Topic: Touhou 「Age of Ethanols」 (Revised article + New trial movie)  (Read 24949 times)

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Helepolis

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Touhou ~ Age of Ethanols
In the previous article I stated the game was broken and glitched and it was unable to be played. I have to take back those words because the following happened.

One of the authors from Neetpia actually came all the way over to #shrinemaiden on IRC, to ask me why the game was glitching. We got settled into a research to detect why the game was glitching on my computer. The author has provided me two weeks long of test material versions, in order to solve the issue. Unfortunate, nothing seems to help and the game kept on going high-speed for me.
After few days when we were having another conversation, I remembered something inside the XML code (note: game editable with certain values). We Europeans use a comma to indicate decimals. Japanese and American people use a dot. Due to my windows running Dutch local, it was ignoring the comma which the game thought 2.5 was 25 and my units would walk with that speed. Notifying and explaining this to the author made him jump around in joy, as we never imagined the solution was this simple.

It was quite an honour for me to actually come in touch with one of the authors and get to help out/test their things. As you can read above I was somewhat of use so I hope my sins got cleansed this way. Also the most funny thing is: I get to meet them in real life. That is right. The creators are taking a Europe tour and their first destination is The Netherlands. Boy, talk about fate.

Now, let us switch to the article which I revised slightly to remove the false information.


Official site: http://neetpia.sakura.ne.jp/index.html
New trial movie: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bDT-9PLrxNc&hd=1



Introduction
An obvious spin off of Age of Empires 1, that is what this game is. It falls automatically under the Real Time Strategy category and is played by point-and-click method. The game provides currently single play for now and possibly suspected Netplay, but I haven't found out about that yet. It is like 30mb large and getting the run the game cost me quite some effort because you had to update three things on your computer to get it running without throwing errors at you. That was horrible.

First impression and looks
An identical HUD displays your resources, units and diamond shaped map. Though the menu button seems to be missing and I tried all F-buttons but the only one I could find was F10 which is pausing. The spriting however is damn good and I enjoyed the details on the buildings, map and units.

The music is enjoyable and peaceful without disturbing you too much, however it doesn't really adds the feeling of war to the game. Hopefully more soundtracks will be made with different tunes. The game unfortunately has limited sound effects which are for clicking buttons, upgrading and winning/losing. When you are battling, you are doing it silently. But things are looking promising as the author confirmed future versions will have expanded sound effects.


Civilisations! Select your faith.
The game currently allows you to select three teams. They all come with unique 'hero units' which can be trained once. These are:
  • Shujinko ( Hakurei ) - Reimu, Marisa, Suika
  • Komakan ( Scarlet ) - Remilia, Flandre, Sakuya
  • Hakugyokurou ( Netherworld ) - Yuyuko, Yukari, Youmu

Each civilisation has their own bonus and so, but lacking the language skills, I cannot write stuff about that. Also each civilisation comes with their unique 'town center' appearance. For Shujinkou it is the Hakurei Shrine, for Komakan it is the Scarlet Mansion and for Hakugyokurou it is the Palace.


On the left Town Center of Shujinko and on the right Komakan.

Your resources in this game are mushrooms, beer, shrine gate and points which are wood, food, gold and stone respectively from the original game. These resources are gathered by training 'worker fairies' at your 'towncenter'. Below here the original sprites from the game where to send your workers to.

Mushrooms -> Forest ( wood ) -
Beer -> Spring ( food ) -
Faith -> Jinja ( gold ) -
Point -> Cave ( stone ) -

What made me laugh in this game was that mushrooms are collected by "chopping trees". Neverless, I think the authors are trying point out that you seek mushrooms in the forest. So even one tree in this game means an entire forest. Same goes for beer as you relax and have sake while enjoying a typical hot spring.
Resources are gathered instantly, meaning they are added directly and continues to your stock. In Age of empires 1 and 2 ( and probably many RTS games ) they are dropped at a 'storage pit' and such. Here they are not. This gives of course benefit of gathering resources quickly, but it is annoying when you are being attacked.

