• Monthly Archives: August 2012

    Play better – play smarter with Academy Professor!

    When I started getting more into Hero Academy and playing several games at once, I found it difficult to keep track of what was going on in each game (especially if some opponents were playing “Take All Week Academy”). I got bored watching the LA Kings destroy the Phoenix Coyotes in the 2012 NHL playoffs, and wrote “an app for that” in an afternoon. Sometimes being an iOS app developer comes in handy!  I used it myself for a little while, then decided to give it the finishing touches and put it out there for others to enjoy.


    Academy Professor landed on the App Store in June, the first iOS app of its kind. It’s still a side project for me, but I’ve managed to add a few nice features. The app is Universal and supports landscape, so it pairs well with Hero Academy on either iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. Your data is synced over iCloud so that if you play HA on multiple devices, Academy Professor keeps up with you. Readouts on every item show you the chance that your opponent has one (or two, or three) of the item in hand, and you can keep extra notes on each game as well.


    What’s next for Academy Professor? Aside from little bells and whistles, the next big piece I would like to add is a “chessboard mode” where you can set up a game grid with units and test out moves. It would be similar to a damage calculator function, but visual and tactile. Who knows – someday it could include a mini AI that suggests your next move.

    Academy Professor is available now on the App Store worldwide and supports all 5 heroic teams. Play better – play smarter with Academy Professor!

    Download now from iTunes


    Free code giveaways

    Robot Fans will be giving away free Academy Professor codes all week long – so keep an eye on our Twitter feed @RobotEntFans to get yours!

    Orcs Must Die! 2 – Fire & Water DLC pack announced

    The first DLC pack for Orcs Must Die! 2 has been announced – the “Fire & Water” booster pack. This booster pack brings 3 brand new levels for the campaign which can either be completed in single player or co-op. Whats-more these levels also feature some brand new enemies to face off against – the new Fire and Water elementals. To help make things easier to take down these new enemies players will of course need some extra traps. Luckily the DLC features three brand new traps the Web Spinner, Ceiling Darts, and the Floor Portal. Check out the description of these and the new elementals below!

    Hellish new Fire Lords and Fire Elementals crumble when killed, leaving behind dangerous Firelings that will hunt the player down and explode when they get too close! Slippery Water Lords and Water Elementals dwindle into pools of water when killed, but don’t count them out of the fight! When Waterlings find dormant puddles, they’ll absorb the stagnant water and grow into new Water Elementals!

    War Mages will have access to three exciting new traps to add to their arsenal, as well.  The Web Spinner is a new wall trap that ensnares hallways full of passing monsters in a sticky tangle of webs, slowing them down to buy precious time. Ceiling Darts turn your fortress into a temple of doom for orcs, dropping from the ceiling to fire deadly darts in every direction. If the orcs make it past your defenses the first time around, you can give them another dose of pain with the new Floor Portal. Place the floor portal anywhere on the ground. Unsuspecting enemies who step on it will be magically teleported back to the beginning of the level!

    Juicy screenshots!

    The Fire and Water DLC pack will be landing on Steam in just two days time on August 29th! The pack will be priced at just $4.99 for all the above new content. Check out the blog on RE.com for more information!


    Age of Empires Online – 1 Year Later

    One year ago, on August 16, 2011, Age of Empires Online launched as the newest expansion to the Age of Empires Franchise. Fans from across the world came to test the latest edition to their favorite series of gaming; whether they were casual gamers, or hardcore fanatics, the anticipation for this game was absolutely huge! On launch day however the game had some things left to be desired. Some were turned off by the new graphic approach. Others were concerned by the lack of end game content.

    The Persians As the game progressed, however, the fans began to return. Additional content was released to compensate some of the fans concerns, and the game began to grow. Months after the launch, Champion Mode, a mode for only premium players was released to balance the player versus player gameplay. Along with Champion Mode, the new Persian Pro Civilization was released and took a seat next to the other two civilizations: The Greeks and Egyptians. At this point in time, there were three civilizations, a booster pack, and champion mode promised to fans.

    The Skirmish Hall!  After a bit of a wait for a new patch, patches were once again released regularly. Following the previous patch, the Celts,  another civilization, and the Skirmish Hall were all the sudden playable. But that still wasn’t it. Complaints still flooded the decks about lack of end game content and the fact that the game still wasn’t free.

    But then the next patch game. Complaints seemed to stop coming after this patch. Reviews were redone and adjusted because the game really turned for the better. The game became truly free to play. Instead of having to pay money for the full version of a civilization, or a booster pack, you were now able to pay for everything in the game, with a different type of in-game currency. Empire Points. Empire points are able to be earned in quests, and in another feature that was released Alliance Wars. Join one of three alliances to fight for total domination. Compete in daily, weekly, and monthly competitions to earn Empire Points. To earn as much as possible, you compete in several end game quests giving you alliance points. The more alliance points you get, the more empire points you receive. Simple! Empires Points can be used to buy the premium version of civilizations, a pro civilization, a booster pack, or maybe you tend to like to customize your units. Also with this patch Vanity Island was released. Choose between dozens of pieces of cool, fancy looking gear to equip on your units. But don’t worry! You can still equip gear to improve your units stats, but the vanity will be shown! Vanity does nothing, nada, to your unit’s stats. Nothing!

