Rome at War (RAW) was a mod published by Wild Fire Studios/Games (WFG) during the days of Age of Kings. WFG :: Rome at War (wildfiregames.com)
The work done by Wijitmaker and others was amazing for its time, it captured my imagination and sparked my interest in Modding and Roman History. That interest was rekindled with the release of AOE 2 DE, and accelerated by the work done by others who wanted to port AOE to AOE 2 DE engine.
WFG went on to start development of 0 AD (a free open source game) 0 A.D. | A free, open-source game of ancient warfare (play0ad.com). Originally 0AD was a total conversion AOK mod project focused on ancient history spanning 500BC - 500AD. They abandoned the mod once they realized the limitations of the AOK engine. While I think 0AD is an admirable endeavor that has progressed tremendously since its inception, it is a different game that embraces 3D. Unfortunately, that leaves behind the art style and detail I fell in love with in AOE which used 2D sprites. I am sure one day 3D RTS games will catch up to the graphical quality (personal taste/opinion) of their 2D predecessors, but I don’t think that day is today.
Folks like me, have powerful new tools available to us like AGE and SLX studio to mod both DAT and SLP/SMX Graphics, these tools along with access to 3D Marketplaces (CG Trader) CGTrader - 3D Models for VR / AR and CG projects | CGTrader where we can commission or buy original/existing high quality graphics, is empowering end-users (gamers) to a greater extent than ever before to create their own content.
So rather than wait for the current Developers or “Professionals” to build the game I and I suspect others have been longing for since childhood, I propose we create a new Rome at War (RAW) Expanded mod in the AOE 2 DE game’s engine. This Mod would convert AOE 2 DE into the 0 AD concept but use the existing game mechanics/graphical style of a 2D spite game.
What does the 0 AD concept mean to me? Capture the below civs to start (technology, unique units, and architecture) at their most iconic state in terms of look and feel. I know this may not be completely historically accurate, but that’s ok if it creates a beautiful looking and fun mod to play.
Romans (Medi Civs)
Gauls (West Europe Civs)
Germani (Eastern Civs)
Sassanid Empire (Persian Civ)
Carthaginians or (Phoenicians)
Egyptians (African Civs)
So how is this different than other AOE ports that have failed to date?
First, we have many of the assets already needed for Roman, Persian, Egyptian, Greek, Barbarian graphics when we port over AOE and borrow from other assets in AOE II based on my published Beta mod. So what do we lack to get a playable mod to the communit?
- Forts for each Civ type to replace Castle (Have a Roman fort only today)
- Unique Unit for each Civ. Romans are already covered based on Beta Mod.
- Rework some of the Generic units/ customize to match civ and time period (Spearman, Pikeman, swordsman, bowman,)
- Custom building set for advanced Ages (Imperial since AOE only has two ages specific to each civ)
- Custom new Art set for Barbarians for 3rd and 4th Age (Existing AOE 2 Feudal Age passes for Barbarians civs)
- Rework Tech Tree, Icons, and Language file
- Balancing for each civ (techs, units, etc)
I am prepared to commit my own cash and time to create/buy/commission every Unique Unit needed for the civs in question. However, that alone is not enough. I need help from the community. In order for this to be a success, I need folks who are willing to bring their own expertise, talents, and creativity in Modding to make this project successful.
I have released a proof of concept already that mixes both original content and ported AOE assets. Screenshots and link to Beta mod found below.
If anyone would be interested in joining a project of this scale or help in anyway, please post here or message me directly. Thanks and happy Modding!!