It is also possible to advance to the next 'difficulty' ( Age in the regular game ). You start out in Easy mode and can advance to Lunatic mode to have more tougher and stronger units. That brings us to the combat section in this article.

Combat system, arm the me-.. I mean girls!
The combat system is extremely easy. There are no special formations and you just click and point on your enemy to attack. Your worker fairies (white) can create three types of 'spell circles' which are offensive buildings. These are red ( melee ), blue and green ( ranged ). Each type of fairy costs a certain amount of mushrooms, beer or faith. Hero units, trained at the town center, cost points.

Hero units are obviously tougher and stronger and have the ability to invoke special attacks. I have seen Marisa blasting master spark and Remilia using spear the gungnir.

Flandre and Reimu as hero units.

Each unit is marked with an E, N, H or L for it's level. Logically the higher the difficulty, the stronger the unit. In each difficulty level you increase with your town center, the upgrades become available. The combat in this game is pretty straight forward. Using the rock-paper-scissor method the units will have advantage over other units. Now that the weird glitch is also fixed

Though there is one major downside to the combat system, the author seems to forgot giving enemy units a distinctive colour, like some aura or something. Every unit looks the same and trying to figure which unit is an enemy is a pain in the ass. PatchCon for example did have a border colour around the units.

About the AI. The AI in this game is extremely difficult. The only difficulty between the modes is the rate of speed the enemy charges at you. They come in mass numbers and totally destroy you within a few moments. Even when I had Lunatic units, I was still getting spanked hard by the computer because somehow Reimu seems unfair with her special attack. Same goes for Marisa as well when she is blasting her master spark across your entire army. And because there are no formations, they are all clutched together and take the full hit.


Conclusion, a slight disappointment
Now that my game isn't running in glitched mode, I can conclude this game a little better. Either way, as I stated before the game is still unfinished and in development mode. The available units are bit off-balance and the game is fairly simple at it self. I hope to see more sound effects, bgm tracks and perhaps more buildings and technologies, so the game turns into a pretty large scaled RTS.

It seems the author(s) have been focussing more on the looks of the game, rather than the gameplay it self. I can understand the difficulty of programming a game from scratch and making it work proper. I have no knowledge of such things so I'll take it as the author(s) did their best.

So why should you or shouldn't you play this game?

Play
- Small download. ( ~30mb ).
- You are a RTS freak.
- Hardcore Touhou freak that plays any fangame.
- Enjoys the spriting and work.

Don't play
- Game is trial in development.
- No matter what AI setting, you will get spanked.
- Dislikes RTS


-Helepolis

Thanks to:
  • syousa, one of the authors from Neetpia, for allowing me to help out testing
  • Acidus, for testing the old version with me
  • TranceHime, for some basic information and translation.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2010, 04:00:09 pm by Helepolis »

Stuffman

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Re: Touhou 「Age of Ethanols」 (Full Trial gameplay preview)
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2010, 07:17:35 pm »
Damn. I was hoping this would come out well.

Oh well, maybe the next version will be fixed...

Omnifish

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Re: Touhou 「Age of Ethanols」 (Full Trial gameplay preview with YT movie)
« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2010, 01:41:02 am »
Same here.  I still play Age of Empires 1 sometimes, having a Touhou version would be just lovely if it plays well.

Helepolis

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Re: Touhou 「Age of Ethanols」 (Full Trial gameplay preview with YT movie)
« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2010, 07:56:04 am »
Particular the weird speed-up hyperactive of all units and play puts it down for me. Maybe that is the reason I don't see bullets appearing on my screen and such.

I will be waiting warmly for next Comiket with this game.
Re: Touhou 「Age of Ethanols」 (Full Trial gameplay preview with YT movie)
« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2010, 05:05:41 am »
So getting this
Re: Touhou 「Age of Ethanols」 (Full Trial gameplay preview with YT movie)
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2010, 09:04:42 pm »
Just a note Helepolis, the speed up is just you.  My own copy of Age of Ethanols has no speed up.  In fact it's rather slow paced.

