Age of Empires 2 Notes

Dec 24, 2023

AoE2 Notes

Shot list

Green screen

- [x] Counters

Make a custom scenario

- [ ] Different foundations for stable/range/barracks (build all 3 at once)

Regular game

Topics I Need to Address

- [ ] Talk more about history integration {-- ehh --}
- [x] Initiative, commitment
- [x] Offense is the best defense
- [x] Possibility and impossibility; the game gets simpler the more you play it
- [x] Art and music
- [x] Stress action gameplay more, with examples
- [x] What is ranked like?
- [x] Unique units and techs
- [x] Unit abilities (vs. Starcraft)
+ The Ratha is the only(?) unit that can switch modes, the Centurion buffs nearby infantry. A lot of AoE2's appeal is that you can kind of "sight-read" the game, and the Ratha introduces an inconsistency (why can't cav archers get off of their horses) while the Centurion provides an invisible bonus.
+ Base AoE2 civs are simple.
- [ ] Kriegsspiel {-- needs its own vid or series --}
- [x] What makes AoE2's unit counters more than a checkbox?
+ There are no "true" hard counters (or there are few). 10 archers might beat five skirms. 10 well-micro'd archers can kill 5 skirms without taking damage.
+ Cost-effectiveness is the tradeoff of having e.g. 5 knights attack a pikeman, but if taking that efficiency loss wins you the game, then cost-effectiveness doesn't matter
+ This is to say that counters form a part of your gameplay but they must be paired with good macro, micro, and general strategy. The opponent can always make a tech switch if you can't/don't push fast enough

Major Ideas

Possibility and impossibility. Learning the boundaries of the game, especially prevalent in the Dark Age. Seeing the early-game not as a build order, but as a manageable number of vills you can use to build up to whatever you want in Feudal. This helps to predict the opponent's behaviour too.

Resource scarcity, the way this forces you to expand and come into conflict with the opponent. Res runs out, this is another thing to manage but it gives you leverage over the enemy: resources can meaningfully be denied.

Animations, formations, sound design are all snappy. This helps the player understand what the consequences of their actions are immediately, and it allows for the game's micro-heavy combat. You know generally what's going on watching AoE2, unlike Starcraft.

The unfolding quality of strategy games. The way AoE2's speed stresses this feeling.

The importance of initiative and commitment.

Edit Notes 12/2023

- [x] Add "StarCraft 1 has very good pathfinding.mp4" at appropriate point
- [x] 00:00:43 breath
- [x] 00:01:58 long pause
- [x] 00:02:16 shot of nothing
- [x] 00:02:58 weird popping VO cut
- [x] 00:03:00 with a bunch of missions in each!
- [x] 00:04:09 click/pop
- [x] 00:04:40 consider removing section? this stuff was patched
- [x] 00:07:30 make it louder
- [x] 00:07:35 consider moving to the beginning
- [x] 00:10:06 record Starcraft formations
- [x] 00:11:25 sniff
- [x] 00:12:25 music here?
- [x] 00:12:40 music here?
- [x] 00:13:54 weird short shot
- [x] 00:16:50 too verbose
- [x] 00:17:29 can you fix the hotkeys?
- [x] 00:19:20 add some time between "boars, rhinos..." and the previous line
- [x] 00:21:28 this sequence is a little too loud(?), text should be in a better spot.
- [x] 00:27:19 make pause longer here, hit the TC for a while then talk
- [x] 00:34:16 maybe have a little text bubble talking about the early-game relationship between food and wood and why 80 food < 25 food 35 wood
- [x] 00:35:25 should be "convincingly, yes"
- [x] 00:46:30 breath
- [x] 00:46:44 weird pause
- [x] 00:48:32 lots of breathing
- [x] 00:59:05 click between lines?
- [x] 00:59:18 breath
- [x] 01:00:00 left in a reading mistake
- [x] 01:01:56 breath
- [x] 01:07:00ish switch "Opening Infiltration" song out for "Tanker Incident"

- [x] Move Deadliest Warrior joke to intro, add "Pike TV" and some other footage from the show to setup the 'battle'. Do this last so the above notes have the right timings. {++ did it early haha ha ha ha.++}
- [x] Give music a quick recheck
- [x] Music credits font size is inconsistent
- [x] YT video credits
- [x] Switch out "other strategy games suck eggs" for "pikmin is the only good one"