Visual enhancement of buildings without compromising playability

In the past i posted this about the real problema of the proportions un AoE4.

Here the original proportions to barracks, stables and production buildings

Now i want to post some changes that could be improved.

First the stable.

So is as It seens now

Possible solution that could be done with the stable occupying the same space and with the same playability.



In the future, i could post more ideas here.
Yes, i know that now AoE4 have other problems. I am nota here to discuss about It. I only want to show yo this.




And get the fxcking horse and chickens animated!


Reviving this thread.
When I think about it, I suddenly realized AOE3 building-unit proportion (in terms of grids they occupy) is not really larger than AOE4. AOE2 of course have way larger buildings.

The reason why AOE3 buildings look less out-of-place for me is because they are taller. Some parts like the windows and doors are relatively large so that people can fit in, even at the cost of fewer windows and tighter structures.
So the buildings look like they are real-life buildings but designed to be smaller, not designed for smaller people from a different realm.

So it is not impossible to keep the current grid size (in case someone riots) of the buildings but make them look way better than they are now in AOE4:

  • AOE4 buildings are overall “flatter” which make them look even smaller when placed next to units. So we chould make buildings and their outer walls taller.
  • Specifically, AOE4 buildings typically have large (yet still impassible) open spaces, so these can be easily adjusted. Look at the stable. We can simply increase the size of the main structure while reducing the size of the corral, as shown in OP.

Again, the buildings now seem as if they were designed to be larger but then shrunk to fit a smaller grid. It does not look good to me. If there are resources I hope the models get an overhaul.


Think the problem is you can make the building higher in aoe 2&3 cause they join together. If there to high in aoe4 it would cause problems seeing units

The problem with just scaling up their height is that things will look off in a different way. There aren’t exactly perfect solutions though. Well, unless they remodel most production buildings. What is shocking is seeing Ottoman and Mali using the exact same scaling for the sake of consistency. So they’re doubling down on a mistake.

Actually, I lied. There is a perfect solution. Scale them back to their full original size, not just the models, but the unit scale as well. Then, add actual proper camera options in the game so people can better see the map and buildings from above in a way that compliments the original size.

Right now we’re stubborningly dealing with it because of a minority of players said it hurt visibility. But, that was at a time when the camera was well-zoomed into the game and developers likely had not created an alternative for them to try.

EDIT: Also add a colour intensity slider for silhouettes. Right now many units blend into the environment unnecessarily, and not everyone has amazing vision. For the sake of accessability it should be an option, like it is in AoE3. Unit's silhouettes when behind buildings need adjusting

EDIT: If you asked those same players who voted for this if the production buildings should just be 1x1 sized boxes with no graphics, they would’ve said yes too. I do think it is time for developers to revisit this.

Wrong lol, but it’s nice to imagine, isn’t it? An easy-to-defeat argument you made up so that it’s easy to defeat.


I think there are always ways to improve on a game’s graphical fidelity. And I think there’s stuff that can be done here, specifically. Whether it’s redoing certain buildings, adjusting the scale of a buildings assets inside itself (vs. relative to other buildings), improving certain textures (certain Ages fair better visually, and others worse, in this game).

Whatever they do isn’t going to please everyone, because they’ve obviously got a specific style in mind with Age IV, but I definitely agree that they should be focusing on specific things to make the entire look more cohesive (the grain-y grass textures are one of the most obvious things, imo, when it comes to the environment at least).

Releasing a game is inherently about compromising between vision and resource (time, money, etc). Given that the game is continuing to do well in terms of players (despite dire warnings from various folks over the past year or more), I hope this shows Microsoft / whoever is holding the purse strings that continuing to invest into this game is a good idea.

They did mention, if I’m remembering correctly, some kind of aim to improve graphics (I can’t source it right now). I’m hoping this is something they communicate properly, and is more than the general tweaks and improvements that people have noticed over time (I think one of the last changes was that certain banners are now animated and weren’t previously? It was in one of the super-long threads on the graphics, so finding it is going to be difficult).

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The thing is that in AoE4 are some right buildings. For example turk houses in 1age are shorter than a human (too funny).

But if you see a chinese House in four age, It has a correct height, ONLY need a bigger door.

So playability as excuse in this case is not applicable


You can put AoM buildings comparison too. Barracas, stables, etc

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No. It’s because the game has been released and core designs like this rarely change.
So I’m just making compromises and showing it is not entirely impossible even with the current core design, so that people do not drag the topic into the strawman of “choose either gameplay or visual”.
Otherwise it will become the same old loop of “no there is a good reason and you don’t know”.

This would be a good QOL to implement some day.


Production buildings were reduced because they were too big and they occupied too much surface for a building that needed to be mased. Not was a playability question.

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well, yes, but that doesn’t excuse if i put it that way, how it was handled, models weren’t adjusted, instead just slider shrunk to fit smaller grid area

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yes, these buildings should be reworked and ajusted.

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talking keeping the height the same, but lets say 1 window less here, towers on barracks closer to main building, things of that nature
@Tapiseiro does understand this, this is for people in need of context

These are AoM barracks, are not bigger than in AoE4. For the purposes of playability they are the same. But in one case seens good and the other no.


we could post photos of every ensemble game here, the tldr would remain the same, aoe4 looks too flat, when units height exceeds building height, then you quite simply failed at scaling properly, regardless of what competitive minority wanted

is it wrong for aoe4 to have scaling that it does, honestly no, it just shows what competitive players always wanted, i’d say let them enjoy the result, their feedback was considered fully, good and bad, and as such, they can keep it


Another example of rework a building made, in this case the siege workshop.

As the rest of production buildings, Its surface area has shrunk and is now too disproportionate.

More info

Siege workshop

Part that needs to be reworked.

Yelow: previous surface
Orange: new surface


Final model (with bigger doors too)

Same surface, bigger doors, playability not damaged, building proportionate. With this proportion the building now seens fine.

This is only a possible rework for this building. Its only an idea. The finality of this post is to show how is posible to fix the proportions issue.


this is exactly what should be happening behind the scenes


I don’t know why AOE4 buildings seem to really favor “large open fenced yards” (taking up to 70% of the building model) a lot, when the buildings already have large open spaces (which never happened in other AOEs) surrounding them.


Thats Paty of the problem @ArrivedLeader22. Unproportionate buildings but with many espace without being used.

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