Helepolis

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Re: Touhou 「Age of Ethanols」 (Full Trial gameplay preview with YT movie)
« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2010, 09:10:40 pm »
Just a note Helepolis, the speed up is just you.  My own copy of Age of Ethanols has no speed up.  In fact it's rather slow paced.
Could you perhaps post specs of your computer? Or did you just ran it normally. No matter what I do, it is like speedy.
Re: Touhou 「Age of Ethanols」 (Full Trial gameplay preview with YT movie)
« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2010, 09:19:08 pm »
I just ran it after it got unpacked.  Did not apply the update patch.

Windows 7 64 bit
Intel Quadcore Q8200 @ 2.33GHz
6 GB DDR2 RAM
ATI Radeon 3450

Helepolis

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Re: Touhou 「Age of Ethanols」 (Full Trial gameplay preview with YT movie)
« Reply #8 on: February 04, 2010, 08:15:12 am »
Your specs are like 4x the mine

Windows XP pro
AMD 3500+ 2.0ghz
2 GB DDR
NVIDIA 6800

The hell.

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Re: Touhou 「Age of Ethanols」 (Full Trial gameplay preview with YT movie)
« Reply #9 on: February 04, 2010, 12:43:18 pm »
to be honest with I never get the hype of RTSs, the good ones like Warcraft and so on probably last one or two months and with something this broken I don't think I will like it if at all play it.

Nonetheless, I see significant effort being put into this and I am very impressed by how individuals have the patience to construct a game based on a fanbase obsession.

amazing work.
and of course, very detailed report Hele!
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Re: Touhou 「Age of Ethanols」 (Full Trial gameplay preview with YT movie)
« Reply #10 on: February 04, 2010, 07:06:15 pm »
It's because I live in AMERICA.

I still don't think it's hardware though.  Not sure how we can find the bug.

Besides the slowdown, you can actually see the amulets flying, though the units still just hump each other when they attack melee :P

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Re: Touhou 「Age of Ethanols」 (Full Trial gameplay preview with YT movie)
« Reply #11 on: February 05, 2010, 02:44:14 pm »
to be honest with I never get the hype of RTSs, the good ones like Warcraft and so on probably last one or two months and with something this broken I don't think I will like it if at all play it.

Actually I cooled down from being RTS fan because the games became too much based on graphics and stupid population limit rather than RAW METAL CLASHING. Like where in Age of Empires 1/2  Red Alert 1/2 you could build major army. It was more about speed and tactical planning skills to win.

With the latter games they focussed too much strategic units like "unit A counters unit B , but is weak to C" which became retarted for me. Which is why I hated Age of Mythology, Age of Empires 3, WC3 etc etc.

I used played Age of empires 1 and Red Alert 1 alot online. I just wanted to try this out because I was hoping for something funny, not perse something good.

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Re: Touhou 「Age of Ethanols」 (Full Trial gameplay preview with YT movie)
« Reply #12 on: February 05, 2010, 03:28:36 pm »
true true, RA and the EA games have more idea on building a damn powerful army than using limits here and there, if they change the "strategy" to STATISTICS gaming then maybe, it would have been good fun. What is teh difference? You are gonna compare stats between one unit and the other anyway, might as well make the whole game one math lesson.

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Re: Touhou 「Age of Ethanols」 (Full Trial gameplay preview with YT movie)
« Reply #13 on: February 08, 2010, 05:55:42 am »
Hopefully its still developing.
This is actually what I was looking forward to after PatchCon.

Ghaleon

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Re: Touhou 「Age of Ethanols」 (Full Trial gameplay preview with YT movie)
« Reply #14 on: February 08, 2010, 08:20:36 am »
With the latter games they focussed too much strategic units like "unit A counters unit B , but is weak to C" which became retarted for me. Which is why I hated Age of Mythology, Age of Empires 3, WC3 etc etc.

