Empire Deluxe Internet Edition

I remembered reading a year or so ago that a guy was working on updated versions of Empire Deluxe and The Perfect General. So I spot a mention in Bill Trotter’s column in PC Gamer that the games are now out, but only Windows 2000 compatible.

“Dangit,” I think, “Win 2K? WTF?” but I decided to check out the site anyway.

Glad I did. Trotter made some rather significant errors. First, the second game is indeed The Perfect General, not the less-impressive TPG II that he mentioned in the column. And best of all, the games are XP-compatible! (And 95/98/ME/2000 compatible as well.)

AND, Empire Deluxe adds TCP/IP play! Now, there are the usual caveats with turn-based IP play, but the game supports PBEM as well.

Anyone here tried either game? Sounds like the guy hasn’t screwed them up; he’s just recompiled and debugged them under modern operating systems, added IP play, and done some interface tweaks.

The prices in his column are wrong, too… Empire Deluxe is $27.50, not $20. Still, I’m considering paying it – I kept my sanity during grad school by multitasking the Amiga version of Empire with WordPerfect.

Any of you kids old enough to want to get an Empire Deluxe PBEM game going? :-)

It’s a cool project, but $27.50? That’s completely insane. I might consider $10, but not $27.50. I can almost get a brand new game on sale for that much. Plus an additional $25 for every copy to play over the network. Sorry, but I think the developer is completely nuts.

Well, the guy did spend a lot of time working on these conversions, and added Internet play as well. Plus he did pay to buy the rights and source code to the games. I don’t think $27.50 is that unreasonable.

It would be nice if he’d give SOME kind of credit to owners of the original games, but given that he didn’t get a penny of that original money, I can see why he’s not doing that.

If you ever played Empire, I think you’d feel that you’d get $27.50 worth of entertainment from the revised version. One of those games that was simple but terribly addictive.

The only thing that’s insane about his licensing scheme is that he wants anyone who plays a copy of the game to have a license. So if, say, a guy plays the game and his roomate wants to play it too, he expects the roomate to buy his own license even if he plays it on Guy #1’s computer. This isn’t enforced by any code, though. (I emailed him about hotseat play and he said he’s cool with letting someone play hotseat to show them the game with a license…) I can see his thought process here, but he’s not being very realistic, and he’s probably losing more sales off the wording of that license than he’d get from people following it to a T.

Most modern games DO require you to pay for each copy you play over a network. The days of spawned copies are gone. And with the sales levels this guy’s going to get on these games – 95% will probably come from fans of the original games, which are a decade old and from the day when 35,000 copies was considered a hit – I don’t think that section of the licensing requirement is unreasonable.

Hi Denny,

Thanks for pointing out the discrepancies in the Trotter article. I just wanted to comment on the following statement:

It would be nice if he’d give SOME kind of credit to owners of the original games, but given that he didn’t get a penny of that original money, I can see why he’s not doing that.

Walter Bright, Mark Baldwin and Bob Rakosky all have received more than the enough credit in the Empire Deluxe Internet Edition project. All three are mentioned in the “About” dialog within the game and demo. They are also appropriately credited at the beginning of the manual, and all three have bios (Mark’s was updated, Walter’s was added, and Bob didn’t care to add to his) in the appendix of the manual. I also included the full original credits from the version 3.11, which includes the original play testers and other contributors to the game in the manual as well.

On my website in the description of the game, Killer Bee Software Presents , there is some historical information that mentions the previous versions of the game and the authors. In addition I have a link on the side bar of my site to Mr. Bright’s site for historical interest.

I would feel it safe to say that they received more credit in the new version than they expected, but in my opinion they got the credit they deserved.

–Mark Kinkead
http://killerbeesoftware.com

It would be nice if he’d give SOME kind of credit to owners of the original games, but given that he didn’t get a penny of that original money, I can see why he’s not doing that.

I thought Denny meant that it would be nice if people who purchased the original games got some credit, as in a 10$ rebate, or whatever, not that the creators of the original game did not get enough credit for their efforts.

Hey, Mok, welcome aboard. Stick around – as a developer and someone who’s been gaming for a while, I’m sure you’ll like this place.

I’ve been dealing with sick wife, sick baby, and now sick “me,” so I’m a bit behind in just about everything, but I shall be heading over to your site to buy Empire Deluxe this weekend!

My comment was talking about a $$$ credit for owning the original games. I’m actually on your side here – you deserve to be paid for the trouble of reworking these games for modern computers, and I don’t think you owe a discount to owners of the originals, particularly since they’re likely to make up the majority of your sales. I was simply stating that I thought that many owners of the originals would feel like they deserved a discount, not that they really did. :-)

LOL

I definitely took your comment out of context. Original owners means something different to me!

I guess I am nuts.

–Mark

You’ll fit right in then. :wink:

Grave, rise from, etc.

I just found out there’s a new iteration, Empire Deluxe Enhanced Edition, that got released just over a month ago. Even more units and such–I’m definitely tempted.

I didn’t think the addition of Internet play for the old Empire Deluxe Internet Edition justified $27 (as noted in my post above). However, the new Enhanced Edition is very cool, and is worth real cash. The new Enhanced Edition got some very interesting features including
[ul]
[li] New standard units.
[/li][li] Ability to create your own ruleset (creating Empire Deluxe but with Napoleanics or SciFi units, for example).
[/li][li] Access to the AI code and an AI API, which let’s you program your own AI.
[/li][/ul]
The Enhanced Edition also has what I find to be an improved interface. Overall I give EDEE a thumbs up.