    However, that’s not all. After a full turn this game continues to release content. In the newest patch, the anniversary update, 3 new features were released. Observer Mode, the Babylonian Civilization, and a Quest Booster Pack. Observer Mode allows up to 3 players can observe a game in action, a 1v1 game that is. In a 2v2 game, only 1 person can observe it, but fear not, the action never stops. While observing you are able to view the players build queue, resource amount, population, line of sight, and you can watch both sides at once! Also, the Babylonian Pro Civilization was released. For just 900 Empire Points, take command of one of the fiercest armies in the Fertile Crescent. Create a booming economy with the new Ox Cart, or jump in Ages with the unique building: the Ziggurat. Adding to the fun, the Quest Booster Pack was released. Maybe you’re just any fan looking for fun. Well this is for you! Get a series of quests located in the Fertile Crescent to take part in, as any civ. That’s right, any civ.!

    There has been so much that has been released in the past year. If you put down the game back at launch, or haven’t ever played yet, I give my full recommendation to try out this game. With a new civilization in the making, and to be released soon, this game is heading down a road of success! The game is growing, fast! Be one of the thousands to play this game, because remember, you rule! There is no turning back! Come give the game another shot, I guarantee you that you will be pleased!

    Detailed Hero Academy Mechanics Guide

    Those of you who read the official Hero Academy forum have probably seen me posting there often, and in particular, may have seen the guides I’d post whenever a new race was released. With each new race I’d test each ability in-game to create a guide with specific information on all the new mechanics.

    With the Steam release of Hero Academy last week, there was not only a new race coming, but a influx of new players who hadn’t played the game at all before. I decided to compile all of my guides into one location to create a reference that could be used for all parts of the game, and REF offered to feature it here on their site.

    Here is the link to the guide:Hero Academy Mechanics Guide

    I’m continually adding details and rewording things to be clearer. The vast majority of info you’ll ever come across playing normal games will be in there (if you really need to predict the direction of a Wizard chain on a critical turn, you might be out of luck until I’m bored one day). I’ve tried to keep it very terse so new players can read the section on any particular race in just a minute or two, and go into any game at least knowing what all of the units can do. It should, however, contain all the information an experienced player needs to anticipate how possible lines of play will go.

    My hope is that having this information collected in one place and easy to reference is that players will have easier time learning to get better at Hero Academy. Moving beyond the beginner stage requires looking ahead at least one move (as a chessplayer does), and potentially more. So whether you have aspirations in the League (see sidebar on this side), or just looking to beat randoms on the internet, keep this guide handy, and know exactly what your opponent’s units are capable of.

    Orcs Must Die! 2 weekly challenges incoming!

    Good news for Orc slayers. Robot Entertainment will be serving up a new game mode in Orcs Must Die 2 this week. Dubbed “Weekly challenges” these will offer players a brand new challenge every Friday set by the robotic minds at Robot Entertainment and will challenge players to complete certain levels in new and unique ways.

    Each challenge is playable in single-player or co-op and features a specific level, character, and trap loadout to master.

    Reads the latest blog post on RE.com. Whats more each challenge will have its own unique leader-boards so that you can compete against the OMD2 community at large. To help support this a new game mode in the Orcs 2 co-op tool called “Challenges” has been added by REF.

    Keep your eyes peeled for the first weekly challenge landing this Friday 17th!

    What happened to the Hero Academy Steam launch?

    Avid Hero Academy fans will probably have realised that Hero Academy didnt go live on Steam last night as expected. The question on many of fans minds will be why? Luckily REF are here to shine some light on the situation.

    Essentially it all comes down to quality. Robot Entertainment is in the business of making quality games that appeal to mass audiences. When it came to releasing Hero Academy on Steam it was discovered that there were some issues that would significantly impact some players. Rather than pressing ahead releasing the game with some significant known issues the decision was made to delay the games release. This decision was taken to ensure all Hero Academy players get the best experience when they purchase the game on Steam.

    The delay is unfortunate, of course, but it is only in the name of quality. The end product will be well worth the wait. Hold in there, Heroes!

    Orcs Must Die! 2 – Alienware Character Skin Giveaway

    Do you fancy adding something extra to the War Mage and Sorceress’s wardrobe? Well, Alienware are running a giveaway for their Alienware Arena character skins! The outfit looks like this:

    If you want to equip this new skin.. you’ll need to be quick! At time of writing Alienware only have 4000 keys left to giveaway. Head over to the link below and claim yours now!