AMEN! I feel the same way. I thought I was a RTS fan originally, with warcraft 1,2, C&C, red alert, AoE 1, etc. But nowdays the population limits are really really limited (though I don't mind the population limit being limited in Rise of nations, that game is good, despite having all the flaws you mentioned above, that one...just does it right IMO).

I remember when Dawn of war originally came out, I thought it was pretty good, not the greatest, but I could live playing it with my buddies. Then the expansion came out, and all of a sudden, "you can only build 1 of this tank at a time, even though it's not a hero, you can only have 3 of this squad at one time, you can only have 2 of these".. like every damn fucking unit had its own cap of how many you can have. WTF. Lots of strategy there. Gee I wonder what I should build, oh I know, the only damn thing IM ALLOWED to build. derpa derpa..

Anyway, as for this game, I kinda wasn't interested at first because just looking at it kinda tells me it's not quite ready to be played yet. But the fact that there is a playable trial is hopeful, it's proceeding faster than I thought. Age of Empires 1 really was a great game, so was 2.. Not a big fan of 3.

The only RTS game that they could have touhouificated that I'd like even more would probably be rise of nations, I really like how economy is more developed in that game.

Helepolis

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Re: Touhou 「Age of Ethanols」 (Full Trial gameplay preview with YT movie)
« Reply #15 on: February 09, 2010, 03:23:30 pm »
Well I can also understand why the developers ( probably ) make a population limit on the newer games. The graphics probably cause too much stress to summon 100 units on your screen, which was pretty normal in Age of Empires 1. I played ( cough brag* ) at high level Death Match where population limit of 200 was reached. 100 of these were villagers and 100 units in combat. Now imagine that in a 3v3.

=3 good old times, sigh*

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Re: Touhou 「Age of Ethanols」 (Full Trial gameplay preview with YT movie)
« Reply #16 on: February 22, 2010, 01:26:48 pm »
I can understand the frustration that being allowed only 1 or 3 of certain units would cause, but man, certain special units pissed me off in AOE2. Especially when say, camels are meant to be effective against other cavalry, apparently, but get decimated easy. what a waste of time they were.

For some reason this thread makes me think of Z. simple game, not too complex stratergy, brilliant fun. Oh god I have to find that again now. not that anything these days will be able to play it multiplayer, given its probably IPX and I've never managed to get that to work on new machines.

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Re: Touhou 「Age of Ethanols」 (Full Trial gameplay preview with YT movie)
« Reply #17 on: February 22, 2010, 09:26:41 pm »
Well this is quite odd. The game runs same speedy/glitchy on my:

Laptop - WinXP SP2 core2duo 2.0ghz
Newest PC - Win7 Quadcore 2.3ghz
Old PC - WinXP SP2 single core AMD 2.0ghz.

I - - I just don't get it any more.

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Re: Touhou 「Age of Ethanols」 (Full Trial gameplay preview with YT movie)
« Reply #18 on: February 23, 2010, 07:30:23 am »
For some reason this thread makes me think of Z. simple game, not too complex stratergy, brilliant fun. Oh god I have to find that again now. not that anything these days will be able to play it multiplayer, given its probably IPX and I've never managed to get that to work on new machines.

Fuck. YES! If the game can be found, I'd move heaven and earth to run it.

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Re: Touhou 「Age of Ethanols」 (Full Trial gameplay preview with YT movie)
« Reply #19 on: February 24, 2010, 05:02:19 pm »
- Cool story bro - detected. Please read warmly.

One of the authors of Neetpia actually contacted me on IRC about the weird glitch in game. We started having contact with each other on MSN to test out why this is occurring. Well, after two weeks ( today ) we tried it one more time. He gave me a DEV version which shows code and stuff to see the unit speed.

