikephoros Phokas were unsuccessful, and on July 2, 963, The Byzantine imperial army proclaimed Nikephoros Phhokas Emperor on the plains of Cappadocian Caesarea. He marched on the capital and allies overthrew Bringas, his enemy. Nikephoros married the widowed Empress Theophano and was crowned emperor.
Nikephoros continued to wage war and even wrote Praecepta Militaria, an extensive treatise on the military tactics of the day. He returned to Cilicia to conquer it completely, overran Mesopotamia and Syria, recovered Cyprus, gained lands from Bulgaria and Kiev. He also attempted to reconquer Sicily, but was defeated. Being a general, he was not kind in matters of diplomacy. The power of the clergy and nobles was curtailed, taxes were raised and economic policies issued to support Nikephoros’s expansionist feats, which forfeited his popularity. Nikephoros was assassinated by the conspiracy of Empress Theophano and her lover John Tzimiskes (Nikephoros’s nephew). The Phokas family fought each other to become emperor with John Tzimiskes eventually succeeding to become empeoror, and exiling Theophano and sending the remainder of his Phokas family to Mani and Paxi. The inscription on Nikephoros’s tomb reads “You conquered all but a woman.”
With the Summer Sale at Steam, the Stronghold Collection has been reduced 25% in price from $29.99 to $22.49, thus making each game $3.75 in price! If you’re interested in purchasing the Collection, you can find the Steam page here. The sale is over on July 4th.
Castle of the Week 131: Castillo de Bellver
Jaume I, King of Aragon, reclaimed the Bealeric Isles from Islamic rule in the late 13th Century. When he perished in 1276, he split his kingdom between his two sons Pedro and Jaume. Pedro received the majority of the mainland territories while his brother gained the more secure, but less economically viable islands. Jaume (James II) established sweeping reforms on the Bealeric Isles that encouraged agricultural development and the establishment of trade and textile industries. He joined the rest of Christendom in arresting Templars and seizing their property in 1307. The wealth gained by James II was invested in building projects around the isles, including funding the building of Castillo de Bellver to protect his kingdom’s most important port city, Palma.
Now that summer is just round the corner…
Isn’t it great now the warmer weather is here at last? However, think back to those dark chilly days in the depths of winter…
Peter2008 has been doing just that. Read his insightful look at the “Experience of winter nowadays and then”, in his new article in the Stronghold Heaven History Section.
Steam Releases the Stronghold Collection!
Steam announced the release of the Stronghold Collection on its servers last night and Firefly announced it this morning. Steam is the largest online distributor of game content, so this development helps increase the spread of the series. The Stronghold Collection contains all of the Stronghold games released so far and sells for about $30. It was previously available online at Direct2Drive and GamesGate and has been stocked by online retailers like Amazon.
Stronghold 3 has been announced!
Stronghold 3 has finally been announced! SouthPeak games has acquired the rights to publish FireFly’s new title. At the moment information about the new title is a bit scarce, but there already is a teaser site and an official Facebook page, so be sure to be keep an eye out for new info!
In the meantime, you can discuss, speculate, and stay updated on our forums here!
“The Poll is dead…. Long live the Poll !”
After over 10,000 votes, the results of the SH2 poll are in:
The question posed was: What play mode do you like most? View the results here.
Now Doomsword has posed the question: What level do you start at when playing SH2 Kingmaker maps? Vote for your favourite starting position in our new poll above.
M…M…Ore news about Stronghold Kingdoms
You could be a Kingdoms beta tester. You can sign up to be one of the first to play the Stonghold Kingdoms MMO at www.strongholdkingdoms.com. Read about the discussions here at SHH so far on the topic of Stronghold Kingdoms.
Does The Bull need a nose job?
A trio of new Stronghold 2 and Legends scenario design articles.
|“Modding Skins and Textures for Stronghold 2 and Legends”, by Doomsword, will equip you with the skills of a Stronghold plastic surgeon.|
|Even if you are not contemplating life as a hermit, “How to Make a Cave”, also by Doomsword, will reveal the secrets to creating some attractive eyecandy for a scenario.|
|Ever tried to place an SH2 building site in a scenario? Ever placed one and found it did not work as expected? Now, at last, there is the “Comprehensive Guide to Using Building Sites” by Ouly to help you make use of these great scenario elements.|
Castle of the Week 130 – Pieskowa Skala Castle
It’s official! Pieskowa Skala Castle is Stronghold Heaven’s 130th Castle of Week.
It stands not far north of Crakow in Poland.
When asked why he chose this castle as the subject for his latest informative article, Duke of York told me “It was brought to my attention by Maciej Stepowski. It was he who personally took the photographs.”
You can read about this unusual castle, see more views and a detailed ground plan here.
Did I hear “Sleigh bells ringing”?
As part of our SH Downloads winter map season we bring you Lord Tanthos’ Spire of Ice. This map comes recommended by Doomsword as a fine example of a snowy landscape realised in a Legends Freebuild Scenario.
Lord Tanthos’ Spire of Ice story begins, “Three barbaric warriors lifted their massive swords onto their shoulders. From the spur of the mountain they stood on, they could see it just over the treetops …”. What was it that those warriors saw? Read more and download the map here.