And really, it was showing speed 16 for maid units and speed 22 for Flandre and such. While the author on MSN stated it should be 2.2 and 1.6 respectively. Now suddenly this lightning strike feeling entered my mind. As I realised what could be the cause. Since it is open-platform-code I entered the unit speed XML file.

It read Speed - 2.6.  Guess what I changed. Exactly, the dot into a comma. --> Result --> No more speedy units. Conclusion: Game is programmed on AMERICA, OOOOOOOOOOOOH AMERICA decimal usage. I put my Windows OS local to American notation and the game ran normal. Us dutchies use comma for 2,95 notation etc. You stupid US people should do it too imo. :V

The author was extremely happy and I myself actually felt somehow honoured to help him out. I will record a new video soon on Youtube now. =3

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Re: Touhou 「Age of Ethanols」 (Full Trial gameplay preview with YT movie)
« Reply #20 on: February 25, 2010, 03:24:41 am »
It's not just America, it's Canada and most of Asia (including Japan) too.  :V

Nice to see you figured out the problem.  \o/

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Re: Touhou 「Age of Ethanols」 (Full Trial gameplay movie coming soon...)
« Reply #21 on: February 25, 2010, 09:14:16 pm »
Us dutchies use comma for 2,95 notation etc. You stupid US people should do it too imo. :V
But the comma is already used in numbers! D:

I mean, it'd make 3,243.961 look like 3,243,961. Which wouldn't make sense at all... unless you use something instead of a comma for the every-three-numbers thing, or don't have one at all (which then makes numbers slightly harder to read instead)
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Helepolis

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Re: Touhou 「Age of Ethanols」 (Full Trial gameplay movie coming soon...)
« Reply #22 on: February 25, 2010, 09:33:25 pm »
We write 50.000,00   <--- 50k and 00 cents and 3,95 for 3 euro 95 cents. I don't see any non-sense causing issue.

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Re: Touhou 「Age of Ethanols」 (Full Trial gameplay movie coming soon...)
« Reply #23 on: February 25, 2010, 10:42:16 pm »
The thousands separator can be either a period (with a comma decimal separator, i.e. 12.345,67), a comma (period decimal separator, i.e. 12,345.67), or a space (with both, i.e. 12 345,67 or 12 345.67).  All depends where you live.

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Re: Touhou 「Age of Ethanols」 (Full Trial gameplay movie coming soon...)
« Reply #24 on: February 27, 2010, 08:03:56 am »
Cool, now you have to give us a re-review now that you got it working properly >=)

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Re: Touhou 「Age of Ethanols」 (Full Trial gameplay movie coming soon...)
« Reply #25 on: February 28, 2010, 07:00:31 pm »
Yea, I already recorded a new video for yt. just need to narrate it.

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With the latter games they focussed too much strategic units like "unit A counters unit B , but is weak to C" which became retarted for me. Which is why I hated Age of Mythology, Age of Empires 3, WC3 etc etc.
This so much. I didn't even try AoEIII after watching my brother playing it. And I'm a huge AoEI and II fan. Still have my II with The Conquerors expansion. And Rise of Nations, that still allowed for hueg-ass armies.

Waiting warmly for that video~.
[20:45:19] Ciryano: come and behold why they call it the Panzerfaust
[20:45:39] Hakurei Reimu: ... because it shoots once and then you throw it out?
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Re: Touhou 「Age of Ethanols」 (Full Trial gameplay movie coming soon...)
« Reply #27 on: March 07, 2010, 10:51:56 pm »
I guess the Rock-Paper-Scissors focus came after everyone started aping StarCraft 1 (including its own creators) because that was the first RTS I ever played where a massive number of top tier units could be slaughtered by half their number of 'weakness' units.

Helepolis

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Re: Touhou 「Age of Ethanols」 (Revised article + New trial movie)
« Reply #28 on: March 16, 2010, 03:59:23 pm »
Article revised and new trial play video added.
 

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